It’s hard to wrap your mind around nutrition in 2019, as there is so much conflicting information out there. To help you out, I have written this article outlining a what you should and shouldn’t do in regards to eating healthy. By incorporating these habits, it will be a lot easier to reach your health and fitness goals.
Nutrition in 2019 – what not to do:
Don’t count calories
If you have ever tried counting calories for an extended period of time, you know that it’s very time consuming and can be frustrating. There are many reasons why counting calories is not the best way to reach your goals. First and foremost, 500 calories of good food is not comparable to 500 calories of bad food. This is because your body will be able to utilize nutrient dense foods better than nutrient deficient foods. Your body will store poor quality food as fuel for later use (body fat). Furthermore, everybody metabolizes calories at a different rate based on their genetics and body type. Blood sugar regulation is much more important than calorie intake. Eating foods that cause blood sugar spikes cause you to gain weight even if calories are low.
Don’t do a low fat diet
Don’t be scared of the word “fat”. Healthy fats can actually help you lose weight. In most cases, in low fat and 0 fat products, the fat is replaced with sugars and fillers. Sugars or other unwanted ingredients are added to these products to lower the fat percentage. Fats can regulate blood sugar and help you absorb starchy carbohydrates more slowly. Healthy fats are also the main building blocks of vitamins A, E, and K as well as testosterone and estrogen. Healthy fats also help to transport these vitamins throughout the body. Doing a low-fat diet can actually backfire and push you further away from your goals.
Don’t use “everything in moderation” and other excuses
Everything in moderation may work for some but for the majority it is used as an excuse, especially when it comes to nutrition in 2019. Everything in moderation means different things to different people and there is no way to make sure you are keeping your eating under control. Other variations of this include: “Everything is bad in some way or another.” “Too much of anything can kill you.” “I wouldn’t be able to give up my favourite junk food.” Let me tell you, you can give up the junk. It might be hard for the first week or two but after your blood sugar regulates, you won’t crave those foods anymore. What you are currently experiencing is an addiction to sugar, carbs or additives like msg. Once you have these out of your system, you will notice less sugar crashes, reduced headaches, and more joint flexibility.
Don’t eat inflammatory foods
Almost all diseases are either made worse by or created by having too much inflammation in the body. Diseases that are related to inflammation are arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, and more (too many to count). In order to prevent or improve these diseases, it is very important to eat foods that help reduce inflammation.
Foods that are high in omega 6, artificial colours, artificial flavors and/or preservatives cause inflammation. Eat foods that are high in omega 3’s such as fish, vegetables, fruits, sprouted seeds, and wild meats. These will help to counter-balance the amount of omega 6 that we get in our diets. Avoid processed foods and try to make as much as possible from fresh single ingredients. People have been known to completely get off of their medications due to an anti-inflammatory diet.
Don’t eat a large amount of fruit because it’s ‘healthy’
Fruit = sugar. Fruit may have more micronutrients than other sources of sugar, but be aware that sugar comes in many forms. You can get all the necessary vitamins from other sources such as vegetables, seeds, and nuts. For example, an avocado has more potassium than a whole banana yet has next to no sugar in it. Try to stick to 1-2 fruits per day at the most. If you are trying to lose weight, only eat fruit around your workouts; your body will choose to use the sugars rather than store them. When you eat fruit, we recommend green apples (lower in sugar) or dark berries (high in antioxidants).
Nutrition in 2019 – What to do instead:
Track your Macros
We know that your body is much more complicated than calories in versus calories out. That is why two comparable people who eat the same number of calories can be drastically different weights. So, instead of counting calories, you should count macronutrients. Macronutrients are the protein, carbohydrate, and fat components of anything you eat. In general, North America as a whole over-consumes carbohydrates. We are told to eat carbs for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and three snacks every day. This would be perfect if the carbs that we were choosing were leafy greens and coniferous vegetables, but we often opt for the starchier options such as breads, pastas, and other foods that make our bodies work on overdrive.
Moderate to high carb diets can be great for athletes and bodybuilders, but if you are like most people who work out 2-3 days per week but are otherwise sedentary, this is way too many carbs. Take a day to count exactly how many carbs you eat and you will be surprised to see how many you eat in comparison to other foods. Cut back on your carb intake to lose weight and when choosing which carbs to eat, try to have as many vegetables as possible, occasionally eat low-glycemic fruits such as green apples or berries, and even less often eat moderate-glycemic foods such as sweet potato, turnip and radishes.
Eat lots of organic vegetables
It’s a fairly well known fact that vegetables these days do not have the same nutrient content that they used to. This means that you need to eat a lot more to get the same effect. Organic vegetables from a farmer’s market tend to be much richer in nutrients because they are less processed and grown in better soil. Eating organic also helps to avoid pesticides.
Pesticides (translated to “pest – to kill”) are poisons that have been deemed consumable within a reasonable amount. If you are trying to optimize your health, any amount of poison is too much. When you eat pesticides your body has to work harder and decide the best way to process them. One of the ways that your body deals with the extra toxins from the pesticides is to store it in your body fat. Your body can even gain extra body fat in order to store more toxins and keep your body safe from the poison. Certain fruits and vegetables absorb more pesticides than others.
Eat pasture-raised and grass-fed meat and dairy
As we just discussed in the last paragraph, Toxins are stored in your fat cells. This goes for the animals that you eat as well. If the animal you are eating has consumed toxic foods and medications, you are also eating those toxins. That said, consuming animal fats can have many benefits if the animal was raised without the use of antibiotics and hormones, as well as being fed a grass fed diet (free from pesticides). If you cannot buy pasture raised grass fed meat, then opt for the leaner cuts of meat and add some sort of high quality fat to it when you eat it, such as avocado or grass fed butter.
Change your lifestyle and mindset
Work on building a healthy mindset and habits that work towards your goals. The most important thing you can do is realize which habits are holding you back. Recognizing that you have bad habits is the first step to changing them. If you realize that you need to eat something sweet every time you drink a coffee, then try swapping out your coffee for a tea. Build a new habit.
Talk positive about the present not just the future. Appreciate where you are and that you are taking the steps to a new healthy you. Set your goals as if you have already accomplished them. Instead of saying, my goal this winter is to lose 20 pounds and learn to enjoy exercising, tell yourself that you already enjoy exercising and as a result you will lose 20 pounds. Setting goals for the future is a reminder that you haven’t reached them yet. Re-examine the way you think about your goals and nutrition in 2019.
Have a plan
The absolute best thing you can do for your diet is to plan ahead. Make a list of your favourite healthy recipes (or find some on Pinterest) and start to slot them into your weekly planner. Plan for breakfast (unless you are intermittent fasting), lunch, and dinner. To make this easier on your time and wallet, plan to cook 2-3 times the portions that you will eat in that sitting.
If you batch cook, you can fill out your weekly meal plan with leftovers and save yourself the hassle of cooking a whole new meal each day. When you have finished your carefully planned list, start to write out all of the ingredients that you will need for the week and go shopping. Buy everything on your list and nothing else. By following your plan, your grocery bill will be lower, you will always know what to make, you won’t cheat on your diet, and you will see quicker results.
I have worked with many people through the years and have helped them make some pretty amazing lifestyle changes. If you want to know more about nutrition in 2019, please feel free to contact us with your questions.