Nutrition is such a divisive topic! These range from Vegan, Keto, Carnivore, Low-carb, Low-fat, Paleo to Vegetarian. All of these lifestyles work to some extent, but are they sustainable? In working with clients, I like to keep it simple and use the guidance of Michael Pollan, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” While this seems simple, it can be tough for most to follow.
Most real food is not from a package. High-quality animal protein sources, fruits, and vegetables should be the staple of any nutrition plan. If you want to change your eating habits, begin by cutting out processed snacks during the day and add more real foods to your plate. I recommend shopping around the edges of the grocery store where the fruits, veggies, and meat are sold. Stay away from sugar and refined carbohydrates as much as possible. These are loaded with empty calories and have negative effects on your inflammatory markers and immune system.
Not too much, we tend to overeat in the US. Our portion sizes are too large and we mindlessly eat. How often do you actually savor the food you are eating? Do you scarf it down while watching a TV show or scrolling on your phone? One of the reasons we give thanks and say a blessing before meals are to slow us down and allow us to be mindful of our food. When you are mindful about your eating you will feel full quicker than before, especially if you eat a lot of vegetables. Try eating a pound of broccoli. It isn’t easy! Vegetables are also loaded with micronutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are crucial to a healthy body.
When it comes to nutrition, make sure you are drinking plenty of water. I suggest drinking half of your body weight in ounces per day. Hydrate before you stimulate in the morning! Before your coffee, start each day with a large glass of water, with a pinch of Himalayan salt to provide you with the necessary electrolytes to properly absorb the water you’re consuming. One of the easiest weight loss tips around is to quit drinking soda and substitute water instead. The empty calories in sodas add up quickly. Even diet soda can cause you to gain weight as it causes an insulin response in your body, disrupting your body’s metabolic processes. Also, limit your caffeine consumption after noon. Caffeine can stay in your system for 10-12 hours and can negatively impact your sleep.
With all of this said, there is no need to stress out overeating properly. Excess stress forces your body to store fat and has negative effects on our long-term health. Don’t beat yourself up if you eat a donut or pizza every once in a while. Having these every now and then is not going to make you lose all you’ve worked for. After you’ve had them, check into how you feel after you eat those foods. Do they make you feel bloated, lethargic, or give you brain fog? The key is to become attuned to your body and how different foods impact how you feel or act. While you can still have your cheat day, cut out the foods that didn’t make you feel good. Eventually, your body will start craving healthier options altogether.