Seriously everywhere you turn you find – nutrition and diet info!
And each expert and association tries to lead you in their direction because they know best and their advice is going to help you. Right?
Everyone has heard (and maybe lived through) the intense focus on how much you eat. This has gotten way too much attention because while this does affect your weight and energy level, it’s certainly not the “holy grail” of health.
Let’s focus a bit more on the often overlooked (and proven) benefits of what you eat and drink and how you eat and drink it.
What you eat and drink
The “calories in, calories out” philosophy (i.e. how much you eat) is being drowned out with research on other factors that may be just as important. Don’t get me wrong, sure calories, carbs or fat can certainly help you lose weight but that’s simply following a calorie count or points count plan is not the solution for long-term weight loss and maximum energy for everyone.
Don’t forget to also pay attention to what you eat.
Ideally, you need a varied diet full of minimally-processed foods (i.e. fewer “packaged” “ready-to-eat” foods). This simple concept is paramount for weight loss, energy, and overall health and wellness.
Every day this is what you should aim for:
- A colourful array of fruits and veggies at almost every meal and snack. You need the fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
- Enough protein. Making sure you get all of those essential amino acids (bonus: eating protein can increase your metabolism).
- Healthy fats and oils (never “hydrogenated” ones). There is a reason some fatty acids are called “essential” – you need them as building blocks for your hormones and brain as well as to be able to absorb essential fat-soluble vitamins from your uber-healthy salads. Use extra coconut oil, eat your organic egg yolks, and get grass-fed meats when possible. You don’t need to overdo it here. Just make sure you’re getting some high-quality fats. There are so many many fun and tasty oils today. Think any fat except vegetable, soybean or canola oil.
How you eat and drink?
Also pay attention to how you eat and drink.
Studies are definitely showing that this has more of an impact than we previously thought.
Are you rushed, not properly chewing your food, and possibly suffering from gastrointestinal issues? Do you drink your food?
When it comes to how you eat, let’s first look at “mindful eating”.
Mindful eating means to take smaller bites, eat slowly, chew thoroughly, and savouring every bite. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture. Breathe.
This gives your digestive system the hint to prepare for digestion and to secrete necessary enzymes. Think of it like this, have you ever been in a resturant and you really weren’t hungry till you smelled someone else getting their food? The same principle applies here.
Same thing applies here, did you know that it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full?
Most times we wolf our foods down so fast that we barely remember eating it.
Having issues with bloating after eating, thoroughly chewed food is much easier to digest and it makes it easier to absorb all of those essential nutrients.
And don’t forget about drinking your food.
Yes, smoothies can be healthy and a fabulously easy, tasty and a quick easy way to get in some fruits and veggies (hello leafy greens!) but drinking too much food can contribute to a weight problem and feelings of sluggishness.
I love shakes and green juices , but make sure you are looking at the ingredients. Many of these shakes, smoothies or green juices are riddled with excess sugars and calories. Don’t get me wrong a green smoothie can make an amazingly nutrient-dense meal and is way better than eating crap.
At the end of the day you want consider both how much you eat but also what and how you eat it.