It seems to me that over the years eating has somehow become an over-complicated and analyzed thing. You would think that more information on a subject would be better, but it almost seems as if all this information is inhibiting what we humans were supposed to do – enjoy and eat food.
Now it does not help that most of the foods we call foods are actually highly processed food, full of things our body was not meant to handle. Such foods as the high fructose corn syrups and refined white flours for example.
On top of this there are so many different views of food and how it should be eaten and how much of what. Over just the past few years the thinking has done a full 180. It was eat lots of carbs and little fats, now it is eat lots of fats and proteins and little carbs. You also have the, eat only veggies and fruits people, the vegetarians, pescetarian, and many other tarian groups. I guess your safest bet is to just not eat, and stick to water (don’t do this you will die).
The question is what should I eat? Are fats evil? How about carbs (Legend has it that the devil created carbs. Sounds plausible), and what about proteins, why isn’t anyone talking about proteins?I guess they get a pass. How can three macronutrients get so over complicated?
Lots of questions
Here’s my attempt at simplifying what you should eat. This is my opinion, you can take it or leave it, but here it is.
Fats are good, proteins are good, and carbs, carbs are well, good. All three are good for you. You should be eating all three of them. Your body needs all three of them. None of them are inherently bad for you. All are good in the right quantities and from the right sources.
Picking the right foods is the problem for most people. So what is food? Strange question right? Food is something that is ingested for its nutritious substance, which comes from plants and animals. So food is meat, fruits, vegetables, and unrefined grains. Food is not processed breads, pastas and meats.
There are 7 rules that Michael Pollan goes over in his book, In Defense of Food, which should help you make good
- Don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.
- Don’t eat any thing with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can’t pronounce.
- Stay out of the middle of the supermarkets; shop on the perimeter, and shop at farmers markets or grow your own food when possible.
- Don’t eat anything that won’t eventually rot
- Stop eating before you are full, leave the table a little hungry
- Eat as a family, not in front of the TV, but at the dinner table
- Don’t buy food where you buy your gasoline.
If you follow these simple rules you will be healthier for it. There is no, eat this much fat or this many carbs. If you are eating real foods, as your body was designed to do, you will be doing just fine. And, have some control and don’t pig out every meal.
Stop over-complicating eating. You know what you should be eating for the most part. Eat in moderation and eat real foods. It sounds too simple to work, but it works and has worked since the dawn of time.
If I have not mentioned it before, I love food. Or, I should say, I love eating food. The sad thing is, it does not even have to be good food. Most people will try something and if they don’t like it, they will just stop eating it. I, on the other hand, will realize that what I am eating tastes like garbage, but instead of doing the obvious and just stop eating, I will proceed to tell everyone how bad it is while I continue to eat the thing that I just got done saying tasted like a fresh diaper. Needless to say, I really enjoy eating.
(Warning Random Thought)
As a side note, I really did not like the movie Charlotte’s Web. It had way too much singing in it for my liking, even as a child. But it had one great scene in it that sums up my love for food. Here it is.
Wow, can you find any better choreography and cinematography in a children’s film? I think not.
A common question with us red-blooded food lovers is, how many meals should we eat throughout the day? If it were up to me, it would be every minute of every day, other then when I am sleeping. But this dream is just not possible, if I want to live a healthy life.
So is the answer three meals a day; the classic breakfast, lunch, dinner combo. Or is it 6 to 8 smaller meals throughout the day. How about only two large meals? Is any one way superior to the other? Some would argue, yes. Here is my take on the whole matter of meal frequency.
Goal of Eating
Like so many things in our lives it all starts with a goal. It is no different when choosing your meal frequency.
The over-all reason for eating is to fuel and replenish your body so it can function at its fullest potential. I would like to think eating could be a hobby, the real American pastime.
Looking at eating as strictly eating to fuel our bodies and not as a social, out of boredom, or hobby, is how we should look at eating the majority of the time. This is not to say that you should never just eat to eat, or to take a person of the opposite sex out to a nice dinner every once in a while.
People get caught up in eating three times a day because it is what they have done their whole lives. They think this is the right way to eat just because they have done it that way. You also have the people that eat small frequent meals thinking it will keep their metabolism up all throughout the day. This has been shown to be untrue in resent research.
There is the intermittent fasting group, the carb back loading group, and the palio group. (Have you noticed if someone is on the palio diet they will somehow work it into the conversation to let you know they are on the palio diet)
None of these styles of eating is right or wrong. They can all be very effective if it’s the right fit for your style of living. Some will prefer the sit down three large meals a day, for their life is able to support it. A mother that is always on the go may do better with unplanned small snake like meals throughout the day. As long as you are getting enough to eat and not eating a bunch of junk foods throughout the day, you will be fine with whatever eating style you choose.
What meal frequency comes down to, is what works for you. This depends on your daily schedule, the amount of food you need to eat, when you workout, and how you like to eat.
Eating frequent meals throughout the day does not work for me. It makes me want to eat all the time, causing me to snack more then I should. I usually start eating after my workout. I work out around 11:30, so I eat around 1:00. Then I’ll eat one last large meal at night. I do this because I enjoy eating large amounts of food at one time and because eating at night, 2 hours or so before bed, also prevents me from snacking.
I am also not locked into any one style if I know that I am going out to eat or traveling I may not eat anything all day. I will wait till dinner to eat so I can enjoy my meal and not just eat rabbits food and when it comes to traveling I know I will end up eating like crap so I just plan accordingly. This is what works for me. This style does not fit everybody’s life style. So find what works for you and do you.
