Now that I have your attention, we need to look at how to improve body composition with proper nutrition. First, nutrition is a bio-individual approach. We all have different stressors, allergies, and reactions that make us need to take a bio-individual approach based on our body's signs and symptoms and support these signs and symptoms by addressing the foundations (digestion, blood sugar regulation, fatty acids, mineral balance, and hydration).
First, I am not someone that loves to count calories or macros. We need to listen to our bodies, understand when we are full and get a better idea of how we feel to recognize the signals our bodies give us.
But, after looking at many food journals and seeing pictures of a typical day, many individuals are NOT eating enough in general (I’m talking the good stuff - nutrient-dense, real food) and aren’t getting enough protein in). Most individuals show insulin resistance signs (even if blood work returns okay).
Things I typically see in a food journal:
Breakfast: Flavored yogurt with granola and fruit = woke up groggy
Lunch: Salad or a veggie wrap = tired, bloated and hangry between 1–3 p.m.
Dinner: Piece of chicken, rice, and a veggie
Talk about a constant up and down of the blood sugar! We need protein and fat to help keep our blood sugar levels stable. In addition, I ask individuals how they feel, when they wake up and if they experience any signs or symptoms. Many individuals are bloated and belching after they eat.
We also talk about poop. A lot of individuals have watery, soft poops. If you look at the Bristol Stool Chart, we should be around a 3 or a 4 (see picture below).
If you experience any of these signs and symptoms, the great news is this can all be reversed and your body can heal itself with the proper nutrients.
If you are looking to improve your body composition, reduce digestive symptoms, you will definitely need to make sure you are getting some protein and fat in each meal. But, once again, it is an individual approach.
Before you make that next salad or overnight oats, think about what may be best to help stabilize your blood sugar and improve your overall health.
Until next time, “Let Thy Food be Thy Medicine.” - Hippocrates