Replace dairy, eliminate sugar, reduce fats, fruit consumption preferably too, forget about eating after six, avoid eating anything while betting at an online bookmaker, and work off any breakdown with a hunger strike, or even better in the gym – at least something you were probably told. It’s not the body that comes out afterwards, it’s just a prison. But you don’t need any of this to be beautiful and healthy. Let’s break down the basic principles of nutrition.
It’s customary to count the value of food on the basis of calories. At the same time, a calorie is a unit of heat when a quantity of a substance is burned. To summarize seriously, it is the energy that a spoonful of a particular food will give you. Both yes and no:
- First, because who, when, and how substances burn these things is highly ambiguous.
- Second, calories of the same value can have different qualities. For example, the fats from French fries and hemp oil – you don’t expect the engine to run long after filling up at a no-name gas station, do you?
- Third, nutrition experts have long since stopped measuring diets by kilocalories. More precisely, they still exist as a unit of energy, but their volume isn’t so strictly oriented.
It’s not hours of eating, although it’s hard to argue about regularity. In fact, eating regularly helps the body adjust and prepare itself to produce enzymes for better digestion.
What’s more important is the balance of nutrients. Recall that humans need:
- Protein (eggs, meat, cheese).
- Fats (oils, cheeses, seeds and nuts).
- Carbs (cereals, potatoes, bread).
- Fiber (vegetables, fruits and berries).
It’s a good idea to have all the nutrients in every meal. We won’t measure them in grams raw and cooked, trying to get them into an app to fit into the daily norm like athletes do. To look attractive and feel energetic and healthy, pack a portion by eye.
There are different methodologies, one well-known one is the Harvard Food Plate:
- Half should be vegetables and fruits.
- A quarter should be protein foods.
- A quarter are complex carbs.
An important clarification: Protein products can also be of plant origin. For example, tofu or legumes. Cereals also contain protein: buckwheat, oatmeal, and quinoa. The latter is a champion. Don’t underestimate this source of protein, as many people do, calling it inferior. This is confirmed by vegetarian bodybuilders.
It’s important not because you have to be tasty (although why not). Variety of food is:
A variety of gut microbiota, which means stronger beneficial bacteria to help digest substances and satiate your energy.
A greater likelihood of getting important minerals and trace elements. Some foods are digestible in combination, some compete with each other. But you don’t have to know that, just eat a varied diet.
Do you have enough fingers to describe everything you’ve eaten in the last week?
- A new yogurt every breakfast.
- Different ways of cooking vegetables (fresh, steamed, boiled, roasted, passaged).
- Forms of serving, and so on.
The key to a whole, healthy diet is nutritional interest. To awaken it:
- Try new foods (different types of beans, lentils, spelt, zucchini flowers, yams, exotic fruits).
- Experiment with different cuisines.
- Try to replicate dishes from menus at home.
- Try mixtures of cereals (bulgur+quinoa, red+brown rice, spelt+perlova), seeds and nuts (pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseeds).
- Dress your salads with non-classical oils (sesame, sea buckthorn, mustard, garlic).
It’s generally recommended to eat foods from one’s own region. This judgment is based on the fact that local produce is fresher and higher quality. But at the same time, by introducing your microbiota to new things, you make it stronger and more diverse, which in general only strengthens the immune system. And to get the right quality foods, it’s enough to observe the principle of seasonality of the region of origin.
And the main thing that is important to understand about health in principle is mindfulness. Eat if you eat. Don’t watch soap operas or social media, don’t try to think about work or any other tasks, if possible try not even to talk. Instead, appreciate the quality of your food, chew each bite slowly, and enjoy it.