I remember when I started looking for a lifestyle change 20 months ago. I was so tired of doing the same things and seeing minimal results. I was hungry and frustrated. I wanted to learn how to properly fuel my body so I could improve my overall health + have energy to do the things I loved. I knew what whole foods were but I had no idea how to consume them in an effective way where I didn’t feel deprived.
So, why are whole foods important? Here are 5 things you need to know about whole foods.
- Whole foods are foods that are found in their most natural state. You might be thinking, “Who cares!” The reality is that when we are eating foods that aren’t considered whole foods, we are putting a lot of things into our bodies, and we don’t know the full ingredients in these items. Here’s a a good rule that I like to tell people: if it's from the ground or has a mother, it’s free game. When you consume whole foods, know that they have not been processed or modified out of their natural form.
- Whole foods generally have more macronutrients than processed foods. The reality is that you could eat all processed foods and still hit your macros for the day. The problem with this is that you are missing out on all the healthy micronutrients. Whole foods are also generally higher in fiber which is important for our bodies. When you consume fiber, it benefits you by helping with your blood pressure, reducing inflammation, and maintaining a healthy digestive system.
- Generally speaking, what do whole foods include? Whole foods are not limited to but include fruits, vegetables, meats, herbs and spices, nuts, beans, and legumes.
- It is very difficult to eat 100% whole foods all the time. Whole foods are extremely beneficial for multiple reasons. They help fuel your body in ways that processed foods simply can’t and won’t be as effective. BUT you won’t be perfect. There are days when things that are processed will make their way into your diet and that’s okay. Don’t stress about this. Eating a majority of whole foods throughout your week is a step in the right direction.
- Awareness of what you are putting in your body is great. Awareness is an amazing tool. We were not given food to consume purely for our enjoyment. Food is supposed to fuel us. Take the time to look at nutrition labels. If there are 20-30 ingredients listed on the side, it’s most likely not the best choice. Start a new habit by choosing labels that have fewer ingredients. Food is supposed to provide nourishment. It’s supposed to help us feel energized to pursue the things we love with passion and excitement.
If you are feeling bad all the time, I would encourage you to take a look at the things you are feeding your body. Are they high in sugar? Is 75% of your diet processed foods? Simple changes in these areas will guarantee a change in the way you are feeling. I’m not saying you can’t enjoy treats or foods that “aren’t as good for you!” If you want to feel energized through your food, whole foods are the answer! Remember, you don’t have to be perfect. Perfection is never the goal but progress is a great start! What small changes can you make today?
If you are someone who wants guidance regarding your nutrition and what it looks like to properly fuel your body, I'd love to chat with you. You will receive a full meal plan + grocery list and be set up for success moving forward. Contact me here!