FDF #005: Fundamental 2 - Eat CleanFeb 05, 2023
Good day to you!
This Saturday we are talking about Fit Daddy Fundamental Number 2 - Eat Clean.
There are all sorts of fad diets and extreme protocols - and on some level complete nonsense out there - about nutrition and dieting.
It can seem like everyone is giving you different, and polar opposite, advice about what you should or shouldn't eat.
What Us Dads Need
But at the end of the day, for dads, what we need are some guideposts.
Some guidelines that make sense for what is realistic for our lives, for the families, partners, kids, and realities that make up our daily lives.
The most important thing is to make sure that your body is getting what it needs, so that it stops craving a whole bunch of stuff that it just wants and doesn't need.
Additionally, it's actually really important that you figure out a plan that works for you.
You need a set of habits and a lens through which you can view your own nutrition, that that works for you.
You need to have some simple habits.
You need to have some rules.
Because if you're anything like me... without rules, without habits, my and your nutrition, it goes to s**t (pardon me, but it's true).
That's when the temptation, the addictive behavior, the emotional eating, the social pressure around eating... it can take control.
What is Eating Clean?
So let's talk about the Eat Clean Fundamental. What is it?
There are really a half dozen important things to keep in mind when it comes to clean eating.
The first is you've got to have enough protein: when you don't have enough protein, you'll just want to eat more.
Protein is satiating, it's filling. It's absolutely necessary to maintain your muscle mass.
But is all protein equal?
It's actually really important that you get enough protein from good sources. From clean sources.
Where you really want to focus - and I'm not gonna get into carnivores vs vegans - is getting your protein from real, whole food sources.
And what that most likely means is that you're getting a significant amount of your protein from meat sources.
Make sure that you're eating grass fed, pasture raised, wild caught animal based proteins.
You don't want a bunch of factory farmed stuff.
You don't want a bunch of protein from animals that been pumped with all sorts of different chemicals or eating all sorts of unnatural foods.
You really wanna focus on getting those, those protein sources from animals as as natural as possible.
Second, you're gonna wanna focus on fiber: when you don't have enough protein, you'll just want to eat more.
Fiber also satiates you. It supports gut health, creating healthy gut bacteria. It helps you process all of what you are eating you eating, and eliminate toxins from your body.
You know, the fiber is really important for regulating your blood sugar especially if you're having you know, depending on the amount of sugar that you're eating.
And when you're eating enough fiber, feel full.
The third thing you need is plants: you've got to be getting the phytonutrients and micronutrients that your body needs.
Phyto means light. Phytonutrients come from the sun, delivered via plants. Phytonutrients in plants are all of those little things, in addition to all the vitamins and minerals (aka micronutrients - which come from meat sources as well).
These are vital for your body to feel like it has gotten everything it needs, and thus what it wants.
You got enough protein, you get enough fiber; and these phytonutrients and micronutrients help ensure that all of your biochemical processes operate as they should.
The fourth aspect of clean eating is focusing on healthy fats: fat has been demonized by the government and all the major food brands.
All fat is not bad, despite what you're heard.
Ultimately, the root of this common misconception comes down relatively shaky science, and more marketing than anything else.
The low fat push of the last few decades was more a function of the personalities in control at the government and research level, than it was of cold, hard, scientific facts.
Yes, the number of calories per fat gram is higher than for carbohydrates and protein, so you have to be careful in terms of your overall calorie count.
But what you really need to know is that there are some really bad fats and there are some really good fats.
Where you want to focus in terms of good fats are avocado oil, olive oil, and butter.
The key is that these should be cold-pressed, unrefined, and ideally organic oils.
Additionally, fats from nuts, avocados, and the animal protein sources described about are great sources of healthy, good fats.
You want to avoid like the plague, any of these: vegetable oils, canola oils, and sunflower oils.
Despite being branded as heart healthy, the data is showing more and more that these in fact actually the opposite. They can damage your system, especially when used for temperature cooking, and even worse, frying.
These so-called heart healthy cooking oils like canola or vegetable oil, actually become unstable as temperature increases. What you end up with are chemicals that aren't in the oils at room temperature being creating during the cooking process and ending up in your food.
