I’ve had a couple of questions recently about nutrition, and this is something that regularly comes up, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite nutrition tips.
Tip #1: No Fad Diets.
I get a lot of questions about weight loss, so I’ll address questions around that. First of all, there’s a great movement around body acceptance happening right now, and I encourage you all to love your body. With that being said, it’s ok to want change as well. If you’re looking to lose weight, it’s best to stay away from fad diets: keto, paleo, Atkins, etc. While a diet like this may serve the purpose of getting some pounds off quickly, you will likely not be able to maintain that way of eating, reverting you back to your old habits and square one. Studies actually show that most people put more than their initial weight back on after dieting.
Tip #2: Learn about your food.
What we really want to do is learn how to eat a healthy diet that works for your body. You need to educate yourself about nutrition. Start paying attention to nutrition labels, and learning what each one means. How much fat should I be taking in per day? How about protein? Protein carries less calories than fat, yet fills you up more, which is why it’s typically recommended. But red meats carry saturated fat, so they are higher in calories. There are many apps that help you track your food. I don’t necessarily recommend these to manage how much your eating but rather to give you an idea of what you’re eating. By simply paying attention to what is in your food you will learn a lot. For instance, a common cookie may have 120 calories. In our workout class, you are probably burning around 200-250 calories. So, while you may feel accomplished and deserving of a reward, if you make that reward a cookie or two, you’ve negated all of the calories that you just burned.
Tip #4: 80/20 Diet
I always recommend moderation. Unless there’s an allergy, I see no reason to complete cut out something you love! That would make me so sad and longing for it even more! Instead, think of your diet (meaning the way you eat) in 80/20 proportions. Eat healthy 80% of the time, and the other 20% you can be free to eat what you crave: pizza, dessert, etc. That’s doable, right?! Totally! Now, if you need to make a significant weight loss, then you may want to be a little stricter until you get closer to your goal. But the bottom line is to develop eating habits that work with your lifestyle and health long term.
Tip #5 (last one!): Small Changes
Make small changes. Do a little bit at a time of in the right direction, rather than bombarding yourself with huge change. You’re more likely to be successful at cutting one unhealthy thing out of your diet than cutting out 3 things. It’s as simple as that. And we want you to stay in the game, feeling motivated and positive. Another thing, if you mess up and eat bad, don’t beat yourself up over it. Let it go, and start over the next day. I can’t tell you how many people give up after missing their goal of working out 5 xs/ week or whatever it may be. Set small goals that you can realistically accomplish (ok, that’s Tip # 6).
If you want more specific advice on any of these topics, reach out and we can chat!