Do you remember learning about the golden rule in kindergarten? The one where they told us “treat others how you would like to be treated.” The same philosophy can be applied to nutrition. When you treat your body well, you’ll feel happy and energized in return. Follow these 10 golden rules of nutrition to optimize your personal health and have greater control over your body’s reaction to what you eat.

10 Golden Rules of Nutrition

1. COME BACK TO EARTH: Choose whole foods that are found naturally. These are less processed forms of food such as fruits, veggies, whole grains, and high fiber carbohydrates.

2. EAT THE RAINBOW OFTEN:  Try to include fruits and/or vegetables with each meal. Incorporate a wide variety of colors for the biggest benefit and most fun!

3. THE LESS LEGS THE BETTER: The least amount of legs a protein has before it hits your plate, the leaner the protein. Some great options include fish, chicken, and turkey. You might need to be selective with wild game, beef, and pork. Lean cuts and low-fat dairy are better options in those categories. Even better if the animal is grass-fed!

4. EAT HEALTHY FATS: Incorporate healthy fats in your diet like olive oil, nuts, natural nut butters, seeds, avocado, fish, flaxseed, and flaxseed oil.

5. EAT BREAKFAST EVERY DAY: When you eat within 30 minutes of waking up, you jump-start your metabolism. This gives you more energy to get your day going and improve your body’s functionality.

6. THREE FOR THREE:  Aim for all three macronutrients (carbs, protein, and fat) every three hours for optimal nutrition. Smaller meals/portions 4-6 times a day can help you feel less bloated and mentally foggy after eating.

7. STAY HYDRATED: Dehydration = Decreased performance and decreased cell function. Everything in our body starts with the cells, and your cells need water!! Drink at least half your body weight in ounces each day (150lb person/2 = 75 ounces of water). Yes, this does mean you will be visiting the restroom more often, but your body will thank you!

8. DON’T WASTE YOUR WORKOUT: Have a post-workout recovery meal or shake that combines both carbs and protein immediately after your training to help repair the muscles that were being worked and broken down. Be careful of sneaky sugar in premixed drinks/snacks.

9. SUPPLEMENT WISELY: Food first and supplement second. If you are not getting what you need through food, (a lot will come from that rainbow) add a multivitamin supplement into your daily routine. Create a smart supplementation program that improves your performance without compromising your health or draining your wallet. Before you take any type of supplement, make sure to check in with your doctor or registered dietitian.

10. SLEEP: This is where your recovery really happens! If you’re wanting to make significant changes with your performance, those cells need time to rebuild from the work you put in in the gym. Aim for eight hours of sleep. If you can’t get eight hours daily, consider power naps when you can.

And to Finish Off…

The 80/20 Rule: Each meal and snack is an opportunity to replenish your body optimally. Choose the foods that are best for you 80% of the time and incorporate some of those foods that may not be the best, but are your favorites, 20% of the time! Life is about balance!

I hope you found these golden rules of nutrition useful and can find ways to incorporate them into your lifestyle! If you’re looking for help on how you could incorporate these golden rules of nutrition into your life, come see me for a consultation!

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Kailyn Danhouser Personal Trainer at Elite Sports Clubs

Written by Kailyn Danhouser, EP-C; Personal Trainer at Elite Sports Club – River Glen & North Shore 

Kailyn graduated from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse with a B.S. in Exercise and Sports Science. She is an American College of Sports Medicine: Certified Exercise Physiologist (EP-C), AAAI/ISMA: Certified Pilates Instructor, and Certified Diabetes Prevention Lifestyle Coach. Kailyn specializes in Functional Training, Group training, Special Populations, Weight Management, and HIIT. “I want to inspire people to find exercises that they enjoy doing every day. There are many opportunities all around us to move our bodies, we have to look for them. The exercises you do are better than the ones you don’t do.”

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