“I need to lose weight for my high school reunion” (or whatever event you have coming up). “Which diet should I do?” “I’ve lost weight on Atkins/Paleo/XXX, so I’m going to do that so I can lose XX pounds for the reunion”.
While it’s nice to have a specific goal in mind (losing weight for an upcoming event) I want you to think about choosing a diet that is sustainable. And I would also like you to think about making lifestyle changes versus going on a diet. So, to carb or not to carb? That is the question!
Did you know that carbohydrates are the primary energy source for your activities of daily living, let alone most exercise? And they are also required for proper brain function. So, we NEED carbohydrates. BUT, not all carbs are created equal.
Healthful complex carbs are found abundantly in fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains. Here are 6 questions you can ask yourself to see if the carb should be eaten or left alone:
Does it have an expiration date?
If you answer yes, this may be a viable option. Fruits and vegetables expire. Food in it’s natural state expire. That’s life, and that’s normal. Packaged foods (granola bars, candy bars, cookies, chips, etc) don’t expire. They have preservatives added to them, which in turn, you will ingest, and now you have in your body. And they are also usually higher in calories. Excess calories burden our health, and can lead to a plethora of chronic diseases. Pass on the food that doesn’t expire, or has a long date to expiration.
Does it have ingredients that you can’t pronounce?
If you can’t pronounce it, it’s best to stay away from it. It’s a chemical that is modifying a food substance. What can these chemicals do to your body? If you rarely ingest foods like this, your body can probably fight the harmful effects, but when these foods are consumed regularly, your body loses it’s ability to fight, which in turn can lead to chronic diseases. Skip foods that have ingredients you can’t pronounce.
Does it have ingredients that you don’t know what they are?
Read above. Would you tell a friend to do something, but you didn’t know what that something would do to him/her in the long run? Your body IS your friend. You want your body to continue working for you. Treat it with love and kindness. Skip foods that have ingredients that you don’t know what they are.
Does it come in a package?
Isn’t it interesting that fruits and veggies come perfectly packaged the way nature intended?! How about that for your carbon footprint! The most healthful foods come naturally prepackaged. It’s best to pass on the foods that come in packages/jars/fast food restaurants.
Does it have a food label?
Have you ever noticed that fruits & veggies don’t have a food label? Chances are, if a food item has a label, it has been processed in some way. It’s best to stick with foods that have gone through as little processing as possible! Refer to above questions and if it passes, then go ahead and consume.
Does it have more than 5 ingredients?
Have you heard the acronym “KISS”? Keep It Simple Sweetie (ok, i changed the last word). Keep the food you eat as close to it’s natural state as possible. So, if it has less than 5 ingredients, it may be ok. Refer to questions above and if it passes, then go ahead and have it! Conversely if it has more than 5 ingredients AND it passes the above question, it may be ok to consume. If not, pass!
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