There is SO MUCH information when it comes to nutrition. You can google anything and find conflicting advice or be overwhelmed with hundreds and hundreds of pages. You can find many diets, many fads, and WHOLE LOT of conflicting evidence.
So where do you start? What do you do?
As KISS said “Keep it simple stupid”. And that’s just what we’ll do. Make it as easy as 1, 2, 3.
The reality is, when we look at all the diets, all the fads, they all aim to reduce overall calorie consumption and reduce the amount of sweets, treats, or sugar. They also all agree that if we eat real food, not too much, and mostly plants we’d all be in a better spot.
So that’s where we focus. Eat real food, not too much, mostly plants.
For most of us, cutting out some of the crap we eat can go a long way. We know what we “should do”, we just don’t do it. We worry so much about what to eat, how much, how often, that we get bogged down and overwhelmed, never starting at all.
Here’s the thing,
doing well 70 or 80% of the time, all the time, is going to get you further than being perfect for a week or nothing at all. All you have to do is start.
The reality is getting all of us to a point where we are eating less processed foods would be a win. We are not looking for perfect, we are only seeking progress. We want to ask ourselves “How do we get a little bit better”? If we can find a way to chip away at the bad stuff, and we can do that consistently, then we win!!
We think you’re greatest success will come from focusing on eating real food, not too much, mostly plants, a theme which underlies all diets: eat real food, not too much, mostly plants.
EAT REAL FOOD
Anything in a package or that has an ingredient list is out. Real food has one ingredient. Think apples, carrots, chicken. There is no ingredient list on these items because they exist naturally. They’re real.
NOT TOO MUCH
When trying to lose weight or body fat there is a small play of calories in for calories out. HOWEVER, when you focus on quality of the foods you eat, when you focus on eating as much real food as possible, the quantity tends to take care of itself.
No one has ever said, “whoa, I gorged on broccoli last night”. 🤢You’d get tired before you ate enough to feel that way. The point is, when we consume real food, we generally eat slower, consume less, and naturally take care of eating too much.
Vegetables are amazing.🥕 🥒 🥗 💪🏼 They’re filled with nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and have very few calories. When we focus on eating mostly plants, we increase the amount of real food our body get, AND we decrease our overall caloric intake, therefore not eating too much. WIN-WIN.
While this is a simple concept it’s not always easy to execute. We get that. We understand that you may want to have pizza every now and again. Again, we are not aiming for perfection here, we are looking to inch our way toward this every day, getting a bit closer, and staying consistent.
So where do you start??
Maybe you’ve read this, you get the concept, you understand where we are headed, and you want to make a change, but you feel like there is SO MUCH to do.
Don’t fret. Baby steps are the key to your success.
BABY STEPS TO SUCCESS
Work these in order for best results. The order is strategic and doing them in order will give you the best outcome.
1. Cut down on sugary drinks (pop, juice of any kind unless pressed yourself) and just drink water.
Juice, pop, and most milk contain a lot of extra sugar. The average person consumes an additional 500-600 calories a day. You might also be surprised to learn that juice has a high glycemic index (meaning the reaction it has in your body is worse) than pop. Giving your child orange juice at breakfast could be part of the reason they are crazy all day or have trouble focusing in school.
2. Cut down on sweeteners
While they may be low or zero calories, they still are not good for your body. They’re highly processed and are hard for your body to tolerate.
3. Only order coffee – try to eliminate lattes and frappe whatever
Don’t get me wrong, I love a pumpkin spice latte but that is a once in a while, I mean, once a year kind of treat. There are so many added calories in lattes and Frappuccino’s that they should be treated as a meal replacement.
Now I am not saying you should drink one instead of eating, quite the opposite actually. I am say that there are so many calories you could’ve had a full meal instead. At least eating would’ve left you satisfied and fuelled for a few hours.
Try to reduce the extra calories by sticking to coffee. If it’s fluffy and it looks fun it’s probably going to sit pretty on your waistline.
4. Limit how much you eat out – this will save your waistline and your wallet
Restaurants would go out of business if their food didn’t taste good. Part of their job is to ensure you like what you’re eating, or you won’t come back. The best way to do this, fill the foods with deliciously fatty items and maybe even deep fry it. YUM!! 🤤
Most items at a restaurant are quite high in calories, especially the salads. They get you with their fatty dressings, cheese, bacon, and nuts. Even when you are trying to make a good choice you get caught up in extra calories.
The best way to limit extra calories is by limiting the number of times per month you eat out. We’re not saying no fun, we’re saying be intentional about how often you go out and really enjoy it when you do. After all, it’s a treat, not a way of life.
5. Try to switch out dense carbs (pasta, rice, white potato, and bread) for natural sources (quinoa, beans, squash, sweet potato)
Wheat and gluten are one of the largest contributors to inflammation or bloating in the body. Additionally, these items are really high in calories and can easily lead to eating too much. Not sure about you, but we’ve been known to eat a few pizzas in our day, and somehow, we can always eat way more pizza than salad. Hmm. 🤔
Trying some new veggies or limiting how much you have, to the size of your fist, can greatly help change your body. You’ll also be surprised how much better you feel.
6. Limit processed meats, think deli meat or jerky
Deli meat can be an easy way to get in protein. However, the protein you’re getting comes with a bunch of other stuff. Let’s take sliced black forest ham for example. When you look at the label it reads 40% meat protein. That means that 40% of the product is protein and the rest is filler. If you were to buy a breast of chicken, that chicken would be 100% meat protein, there is nothing in it but chicken. However, deli meat requires processing and in that process a bunch of other things are added.
Is it the worst thing in the world? Nope, that’s why we left it until last. That said, it’s something to consider because it is processed and there are a ton of extra additives.
If there is one thing you take away from this article I hope it’s this… It doesn’t have to be complicated.
The simplest things done time and time again win every time. Every time I hear the fable about the tortoise and the hare, the tortoise always wins. Slow and stead my friend, it’s not sexy but that’s how you win the race.