How To Eat Healthy

This blog post is about how to eat healthy

how to eat healthy

If you search for "how to eat healthy" the internet will give you limitless ways on how to eat healthy. Many of the tips seem simple enough. Some are more complex and there will always be contradictory advice based on contradictory information. The truth is

there is no one diet that is right for everyone.

There are however a few key principles that can be applied by everyone to help the individual thrive and today I'm sharing my three rules for how to eat healthy for everyone. 

How To Eat Healthy

Today’s grocery shopping is very different from our ancestors' way of supplying their families with food, therefor we must give ourselves grace. You’ll learn that while I will share why you should avoid certain things found in our foods, it can nearly be impossible to do so 100 percent of the time. So I’m giving you a buffer. The 70/30 rule. 

Rule 1: 70/30

This means 70 percent of the time you follow your diet protocol. Whatever the plan, you follow it to the best of your ability 70 percent of the time. There will be times I recommend you aim for 90 to 100 percent of the time and this is when you are developing new skills from new knowledge. You should also raise your percentage when you are dealing with any medical conditions and trying to make major changes. The rule of thumb is that after an initial transition period you can follow any diet protocol you choose to follow 70 percent of the time.

I find this system works best for most of us, but if you thrive on 100 percent, then do that. My issue with telling you to follow your nutrition protocol 100% of the time is often when someone slips up a little on 100%, they suddenly have the notion that

“well I messed up, might as well blow the rest of the day, week, or month since I slipped up.” 

Rule 2: Eat Real Food (what is real food?)

Shouldn’t all food be real? Yes, unfortunately it is not and it is getting more complicated by the days. My definition of real food is anything that was available before the 1900's or anything that does not come with an ingredients list and nutrition label. 

Obviously these days that seems impossible, so let’s broaden it a little. 70% of your diet should consist of real food. With the exception of some dairy items and cooking fats, real foods should be label free. 

Examples of this are: meat, seafood, vegetables, fruit, full fat butter, olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, minimally processed grains. Canned and frozen seafoods, meats, and veggies are okay, but read the labels to make sure the ingredients are made of only real foods. You’d be surprised. 

While I do not like hard no's, we should all avoid seed oils, refined carbohydrates such as sugars, simple carbohydrates, etc. If you follow the real food definition above, this would include all the hidden seed oils like: canola oil, vegetable oils, sunflower oil, grape-seed oil, palm oil, and so on. These oils are highly processed, cheep, inflammatory, and causes oxidative stress in the body.

But I can’t get all Real Foods

I don’t expect your kitchen to consist of only real foods. It's just not possible these days, but 70% of it should be. You might have a few packaged sauces, pre-made seasonings, or even a few frozen meals to help you out, but we’ll talk about reading labels and ingredients soon and how to shop for better options of convenient foods. 

Rule 3: Listen to Your Body!

Do certain foods make you feel tiered, moody, trigger headaches? Are you bloated after eating a type of food? All these are signs that your body is trying to tell you. So avoid what does not work for your body and fuel it with what does, but also take into account any health concerns  you are currently facing. If you are diabetic, you'll need to significantly restrict carbohydrates. 70/30 won't be an option.

 

Honesty is Key

My goal as a nutritionist is to help you understand what to look out for when fueling your body, shopping for food and eating out. Things to try to consume more of for your body to function at its best and your goal is to make a 70% effort to follow these principles. Obviously the more effort, the greater the reward. It's also true that the more effort you put, the quicker your results will be. 

In order for this to work, you MUST BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF. 

If you eat 3 meals a day and there’s 7 days a week that’s 21 meals a week. So, if you were to treat yourself to a single serving of dessert, at 30% that would be 6.3 times out of the 21 meals. It does not mean 6.3 entire meals are treats, fast food, or whatever your vices are.

Eat Real Food (what is real food?) 

One of the biggest tips I have for everyone when it comes to how to eat healthy is consuming real foods.

Let’s begin with real food. Shouldn’t all food be real? Yes, unfortunately it is not and it is getting more complicated by the days. 

What is Real Food?

My definition of real food is anything that was available before the 1900's or anything that does not come with an ingredients list and nutrition label. If the food has an ingredients list, it is short and includes only real foods. 

Obviously these days that seems a bit impossible, so let’s broaden it a little. 70% of your diet should consist of real food especially if you are trying to make some serious health improvements. With the exception of some dairy items and cooking fats, real foods should be label free. 

Examples of this are: meat, seafood, vegetables, whole fruit, full fat butter, full fat cheese, full fat milk, olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, minimally processed grains. Canned and frozen seafoods, meats, and veggies are okay, but read the labels to make sure the ingredients are made of only real foods. You’d be surprised. 

But I can’t get all Real Foods

I don’t expect your kitchen to be filled with only real foods because it’s just not possible these days, but 70% of it should be. You might have a few packaged sauces, pre-made seasonings, or even a few frozen meals to help you out, but we’ll talk about reading labels and ingredients soon and how to shop for better options of convenient foods. 

how to eat healthy

The health industry likes to argue about the right diet, but the truth is all diets work. So if all diets work then which one should you follow? That's the beauty of it, you get to decide. You have the power to choose the life you want to live. So which diet can you follow 70/30?

From a professional perspective, the only hard rules are the ones I listed above. Follow me on Instagram for daily tips.

Read my last blog post here.

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