It’s frustrating to know what the right thing to do with all the nutrition information in the world at our fingertips. Agenda’s and belief systems fight to gain your trust, whether it’s for politics or for your health. Those with the largest following, biggest stage, and loudest megaphone will be there to pull you one way to the next.
I’m not any of those. Honestly, the loud ones annoy me the most! They are quick to want to be understood, but don’t seek to understand what people truly want and need.
I’m in a professional certified nutrition group lead by one of the world’s most influential physicians in health and fitness. Even the professionals in there argue to prove their points that are all over the spectrum, so I understand the chaos and confusion!
BEGINNING OF NUTRITION
The truth is, nutrition is just in the beginning. You’ll have registered dietitians and physicians sharing their evidence, but it is still developing and still evolving. Eggs were bad for you. Now they are good. Fat is bad for you. Now it’s good. It’s good to be balanced. But not that balanced. You need meat, but not that much meat. Meat is bad, it kills the planet. Keto was the only way she lost over 100 pounds and kept it off. Keto is so bad for you!
See? It’s confusing and conflicting.
You will find evidence and research to support anything you want to do, but what matters is what is working for you, and working with a doctor who has a deeper understanding of your health.
It’s just the beginning. Things are changing and expect new research.
1. NUTRITION: INCREASE PROTEIN FOR FAT LOSS
If there is one thing that is consistent across the board, whether you decide to be vegan, vegetarian, paleo, or carnivore, is having high protein. The only time higher protein is not necessary for fat loss, is with the keto diet. However, keto can be lower protein, mostly fat, and hardly any carbs at all. It depends on what fits your lifestyle, your health, and with guidance of your doctor.
Research shows sedentary people need .3 grams of protein per pound of body weight while athletes can use .8 up to 1 or more per pound of bodyweight. Have you ever logged into myfitnesspal.com to see how much food that is?
Try having 3-4 meals centered around a protein. After that, you add in your vegetables, only a thumb size of fat, and a cupped handful of carbs. If hungry, add more protein or vegetables. Still hungry, add another thumb size of fat.
A great testimony of this is Chad. He came to me asking about losing weight but couldn’t get into the gym just yet. This one simple habit change of centering meals around protein was enough to lose 8 pounds in just one week. He didn’t even work out yet.
PROTEIN EXAMPLES: Lean meat, fish, ground chicken/turkey/beef, eggs, protein shakes, nitrate free deli meat, grass fed beef, greek yogurt
2. NUTRITION: ADD YOUR VEGETABLES
After choosing your protein, whether it’s meat, plant based protein, or protein shake, fill up on a rainbow of vegetables. If you are like me and don’t have time for that, then have vegetables already prepared in the fridge to grab, or use frozen vegetables. The fiber is great plus helps you feel full.
Roast, steam, sauté, grill, raw, or microwave.
3. NUTRITION: CHOOSE YOUR CARB
Where most people get caught up is the carbs. They are not bad for you, but you still need to be mindful of them. Most of us grew up having a plate full of spaghetti, lasagna, breads, pastas, sandwiches, pastries, etc. They are all delicious and yummy, but it needs to be a smaller portion. Dr. John Berardi of Precision Nutrition recommends women have one cupped handful of carbs with each meal, and men can double it.
You’ll have 3-4 meals of your protein, vegetable, carb, and fat, you can tweak according to your goals.
For me, I simply don’t respond well to carbs at all, so I only have two portions of carbs per day. I’ll have one about an hour before I workout, and another about 45 to 60 minutes after I workout. If I want to put on more muscle, I’ll even DRINK carbs while I’m lifting weights.
Don’t think of your carb as the center of your meal, but think of it more like a side dish. You still get carbs, it’s just not your focus, protein and vegetables are.
P.S. I also count fruit as a carb.
CARB EXAMPLES: whole grains and pastas, rice, sprouted bread, fruit, old fashioned oatmeal
4. NUTRITION: CHOOSE YOUR FAT
God created animals with fat. Fat actually helps us digest protein better. They are supposed to go together! So when you have your meal centered around your protein, have a thumb size of fat to help the digestion.
You have a thumb to measure your fat with each meal, a built in measuring tool! Now, if I eat a fattier meat like a roast, then I might not have as much fat as I would with a leaner meat or a protein shake.
By the way, what is so addicting about pistachios? Every time I want to just grab a small handful of them, I end up bringing out the entire container. Just one more. One more. Ok, this one is really the last one. Aw what the heck, I’ll take a few more…
FAT EXAMPLES: Good fats are extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, nut butters, nuts, ghee, MCT oil, fish oil, and grass-fed butter.
5. INFLAMMATION FROM FOODS
FOOD ALLERGIES: Research shows one in three people have some sort of food allergy or intolerance, which can increase inflammation in your body. Things seem to work slow, your mind can be foggy, low energy, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and sometimes even causing joint pain.
I got blood tested to find out why I’ve been so tired and lethargic, and found out I’m intolerant to my protein sources and can’t touch gluten. Within 24 hours I felt amazing simply by not eating the foods I didn’t realize were inflaming my body. It was like taking the wrench out of the gears.
But it’s good to go through testing to discover what you may be sensitive or intolerant to. I do blood tests with my doctor regularly, and interesting enough, the Eat Right for Your Blood Type Diet was strangely accurate to my blood work. I can’t say that all the blood types are accurate for everyone because I only looked at mine, but I was shocked to see both results were the same.
CANDIDA EPIDEMIC: In a nutshell, sugar is in everything and another reason I try to eat Whole30-ish. Sugar feeds yeast in your body that is believed to be a root cause of many health issues according to Ann Boroch, CNC, who wrote the Candida Cure.
Sugar also feeds free radicals that promote premature aging according to Dr. Perricone in The Wrinkle Cure. It’s hard to feel your best when you are full of inflammation.
Eliminate what inflames you, and instead fuel your mind and body.
NUTRITION BASICS CONCLUSION
Nutrition is still new and evolving, and that’s exciting! But what we do know now is having higher protein is the first step. As Dr. John Berardi shared, to have a protein the size of your palm, vegetables the size of two fists, a cupped handful of carbs, and one thumb size of a fat for each meal (guys can double), for 2-3 meals. That simple change of centering your meals around protein can be a game changer, whether you are vegan or carnivore.
Keep that up and you’ll eventually hit a plateau, but that’s a good thing. Plateau’s are meant to be hit and that’s when you get to the next level. And then the next level after that.
Even the most elite athletes hit plateaus and need adjustments and tweaking, so don’t be discouraged. Each day is an opportunity to be 1% better than you were yesterday, and to give yourself grace when you weren’t.
See more nutrition posts here.
THE NEXT LEVEL OF NUTRITION
Ready for that next level and weekly wellness tips? Then sign up for my newsletter and I’ll send it your way!