I challenge you to eat 5 times a day!

This article was prepared for me by my nutrition Coach Justin Wilson, owner and operator at Impact Nutrition. This past spring the team at Impact helped me shed that extra 10lbs of baby weight I couldn’t shed (and an additional 5lbs), gain muscle, and feel amazing! I would book my clients back to back for a 10 hour day. I didn’t realize that one of the contributing factors to my extra weight was the fact that I ate nothing throughout the day – then was grumpy and famished by dinner, and I would overeat. So if you were like me read Justin’s post and train yourself to set aside 5 min three times during your work day to get a mini meal in, the results will surprise you.

 

I feel a bit awkward posting my results on the blog – I don’t dig the selfies. But for the purpose of showing how effective nutrition can be for someone like myself who leads a sedentary work day, I think it’s worth the post.

 

 

 

 

 Let’s see if this scenario, or one similar to it rings true with you:

 

You wake-up in the morning, and get your children/husband/significant other/pet squared away, fed, dressed and put together to face the day. You grab something quick for yourself to down along with a coffee as you run out the door to get to work, or if you work from home, as you prepare your workspace for your first client. You work on clients, chat, work on more clients, take calls, book appointments, eat a bag of your daughter’s skittles that are leftover from Halloween and just happened to be within arm’s length at some point. Finally it is 4:30pm and you finally get a little break, and you realize all you‘ve had today is half of the granola bar you grabbed in the morning when you were in a rush, the aforementioned skittles and about 5 cups of coffee. You are hungry, you are famished, your family is either home or soon to be, you are apparently the only person with the physical and mental capacity to prepare a reasonable supper, but you almost faint from malnutrition just thinking about preparing food. You grab a handful of bagel chips from the pantry and some hummus to snack on while you prepare supper, ‘because you’ve barely eaten and hummus is healthy. Right?

 

You overeat a marginally healthy supper and then proceed to randomly snack into the evening, with a couple of glasses of wine to help you relax. Red of course, for the antioxidants, ‘cause you need to keep healthy. Right? You snack up until bedtime. Get some restless sleep and start over again.

 

If this in some way rings a bell, then you should know a few things:

1 - You are not alone.

2 - This is not abnormal.

3 - This is not healthy.

4 - It doesn’t have to be like this.

 

“But Justin...” You may be saying to yourself. “You don’t know my schedule... My kids are like wild animals... My husband means well but does not help...”

 

While it is true that I have not walked a mile in your shoes or put a 16-hour shift of your daily life in either, I can tell you that I do understand your plight, and have worked with many, many clients with very similar scenarios.

 

We are going to break this down into a few steps for you, to help YOU start building some better nutrition habits. This can help you be not only healthier, but also leaner, have more energy, mental clarity and more productive as you go about your days.

 

Plan Ahead

 

Have you ever heard the saying: "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail."   

This is attributed to Benjamin Franklin, and rings as true today as it did 200+ years ago.

 

Prior to the week starting (Sunday is good), plan what you are going to eat throughout the week. You don’t need a spreadsheet and graphing calculator to do this.

 

Map out what you want to eat for breakfast, lunch, supper and a couple of small snacks daily.

(We will address the nature of how they should look further down.)

 

Pre-cook meat and larger carb items for your lunches and maybe some suppers on days you would have less time to cook.

 

Assemble the meals you can now, into small ziplock or tupperware containers, and put them in your fridge, ready to go. There will be some suppers you will still cook or have some other prep for during the week, but plan your menu to fit YOUR schedule in the most optimal way it can.

 

Eat Nutritious Foods

 

This does not mean all you can eat is organic boiled chicken breasts, fair-trade quinoa harvested by indigenous tribal people that have never touched money, and pesticide free broccoli that has only been warmed by sunlight.

 

We are not going to get all legalistic and crazy on this, we are just going to make some common sense recommendations, which will be better than what you are doing now, to get you started.

 

Aim to eat a couple of servings of veggies and or fruits per day.

 

Aim to eat a complete source of protein at at least 3 of your meals or snacks.

 

Aim to get some deliberate omega-3 fatty acids in daily.

 

Aim to get a decent amount of daily fiber.

 

When you eat carbs, aim for complex ones most of the time. Some simple sugars are fine, but make the majority of your carbs be complex.

 

Aim to drink at least 2 litres of actual water daily, and for every cup of coffee or diet soda you have have that much more actual water.

 

When You Are Hungry, Eat

 

I realize that sounds too simple, but bear with me here. If you find yourself getting hungry, and it has been a few hours since you last ate, then eat. Either your next meal or a snack. Do not let yourself get so hungry that you end up overeating later, famished and stuffing yourself on bagel chips and hummus while you prepare supper for your family.

 

Here is a simple, basic, generic plan that illustrates what I am talking about. Remember, you planned ahead and are ready for this.

 

Wake-up and drink a glass of water to start your day, and drink at regular intervals through your day. Making sure to get your 2 litres-plus in.

 

  • Breakfast: 1c fat free, plain Greek yogurt with 1-2Tbsp hemp hearts and 1c blueberries added to it. Also take 1,000iu Vitamin D3 and 3,000mg Omega-3 Fatty Acid Capsules
  • Mid-Morning: 1 apple with 1Tbsp natural peanut butter or natural almond butter
  • Lunch: 3-4oz cooked chicken breast or ground chicken breast with 1c cooked rice and 4Tbsp salsa added to it. -Or- For an easier on the go meal, slice up the aforementioned chicken breast and drop it into a large whole grain pita, adding some spinach leaves, mustard and fat free Italian dressing to it.
  • Mid-Afternoon: A small handful of mixed nuts and seeds or trail mix (not the kind with candy added to it)
  • Supper: Taco salad made with extra lean ground beef, copious amounts of colourful veggies, salsa, some fat free sour cream, and a couple of toasted real corn tortillas.
  • PM Snack: You can have some of those bagel chips and hummus if you’d like, but read the labels and try to keep the snack to roughly 250 calories or less. Food is fuel, and you should be winding down your day at this point.

 

What about your nightly glasses of wine? Aim to keep it to 1 x 5oz glass of red wine, no more than 3x/week.

 

What about your coffee? If you like coffee, then go ahead, but try to keep it to 1-2 cups a day, earlier in the day, so as not to interfere with sleep later, and either black, or sweetened with Splenda or if you don’t prefer Splenda, then Stevia. If you love cream in your coffee, try 1-2Tbsp of 1% milk instead.

 

Ideally you would also want to be getting in some exercise of some sort, but we will leave that for another post, another time. We are just going to keep this as simple as we can.

 

There are services out there that can provide you with a coach to help give you some extra accountability and to do your planning/programming for you, with a more customized approach to help YOU specifically. Our actual service is Impact Nutrition, and can be contacted via email at info@impactnutrition.ca or by telephone at: 403-942-4090. You can also check-out our website at www.impactnutrition.ca as well our Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/impactnutrition

 

  • This blog post if for entertainment purposes only, and is not intended to be taken as medical advice, nor to treat any illness nor disease.
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  • This blog post was contributed by Justin Wilson. He is the owner of Impact Nutrition Inc, and they provide online nutrition coaching to anyone, anywhere with a reliable internet service. As well personal training to clients in their local area. www.impactnutrition.ca