Nutrition is all about eating food that fuels our bodies with the nourishment needed for health and growth. Think: a handful of candy does not provide the same nutritional value as a handful of nuts and berries.
When it comes to making informed food choices, here are five suggestions to digest during National Nutrition Month.
1. Say No to Short-term, Fad Diets
Fad diets such as keto, paleo, or celebrity-endorsed juice cleanses often lead to short term weight loss but are not sustainable.
A major concern with many of these diets is that they focus on eliminating food groups in order to accelerate weight loss. Although this may provide short-term results, these diets are very difficult to sustain and deprive your body of the nutrients that it needs. Keto, for example, is a diet that involves eating more fats and cutting carbohydrates. But far too often, keto dieters lose muscle mass because of a lack of protein — a key macronutrient! In addition, the keto diet calls for a very low amount of carbohydrates, which can be dangerous for those with diabetes or kidney disease. Working with a health coach ensures you’re getting the right macronutrients while experiencing the same results.
A balanced diet is key to long-term health and forming nutritious eating habits is the best way to maintain a healthy weight for your whole life — not just while a diet is trending.
2. Avoid Processed Food, Especially Those That Contain Added Sugar
Processed food is food that has been cooked, canned, frozen, packaged or changed through preservation and preparation of some kind. Eating too many processed sugars, oil, and unnatural additives can lead to long-term health problems like heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Balance is key: a treat once in a while is fine, but eat with a nutrition-conscious mind and pay attention to processed sugar content.
Commonly known processed foods include:
Some foods that are generally thought of as healthy can be packed with additives. Keep an eye out for “sneaky” processed foods such as:
3. Eat Foods High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients and are considered GOOD fats. Consuming salmon, nuts, and oils is a fantastic ways to get your dose of Omega-3s. These healthy fats help with heart health, blood pressure, hormone imbalances, mental health and more. Your body can’t produce Omega-3s on its own, so it’s important to eat a healthy helping of them through either food or supplements!
Foods high in Omega-3s include:
Fatty Fish (Salmon, Mackerel, Cod)
Seeds (Flax Seeds, Chia Seeds)
4. Have a “5-Alive Bag”
Every day pack a bag of five pre-portioned healthy snacks to eat throughout the day. AT EMP 180,° we call it the 5-Alive Bag. Your bag could include greek yogurt, a protein shake, an apple, a cheese stick, and a hard-boiled egg. You’ll want to plan and portion everything ahead of time, so you don’t have to think- just grab, eat and go.
Another hint: Include as much protein as you can in your 5-Alive Bag! Eggs are a great[ source of a complete protein because they contain all of the nine essential amino acids your body needs to build its own protein-based structures. Oh, and don’t skip the yolk! A majority of the essential vitamins and minerals our bodies need are found in the egg yolk.
5. Add More Color to Your Plate
Packing your plate full of colorful foods such as fruits and vegetables is a great way to boost your daily intake of important nutrients such as fiber, antioxidants, potassium, vitamins A and C, and folate. Along with maintaining good health, the nutrients in fruits and vegetables work together to protect against cancer, heart disease, vision loss, hypertension and other diseases. These foods are also generally low in fat and calories, which helps them play an excellent role in weight management. Make it a goal to have at least half of your plate comprised of colorful fruits and veggies.
Not sure where to start?
Come into EMP180 to begin your weight loss journey. In addition to planning meals and snacks, we can help you explore the reasons behind over-eating and teach you how to manage difficult social occasions. Let’s work on establishing healthy habits that work for you and your lifestyle!
At EMP 180° we offer a personalized approach to nutrition and weight loss. We support you throughout your weight loss journey, giving you the tools to lose the weight and EMPowering you to keep it off—forever.