4 Super Simple Rules for Healthy Eating
Let’s face it; it can be quite confusing to know exactly what to eat for one to be healthy. Considering that every other week, the media keeps churning out claims and counterclaims of some “super” food you must add to your diet or another you have to avoid all costs. Not to mention all the different kinds of specific diets we can follow: vegan, paleo, Okinawan, keto, Mediterranean, low fat, low carb, etc. In all these, rarely is any diet ever well elaborated and presented in its proper context.
However, unless you are an athlete who needs their nutrition completely dialed in to optimize performance, or you have a clinical condition that limits you to a very strict diet, we’ve noticed from working with numerous clients that 90% of the average healthy person’s success in proper eating is largely derived from a few simple dietary patterns. Today, we’re going to share with you 4 rules to follow that will be the most responsible for the average person’s dietary success.
Avoid Heavily Processed Foods
You may have heard a lot about how you need to avoid heavily processed food, but what does that refer to exactly? Especially when you consider that processed food may basically refer to any food that has been altered in one way or another such as by cooking. In colloquial terms, processed foods usually refer to foods that have been heavily modified from its natural state in ways that make it more appetizing but unhealthy. Primarily, this refers to foods that are far from its natural state and have been altered with large amounts of sugar or salt, or have been stripped of key nutrients like fiber or vitamins. So think about foods such as sugary box cereal, frozen TV dinners, candy, pre-packaged condiments, or processed meats such as bacon and sausages among others. As a rule of thumb, if it is a prepackaged food with a ton of ingredients that you can’t even pronounce, er on the side of caution and generally avoid.
Eat Whole Plant Foods
As we have previously emphasized, most Americans don’t consume enough serving of fruits and vegetables. That’s incredibly unfortunate because a high consumption of whole plant foods provide our bodies with essential nutrients such as fiber, polyphenols, Omega-3 fat, lycopene, Vitamin C, and many more. To ensure you consume all the nutrients you need from whole plant foods, you should treat them like skittles and “taste the rainbow”. By that, we mean your diet should have large and varied kinds of minimally processed plant foods of different vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, fungi, whole grains, etc.
Furthermore, among our clients that pursue weight loss, they always discover that fruits and vegetables tend to be lower in Calories yet more filling than what they substituted in their prior diet. For example, two medium apples can leave you feeling satiated for around 250 Cal, while a bag of salty chips will have you feeling like you can keep consuming more and never feel satisfied.
You may have heard before that being healthy and managing body weight is mostly down to your diet. While this seems to be true in theory, I don’t believe based on my experience that this is true in practice for the vast majority of people. Not only does exercise help to burn Calories, exercise is equally vital in improving muscle mass, bone density, cardiovascular endurance, appetite regulation, insulin sensitivity, etc.
Additionally, on a psychological level, one healthy habit helps to reinforce the other. I’ve seen plenty of clients start to care much more about their diet once they decide to run their first 5K, or to hike every weekend.
Perfection Is the Enemy of Progress
With any endeavor, trying to eat healthy the best you can will have plenty of setbacks along the way. So contrary to popular belief, there can be space for imperfections in your journey toward achieving an overall healthy lifestyle. Just as no one has ever gotten fat from one large meal, no one has ever developed sarcopenia from missing one workout. So even if you are on a diet, don’t worry too much about enjoying one cheat meal here and there, or why your weight loss is plateauing. Progress should be measured by overall changes in behavior patterns, and not based on singular events. Therefore, as long as you are eating better and exercising more most of the time, then trust the process that you are living a healthier lifestyle.
In the end, it’s about eating well and being less sedentary most of the time, and doing so consistently. If you would like to know just how convenient and tasty eating well can be, click here to claim 5% off your order this week.
Written by: Vinh Pham
Vinh holds a degree in Nutritional Science. Having learned the importance of maintaining a healthy diet, Vinh’s goal is to educate others on proper health and nutrition. When he’s not working for MOS, Vinh likes trying new foods, hitting the gym, and eating his vegetables like a good boy.