5 Simple Nutrition Tips
Nutrition can be a daunting topic to consider. With so many different methods and approaches, determining the appropriate course can be overwhelming. Below are 5 tips to help simplify the subject!
Sufficient Caloric Intake
Eating too little food can actually cause you to experience an increase in body fat percentage and a decrease in lean muscle mass. This sounds counterintuitive but our bodies are highly adaptable and will go into starvation mode in response to restrictions in caloric intake. While in starvation mode our body regulates hormones and lowers metabolism causing increased storage in adipose tissue (fat tissue).
Consumption of High Quality Foods
A good rule of thumb is to stick to the perimeter of the grocery store and spend most of your time buying meat, poultry, fish, eggs, vegetables, some fruit, some starches (oatmeal, rice, sweet potatoes), some nuts and seeds, and dairy (cheese and plain yogurt). This means avoiding processed foods like bread, pasta, pizza, cereal, and most goods that have a long shelf life. The idea of removing some of these items from your diet might seem impossible but it is easier to do than you think. Pick one of these things to remove this week and see how it goes.
Food replacement bars, cereal bars, protein bars, nutria-grain bars, and other similar products might be marketed as healthy nutrition options but they are generally loaded with sugars and have been processed multiple times.
A successful strategy is to prepare meals ahead of time. This will allow for you to have a healthy, balanced meal ready when you need it. Such strategy is especially valuable during a busy schedule when you have limited time to consider your nutrition options.
Fat Does Not Make You Fat
For many people, excessive carbohydrate consumption is the leading cause for obesity and weight gain. Consumption of processed, refined, and sugar-dense foods will raise blood sugar levels and signal your body to release insulin, which helps convert and store them as glycogen.
Our body uses glycogen as a fuel source; however, we only have a limited capacity for storing excess carbohydrates in the form of glycogen. Once the glycogen levels are filled in both your liver and muscles, excess carbohydrates are converted into fat and stored in your adipose, fatty, tissue.
This is not to say that all carbohydrate consumption is bad. However, we want to emphasize the high quality, nutrient dense carbohydrates that do not cause a significant spike in blood sugar levels.
Consistency is Key
Many people who struggle when it comes to nutrition will take a limited, short-term view of nutrition. Thus, when we have that unexpected ‘night out’ or ‘cheat meal’ it is easy to fall of the wagon. Lack of progress is not a result of these nights or meals but the decision that follows. Do we get back on track and adhere to a consistent plan or become derailed by our last meal? Put it in the past and move on.