Healthy eating guidelines: Preparation, Portions and Protein
The Australian Healthy Eating Guidelines displayed on the eatforhealth.gov.au website suggest that many of the health problems in Australia today are linked with poor eating habits. Too many people eat too much saturated fat, added salt, added sugars and alcohol. Even reducing these by small amounts can make us healthier. To help you make the right decision about food choices Gwen Gothard – Performance Nutritionist has put together ‘the three p’s of healthy eating’ to help you stick to a healthy balanced diet that will benefit you and your personal fitness goals.
Preparation is the key to a successful diet. In the fitness world ‘food prep Sunday’ is a popular term for organising meals in advance to ensure they eating healthy throughout the week. Whether your goal is to lose weight, maintain health or build muscle, having a set day to prepare food i.e. Sunday afternoon, helps to ensure healthy foods are readily available for you and your family thought the week. Here are some other tips to help prepare your weekly meals.
- Plan your healthy daily meal program at the start of every week.
- Decide on recipes for each meal including: breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
- Display your program on the fridge to keep you on track.
- Using the daily recipes, you have created, write a shopping list and purchase all items at the start of the week.
- Prepare meals in advance (when possible) and freeze to save time in the week.
It is important for weight control and essential for weight loss to think about your portion size. We tend to ignore our bodies signals of hunger and satiety (satisfaction) until we’ve eaten too much and are overfull.
- Eat slowly and be mindful of what you are eating by reducing distraction. Turn off the TV, put down your phone and step away from the computer.
- Put the cutlery down during mouthfuls and take a sip of water.
- Use your own hands to determine personal portion size e.g. meat the size of your flat palm, 2 handfuls of salad, closed fist of rice or cereal and a thumb of hard cheese, salad dressing or peanut butter.
To identify your daily protein needs multiply your body weight in kilos by either of the following to reflect your goal:
- Weight loss = 1.4 x kg
- Maintenance = 1.6 x kg
- Weight gain = 2 x kg
(60kg female x 1.6 = 84g of protein per day)
Once you have worked out your daily protein requirements divide the total amount of protein by the number of meals and snacks you consume each day (i.e. 6 small meals) to reveal the amount of protein you should consume per meal.
84g of protein divided by 6 meals = 14g of protein per meal.
- 14g of protein equates to either:
- 2 eggs
- 2 Musashi Mini Low Carb bars
- ½ cup of tofu
Use the above as a guide to help steer you in the right direction to a healthy eating lifestyle. Remember preparation, portion control and protein are all important factors to consider in the daily diet.