Nutrition and diet info is everywhere!
And each expert and association tries to lead you in their direction because they know best and their advice is going to help you. No wonder so many people are confused and just end up just doing what they’ve always done!
Everyone has heard (and maybe lived through) the intense focus on how much you eat. This has got far too much attention because while this does affect your weight and energy level, it's certainly not the “holy grail” of health.
Let's focus a bit more on the often overlooked (and proven) benefits of what you eat and drink and how you eat and drink it.
What you eat and drink
The “calories in, calories out” philosophy (i.e. how much you eat) is being questioned with research on other factors that may be just as important. Of course, limiting calories, carbs or fat can certainly help you lose weight but that's simply not the only factor for long-term weight loss and maximum energy for everyone.
When the intense focus on how much we ate didn't work in the long-run it wasn’t really a surprise. We kind of knew that already, didn't we?
You can certainly still continue to count your calories, carbs, and fat but don't forget to also pay attention to what you eat.
Ideally, you need a varied diet full of minimally-processed foods (i.e. fewer “packaged” “ready-to-eat” foods). This simple concept is paramount for weight loss, energy, and overall health and wellness.
Every day this is what you should aim for:
● A colourful array of fruits and veggies at almost every meal and snack. You need the fibre, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
● Enough protein. Making sure you get all of those essential amino acids (bonus: eating protein can increase your metabolism).
● Healthy fats. There is a reason some fatty acids are called “essential” - you need them as building blocks for your hormones and brain as well as to be able to absorb essential fat-soluble vitamins. You need foods such as avocados, nuts and seeds, just don't overdo it! Just make sure you're getting some high-quality fats.
How you eat and drink
Also pay attention to how you eat and drink.
Studies are definitely showing that this has more of an impact than we previously thought.
Are you rushed, not properly chewing your food, and possibly suffering from gastrointestinal issues? Do you drink your food?
When it comes to how you eat let's first look at “mindful eating”.
Mindful eating means to take smaller bites, eat slowly, chew thoroughly, and savour every bite. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture. Breathe.
This gives your digestive system the hint to prepare for digestion and to secrete necessary enzymes.
This can also help with weight loss because eating slower often means eating less. Did you know that it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full?
We also know that more thoroughly chewed food is easier to digest and it makes it easier to absorb all of those essential nutrients.
And don't forget about drinking your food.
Yes, smoothies can be healthy and a great, easy and tasty way to get in some extra fruits and veggies (especially those leafy greens!) but drinking too much food can contribute to a weight problem and feelings of sluggishness.
So, although a green smoothie can make an amazingly nutrient-dense meal and is so much better than stopping for convenient junk food – just consider a large smoothie to be a full meal, not a snack. Ensure at least half the ingredients are veggies and don't gulp it down too fast. Don’t rely on them as your only way of consuming fruits and veggies either.
If your smoothies don't fill you up like a full meal does, try adding in a spoon of fibre like ground linseeds or chia seeds.
Try this filling chia peach green smoothie recipe.
Consider not only how much you eat but also what and how you eat it.
If you’ve not been able to lose weight and keep it off and would like 1 to 1 guidance and ongoing support then book a call with me! We can talk about the areas you are having difficulties with and discuss how I can help you.
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