Let’s talk nutrition! This topic can get dogmatic quickly – but that is not the conversation I wanna have:
I want to cover the bare basics in this post which apply to everyone who eats. The basics of how to eat healthy. No matter if he eats paleo, vegan, or like the average Joe.
See it as a starting point to dive into this deep and controversial topic of nutrition. I think the biggest problem when it comes to nutrition is the misinformation, missing interest, and strong emotionalism which comes with it.
But the good news is – eating healthy is simple. In theory.
Your goal should be that your nutrition supports your life. It should support your endeavors, your social life, and your aging. Just to name a few.
Alright, which basics apply if I wanna eat healthy?
In my opinion, you should keep your nutrition as simple as possible and just adhere to a few basic guidelines. There is no sense in overcomplicating everything:
You should check that you eat an adequate amount of calories for you individually.
This isn’t breaking news but you would be surprised how many people eat way too much or too less.
Split up your total calories onto the three macronutrients – protein, carbohydrates, and fats.
Eat a lot of vegetables and some fruit. And I mean a LOT – I would advise 1-2 kg per day.
That can seem a lot in the beginning – just build up slowly to that amount.
When you eat that many veggies, all undersupplies of vitamins, minerals, trace elements, fibers, and secondary plant substances should be eradicated.
Avoid transfats, but not fats generally.
Fats are important building blocks for your body, especially for membranes and hormones.
I would advise eating 1g of fat per 1 kg of bodyweight. But never go below 70g of fats as a rule of thumb.
Don’t be afraid of carbs and sugars, especially when you are active.
But you should mainly eat long-chained carbs and avoid extracted sugars.1
Proteins are as important as their two partners in crime.
Many people eat way too little protein nowadays. You should aim for 2-3g of protein for kg bodyweight a day. And don’t be afraid of the well-being of your kidneys.
Avoid foods that have proven to be damaging to your body.
Or foods that you want to avoid out of ethical reasons.
My only recommendation would be to never avoid a whole group of macronutrients. They are all there for reasons.3
Tracking macros and calories to create a framework
The most important factor that is responsible for if you are gaining weight or losing it, is your total amount of calories.
In the end, it is the only factor that counts – I don’t like to think in absolutes, but everyone who tells you otherwise, tries to sell you something or is provenly wrong.
Depending on your end goal in mind you should eat more or less than you burn. It is simple as that: Thermodynamics in action:
No fatblocker4 or superfood there is, nor fancy workout to burn your forearmfat will do that ever.
To get a feeling for what your body needs and the knowledge where everything can be found, tracking macros is a great starter tool!
Therefore, I think everyone should begin by tracking his intake for a few months via MyFitnessPal. A few months later that is second nature. After that, you should decide if you wanna stick with it or take your knowledge into action and use it to eat intuitively.
I tracked for 2 years and stopped it over a year ago. I noticed me slipping into an eating disorder – binge eating. Because of that, I made the hard decision and threw my compulsive and destructive tracking habits out of the window. Now I eat intuitive.
But don’t fear away because of that story. For many tracking is a great tool!
The nutrients you don’t manage to get in via your daily nutrition should be supplemented.
Especially if you avoid whole groups of foods, undersupplies aren’t uncommon. Not to say that these deficiencies should be avoided if your goal is to eat holistically healthy. Examples would be vegans and B12, or carnivores and nearly everything…
Some substances can be consumed broadly by nearly everyone. I would count Omega-3-fatty-acids*, Vitamin D3*, Vitamin K2*, Creatine* and Gelatine* to it.
Depending on your situation some others could be worth considering. Read that post for more information on this topic.
Most of the other substances aren’t well researched, or well-known of marketing-scam. Nearly every few months new substances with mind-blowing effects are discovered and can be sold just to you for a special price.
Some of these world-changing supplements are BCAAs, EAAs, testosterone booster and penis enlarger pills. Save your money on them!
The right Mindset when it comes to Food
Your nutrition should enhance your life
This is a big one, which I for my part had to learn painfully. Your mind plays a big role on your path to eat healthy:
- Your nutrition should enhance your life in many ways. You should enjoy your food.
- Don’t mistake nutrient rich foods and solely the goal to eat healthy for not enjoyable. It depends wholly on your choice. Choose foods you like and eat them daily.
- I bet you don’t hate everything there is which is stamped as veggies. Eating healthy hasn’t got to be a sacrifice of life joy.
If you like me don’t like boring salads for example – don’t eat boring salads. Make them awesome or swap them entirely. If you love broccoli and brussel sprouts – eat a LOT of these two. If you like kale – go for it. If you love spinach – you get it…
Foods aren’t good or bad – think rich and low in nutrients
No good meal will make you look like Arnold. And no bad meal will make you instantly fat. It’s all about consistency!
That’s why you should sometimes eat some junk. Or have a cold beer if you are craving it. That’s called soulfood.
Don’t make the mistake and eat solely junk …. or beer. If you eat healthy no soulfood every will kill your process. But if you eat like an *** no amount of sport will outdo that.5
But – watch out with soulfood. It can take the upper hand. I had hard problems with the concept of cheat days which let myself inevitably down the road to a full-grown binge eating disorder. Just saying.
Nutrition is something very personal and every one of us has to find out what is working exactly for him. The framework to do so is created through good knowledge. But experimenting is your very own job.
A few words to end this post
My goal with this post was to grant you a quick overview of this complex topic. If you have any questions left unanswered – shoot me a comment and I’ll do my best to answer you ASAP.
Wanna know more about my thoughts on nutrition and many other topics two times a week? Subscribe to my newsletter and be a part of the tribe:
What is your experience when it comes down to nutrition? While some master it individually and without that much active thought some have strong and recurring problems to stick to something. Let me know 😀
OK that’s all from me.
Till then and enjoy your foods,
- Which carb sources you prefer is highly individual. I avoid grain for example. My point is just – don’t try to think dogmatic and test out every food if it is right for you individually.
- For example, the German government’s recommendations with 0,8g per kg bodyweight, are kind of based in 1980 research.
- That point it a difficult one. It is hard to figure out if one food solely is causing you some issues, like gastrointestinal issues for example. Therefore, you have to include one food and test it while everything else you eat should roughly stay the same for a longer period of time – like one month. If you leave the food out after a month and it gets better the odds speak strongly against that particular food.
- Except one – DNP. But before you want to order 1 kg at Amazon stay with me! It was originally created to build explosives and artillery ammo. Side effects are death through burning literally from the inside out. It disconnects your mitochondria from producing energy. Therefore, all the burned energy will be emitted as heat. Doesn’t sound that pleasant, or?
- Consider that you have to train 2 hours just to burn one big mac. Two hours in the gym working your *** off to out-train one burger ate in 2 minutes. Now consider you did have a burger, fries, and a coke. That will be somewhat like 4 hours trained hardly. Just for that fucking meal!