Do you love sugary, processed, non-strategic foods? Did you know you can still eat and enjoy them? After all, if you are trying to follow a diet with someone else’s rules that just aren’t working for you, I can almost guarantee you will not stick with it.
How do I know that?
Because I failed at so many diets in my life. I did great for a week or two–you know, I have a distant memory of making it a month on one approach, but time and time again I broke. I gave in. I binged, and it turned into a repetitive downward spiral, ending in heavier eating sessions.
Thank goodness I finally realized that I needed a completely new way of looking, and thinking, about food to succeed! Now that I have achieved that through some very awesome principles, I’d like to share them with you.
Do you agree all-or-nothing thinking gets you nowhere when it comes to your nutrition and fitness?
Are you aware that no two bodies are created equally, meaning I can’t make generalizations that apply to everyone?
I hope you are saying ‘yes’ to both of those questions, as that will be requisite for moving further with me into the Power Foods Lifestyle education. I’m here as a strategist to help you think critically and create a roadmap to success that works for you!
While I most love my interaction with clients via Facebook Messenger and Skype, I’ll do my best here as there are so many of you Body Buds working on these principles in many of my other PFL and Body Buddies programs. Welcome aboard! I am so glad you’re learning and growing with me.
Let’s first keep in mind that for some people, processed, sugary foods rich in simple carbohydrates may not be as problematic in shifting their body composition. These types of people may have a faster metabolism, a certain body type (like ectomorphs), or are very active and engaged in fitness activities constantly. Their glucose uptake is strong which means their body is able to “open the door” to the cells when sugar is in the blood to pull it into the cells. This is thanks to the hormone, insulin, which is a storage hormone. Keep in mind that storage does not always mean fat storage.
“As glucose (sugar) gets absorbed, your body will use anything that is actively needed for energy, then shuttles the rest into your liver and muscles for energy storage.” – The Power Foods Lifestyle, page 69
On the other hand, perhaps you are someone who knows there is some insulin resistance going on. You have a compromised metabolism due to a sluggish thyroid, food allergens, a distressed gut, or all of the above. You may be very active and fit in spite of this, yet still find the weight creeping on when you so much as look at a bag of chips.
“Insulin resistance is when your body has called upon insulin to do its job so often and in such high amounts (you know all of those years of yo-yo dieting and sugar binges?) that a residue of film builds up and makes your body’s response to insulin very weak. Insulin resistance leads to your body storing the energy from many of the foods you eat as visceral fat–the most dangerous form of fat as it surrounds the organs in your abdomen. If you would describe yourself as “bigger-bellied” or “pear-shaped” with more mass in your abdomen I encourage you to pay strict attention to this opportunity to begin closely regulating the amount and types of carbs you eat.” – The Power Foods Lifestyle, page 69
So far, my dialogue has only dealt with body composition, and we are missing a huge piece of the puzzle when it comes to health.
Here is the reality: there are foods that everyone should be working to reduce, if not eliminate entirely, from their diet.
What are these foods or chemicals and why should we be focusing on getting them out?
Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils (soybean oil, canola oil, rapeseed oil, etc.):
These oils will raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and create inflammation in your body. They tear up your gut wall, which can result in Leaky Gut, yeast overgrowth, UTIs, headaches, and joint pain. You will see these oils listed in almost every processed and packaged cookie, cracker, bread, and snack.
Sugar, Molasses, Brown Rice Syrup:
It doesn’t matter the type of sugar it is–these added sugars (or natural) contain lots of calories with no essential nutrients. In other words, they are empty calorie foods. Sugar is not only awful for the teeth, but will increase inflammation in your body. Sugar will inflame your joints, your brain, give you flatulence, and so much more.
Sucralose is also called Splenda and is the main artificial sweetener used in most protein powders, low-sugar beverages, fitness supplements, and protein bars. This artificial sweetener has long been touted as “just fine” to have, but recent studies are finding direct correlations between this chemical, compromised gut flora, and brain health. As I have clients (as well as myself) experiment with sucralose elimination, the consensus is we do feel much better–clearer thoughts, better memory recall, and fewer cravings.
Artificial food coloring is linked with hyperactivity in not only children, but adults as well. More and more frequently are the toxins in these colorings being pointed at as the culprit in allergic reactions, tumor growth, and mental illness. One of the best things you can do for your brain health is to replace all foods you love that have food dyes with natural alternatives. For instance, I used to drink Crystal Lite( double whammy with artificial sweeteners and food dyes, but now I use the natural alternative Stur).
If these foods need to be reduced, or eliminated, from the diet, why would I encourage you to consider keeping these foods still “on limits” rather than “off limits?”
Because you’re human.
Because they’re very much the norm of society and most people have had these programmed into their lives.
Because I would argue your long-term success in this lifestyle depends more on your ability to temper indulgences of even the most “horrific nutrient profile food” than your short-term excessive focus on extreme discipline.
In short, when you really desire to eat a non-strategic food and you’re doing well with your Power Foods Lifestyle (following strategic eating about 70%+ of the time), then I encourage you to eat the desired food in moderation using the following guidelines:
Definition of Non-Strategic Foods:
Step 1: Flip over the label and look at the nutrition facts. Look for the total carbohydrates in one meal.
