The single-most important thing for weight loss (and overall health) in regards to nutrition and eating? Eat quality foods.
I’m kind of a food snob and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Sometimes when I have a booth at a health fair and I didn’t bring enough snacks with me, I’ll browse around the other booths looking for some free food. Maybe I pick up a granola bar from the Sam’s Club booth: I read the ingredients “…high fructose corn syrup, rice syrup (read: more sugar), honey (…more sugar!)…” I smile to the nice lady at the booth, “Thanks,” and set the bar back down. I honestly would rather suffer from hunger than eat that crap.
There are levels of food goodness. Maybe you thought all salt was the same. Maybe you thought all flours or breads were the same. All steak is the same? Eggs? Nu-uh. Not even close.
Plus, the more money you spend on food, the less you can eat! I’m kidding, of course. But for real, the more – let’s call it – concern you put into the food you energize your body with, the more satisfied you will feel. Your body is a temple. If the temple gets goes into disrepair from crappy care, where you gonna live?
I’m going to break it down like this:
“Food Type” –> “Yuck.” –> “Ok.” –> “Yes!”
in these examples:
Salt –> Iodized / Table Salt –> Sea Salt –> Pink Himilayan Salt / Grey Sea Salt
Beef –> Corn-fed / “Grade A” Beef –> Grass-fed Beef –> Kobe Beef (but too expensive and hard to find!)
Corn Chips –> Doritos –> Organic Corn Chips –> Baked Organic Corn Chips with Safflower Oil and Sea Salt
Milk –> Skim Milk –> Whole Milk from cows not given hormones –> Raw Whole Milk from a local dairy
Bread –> White Bread or “Wheat” products –> Whole Grain breads –> Sprouted Grain Breads
Eggs / Chicken –> regular grocery store stuff –> “Free-Range” –> Free-Range AND soy-free
Tomatoes –> canned –> canned and organic –> Fresh, Organic, Local, and Seasonal
Sparkling Beverages –> Coca-Cola (diet or regular) –> Izze or other “natural sodas” –> La Croix
Chocolate –> Hershey’s anything –> Dark Chocolate –> at least 75%+ Dark Chocolate, raw cacao with (a little) raw cane sugar
Research your foods. Read the labels. I sound like a broken record, “read the labels on your food,” but that’s because it’s so freaking important to know WHAT it is you are eating. Almost everything is from a package, and if not, is farmed by someone else, so you should know at least a little about the origin of that food. It’s for your own good. And the way I see it, it’s for the good of the world.
Corporate food giants are changing the environment and the way we eat things. It’s changing not for the better. Just watch a documentary like “Food, Inc.” to get an idea of what I’m talking about. GMOs…we don’t know how they are going to affect our evolution. To me, that’s just scary. Large farming operations (Confined Feeding Operations – CFOs) are feeding the animals “food” that those animals do not eat in nature. It is bound to change the nature of the animal…and how? We don’t really know because we haven’t been doing it for very long (<100 years). We do know that these animals are often sick. They get sick with infections, poop all over themselves, and because they are all crammed into a small area together, they get more sick and the runoff of the bacteria and other pathogens from their feces runs into the nearby fields, and then you get E-Coli in your broccoli! In case you were wondering how that happens.
These kinds of problems rarely happen in small organic farms.
Corporate food giants actually hire scientists to taste their food “products” and figure out what chemicals to add to them to make them more addictive. Frankenfoods. What IS MSG? Does it come from the MSG plant? Can I grow some in my backyard? Haha. But seriously, the ingredients in the foods, we should wonder how is it made? What is it made out of? Will my body like it?
There’s a list of foods that you can “red light.” You just don’t go there. Then you have your “once in a while” foods. Then you have your whenever you feel like it foods. Foods that you know will not likely hurt you, and if you feel like eating it, it’s probably because your body needs it!
A big question for many is affordability of “organics,” and “free-range,” etc. Yes, it is more expensive. You have to weigh some things out, budget-wise, for sure. When I was a poor college student, I still bought healthy food. I spent less money on: clothes, going out, new cars, etc. It is worth it. Your body is worth it. You can always look into planting your own food or trading with a local farmer. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. You pay now or you pay later (with higher medical bills.)
Eat more veggies and be picky! Let me know how that works out for you.