How to Navigate the Confusing World of Nutrition Advice


In matters of nutrition, it can be troublesome to determine which ideas to trust. But fear not, for there are five principles that have been solidly backed by evidence and are widely accepted by experts. So, if you want to be confident in your nutrition choices, these evidence-based concepts are the ones you should focus on. Don't leave your health to chance, make informed decisions and take charge of your wellbeing with these reliable guidelines.

Five universal principles of good nutrition

Pittsburgh's Top Nutrition Coach Reveals 5 Essential Principles for Optimal Nutrition

Weight depends on the balance between calorie intake and physical activity.

Principle #1: Losing or gaining weight is all about one important thing.

Maintaining a balance between the calories you consume and the calories you burn through physical activity is crucial for maintaining a healthy weight. This concept is often called the energy balance equation, or CICO for short. While only some believe in its effectiveness, it is a well-established principle supported by scientific evidence.

[Energy in] – [Energy out] = Changes in body stores

It's important to remember that weight is affected by the balance between the calories you consume and the calories you burn through physical activity. When you consume more calories than you burn, you may gain weight. On the other hand, when you burn more calories than you consume, you may lose weight. And when you consume the same amount of calories that you burn, your weight may stay the same. Maintaining a balance between the energy you consume and the energy you burn through physical activity is essential to maintaining a healthy weight.

It's important to note that the energy balance equation is derived from the first law of thermodynamics. This equation emphasizes the significance of balancing the calories and energy you expend through physical activity to maintain a healthy weight. Remember, consuming more calories than you burn can lead to weight gain, burning more calories than you consume can cause weight loss, and maintaining an equilibrium between the two can keep your weight stable.

Indeed, our bodies can't create energy from nothing; we get it from the food we consume. Suppose we consume more energy than we need. In that case, our bodies will either increase the amount of energy we expend (usually by speeding up our metabolism) or store the excess energy for later use. This is why it's so essential to maintain a balance between the calories we consume and the energy we expend through physical activity. By doing so, we can keep our weight stable and maintain good health.

Have you ever heard someone say that not all calories are equal? It's a common saying, but it can be pretty confusing. Many factors influence how many calories we consume and how many we burn off. For example, our brains can significantly impact our metabolism, which affects the number of calories we burn. Balancing the calories and energy we expend through physical activity is important to maintain good health and stable weight.

When considering altering your body mass, it's crucial to consider your overall energy balance and find ways to shift it in a better direction. Below are some tactics that could assist you in reaching your objectives:

To reduce calories in:

Incorporating more fiber-rich vegetables into your diet can significantly reduce the number of calories your body absorbs. This can tip the energy balance in your favor and help you achieve your weight loss goals. Some great options include spinach, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.

Consuming more protein can further assist with weight loss. This can help reduce your appetite and overall energy intake, leading to a calorie deficit. Try incorporating options like chicken, eggs, and tofu into your meals.

One way to avoid overeating is by eating slowly and mindfully. This allows you to pay attention to your body's hunger and fullness signals and stop eating when you feel satisfied instead of stuffed. By doing so, you can maintain a healthy and balanced diet that supports your weight loss goals. Many people don't realize that eating slowly is an important part of good nutrition. Holly Gatto, a nutrition coach, often recommends practicing slow eating for at least one meal to her clients. This simple method can be helpful in improving overall nutrition.

Consuming food at a leisurely pace while remaining attentive and mindful is beneficial to prevent excessive eating. This approach lets you recognize your body's hunger signals and satiety, preventing you from overindulging and eating until you feel satisfied. This method is advantageous for maintaining a well-rounded and nutritious diet that supports your weight loss objectives.

Getting enough sleep is essential for reducing hunger and cravings for sweets. When you are sleep-deprived, your body may produce more of the hormone ghrelin, which can stimulate your appetite and increase cravings for high-calorie foods. By prioritizing restful sleep, you may find it easier to make healthy food choices throughout the day.

To increase calories out:

Incorporating cardio exercises into your routine can help you burn more calories to support your weight loss goals. Combining regular physical activity with restful sleep and healthy food choices can improve your overall health and well-being. Remember to consult with your healthcare professional before starting any new exercise program.

Incorporating strength training into your routine can help you build muscle, increase your metabolism, and burn even more calories to take your weight loss journey to the next level. When combined with regular physical activity, nutritious meals, and sufficient rest, you will surely see improvements in your overall health and wellness. As always, it's essential to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise program.

A straightforward way to increase your daily activity is to take the stairs instead of the elevator, park farther from your destination, or use an activity tracker to remind you to take more steps throughout the day. Incorporating more movement into your routine can help support your weight loss goals and improve your overall health and wellness. Always consult your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise program.

One way to increase digestion's thermic effect is to boost protein intake. This can help support your weight loss goals and improve your overall health and wellness. Always consult your healthcare provider before making any significant changes to your diet.

Remember to prioritize self-care and relaxation techniques to reduce stress and promote better sleep quality, which can positively impact your metabolism. Taking care of yourself is essential to maintaining overall health and wellness.

Why put so much emphasis on protein in the diet?

Feeling satisfied and full is key to weight control                                        

Protein plays a crucial role in building and maintaining muscles and is critical for metabolism

Principle #2: Getting enough protein is crucial for maintaining a healthy diet. It's one of the critical nutrients that our body needs to function correctly.

