“Jen, there are so many theories out there on the right foods. How do I know which ones are a good fit for me….without being an extremist?”
No doubt, one that every woman asks herself at some point.
I get it. Until about a year ago, I, too, was confused about food. Should I be eating gluten free? Do I eat carbs? Do I need to be vegetarian? What’s a bad carb? What’s a good carb? How do I NOT eat grains? What CAN I eat then? Do I HAVE to eat grass-fed beef? What about nitrates and nitrites? I’m not supposed to have dairy, really? Sugar. Give up sugar? Absolutely not!! No way.
Listen, it’s simpler than it seems. We all know what nutritious food looks like. Even if you don’t think so, you at least know this much: potato chips, Oreos, cake, Mountain Dew, pop tarts, frozen pizza, Ho Ho’s, and donuts are NOT nutritious food.
But do you have to go “extremist” and cut everything you’ve ever loved from your diet to look and feel your best? Do you have to be gluten free, nitrate free, all grass fed meat, no dairy, no carbs, and count every single calorie, carb, and gram of protein or sugar?
Quick answer: NO
Better answer: MAYBE, BUT IT DEPENDS
Losing weight and looking your best does not require extremist approaches. It requires basic habits done consistently and tweaked strategically getting you the results you desire.
With that said, every body reacts uniquely to food. Finding out what YOUR body reacts to so that you can feel your best while looking great and living a life you want is key. This determines what you can get away with in terms of food. You don’t have to be a diagnosed Celiac to have a gluten intolerance. For example, many autoimmune conditions from depression to rheumatoid arthritis react favorably to limited gluten, sugar, and dairy in the diet. In addition, each body has a specific “carb tolerance” level. You might not be able to get away with eating as much sugar or bread as your friend. And conversely, it may show up as depression symptoms with you and puffiness or weight gain in your friend.
Do you see how there is a short answer, however, if your overall health and well being are concern there’s a longer answer?
Again, every body is different. Absolutely, you can get to great places with your weight and your looks by adopting good habits not based on extremist approaches. HOWEVER, I’m certain you’ll need to dig deeper to FEEL your best and LIVE your best after you have those base approaches dialed in. Will it be extremist? That will be for you to decide.
So….How do we handle all this? What’s the take-away here?
Mainstream media has confused us with what we “should” be doing. They have us convinced we don’t know how to eat. And that’s not true. Unfortunately, this concept sells making us think there’s more we need to know. It keeps us program jumping and always searching for something more. Like there’s always a “new secret” someone isn’t telling us.
STOP! There IS no miracle secret!
What you need to know and need to do you already know.
Read that again.
Many of the things we worry about are small rocks. Clients will ask me if it’s alright to have ranch dressing on a salad. Legitimate question, but that’s a major small rock in the whole scheme of your eating template. If it helps you not binge on a plate of french fries, EAT THE RANCH ON YOUR SALAD! If the dairy in the ranch breaks you out in hives, sends you to the bathroom, and bloats your stomach like your 7 months pregnant, THAT’S a big rock. DON’T EAT THE RANCH.
Are you beginning to understand?
If you were my client, I would recommend you eat “close to the tree.” A term coined by a long time private client. Meaning whole, unprocessed, Real Food. Real Food does not come in a box and rarely has a long list of ingredients if it does.
A steak and baked potato with butter and a little sour cream is real food.
Is this extremist? I don’t think so. Do you think so?
We get confused when the magazines, books, pill & potion parties, weight loss centers, and infomercials tell us we don’t know.
Again, what you need to know and need to do you already know.
The only meal plan you should be following is the one you develop for yourself over time. Ideally, it includes highly nutritious foods made in delicious ways that you enjoy and allows you to look AND feel great AND live a full life. It also includes making a little room each day for the things you really love.
You get to make your own plan! Do you hear that? I’m giving you permission to create your OWN PLAN, and telling you that it’s the correct thing to do.
Consuming an ideal caloric intake and macronutrient split per your goals is nothing more than putting your fork down when your body feels 80% full, not stuffed (not meticulously counting calories), and eating a balanced amount of real food that still allows the change you’re looking for.
Beyond that, when you have that concept dialed, then you can shift your focus towards specific strategies and begin to figure out the best protocol that gets you all the way to your goals.
While it takes internal motivation from you, and I believe you could do it on your own, sometimes it’s completely overwhelming. An objective look for 1-3 months is a great thing to invest in, and can reveal places you’re falling short without even knowing. I do it with my own life in business and in health all the time.
I love objective views. Things can happen fast when someone else looks in from the outside and points you in the right direction.
This is my life’s work. The approaches listed above are simple, but sometimes it can be confusing to implement, and especially when you are living it. Here’s an analogy for you: It’s like having all of the numbers to your friend’s cell phone, but if you aren’t dialing them in the right order, you’ll never reach them. Right?
BUT . . .We already have all of the answers within. We just have to settle down and listen.