Eat Smart with These Professional Tips

To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.

Francois de la Rochefoucauld

Intelligent eating is an art. Rituals and I share the philosophy that every person needs to strike a balance between movement and nutrition. In this article, I’ll be discussing my vision, my knowledge about health and some tips to help you improve your eating habits to maintain this important balance.

 

Feel good in your skin

One important thing that I have learned is that you can achieve results without imposing extreme restrictions on yourself. By nature, I am a happy and energetic person, and this is partially because I have my nutrition and eating patterns under control and am conscious of what I’m doing. I believe everybody has a right to know why we eat and what’s the best way to do so. Every person deserves to feel good in their skin. That’s why I’m happy to share the following tips.

 

Eat what you like

In principle, you can eat anything you enjoy, as long as you’re aware of how much of it you can have and why. We could all stand to be a bit more knowledgeable about nutrition. The more you know, the better you can care for your body. The better you care for your body, the fitter you’ll feel.

In my book, I don’t provide a diet. Instead, I offer some insights into your eating pattern. The combination of nutritional value and the calories in your meals are considered, and with this, anybody can start finding the right balance.

 

Every person is different

How much you move, eat and work out is up to you as an individual—this is true of your specific goals as well.

Take a critical look at your eating pattern and how much you move in a given day. Ask yourself if you’re conscious about how many calories you’re burning in comparison to how much you’re eating. Knowing this is half the battle, because:

If you eat more calories than you’re burning, you’ll gain weight.

If you eat fewer calories than you’re burning, you’ll lose weight.

 

Food as energy

It is smart to go from larger meals with a lot of calories to smaller meals that contain fewer calories. It’s good to eat a larger breakfast, for example, because you can then use that energy for the rest of the day.

If you’re a workout fanatic, I advise you to also eat a meal rich in carbohydrates around 2-3 hours before you start. This is because your body doesn’t start using the carbs until 2 ½-3 hours after you eat them, and they are the primary fuel for the body. If you follow this rule, you’ll have full energy during your training and will therefore burn those carbs efficiently. If you can’t make this work, then eat a banana 30-45 minutes before working out or drink a sports drink to give your body some sugars to burn during your workout.

 

Get in-the-know about nutrition

Make an effort to learn more about carbohydrates, proteins, fibres, fats, vitamins and minerals. How do they function? How much do you need in a day? Once you know this, you can decide for yourself which food will give you the proper nutrition you need. And then you can start creating your own tasty and balanced meals.

 

Keep moving

Try to move around as much as possible. Bike to work instead of taking the tram. Walk to the supermarket instead of driving. Make a conscious effort to go for a 1-hour walk at least twice a week. Not only does this burn calories—your body was made to move and doing it relaxes your mind as well.

 

Not a diet, but a lifestyle

I’ve been working out for more than 10 years, and in that time, I’ve tried every “diet” imaginable. Everything from only eating once per day to eating a lot less and working out even more than normal—I’ve done it all. I was overweight as a kid and used do a lot of emotional eating. This is the main reason why I enjoy talking to young people about nutrition and how they can keep everything in balance.

Don’t see your new eating pattern as a diet; this is one of the biggest mistakes a person can make. Following a diet for a while, getting the desired results then going back to your old ways—we’ve all been there. That’s a waste of time. Grant yourself the time to get to know your body and its needs, and then decide for yourself what you can live with in the long term.

 

It’s all about balance

You decide your own balance. Investing time in yourself is key, and this is also true when it comes to eating and moving. Imagine that you’re able to eat delicious food, do the right amount of training/moving, and can still drink a glass of wine now and then without feeling guilty. That’s what I call enjoying life.

 

Pay attention to your body

After a few weeks of being conscious of how you fuel your body and how much you move, you’ll start to see and feel the results. You’ll notice that you’re more relaxed in body and spirit, and then you can decide what you eat and when. This knowledge will give you peace of mind that you can convert into positive energy.

 

Nigel Van Der Horst

Nigel Van Der Horst

Chef and cookbook author Nigel van der Horst believes that the secret to being healthy is balanced nutrition combined with physical activity. In his cookbook Chef met Lef, he helps readers become more aware of their eating patterns, so they can determine what works for them. The recipes he developed for Rituals are part of a healthy workout regimen.