The 10 Lifestyle Rules to be Lean and Healthy

It’s no secret that having healthy eating habits and getting (or staying) lean can be challenging to say the least. Trying to balance school, work, family, kids, friends, training, and whatever else you might have going on in your life, it’s very difficult to make time for healthy eating.

Often times, convenience takes priority over quality, and healthy eating habits tend to slide until a breaking point is reached. Typically, this is where an individual gets so fed up with how they feel and how they look that change becomes eminent. The next step is a trendy diet, which will work for a few weeks with some immediate results, but traditionally these diets are restrictive and too hard to follow. What happens next is a relapse into the same unhealthy but convenient cycles that led to you seeking out the trendy diet to begin with. Sound familiar? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. The majority of the population struggles with nutrition and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, if you follow these 10 rules, you will be on your way towards forming long-lasting habits that will stay with you for the rest of your life!

Try to adopt as many as you can, but don’t feel pressured to adopt all 10 at once. Take them on one at a time, and once you can stick with it for a few weeks, add another one until you have mastered all 10!

  1. Eat mostly real, whole, minimally processed food.
  • If you couldn’t hunt, fish, pluck, grow, or ferment/culture the food, you shouldn’t eat it often.
  • If it wasn’t food 100 years ago, it isn’t food today.
  • If it comes in a box or a plastic wrapper, it most likely isn’t food; it is a food product.
  • 2. Eat food as close to its natural state as possible.
      • Meat, eggs and dairy would ideally be from pasture-raised, grass-fed animals when possible.
      • Eat mostly full-fat versions of these foods for the greatest profile and absorption of nutrients.
      • Produce would ideally be from local, seasonal, and sustainably grown sources when possible.
  1. Eat slowly and only until satisfied.
    • Aim to have meals last 15-20 minutes, as it takes this long for your brain to know you have eaten enough.
    • For weight loss, maintenance and general health, eat only until you are satisfied, not until full or stuffed.
    • If trying to gain weight, eat more quickly and until full.
  • 4. Eat protein with every meal and most snacks.
    • Protein builds more muscle and improves recovery from exercise.
    • Protein maintains muscle mass when trying to lose fat.
    • Protein is the most satiating macronutrient, keeping you satisfied for longer.
  • 5. Eat at least one full serving of vegetables and/or fruits every time you eat.
    • This is a simple way to reach the daily quota of 5-10 servings of vegetables and fruits.
    • These foods contain powerful anti-aging phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to optimize health.
  1. Eat healthy fats with most meals.
  • Fat is essential and necessary for proper hormone production, cell formation, immune function and overall health.
  • Do not fear saturated fat, as long as it comes from food following Principles 1 & 2.
  • Minimize consumption of industrial vegetable oils: corn, cottonseed, safflower, soybean, sunflower, etc.
  • 7. Eat quality carbohydrates with most meals, especially around exercise.
    • A good chunk of your carbohydrate intake should be from nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables.
    • Starch intake should mostly be from whole, minimally processed options.
    • Minimize added sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.
  • 8. Drink beverages with few ingredients and few calories, most of the time.
    • Liquid calories go unnoticed by the body, so they add up quickly.
    • The best beverage choices include water, tea, and black coffee.
      Unsweetened milks, fresh juice, and alcohol are okay in moderation.
    • Super smoothies are a notable exception.
  • 9. Utilize supplementation when appropriate.
    • Use supplements to enhance, - not replace – a  healthy, balanced diet.
    • The best basic choices are fish oil, vitamin D, probiotic, multivitamin and
      protein powder.
  • 10. Live a little!

    • Break the rules once in a while!
    • Just understand what once in a while is; it is not a daily occurrence.
    • Don’t always be “that person” who never eats anything at social gatherings; it is okay (and even beneficial) to not be perfect.

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