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Nutrient Density - Your Key to Health! by Matthew Romans

If you are a Total Results client or have previously read our blog posts, you know that our exercise program is an important aid in fat loss, but that nutritional selection and portion control are the most critical factors. Watch television for five minutes, and after the obligatory commercials for one medication or another, you'll probably see an advertisement for a weight loss or nutritional program. There are a lot of different nutritional approaches, and while many of them work (some of them only for the short term), there is a lot of misinformation out there. With so many foods available in the typical grocery store, what is the best way to shop and to eat?

Most grocery stores have a similar layout. The perimeter of the stores house the produce section, the dairy section, beef and poultry area section, and the seafood section. Stick to this perimeter area; that's where the food with the highest nutritional content is located. While the bakery is also usually on the perimeter of the store, I wouldn't recommend stopping by there too frequently.

Now take a look at what is offered in the interior aisles. That's where you will typically find your sugary beverages and snacks, breads, and cereals. These are areas to largely avoid.

Taking this shopping approach will save you money in the long run and get you in and out of the store more quickly, as the perimeter tends to be less crowded than the interior aisles.

Now that we have an idea of where in the store to get our food, which foods should we select? We recommend selecting single-ingredient, whole foods, and relying as little as possible on packaged food. If a food has a lot of ingredients on the package that you can't pronounce, you don't need it. It's also a good idea to consume a larger percentage of your diet in the form of healthy fats. Great sources of fat include meat, fish, eggs, butter, olive oil, avocado, and nuts.

Fat is not the bogeyman that we have been brainwashed into believing over the past fifty years, and consumption of dietary fat does not make you fat. While it is true that one gram of fat has 9 calories (compared to 4 calories each for a gram of protein and a gram of carbohydrate), those that consume a large portion of their calories from saturated fat tend to eat fewer calories overall. This is because fat satiates you and makes you no longer feel hungry. In fact, fat and protein are much more satiating than most carbohydrate based foods. Hunger is a signal that your body is craving nutrients; once you are no longer hungry the body has had its nutritional needs met. If you were to eat a meal rich in processed carbohydrates and sugar, it will take much longer for you to feel satiated, because you are consuming far fewer essential nutrients, and you'll probably feel hungry again in less than two hours. You should not feel the need to eat every couple of hours if you are eating the right foods.

Consuming adequate protein is absolutely necessary. It is essential for facilitating tissue repair, particularly for the muscles. Select organic whenever possible, and go with grass-fed over corn-fed. Tim talked about a lot of this in his last blog post, so I'll try not to be repetitive, but grass-fed beef has an even greater nutritional value than either chicken or pork. Salmon and other types of fish are a great source of protein (and fat), and will help you regulate your Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acid levels to prevent systemic inflammation which can lead to a greater risk for the diseases of modern civilization (diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc.).

The vast majority of your carbohydrates should come from fruits and vegetables. If fat loss is your goal I would recommend avoiding fruits with a higher sugar content, such as apples and bananas. Salads are low in calories, but high in vitamins and other nutrients. This is why you often feel very satisfied after eating a salad, especially if you add in a little olive oil and vinegar for flavor. Remember, there are essential amino acids (proteins) and essential fatty acids, but there is no such thing as essential carbohydrates. Your body is capable of getting glucose without consuming it, through a process called gluconeogenesis. This is why ketogenic diets are very effective.

Finally, try to limit your portion sizes to no bigger than the palm of your hand, and eat until you are no longer hungry. If you do this in conjunction with regularly performing intermittent fasting (limiting your feeding windows to between 6-10 hours per day), you will generally consume fewer total calories, boost your immune system, increase your metabolism, sleep better, and feel more alert and productive.

These guidelines will help you stay healthier, aid in fat loss, maintain your insulin sensitivity, ward off chronic disease, and give you the biggest bang for your buck as far as your grocery bill is concerned. It will also help you get the most out of your exercise experience. At Total Results, we are committed to your health and helping you maximize your genetic blueprint. Start the transformation today.

Posted June 04, 2020 by Tim Rankin