OPTIMAL NUTRITIONAL STRATEGIES
The simple process of eating food should not be overwhelming or confusing- everyone has the right to know the essentials to building an optimal balanced diet that provides their bodies with optimal nutrition. With all the pills, potions and advice available it is easy for the consumer to get lost in translation when it comes to feeding their face.
So how do you make nutrition optimal for you? By understanding the basic concept of nutritional feedings and changing the way you fuel your machine.
Nutritional feedings provide us with life-sustaining substances found in food, that work together to supply the body with energy to perform all of its physiological functions. Without proper fuel the body is unable to work efficiently, nor effectively and disease has more potential to appear. Proper fuel leaves the body with the right amounts of vitamins, minerals, fiber, carbohydrates, protein and fat- all of which are important to wellness of human function. We all need to eat enough to support our activities of work, play and exercise, but be careful not to upset the delicate balance of homeostasis (basal metabolic rate) by eating too little or too much.
The following are simple strategies that you should include in your meal planning, food preparation and overall healthy diet. By including several or all of these options you will decrease your risk of developing disease, cut down your risk of obesity and lose weight. Here’s a little tidbit for you to chew on (no pun intended): If you snack on produce three times a day instead of soda and chips you can expect to lose about 1 pound per week!
- Eat and breathe the following little morsels:
- Eat regular snacks and meals throughout the day; about every 2.5-4 hours. About 3 meals and 2-3 snacks
- Eat protein with every meal or snack to improve satiety of meal
- Eat a fruit or vegetable at every meal or snack
- Eat foods with fiber (whole grains, vegetables, fruit, legumes- beans, peas, lentils)
- Keep saturated fat intake to <10% of total calories and avoid all sources of trans/hydrogenated/partially hydrogenated fats <1% of fat intake
- Eat lower fat foods and make smart substitutes (2% milk to 1% or skim, non-fat yogurt instead of whole fat)
- Eat just until comfortable
- Eat a small snack just before lunch and dinner to reduce the tendency to overeat
- Limit refined foods- white bread and cereals, soda, sweets and alcohol
- Limit alcohol and caffeine intake
- Limit sodium containing, cured and smoked products
- Reduce or eliminate processed foods which contain additives, preservatives, artificial flavors and sweeteners
- Eat a variety of foods every day. GOAL- try not to eat the same foods in a 3 day period
- Eat more wholesome, natural foods, and buy organic whenever possible.
Choose a few items from our grocery list of tips or sink your teeth into all of the above. Whether your goal is to lose weight, develop better eating habits or just become more in tune to your wellness then these nutritional strategies will do the trick. Remember the old homage- you are what you eat (eat crap, be crap, eat well, be well). Be mindful, be careful and be healthful when you open your mouth. It is the gas tank to your optimal health.
Amy Bomar, BS, CPT
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