In the midst of thousands of food and nutrition options, how can you know which Diet is right for YOU?
As you sift through popular approaches that promise big results, there are 5 different factors to weigh out in your mind. It’s important to note, however, that here at Body Buddies, I prefer we use the phrase ‘Nutrition Strategy’ as the word ‘diet’ has a negative connotation. ‘Strategy’ indicates there is an approach with an end goal in mind.
This information will help you become a Strategist in your thinking rather than bandwagoning on the next fad that isn’t right for you. You might even realize you have all the tools to take control of your nutrition without following a “program:”
1. Your Goal
Would you like to lose body fat?
Improve gut health?
Have a healthy pregnancy?
Reduce symptoms that make you suffer?
While improving your nutrition has many domino-effect benefits, focus on one goal to be most effective in strategizing your approach.
Generally speaking, the younger you are, the more carbohydrates your body can process each day. Most individuals will experience a loss of insulin receptivity as they get older, starting in the early twenties and continuing through the early fifties.
This means the body cannot absorb glucose (sugar from carbs) and use it for brain fuel and muscle energy. When glucose cannot be used, it is stored as fat in the cells of the body (typically abdomen, hips, thighs, buttocks).
For this reason, take into consideration your age when determining a nutrition strategy and note the amount of carbohydrates in the plan. Remember that extremes in drop of carbohydrates may be helpful (ketosis, carb cycling, and low carb approaches), but only for the right person and goal.
What is your current eating interval?
Is it easier for you to follow a typical 3-meals-per day routine?
Or would it be possible to break them down into smaller, more frequent meals in a 6-meals-per-day routine?
Is your schedule so chaotic that you would do better eating only 1-2 times per day in larger amounts?
While many programs and marketing methods would have you think there is ONE superior way to eating intervals, the reality is the opposite:
“You can succeed with any approach with which you will most stay consistent.” -Kristy Jo Hunt
With this in mind, there are a few recommendations I would like to make for you when it comes to your starting eating intervals:
- If you have a very sluggish metabolism, do not frequently work out, or have a high emotional connection food or tend to compulsively eat, I recommend you start with 5-6 meals/per day. This will allow your body to get used to methodical amounts of food entering the body which primes the metabolism and hormones for appetite and satiety. This also in part may help soothe the compulsive eater’s fear of going without food. You can use the clock as your friend to self-talk yourself into the time before your next meal.
- If you have hormone imbalances (tested by a medical professional), I recommend you start with the 10-day Power Foods Detox and then enter an Intermittent Fasting approach. This will help to reset hormones and the enzymes that are the precursor to hormones.
4. Emotional Connection to Food
Every day brings with it new events that may unleash various emotions. Until a mind and body are properly reprogrammed, childhood and teenage habits of coping mechanisms within food and beverages will show up in the midst of emotional triggers. The most common triggers include rejection, fear, stress, disappointment, anger, and overwhelm.
I have seen both strategies work for this demographic of people who are emotionally connected to food. Please note, I was severely emotionally connected to food most of my life as a chronic diet and binge-eater. Looking at how far I have come, I promise it is possible to break through. Have faith in yourself and just BEGIN.
- Complete Abstaining:
for 30 days, completely eliminate white flour, sugar, and any processed food. This stops feeding any overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut that craves the high carb, sugar, and fat foods that most people tend to want when trying to be healthier (think donuts, cookies, chips, ice cream, etc.). When the bad bacteria stops being fed, it stops turning on these cravings resulting in more self-control. Move to a weekly Abstainer plan after the initial 30 days.
- Moderated Elimination:for 30-60 days, cut out white flour, sugar, and any processed food except for one allowance each day. The portion must be kept to 20-30 grams of carbohydrates only and under 20 grams of sugar. If a food item does not fit this, it should not be eaten.This approach gives many people a sigh of relief as it frees them from the “forbidden food” prison and psychological fear that is created when restriction is set. Note that in my observation, only about 30% of the population can actually stick to this without blowing it by lack of self control.
5. Current Eating Habits
Extreme changes in your nutrition will always result in 5-7 days of digestive distress or unexpected drops in energy. The body needs time to adapt, so it is best to choose a nutrition strategy that resembles where you are at.
