When I was a kid in Middle School and High School I only really ate 2 real meals most of the time. The lunch I brought to school and the dinner that was made from my parents. Besides that I would constantly be snacking throughout the day grabbing whatever I could see and felt like eating. I would eat many time when I wasn’t really hungry but I would do it to pass time. Then in college I grew a slightly better understanding of eating healthier but still many times I would lack the willpower to sometimes cook. I didn’t always want to clean and go through the struggle of figuring out what to eat, cutting, preparing, cooking then cleaning. In my mind I created a inner struggle because I associated cooking with all these other tasks which made me think it was this big hassle.
The difference now is I still have the inner desire for my food to taste good. However I also deep down link what I eat to my health and I think more long term. I look at food as a way for my body to function optimally, I make decision based on that and from there I figure out ways for it to taste well. What I noticed is like me, most people would choose based off taste first then possibly function. I had this thought that eating healthy tasted bad, was hard to cook, expensive, or hard to do. I gave all these reasons of why I couldn’t do it, instead I just needed 1 or 2 good reasons why I should. From that point on eating has been much easier, and I have been much more adherent to eating well.
I didn’t understand this concept until I began intermittent fasting everyday, (fasting for 16 hours, eating for an 8 hour window) and I contribute much of my new habits to this. It’s because I didn’t understand what being hungry feels like. Plus It gave me a shorter window to eat meaning I had to be more intentional with my eating. It expanded my awareness. It helped create more control over my eating.
Even though I know that helped with my goals, I truly believe the real success has come from creating a new association with food. The reason most “diets” whether it’s for losing weight, gaining muscle or just normal living is because many times it doesn’t address the overall issue of food quality. Many times it just talks about food quantity, and controlling portions based on what you want to do. I won’t go into too much about why that’s bad, because I already did before (here’s the article), instead I’ll just explain that the body is like a rainforest. The ecosystem and diversity inside our body causes there to be more need for just a binary approach of in vs. out.
It starts though with disassociating food with pleasure and short term gain. It’s not that you can’t enjoy your food, on the contrary healthy food actually can have more taste. It’s about associating food with your health and understanding you’re going to be alive for 60-90 years and you can either use food to help you thrive or you can have it hinder you’re possibilities and opportunities.
Where’s the bad
To give you an idea the average consumption should be around 20-40g of sugar and the average person consumes around 300g of sugar. Whereas salt is more of a grey area, we think the amount should be around 1500-2300 mg a day, and the average American eats around 3400 mg.
It’s not that you have to be so detailed to eradicate them completely and shun them from your meals. It’s you need to actively look to lower the amounts because it is very easy to over consume and you likely already do. Cutting out processed, refined, fake food and eating more natural, real food can help solve this problem.
How to Manipulate Food
It begins with creating an understanding of food, so here you go. Eating natural food that doesn’t have a long list on the ingredient panel is preferred and much better .
Limit starchy vegetables, just don’t overdo it. No matter your body goals, or eating habits you need to eat plenty of vegetables. You’re meals should be rather colorful, but it’s important to eat your greens. Overall you don’t have to be afraid of vegetables and you should constantly look to how you can eat more. This is why I will usually start my first meal with a green shake, follow that up with a big salad and then I can have a big feast at dinner. Make sure you cook cruciferous greens to help prevent thyroid problems. I am to eat greens, onions, garlic, tomatoes, peppers and mushrooms with most of my meals.
Limit fruit intake, just don’t have 2 bananas, an apple, handful of raspberries, a bowl of watermelon and pineapple all in one day. Fruit is healthy but you can’t just go around consuming plates full of it. The sugar in it is a more natural, healthier sugar but still over doing it on fruit is unhealthy. Berries, coconuts, and tomatoes are the best.
This is up to personal preference. You can choose to eat animal sources or not that’s up to you. Some animal sources are more complete proteins, so they have more full amino acid profiles. However both lifestyles are healthy. Generally speaking in terms of meat, eating more natural, lean, grass fed sources are better for your health. Eating wild caught not farmed seafood. You’ll want protein in every meal to help satisfy and fill you. To give you an idea of how much a day you should eat, you should aim to eat 0.8g per pound of bodyweight. So a 160 pound person should eat 128g of protein. The upside is this can come from many different sources.
I will say there are some health benefits to limiting animal protein consumption to fish, eggs, chicken, and some beef here and there. Rather than consuming animal protein constantly.
Fat, and saturated fat has got a bad wrap but now it’s beginning to get fixed. Fat actually can help you lose fat, it’s necessary for hormones, and can promote muscle gain and a better body composition. If you neglect healthy fat you’re hormones are likely out of whack. Just don’t consume processed vegetable oils.
This will be dependent on you’re current body make up, you’re fitness goals, and activity level. Simple carbs are unhealthy and just sugar. For anyone is overweight you likely do not do well with carbs and should lower them. You should never eliminate carbs because carbs are in vegetables, fruit, and nuts. Generally speaking it’s better to consume the bulk of you’re carbs later in the day or night. Which means if you eat anything with high amounts like rice, potatoes, etc. then it’s better at night or after workouts. The average person consumes unnecessarily high amounts of carbs that’s why it’s best to lower them. The average person eats around 300-350g worth which is super high unless you’re super active. Even then fat is a more efficient fuel source. This is the hardest because most people won’t give up bread, rice, potatoes and other grains. However all most of those do is spike you’re insulin and turn into sugar. For gaining muscle you can eat more carbs, still best after workout. However you don’t have to consume as much as most people think.
Drink 1-2 gallons of water everyday. Limit or eliminate random juices that just have excess sugar. You don’t need gatorade etc. post workout, you need water and a meal. Coffee and tea are healthy drinks. Limit alcohol consumption and favor wine over all, then liquor then beer. Drink coffee black with cinnamon, MCT oil, coconut oil, grass fed butter, almond/cashew/coconut milk.
Herbs and Spices
This is how you flavor you’re food and add additional health benefits. I recommend cinnamon in you’re coffee over all the extra sugar.
Herbs; basil, turmeric, saffron, parsley, chervil, dill, tarragon, oregano, paprika, red chilli, cinnamon, thyme, sage, rosemary, ginger, cilantro, cumin, ginseng, nutmeg
Watch out for sauces, many sauces say “fat free, lite etc.” and those are actually not healthy. Many sauces have random sugars and tons of salt. That’s how many times we add unnecessary amounts of calories. If you use sauce in a meal like barbecue, etc. you can add an extra 1-300 calories. It helps to just be aware and understand so you don’t over do it.
This is where you begin to add structure to the lists of options.
Breakfast - You can choose to eat it or not, I haven’t in 7 months (it’s not unhealthy to skip breakfast). If you eat it you’re better off starting the day with fat and protein not cereal, bagels, oatmeal etc. That’s why I love omelettes or shakes.
Lunch (or First Meal) - I prefer to have big salads with protein and fat so I help my body function, thrive and not crash. Figure out a protein/fat/carb sources
Dinner - Because I usually have 2.5 meals I generally have a huge feast at dinner with tons of fat, protein and vegetables which helps fill and satisfy me until lunch tomorrow. Again don’t neglect protein, fat, vegetables and consider carb sources.
© COPYRIGHT 2016 & Forward - Andrew Bayon. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Please Note: The author of this site is not engaged in rendering professional advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures, and suggestions contained within this work are not intended as a substitute for consulting with your physician. All matters regarding your health require medical supervision. The author shall not be liable or responsible for any loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or suggestions within this blog. You, as a reader of this website, are totally and completely responsible for your own health and healthcare.