One diet fits all. I used to say this does not exist because the same thing that works for me to lose or sustain current bodyweight may not work for you. However, after perusing the workings of some mystical magic, I have discovered the hidden gem. This hidden gem is Precision Nutrition. This is not a diet, it is more about guidelines that should be applied to each meal. These guidelines, if followed and adjusted for your lifestyle and goals, will work for anybody. This is not something I made up, but rather, my way of saying what I have learned through Precision Nutrition’s system.
This system is based on 5 relatively simple habits. I suggest to learn and incorporate one habit at a time and working on whichever one you feel you struggle with the most. You eating slowly? Where’s the protein? Where are the vegetables? Where the carbs at? What about the fat?
Each of these look simple and they’re about to get even simpler once I’m done with them.
You eating slowly? Each and every goshdarn meal that you eat should take 15-20 minutes...minimum! If that sounds like a long time, well it kind of is. But, what’s the rush? Learning to eat slow helps the body send out warning signs to the brain that it is getting full. It usually takes about 15 minutes for the body to communicate with the brain that it is full. So if you wolf everything down as fast as possible, you won’t know when you started to feel full until it’s too late. Adjusting your schedule so you have 15-20 minutes to eat may be a necessary part of your lifestyle change if you wish to sustain your bodyweight or lose a few “el bees.” I know we live in a world where we don’t like to waste food, so not eating it all may seem terrible. However, I urge you to stop eating when you are 80% full because it will ensure that you do not overeat. This skill, like any other skill, takes practice. Most likely you won’t get it right away, but once you do it’s a great tool to have.
Where’s the protein? It’s easy to spot. Looks like chicken, steak, eggs, fish, and turkey. Also, if you aren’t big on meat, you can opt for greek yogurt, beans or tofu. There are obviously other sources, these are just often easy to find. For guys, you should look to eat 2 palm sized portions of protein at each meal and ladies should look to eat 1 palm size portion. Using your hand as portion control is great for individualizing portion sizes. Unless you are a certain thin haired politician, the bigger you are, the bigger your hands are, and the more food you will need.
Where are the vegetables? You’d think none of us ever watched Popeye the way we avoid dem greens. Veggies should look like a mound on your plate. You’ll want a lot of veggies and you’ll see why when I go over carbs. To measure the amount of vegetables you should consume at each meal, you can use your fist for measurement. One fist is a portion size and at each meal you should have multiple portions. Many of us do not eat enough of a variety of vegetables, often just opting for lettuce. Try to opt for some alternative choices such as spinach, kale, broccoli, beets, collards, and tomatoes when looking for veggies to mow down in the future.
Where the carbs at??? Actually, this one is a trick question. If you have fat to lose or would really like to sustain current bodyweight, eat less starchy carbs. Some examples of things to eat less of would be rice, bread, pasta, and potatoes. If you just worked out, then yeah, you should have a handful of one of those options just to help revitalize your muscles that were just “broken down.” If you didn’t just work out, then the carbs you have will primarily come from more vegetables. Instead of a heavy carb, have a larger portion of vegetables. And yes, vegetables are carbs, so no, I am not suggesting to get rid of carbs.
What about the fat? Fat is found in many of the sources of protein I suggested, such as fish, eggs and steak. You can also find it in most, if not all, nuts as well as olive oil and avocado. A thumb size portion is all that is generally needed per meal. Choosing different sources of fat for each meal is ideal, but if that just adds confusion when getting started with this habit, you can stick to the same source for a bit.
The goal of this is not to confuse you with calorie talk or overload you with information. It’s to give you simple habits to build that are tested and proven, easy to understand, and relatively easy to implement in a variety of situations. This is not a diet. There aren’t any restrictions on what you can and can’t eat. This is what the food pyramid, that we all learned, should have been.