Looking for some tips to keep you on track with your nutrition to hit your goals?
Here's a quick list of 8 tips to be aware of throughout your nutrition journey!
Try to drink water and avoid drinking extra empty calories. Empty calories will look like soda, calorie dense drinks (smoothies), juices, coffees and teas loaded with sugar.
Drinking some calories is not always a bad thing but be aware of how many calories you are taking in and how often. For example, a post workout smoothie can be a nutritious option as a meal but a mid-day sugar filled blended coffee drink is not.
Drinking water between meals and snacks not only keeps you hydrated but helps prevent feeling false hunger. Sometimes when the body is dehydrated it will signal a feeling of hunger as opposed to thirst so make sure you are constantly drinking water throughout the day.
Try to plan meals and snacks ahead of time. When tracking and trying to hit target goals it is easier to hit the numbers you are aiming for when you plan ahead of time. If you have a few go-to meals you can input them into your tracker ahead of time, evaluate what numbers you have left for the day and fill in around that.
If tracking is not part of your plan, planning meals out can still apply! Have an idea of what meals you want for the week before going grocery shopping. That way you can ensure healthy meals are set.
Underestimating calorie dense foods
Oils, nut butters, coconut oil are all super calorie dense foods. It’s easy to scoop out 4 servings thinking it’s only one. In the beginning of tracking it helps to measure out your oils and spread and get an accurate idea of what an actual serving looks like.
Food quality versus calories
When tracking food don’t get caught up in the numbers where you forget to eat for quality. Pick whole foods the majority of the time and then fit in “fun” foods from time to time. Prioritize nutritious foods.
Relying on low fat and sugar free foods
Low fat foods usually pack in the sugar to add flavor back. Sugar free foods on the other side usually add a lot of fat and utilize artificial sweeteners for a sweet and fatty taste. Both varieties are ultra processed and contain a ton of manufactured ingredients.
Post workout/pre workout eating
Make sure you are refueling the right way after putting in all the effort for your workout. Post workout refuel with carbs and protein to replenish your energy, muscles, and recover quickly. Whether your goals are to lose weight, gain, or to maintain, everyone should eat a quality meal after their workout containing quality carbs and protein.
Before working out it’s just as important to fuel yourself properly for enough energy. If you are working out in 2-3 hours it is best to try to eat a quality meal with a good amount of carbs and protein. If you are less than 30 minutes from a workout, quick carbs are going to serve you best with a small protein source if your stomach settles well. This could look like a piece of fruit, dried fruit, rice cakes, and a protein shake, small serving of chicken, shrimp, or a hard boiled egg. For some people who workout really early in the morning they prefer to workout fasted. That is okay as long as your workouts aren’t suffering. If you train fasted just be aware of signs of dropping blood sugar and have a quick carb source handy (orange juice, dried fruit).
Eating too much or too little
Once you’ve established your goal (looking to lose weight, gain, or maintain) you can then find your calorie or macro targets. It’s easy to put in the right stimulus and effort through workouts but if you aren’t eating to support your goals, it’ll feel like you’re spinning on a hamster wheel. Tracking all the time is not necessary but if starting the journey on a new goal it’s a good idea to evaluate how far away you are from your nutrition targets.
Sticking to X Calories/Macros
It’s normal to have fluctuating days of higher calories and days of lower calories. It’s important to make your goals a reality but in the long run it is perfectly healthy to have days where you may eat a little more especially if you feel hungry after a day of more activity, a harder workout, or tons of time on your feet. If you stay on track most of the time, it will be fine to have a slightly off day here and there.