With the wealth of information online telling us how eat, it’s amazing we managed to last this long as a species. I mean seriously, how did prehistoric man cope without a grasp of such basic concepts as the glycemic index or omega 3 ratios?
We’re joking of course. The fact is we dragged ourselves from the primordial mud and made it all the way to wearing trousers and writing romantic poetry before we even knew what cholesterol was.
So why now, in the Information Age, where the most obscure fact can be summoned from the ether with a few taps of an iPhone, are we fatter and more confused about nutrition than ever?
Three words – paralysis by analysis. With so much conflicting info we simply end up overwhelmed and confused. What we need are guiding principles. Principles which we can use to filter out the nutritional nonsense we’re bombarded with on a daily basis.
We need the rules of simple nutrition, and by sheer coincidence we’ve just come up with them
1 – Eat foods that either grew in the ground or were once alive. This is the golden rule and all others flow from this. If we all followed this rule the world would be a healthier and leaner place.
Do you have to be annoyingly dogmatic about it and turn your nose up when presented with a plate of pasta when dining with your parents in law? Well, not if you ever want to have sex again, no. But use this rule as your guiding light, when in doubt, eat food that would have been recognisable to a caveman and didn’t come in a brightly coloured box.
2 – Eat more protein. A meal is not a meal without at least one palm-sized serving of either dead animal or your favourite vegetarian cardboard substitute. Protein builds muscle, aids recovery and is highly satisfying meaning you’re not left craving carbs or hitting a 3 o’clock lull.
3 – Eat a tonne of green vegetables. Cruciferous veg in particular (broccoli, kale, sprouts and cabbage) as it contains anti oestrogenic compounds that are thought to naturally elevate testosterone, literally making you more of a man while also improving muscle mass, keeping you lean and providing cancer-preventing fibre. Half your plate should be full of the green stuff.
4 – Don’t fret about fat. Saturated fat is not the devil and is absolutely vital for many important hormonal functions. If you stick to the previous rules, your fat intake should take care of itself, but supplementing with a good quality fish oil is a good idea too.
5 – Save starchy carbs for training days only. This is more specific to weight loss. So if you’re a naturally skinny person with the metabolism of a humming bird, don’t worry so much. But if the goal is fat loss, save carbs for days you lift weights and stick to whole foods like potatoes, sweet potatoes and rice. Earn your carbs.
How’s that for simple? You are now armed with everything you need to know to get in fantastic shape.