The following is a list that you can use as a nutritional checklist. If you can answer yes to these questions you will find yourself on the fast track to success. If you find yourself at a plateau, oftentimes you will find yourself negligent in one or more of these areas. These principles are based on long term lifestyle change and I promise you that if you apply them and are able to answer “yes” to all of these on a CONSISTENT basis, you WILL succeed! Best of Luck!
1- Am I within my calorie range on a daily basis?
This is extremely important. Most people get frustrated because they fail to lose/gain/maintain weight even when they are making healthy choices. The problem is that the body can get quite particular and even 300-500 calories in either direction can make all of the difference. Log on to www .fitday.com to enter your calories and find out if you are indeed within your range.
2-Am I eating 5-6 SMALLER meals spaced out every 2-3 hours?
Remember that the reason behind this one is to activate your metabolism and supercharge it! You can eat the same amount of calories but only in 3 square meals and you will NOT lose the weight that you would with 5-6 smaller meals spaced out every 2-3 hours. Why? Because your blood sugar levels stay much more steady when eating the smaller more frequent meals. Never neglect this principle.
3-Are my Macronutrients (Carbs, Pro, Fat) in Balance?
Remember that the body prefers a balance of these sources. You should be around 50% Carbohydrate, 30% Protein, and 20% Fat, unless otherwise directed by your trainer. This pertains to each individual meal and to your total daily intake.
4-Am I Consuming Moderate to Low Glycemic Carbohydrates?
This is by far the most overlooked nutritional aspect that can have a huge impact. Please refer to the book, The New Glucose Revolution, The Complete Authoritative Guide to the Glycemic Index for further insights and understanding on this topic. It is essential to gain a complete and thorough understanding on this topic so that you can reap the benefits of eating moderate to low glycemic carbohydrates.
5- Am I consuming adequate Fruits and Vegetables on a Daily basis?
The body demands nutrients, fiber, antioxidants that are found in fruits and vegetables. Don’t like veggies? Get over it and get used to them because they are the life blood of good nutrition and you cannot consider yourself truly healthy until you are getting at least 3 servings (3-5) of veggies a day and 2 servings (2-4) of fruit.
6- Am I eating Breakfast?
This is an absolute must! I know that many of you struggle with this one…if you do start small and work up to a moderate meal. This sets your body’s metabolism into motion for the day and ensures that you keep your blood sugar levels in check.
7-Is my sugar/treat intake low?
Nobody is telling you that you can never have a treat, but if you do so earlier in the day and make sure that you keep your portion size small. Your total daily sugar intake should never be more than 10% and lower is much better. Sugar is a death nail when it comes to weight loss.
8-Is my fat intake low?
Remember that you should never be over 20% in the fat category and of that 20%, no more than 10% (and much lower if possible) should come from saturated (animal) fat.
In my next post I will do a Non-Nutritional checklist that will work hand in hand with this one.
Life is good!