Ah, January! It’s resolution season! So many seasoned dieters come out of the woodwork with hopes of achieving their dream body. The sad part is, they go about it in all of the wrong ways. Starving themselves, religiously counting calories, beating their bodies to the bone at the gym, with the only result being failure. According to Forbes.com, only about 8% of resolution-ers actually follow through with their Jan 1 goals.
LET ME HELP YOU!
Have a HAPPY body!
Let’s break it down! In order to achieve LONG-TERM success with your weight, you have to give your body what it NEEDS! Happy bodies are full of good food and nutrients. Sad bodies are starving and very tired 🙁 Don’t have a sad body….read on!
What is a Macronutrient?
Macronutrients are the nutrients that your body need in larger amounts. In order for your body to stay healthy and work FOR you, you need these three nutrients: Proteins/ Carbohydrates and Fats.
Without all three of these nutrients, your body won’t function the way it’s supposed to. These nutrients provide us with energy and are needed for growth, metabolism and overall body function.
Proteins are imperative not only for muscle repair and recovery, but also for weight loss. Foods that are high in protein take longer to digest and metabolize which means you burn more calories processing them and you feel fuller for longer. The body uses more energy to digest protein then it does for carbs or fat. (1)
Examples below for protein sources:
– Meat/ Fish/Poultry-chicken, turkey/ Eggs/ Soy
Carbohydrates provide our body with glucose. Glucose is the major source of energy for most cells in your body–including your brain and muscles. Without glucose, your muscles and brain cannot function properly. The best sources of carbohydrates are the one that are broken down slowly in your body, thus providing energy for a longer period of time. These carbs are unprocessed or minimally processed. (2)
– Whole grains/ Oats/ Quinoa/ Legumes/ Beans/ Chickpea/ Greek Yogurt/ Almond Milk
Fat is necessary for many reasons. Your body needs fat to cushion your organs and keep your body insulated. The fat your body gets from your food, gives your body essential fatty acids (called linoleic and and linolenic). They are called essential b/c your body cannot MAKE them. These fatty acids are crucial for brain development, inflammation and blood clotting. With that being said, there are two types of fats found in foods: saturated and un-saturated. We want to steer clear of the saturated fats ( raises LDL “bad cholesterol”—found in butter, fatty meats, cheeses, creams, fried foods, etc). We do want to eat foods that contain un-saturated fats.(3)
-Avocado/Olive oils/ Nuts–peanuts, almonds
–In today’s society, there are SO many fad diets that eliminate carbohydrates or significantly reduce fat. This leaves the dieter feeling ill, fatigued and without any energy. No wonder!! Your body NEEDS those carbs and fat in order to function properly and work FOR YOU! Stop the endless cycle of restriction, people! It’s not only detrimental to your health, but certainly won’t help achieve long-term success with your weight.
Onto Micronutrients—what are they?
Micronutrients are the components that your body needs, just in smaller amounts. These come in the form of vitamins and minerals. These vitamins and minerals are essential for development, disease prevention, increasing immunity, repairing muscle tissue and overall well-being. Most are not made from your body, so they MUST come from your FOOD! (4)
Examples of micronutrients below:
– Calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium, sodium, zinc, vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K, biotin, folic acid, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin and thiamin.
—You can get most micronutients with a diet full of leafy green vegetables, fruits, nuts, lean meats, other nutrient-rich foods.
So, now that I have bombarded your brain with all that information, where do you go from here? Creating a healthy meal plan is all about balance! Getting enough of both macro and micronutrients and can be tricky, but it’s all trial and error.
Here are a few tips to creating your own plan!
– Breakfast is a must! Eating close to the time of waking can help kick-start your metabolism. When you skip it, your body is essentially “fasting” so you’re not producing the enzymes needed to metabolize fat to lose weight. Choose a breakfast high in protein/carbs to start your day off on the right foot! (5)
– Eat every 2-3 hours Aside from your 3 basic meals, add in 2 snacks during your day to keep your metabolism cranking! Your body is a machine…keep it fueled to run efficiently! Choose snacks like celery and peanut butter/ Red pepper and hummus/ Greek yogurt with granola/ Apple and handful of raw almonds—the possibilities are endless! Just make sure there is a protein element and your are steering clear of sugars/saturated fats. Veggies and whole grains are the way to go when pairing.
– Don’t forget to drink….WATER that is! – At the very minimum, get your 64oz in and say no to sugar/energy drinks!
– If you’re on-the-go, don’t skip a meal! There is another option! Don’t let yourself starve b/c of your busy days (let’s face it, we’re ALL busy). A protein shake can be a great option when time is limited. Choosing a whey or soy protein powder that is low in sugar(less than 5g) and pairing it with almond milk and water can be a great option
– Prepare as much as you can before– I will shout this one until my face turns blue! BE PREPARED! Chop up vegetables/fruits, grill or bake lean meats,etc. Do whatever you can to help yourself be successful during the week. I promise….this tip will be the most helpful!
**Overall, when trying to eat cleaner and lose a few lbs or just get healthier, balance and moderation are the way to do it. If you feel like you’re missing something (carbs/fats/etc) or you are always hungry, your body is trying to tell you something! Give it what it needs and I know it will work for you instead of against you. Finding what works for YOUR body will help you feel better and look better from the inside out. Happy body, happy mind, happy life.**
Contact me for more info on personalized meal plan/ workouts. I have clients all over the nation!
(1) Halton TL, Hu FB. The effects of high protein diets on thermogenesis, satiety and weight loss: a critical review. J Am Coll Nutr. 2004; 23:373–85.