The most important when it comes to your food intake is to 1) Eat for your goals 2) find what works for you 3) dont deprive or restrict yourself 4)make it a lifestyle.
Dont just follow a six week diet and hope for long term results. Instead, find a diet/way of eating that suits you and your lifestyle. That gives you energy. You eat food you enjoy and if you have a goal like weight gain or weightloss, then you eat for those goals :)
I know how overwhelming beginning to eat healthy can be! I want to help out by providing an easy guide to healthy eating. This should help get you guys started!
-Eat for your goals. Are you trying to lose weight? Are you trying to gain weight? Are you planning on going vegetarian? After evaluating what you are trying to accomplish with a healthy lifestyle, you can decide which foods to incorporate into your diet. Its awesome you’re trying to be healthier. Go you you awesome person!
-Drink up! Staying hydrated is an essential part of a healthy diet. Water provides hydration to keep your energy levels up and get you going on your way. It also helps you control calories and achieve clear skin. The best way to tell if you need to drink more water is by the color of your urine. (I know, yuck!) If its a dark yellow color, you need to run to the nearest faucet and chug down some fresh h20. If its clear or light yellow, keep it up!
-Incorporate lots of fruits & veggies! I know I know, you probably already knew that.But because fruits and vegetables are mainly composed of water, they help keep you hydrated. (Yay for hydration!)They also have awesome nutrients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, dietary fiber, and potassium. If you are trying to lose weight, these are about to become your best friends. They are low calorie and help keep you full!
-Watch out for sugar. Yeah yeah I know you’ve been told that one before too, but it was for a reason! Its so surprising how much sugar is added into foods. Here’s an awesome tip someone once told me: For every 10 grams of sugar, think 1 candy bar. So if something has 20 grams of sugar, that’s two candy bars! Every time you take in sugar your body bursts into tears. Kidding again, but you get the picture! Get your sugar from fruits. These are natural, and believe me they are much better than overly processed and refined sugar.
-Ditch processed foods. If it can’t be found in your grandmas garden don’t eat it. Just kidding! Although that’s a pretty great rule to live by, there’s just no way most people can abide by that rule today. Avoid foods that include ingredients you can’t read out loud. If you can’t say them, I doubt you know of them. If that’s the case, back on the shelf it goes! Processed foods are pumped with preservatives (Such as hydrogenated oils) that can be harmful to your beautiful body. I found this awesome site called fooducate.com where you can type in almost any food product and it will give you a food grade and report. If its below a B+, run!
-Meat, Meat, Meat. Although I’m a vegetarian, for all of you murderers, (Just kidding!) I mean carnivores, try to cut out red meat and incorporate lean meats and seafood. Seafood is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, and lean meats(turkey, chicken) contain protein and vitamins. Try to opt for hormone free grass-fed meat just to be safe. Better safe than sorry, right?! Although red meat is very nutritious, studies show a link between red meat and cancer. And I really don’t want any of you getting cancer!
-Calorie counting isn’t essential, but it can be helpful. Some people love doing it, and others would rather cut off their own arm. The beauty of it is, its completely up to you what you choose to do! If you do prefer counting calories, check out caloriecount.com. The only reason I personally like when people count calories is because it can you give a more accurate nutritional profile. But, do what you feel comfortable doing!
-Have a treat/cheat day. Adopting a healthy lifestyle is all about balance. To avoid cravings, choose one day each week to enjoy your favorite snack or meal. Don’t over do it though; and know when enough is enough. When you limit your favorite food to once a week, it suddenly becomes even more delicious when you get the chance to splurge. As long as you are eating right 95% of the time, the remaining 5% means almost nothing!
-Watch your dairy intake. Did you know?!: humans are actually lactose intolerant. But because we’ve been ingesting milk from animals for so long, a genetic mutation took place allowing our digestive systems the ability to break down lactose. Isn’t the human body amazing?! Anyway, I think it would be best to try to limit your intake of it just to make it easier on your stomach. Also, most milk today has been taken from cows who were treated with hormones. New studies are showing that these hormones are starting to negatively affect humans, so I think we should just stay on the safer side and avoid it. I know milk is known for calcium, but almond milk has almost double the calcium. Drink almond milk! I promise its delicious and doesn’t taste too much different from dairy milk. I do love Greek yogurt however, its benefits are too hard to pass up! With yogurt, just watch the sugar.
-Goodbye diet foods, hello health food! With so many people looking to lose weight, its obvious why so many evil food companies are catering to their needs. Believe me, I realize how deliciously amazing skinny cow and 100 calorie packs are. But, they just aren’t great for you. They are drenched in chemicals and artificial sweeteners, so anytime you see them scream.
-Good fats? Bad fats? What?! People always seem to get so confused by which fats are good and which are bad, but I completely understand because It made no sense to me for the longest time. The “bad fats” people talk about are saturated and trans fat because they can raise cholesterol and increase your risk of heart disease. The key is lowering your intake of bad fats, and increasing your intake of “good fats” such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These can be found in olive oil, avocados, flaxseed, peanut butter, and nuts. Don’t be overly scared of them though, they are essential to a healthy body!
-Fat free doesn’t mean healthy. When you see the words “Fat Free” knock the item off the shelf and run away for dear life. Every time you see these words think “Chemical Shitstorm” because that’s basically what it is. I should just call the FDA and flat out tell them to rename it Chemical Shitstorm. Does anyone have their number?
-Cut out soda & other sugary drinks. I’m sure we all know by now that soda and other sugar filled drinks are horrible for us, so get rid of them! Opt for green tea and water instead. I used to hate tea, but after forcing myself to drink it instead of soda, I now jump for joy whenever I’m in the tea isle. Green tea contains tons of antioxidants.
-Whats the deal with carbs?! Everyone freaks out when they hear that word. There are two groups of carbs: simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are processed. Complex carbohydrates are found naturally in foods. I won’t confuse you anymore and just leave it at that: seek out complex carbs not simple ones. Complex carbs provide you with energy to tackle the day. Carbs don’t cause weight gain, calories do! Of course excess calories from carbs will lead to weight gain, but thats the same with anything else you eat. What you want to watch out for is simple carbohydrate foods!
-Take it slow. I know its confusing, but hang in there! Try moving into a healthy diet slowly. Instead of rushing to the store and buying every “healthy” item you can see, do a little research and figure out what would be most beneficial to you. Try slowly cutting out junk food, along with sodas and other unhealthy foods. When things get tough, realize the amazing benefits of eating healthy. I promise your body is saying “Thank you so much!”
-Forgive yourself. We all make mistakes, every one of us! If you accidentally mess up and eat something you feel you shouldn’t, don’t worry and don’t regret it. Reflect over how delicious was, and let it go! You always have tomorrow to make up for it!