Nutrition and diet info is everywhere!
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?
Most everyone is aware of (and perhaps lived through) the intense focus on how much you eat. While this does affect your weight and energy levels, 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 (how much you eat) is only one factor of nutrition and diet to consider. Other factors are just as important.
Cutting back on calories, bad carbs or unhealthy fats can certainly help you lose weight.
You can continue to count your calorie, carb, and fat intake, but don’t forget to pay attention to what you eat.
Ideally, you need a varied diet full of minimally-processed foods (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 colorful array of fruits and veggies with 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’s 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 virgin olive oil and 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.
How You Eat and Drink
Pay attention to how you eat and drink.
Studies show that this is more impactful 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 take a look at “mindful eating.”
Mindful eating means to take smaller bites, eat slowly, chew thoroughly, and savor 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.
This can help, too, with weight loss because eating slower often means eating less. You may be aware already that it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full.
We know, too, that more thoroughly chewed food is 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 and tasty 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.
Don’t get me wrong. A green smoothie can make an amazing nutrient-dense meal and is way better than stopping for convenient junk food – just consider a large smoothie to be a full meal not a snack. And don’t gulp it down too fast.
If your smoothies don’t fill you up like a full meal does, try adding in a spoonful of fiber such as ground flax or chia seeds.
So take a closer look at how much you eat, what you eat and how you eat it.
Please comment below and let us know: do you eat mindfully? Do you grab and go, or do you take time to consider what and how you eat as well as how much?
We’d love to hear from you!
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