10 Beginner Nutrition Steps to Get Started Without Being Overwhelmed
Fallen off the wagon big time and not real sure how to re-calibrate?
1. Remove one meal out per day and replace it with a meal at home. Rather than cut this out cold turkey (after all, we still want to support local restaurants right now), make small changes and let them grow slowly.
2. Phase out your sugary morning beverages by slowly ordering a less sugary version of it (i.e., “half pump”), and then, pick a day each week where you nix it altogether. Gradually increase those days. Over the course of two months, you’ll be down to just 2-3 beverages per week that contain half the sugar, when you started at 5 per week at full sugar. This matters.
3. Schedule a recurring day of the week that you buy groceries and always buy for just one week. If you can, try to prepare at least your carbohydrates for the week that evening while motivation is fresh (i.e. slice and bake a tray of potatoes, boil a few cups of rice, etc). This will make meal creation during the week much easier, and you will always be more inclined to eat what you make. Plus, any moron can bake sliced potatoes.
4. Begin logging everything that you eat. Doesn’t have to be in a food tracking app and shouldn’t be for the purpose of calories or precision. Just log, and observe at the end of each week. Chances are some glaring opportunities will present themselves, and you’re not likely to drink four glasses of wine when you have to write that shit down.
5. Find ten foods that you like and get creative with meal prep. You don’t need lots of variety to get taste and results. As you start, try to think about healthy, whole foods making up your meals but feel free to be liberal with sauces. Those can be addressed later once habit formation around the food sticks.
6. Consider Greek Yogurt based dressing and sauces with under 5g of sugar per serving.
7. Have a healthier alternative go to for when you need something sweet. A good example is flavored Greek Yogurt with fruit and some honey, or even Halo Top. Again, start with sustainable changes and slowly chip away at your decisions.
8. For an easy way to include greens at every meal, sprinkle a liberal handful of mixed greens as a bed underneath all meals. You’ll hardly notice it and the healthy fiber and nutrients will add up.
9. Get in the habit of making protein shakes. They are nutrient dense and close the gap on needed protein very effectively since most people struggle to consume their bodyweight in chewable protein. One per day can contain up to 25% of your protein need in smaller individuals.
10. Eat after you workout. Something. Anything. If you want to get nuts, make it high carb, high protein, and low fat. Fat slows the protein absorption rate.
None of these habits are radical ideas or ground breaking information, but they just might kick start your motivation. Healthy nutrition shouldn’t be a soul sucking chore and like any other change in life, should happen gradually in extreme cases. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself that it’s all or nothing.