There’s a lot of conflicting nutrition information out there, but believe it or not, there are some general guidelines that pretty much all nutritionists follow—and recommend to their clients. Stick to these 10 rules, and you’re on the right track!
- One thing that is indisputable is that alcohol, coffee and sugar is bad for you. Another no-brainer is: the less processed, the better. Many processed foods are full of excess sodium, sugar and fat and other ingredients that you can’t even pronounce. A good rule of thumb is to stay away from anything that comes out of a box or includes ingredients you have never heard of. If you don’t know how to start cutting out sugar, head here for some awesome recipes and tips.
- There are proven benefits of cutting out wheat or gluten, even if you do not have an intolerance or allergy. If you want to learn more about his, Dr. William Davis exposes the harmful effects of the two on our bodies in his book Wheat Belly. Note that gluten and wheat is not the same; a gluten free item will always be wheat free, but a wheat free item may not always be gluten free. Be careful when reading labels especially on processed foods, as they usually contain hidden ingredients. The easiest way to ensure a gluten free diet is to always opt for fresh foods.
- Buy organic and local food whenever possible and make sure that 50% of your plate consists of raw food. You can read about the importance of local and organic food here to educate yourself on this matter. 50% raw food is a ball park figure that encourages you to incorporate more raw foods into your diet, without becoming a fully fletched raw vegan. Especially during the winter months it can be hard to incorporate raw food when the body craves warming dishes, so it is completely normal that you will struggle more with this during the winter months. If you are interested in the raw diet and it’s benefits, should take a look here.
- You shouldn’t consume more than two small portions of starchy foods per day (breakfast and lunch); that includes pasta, potatoes, bread, rice and cereals. It is best to cut out starchy foods for dinner time all together, as it is generally advised to avoid carbs for dinner. Reason for this is that calories from starchy food consumed during breakfast or lunch time will still be burnt throughout the day, whereas the same calories consumed in the evening equates to sugar backing up in the blood stream and excess body fat storage.
- Despite all the controversy, breakfast is and always will be an important (if not the most important) meal of the day. Make sure to include some healthy protein and carbohydrates (fresh fruits, eggs, fat-free yoghurt, dried meet, vegetable frittata, pancakes, muesli, bircher, rye bread/glutenfree bread) that will provide you with enough energy to kickstart your day and that will keep you full and satisfied until lunch time.
- Your lunch plate should be broken down the following way: ½ of the plane with raw veggies, ¼ with protein and ¼ with starchy carbs. You can include a dessert from time to time, such as a piece of chocolate or macaron. Just remember, balance is key here!
- Not everyone is a snacker, and if you are not then that’s fine. But the most of us start craving a snack around 4PM, and that’s totally normal. Try to go for a protein-rich snack instead of a sugar treat to stabilise your blood sugar levels. Our nutritionist Brigitte says: « If it’s going to be more than five hours in between meals, you should grab a snack. It’ll give you energy plus help to keep you from overeating at your next meal. »
- For dinner make sure to consume lots of protein in the form of vegetables, be it in a soup, salad, veggie wok with tofu/meat or dishes with eggs such as an omelette. As mentioned in point 4, try to avoid starchy carbs.
- Adapt portion sizes without restricting yourself; restricting your diet too much wreaks havoc on your glucose and insulin levels, both of which are key players when it comes to a smoothly running metabolism. Also, restricting yourself at one point will most likely cause binge – like eating soon thereafter, so try to avoid this negative cycle and instead make sure to always eat until you are entirely satisfied.
- Humans need water to survive. That’s a fact. Quenching your thirst by sipping throughout the day is the best way to replenish fluids naturally lost. So drink, drink, drink. Number 1 should obviously be water (no flavoured water!), but tea, coconut water or our cold-pressed juices are also good.
And don’t forget to exercise and get enough sleep!
We have gathered all this great info thanks to our nutritionist Birgit Boislard which you can fin at Coach Nutrition. Feel free to contact her for a personal assessment of your needs!