Why is nutrition so complicated?
Do you feel nutrition is complicated? Like it fills you with anxiety just thinking about it?
What carb to eat, how much protein to eat, which fats will cause heart disease, when to eat and how much, and why? It can all be confusing, but it’s doesn’t have to be, if you choose for it to be. Let Ben Coomber explain, and then follow this simple 18 point check list for maximum results.
1. Know that health isn’t just physical. Having a social life that appeals to you and taking care of your mental health are just as important. Not everyone wants a million friends, but very few people should be alone for extended periods either, and at the same time not everyone will be happy all of the time. Find a place that feels right for you, and practice self-care to maintain this.
2. Try to reduce sitting time. Sitting time independently predicts various disease states and while activity and exercise can help you become ‘really healthy’ that’s not to say that a lack of them only brings you back to ‘sorta healthy’. In fact, if nothing happens after you read this blog other than you spend an extra hour per day walking around I’ll consider it a HUGE success.
3. Increase active time. The WHO recommends a minimum of 30 minutes moderate activity, three times per week, and they also suggest 2 sessions of resistance training per week. 2 45 minute workouts and a half hour walk on three other days can make more of a difference to our longevity and quality of life than most of us realise.
4. Be calorie conscious. You don’t need to track them with precision, but over or undereating calories impacts your health negatively, and both are incredibly easy to do. Our modern environment almost guarantees overeating without attentiveness, and undereating as an overcompensation is common.
5. Eat mostly whole foods. That’s vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, beans, nuts, seeds, unsweetened dairy and lean meat. This should be about 80-90% of your diet.
6. Learn some recipes and easy lunches to make with the above – it makes it all SO much easier.
7. Make up the rest of your diet with whatever you like. Where possible share meals and drinks with friends.
Our modern environment almost guarantees overeating without attentiveness
8. Have protein at each main meal. This is going to help you stay full, and also do a ton of other useful things, like maintain healthy skin, hair and nails.
9. On the topic of main meals, have 2-3 per day at roughly the same times. Structure and routine is brilliant for dietary adherence – grazing makes tip #4 a lot harder
10. Minimise snacks. Eating between meals is a recent idea, and most folks get most of the calories they don’t need in this form. Eating protein and other whole foods with meals should reduce your need to snack anyways.
11. If you can’t help yourself around certain foods, don’t buy them for a while. You’ll get over it but when you just start out it’s temptation you don’t need.
12. Stay hydrated. Pay attention and when you’re thirsty, drink stuff that doesn’t have calories in.
13. Supplement wisely, you don’t need everything when you start out, you may never need anything, but do your research. Check out Awesome Supplements for simple, non-BS supplement info and advice, plus Awesome products.
14. Manage your stress. Some stress is unavoidable but most of it isn’t – and even the unavoidable stuff can be mitigated in some way. Read the full article for more info here.
15. Sleep more. Sleeping just one hour less than you need per night knocks all sorts of things out of whack. 7-9 hours is about right for most adults – don’t treat this as a luxury that can be cut back on.
16. Don’t do stuff that you know is bad for you. Often this is easier said than done, but there are a lot of ways that us modern folks abuse our bodies, and it’s rare that we really get away with it.
17. Cultivate a meaningful relationship. Could be a partner, a close friend, a family member or someone else entirely. It doesn’t matter who, but if the shit hits the fan you need a number to call.
18. Find a hobby outside of health and fitness. It really doesn’t matter all that much what it is, but when you’re not at work, at the gym or eating you need something to fill the time in meaningfully. Give a few things a try, you’ll find something.
I hope this list has been useful. After all nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated, if you don’t want it to be, it’s often us that overcomplicates stuff. KISS. Keep it simple, stupid.
And if you do want help, you do want guidance, consider Fat Loss for Life, our online nutrition coaching program lasting 90 days.