Many people are overwhelmed by the idea of “nutrition” and there are so many messages everywhere about what is “healthy”. I just finished a very in depth nutrition course called “Precision Nutrition.” The course had a list of “healthy habits” to help people get started. I have compiled the information for you and added some notes to help you “digest” all the information.
If you want to start eating healthy or if you think you’d like to dial it up a notch, these five habits are a great place to start. They are so easy that you can start these five healthy eating habits today.
1. Each Slowly And Stop At 80% Full
- Our society is constantly on the go which means we eat fast and aren’t mindful of exactly how “full” we are getting before we are absolutely stuffed. One way to manage your overall nutrition is to stop eating at 80% full. It takes about 20 minutes for satiety mechanisms to kick in and let your body know that you are getting full.
- Take smaller bites, remove distractions and stop when you begin to feel 80% full. You can consider this as eating until “no longer hungry” instead of “eating until full”.
- Benefits of slowing your eating include improved digestion, better performance during workouts, more time to enjoy your meals and better sleep when consuming a meal before bed.
2. Eat Protein Dense Foods At Each Meal
- A high protein diet is important for improving body composition and increasing your overall performance. By consuming protein, you stimulate your metabolism, help improve muscle mass and feel “fuller”.
- A serving size of protein is roughly the size of the palm of your hand. The serving should be about 20-30 grams of protein.
- Examples of proteins at breakfast include: bacon, eggs, plain Greek yogurt, coconut milk yogurt, smoked salmon.
- Examples of proteins at lunch or dinner include: roasted or grilled chicken, grass-fed beef burger, tofu, cottage cheese, turkey, plant-based proteins like beans and legumes and wild-caught fish.
3. Eat Fruits And Vegetables At Every Meal
- Your grandmother has been telling you this for decades but it actually is true. You need to eat your vegetables.
- In addition to eating protein at every meal, you should strive to eat vegetables and fruits at each meal. Most people do not eat enough plant-based foods in their diet. Adding these to your meals and snacks can provide immense nutrition and antioxidants to your body.
- Phytochemicals found in plants are essential for your body to function optionally. Additionally, the more proteins that you have in your body, the more acid you have in your blood. Vegetables help neutralize that acid load in the blood.
- Examples of incorporating vegetables in your breakfast include: sautéed spinach and tomatoes with eggs or a smoothie with greens. For more smoothie recipes, click here.
- Ideally you should have 10 servings of fruits and vegetables in your diet each day.
4. For Fat loss, Eat A Majority Of Other Carbohydrates After Exercise
- If you’ve got fat to lose, then you need to earn those higher carbohydrate meals by exercising first. If you want to eat breads and pasta, then make sure you incorporate those foods only on days that you have participated in a high-intensity training session.
- It’s important to stick to the unprocessed carbohydrates like whole grain brown rice, sprouted whole grain bread, whole grain oats and whole grain pastas.
- This is not a “low-carb” approach but rather a “controlled carb” approach. Most Americans eat too many carbohydrates as it is, so controlling them to days that you are participating in a vigorous exercise will help place you in a better range.
- Easy swaps to decrease your overall carbohydrate intake include swapping sodas for water or sparkling water, replacing processed sugary treats for sweeter vegetables like sweet potatoes and squash.
- For those training to gain weight or who depend on a high carbohydrate diet for their endurance sports, this healthy habit does not necessarily apply.
5. Eat Healthy Fats Daily
- Generally speaking, 30% of your diet should be from healthy fats. There are three types of fats – unsaturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Most Americans have too much saturated fat and not enough of the other two types of fats. The recommendation is to have 1/3 from each category.
- Examples of saturated fats include: animal fats found in eggs and dairy, butter and coconut oil
- Examples of polyunsaturated fats include: fish oil, hemp seeds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, flax oil, soy nuts and peanuts.
- Examples of monounsaturated fast include: pecans, almonds, olives, olive oil, avocado, cashews, pistachios and tahini
Simply following the recommendations in these healthy habits can start your journey to better overall nutrition for you or for your family. This list can help you when you go to the grocery store and when you plan meals for your family.
If you would like more customized nutrition coaching, ask to speak with Payden Montgomery at goperformance and fitness.