One of the best people to have on speed dial is a nutritionist.
To say our clients have a few questions is an understatement - we've heard it all. Nutrition is confusing, as is all the information on the internet. Luckily, we've compiled the top three questions you should be asking your nutritionist to get things moving in the right direction.
Q. How do I refuel after my workouts?
A. It's important to refuel after an intense sweat session. Contrary to popular belief, one workout doesn't earn a day of indulgences! Post workout, eat your snack 20-30 minutes after finishing, followed by a balanced meal no more than three hours later. Consuming carbohydrates (glucose containing foods) 20 to 30 minutes after a workout restores your muscles' energy stores, while protein assists in recovery and muscle repair. Quick post workout snacks include
- chocolate milk
- protein shakes or bars containing 10-15g of protein and no more than 20g carbohydrates
- fruit & Greek yogurt
- apple slices with peanut butter
Your later meal should feature protein and carbohydrates as well. Examples of a good, post-workout meal are chicken breast with brown rice and greens, or tilapia with a sweet potato and broccoli. Meatless post workout meals may include a large salad with nuts, seeds and quinoa. The size of your post workout meal or snack will vary depending on your gender, age, weight and overall activity level. The only way to get it just right is to ask your nutritionist! Proper portioning will ensure your satiety and steady energy throughout the day.
Q. How do I plan for social events? A. It's unrealistic to say you're never going to consume cake, ice cream, or alcohol ever again. Who wants to live like that? Not us. Your nutritionist will guide you through these difficult days to allow you to indulge in the things you enjoy, without throwing your progress down the drain. When attending an event, focus on filling half of your plate with vegetables. The remaining half should be comprised of smaller portions of carbohydrates and protein. Vegetables are extremely fibrous, aiding in keeping you feeling full. Trying to satisfy your hungry with empty calories like chips, will always leave you feeling hungry. Keep your plate balanced and offer to bring a salad or fruit tray to your event! Aside from the food we eat, the liquids we drink can also contribute heavily to our daily calorie consumption. One alcoholic drink, on average, contains close to 100 calories. To minimize calories from libations, always choose dry wine over sweet wine, swap sugary mixers for club soda or water and alternate with a glass of water.
Q. What should I be looking at on the Nutrition Facts Label? A. Nutrition Facts Labels can be found on all packaged foods and beverages. They contain helpful information that you need to make smart meal and snack choices. There are 5 key components to every label: serving size, serving size, calories, % DVs, sodium, and the ingredients.
- The information listed on the Nutrition Facts Label is based on one serving. It is important to know that one package often contains more than one serving. The servings per container are listed directly below the serving size.
- The calories per serving are listed on the left side of the Nutrition Facts Label, directly below the servings per container. 400 calories or more per serving is high. A healthy food choice contains approximately 100 calories per serving.
- When comparing the nutrients in foods, use the % DV. The % DVs are listed on the right side of the Nutrition Facts Label.
A % DV of 5% or less per serving is low A % DV of 20% or more per serving is high
- At the bottom of every food label is a list of ingredients. They are listed according to weight in a descending order. That means that the first ingredients are always contained in highest amounts. Look for products with real, whole foods as the first few (or better yet, only) ingredients. For example, real peanut butter contains only one ingredient, peanuts.
Katelan Sottosanti is a Nutritionist at OnPoint Nutrition. As a self-proclaimed foodie, she loves being immersed in the world of food and nutrition. Katelan is an advocate for Intuitive Eating, which she implements in her counseling to help her clients improve their relationship with food while building strong mind-body connections.