Have you tried every diet on the planet? Paleo, Low fat/high carb, the grapefruit diet, or the white rice diet? Or are you someone who just watches what they eat? Maybe you read labels, buy low fat products and consume lots of meal replacement foods?
As a trainer and foodie I’m constantly faced with questions about food misconceptions. I love these questions and I love talking about food with clients because food is so powerful.
As Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
As someone who struggled with eating disorders from a very young age, I’ve studied and tried way too many diets. Even as an adult my family will be the first to tell you I was the Queen of “weird food,” as they liked to call it. Using my body as a laboratory to try different diets and exercise programs has taught me a lot, but of all the things I’ve learned the one thing I want to share with the world is the TRUTH! Eating “diet foods” is more likely to make you fat, than eating real food.
1. Diets of elimination don't work (i.e. All carbs are bad, I'm never eating them again. Eliminating an entire macro-nutrient doesn't not lead to optimum health.)
When you banish something from your diet, you're more likely to fail in the long term. Unless you have a food allergy, you’ve just set yourself up for failure and you may actually end up eating insane amounts of something else in hopes of satisfying the craving for whatever you've eliminated from your diet.
2. Eating fat at every meal is good (even saturated fat).
Fat doesn't make you fat. Trans fat and processed carbohydrate products make you fat, eating too much food in general may make you fat, but eating real food fat does NOT make you fat. Enjoy your eggs, avocados, coconut, nuts, meat, cheese, or what ever REAL food you want. Satiety is a side effect of fat and it feeds your brain! Have you ever felt dumb and hungry all the time when you're trying to loose weight? I know I have, then I'd eat more fat (without eating more calories through food substitution) and magically I'd feel better!
3. If you can't identify want you're putting in your mouth as PLANT or ANIMAL then don't eat it. *this may seem like a simple principle, but this alone eliminates most processed foods...somebody please tell me what an Oreo is?! Btw…eliminating Oreos may lead to optimum healthJ
4. Stop buying dietary products and eat REAL FOOD.
Just because the commercial tells you it's healthy doesn't mean it is. Most meal replacements are filled with preservatives, additives, dyes, extra sugar and salt! This includes cereals, granola bars, low fat snack food etc!
5. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.
Your body is amazing and for the most part it will steer you in the right direction (if you're not sugar, carb, and transfat addicted). You're body will tell you what it wants to eat. If you're body is craving a hamburger, go home, make a hamburger with grass fed beef throw all the veggies fixins’you want on there and be satisfied! Rather then eating a liquid meal or piece of lettuce and still thinking about a burger or reaching for candy and chips later in the day. You're body is smarter than you think; you just have to learn to listen and trust it!
The perfect diet doesn't leave you feeling deprived. Instead it gives you sustained energy. You eat when you're hungry, and you don't when you're not. Your perfect diet should be made of real food that nourishes you the way food should.
If you need help figuring out what the heck to eat, start food journaling. You must know what you're consuming now before you can start making changes. Let me know if I can help!