food journal

6 Steps To Healthy Eating Habits

Welcome to Spring! And with a change in season, often comes a change in eating habits, so we thought today would be a good time to refresh your memories on the Uplifting 6 Steps To Healthy Eating Habits.

Before we get started with the 6 steps though, it is important to remember a couple of key principles:

  1. Don’t think of food / eating as good or bad – think of it as a continuum, from less healthy (with eating every meal from fast food or packages as the extreme ‘less healthy’) to more healthy (which is eating everything, freshly picked from your organic, bio-dynamic back yard veggie patch as the ‘more healthy extreme). Everyone fits somewhere between these.
  2. Keep making small changes until you experience the level of health and well-being you want. Keep taking the feedback from your body and follow each of the steps below. 1 change will often not magically fix everything, especially if you have had many years of poor nutrition.
  3. Some of these changes take time. Get comfortable with one step, then move on to the next. Everyone’s journey will be different.

Ok, now you’re ready for the steps!

Step 1: Discover Your Nutrition Base-Line. Simply track everything you eat for 1 week – no changes. We recommend using ‘My Fitness Pal’. This is a free app for your phone, tablet or on your PC. This will give you a really good idea of what your eating is like (there’s nothing quite like seeing everything you eat at a glance). You might discover what you thought was really healthy, might not be, and what you thought was unhealthy, is really not too bad. Approach this step with curiosity and an open mind. This will provide a focus for you to discover what might need to change.

Step 2: Hit Your Calorie Budget. Many weight loss programs make this the only key focus. This is just the first action step. Healthy nutrition is so much more than calories, but if you are eating too much or too little, this needs to be taken care of first. ‘My Fitness Pal’ provides good estimates of your daily calorific needs, but make sure you account for exercise. The app will add calories for exercise. TIP: If you have a desk job, but you do weights a couple of times per week, set your activity level to ‘active’ as this will allow for extra calories required for muscle recovery.

Step 3: Balance Your Macronutrients. Macronutrients are Protein, Fat and Carbohydrate. These are the key building blocks for all the tissues and functions of your body. Think of this as the timber, bricks and concrete of your home.
Protein – your body needs 0.8-2g protein per kg body weight per day. If you are active, aim for at least 1.5g/kg body weight/day
Fat – 30%-50% of your daily calories should come from unsaturated fats (some saturated is ok)
Carbohydrate – The rest of your daily calories comes from carbohydrate, but limit your sugar intake (this tends to mess things up).

Step 4: Boost Your Vitamin And Mineral Intake. If macronutrients are your building materials, then vitamins and minerals are the workmen who put it all together and maintain it. Not enough vitamins means not enough repair and remodeling. Take a good quality multivitamin every day. We recommend USANA. Also, bear in mind, if you are active, play sport or simply demand more from your body than the average human, your need for vitamins will be higher. Health guidelines are for minimum daily intake (to avoid deficiency disease) – this is very different from optimal health and performance.

Step 5: Timing Of Meals And Nutrients. This is getting into the performance side of nutrition and will only be noticeably beneficial once steps 2 to 4 are in place. This is the step that will amplify your performance – but who doesn’t want to be the best they can be?

Step 6: Fine Tune, Check In, and Get Constant Feedback. Your body is every changing – day-to-day, week-to-week – and your needs will change too. So learn to listen to your body, track your eating for a week every 6 months and benchmark against your goals, performance and energy levels. And most importantly, work on your health mindset – this is the key to making all of these habits ‘normal’ eating.

So give it a go. To give you a hand, we’ve made our member’s workbook available to you for 1 week. Click Here to download it and take your nutrition a step further this Spring!