With the holidays fast approaching, we’re all looking at our post-pandemic waistlines and wondering how we can get back to a healthier eating routine without too much pain. Your first instinct might be to cut calories or food groups from your diet, and while this might work in the short term, it isn’t a long-term solution.
Instead of eating less, try eating real.
Eating real means eating foods you recognize. These are foods your great-great-grandmother would recognize as edible. She’d recognize apples and chicken and green beans. She would not recognize frozen Lean Cuisines or Diet Cokes.
Stick with a PFC-centered diet.
PFC stands for protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Let’s break that down a little more.
Protein is well understood and associated with building muscle. However, protein helps with more than just building muscle. The human body needs protein for organs, bones, hair, and nearly all of the tissues in your body. Eating a high-protein diet can help you maintain and lose weight, stabilize your blood sugar and energy levels. When choosing protein, be sure to select lean meats or plant sources like nuts, seeds, and beans.
Fat is important for normal body functions, but it can be hard to know what kinds of fats to add. Trans fats are the “bad fats” and have been shown to increase the risk of heart disease. Trans fats are usually found in packaged foods (ie. Foods your great-great grandmother wouldn’t recognize). “Good fats” are your omega 3, 6, and 9 fats. Your body can’t produce them by itself, so work some salmon, avocado, and walnuts into your diet.
Choose healthy sources of carbohydrates: unprocessed or minimally processed starches like potatoes or yams, vegetables, fruit, and beans are your best bet. These foods promote good health by delivering vitamins, minerals, fiber, and a number of other important nutrients. Avoid breads, pastas, pastries, sodas, and any other processed or refined foods. Unhealthier carbohydrates contribute to health issues like weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease. Your carbohydrates should come from whole food sources like vegetables, legumes, and fruit.
How to Implement
So I hear you out there, Dear Reader. “This is all great information, but how do I implement it?”
Make it fun. Get a cooking tool that makes you excited and learn to use it. Maybe that’s an air fryer for you. Maybe that’s a crock pot or an InstaPot. Find a quick and easy recipe on YouTube and perfect it. Your great-great-grandmother might not recognize these tools, but she probably would have loved them. They save time and effort and can be fun to use without slaving over a hot stove all day.
Make it easy. We all know that the breakroom donuts and the Chinese takeout aren’t good for us, but we grab them because they are easy. The problem there is breakroom donuts and takeout usually make us feel like garbage. Cooking at home can be fun and easy, too. It’s just a matter of reframing the activity.
When in doubt, reach out! Eximo provides nutrition consultations. Any questions can be sent to [email protected].