12 Simple Nutrition Changes That Make A Big Difference

When it comes to making changes some people are ready to go all in right away, and others need much smaller habits that are built over time.

Neither one of these approaches is better than the other. I have noticed that a lot of people do much better developing small habits that add up over time to big  lifestyle changes.  

I speak with clients frequently who have made large changes going all in on diets and exercise routines. As a result they lost twenty pounds and got in good shape for little bit, but it didn’t last.

Eventually they returned to their old default habits which isn’t surprising. Habits built over time allow people to lay the groundwork for long term change.

I like to use the example of laying the foundation for a house to illustrate my point. You can build the foundation for a house out of poor quality materials and go too fast to meet a deadline.

That house will look good and stay up for a bit, over time though it will fall apart because it lacks the foundation to support the house.

This is the equivalent of the diet mentality. The foundation of this house is just like trying to take on too many big habits at once  - poor quality materials are used,  and the foundation is built too fast, as a result the house can be held up for a short while but eventually falls apart.   

A different example is the foundation for a house made out of good quality materials carefully crafted over time.

As a result of the quality materials and the time spent to build a solid foundation the house is built to last. The foundation of this house took longer to build, and it will last longer as a result.This type of foundation is the equivalent of building habits over time. With a foundation like this you can make add ons to the house without worrying about the foundation falling apart.

In this blog I am going to be discussing the small habits that people can implement on a daily basis that can will over time lead to a new healthier lifestyle.

In my nutrition practice I have clients work on a new habit every two weeks, but you should go at whatever pace you need to keep things move forward in a sustainable fashion.

The beautiful thing about using habits is that they allows you to rely on a routine instead of willpower. The problem with willpower is that we have a limited amount each day, it is a limited resource.

We are bombarded with decisions from the moment we wake up until we fall asleep each night. The more decisions you can put on autopilot per day using habits and routines the more you can use that willpower to focus on other aspects of life and health.

Changes pertaining to lifestyle and health can be very challenging in the beginning, but over time the more you develop these habits the easier they will become. By mastering one small habit at a time you will achieve long term success and end up with a healthier long term lifestyle.

Drink More Water Daily

Our bodies are made up of 60% water, yet as  society water is the most common macronutrient deficiency. Water is the most important macronutrient in the body, period.

No matter what your health goal is drinking more high quality water on a daily basis will help you reach that goal quicker. Drinking more water is one of the smallest habits  that will elicit the big changes.

One of the biggest problems is that most folks assume all liquids contribute to their daily water consumption. The majority of liquids people drink on a daily basis are diuretics, and pull water from the body instead of adding to it.

The most common diuretics are: coffee, caffeinated/some herbal teas , soda, fruit juice, dried fruit and alcoholic beverages.  

Habit: If you currently drink 32 ounces of water a day start by drinking 48 ounces of water 4  times a week for the next two to three weeks. Set a timer or keep a water bottle on your desk to to help remind you about the habit. Over time work your way up to half your bodyweight in ounces as a goal.   

Keep Your Own Snacks On Hand  

Preparation is key when it comes to changing food habits. Food temptations are everywhere and making sure you have good quality snacks on hand reduces temptations.

If you have already paid for a food and brought it to work, you have invested time and money into this habit change.  

Everyday life will throw schedule changes and delays, if you find yourself unprepared and hungry, no worries.

It's easy these days to track down a place that has nuts and a piece of fruit or hard boiled eggs and veggie sticks. The goal is over time to not reduce the need for snacking in-between meals.

Habit: Keep a stash of healthy snacks on hand to make sure you are not left with poor options or tempted by the typical afternoon hunger. When you feel the afternoon low, instead of grabbing coffee and a pastry have small healthy snack. The goal is over time to reduce the need for snacking.

Include Vegetables At Every Meal

There are a lot of subjects up for debate in nutrition, but everyone can agree that eating more vegetables is a great to improve health.

Vegetables are some of the most nutrient rich foods on the planet and provide tons of vitamins, minerals, fiber and nutrients that contribute to health. Another added benefit is that vegetables are very low in calories and leave people feeling fuller for longer.

By increasing the vegetables in your diet you are leaving less room in your stomach for processed carbohydrates.

Habit: If you are currently eating one serving of vegetables a day, make a habit out of having one serving of vegetables at every meal 3-4 times this week. Aim for a fist sized portion of veggies on your plate 3 times a day. As this becomes a habit over time, make a greater percentage of your plate vegetables.

Batch Cook

When adopting a healthier lifestyle you are going to end up doing more cooking, there is  no way around it. It is not sustainable to try to cook every meal from scratch three times a day, but there are ways to save time while cooking healthier meals.

The biggest time saver is to cook large batches of food instead of single meals, and eating leftovers.

You may end up chopping  extra veggies or waiting for the larger batch to cook. The trade off for this is that you have healthy leftovers that can be eaten for breakfast,lunch or dinner without having to make a decision about what to eat.

