With just about any lifestyle change, it’s essential to get max nutrition.
Some people prefer to take things slow and make mild changes along the way, while others prefer to get things done and over with as quick as possible.
There is no better approach than the other, as everyone is different.
Get Max Nutrition From Breakfast
The primary step in improving your overall nutrition starts with changing the first meal of the day – breakfast.
Most cereals contain lots of sugar and refined carbs even though many of these cereals claim to be healthy or nutritious.
When you consume these types of foods (High Glycemic Index Foods), your blood sugar may spike. You may ultimately crash mid-day and begin to crave more carb-loaded foods, suggests a study in Pediatrics.
A great alternative breakfast is eggs.
Because as reported by Self Nutrition Data, they are so high in healthy fats and protein while packing lots of nutrients, eggs are the ultimate breakfast food.
Not only are they nutritious, but studies in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition and the International Journal of Obesity have shown that eggs can also assist in fat loss when you replace your grains with them.
Maximize nutrition by adding fruits or veggies to serve with your eggs.
If you are not hungry during breakfast time, simply wait until your body wants food and be sure to make your first meal a healthy and protein filled one.
Takeaway: Getting a good start to your day is as simple eating a highly nutritious breakfast filled with healthy fats and plenty of protein.
Remove Sugary Drinks for Max Nutrition
Sugar is terrible for your body, and sugary drinks are even worse than sugar-packed solids.
Because your brain cannot recognize these liquid sugar calories, you end up consuming more than you would with a less sugary, more nutritional drink, says a study in Appetite.
This means that you could easily consume hundreds of calories without your brain even knowing.
In one study in The Lancet, it was found that children drinking only one sugar-sweetened drink serving a day were at a 60% higher risk of obesity.
With multiple other findings (e.g. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition) to reemphasize this, your sweetened and sugary drinks are likely to be among the largest fattening components of modern day diet.
Also, even though fruit juices may appear healthier, they are just as harmful to your diet.
These fruit juices are loaded with just as much sugar as the typical sugary beverage.
Takeaway: Drinking sugar-filled liquids is bad for your health, as sugar is among the worst modern ingredients.
Add Whole Grains
Not all carbs are bad, but let’s kick the bad ones to the curb to maximize nutrition.
This can lead to metabolism issues.
As wheat is very common in the modern diet, you should know that it is now processed with significantly fewer nutrients than earlier decades, a research in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition confirms.
This modern wheat is also more problematic for those with gluten intolerances, according to studies in the Annals of Allergy, BMC Gastroenterology, and Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology.
There are many good carb alternatives to these refined and unhealthy carbs.
You can bring in healthy carbs from very natural food sources, from your typical fruits or veggies to superfoods like quinoa.
For max nutrition, add potatoes, legumes, and rice, which are also very healthy carbohydrate sources.
You don’t need to minimize your carb ingestion to maximize nutrition.
Eat real and natural foods. Drop processed, refined, unhealthy carbs and sugars.
Takeaway: Choose the healthier carbohydrates, like whole grained foods. Refined carbohydrates are extremely damaging to your diet.
Increase Protein for Max Nutrition
This step is all about adding.
To optimize you metabolism, this step is necessary as it may help make future diet changes much easier.
According to a study in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, protein is a great metabolic booster, as it allows your digestive system to burn more calories while your body is at rest.
In comparison to low protein diets, studies in the British Journal of Nutrition and the Journal of the American College of Nutrition show that diets consisting of high protein may increase metabolic rates by 80 to 100 calories daily.
Protein is great for reducing appetite as it satisfies your body’s calorie needs, according to studies in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
With one study showing the great benefits of protein, people were able to lose 11 pounds within a 12 week time period by simply adding protein to their diets.
In this case, people consumed protein at 30% of calories.
This small change decreased further calorie consumption by 449 calories a day.
You can also expect many other benefits from protein, from muscular improvement to healthy bone development.
Some protein-rich foods as listed by MyPlate include poultry, eggs, meat, beans, legumes, seafood, and dairy products with full-fat.
Adding protein do your diet is one of the simplest steps to a healthier lifestyle.
Takeaway: Not only is protein a great at satisfying hunger, but it may also help encourage other healthy diet changes while increasing your metabolic rate.
Max Nutrition by Combining Lean Meats, Fish and Healthy Vegetables
You’ve transformed your breakfast; now it’s time to switch up your dinner plate.
Start by replacing your main entrée with fish of meet, and simply add a decent side of high nutrition vegetables.
Dinner is typically an easy opportunity to throw in veggies, as they are easy to miss throughout the day.
If you typically like potatoes, rice, or other starches on your dinner plate, you can continue to eat those as well.
Because fatty fish offers a great supply of Omega-3s, you should aim to have fish on your plate at least twice a week, advises the American Heart Association.
This may support adequate nutrition and heart health.
If you cannot add this to your diet, be sure to take fish oil supplements to make up for it.
Takeaway: Fill your plate with greens and meats at dinner time, including fish twice a week at minimum.
Extend Healthy Meal Changes to Lunches and Snacks
With your breakfast and dinner now loaded with nutrition, let’s transform your snacks and lunches as well.
These are usually the most difficult meals to change, as they are eaten in the middle of the day while you are usually away from home.
One of the easiest and best ways to make sure you have something healthy for your lunch or snack is to make a large dinner the night before.
Therefore, a good way to ensure you make healthy choices is to create a list of your favorite healthier places, suggests the Annual Review of Public Health.
