THE LAST DIET YOU WILL EVER NEED.
I strongly believe that we can enjoy almost all of the foods we enjoy whether they are “healthy” or “not”.
When people usually go down the healthy route they usually go through a phase where they refuse to eat anything that isn’t healthy. They will use the terms bad or good all the time. Over time this leads to an unhealthy relationship with food.
There is a better way to look at what you consume on a daily basis that makes things easier long term.
If you don’t have sensitivities to any foods, there are only 3 really poor or bad food choices you can make.
- Drinking soda or other sugar-sweetened drinks regularly (yes, juice too).
- Consuming a lot of industrial seed oils (vegetable, canola, grapeseed, corn).
- Regular consumption of processed carbohydrates (potato chips, french fries, donuts, cookies, some bread).
If you can avoid this stuff almost all of the time you are golden. If you have been consuming this stuff regularly for a long period of time, when you start cutting it out of your diet you will usually instantly start having more energy and usually start to lose fat.
2 and 3 could almost be lumped together because all processed carbs are made with industrial seed oils as well as sugar and other preservatives to make the food last forever.
If you can at least limit exposure to the above 3 things to a maximum of 20% of your meals you have already won. It is nearly impossible to avoid these foods 100% of the time unless you never leave your house and cook all your food yourself. But a massive part of living a healthy life is community and relationships. You need to get out and socialize and enjoy life.
Almost all restaurants use industrial seed oils for all of their cooking. It just isn’t economical for them to use high-quality EVOO or avocado oil for their cooking. When you go out for dinner try to avoid the deep fried foods (because these ISO’s become even worse for you when they are heated to a high temperature). Focus on protein and vegetables whenever possible when you go out for dinner.
It is impossible to avoid these 3 all the time. With the exception of the sugar-sweetened drinks, They are basically diabetes in a can. When you drink something loaded with sugar it reacts differently in your body then if you ate food with the same amount of sugar in it.
Because when you eat foods with sugar there is a lot more digestive action happening. There is fiber, other nutrients, and ingredients that your body has to break down along with the sugars.
When you drink a sugary drink there is no digestion. It goes straight to your liver and you get a huge blood sugar spike, which causes a massive insulin release. Which we don’t want to happen very often, let alone numerous times a day.
Consistent ingestion of sugar-sweetened drinks has been shown to cause more than just weight gain and diabetes. The list of side effects of consuming just 2 sugary drinks a day is long.
Reduced kidney function
Low sperm count
Risk of asthma and other respiratory conditions
Higher risk of brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s and ADHD in kids
Certain cancers feed off of sugars, especially pancreatic cancer
There is less than zero benefit to drinking sugary sodas and tons of risk. I would argue that alcohol is healthier for you than drinking a coke. Especially the social aspect of it.
Somebody who drinks multiple cans of soda a day could lose 20 pounds in a year just by cutting out all sugar-sweetened drinks and not changing a single thing about their diet.
When it comes to industrial seed oils. They are literally in every food product out there. Basically, everything that comes in a box has an industrial seed oil in it in some form. Even some dried spices do.
Avoiding ISO’s completely is virtually impossible. But the dangers are real if you consume them a lot.
One of the biggest issues with industrial seed oils is they are extremely high in omega 6’s. We need omega 6’s in our diet but what we really need to perform optimally is a balance of omega 3 and 6. When you eat a typical North American diet you eat extremely high levels of omega 6’s and very low levels of omega 3’s.
What happens to your body when your omega 3 and 6 levels are out of whack?
Inflammation, and in people who consistently over consume omega 6’s it becomes chronic inflammation.
Chronic inflammation is one of the root causes of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, obesity, and inflammatory bowel disease.
These oils are also very susceptible to oxidation. When these oils oxidize is when problems occur. ISO’s can oxidize before you even open the bottle, too much light or heat causes these oils to oxidize.
Oxidation means that these oils start to break down, they become rancid and they start to release harmful chemicals into your body when they are consumed.
Part of the reason we need to consume adequate fats in our diet is that fats are absorbed into our bodies cell membranes, and they either help to repair and rebuild our cells or in the case of ISO’s our cells absorb all of the harmful chemicals from the rancid oils.
Why should we avoid processed foods?
