Sleep MUST be a priority: getting the proper amount and quality of sleep affects your hormones, creating a trickle-down effect. For example, lack of quality sleep increases ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and decreases leptin, the horomone that signals you're full. This causes you to eat more and reach for less healthy comfort foods.
Keep it simple, more whole foods and less processed foods: highly processed foods are typically high in refined sugars & flours sodium,saturated fats, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, and chemical preservatives. Eating these foods can lead to inflammation in the body, which can cause chronic disease, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, joint pain, soreness, and much more.
Build a healthy plate by including: Quality proteins - fish, poultry, grass-fed beef, eggs. Limit highly processed meats like deli meats and bacon and buy nitrate free and organic. Healthy fats -focus on unsaturated fats like olive and avocado oil, nuts, natural nut butters, eggs, salmon, avocados. Some saturated fats are necessary in small amounts (coconut oil, grass-fed butter, meats, eggs. Vegetables - include them in every meal! Eat a variety of colors. Steam, sauté, or roast them. Drizzle them in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and/or seasoning towards the end to add flavor.Healthy carbs - veggies, fruit, regular/sweet potatoes, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, quinoa, farro, rice (not quick cook or flavored). Limit processed carbs like pasta and bread.
Make it a lifestyle change, not a diet: "diets" produce short-term results and we want healthy nutrition to last a lifetime!
Read the labels: it is just as important to look at the ingredients list as it is the macros (protein, fat, carbs). More ingredients usually = more processed. If you can't pronounce the word it probably shouldn't be in your food!
It doesn't have to be more expensive to eat healthy: cooking meals at home averages $15 for the work week, eating out averages $8-$12 per day.
You have time for what you make time for, make nutrition a priority: figure out what works with your schedule and set aside 2-3 hours a week to grocery shop and prep ingredients to make lunches and dinners.
Get up and move: do yoga, strength training, cardio, walk.Get your body moving and get up from the desk when possible.
PSA!! There is no such thing as a perfect diet: we are all biologically different with unique gut microbiomes. Figure out what works for your body and your lifestyle so that it is sustainable for 30 more years. Don't do fad diets!!
"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." - Hippocrates: many chronic health conditions are diseases are caused by lifestyle choices, this means you can prevent many through healthy nutrition.
In this blog we have collected and published resources from subject matter experts and our team of professionals at HeartFit For Duty.
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