Snacks are usually quick and light, they are easier to work with.
You can simply stick to the single ingredient foods such as nuts, fruits, vegetables or a hard boiled egg for extra protein.
With your reduced sugar intake and healthy carbs added, your body may stabilize energy and reduce hunger.
Takeaway: Your daily snacks and lunches should offer adequate nutrition. Try meal planning or noting the healthiest “fast food” places so you can always be prepared. “The top 3 benefits of meal prepping include saving money, saving time and helping promote a sustainably balanced diet. Versus dining out, you’ll definitely save money. But, meal prepping can help you save money beyond what you’d normally spend on home cooked meals, too, since it can help reduce food waste and minimize the likelihood of buying ingredients that never get used.” states Willow Jarosh, MS, RD & Stephanie Clarke, MS, RD, owners of C & J Nutrition.
Max Nutrition by Igniting Metabolism with Exercise
From preventing health risks to improving your all over healthy, exercise is crucial in maintaining physical and mental health.
Although you may not always be losing weight with exercise, you are most likely improving your body composition and body fat percentage.
As it helps burn fat and gain muscle, your weight might remain stagnant while your body loses inches, as per a European Journal of Clinical Nutrition study.
Aside from body changes and mood improvement, exercise offers the human body many more benefits.
Although there are too many benefits to expand on within this article, know that exercise significantly helps your body protect itself from practically any chronic, Western illness, according to Current Opinion in Psychiatry.
As mental health is often overlooked, it is important to note that exercise also improves your mood and overall mental health.
Regarding exercise, it doesn’t matter what exactly you choose to do, as long as you get your body moving.
The Nuffield Department of Population Health recommends that you take small steps to get yourself exercising about three times a week.
Takeaway: Optimize your overall health with exercise, as it benefits both physical and mental health. Exercise offers many benefits.
Eliminate Unhealthy Fats – Think Good Fats
Another easy way to improve your overall health for years to come is to simply ditch the unhealthy oils or fats, and replace them with healthier ones.
With refined veggie oils and trans fats, many people are unknowingly consuming lots of unhealthy fats, states Health.gov.
Some may think trans fats are no longer a problem, as the consumption rate has decreased over the years; however, it is still excessively high for healthy living.
To help make better, healthier choices, be sure to check all food labels.
To make sure you don’t accidentally consume trans fats, avoid labels with the words “partially hydrogenated” or “hydrogenated”, advises the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
Another problematic fat is refined vegetable oil.
This is because it is made up of high and unnatural amounts of Omega-6 fatty acids in comparison to your natural fats.
Some refined oils are cottonseed, corn, and soybean oil.
It has been shown that consuming these refined vegetable oils correlate to oxidative damage and increased inflammation within the body.
An alternative is avocado, olive, or coconut oil.
Takeaway: Get rid of the trans fats and unhealthy vegetable oil fats and replace them with the healthy fats. Once you replace these fats in your diet, your body may thank you. This may improve all over body function and health.
Match Carbs to Your Activity Levels
Carbohydrates are nutritional and controversial. Some believe that all carbs are problematic, while other think that our diets should primarily consist of carbs.
Optimal consumption depends on many things from lifestyle and activity levels, to genetic makeup and metabolic health.
For example, someone who doesn’t get much exercise and weighs more than average would probably get max health results from a low-carb diet, as a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests.
While in opposition, someone who frequently visits the gym throughout the week, and is slender and healthy would probably benefit most from consuming lots of carbs.
- Lean, active, healthy individuals: 100-150 grams [sometimes more]
- Overweight or often physically inactive people: 50-100 grams
- Significantly overweight individuals: 20-50 grams
If your goal is to lose weight, you can plan on adding healthier sources of carbohydrates slowly and strategically upon reaching your weight goal.
Takeaway: Evaluate your body’s carbohydrate needs. For some individuals, heavy carbohydrate intakes offer various benefits, while other people benefit most from low-carb diets.
Max Nutrition, Reduce Stress, Sleep Better
As sleep and stress often go together, both play a large role in your overall health.
Studies have proven that the lack of sleep correlate to many health problems such as obesity, writes Healthline.
In both children and adults, short rest periods show to be among the biggest risk factors in weight problems, according to studies in Obesity and Sleep. For adults, this shows a 55% greater risk for obesity while in children the risk sky rockets to 89%.
To prevent risk factors, you should make sure you get adequate sleep.
To improve your sleep, you can avoid caffeine after 1 PM, implement and maintain a reasonable sleep schedule, or even try eliminating all light sources in your bedroom, making it fully dark, advises the National Sleep Foundation.
Chronic stress is another problematic factor.
As stress places a direct impact on your hormones, excess stress increases your cortisol levels. Cortisol plays a direct role in fat gain around the abdomen and also increases health risks for years to come, says a study in Obesity Research.
Take away: A healthy lifestyle is important, starting with sufficient sleep patterns and eliminating stress.
Max Nutrition with Whole Food for Real Results
One way to max nutrition is to stay with whole food choices. Look to fill your home with quality foods and ingredients. When choosing your meats, look for high quality, grass-fed sources if possible.
Your produce should be high quality or organic. Keep in mind, whole food choices shouldn’t have a large ingredient list.
Takeaway: The natural, unprocessed, high quality foods are best for your body. Eliminate the unnatural products from your home for a healthier lifestyle.
Summer Banks has researched over 5000 weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans. Previously, she managed 15 supplement brands, worked with professionals in the weight loss industry and completed coursework in nutrition at Stanford University.