Eating healthy means different things to people. To some, it means not eating after a certain time or not eating certain foods, and to others, it means not eating fast food, and to somebody else, it may mean eating a certain amount of food. As you can see, there are many interpretations of what it means to eat healthy.
The key is to find and establish some method of obtaining a sustainable daily caloric deficit. The way to do this is to burn more calories than you consume or consume fewer calories than you burn each day. The common approach most people take to achieve this is to unintentionally starve themselves or intentionally starve themselves by fasting,
Intermittent fasting is a great way to consistently enhance your well-being, support healthy eating, and provides an excellent way to naturally detoxify your body. The only downside is that intermittent fasting is too time consuming and unrealistic for most working people. To get the best of both worlds, you can implement another form of fasting called peak fasting. Peak fasting can be easily and consistently accomplished by anybody who goes to sleep each night.
Most of the time, each day spent peak fasting occurs while you sleep. So then the question is, what is peak fasting, and how do you do it. The steps to peak fasting are:
- Establish an 11-Hour Feeding window & 13-Hour Fasting period
- Ex. If your 1st meal is at 8 am, then your last meal of the evening is at 7 pm. The next meal the following day would be 13 hours later at 8 am
Depending on who you ask, one method of eating healthy is better than the other. Is it the keto diet, the whole30 diet, a plant-based diet, fasting, vegan diet, or something else? That can always be up for debate, but nothing will ever replace or beat out sound nutrition fundamentals and planning. What this entails are aspects such as:
- Optimal hydration
- Eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day as opposed to the traditional large meals of breakfast, lunch, and dinner
- Eating well balanced nutrient-dense meals consisting of lean proteins, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and nutrient-dense vegetables at feedings
- Consuming whole foods as opposed to processed and pre-packaged foods
- Eating until you are 80% full
- Monitoring and reducing excess consumption of sugar and simple carbohydrates
- Examples include crackers, cookies, chips, high sugar fruits like pineapple
- Eating foods that are NOT energy-dense (require a lot of energy for your body to digest and metabolize) as late-night snacks.
- examples include Celery + Peanut Butter, Popcorn, Plant-based smoothie and Dark Chocolate (≥ 80% cacao) + Almond milk
The benefits of implementing these aspects and consistently eating healthy include but are not limited to improved cognitive function, anti-aging, better sleep quality and recovery, increased energy, better-looking skin, the ability to manage your weight more efficiently, greater biomarker health (cholesterol, glucose, vitamin d, etc.), better hormonal balance, optimal cellular function, an enhanced immune system and increased performance.
Fountain of Youth
One of the overlooked benefits of eating healthy is the positive effects it has on how you age. When you consume processed foods full of additives, fillers, emulsifiers, artificial flavorings and colors, preservatives, heavy metals, heavy amounts of saturated fats and oils, and excess sugar, you are doing immense damage to your cells and mitochondria. You are preventing them from regenerating, replicating, and providing the positive benefits they normally would when you eat healthy. Foods and products that contain the ingredients listed above accelerate the aging process (i.e., your inner age), and this is reflected in your appearance from skin inelasticity, bags under your eyes, a less youthful appearance, and more. Eating healthy along with adequate rest and recovery completely negates these aspects.
Performance isn’t just for Athletes
Performance isn’t just limited to athletes either. We all perform daily, whether it be for our occupations, families, significant others, communities, or ourselves. And to achieve optimal performance, good nutrition isn’t just key; it’s a must in order to achieve consistent and sustainable healthy eating habits. Your body needs the right tools to do its job of protecting you, keeping you healthy, free from disease, and to regulate your body’s internal temperature, so we don’t get dehydrated and overheat just like a car.
A healthy lifestyle that consists of healthy eating benefits you and everybody around you, including your community. Something as simple as a healthy meal can create a bond, sense of community, encourage community members to implement health and wellness related activities within their families. It can also spur communities to organize health and nutrition events like farmers markets, wellness workshops, and empower those around you to begin their journey towards eating healthier.
Additionally, consistently eating healthy can have a positive effect on your finances and reduce the use of and dependency on health insurance. You can save a significant amount of money by grocery shopping, meal prepping, meal planning, cooking at home, and eating well-balanced meals. Eating healthy will keep you fuller longer, for less money, and greatly enhance your immune system protecting you from pathogens, bacteria, and viruses.
Nobody is saying that eating healthy is a substitute for health insurance or will prevent you from ever getting sick. But what is true is that good nutrition as well as eating healthy are the best forms of preventative care and natural health insurance that you can obtain anywhere.