I’m going to say something crazy here. Diets don’t work. There i said it. You cannot expect long term change from a short term fix. Diets focus on foods you can’t have, caloric restrictions and some even cut out whole food groups. This type of eating is not sustainable and will not lead to lasting benefits such as increased energy, long-term fat loss and a healthy body that functions as it was created to. So what changes do you need to make to create a healthy lifestyle?
- Avoid processed foods
- Choose nutrient dense foods
- Eat less sugar
Lets start with processed foods. Processed foods are not real food. They are made in a lab, contain chemicals and are highly addictive. If it has a label, comes in a box or you can find it on the inside isles of a grocery store, it is most likely a processed food. Unfortunately, while processed foods are fast, easy and cheap, they wreak havoc on your digestion. Processed foods are stripped of their natural fiber, nutrients and water content. In addition to this they are laden with salt, sugar and unnatural fat. Because of the hyper-concentrated amounts of sugar, salt and fat, processed foods have a drug like effect on your body. They excite the pleasure seeking parts of our brains making us want to repeat the behavior. If that is not enough to get us hooked, our survival instincts wire us to conserve energy by seeking the greatest amount of calories with the least amount of effort, making processed food the ideal temptation.
On the other hand nutrient dense foods are real food. They come from nature. Just remember “if your food can go bad, its good for you. If it can’t go bad it is bad for you.” Nutrient dense means the ratio of nutrients to calories is very high. This means you are getting the best bang for your caloric buck. Fruits and vegetables and whole grains are what we will be focusing on. These foods are high in natural fiber to keep you feeling fuller longer, keep sugar spikes to a minimum and help maintain digestive health. They also contain the vitamins and minerals your body needs to thrive. The good news is if you focus on replacing processed foods with more natural, nutrient dense foods you will be significantly decreasing your sugar intake. I’ll be talking about sugar in another post soon.
Now that you know the why of eating right, are you ready to start the week off with your new healthy lifestyle? Get ready for the how in my next post with a week full of delicious recipes and healthy snacks!