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June 2020: 4 Simple Nutrition Habits YOU Need to be Successful

These tips are so simple, but huge game-changers!

Hey friend!

I hope you’ve been well and are making the best of quarantine, or that you are staying safe and enjoying being out and about if the stay-at-home orders have been lifted for you.

I got the inspiration to write this newsletter from my post about the difference between being a great chef and leading a healthy lifestyle. You can read that post here if you missed it!

Now, onto these four crazy tips (hint: they’re not anything crazy, at all!).

You’re probably thinking, if I only need to do FOUR things to hone in on my nutrition, then why does everything on the internet make it so freaking complicated?

The answer: marketability, and money-driven individuals.
These 4 tips aren’t sexy by any means, and they’re going to take WORK and EFFORT on your end, but not as much as you’d probably assume.

Proper nutrition is made out to be so much more daunting than it really is. But when you break it down, these five habits make up the basis for anyone who is truly successful in maintaining a lifestyle change long-term.

Enough beating around the bush, here we go:

TIP 1: Setting Up Proper Meals.

Set up your meals using the rule of 3’s:

1/2 of your plate with fibrous vegetables
1/4 of your plate with a lean protein source
1/4 of your plate with a starchy carbohydrate

You’ve probably seen me use this image in my Instagram posts a number of times, and there’s a rhyme and reason to it.

Let’s break the rule of 3’s down further so you know why it works:

1. Half of your plate filled with vegetables will give you lots of micronutrients, fiber, and will physically fill up the volume of your stomach. Half of your plate with vegetables may honestly feel like a challenging amount of food to eat to start with because it is so filling – but here’s the catch – for a very small amount of calories.

2. A quarter of your plate with protein will also help fill you up and will help you reach your daily protein requirement, which most people don’t.

3. Finally, everyone loves carbs, and they are essential for our progress, even in fat loss. Keeping a proper portion size of carbohydrate per meal is a great way to practice moderation and enjoy the foods you love, EVEN if that carb on the 1/4 plate is mac & cheese.

TIP 2: Shop the Perimeter of the Store.

Ever notice how the set up of a grocery store is similar no matter where you go?

The perimeter always has the fresh produce, meats, eggs, dairy, and bakery sections. The aisles are only filled with bagged, boxed, and packaged goods.

Next time you go to the grocery store, do your best to fill your cart with food from the perimeter, and then sprinkle in your necessities from the aisles.

Not everything in the aisles should be off-limits, and not everything on the perimeter is the best for you.

This rule is not black and white, but do acknowledge that in GENERAL, this applies to most grocery stores and to your grocery shopping rules-of-thumb.

Examples of “necessities” for me include: condiments, sports drinks and energy drinks, diet sodas, frozen vegetables, cereal, rice cakes, oatmeal, and snacks as needed.

TIP 3: Sit With your Hunger.

What the heck… does that even mean, Marissa?

Let me explain with an example.

Next time you feel hungry, I want you to HIT PAUSE, and analyze what you do next.
Do you immediately act on that hunger, instinctively?
Is there a thought process behind what you decide to eat, if you eat anything at all?

If you self-identify as “a snacker/grazer” throughout the day, this is for you.

When you implement rules 1 & 2, you’re essentially committing to sitting down to eat proper meals a number of times per day. What happens in-between meals is equally as important.

Next time you get hungry, sit with it for a minute.

Ask yourself questions like:
“Am I really hungry? Or just a little? Or could I be thirsty (thirst often feels like and is confused with hunger)?”
“What time was my last meal? When is my next meal?”
“Could I go without a snack until my next meal or do I have a few hours until then?”
“What sort of snacks could satisfy my current craving for crunchy/sweet foods that would also keep me on track with my goals?”

Some examples of low-calorie or high protein snacks that do the trick for me are:

  • Sugar Free Jello / Jello Pudding
  • 100-Cal Popcorn Packs
  • Light & Fit Greek Yogurt Singles
  • Cucumbers, Bell Peppers, Carrots & Tzatziki
  • Protein shakes / Bars
  • Rice Cakes / Crisps

TIP 4: Appreciate the NOW, even if you’re not where you want to be yet.

This one is the easiest in theory, but the hardest in practice of all four tips.

The first three tips are immediately actionable, and don’t require you to overhaul the way you’ve probably been thinking about your fitness journey for YEARS now.

I don’t care if you’re 1, 5, 10, 50 or 100 pounds away from your proposed “goal weight.” If you don’t start actively working on appreciating how far you’ve come to THIS point, and working on loving yourself NOW, then you might still hate the way you look in the mirror when you reach that goal.

Self-confidence is a decision that takes constant work and practice, not something that comes naturally to one person and not another. Self-confidence is also not a weight, a look, or a body type.

No matter how much you implement the prior three tips, make amazing progress, and achieve things in life, if you don’t appreciate the now, you’re missing the point.

After all, the process IS the goal.

Let that one sink in, deep.