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Last Updated on June 9, 2020

15 Healthy Eating Tips from a Professional Health Coach

15 Healthy Eating Tips from a Professional Health Coach

Healthy eating is not eating to lose weight. If you’re a professional or entrepreneur, you’ll understand that while eating to look good is great, it’s even more important to consume the right foods to help you perform, work, and earn better.

This health stuff has levels to it. There are foods that will aid you in improving your brainpower, increasing your energy levels, and taking your working performance to the next level.

There are habits that will make your life easier and give you a great body and high performing mind on auto-pilot, and there are others that will do the opposite.

In this article, I’m going to share with you 15 healthy eating tips and habits that will help skyrocket your energy levels, heighten your focus, and give you the body you want while also being able to perform at an elite level every day.

Read on if you’re ready to make healthy eating part of your lifestyle and not another crash diet.

1. Eat More Protein

Protein is the king of macronutrients. This is why eating protein is one of the best healthy eating tips. Not only does sufficient protein intake aid in the growth of your muscles and help you recover from training better, but it’s also going to keep you fuller throughout the day.

This is going to lead to far fewer binges, improve your overall focus, and prevent you from reaching for sugary foods. Some good sources of lean protein are white meat, low-fat beef, eggs, whey protein, and Greek Yogurt.

Action point: Aim to eat consume around 1g protein per LB of bodyweight. If you weight around 170LBs, you should shoot for around 170g protein per day.

2. Make Breakfast Optional

Breakfast being the most important meal of the day is a complete myth. Food marketers and cereal companies make a lot of money from pushing this message. There are people who are hungry in the morning, but there are many who are not.

You should not be encouraged to eat breakfast if you don’t want to. If you’re very sedentary (office worker, professional) and spend most of your day at your desk, it’s probably a good idea to skip breakfast.

If you’re very active, have a low body fat percentage, and have high energy demands in the morning, it may be a good idea to have breakfast.

Action point: Skip breakfast if you are not hungry. If you are to have breakfast, opt for a high-protein option, such as protein shakes, eggs, and bacon or smoked salmon.

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3. Track Your Food

Food tracking is a great habit to build. Studies show that people underestimate their daily caloric intake by as much as 50%.[1]

If you believe you’re consuming 2000 calories per day, you’re probably consuming near 3000. By tracking your food, you are staying accountable to yourself and more importantly, learning what is inside foods. Learning the different macronutrient content (protein, carbs, fats) of food is invaluable.

Action point: Use MyFitnessPal app to track your food 4-5 days per week. Have at least 2 days off as over-tracking can lead to you becoming over-obsessive with food.

4. More Eggs Are Good

Another huge myth is that eggs are bad for your cholesterol. This is false.

Despite fears surrounding egg consumption and high cholesterol, research indicates no measurable increase in heart disease or diabetes risk from eating up to 6–12 eggs per week.

Eggs are a great source of vitamin B, high in anti-oxidants and protein, and as long as you control your overall calories, there is no negative health risk to consuming eggs.

Action point: Eat eggs as you please. Scrambled, poached, or boiled is the best way to cook them.

5. Say ‘No’ to Vegetable Oil

Aside from being highly processed, vegetable oil is composed of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which are heat sensitive. This means that when vegetable oil is used for cooking and subjected heat, the bonds in the PUFAs are shifted and turn into trans fats that cause oxidative stress and wreak havoc on our health.

This can have negative effects on the gut, arteries, white blood cells, and gene replication that can promote brain disorders in the future.

Action point: Cook using traditional fats such as olive oil, peanut oil, and butter.

6. Avoid Sugar Like the Plague

Most of you know that excessive sugar can lead to excess calories and thus, weight gain. However, sugar is much more damaging to other parts of your body.

Sugar jams hormone signals and clogs nutrient channels, weakening bone and muscle, and slowing neural communication, which can impair mood and memory and lead to dementia.

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Sugar stiffens the collagen in your tendons, joints, and skin, causing arthritis and premature wrinkling while interfering with the production of new collagen throughout your entire body.

