With all the confusing health advice and information out there, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed about what it takes to get healthy. But sports nutritionist Mike Minnis has broken it down into three key principles to follow. He’s been working with elite NFL athletes for nine years and says to be fit and stay healthy for life, this is what you need to do.
- Understand energy balance to help maintain a healthy, stable weight - The principle of energy balance just means the balance of calories you’re consuming and the energy you’re burning, Minnis says. Before you worry about if foods are organic or if you’re taking the right supplements, he says you need to figure out whether you’re eating the right amount for your body and activity levels. Quantity matters more than quality here, as he explains, “If someone’s calorie budget is 2-thousand a day and they’re eating 25-hundred, it doesn’t matter if they’re only eating grilled chicken, broccoli and brown rice, they will gain body fat.”
- Eat more protein, even if you’re not an athlete - The nutrition expert says a lot of people have a misconception that they don’t need much protein because they’re not working out, or not working out as hard, but that’s “literally the opposite of what’s true.” Eating protein helps you maintain the muscle you have, which is important since our muscle mass gradually decreases with age. So how much protein should we be consuming? He recommends eating 0.8 to one gram of protein per pound of body weight every day.
- Eat enough fiber - Minnis calls fiber “the great equalizer of quality” in our diets because to eat enough of it, you have to be eating nutritious, minimally-processed, plant-based foods. The amount you need varies from person to person, but he advises eating 14 grams of fiber for every thousand calories consumed. So if you eat 2-thousand calories a day, aim for 28 grams of fiber.