52 Weeks to Eating Better than Ever
The 5 Categories To Eating Better than Ever Explained
In my opinion, there are 5 key areas to focus on when it comes to eating better than ever. Though your situation may vary, because of your age, gender, or health status, these 5 categories will help you focus and succeed in your year long journey to a permanent status as one who eats healthy.
The average American eats way too many calories. These calories are often empty in the form of simple carbohydrates like chips, crackers, and processed breads, as well as fried foods and sugary drinks and desserts. These products often contribute no nutritional value at all, and end up causing weight gain and insulin resistance, which makes weight loss even more difficult in the future. When the Big Mac was introduced in 1967 it took the average American worker 3 hours to work long enough to buy one, whereas now it takes only 3 minutes for the average American worker long enough to buy one. This means that we are consuming way too many calories, partially because it is so easy to do so. Overconsumption is the number one health problem in America and the main reason 2/3 of Americans are overweight. The primary challenge to overconsumption is that it is natural to overeat. Our ancestors did not have much, so now that we do we are genetically programmed to overeat. Overeating is a natural survival mechanism that we must consciously overcome.
One of our main health goals in life should be to increase insulin sensitivity. Insulin is the hormone responsible for storing energy in the body. Insulin resistance is a deadly trap that breaks down and ages the body because if left circulating in high amounts it causes a cascade of negative effects. Preferably, we want to respond to the food we consume by being very sensitive to insulin, the storage hormone. This is how the negative feedback of insulin resistance works:
1) Eating poorly, too much sugar and too many simple carbs, can increase our insulin and lead to inflammation and obesity.
2) Inflammation and obesity can lead to insulin resistance.
3) Insulin resistance leads to an increase in insulin. This process continues and our health declines in a deadly spiral, unless we intervene with better eating habits and exercise.
When making food choices about what to eat, the main priority should be the nutrient quality of the food we eat. When thinking about what to eat, the goal is to simply choose foods that supply healthy things. We can ask this: Is this food a quality food? Is it good for me? If not, then why am I eating it? Much of the food we eat is not quality food. Quality is a simple but profound concept. There are some simple ways to improve the quality of the food you eat, but food preparation, nutrient density, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats should form the focus of any eating plan for reasons of quality.
It is difficult to eat healthy in our culture. The economy and market make it likely that we will get bigger and fatter over time, because fast food and junk food tastes good and is cheap. Just like most things in America, we have too much of everything. Too much food, too many options, and too much commercialization of food. We must fight back with a plan, because if we just go along and do what everyone else does, we will never end up different from everyone else. We need specific strategies which make sense, and which will help us get organized, make the right choices, save money, and be prepared to succeed. Many Americans like to focus on the latest fad diet, which is a mistake. The most important thing to do is to have a strategy, and to develop actual skills which become habits for eating healthy. Be prepared though for a tough road though because to eat better than ever, you’re going to have to be countercultural.
Whether it is sports, the military, business, family life, or music, it helps to study what successful people do. Case studies force us to look at real like examples and see what others are doing to be successful. By watching and learning from others, we can find new tips and surprising ways of eating better than ever, and be inspired by their examples.
This is a part of yearlong series on eating better than ever. Stay tuned for more.
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