I hate to break it to you but we have been duped. We have been fooled and lied to by food companies, the American heart association, and most of the doctors out there.
Back in the 60’s the sugar industry paid a large group of scientists to perform a study that showed that consuming fats was harmful to your body and caused heart disease. They also stated that sugar consumption had no bearing on heart disease.
Here we are almost 60 years later. The true information is out there now but nobody is listening to it.
I am only going to say this once.
Fat is not going to kill you, your body needs saturated fat in the proper dosage to function properly.
The sugar industry has caused millions of deaths
This is an excerpt from an article that was in the New York Times:
“The documents show that a trade group called the Sugar Research Foundation, known today as the Sugar Association, paid three Harvard scientists the equivalent of about $50,000 in today’s dollars to publish a 1967 review of research on sugar, fat and heart disease. The studies used in the review were handpicked by the sugar group, and the article, which was published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, minimized the link between sugar and heart health and cast aspersions on the role of saturated fat.
Even though the influence-peddling revealed in the documents dates back nearly 50 years, more recent reports show that the food industry has continued to influence nutrition science.
Last year, an article in The New York Times revealed that Coca-Cola, the world’s largest producer of sugary beverages, had provided millions of dollars in funding to researchers who sought to play down the link between sugary drinks and obesity. In June, The Associated Press reported that candy makers were funding studies that claimed that children who eat candy tend to weigh less than those who do not.”
This is why I always implore people to do their own research and not just listen to their doctors or what they hear on the news.
Focus on a lean protein source, a vegetable, and a small serving of healthy fat at every meal.
When it comes down to carbs, again 80% of the carbs should come from the ground, this means potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, quinoa, plantains, squash, fruits, and white rice.
Your body fat level should determine how many carbs you eat. If you have a lot of body fat and not a lot of muscle your carb intake should be lower. I always suggest focusing most of your carb intake around your training.
So how do you know if you are sticking to the 80/20 rule?
If you are eating 3 meals a day, and a snack or post-training meal on most days that gives you 4 meals a day. Over the course of a week, you will eat 28 meals. 80% of 28 is 22.4. Let’s round that up to 23.
If you can make 23 out of your 28 meals in a week healthy, nutrient dense and void of the big 3 from above you will have massive success.
This gives you 5 meals a week where you can have some pizza, a burger, and fries, a couple beers, or whatever it is that you love to eat.
How do I make the 80/20 rule work for alcohol or desserts? Since they aren’t necessarily a meal?
Alcohol would be number 4 on the list of things to avoid if the social and tribal aspects of it weren’t so great. I personally look forward to my Friday afternoon beers that I have bi-weekly with a couple close friends.
Desserts. I fit desserts into the 80/20 rule by determining how calorically dense they are, there is a big difference between a piece of cheesecake and a cookie. There is also a difference between a processed packaged box of cookies with a bunch of preservatives and a homemade cinnamon bun.
This is one that you need to use your own discretion on. I usually try to limit desserts to 2x a week, if these are small and not heavily processed. Usually, this is an ice cream cone with my kids or a couple cookies.
If you are going to eat a larger calorically dense dessert. That counts as one of your 5 free meals.
If you are going to have 2-3 drinks that counts as one of your 5 free meals.
The best way to make this work and be successful is to schedule your life as much as possible. I know that sounds like a pain but in reality, it makes your goals way easier to accomplish when you can schedule your life and follow a routine most of the time.
Schedule a date night with your spouse, or a guys/girls night with some friends, or any activity you enjoy.
This way you know when you will be having your free meal or drinks and you can adjust your day’s calories accordingly.
How do you do that? You may be asking yourself.
If you are going to say go for a couple beers with some close friends and have some chicken wings, nachos or any other probably not so healthy pub fare this is what I would do:
Focus your earlier meals on just protein and healthy fats. Drink lots of water, more than usual.
When you are done your food and beers go right back to your nutrition plan.
Do not feel guilty and go off the rails and have late night pizza or other garbage fast foods because “you already failed on your diet and you might as well go to town and eat a bunch of crap” This is where people usually fall off.
If you can avoid this and know that it is actually good for you to go out and relax on your diet once in awhile. I would even say this activity is healthy and it is needed to be able to be successful and healthy long term.