You should always eat after your workout. Other then that, you can eat as many or as few times a day as you want. Just make sure you are eating enough food. A diet should not be something you force into your life, it should fit your life. This way you will stick to a healthy eating life style.
Most people love to eat, hell America in general loves to eat that’s why we are number one at being fat and also number one at eating hot dogs, shout out to Joey Chestnut, America! I love to eat, I don’t know what I think about more, food or hot chicks looking hot, it’s a toss up.
What can I say, America and I love to eat and a lot of it. So here are 5 tips to help control your eating and to prevent you from overeating.
This is not a new idea; thirst and hunger are often confused. Lots of times when you think your hungry you are actually thirsty. Your stomach does not know the difference between food and water. By drinking water your stomach may actually think it is full. If after drinking some water you still feel hungry, you may actually be hungry. Water is a good way to find out if you are truly hungry. So drink up.
Make your home a safe place
This is a no brainer. If you have troubles snacking or have a ravenous sweet tooth, then you should not have the temptation of junk food around the house. You control what you buy for food, so make sure your house is full of good healthy foods.
If you can’t live without snacks, which is bull, then make sure they are individually packaged. It’s easier to eat a whole bag of chips at one time then it is to eat a bunch of little individual bags of chips.
Shop smart and keep your house a safe haven from the temptation of junk food.
Go to bed
You have heard the saying, “Nothing good happens after 12 o’clock”. Well I have discovered a new saying when pertaining to eating, “Nothing good happens after 10 o’clock”. If you think about it when was the last time you felt hungry after 10 o’clock and made a good food choice. Most likely you went to the freezer and got a bowl of ice cream or grabbed something high in refined carbs and sugars.
Instead of staying up and falling pray to your hunger, grab some water and head to bed. More sleep is something we all need. It’s a win win, you get to control your hunger and also increase your number of z’s.
Go to restaurants that have website
Why go to restaurants that have websites? Because you can see their menu before you go. If you know what you are going to order before hand, than you are more likely to make a good food choice.
A side note, any local eating challenges are not worth it. Just watch an episode of Man Versus Food. No ones is impressed, Adam Richman.
Cheat you say? Yes, cheat I say. Cheating is a necessity when it comes to eating healthy, a little bit of an oxymoron. If you don’t reward yourself once in a while then you are likely to crack and go on an eating frenzy. When you do plan on cheating make sure you know what you are going to eat and when you are going to eat it. 90% of your eating should be healthy, clean eating, any more then this may result in not reaching your health goals.
When it comes to cheating you must know yourself. You must know how much you can cheat and how often you can do it. Cheat too much and it can lead to a slippery slope of cheating all the time. I recommended once a week and slowly decrease it to once a month. Everyone is different. For me, I try to do it once a month. Any more then that and I end up cheating almost every day.
When it comes to eating success you can implement all the tricks you can think of, but what it really comes down to is making the right decisions day after day after day and making healthy eating a habit. Control is the name of the game; learn to control your appetite and you will be successful. There will be times you over eat, it happens to everyone, and its OK from time to time, just pick yourself up and start right back to where you were.
My first real post is actually a post I wrote a few months back for a guest post on Spurling Training Systems blog. The topic is a question I am ask at least once a week, “why am I not seeing any results.” In this post I will give several reasons you or your clients might not be getting or seeing the results you want.
Every January thousands of Americans make the same resolution, “to get in better shape”. They’re all thinking, “This is the year I’ll get into the best shape of my life.” Well that desire will usually last for about two weeks, maybe even a month. The people who have made it this far and have still not seen results, are most likely frustrated and thinking there is something wrong with their program. This leads us into the first of three points.
There are two sayings you may have heard, “the program you should be on is the one you’re not on” and “ the program you’ll stick to is the one you should do,” or something along those lines. If you are not on a program, get on one and stick to it. Flip-flopping between programs will never lead to the results you are looking for.
If you’re looking to lose weight don’t expect to see massive gains in strength and muscle mass. The same goes if you’re looking to get big and strong don’t expect to lose massive amounts of weight. Make sure the program you’re on fits with your goals. On that note make sure you have defined goals. Don’t say, “I want to look slim and sexy and also put up PR (Personal Record) numbers.” Pick one goal and stick with it.
You have heard it for years; get 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night. If you do, your body will thank you. Your body needs this time to rebuild muscle. This will also help sharpen your mind and help you stay focused throughout your workday and through your workouts. Getting enough sleep will overall improve your mood and performance. What’s not to loose? Other then missing a few reruns of a TV show you don’t really like.
This is the Achilles heel for most people. People may find it easy to follow their program religiously and get the 8 hours of sleep each night, but for some reason the sweet taste of food is just too hard to fight. I know it is for me. Just as the program must match your goals so must your food intake.
So what this means is that just because you’re now working out 3 to 6 days a week does not mean you can eat whatever you want. You’re not burning thousands of calories each time you are working out. So does this mean you can’t eat ice cream or sweets? No, but what it does mean is that you can’t be eating junk food every day and expect results.
If you’re looking to loose weight you will have to reduce your caloric intake and decrease your carbohydrates as well. This means staying away from sweets and other junk food, but this does not mean starving yourself either. It is a balance.
If you’re looking to build strength and mass, then you should not be on a caloric restrictive diet. Your body needs the protein and carbs to rebuild and refuel. This does not mean you can eat to your hearts content. Your diet has to match your goals.
As you can see, there are a handful of reasons that you may not be getting the results that you are seeking. So, if you are not where you think you should be, make sure your eating and sleeping habits match up with your goals. The big take home point from this is that your habits have to match your goals if you want to see results.