Stop Chasing the Latest “Fad” Diet and Just Eat Real Food

It seems like every year there is a new diet that promises to change your life, help you shed those unwanted pounds, or give you the body of your dreams. While it is true that what you eat plays a very important role in achieving most health and fitness goals, fad diets are not the best way to reach them. Instead of trying out the next fad diet that you hear about, try something more simple: eat real food.

Why Should I Eat “Real” Food?
The main problem with fad diets is that they are exactly as named: “fads.” A “fad” is something that is popularized for a period of time, but then gone again before you know it. On the other hand, eating real foods is something that you can do for life. That does not mean never enjoying your favorite meal or splurging on a dessert you love, but it does mean that most of the time, you should be eating real food. Eating real food is not just to lose those last few pounds, it is to nourish your body with the nutrients it needs to reduce your risk of diseases, give you energy to fuel your day, and leave you feeling happy and healthy.

Another problem with fad diets is that they are usually extremely restrictive and nearly impossible to stick to in the long term. Most require you cutting out or reducing certain food groups entirely or restricting the amount of food you eat.

So, when you hear the term, “real food,” you may be wondering, what is the catch? The truth is, there is no catch. All you need to do is eat real, whole foods and listen to your body’s needs.

What is Real Food?
Think: protein, vegetables, unprocessed grains, and fruits. There is a simple test to know if the food is “real” or not. Ask yourself: Is this food in its most natural state? That is all. There are plenty of foods that fall into this category and you may find that in addition to eating healthier meals, you will also begin feeling full with smaller portions, feeling more energized with nutrients that are naturally occuring in the ingredients you use, and the foods you cook will be delicious! Some ideas for real foods to eat include seafood, meat, fruit, vegetables, nuts, and natural sweeteners.

How to Transition Into Eating Real Food?

  • Clean Out Your Fridge: Get rid of anything that is not real, natural, or whole. Remove the temptations and replace them with foods that satisfy your new healthy eating lifestyle.
  • Find a Few Go-To Recipes: The hardest part about eating real foods is knowing what to cook. Find some go-to recipes that you can use when you are on a time-crunch on busy weeknights or for grab and go lunches.
  • Make Substitutions: Sometimes you do not need a new recipe, you just need a substitution. Take a look at recipes you already love using. What do you need to do to clean this up? Swap a few ingredients and continue enjoying the meals you love.
  • Be Flexible and Patient: It takes time to adjust to a new style of eating, but it is important to be patient with yourself as you learn and try new things. In no time, you will have your real food eating habits nailed down.
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