I don’t know about you, but my Facebook page is full of posts about the latest, greatest drinks, shakes, supplements, or wraps to promote health and weight loss. Now listen carefully, I’m not necessarily saying there is anything WRONG with these products or that you are weak, stupid, or crazy for using them. What I am saying is that you DO NOT NEED them! While I’ve not researched all the science behind them, I have researched some and the claims of many of these products are over-stated, unsubstantiated, and just plain false. You can effectively change your health and weight eating real food and I’m going to tell you how!
There are two real problems that need to be addressed. One is poor food choices and the other is quantity. The wonderful news is that when you make good food choices, you can increase the quantity! It’s a win/win situation. I don’t want to over simplify it, but I want YOU to feel like YOU can succeed without spending a lot of money or feeling like your friends and family only want to sell you something.
First: Poor food choices.
In this busy world we live in, we grab and go! We grab high fat, high sugar, high calorie, highly processed foods with very little nutrient value. The latest products offer you more nutrients, which is probably true because you are making poor nutrient choices to start with, but that can change. The latest products offer you more energy. Again, this seems to be true as well since the poor quality foods you eat don’t fuel your body well, therefore you feel run down and sluggish.
Second: Too much food.
We Americans simply eat too much food! I’m not saying you need to get crazy cutting calories; you don’t need to be on an 1100 calorie diet to lose weight or be healthy. In fact, that’s the wrong approach. However, most of us eat significantly more calories than we need in order to function well; therefore, we put on pounds. It takes very little of the foods I described above to add up in terms of calories. It takes substantially more nutrient rich foods (like fruits and veggies) to add up to a significant number of calories.
With nutrient rich foods, you’ll have more energy and will be getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs for optimum health as well. You lose the need for special shakes, drinks, supplements, or wraps to give your body what it needs.
You lose the need for special shakes, drinks, supplements, or wraps to give your body what it needs. Last I checked, those latest, greatest products are expensive! You can buy a lot of nutrient rich food for the same price. You will be more satisfied, you will get the nutrients you need, you will fulfill the behavioral (and mental/emotional) component of eating, you will have more energy, you will save money, and most importantly, you can do it for LIFE!
So, how do I eat for health and weight loss?
- Fill 1/4 of your plate with lean protein (fish, chicken, eggs, wild game, extra lean beef, turkey).
- Fill 1/4 of your plate with whole grains or starches (brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes, red potatoes, whole wheat pasta).
- Fill 1/2 of your plate with vegetables and some fruits (think color and variety – you can’t go wrong).
- Have high quality dairy like greek yogurt occasionally.
- Don’t be afraid to have good, healthy fats with each meal (avocado, nuts, olive oils and olive oil based salad dressings).
- Enjoy a sweet treat once in a while in small quantities.
- Drink a lot of water to stay hydrated.
The last thing to remember is behaviors rarely occur in isolation. If you’re using a special drink or shake and feel better, chances are, you’re making other behavioral changes you may or may not even be aware of that are contributing to your feeling better and possible weight loss.
Have you tried any popular health or weight loss shake, drink, supplement, or wrap? If so, share your results and thoughts with me. I would love to hear about your experiences!