What Does It Really Mean To Eat Healthy? - It’s Never Too Late Coaching

What Does It Really Mean To Eat Healthy?

I don’t recommend any specific diet, eating program or food plan as the “best” or even “preferred”way to eat that’s universally hailed as “healthy.”

You can search high and low and you will never identify the one perfect diet for all.  Because there’s no such thing even exists.

Due to our unique bio-individuality, each of us responds differently to the foods we consume.  While the metabolic process is universal, the nutrients we derive and hormonal messages we receive from the food we eat varies widely, largely dependent on your gut health.

That’s why I teach my clients how to develop a personalized food plan based on choices that can help them feel their best, sustains the highest level of energy and are satisfying.

In getting started, I meet you where you are.  We identify those foods that you want on your everyday food plan and those that are exceptions — the foods that you eat every once in a while, even if they’re not the healthiest.

No foods are off limits forever.  We may decide to delay them, but you are never asked to eliminate a favorite food from you plans altogether.

And the reason why is simple.

We are each a study of one.

What works for me, may not work for you and vice versa.

While the laws of metabolic function operate regardless of who we are or what we choose to eat, it’s our unique biology that dictates how we process certain foods.  For instance, this means that your microbiome is unique to you.  How you feed it, what microbes populate it make all the difference in how your body will absorb and use the food you eat.

Even if you were to eat the exact same foods I do to maintain my preferred weight range, your “mileage” will vary.  You may gain or lose weight.  It all depends on the condition of your insulin sensitivity, your digestive track and the composition of your microbiome.

Metabolic science has come a long way in the last 5 years in it’s understanding of the key role our trillions of microbes play in determining our health.

Eat nutrient dense foods.

But let me clear.  I teach all my clients that the healthiest type of diet is the one in which you eat whole foods and avoid processed foods.  I emphasize eating a wide range of fruits and veggies in all the colors of the rainbow of colors each day.  You know, the foods generally sold in the perimeter of the super market isles or at the farmer’s market.

As a general rule, compose your food plan with those that are high in nutrients like protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.

You know, veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, fatty fish, and eggs.

Bottom line: The healthiest diet is one in which you avoid or eliminate processed foods, sugar, grain flours and seed oils.

The quality of your diet affects your disease risk, longevity, and mental health.

Believe me, the nutritional profile from a baked chicken breast that came from a conventionally raised chicken shot through with antibiotics and hormones is a significantly inferior  to the “real” food chicken breast that came from a a pasture raised chicken, free of antibiotics and hormones and slaughtered humanely.

Diets loaded with ultra-processed foods are linked to increased mortality and a greater risk of conditions like cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Those comprised of mostly whole, nutrient-dense foods are associated with increased longevity and less disease.

Diets high in processed foods may also increase the risk of depressive symptoms, particularly among those of us who get less exercise.  While exercise is not a recommended weight loss tool, it has other critical benefits for our mental and physical health.

My It’s never Too Late weight loss program is designed to increase your health span.  What good is a longer life span if it’s riddled with disease, dementia, and disability?

Although some nutrient-dense foods, such as numerous fruits and veggies, are low in calories, many — like nuts, full fat yogurt, egg yolks, avocado, and fatty fish — are high in calories. That’s perfectly OK!

It’s not about the calories!

Just because a food is high in calories doesn’t mean that it’s bad for you. By the same token, just because a food is low in calories doesn’t make it a healthy choice.

If your food choices are based solely on calories, you’re missing the point of healthy eating.

In a healthy diet, it’s best to restrict certain foods.

Decades of scientific research link ultra-processed foods to negative health outcomes, not only increased disease risk , but early death too.

Cutting back on soda, processed meats, candy, ice cream, fried foods, fast food, and highly processed, packaged snacks is a smart way to improve your health and lower your risk of certain diseases.

When you prioritize whole, nutrient-dense foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, and fish, saving highly processed foods and beverages for special treats, the detrimental effects are not long lasting.

Foods like ice cream and candy can be a part of a healthy, well-rounded diet, but they should be an insignificant part of your overall plan.

When grocery shopping, stock up on:

  1. fresh and frozen fruits and veggies
  2. protein sources like chicken, eggs, fish, and tofu
  3. bulk carb sources like canned beans and whole grains
  4. starchy veggies like white potatoes, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash
  5. fat sources like avocados, olive oil, and full fat yogurt
  6. nutritious, simple ingredients like nuts, seeds, nut butter, hummus, olives, and dried fruit

At mealtime, keep it simple and think in threes:

  1. Protein: eggs, chicken, fish, or a plant-based option like tofu
  2. Fat: olive oil, nuts, seeds, nut butter, avocado, cheese, or full fat yogurt
  3. Fiber-rich carbs: starchy options like sweet potatoes, oats, certain fruits, and beans — or low carb fiber sources like asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, and berries

Tips for healthy eating in the real world.

  1. Prioritize plant-based foods. Plant foods like veggies, fruits, beans, and nuts are excellent additions to your diet. Try incorporating these foods, especially veggies and fruits, at every meal.
  2. Cook at home. Meals cooked at home can make it easier to diversify your diet. Even if you prefer takeout or to eat out, cook just one or two meals per week to start a new habit.
  3. Shop for groceries regularly. Stock your kitchen with healthy foods.  Go on one or two grocery runs per week to keep nutritious ingredients on hand.  Check out local Farmer’s Markets and farm stands.
  4. Don’t expect your diet to be perfect. We’re after progress, not perfection. Meet yourself where you are.   Just cooking one homemade, veggie-packed meal per week is significant progress.
  5. Plan exceptions to your daily food plan 24-hours in advance. All foods can be a part of a healthy diet.  While there’s no need for “cheating,” there is a need for intentionally planning.  Then actually enjoying those exceptions you really want to eat without that harsh critic rearing her head.
  6. Cut out sugar-sweetened beverages. Limit sugary beverages like soda, energy drinks, and sweetened coffees and tees as much as possible.
  7. Choose filling foods. When you’re hungry, your goal should be to eat filling, nutritious foods, not to eat as few calories as possible. Pick protein- and fiber-rich meals to fill you up.
  8. Eat whole foods. A healthy eating pattern should be primarily composed of whole foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and protein sources like eggs and fish.
  9. Hydrate. Staying hydrated is part of healthy eating, and water is the best way to stay hydrated.
  10. Respect your dislikes. If you’ve tried a specific food several times and don’t like it, don’t eat it. There are plenty of healthy foods to choose instead. Don’t force yourself to eat something just because it’s considered healthy.  Kale is not my thing, just sayin’.

Work with me to create a satisfying eating plan and learn key strategies to stick to it.

Please take me up on my offer for your FREE Strategy Call so you can get started making positive changes today.

Making a few strategic changes right now can be the falling domino you need to make many more lasting changes your reality.

Then we can discuss best next steps so you can see for yourself how to jump start weight loss by intentionally incorporating a variety of helpful habits and strategies into your daily routines to prevent or reverse insulin resistance.

This exploration can help you reach your weight loss goals with a lot less stress and drama.

It’s totally possible to make 2022 your year to create the healthiest you.  No matter your age, stage or past disappointments.

Jump start your fresh start.  A year from now you will thank yourself you reached out to me today.

I’m looking forward to meeting you soon.

It’s Never Too Late to make your weight loss journey easier.  Let’s go!

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