There is so much….too much….information out there about what to eat. What REALLY constitutes healthy eating??
It’s easy to get overwhelmed, especially if you’e trying to get it right to lose weight.
Eat this, don’t eat that, eat this only between 3pm and 4pm, don’t eat this when combined with that, blah, blahbiddy, BLAH!
The bottom line? It’s all just noise.
Healthy eating is NOT hard. It’s about the simplest thing in the world.
Simple, REAL food will always be good for you, and when you eat it your body will always respond positively.
The fewer ingredients the better. Real food is its own ingredient. Example: an apple. Contains: apple. If you stick to whole foods that haven’t been effed with then you’re doing it right.
I have tried eating by certain ‘plans’ before but ultimately find them too restrictive. So now I just stick to eating real foods, and making meals from real ingredients.
So what are the best healthy foods to lose weight?
In short, natural foods (foods that don’t come from a package) are best. Fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, nuts, etc. should make up the bulk of your diet.
What should you try to stay away from? White sugar, white flour, processed foods, wheat products, and sodas (diet or otherwise).
Here are some additional guidelines to keep in mind….
Drinks: You’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating: Drink lots of water! I keep a pitcher in the fridge with water and orange slices in it. It gives it a great flavor. Berries, cucumbers, or lemon work great for this too. You can also buy the flavored sparkling waters (La Croix is a good brand) if you want some bubbles. Just make sure there are no added sugars or artificial sweeteners. 100% pure fruit juices mixed half and half with soda water are good as well. Pink grapefruit is my personal fave.
Caffeine: A cup of coffee in the morning is fine, but I recommend limiting it to one. You can add some raw turbinado sugar or some coconut sugar if desired, along with some organic half and half. There are several delicious varieties of teas that you can substitute for coffee. Give them a try. Pinky out of course.
Sugar Alternatives: White sugar is a no no because it is void of any nutritional benefits, and artificial sweeteners are as well because…in short…they are chemical sh!+storms. :-/ If you need to add sweetness to something, choose either raw turbinado sugar, coconut sugar, raw honey, real maple syrup (not Aunt J), or molasses. These sweeteners have not been stripped of their nutrients and are better utilized by your body.
Flour: White flour is also nutritionally void, so it is off the table. I do not use wheat flour either because wheat crops are commonly treated with pesticides (Roundup to be exact. Ew.). Nut and coconut flours are a great alternative to white or wheat flour, so feel free to occasionally enjoy some goodies made from these. There are some great ones to try here:
Meat: One of the main things I spend a little extra money on at the store is natural meats. Grass-fed beef is far better for you than grain fed, as is natural chicken without added hormones or antibiotics. You will totally appreciate the difference in texture and taste as well. I highly recommend buying grass-fed and natural meats whenever possible.
Organic Foods: This label is the newest in the misleading ‘healthy label’ arena. While I do recommend buying some organic items, I caution you about thinking that an organic label equates to a healthy food. This is basically the ‘low-fat’ of today. You can still buy crappy ‘food’ with an organic label. Or a gluten free label. Or a sugar free label. The foods that I recommend buying organic are below.
~ Milk, cream, and cheese
~ The ‘Dirty Dozen’ of produce
That’s pretty much it. Why? Because while avoiding pesticides and added hormones is obviously important, people get hung up on this label and eat things they shouldn’t. Organic does not automatically equal healthy.
Case in point: an ‘organic’ cornbread mix with 11 grams of sugar per serving. Point being that there is more to look at than just the organic label. Don’t get stuck on organic. It’s not always nutritious food.
Dairy: Two strong urgings here: buy organic milk, cream, and sugar (they are not shot full of hormones and antibiotics), and buy grassfed butter (WAY more nutritional value than grain fed). I do dairy, but not in excess. If it has more cheese in it than vegetables, you should probably skip it.
(A quick word about cost: Most people think that healthy food is more expensive. While it is true that things like grass-fed beef are more expensive than regular ground beef, the truth is that you will more than make up for those additional costs by keeping convenience foods out of your cart.)
Pound for pound convenience and packaged foods are far more expensive than whole foods. And you need far less real food to keep you satiated.
I won’t even go into all the money that eating healthy saves you in the long run. You already know these things. That’s why you’re here, you smart cookie, you.
Nuts: Buy raw nuts whenever possible. Roasting, salting, etc changes the nutritional composition to the negative.
Snacks: Snacks are fine, but there are two guidelines. 1) Be hungry. Pay attention to whether or not you are truly feeling physical hunger. If you’re not then try a piece of gum, a cup of tea, or a sparkling water instead. 2) Choose at least one food that contains protein. Chowing down on only plantain chips, for example, is not the best idea. Add a cheesestick or some nuts to round it out, fill you up faster, and keep you satisfied longer.
Stick with these guidelines and you will be WELL on your way to a happier, healthier, and trimmer you!!
Hey! I’m Julie.
I help busy moms feed their families healthy foods in a lot less time.
I’m the founder of Well Fed Families, a mom of three kids who I had over the span of 21 years (I like doing things slowly sometimes), a lover of food, and an 80’s rock fanatic. I also dig jail shows and anything from the 1940s.
As you can tell from the above I’m a little weird. I‘m also a little funny (okay, sometimes a lot funny).
But one thing’s for sure…..I’ve been doing this healthy eating thing for my family for a loooooong time.
And most importantly? Moms who are feeling overwhelmed by that whole concept are my HEART! I want to help you in any way I can, because I know how hard it can be sometimes.
So take a load off and stay a while. I’m super glad you’re here. <3
Psst…before you go be sure to grab the fantastic freebie below. It’s my little way of saying thanks for checking out Well Fed Families….
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