The late, great Jack Lalanne said; “If man made it, don’t eat it.” That was a long time ago and yet, it still rings very true today.
We are constantly bombarded with the “Latest and Greatest” when it comes to our health. It seems, everyone wants to be the first to jump on the newest bandwagon. It is after-all from a social media relevance standpoint, a key to survival. We seem to value New over Proven when it comes to our information.
Before I go down a whole different rabbit-hole, let me get to my reason for writing this. I believe that two of the best things you can do for your overall health and vitality (pronounced – I want to feel better and lose weight.), are not new ideas at all, and there is a lot of science as well as evidence to back them up. You remember science right? That’s what we used to require before we said something was valid or had merit.
Oddly enough, I’m not going to be sharing the science on these two ideas since I know you like talking to Siri and Google and there is tons of research out there.
Back to Jack’s quote: “If man made it, don’t eat it.” What does it mean?
#1. Eat real whole foods.
The quick definition is foods which have not been heavily processed or have added or artificial ingredients. They can include vegetables, grains, meat, eggs, fish, nuts, fruits, tubers… basically anything that grows.
It’s really that simple. Why? Without getting all sci-ency, the answer is:
- Quality of nutrition – processing food, either changes or removes key nutrients which are present and essential for optimal health.
- TEF(Thermic Effect of Feeding) – Did you know that your body actually uses energy to digest that meal? It’s true and when you eat highly processed foods, you lose a lot of the benefits associated with digestion.
- Appetite Satiety – You’ll feel full longer. Because they stick around longer and take longer to break down, your brain will be getting messages of fullness a lot longer than when you eat that candy bar.
- You will not be enticed to eat more – I’m not saying it’s intentional… but processed foods generally contain lots of “added” ingredients, some you can’t pronounce and some that hide under a blanket like:”artificial flavorings” Some of these ingredients interact with your brain to mute signals of fullness or enhance feelings of food pleasure which of course then leads to your uncanny ability to eat way too much. While you will definitely enjoy whole foods, there are no hidden “influencers” in them.
- You will avoid the caloric pile-on – Whole foods are generally what we refer to as “nutrient-dense”, which means you get more of what’s good for you with every bite. Processed foods are usually what is known as “calorie-dense”. Every bite delivers way more calories and less nutrition.
#2 Don’t fixate on Calories and Macros
If you successfully manage to accomplish #1, there may be a good chance you’re already eating a lot fewer Calories than you think. I did not say you wouldn’t feel full in fact, quite the contrary. You will just feel full quicker eating whole foods and will stay that way longer.
Do you or I even know what Macros are? I am not saying that a balanced nutrition plan is not important because it is. What I’m saying is, you and I do not eat Calories or Carbohydrates or Proteins or Fats. We eat food. We eat steak, fish,chicken, , and we eat broccoli, spinach,bell peppers, jalapenos, corn, peas, and we eat sweet potatoes or quinoa or oats. Do you see what I’m saying?
I hear people talking all the time about macros and I wonder… how’s that working out for you?
Rather than fighting with your kitchen scale and a calculator how about just starting with:
Shoot for three meals a day that include a plate with 50% vegetables, 25% meat or beans or fish, 25% grains or tubers, and a thumb-sized serving of healthy fats(like those found in olive oil or nuts or avocados).
I promise you, if you follow this one habit, you will lose weight. And more importantly, you will begin to feel much better. All without counting a single Calorie or Macro.
There are loads of tried and true, tested things you can do to improve your health and vitality. Try these or find yours and most importantly, do them and you’ll soon be able to forget all about your weight.