There are a few key items that are important to focus on when navigating your nutrition.
Some of these items I’ve mentioned before and will mention again because they are important to consistently come back to and practice.
What to do and how to do it:
- Take action: eliminate the anxiety experienced from inaction. Empower yourself and get started.
Set up a daily tracking sheet and take inventory of when you complete your action item.
Don’t over complicate this: keep it simple and doable, and one that is important to you. A few examples include:
Set a timer on your phone to remind you to leave the desk and stretch 2 times a day
Implementing a daily multivitamin regimen
Drinking a glass of water at every meal, eating a serving of protein at every meal.
Taking the stairs VS the elevator
- Make time, 10 minutes a day, to accomplish this goal. Track it on your inventory sheet.
This results in eating less because you are in more control. You aren’t irrationally inhaling the cupcake while worrying about a family crisis.
Eat slowly. This habit can be practiced anywhere, anytime. Even if you struggle with binge eating.
How to eat slowly:
- Take a drink of water between bites
- Set your utensils on the table in-between bites
- BREATHE in between bites. This in and of itself will slow down our eating and reduce the amount of food we are likely to consume.
- Eat without distractions. No phones, TV, computers.
- Pay attention to how you feel. Do you feel more satisfied with the meals you eat slowly? Do you notice that you tend to eat LESS food the slower you eat?
Stop at 80% full.
Normally, I coach this to people and have them stop at 70% full. Because when you first try this out, it may be hard to tell what full feels like. So, play it safe and stop sooner rather than later.
Eat until you are JUST SATISFIED or no longer hungry, not full.
This is especially important for people who desire to lose fat. At the end of the day, weight loss happens when there is a caloric deficit. Meaning, you take in a little less than you NEED.
This is where eating to 80% full comes into play. If you consistently eat LESS than 100% full, you will enter into a caloric deficit which in result, equals fat loss. This is the surest way I know how to lose weight without counting calories and weighing out my food. And still having my preemptive cheats of wine, chocolate, or even a burger. It’s all about balance and it’s all about volume consumed.
This habit serves as a building block in the foundation of nutrition. Overtime, this habit teaches us appetite awareness: am I hungry VS is this a craving. This helps to establish an understanding of intuitive, mindful eating.
This habit may take a little while to sink in: be patient and give yourself room to explore the sensations you experience prior to, during, and after eating.
I’m pretty sure we all know what 100% full feels like, yes? Great, you’ve done half the work of mastering this habit already.
At your next meal, eat SLOWLY, and then stop at 80% full. Notice how you feel.
If this comes as second nature for you, not so fast- how CONSISTENT are you with practicing the 2 habits mentioned above? The way to LEVEL UP this habit is by implementation: can you implement this habit at EVERY meal? Because that is the step to longevity.
The interesting part about the 80% full habit is that some people with chronic stomach or digestive issues may see their conditions lessen or even disappear. I’m not saying this is going to cure your Crohn’s, but for food related digestive conditions, eating slowly (habit 1) and eating to 80% (habit 2) can help the belly and gut.
Okay, so in review. I’ve discussed several habits and ways to implement them into your life, today.
Remember – take action. It curbs anxiety.
These tools can be used to enhance general well-being and your relationship with food, while also serving as a weight loss system.
We have, eating mindfully and slowly (CONSISTENTLY), eating slow, and understanding our hunger: are we physically hungry (light-headed, HANgry, lethargic) or are we mindless with our eating, eating to 80% (and putting ourself in an energy and caloric deficit to lose weight or body fat).
Want more? Like, exactly what to eat ideas?
Here’s a sample day in the life of eating for someone consuming around 1700 calories a day.
Breakfast: Scrambled egg whites with toast and jam
305 calories, 27 P, 38 Carb (10 g fiber) , 5 g fat (2 gram saturated)
Morning Snack: Red pepper and hummus dip (hummus made with olive oil) Use 1 bell pepper to dip in hummus and munch. Loves.
215 cals, 8 g protein, 19 gram carb (5 g fiber) 12 g fat (1 g saturated)
Lunch: Greek salad with chicken (use 1 tbsp crumbled feta, 3 of chicken, 1 tsp EVOO, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar)
285 calories, 30 g protein, 12 g. Carbs (5 g fiber). 12 g fat (1 g saturated)
Mid afternoon snack: Midday Shake ( ¾ C 1% OR ALMOND MILK, 1 scoop whey protein powder, 2 tbsp fat-free plain greek yogurt, 1 tsp. Ground flaxseed, 5 medium sized strawberries (or similar fruit), few pieces of ice – blend.
233 cals, 26 g protein, 21 g carbs (3 g fiber) 5 g fat (2 g saturated)
Dinner: Herb crusted salmon with asparagus, red wine
560 calories, 50 g protein, 14 g carbs ( 5 g fiber) 26 g fat (9 g saturated) 10 g. Alcohol
Dessert: baked balsamic apple or pear
76 calories, 1 g protein, 18 g carb (4 g fiber)
Totals – 1674 cals, 142 g protein, 122 g. Carbs (30 grams fiber), 61 g fat (17 gram sat, 6 grams omega -6, 5 grams omega-3), 10 g alcohol
Macro ratio: protein 34%, carbs: 29%, Fat 33%, Alcohol 4%