Action point: It’s near impossible to eliminate sugar fully. However, look on the back of food labels while at the grocery store to see which foods are high in sugar (there will be more than you think). From this, try to gradually limit your sugar intake when possible.

7. Get More Fish

One of the vitamins many people are deficient in is omega-3. This is usually because they don’t get enough fish in their diet and only stick to lean meats.

High omega-3 intake can help improve eye health, reduce the likelihood of depression, and improve cognitive function. Fishes such as Salmon, Mackerel, Cod, and Sardines are excellent sources of omega-3s.

Action item: Try to add fish to your diet at least 2x per week.

8. Increase Your Water Intake

“Oh no, not another guy telling me to drink more water”

Sorry, I am that guy.

While this isn’t really an eating habit, it does apply to your overall nutrition in general. The reason why water is so important is that it is what allows vital organs such as your brain to function properly.

Studies show that even just mild dehydration can impair many aspects of how your brain works.[2] This can lead to a lack of concentration and set you back drastically if you’re trying to perform at your best.

Action point: Aim to drink 4 liters of water per day. Carry around a bottle with you to stay hydrated and always have a glass of water at your desk. If you have difficulty drinking sufficient water, this article can help you: How to Drink More Water Easily When It Seems Like a Major Chore

9. Complex Carbs for the Win

Carbohydrates are split into two different forms: complex carbohydrates and simple carbohydrates.

Complex carbohydrates are foods such as high-fiber cereals, whole-grain bread, and starchy vegetables and are the best choice for prolonged energy as they are digested at a slow, consistent rate.

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This is really important if you work long hours, as these foods will give you a consistent hit of energy throughout the course of the day and stop you from feeling sluggish.

Complex carbs also stabilize your body’s sugar level, which in turn causes the pancreas to produce less insulin. This gives you a feeling of satiety and you become less hungry.

Action point: Consume complex carbohydrates as much as you can as your preferred energy source where possible. Try to keep simple sugary carbs (candy, chocolate, sugary smoothies) to a minimum.

10. Snack on the Right Foods

Snacking can be the devil when it comes to your health.

Not only can snacking bump up your calories and cause you to gain weight but snacking on the wrong foods can leave you sluggish and reduce your focus.

Good snacking options are foods that are high in protein, low in sugar, and low in overall calories.

Action point: Overall, try to keep your snacking to a minimum. If you are to snack, aim to eat boiled eggs, whey protein, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, or other high protein options. If they are carb-based snacks, aim to eat rice cakes, high fiber bars, and make sure the snack is less than 200 calories. Check out these 15 Healthy Snacks You Should Always Have At Home.

11. Don’t Drink Your Calories

An easy way for you to gain weight and consume excess sugar is through drinking your calories (also known as “invisible” calories.

Soft drinks, fruit juices, and certain hot beverages can contain huge amounts of calories and ingredients that you’re unaware of. Adding this to your total food consumption, you can rack up a pretty big calorie number at the end of the day.

Action point: Drink water when you are thirsty, opt for a diet soft drink over a regular soft drink, and consume black coffee with a small amount of milk instead of a sugary Starbucks Latte.

12. Add More White Potatoes to Your Meals

White potatoes are under-rated food. They are not only one of the most cost-effective foods to buy, but they are also the most filling.

A study done in 1995 concluded that boiled white potatoes ranked highest on the satiety index (SI) when it came to foods that fill you up the most.[3] This can be highly useful when trying to keep your calories low, and they still give you energy over the course of the day.

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Action point: Add boiled white potatoes to your meals religiously and spice them up with different meat and vegetable options.

13. Vegetables Over Fruit

We’ve heard time and time again, “eat more fruits and vegetables” as though the two are equivalent. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

Vegetables contain a higher nutrient-to-energy ratio than fruit and despite having great vitamin and mineral benefits, the fruit is still high in sugar.

Now, I don’t want to scaremonger you here into not eating fruit. It’s better to opt for a piece of fruit than a candy bar when you have to make the choice. However, it’s probably a smarter option to consume more vegetables where you can.

