I’m pretty sure if you are reading this article, you already know to eat Whole Foods, limit processed food, drink loads of water, cut out refined sugars and control your alcohol intake. Combine these with daily exercise and quality sleep and you are going in the right direction. 

1/ Eating for health controls ENERGY BALANCE Food is fuel and gives us energy, if we don’t get enough energy, the body will shut down certain processes that are not necessarily needed to survive. Like our reproductive system or some aspects of metabolism.
I’ve seen It a lot with clients who under eat because they are afraid to add on weighted and get the total opposite effect. 

On the other side if we eat too much and there is a overload of energy that doesn’t get used. It will store as fat and too much fat will cause more problems. The risk for chronic diseases increases. 

"We don’t eat too much or too little. This means we can stay healthy, fit and strong. 
We feel good, and our body shows it.”

2/ Eating for health gives us NUTRIENTS
Have a look at what you're actually eating. 
How much nutrients are in the foods you eat vs how much calories. 

Cookies will be low on nutrients and high on calories = calorie dense food Vs Kale or any other vegetable will be low on calories and high on nutrients = nutrient dense food

Be careful for “healthy cookies” labeled with organic, vegan, paleo, etc. no doubt these will be higher in nutrients and lower in refined sugars which is great, but don’t get fooled as eating loads of these will still give you too much energy. 

Control your intake! 
It’s not because it’s the healthier option you can just stuff your face with it.

3/ Eating for health helps us LOOK, FEEL and PERFORM our best.
I’ve never met someone that didn’t want to look, feel or perform good. 
Although different people will have other opinions on what looks good or not and I totally agree with that.
You don’t need to have six pack abs to look or feel good, leave alone perform good. Although it might help in a lot of cases ;-)

Whatever you feel is more important, that’s what your nutrition should help you to achieve.

Whether you are a pro athlete who wants to be in the best shape of his life to win every competition.  
Or a newly mom recovering from her first pregnancy who just wants to feel like her old self again. 

4/ Eating for health is OUTCOME-BASED
“I’m eating really healthy but I’m not loosing any weight” 

If your perception of “eating healthy” doesn’t match reality, maybe you need to rethink what you are doing. 
If your body or performance isn’t showing it then ask yourself the question? 

What is healthy food, and is my idea of healthy actually that accurate?

Eating too much healthy foods won’t help you if your goal is too loose weight. 

Balance out your food, so it fits your lifestyle and makes you happy with the choices you make on a daily base. 

5/ Eating for health looks for STRENGTHS and WINS.
It’s NOT about following the rules and being strict all the time. 

It’s about knowing your limiting factors! 

If you like going out with friends, find ways to make it work.
Saying NO to social occasions every time because you are afraid you will loose control isn’t sustainable and won’t make you happy.

If you don’t like to eat spinach, then don’t eat it. It’s that simple! Replace it for a vegetable you do like. 
Make a list of vegetables you like and combine these. 

Are you someone who will eat the whole pack of chips if it is in the house, then don’t buy it. 
Next time you go to the supermarket, skip the isle with all the sweets. 

By; Carmen Bosmans, Performance Coach