AMA – I’m new to this whole nutrition thing, where do I start?

A client recently asked me, “Chris, I’m new to this whole nutrition thing, where do I start?”

What a great thought provoking question.  But in typical Chris fashion I started hammering away asking tons of questions to gain clarity.  What I realized in that process is that so many people are in the same boat.  

They might have no idea what they should do, or they’ve been doing the same thing for a while and it’s no longer working.  Either way I wanted to think of a quick and elegant solution to this problem.  

Let me preface this by saying that this is by no means a dietary recommendation.  This doesn’t solve the “individual” problem nor is this the BEST solution out there.  It is however something that I believe can help most people make better choices.  Keep in mind this list is very rudimentary and targeted for someone that is “new” to the whole nutrition thing.

The first thing I’d do is start with some basic education.  A quick google search of something like healthy proteins, carbs and fat will go a long way in simply helping you understand what you’re working with when it comes to eating.  I’ve done a good job of summarizing that here.

You need to get a baseline of where you are.  They have tons of fancy apps like Cronometer and My Fitness Pal but the old pen and pad work well too.  Tracking food by writing it down for 7-14 days gives you a level of accountability that most people aren’t used to.  It can be very eye opening to see how much or how little you’re actually eating.  I think this is a tremendous first step, and usually the first thing I do when working with nutrition clients.

Feature protein at each meal.  You can really start to help yourself when it comes to weight loss, avoiding binge eating and staying full for longer if you eat more protein.  Don’t worry yet about quantity or type, just do your best to eat it at every meal.  Here’s why protein is important for weight loss.

Fruits and Vegetables
Have 2 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.  Have 2 bananas.  Eat an apple and some berries.  Have a salad and an orange.  Your selection is not important now, I just want you to focus on eating foods that have a higher fiber and micronutrient content.  People get too wrapped up in perfection.  We’re just starting out so let’s get acclimated in a healthy manner.

Drink more damn water.  Whatever you’re normally drinking now, add 3 bottles to that.  Don’t get hung up on what size bottle or how many ounces.  Of course there are ways to optimize this but for now, for someone who is “new” to this drinking more water is key.  One tip I use is drinking 20 ounces first thing in the morning before anything else.  This could be a good starting point.

In summary if we focus on building better habits you’ll start to make massive progress.  Spend a few minutes researching nutrition topics on google.  Start tracking your food and eating some protein everyday.  Eat your favorite fruits and or vegetables, don’t worry about overdoing it here.  Drink more water.  Start slow and stay consistent.  Most people fail because they go from 0 to 100 way too quick.

If you have any nutrition related questions or need some help I’m happy to chat. Book a call with me here.

– Coach Chris

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