I like to give all of our new clients my top two super-simple, healthy-eating tips, as it is true that you cannot “out-exercise” a bad diet.
The key to healthy eating is to make it as easy and simple as possible. These two “rules” are my top two tips to simplify healthy eating for good. I promise if you can do these two things consistently, you will automatically avoid the foods that are making you fat, sick and unhealthy!
Rule # 1 – Eat what your great grandma ate!
Think about it. The more processed the food item, usually the worse it is for you—higher in fat, sugar, and hard to pronounce additives, preservatives, colorings and other chemicals, while lower in actual nutrients.
Your great grandma did not eat foods with labels containing 20+ ingredients! She ate real food. Meat, fruit, vegetables, and baked goods made with just a handful of real ingredients. If you fill your plate with real, whole foods—foods that came from a farm, not a factory—you will automatically avoid most of the crap that is hiding in our food these days.
Plus, your great grandma did not cook with canola oil, corn oil, or any of the other “healthy” vegetable oils that are in almost everything today. She cooked with butter and lard.
You may be thinking “heart attack” when you read that, but it turns out good old-fashioned butter and lard (from pasture raised animals), along with coconut oil and high quality olive oil, are much better for your heart than vegetable oils.
As it turns out, processed vegetable oils (corn, soy, canola, grapeseed, safflower, etc) are not that good for you. They cause inflammation in the body and are now suspected by many researchers to be a primary contributor to heart disease.
In addition, it takes a LOT of processing to turn a rapeseed into canola oil, corn into corn oil, etc. They must use solvents to extract the fats and then must treat the resulting oil extensively to make it palatable, adding preservatives and even “de-odorizers”.
The bottom line is that you are better off eating the healthy natural fats that people of your great grandma’s generation ate in different parts of the world: avocados, nuts, coconut oil, butter, lard (grass-fed), and olive oil (cold applications only—don’t cook with olive oil!).
So Rule #1—eat a low CRAP diet, not a low-fat diet, by eating real, whole unprocessed foods and healthy fats, as your great grandma would have. If you can eat this way 80% of the time, you will feel more satisfied, reduce inflammation, and give your body the nutrients it needs to stay healthy!
Rule #2—Never eat carbs alone!
The essence of this rule is to always eat protein with your carbs and vice versa. Your body needs carbs for energy. But it’s better for your blood sugar, your energy levels and your hormonal balance to never eat them alone.
When you eat a meal or snack of just carbohydrates (ie bread, crackers, pasta, fruit, vegetables, sweets, milk, flavored yogurts, soda, juice) your blood sugar rises quickly, as does your energy. Your body quickly produces insulin and other hormones to convert excess sugar to fat to store it and get it out of the bloodstream. Before long, your blood sugar crashes and you feel sluggish and tired, and you are usually craving more carbs. So you eat more carbs, repeating the cycle. Repeating this cycle too often leads to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, along with lots of inflammation in the body.
The solution to this is to balance your protein and carbs at every meal and snack. When you eat protein with carbs, it slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, prevents a big blood sugar spike (and the following spike in insulin), and provides you with energy that lasts. Your hunger is controlled, you avoid cravings and you have more energy. Worth it, right?
If you can follow these two basic eating strategies, you will feel better, have more energy, and get your cravings under control… making healthy eating easier than ever before.
- Eat what great grandma ate;
- Never eat carbs alone.