For example, if you’re currently eating 2,000 calories, do not suddenly drop to 1,200 calories. Choose a more moderate deficit like 1,600 calories for 3-4 weeks to assess how your body does.
Another example is if you are eating 350 grams of carbs per day with only 60 grams of protein, do not suddenly jump into 150 grams protein per day with 40 grams of carbs.
These are only two of many extreme shifts in diet that will shock your hormones, brain function, and energy systems, and not in a good way. Your body may feel so awful you abandon your diet and label yourself a failure when you are not! You just chose the wrong; too extreme of an approach for where you are now.
Selecting the appropriate plan for you will result in the confidence of sticking to it and feeling great after the initial adaptation period.
The Power Foods Lifestyle (PFL) is an umbrella term describing many Nutrition Strategies that keep important principles for health in place. Some of these important principles include the following basics which are adaptable in some strategies:
- Eating veggies with every meal
- Pairing Protein with veggies at every meal for an anchor
- Eating hormone-free poultry, wild-caught fish 1-3 times per day in the size of your palm
- Eating grass-fed beef 1-3x/week
- Eating a minimum of 2 oz. avocado each day
- Eating a minimum of 1/2 cup olives each day
- Drinking a minimum of 70 oz. water each day
- Eating a serving of cruciferous vegetables each day.
- Eating 1-2 servings of dark, leafy greens each day.
- Eating at least one water-based vegetable each day.
- Taking 4 grams of fish oil, 400 mg Magnesium, and 5,000 iu D3 daily.
- Eating at least one whole, cage-free egg each day.
- Eating fruit in 1/2 cup portions no more than 2x/day.
- Using Stevia, raw honey, or fruit as sweetener only.
- Choosing an Abstainer or Moderator approach for indulgences.
The Power Foods Lifestyle principles can be lived at different intensities or seasons.
Studying the Tiers will allow you to feel empowered to adjust your intensity at any point in time for your life and goals.
Most people will start at a Tier 1 which is healthier eating, then work their way into Tier 2 which is best for maintenance, longevity, and maximum energy.
Tier 3 is where body composition shifts occur, and Tier 4 are “Trickle-Down” Principles which can be applied at any point in the journey that is right for YOU.
The Current Offering of Body Buddies Programs Are Below:
This program is for those ready to jumpstart their metabolism, cut out food allergens, and get focused quickly! The Detox can be repeated over and over again for up to 3 months before finding a more moderate sustainable approach.
This kit is for those ready to start their education journey through reading the lifestyle change explanation book. You will start cooking using my 3 books of recipes and follow one of 6 sample starter meal plans for lower carb eating as a take-off point. The Starter Kit offers digital copies of the 3 recipe books (over 150 recipes) with a paperback book. Get instant access to all documents except the paperback book which is mailed (you get the audio book so start listening immediately!).
This book is for those ready to go into a Tier 2 or Tier 3 by following specific approaches of meal plans or challenges. With over 75 meal plans in all categories of PFL including Ketosis, Carb Cycling, Low Carb, High Carb, Muscle Gains, Gluten-free, etc. you are sure to find the plan right for you. (Meal plans are designed for the average adult female).
The Academy is for anyone looking to exit the Diet mentality and yo-yo approach forever! This is for those who are very confused by all the information in the marketplace today and wish to empower themselves and others. The academy helps you build into your own unique strategy for longterm sustainability and the best transformation possible at the intensity right for you. The Academy opens three times per year for each semester: Winter, Summer, and Fall.
Coaching is for those serious about going into a Tier 3 to achieve true Transformation and address mindset/emotional obstacles that have held them back. Coaching clients receive a customized meal and workout plan that we tweak every week as needed in our 45-minute coaching sessions. Email support is provided. Email me with your story and background to see if we are a fit for coaching.
This approach is for those who do NOT want to diet, but work on the emotions and mindset behind their binges while working on one nutritional principle at a time at the speed you’re ready to do. Get the first 2 weeks free to see if this video lecture/workbook course is a fit for you.