DAY 9

Balance your meals

Balance your meals to reduce blood sugar crashes, improve energy and mood, and feel more satiated. For most of us (unless you are on a keto or extremely low carb diet), this means incorporating protein, carbs, and a small amount of fat at each of your meals. For instance, instead of just having a banana for breakfast, have a banana and an egg or two.

TODAY’S TIP FROM
COACH ANDREW JACKSON

WHY IT MATTERS

Gillian Ward
Barbell Logic Director of Nutrition

Eating carbohydrates alone, especially those with a high glycemic index, can lead to overeating and weight gain. This occurs because of a rapid spike in insulin and blood sugar followed by a steep decline or “crash.” This crash signals us to reach for (you guessed it) even more carbs. Eating carbohydrates with some protein and/or healthy fats slows the digestive process, and the sugars take a longer time to seep into the bloodstream.

Balancing meals means more than combining macros (carbs, proteins, and fats) together at each meal. It means taking a look at your plate and asking yourself, “Am I getting everything I need, and how is this going to make me feel?” When you look down at a balanced plate, you should see a lean protein source, whole grains or complex carbohydrates, an abundance of vegetables, and a touch of healthy fat (especially if the protein is extremely lean, if you eat a fatty cut of beef you do not need to add additional fat to that meal).

Your plate does not have to look like piles of individual ingredients to be balanced. A beef stew made with potatoes and veggies can be a balanced meal. A slice of lasagna and a side of green beans can be a balanced meal. Balanced doesn’t mean boring.

Test your knowledge of a “balanced meal.” Which of the following represents a balanced meal?

  1. A large bag of pretzels with a 20oz soda?
  2. A chicken breast, roasted potatoes, and broccoli sauteed in olive oil?
  3. A bowl of ice cream with hot fudge, whipped cream, and a cherry?

OK, so that was an easy question, but keeping up with all 9 habits is quite a challenge!

  • Drink your water
  • Reduce added sugars
  • Stop Mindless Snacking
  • Keep a food journal
  • Eliminate alcohol
  • Eat your veggies
  • Fill up on fiber
  • Cut off caffeine at least 6 hours before bed

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