ThoughtBox

Nutrition guidelines that truly work. Part 1

THIS IS THE JOB THAT I LOVE:

TO HELP PEOPLE GET ON THE PATH

TO FIND WHAT THEY’VE WANTED ALL ALONG~

GOOD HEALTH AND LONGEVITY. IN THAT ORDER.

 

Hello friends~

We already know that eating real food, and exercise (in that order) are the keys to good health.

The “health and wellness” industry (the diet industry in disguise) has been tanking for some time.

The diet industry has capitalized on making us believe that we need to change, and we need to buy their products to look a certain way. Now the industry is promoting clean eating, “healthwashing”; selling weight loss products under the guise of  health-consciousness, or even environmental awareness is just another marketing strategy to sell stuff.  The “strong is the new skinny” slogan is selling products using images of rail-thin models doing fake photo shoot exercises.

Recognize it, and learn to do what actually works to get healthy and fit for life.

And let’s clarify: I’m NOT talking about weight loss here. It’s about a healthy percentage of fat and muscle to enable you to do what you need and love to do whether it’s playing with your kids and grandkids, or powerlifting.

Changing your body will not change your life. Changing your mindset and habits will. I can help you with strategies to overcome obstacles, and optimize nutrition in healthful, satisfying ways. Eating should be enjoyable and fuel our bodies to do what we want and need to do.

“Diets” promise quick results.  If you drop weight too quickly, your metabolism is so smart – it will likely slow down to preserve your stored fuel (fat), causing you to be unable to continue to lose weight or to regain the pounds you lost.

The relationship with your body and food is long term. It can take a long time to build a healthy relationship of any kind, especially a relationship with food. You might have to undo decades of negative or flawed beliefs around yourself, your body, and food.

Maintaining a healthy body isn’t a linear process. We might need to recalibrate as we age and go through pregnancy, midlife, and  menopause.  What used to work doesn’t anymore. I constantly hear, “I used to be able to drop 5 pounds in a few days.” NOTE: These guidelines are NOT about body weight. This is about being strong and healthy, with a percentage of muscle and less fat to enable us to do the things we love, and yes, to look and feel good too.

Focus on “results” is short term, and will fail, so focus on the journey. My relationship to food has evolved, through a short-lived (thank goodness) eating disorder, and years of flawed body image. The science on diet, weight management, age, and athleticism has also changed, and it’s led to a smarter, healthier me, and my desire to share some basic guidelines with you, NOT rules.

 

NUTRITION GUIDELINES THAT TRULY  WORK. PART 1

GUIDELINE 1:

YOU DON’T NEED TO COUNT, WEIGH, OR TRACK.

losing weight scale
These types of photos piss me off. For this article I found hundreds of photos of healthy-looking, athletic, or slim women standing on scales. It’s annoying that she looks so happy unless she’s obsessive. Many of the women look miserable. Some are even crying.

 

Following food rules, strict meal plans, weighing food, and stepping on the scale every day, even counting steps can lead to a sense of failure and frustration, and it’s just not a sustainable way to live. 

Some days you’ll eat more, and some days less. Your weight will normally fluctuate. Sometimes there are multiple days, even weeks or months when workouts don’t happen. Measuring food, body weight, and obsessing over metrics constantly is not going to lead to long term health. There are better ways to “measure” how fit you are that don’t involve the scale.

GUIDELINE 2:

EAT AT LEAST TWO LARGE HANDFULS OF VEGETABLES A DAY.

Plants, and fiber for gut health – isn’t about digestion or regularity – the gut, your microbiome is in charge of everything including brain health and cholesterol. Try to be consistent, but don’t make perfect the enemy of good. On the menu: leafy greens, crunchy celery and carrots with hummus, or dipped balsamic vinaigrette, and roasted veggies of all kinds – roasting brings out the sweetness, and mushrooms pan roasted with a little oil, salt and pepper.

GUIDELINE 3:

DON’T BE AFRAID OF FRUIT. 

I worked at a gym where they offered me a free “nutrition” certification. It recommended restricting vegetables containing sugar, like beets and carrots, and literally all fruit. It was stupid and unhealthy. It was tied to a company selling bars and cleanses, and I declined the offer for the certification.

Eat fruit – all the colors and textures. An easy way to be sure you’re consuming as many of the nutrients as you can, is to cut up chunks of a variety of fruits, skin on (add beets and ginger, avocado, flax, and chia), add herbal tea or kefir, and blend it up. You’ll be good to go for the day, in one delicious smoothie.

GUIDELINE 4:

20-25 GRAMS OF PROTEIN AT EACH MEAL. EAT GOOD CARBS.

Especially as we age, getting enough protein is essential for the production of antibodies and enzymes, and as the building block of almost all of our bodily structures. Protein causes the intestines to release hormones that increase satiety, as opposed to sugar that gives a quick “high” then a low, as it’s absorbed and stored as fat (if it isn’t immediately used as fuel) – making the body crave more.

Eat meat, and fish, eggs, whey protein, and cottage cheese, or if you prefer soy, tofu, seitan, beans, and lentils. For protein info and recipes check out my newsletter: here and here.

Carbs should not be in the form of sugary, or processed foods. Sugar consumption (not the sugar in fruit) disrupts gut health, ad can lead to chronic disease.

Get quality carbs from sweet potatoes, squashes, mangoes, beets, brown rice, oatmeal…these are great sources of fiber and your microbiome will be happy.

GUIDELINE 5:

YOU HAVE PERMISSION.

Once you give yourself permission to eat whatever you want, it takes the “forbidden food” mindset away. Enjoy your mom’s birthday cake. You bought Girl Scout cookies – go ahead and eat a couple, and obviously be smart and conscious about what a “couple” really is. As you explore healthy choices (and really enjoy them), knowing that you’re allowed to have a treat occasionally, and the desire for sugar can diminish.

STAY TUNED FOR NEXT WEEK PART 2!

Onward!

Polli

 

 

 

 

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