I have seen so many posts before on what a typical healthy diet consists of, and what changes to make to eat better. 95% of the time these people are telling you to eat low fat, switch your butter for margarine or canola oil, and switch to diet soda instead of regular soda. Please know that these are NOT healthy changes.
A Typical “Healthy” Diet for Most Americans:
Breakfast: A big bowl of that “cholesterol lowering” cereal with skim milk, some white toast with margarine, orange juice.
On the way to work: The biggest latte that you can order at your local coffee shop (because no one can live without their caffeine, right? This is usually a person’s “cheat” food for the day )
Lunch: Salad with chicken breast, low fat dressing, and some water or diet soda
Snack: Fat free yogurt or reduced fat cottage cheese with some fruit
Dinner: Another piece of lean protein (chicken, fish, turkey, etc) with a nice size serving of veggies.
Dessert: Maybe a banana and a scoop of peanut butter
What is so wrong with the above?
Other than the fact that it is incredibly boring, it is lacking REAL NUTRITION. If you’re still in the mindset that fat is bad, you have to reduce calories to lose weight, and that deprivation = incredible health, then do I have a wake-up call for you!
COUNTING CALORIES IS NOT EFFECTIVE FOR WEIGHT LOSS
Cutting out calories will unfortunately also cut out nutrition and energy. Calories are literally units of energy. Cutting them down will reduce your overall energy output, especially if you are also exercising long periods of time as well. This is the quickest way to put yourself into burnout unfortunately. Depriving yourself of adequate amounts of food might help you shed some pounds at first, but it will become harder and harder as time goes on the more depleted your body becomes. Read my tips for sustainable weight loss here.
IF YOU HAVE TO SURVIVE OFF OF COFFEE, YOU NEED TO CHECK YOUR ADRENALS
If you are relying on a giant cup of coffee to get through the day (or even worse, a whole pot) then that is a sign that your adrenals are screaming for help, especially if you are eating a diet like the one outlined above. Adrenal fatigue is a bit of a broad term, but it essentially means that your body has been pushed to its limit and needs massive replenishment of major nutrients like unrefined sea salt, quality fats and proteins, vitamin C (in whole food form, not isolated ascorbic acid), and more.
Common symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:
- Low energy through the day and trouble getting out of bed
- low thyroid function (hypothyroid)
- inability to lose weight
- low or no libido
- low blood pressure
- dizzy when standing up
- cravings for salt and sugar
And the big kicker:
FAT IS NOT FATTENING
Fat is needed for many different reasons. It is needed for brain health, reproductive health, adrenals and thyroid health, immune system health, and also for eyes, skin and nails. Saturated fats are especially good for heart health- even though for decades “experts” were saying the opposite! Fats help balance your blood sugar, especially when you cut out all of the refined and processed foods from your diet.
However, there are GOOD fats and BAD fats.
GOOD fats include: grass-fed butter, coconut oil, grass-fed dairy (cream cheese, milk, cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, heavy cream), ghee, avocado, fish, nuts, chocolate, meats, eggs, and olives.
BAD fats include: oils from soy, corn, safflower, sunflower, canola, and peanut.
One great way to introduce more fats into your life is to include fat bombs. Fat bombs are amazing little snacks that are made with good fats like coconut oil, grass-fed butter, MCT oil, and other awesome fats plus healthy sweeteners like raw honey or maple syrup. Check out some of these recipes here:
So, if you’re still swapping the butter for margarine or you’re struggling to get through the day, it’s time to learn a bit more about real nutrition. Our ancestors didn’t avoid fat nor did they trust food made in a lab instead of what nature gave us. They didn’t have microwaves, or boxes of cereal, or fast food restaurants on every corner. Their food wasn’t filled with artificial colors and sweeteners, preservatives to make it last for months on a shelf, or nasty additives like MSG or high fructose corn syrup.
Want to learn more about what an ideal diet consists of? Read about that here!