Do You Suffer from Over-Nutrition? Celeb Trainer Harley Pasternak Tells You How to Eat Right

"It's a disease of overconsumption, overweightness and obesity, which contributes to a whole host of non-communicable diseases," says Harley Pasternak

Photo: Courtesy Harley Pasternak

Harley Pasternak is a celebrity trainer and nutrition expert who has worked with stars from Halle Berry and Lady Gaga to Robert Pattinson and Robert Downey Jr. He s also a New York Times best-selling author, with titles including The Body Reset Diet and The 5-Factor Diet. His new book 5 Pounds is out now. Tweet him @harleypasternak.

Most of us know that malnutrition is a serious health problem affecting one in three people and contributing to more than half of the world’s disease burden. But did you know the term malnutrition includes both under- and over-nutrition?

Malnutrition is also a disease of overconsumption, obesity and being overweight, which contributes to a whole host of non-communicable diseases like diabetes, hypertension and coronary heart disease.

With rates of obesity rising in nearly every country, both developed and developing countries are now facing this dual burden of under- and over-nutrition.

In essence, malnutrition means poor nutrition: anyone who is lacking adequate nourishment. On the low end, if you suffer from under-nutrition (hunger), you’re not consuming enough calories, protein and other dietary elements required for adequate growth and health.

But on the high end, if you struggle with over-nutrition, you tend to consume an excessive amount of calories, carry more weight than is healthy, and may have too much sugar, salt, fat or cholesterol in your blood. Despite the abundance of food that you are consuming, most of it is highly processed and nutritionally bankrupt. These foods are not providing you with the vitamins and minerals that you need. As a result, you are more susceptible to chronic disease and a shorter life expectancy.

The good news is by making healthy food choices, you can combat over-nutrition and its negative health consequences and can live a longer life.

Yet even with so much information out there about nutrition, it’s hard to discern what’s correct. And even if you have the right information, it’s not always easy to construct well-balanced meals. It can take time, energy and resources that many of us don’t have.

That’s why I developed a simple plan that doesn’t take a ton of time or energy to implement but still gives your body the nutrients it needs in a reliable, achievable way.

By following “My 5” eating plan (detailed in my book 5 Pounds), you’ll consume well-balanced, nutritional and flavorful meals that are based on simple principles of good eating. Instead of starving yourself all day and losing control over what and how much you eat, you get to eat five times a day (three meals and two snacks) and will consume all of the macronutrients and micronutrients that you need. This will keep your appetite in check so you can eat proactively instead of reactively!

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To make good food choices, you must stick to the following criteria. Have three meals a day – breakfast, lunch and dinner – that include:

1. The mass of your hand of quality protein. Good sources are eggs, chicken, fish, lean beef and legumes.

2. A palmful of whole grains (quinoa, millet, oats, wild rice, etc.), legumes (lentils, beans), high fiber fruit (berries, apples, pears, plums, cherries, etc.) or tuber with skin (sweet potato, yam).

3. Healthy fat the mass of your thumb. Good sources are almonds, olive oil and avocado.

4. Unlimited veggies. That’s right – all you can eat (as long as they’re not fried or covered in sugary sauce).

Alternatively, you can try making smoothies as quick and easy meal replacements.

Have two snacks a day – one A.M. and one P.M. Snacks should be 150-200 calories should have at least two of the following:

1. Protein. Some examples are unsweetened strained yogurts (I like Siggi’s skyr), turkey slices, low-fat string cheese, low-fat cappuccinos and hummus.

2. Fiber. Try cut veggies, berries, apples, edamame or high-fiber crackers.

3. Fat. Think nuts, seeds, nut butters and avocado.

So great snacks would be 6 oz. of unsweetened strained yogurt topped with mixed berries or cut veggies and hummus or a low-fat latte and an apple or turkey roll-ups with mustard and cucumber (skin-on).

With more malnourished people in the world today than ever before, it’s time to make healthy eating a priority. By eating the “My 5” way, not only will you fend off malnutrition, but you’ll quickly shed the extra pounds that seemed impossible to lose. And you’ll have more energy than you’ve ever had before. Healthy eating will become easy, enjoyable, filling and delicious!

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