Survive and Thrive with Nutrition
Choosing what to eat often can be boiled down to whether you want to “survive or thrive”. Most foods allow our bodies to survive, but that’s where their benefits end. However, if we are consistently making smart food choices, not only will we be alive, but our bodies will be able to thrive. We’re guessing you want more out of life than simply surviving and just getting by.
How to Thrive with Good Nutrition
To your relief, this post on food includes a lot more on what to eat than what not to eat. So, let’s get the hard stuff out of the way by discussing our one and only top pick for what not to eat.
What not to eat:
Eliminate all added sugar. If you’re looking for the silver bullet to better health, this is it. Added sugar leads to an increased risk of heart disease, damaged immune system, increased risk of cancer, insulin resistance, increased risk of depression, accelerated aging…….the list goes on. Stop consuming unnecessary sugar to give your body the chance to thrive.
What should I eat?
As a general starting point, we often use a macro-nutrient ratio of 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 30% fats. This 40/30/30 template offers us a structure to follow from which we can determine what alterations to make to your current nutrition in order to reach your specific goals.
Your plate should contain more low-starch veggies (broccoli, tomatoes, cauliflower, mushrooms) and fruits (apricots, nectarines, peaches, plums) than meat and high-starch veggies (potato, corn, peas). If your goal is to gain rather than lose weight, we will tweak that equation.
Variety! Have you ever heard the expression “eat the rainbow”? It refers to eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to ensure you are consuming the full spectrum of vitamins and minerals from your food. The same is true for each macronutrient category (carbs, proteins and fats). Always strive to include as much variety as possible.
Apex Wellness offers a simple but comprehensive list of acceptable food choices. Just ask us to forward it to you!
How much should I eat?
Roughly speaking, if you want to lose weight, multiply your bodyweight by 10-12. Chances are you are eating LESS than the recommended number of calories. Yes, you will need to increase your caloric intake with high-quality foods in order to lose weight and maintain your vital muscle mass necessary for optimum wellness. Fine-tuning these numbers will be necessary as you progress.
Tips for nutrition consistency:
Schedule your weekly trips to the grocery store like any other important meeting, or hire a delivery service to do it for you. (With all the grocery shopping and delivery services we have now, the “I didn’t have time to get to the grocery store” excuse is no longer a valid.)
Eat breakfast. When you eat within 30 minutes of waking up, you jump-start your metabolism. This gives you more energy to get your day going and improve your body’s functionality.
Surround yourself with only smart food choices. Empty your pantry and only keep the good stuff. Take the constant temptation out of the equation.
Keep it simple. When making food choices, select whole foods that are not processed. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and high fiber carbohydrates, and high-quality organic proteins should make up most of your diet. See our “Smart choice food list” for specifics. If it comes in a package with a label, be weary. And remember: the less ingredients, the better.
Make sure you don’t ignore your nutrition and your body. Exercise and training are important but entirely futile without proper nutrition.