Action point: One apple-sized portion of fruit per day is plenty. Fill your plate up with lots of vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, asparagus, carrots, cucumber, lettuce, during the course of your day.

14. Drink Green Tea

Green tea is a lightly caffeinated hot beverage that can help boost your energy levels during the day. Green tea is rich in antioxidants and polyphenolic compounds that have strong anti-inflammatory effects.

Action point: Consume Green Tea before 2 pm when low in energy and looking for a boost at work.

15. Be Consistent, Not Optimal

The key to healthy eating is to be consistent. Not every day is going to be perfect, and there are going to be some periods where you make the wrong choices.

That’s fine, as long as you don’t make it a habit. The more that you aim to be consistent and not optimal, the more you will build good systems that will help you make good choices when it comes to healthy eating.

Final Thoughts

I hope you find the information in this article useful and that it motivates you to make the right intuitive decisions when it comes to your nutrition going forward.

Use this information as the lighthouse in the sea of misinformation regarding nutrition.

Stick to these principles and you’ll be well on your way to achieving a healthy mind, body, and spirit that can perform at the highest level every day.

More Healthy Lifestyle Tips

Featured photo credit: Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Oliver Anwar

Fitness Entrepreneur, Health Consultant & Qualified Nutrition Coach

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Last Updated on June 26, 2020

How to Stay Motivated and Reach Your Big Goals in Life

How to Stay Motivated and Reach Your Big Goals in Life

It is hardly a secret that the key to successfully accomplishing one goal after another is staying motivated. There are, of course, tasks which successful people may not like at all, yet they find motivation to complete them because they recognize how each particular task serves a greater goal.

So how to stay motivated most of the time? Here are 5 simple yet effective ways on how to be motivated and get what you want:

1. Find Your Good Reasons

Anything you do, no matter how simple, has a number of good reasons behind it.

You may not be able to find good reasons to do some tasks at first but, if you take just a few moments to analyze them, you will easily spot something good. We also have many tasks which don’t need any reasoning at all – we’ve been doing them for so long that they feel natural.

If you’re ever stuck with some tasks you hate and there seems to be no motivation to complete it whatsoever, here’s what you need to do: find your good reasons.

Even when you set goals, there needs to be reasons behind these goals. They may not be obvious, but stay at it until you see some, as this will bring your motivation back and will help you finish the task.

Some ideas for what a good reason can be:

  • A material reward – quite often, you will get paid for doing something you normally don’t like doing at all.
  • Personal gain – you will learn something new or will perhaps improve yourself in a certain way.
  • A feeling of accomplishment – at least you’ll be able to walk away feeling great about finding the motivation and courage to complete such a tedious task.
  • A step closer to your bigger goal – even the biggest accomplishments in history have started small and relied on simple and far less pleasant tasks than you might be working on. Every task you complete brings you closer to the ultimate goal, and acknowledging this always feels good.

Here’re 9 Types of Motivation That Make It Possible to Reach Your Dreams.

2. Make It Fun

When it comes to motivation, attitude is everything. Different people may have completely opposite feelings towards the same task: some will hate it, others will love it.

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Why do you think this happens? It’s simple: some of us find ways to make any task interesting and fun to do!

Take sports for example. Visiting your local gym daily for a half-an-hour workout session sounds rather boring to some. Yet many others love the idea!

They like exercising not only because they recognize the good reasons behind it, but simply because it’s fun! At certain time of their daily schedule, they find going to gym to be the best thing to do, simply because nothing else will fit their time and lifestyle so perfectly.

Depending on how you look at it, you can have fun doing just about anything! Just look for ways of having fun, and you’ll find them!

A simple approach is to start working on any task by asking yourself a few questions:

  • How can I enjoy this task?
  • What can I do to make this task fun for myself and possibly for others?
  • How can I make this work the best part of my day?

As long as you learn to have the definite expectation of any task being potentially enjoyable, you will start to feel motivated.

