With so much information on exercise and nutrition floating around it seems overwhelming to even begin improving your diet.
Paleo, ketogenic, gluten free, and calorie counting are just some of the popular buzzwords in today’s mainstream health industry. Read any health and fitness magazine and you’ll find 20 different magic foods and 15 different diets that promise you a six-pack in a week. It’s easy to be misled and discouraged when you start to pursue a healthy lifestyle.
Let me begin by saying if there were a magic food or pill that made you shredded in a week, everyone would take it. Period.
But it doesn’t exist.
There is no quick path to the body of your dreams. It takes knowledge of proper nutrition and the discipline to live a healthy lifestyle. It requires you to eat for optimal body function. In the beginning, that can be difficult but giving your body nutrient dense food on a regular basis is hands down the best thing for your health.
Diet accounts for up to 85% of the gains you get from exercise (that’s a huge number). Eating healthy foods will help you look younger, feel better, prevent illness, improve metabolic functions, and improve energy levels. Eat healthy and you will have a good life.
When pursuing a healthier lifestyle, it’s important that the changes you make are not forced, but are voluntary. When adapting a new diet avoid quitting old eating habits cold turkey. Make the transition slow so you don’t create a negative identification to the changes. If you view these changes to your life as “bad” you’ll lose the battle of self-improvement.
Below are five tips that will dramatically change your dietary lifestyle. These “nutrition hacks” are listed in order of importance so when looking to make improvements just slowly work your way down the list.
1. Eat Real Foods
It’s sad this statement needs to be on the list but it is absolutely a must. Stop eating artificial foods!! Everything that goes into your body needs to be organically sourced and non-processed. It is now common knowledge that processed foods, microwavable foods, and “convenience foods” are terrible for your health. Stop eating them immediately and start cooking your own meals. Cook your own meals for at least 1 week with no exception to engrain the habit of cooking for yourself. This will make these dietary changes much easier because it gives you direct control of what is going in to your body. Once you lock this step down the rest is a lot easier.
2. No refined sugar
Sugar is the number 1 abused substance in this country and it is literally killing you. Stop consuming refined sugars and watch the fat fall off your body. No more soda, store bought drinks, sweets, and putting white sugar in your coffee. Completing steps 1 and 2 will all but prevent diabetes. Just saying….
3. Avoid Grains and Gluten
Simply put, eating grains will make your body keep wanting to produce fat cells, removing grains from the diet will make your body return to its original function and eat fat stores for energy. If having abdominal muscles is a goal then say goodbye to breads, pasta, and rice. I’m not saying you can never eat them again but for the most part, cut them out of your diet. Now for all the haters who say that they need carbs for energy: A: you’re wrong B: eat more fat to replace the calories from the carbs you were eating. Your body will adapt.
- Eat a variety of grass fed / wild caught meats
- Eat a variety of vegetables and greens prepared in different ways. Cooking or eating vegetables raw unlocks various nutrients. Steaming, sautéing, baking, and eating salads are just some ways to add variety to your diet.
- Eat healthy oils such as: MCT, coconut, olive, and fish oil. MCT oil can be added to your morning coffee, almost all cooking can be done with coconut oil or grass fed butter. Salads and steamed vegetables can be dressed with olive oil, and fish oil can be taken with your daily protein shake. Just as eating a variety of veggies supplies you with a complete nutritional profile, eating a variety of oils will give your body the fats its needs for optimal performance.
5. Eliminate dairy
- Eliminate all dairy from your diet. Give it at least 3 weeks. After 3 weeks begin slowly reintroducing raw dairy. Raw cheese might be a good start because the cultures in the cheese will help your body digest it. Whole raw milk or whole raw goats milk would be a good second step. If you don’t see any ill effects then raw dairy is probably good for you.
There is no one “right way” of eating. We are all different people, with different genetics and dietary pasts. What works for one person may not work for another. Regardless of the subtle differences between people this list will provide you with a simple guideline to health.