Fitness Feature // 10 Nutrition Tips That Will Help You Look & Feel your best

Meray Froese from My Reward Fitness is taking over our blog every Monday in the month of January! This week she's sharing with us some great nutrition tips that can help us excel in our day-to-day lives.

We thought we'd help by looking up some recipes and blogs for you to quickly link over to (just click on the photo!) The internet is a huge resource, so we thought we'd help by starting you off with some recipes we're going to try! Make sure to let us know how you're doing with these tips by tagging @thebrightlightsevents and @myrewardfitness. We'd love to see how you're doing! 

Make sure you join us next week as Meray shows and guides us through some exercises you can add to your work-out routines! 

1. Always eat a healthy breakfast. Your brain needs glucose for energy. Starving yourself will cause you to be “brain-dead”.  Another theory suggests that eating breakfast can increase satiety (reduce hunger) for the remainder of the day.  A study done in the University of Nottingham found that those who skipped breakfast were more resistant to insulin, which increased their risk of diabetes. You want to make sure that your breakfast has a minimum of 20g of protein and healthy complex carbs.  An example of this is egg whites and oatmeal, or a couple of eggs with mutli-grain toast.

Egg Muffins with Sausage, Spinach and Cheese

Egg Muffins with Sausage, Spinach and Cheese

Three-Minute Egg White Oatmeal 

Three-Minute Egg White Oatmeal 

2. Meal Prep! Cook your meals in advance and always have food on hand.  This will help keep you accountable to staying on track, and will prevent you from binge-eating when you are hungry.  People who don’t meal prep often eat “quick and easy” foods that tend to be unhealthy. I encourage my clients to meal prep 2x a week, and make enough for a few days. This will save you time and money during the rest of the week.

Easy Breakfast Meal Prep: Instant Oatmeal

Easy Breakfast Meal Prep: Instant Oatmeal

3. Drink lots of water.  Did you know that roughly 60% of your body is made of water?! Drinking adequate amounts of water maintains the body’s fluid balance which helps transport nutrients in your body, improve digestion, and regulate body temperature. Another perk to drinking water is it makes you feel full, which helps you consume fewer calories. 

4. Eat lots of lean protein. Consume small portions of lean protein throughout the day. Protein is one of the building blocks for muscle.  If you are trying to have a lean and toned physique, you must put on muscle, and you can’t do this without eating adequate amounts of protein! Secondly, Protein keeps you full longer.  It takes your body a few hours to digest protein (longer than fat or carbs), and therefore gives you energy and helps you consume less calories throughout the day.  Also note, that when carbohydrates are digested with protein it slows digestion to better regulate blood and insulin levels.  So try to consume your carbs with protein!

Bruschetta Chicken

Bruschetta Chicken

5. Cut sugar during the week. Sugar is like a drug, once you start it is very difficult to stop! From one chocolate lover to another, I suggest that you limit sugar to a treat once a week.  Sugar turns into fat, and also causes your body to crash.  If you have fat loss goals, consuming lots of sugar is only going to stunt your progress. This includes sugary drinks!

6. Eat lots of vegetables! Vegetables are full of so many natural vitamins and minerals that benefit your body in so many ways.  Not only do vegetables help with skin/hair health, but also with digestion, and reduces the risk of heart disease. Vegetables are also one of the best foods you can eat to increase satiety.  Two of my favourite vegetables to snack on are grilled zucchini, topped with sea salt and baked cauliflower, sprinkled with olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt.

8. Nutrient timing.  There is so much to say about nutrient timing.  In summary, the times that you eat different types of food are very important. It’s important to eat protein and carbs for breakfast to give you energy for the day. Also, make sure you have adequate amounts of protein and carbs 1 hour prior to your workout to make sure that your body has energy for training.  After your workout your body has a “window of opportunity”.  Your body uses carbohydrates from your muscles as energy, and therefore, are depleted in glucose.  This is a good time for you to consume some carbs, which will go to your muscle rather than being stored as fat. Make sure to combine your post-workout carbs with protein. My favourite post-workout meal is a protein shake with a banana, or ½ cup of oats with 1 scoop of whey isolate protein powder. 

Candied Balsamic Tomatoes and Mozzarella Salad

Candied Balsamic Tomatoes and Mozzarella Salad

9. Don’t be scared of fats! There are so many health benefits to eating “good fats”. Good fats are unrefined animal fats, fish fats, some plant-based fats, olive, nuts and tropical oils.  Some healthy fats include avocados, nuts, coconut oil, salmon, and meat. By increasing healthy fats in your diet, you can lose fat by improving your metabolism, balancing your hormones (ie. thyroid), and by decreasing cravings.  Please note that increasing healthy fats in your diet will promote fat loss if you decrease your carbohydrate income.

10. Be creative with your meals! Eating healthy should be your lifestyle, and therefore should not be a burden or considered a “diet”. You can eat healthy, and still enjoy your food.  Try new recipes, and experiment with different herbs and recipes.  There are so many healthy substitutions for cooking, for example: cauliflower can replace flour, almond milk can replace milk, coconut oil can replace butter, and banana or apple sauce can replace sugar. 

Hope you can apply these healthy tips to your daily life. Remember, eating healthy is a lifestyle. It is not just about your body composition or aesthetics, but it benefits your energy levels, sleep and quality of life.  For more health and fitness tips follow me on instagram My Reward Fitness or contact me, Meray :)