Why You're Not Getting Results: Nutrition
I debated how I was going to write this one all week because nutrition is one of the most complex topics. It is also one of the topics that has the most emotional attachment and is heavily influenced socially. The root of majority of our results are not willpower or motivation, rather the habits of our daily life. Consciously changing those habitual decisions are what causes our lifestyle changes to move in a positive direction.
When it comes to nutrition, it is important to understand habits and quality of foods prior to focusing on macros, nutrient timing, specificity of foods, etc. If you truly want to make a lifestyle change and live a healthier life, you need to understand your food is not just something with a calorie attached to it or an “on again, off again” approach. If you are going to do healthy, then do healthy. The hard part comes in when you realize this isnt a trendy quick fix thing, it requires commitment to shifting daily habits, and even mindsets. I don’t promise quick results, you should steer clear of anyone who does. For the majority of us (especially us Mamas) tracking macros or counting points is not going to cut it for the rest of our lives.
Over the years there are a few things that I have come to see as the difference maker in clients who get results and make lifestyle changes with nutrition shifts and those who struggle:
1. They shift their mindset. Social influence, home influence, self talk…these all play a major role in our daily decisions.
Have you ever told someone you weren’t going to eat the bread at a table because you were trying to lose weight? Bring on “one piece won’t kill you” influencers! The reality is you need to be confident in your choice to do this for yourself and okay with others not always understanding your decision. You can kindly decline, you don’t need to explain yourself, you are doing this for YOU!
Along with social influence is the friend who wants to tell you how they achieved their results and how you need to do it too. In the nicest way, PLEASE stop listening to your facebook friends for nutrition advice or asking for supplement suggestions. Everyone from the media to the mom in your local facebook group seems to have an opinion when it comes to nutrition, and while these are not ill intentioned suggestions, would you ask your plumber for financial investment advice?
Home influence: If you are one of the many people I meet with who has a spouse or family member who is consistently bringing junk into the home, communicating your goal and why this is important to you is a good place to start. Ask for what you need as far as support from them and if they are not on board with making those changes themselves, that is okay. Let your results and changes be the influencer. As a mama, if you have kids who are picky eaters and make eating vegetables seem like you’re torturing them, be patient. Maybe this is because I grew up with a southern Mama but in my home if you don’t want what is served for dinner then you could either 1. go buy yourself a different dinner or 2. eat it. For lack of a better way to say it, you are the parent here, and as long as you are buying their food then you make the decisions. However, please keep in mind that communicating with them on WHY you are making the shifts in nutrition and how it benefits them is crucial to the success of the changes. If your nutrition is needing an overhaul, there may be a chance that their food does too. For the most part, our littles should be eating what we are eating.
Self talk: Would you talk to your friend the way you speak to yourself? A good measure to really see how you speak to yourself is to write it down. Seriously, do it. For ONE day, every time you think something about yourself, write it down. Review it at the end of the day. What you think about yourself plays a significant role in your body and mental well being. You can be content where you are and still focused on improving things about yourself, you don’t need to hate your body to want changes, and loving yourself doesn’t mean you can’t want better for yourself either, that is actually the truest meaning of loving yourself.
“I can never eat X again…” Ladies, STOP IT. You are in control here, if you want a cookie then eat the damn cookie. Remember, you are making a lifestyle change to better your health and improve your quality of life FIRST, when you focus there and not just on weight loss you can enjoy a treat every now and then. Notice I said “every now and then” and not daily. What you are doing consistently is making the biggest difference in your results. If you are restricting yourself all week and then becoming a weekend warrior then you are missing the boat here. It is no longer a “I can’t have that because of my diet…” and it becomes “I don’t want that because it makes me feel bad and doesn’t serve my body well…”
2. They master the basics. We need to choose healthy on a consistent and daily basis first, and understand how food affects our body at a cellular level before we try to manipulate it.
Focus on a palm size portion of protein at every meal. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other chemicals in your body. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. Protein also supports your satiation and blood sugar regulation. Spinach is a great nutrient dense food but does not contain enough protein to qualify for what your body needs. Humanely raised meats with no antibiotics or added hormones are one of the best nutrient dense sources of protein we can eat. Quality protein sources to focus on at every meal include:
100% grass fed beef
Organic free-range chicken
Pasture raised eggs
Wild caught fish
Pasture raised and organic Pork
Organic free-range Turkey
3. Adequate and quality fats: Simply put, fat does not make you fat and cholesterol in your food does not equal cholesterol in your body. Your body actually needs cholesterol and fats to thrive hormonally. Fat also supports our satiation through the day along with protein. The issue comes in with the quality or processing of fats being taken in. Aiming for about a thumb size of quality fat sources at every meal include:
Avocado and its oil
Coconut and its oil
Butter (from grass fed sources)
Olive oil (not for cooking at high temps)
Egg yolk (from pasture raised sources)
Veggies and some fruits: Most of us have no issue consuming our serving of fruits in the day. Veggies are another story, yet we educate our children on how important they are and somewhere along the way we start ignoring them as an adult. If you notice I said “veggies and SOME fruits”, this is not to say that fruits are bad, this is to shift our mindset in the category. While fruits come along with high nutrient density, so do veggies, without the same effect on our bloodstream. Everyone should be aiming to include at least a fist size serving of veggies at every meal, ideally half of your plate. Aiming to get a wide variety of colors on a daily basis is great place to start. Veggies/fruits also come along with pre and probiotics and fiber to support and aide our digestive process.
Carbs as needed: We love our carbs! Make no mistake, carbohydrates are an important food group to consume and I am not an advocate for eliminating them. However, majority of us significantly over consume them and also are having less than quality sources. If you are like most of us and your activity during the day consists of sitting at a desk, an hour at the gym, and struggling to hit 10,000 steps daily than you do not need a sleeve of oreos or bag of boom chicka pop as you watch the the Bachelor. When we begin to focus on quality protein sources, healthy fats, and veggies/fruits on our plate first, then carbohydrates, you will notice your craving for that oreo sleeve slowly dissipates because your body is beginning to receive more of the nutrients it needs to thrive as well as balanced blood sugar levels during the day. Aiming for a palm sized portion of quality and nutrient dense carb sources at each meal include some of the following:
Organic potato (sweet or white)
Squash (including pumpkin)
Lastly, read your food labels. If you notice, majority of the items above do not require a food label. However, some of our groceries do come from items inside the aisles of the store and when that occurs, being mindful of the additives in our foods is crucial to long term health. A great place to check your common food purchases and ingredients is: ewg.org/foodscore to see how yours are stacking up.
If you are reading the above and wondering how all of this looks on a plate, here is an example:
Once you have mastered the above basics consistently, then we get specific. There is a process to choosing how much protein, manipulating carb and fat macros, paying attention to calories, and focusing on nutrient timing that nutrition professionals consider. Your basic suggestion from the app you are using to log your foods is not taking your current metabolism, supplementation needs, and other factors into play. If you are someone looking to achieve a goal and have already mastered the basics, you need individual coaching not only to achieve that goal, but to focus on how to maintain that goal in everyday life once you have gotten there.
As I said in the beginning, nutrition is one of the most complex topics for us to work on. There are so many individual factors for each of us to consider that makes nutrition far from a “one size fits all” approach. If you find you are lost, don’t know where to begin with changing habits, or even have changed habits and need specificity, this is why I am here! Connect with me and schedule your free consultation so we can decide where we need to move forward with your nutrition and if we need to work together to support your goals further.
You got this, girl!