It is a common nutrition myth that to make progress, you need to make big changes. However, switching up your diet drastically can be a recipe for failure in the long-term. Making small swaps to your current meals can have a big impact on the nutrient density of your diet, while making it easier to remain compliant.
The first step to progressing your nutrition is to assess what you’re currently eating. A good way to do this is to keep a food log by writing down what, how much and when you’re eating.
- Breakfast: 1 cup of strawberry low-fat yogurt and ½ cup Raisin Bran
- Lunch: 2 slices white bread, 2oz deli chicken, a slice of cheese and iceberg lettuce
- Dinner: 1 large plate of spaghetti and meatballs
- Dessert: 1 Reese’s peanut butter cup
The next step is to make simple upgrades to your current eating habits, to maximize the nutrient density of your meals and minimize inflammatory foods.
- Breakfast: 1 cup of plain full-fat Greek yogurt, 6 strawberries and ½ cup gluten-free granola
- Lunch: 2 slices of gluten-free bread, 1 grilled organic chicken breast, a slice of grass-fed cheese, and arugula
- Dinner: 1 large plate of spaghetti squash, sugar-free pasta sauce, and grass-fed ground beef
- Dessert: 1 Justin’s dark chocolate peanut butter cup
Simply upgrading your current meals is an easy way to make a big nutritional impact, without adding a ton of stress. The changes above increase vitamins and minerals, decrease the inflammatory effects of processed foods, decrease the toxic load from herbicides and pesticides, and improve blood sugar management by moving from simple to more complex carbs. This upgrade in quality can have significant positive effects on body composition, bloodwork, and energy.
Other easy swaps you can make include:
- Meat: factory farmed to grass-fed
- Fish: farmed to wild caught
- Salty Snacks: chips to nuts
- Sweet Snacks: candy to fruit
- Carbs: starches to veggies
- Cooking Oils: seed oil to avocado or olive oil
- Meal Source: eating out to home cooking
- Sauces: regular to no-sugar-added
- Food Storage: plastic to glass
OPEX Coaches use this method when working with their clients to create a nutrition plan that progresses them towards optimal food quality over time. This has proven to be far more sustainable and manageable than an all-or-nothing approach of changing everything overnight. As you begin to experience the positive effects of upgrading your food quality, you’ll be more likely to continue to make healthy choices and build upon your success. We want to craft you an approach to nutrition that works for life, and not another 30-day crash diet! If you want help upgrading your food quality find an OPEX Gym near you and request a consult, today.