understanding nutrition

Understanding Nutrition

The most common problem I see with people not achieving a healthy, sustainable outcome is lack of education.

Really having an understanding around firstly what to eat for them as the individual (no one will eat the same way), and secondly, how do we make this a habit that really sticks for you.

Let’s go through perhaps the most important piece of education below and then we’ll cover the most helpful things our members have stuck to in regards to habits that save time and help with more energy and fat loss.

It’s important to know that all diets are dependent on one common factor:

Macronutrient Composition

That is, the protein, carbohydrate, and fat content in the foods you eat.

Macronutrients are the single most important factor that determines a diet’s success or failure.

Here is an explanation of what each food category does:

Protein — Protein is the major structural and functional component of all cells in your body. Proteins literally play a necessary role in allowing you to live and function. Not to mention, about 25 percent of your muscle mass is made up of protein—and the rest is made up of water and glycogen (your body’s stored form of carbohydrates). So it’s no wonder why so many diets place a heavy emphasis on protein. But the reason you need to eat so much is simple: Unlike other nutrients, your body can not assemble protein by combining other nutrients, so enough must be consumed in your daily meals in order to achieve your desired health and appearance.

Fats — Fat is a major fuel source for your body and has multiple functions, such as helping your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins, regulating inflammation, and hormone production. Like protein, fat is considered to be nutritionally essential because certain fatty acids cannot be sufficiently produced by your body for survival, and thus you must fulfil your needs by eating fatty foods. That’s right. Read that sentence again: You must eat fat. Although essential fatty acid deficiency is uncommon among adults in developed countries, the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids is often too low for the purpose of optimizing health and preventing disease.

Carbohydrates — Carbohydrates have many functions, but their main role is to provide energy to the cells in your body. Carbohydrates are unique because they are not considered essential. That’s because your body can get what it needs from non-carbohydrate sources through processes called gluconeogenesis and ketogenesis. As a result, the other foods you eat (proteins and fats) can be converted into energy, meaning that your general survival does not depend on eating carbohydrates.

Still, while carbohydrates technically are not essential, you do need them when living an active lifestyle. Not to mention, fruits and vegetables are two of the most important sources of carbohydrates, and both provide nutrient-rich calories that protect against disease.

Now that the technical talk is done with, here are some super simple steps to follow to get more of these macro nutrients into your diet:

Smoothies

During an initial consult just yesterday I was talking to Sarah and she has really been struggling to eat food in the morning because she “has no time”. Now firstly, it’s not that she doesn’t have enough time (we all have 24 hours in a day right), it’s that she feels that way because she has an 11 year old boy to get to school and she has to be ready for her work day.

The bad way to go about this would be to say “Ok Sarah, just start eating eggs because they are so high in nutrients, you can have them every morning and it will help with your cognitive focus throughout the day as well as less feelings of wanting to binge and snack because of the satiating satisfying feeling your body gets from real food.”

This is so good in theory! But.. Sarah hasn’t been eating breakfast for a long time and how likely is she to stick to that one single habit long term?

Not likely at all because of her current routine. It’s a big ask along with other progressive habits that involve fitting more real food in her daily diet.

Instead we create more time by getting her to prepare a smoothie the night before, packed full of what she needs, it matches her preferences of foods, sweetness etc. and hey presto there’s no interruption of her morning.

It’s so much more achievable for her and SO SO important that it is just that, otherwise we could be wasting our time.

Here is a quick combination that will involve some veg, protein, healthy fats and a dash of carbs:

  1. 2 x scoops vanilla bean protein powder Bare Blends” brand 
  2. 1/2 cup almond milk
  3. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  4. 1/4 avocado
  5. handful of spinach
  6. 1/2 cup rolled oats
  7. small palm full mixed frozen berries
  8. 5 walnuts
  9. Bonus Tip: Throw a shot of coffee in for your caffeine hit without the frothy cap.

Stick to your favourites

Here is a list of real foods you can choose from and circle your top three favourites out of protein, fats, and carbohydrates as well as your favourite veggies.

Protein

  • Salmon
  • Turkey
  • Kangaroo
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Ricotta Cheese
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Chick Peas
  • Lentils/Red kidney beans
  • White fish
  • Tofu
  • Eggs

Fats

  • Haloumi
  • Avocado
  • Mixed nuts (walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts have various nutrients)
  • Fish oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Organic Butter
  • Goat’s cheese
  • Macadamia oil
  • Olive oil
  • The yolk in eggs

Carbohydrates

  • Carrots, cauliflower, eggplant, zucchini
  • Cruciferous vegetables (mostly greens like broccoli, kale etc.)
  • Sweet potato
  • Potato
  • Rice
  • Plain oats
  • Wholemeal bread
  • Banana
  • Mixed berries
  • Quinoa

Low calorie flavouring adds

  • Himalayan rock salt
  • Lemon/Lime
  • Goat’s cheese
  • Danish feta
  • Flavoured tea
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Tamari
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Herbs/spices
  • Burrito Seasoning packets
  • Most hot sauces
  • Pepper
  • All purpose/Barbecue Seasoning

From here you can search for meals you can prepare in bulk that you haven’t tried before.

These two things will make such a difference to your energy levels, easy and sustainable fat loss with as little disruption to your current lifestyle as possible.

It’s probably most important to mention that vegetables really need to be your priority.

Metabolism, your energy levels, and your bodies ability to burn fat is made more and more difficult without that regular intake that few meet of veg.

A healthy lifestyle isn’t about meticulously counting calories.

It’s about finding what works for you and eating foods packed full of nutrients so the healthy body and fat loss will take care of itself while you still treat yourself with the odd processed food or alcoholic beverage.

Trust me, I’ve seen it hundreds of times!

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If you’ve just read this and still looking for some clarity, click here to contact us for a free, no obligation strategy session.

Would love to hear from you if you implemented and saw some changes as well!

Best Wishes,

Founder of EMB Strategies (Guy who wants to make a positive global impact on people’s health and lives)

Darren Bruce

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