Food quality and food quantity are 2 fundamental aspects of a solid diet. When these two are in balance you will feel, perform, and look better. Below I have broken down the importance and benefits of balancing both in your diet. You should focus on getting down the basics to take charge of your health and eating habits before you resort to the latest trends, wraps, teas or other "diet hacks" to optimize your weight. Keep it simple!
A diet abundant in vegetables, fruits, lean meats, healthy fats, and whole grains is ideal for health. Unprocessed whole foods will nourish your body with the macronutrients and micronutrients that our bodies need to function. They contain vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, fiber, and beneficial fats. These nutrients work synergisticly to build our immune systems, provide energy, and allow our bodies to function on all cylinders. Inversely, processed foods are stripped of nutrients, and then enriched with saturated/trans fats, sodium, and sugar. These ingredients are addicting, making you crave more of those foods, and ultimately overeating on empty calories.
Have you ever noticed when you eat a lot of processed foods that you feel more bloated, mentally foggy, or your mood is suppressed? I have! When returning to a diet of primarily nutritious and unprocessed foods my body feels better, I have more energy, I recover from my workouts quicker, I can think clearer, and my mood is more positive.
Unprocessed vs Processed: it isn’t an all or nothing situation. If you eat a diet of mostly whole, unprocessed foods- there is room to have some of the processed stuff too. It’s all about balance. The overall QUALITY of your diet contributes to making you healthy or making you ill. You are what you eat!
The quantity aspect of diet is equally important. Regardless of the quality, if you are eating more calories than your body needs for your daily activities, then you are in a surplus and this leads to gaining weight. Based on your metabolic rate and your activity level, there is an optimal calorie balance to maintain your weight. You can manipulate this number of calories to lose or gain weight.
If your daily caloric intake is in balance, the next step is adjusting the breakdown of macronutrients in your diet to bring greater balance and control. Macronutrients are the Protein, Carbs, and Fat that food is composed of- also known as “macros." An optimal amount of each macro will vary depending on the person and their goals (sports performance, body composition, etc). As the body responds and adjusts to a set of macros or when goals shift, macros can be tweaked for continued progress.
Personally, I do my best to ensure that I meet my bodies needs each day for calories, protein, carbohydrates, fats, and fiber. I also watch my added sugar intake (which isn’t too hard when eating unprocessed foods). I look at my diet as nourishment and fuel for my body. Like many others, I have experienced that the quality and quantity of foods that I eat affects my overall health, body composition, athletic performance, and mental state. Macros have really allowed me to take control on my health and fitness journey.
If you are interested in taking control of your lifestyle, energy, eating habits, goals, and health through smart nutritional choices, awareness and knowledge our knowledgeable Nutrition Coaches can help! Recreate Nutrition offers a one month consultation to help get you on the right path and/or on-going Nutrition Coaching to hold you accountable and guide you to better nutritional choices to get the results you want! If this sounds like something you would like to explore you can find more information here.
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