You read about My Battle with Disordered Eating. If you haven’t yet, I recommend you do because it will provide insight into the following nutrition information.
After that article you were presented with the Beautiful Badass Strength Training Principles. Yep. You should read that one, too.
Many of my current nutrition principles developed in response to that experience, and primarily out of necessity to heal my relationship with food and to keep myself from tail-spinning back into disordered eating patterns.
Because someone will inevitably argue with my guidelines, allow me to start this off with a disclaimer – the following information may not be appropriate for everyone. Just because it works for me and the vast majority of my clients does not mean it’s the best option for you.
I don’t believe any nutrition method is the end-all and be-all for everyone, and my guidelines are no different. I truly wish there was one simple fix for people with bad food relationships, or a single set of nutrition principles that worked easily and flawlessly for everyone, but that’s just not the case.
The main goal of the Beautiful Badass Nutrition Principles is to keep them as Sane and Simple as possible.
The nutrition goals are simple and straight forward.
- Strip down the nutrition guidelines to the bare essentials
- Have built in flexibility
- Follow guidelines that ENHANCE your life and don’t force you to revolve your life around them
- Be able to build the body you want and maintain it with ease (lifestyle approach vs quick fix)
- Ultimately ditch dieting and obsessive eating habits for good (This is the cornerstone of Sane and Simple Nutrition)
I don’t know about you, but I want to eat in a way that keeps my body healthy and performing at it’s best. I also want to regain my sanity from all of the crazy information and I certainly don’t want to spend more time than necessary thinking about food. Beyond that, I definitely want to look good too.
I also want to be able to enjoy favorite foods like ice cream and pizza and other not-so-healthy foods without being riddled with guilt afterwards.
Let’s discuss what you should and shouldn’t focus on to achieve those goals.
What Not to Focus On
Here’s what you should not focus on:
- Don’t count calories
- Don’t worry about eating X number of meals per day
- Don’t have “forbidden” or “off-limit” foods (unless you have an allergy, but hopefully that’s common sense)
- Don’t berate yourself for eating not-so-healthy-foods. Indulging in a few pieces of pizza won’t ruin your results overnight just like a day of eating “perfectly” won’t cause you to wake up a lot leaner the following morning. If you’re gonna indulge in a favorite food, enjoy it guilt free.
- Don’t have “cheat meals” or “cheat days”. Find out why here: The Dark Side of Cheat Days.
The reason for not doing the things above is to avoid obsessive eating habits. Remember, our goal is to keep everything sane and simple.
Why am I so adamant about you keeping things super simple? You’ll know why when you discover My Biggest Nutrition Mistake.
What To Focus On
Here’s what you should focus on:
- First and foremost: eat primarily real food for the majority of meals (90-ish percent of the time). What qualifies as real food? If it can rot or spoil fairly easily, then it’s most likely real food (meat, eggs, veggies, fruits, nuts). Seriously, just apply some common sense here and you’ll be okay. It ain’t that complicated. You know a bowl of strawberries is real food and that a strawberry flavored poptart is not.
- Eat when you’re hungry and stop when satisfied (but not stuffed). Don’t be afraid of food. Listen to your body and eat when you’re hungry but stop when you’re satisfied. You don’t need to completely stuff yourself because you’ll be able to eat next time your truly hungry.
- Enjoy your 10% absolutely guilt free. The first tip was to eat primarily real food about 90% of the time. When and what you eat for your 10% is up to you. I suggest eating the foods you really love and crave for your 10%, and eat them absolutely guilt free. I mean it!.
- Have some go-to meals. Have a list of easy to prepare, tasty meals you can make when you’re short on time or don’t feel like trying a new recipe. I’ve got a bunch of go-to meals and use them frequently.
- Enjoy the food you eat. No matter what you eat, enjoy it. Cook foods that are delicious and enjoy everything. Food is NOT the enemy, so don’t treat it like one.
These are the exact steps I used to ditch diets and break free from obsessive eating habits.
What about Intermittent Fasting?
First, you can find more information about the IF methods I’ve used in Three Methods of Intermittent Fasting.
I get it — IF is all the rage right now and everyone has a different approach. So, is intermittent fasting, in any form, right for everyone?
No. Nothing is.
But for some people using a form of intermittent fasting is a terrific way to simplify their eating habits. I’m all for simplifying things as much as possible, and for some people using IF does just that.
If you like it, use it. If you hate it, then don’t. It really is that simple.
Random Tips and Information
- Be very cautious of fad and popular diets. It’s easy to get caught up in the “next big thing”, but make sure you do what works for you, allows you to achieve your goals, and doesn’t cause unnecessary stress.
- Don’t demonize any food or entire food groups (unless you have an allergy or problem with certain foods/food groups; again . . . duh). For some people, going Paleo, primal, or following some other specific diet that excludes food groups may work for them. Personally, if I have to put certain foods or food groups entirely off limits, I have problems. I enjoy practically every food group — I just try to eat foods that are in their natural state. For example, with grains I usually eat oats or sprouted grain breads. I like ’em, so I’m gonna eat ’em.
- When you slip up or eat too much you need to accept it and move on. Don’t beat yourself up for slip ups. In reality, it’s no big deal. Just like one whole day of “eating clean and perfect” won’t cause you to wake up drastically leaner the next morning, indulging in pizza once a week won’t cause you to pile on body fat overnight either. Do your best to keep things in perspective and realize there are far more important things in my life than feeling guilty about eating too many pieces of pizza.
If you’re ready to take the Sane and Simple approach to nutrition, welcome aboard!
You’ll regain your sanity from the surplus of conflicting information and build a better body without unnecessary stress and frustration.
All you need to do is APPLY the information above. Start by eating real food most of the time. Listen to your body and eat when you’re hungry. Don’t have “forbidden” foods and eat your favorite foods when your truly crave them.
And, more importantly — take a deep breath and relax.
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