Although many of us want this to be complicated, it’s not. And it’s not low-calorie, or low-fat, or low-carb. It’s not about that obsession with macronutrients that fuels more products out of the food (aka obesity industry). No, the most reliable food plan is natural, whole foods prepared simply. While this may not be what our minds or our mouths currently desire, accustomed as we are to more complicated and hyper-palatable dishes, it’s definitely what our bodies want most. Whole foods, prepared simply.
- Whole fruits, eaten raw.
- Fresh vegetables, eaten raw or lightly steamed or roasted with minimal oil. Frozen vegetables are okay if they’re naked.
- Eggs and clean meats without chemical additives or antibiotics
- Whole grains, processed as little as possible (think shredded wheat vs. frosted flakes or steel cut oats vs. granola). Most flour isn’t a good idea because it doesn’t come by itself, except in whole wheat pasta. Brown rice is better than white.
- Just water. And lots of it. Green tea can be helpful too.
- Nuts and seeds as unprocessed as possible; nut butters are okay if they have nothing but salt added.
- Beans, especially those you cook yourself.
- Clean dairy products (curiously, moderate intake of full-fat dairy products showed less weight gain than low-fat products in two large studies (one of men and one of women).
- No chemicals, preservatives, added sugars, artificial sweeteners, unnecessary oils. Read labels. If it gets long or complicated, you’re looking at a processed food.
Most of us will not over-eat these whole, natural foods because they satisfy our bodies in ways that processed and sugared foods won’t. Of course, an immediate overhaul of your kitchen and cooking habits is probably not feasible. But this is a great direction to move in.