Food is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.

I’ve already said that I can’t help but notice what people have in their carts while at the grocery store, and for some reason, I’ve been particularly observant as of late.

In fact, this post was inspired by what I witnessed at the checkout about a week ago.

It was a fairly busy day at the grocery store and being somewhat nosy, I suppose, I looked at what the guy behind me had put on the the counter. He had a bag of potato chips, 12 cans of pop, some frozen TV dinners, a box of chocolate cakes, a loaf of white bread, and a container of processed peanut butter. He did not put ONE thing on the counter that was healthy and in its natural state. Basically, what this guy was buying was sugar, artificial flavors, and unhealthy trans fats….not real food. Unsurprisingly, this man was overweight. I mean, how could he not be eating all that processed garbage?

Speaking of being overweight, I find it sad how overweight the average child is these days. For most of them, though, they don’t have much choice but to eat what is put in front of them. To an extent, with such a bad economy, the family may have a tough time affording food that is nutritional. However, with their parents feeding them such terrible food they’re setting their children up for weight related diseases and all kinds of bad eating habits at such a young age.

Processed food is VERY addictive. In fact, food can have the same effect on the brain as heroine and cocaine.

I think in order to somewhat explain the rising obesity rates and food addictions we need to first look at what is considered “food” these days.

For example, just think of what is considered “breakfast” by most people.

cinnamon roll

It’s not uncommon for people to class cinnamon rolls, sugary cereals, and muffins as “breakfast.”

The above are such bad choices and all that sugar sets you up for more cravings as the day goes on.

A guy once told me (dead serious at that) that he believed blueberry muffins to be a healthy breakfast choice.

If you thought “breakfast” was bad, just think of what is consider “snacks” by most.

Chips, bars, and ice cream are often thoughts of as “snacks.”

In fact, for a better understanding of this, let’s take a look what a mess the typical North American diet is. Some people may think this is exaggerated, but it’s not too far off, in my opinion.

Breakfast: If anything it’s usually a cinnamon roll, or other pastry. (I personally feel terrible when I don’t eat breakfast. I’m moody and unpleasant. So, therefore, I don’t skip breakfast.)

Mid morning snack: Likely another pastry, if anything.

Lunch: This can vary from person to person. Some people eat out. Some people actually eat something relatively healthy and light for lunch.

Afternoon snack: Most times nothing, but possibly a donut or muffin to go with a coffee break.

Supper: This is usually when most people gorge out. In fact, it’s my belief that most people eat about 2/3’s of their daily calories after 4 pm. They didn’t have much for lunch and all the sugar they ate throughout the day has brought on some serious cravings now. For some, supper can easily exceed 1,000 calories. This may sound like a lot, but if you get a meal through a drive-thru, it’s not too hard to go above 1,000 calories for food that’s high in fat, high in sugar, and LOADED with salt.

fastfoodEvening Snacks: For most, this is when the bowl of ice cream, bag of candies, and chips come out. Some people like to wind down their day by watching a show on TV or browsing the net. It’s not uncommon for people to consume another 500+ calories of total garbage at this time. I recently noticed that some popular chocolate peanut butter treats contain over 500 calories for only an average sized box of them. With high calorie food like this, it’s no wonder why the average person is so overweight these days.

The problem with most people’s nutrition these days is that they’re eating TONS of calories but getting VERY little in regards to nutritional value. They’re not eating real food.

A guy once told me that if you only eat one ingredient foods you’ll never get fat.

Although a bit too simplistic, there is a lot of truth to that statement.

Now, the big problem with that statement is that even with natural food, not all calories are equal. I’m not going to go into deal about this in this article (although I will in the actual meal plan) but just to give you an example, this whole bag of spinach contains just slightly over 50 calories.

spin

Now, compare that to peanut butter which contains 100 calories for only one tablespoon.

pbutter

Although natural food will vary in calories, it is much more difficult to eat too may calories when your nutrition mainly revolves around natural food, and in some cases, “better than” food.

After some consideration, I have decided that I will put up the nutritional information for each recipe when I officially release the meal plan. I debated about this at first as it can cause some guys to become a little too obsessive. Some guys feel the need to stick a wet finger in a bucket of protein powder to make up for that 3 grams of protein they missed for their daily macros according to their fitness app. Also, keep in mind that the nutritional info for the recipes is based off the exact brands/ ingredients that I am using. If you happen to use a different brand, your nutritional info will obviously vary slightly. It is STRONGLY  suggested, however, that you follow the tips on the recipes.

Anyhow, here is a healthy day of eating.

Breaskfast: Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal, green tea or coffee with no sugar, 500 ml of water

chocoatmeal

cbutnut

Snack: Banana Protein Shake, 500 ml of water, green tea or another coffee with no sugar

banashake

bshakenut

Lunch: Chicken and Bean Salsa , 500 ml water

chsals

csalsnut

Snack: Mixed Berry Protein Parfait, 500 ml of water

berry parfait

bparnut

Supper: Chicken Pita Pizza, 5oo ml of water

chickpizza

pizzanut

Snack: Salsa and cheese omelette

eggsals

eggnut

When you add up the total calories for the day it comes out to only 1810 calories. Wow! That’s for the ENTIRE day. I recently looked at nutritional content for a fast food meal online and it came out to over 1800 calories for just a burger, large fries, and drink. That’s a lot of calories for only one meal.

Now, as you can see from the above example of a good day of eating, you get to eat a LOT of food when you your diet is based off of healthy foods.

Also, something else you’ll most definitely notice when eating healthier food is an improved mental state as well as a steady balance of energy throughout the day. And, your muscles will kindly thank you for nourishing them properly.

Now, although you should be getting the majority of your weekly calories from healthy food, it’s foolish to think you’ll go the rest of your life without another treat.

Some guys start off strong and kid themselves into thinking they’ll NEVER eat another cookie or burger. You’ll go crazy if you try that, and not only that, you’re more likely to make it a sort term “fad” rather than a long term commitment to improved health.

On the other hand, some guys get the idea that they can somehow “balance out” bad eating by just exercising more. This is foolish thinking and very ill advised.

weight

The truth is somewhere in the middle. The key is to limit the amount of times per week you indulge in unhealthy food. It’s been my experience that eating food with little to no nutritional value should be limited to no more than one day per week or 3 random meals throughout the week. Also, to reduce temptations, don’t keep any of this food “on hand” to begin with.

Closing thoughts

I challenge guys to do a bit research on their favorite food ( healthy and unhealthy options). Look at the breakdown for calories, fat, protein, and carbohydrates. You’ll likely be surprised at how many calories is in some food. You may even find yourself shifting away from certain food as you research more into things and how bad some of it really is for you.

For example, I DO NOT drink regular pop and haven’t in years. The fact I know that the majority of the can is sugar is disturbing to me. I think of pop as “diabetes in a can.”

cola

Even thought I like to eat fast food sometimes on a “treat day,” I refuse to drink regular pop. I know it probably sounds weird to some as the burger and fries are obviously not healthy, but I can’t force myself to drink high sugar pop.

When it comes to the bulk of your nutrition, are you eating real food, or are you eating sugars, salts, preservatives, and other ingredients with names you can barely pronounce?