Habit: Pick one night a week and set aside extra time to make one of your favorite meals in a larger portion than normal. Over time as this becomes a part of your routine, increase the batch cooking to 2-3 dishes or 2-3  times per week. Another option is to pick a day like sunday and make that your meal prep day where cook a few different meals to fuel you throughout the week.

Embrace The Salad

Salads are a quick and easy on the go lunch that includes everything we are looking for in a meal. Salads have lots of vegetables and when you add a protein source and some healthy fats in the way of dressings you are good to go.

An added benefit of embracing the salad is even if you are out to lunch/dinner salads are served served everywhere. Making requests to add or subtract something from a salad or opt for olive oil and vinegar as a dressing are simple changes that allow you to keep on track.

Habit: You can batch make a huge salad packed with veggies and store in the fridge at home. Each day toss a few handfuls of pre made salad in your lunch container and add some protein. To avoid the soggy salad situation bring salad dressing to work leave there for daily use.

Use The Crock Pot

There are very few things on this earth as simple as using a crock pot, it literally does all the cooking for you. From cooking roasts to making soups and even batch cooking quiches, the crock put is a gift from the powers that be.

My typical crock pot recipe includes a large chunk of meat with spices rubbed all over, chopped root vegetables, and a 1 cup of water or broth. I leave these ingredients in a crock pot and turn it on medium. When I come home I have a few days worth of meals that have been cooked for me.

Habit: If you are low on cash and need a  crock pot visit the nearest Goodwill. Goodwill always has a few crock pots in great shape at a great price. Pick one morning or night and make sure you have fifteen to twenty minutes extra to get everything ready. Put all the ingredients in the crock pot and turn it on and let the magic happen. The crock pot is an awesome tool for meal prepping and batch cooking. There are millions of healthy crock pot recipes on google.

Relax and Chew Your Food

We have our parasympathetic and sympathetic states that are better known as the rest and digest and fight or flight. To adequately digest foods we need to allow our bodies the relax and not be stressed.

The problem is that people do not take the time to relax before or while eating. Meals are eaten while staring a computer, TV or cell phone screen leading to digestive problems.

To add fuel to the fire most people are inhaling their food, and barely chewing before swallowing.  Chewing is an important part of the digestive process. Saliva contains an enzyme named amylase which begins the breakdown of carbohydrates in the mouth.

The more we chew our foods and break them down, the less our stomach has to pick up the slack left by our lack of chewing.

By not taking the time to chew our foods we can also consume much larger quantities of food than we need. We have finished our entire meal before our body has the time to realize we have over eaten.

When eating the gut sends a signal that it is full and well nourished in effect turning hunger off in the brain. When you eat very fast and do not chew you can eat far more food than your body requires. You will end up exceeding what your body needs, and excess will be stored as body fat.

Habit: When you sit down at a meal take 5 deep breaths before your first bite and look at your food for a few seconds. Over time increase the amount of breaths you take before the first bite. When you are starting a chewing habit don’t worry about the number of times you chew, but instead put your fork or spoon down between bites to start with. By putting your utensil down you will naturally slow down and chew more. Focus on one meal a day that you are not going to be rushed at and put the fork down between bites. As the habit progresses aim to chew every bite  20-30 times and make it a liquid before you swallow.  

 Eat More Protein To Stay Satiated For Longer

Eating more protein boosts your metabolic rate increasing the amount of calories you burn while resting. Protein also helps to curb appetite making people eat fewer calories overall.

By consuming more protein rich foods you will feel fuller for longer. Not to mention whether you are trying to build muscle or burn fat, consuming more protein can help with either of these goals.

Eating more protein is one of the easiest and healthiest ways to give your metabolism a push in the right direction. By keeping appetite regulated and not focusing on hunger other changes will be much easier to make when food is not on your mind all the time.

Habit: When eating more protein avoid the bars and protein powders, they are packed full of nasty ingredients. Focus on high quality whole food sources from animals and plants. You can begin this habit by batch cooking three different different protein sources for the week.Then focus on eating a palm sized portion of protein at each meal. If you find yourself hungry in between meals include more protein at meal times to help.

 Replace Bad Fats and Oils With Quality Ones

Something as simple as switching out the processed unhealthy fats for traditional ones  can have long reaching health impacts.

Most people today consume large amounts of trans fats and hydrogenated oils from processed foods. Vegetable oils are another problem with our current diet.

These rancid vegetable oils create inflammation oxidative damage in the body. The vegetable oils I’m referring to include: soybean, corn, safflower, sunflower, canola or cottonseed oils.

Replace these highly processed fats with the nutritious traditional fats that have nutritive value such as grass fed butter or ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil.

Raw nuts or nuts that have been soaked are another good source of fats. The caveat  with nuts is that they are very easy to over do. Use nuts like condiments in the diet, sparingly!

