Building a strong well-rounded base requires getting your nutrition on point.
Our wellness coach Jennifer Dietrick shares how to build a solid nutrition plan.
Nutrition requires being consistent with the basics and planning ahead. With all of the numerous diets on the market, I like to keep things simple to avoid any confusion.
Eat Whole Foods
First and foremost, eat whole foods as often as possible (i.e., vegetables, fruits, eggs, fish, olive oil). Most whole foods are not found in a package and if they are, there is only one ingredient listed and/or are minimally processed (i.e., oatmeal).
Fruits and vegetables are the antioxidant rich foods and help lower any inflammation in your body and provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
I suggest limiting processed food especially those containing white flour and white sugar as they drain energy and add inflammation. These types of food usually come in packages with several ingredients. I also suggest limiting all packaged food containing dyes and/or artificial ingredients.
Notice that I say “limit” and not “eliminate” because it is about eating healthy most of the time and not expecting perfection.
Focus on adding instead of subtracting food to keep your mindset positive. Start by adding more water and vegetables and some unhealthy food may naturally fall away.
On a strict budget? No problem. Here are some quick tips to help you eat healthy without breaking the bank.
Breaking it down by Macros
Next, assess your macromolecules, so your body is getting the appropriate nutrients for your goals. The appropriate number of grams of protein per day to consume is anywhere from 50-100% of your bodyweight in pounds depending on your goals. For example, if you weight 150 lbs. you should try to consume approximately 75-150 grams of protein daily. Eating protein at every meal will help reach your proper intake. Supplementing with myHMB®can also help protein perform better. Learn more.
After you reach your proper protein intake, then the remaining fat and carbohydrate percentages is of your choice. I only recommend that you do not go lower than 20% of your total calories in healthy fats. They serve important functions in the body besides being an option for fuel such as the composition of the cell membrane, storing fat soluble vitamins, and synthesizing hormones.
Your total calories will vary between individuals depending on gender, height, current weight, age, and activity level. There are plenty of apps to help you keep track of your nutrition to make the process easier.
Be Prepared / Meal Prep
Plan ahead with buying groceries and preparing meals. Always keep plenty of food that you can keep in a pantry or frozen.
Since you should be eating mostly fresh food, have a general plan for the week so you purchase the appropriate amount when buying groceries. Keep as much variety as possible to help stay on your nutrition plan and experiment with different spices and herbs. Depending on your schedule, prep your food as needed. You can prep full meals or partial. If you don’t want anything reheated, plan simple meals that require minimal prep and cook times.
Here are my top 10 go-to grocery items:
There is no magic answer with any special food or diet. The only true answer is building healthy habits listed above with consistency and patience and the results will follow. Most importantly, enjoy all of your food! Choose healthy foods you enjoy eating and eat them most often while keeping a variety to avoid boredom. Also, eat unhealthy foods that you enjoy on occasion without guilt!
Don’t forget about your muscle health.
Our muscles carry out the physical chores of our body, so be sure to keep your muscles healthy with myHMB®. Learn more.