Now you can swing this however you like but basically, you have 5 passes a week, but there are some stipulations to this. The 80/20 rule only works when you follow them:
- If you are drinking alcohol, you don’t overeat poor quality foods. Have a normal sized plate, no chicken wing eating competitions. This is a double whammy for fat gains here. Your body stops burning fat when you drink, so everything you eat is almost automatically stored as fat until you finish detoxifying your body from the alcohol.
- If you have a poor quality meal, get right back to your nutrition plan afterward. DO NOT decide to go off the rails and eat like crap because you had 1 bad meal. This is a huge mental obstacle for some people. Not being able to control your poor eating also shows a bad relationship with food.
- Don’t use food as a coping mechanism or reward. I was always a stress eater. If I had a bad day or I felt crappy I would always turn to food and alcohol. I am all for celebrating your nutritional wins but don’t celebrate them with bad food. Celebrate your wins with a different reward. Buy yourself something, or treat yourself to a massage or anything other than bad food. It just doesn’t make sense. If you were a recovering alcoholic and you were celebrating a year sober would you do it by getting drunk? No, you wouldn’t. If you are celebrating the fact that you lost 10 lbs of fat or were consistent on your diet for a month why are you celebrating by doing what got you there in the first place?
The more you can schedule your nutrition and life the more you will set yourself up for success.
If you find you don’t have time to make healthy lunches every day, take an hour on Sunday and BBQ up some chicken thighs, and roast a bunch of vegetables. Then pack yourself a few days worth of lunches with them.
Don’t have time in the morning to make a healthy breakfast? Buy a blender. It is the best purchase I have ever made. You can jam a whole bunch of greens in the blender with some avocado, whey protein, and frozen berries. Bam! You have a super healthy breakfast in less than 5 minutes. There are lots of substitutes you can make, that is just a basic breakdown of what you can put in a shake. Greens, protein, healthy fats, and some fruit.
Are you rushed when it comes to dinnertime? Get an instant pot. They are amazing, you can cook rice in it in 3 minutes. You can throw meat in it completely frozen and it cooks in minutes. Cooking healthy nutrient dense meals doesn’t have to be hard or lack taste and flavor.
Try a new vegetable every week. There are so many out there. You do not have to stick to broccoli all the time.
Load your spice cabinet up with all kinds of different spices. Spices can change a meal from bland to bold in seconds. Experiment with different combinations. I love to cook for this reason it makes it fun to make new meals.
Food should be an experience. Food shouldn’t be like a trip to the gas station to fill up your car.
Stop mindlessly shoveling food into your mouth while staring at your phone. I am guilty of this sometimes still but I am consciously trying to stop.
When you eat mindlessly you usually don’t chew your food properly and swallow it too soon. Over time this can lead to a host of problems. Chewing our food is the first step of digestion. Our saliva contains compounds that start to break down our food while it is still in our mouth. If you don’t chew your food properly until it is basically a paste you are skipping a vital step in proper digestion.
When we send large pieces of unchewed food into our stomach we start to see digestive issues and bacterial growth because sometimes these unchewed pieces of food get stuck in the digestive tract and cause a host of issues.
In almost all cultures food is almost a religious experience. Because food used to be hard to come by. Especially an abundance of food. In our culture food has become like a trip to the gas station. This is one of the big reasons our culture is sick and obese.
We don’t think about our food at all or where it came from. Or how lucky we are to have it in abundance. Nope, we just stuff our faces with garbage processed food until we are too full to move and then go sit on the couch and watch some bad reality TV and fall asleep.
I blame the food industry for this. The processed food industry destroyed or is trying to destroy real food culture and the importance of preparing your own food. Our food shouldn’t come from a lab. Processed food is purposely made to be addictive. The combination of highly processed carbohydrate, sugars, and poor quality fats creates a hyper-palatable food. This combination was not stumbled upon accidentally. Food companies spend millions of dollars every year to make their products addictive and hard for people to stop consuming.
They want you to be fat, and then sick. Then they can pass you over to their evil brother big pharma and he can feed you expensive prescription drugs that give you horrible side effects that you have to take other drugs to cope with.
It’s a vicious cycle that we need to stop now. The only way to stop large corporations like this is to stop consuming their products. We need people to see the truth and see the difference that eating quality foods can make.
