Let’s talk about food. I know what you’re probably doing right now – you’re rolling your eyes thinking, “Another Paleo fanatic trying to make me stop eating all the good things. Really…?” Put your eyes back where they belong. I’m not going to try and make you do anything except (hopefully) think about what you eat.
Seriously?! Let’s get it together people!
I’ve learned over the years that most people have no idea how to eat properly. It’s no wonder everyone is confused! Think about all the commercials, the magazine ads, the books, the blogs, etc. The amount of conflicting information is overwhelming — Eat whole grains! Wait, don’t eat whole grains they might be bad. Carbs make you fat! No, just kidding, you need carbs! “5 foods to a flatter stomach!” …etc the list goes on.
You have to figure out what works best for you. There is no such thing as a miracle diet that will work wonders on every person who follows it. Two people can follow the exact same diet and have completely different outcomes. A “diet” isn’t simply what you eat. It’s what your body does with what you eat. Our bodies are different in so many ways: metabolism, age, health, activity level, sleep quality. All of these factors play a role in what your body does with the food you feed it.
Ok. Makes sense. So what do I eat? Good question. Let’s talk basics.
Protein. Yes, please! Every meal you eat should have some protein. REAL protein, not these “protein packed” drinks and packaged snacks that only contain about 7 grams of protein coated in 35 grams of sugar. How much you eat at each meal will vary. Shoot for 20+ grams per meal, or what is equivalent to a 4oz serving of lean meat.
Sugar. No. Never. Say good-bye. Sugar is bad on every level. You’re freaking out right now, “But I have a sweet tooth and I “have to have” my sugar fix!” No, your body is addicted to sugar and it reacts accordingly. The more sugar you eat, the more it craves. Wean yourself off of sugar. You will not believe how much better you will feel.
Carbs. Absolutely!! Eat lots! Before you start jumping for joy, let’s talk about what type of carbs you’re eating. If you can’t buy it in the produce section of the grocery store, don’t eat it. That’s right, no packaged pasta, no bread. Veggies and fruit are all the carbs you need. Now you’re like “Pshhhh, this lady needs to calm down. Carbs are what gives you energy.” Well you’re absolutely correct! And our bodies are made to run well using the carbs from vegetables and fruits. Pasta and bread don’t give you energy. They make you lethargic and fat. It’s a science that we’ll explore later.
Fat. Don’t be afraid to eat it in the right form: animal fat (bacon), avocado, nuts, coconut oil, etc. Our bodies need fat to function well. Think of it like the oil to an engine. We’ve been brainwashed by all the “low-fat” fads that make us think that eating fat will make us fat. The truth is that eating like crap will make you fat.
Drinks. Here’s the thing – just don’t drink any calories. Ever. Start there then you can start removing drink loaded with artificial ingredients. Baby steps.
So, now you’re ready to start thinking about your diet, your habits and your goals. Next time we will talk about some meal ideas using these concepts and maybe talk about some specific foods and why we shouldn’t eat them.