Kati’s Fit Kit
Easy Nutrition Solutions
As a Precision Nutrition Coach, I discuss nutrition topics and answer questions just about everyday. How important is it to eat organic? What supplements should I take? How many grams of protein should I eat in a day? Are there certain chemicals I should avoid in foods? How much coffee is too much in a day? Have you heard of these magical berries that grow only in the rain forest?
While these are all great questions, they might not be the most important things to focus on in terms of your personal nutrition goals. Before I spend too much time on these types of questions, I like to make sure our members are doing well with our basic nutrition recommendations. Here are the most important things to master first:
1. Eat slowly and stop at about 80% full. It should take at least 10 to 15 minutes to eat a meal. If you eat faster than that, not only is it hard on the digestion, but it takes about 15 minutes for your sense of satisfaction from your meal to kick in. It you eat until you feel 100% full, you will likely end up feeling bloated and over-stuffed shortly after you are done eating.
2. Have a protein source at every meal. Protein contains amino acids which your body needs to repair and recover, and it also helps you feel fuller for longer. Women should have about a palm sized portion, and men should have two palm sized portions with breakfast, lunch and dinner.
3. Get plenty of veggies and fruits. You should aim for at least 8 servings of vegetables and 1 or 2 servings of fruit each day. A serving size is about the size of your fist, or two fists for leafy greens.
4. Make good choices when it comes to starchy carbs like potatoes, grains, pastas, breads etc. As much as you can, you should opt for minimally processed starchy carbohydrates. Things like whole grains such as rice, quinoa, oats are better choices than highly processed foods like white bread and pasta. Ideally for fat loss purposes, you want to eat these foods mainly after you have just completed a workout. A serving size is about a cupped palm.
5. Eat healthy fats. Most people get lots of saturated fat from meats and dairy products, but not as much unsaturated fat as they should. Include avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil and fish oil, and look for ways to reduce saturated fat.
6. Drink mostly water. You should aim for about half your bodyweight in ounces everyday (if you weigh 200 pounds, try for 100 ounces) or at least 2 liters. Juice, sodas (even diet), sugary teas etc. should be avoided. Herbal tea is a great option if you get bored with water, or keep things interesting with lemon or lime wedges. You can even get fancy with cucumber or mint!
7. Don’t skip meals. You should be eating a meal or a snack every three to four hours. This helps keep your blood sugar and energy levels stable. Longer periods without eating are likely to take you into an extreme hunger zone, where you may not make the best nutrition choices. There are some nutrition plans that include periods of fasting, but we don’t recommend trying these straight off. If you don’t see results with consistently following the above recommendations, then you can start to investigate other options for meal timing.
Start with the basics, and as time goes on, you’ll be ready for the details. But until you are doing the “big picture” things consistently, don’t stress yourself out with too many details like supplements and magical rain forest berries. By the time you’ve mastered these guidelines, you should already be seeing big changes in how your body looks and feels!
Strength & love, Kati
PS – Just a few days ago I was asked several questions by our members about carbohydrates, so next month I will break down some details on carbs… different types, when to eat them, how your body processes them… stay tuned!