***Before Reading This, Please Take Into Account That I Wrote This When I First Started My Blog, Since Then My Knowledge of Nutrition And Fitness Has Changed Drastically!( Please read my newer post on IIFYM to find out more). :)***
So as some of you may know, I hate the term “diet” because what diet means to me is a food version of the old “get rich, quick” scheme, you see all these programs that say “3 weeks” or “2 months to the perfect body!” or “abs in minutes!” and we all know how well that works out..Once you complete your 3 month plan then where do you go? Obviously you would guess that people would just continue to follow the same rules on their own. Right? But that's hardly ever the case. Once people reach these goals they think “Hey I finished! and they begin to fall back into their old routine feeling that the have accomplished what they needed to. You need to think long-term, lifestyle changes! As the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race. When it comes to eating healthy and fitness as a lifestyle, you can still set goals, just make sure they are attainable! For example “my goal is to lose/gain 2 pounds every 2 weeks”. Then after reaching that goal. Make another one! Always, Always have a goal!
Mistake 1: Now we go into how you can make a lifestyle change properly. It's not going to happen overnight and remember everything needs time. No program, way of eating, etc. is going to change you instantly, so give every eating style a chance before ditching it! Many people make the mistake of sticking to a plan for a short period of time and then quickly discarding it because they don't immediately become some greek god in the first week!
Mistake 2: If we look at foods, just because something says gluten-free, fat-free, sugar-free..etc. doesn't mean it's healthy!! Actually more often than not, the foods that don't have these sayings on them will actually be better for you! For example, Jiff “Reduced Fat” creamy peanut butter has 6g fat per tbsp, 1g saturated, 1g fibre, 3.5g protein,7.5g carbs and 2g sugar. Regular all natural peanut butter has 8g fat, 2g saturated, 1g fibre, 5g protein, 3g carbs and 1g sugar
Okay so other than Jiff having less fat, they aren't all that different right? Wrong! Natural as you can see has more protein, less sugar and less carbs than the Jiff. So where are all those extra carbs in Jiff coming from? Hmm..let's see..
PEANUTS, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, SUGAR, SOY PROTEIN, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: SALT, FULLY HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OILS (RAPESEED AND SOYBEAN), MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, MOLASSES, MAGNESIUM OXIDE, NIACINAMIDE, FERRIC ORTHOPHOSPHATE, ZINC OXIDE, COPPER SULFATE, FOLIC ACID, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE.
Yumm! Who doesn't love some corn syrup solids in the morning? Doesn't look quite as appetizing does it?
Now check out natural peanut butter's ingredients:
Alright so now you know not to go for low-fat/low-carb options etc. just because they look better on the outside. But full-fat options of many things are actually really great! As long as you look for healthy fats. I eat full-fat meats, dairy products, peanut butter, coconut milk etc. and get my other healthy fats from coconut oil(yes it's saturated but there is a good type of saturated fat!), olive oil, avocados, nuts etc.
Those are just 2 mistakes I have for now but I will be posting a ton more that I have learned from!
Now onto the ultimate outline I almost guarantee will help you meet any fitness goals you want if you follow it:
This is the way I eat and I have seen so much improvement in my fitness and body since changing my eating habits.
#1) Eliminate Grains, This includes quinoa & rice etc. I know this is killing some of you to read but I swear by it now. Our bodies are not meant to eat these and I personally found that my muscles were much more defined after removing these. Although I love breads, pasta & oatmeal, I find that I don't miss them all too much because there are so many substitutes out there! (Look at some of my most recent recipes for ideas!). Plus you get to eat a ton more vegetables & fruit which is really great for you! So replace your carbs with fruits & veggies such as bananas, apples, strawberries, pears, peaches, berries, sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips, beats, spaghetti/butternut squash, zucchini, carrots, cucumbers, snap peas..etc!
#2) Eleminate all refined sugars, Even sweeteners I go easy on now, the only one I will still use is stevia and very rarely a sprinkle of splenda just as a topping for something. Instead replace them with pure maple syrup or honey!
#3) RAISE THAT FAT INTAKE-Still keep a reasonable calorie intake but change the percentages to lower the amount of carbs. Now that you cut out grains, there will be less need for high amounts of carbs. Instead raise your fat to be about 70% or so of your daily intake to help replace the cutting of carbs! This was one of the best things I did because automatically my muscles began to feel stronger, I have more energy, I am eating way better tasting foods than all that low-fat crap, including BUTTER yes I dare say the word(although it is vegan!), peanut butter, almond butter, whole eggs, full-fat meats such as pulled pork, sausages, bacon(yup!), full fat coconut milk, dark chocolate, avocados, coconut etc. Don't be scared to raise your fat levels. As long as carbs are low and you are at a healthy calorie intake then FATS WILL NOT MAKE YOU FAT, They will actually help with weight loss rather than making you put on weight!
#4) Make sure you are getting enough protein! If you are increasing fats, make sure you are still getting enough protein at about 1g per pound of bodyweight.
#5)Don't go to crazy with fruit, now that you are mainly eating fruits and veggies you may feel the need to eat all you want but make sure to keep vegetable intake higher and limit fruit to about 2 servings per day for best results! The sugars are natural but still quite high in fruit!
#6)Have a cheat meal once a week, lastly this is most important, we are all human and there comes a type when you realize, there really is no substitute for a plate full of soft warm garlic bread… So once a week take a meal off and go out with friends or just eat at home but eat whatever you'd like! Something you've been craving. This won't affect your results and will keep future cravings at bay. My last cheat meal was when I went out to eat and ordered a huge bowl of shrimp pasta and ate about 1 whole mini loaf of warm italian bread with butter plus a bowl of starter salad. Now that's how you cheat.
I hope this helps some of you guys out! Remember, this really is an outline and you can always tailor it to meat your specific needs. My “diet” is a pretty close spin-off of Paleo but I can't consider myself 100% since I still love to eat peanut butter, occasionally beans and some dairy! Make it your own and go with it. Goodluck!
What did you think of these tips? Let me know in the comments below!
***EDIT*** As some of you may have noticed, my diet has changed quite a bit! I will be posting a new outline sometime soon to share with you how I have gained lean muscle and finally fallen into an easy program that works and guess what…doesn't involve calorie counting. Stay tuned for more! haha.***