When eating for health, 90% or more of the food I eat must come from a whole food source. What is a whole food? A food that is in its original natural form, untouched by humans. No added preservatives, sodium, sugar, fat, etc… When I go to the grocery store, I avoid the aisles like the plague. Shopping the perimeter allows me to buy foods as close to their natural form as possible. I buy food such as meat, vegetables, and fruits that have to be prepared and cooked. Yes, it’s more work this way. It’s also unavoidable if your goal is eating for health and performance. Another trap is eating out. Not only is it nearly impossible to eat healthy when at a restaurant; it can also cost 5 times as much as cooking your own meal at home. Make sure to read this great article “Top 5 Reasons to Eat at Home”.
One Simple Rule to Follow
Do not eat foods that come from a box or a bag. If this is the only thing you put into practice from this article, you will do just fine. Any food item that comes prepackaged has been tainted and messed with by corporations trying to sell you the tastiest and most addicting food items possible. They are not trying to make healthy food. The only thing that matters is that you buy their product again. Many Millions of dollars have been spent in the research of making addicting food. You will not win the willpower battle so why even try. Just avoid bringing processed food into the house so you won’t have the option.
3 Categories of Healthy Whole Foods
Protein is the building block of Muscle. It is essential to consume enough protein each day to allow the body to heal, adapt and grow from a previous workout. Shoot for .7 to 1 gram of protein per day per pound of body weight. For example, a fit, active man weighing 200 lbs should get between 140 and 200 grams of protein per day to meet his protein needs. Lean Protein sources such as Turkey, Chicken, and Fish are great sources of protein. It should be easy to meet your protein requirement if you have a protein source at each meal.
Carbohydrates are an essential part of eating for health and especially performance. When we exercise, we primarily use carbohydrates for fuel. Think about eating a healthy carbohydrate source at least 2 hours before rigorous exercise so that it can be digested and available for fuel. Fruits and vegetables are healthy and natural sources of carbohydrates. Frozen fruit blended with milk and spinach make a fantastic nutrient-dense pre-game meal.
Healthy Fats are integral to a healthy body. Fat is responsible for cellular growth and essential for hormone production. It is also essential to have fat in meals to help with the absorption of nutrients. Fat also insulates and keeps us warm as well as protecting our organs. Fat has double the calories of carbohydrates or protein. Dietary fat is important but don’t overdo it. A little goes a long way. Do try to eat fats from whole sources such as nuts, seeds, olives, and avocadoes. Avoid processed vegetable oils and trans fat found in many junk foods.
Example Day of Eating for Health
- Eat a diet that consists mostly of whole foods.
- Shop the perimeter of the grocery store and avoid the aisles.
- Each meal/snack should include a healthy protein, carb, and fat source.
- Prepare your food ahead of time and plan times of the day to eat it
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