February in Toronto can be pretty blah...If you aren't a snowboarder, skier or lover of tobogganing your weekends are probably centred around food, Netflix and workouts (or at least mine are!).
When you have a personal fitness goal you're aiming to achieve it can sometimes feel like you're in a video game, slashing through evil muffins and mean people trying to give you sugary things that will kill your 'diet' all in hopes that you'll arrive at the castle and win (with some spare lives left in the bank).
As a holistic nutritionist I love to teach my clients about what to eat simply and stress-free, day to day that will not only help them achieve their weight-loss/fitness goals but also nourish their bodies and support detoxification and immunity.
Very important parts to consider when you're eating - thinking of solely calories in and calories out is a very outdated way of thinking about nutrition and really it's underestimating the body and it's complex needs.
Ok, let's take brunch for example. It's Sunday, you make plans to eat with friends around 11:30 or noon and you wake up at 8 am to walk the dog and make some coffee...How does one approach this morning and best support their goals/needs with fitness and nutrition?
Let' break it down.
8 am: Wake up. Drink a big glass of lemon water (liver support!). Wait 10 - 20 minutes.
8:30 am: Drink coffee or herbal tea. Coffee consumed as a shake with hemp seeds, coconut butter, cinnamon, stevia for example will have less of a negative impact on your blood sugar levels and reduce jitters due to it's nutrition content.
9:00 am: Workout.
10:15am: Smoothie with plant-based milk, frozen berries (easily digested carbs post workout to replenish glycogen storage in muscles and reduce DOMS/avoid injury and help to repair muscle), plant based protein powder (my favourite is Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein), cinnamon (to help balance blood sugar levels) and chia or hemp (to help you stay full, longer).
11:30 am: Meet the girls for brunch. You aren't starving because you had a nutrient dense 'coffee shake' in the am, a balanced smoothie post workout (you could drink that even if you didn't workout) that is full of protein and fibre to help you feel fuller, longer and avoid binging on high carb treats at brunch.
On average you'd want to order a dish that has the following: (I say on average because each person has unique macronutrient requirements based on their digestion, genetics and personal health situation).
Protein: Whether it be plant based (tofu, tempeh, nut sand seeds etc) or animal protein based (chicken, fish, eggs, beef etc) you want to eat a portion the size of your fist . Roughly 4 oz or so. As a holistic nutritionist I never coach people to weigh food or calorie count. I don't believe it to be a sustainable way of eating. Rather, I'd like you to learn to eat intuitively.
Fat: We're over talking about fat as a 'bad' macro now aren't we? (Gawd, I hope so)...Healthy fats are ones like avocado, olives, olive and coconut oil, nuts and seeds etc. They help you to burn fat, detox fat soluble toxins, absorb fat soluble vitamins that support immunity and detoxification and help to form hormones. You should be eating about a palm-sized portion of fats with each of your meals.
Carbs: There are 2 types of carbs I teach my clients about; starchy carbs and fibrous carbs. Starchy carbs often get a bad rap but they may be totally necessary for some to consume in order to maintain a healthy body composition. This can depend on many factors...I often look at 2 main ones: Digestion and Genetics.
Generally, I recommend a fist-sized portion of starchy carbs post-workout only for those who are looking to lose weight. Again, that will depend and isn't a rule - I would recommend working one on one with someone you trust to determine your specific requirement of starchy carbs.
Starchy carbs look like: beans and legumes, potatoes, yams, bread, pasta etc.
Now, fibrous carbs are where we can get a TON of good stuff from. There are so many vitamins and nutrients in them as well as soluble and insoluble fibre to help you stay fuller, longer. Fibre also helps to bind to and carry out toxins. Without proper detoxification people will often gain weight as the body is SUPER SMART and will hide toxins in fat cells to keep them away from organs and damaging the body.
Weight loss tip! If you aren't detoxing you aren't losing weight!
Fibrous carbs look like: Greens, green beans, zucchini, celery, sprouts, etc. and you can fill as much of your plate with them as you wish (as long as you don't eat beyond 80% of your fullness to allow for proper digestion).
Ok, that's a TON of info on nutrition and requirements so let's go over a bullet point list of DO's:
If you're having a hard time figuring out what you should be eating and how you should be training to lose weight, gain muscle, avoid injury and detox properly then you may be a great candidate for my FIT GENES program which is a tailored nutrition and exercise program based on your genetics.
This program doesn't change or expire, it just is what it is for life! It's an amazing way of cutting down on trial and error, time wasted, money wasted and is cutting edge, science-based insight on what YOU need to thrive in fitness!
I hope this has helped you to understand more about what you may need to keep your body and social life healthy and if you would like any additional help customizing your lifestyle to lose weight and stay healthy I'd love for you to reach out to book a complimentary 15 min call to determine if the FIT GENES program is right for you!
Until then, stay warm, stay social and be well.
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