In this busy, complicated world it can be tough to know where to begin when venturing on a journey towards health. As we know, exercise plays a huge role in health, both mentally and physically. However, like the saying goes “you cannot out-exercise a bad diet.” This is 100% true.
I work with hundreds of clients each month on creating a more balanced plate and below is a snapshot of how to do so. It is not complicated; it is a real, natural, whole food approach to eating that is refreshing and simple. No gimmicks, no restrictions, just balanced.
Eat “PFC” everyday.
Weight loss and weight maintenance are all about blood sugar management. To stabilize blood sugar levels, strive to eat protein, fat and carbs (PFC) every three to four hours, MAX, to keep blood sugar levels balanced. The underlying key to consistent energy levels, positive moods, improved mental clarity, supported metabolism, decreased sugar cravings and avoiding that “hangry” feeling is blood sugar regulation. All which can be easily accomplished by following the simple PFC mantra.
Each meal should consist of one Protein (like eggs, chicken, fish, etc.), one Fat (avocado, nuts & seeds, olive oil, real butter, etc.) and one Carbohydrate (fruits, vegetables and whole grains).
TIP→ If weight loss is your goal, you want to keep your carbohydrate sources from mostly non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, peppers or spinach, etc., limited fruit (about ½ cup as a serving) and limited amounts of grains.
Here’s how it works: You know that carbohydrates, which are the foundation of low-calorie and low-fat diets, cause your fat-storing hormone, insulin, to be released and store fat. Fat and protein, on the other hand, aren’t metabolized as sugar. They act as buffers, slowing down the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream and, in turn, help to keep your blood sugar levels stable. When your blood sugars are stable, that wonderful fat-burning hormone, glucagon, is released, which burns stored fat for energy. Get on glucagon’s good side by eating more healthy fats, thus giving glucagon a chance to shine. You come out ahead too, because when your glucagon is rocking and rolling, so are you! You become a fat- burning machine with more energy and a better chance at shedding the pounds.
Kristen Zetterberg, RD, LDN
Registered Dietitian and owner of Inspire Nutrition, Inc.