Small Easy Nutrition Habits for Success
May 3, 2021
Starting a new nutrition program can seem like a daunting task. It can seem like where you want to be is a long way off from where you currently are.
Our Balanced Habits Nutrition Program gives you the individualized support you need to make this transition as easy as possible. After all, it has to work for you and make sense for you and your family for you to stick to it!
Here are some small habits you can start today that will get you on your way to healthier eating.
Start making shakes.
Shakes are a great way to get some nutrients in, especially for those of you who are not breakfast eaters or that need to eat on the go. It’s a great way to sneak veggies into your meal without really tasting it. There are enough options to appease even the pickiest of eaters. What you need:
Protein: Most people use protein powder.
Sweet: Usually fruit, berries are a popular choice but any fruit will work. Bananas will give you a more milkshake like consistency.
Liquid: Water, milk or plant based milk. Ice will also change the consistency.
Veggies: Whatever you put in will be masked by the other flavors. It’s a great way to get in your spinach or leafy greens. I’ve also done beets or other green veggies.
Other nutrients and flavors: You can add anything else, such as collagen or fiber powder. Chia seeds or oatmeal will add extra fiber too. Nut butters will add fat to keep you feeling full. You can add coffee, cocoa powder, or anything else.
Buy a large water bottle.
At least 32 ounces, if not more. The majority of us do not drink enough water. If you have a bottle near you always, you are more likely to drink during the day. Buying a large reusable water bottle is
Better for the environment
Easier to track
Figure out your preference: do you like bottles with a straw? Large top? Small top? Figure out what makes you drink the most.
Drinking enough water is good for your skin, digestion, immune system, and so much more.
Keep track of your food.
You don’t need anything fancy. A simple food scale, and measuring cups and spoons are all you need. Our eyes tend to deceive us, especially when we’re hungry. It’s easy to overeat and consume more calories than you think just by ignoring portion size guidelines. By measuring your food, you will learn what a serving size actually looks like, and you will, over time, become more aware of how much you are eating.
It’s also important to journal your food. Some people use an app such as MyFitnessPal, FitBit, FatSecret, or something else, some prefer a pen and notebook. Doesn’t matter! This makes it easier to track how your food makes you feel. When are you hungry, and do you make good decisions while hungry? What do you eat on busy days? What's easiest for you to meal prep? How do you feel after “falling off your diet”? Knowing the answers to all these questions can help you stay on track and be an extra motivation.
This is especially important to those of you working full time, but everyone can benefit from planning ahead.
For some, that means setting a “menu” for the week. This can make it easier to stay on track during the week, especially on busy days.
Grocery shop for the ingredients you need (and only those ingredients) ahead of time, so that there’s one less thing to do on a busy day.
When you do make a meal, make extra. If you’re a family of 2, make 4 meals. Family of 4, make 8. It’s barely any more work, and then everyone gets lunch the next day, or it can be frozen as another dinner.
Take your supplements
If you eat an entirely balanced, perfectly healthy diet 100% of the time, you don’t need vitamins. The other 99.9% of us, however, do benefit from a daily multivitamin. Find either just a basic one or one targeted to your age or gender. Your physician may suggest you supplement further with Fish Oil, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Calcium, or something else. Take your vitamins!
As I’m sure you’ve heard, it’s the most important meal of the day! Studies have shown that people who eat a larger breakfast and smaller dinner tend to have lower levels of insulin, glucose, and triglycerides in their blood. This means a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.
Eating in the morning also gets your metabolism started, which helps you burn more calories as the day goes on.
It also keeps you from getting very hungry mid morning, a time when most of us are busy with work or school and may make an unhealthy choice instead of a smart one.
Many of you may be saying “but I don’t like to eat in the morning!” Fair enough. A lot of people don’t. However, you should do it anyway, because it’s good for you. To get started, try a shake, which can be easier (physically and mentally) to get down, or try something very plain, like toast with peanut butter. Once your body is used to that, you can start making more filling and interesting breakfasts.
Get your fruits and vegetables
You probably know by now that fruits and vegetables are really good for you. In addition to having a lot of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other things your body needs, they help fill you up without giving you a lot of calories.
Get started by adding one fruit or vegetable to each meal. It’s easier than it seems.
Breakfast: Try a clementine orange or half an apple: easy to eat on the go. If you’re having a shake, blend in some spinach. You won’t taste it, I promise. You can also add berries or any other fruit to your shake.
Lunch or Snacks: Carrots or celery with peanut butter are a great snack. Carrots and peppers with hummus is good too. Or you can have leftovers from last night’s dinner.
Dinner: Pretty much any vegetable can be lightly steamed or roasted. If you don’t feel like getting crazy, try that with a little garlic and some salt (or even just powdered garlic salt) and you’ve got an easy addition to your dinner.
Don’t Drink your Calories
Try to make water your primary beverage. You can always spice it up with some lime, cucumber, mint, or anything else. Plain sparkling water is fine too.
While a view of “everything in moderation” is always good, it’s important to be aware of what you’re putting into your body.
1 can of beer, 1 glass of wine, or 1 ounce of hard alcohol - 70-150 calories
Orange juice - 115 calories
Coconut water - 45 calories
Vegetable juice - 70 calories
Energy drink - 110 calories
Starbucks Tea - 60 calories (16g sugar)
Starbucks Mocha Latte - 370 calories (35g sugar)
Coke - 140 calories (39g sugar)
Ask for help
It’s hard to do things by yourself. Sometimes we need to turn to our support network and ask for help. Your support network might be:
Your spouse, roommates, or other people you live with
Your coworkers or other work friends
Your gym buddies or workout partner
Your parents or children
Your trainer or nutrition coach
These are the people you probably spend the most time with. Ask for their help to either head down this path with you or support you on the way. Hopefully you have friends or family to support you, but you've always got us, your coaches and trainers!