There have been a lot of ups and downs in diet trends over the last couple of decades. America has seen it all.
For a time “heart health” was all the buzz. Low-fat products filled the shelves, cereal boxes boasted all kinds of health claims, everyone seemed to be “watching their cholesterol”, skipping the egg yolks, and doubling down on the whites. New substitutes for butter were invented and low-fat flavored yogurts and skim milk seemed to be staples in households across the country.
Then we phased into the age of low carb and high fat. Out with the pasta, in with butter and beef. Hello low-carb protein bars and shakes full of chemicals.
Since then, we’ve seen rising popularity in vegan, plant based, gluten-free, and dairy-free diets, macro counting, and more. This leaves most people with more questions than answers. What is healthy? What is the right eating plan for my body type? What should I be eating?
Here’s the thing:
In almost every fad diet, there is at least some truth. That’s what makes it confusing. However, most nutrition plans lack balance and prove to be unsustainable over time. But there are certain fundamentals that have been proven to work and are backed by science and the lastest in medical research.
Here are a few of my top tried-and-true nutrition recommendations:
Eat Quality Food:
Before you start counting macros, tracking net carbs, or worrying about how many hours you should fast a day, make sure you are eating high quality food. Artificial ingredients, processed foods, additives, preservatives, chemicals, and low quality food will always lead to unwanted side effects. Just because a label claims that a food is “low carb” or “gluten-free” or “vegan” or “sugar free” doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s healthy. The first step in pursuing a healthy lifestyle should be cutting out all artificial ingredients, highly processed foods, and low quality ingredients. Start with high quality, natural, whole foods before tackling other aspects of your diet.
Remove the 5 Offenders:
4. Deep Fried Foods
5. Sugary Junk Foods
These five foods are among the worst offenders when it comes to causing inflammation and feeding sickness. Across the board, when clients cut these foods out of their diet, I see an improvement 100% of the time. Inflammation calms downs, excess weight drops away, bye-bye bloating, the brain clears, and unwanted symptoms go away.
Don’t be Afraid of Healthy Fats
A lower carb/high-fat diet is overflowing with benefits. Just to name a few:
- Fat may fight disease and boost longevity
- Helps with sustainable weight loss
- Helpful for cognitive/neurological health (boost the brain)
- Important for hormonal balance and reproduction
- Needed for proper absorption of vitamins
Make sure you’re getting the right kind of fat! The type of fat you eat matters. Despite their differences, there’s one thing that the low-fat and high-fat diets seem to be in agreement on and that’s their frowning upon seed and vegetable oils (polyunsaturated fats or PUFAs) like canola, safflower, soy, corn, etc. which are proven to be harmful to the body. But that’s where the similarities end. The high-fat diet is still in favor of including dietary (healthy) fats from natural sources like; olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, nuts and animal fats such as butter, ghee, cream, etc. The high-fat diet praises the power of fat (especially animal fat) to restore good digestion and elimination, as well as a great way to burn excess weight, and maintain a healthy amount of cholesterol in the body for cellular health.
For more on this subject go to my blogpost here.
Additionally, fat makes everything taste better. People who tell me they hate vegetables usually aren’t using enough healthy fats to prepare them in a tasty way.
Stick to the 80/20 Rule:
Stick to the good, healthy things 80% of the time. Give yourself a little grace and room to indulge or eat foods that may not be ideal 20% of the time.
The 80/20 balance is sustainable for most people. It allows you to continue to see progress, manage unwanted symptoms, and maintain a healthy lifestyle while also enjoying a variety of foods without feeling deprived or burned out. You might add dairy-free ice cream, gluten-free waffles, or a glass of wine. Whatever brings you joy without causing your body to feel poorly.
Remove Foods That Irritate and Inflame Your Body
Many people are battling daily effects from food sensitivities and have no idea. For some people, even certain vegetables prove to be irritating to their bodies. For others, things like gluten or dairy can cause inflammation and a variety of side effects. Knowing which foods work for your body and which ones don’t is a game changer.
That’s why I guide all of my clients through an elimination diet and 28-day full body detox. Additionally, I recommend several tests that provide conclusive answers on whether or not you have food sensitivities/allergies or underlying problems that are leading to unwanted symptoms.
If you’re curious about my program and process, I invite you to set up a free consultation here.