Habit: Read labels on foods at the grocery store to avoid  trans, hydrogenated and vegetable oils.Remove these fats and oils from the house, and throw them in the trash. Next time you go to the store purchase grass fed butter/ghee , coconut oil and avocado oil to cook with at medium to high temps. Use olive oil for low temp cooking or cold uses.

 Eat a Protein, Fat and Veggie  Breakfast

By eating a breakfast that is mostly protein and fats you are able to feel more satiated on less food, and stay full for much longer.

When you choose a fat and protein breakfast instead of something like a breakfast cereal you can avoid the need for constant snacking and that  mid morning coffee crash.

The protein and fat breakfast combination allows you to keep more stable blood sugar for longer. You will be able to avoid the blood sugar highs and lows that most people experience when eating processed carbohydrates and sugar for breakfast.

An added benefit to the stable blood sugar is that your body burns body fat and dietary fat for fuel in the absence of carbohydrates. By keeping insulin low you allow the body to take advantage of the fat burning hormones.

Habit: If you are currently eating breakfast cereal with skim milk and toast don’t try to overhaul everything at once. Start adding more of the protein and fats every few weeks. If you are currently eating a bowl of cereal with low fat milk and two pieces of toast with jam start with one or two small  changes at a time. Two immediate changes would be using whole milk in your cereal instead of low fat milk, and adding one hard boiled egg while subtracting one piece of toast. After those changes have become a habit reduce the cereal by ⅓ and add another hard boiled egg to breakfast. On your other piece of toast substitute grass fed butter or peanut/almond butter instead of the jam. Continue making small tweaks to breakfast until you eat a breakfast that looks like a few eggs and ½ avocado or leftover meats and some veggies drizzled with olive oil.

 Read Nutrition Labels

When it comes to food advertising and packaging every food company would like you to believe that their product is a healthy option.

When you flip over most packages and read the ingredient list it tells a very different story. Most of these foods contain multiple sources of hidden sugars, vegetable oils, chemicals, preservatives,dyes  and are very dense in processed carbohydrates.

By simply flipping a package over and taking a few seconds to read the ingredient list and knowing what you are putting in your body you have the necessary information to  make better decisions about what you are going to eat to improve your health.

Habit: If you are currently going to the grocery store and not looking at labels I encourage you to read the full label of every 3rd item going in your basket. Ask yourself the honest question: Is this food going to make me healthier or damage my health ? Use this label reading habit to seek out healthier alternatives to foods you know will damage your health. Over time read more and more labels, and make the transition to buying whole natural foods that don’t have labels.

 Know The Difference Between Thirst, Boredom and Hunger

With the amount of people walking around chronically dehydrated everyday our  bodies are screaming out for water. The problem is that we as a society ignore this thirst signal to such a degree that we mistake it for being slightly hungry.

Another common theme amongst people is eating out of boredom. We are very lucky to live in a society of abundance, especially with regards to food. Many people eat because they are bored, not because of hunger.

Many common snack foods are so hyper palatable that they trigger the pleasure centers in the brain and release feel good hormones. This food gets associated with the feeling good which in turn keeps us going back for more. This mindless overeating leads to weight gain and many health problems.

Habit: The next time you feel hungry in between a meal drink a glass of water and wait 10 -15  minutes. After the 10- 15  minutes check in if you still feel the hunger grab a small snack. If you are not feeling hungry anymore chances are good you are thirsty not hungry and should have another glass of water. Next time you find yourself looking in the fridge or cupboard even though you are not hungry stop and think am I hungry or bored ? Instead of giving in to mindless eating go for a walk outside.

If you’re tired of working hard, and not getting the results you want, I can help you adopt the simple habits necessary to reach your health or fat loss goals.

These habits are based on getting you to your goal in a sustainable fashion that can be maintained. I’ll be there every step of the way to support and keep you accountable.  

Get on a Strategy Call with me to Discover how to achieve your health or fat loss goals, and make them yours to keep this time around.

Whether you decide to work with me or not I can guarantee you will leave this call with more knowledge on how to achieve your goals.

 

Evolve Nutritional Therapy Strategy Session


Name *
Name
Phone *
Phone

Why You Should Eat Your Carbs At Night

Everybody has heard the common wisdom that you should consume the majority of your calories and carbohydrates early in the day.

The reasoning behind this  is simple, when you consume your calorically and more carb dense meals earlier in the day you have more time to burn those calories off.

Going against the grain is pretty typical here on the Eat To Evolve blog. Contrary to popular belief there is a good amount of evidence that consuming the majority of your calories and carbohydrates specifically at night is more beneficial than having them earlier in the day.

I read about this theory from leaders in the fitness and nutrition industry Nate Miyaki and Jason Ferruggia.

I’m well aware that this goes directly against what you have been told by folks in the health fitness industry, but if they were right more folks would be walking around in great shape.

If something is not working for the majority of people the approach needs to be changed, not clung to with the vulkan death grip.

