Foundations of Health: Nutrition – A Numbers game

I am going to shatter many people’s ideas about their eating patterns, you cannot out exercise a bad diet. A well-rounded nutrition and clean eating (at least much of the time) is essential to a healthy lifestyle.

1. Know how much you eat

Question, if losing weight is simply eating less calories than your body burns in a day, then why is it so difficult to do?

What even is a calorie?

Simply put a calorie is a type of energy. So, if your body uses more energy then you eat in a day you lose weight.

More important question, do you know how much do you eat and drink in a day?

When I started tracking what I ate over a 24-hour period, I was astounded with how much it added up to be. I was overeating at every meal and had multiple snacks that added up to so many calories.

If you don’t know how much you are eating, it will make weight loss that much harder.

A quick example, the average bagel, is around 270 calories without any cream cheese or butter. The CDC tells us that a 154-pound person can burn between 140-295 calories in a 30-minute session of cardiovascular exercise.

Can you see the problem here?

2. Serving size

It’s not as simple as choosing the right foods. We also must make sure we are eating the right amount.

Knowing the serving size (also known as portion size) is important. Serving size is the recommended amount of food you should have at one time. How often do you check serving size on food packages?

A couple easy examples of serving sizes with some of my favorite foods, most ice cream’s portion size is ½ cup, and many chips are limited to 15-17 chips per serving.

3. Sustaining a Healthy Diet

No one diet works best for everyone, which is why so many people have success on so many different diets.

The Key to long term success is not only understanding how to make a change in your diet, but also how make it a sustainable lifestyle choice.

My husband and I are on ketogenic diet and have experienced weight loss and increased energy. Feeling so much better overall.

We’ve managed to sustain our diet by finding keto friendly option and recipe alternative for some of our favorite foods. Who knew ice cream and pizza could be keto?

It is a difficult diet to start as you are training your body to use fats as an energy source instead of carbohydrates. I went through some major carbohydrate withdrawal to start and may have been a little cranky.

4. The Clean Diet

Eating a clean diet is choosing whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins (meat), whole grains, and healthy fats. It’s avoiding or limiting highly processed snack foods, sweets and other packaged foods.

Maintaining a clean diet is tough when you are surrounded by all the TV ads, fast food restaurants, and grocery stores filled to the brim with convenience foods that are terrible for you.

It is unrealistic to say you are never going to eat a piece of cake or cookie again. Sustainability is finding healthier recipes or alternative foods that will satisfy whatever cravings you have. It is making strategies for attending events. Because avoiding all parties for the rest of your life is also not realistic.

I have replacement recipes for cookies, pancakes, cakes, and even icing. I use veggies with dip and pork rinds to replace the crunch that I miss. A handful of nuts is a good substitute for something to much on.

Strategies for success at parties include bringing something you know you can eat guilt free, eating before you go so hunger is not a temptation, or monitor your calories strictly the day of an event and eat whatever in moderate.

Cleaning up your diet aids in weight loss, general health, and clearing your mind. There are major links with certain foods and nutritional deficits that increase anxiety, depression, and fatigue.

I am going to encourage you to download a food tracker on your phone and use it. My favorite free trackers are myfitnesspal & myplate. Tracking is not something you have to do forever, but you need to do it at least long enough to give yourself a good understanding of calories and portion size without having to look it up every time.

You must know what you are putting into your body to know what you need to change.

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