There can be so much confusion in the health industry.
Eat this. Don’t eat that.
Take this supplement. No — take that one.
It seems that everywhere you turn, there is some new piece of advice that pops up that may contradict a piece of advice that you just heard about the other day.
Eating to nourish the body should be easy, right?
But, sometimes it just feels like the hardest thing you have ever done.
Even as a health professional, it can be confusing and I find myself weeding through the good, the bad, and the just plain ugly.
How do you know what is sound advice and what is sound marketing?
Through a combination of research and experience, you can start to weed out the bogus claims and focus more on what really works. The problem with this is that there are so many things to try!
It can take you a lifetime to wade yourself through the river of health tips and still give each a fair evaluation. Not to mention, your body and your needs are ever changing — what works today might not work in a few years.
Today, I am going to help guide you to a few key nutritional concepts that are not only being backed by research, but have also shown to create positive results of abundant health and vibrancy. Here are four of my many that I coach my clients on:
- Incorporate a bit of healthy fats into most meals of the day. Fat is essential for the body to function correctly, the brain to be on it’s game, and to help you sustain your hunger throughout the day. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids are also linked to raising your good cholesterol levels (HDL) and help to protect the heart from heart disease. Incorporate nuts and seeds (unsalted), avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, flax seed or oil, and fish oil.
- Don’t count calories, make calories count. Between basic body functions, your activity level, and the quality of your nutritional plan, your caloric intake needs will fluctuate. Listen to your body and your hunger levels and feed it accordingly. Also, a calorie is not a calorie. The calories from a candy bar are not the same as calories from a fruit smoothie, even if you calculate them to have about the same. Feeding your body with nutrient-dense calories will allow your body to absorb them more efficiently and turn them to sustainable, life-producing energy. When your calories are junk, your body will feel the same — junky.
- Watch your stress levels and keep them under control. High stress levels increase cortisol in the body. Cortisol stores glucose as fat which becomes deposited throughout the body. It also increases your appetite and your cravings for high sugar and fatty foods, those known to create a comforting effect on the body. Chronically high cortisol levels will also deplete other hormones, in turn affecting sex drive, fertility, mood, energy, and weight loss. Is weight gain your biggest concern? High levels of cortisol can create insulin resistance. Insulin resistance causes weight gain since carbohydrates are converted to fat rather than burned as fuel. This weight gain is often distributed around the midsection.
- Try to limit “cheat meals” to 1-2 times per week. Let go of the negative association with the cheat meal and have whatever you want. Just do it minimally. The experience of food is not only physical and nutritional, but it is also mental and emotional — maybe even spiritual. Allowing yourself to indulge in your favorite meal or a food that connects you to positive memories at planned times in your life can be super healing to the mind, body, and soul. Deprivation is just setting yourself up for failure in the long run!
Having a few ground rules that you follow will help to set you up for future success. It will also help to clear away some of the confusion.
Where will you start?
Are you curious about how to set your day up for less stress on you and your heart? Get my instant download of the “5 Simple Morning Tips To Instantly Create Your Distressed Day” (It’s Free!)
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