In this blog post I’m going to explain the benefits from a scientific, evolutionary and willpower  standpoint of why eating the majority of your calories and carbohydrates at night time can help you reach your health and fitness goals.

Follow The Evolutionary Leader

One of the most innate reasons for this style of eating is our evolutionary patterns of fasting and feeding. As early man we regularly spent the day hunting, fishing, gathering  and tracking animals and highly active.

Many times these hunts were done in a fasted state without food relying on stored body fat as fuel.

Digestion is an energy intensive process ,and these fasting periods allowed our early ancestors to be more active and alert without being slowed down by a full stomach.

Our ancestors would return home with the days gathering or catch ready to feast. During the night was leisure time spent with others  feasting on the food caught or gathered throughout the day, allowing them to relax and refuel for the next days hunt.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying I want to live exactly like a caveman I love the my iphone, fridge and hot/cold running water.

However from an evolutionary standpoint we are hunting and gathering in the  form of going to work and training in the gym these days.

We should follow evolutions lead, eating lighter during the day and use our nights to feast and recover from the days activities in preparations for the next.

We are designed for this style of eating, people want to typically eat bigger at night anyway, and from a practical and sustainability standpoint it fits most peoples lives very well.

Win Against Willpower

How many times have you heard of someone going off the rails eating a ton of cookies or a pint of ice cream at breakfast or lunch?

it’s not common, and the main driver behind our decision making is our willpower. Our willpower is a limited resource that we expend throughout the day with every decision we make.

By the end of the day most people have emptied their willpower piggy bank with countless decisions.This decision fatigue  is why the cookies and ice cream binges happen at night,  we have the least willpower to resist ben and jerry or the keebler elves.

We still operate on the same sacrifice and reward systems that have helped us survive for thousands of years. With this evolutionary framework we have the basic hard wiring to overeat and store excess energy as body fat for times of famine.

The problem with this evolutionary framework is we rarely have famine, but food is available everywhere. We should construct our diet in a way that allows us to fulfill this need to eat large while not consistently overeating all the time.

Folks are are going to be able to eat lighter during the day, and make much better food choices if they know that they are going to get to eat a larger more satisfying meal at night.

On the opposite side it is going to be more difficult to feast all day, and then eat lighter at night. Larger meals at breakfast and lunch are going to leave you feeling sluggish and make it more difficult to focus and get things accomplished.

Looking at things from the practical side most people are not as hungry during the day when they are working, moving and handling stressful situations.

Folks are going to be the hungriest at night time after they have completed the days endeavors and are ready to relax, eat and prepare for the next day.

This larger meal at night time with denser carbs also triggers that satisfaction we are looking for, reducing the cravings for processed high sugar desserts.

Have Your Cake, And Burn It Too

Naturally most folks are going to eat a dinner that is larger than lunch or breakfast because they get to cook and eat it with no time constraints or stress around the food.

Being extra hungry is typical if this meal is following a hard trip to the gym or an athletic endeavor. The body has the need to restore the glycogen your muscles burned during your exercise.

This means that by consuming those carbohydrates later in the day post exercise, you will use them to repair and restore before any are allowed to get stored as fat, unless you eat significantly beyond your needs.

By eating lighter during the day and avoiding dense carbs you allow the body to take advantage of fat burning hormones for a longer stretch of time as well.

You can have your carb cake and eat it too, gluten free hopefully. Think of eating light during  as your fat burning portion of the day.

Try to consume proteins, healthy fats, non starchy vegetables in your fat burning portion of the day. At night time after a day of activity or a hard training session at the gym again consume protein and safe starches (yams, potatoes, sweet potatoes, taro, plantains, white rice) and some veggies and smaller portions of fat.

You should match the amount of carbs you are consuming to your activity level to prevent fat gain.These night time carbs allow you to build muscle, repair and refill the tank for the next day.

There is the long standing misnomer that eating bigger at night time will lead to fat gain, but we have come to realize that food choices, total calories and macro breakdown as a whole for the entire day are what is most important.

Each individual meals numbers don’t matter nearly as much as the numbers as whole at the end of the day.

Improve Your Sleep

By keeping those larger more carb dense meals at night time you can relax and digest while winding down for the night and getting ready for bed.

Try to eat two hours prior to your bed time to give adequate time for digestion before sleep. In the same way that the larger meals early in the day will make you tired and sluggish, this same reaction can be used to improve sleep. Below I’ll explain why this sleepy reaction dense carbs can happen.

The neurotransmitter serotonin is converted into the hormone melatonin which is needed for falling and staying asleep. Tryptophan is an amino acid that needs to cross the blood brain barrier for conversion into serotonin which becomes melatonin.

Other amino acids compete with tryptophan for entry across the blood brain barrier and into pineal gland making it less available for uptake.

The release of insulin in response to carbohydrate consumption drives these competing amino acids into the cell and makes the tryptophan more available with far less competition.

