Not every “fit” person follows a diet.
Not every person who struggles with their body composition lacks self control.
Finding the right foods, ratios, and quantities to optimize the way you look and feel is an ever evolving process. Your body is in a constant state of change. Cells are dying and regenerating. The body we live in today is a result of many past choices. How we look and feel will be influenced by our food choices, age, gender, hormones, activities, sleep, and stress. There’s no one right answer.
There are however some areas we can focus on in our journey to looking and feeling great.
Here are the top 3 hacks for healthy eating!
Pick your fats
Eat more vegetables
Make protein the foundation of every meal
1. Pick your fats
Fats stick with you. Not just figuratively, they actually make up the cell wall in every cell in your body. This affects the way cells communicate with one another as well as your body’s inflammatory response. That’s why the types and the quality of fats you choose to eat is such an important factor when it comes to healthy eating.
- Polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats can help provide your body with a sustainable energy source, decrease inflammation, and improve mental performance. The “good fats”. These types of fats are found in foods such as salmon, vegetable oils (ie: olive oil and peanut oil), nuts, seeds and avocados.
- Saturated fats should be consumed sparingly. They are not all bad but high consumption of saturated fat may be linked to increased risk of heart disease. These types of fats are found in butter, cheese, milk, and pork. And while yes, that does include bacon, that doesn’t mean you have to cut out the bacon altogether. Just watch your consumption.
- Trans fats should be avoided all together if possible. These are artificially produced fats that can be hazardous to our bodies. They are the fats that allow many products to have a longer shelf life. Many countries have taken steps to reduce the amount of trans fat in processed goods. Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils are the largest source of trans fats in our diets. We can reduce this type of fat by reducing the amount of processed foods we consume.
Each meal should include a healthy fat option that supports your goals. Fat quality in animal products can vary greatly depending on the conditions the animal was raised in and what they were. And while it may seem a little crazy, you are eating what the animal ate! Focus on humanely raised animal products, grass finished, and wild fish versus farm raised.
Working with an experienced nutritionist is a great way to calculate your fat needs for the day. This can vary based on your body type, genetics, and goals. Try to avoid high fat meals before or after exercise to avoid any digestive issues around training.
2. Eat more vegetables
Seems like a no-brainer but when you think about your meals over the past few days, how many of those contained a full serving of veggies? I think we could all do better in this area.
Vegetables are a great source of fiber, essential nutrients, and prebiotics to support gut health. They are also always going to be your best alternative when it comes to snacking. Most of us are not going to do any sort of damage by stuffing our face with broccoli and carrots!
3. Protein is the foundation of every meal
Humans need protein. There’s no way around it. The amino acids that make up proteins (plant or animal) are the building blocks for our muscles. Without sufficient protein in the diet our bodies will start breaking down muscle, diverting amino acids to perform other critical functions in the body.
So how much protein do you need? This again will vary a ton based on your goals, body composition, and genetics. Once you have your protein goal determined for the day. Set a protein goal for each meal by dividing that total daily amount by the number of meals you generally eat. Don’t forget to factor in your post workout shake!
For example, if you are shooting to consume 150 grams of protein per day and typically eat 5 times a day you would aim for about 30 grams of protein at each meal. Once you figure out your numbers it becomes easy to know what foods support that quantity of protein.
There you have it.
Follow these top 3 hacks for healthy eating and you’ll be in a really good spot! If you want to learn more, check out our YouTube Channel for our latest video/podcast focused on nutrition.
Lake Medina CrossFit – YouTube
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