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Equal but not the Same

Go on a diet,Eat more veggies, eat lean meats, drink more water, cut out sugar, these are all things im sure you hear all the time if you want to get in shape and live a healthier life. Even though we hear these things all the time, very few people actually understand what this means or how to incorporate it into a healthy lifestyle. With all the fad diets and all the other crappy nutritional advice floating around, it makes it practically impossible to know what is right and what is wrong.

What I am going to arm you all with is just a few simple guidelines when following a healthy eating plan. First and foremost, when you are looking at a food label the foods are listed in order of most to least ingredients. For example if you read a label and it says sugar for the first ingredient that means most of what you are eating is made from sugar. So a good rule of thumb is that if the first ingredient is sugar you probable don’t want to have that as part of your diet. Also please do not be fooled by the whole “sugar-free” all that means is it can have less than .5 grams of sugar per serving and be labeled as sugar-free, meaning that there very well could be sugar in several servings.

Also you want to be eating REAL FOOD! What I mean by real food is simply foods that are not processed and added with hormones and other harmful things. Just take a look around any grocery store and you will find a million different foods and drinks that say “fat-free” or “sugar-free” all this means is they were altered from their natural state or just completely made up in a lab. Anytime they make something fat-free it usually tends to be high in sugar and  the sugar-free foods sometimes tend to be high in fat or sodium to make up the taste difference.

Here are a few easy tips to make shopping and eating healthy a whole lot easier

1. If the ingredient list is really long with words you have never seen or can’t even pronounce, its probable a good idea to stay away

2. Completely eliminate high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oils of any kind

3. opt for grass-fed free range meats and eggs

4. Eat only high quality organic dairy products

5. If you are going to eat bread and pasta eat wheat free and gluten-free( Ezekiel products are good to have)

6. Stay away from white flour and white sugar.

I believe sometimes people get way to caught up in the amount of calories that are in foods rather than looking to see where the calories are coming from. Think of it this way, there are some very low-calorie white breads out there that have a ton fewer calories than lets say Ezekiel bread however the Ezekiel bread is a better choice because you can actually digest and process the Ezekiel bread to whereas the white bread is highly processed and foreign to your body. Now please do not misunderstand what im saying by eating food with higher calories. All I am simply saying is sometimes food with higher calories with less sugar and sodium may be better for you than something with lower calories. Again this does not mean that just because food is natural and organic that it is ok to over eat and consume a ton of calories!

Here is a simply and effective way to think about it. Work on eating and making better food choices, like cutting back on sugar and processed food then worry about portion sizes, then you can worry about the total amount of calories you are consuming. And if you have not read the phenomenal post Geoff wrote on the psychology of eating, you must read it!! it goes hand in hand with the stuff I covered in this article. Put this stuff into action and watch your mind and body change!

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