A Beginner’s Guide To Healthy Eating
So you want to eat healthier? That’s awesome. Maybe your doctor told you that you need to lose weight? Or you’re just tired of being the fat friend in your group? Or maybe you want to get healthy for your spouse or to be a better role model for your kid.
Today you’re going to learn the basics so that you can get started on your journey to living a healthier lifestyle.
Disclaimer: What to eat is a very controversial topic and many people tend to gravitate towards extreme ends of the spectrum in their search for quick fixes and fast weight-loss instead of finding a healthy medium where you can get most of the results you want with a little skill and consistency. And while there is no one size fits all approach that is guaranteed to work for every single person on the planet, there is some information that will work for most people. This information is based on our personal research, the Kaizen Wellness nutrition philosophy, and our results along with the results of the members of the Kaizen Wellness community and the results of transformers on the Kaizen Transformation System.
Chances are you already know what healthy food is. Things that grew in the ground, on a plant or tree, came out of the sea, ran on the land, or flew through the air. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains, seeds, meat, fish and eggs are all great examples of REAL food.
You also know what FAKE food is. Food that comes from a drive-thru window, a vending machine, a box, a bag, a tube, a tub or a wrapper. If it has an ingredient list longer than The Lord Of The Rings, it’s probably not good for you. If it started out as real food and then went through twenty-seven steps to get to the point where you’re about to eat it, it’s not good for you.
Eat Mostly REAL Food
Stay Away From FAKE Food
That’s the first step. Monitor your plate over your next few meals. How much real food are you eating and how much of what you eat is fake foods? If you’re eating fake foods then it’s also no wonder if you have health issues like excess weight, poor sleep, digestion issues, fatigue, restlessness and high blood pressure to name but a few.
Adjust your food choices according to your health goals by eating mostly real foods and you’re on your way to feeling healthier and more vibrant.
You CANNOT Out-train Your Diet
You CANNOT Out-run Your Fork
Have you ever indulged in what you know is fake foods and then said to yourself, I’ll just work extra hard in the gym? Or I’ll do 20 extra minutes of cardio?
We all think that when we’re sweating it out in the gym we’re burning a ton of calories, but it’s just not true. Unless you’re sticking to the training schedule of an Olympic level athlete the one or even two hours a day that you spend in the gym won’t make a dent in the calories contained in a regular burger with fries and a coke.
You also won’t be able to train at your best if you’re fueling up on fake foods. Sure you’ll be short of breath and sweating up a storm but you won’t have the physical strength or endurance to push through tough workouts if your diet isn’t filled with mostly real foods.
And lastly fake food choices – whether you’re eating too much fat, too much sugar, too many calories, or not enough – will make you feel that you don’t want to exercise.
If your goal is to look, feel and be healthy then you have to choose REAL foods over fake foods and all your success in a living healthy is dependent of the food choices you make.
You DON’T Have To Give Into Temptation
Contrary to popular belief, not giving in to a craving for fake food won’t kill you. Sure it might feel a little uncomfortable to say no to if you’re use to giving in to them every time.
You can train yourself to develop greater resilience, willpower and discipline by saying no more regularly and you’ll actually start to enjoy saying no to foods that you know are not inline with your goals.
Carbs, Protein & Fat
No matter what the latest and greatest diet fad guru tells you, your body needs ALL 3 of these macronutrients form real food to thrive. So how do you spot a real carb from a fake carb or a real fat from a fake fat? Here’s a quick run down.
Real Food Carbohydrates: Vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
Fake Food Carbohydrates: Sugar, soda drinks, bread, chips, cereals, crackers, pies, pastries, cookies, candy, fruit juice, chocolates and so on.
Real Food Protein: Meat, fish, eggs along with many leafy greens (like spinach), seeds (like pumpkin seeds), beans, legumes and sea vegetables.
Fake Food Protein: Processed meat like bacon, sausages, hot dogs, salami, corned beef and ham as well as canned meats.
Real Food Fats: Nuts, seeds, avocados, coconut, butter, cream, extra virgin olive and coconut oils.
Fake Food Fats: Seed & vegetables oils, partially hydrogenated and hydrogenated oils.
WARNING: Cut The Fat Off Your Steak & The Skin Off Your Chicken
Fat is nature’s storage depot and whatever an animal is fed will end up in its fat. Most people have no idea how their meat is raised or on what. The hormones, chemicals and medicines that are fed to most of these commercially farmed animals to make them bigger and fatter end up stored in the animal’s fat cells – be safe and cut the fat off before cooking.
Kaizen Wellness Fat-loss Plate*
*This plate works together with a fitness program that includes strength training and conditioning exercises for an active & healthy lifestyle.
Fill half of a small or medium sized plate with fibrous vegetables. Then fill one quarter of your plate with a source of protein. Next fill one eighth of your plate with carbs like starchy vegetables (like potatoes) or grains or fruit and lastly fill the final eighth with a fat source.
Cooking Tip: Choose to steam, bake, boil or grill your food instead of sautéing or frying in oil.
MYTH: Healthy food won’t make you fat and you can eat as much as you want.
FALSE. Any food can make you fat if you eat too much of it.
The Kaizen Wellness Eating Guide
Drink Enough Water. Many people mistake thirst for hunger. Your body is 60% + water. Trust me, you need to drink a lot of it to look and feel your best.
Eat Real Food. Focus on getting in as much nutrients as you can per meal. Load half your plate up with fibrous vegetables in as many colours as possible and you’ll start noticing the improvements to your health, performance and body composition right away.
Eat When You’re Hungry. Rate your hunger every couple of hours on a scale from one to ten. Make sure that you eat at around a 7 or a 8. Don’t stay hungry until you get to a 9 or a 10 because you’re a lot more likely to make bad choices when you’re that ravenous.
Eat Appropriate Portions. If you want to be smaller use a small plate. If you want to be bigger use a big plate.
Eat Slowly & Savour Your Meal. Overeating consistently is the number one reason why people get and stay fat. Make sure that you train yourself to eat slowly and to savour your food so that you get more enjoyment from your meals and prevent overeating.
Stop Once You’re Full. Listen to your hunger cues and stop when you’re satisfied (about 80% full) if you’re trying to lose fat. You can eat again when your hunger level reaches a 7 or 8 out of 10. This practice will help you to reach your fat-loss goals naturally.
The Kaizen Wellness Eating Philosophy
Take Responsibility For Yourself. Without responsibility as a foundation you will find that NOTHING will ever really work for you and when you blame others, you give up your power to change. You’re always the one making the choice between real and fake foods no matter what the circumstance. Choose wisely.
Be Consistent With Your Actions. First you learn what you need to do and then it takes time to get good at doing those things consistently enough to start seeing results. It won’t happen over night and it won’t be smooth sailing all the time. Know that changing your lifestyle is a long game and settle down to do the work.
Make Growth Your Focus. Keep your eye out for how you can make better choices today than you did yesterday. Eating healthy actually tastes amazing and when you start nourishing your body regularly you’ll start craving more real foods and less fake foods. Enjoy this process, because the things that are difficult today will allow you to feel empowered when you conquer them tomorrow.
These are the fundamentals of eating healthy, these are the things that will get most people who are struggling to eat healthier at least 80% of the way to their goals.
Set a goal and commit to follow this guide for 4 weeks and you’ll be surprised to see how much your energy, mindset and mood can improve in just a month.
Do you have any questions about eating healthy? Let us know in the comments below.