So, for cooking stick with cold-pressed, unrefined, organic avocado and olive oils, and ghee and butter from grass-fed, pasture-raised cows.
The rest of the oils you should eliminate from your kitchen and avoid them whenever possible (good luck at restaurants my friend!).
Fifth, to Eat Clean, avoid processed foods: in general, processed foods are designed to want you to eat more (and even if they aren't designed for that, the net effect will be that you want to eat more!)
A cow in a pasture or a salmon swimming in Alaska does not think to itself, "How can I get humans to eat more of me?"
A food scientist in a profit-seeking food company, however, does this precisely. In fact, that's their job.
You want to be eating as natural and as unprocessed foods as possible. These often means you'll want to focus on foods with a minimal number of ingredients. And ingredients that you can pronounce and actually know what they are.
Really focus on unprocessed, whole foods that don't have a lot of altered chemical constituents.
Sixth, kick the sugar habit: sugar equals cancer.
Now, that kind of sounds extreme, but the science backs it up.
And sugar is EVERYWHERE.
"But it's organic!" you cry.
Organic sugar is still sugar, complete with it's blood sugar spiking high.
And while it might energize you for a moment, it's actually going to sap your energy away. And you're going to end up with this bloom and bust sugar cycle that leads to inflammation, brain fog, and weight gain.
"Oh, but fruits are so good." Yeah, fruits are fine. But the key is that those sugars are delivered with fiber, which helps lower your spike in blood sugar.
Still, don't over do it fruit since you're still getting a lot of sugar. And more importantly, drink fruit juices sparingly; they generally come with all the sugar and none of the fiber.
And at the end of the day, your problem is probably not eating too many fruits, right? It's probably the ice cream, cookies, and candy bars, right?
And finally, water is critical: while it's not strictly "eating", drinking enough water is mandatory.
Water complements all the macronutrients, micronutrients, and phytonutrients your body needs to ensure your biochemical processes are running properly.
You should be having half your body weight in ounces of water.
For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you should be having 100 ounces of water per day.
Now, if you go on a long hike, play a hard basketball game, or run a marathon, obviously you're gonna need to increase your water intake. Depending on your activity levels, the conditions, you'll need to adjust that number accordingly.
But as a rule of thumb, every day you should be getting at least half your weight (in pounds) in ounces of water.
So again, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should be getting 75 ounces of water daily.
How to Eat Clean
So there you have it. That's the Eat Clean Fundamental. And now that you know a thing or two (or 7), you've got to put it into action, right?
There are a few tactical things you're gonna want to do, no matter how clean you're eating. And remember, Clean Eating will make all of this easier.
After reading labels and making smart and wise choices about what you're eating and keeping it clean, controlling your calorie intake is the big hammer.
Calorie counting doesn't necessarily solve your health problems, or your energy problems on its own. If you're eating horrible food but restricting your calories you may see results on the scale, but you'll feel horrible and it won't last.
However, by simply controlling the number of calories you consume, you're going to see a difference in your body composition.
While you may not want to track your calories or your food, if you cannot control your intake, or your weight, or your energy levels, or your macronutrients without tracking them, you need to track them.
It's basic. It's a systematic approach. If you work the system, the system works. What gets measured has a much higher likelihood of getting managed.
So I want encourage you to get the right tools to take control of your nutrition, to implement the eat clean fundamental.
I highly recommend one or both of two apps: MyFitnessPal and the FitDaddy365 app.
Yes, that second one is a shameless plug, but both of those apps are excellent for managing your nutrition. They allow you to understand what you're eating now. Then, most importantly, they allow you to manage your nutrition so that it's consistent with your goals.
MyFitnessPal has a huge library of foods, allows you to create your own meals and recipes, and has some great visual reporting.
The FitDaddy365 app, which both syncs with MyFitnessPal and has its own integrated food tracking solution, provides nutrition tracking, accountability, and coaching, as well.
I guarantee you that if you track your nutrition - and it doesn't have to be hard or time consuming - if you track your nutrition and you put the very, very, very, very small amount of work it takes to track your nutrition, you will see results.
All right, that's it for this issue of the Fit Daddy Fundamentals.
I will see you right here next week, when we talk about the third Fit Daddy Fundamental, Sleep Deep.
Have a great week, and I'll talk to you soon!
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