We have all heard, the phrase 'You are what you eat,' but what counts the most? Quantity? Quality? Total number of calories? Discover has the biggest impact on your health journey!
We have all heard, the phrase 'You are what you eat,' but what counts the most? Quantity? Quality? Total number of calories? There is so much information out there on the internet, it can be confusing to sort through it all!
When it comes to a sustainable lifestyle change, there are many things to take into consideration, such as food preferences, work/life schedule, body type and so on. However, there are a few key principles that impact everyone across the board.
Food is a key pleasure in our life. It is okay to use food to nourish your body and indulge every so often. I use the 80/20 rule, where 80% of my food comes from whole food sources and 20% is 'fun food.' Where we run into a problem is when we eat too much, too quickly and low quality food.
Here are 3 ways you may not realize you are sabotaging your healthy eating plan and the solutions to help:
1. Eating too much
Plain and simple—portion sizes that are too big. Going back for second and third helpings contributes to consuming extra calories. Consuming extra calories through drinks, dressings, sauces, and picking at your kids chicken nuggets, adds up. Repeat this enough and you will gain weight. It takes 3500 excess calories to gain 1 pound. Some people are 'weekday dieters' and only follow their nutrition plan on the weekdays. They then go out on weekends and consume excess amounts of alcohol, and eat out at restaurants. Others may not know that their portions are, in fact, too big. Bringing awareness to how much you are consuming through food logging is one way to stay on track.
Weight gain has a simple equation:
Calories consumed > calories burned = weight gain
Calories consumed < calories burned = weight loss
2. Eating too quickly
Eating while distracted could mean looking at your phone, being on your computer or on a phone call. Eating too quickly also means your brain doesn’t have time to register to your stomach that it is full. This feeds back into number 1. A meta-analysis of 24 studies showed data that distracted eaters consume up to 50% more than their attentive counterparts!1
3. Eating low quality food - Continuously eating low quality, nutrient depleted food leads to poor health. Garbage in, garbage out. If you are eating poor quality food, you won’t have energy. Limit processed foods such as baked goods, pretzels, candy and pretty much anything that has ingredients you can’t pronounce.
Processed foods have more than 5 ingredients and the first one listed is the most concentrated in the product. Anything with less than 5 ingredients is minimally processed or a whole food source. Ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, MSG or food dyes are the more popular offenders that need to be avoided. Studies have shown a direct link between consumption of high fructose corn syrup and obesity.2
Opt instead for whole food sources, which include many plant-based foods found in nature, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, grains etc. When looking at meat options, choose grass-fed beef, or organic, hormone-free chicken, as these options will have a higher nutrient value and less added hormones.