One of the most important reasons I would strongly recommend following a whole food based nutritional plan is:
Maximize your nutrient intake from natural sources which optimizes the potential benefit of the macro-nutrients (carbohydrates, protein and fats) and micro nutrients (vitamins and minerals) in it’s most potent form.
Avoid Processed foods entirely. Processed foods, canned foods, and even the ready to eat meals are packed with the most unhealthy chemicals, preservatives, colorings, and carcinogenics that can only put our health at a huge risk and has clearly shown in our western culture to contribute to many diseases starting with cancer, diabetes, heart ailments, not to mention obesity.
Portion control: Just because you are eating a healthy whole food-based diet doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise portion control. Your portions should be based on your level of RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate- which is to say the amount of calories burned while your body is in a state of complete inactivity (such as sleep) and the rate of activity ( exercise, work, etc). We can get into more details about these intricate subjects at a later time, however, the focus should be on lesser-sized meals but with more frequency (5 small meals a day).
Whole foods mainly include plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits and nuts, and animal foods such as eggs, meat, fish and poultry. You can always fit a hole food diet into your approved list of foods you like (preferences). For example, if you are allergic to fish or just plain don’t like it, you can simply substitute with other protein-packed meats like chicken, turkey, or stake.
Here’s a sampler for your whole day, with options and substitutions for items you may have been eating:
Instead of boxed breakfast cereals or commercially prepared muffins, bread toasts packed with fruit jelly or even the occasional doughnuts or bagels, start your day with an omelet made with free-range eggs, spinach, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms. Add your favorite herbs and a pinch of sea salt. Or you can get a Greek yogurt with blueberries and you can have your cup of coffee provided that it’s not packed with sugars and whip cream or any commercial toppings. These foods can provide you with satiating fats that will help you more fully absorb the fat-soluble nutrients found in the vegetables, fruits and yogurt. Avoid almond milk or almond butter that contains extra sugar or other ingredients and stick to natural almond milk or butter if you want to add that to your meal. There are tons of healthy,delicious breakfast options to keep you satiated, healthy, and to jump start your day and boost your metabolism.
Lunch & Dinner:
Lunches and dinners should both include vegetables, protein and a healthy fat. An example, have a serving of grilled meat of your choice. You can grill (or bake) peppers, onions, cauliflower to go with the meat and enjoy a perfect meal. For dinner, you can grill or barbecue a steak and have a big salad including lettuce, tomatoes, green onions, avocado slices and olive oil and your selection of herbs or home made dressing. Use extra virgin olive oils only. Other oils that are sold as “healthy” such as canola oil and soybean oil, and even most vegetable oils, require complex processes and the use of chemical solvents, which does not fit the definition of whole foods. You can be creative and combine different vegetables, proteins and fats with various seasonings, such as basil, parsley, turmeric, cumin and many fun, tasty herbs to make your meals edible and tasty.
That’s the most dangerous category
Most people who try to eat healthy get trapped into eating the same old “munchies” and bad junk-food choices since these are available at their finger tips in all snack machines at the work place, etc. Many others choose processed snack foods like granola bars and the so-called “protein bars” that are nothing less than a candy bar with a phony wrapping paper promoting it as the next best bar. Did I mention the energy drinks? How about potato chips,the star-bucks mochas and chocolate yogurts brimming with sugars? I can go on and on, but suffice it to say that these foods are practically devoid of nutrients and can make you feel more hungry and gain weight, not to mention since they are packed with particular sugars, scents,and tastes. Instead, snack on a handful of nuts and dried fruits, hard-boiled eggs, actual fruits such as an apple or a banana, cherries or any berries, or a Greek yogurt. You can try vegetables dipped in guacamole, or make your own hummus dipping. Avoid store-bought guacamole or hummus, since it often includes processed ingredients.
You have a sweet tooth? I understand. I myself cannot resist the sight of creme brûlée! Oftentimes I just give in and eat it. I can relate. However, my better judgement says you can still enjoy occasional treats if you like. Try a healthy fruit salad with berries or melons or cherries. Or, you can bake a half apple and sprinkle it with dark chocolate or honey! There are tons of fun dessert options you can come up with while keeping your diet from processed foods and still feel satiated, happy, healthy and lose tons of unwanted accumulated body fat.