Top five quick nutrition wins
As Rise’s in-house Nutrition Coach and having worked with nutrition clients for 4+ years, I’ve seen many reasons as to why people struggle with nutrition, but one reason in particular is by far the most common: So many people try to commit to a nutrition plan or diet that simply isn’t realistic for their lifestyle. What’s right for one person may not be right for the next. Luckily, there are a handful of quick and easy nutrition “hacks” that nearly any person can implement into their routine.
Evaluate where you’re at today
Before we dive into the quick wins, I want you to first take a moment to evaluate your current nutrition “plan” (a plan may be something you’ve worked with a professional to develop, something you’ve created yourself, or even just the eating habits you engage in daily that you don’t think too much about). Then, ask yourself this question: “Can you see yourself doing this forever?” As time passes and your nutrition plan evolves or changes, I encourage you to continue to ask yourself that question. If at any point you answer “no”, that plan may not be right for you anymore.
If you’re feeling like your current nutrition plan isn’t quite meeting the mark, sometimes a small change can make a tremendous difference. While everyone’s situation is extremely unique, three common reasons I see individuals lacking the nutrition progress they want to see are: analysis paralysis, lack of measurement of progress, and lack of consistency.
Common reasons you’re not seeing progress
If you suspect your nutrition progress may be lacking due to one of the areas above, here are a few tips on how to correct a nutrition journey that may have been steered a little off track.
We have endless information at our fingertips today. This can cause the issue of overthinking a problem to the point of being unable to make an actual decision. If this sounds like you, my advice is to pick one or two simple changes you can make to your nutrition (see the list of Quick Tips below!), then start immediately. No more overthinking.
Lack of measurement of progress
What gets measured gets managed. If you have no way of knowing if you are improving or inching closer to your goal, you will never get there. Or if you’ve never even set a goal in the first place, you may be moving backwards instead of forwards without even realizing it. To remedy this problem, first make sure you have a goal in place. Then, develop a way to quantitatively measure your progress. Need assistance with this step? Myself or any other nutrition coach is trained to do exactly that.
Lack of consistency
Consistency is the secret but-not-so-secret recipe for success. Whether the choices you make are good or bad, we are an accumulation of what we do consistently. When it comes to nutrition, I like to recommend that my clients live by the “80/20 diet” - meaning that 80% of the time, they eat nutritious, healthy foods, with the remaining 20% being set aside for less nutritious things. This ratio promotes consistency without the rigidity that causes people to fail in many nutrition plans. I am a big believer that if you can be consistently good, it is always better than being inconsistently perfect.
5 quick nutrition wins
As I transition into sharing my favorite quick nutrition wins, it’s important that I highlight one more thing. I label these as “quick” wins because they are simple, impactful life changes you can implement without much prep time, but not because they’ll change your life overnight.
Consistency really is key here, which means that one week of action won’t get you to your goals, just like one “bad” week won’t derail your progress. If you institute these 5 changes into your nutrition program while remembering the points I talked about above, you’ll be well on your way to laying a great nutrition foundation for yourself. Now, let’s get to these “wins”.
1. Drink more water
Hydration is easily one of the most overlooked parts of a nutrition plan. It seems simple, but it’s not always easy. Increasing water consumption and improving your hydration is one of the quickest ways to get you feeling your best. As a general rule of thumb, you should drink between ½ ounce to ⅔ ounce of water for each pound you weigh.
2. Move your body
Consistent movement plays a huge role in seeing success from your nutrition plan. Our bodies are meant to move, which means that the food we eat is meant to be used as fuel for movement. If we’re not moving, many of our body’s systems can’t function optimally. Here’s one example of how to incorporate movement into your week: Strength train 2-4 times/week at Rise, then move your body the rest of the days with a walk, yoga, swimming, or anything else you enjoy.
3. Catch more zzz’s
Nearly all of us are in need of more sleep. It is recommended that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep each night, with some individuals needing even more. Some of us claim we may only need 5 or 6 hours of sleep, but the likelihood of this being true is actually slim to none. We need sleep. Sleep has a huge impact on our health in so many ways, including energy, mood, hormones, memory, focus, hunger, stress, and so much more. Getting your sleep in check can have a drastic impact on regulating your hunger cues and your body’s ability to gain and lose weight appropriately.
4. Master your consumption
Keeping your calorie consumption within the limits you’ve set for yourself is a great way to achieve nearly any weight loss goal. Start by gaining knowledge of what your calorie needs are and how to develop the skills to maintain this as a lifestyle. Remember that these numbers will never be perfect and that there is no one-size-fits all plan. Your calorie intake goal will need to be unique to you.
5. Address food quality
I am a firm believer that there are “sometimes foods” and “all the time foods”. I recommend that you focus on prioritizing protein and fiber at each meal you are consuming. Focusing on these two categories keeps things simple when meal planning, but can have a huge impact on your overall nutrition.
That’s it! Five quick changes you can make in your lifestyle that can produce dramatic results if done consistently. If implementing all five at once feels daunting, then I challenge you to choose even one of these quick wins and see how consistent you can be with it in the next month. If you achieve eighty percent or better, I guarantee you will notice a difference.
Consistency wins every time. If you could snap your fingers and be where you want to, I’d bet that you wouldn’t appreciate it. The true reward is looking back at the work you put in to achieve your goal.