Literally tens of millions of websites give advice on how to diet. So, any advice I give probably wouldn't do much good - to rehash what you should do? It'd just be white noise.
Instead of doing that, I will simply tell you my approach to eating, and why I eat what I eat, when I eat it. Granted, I'm NOT a nutritionist, and this may easily be refuted - however it works for me. That being said:
How I use food:
First off, I don't
advocate anybody blindly jumping into the way I eat until you figure out
your own body. And it takes time to figure out what your body is trying
to tell you.
Think about it - how many times do you
think, "I could really go for a burger, fries, and a Coke!" I guarantee
your body is not in NEED that meal - it needs ingredients, yet based on
your eating habits, your body only knows the way to get those needed
building blocks (the "players", if you will) is through unhealthy foods.
That's why you crave junk.
Now, if you can change your
cravings into different- more healthy foods,with the same "players"
you're in business! Hamburger = protein, fries = fat, and Coke =
stimulant. Take out the crap, keep the essentials. Try a hamburger minus the bun (or use lettuce for the bun), greens on the side,
a handful of almonds, and an apple. BINGO! You're body is getting what
it's asking for through the cravings sans the crap.
Over time, your cravings will turn into: "I need protein... I need some fats...I need a bit of sugar... I need a little grain for breakfast..." etc. I call this "Diet Nirvana" (not really I just thought it had a good ring to it.)
Also, don't base your eating on what a clock says, eat by the cues your body gives.
And that's the trick. Don't eat until you're over-full. Eat until your
body says, "I'm good now, thanks!".
Finally - drink
tons of water. If you think you're drinking enough, double it. You'll
then be a little closer to what you actually need.
The players:(in order of quantities needed)
- What they are: Veggies, (they don't have to be green, but "green = good)
- What they do: These are how the body receives vitamins difficult to get any other way. A majority of the "good stuff" we need, we can get from greens.
- How Often? : Any time. No limit. EAT UP!
- Me?: I have veggies in every meal. Spinach in my eggs. Carrots with lunch, tomatoes and zucchini for dinner, for example.
- What they are: Red and White Meats, Eggs, (on occasion dietary supplements) etc.
- What they do: This is the building block of the body on a cellular level. These rebuild muscles, cells, etc.
- How Often?: With lean protein, you can take quite a bit. You will find yourself wanting more, the more active lifestyle you live.
- Me?: Protein is in my diet all the time. I eat it in every meal, and as an occasional snack. I use it almost without fail after any work out. LOVE my lean proteins.
- What they are: Nuts, Seeds, Oils, Fish (on occasion, fish oil supplements) etc.
- What they do: They keep the body working well and help oxygen get to where it need to go. Works hand in hand with proteins.
- How Often?: Moderation. You can tell when you use too much. ALSO: make sure it is NATURAL fat - deep fried chicken is NOT a good way to get your proteins and fats.
-Me?: I have fats daily. It will either be a snack (almonds) or in a meal (fish). I will also supplement with fish oil when I start to feel run down. I can tell when I had too much - It bogs me down, and I feel "Blagh".
- What they Are: Fruits, Honey, Agave, etc.
- What they do: The body also receives vitamins and important antioxidants through natural sweeteners that are difficult to get any other way. These also give the body a little pick-me-up.
- How Often?: Occasionally - While natural sweeteners have health benefits, too many will be a detriment to your health, similar to refined sugars.
- Me?: I'll have one or two servings of fruit a day. On occasion, I'll also have some honey or agave in other foods. I find that I feel sick if it's the first thing I eat, or if I eat too much.
- What they are: Oats, wheat, corn, breads, etc.
- What they do: these have vitamins and minerals that are healthy and help digestion, however they also have have gluten, carbs, and other unneeded chemicals.
- How often: Rare. If you use grains correctly, they can spur healthy eating, but it's very easy to over eat grains.
- Me?: I don't shy away from grains. I eat a small amount in the morning, or when I need to feel full without a lot of food. I normally limit it to rice, or whole grain - gluten free bread in very limited amounts.
- What they are: Potatoes, noodles, pasta, etc.
- What they do: Energy. Plain and simple.
- How Often: Very Rare. While these foods are filling, inexpensive, they have carbs. Carbs give "energy", but replacing starches with other foods will not only give you the energy, but will help you not overeat.
- Me?: I avoid these starches almost completely. When I do eat starches, I find that I feel full, but weighed down. It's easy to overeat starches, which is overeating empty carbs and cheap calories.
- What they are: Everything Else. Refined ANYTHING, Candy, Sodas, Dairy (yes dairy - I'll get to that in a bit).
- What they do: Wreak havoc on every aspect of your body. Some speed systems up to a dangerous level, while others block the benefits of other nutrients.
- How Often: Ideally, never.
- Me?: I try to avoid junk whenever possible. When I do have some after a hiatus, I feel awful. Still, I don't beat myself up if I indulge. I let my body do that for me.
**Special Note - Dairy
I avoid dairy at all costs. Humans are the ONLY mammal that a) drinks another mammals' milk, and b) drinks it past infancy. The primary reason people have dairy is for calcium. My feelings are that the negatives are immense (hormones, inflammatory, fats, etc) far outweigh the positives, and the positives can be accomplished by eating proper foods sans dairy. That being said, MANY people would disagree with me.
It's easy to eat healthy. If all these rules are overwhelming, simply begin by shopping around the parameter of the grocery store. If there's an ingrediant list, make sure you know what's in it. If there are ingrediants with the names similar to glzayoaymphoa ductruince, It's probably not something you need. Smartly listen to your body, and don't beat yourself up for an occasional slip-up. Eating should be enjoyable, basic, and easy to understand.