If you don’t live under a rock you’ve probably noticed that nutrition and diet info is everywhere!
Each expert and association tries to lead you in their direction because they know best and their advice is going to change your life. Right?
Everyone has heard (and maybe lived through) the intense focus on how much you eat. This has gotten way too much attention because while this does affect your weight and energy level, it's certainly not the “holy grail” of health.
Let's focus a bit more on the often overlooked (and proven) benefits of what you eat and drink and how you eat and drink it.
What you eat and drink
The “calories in, calories out” philosophy (i.e. how much you eat) is being drowned out with research on other factors that may be just as important. Don't get me wrong limiting calories, carbs or fat can certainly help you lose weight but that's simply not the only factor for long-term weight loss and maximum energy for everyone.
When the intense focus on how much we ate didn't work in the long-run it wasn’t really a surprise. We kinda knew that already, didn't we?
You can certainly still continue to count your calories, carbs, and fat but don't forget to also pay attention to what you eat.
Ideally, you need a varied diet full of minimally-processed foods (so fewer “packaged” “ready-to-eat” foods – even when have ‘healthy’ and ‘gluten free’ plastered all over them). This simple concept is paramount for weight loss, energy, and overall health and wellness.
Every day this is what you should aim for:
How you eat and drink
I love this part: It’s not just about the ‘what’, it’s also about the ‘how’. Studies are showing that how we eat our food has more of an impact than we previously thought.
Are you rushed, not properly chewing your food, and possibly suffering from gastrointestinal issues? Do you drink your food?
When it comes to how you eat let's first look at “mindful eating”. Mindful eating means to take smaller bites, eat slowly, chew thoroughly, and savour every bite. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture. Breathe. This gives your digestive system the hint to prepare for digestion and to secrete necessary enzymes. It can also help with weight loss because eating slower often means eating less. Did you know that it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full?
We also know that more thoroughly chewed food is easier to digest and it makes it easier to absorb all of those essential nutrients. The more nutrients we absorb, the less cravings we’re going to have :)
And don't forget about drinking your food.
Yes, smoothies can be healthy and a fabulously easy and tasty way to get in some fruits and veggies (hello leafy greens!) but drinking too much food can contribute to a weight problem and feelings of sluggishness.
Don't get me wrong a green smoothie can make an amazingly nutrient-dense meal and is way better than stopping for convenient junk food – just consider a large smoothie (especially those with lots of fruit) to be a full meal not just a snack. And don't gulp it down too fast – chew your smoothie as carbohydrates start digesting in your mouth.
If your smoothies don't fill you up like a full meal does try adding in a spoon of fiber like ground flax, chia seeds or a scoop of quality protein I prefer veg protein as whey proteins can contain lots of fillers).
In summary: Consider not only how much you eat but also what and how you eat it (wow, took me a lot of words to say just that...).
Chia Peach Green Smoothie (meal replacement)
Add ingredients to blender in order listed. Wait a couple of minutes for the chia seeds to start soaking up the almond milk. Add more water or almond milk if too thick.
Blend, Serve and Enjoy!
Tip: Smoothies are the ultimate recipe for substitutions. Try swapping different greens, fruit or seeds to match your preference and always aim to include more veggies and less fruit.
Bonus: Chia seeds not only have fiber and essential omega-3 fatty acids but they contain all of the essential amino acids from protein.
In health & happiness,
Natalie McCrae R.H.N.
Empowering you to live healthier, happier lives
through improved nutrition.
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Natalie McCrae R.H.N.
I transform women's body's by teaching them to eat balanced meals so that they can quickly lose weight, without giving up 🍫 & 🍷