Not everyone we consider “fit” follows a diet. Not everyone who struggles with body composition has a lack of self-control.
Finding the right meals, ratios, and quantities to affect change in our bodies is a never-ending effort. The cells in our body are in a constant cycle of regeneration. The body you have today is a result of your many past choices. How we feel and look at our body is influenced by food, age, gender, hormones, activities, sleep, and stress.
Learning to manage all of these is how you get to feeling good, mentally and physically. Nutrition is one most of us struggle with, so here are 3 hacks to eating more healthy!
Fats stick with you, literally. They make up the cell wall in each cell within your body. The types and quality of fats you consume have a direct effect on the way your cells communicate with one another, as well as your body’s inflammatory response. Fat also helps our bodies absorb fat-soluble vitamins, like vitamins A, D, E, and K.
There are four types of fats that you can consume.
Polyunsaturated monounsaturated fats provide your body with a sustainable energy source, decrease inflammation, and improve your mental performance. You can think of these as the “healthy fats”. These fats are normally found in foods like salmon, vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds. Omega-3s are an important type of polyunsaturated fat that our bodies can produce, so we must get them from food.
Saturated and trans fats should be consumed sparingly. Not all are bad, but the high consumption of these can raise your cholesterol and increase your chances of heart disease. It’s important to be aware of the types of fats you consume. If you’re able to, replace the saturated and trans fats with unsaturated fats.
The quality of fats you consume should also be considered. When looking at animal products, you should focus on buying and eating humanely raised, grass-fed, and wild instead of farm-raised when it comes to fish. The diet of the animal has a huge affect on the meat quality. You are basically eating what the animal eats if you think about it.
How much fat you need depends from person to person, but trying to get 30% of your calories from fats is a great place to start. Each meal you consume should include a healthy fat option to support your goals.
Seems like a no-brainer, maybe a lame hack...BUT when you think about the meals you had over the past few days, how many of those contained a full serving of veggies??
Vegetables are a great source of fiber, essential nutrients, and prebiotics to support gut health. They are your best alternative when it comes to snacking. It’s hard to do your body some damage when you are stuffing your face with broccoli and carrots.
A diet that is rich in vegetables helps to keep blood pressure down, reduces the risk of heart disease, and has a positive effect on blood sugar levels. Vegetables have a low glycemic index, which prevents blood sugar spikes that can lead to hunger.
We all know that vegetables are an important aspect of our diet but may not be very good at fitting them in. It might take some effort and creativity, but have an open mind to trying new things!
This point is hammered down on you all of the time...we know...but, as humans, we need protein. There’s no getting around it.
The amino acids found in protein, plant or animal, are the building blocks for our muscles. Insufficient protein in your diet will cause your muscles to break down and divert amino acids to help perform other critical body functions. Losing muscle is not good, hence why we always remind you guys to prioritize your protein!
How much do you need though? Again, this depends based on your goals, body composition, and genetics. But once you have your protein goal determined for the day, set a protein goal for each meal. Divide your protein goal for the day by the number of meals you generally eat. Don’t forget to include your post-workout shake!
For example, if your goal is 150 grams of protein per day and you typically eat 4 times a day, you would want to aim for 38 grams of protein each meal. Once you figure your numbers out, it becomes easier to know what foods support that quantity of protein.
There you have it, 3 healthy eating hacks you can start to implement into your routine right away! While some may seem like nothing new, let them serve as reminders to keep you on track. If you are looking to clean up your diet and fitness regiment, let us coaches know how we can help!