OK. So we have heard the conflicting words about food for years. Eat more meat, less carbs. Eat no meat, it causes cancer and other diseases. Wait, no! A vegan diet causes nutrient deficiencies. Maybe paleo and going back to our primal roots. Snack. Don’t snack. Eat 5 small meals. No, consume all your food in varying time frames (intermittent fasting). Don’t eat fruit. AND DON’T FORGET YOUR GREENS!
Seriously, it can all be so overwhelming. But, I am here to help you straighten out some of the conflicting thoughts on food that you have heard. After doing a TON of research myself, as well as trial and erroring it, I have some tips for you.
1. The same diet (as in types/ pattern of food you eat) won’t work for everyone.
This should be a given. I mean, we all look different and we all have different body types and needs. So why would our bodies all react to food the same way? The first thing to get straight with food is understanding that what works for your co-worker, best friend, or even your mom or sister, may not work for you. Everyone means well, but you have to do what is best for you.
2. You need all of the food groups.
In line with the opening paragraph, I mentioned some of the many varying thoughts that people have been trying with food, most of which comes with restricting one type of food. Well, I’ll tell you what. Our bodies NEED the nutrients from a variety of food. A well-rounded diet will help you get the vitamins and minerals that your body needs without vitamin supplements. Your body absorbs vitamins and minerals from food much better than in pills, so eat a rainbow. You don’t need to cut fats, carbs, or fruits. They all play a role in your diet. The key: moderation.
3. If you feel bloated and tired often, chances are it’s your diet.
Wait!!! Don’t reach for that RedBull or RockStar! Chug a bottle of water, cut back on the white carbs and processed foods and watch the miracle that happens! Seriously! Try it for a few days.
Our diet affects more than our waistline and hips. Be conscious of what you are eating and start thinking of food and water as something that will help you feel better and reenergize from the inside out. As a wife and mom of 3, life gets busy, but when I am eating right and getting enough water, I am like the Energizer bunny. But a calm bunny. A calm energizer bunny…
4. It’s OKAY to trial and error!
Take this as official permission to trial and error and find what works for you. If you are eating healthy, eating a variety of food, and watching portion sizes, it is okay to try intermittent fasting (that’s another post), snacking or removing it, moving around certain foods to different times of the days, and cutting certain foods and adding them back in to see how they affect you. Everyone is different. There are hundreds, thousands, of diet books, but you don’t have to follow one to a T. It is amazing to read and get advice on trying new things that will help your body, but at the end of the day, you need to do what is right for your own body. You do you, boo! 😉
5. You don’t need to eat 5 small meals a day to lose weight….
… UNLESS your body does best with that. Honestly, I have tried that off and on for years, but I actually find that I eat more, am more bloated, and the scale starts creeping up. I personally need a solid breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and on occasion will snack or eat a dessert if my body is truly craving it.
6. Yes, you can still have that slice of cake or bowl of ice cream and lose weight.
As I stated above, the key is moderation. 90/10. Eat healthy most of the time and you can splurge every now and then.
7. Cravings can have a purpose.
I will be honest, I do give my cravings the time of day. If all I can think about is a big juicy burger, I probably need to up my protein and iron intake. I eat something meaty, whether a burger and not, and it goes away. If I have a major sweet tooth that won’t go away, I will have a small whatever it is or eat some fruit, and walla, fulfilled. Just take a moment to see if you are craving something because you are bored or stressed or whether it is a true craving that might help your body.
Food is simple. Don’t make it more difficult than it needs to be. Treat your body well and it will treat you well.
Until next time,