I’ve been helping women improve their bodies and health for years (12 at Her Fitness and many more before HF started), and there are a few things that I’ve seen over and over again.
One of them is nutritional deficiencies.
Almost without exception, I’ve found that women are lacking in the following three areas … and this nutritional deficit is standing in their way of having the health and the body that they want:
Protein: Your body needs an adequate protein supply throughout the day to support lean mass and fat burning, as well as immune health and hormone balance, and to improve transport of nutrients and waste throughout the body. Some of the best sources of protein are lean meats and wild-caught fish, eggs (and dairy if you tolerate it.) However, in my experience, most women simply don’t get enough. That’s where I step in, to help them gradually build the habit of eating the correct portions of lean protein with every meal … and if that’s not possible, supplement with a high-quality protein powder.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Women eating the standard American diet (SAD) get far more omega-6 fatty acids (the ones that promote inflammation) than omega-3’s (which are anti-inflammatory). Since inflammation is the source of all disease, this isn’t a sustainable approach. It’s challenging to consume enough wild-caught fish and seeds to meet your daily omega-3 requirements, so oftentimes, I’ll recommend supplementing with a high-quality fish oil to fill this important gap. Without it, cardiovascular, neurological and brain health could suffer. What’s more, a pure and potent dose of omega-3 fatty acids — particularly EPA and DHA — can help improve joint health and support immunity, while also helping with vision and weight management.
Water: While you might not think of water as a nutrient, it is! It’s also one that most women are deficient in, i.e. they don’t drink enough! Being dehydrated is stressful event for the body, thus inducing a fat-storing stress response, especially belly fat. Without enough water, your body doesn’t burn fat. Your liver metabolizes fat and needs enough water to do this job properly. Water acts like an anti-oxidant to reduce oxidative stress (when free radicals damage your cells). Have you ever had a headache and couldn’t explain it? Have you ever felt like your workouts were “blah” and didn’t feel strong, but didn’t know why? Have you been constipated? These are impacted by lack of pure, straight water. I recommend my clients drink half their body weight in ounces per day. If you weight 200#, drink 100 oz. of water.