If you are eating a low carb diet and find that you are in a bad mood and are suffering from poor sleep it would be a good idea to try doing some denser carbs at night and see if sleep or mood improves.

Maybe pick a day and do a clean carb refeed meal for this purpose.

Enjoy Yourself Socially

Nobody wants to be the person who continually orders salads whenever they are out to dinner. We want to enjoy ourselves, be social and have a larger more relaxed meal when out with people.

Good food and great people are meant to be enjoyed together. Think steak and potatoes or sweet potatoes if you will.

This goes hand in hand with the psychology of our sacrifice and reward centers, it is much easier to eat lighter and healthier during the day if we know that our reward is going out at night with loved ones.

The key here is to make this way of eating fit your life not the other way around. When folks start allowing their nutrition plan to rule their lives it is going to be a recipe for failure.

You may gain some short term success from the diet quick fix, but the long term lifestyle changes win the race.

What Does This Approach Look Like ?

Depending on what your goals are a morning fast may provide benefits for you. Black coffee or with a few added tablespoons of heavy cream can help with extending fasts.

You can have lunch be our first meal of the day, or If you have no interest in fasting make your breakfast a protein and fat only combination such as eggs and bacon or eggs and ½ and avocado.

For lunch it should consist of a solid proteins source, non starchy veggies and some healthy fats.

You could even include a serving or two of fruit in this eating lightly stage. Some folks perform much better in the gym when they have some fruit beforehand but you will have to experiment to see if this works for you.

At night time use the tendency to eat more calories and carbs to your advantage by eating mostly protein and denser carbohydrates at this stage.

Try to avoid a ton of fats in this meal as we are looking to purposely spike insulin and drive amino acids into the muscle and recover and get ready for the next days hunt or work

If you’re tired of working hard, and not getting the results you want, I can help you adopt the simple habits necessary to reach your health or fat loss goals.

These habits are based on getting you to your goal in a sustainable fashion that can be maintained. I’ll be there every step of the way to support and keep you accountable.  

Get on a Strategy Call with me to Discover how to achieve your health or fat loss goals, and make them yours to keep this time around.

Whether you decide to work with me or not I can guarantee you will leave this call with more knowledge on how to achieve your goals.

 

Evolve Nutritional Therapy Strategy Session


Name *
Name
Phone *
Phone

Why Do We Need Protein ?


There is a lot of debate in the nutrition world about  the importance of carbohydrates and fats in the diet, people go to great extents to avoid both.

There is a general agreement by everyone that protein is necessary though. When it comes to losing fat and building muscle the general recommendation is  to eat more protein, and it is a generally helpful strategy.

How much should we be consuming daily is another question with a lot of different opinions and recommendations.

With this post I am going further than the typical “build muscle and burn fat” by upping your protein intake explanation.

The goal is to look into role that protein plays in a healthy diet and what we gain besides bigger muscles and flatter stomachs by consuming adequate amounts.

Protein: The Macronutrient Golden Boy

Before we start the nitty gritty of protein, lets lay down some background on what protein is and how it works in the body.

Protein along with fats and carbohydrates  are macronutrients meaning that they are needed by the body in larger amounts. I would also throw water in this category because it is truly essential to our bodies.

Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients meaning that they are needed in smaller quantities than the macronutrients. Both macronutrients and micronutrients are essential, but macronutrients are needed in larger amounts.

Protein is found in the largest concentration in many animal products such as beef, chicken, eggs and dairy. It can be found in much smaller concentrations in other foods such as vegetables, nuts/seeds and fruit.

All proteins are made up of twenty different amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins.When we consume proteins they are broken down into amino acids and polypeptides.

When we break down these proteins to amino acids and polypeptides they are absorbed through the small intestine and enter the bloodstream to be transported and formed into new proteins and used around the body for various purposes.

Jobs Of Protein

These newly formed  proteins make up organs, nerves,  bones, muscles, nails, hair and flesh, but are also pivotal ingredients in enzymes, hemoglobin, hormones and antibodies as well.  

Enzymes: Protein molecules that are the managers and stimulus for all biochemical reactions in the body.

Hemoglobin: specially designed red blood cells that deliver oxygen around the body

Hormones: protein molecules that are messengers and coordinate our metabolism, and almost every function in our body.

Antibodies: proteins that are used in the immune system to help us fight infections and other diseases.

Now we know that protein is largely responsible for much more than just tissue regrowth and repair, lets look at what the building blocks of protein amino acids contribute to in the body.

Amino acids are responsible for neurotransmitters, hormones, muscles (your heart is a muscle ), digestion and transport of nutrients between cells.

Essential Vs. Non Essential

All proteins we consume  are a combination of twenty amino acids, think building blocks linked together. Of these twenty amino acids our body can  produce eleven of them on its own making them non essential.

The other nine amino acids the body can not produce and must be obtained from the diet, which makes them essential amino acids.

For muscle tissue, organ and bone repair to happen the nine essential amino acids have to be  provided from complete sources of protein in the diet.

