- Eat “real” food. Limit foods that are processed and those containing additives and preservatives, while also limiting fast food and snack foods. I like to use an 80/20 rule, where 80% of all meals are made up of whole food items, preferably those prepared by you where you have control of the ingredients;
- Make sleep a priority. Focus on going to bed the same time each night and shoot for 7-8 hours of sleep; and
- Move your body.
Having been both a competitive bodybuilder and Olympic-style weightlifter in my mid-twenties, I began learning how to manipulate my diet in order to obtain the desired effect. I think that’s when my interest (my friends would say obsession) in food and nutrition began and then later led me to obtaining degrees in both Exercise Science and Sports Nutrition. So, for the past 25 + years, I’ve read countless research articles and studies, attended conferences and seminars and personally implemented tons of diets to see how effective they were and how they could impact one’s health. While I don’t necessarily proclaim to be an expert on the subject, I would consider myself fairly knowledgeable on the latest research and have a good grasp of the science relating to health and nutrition. When I look at the enormous amount of time I have spent during my adult life trying to understand and learn best practices, I can see how so many people are overwhelmed and confused as to what is safe and effective, and actually healthy. If you spend any time on your phone or computer browsing the internet, it doesn’t take long to be bombarded with some type of ad related to the “latest,” “greatest,” “clinically-proven,” “most popular,” “star-studded” diet. And if you’ve ever done an internet search for diets, you’ll pull up an infinite amount of them ranging from the Paleo, low-carb, low-fat, high-protein, Atkins, DASH, Mediterranean, vegan, pescatarian, flexitarian, Intermittent-Fasting, and the list goes on, and on…and on. All, of course, touting to be the “best” and “most effective.” With the amount of contradictory info from one diet to the next, or from one year to the next, it’s no wonder people are so confused and unsure what to eat. In 2019 it was reported that over $72 billion was spent in the weight loss market in the US alone. It was also reported that same year, that 2/3s of all Americans are now overweight or obese. We appear to spend more money than ever while having access to the greatest amount of science-based research available, so, where’s the disconnect? Why are we so overweight and unhealthy? Could it be that we are all on information overload and becoming so inundated with confusing information that we can’t even act and make a change toward better health? While there will always be opposing camps trying to state their claims and prove their points, there are some consistencies woven within the frame-work of most eating plans that will promote health.