We Think Diets are Dumb: Nine Golden Rules of Daily Nutrition

Posted by Field Work Nutrition Co. on

Yeah...we said it.  We think diets are dumb...and don't work.  Let's think a bit about it...what happened to that diet that was so popular about 10 years ago?  Or the one that was popular about 5 years ago?  Or that one you tried last year around this time that lasted for a few weeks (did it even last that long?) and you gave up on?  Our point exactly.  

Diets are things that come and go, these days often started by a company or a person tied to a business opportunity to get you to buy stuff (hear us out...really).  They often come with a set of weird rules that are designed to help you "hack" your lifestyle, or some "trick" that will fool your physiology into performing fat-burning miracles, and set you on your way happily ever after.  On top of that, any "new" diet that hits the market nowadays is inevitably interpreted (twisted) by people you have no idea about on the internet, before finally being relayed to you by a friend, briefly, over drinks.  Recipe for success? 

Instead of prescribing a "diet" that arbitrarily excludes whole groups of foods entirely, or at certain times of the day, we like to take a more pragmatic approach by focusing on good things to eat, and minimizing the things we all know are bad (because let's face it, we ALL know).  On top of that, we like to look at Primo Smoothie as a tool to help you achieve success.  It does this in a few ways...first by delivering a boatload of nutrition quickly, conveniently, and tastily (we're gonna go ahead and say that's a word).  Second...we like to break down eating occasions into percent of your overall food intake for the day (no math is forthcoming...promise).  If you have a Primo Smoothie for breakfast every day (or most days), you've already eaten healthy for roughly 1/3 of your day.  All that's left to do if minimize unhealthy snacking and have a few more balanced meals.  And even if you go totally off the rails, at least you had one meal that you know was nutrition-rich, high in protein, and just plain good for you.  

Now, to be fair, are there times for an extreme, exclusionary diet?  Sure...there may be.  For example if you REALLY need to drop a few pounds quickly, have a health issue that requires the exclusion of certain foods or the abundance of others, are an athlete and are prepping for an extreme event or are under a heavy training load...and a few other specific circumstances.  Buy beyond that, from our observations and experience, diet "hacks," crash diets, and anything promising miracles by eating foods in a combination or with a timing that you just didn't think of before is not sustainable for the long term...and will not lead to the results you want.  On the other hand, getting a bit of exercise each day, having a protein rich smoothie most mornings that will help keep you full and help keep your metabolism clicking along, and generally eating whole foods the rest of the time will do the trick!

Below are our nine golden rules to help guide you through your daily nutrition the rest of the time!

1. Avoid refined sugar at all costs. Refined sugars are one of the biggest nutrition killers. Nothing good comes from them. Avoid them at all costs!  If you are a training athlete, this rule does not apply immediately before, during, or after your workouts.

2. Avoid refined carbohydrates whenever possible.  If you are a training athlete, this rule does not apply immediately before, during, or after your workouts.

Refined carbohydrates are generally nutrient-void when compared to their whole grain counterparts, and worse, are often combined with other unhealthy foods like sugars, salts, and fats. Avoid them whenever possible!  But for most people, with no medical issues, eating moderate amounts of whole grains (ie bread) is NOT A BAD THING.

3. Eat more fruits and veggies! This seems to go without saying, but most people simply need to drastically increase the amounts of fruits and veggies they eat. Be skeptical of any nutrition plan that says otherwise and wants you to remove any fruits and veggies from your daily intake.

4. The super smoothie hack. Adding a smoothie a day (or two, sometimes) can be a great way to get more fruits and veggies into your diet, and if you are using Primo Smoothie, can also be a great way to get some high quality protein in as well - which many people tend to be deficient it.

5.  Juicing is good, but blending is better. Juicing is good (and trendy), but generally speaking, juicing removes almost all the good fiber and some nutrients from whatever foods you are juicing.  Not to mention, juices that are high in carbohydrates and low in protein and fat spike blood sugar, causing a metabolic nightmare.  Look to throw whole fruits into your super smoothie for ultimate nutrition!  Juicing may be used at times to address nutrient deficiencies, but is generally not a good solution as a meal substitute for most people most of the time.  The concept of "juicing" as a primary source of nutrition while on a diet for an extended period of time simply boggles the mind...but we digress.

6. Get more omega-3s in your nutrition. Omega-3 fatty acids do wonders for the human body.  They are good for brain health, skin health, heart health, and can help reduce inflammation, amongst other things. Get at least a few whole food sources in your nutrition plan each week, from foods like salmon, tuna, or flax seeds (found in Primo Smoothie), and possibly consider a high-quality omega-3 supplement!

7. Eating meat is probably better for you than not eating it!  Although we too tout the many environmental benefits of reducing meat intake, and are aware that many Americans eat way too much of the wrong kinds of high-fit, high-cholesterol, cheaply produced meats...for most of us, eating moderate amounts of quality, sustainable meat is the right choice.  High quality, lean meats contain all kinds of micro-nutrients, like iron and omega-3s (see above), in addition to the protein they provide. Make high quality, lean meats a regular part of MOST of your meals. Fish, grass fed beef and dairy, chicken, and lean pork are all great!

Something to keep in mind...legumes like lentils and beans are also a GREAT source of low environmental impact protein.

8. A glass of wine here or there or a few beers every now and then aren’t going to kill you, but try to keep it sensible!  Frankly, a lot of the media hype around the health benefits of alcohol are likely off base and misinterpreted (but get clicks!).  Don't get us wrong, we like a good beer, glass of wine, whiskey etc. etc. as much as anyone...but don't fool yourself into thinking by drinking them you are doing something good for your body.  Drinking is fun, social, tasty, and relaxing...just keep it moderate.

9. If you mess up and eat some junk...that’s okay.   Get back on the horse and keep it going. No single snack, meal, or day will ruin your nutrition. But a string of bad choices is what kills a healthy lifestyle!

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