Habits for Good Nutrition

With the New Year comes new resolutions. Take a look at these nutritious habits to keep your body healthy even in winter hibernation mode.
Placeholder Contact Profile Courtenay Schurman
January 03, 2017
by Courtenay Schulman, MS. CSCS

Atkins. Paleo. Zone. Low-carb. Low-fat. Gluten-free. There are as many eating plans out there as there are individuals, and just as much confusing information about which is best for the active outdoors enthusiast. The following habits recommended by Precision Nutrition require no calorie counting or food weighing, yet provide you with a healthy, functioning body that will get you where you want to go.

Slow Down

As Americans, we eat way too fast, a consequence of our rush-and-hurry high-tech lifestyle. By paying attention when we eat, chewing food thoroughly (forty chews per bite), and setting down the utensil between bites, we give our salivary glands time to do their digestive work before food reaches the stomach. Shoot for 15-20 minutes per meal and stop at 80% while you are still slightly hungry. You can always eat more later.

Consume Vegetables At Every Meal

As long as you’re not loading up on trans-fat- and/or sugar-laden dressings, vegetables are your friends and should be eaten with every snack or meal to provide fiber and macronutrients. When possible, choose organic non-GMO vegetables and eat from the rainbow — every color, at least once per week. Eat seasonally for freshness. Portions: females should shoot for one or more fist-sized servings per meal, males two.

Include Healthy Fats

Nuts, seeds, eggs, meats, extra virgin olive oil, nut butters, organic butter from pasture-raised cows, fish and fish oils all have health and brain benefits. Low-fat diets have made our nation’s citizens unhealthy and fat. Your body needs fats high in Omega-3 fatty acids rather than vegetable oils rich in omega-6 fatty acids. Portions: shoot for a thumb-sized serving per meal, whether you’re male or female.

Limit Starchy Carbohydrates

When it comes to carbohydrates such as pasta, bread, rice, potatoes and grains, ask yourself: Have I exercised today? If you are trying to lose or maintain weight and the answer is no, eat a double portion of vegetables instead. If you answered yes, allow yourself a cupped fist serving for females, two for males in the meal right after you have exercised.

Consume Protein-dense Foods

To get leaner, stronger, and more powerful, it’s likely you need to consume more protein. Shoot for grass-fed, pasture-raised organic (whenever possible) meats, seafood, and poultry. Portions: one palm-sized portion per meal for females, two for males. If you consume primarily a plant-based diet, be sure to also consume enough B-12, calcium, iodine, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. 

If you find yourself reaching for alcohol, cookies, candy, burger and fries, or potato chips, remember your healthy habits and treat your cheat as a meal. Include a serving each of protein, fat, and vegetables, save half the starchy carbohydrates for another meal and quit when you are 80% full. Expending the extra effort to make the meal complete means you may be able to avoid temptation in the first place.

Courtenay Schurman is an NSCA-CSCS certified personal trainer, Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certified nutrition coach, and co-owner of Body Results. She specializes in training outdoor athletes. For more how-to exercises and tips, visit her website at www.bodyresults.com or send a question to court@bodyresults.com.

This article originally appeared in our November/December 2015 issue of Mountaineer magazine. To view the original article in magazine form and read more stories from our publication, click here.

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