I've fallen completely head over heals in love with nutrition. It has outlasted the test of time. I'm never bored with it. It's constantly challenging me. And as long as I give it love, it loves me back.
S.A.D.- The Standard American Diet- full of processed foods, overloading on carbs and eating for convenience. I believe this diet to be the encourager of disease and the major cause of lack of health. I mention those things first, because I'm in my position to change the health of the world. Secondly, I would love to give my clients the bodies they desire, through healthy ways of life.
Let's look at a day in the eyes of the standard american diet:
Breakfast: Raisin Bran Cereal with Skim Milk & Starbucks Latte
Calories: 403 | Carbs 76.14g | Proteins 25.26g | Fats 1.7g | Sugar 48.5g
Morning Snack: Clif Bar
Calories 250 | Carbs 42.02g | Protein 11g | Fats 6g | Sugar 19.99g
Lunch: Turkey Sandwich on Multigrain Bread with Chips & Soda
Calories 775 | Carbs 107g | Proteins 23.64g | Fats 26.9g | Sugar 49.1g
Dinner: BBQ Chicken Salad from Yard House with water
Calories: 1,580 | Carbs 112g | Proteins 66g | Fats 100g | Sugar 34g
- Total caloric intake: 3,008
- Carbs: 338.16g
- Proteins: 125g
- Fats: 134.6g
- Sugar: 236.68g
Some of you might look at the diet above with familiarity. Don't worry, I'm not judging you. In fact, I think a lot of people would argue that this is a relatively decent day of eating.... until you break down the stats. As a Nutritionist, I'm supposed to understand the numbers, what they mean and how they affect you. As you, you're to absorb knowledge and let this be a learning experience!
I personally don't train people to count caloric intake for a few reasons. One being that it's simply hard to know how many calories are in everything you're eating. Two, if you're eating the right foods, it's hard to over eat from a calorie stand point. Three, every one's metabolism is different based on their personal body type, daily activity, work outs, etc. It's difficult to know how many calories a specific person should consume. Also, keep in mind that your body always wants to remain in a neutral caloric state meaning, your metabolism will slow down if you eat less calories for a longer period of time. This is why low calorie diets do not work. Focus on whole foods, plate full of greens (there's no such thing as too many vegetables!), plenty of protein and adequate fats.
- I also don't subject people to "low carb" diets, however, I do suggest cutting back on carbs is a necessary part of health and weight management. This does not mean carbs should not be part of your diet, the S.A.D just tends to over consumes on carbs. Also, I suggest sticking to non-processed carbs the majority of the time such as sweet potato, potato, rice, quinoa, fruits, vegetables, oatmeal, etc. You're right, bread is not on there. Sigh. Moderation is always key- if the idea of not eating bread is a foreign concept and seems impossible, start by simply not making it part of your every day. The occasional pizza, sandwich, toast is okay, but strive to not have it more than you have it. The faster you can cut your processed carbs, the faster you will arrive at your goal!
- Protein is an essential nutrient that should be part of every meal. Aim for 1g protein per pound of bodyweight. This can be difficult for some, especially vegetarians and vegan. If you aren't incorporating enough protein there is a great chance you're making it up in carbohydrates! I am 11 years vegetarian and have flirted with vegan and now have incorporated fish into my diet. I respect all choices and believe that every one is entitled to eat the way they want to. If you are vegetarian, there are plenty of ways to incorporate proteins but it can be difficult to do without added extra carbs. For example, beans + rice, quinoa, steel cut oats are all complete proteins, however are all high in carbohydrates as well.. just be aware! If you're vegan, I strongly suggest supplementation, as you truly are leaving out some specific food groups that provide great nutrients- do you're research and ensure you're getting all that your body needs! If you are vegetarian/vegan and have questions, please reach out- I'd love to chat (I was a vegan for a year and currently a vegetarian/pescatarian).
- We all need adequate amounts of fats, cholesterol included. Cholesterol is our bodies building block to hormones and a necessary component of cell functioning! Don't be afraid of the healthy fats- they do our bodies so much good! Current marketing strategy advertises "low fat", "reduced fat", etc. Don't fall into this trap! Those are secret words for added hormone and added sugar. In a world of sugar vs fat, fat should always win! Sugar has absolutely no nutritional value and is hiding in everything, fat on the other hand is very useful in the body and should be incorporated into your diet.
- Sugar... the moment we've all been waiting for (or the moment I've been waiting for!)... the silent killer. If you follow me for long enough, you'll find out just how much I hate sugar! Sugar is hidden in so many processed foods and is the culprit of disease and obesity. The FDA suggests <26g of added sugar per day. 26 GRAMS!!!!! In the food example I gave above, 236.68g of sugar was consumed. If you go back and really look at the S.A.D example above, it was not unrealistic and did not appear on the surface to be a horrible day of eating. However, looking at the fine print, we know different. BE AWARE OF HOW MUCH SUGAR YOU ARE CONSUMING! Diabetes is on the rise and it is no wonder why. I find it frightening but completely understand how it's happening.
Start cleaning up your diet today. Use Precision Nutrition's diagram to guide you through a healthier way of life. And please, reach out for questions, if I don't have the answer, I'll find it!