Fact or Fiction: Your Weekly Nutrition Roundup (week 3)
November 9 2023 | Ashleigh Kidd, RD, LDN
Hey team! Back here again this week to separate fact from fiction when it comes to nutrition. Want your burning questions answered? Head to our IG (@f45Training) every Thursday to play Fact or Fiction and submit your nutrition questions to be answered by your Challenge Dietitian!
Alright, let’s play!
Fact or Fiction: Sleep doesn’t matter much when it comes to nutrition
Sleep (or lack thereof) can directly affect our food and nutrition choices. This is because sleep deprivation disrupts our hormones, particularly leptin & ghrelin, which regulate our hunger and fullness. As a result, we may feel hungrier than usual, less satisfied after eating, and craving foods higher in sugar. When we’re tired or consistently have disrupted sleep, our hunger/fullness cues aren’t as easy to interpret and we’re more likely to impulsively eat vs. eating mindfully.
Likewise, what we eat can also have a significant impact on our quality of sleep. Certain foods and beverages like caffeine and alcohol can disrupt sleep-wake cycles including difficulty falling asleep, and frequent wake-ups during the night. Some studies have also shown eating a larger meal (especially higher in fat), or a snack higher in sugar close to bedtime can make it difficult to fall (and stay) asleep.
Fact or Fiction: Feeling bloated is normal
It’s not that simple!
There could be several factors at play if you’re feeling bloated, so it really depends on the root cause of your bloating. Here are some common reasons for bloating:
- Eating large meals
- Eating high salt foods
- Stress (this is a big one!)
- Very intense exercise
- Eating high volume of cruciferous veggies
- Food sensitivities or allergies
- Increase in fiber consumption
- Inconsistent meal times
- Drinking carbonated beverages
It’s important to note that some bloating is completely normal, especially after some of the factors mentioned above (i.e. having some bloat after you eat a meal is normal and common). If you are experiencing painful, unusual, or uncomfortable bloating, I highly recommend reaching out to your MD and working with a Registered Dietitian. In the meantime, try journaling your food and symptoms to try and identify any patterns with certain foods or lifestyle routines.
Fact or Fiction: Sugar cravings are normal
It’s not that simple!
While it’s completely normal (and okay!) to include your fav sweets into your life here and there, if you are craving them all the time or having thoughts about sweet treats consistently, I would start by asking yourself the following:
- Are you eating enough throughout the day?
- Are your meals balanced (protein, carbs, fat)?
- Are you restricting certain foods?
- How is your sleep schedule?
- High stress levels?
- Do you allow yourself to become ravenous before eating?
If any of these are off, this could contribute to increased sweets cravings.
- Eat consistent meals throughout the day (don’t skip meals)
- Aim for a balance of macros are your meals, making sure you’re not skipping out on protein and fiber!
- Normalize adding in a favorite sweet to your day or week mindfully- this will help take sweets off of a pedestal and you won’t be thinking about sugar as much as you normalize it.
Fact or Fiction: It’s best to eat something before a strength training workout
Ideally, you should eat 1-4 hrs before your workout. Practice experimenting with different time frames to see how your body responds and figuring out what works best for you. If you have a few hours before your workout, aim to have a balanced meal including protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
If you only have 30-60 minutes before your workout, have a small snack rich in carbs (you want something easy to digest!). Here’s some examples:
- piece of fruit
- slice of toast with small amount of nut butter or butter
- Plain oatmeal with small handful of fruit
- Greek yoghurt with berries
Have you ordered your meals for the remainder of Challenge? Check your area here for suppliers here.
For additional nutrition and wellness support, you can always check out F45 Articles for tips on how to improve your nutrition and relationship with food.