The Christmas season is upon us and I, for one, am pretty sure that that posterior shelf I have going on is more Egg Nog Latte and Bliss Bar than glute max at the moment, so it’s go time people.   These are 5 habits that I try to incorporate into my daily routine and help keep me in check. By all means enjoy those winter ales out there currently, just find a balance.  😉

 

Here we go…

 

Slow down

In order to have a healthy relationship with food, sit down, relax.  15-20 minutes is a reasonable amount of time to finish a meal.  This gives your stomach a chance to gauge how full you really are.   A good rule of thumb is to stop eating when you feel approximately 80% full.  This is the proper amount of time required to make sure the brain gets the memo that your body is adequately fueled.

 

Protein

The basic recommendation for protein intake is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body mass in untrained, generally healthy adults.  Therefore I would recommend that you aim for a slightly higher value somewhere between 1.0 and 1.2 grams.   1.4-2.0 grams/kg is the upper end of the scale for elite athletes and there is never a need to exceed this limit.  One serving is about the size of your palm.  For women you should be eating at least one serving of protein, while men should be aiming for two.  Choose your high quality proteins from a variety of sources, (meat, fish, poultry, beans, nuts and seed), and source out local organic whenever possible.

 

Veggies

At least half of your plate should be vegetables.   You should aim for at least 8-10 servings per day with one serving size being the approximate size of your fist.  For a fantastic guide on how to prepare them refer to Precision Nutrition’s blog post “How to Get the Most Nutrients from you Food” http://www.precisionnutrition.com/10-ways-to-get-the-most-nutrients.  Again, source out local organic whenever possible.  An amazing local organization I like to use is Urban Harvest Organic Delivery http://www.urbanharvest.ca/.

 

Carbohydrates

Things to consider when choosing your carbs are quality and timing.

Quality:   The truth is your body does not know the difference between simple and complex carbohydrates as an energy source.  Consuming nutrient dense carbohydrates from whole foods, does however,   gives you the added benefit of phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, as well as fibre.  This also increases satiety as well as decreasing insulin spikes keeping your energy and mood levels consistent.

Timing:  If you have not just finished a training session, then I suggest eating less starchy carbs, (bread, pasta, rice), and strongly recommend you double up on veggies instead.  If it is immediately post exercise then a mix of carb sources is fine.

**It is worth mentioning that carbs are not ‘bad’ and that it is the primary fuel source for your brain, so be careful what you buy into with all the fads past and current.  Don’t let misinformation distract you from sound nutrition practices.

 

Fats

Of the three macronutrients, fat is by far the most misunderstood and the first that we tend to eliminate. The truth is, at least 20% to 35% of our daily caloric intake needs to come from dietary fat.   It manufactures and balances hormones, is integral to the formation of cell membranes and forms our brains and nervous systems.  Choose various foods, prioritizing whole food sources such as eggs, meat, fish, avocados, olives, nuts and seeds, and disperse them throughout the day.

 

There are 23 hours a day that I don’t get to see you and I want to make sure that you have all of the tools that I can possibly give you to feel like you are in control.  This is your journey.  I’m just grateful that you have trusted me to be a part of it.

 

Have a fantastic weekend and as always…love and light to you all.

 

Roberta J Gizen BHK, CPT, PN1