By: Jeremy Partl
We all want to eat better, but too much information leads to paralysis. Low fat, low carb, gluten free, time-restricted. How do we know what is best?
We get conflicting experiences and messages from professionals, media and friends. Oftentimes this prevents them from being on top of our eating habits and progress stalls.
Today’s food environment is designed for us to consume more and more food. Hyperpalatable and high reward foods are everywhere. This can lead to overeating, loss of control, and hunger which has nothing to do with energy needs. Processed foods can also push the limits on willpower, making people feel like they have no control.
Eating more basic, home cooked food gives a sense of control and increases self-reliance. It also helps to eat foods with higher nutrient density, decreases overeating and helps with overall energy consumption, thus supporting fat loss. The more our people connect with their food and start to care about where it comes from and how it’s prepared, the less likely they are to be influenced by weird media messages and get tossed around in the waves of new supplements and miracle foods.
While we do not necessarily advocate “going paleo”, but returning to more “back to basics” eating is a powerful way to take control of your health. How can you do this?
FOCUS ON REAL FOOD
- Less packaged food products
- Less processed fats and oils (especially industrial fats like soybean and corn oil)
- Less sugar (Eat whole fruit instead of juice, or have some dark chocolate in place of a brownie)
- Reduce diet foods (Companies often add lots of sugar to “low fat” foods)
COOK AT HOME
- Try new recipes
- Include the whole family to make it a life-long lesson
- You can control what goes into the meals (chefs don’t care about your health, they just care about flavor)
- Saves money
SMARTLY EAT OUT
- Make your order clear (don’t worry about being too picky or too much effort)
- Look at the menu ahead of time
- Explore farm to table restaurants and farmer’s markets versus fast food
FARMERS MARKET / CSA
- Helps you reconnect with food and local economy (people are likely to spend more on good food and then that motivates them to eat at home)
- Products may be healthier (grass fed, pesticide-free etc.)
GROW YOUR OWN FOOD
- Usually lower cost
- Higher personal investment and deeper connection to food may lead you to eat less
- More fresh produce in the diet (fruits and vegetables)
COOKING CLASSES / SKILLS
- Helps build confidence
- Builds community
- Gives control and power over meals
While advocating more “back to basic” eating patterns, we also accept and emphasize being flexible with your food choices.
It is certainly okay to incoroporate treats and more processed foods into your diet if you enjoy them. However, the problem comes when they become increasingly present in your diet. When they do, that is when the risk of negative health and behavior consequences may follow.
Thus, treat and enjoy yourself on occasion. We like to enjoy our treats ourselves.
But, make the foundation and backbone of your nutrition simple and basic and you will start to see the tides start to turn in favor of better health and progress towards your goals.
If you are struggling with your nutrition, want to get back to the basics of eating, or want to learn how to incorporate foods flexibility into your routine, jump on over to our shop page. We offer affordable nutrition and training programs that can help you take control of your life and reach your goals.