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The USDA has MyPlate (replacing the old Food Pyramid) that tells you how many servings of different types of food you’re supposed to eat each day. *yawn*
That’s fine, but it doesn’t really help you that much — because it doesn’t address eating BEHAVIOR!
Here’s our improved food pyramid to conquer healthy eating — it’s all based on nutrition PRIORITIES:

improved food pyramid

Nutrition Priority #1: Eating on Purpose instead of Reactively

The most important nutrition priority isn’t protein-to-carb ratios, or what supplements to take, it’s EATING ON PURPOSE INSTEAD OF REACTIVELY.
  • This means planning your meals and snacks, so you’re not at the mercy of grabbing whatever’s easy when you’re starving.
  • This means learning to recognize the danger signs of emotional eating so you don’t reactively binge any time life gets stressful.
Being INTENTIONAL with your nutrition is the #1 priority for weight loss and health. That’s why it is the base level of our improved food pyramid.
Stress eating, emotional eating, and sugar binges will always damage your weight loss and your healthy nutrition plan. So in order to lose weight and keep a healthy diet, you have to master these kinds of reactive eating impulses!
(And if you need our help with this, just send us a message and we’ll talk about coaching options.)

Nutrition Priority #2: Portions

Next up on the list of importance is PORTIONS — how much you eat.
Calories aren’t everything — weight loss is a lot more complicated than just calories-in vs calories-out — but calories ARE important.
Keeping your portions under control is a vital part of successful weight loss.
Some foods, like vegetables, you can eat like crazy without worrying about portions or calories.
Other healthy foods, like nuts, are high in calories so you have to watch your portions. (See a related article How Much Is A Serving?)
If you’re trying to lose weight, always keep in mind that how much you eat is pretty much the most important decision. That’s why portions are at the second level of our Improved Food Pyramid.

Nutrition Priority #3: Eat Natural Foods

Natural foods are typically much lower in calories and higher in nutrients than processed foods. Plus from a health standpoint, you want to stay away from eating as many chemicals as possible.

So stick with natural, unprocessed foods like vegetables, organic proteins, nuts, and whole grains. Keep the processed grains, sugars, artificial flavors and colors, packaged foods, preservatives, and fast food out of your diet as much as possible!

Nutrition Priority #4: Protein + Plant

Every time you eat, try to combine a protein source with some kind of plant matter (vegetable, fruit, or whole grain). Combining your carbs with protein and/or dietary fat will help control your blood sugar, and limit fat storage — as long as your portions are in line! (see priority #2)

Eating enough protein can also help you feel satisfied for longer periods of time, and stave off cravings for sugar or other unhealthy foods.

Nutrition Priority #5: Nutrition Support with Supplements

Once you’re PLANNING your meals and snacks, and have mastered Reactive Eating,

and you’ve regularly got your PORTIONS under control,

and you eat predominantly NATURAL FOODS instead of processed foods,

and you have built the Protein + Plant habit,

THEN you can start looking at nutrition support for optimal health.

Simple things like a quality multi-vitamin/mineral supplement, fish oil, and probiotics make sense for most people. But always consult a qualified nutrition professional before adding any nutrition supplements to your diet. It’s important that you get the right stuff, and not too much of it. Plus, some nutrition supplements can interact with prescription medications, so it’s important to keep track of that too.

Nutrition Priority #6: Macros

“Macros” is short for “macronutrients”, which are proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. “Tweaking your macros” is a term we use for adjusting the ratios of proteins, carbs, and fats that you eat. After you have all the other nutrition priorities in place, playing with your macro ratios is a way to maximize your fat loss and physical performance.

Get Help With Nutrition

If you need help putting together a healthy weight loss nutrition program, and — most importantly — STAYING ON TRACK WITH IT, just drop us a note and we’ll talk about options. We love nutrition counseling and we’d love to help you either in person in Nashville, or remotely anywhere in the world!