Complete protein containing the ten essential amino acids is is mandatory for optimal health.We require a certain amount of protein and amino acids because they have so many important roles in the body.

Quality Over Quantity  

There are other factors to consider when consuming protein that go beyond how many grams you are consuming. When it comes to protein there are three criteria that help determine the quality of a protein.

  • Amino Acid Profile: Complete proteins are important because they contain all the essential amino acids that our body cannot manufacture. Incomplete proteins lack one or more of the essential amino acids. Without the presence of all the necessary amino acids, protein synthesis (cells generating new proteins) comes to a stop.

 

  • Bioavailability: The protein content doesn’t matter if you cannot properly digest and absorb proteins. Anti nutrients commonly found in grains, soy, legumes and brown rice  prevent you adequately breaking down and absorbing the protein by as much as fifty percent (Note: If you are willing to soak and sprout legumes some of the anti nutrient effect can be mitigated)

 

  • Toxicity: Some proteins are more likely to trigger an immune or allergic reaction. All true allergies are actually an immune response to a protein.

The foods that meet the above criteria and contain the largest concentration of complete proteins  are going to be from animal sources in the form of seafood, chicken, red meat , eggs and dairy for those who tolerate it.

Trying to Fill The Gap

There are other sources of protein that compare to animal products in terms of overall  grams, but when using the criteria above fall short.

Take for example grains and legumes, they seem to have a good amount of protein, yet they lack the complete amino acid profile and have poor bioavailability due to anti-nutrients that prevent digestion.

Combining foods such as rice and beans is a better option than separately consuming them, but they still fall short on the amino acid profile.

To get adequate protein from a rice and beans combination you will need to consume large amounts. The problem with this strategy is you will get more starch than protein causing blood sugar surges and fat storage in the long term.

Because of the indigestible fiber some folks with compromised digestion don’t tolerate large quantities of legumes in the diet.

I think variety is necessary, and both plant and animal proteins are important to health. We should strive to get protein from both animal and plant sources. 

Protein Recycling  

Not all the proteins in your body have come from what you've eaten today, or even this week. Because the body is such an efficient machine we have a built in protein recycling mechanism.

We use old proteins that aren’t in demand anymore to help build new proteins that the body has a demand for. Some of the amino acids that are in your muscles could have once been a digestive enzyme or a part of another muscle in the body that was recycled, such as the heart.

Your Context To Consider

This is where the plot only gets  thicker, there are too many considerations and factors that go into giving a blanket statement or recommendation of how much protein to consume.

Lets take a look at some of the considerations that should shape your protein consumption:

  • Goals: What you are trying to accomplish will shape your protein needs. If you are trying to recover from intense exercise and gain muscle mass your protein needs will be higher than someone who is obese and sedentary looking to lose weight.
     

  • Activity Levels: Someone who works in a manual labor job for eight hours a day or an elite athlete will have different protein needs than an office worker who spends all day sitting at a desk.
     

  • Genetics: We are all bio individuals with a unique fingerprint and genes. Our genetics  will determine how we metabolize and react to certain foods that we eat.
     

  • Health: The body has different needs in different physiological states. A pregnant woman woman compared to a person with  thyroid problems will both have different needs based on their health. Just like someone who already has kidney damage probably should not embark on a high protein diet, while an elite athlete might benefit from a high protein diet.
     

  • Climate/Season: During different seasons of the year we crave different foods. We also have different foods available based on the season and region  that you are living in.


The above factors need to be considered when thinking about the protein level that will be appropriate for you.That being said there are a few different ways to calculate the amount of protein you should aim to get daily.

Play With The Numbers  

There are no hard and fast recommendations that are accepted across the board by everyone. These ways of calculating protein intake do have wide margins and a number of factors to consider.

Chances are the best way for you to find your personal protein need is to play around with these numbers and see how you look, feel and perform with more or less protein in your diet.

  • The Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) set by The Institute of Medicine says based on lean body mass and the number of calories you are eating protein should make up 10%-35% of your diet. This range does leave lots of room for variables, but no real way to determine where you fall on that range.
     

  • 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight or 0.36 grams per pound of bodyweight per day.This is a good range for those that are sedentary or not interested in gaining muscle mass, and at no health risk of health issues threatening lean body mass.
     

  • Those who are highly active and looking to retain or build muscle mass  benefit from more protein in the diet . 0.9-1.3 gram of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day for these highly active individuals would be appropriate.
     

  • Elite athletes or bodybuilders can go even higher consuming 1.5 grams +  of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day to meet their needs for exercise and recovery.
     

  • Dieters or those looking to lose fat will need to be in a caloric deficit to accomplish this. Those  looking for fat loss would do better to consume more protein. The range appropriate for this is from 0.7 -1.0 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.

Protein is vitally important to our skin, nails, bones, hair, muscle mass, hormone production, neurotransmitters and overall health.

