The exact foods that you’re eliminating … may be the exact foods that you need.
Let me explain.
If you bounce around the interwebz or scroll social media for any length of time, you’ll see plenty of nutrition advice that tells you what NOT to eat.
Want to lose fat? Stop eating sugar!
Want to get leaner? Cut out carbs!
Want to be healthier? Bye bye dairy!
There are even programs, like Whole 30, where you cut out everything all at once … no sugar (real or artificial), no alcohol (not even for cooking), no grains, no dairy, no baked goods, no legumes.
I always like to assume the best of intentions, so my assumption is that by eliminating a bunch of processed foods, you’ll feel a lot better and be magically on your way to a healthy lifestyle in 30 days.
However, it’s detached from reality and research.
The foods you’re eliminating may be the exact foods you need.
Let’s first address this from a willpower perspective.
If you cut out everything on that list above, you’ll be tested almost every minute of every day.
Not only will you be required to flex your willpower muscle 24/7, but you’ll also be thinking about food non-stop.
“Wait … am I allowed to eat this? Is this on the naughty list? Let me check my PDF. Ok, nope that’s a grain … can’t have that. Well, shit, what can I eat?”
So, we’ve got a combination of non-stop willpower plus constant thoughts around food.
Doesn’t sound like the ideal equation for success.
You know what always relying on willpower causes?
It’s the same thing that always thinking about food causes …
You know what helps with stress?
-Carbs (including sugar, grains, legumes, and yes, even baked goods)
-Not obsessing about food
-Not having a list of foods you can’t eat
And, let’s say you power through the 30 days without breaking …
What happens on day 31?
Probably a beer to celebrate. A cookie because now you’re “allowed” again. And, quickly going back to your previous habits.
Foods can be used to our advantage.
Let’s step aside from the fact that it’s psychologically illogical and look at how we can use those foods to our advantage.
I mentioned that carbs can help with stress.
That’s because carbs trigger an insulin release and insulin is the shut-off valve to cortisol (one of our stress hormones).
Carbs are also the preferred energy source for any high intensity activity.
So, if you’re an individual that has higher stress in your life AND/OR you train with high intensity like CrossFit, Orange Theory, or Peloton …
Yeah … carbs are your friend.
You’ll need them to fuel performance and recover adequately from training.
You’ll also need them to help mitigate stress.
Carbs also increase serotonin (our “feel good” neurotransmitter that helps calm the brain down).
So, if you’re someone with higher anxiety OR you just want to get some quality sleep …
You guessed it … carbs are your friend.
Now, there may be certain foods that don’t sit well with you, as an individual.
Which is very different than making a blanket statement like don’t eat carbs or don’t eat dairy.
The blanket statement should be … don’t eat foods that make you feel like shit.
If you have an intolerance or sensitivity, sure, stay away.
But otherwise, psychologically and physiologically, you may be eliminating foods that can help you feel your best by listening to misinformation.
Yes, I’m including sugar and alcohol in there too because let’s think about this practically …
Given the nature of our current food environment, we are better suited being able to incorporate those things in moderation vs. trying to avoid them all the time (unless, of course, you don’t like to drink!).
Sugar provides energy and can help with recovery. It’s best to include it with a well-balanced meal to keep blood sugar stable, but it certainly has its place in an overall quality diet.
It can also be a great recovery tool and quick cortisol stopper after an intense training session.
Let’s keep it simple.
I’m all about simplicity to make things more effective, so the way I see it is this …
-The more you restrict and eliminate, the more willpower you use, the more you drain your mental battery, the more stress on your system.
-The more you think in terms of “good vs. bad” foods, the more you think about food, the more mental energy you waste, the more stress on your system.
-The more you understand the role certain foods play in helping you with sustainability and consistency, the less “food rules,” the more decisions you make because of how you feel, the less stress you’ll experience, and ultimately the better results you’ll get.
One major advantage when it comes to food choices is understanding the way you’re wired.
Not only that, but knowing your behavioral tendencies, what motivates you, and the type of plan you’ll enjoy the most can all be extracted from a personality and lifestyle assessment.
This is something that we do for all of our clients in our signature, 6-month 1 on 1 coaching program.
That way, we can come up with a plan that fits their nature in terms of structure, stress management, and natural enjoyment.
For example, some personality types thrive on predictability and consistency. They don’t do well with sudden change.
Other personality types need variety because they get bored easily.
We attach the structure and the plan to fit the way they’re wired so they feel more like themselves, enjoy the process, experience less stress overall, and stay more consistent than ever before.
This leads to more effective results.
Instead of eliminating foods, we eliminate food anxiety.
We also ensure that their metabolism is primed and ready to respond by having them eat enough calories to send the “safety” signal to their body so it lets go of unwanted body fat.
Part of that process is making sure that we’re specifically targeting fat by utilizing the proper macro ratios based on their training and lifestyle.
This also helps with recovery, less stress, and better performance.
The key to success is that we monitor daily stressors and habits to build a rock solid foundation so our clients can easily maintain their results and we can see what is working and what needs to be changed.
And, as I mentioned above, we don’t provide a list of things that they “can’t” eat. We build in flexibility right from day 1. That means fun foods, alcohol, social events, restaurant meals, etc.
We don’t eliminate foods … we eliminate food anxiety. And it’s noticeable. Recently, one of our clients received this comment from a friend.. “you are SO much more at ease with food and wine. Such a better mental state for you. Your nutrition coach is doing a great job and is more than worth it.”
She’s working with Coach Taylor and seeing a dramatic improvement in her mindset and physical results.
Which is exactly what we deliver in our 1:1 coaching program … sustainable progress to the tune of losing those last 20-30 lbs., improved relationship with food (no more food anxiety or obsession), finally getting off the diet roller coaster, and creating success that will last a lifetime.
If that’s you and you want to see if our program is the right fit, simply click the button below and PM me on Facebook and we’ll discuss your goals to see if we can help! We’ll have a quick chat and if we both decide it’s a fit, we can get started right away.