Step 2: Portion the non-strategic food to 30 grams of total carbohydrates (we do not count net fiber in the Power Foods Lifestyle).
Step 3: Add a protein and veggie to round out the PVC meal. Actually, most of the time, a non-strategic meal will be both a peak range of Carbs and Fats which would result in a PVCF meal.
Peak Ranges in the Power Foods Lifestyle:
Protein (P): 15-30 g
Carbs (C): 20-30 g
Fats (F): 20-30 g
Keep in mind: 6 meals a day is the baseline strategy of the Power Foods Lifestyle. The PFL is an accordion that can be manipulated to reach any need in # of meals/day, food types, strategy, etc. Here are just a few of the 50+ strategies I teach.
It is not the end-all be-all, and when I work with a client one-on-one in a coaching call, I can customize the approach to his or her body.
However, when working as sluggish metabolism and hormones that are all over the place, I like to see an individual do 6 meals/day for at least 2-3 weeks before we get into more meal timing optimality for the individual.
I ask that you do whatever you can to make this happen to the best of your abilities. Stoke the fire of your metabolism by eating smaller, more consistent meals every 2.5-3 hours as I describe in my FREE PFL Cheat Sheet. Then we can get into 5, 4, 3 and sometimes even 2 meals/day.
It’s rare I have seen an individual succeed with one meal per day, but there are individuals who do this, and we absolutely can take this approach here at PFL by pushing all of your Ps, Vs, Cs, and Fs into one meal. But if you have any emotional eating tendencies, I don’t recommend this approach at all. I can only see this binge-like eating practice exacerbating psychological tendencies.
“The critical part with meal spacing is that you stabilize your hormones so that you do not have those spikes in insulin that occur when you eat large meals.” -Ian K. Smith
Note: most of the time, the best way to eat a non-strategic food strategically is to drink a protein shake (P) and eat a veggie (V). Check out the full spectrum of protein powders I recommend by clicking here, or order what I drink every day here (grass-fed whey protein and no artificial sweeteners or dyes). This keeps the meal tight, your Peak Ranges simple to hit, and helps you get your blood sugar balanced before enjoying your indulgent food.
Many people I work with opt for the Moderator strategy of enjoying their carbs. When they select this indulgence strategy to be used on days they wish, I help them understand an important point: When you eat a non-strategic meal strategically, you need to accept you will most likely become hungry before your next meal. There is a chemical outcome for your decisions. Without plenty of fiber or fatty acids, the simple sugars in your refined chips, pastries, candies, or pastas will send your blood sugar up quickly, then bring them down again quickly. This can exacerbate cravings long before you are scheduled to eat your next meal. We do our best to navigate around this physiological effect by combining the carbs with your protein, as this helps ebb the drastic falling of the blood sugar, anchoring it a little more effectively. Your body will fight to keep blood sugar between 80 and 110. Anything below or above it (hypoglecmia or hyperglycemia) will cause problems in your body.
If you’re going to put sugar in your system, insulin will be secreted. Its job is to open the door of your cells to pull the sugar into the blood to use. You will leave fat burn and be in absorption mode. Well, here is the strategy: you’re absorbing vitamins and minerals–as well as co-factors which help with neurotransmitter production. Protein and vegetables are the combination of foods needed to properly create neurotransmitters.
Want to know another benefit to insulin secretion?
This is actually a strategy that bodybuilders can use to ramp up muscle gains for bulking and hypertrophy. When you purposely spike your blood sugar before putting protein in your body, the speed of protein absorption is amplified. This allows peptide (chains of amino acids) to be utilized faster in the regeneration of muscle tissue.
As you can see, there can never be just one answer as there are many types of people with different goals. When you get clear on your specific situation, and apply the right principles for you, you will be able to confidently live YOUR Power Foods Lifestyle, which may not look like anyone else’s.
How is it best to do this?
Where’s the the best place to do this?
Enroll in the PFL Academy so you can have a clear path to follow.
Get rid of the all-or-nothing thinking–learn about Tiers of the Power Foods Lifestyle here. You don’t need to keep jumping on the diet bandwagon, or judging yourself for not living every principle perfectly. Rather, you need to have strategies in place. Hence the name, #StrategicEating.
This indulgence strategy has brought great success to many people as it helps them build their confidence, and stick to the lifestyle long enough to really fall in love with it and then optimize down the road. And if you end up going overboard, just remember to do this.
You don’t need to be perfect in eating and only eat Power Foods!
Of course, be wise.
Listen to your body.
Create your Power Foods Lifestyle baseline.
Get your Power Foods list and make these foods the majority of what you’re eating.
And if you’d like a little more training on this topic, watch the video below to see me eat Vanilla Wafers strategically and explain more of these concepts in detail. Be sure to follow me on Facebook and turn notifications ON to catch my next Facebook Live Training!
I’m cheering for you, Body Buds! Join this movement and share this information with someone it can benefit.
#PowerYourBody one meal, one workout, one day at a time!
Love your bud,
p.s. come join me on Snapchat where we have constant REAL TALK.