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Building a Good Foundation for Nutrition

consistency exercise fitness fitness on fire good habits health nutrition ocr results weight loss Sep 03, 2021

Written By, Coach Vanesa Suazo

Doesn’t it seem like there’s always the new latest trend for the best diet that will help you lose those unwanted pounds in record time? New research showing that “this diet” is the one that will give you the results you want. Then there’s always all this conflicting information on whether to eat high or low carb; whether to eat plant based or carnivore ; whether calories matter or they don’t. We’re left conflicted, not really knowing what to do and jumping from one plan to the other, never really getting the results we want. The question is, what actually works? The answer is there isn’t one single diet plan that works, they can all work, it all depends on our lifestyles and what we’re trying to achieve. Oftentimes, I think we fail in reaching our goals, because we don’t posses the skills needed to get there - we’re lacking a good foundation. I believe any nutrition program can work for you if you get these next components right.

 

Build Good habits and consistency

Oftentimes, a lack of progress is due to a lack of consistency. We can’t be consistent with a new nutrition program if we don’t have the habits that will help us adhere to it. A couple of habits that can help us better adhere to a new way of eating include:

  • having a consistent eating schedule that fits our lifestyle: the most common way we divide and schedule our meals is by having breakfast, lunch, and dinner. However, this eating schedule doesn’t work for everyone. A lot of people have success doing intermittent fasting and only eating 1 or 2 meals a day, and a lot of people have success eating 4-6 meals a day.
  • having a consistent day to grocery shop and plan ahead. You don’t have to cook all your meals in one day if that’s not your thing, however, making it easier for you to put together meals during the week will make it more likely for you to adhere to your nutrition. These can include practices like: chopping up veggies and having them ready to just cook, having snack foods already pre measured and divided so that you don’t over eat them, making a rough draft of your menus for the week so that you buy enough food or don’t overbuy.
  • eating slower and without distractions: It’s easy to eat past the point of being full when we’re socializing with friends or watching a movie, and it’s also to not want to eat everything if you’re eating while stress working. Set some time aside to just enjoy your food.

 

Eat protein and veggies with every meal

All good diets are based around eating whole foods, and promote eating lots of high quality protein and veggies. Learn to eat real non processed foods, and have protein and veggies with every meal. Protein is the building block of life - every cell in the body contains protein. We need protein in our diets to help us repair cells and make new ones. Training and just the overall daily stress of life causes damage to our cells, it is crucial that we consume protein and get good sleep to repair these cells and make new ones. Vegetables are full of nutrients that are vital for our health and maintenance of our bodies. We need vitamins and minerals because they help to facilitate all the autonomic processes in our bodies, the thousands that happen every single day without us even being aware of them. Once you’ve made it a habit to eat real whole foods, you can move on to more advanced nutrition techniques like tracking calories and macros, and will have an easier time adhering to them.

 

Eat enough food

There is no universal number for the amount of calories we all need to eat to lose weight or gain muscle; we’ve all got different body types, different amounts of muscle mass, and different levels of energy expenditure. As you create new habits around eating healthier, it’s important to track how much food you’re eating. One of the biggest downfalls to not being able to adhere to healthier eating, is cutting calories way too much. You start eating healthier, which can mean drastically eating far fewer calories than what you need on a daily basis. Not eating enough leads to feeling tired and low energy, which affects so many aspects of your life. Your work suffers, your workouts suffer, your willpower suffers, and before you know it you stray away from your healthy eating and then fall off track. You shouldn’t feel sluggish and tired when eating healthy food, that doesn’t make sense! Here’s a few thing you can do to ensure you are eating enough:

  • Figure out what your base metabolic rate is: this is the amount of calories you need on a daily basis to carry out the basic functions of life. This does not include calories you burn through exercise or through other movement you do throughout the day. You want to make sure that you eat at least this amount every day; if you’re active or have a  really active job, you definitely need to eat a lot more. A nutritionist or even some of the apps on your phone can help you figure out what this number should be about.
  • If you can’t seem to eat enough calories with healthy food (this is a common problem) add in more calorie and nutrient dense foods. This can be avocado, healthy oils, and nuts. These foods, though, are super dense in calories and you can easily rack them up, so make sure you measure how much you’re using.

 

Make your fitness and health a priority in your life

If you have a “slip up,” don’t sweat it, just tell yourself you will make a better decision next time. Being fit and healthy is a lifelong process. It requires consistency, discipline, and taking responsibility for yourself and your actions. However, it doesn’t have to be perfect. We all face challenges and changes, but as long as we make taking care of ourselves a priority, we will make choices that align with it.



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