Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month? I only recently discovered this, and since I have been talking with my clients a lot about nutrition I decided to write about one of my favorite topics...Nutrition. I know I have said this a million times before, you can workout all you want, but until your nutrition is correct you will not see the results you are working so hard for in the gym. This is something that I had to learn the hard way, and honestly sometimes I still struggle with (I am human). Last summer I got certified through NASM as a Fitness Nutrition Specialist which helped me to learn more about how what we eat affects our bodies and our performance. Have you ever had an amazing workout, only to blow it with a night out eating and drinking? This may be fine when you are young and your metabolism is running high, but over time your habits will catch up with you and your metabolism will slow down. I am at that point where I am trying to find balance everyday between eating the right nutrition to fuel my body and my workouts. I notice when I eat something that is not a clean food, I don't feel as well the next day. Take yesterday for example, I had an awesome workout, I did chest and arms followed by Jillian Michaels Kickboxing. Then...dun, dun, dun...I ate pizza! After I felt so sluggish and tired it reminded me why I choose not to eat that stuff. To top it all off I had a stomach ache this morning, because I have a gluten intolerance, and was grumpy when I woke up. So, this only re-enforces why I choose to eat clean foods on a daily basis. It is okay to have a cheat treat or meal once a week to keep you sane, but choose something that will not derail your whole day or week.
Here are 5 ways that your nutrition may be keeping you from getting the results you want!
- You are eating too much! You may be eating the right things, but even too much of a good thing can add up. Make sure you are weighing and measuring your portions. Over time you will be able to eyeball what a serving of quinoa looks like or how much 4 ounces of chicken is, but when you are starting out grab that scale and measuring cup.
- You are eating too many processed foods/carbohydrates. Processed food is not recognized by your body and do not contain the nutrients that whole foods do. You may think that eating whole grain crackers daily is healthy, however they are still highly processed. You would be better off eating a serving of quinoa or whole grain brown rice (not instant). Your body knows what to do with those whole foods. The whole grains that are in most "whole grain" foods are very processed. Look for whole grain products with one or two ingredients.
- You are not eating enough! Okay, you may think I am crazy...didn't I just say you may be eating too much?1? Yes, but on the flip side if you don't give your body enough of the right kinds of whole clean food, your metabolism is going to slow down to preserve energy. Once or twice of being under your calorie goal won't harm you, but doing so on a daily basis will! Your body's main goal is to keep you alive, so if it thinks it is starving it will hold on to fat and any time you do eat it stores more fat to prepare for more "starving". Focus on eating whole real nutrient dense food and you will be on your way to fueling properly with enough of the right clean calories. Also, be sure to eat 3 meals and 2 snacks daily to ensure you are keeping your metabolism running all day.
- You are not drinking enough water. Do you know how much water you should be drinking daily? Half your body weight in ounces, at least! So a 150 pound person needs at least 75 ounces daily. If you are exercising you need to add at least 8 more ounces per hour of exercise. Keep your water plain and cold! If you need a little flavor try adding fresh squeezed lemon juice to it. Water helps to move toxins from your body. Stay well hydrated!
- You eat out too often. Unless you know exactly how the food is prepared, eating out can have lots of hidden extra calories that can add up if you are eating out daily. It is best to cook your own food and have a fridge full of healthy meals that you prepped for yourself. However, when you do eat out, because hey, we all do, there are a few things you can do to save on extra calories. Order your dressing on the side of your salad or better yet ask for oil and vinegar. Ask for your chicken/fish/steak to be grilled plain, and your veggies to be steamed with no added butter.
website and check out the cute stuff, because if we have to workout at least we can look cute doing it!