Nor does it have to mean ‘misery’.
I’ve tried various diets and become a little fascinated by the subject of health and diets (after years of not caring at all about these subjects).
Though diets often contain measurement of some sort, some of the diets I’ve tried have nothing to do with cutting back on calories as long as you’re eating the right, prescribed foods.
What I’ve Learned
Where I’ve gained the most from trying these different diets and looking into the subject in general is in the knowledge I’ve picked up. Similar to how I’d advise everyone to get themselves a good financial education to look after their wealth, I’d also advise people to get themselves a good diet education for their health – including diet, what nutrients we need and cause and effect of the condition of the human body.
I May As Well Be As Healthy As I Can Be
At some point through my dieting journey, around about the time I was experimenting with Tim Ferris’ slow carb diet, I decided that if I was going to eat healthy food, I may as well be as healthy as I can be – that each time I opened my mouth to put some food inside, if I was restricted in what I could eat by the diet, I may as well choose the best food I could for that restricted choice. I even wrote this article about it: A Very Simple Thought That’s Helping Me To Be More Healthy
By the way – guess what – most of the healthiest food you can eat is actually delicious.
I’m Very Proud Of My Top Ten Diet Items
A useful reference for me is my top ten food list. The next logical progression from the idea above, this is my idea of what the healthiest foods are in terms of giving us most of the good stuff (protein, nutrients, minerals etc) we need. Even if I don’t always eat these items, it’s a pretty good list to keep on coming back to – plus I really love all of these foods.
The Best Diet Advice Ever
So this all builds up to the best diet advice ever.
It just occurred to me that despite talking about diet a few times and giving this advice verbally to various people I’ve talked to, I have never actually written this advice anywhere in any of the articles. I do like simple advice like ‘eat less, move more’ – but we all know that diet is a little more complicated than that – i.e. if you eat less but it’s all ice-cream then you’re in for big trouble.
Another simple piece of advice I have heard whilst on the Paleo diet is ‘the best food has only one ingredient’ (i.e. is completely natural).
Better advice and the piece of advice I think tops all advice when it comes to diet (because you can use it again and again everyday when making food choices) is this:
In general, the more food has been interfered with (or processed) the worse it will be.
meaning you should go for foods that are as close to their natural state as possible.
Take fish for example:
Eaten raw (as is popular in Iceland & Japan): very healthy
Steamed/Lightly cooked: Less healthy
Lightly fried: less healthy still
Deep fried: much less healthy!
Or spinach – a wonderful food which has so many nutrients it’s crazy. Best eaten raw, if not, eat it in a soup or curry, adding the spinach at the last minute so it wilts but not too much – boil or fry the life out of it and it is much less healthy than it could be – you will lose more nutrients.
So if you’re trying to have a more healthy diet, avoid the boxed & tinned stuff, avoid the microwave meals & fast food – sure they are convenient, but choosing natural ingredients over processed foods will take you far and make for a much healthier and more enjoyable lifestyle.
Note: This is not me saying you should eat all of your food raw, but that whenever you eat, you have a choice and that in general the less processed the food is, the healthier your diet will be. e.g. if you have a choice between two soups – one in the refridgerator section of your supermarket and with mainly fresh ingredients and the other on a normal shelf, in a tin and packed with preservatives which will make it last in your cupboard for the next 15 years, go for the fresh one (yes, even if it’s a little more expensive – your health deserves it).