2020 may be canceled, but your nutrition doesn’t have to be
Remember back in January, when you welcomed the promise of a fresh, new year? When you turned your dreams into plans and your can’ts into cans?
Alright look, we’ve spent the last six months trying to get our lives back on the right rails, and just because 2020 was all but canceled, doesn’t mean your personal goals have to be also — especially when it comes to your nutrition. As the waning moments of this year approach, why not recall those feelings of motivation you had in January and set yourself up for nutritional success this fall? All it takes is a pinch of perspective and a dash of discipline, and voila! You’re back on the healthy habit gain train.
When it comes to your nutrition, don’t shoot for the moon
All too often when we want to see changes in and around our nutrition (and especially our body composition), we approach it with an all-or-nothing mentality. Our goals are as lofty as the moon and our tactics for achieving those goals are even loftier.
“My goal is to lose 10% body fat in 4 weeks, so I am going to cut out alcohol and gluten and dairy and processed sugars and count my macros except for on Keto Tuesdays and workout 4 times a week and then fast on Sundays… “
YIKES! That’s overwhelming, unrealistic, and not sustainable. When you have ambitious goals, whether related to weight loss, physique, or fitness, it’s super easy to jump too many steps ahead and assume you need a total overhaul or nothing will work. But it’s important to remember that baby steps are still steps in the right direction. So remain realistic! And triage your goals. Don’t know where to start? Have a look ~inward~.
Identify your deficiencies
When looking to add healthy habits to build a better nutritional foundation, one easy (and wildly impactful) place to start is identifying your dietary deficiencies. And yes, you likely have some.
Once these deficiencies are identified and evaluated, we can start implementing changes into the way we are eating in order to supplement. Even small changes can have a dramatic impact on energy levels, appetite, our performance in the gym, and sleep!
Some of the most common deficiencies happen to be the ones that can make or break a person’s nutrition journey. So here are the five most common deficiencies, and solutions for supplementing in order to build your super strong, successful nutrition foundation:
- We’re water deficient. Hydration is crucial to all body functions, as it helps to bring vital nutrients to contracting muscles and helps to eliminate toxins and waste. If you struggle to drink the appropriate amount of water for your body (half your bodyweight in ounces, or more!), we’re here to proclaim that water doesn’t have to be boring! Add some yeet to your Yeti and fortify your water with electrolytes, as with Nuun tablets or Liquid IV packets. Coconut water and sparkling waters are not only tasty but equally as hydrating.
- We lack a lot of key vitamins and minerals. Due to the soil quality in the US, many of the vitamins and minerals extracted from the soil into our food sources are already depleted. Because of this, we should proactively try to incorporate more variety into our diets. Try to “eat the rainbow” with fruits and veggies so that we can get vitamins and minerals from a wide variety of sources (and colors!). If that’s not possible, here is where actual vitamins come in handy.
- We’re fiber deficient. Fiber helps with many things, but is very important for digestive health. Flax seeds, chia seeds, blackberries, broccoli, and spinach just are a few examples of high quality, high-fiber carbs that won’t pack a bunch of hidden sugars. Toss some seeds and spinach in your smoothie to add some variety without sacrificing flavor!
- We’re fat deficient. Fatty acids are a key player in energy storage, and help (along with their pal The Carb) fuel our bodies! As a country, Americans do a great job at carb intake — but we struggle to ingest enough good fats to keep things balanced. If salmon, cod, shrimp, or tuna aren’t your forte, add some avocado to your toast, olive oil to your salad, or some nuts and seeds into your snack time to boost your intake.
- We’re protein deficient. Thanks to the recent uptick in active lifestyles like CrossFit and Bodybuilding, eating lifestyles that are more protein-forward (the macronutrient largely responsible for muscle gain) like paleo, Whole30, and macro tracking have risen to the spotlight. But know our protein doesn’t have to come only from meat! Nuts, seeds, legumes, and a variety of veggies are also packed with protein.
If after reading this you’re not quite sure where to start — reach out to us! We have a staff of nutrition coaches ready to help get you on the path to success. Let’s end 2020 with a big, goal-oriented, nutrition-focused bang.