Some of you will probably think of a thing or two which are valid exceptions from this statement, like something you always hate doing no matter how hard you try making it fun. You’re probably right, and that’s why I don’t claim everything to be fun.

However, most tasks have a great potential of being enjoyable, and so looking for ways to have fun while working is definitely a good habit to acquire.

3. Change Your Approach And Don’t Give Up

When something doesn’t feel right, it’s always a good time to take a moment and look for a different approach for the task.

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You may be doing everything correctly and most efficiently, but such approach isn’t necessarily the most motivating one. Quite often, you can find a number of obvious tweaks to your current approach which will both change your experience and open up new possibilities.

That’s why saying “one way or another” is so common — if you really want to accomplish your goal, there is always a way; and most likely, there’s more than one way.

If a certain approach doesn’t work for you, find another one, and keep trying until you find the one which will both keep you motivated and get you the desired results.

Some people think that trying a different approach means giving up. They take pride in being really stubborn and refusing to try any other options on their way towards the goal.

My opinion on this is that the power of focus is great, but you should be focusing on your goal, and not limiting your options by focusing on just one way to accomplish it it.

4. Recognize Your Progress

Everything you may be working on can be easily split into smaller parts and stages. For most goals, it is quite natural to split the process of accomplishing them into smaller tasks and milestones. There are a few reasons behind doing this, and one of them is tracking your progress.

We track our progress automatically with most activities. But to stay motivated, you need to recognize your progress, not merely track it.

Here’s how tracking and recognizing your progress is different:

Tracking is merely taking a note of having reached a certain stage in your process. Recognizing is taking time to look at a bigger picture and realize where exactly you are, and how much more you have left to do.

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For example, if you’re going to read a book, always start by going through the contents table. Getting familiar with chapter titles and memorizing their total number will make it easier for you to recognize your progress as you read. Confirming how many pages your book has before starting it is also a good idea.

You see, reading any book you will be automatically looking at page numbers and chapter titles, but without knowing the total number of pages, this information will have little meaning.

Somehow, it is human nature to always want things to happen in short term or even at once. Even though we split complex tasks into simpler actions, we don’t quite feel the satisfaction until all is done and the task is fully complete.

For many scenarios though, the task is so vast that such approach will drain all the motivation out of you long before you have a chance to reach your goal. That’s why it is important to always take small steps and recognize the positive different and progress made. This is how your motivation can sustain in long term.

5. Reward Yourself

This is a trick everyone likes: rewarding yourself is always pleasant. This is also one of the easiest and at the same time most powerful ways to stay motivated!

Feeling down about doing something? Dread the idea of working on some task? Hate the whole idea of working? You’re not alone.

Right from the beginning, agree on some deliverables which will justify yourself getting rewarded. As soon as you get one of the agreed results, take time to reward yourself in some way.

For some tasks, just taking a break and relaxing for a few minutes will do.

For others, you may want to get a fresh cup of coffee and even treat yourself a dessert.

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For even bigger and more demanding tasks, reward yourself by doing something even more enjoyable, like going to a cinema or taking a trip to some place nice, or even buying yourself something.

Your progress may not seem to others like anything worth celebrating but, take time and do it anyway! It is your task and your reward, so any ways to stay motivated are good.

The more you reward yourself for the honestly made progress, the more motivated you will feel about reaching new milestones, thus finally accomplishing your goal.

Mix and Match for the Best Effect!

Now that you have these five ways of staying motivated, it is a good moment to give you the key to them all: mix and match!

Pick one of the techniques and apply it to your situation. If it doesn’t work, or if you simply want to get more motivated, try another technique right away. Mix different approaches and match them to your task for the best results.

Just think about it: Finding good reasons to work on your task is bound to helping you feel better; and identifying ways to make it fun will help you enjoy the task even more.

Or, if you plan a few points for easier tracking of your progress and on top of that, agree on rewarding yourself as you go; this will make you feel most motivated about anything you have to work through.

More Tips to Boost Your Motivation

Featured photo credit: Lucas Lenzi via unsplash.com

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