As a fitness expert and certified nutritionist, I get asked everyday “…how can I know that what I am eating is healthy and will support healthy natural weight loss?” Instead of meal planning for my clients, I give them a list of great healthy foods to look for at the supermarket, and tips on learning portion control and meal timing.
One of the most important things you can do with regards to nutrition is eating small meals often. To keep your body from getting hungry and then overeating, eat 4-6 small meals per day. Most people turn off right away when they hear this. This doesn’t mean that you need to “cook” yourself extraordinary meals several times per day, but simply that you need to starve off hungry so that you keep your metabolism up and active, and so that you don’t overeat later.
Each “meal” should have about 30-40% vegetables and fruits, 30-40% lean protein, 20% grains, 5-10% fats. Think small portion sizes. Never stuff yourself full. Meat portions should be the size of a deck of cards, vegetables should be 1 cup’s worth, with a tablespoon of olive or canola oil, and a half cup of grains.
Here are some examples of good forms of carbohydrates, proteins and fats to look for at the supermarket.
fish, tuna, white fishes, salmon, crab,
dairy such as yoghurt, milk and low fat cheese
whey protein to mix into fruit smoothies
whole grain bread
brown long grain rice (the kind that takes time to cook)
fresh baked brown whole wheat bread (no packaged foods…no added glucose-fructose)
100% whole grain plain rice cakes…not the ones with MSG (great with hummus, peanut butter or plain)
a variety of dark, leafy green vegetables
red and orange vegetables
Olive, coconut and canola oils
Natural peanut butter
Low fat cheeses (1-2 tablespoons per day max if trying to lose weight)
Example of a day of healthy eating
Full 8 oz glass of water before anything else (try this with a straw)
2 scrambled eggs (only 1 yolk)
1 piece 100% rye toast
Half a piece of fruit
Small whey or soy protein smoothie (mixed with water, milk, soy or almond milk) and your favourite fruit.
Spinach salad with other colourful veggies, with half a can of tuna or chicken breast no bigger than the size of a deck of cards
Late Afternoon Snack
Half cup of hummus on celery sticks, carrots or ricecake
Baked or steamed cod filet (deck of cards)
1-cup green beans drizzled with olive oil and a splash of red wine vinegar
Half cup of brown rice spritzed with olive oil (Rice tastes great with hot dijon mustard)
If you must have a dessert or sweet, one small square of dark 70-80% chocolate should do the trick. Brush your teeth right afterward so you don’t want anymore.
Healthy eating does not have to be time consuming or expensive. You just need a little preplanning and thought so that you’re not grabbing for anything when you get hungry. The farther ahead you plan your meals and snacks, the better off you will be.
For more information on eating well, or to book a healthy eating grocery store tour with a nutritionist, contact us at Fitness Anywhere.