Many parents have inevitably become “stay-at-home” parents while bringing work home with them. Balanced diets for busy parents is more crucial now than ever before!
With the blur between work, life, and parenting, sometimes it’s hard to find time for eating the way our bodies need us to. But, they need us to! Many people seek personal trainers to help with weight loss, but “new normal” life balance is a brand new goal-set we are seeing! Busy moms and busy dads can have a healthy balanced diet and make sure the work is done and the kids get enough attention.
The trick? Take a step back and re-survey your new landscape. Then, develop the plan of action for nutrition for weight loss or just healthy living!
Focus on the most important nutritional elements.
Don’t worry about supplements, protein powders, pre-workouts or any of that. KISS. Keep It Simple Silly! Think of a balanced diet being how you habitually fuel your body. Do this by
focusing on the main nutritional components first.
WHAT you eat.
We’re talking quality here. There is a big difference in the 91 calories from 4 Marshmallows and the 70 from a mozzarella string cheese. You want to go for nutrient-dense foods because they provide for body function. Marshmallows are a great example of calorie dense foods – those that contain high calories for a low nutrient yield. Those ooey-gooey sugar-bombs are delicious, but they don’t offer much in the way of “fuel”. Alcohol is a big “what” topic. You may have heard that alcohol is “empty calories”. This means that the calories you ingest from your beverage provide absolutely zero nutritional value, zero nutrients for body function. Think of your balance diet in the Big Rock Principle terms. Your big rocks are your lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, vegetables/fruits. Try to keep it clean and whole. The less processed the better.
WHEN you eat.
Timing of your fueling is important because you want your metabolism to work for you and not against you. Metabolism spikes when you eat and then starts to taper off. We recommend eating around every 4 hours to keep your body consistently fueled. Think of your body like a car – if you let the engine run on fumes, it will begin to breakdown. Similarly, if you overfill your gas tank, you are wasting that fuel (luckily, your car won’t grow love-handles though). Timing is also important because busy moms and busy dads may not have the ability to sit down for every meal. In many cases, we find busy parents are forced to eat on-the-go. Being prepared in knowing when you should be eating is the first step to preparing how you’ll get that fueling. What time do you wake up? When do you leave the house? Is bedtime consistent? What does a day consistent of in terms of time obligations? We consider these lifestyle logistics when determine how to best outline an eating schedule.
HOW MUCH you eat.
Once you know the quality of your fuel-source, we can talk quantity. This is where you’ll portion our the different macronutrients that will help fuel your body. We recommend that people learn both the physical portion size and the caloric equivalency. Don’t eyeball it! Measure it, because cannot change that which we do not measure. Portion out your Cheerios with a measuring cup. I promise you, the entire bowl is not 1 serving size and an actual tablespoon serving of peanut butter is not how much peanut butter you can pile onto the spoon. Sadly. If you’re seeking nutrition for weight loss, you’ll need to create a deficit in your total intake.
Here are a few great resources for you to use.
Your basal metabolic rate is the calculation of what your body requires to sustain life. You can visit DrGily.com to calculate your rate to better understand how many calories you need and go from there!
There are quite a few apps on the market that allow you to track your calories and your fitness. Some are more accurate than others but we like our trusted CalorieKing.com to get the cold-hard truth on what each food and amount offers in the way of calories and nutrients.
What is the difference between portions and calories? You portion out your foods in terms of grams, and the grams of that food contain calories. 1 gram of carbohydrate = 4 calories, 1 gram of protein = 4 calories, 1 gram of fat = 9 calories, and 1 gram of alcohol = 7 calories.
Check out this video for more explanations on how to approach your balanced diet!
Time to nosh on some balanced diet meals!
Grilled Chicken Thighs with Pineapple, Corn, and Bell Pepper Relish is a delicious, meal to mind your caloric intake without sacrificing taste! This meal has 242 calories; fat 6.1g; saturated fat 1.5g; mono fat 1.8g; poly fat 1.5g; protein 29.6g; carbohydrates 17.4g; fiber 1.3g; cholesterol 118mg; iron 2.2mg; sodium 571mg; calcium 38mg. Find the recipe here!
What more do you need to have a balanced diet as a busy parent?
For one, support! You can be healthy and you can lose weight even though you’re busy! It won’t always be easy, but once you achieve it through effort you’re less likely to let it go. We are adamant on educating and empowering our clients to be more capable, and therefore, successful. Nutrition coaching and personal training is the process of taking the body and your habits from point-A to point-Z because the progress usually isn’t linear. Your life changes on the fly (if 2020 has taught us anything!), and you have to be adaptable in order to succeed.