Food rules. We’ve all heard them at some point or another; kitchen closes at 6 o’clock, no carb diets, food pairings, etc. All these rules can make your head spin. Which do you follow and which do you simply toss out the window? Why are there food rules in the first place?
Over the last 100 years, it seems there have been more new trends in the diet and food industry than there have been people. While we are constantly learning about the way the body utilizes nutrients, are these “rules” really necessary?
Well, I’m here to say, STOP with the quirky food rules already! We don’t need them!! What we NEED is for people to realize that if you are eating healthy, WHOLE foods, 80% of the time, then you are doing a darn good job.
The following are 3 food rules that need debunked and then I’ll provide you with some REAL “food rules” to live by.
I have never been a believer of the no-carb, low-carb, or no carbs past a certain time trends. Our bodies NEED carbohydrates in order to function properly; our bodies utilize carbohydrates in order to store glycogen, which, in simplest terms, help to fuel our bodies.
Initially, you will lose weight following rules of a low carb diet. When the intake of carbohydrate is inadequate, the body uses protein (muscle) and fat to burn first as fuel. Losing weight seems easy at first because you are losing water and muscle; and we all know that with loss of muscle, there is a decrease in basal metabolic rate (metabolism), which equals fewer calories burned per day!! No thank you.
So what should you do? How about balancing carbohydrates throughout your whole day? Typically, adults need 50-60% of their diet in the form of carbohydrates. Use this 50-60% to fill up on healthy carbs: fruits, vegetables, and filling fiber!! Now that’s a rule I can live by!!
Remember: carbohydrates are NOT the enemy!! Click on the link for more info!!
“7 o’clock: The kitchen is closed.”
There are plenty of big named celebrities tooting the benefits of closing the kitchen after a certain time. Oprah is the perfect example of someone who sets specific food rules like this and yet, continually battles her weight.
The problem with this “rule” is that we all have different schedules. Maybe you don’t even get home from work until 7:30pm! Then what? Do you starve all night? Not a good idea.
The truth is, it really does not matter what time you eat. It all boils down to calories in vs. calories out. The main problem becomes differentiating between mindless munching and true hunger. Ask yourself: Does an apple or some carrots sound good right now? If so, you are truly hungry. If the only thing that sounds appealing is a big bowl of ice cream, well then you know it’s probably just a craving.
Instead of placing strict rules on when you can and cannot eat, what about listening to your body through natural eating (click on the link for more information!)?
I wrote another article about late night snacking that can provide some ideas on what to do if you find yourself searching for food in the evening.
“My body needs to detox.”
I hear this often. Many people go through periods where they feel that if they just detoxified their system they would feel less fatigued and jump start their weight loss.
On its own, a healthy body is designed to continually cleanse the body and rid it of toxins. There are various detoxification methods: diets, colon cleansing, and water irrigation devices that can do more harm than good.
Toxins enter the body through swallowing, inhalation, passing through the skin, or invading bacteria. Organs like the liver and kidneys are the body’s own personal purification systems, filtering the blood and eliminating toxins in the urine. We also possess enzymes, healthy bacteria, and digestive acids that work to neutralize toxins and eliminate them in the stool. So, as you can see, healthy individuals were born with the natural ability to cleanse the system.
So if we don’t detox, then what SHOULD we do? Help your body, help itself. Eat lots of fresh produce, get plenty of exercise, and drink lots of H2O!! Meet your body’s nutritional needs by NOT eliminating but incorporating!! ADD fruits, vegetables, lean protein sources, and healthy fats!!
So as you can see, not every “food rule” necessarily needs to be followed. With further inspection, most of these quirky food rules can be tossed!!When it comes to eating, the ultimate FOOD rules to live by are as follows:
- Do not eliminate ANY food groups. We need each and every one in order to provide our bodies with proper nutrients.
- Follow principles of natural eating. Be mindful of the foods you consume and do not live by the clock.
- Incorporate! The more whole foods we add to our diet, the less room there is for the unhealthier fair.
QUESTION: What FOOD rules do you live by??
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