We are made up of over fifty thousand different proteins that contribute to our structure from head to toe, and everything in between. What is still up in the air is the recommendation of how much protein to consume.

Something to keep in mind is to not force consumption of protein. There are going to be days where you crave less protein because you need less, and days where you crave more.

We have built in mechanisms that regulate our craving for protein based on our needs. Let your cravings guide how much you will eat. Be smart about it and listen to your body.

I have yet to see a formula that accounts for the complexity of the human body and takes all the necessary factors into consideration.

The above recommendations are a good place to start, but not a strict recommendation. As always, experiment and  tweak how much protein you’re consuming based on whether you are reaching your goals or not.

If you’re tired of working hard, and not getting the results you want, I can help you adopt the simple habits necessary to reach your health or fat loss goals.

These habits are based on getting you to your goal in a sustainable fashion that can be maintained. I’ll be there every step of the way to support and keep you accountable.  

Get on a Strategy Call with me to Discover how to achieve your health or fat loss goals, and make them yours to keep this time around.

Whether you decide to work with me or not I can guarantee you will leave this call with more knowledge on how to achieve your goals.

 

Evolve Nutritional Therapy Strategy Session


Name *
Name
Phone *
Phone

15 ways to Survive The Holiday Cravings At Social Events

It's that time of year again pumpkin spice lattes, ugly sweater parties, egg nog and lots of late nights. During this time of year it is easy to see your health goals backslide because of the poor habits we adopt.

We allow ourself to think we are exempt from the consequences of our repeated bad choices because  It's that time of year again, but the fact of the matter is that poor choices are poor choices any season of the year.

 I think that the largest driver behind a lot of these poor choices has to do with our cravings, and the abundance of the sugary and fatty foods that surround us during the holiday season.  

Don't get me wrong, I'm all about attending social events and seeing people you care about, and not always trying to be perfect with your nutrition. 

 This blog covers my top 15 recommendations for handling the holiday cravings. 

1.) Eat  Before Social Events: Make sure to eat before an event to curb the cravings for junk food. Eating before an event will allow you to feel satiated with the better foods reducing the want or need for other foods. 

2.) Eat Adequate Protein and Fat Before The Event: protein and fat are high satiety foods and will keep you fuller for longer, curbing those cookie cravings.

3.) Focus On Being Around Loved Ones : When you change the focus to being around friends and family, the food becomes less of an issue. Remember the holidays are about giving and celebrating with loved ones, not that third slice of pie. 

4.) Don’t Be Afraid To Say “No Thank You” To Foods: There are always food pushers at social events with food,  they try to pressure you to eat certain foods or say things like “you can  make an exception for…” Be confident and comfortable telling someone “no thank you” or saying “I’m full”. Your health is yours, don’t let others influence what you choose to eat, that can be a slippery slope.

5.) Set Limits Before Heading Out: Make agreements with yourself before social events such as how many drinks you will have or what foods you are going to strictly avoid. Respect the agreement you made with yourself and don't let others influence your agreements, treat yourself well. 

6.) Get Plenty Of Sleep: Getting adequate sleep allows for less unhealthy cravings, builds more muscle and helps the body recover from daily stresses. Sleep is crucial to our health, and lack of sleep can negatively affect decision making skills and your will power. 

7.) Workout Before Social Events: If you end up indulging at a social event the exercise will allow the body to better deal with the extra sugar, fat, and alcohol  you have consumed. Exercise can also be a great motivator to help people continue healthy habits with nutrition and sleep. 

8.) Bring Food To Share: If you bring a healthier option to share you are guaranteed to have a healthier option. When leading by example you might encourage some conversations around food and nutrition. Use this as an opportunity to educate others on nutrition and to hear what others have to think and share what you know as well. Don't be combative with your view points, focus on what you have in common with others instead of the differences. 

9.) Start With The Healthier Options: When you start with the healthier options at a party it leaves less room on your plate  for the junk foods we are trying to avoid. By the time you eat those healthier options and nourish your body, the craving for other food will naturally be cured.

10.) Eat Slowly And Chew Well: We need to give enough time for our gut to signal the brain saying that we are well nourished and no longer require any more food. This signal from the gut turns the hunger signal in the brain off and can take about up 20 minutes.

By eating  too quickly we are able to bypass these hard wired signals and over consume food before our gut and brain have the chance to shut down the hunger signal. This habit also overloads our digestion making it work much harder than it should to process the extreme amount of food we have consumed.

11.) Before Indulging ask yourself “How Important Is This To Me Compared To My Long Term Health Goals?”:  When you make a decision between better and poorer options, realize at that moment that is what you wanted the most.

There is no going back you should not feel guilty about about it. I’ve heard Dallas Hartwig from Whole9 and the Whole 30 say before “ No guilt, just consequences” and that hits the nail right on the head.

