7 Common Problems with the North American Diet

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Common nutritional practices in today’s society include a lot of poor habits that are actually NOT beneficial! It is because of these habits that people have such a hard time adjusting to new nutrition programs as these habits are widely accepted as being the average practice.

The 7 habits that people commonly follow:

  1. Eating too little protein with each meal: It is common in the North American culture to consume a very carbohydrate dense diet with little to no real protein. Throughout the day, every feeding time should include a portion of lean protein such as:
    • Turkey
    • Chicken
    • Fish
    • Beans
    • Eggs2. Drinking empty calories: We fall victim to sugary beverages that add on unnecessary calories and sugar into our diets. Combat this with drinking more water – add some pizzazz with fresh squeezed lemon juice or infuse it with cucumbers, lime, and citrus fruits!

    3. Not consuming enough fruit or vegetables: As with consuming too little protein, we also tend to not consume enough fruits or vegetables. Fruits are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals that we need to maintain our very best health!

    4. Eating 3 meals a day: 3 meals a day is a good starting point, but in reality, it isn’t enough to sustain an active individual! You’ve heard it before I’m sure, but it truly is better to eat smaller, well portioned meals throughout the course of the day! Just be sure to incorporate the proper portions of protein (about 4 oz. for the standard individual) and vegetables (2 servings of leafy greens!)

    5. Falling victim to processed foods: Convenience stores are a blessing and a curse; there are more processed food items available in our supermarkets and convenience stores today than ever before – it can be so difficult keeping track of what is legitimately healthy and what is simple marketing tactics! Knowing what’s on your nutrition labels is key to a happy and healthy life – if you don’t know what an ingredient is or can’t pronounce it, it’s safe to assume you shouldn’t be eating it. Eat only natural ingredients you trust, understand, and feel good about putting into your body!

    6. Avoiding food in order to lose weight: This is a major issue we face in our culture today – the idea that “if I don’t eat anything, I’ll naturally grow thinner” is becoming a more and more popular misconception. Food is more than just FOOD. It is nourishment to sustain us and keep us healthy, happy, and in homeostasis. Food is healing, that is why it’s so important to eat nutritionally! Skipping meals will throw the body into a starvation mode where it will begin to use fat, muscle, and energy stores to sustain itself. It is NOT the ideal to be healthy!

    7. Skipping Breakfast: Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day; eating a well-balanced meal of protein, vegetables, and complex carbs is a great start to the day. Not only will it keep you feeling great and refreshed, but it will also kick your metabolism into gear. Because it is the first meal we consume after an 8 hour fast (it SHOULD be 8 hours ideally!) it is essential that it is packed with dense nutrients to start your day. Breakfast helps to stabilize our Blood Glucose in order to avoid the development of diseases such as Diabetes and high Blood Pressure.

Beware: Consuming too much fruit (or too much of anything for that matter) can have negative health consequences because fruit is loaded with natural sugars; while these sugars are more easily digested than manufactured sugar, they can still spike our blood glucose and lead to conditions such as Diabetes. It is best to eat one serving of fruit in the morning as it will provide us with energy, but it is also easier for our bodies to process these natural sugars as we use them throughout the day.

Vegetables: I cannot emphasize enough how important consuming vegetables is for us! They provide essential vitamins and minerals while also helping us meet our quota for dietary fiber. Fiber aids in preventing heart disease, Diabetes, and digestive issues!

Being aware of these 7 common problems is the first step toward achieving your dietary goals and taking that first step for change! Keep these in the back of your mind every time you enter the grocery store, go out to eat, or prepare your meals!

 

My Top Fat Burning Secrets

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It’s a New Year, which means it’s time for positive changes! Resolutions to become healthier through eating better and forming a consistent exercise plan are a great place to start, but it doesn’t just stop there; with simple changes during your every day routine, you’ll start to not only see the pounds melt off, but more importantly you’ll feel your very best!

Drink a Glass of Water as soon as You Wake up:
You would be amazed what kind of results you’ll see when you consistently do this; not only it important to start your day with a hearty breakfast, but it’s also important to kickstart your metabolism with a glass of water. Bonus Tip: Squeeze a little lemon in there for an added energy boost!

Eat Well-Portioned, Well-Balanced Meals throughout the Day:
You may believe that eating 3 square meals a day is the way to go, but this is not the case for optimal fat burning. Eating every 3-4 hours throughout your day with portions of complete protein, complex carbs, and vegetables will get you to where you want to be! Snacks also count, just be sure to include those complete proteins.

Snack Example:
– 1/2 Cup of Lowfat Cottage Cheese
– 1/2 Cup of grapes, raspberries, or blueberries

Take the Time to Meal Prep:
Taking the time to prep your meals will not only save time later in the week, but will make you less likely to eat out or snack unnecessarily. Include things like chicken, fish, chickpeas, spinach, asparagus, yams, or brown rice.

Create an Exercise Plan You Love:
It can be difficult to hop on the band wagon, but when you look forward to your work outs it’s significantly easier to drag yourself to the gym after work! Continuously switch it up between cardio activities, weight training, and yoga. Join a class and do something you love! Shoot for 5-7 hours of exercise a week – if you meet these numbers, you’ll never go back!

Get Enough Sleep:
This is a crucial step to weight loss and living a happy life in general. Getting enough sleep will not only help you to feel good, but will actually help you burn fat in the process! During your sleep cycle, your body recovers from the activities during the day through means such as cell regeneration and repair and muscle regeneration.

Live in the Moment:
That’s right, if you maximize your time and energy during any task throughout your day, you will burn more calories. When enjoying your workout, put the phone away and get lost in the motions; enjoy and savor every single bite of food you put into your body because the food you eat is not only delicious but it is also healing for your body.

Never think of the choices you make on the daily as something you are obligated to do. You are in the driver’s seat of your life and you make these choices to better your health because you want to! You can do anything you set your mind to, so don’t feel discouraged or stressed – rest when you need and take a deep breath 🙂