I Used To Eat Processed Foods and Struggle With My Nutrition…

Ashley Nutrition & Health

The quality of your food is more important than the number of calories you consume. When it comes to long-term health and longevity eating high quality/non-processed foods is critical. Consuming a diet high in processed foods increases your risk of cancers, obesity, and several other diseases and health problems.Your number one goal should be to eat real foods! When you build your plate you should follow these basic guidelines: protein source (amount customized to your goals), 1-3 servings of vegetables, and a healthy starch like potatoes (amount customized to your goals). Your customized macronutrient needs should be specific to your goals, current weight, goal weight, activity level, and body fat percentage.
Eating healthy hasn’t always been easy for me and it took several years of consistently working on my nutrition to see progress. Breaking my old habits and creating new habits took a lot of time and effort. Reflecting back, the number one problem I had was I didn’t approach eating healthy with a positive mindset and I didn’t have proper guidance.
Before starting my healthy eating journey years ago, I ate a lot of processed foods! My daily menu consisted of the following: Dr. Pepper, frozen pizzas, chips, and sugary cereal, granola bars, chocolate chip muffins, and fast foods. I honestly thought Frosted Mini-Wheats were healthy because ‘wheat’ was listed in the ingredients! I looked at all healthy foods as ‘diet’ foods and thought to eat healthy meant restricting my calories as much as possible. I had all ALL or NOTHING approach! I was either 100% on a plan or not focused on my nutrition at all.
After going through this cycle for a few years, I started truly making improvements to my nutrition plan. The first thing I did was stop thinking of eating healthy as a ‘diet’ but as a lifestyle change. I  slowly reduced the number of processed foods I ate and started building my meals following the guidelines listed above (protein, veggie, and healthy carb).  Even though I always worked out 5-6 days a week I wasn’t seeing body composition improvements until I changed my eating. 
If I get off track now, it’s usually not for long and I get right back on track easily!  I love the way eating healthy makes me feel, so I’m always really motivated to get back to my normal eating plan. Please know, I have nothing against having a treat every now and then. You should enjoy a glass of wine, having a few slices of pizza, or your favorite cake on your birthday.  90% of your meals should be on plan and allow yourself to enjoy your favorite treats the other 10% of the time. I currently have 1-2 reasonable treat meals every week and experience no GUILT or negative body composition effects.
If you’re struggling with your diet, do me a favor and make ONE change today that will make you healthier. Here are a few examples: If you drink soda, cut it out and replace it with Zevia or sparkling water. If you eat fast food for lunch, start getting a salad with protein everyday instead. Small changes will equal BIG RESULTS over time. 
If you need help with your nutrition reach out to me! We will find a plan that works for your budget, goals, and lifestyle. I also offer 30-minute Wellness Consulting sessions if you wanted to talk and we discuss your specific needs, and goals by phone. You can pick your time & date right HERE!
Thanks for reading,