Yesterday I went through my first 5 easy to implement nutritional fixes that WILL have you feeling the difference if implemented regularly. Before we get into 6-10, lets do a little recap and preview of whats to come. If you missed the full article on the first 5 fixes Click Here. Ok, so we had:
The large majority of liquid that goes into your mouth has to be water
Eat your veges! 2-3 cups per meal, 7-9 cups per day.
Berries, berries, berries!
It’s so important it’s in there twice. Fruit and vegetables! 60-80% of your diet should be fruit and veg.
Don’t rush your morning, start your day slow. Opt for a liquid based breakfast for improved digestion and more energy.
... and coming up we talk about how many meals a day is ideal, protein intake, fat intake, artificial sweeteners and why we need to relax and enjoy the eating process.
Now before we get into 6-10, I want to re-iterate that I don’t expect you to start picking up all these habits right away, it’s too much, you’ll get overwhelmed and you’ll quit. Find one or two that you believe you can realistically implement in your current day to day lifestyle and start there.
Success comes in threes they say and whoever “they” are, they’re certainly right on the money here. I want you to eat 3 main meals a day. This is one I always thought I knew better, I mean who is society to tell me that breakfast, lunch and dinner is the proper way to eat. Food is food right, what does it matter what time of day I eat it? Well, turns out “they” were right, and there’s something to this 3 main meals a day business and it’s why it’s been around for thousands of years, it works. It’s based on allowing adequate time in between meals for full digestion to take place so we’re not adding new food on top of old food. Not only is this going to be energy intensive, it can lead to bloating, bacteria overgrowth and leaky gut (and leaky gut is the origin of so many inflammation based and autoimmune conditions). Adequate time between meals also allows your blood sugar to come back down and normalise before your next meal.
Practical Tip - Look for 3.5-4 hours between meals. This might look like breakfast at 7am, lunch at 11am-12pm, snack (fruit, nuts, chopped veges, smoothie) at 3pm, dinner at 6-7pm and then no more food before bed. Adjust based on your waking time and look to eat breakfast within 1.5 hrs of waking.
Protein. This is probably the biggest change I made to my diet.
For the past decade I’ve been high protein above all else, meat at every meal, cramming protein bars down my throat and having the gas to prove it. That level of consumption is just not needed for the general population, and in fact can promote cancer cell growth and a lower lifespan. Yes protein is important still, I want you looking for 0.8g/kg bodyweight. This is based on a health/wellness and longevity goal. If you want to gain muscle, you may want to up that a bit to 1-1.2g/kg. If you just want to maintain, 0.8g/kg should be enough. If your goal is get huge, then you will require more still, just know the higher we go for protein, the less optimal it is for longevity. It just depends on what you’re after.
Practical Tip - For a 50 kg female, we’re after 40g of protein. How much is that? 1 typical serving of protein powder (20g) and about a fist/cup of protein (meat, eggs, lentils, beans) over the course of a day. For myself at 80kg, I’m looking for 64g. So I might have my protein powder in my smoothie (20g), 1 cup of vege. protein at lunch (20g), and a fist of meat at dinner (20-30g) (there’s those 3 main meals again).
Let’s talk about fat. No, not that stuff jiggling around on your belly or under your arms…although get this wrong and we might soon be talking about that. I’m talking about avocados, olive oil, olives, coconut oil/cream, flax seeds, chia seeds, nuts. The healthiest fats are plant based ones. Now I know I said I’m not going to get into the science but I feel this is worth mentioning. It can be seen under microscope that compounds contained within olives actually attack and destroy cancer cells. They can actually watch them pierce and destroy cancer cells. Pretty neat! Remember, plant based fats. So I’m sorry, bacon is off the menu as one of your main sources.
Practical Tip - Aim for 1-3 Tbsp of plant based fat per meal. 1 for weight loss, 2 for weight maintenance, 3 or weight gain as a general guideline. Personally I use avocados, pumpkin seeds, sesame nut butter, and olive oil dressing as my main fats. If you’re using olive oil, try not to cook with it. Olive oil is a GREAT fat source but it is very heat sensitive and cooking with olive oil can actually reduce or nullify a lot of the benefits we look to gain from it. Keep olive oil for a dressing and opt for more heat resistant saturated fats/oils for cooking (such as coconut oil).
Limit your artificial sweeteners (Best and Worst Sweeteners For Weight Loss and Wellness) and ideally just avoid them. The one exception is Stevia because what do you know…it’s plant based.
Practical Tip - Raw honey and proper maple syrup are good sweeteners too. Now before you go drowning and swimming in maple syrup, I’m talking about a teaspoon in your coffee/tea/smoothie or as a dressing. I personally just stick to Stevia.
Relax and ENJOY the eating process. This has been a big one for me too. I just always identified as a fast eater, I took a certain pride in finishing my meals before others. The problem with fast or rushed eating is you’re not producing the enzymes necessary for proper digestion. The action of chewing actually releases enzymes crucial for digestion. So take your time, chew your food thoroughly, enjoy the tastes. Another reason to slow down and enjoy your food is STRESS. I touched on this with no. 5... if you’re rushed or stressed, your body is going to deliberately slow digestion and prioritise other bodily processes because it is sensing a fight/flight situation (due to stress from rushing).
Practical Tip - If you know ahead of time you’re going to be rushed, or stressed (maybe its a busy day at work, or maybe you always have to rush for your lunch hour), opt for something that’s easy to digest at that meal (smoothie, soup, fruit, cooked veges).
Now I do not expect anyone to be able to start implementing these 10 things all at once and be healed immediately, it’s not going to work, it’s too big a change. Pick ONE that you KNOW you can do, ONE that you can see fitting into your current schedule. Now start. Before you know it that habit will feel normal, and guess what…you can pick another ONE. You keep taking small steps in the right direction and one day you’ll look back and realise you’ve come a long long way with those small steps.
Please comment with any steps you feel you can begin to implement and if you haven’t already I’d love for you to like and follow along on my social channels if you find the information I’m sharing to be useful. If you feel this information can help anyone you know, friends or family, please share it with them. The more eyeballs we get on this type of information the more people we can help live a longer, better life. It’s 4 Your Health.