Zoe Schilling, Pharm D.
My goal in this blog post is to help provide you with some simple tips that you can incorporate into your daily lifestyle. At the end of the day you should eat a diet that is sustainable for you that nourishes your body and improves your overall health. Work with your nutrition coach or dietician to find a diet best suited for your unique goals.
Nutrition Gainz Advice:
1. Come back to nature. Choose the least processed foods for the majority of your diet. 80% should consist of nourishing fruits, veggies, whole grains, and high fiber carbohydrates. A general rule, if it was made in a factory then it probably isn’t very good for you. Refined sugars and carbs spike your blood sugar and are easily metabolized and stored as body fat.
2. Eat the rainbow. By eating many different colors of fruits and vegetables with each meal. Choose a wide variety of colors to get your recommended intake of micronutrients. The majority of your vitamins and minerals come from colorful food options.
Red: Help Fight Cancer, Reduce the Risk of Diabetes and Heart Disease, Improve Skin Quality, and More
Orange and Yellow: Improve Immune Function, Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease, Promote Eye Health, and More
Winter squash (butternut, kabocha, delicata, acorn)
Yellow summer squash
Orange and yellow peppers
Green: Boost the Immune System, Help Detoxify the Body, Restore Energy and Vitality, and More
Blue and Purple: Reduce the Risk of Cancer and Heart Disease, Support Cognition, Decrease Inflammation, and Improve Skin Health
Red (purple) grapes
Red (purple) cabbage
Purple potatoes and sweet potatoes
White and Brown: Protect Against Certain Cancers, Keep Bones Strong, and Are a Heart-Healthy Choice
3. Choose healthy fats. Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are known as the “good fats” because they are good for your heart, your cholesterol, and your overall health. Don’t shy away from healthy fat options such as olive oil, nuts, natural nut butters, seeds, avocado, fish, flaxseed and flaxseed oil. These fats can help to lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. In addition, healthy fats how been shown to lower bad LDL cholesterol levels, while increasing good HDL.
4. Eat protein with every meal. Protein has a satiating (hunger-satisfying) effect and also helps to build muscle, which boosts overall metabolism. By eating foods that are not immediately metabolized like carbohydrates, you can avoid spiking your blood sugar. This is why Zoe recommends to eat protein with carb-heavy meals.
5. Eat more fiber. Fiber is a non-digestible carbohydrate that your body cannot break down, so it passes through the body without counting towards calories. Fiber produces several positive impacts in your digestive tract and adds “bulk” to your food which produces satiation and keeps you feeling full longer. Some common healthy sources of fiber include whole grains, nuts and seeds, as well as fruits and vegetables.
6. Don’t skip breakfast. Eating within 30 minutes of waking up boosts your metabolism and provides the energy your body needs for the day ahead. People also tend to not over-compensate at other meals later in the day. In the morning is when you need to calories the most to fuel your body and you can burn those calories throughout the day versus eating late at night to just sit around or go to bed.
7. Stay hydrated. Drinking enough water each day is crucial for many reasons such as body temperature regulation, keeping joints lubricated, preventing infections, and keeping organs functioning properly. Being well-hydrated also improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood. Drinking more water can also help weight loss by decreasing appetite. Your brain doesn’t differentiate between hunger and thirst. You may think you’re hungry, but in actuality you might be thirsty. Try the “water-test.” Most people should aim to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of which equals about 2 liters, or half a gallon of water every day.
8. Choose your supplements wisely. You should get the majority of your calories and nourishment through whole foods. However, depending on your fitness goals, you may need to “supplement your diet” with supplements such as protein powder, creatine, multivitamins, or others. Work with a nutrition coach to create a smart supplementation program that improves your performance without draining your wallet. Before you take any type of supplement, make sure to check in with your doctor or a registered dietitian.
9. Sleep. Aim for eight hours of sleep each night. The body recovers and repairs best when sleeping. Some studies show an extra pound of weight loss solely from individuals getting an extra hour of sleep each night.
10. The 80/20 Rule. Each meal and snack serves as an opportunity to fuel your body. Choose foods that are best for you 80 percent of the time. Then eat the foods that satisfy your cravings, but may not be the healthiest options 20 percent of the time. Life is short! You don’t need to restrict yourself 24/7 and restricting yourself from the foods you love is NOT sustainable.
Even More Healthy Tips and Tricks:
- Be sure to read food labels at the grocery store
- Eat fewer foods high in calories, cholesterol, saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium
- Don’t put yourself in the position of temptation with junk food in the house
- Eat lots of non-starchy vegetables (carbohydrates)
- Choose whole foods over processed foods
- Fish at least 2 times per week
- Lean cuts of beef and pork
- Remove skin from chicken and turkey
- Non-fat or low fat diary products
- Choose water, unsweetened tea, coffee over drinks with added or fake sugar
- Match how you eat with your activity level
Advice For Dining Out:
- Look at the menu ahead of time
- Don’t be afraid to BE PICKY
o If you do not know what’s in a dish or how its prepared, ask.
- Ask for salad dressing, sauces, and gravy on the side
- Estimate your normal portion and put the extra in a container to go
- Try to limit alcohol, sugary drinks, or avoid them
- Don’t rush!
o Eat slowly and really enjoy your meal
- Drink at least one full glass of water to suppress appetite and avoid overeating
Source for “Eating the Rainbow”: