From the outside looking in it’s easy for a self-proclaimed nutrition expert to act as if they know what’s best for you. But the illusion ends the moment they have to sit down and help you change your nutrition lifestyle for good.
To help raise the veil, here are some things that you need to know about nutrition.
1. GENETICS PLAY A BIG ROLE IN HOW NUTRITION WILL AFFECT YOU. Which is exactly why you shouldn’t compare yourself to anyone else.
- How much fat you have
- Where you have it
- How much food you want to eat
- How your body uses that food
- How much of that food your body burns during digestion
- How much exercise you do habitually
- How many calories you burn during that exercise
The cool thing is that your nutrition and fitness regime can be adjusted to help you reach your health and wellness goals.
2. SAYING, “EAT LESS MOVE MORE” IS NOT THE SOLUTION.
Here’s what happens with the human metabolism—
- CALORIES IN – you eat something, so far so good.
- CALORIES OUT – On average about 10% of all the food you eat will be burned during digestion—it’s called thermic effect of food. BUT the total varies with what you eat. e.g. For protein it’s 25%. While for carbs it’s 6-8%, and for fat it’s 2-3%. Which is one of the many reasons why protein is so important!
- MORE CALORIES OUT – You lose some calories with some, uuggghhh things we don’t like to discuss like, urine, gas, feces… you had to hear it. Sorry but not sorry.
The last two steps are metabolizing your energy—
- MORE CALORIES OUT PT. 2 – Now your body begins to work to keep you alive. Breathing. Blood pumping. Breaking down and building up your body at the cell level. Thinking—your brain uses 20% of your total energy! This is all called your basal metabolic rate, (BMR) and accounts for up to 70% of the energy you expend. Your body’s lean tissue—everything but fat— is the driver for BMR. Which is why having more muscle is a good thing 😉
- EVEN MORE CALORIES OUT – Now we get voluntary physical activity—moving around, exercise, etc. For most this will be 20-30% of our daily energy expenditure.
So while it’s simple to say, “eat less move more.” The truth is the moment you change one, all the steps in-between also need to change.
The cool thing? This can also all be controlled by YOU.
3. YOU’RE GOING TO NEED TO BREAK SOME HABITS.
Becoming aware of the things that you’re doing that are keeping you where you’re at is the first step to overcoming your obstacles.
The truth is, quality nutrition—that you’ll be able to follow long-term—looks like this:
- 80% whole foods, (I’m not talking the grocery store) and minimally processed foods, that you like (with emphasis on, YOU LIKE. This is key!)
- 10% whole and minimally processed foods you don’t necessarily like, but also don’t hate
- 10% of whatever you want. If that’s junk food, that’s OK. As long as it only makes up 10% of your diet
Some Things to Remember
- Protein matters, carbs matter and fat matters. Protein should be pretty steady for everyone, (more than what most people are taking in) and carbs and fats should be up and down—depending on your goals, lifestyle, genetics and activity. BUT neither should be restricted for any long period.
- Personal preference matters! You won’t stick to anything long-term if you don’t like what you’re eating. Which is why we (Balance in Motion) make sure your plan is catered to you and what you enjoy eating.
- Having goals, like “I want to lose more than 2+ lbs. a week” is unrealistic and only last’s short-term. You’re setting yourself up for failure when you create goals like this. So be realistic.
- Going gun-ho and trying to change everything at once—and thinking you’ll be able to maintain it—is pretty crazy and also doesn’t work well with body transformations (you can’t beat reality and science). This is why making progressive changes—that fall in line with habit change and emotional change—makes the most sense. If you’re not making a minimum of 6-month goals then you’re looking for short-term gratification and unrealistic expectations. Which is never a good thing.
If you have any questions about nutrition, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s to a happy and healthy life!