Unlock Your Higher Potential By Tapping Into The Power of Functional Nutrition
It’s no secret that us humans are a pretty demanding species, especially as we become more enlightened about what it takes to fuel and operate our bodies. Luckily the nutrition God’s have answered our demands with a highly personalized healthy eating plan: Functional Nutrition. This individualized approach to wellness using food and environment as well as activity and any predispositions allows us a vital opportunity for our minds and bodies to operate at a higher frequency. So let’s dial up the energy levels up to 11!
The road to functional nutrition can be achieved in a few steps that will get you hacking your habits. Author Charles Duwigg explains when it comes to the power of habit, 40% of our daily habits are unconscious, if we can hack our habits we can hack our life, and truly live to our fullest potential. The process has three phases: cue, routine, reward. Everything we do is to seek out a reward of some kind, which begs the question, what is going to help us live a long-sustaining life? A life where we won't have to think too hard about nutrition? A life we can enjoy with food freedom?
Where do we start?
- What is the cue that is triggering current behavior?
- Identify the routine:
- What time of day does it occur?
- Where is your location?
- Who are you around? For example, do you only have that afternoon croissant when socializing in the office?
- What are the actions you take?
- What emotion does this evoke?
- Name the craving. Is this (reward) satisfying that?
- Put it to the test.
- Find and try a replacement. Is the craving gone?
- Substitute the opposite reward. For example, take a walk to replace a food craving.
- Keep experimenting until you find something new that satisfies the urge.
- Identify the behavior→change
- What do you want to change?
In addition to nutrition…
Consider factors like sleep and exercise. Functional nutrition allows you to tailor your diet to your unique needs, lifestyle, and environment, and these all contribute to energy balance and our body’s homeostasis. The quality of life including stress levels, sleep, and relationships all affect the way your body processes food. For instance, lack of sleep triggers a decrease in plasma leptin (fat cell regulator) and an increase in ghrelin, which increases hunger and appetite. Even a single night of total sleep deprivation can influence energy expenditure and metabolism. No matter how healthy your diet is, your body will not be able to optimize building lean muscle tissue with lack of sleep. These are the times to plan ahead. If you have travel plans or anticipate a long weekend with little sleep, front-load your workouts at the beginning of the week to optimize muscle building. If you can’t fit a workout into the day try the “sleep low, train low method.” This is an evening training session that involves carbohydrate restriction in the post-exercise period, followed by a complete fasted training session the following morning. Research has shown an increase in fatty acid oxidation to be significantly higher in endurance athletes carrying out peak power output
Functional nutrition Game Plan
- Wake up, boil water, pour over oats.
- Drink 16 oz of water. Add a lemon wedge, a teabag, or grab sparkling water.
- Brush teeth
- Get ready for the day
- Consider your sleep and movement priorities
- Plan your meals around #5
- Enjoy oats or take it to go.
Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!
Water is one of the best ways to kick start your morning, it hydrates you after hours of sleep and gets the digestion system to wake up before digesting your next meal. Start your day boiling water while you get ready in the morning or make overnight oats the night before, these both expand the oats and flax seeds making them optimal for digestion. The omega-3 fatty acids in the seeds are ready to trigger protein synthesis and this is optimized by a night well-rested.
It’s all about timing—mealtime, that is Researchers concluded total daily protein intake is by far the most important factor in promoting exercise-induced muscle development, disproving the post-workout window of opportunity theory. Whether you have to take your oats on the go in the mornings or have two minutes to blend your oats in a smoothie. Kreatures of Habit oats are perfect because they contain 30 grams of protein, which is the sweet spot to keep satiated and kickstart your metabolism at the beginning of the day and is the recommended postworkout protein intake for athletes. Personally, it is the fastest way for me to get a tasty treat and because KOH has 4 flavors to choose from I can switch up the recipe.
- Consider your genetics, your environment, and sleep
- Everyone needs to navigate their own individual diet and find what works best for them.
- Long-term health-related benefits come from long-term sustained physical activity.
Author: Ariana Parvin
Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach.
Ariana's Workout App
The information contained in this post is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical or professional advice. You should consult your doctor or medical professional before starting this or other fitness or nutrition programs to determine if it is right fo your unique needs.