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Top 10 Nutritional Tips

by Tina Pruchyaputtra, MS, CSCS, CES
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1)  Eat more and lose weight!  Sounds backwards, doesn't it?  The key is to have smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day.  As a result, your body will burn more calories, have more energy, and help reduce cravings for those "bad" foods because you will feel more satisfied from the morning until nighttime.

2)   Keep a food journal.  When you write down what you eat, you will become more conscious of your food choices, when you're eating, and how much you're eating.  When you become aware you are of how you are approaching your nutrition, it's a chance to reflect how you may have gotten off track in the first place.  The sooner you learn this about yourself, the faster you will be able to implement changes to those habits, and reinvent them to healthier choices that become lifelong habits.  

3)  Take a multi-vitamin.  
No matter how healthy we try to be, it's virtually impossible to ensure we're getting every single vital nutrient out of our diet.    

4)  Plan your eating the night before.  By packing your lunch and snacks for the next day, you are more likely to stick to your healthy eating without feeling tempted to go out to eat or hit up your local vending machine.  This way you control exactly what foods you are feeding your body, and you save money by not going out to eat!  Always a plus! 

5)  Opt for fresh foods and avoid processed foods.  Raw, natural foods are more readily used by the body for energy and less likely to be stored as bodyfat.  Also, the longer foods are cooked, the more nutrients that are lost.  

6)  Pick meals that fit your lifestyle.  Meaning, if you're a person who is not interested in the joys of cooking, then stay away from the idea of making complex meals!  Many food companies have choices that are convenient, ready-to-eat options that are available at your local grocery store.  Buying your food pre-cooked, pre-washed, or pre-cut may tend to be more expensive, because convenience is never cheap, but if it makes your meal planning less stressful, you are well worth the investment!  

7)  Buy a food scale, and measure out serving sizes.  I'm not saying that you have to weigh out your foods forever, but it is a great way to learn visually what actual serving sizes look like.  When you learn that, you will be able to eyeball serving sizes when you are out to eat.

8)  Clean out all the unhealthy foods in your house!  The less temptation in your own cupboards, the better!

9)  Be wary of food labels that say "fat free" or "sugar free".  Companies still want to make sure that the food tastes good, so when they take things out to be able to label it a certain way, they put something else back in.  If it says, "fat free", you'll notice that there is added sugar, and if it says, "sugar free", there will be more fat added.  The most important thing to remember is to aim for a balanced diet that includes carbohydrates, proteins, and fat.  All macronutrients are vital for optimal general health, as well as, for energy and performance.  

10) Eat metabolic foods. While there are no specific foods that will help magically burn off that bodyfat, there ARE foods that can boost your metabolic rate, such as hot peppers, grapefruit, cinnamon, and most importantly, good 'ol fashioned H20.  You can also help your body create a small calorie deficit by eating clean, whole, fresh foods that contain fewer calories than the body uses to digest them, like leafy greens and fibrous vegetables.
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Training Approved

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1. Fruit smoothie

2. Protein shakes

3. Greek yogurt

4. Whole grain crackers

5. Cheese

6. Raw veggies & hummus

7. Almonds

8. Apples

9. Peanut butter

10. Cottage cheese

11. Snack size protein bar

12. String cheese


Eating Out Tips
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1. Look for items on the menu that are grilled, broiled, steamed or baked.

2. Avoid the bread.

3. Plan on packing 1/3 of your entree in a take-home box.

4. Avoid fried foods and full pasta entrees.

5. Drink water and moderate alcohol consumption.

6. If it is a special occasion, share your dessert.

7. If having a salad, ask for the dressing on the side.

8. Do a longer cardio session earlier that day.

9. Choose an entree that includes a protein, a vegetable, and a complex carbohydrate, such as brown rice, sweet potato, plain baked potato.

10. Split an entree with a friend.


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