Over the past few months I have been learning about nutrition through ISSA’s nutrition coach certification program. I have already learned so much! There have been several stand-out nutrition facts that I found especially important, that I believe all people could benefit from by knowing. They are nutrition facts that I believe are super important, but that your “average Joe” probably doesn’t know! I learned all of these things from my ISSA nutrition coach textbook! I really hope you find these nutrition facts as informative & helpful as I did!
Water & Dehydration
One of the first steps I took when starting my health journey was committing to drinking 100 ounces of water per day. Of course there are days where I don’t make it there, but 9/10 days I do. It’s one of the easiest steps you can take to better your health.
When we are dehydrated, we are not operating at our full potential. Our entire body, down to our cellular functions, require water in order to properly and efficiently do their jobs. It’s as simple as drinking water. It doesn’t require extra physical strength or anything difficult whatsoever, so just do it!
I also want to take this moment to appreciate that I have access to clean drinking water, and you should too if you have the same accessibility. My tap water is what I drink. However, I do buy bottled water from time to time. I am grateful that I have the ability to drink clean water and purchase bottled water.
Every single thing we do uses energy. Every single thing we do burns calories. Walking to the kitchen, cleaning, and even eating. So when you eat “X” number of calories from a certain food, you are ultimately consuming less because of the energy it takes to eat and digest that food. It’s called the thermic effect of feeding.
Each macronutrient group is handled differently by the body. Each group has its own energy requirements for digestion. Fat uses the least energy and protein uses the most. So by simply increasing the amount of protein you consume, you are using more energy, and burning more calories. This isn’t something that should be looked into with great detail. No need to calculate exactly how many calories more you will burn by consuming more protein. Just know that consuming more protein is a simple and healthy step you can take in order to benefit your health in multiple ways.
N.E.A.T = Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis.
This is the same topic that I just wrote about above. It’s about the random energy we use throughout the day. The random calories we burn from various activities. Examples of N.E.A.T can include any activity that isn’t intentional exercise. For example, cleaning, playing with your toddler, or folding laundry. N.E.A.T is not a significant source of our daily burned calories. However, you can easily manipulate that. An office assistant most likely burns less calories through N.E.A.T than does a waitress. Waitresses are constantly on the go, whereas, office assistants are typically seated at a desk. As a stay at home mom, I have noticed that on days I spend cleaning, I burn a lot more calories than my average days. I discovered this through my FitBit data. You can make a conscious effort to increase your N.E.A.T. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park farther away from the store entrance, use it as an excuse to clean more, etc. There are many different and doable possibilities!
Fat Is Your Friend
I’m not just saying this because I am an advocate for a low-carb high-fat diet. I am saying this because it is true regardless of the diet you choose to eat. Eating fat does a couple of great things when trying to be healthier and/or lose weight. It keeps us full, and it releases satiety hormones. Fat is the last macronutrient to leave the stomach for further digestion. Therefore, our stomach is literally full longer when we consume more fat. Fiber also stays longer in the stomach, so eat more fiber in order to stay full longer! Also, when we eat fat, our hormones send signals to our brain telling us that we feel satisfied. By consuming more fat, you can actually end up consuming less calories in general because you feel no desire to eat. However, this is not something to take advantage of. Fat has more calories than protein and carbohydrates, so don’t overdo it. Try adding avocado to your sandwich at lunch, or add a handful of almonds to your daily snack! Don’t be afraid of healthy fats!
Eating better isn’t just about the food
When you make the choice to get healthy and change your eating habits, you are doing a lot more than making a simple decision. You are changing your lifestyle. You are changing the ways in which you react to certain events and you are changing your ways of thinking and living. You have to take a cold hard look at how you use food in different scenarios. Do you stress eat? Are you a late night eater? Why do you do these things? How can you manage your feelings in other ways? Do you eat when you aren’t hungry? Why? How can you resolve this? There are so may questions to ask yourself, so many things to think about. Changing the way you eat requires a lot of thinking, planning, motivation, and dedication! It’s not an easy journey, it is especially difficult in the beginning, but feeling good, having energy, and having confidence makes it worth it!
These are all facts that I have learned through my ISSA nutrition coach certification course. I honestly didn’t know much about any of these things before. I think they are all very essential and important things to know when beginning your journey to a healthier lifestyle! What nutrition facts have you learned recently? What’s an interesting fact you know about food or nutrition? Share in the comments! Thank you for reading!