Creating Healthy Habits – Nutrition Edition by PT Mike Manderville
20 in 20
Protein plays a crucial role in body function but is often overlooked and under-eaten. An easy way to increase your overall daily intake of protein is to make it a priority at breakfast time. A quick rule to remember at breakfast is 20 in 20. Try to get 20 grams of protein within 20 minutes of waking up. This will ensure a high-protein breakfast instead of the high-carb breakfast that many people consume (bagels with cream cheese). The bagel is ok but the carbs that come with it in the morning often don’t get used as energy and will then be stored as fat. This is easily achieved with morning smoothies using Greek yogurt or protein powder. Another great breakfast protein is the infamous egg; one egg has 6 grams of protein!
If fat loss if your goal, you’ll lose twice as much if you record use a food journal (according to Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research). If your goal is weight gain (muscle building) a food journal will also tell you if you need to up your daily calorie intake.
What I recommend: Commit to two days during the week and one day on the weekend and write down everything you eat and drink for those days. This will give you a general image of your weekly nutrition. If you don’t like writing, take a picture with your phone before eating and at the end of the day send the pictures to your personal trainer or health professional.
An often over-looked aspect to nutrition is water. Staying hydrated throughout the day is important to keep your body functioning optimally. Being properly hydrated helps virtually every function in your body. The easiest way to tell if you’re drinking enough water is how many times a day you pee. You should be peeing around 5 times a day and your pee should be clear-light yellow. Having to pee after a workout is a good indication that you’ve stayed properly hydrated throughout your exercise routine.