During the last ten years alone, the number of fad diets that have come and gone is so huge most people can’t even remember which ones they’ve tried! Keto is probably the latest. Before that the big craze was Paleo and was it The Zone that made headlines back in the day? Each program that is released has its own set of rules, hopefully science backed systems and claims for health and wellness. Some have given us incredible strategies to take through life, others have not been to our liking but the one thing they all have in common is food!
No matter the plan you’ve chosen for your life, be sure to have healthy and whole food choice as the pillar of your regime. There are certain tried and true health facts that have stuck with us through the years. First, always read the label! If you can’t pronounce the majority of ingredients, it is most likely not your best food choice. Second, understand all foods are made up of protein, fats and carbohydrates. Where you go from there depends on your personal body type and your level of energy expenditure.
When it comes to protein, keep it lean and clean. For fats, natural, whole food sourced are the best. Think avocados and nuts. Then think self-control. Carbohydrates are probably the most misunderstood, but think of it this way, if you work out regularly or lead a very active life, go for low-sugar, complex carbs. If you are sedentary most of your day, carbs are not really your friend. Sugar is in everything these days, so do your best to keep it to a minimum and as natural as possible. This is a very basic look at food, but in all things, you must remember to listen to your body and don’t put in more than you put out.
Food needs to matter again. It’s not about instant gratification of that sudden hunger pain. It’s about planning, expectations and doing what is right for you. If the food has no nutritional value, little substance and its only benefit is placating a crisis, dump it in the trash. You know the culprits in your life, those little triggers that have created historically unhealthy choices. Think ahead. Have a piece of 100% dark, organic chocolate and a stash of nuts or seeds hidden in your bag or desk. Grab the high fiber, low sugar pear or bag of mixed berries the next time you need to stave off a craving. The idea is making healthy foods more accessible than the unhealthy options.
Most of life is not about what is popular at the moment. It’s about what is sustainable in the long run. No matter where you’re at or what you’re doing, be sure to keep your focus on foods with a balanced nutritional profile and a good ratio of macronutrients. The simple knowledge that you are eating whole foods which supply all the nutrients you need to have a healthy body will make you feel great inside and out! That’s the kind of lifestyle that lasts forever.