Did you just start working out again or for the first time ever and need help with your diet? Have you been exercising religiously but hit a plateau in your weight loss? Are you wanting to lose some extra pounds before sitting with your toes in the sand on vacation? Do you want to begin making better food choices overall? Are you unsure how to begin eating healthy?
If you answered “YES” to any of these questions, here are my top three nutrition tips to give you a jumpstart to successfully meeting your weight loss or management goals!
Increase your water intake!
Water helps maintain a healthy and active metabolism by helping your body’s organs function optimally. This makes you feel full longer and aids in digestion at each meal. Drink at least half your bodyweight in ounces per day. And try to drink at least 8 ounces before and after each meal. If you get bored with water, opt for herbal teas like green tea or water flavored with your favorite fruits like cucumber, lime, strawberries or lemon. You should avoid drinking your calories through sodas, processed juices or alcoholic beverages.
Calories in, calories out.
Long term weight loss and management is tricky and a lot has to do with calorie intake and expenditure. I will be the first to confess that I absolutely dread calorie counting, but tracking your normal eating habits is critical to your ability to successfully achieve your wellness goals in the long run. So even for three days (two weekdays and a weekend day), keep a thorough log of what you eat, drink and consume (anything with calories that goes in your mouth). This will help you better understand if you need to increase or decrease what you are doing daily!
HINT: 3500 calories = 1 lb of fat. That means each day you must cut or expend 500 calories in order to lose 1lb per week.
Eat a WHOLE balanced diet with proper macros.
Just as calorie consumption can improve or deter your weight loss and management success, so can eating a well balanced, healthy diet. Try balancing your diet out with whole foods in order to meet your recommended macro-nutrient intake per day.
- Protein: 10-35% of total calories per day
- Fat: 20-35% of total calories per day
- Carbohydrate: 45-65% of total calories per day
Consider using ChooseMyPlate as a guide to making a balanced meal. A few examples include:
- Fruits: apples, oranges, grapes, melon, pineapple, pears, etc.
- Vegetables: broccoli, peas, carrots, spinach, celery, cauliflower, etc.
- Protein: chicken, salmon, turkey, lean beef, tofu, black beans, etc.
- Grain: brown rice, oatmeal, whole wheat bread, barley, etc.
- Dairy: string cheese, yogurt, milk, butter, cream, slice cheese, etc.
– CASEY EDMONDS, CHC