5 Basic Guidelines to Eating Healthy
If your goal at any point in your life has been to lose weight, it’s safe to assume that you’ve been overwhelmed by the volumes of information that although all seemingly contradictory, all consistently claim that they are the most effective and efficient way to lose weight.
I’m certain to a large degree that this is the exact reason why so many individuals rarely take the first step or at some point in their weight loss journey they throw up the ‘white flag of surrender’ simply because they can’t seem to make heads or tails of what they should be doing to make consistent, measurable progress.
Eat all the fat you possibly can! -- Avoid fat at all costs!
Count your calories! -- Calories don’t matter!
Eat more protein! -- Avoid protein from animals!
Don’t eat any added sugar! -- Eat all the sugar you want within your daily calories!
Eat until you’re full! -- Eat until you’re 80% full!
Eat only small portions! -- Weigh your food!
Eat one big meal a day! -- Eat three meals a day!
Eat 17 snacks a day… I think that you get the point.
It seems like every which way you turn, there’s a new school of thought, an accomplished and presumably well-intentioned professional spouting their individual biases and nutritional beliefs… a new fad, a new hack, a new tactic, a new solution to your weight loss woes.
So - what gives?
How can there be so much information, yet so many people around the world in such a dire state of health? It seems that our society is only falling deeper and deeper into the depths of ill-health relative to diseases that fall under the category of metabolic syndrome.
I believe, in large part, our societal disconnect with healthy eating is partially due to the overwhelming amount of information made available to those individuals who need it the most. ‘Over-analysis paralysis’ is the term that applies to those individuals who can’t determine an appropriate plan of action because of the overwhelming amount of contradictory information that they have consumed.
Although it’s a challenging reality for many fellow professionals to grasp – there are quite often multiple paths and effective approaches to making sound progress with weight-loss and nutrition dependent goals.
Although every coach you meet with and receive advice from will have their own individual biases, it’s important to look to those who have been most successful over history and those who continue to dominate the measurable, results-based outcomes of today. Success leaves clues. If you look closely at their approaches and focus not on what makes their approaches and advice so different, but rather where they share common ground, we can very quickly come to agreement on the key components of what constitutes good nutrition. Regardless of individual coaching preferences, deeply held beliefs relative to what constitutes truly healthy eating (and separate from biases that have been solidified in their branding over time), it’s safe to say that all sound nutrition advice will be built on the following foundation of five guidelines:
1. Eat whole, unprocessed foods.
2. Avoid refined grains.
3. Consume higher amounts of natural fats.
4. Avoid sugar like your life depends on it. (It does)
5. Balance feeding with fasting.
Regardless of the differences between individual approaches to what constitutes healthy eating, it is evident that this advice is the best place to start. Every professional I’ve ever met, even if we didn’t see eye to eye on every point, has agreed with these basic guidelines.
Start with mastering the basics first. You’ll be surprised that these five guidelines will pose challenging enough to consistently implement into your day-to-day life. Fortunately, if you can develop a firm grasp and make these basic guides habitual, you’ll be amazed at the incredible ‘return on investment’ that they provide. Your current and future health profile will improve dramatically. You will from this point on, be well armed to begin making minor tweaks and adjustments to your individual preferences and approaches. This is a direct result of your knowledge expanding and from the growth in your confidence to navigate from a strengthened foundation of health-conscious habits.
These minor variations in nutritional habits that you further develop (over time and with patience) will contribute to optimizing your health profile. As well, your will see a direct correlation between your improved physical and mental performance to the unique demands and goals that you hold as an individual! This can all be accomplished in due time granted you start with what matters most – the basics.