Typically when we make less than healthy choices we can feel a negative reaction in our body, that is the consequence. The Shame,guilt and stress that we put on our self is much more damaging that the actual food we consumed. No guilt, just consequences. You can't undo that choice, move forward without any shame or guilt. 

12.) Stay Hydrated: The hunger and thirst signal can be confused by the body. It sounds funny to think that we could make this simple mistake, but we do it all the time with unnecessary snacking.  Next time you feel an urge to snack,  drink a tall glass of water and see if you still feel the same hunger afterwards. When out at a social event with unhealthy options decrease the chance of mindless snacking by staying properly hydrated, it can also help with hangovers.

13.)Be Selective With Food Choices: If you are going to indulge, keep it gluten and hydrogenated/trans fat free.  Make the treat worthwhile, don’t make an exception for a regular old christmas sugar cookie. Make the indulgence something decadent and memorable. In short,  go big or go home with the indulgence.

14.) HCL and Digestive Enzymes: Overloading our digestion with too much food and  unhealthy options is a digestive distress double whammy, sure to make it feel like you have a brick in your stomach. Take some of the burden off your digestive system by supplementing with HCL (hydrochloric acid) and digestive enzymes to allow for greater breakdown of foods. These are especially helpful supplements when planning to eat a larger meal.

15.) Return To Your Normal Routine The Next Morning: The occasional indulgence can be good for to help folks kick their heels up and enjoy social events. It is equally important to get back on track the next morning though. Many people let one indulgence turn into a few days or a week of unhealthy habits. Avoid this by making an agreement with yourself that the very next day you are getting back into your healthy nutrition and sleep habits. 

If you’re tired of working hard, and not getting the results you want, I can help you adopt the simple habits necessary to reach your health or fat loss goals.

These habits are based on getting you to your goal in a sustainable fashion that can be maintained. I’ll be there every step of the way to support and keep you accountable.  

Get on a Strategy Call with me to Discover how to achieve your health or fat loss goals, and make them yours to keep this time around.

Whether you decide to work with me or not I can guarantee you will leave this call with more knowledge on how to achieve your goals.

 

Evolve Nutritional Therapy Strategy Session


Name *
Name
Phone *
Phone

9 Tips For Fat Loss ( Part 1)

Fat loss is one of the most popular phrases searched on the internet according to a study I just made up.

The average person would like to achieve easier weight loss or like to look differently than they currently do.

Regardless of what Dr. Oz says (please don’t sue me Dr. Oz) there is no magic bullet or pill to fat loss. There are however certain tips and tactics that I have used with clients that produce great results.

 Many people struggle with fat loss not because they lack the will power but because they have the wrong information.

I compare fat loss and health goals to a math equation. If you know what your answer is (your goal) but have the wrong parts to the equation ( nutrition, exercise and lifestyle) your fat loss equation will never add up properly creating frustration and an eventual twinkie and ice cream bender.

It is not always about working harder when it comes to fat loss, but working smarter. Here are a few tips to help you work smarter on your fat loss goals:

       1.) Avoid Processed Carbohydrates

  • Processed carbohydrates include bread,pasta, crackers, muffins, gluten free products, chips, sugar, fruit juices, oats with sugar, breakfast cereals, “health bars,  pastries and  grains.

  • Processed carbs raise our blood sugar rapidly, causing the release of our main fat storage hormone insulin

  • When we keep blood sugar and insulin low by avoiding processed carbohydrates and sugars our body is able to burn excess body fat as fuel instead of needing carbs and sugars constantly

  • Blood sugar helps to drive appetite, and by balancing our blood sugar  with a reduction of processed managing appetite will become easier

        2.) Eat More Protein

  • Protein is one of the highest satiety foods, meaning it will leave you feeling satisfied and fuller for a longer period of time reducing cravings for snacks.

  • The thermic effect of food is the increased energy expended by the body to process that food. Protein rich foods have the greatest thermic effect increasing energy expenditure to process them.

  • Muscles helps us to burn fat, and protein is needed to build muscle.

       3.) Sleep At Least 8 Hours A Night

  • Sleep is when the body is the most anabolic and when we build muscle. Adequate sleep is also pivotal is recovery from exercise.

  • Not getting enough sleep leads to an increase in appetite and  increases cravings for  carbohydrates and sugar

  • Sleep deprivation also causes elevated blood sugar without the introduction of foods which decreases our tolerance to carbohydrates making it harder for us to burn stored body fat as fuel.

If you’re tired of working hard, and not getting the results you want, I can help you adopt the simple habits necessary to reach your health or fat loss goals.

These habits are based on getting you to your goal in a sustainable fashion that can be maintained. I’ll be there every step of the way to support and keep you accountable.  

Get on a Strategy Call with me to Discover how to achieve your health or fat loss goals, and make them yours to keep this time around.

Whether you decide to work with me or not I can guarantee you will leave this call with more knowledge on how to achieve your goals.


Evolve Nutritional Therapy Strategy Session


Name *
Name
Phone *
Phone