Thursday, 29 June 2017
What Does A Healthy, Balanced Plate Look Like?

Creating a healthy plate begins with the plate itself. Studies have shown that individuals who use smaller plates tend to eat less at mealtime. I recommend using a 9-inch plate. If your plate is a little larger than 9 inches, Thta's ok. Just make sure to use the center portion of the plate and not allow the food to encroach the outside lip.

Now that we've established the boundaries, let's talk about what we are going to put on it. 

  1. Fill half of your plate with fruits and/or non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, squash, zucchini, asparagus, etc. Bake, broil, or steam your veggies without any added fats to help keep them low in calories and full of nutrients. When I put this into practice at dinner, my steamed vegetable medley can be less than 100 calories!
  2. Fill one quarter of your plate with either starchy vegetables like carrots or potatoes or whole grains such as whole-grain rice, quinoa, or couscous.
  3. Fill the last quarter of your plate with a lean protein source. Using this amount of space for your protein should help guide you in the direction of choosing the right portion size, which is 4 to 6 ounces.

Assembling your meal in this manner is referred to as using the "My Plate” method. This model has replaced the food pyramid that many of us grew up with. 

“All things in moderation.” Really!

This is the answer that one of my professors used to give when students would ask… “Can __________ be a part of a healthy diet?” I heard this answer quite often in school and it is stuck with me because it is sound advice.

When clients come to me, many of them often think that I'm going to tell him that they can no longer have the treats and calorically dense foods that they love. For the most part, this is simply not true! Sometimes, I have to be the "food police," but most of the time I am able to help them fit these foods that they like into their diets. It may not be in the quantities that they used to eat or the frequency, but most of the time we can still work them in.

However, sometimes it may come at a price. When someone is on a very low-calorie diet to lose weight, there is less wiggle room to fit these items in their plan. So I tell them they can still include these items, but it may slow down their weight loss progress. More often than not, they choose to reduce the frequency of or eliminate these “treats” in order to accelerate weight loss!

Just remember…

“Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels!”

Posted on 06/29/2017 4:00 PM by Kyle Smithson
Monday, 19 June 2017
A Sustainable Plan for Long-term Weight Loss Success

When it comes to healthy eating, it is very important to have balanced dietary intake.

There are so many “fad diets” that can be found on the Internet that do not include this principle! Many of them involve restricting or eliminating certain types of foods or food groups. While these types of restrictive diets usually do produce weight loss results, they are not often sustainable for long periods of time. Whenever an individual stops the "diet" and returns to their normal eating habits, they often regain the weight that they lost and sometimes more.

Before beginning any type of fad diet ask yourself the question, "can I eat this way for the rest of my life?" If you find the answer to be "no," that is probably not the best plan for you for long-term success!

For this reason, I help my clients to learn how to create a balance plate that limits calorically dense foods while incorporating nutrient dense foods.

To clarify, nutrient dense foods contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, but they did not contain lots of calories. Calorically dense food, on the other hand, most often contains a lot of energy dense calories but doesn't contain many vitamins, minerals, or other important nutrients.

The best way to lose weight successfully and keep it off is to have a slower but steady plan for loss.

Some examples of unsustainable weight loss...

Shows like the Biggest Loser and Extreme Weight Loss with Chris Powell can be inspiring and motivating to watch; however, I feel that they most often give people unrealistic weight loss expectations.

When watching these types of shows, we see how the contestants on these shows week after week put up remarkable weight losses. On the Biggest Loser, the contestants live on the ranch and are in a very safe environment, which is conducive for weight loss. While on the ranch, they workout for many hours a day, have someone to shop for them to buy healthy foods, and are away from the food temptations that are present in our everyday lives. A lot of times when the contestants leave the ranch and are confronted with normal daily life and temptations they often regain the weight that they lost on a ranch. So quicker is not always better.

The Key to Successful at weight loss... 

It is more important to go slower and have realistic goals of losing no more than 1 to 2 pounds per week. While losing weight is important because it allows the individual to see progress and the fruits of their labor, it is most important in the early stages of weight loss began to create new and healthy habits. It is these types of habits that will enable you to sustain your weight loss indefinitely as long as you continue to practice those habits!

Posted on 06/19/2017 1:59 PM by Kyle Smithson
Thursday, 15 June 2017
Does Your Eating Match your Needs?

Just eating 'healthyfoods doesn’t necessarily mean you have a healthy diet. Sure, you want to choose the healthy option as much as possibe. However, those healthy foods need to match your body’s needs in order to get your best performance! It's important to get the correct amount of each macronutrient.

Here's are a few examples: 

  1. Your brain prefers glucose as it’s primary source of energy. Not meeting that need can lead to mental fatigue and irritability! 
  2. If you restrict dietary fat intake too much, your body may not be able to absorb adequate amounts of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.
  3. Fiber is an important part of any healthy diet so the more you eat the better right? Not necessarily! 

Here's the secret: Choosing the right foods at the right times, and in the right amounts can make all the difference!

The right foods

It is important to choose the right food for your diet based on your fitness goals and a balanced healthy diet. Each macronutrient plays an important role in your diet. The amount that you need of each is dependent on several factors such as body composition, physical activity level, training regimen, and overall health and wellness goals.

In the Right Amounts

Are you eating the right amounts of the right foods? While you might think so, there is only one way to know for sure. I would recommend using a food journal or app to keep track of your food intake for starters. It is also very important to use your measuring utensils. Using measuring cups and measuring spoons is really the only way to know exactly how much you are eating.

At the Right times

Is the timing of your nutrition optimal? Timing of your meals and snacks can be more important than you think. Here are a few tips for timing your meals right:

  • Eat about the same time every day. Why? Eating at regular intervals helps to maintain constant blood sugar levels. For me, scheduled eating also helps to prevent me from becoming hungry, which can often lead to overeating.
  • Have a snack before you have an intense workout. You might be thinking 'I'm going to the gym to lose weight, why would I want to have additional calories? No worries- Your pre-workout snack will be part of your daily caloric allotment. This snack is simply to give you adequate energy so that you can increase the intensity of your workout without your blood sugar dropping to an unsafe level.
  • After your workout, it is beneficial to have a recovery snack within 30 to 60 minutes. I recommend the composition of this snack be a combination of protein and carbohydrates for muscle recovery.


We are here to help you determine the right foods at the right times for your diet needs. Contact me today to set up a consultation!

Posted on 06/15/2017 10:02 AM by Kyle Smithson
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