Where Do I Start?!!! Nutrition Simplified
“I’m so overwhelmed by food”. “Should I cut out carbs?”. “What do you think of Keto diet?”. “How much do you know about intermittent fasting?”. “Fruit has too much sugar.” “What supps should I be taking?”. “Just tell me what to eat!”. “What do you do?”. “I was a disaster this week, but I will get back on the wagon next week.”. “How much protein do I need?”. “I wish it was easier”. “I don’t have time to cook”. These are the conversation pieces I listen and respond to all day. I’m more than happy as a personal trainer to talk anything to death. The problem as I see it is that people are overstimulated with the high volume of nutrition and diet information out there. They are either much too overwhelmed to begin or burned out from being a serial dieter. Let’s all take a breather and begin with the basics. Five simple steps to a healthier relationship with nutrition:
- Simply start making better choices. If we are all being honest with ourselves, we know where we are really going wrong with food. Sure, there are details of healthy eating that might still be a mystery, but deep down most of us know the areas we should immediately clean up. Ask yourself: How often am I eating out? How often am I eating sweets(Obvious desserts and hidden sugars)? How much liquid calories do I consume? What foods am I addicted to? Do I keep those foods in my house where I’m too tempted? Where am I overdoing it on the fat? Do I jump around between trendy diets excessively instead of listening to my body’s intuition? Start with the obvious and immediate ways to improve.
- Eat real food!!!! Let me say that again: EAT. REAL. FOOD. Whole food, in its natural form. Avoid or eat in moderation foods that are processed, packaged, with additives and preservatives. Our body doesn’t recognize synthetic nutrients as real fuel. For optimum performance and health we need micronutrients and phytonutrients. That’s where the focus should be. Carbs, fats and proteins can be important details but your sources of food should be the first priority.
- Hydrate! Drink half of your body weight in water. If you workout and sweat a lot, you should drink even more! Proper hydration can reduce fatigue, improve endurance, lower your heart rate, aid in weight loss and much more. Did you know that often times when people feel hungry they are actually just dehydrated? Drink your water. Period.
- Vegetables, vegetables and more vegetables. No matter what belief system you have with food balance, we all need to consume a variety of lots of vegetables. A diet rich in vegetables will help in your overall body function as well as help prevent risk of disease. In general women should eat 4-5 servings a day, and men 5-6. Every body is individual and certain types of veggies not might sit well with everyone. There’s enough variety out there and ways to cook that can fit most anyone’s needs though!
- Don’t be a follower. You are an individual, with a unique body that is just yours. Eat according to your own body’s needs. This might take time and effort to define what this means to you, but it is SO worth it. It’s ok to be inspired by that friend who lost weight, or that social media influencer that pushes their meal plan. I have no problem sharing my own food journey with clients and friends, that is backed with science but most importantly is just what works for me. Do your research, but let your own body’s response be your evidence. Our bodies are perfectly designed. Sometimes we simply get out of touch. It’s time to make that connection again.
Before you incorporate these steps into your lifestyle, please don’t bother with anything else. Yes, there is so much more depth to nutrition but let’s not put the cart before the horse. You might find that a few simple changes make all the difference and the process doesn’t have to be stressful. Still overwhelmed? Start with one small change, then next week add another. Set yourself up for success without too high of expectations. Each right decision you make will leave you proud and you’ll be motivated to make your next.