Carbs, proteins and fats, oh my! The amount of nutritional lingo out there is enough to make you lose your appetite. The truth is, nutritional science is a very complicated subject and there are a lot of people out there who claim to understand it more than they actually do. With all the noise and advice out there, what should you believe? Sometimes less is more, so I am sharing 3 simple nutrition tips to better support your health and exercise. Once you have these mastered, you can continue to fine-tune your eating habits with trial & error or consulting with a nutrition expert, and find what works best for YOU.
- Consider the Source – There’s no doubt or confusion that whole foods, consumed in their original state (or close to it), should make up all or most of our daily calories. Also remember, the fewer the ingredients on packaged food labels the better. Canned and frozen produce are great options, but keep an eye out for added sugar and preservatives. Case in point: I’ve seen sugar added to beans. Even organic options can have added ingredients!
- Eat Your Calories – Studies have shown that consuming liquid calories does not elicit a satiety effect (feeling full) the way whole foods do, which can lead to consuming excess calories. This is especially true if the beverage has little or no nutritional value such as soda or a Frappuccino. Even if you kept your total calories the same, what essential nutrition did the 200 calorie soda push out? Smoothies are a different story, and can provide a quick, nutritious meal or snack particularly if you prepare your own (be cautious of pre-made ones that can have loads of extra sugar). Try my Simple Berry Smoothie.
- Plan Ahead – Eating whole foods sounds great, but how will you make sure they are available to you? Some forethought and planning on the frontend can actually SAVE you time and money.
- Make a grocery list before heading to the store.
- Shop for fruits, vegetables (get a combination of fresh to eat right away and frozen to have on hand later in the week or in a pinch), and healthy proteins and fats such as lean meats, low-fat dairy, nuts, avocados, beans and eggs.
- For more information on how to plan ahead for meals, click here.
Start with one of these nutrition tips and continue to build on your progress. Start small. Dream big.