OMG – nutrition and diet info is everywhere!
And have you noticed how each expert tries to lead you in their direction, because their advice is going to help you because they know best!
Over the years we have all learnt about how much (or how little) we should be eating. Calorie intake used to be the main focus as far as losing weight was concerned and while calories do still affect your weight and energy level, they are certainly no longer the be all and end all of healthy eating.
Lets 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’re eating
The “calories in, calories out” philosophy (i.e. how much you eat) is being drowned out with research on other factors that may be just as important. 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.
You can still continue to count calories, carbs, and fat but don’t forget to 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 optimum health and wellness.
This is what you should be aiming for EVERY day:
- A colourful array of fruits and veggies at every meal and snack. From these type of foods you will be getting fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Remember not to over do it on the fruits, so you keep your sugar intake down.
- Enough protein. Making sure you get all of those essential amino acids plus we know that eating protein can increase our metabolism.
- Healthy fats and oils – never “hydrogenated” ones, so go for grass fed butters and not margarine. There is a reason some fatty acids are called “essential” – your hormones and brain needs them to function properly. Use extra virgin olive oil over salads and use olive oil and coconut oil to cook with; eat your organic egg yolks, and get grass-fed meats when possible.
- Eliminate processed sugar whenever possible and watch out for added sugar on the food labels.
How your eating and drinking.
DO you ever pay attention to how you eat and drink?
Studies are showing that this has more of an impact on our systems than we previously thought.
Do you eat in a rush, not properly chewing your food, and possibly suffering from gastrointestinal issues?
Have you ever considered ‘mindful eating’.
Mindful eating means to take smaller bites, to eat slowly, to chew thoroughly, and to savour every bite. Making sure you’re not sitting in front of a screen, working, reading or watching TV when you’re eating, noticing and appreciating the smell, taste and texture.
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.
Oh, and don’t forget about drinking your food!
Yes, smoothies can be healthy and a brilliant easy and tasty way to get in some fruits and veggies but remember that drinking too much food can contribute to a weight problem and feelings of sluggishness.
Don’t get me wrong, a green smoothie can make an amazingly nutrient-dense meal and is way better than opting for convenient junk food or a bowl of cereal in the morning – but remember a large smoothie should be regarded as a full meal – not a snack (and make sure you don’t gulp it down too fast!)
And a quick tip…If your smoothies don’t fill you up like a full meal does try adding in a spoon of fiber like ground flax or chia seeds or half an avocado.