Even though Paleo is getting more and more popular, there is still a lot of resistance to it. I totally get it. I hate labels and as a Nutrition Consultant, I hate them even more. I don’t claim that this is a Paleo blog because I want people from all walks to be able to read it without thinking they are going to get preached at.
I recently had a moment of clarity. I was walking with a friend the other day and we were talking about faith. I told her that everything used to be so black and white for me and now, in my late twenties (yikes!), everything is this hideous shade of grey. I want things to be right and wrong, good and bad. But, just like in the world of faith, the world of nutrition is not so different.
Yes, there’s science to show how food affects your body and studies to prove this or that, but the fact remains that Every.Body.Is.Different. End of story. What works for Bob might not work for Jim and the way Jenny burns fat is probably not the same as Sue. Get it? Isn’t it maddening? We want a quick fit, one size fits all solution but you know what friends? We’re not gonna get it. Not now, not ever.
Thus the hideous grey area of your body and it’s quirks like where you store fat, how you burn fat and sugar, how your hormones are balanced and even things passed on to you in your family. All of these make you unique and individual and not a candidate for a quick fix. You have to do the hard work of figuring out what foods work for your body and which ones don’t.
I know for me, sugar, grains, fruit, nuts, legumes and most dairy are a no-no for my body and mind. They just don’t seem to promote the kind of body and mental health that I want. So, i cut them out. No deprivation. No starvation. No feelings of loss. I did at first, but now, feeling how I do, I would never, ever go back! But, I did the hard work of figuring out what foods tripped me up, increased binging behavior and which ones made me feel satisfied, physically and emotionally.
So, in light of all of that, here are 5 reasons to get the junk out of your diet to help you get on the road to figuring out what works for you:
1) Curb Addiction
American’s are addicted to food. They are. Just look around you. How many fast food places can you count within a mile of your house (it’s 4 for my house). The addiction to wheat, corn, sugar, fat and salt is astounding! The hardest thing my clients have to do is break their addiction to sugar. Think this doesn’t apply to you? Try taking all (and I mean ALL, including fruit) sugar out of your diet for 21 days. Just 21. Can you do it?
2) Boost Your Self-Esteem
When you make good choices about food, you make good choices in other areas of your life which in turn gives you more confidence. You can change how you see yourself today! Start by setting a small goal of making one positive food choice (ie: no candy at the office today) and do it. Watch how you suddenly feel powerful and in control just from that one moment of strength and resolve!
3) Fat Loss
This one is obvious. When you eat healthy foods in healthy amounts, you lose fat. Your body stops having to burn the crap before the fat, does that make sense? When you are eating things like bread, candy, baked goods or tortilla chips, your body has to work hard at burning that before it can even think about burning fat. Take it out and you can work toward being “fat adapted” and burning fat instead of glucose (sugar)!
4) Stress Less
Foods that are super starchy (ie: breads, pastas, baked goods, sodas, sugar) cause rises and falls in your blood sugar which causes crashes and binges. Ever get that 3pm headache or slump? You have your blood sugar to thank for that. Taking out the starchy crappy foods (even if they’re Organic) can even out your hormones and blood sugar, causing waaay less stress and chaos in your body and mind.
This one is similar to addiction in that it can happen when you have a “trigger” food. For me, it’s wine and bread. If I have just a little bit of those, it sends me into a free for all. I shove food in my face until I can’t breathe. Since figuring out what my trigger foods are and how to live without them, I can say that I have not had a binge in months!! Wouldn’t it be great to feel in control of your food and not the other way around!!!?
So, those are just a few of the many reasons to get the junk out of your diet and start taking control of your own body!