Implementing Simple & Effective Eating Habits
Client, friends, and family often ask me, “What should I eat to lose weight & gain muscle?”
There’s no simple answer to that question! Factors such as metabolic type, medical history, food sensitivities, activity level, dietary preferences, body composition goals, cooking habits, and an individual’s unique nutritional needs come into play.
It’s important to keep in mind that every-body is different! Refining your diet is an ongoing process that involves building a relationship with the food that you eat, how your body responds to it, and what your body requires to achieve optimal health and body composition results.
Feeling overwhelmed already? Don’t worry, it’s easy and effective to focus on progressively developing healthy eating habits rather than stressing over the details of everything you put in your system! As healthy eating habits become second nature, you can slowly and sustainably refine your diet. A combination of feeling better and developing self-care mastery along the way will keep you motivated. Before you know if you will be addicted to the pursuit of healthy living!
Here are 6 Simple & Effective Eating Habits my clients and I have had success with!
1) Drink more water!
The simplest thing you can do to improve your health is drink more water! Water plays an important role in every major function of your body. Dilution is the solution for pollution! If you’re not hydrating properly, you are holding onto a lot of toxins and your system isn’t running optimally!
Just some of the benefits of hydrating often:
* Curb your appetite (we often feel hungry when we are just thirsty)
* Reduce fatigue (hydrating properly prevents our energy cells from shrivelling up)
* Increases metabolism (how fast we burn calories)
* Reduces inflammation (improves recovery)
* Reduces toxic load (sweating is our primary form of detoxing)
Here’s the formula I like to use for measuring ideal water intake:
1.25L for each 30kg (66lbs) of body weight.
(Bodyweight pounds / 66.14) x 1.25 = Litres of Water to Drink Daily.
For example, a 150lbs individual should drink 2.8L of water/day. (150/66.14) x 1.25 = 2.8
One more thing… Water means water! Juice & Pop don’t count!
2) Start Your Day with Your Largest Meal & End Your Day with Your Smallest Meal
Starting your day with your largest meal and gradually eating smaller meals throughout the day will boost your metabolism, reduce unnecessary eating, improve sleep quality and reduce fat storage. If you’re having trouble with this, start saving half of your dinner for breakfast the next day.
Eating a large meal in the morning provides your body with the nutrients and fuel it needs to have energy for your day. You’ll have all day to burn off the calories you’ve eaten and you’ll avoid unnecessary fatigue because of it!
If you fill yourself up in the morning, you’re less likely to have food cravings throughout the day or binge late at night. This will help reduce your overall calorie intake.
Eating large meals at night will spike your blood sugar while you sleep. This will trigger insulin and cortisol responses that will not only disturb your sleep, but also store calories as fat!
3) Eat 4-6 Meals A Day, Every 3-4 Hours!
We all know what it’s like to get so caught up with work and the demands of our busy lives that we forget to eat! Implementing routine into your life to avoid the vicious cycle of eating irregularly is an essential task for achieving optimal health and physique goals.
Eating every 3-4 hours allows you to prevent blood sugar spiking and crashing. Eating frequently will maintain moderate levels throughout the day. When your blood sugar spikes your body is more likely to store calories as fat. When your blood sugar crashes, you’re left fatigued and craving sugary, processed foods. Eating regularly will prevent you from reaching for junk food in a hungry rage throughout the day and binge eating at the end of the day!
Eating regularly will also help keep your body nourished. Our digestive systems can only process so many nutrients in one sitting. By spreading your nutrient intake throughout the day, you are utilizing the food you eat more efficiently!
Try dividing up your larger meals or batch cooking to encourage regular eating. If this isn’t a possibility for you, consider investing in a high quality meal replacement supplement like Living Fuel, Vega, or Raw One.
4) Eat Protein with Every Meal!
Eating protein regularly throughout the day boosts your metabolism and is for essential for recovery.
If you’re having trouble eating protein with every meal, supplement your meal with a protein shake. I suggest Ergogenics – New Zealand Whey. New Zealand has the strictest diary standards in the world. New Zealand Whey is antibiotic and hormone free.
* Protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates, making you feel fuller, longer.
* Protein boosts metabolism, increasing the rate at which you burn calories.
* Protein buffers your insulin response, reducing the amount that your blood sugar spikes. When your blood sugar spikes, your body usually stores your calories into fat.
* Your body can only optimally utilize 25-35 grams of protein at a time. By spreading your protein intake throughout the day, you’re encouraging optimal muscle recovery and performance.
5) Eat Greens with Every Meal
Eating greens regularly will keep your gut healthy and happy. If you’re having trouble eating greens with every meal, consider taking a greens supplement such as Alfalfa, Greens+, or Greens Vibrance with your meals.
* Greens are loaded with minerals, antioxidants, micronutrients, and enzymes to reduce toxic load, improve cellular function, and increase energy levels throughout the day.
* Avoid cravings, reducing calorie intake. Your body craves nutrients more than it does calories. Nutrient dense foods like greens reduce food cravings. Your body will crave foods when it is nutrient deficient.
* Dark leafy greens will help alkalize your digestive system. Maintaining a healthy gut pH plays a huge role in healthy digestion and helps your body maintain its blood pH.
6) Avoid Sugary & Processed Foods That Are Void of Nutrients!
This one’s a no-brainer but can’t be said enough! Sugary and processed foods are usually void of nutrients. When your body digests these calorie dense foods, it’s left unsatisfied, yearning for nutrients. This leads to food cravings and overeating.
Eating sugary foods regularly creates sugar addiction. This happens when your body becomes dependent on high blood sugar to feel energized. Rather than releasing and using sustainable energy with a moderate blood sugar, the body becomes accustomed to thriving off of short intense bursts of blood sugar. When your blood sugar quickly crashes, your body has you reaching for sugary and processed foods again. This habit of always reaching for sugar for energy is a great way to put excess fat on your body, create insulin resistance, and develop type 2 diabetes!
Deciding what to eat is often overwhelming and stressful. Focusing on how to eat lays down the necessary foundation for a healthy diet and lifestyle. Focus on one of these 6 strategies every week, adding a new strategy each week. This way you can make sustainable and healthy lifestyle changes without adding unnecessary stress to your life!
Questions or Feedback?
I’d love to hear from you! Contact me anytime at Austin@PrimalMotion.com and get the conversation started!
Movement Therapist, Yoga Teacher, & Holistic Lifestyle Coach
Primal Motion – Master Movement As Nature Intended