There are, at last count, seven hundred and forty gazillion diets being marketed to you right now, at this very moment. You’ve probably seen half of them. The other half is essentially a variation on a theme, so listen, you’re not missing anything.
Vegan, Paleo, low-carb, Mediterranean, Atkins. You’ve heard of them all, and maybe tried a few. You’ve counted calories. Gone high fiber. Done raw. Organic. Omega-3 vs. Omega-6. You’ve noted the change in the food pyramid, which is now more of a food circle, or pie, or hexagon, I can’t remember which.
When you sit down to eat, do you pull out the calculator so you can monitor your remaining calories for the day? Maybe you’re better at math than I am, so you don’t need the calculator. But wait, you ran this morning, so does that change anything? And what about afterward, after you workout? What are you supposed to eat then?
It’s all really complicated isn’t it? I mean, which diet really is best? You can find studies that seemingly support just about all of them, which means that you’ll also find studies that refute them. So, what’s the deal?
Forget it. Seriously. Forget it.
Forget it all—all the carbs, fats, proteins, percentages, all that stuff—and eat food. Real food. Not food products. Food that grew from the ground or was hunted. So if you’re a vegan or a carnivore, you’re more likely to eat things that are good for you, that nourish you and fuel you. Basically, you’re boiling down all those diets to their essence and with that you really can’t mess it up. This way you don’t have to stress out or worry about what is right, wrong, healthy or not.
So then, what happens if you get kidnapped and forced to eat the, you know, the cheddar fries, the ones with the bacon. And the ranch. (These are particularly cruel kidnappers.) Well not to worry. An occasional stray from your regularly scheduled real meal isn’t going to put you in the gutter. Give yourself a couple of meals per week that you allow yourself to enjoy, guilt-free, that maybe don’t follow the real food guidelines. Pizza doesn’t grow on a tree, but that doesn’t mean you absolutely can’t eat it. Jalapeno bacon cheeseburgers don’t either, but once a week I pretend they do.
So, here’s the gist:
- Eat food, not food products.
- The more packaging it requires, the less beneficial it is to you.
- The ingredient list should be the thing you’re eating and nothing more.
- Without guilt, eat a couple of meals a week that go outside the first three rules.
That’s it. That’s all there is to it. The more you stress about what you’re eating, the more stress you have. Let’s not even go there about stress. We all know that’s no good for you. Eat food and you’ll be much, much happier in the long run.