Why? Two reasons.

Reason #1: This can make you feel full and satisfied even when eating smaller portions.

Studies have shown that eating protein can help you feel full for a longer time, which can help you lose weight. This is because protein takes longer to break down in the body than carbs or fats. Eating protein also triggers the release of hormones in your gut that help you feel full. So, when you eat protein, you naturally eat less. This can make a big difference in your daily calorie intake. If you double your protein intake, you may consume around 400 fewer calories daily, which is about the same as eating 1 ½ cups of ice cream.

Reason #2: "Protein plays a crucial role in building and maintaining muscles.".

Protein is essential for our bodies to function correctly. Without enough protein, our muscles may break down. High-protein diets maximize muscle protein synthesis, leading to more muscle gain. The amount of protein you need depends on your age, gender, and goals. For example, bodybuilders may need up to 50 grams of protein per meal, while those trying to lose weight may need less.

The Benefits of a Whole Foods Diet

Eating Minimally Processed Foods Can Improve Your Health and Well-being

Whole foods have fewer calories than refined foods.

Principle #3: As more and more food is processed, its nutrients tend to decrease.

A diet consisting of a variety of minimally processed whole foods is essential for a healthier and happier life. Such a diet provides a plethora of essential nutrients like fiber, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and zoonutrients, which are necessary for optimal health. In contrast, processed foods often contain harmful additives, preservatives, fillers, sugar, sodium, unhealthy fats, and refined starch, which can have severe negative impacts on our health. By opting for whole foods like whole grains, nuts, eggs, and fish, we can reap numerous health benefits, including reduced heart disease rates, cancer, depression, and type 2 diabetes. Additionally, these foods tend to have fewer calories per serving compared to highly processed refined foods, making it easier to maintain a healthy weight.

Principle #4: Eating many fruits and vegetables can help you stay healthy and reduce the risk of getting sick. They can also be helpful if you're trying to lose weight.

Eating fruits and vegetables is super important for our health. They are filled with important things like vitamins, minerals, fiber, and special nutrients that can help protect our brains from getting sick. It's better to eat a lot of different kinds of fruits and veggies instead of just one "superfood." Eating a variety of produce can help keep us healthy and feeling good.

Principle #5: How well you sleep can have a significant impact on your diet and health.

Sleep is critical for our health and well-being. It helps the body regulate important hormones, controls cravings for junk food, and encourages us to move around and exercise. When we don't get enough sleep, we are more likely to consume more calories and experience negative impacts on our overall health. Getting enough restful sleep should be a priority for everyone who wants to stay healthy and achieve their goals.

Learning to regulate your internal appetite can be a game-changer

Strict macros or calorie counts can cause you to lose touch with your internal cues

Most people can benefit greatly from learning how to control their appetite.

Calorie counting is a useful tool when managing your diet. Pay attention to when you're hungry and when you're full, and listen to your body. This can help you avoid overeating and maintain a healthy relationship with food. Remember that external guidelines are helpful tools, not strict rules. Trusting your body and its signals is critical to achieving a balanced and sustainable approach to eating.

When finding the proper diet for yourself, there are many factors to consider. Everyone's body is different, so there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach. You should consider what your body needs and what you like eating. You should also consider your age, health, budget, and personal beliefs. It's essential to ask yourself some critical questions before choosing a diet. For example, is it backed up by scientific research? When evaluating scientific research, you should look at things like the study's size and design and whether there are any biases.

When choosing a diet, it's important to consider the potential downsides and challenges that may come with it. Some diets may be difficult to stick to because of money or social pressures, and they may have physical or emotional costs. That's why weighing the pros and cons is important when considering a specific diet. While certain diets may have benefits such as improved health, energy, mood, and fitness, it's important to make sure that the benefits outweigh the potential risks. Ultimately, choosing the right diet can positively impact your overall well-being.

The most important thing when changing your diet is sticking to it consistently. It's better to focus on sticking to your healthy eating plan most of the time rather than worrying too much about the specifics of the diet itself. You should also consider whether you can realistically keep up with this new way of eating for an extended period. By focusing on consistency and setting achievable goals, you can change your diet to improve your health and well-being in the long run.

Maintaining a healthy diet can be confusing, but every experience teaches us something new that we can use to make better decisions in the future. By following six simple principles, we can take steps towards achieving our health and wellness goals. The most important thing is to start with an open mind and be willing to learn and grow.

Maintaining a healthy diet can be challenging, and it's okay if you find it difficult to follow all the rules consistently. The good news is that every little effort you make counts toward progress. It's vital to keep an open mind to learning and growth and to remember that even small steps can lead to big changes over time.

Have you ever wondered about the basics of eating healthy? Questions like how often to eat, whether breakfast is important, whether red meat is good for you, whether you need a multivitamin, or if the keto diet is a good choice can be confusing. If you're looking for simple, easy-to-understand answers to these questions, Holly Gatto can help you get better at exercising and eating healthy. She can create a plan just for you that will teach you how to stay on track and motivated, even when it gets hard. With her help, you can break through your exercise and nutrition challenges and start seeing positive results.

Are you ready to start your fitness journey? You can contact Holly Gatto Fitness or download the free Health Habits Guideline to begin working towards your fitness goals today!

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