Food should be a celebration. Food is the reason we became the society we are today. Our world changed when we discovered how to cook meat on a fire. We would never have created all the amazing technologies we have today if it wasn’t for food and proper nutrition. I know the people that were around at this time had no idea what they were doing nutritionally at that time but based on research they ate in a way that maximized their brain power and abilities.
- They didn’t eat giant carb loaded breakfasts. They probably didn’t eat as soon as they woke up. I imagine depending on the era but people probably had to go gather some berries and plants. Or hunt down some eggs.
- Most people spent the day moving. A lot. We are not designed to be sedentary beings, we are changing our physiology when we sit all the time. We need to move for so many reasons.
- They ate one bigger meal at the end of the day. This works great for people trying to get lean. We are busier than ever nowadays. We move less than ever nowadays. We eat more poor quality foods than ever before.
I feel the whole eating every 2-3 hours idea is not a good idea for most people. It has been debunked by science numerous times. You will not lose more weight by “stoking your metabolism” It’s just not true. What matters is your daily intake, your overall weekly intake, and food quality. It’s ok to be hungry. Most people have zero idea what real hunger actually is because we have become so disconnected from our food and how we consume it.
Have you ever tried to focus on something with a full belly? It’s damn hard! Now try to get some work done with a small serving of protein, a piece of fruit and a cup of black coffee. You will be way more focused.
What we eat affects everything in our bodies. It’s the number 1 rule for you to learn and implement. You are what you eat. Show me one uber-successful person who eats fast food every day? Or doesn’t exercise. You will be hard-pressed to find any.
You have to start to understand what all these poor habits and food choices lead to. They all lead to problems. They may not be immediate problems but they will lead to problems eventually. I guarantee it. Why do you think disease and obesity rates are skyrocketing? Healthcare costs climbing, Autoimmune conditions on the rise, and depression rates, especially among men, are going through the roof.
It all comes back to basic proper nutrition. In my programs and coaching, I teach people a very simple basic way of eating. You can enjoy all the foods you love as long as they are in small doses and the bulk of your nutrition comes from real, earth grown, whole foods.
You must be willing to commit to change and be ready to accept that people are going to think what you are doing is different. But here is the kicker, everyone else wants this too. They just fear the change that is necessary to make it happen. Be the change you want to see.
The world has enough sheep, we need more sheepdogs. People to help and teach. There are so many people saying they have this magic diet plan, secret supplement, or special workout. It’s all BS. They just want your money.
There is no easy way to get healthy if you have spent 5, 10, or 20 years not taking care of yourself. It is going to be hard AF! You will have ups and downs. You will make mistakes. But don’t quit because it’s all worth it in the end. You can be the change you want to see.
The method in this blog post is the easiest way I have found to reach your goals. You can modify anything to make it fit your goals. The biggest thing is keeping track of what you eat. If you can’t keep track of what you are eating, how do you know you are staying in the proper 80/20 windows? Guessing doesn’t work well. I know you have a lot going on in your life and we forget stuff all the time. So start tracking your calories, or keep a food journal. It can be as simple as taking a photo and writing a couple words. Keep it on your phone so you have it with you all the time.
Be prepared. Be organized. Be disciplined.
Having the discipline to say no once in awhile is huge. It doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself. It means you can enjoy yourself more when you know that you have been successful for many days in a row and one bad meal and a few beers/glasses of wine isn’t going to change that.
“Sooner or later your HEALTH will be your biggest concern”
It’s true. Hate it all you want. Use all the dumb analogies you feel like, I have heard them all. But when it really comes down to it they are all just excuses for why you are failing yourself.
I would say at least 80% of North America is like imprisoned zoo animals. We were born to physically stress our bodies. We were not designed to eat synthetic laboratory created compounds. Sitting all day is not how our bodies are designed to function. I wholeheartedly believe that the biggest issue plaguing our society is a lack of knowledge about food and a lack of movement.
If you can focus your nutrition around the ideas in this blog and get out and move your ass every single day for a minimum of 20 minutes you will be happier, healthier, more focused, and a lighthouse in a dark sea of bad diets.
Get better every day. Start now.
Hit me up on my website, email, IG, Facebook, or just fill out my online coaching application if you want to take things to the next level. My goal is to help people get healthier and improve their lives. I don’t just do this for fun. I am going to create an impact that is going to change people’s lives.