With the wellness world forever growing and the insane pressure on society to be ‘healthy’ and of a particular size, it is no wonder that what might potentially start as an innocent kick start to a healthy lifestyle, it can turn into something harmful. There are hundreds of different diets out there – Atkins, Paleo, 5:2, ‘clean’ eating, weight watchers… to name a few-so it’s no wonder it can be an absolute minefield as to what we should be doing, where to start and second guessing our own interceptive awareness to follow something that we might believe to have benefit to us. The word ‘diet’ can be an ever facing demon.
Although it is great to be mindful of nutrition and nourish our bodies with certain foods, it’s more beneficial to have a good relationship with food and by that I mean all food. Obsessive behaviours with food can spiral out of control and can take control of thoughts, emotions and behaviours. So what does a good relationship with food mean/look like?
The concept of periodization when it come to a training program is well known and well applied within sport. The link between exercise and nutrition is also well known. However the concept of using the periodization model within nutritional practice appears to be very uncommon.
There is of course a lot of research and advice on nutrition to consume pre/post training, however consideration of the bigger, long term picture in regards to specific goals, physiological adaptations during different phases of training, is rarely put into practice-so much in fact that guidelines for practitioners are still lacking.
So what is periodization? When applied to exercise it is the long-term planning of athletic training designed to improve performance, reaching peak performance for the most ‘competitive’ part of the year (This might be a particular race, game or competition). It involves a variation of training throughout the year, variation of intensities and load and is typically broken down into c...