“Skip the diet; just eat healthy.” 
 
Photo Credit: happy-hemp.com
Sounds too simplistic to be true; I know. We like the feeling of knowing “the numbers,” we need to be put in a box, with clearly defined guidelines, or following a certain “diet” or “way of eating” so that we feel as though we’re actually doing something legit. Because “just eat healthy” can mean a lot of things.  I agree that healthy is a pretty vague term and what defines healthy for one individual can vary greatly with another.  But there are a few things that healthy is NOT.  Here are some examples to name a few.  And no, I’m not calling anyone out specifically.  In fact, I’ve been guilty of a few of these myself BUT the first step in changing something is being aware of what it is that needs to be changed.
 
Healthy is NOT:
 
Eating “on plan” or supremely well Monday through Thursday and EATING ALL THE THINGS Friday through Sunday. 
That’s what I like to call; The Monday Reset Trap. I’ve written about it before here.
 
Healthy is NOT:
 
Avoiding social gatherings in fear of “not being able to eat anything” there.  
Been there; done that.  And soon enough people will stop inviting you to things.  In most cases (and at most restaurants) you can find veggies and lean proteins to snack on.  If not, offer to bring something with you that you know you will enjoy eating.  But skipping out on social gatherings is not the healthy choice. Nor does it establish a healthy, realistic relationship with food.
 
Healthy is NOT:
 
Drinking bulletproof coffee every day with a side of almond flour + agave nectar pastries; living off a diet of green juices all day, cutting out carbs, etc. 
 
While each of these things above can have a place in ones diet/regimen; they don’t need to be taken to the extreme.  And the whole point of bulletproof coffee is to provide you with enough fat and calories (satiety) in the drink alone; to hold you over for a few to several hours.  Combining it with another high fat (almond flour + butter) item that’s made with agave nectar/maple syrup kind of defeats the purpose. 
 
Sugar is not what makes us fat. Fat is not what makes us fat. Carbs is not what makes us fat. Heck, even fast food isn’t what makes us fat. It’s the overabundance and over consumption of all of these things that makes us fat and unhealthy. I know it makes sense for some to think “if fat makes me fat, I’m going to cut it out completely.” Or “if carbs makes me fat, then I’m going to cut them out completely” 
 
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. That’s what gets most people in trouble. How about finding a way to incorporate it all in a balanced way?
 
Healthy is NOT:
 
Taking a bunch of supplements and eating like crap.
 
I love supplements. I take supplements. I represent a supplement company. But I will also be the first to tell you that the supplements are just that; a supplement. They are not magic. They only work if you do. Just as you can’t out exercise a bad diet; you can’t out supplement a bad diet.
 
Yes, taking supplements and supplementing with certain vitamins, minerals and herbs can make you healthier, but again you have to do some actual work as well. 
 
Healthy is NOT:
 
A Gluten free or low fat or IIFYM  highly processed and chemical-laden packaged food, diet.
 
Naturally gluten free items like most meats, all vegetables, and fruits as well as some grains, yes that’s healthy. 
 
Filling up on “gluten free” and low fat junk is just that, JUNK. I’ve written about this topic before here.
 
And while I love the IIFYM camp, eating pizza, pop-tarts, and ice cream just because it “fits your macros” on a daily basis isn’t particularly healthy. Again, these foods can have a place in ones diet; but I wouldn’t consider it a healthy one.  
 
Healthy is NOT:
 
Blindly following a plan, or a determined calorie amount without paying attention to your own biofeedback cues. 
 
In my Metabolic Effect training we are taught to evaluate people’s eating/metabolism feedback on whether or not these things are in check: 
 
Hunger 
Energy
Cravings
 
If one of these are not balanced; it’s typically an indication that the hormones/metabolism is not in check – which can be controlled by what and how much we eat – not necessarily by whether or not someone follows a 1200, 1600, or 2200 calorie diet. 

“Most people believe calories determine our body composition; that there’s a linear relationship between calories and body fat. You can store extra calories differently: as muscle, glycogen storage, sugar storage, fat storage. As soon as you start speaking in absolutes; you miss the boat.  If you get the hormones right; the calories take care of themselves” – Jade Teta.


Healthy is NOT:

Eating a giant salad drenched in cream-based, oil-based dressings (also see low-fat post above).

Salads are always a win in my book.  And especially if that encourages people to eat more vegetables. But saying “I’m eating a salad; it’s healthy” and covering it in large amounts of dressing, adding a hearty dose of cheese, slices of bacon, and candied nuts hardly makes the salad healthy (or healthier).  Again, let’s find the happy-meduim here.  

So….Skip The Diet; Just Eat Healthy?  Am I really saying this is the answer to all of your problems?  For some of you, maybe.  Keeping it simple; giving it time. Making healthy or healthier choices meal after meal, day after day, year after year will yield results.  Sure, they may not be as quickly as doing this diet or that diet – but at some point you can’t (and shouldn’t) keep dieting forever.  So yeah, just eat healthy – or at least make an effort to try.  Choosing to eat healthy (healthier) is a skill; just as doing double unders or juggling – the more you practice it; the better you become at it.

What are some “healthy” habits that you have discovered that really aren’t as healthy as they seem? There’s a lot out there – these are just a few.

To find out what my 5 Non-Negotiables when it comes to making a healthy lifestyle change are, check out my post here.

Peace.KeepItSimple.JustEatHealthy.Love.