Importance of Nutrition
Updated: Nov 11, 2020
Nutrition is a popular word these days. Usually you hear it in advertisements for
the next up and coming supplement or health food product but what is nutrition?
Before we get too far, I am not a certified nutritionist or dietitian. However, I do have years of experience and study under my belt and am confident I can give you direction on nutrition. Nutrition is “the act or process of nourishing or being nourished.” I like to think of it as your ability to utilize nutrients from food sources like plants and animals. You want to nourish your body with the best food sources you have available, because your body is
built off of the food you eat. Have you ever heard the term “you are what you
eat?” If you eat badly, you feel bad, you look bad, and your health is bad.
Did you know the average American only eats 6 different veggies? I’ll keep it simple. If you’re trying to lose weight, gain muscle mass, and live your best life, you need to be eating a diet rich in veggies. Vegetables are packed full of vitamins and minerals and are very low in calories, meaning you get more nourishment for fewer calories, which is what you want. Eat a varied cornucopia of vegetables to ensure you are getting all the body building vitamins and minerals your body craves.
Now, let’s talk fruit. Fruit is packed full of nutrients and low in calories so you should be eating fruit frequently and in large varieties like your vegetables. You might see fruit a little differently. Perhaps you don’t crave it and typically don’t like to eat it. Like myself, I don’t typically eat fruit during the late
fall and winter months but in the summer I love it and eat it every day. Why? I think it tastes better in the spring and summer. Also, I sweat more in the summer and fruit helps hydrate me. It also has antioxidants that helps with the stress the sun puts on our bodies during the hot summer months. What I’m getting at is, don’t force yourself to eat fruit all the time. You can make up those nutrients with more vegetables.
Protein is the next step. We get most of our protein from meat sources and a good amount of nutrients as well. Remember, the better quality the fat in the meat the more nourishing the meat is for you. As far as the protein content, you don’t need as much as you might think. You can only process 35g of protein, or an 8oz steak, in a meal. Trying to eat a large amount of protein in a meal just leads to excess calories that could be used for more vegetables. Protein is used in the body to build tissue from cartilage and muscle to your skin and hair. It also boost your metabolism for weight loss. If you need to snack its best to do it with protein like nuts and seeds or a form of meat or cheese.
Then there is fat. The most important thing to remember is not all fat is bad, and fat doesn’t make you fat. It is high in calories so if you’re trying to lose weight it is very important that the fat you eat is nutrient packed and the best for your body. Good fat sources other than meat and eggs, are oils, butter, ghee, nuts and seeds. In my personal opinion, you should eat meat and eggs every day.
Now, when I say oils I do not mean, hydrogenated vegetable oils. They are incredible toxic to your body and can cause the diseases you are trying to avoid with your healthy diet, so stay away. Another thing to look out for when shopping and don’t try to avoid fat, stay away from those “low fat or non-fat products.” Because you need the fat and by taking it out, they have replaced the fat with something which is usually some form of sugar. Speaking of sugar. You should avoid sugar as much as possible. Just know that anything that comes in a package or a box most likely has sugar.
Carbs, like bread, pasta, rice, all that white stuff should be avoided. These things will jack up your insulin levels and tell your body to start storing fat both of which you do not want. Whole grains or sprouted grain breads and pastas are fine just don’t seek them out if you are trying to lose weight. The same goes for rice. If you are building muscle or are a competitive power athlete, you might need more of these foods to help with energy and strength. But regular people do not need these kinds of carbs every meal.
Wrapping this all up, and still trying to keep it simple. Eat meat and vegetables, sprinkle in some fruit, cook with the best fat, non-hydrogenated oils and have a handful of almonds as often as you can. Avoid foods that are highly processed because they hold little to no nutrients. If you're trying to lose weight restrict your calories. You can do that with a calorie counter, or my personal favorite is intermittent fasting and eating meat and veggies. (I’ll get into that on my next blog) Don’t seek out the carbs or sugar. It’s not terrible to have a little but stay clear of the white stuff. This is also a good protocol for long term vitality, but I would add in more high-quality fat sources for brain health. For gaining weight or if you’re an active power athlete, meat and veggies, high quality fat, and carbs typically in large amounts because for an athlete you need the energy. If you are trying to gain weight, you’re going to have to eat, but eat right. Keep it simple, nourish your body, you are what you eat, you turn over every cell in your body every year so build your body you want through your food.
When you become my client, I will create a nutrition plan for you to go along with your new healthy lifestyle. I will make sure you have what you need to meet your fitness goals, healthy eating habits is a big part of that.