The year 2020 is upon us. A few years ago 2020 sounded so far off, but it quickly came upon us. It is here, right now. It it’s a new year and that means it is time to lose weight and eat healthier. Today we offer a few practical nutrition tips to try during 2020.
Nutrition Tips for 2020
- Eat nutrient dense foods you like.
- Pay less attention to calories, instead eat until you are content.
- Eat slowly.
- Add healthier foods to your diet first before subtracting unhealthy foods.
- Make eating a meal an experience. Be mindful, be present when you eat.
- Trust your body. It will tell you when and how often to eat.
Eat Nutrient Dense Foods You Like
Obviously, you want to eat foods that are nutrient dense. That is foods the pack a lot of nutrition (vitamins and mineral and phytochemical and fiber) without packing a lot of calories. Look towards whole foods to accomplish this and stay away from processed foods as much as possible.
But, and here is the key point, eat those foods you enjoy. If something is healthy but you don’t like it, don’t eat it. It’s like exercise. The best exercise is the exercise is the one you do because you like it (or at least not dread it).
Pay Less Attention to Calories. Eat Until You Are Content
Your body is quite remarkable. It intuitively knows what is best for it. But, you must become intune to your body’s inner cues. Take your time when you eat. Don’t rush. We overeat when we eat too fast. It takes time for your stomach to tell your brain that you have eaten enough food.
Some do have issues getting the signal from the stomach to the brain to stop eating. This is related to a defect in the many hormones that govern appetite and satiety. In that case newer medications can help like semaglutide.
Have something liquid before a meal like water or even a bowl of soup. Doing so will provide a sense of satiety, and if you listen to your body and stop eating when content, you are less likely to over consume calories.
Do not stuff yourself even if it is an all you can eat buffet. Don’t concern yourself with getting your money’s worth.
If you eat healthy foods that facilitate your body’s ability to burn fat, your body will eventually adjust your set-point – the range of weight your body gravitates tries to maintain.
Add Healthy Foods Before Eliminating Unhealthy Foods
Our first inclination is to eliminate unhealthy foods from our diet first. After all that seems to make sense, right? But you might find it is easier in the long run to add healthier food selections to your diet expanding your food choices first. Then start taking away the unhealthy foods.
There is something unpleasant about eliminating or taking away things first. We feel like we are denying ourselves which can make it harder to incorporate healthier eating habits over the long run.
Make Eating an Experience
Be present when eating a meal. Have your mind and body in the same place. Forget about outside forces and distractions which increases our stress levels and contributes to emotional eating which usually involves overeating.
Take time to savor your meal. Eat slowly (see above) and pay attention your body’s signals. Stop eating when content. Don’t eat too much that you would have time exerting yourself if the situation calls for it. Remember, a hungry dog runs the fastest.
Trust Your Body
Dr. Jack Hughston, MD who was an early pioneer in sports medicine had a saying, “Trust and believe your own experiences.” Learn to trust your personal experience when it may be at odds with conventional thought. It is not an easy thing to do, however.
As stated above, your body knows what is best for it. Eat when you are hungry not because the clock says it is a certain time. If it is time for lunch and you are not hungry, then don’t eat because convention tells you it is time to eat. And, when you do eat, eat slowly, and stop when you sense you are becoming full.
Now that advice has to be put in context and tamed. We advocate not eating too close to bed time. Doing so can raise insulin levels which is fattening hormone. Plus, you don’t have time to burn off those calories before bed. Plus, insulin interferes with growth hormone function. Growth hormone is your main repair hormone that is released at night.
But if you are hungry shortly before bed time, first drink some water. We many times confuse our sense of thirst for our sense of hunger. If your drink something and your hunger pangs go away then you were not truly hungry. If your hunger pangs persist then eat a small healthy snack, just enough to take away the hunger sensation.
Try these simple but practical nutrition tips for 2020 and see if they don’t help you to live longer and stay younger.