Diet Information Overload
It seems you can’t walk into any bookstore without seeing hundreds of different books all promoting contradictory approaches to what the “best” diet is for any purpose. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the recommendations ranging from low-carb, low-fat, vegetarian and vegan, paleo, intermittent fasting, high protein, Mediterranean, blood type, and countless other incarnations.
Almost everyone is claiming they’re right about the best way to lose fat, pack on muscle, and banish disease forever, but in the end people looking for answers just end up more confused, overwhelmed, and likely to give up all together with the massive amount of conflicting advice going around. I’ve spent literally thousands of hours digging through all sorts of conflicting advice, so I know first hand how hard it can be to make sense of it all.
And yet I can’t help but wonder, how many people need to read a frickin’ book to realize that perhaps french fries and soft drinks everyday aren’t going to get them the six pack and lean body they’ve wanted. The biggest problem may not be that people are ignorant to what they can do, but they’re just simply overwhelmed with too much information and need something simpler that they can latch onto.
What is a diet and should you be on one?
Before going further, I should make a special note about the word “diet.” Some people don’t like the word because they think it entails a restricted way of eating in order to lose fat. I refer to “diet” as simply a way of eating. Therefore I never “go on” or “go off” a diet. I simply adjust the style of my diet (current way of eating).
3 Tips For Simple Eating
So let’s get right to it. There are numerous ways to achieve any goal whether it be fat loss or improved health. But sometimes we need stupid simple things to latch onto to get us started.
What has my countless hours of research and real world observation revealed about what really works to lose fat, get healthy, and stay lean?
1. Eat Mostly Whole Foods In Moderation Consistently
“If man made it, don’t eat it” – Jack LaLanne
Although this could easily be taken to the extreme, what Jack LaLanne meant by this is that the core of a healthy diet revolves around whole foods, not artificial crap made in a factory.
It doesn’t matter what diet book you read, most all of them agree that the foods mother nature gives us will promote better health and fat loss over the artificial concoctions found in boxes and packages. That means the majority of your food intake should come from freshly prepared foods. This alone will fix a tremendous amount of health and weight problems.
Stupid Simple Suggestions:
- Water and tea instead of soft drinks and diet soft drinks.
- Organic potatoes and onions instead of french fries and onion rings.
- Fruit instead of Fruit Loops.
You get the point. See, this stuff isn’t so complicated after all, is it?
“Oh, but Derek, I do eat a whole food diet and my body still sucks!”
Yeah, I get it. I’m well aware recommending something as generic as “eat more whole foods” still opens up a whole other can of worms of what kind of whole foods to focus on. Hence, the 7.8 billion books on diet out there.
To make things easy for you so you don’t have to sort through all the nonsense I have, I’ve created the free Excuse Proof Fitness Survival Guide where I give tons of specific tips on healthy eating.
If you want something more detailed but straight and to the point of what my many years of research has revealed about healthy eating for fat loss, check out the Excuse Proof Fitness Essentials Guide.
Tip 2: Practicality Trumps Ideology
What good does it do anyone to find the perfect diet if they can’t stick with it?
People don’t eat like crap because they want to look and feel crappy, they do it because it’s the most practical thing for their busy lives. In other words, telling people to eat a better diet is “easier said than done.”
So do we just ignore Tip 1 to eat a wholefood style diet if it’s not “easy?” That’s what many people do because it’s the easy way out.
What if there were another way… a balanced way?
Instead of giving up on something because it’s not always easy or practical, we want to find strategies that will allow us to eat healthier whole foods, save time and money doing so, and make it easy and practical for ourselves.
This is the empowered approach where we use our laziness (or desire for efficiency as I like to call it) to our advantage to find simpler ways to get the job done.
“If only there were a website that would help me with that…”
You’re in luck because you’re on that website! Just check out the articles like healthy eating for busy people and the other various resources here for ways of eating healthier that are so frickin’ easy, it would actually be harder, more time consuming, and more expensive to eat like crap.
Another tip is to just make gradual changes instead of doing everything at once. One simple change in your daily routine each month adds up over time until you have completely new behaviors and healthier habits. So, get on youtube and find a quick delicious recipe that is healthy and learn a new recipe each week. Eventually you’ll be eating healthier with ease.
Tip 3: Chill Out and Focus On Consistency
You’re not trying to launch the lunar shuttle, you’ll just trying to figure out what you want to eat. People get so stressed out about things like too many carbs, too many fats, not eating often enough or eating too often, eating after 7 pm or some arbitrary time, whether or not to eat a desert, etc.
Bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts in particular are the worst because they’ve spent so much time trying to analyze the perfect way of eating, they end up freaking out if everything doesn’t go according to some plan. This is NOT a sustainable approach.
The ironic thing is that stressing out about this stuff will cause more health problems than the food or eating habit could ever cause.
Remember the results you get are not just from what you do, but what you do consistently.
I’ll keep it real with you. I eat ice cream, and deserts, and carbs, and breads, eat after 7pm, and a whole lot of other “forbidden” things. Yet I still have a ripped six pack.
Am I a hypocrite? No. I just follow my healthy eating recommendations and suggestions about 80-90% of the time, and then give myself some breathing room to relax and enjoy life and good meals that aren’t always strictly within the realm of “ideal.”
Finding this balance is difficult, but it is obtainable. Remember, “all things in moderation, including moderation.”
But don’t let this be an excuse to eat like crap all the time like so many people do. The fastest way to reach your goal is in a straight line without countless things getting you off track like junk food.
The Simplest Diet “Stupid Simple” Summary:
Eat a whole food diet and plenty of plant foods and greens.
Keep your portions under control (eat until you’re about 80% full).
Find ways to make whole food eating practical and easy in your life.
Remember your body is highly adaptable and can handle many different foods and ways of eating. Relax, it’s just food.
Focus on consistently engaging in good behaviors 80-90% of the time making them habits.
Need more help, check out my diet motivation guide on how to make healthy eating a lifestyle.