Are you on a diet?
How many have you tried? Paleo, Atkins, Vegetarian, South Beach, Vegan, The Zone, Mediterranean, Raw Food – there are so many different ones; how do you know which one to follow, if it will work or if you can stick to it? Well, guess what? You don’t need to diet; you just need to eat nourishing foods that are right for what your body needs.
All diets have their place and each diet, when properly followed, will work for a certain group of people, but won’t work for everyone. Each individual person has a different genetic make up; these genetics are what creates our appearance, tells our bodies how they will work for us and how to process what we consume.
Instead of dieting, we can choose to consume certain foods and do so in moderation. This helps with our bodies’ ability to process the food’s nutrients, and food choices can be made to support specific fitness goals: health, fat loss and muscle gain, for example.
Here are some tips to help you ditch the diet in favour of healthy eating.
Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables.
This will increase many other things including your dietary fibre, vitamin and mineral intake, phytonutrients and antioxidants. It will also balance out alkalinity from proteins and grains. (This just scratches the surface of the benefits you will enjoy when you start eating more fruits and vegetables!)
Get enough complete proteins.
Your body needs proteins for everything from our bones and muscles to our hormones, enzymes and the chemicals our immune system produces (immunoglobulins and antibodies). Getting enough protein is essential if you want your body to function.
Eat healthy fats.
Protein sources give us trans fat; we need to balance that with enough monounsaturated fats. This type of fat can be found in avocados, peanuts, pecans, almonds and olive oil. Polyunsaturated fats are also important and can be found in flax, fish, hemp and safflower oils. The ‘bad fats’ that we need to minimize are saturated fats. 80% of these fats are found in processed foods, while only 20% is found in meats and dairy.
Eat starchy foods at the right time.
High-starch meals are best consumed after exercising to replenish the energy stores. This is the easiest way to control your intake of carbs and assists with nutrient timing.
Go for whole grains.
Processed grains are the ones to avoid. Whole grains are high in fibre and help us maintain a healthy GI tract. Because they are digested slowly, they help to control blood sugar levels and are satiating, which helps control our appetite. They are also loaded with vitamins and minerals, which will improve the body’s nutrient density.
Your body needs vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fats, protein, carbohydrates and fibre to be healthy and function properly. If you don’t get enough of these from your food sources, you need to supplement what you are missing to prevent deficiencies. When you eat whole, nutrient dense foods that compliment your fitness goals, you give your body what it needs and this can help prevent numerous diseases and other medical conditions.
In short, find what works for you and stick with it. If you are progressing towards your goals, it’s working. If you start moving away from your goals, you need to change something. If you are unsure, I can help you figure it out. Call me, I would be happy to clear away some of the confusion and finally get you the direction you’ve been looking for.
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