Nutrition and diet info is everywhere! Each expert and association tries to lead you in their direction because they know best and their advice is going to help you, right? Well, maybe… The problem is that most only focus on HOW MUCH you eat. While portion size does affect your weight and energy level, alone, it’s not the “holy grail” of health. The often overlooked (and scientifically proven) piece of the equation has more to do with WHAT YOU EAT and drink and HOW YOU EAT and drink it. Read on to find out more.
Forget calories in, calories out.
Limiting calories, carbs or fat can certainly help you lose weight in the short term, but when it comes to long-term weight loss and maintaining maximum energy, it pales in comparison to creating healthy, more sustainable eating habits. In fact, the “calories in, calories out” philosophy (i.e. how much you eat) is fundamentally flawed. More often than not, those who count calories often fall into one of two camps:
- They continue to fill their diets with high calorie junk food (burgers, fries, pizza, pastries, ice cream, etc.) in tiny portions. This food contains little to no vitamins and nutrients, so it will ultimately leave you malnourished and still feeling hungry.
- They eat as little as possible, eating low calorie “diet foods,” reasoning that restricting themselves more will lead to more calories burned and more weight loss. This assumption is FALSE. It will only lead to you being under-nourished and fighting the hunger pains until you finally binge!
This is no way to eat, nor is it a proper way to live. You CAN eat foods that you enjoy, lose weight without counting calories, AND nourish your body all at the same time!
Pay attention to what you eat.
Your body needs a varied diet full of minimally-processed foods (i.e. fewer “packaged” and “ready-to-eat” foods). This simple concept is paramount for weight loss, energy, and overall health and wellness. Every day this is what you should aim for:
- A colorful array of fruits and veggies at almost every meal and snack. You need the fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
- Enough protein. Making sure you get all of those essential amino acids (bonus: eating protein can increase your metabolism).
- Healthy fats and oils (never “hydrogenated” ones). There is a reason some fatty acids are called “essential” – you need them as building blocks for your hormones and brain as well as to be able to absorb essential fat-soluble vitamins from your uber-healthy salads. Use extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil, eat your organic egg yolks, and get grass-fed meats when possible. You don’t need to overdo it here. Just make sure you’re getting some high-quality fats.
For more information on what to eat and how to portion your food without counting calories, check out the following blogs: Meal Prep 101: Save Time, Reduce Stress, Lose Weight, Flatten Your Tummy in 5 Easy Steps, and 3 Days to a Trimmer Tummy (Meal Plan Inside).
Adjust how you eat and drink.
Studies are showing that how you eat has more of an impact than we previously thought. Are you constantly rushed, not properly chewing your food, and possibly suffering from gastrointestinal issues? Do you drink your food in the form of sugar laden beverages like soda, milk shakes, and fruit juice?
Our recommendation: Switch to eating mindfully. Mindful eating means practicing the following habits:
- Take smaller bites
- Eat slowly, chewing thoroughly, and savouring every bite.
- Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture.
- Breathe between bites.
This gives your digestive system the hint to prepare for digestion and to secrete necessary enzymes. Since eating slower often means eating less, this practice can also lead to weight loss. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full, so when you stretch out the process, you’re giving your brain time to receive the signal. Thoroughly chewed food is also easier to digest and makes it easier to absorb all of those essential nutrients.
Commit to learning, not just losing.
Instead of jumping on those fad diets that teach you to restrict calories or nutrients, take the time to learn what’s best for your body. If want to achieve your fitness goals, get healthy, AND maintain your results, focus on changing what and how you eat first. Once you’ve got those nailed down, find a sustainable way to keep portions in check.
What will YOU work on first?
Stronger for Today,
The Method3 Fitness Team
Did you like this blog? Be sure to LIKE, LEAVE A COMMENT, and SHARE it on your favorite channel! Need some ideas for quick and healthy meals? Click here to snag our e-book “10 Healthy Meals in 10 Minutes or Less.”
The Method3 Fitness blog is updated weekly. All content is designed to improve the way you move, eat, and think so you can achieve your goals and live stronger for today. Check back here each week and LIKE our Fan Page, to stay up to date on the latest tips, strategies and methods to get fit, lose fat, and build confidence. Ready to get started with us? Click here for a complimentary goal strategy session!