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  • Richard McDonough

Co-Movement Gym: A is A Health Podcast S1E3 - Fundamentals of Healthy Eating


Popular diet trends are becoming a lot like religion. Your friend discovers Keto and suddenly they think anyone that eats a carb is doomed to be fat forever. Though the truth is that there are a wide range of diets/way of eating that can help you reach your goal. The key is to find something that where you enjoy the types of food you are eating and can continue this type of diet or way of eating indefinitely.


Diets or fad diets tend to be unsustainable which causes the yo-yo dieting effect. Fad diets tend to fail for 80% of people that try them. A lot of people tend to start a diet with a self-hating mindset which can make dieting a negative process vs a healthy process. For example, people start diets to try and change things about themselves while a better approach would be to start a diet with the intention of changing the food they eat to make them feel better or healthier. One of the most effective diets we have found with our clients is choosing to eat single ingredient foods. Finding healthy single ingredient foods or recipes that you enjoy eating is probably one of the best ways to create a diet specifically for you that is sustainable.


Tips for creating a healthy dieting approach:

1. Make a “diet” full of healthy choices you enjoy will be way more effective. Most people think they have to restrict calories (which is different than being in a calorie deficit) or eat foods they do not enjoy to get skinny, but by trying a variety of healthy options and settling on a few you like more than others can be a huge step in the right direction for proper dieting.


2. Eat all of your healthy foods first and then allow yourself to have a cheat meal (not a cheat day). Generally, you will eat a lot less of the cheat food of choice and by eating the healthy food first you still get all your macro and micro nutrients in a day. Do not abuse this tip! Choosing to have 1- 2 cheat meals a weeks won’t derail your diet, but having cheat days or meals every day will.


3. Start choosing your food for their quality and how they will build your body vs choosing food that tastes good. These food may give you pleasure in the short term, but has no benefit for your body in the long term and being sick/unhealthy in the future will make you wish you chose those healthier options.


4. When choosing food pick things that come from nature/single ingredient foods. Choosing foods that are in the least processed state is best. These kinds of foods have the highest amount of nutrition and will benefit your body.


5. Organic single ingredient food would be a better choice than non-organic single ingredient foods. This is mainly due to pesticide contamination and the amount of different pesticides allowed to be used on non-organic food. But, if your only option is non-organic or processed foods…then obviously non-organic single ingredient food would be much better. Washing all of your food before consuming is highly recommended.


6. The truth is that calories matter, and making sure you are in a calorie deficit is generally required to lose weight. While counting calories can be a tool to ensure you are reaching your dieting goals, sometimes calorie counting can have a negative impact on your stress level/quality of life. While counting calories in the beginning can help you become aware of what you are putting in your body, you should still allow yourself some leeway when going out with your friends or family. It is still important to make healthy choices while you go out, but do not stress about eating a couple hundred calories over your limit once or twice a week.


7. Binge on healthy food vs processed/unhealthy food. For example, instead of eating a sleeve of Oreos try eating 2-3 apples (or fruit of choice). Try eating more of the foods that are already in your diet. If you were extremely active one day and are still feeling hungry, then eat an extra portion of your dinner vs eating fast food or some unhealthy snack.


8. Planning your meals and making time to prep food will help you stay on track. Having healthy food ready and sitting in the fridge makes it more accessible and makes you less likely to cheat. When healthy options are ready to be warmed up in a couple of minutes vs having to prepare food from scratch every day. Having this quick healthy option available to you will help to prevent you from running out to a fast food establishment more often than not.


9. Keeping yourself busy can really help reduce over eating since boredom is a big cause of overeating.


10. Trying to incorporate one healthy meal a week or day to start will help you find healthy meals you enjoy and lead to incorporating more healthy meals in the future.


11. Drink more water throughout the day. Most of the time when people think they are hungry they are actually thirsty instead. Drinking more water or flavored seltzer water can also be a great way to reduce the consumption of soda or other sugary drinks.


12. Find heathy food you enjoy and make sure you keep those foods around the house.


13. Creating space between you and your junk food. For example, keep it out of sight or even out of the house completely forcing you to drive to the store to get it if you really want it.


14. Cooking healthy meals with your family and making it an activity vs a chore. This will make you children or significant other more involved in the healthy eating process and can lead to more support for your healthier lifestyle.


The 3 macronutrients are protein, fat and carbohydrates. You should start by optimizing your protein intake during the day first, because most people do not get enough protein in a day. You should be eating 0.8-1.2 g of protein for every 1 lb of bodyweight, then fill in the rest of your calories with either fat or carbs. Think of both fat and carbs as just energy. So essentially think of it as 2 macronutrients vs 3 macronutrients. You have Protein and Energy. You can have both fat and carbs in your diet, but don’t abuse both. Your body only needs so much energy every day.


Fat tends to be more satiating than carbs and all of us at Co-Movement Gym and the A is A Health Podcast generally eat higher fat diets than higher carbs, but we also have days (especially heavy lifting or high cardio days) where higher carbs might be the better option. Though the fats you are choosing to consume should be high quality fats that are pure and not low-grade vegetable oils that have a mixture of unhealthy fats mixed in. It is just a good idea to incorporate both and do not be afraid of either.


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