Health KickStart Series #5: Fuel Up
Welcome to Part 5 of our Health Kickstart series. Read Part 1: Frame Your Day here, Part 2: Speed Up here, Part 3: Slow Down here, and Part 4: Connect here.
This series is designed for people who want to get healthy... but just can't seem to get any traction. Getting started can be the hardest part. So, the goal here is to give you a step-by-step plan to do just that. Each part of the series will give you a small and easy action to take each day. Before long, if you stick with it, the steps within this plan will make a big impact on your long-term health.
Grab a box of something out of your cupboards and read through the ingredients. Chances are, it's a long read.
Now, how much of that is actually FOOD?
Now, let's take one more step back.
What, exactly, is FOOD?
The answer to this last question is that food is anything that provides energy to your body and helps your body continue to live and repair itself.
So, with that in mind, how much actual food exists within that box of processed stuff?
Answer: Not much.
A lot of what's in there doesn't help your body heal and repair itself, and any energy it provides isn't going to be the sustainable, slow-burning kind.
So, to be healthy, we need to eat real food. But with all the misinformation out there, it can be hard to know where to start. Should you count calories? Is diet stuff good for your diet? Fruits are good, right? Fat is bad, right? If I eat everything in moderation, I should be good, yes?
The list is endless.
So, here in Part 5 of the Health Kickstart series, we're going to wrap up by taking a look at a few practical things you can do nutritionally to eliminate the confusion surrounding “health food” and get your body back on track!
1. The One-Third Rule
Most people advising you about nutrition are going to do two things. First, they're going to give you healthy stuff to eat. Secondly, they're going to provide you with a long list of stuff NOT to eat.
I'm not going to do that. Instead, I want you to eat whatever you want... just as long as green veggies take up a third of your plate. Peas, green beans, lima beans, kale, spinach, Brussel sprouts... whatever. (And before you ask, no, green Skittles don't count.)
This exercise is one of the first things we do with our members here at the Wellness Training Institute, and although it sounds a little out there, it works. It works, in fact, really, really well.
Because here's the thing. Only seven percent of what Americans each day is either a fruit or a vegetable.
And... that's including fruit. Which most people at least tolerate, if not outright enjoy. So, the portion of that already minuscule number that's actually comprised of vegetables? Pretty small.
So, just adding vegetables to every meal is going to make a huge difference in your health. And again, other than that, here starting out you can eat anything else you want. A Twinkie sundae with Doritos crumbs as sprinkles? Go for it.
Just get your veggies in first.
2. Just Say No
If you're looking to lose weight, I have a secret solution that will shed those pounds almost overnight. Give up pop (or soda, for you non-Midwesterners). Seriously, it's so loaded with empty calories that just giving it up for a few weeks is going to slim you down. And switching to diet doesn't do the trick, by the way. The body handles artificial sweeteners in a similar way to how it handles normal sugar and high fructose corn syrup.
For our purposes here, I'm not going to ask you to give up pop for good. (Not yet, at least.)
But for the next week, I want you to drink water whenever you'd normally grab a Pepsi (or Diet Pepsi). I could describe the effects choosing water will have on your health almost immediately, but I don't want to ruin the surprise.
Just do it. You'll thank me later.
3. Be Aware of How Food Makes You Feel
A lot of us eat the way we do because we've always eaten that way. Obesity doesn't have a ton to do with the genes our parents passed down to us. But the diet they raised us on certainly does. We tend to eat mindlessly.
And that's what the junk food manufacturers are counting on. They've scientifically engineered the flavor, crunch, and fattiness of their products to make sure that you, just as the advertisements admit, can't eat just one.
They want you to sit down on the couch with a bag of BBQ chips and not come up for air until it's time to run out and buy another bag.
So, to counteract that and get your health back, you need to begin to practice awareness about what, exactly, you're putting into your mouth... as well as how it makes you feel.
Here's a quick way to do this:
When you sit down for lunch or dinner, set a timer for an hour and a half. Start the timer and then eat whatever you usually eat.
When the timer goes off, take a second and allow yourself to notice how that last meal makes you feel.
When I do this with people, it's incredible to watch their faces. Most people don't know what it is to feel GOOD, so when they realize how BAD their food makes them feel, light bulbs start going off.
Try it. And then do it again after a healthy meal. The difference will feel like night and day.
So, there you have it. We've hit the five main cornerstones of health in this series. And if you've been following the plan, then you already know that even these small, seemingly inconsequential changes, when they're repeated and built upon, can make a real difference in your health.
Keep going! Try out some of the other techniques. Do the same ones for longer. It's your health, so customize your journey as you see fit.
But whatever you do, continue to build. Hopefully, you have some momentum built up already. Use that to continue forward.
Your journey never really ends, but you'll be amazed at how far you can go by taking these steps to heart and using them to take back your health, happiness, and your life... once and for all!
Want to go deeper into how to nutrify your body? Check out our free guide to Nutrition and what foods you really SHOULD be eating here.
Listen to Part 5 here: