I was listening to my good friend and dietitians podcast recently and she had a powerful message I had to share. Like some of you, I historically struggled with eating “healthy” and thought the diet culture was the only way to live and eat.
In the past, I tried Paleo, Carnivore, Zone, and Metabolic Efficiency Diets. And I have worked with 100’s of clients that were all trying some diet at the time we were working out together. I remember the ever-popular Atkin’s Diet when I first became a personal trainer. Cutting out entire macronutrient groups did not seem like a smart idea back then.
I knew that Carbs are good, and our primary source of energy in the human body. Since then, I have tried a low-carb lifestyle, and boy was that some hard times. Talk about hangry, you did not want to be near me during those moments. When we were dating my wife used to carry around Zone nutrition bars to keep me fueled up.
3 Nutrition non-negotiables
In Jessika’s podcast, she discusses the 3 nutrition non-negotiables. I have been in the fitness and nutrition world for 19 years and never heard this explained so simply.
1. Hydrate! This is the key to success. Our body is made up of 60% water. Our muscles and kidneys are 79% water. And our heart and brain are 73% H2O. I don’t need to say anymore, drink more water.
How much water should you drink? Well, it depends on your age, sex, activity level, etc. Here are some recommendations from the Mayo Clinic.
2. Eat enough! Nearly half of Americans are on a diet at some point during the year. It seems like you hear more about what “not” to eat, when “not” to eat, etc. But the truth is, we need to nourish our precious bodies. Our brain uses 20% of our energy daily, now factor that with what the rest of our body needs. If we are restricting calories, then we typically are in a malnourished state. In this state, our bodies start to conserve energy and store it instead of burning calories.
I have been guilty of eliminating entire food groups (no carbs), restricting my eating to only certain times of the day, etc. But the reality is, that never worked. It was not until I invested a little bit of time and money into my nutrition plan and hired a registered dietitian, Jessika Brown that I started to see permanent results. Jessika created a “ Fuel Plan” for me. This has helped me nourish my body and eat more intuitively
Initially, I was able to see some dramatic results. But, as time went on and my activity level changed I started to see the scale number creep up again. But now, looking back over the last 2 years I am finally comfortable with what the scale says (I weigh myself monthly so I don’t fall into the weight trap). When it is time to eat, I take cues from my hunger and relate how I feel based on what fuel I put into my body. This is an input screen on our newest version of the ‘Fuel Plan” app. Using the app has helped me stay consistent, and ensure I am eating the proper amount of fuel for the day.
3. Eat more fiber. How much, at least 25 grams of fiber daily. How do you get it? Fruits and veggies are your keys to success. But also whole grains, legumes, and many other sources as recommended by WebMD.
Every day, I start my day with a bowl of Frosted Mini-Wheats, which provides 6-7 grams of fiber. I also try to eat 3-4 servings of vegetables and 3-4 servings of fruit daily. If I do this, I can easily hit the recommended daily fiber intake goals.
Nutrition Does Not Have to be Complicated
Don’t make things harder than it has to be. There are many resources out there that will explain nutrition, but some of the best I have heard come from the ones that have struggled with it in the past. I recommend diving into Jessika’s podcasts to help you wrap your brain around the nuances of nutrition.