What do I eat? How much do I eat? What Diet is best for me?
If you ask 20 people those questions, you’ll get 20 different answers. And the crazy part is, they all could be right. Different programs work for different people. There’s really no one-size-fits-all nutrition solution, but if you need help getting started, we put together some basic rules to follow.
- Stay on the outside of the grocery store and avoid food with labels
On the outside of the grocery store is where you’ll find produce
and protein. Vegetables, fruits fish, meat, poultry -- this is what should make up the bulk of your diet. Sure, you’ll need some things from the aisles -- like coffee, nuts, and dairy -- but try to avoid food with labels for the majority of your food choices. You want to eat mostly whole, unprocessed food.
- If you do eat food with a label -- read it
Start reading labels and keep an eye out for added sugar. It’s
incredible how easy it is to exceed the recommended daily
allowance of added sugar. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 teaspoons (or 25grams) of added sugar for women, 9 teaspoons (or 36 grams) for men per day. If you eat yogurt, oatmeal, or energy bars, take a look at the nutrition label to make sure they aren’t packed with sugar.
- Keep an eye on portion sizes
While the quality of your food is important, you should also be aware of the quantity of food you’re eating. A really simple way to track your portion sizes is to use your hand. First, open your hand, palm up. Women should eat a palm-sized portion of protein at every meal, men two palm-sized portions. Protein includes meat, fish, poultry, and beans. Next, make a fist. Women should eat a fist-sized portion of vegetables, men two fist-sized portions. Cup your hand -- that’s carbs, like whole grains, starchy vegetables, and fruits. One cupped hand portion for women, two for men at every meal. Finally, use your thumb to determine your fat portions. One thumb for each meal for women, two for men of fats such as nuts, oils, and butter.
We know nutrition can be confusing. It’s hard to know what to eat, and how much. Following these three rules is a good start.
If you need a more personalized plan, check out our Nutrition Coaching options. We’d be happy to help!