Lizie Taylor, Nutrition Coach
Hello again! By now you’re enlightened in what macronutrients are (protein, fat and carbs), how much of them to eat, you’ve learned your ideal diet, and you’ve heard about the importance of nutrient density. Today we’re going to get a bit deeper. Skin deep. Let’s talk about our bodies!
In my last article I touched on portions and the importance of measuring your higher calorie food. One thing I didn’t mention was what the proper portion sizes actually are! Here’s a handy visual guide to help:
So, now you have your diet figured out. What more could you need? Well, math isn’t everything. Math haters rejoice!
A common question I hear concerns meal frequency. So, how many meals a day should you eat? Well, however many you want as long as you stay within your calorie and macronutrient goals.  Mic drop.
I heard someone on a health oriented podcast mention a study which showed that those with 3 meals a day and a snack do stick to their goals better than those that eat 5-6 meals a day, solely because it’s harder to control yourself when eating that frequently and eating larger meals less often is more satisfying. I’d say that just depends on your personality. Others say that eating 3 meals a day is best for your digestion because it gives your body a chance to fully digest your meals before you consume more food. Ultimately, it’s up to you and what works best for your body. I lean more into the 3 meals a day with a snack camp. The only time I would specifically recommend 6 meals a day is for those underweight needing to gain some weight or those wanting to gain significant muscle. For those people a calorie surplus is required and there’s just not enough room in your stomach for all those calories at 3 meals a day! Ouch!
As you’re paying attention to your food, make sure you’re also paying attention to your body. So many people are going through life consuming foods that don’t sit well with them but aren’t aware of it. Or they have the following symptoms, but instead of getting to the root cause, they just cover it up with Tums, Pepto, Advil, Pepcid, Etc. Here are some prime examples:
-Are you having a hard time falling asleep at night? Feeling anxious throughout the day for no known reason? If so, how many cups of coffee, caffeinated soda and tea did you drink the day? How much sugar do you eat?
-Do you suffer from heartburn? How much acidic food do you eat in a day? How much processed food? Are you eating well-rounded meals or do you have coffee for breakfast, snack all day and eat a huge dinner? Are you stopping when you’re feeling full, or when your plate is empty? Again, how much sugar do you eat?
-Feeling hungry? Are you truly hungry or are you bored? Sad? Hormonal? Have you had enough water to drink? Hunger isn’t just felt in the stomach, it’s also a feeling in the back of your throat and your mouth should be salivating. Sometimes your stomach feeling “hungry” without the other two cues is simply your stomach finishing digesting and getting ready for a break before the next meal.
-Struggling with constipation? Have you been eating at least 20 g of fiber a day, but aiming for at least 30g-40g? Do you sit all day or do you take walks, exercise 30 minutes a day, and drink 64 oz of water a day?
-Feeling low on energy? How much sugar have you been eating lately? Has your 2 cups of coffee a day habit turned into 3 or 4? Are your carbs high enough and coming from whole foods rather than coming with an ingredient list in a package?
-Do you get unexplained itchiness, redness in your face or throat, headaches or seemingly random diarrhea? You likely have a food in your life that doesn’t agree with your body, whether an actual allergy or a temporary intolerance. Pay attention to how you feel 5, 10, 15, 30, and 60 minutes after your meals (If you need help with discovering specific foods in your diet, I’d love to help! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org ).
-Do you get frequent yeast infections? Are you eating fruit at least once a day and limiting processed sugars? Do you take probiotics (I recommend Garden of Life) or eat probiotic-containing foods a few times a week, like sauerkraut and low fat, no sugar added yogurt?
If you experience any of these symptoms don’t worry, it’s not normal! From time to time feeling tired or having trouble sleeping is normal, but experiencing any of these daily isn’t normal. That’s good news! “Lizie, I have headaches every day and I’m always exhausted. How is this good news?” It’s good news because it’s fixable! You don’t have to live with those ailments! Woo!
Before I truly paid attention to my body and my food I experienced nearly all of those things, and I know so many others that do, too. I’ve helped many people rid themselves of these annoying symptoms. The only thing I can’t help you get rid of completely is low energy if you’re a mom. Sorry girl, it’s here to stay, but those beautiful babies are worth it. (Don’t worry, you’ll sleep again in a few years. 😉 For now, try to eat nourishing whole foods, limit your sugar intake, drink plenty of water and prioritize sleep as much as possible).
As always, if you need help with any of these things or have any questions, feel free to contact me at email@example.com Health is possible!
Until next time,
** Disclaimer: This information is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or condition. It is not intended to substitute for the advice, treatment and/or diagnosis of a qualified licensed professional. I will not make any medical diagnoses, claims and/or substitute for your personal physician’s care. This content is intended for informational and educational purposes only. It is my role to partner with you to provide ongoing support and accountability as you create an action plan to meet and maintain your health goals. Consult a physician or health care provider before implementing the above information.