The basics for your healthy living goals haven’t changed since Hippocrates! Move, rest, and eat well. Today we begin with your food foundation and we’ll build on it in future blog posts. It starts right on your plate with our first layer. It’s important to eat a well-balanced diet in order to get the most out of your workouts. One supports the other and without a healthy eating plan in place, your fitness routines will only help to sustain your current weight or support weight gain. They won’t help you slim down if that is a goal after the winter weight gain most of us are battling.

As a personal trainer in Vancouver, I’ve seen what foods help or harm your progress so rather than focusing on the “new magic pill” let’s talk about some fundamental nutrition principles that will help you get in shape and stay in shape.

Your plate plays an important part and these are the principles that help you make better choices on what you put on it.

Weight loss starts right on your plate with a good food foundation

1. Choose mainly whole foods and stay away as much as possible from processed foods

You can reduce your risk of many preventable diseases simply by choosing to eat mostly healthy, whole foods. Processed foods contain more carbohydrates and fats and can contribute to health problems. These problems include obesity and heart disease. If you want to stay as healthy as possible, choose whole foods instead.

2. Eat slowly, and stop eating when you are 80% full

Eating slowly is a great start to eating less. When you eat slowly, you give your stomach time to get the message that you’re full. It takes 20 minutes for your body to register that you’ve eaten and send a signal to stop eating. If you eat fast you’ll inevitably eat more than you meant to.

3. Increase your vegetable and leafy green intake and have more vegetable than fruits

Fresh vegetables and leafy greens provide nutrients and vitamins that can help you get healthier and even prevent some diseases. Eat more veggies as they typically do not have much sugar.

4. Include protein in every meal

Protein is vital for organ and muscle function in your body. Build your meals around protein which can include meats, eggs, nuts and beans. Protein helps to sustain healthy cell growth and other important body functions. Get it from animal or plant sources every day to ensure that your body remains in good shape!

5. Eat more complex carbs than simple carbs

Complex carbs are ones that have a lower glycemic index. This means that the food is digested more slowly and makes a more steady release of glucose into the blood stream. These include brown rice, whole grains, beans, and potato as just a few examples. Simple carbohydrates are sweeter and are easily digested. These include milk and other dairy products, white bread, pastries, and dried fruit as just a few examples.

The quick breakdown of carbohydrates make the blood sugar level quickly rise. This causes the body to release insulin, which causes the blood sugar level to drop even lower than it was before. This can leave you feeling tired, dizzy and hungry. Complex carbs don’t break down as quickly, so they don’t cause the blood sugar to spike.

6. Stick to healthy fats mainly from whole food sources

The body needs fat for optimal brain, organ and cell function. Most people label fats as ‘bad’ but there are essential healthy fats that can help support and nourish healthy living. The best sources of these healthy fats come from whole food sources like avocados, olives and nuts. For optimal health, consume healthy fats in addition to healthy carbohydrates and proteins.

7. Have plenty of water

Water is essential to every living creature. Aim to have at least 2 liters of water each day to stay healthy and hydrated. Hydrating yourself is part of good health and there are several opportunities in a day to consume water, naturally and easily as a refresher or as part of your menu such as naturally water filled fruits and vegetables, as a refreshing glass of water or in soups and beverages.

Subscribe on our website and get notified on our next nutrition post on your health plan. We’ll delve into the protein-carb-fat ratio you see alongside all the whole food goodies you load onto your plate.

Put the good stuff on your plate. Eat clean food, whole food and while you are at it, eat mindfully to fully appreciate your food and recognize feeling full.

If you are ready to embark on building better habits and would also like help building a better, leaner, stronger body, reach out. As Vancouver’s downtown fitness trainer – 3DFitness offers a free consultation. To book a consult, call or email me and let’s get you started on your fitness journey.

Supporting Your Healthy and Active Life
Sam Jabarin
Canfitpro Personal Trainer
ISSA Nutrition Coach

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