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A Beginner's Guide on How to Eat Healthy and Stick to It

The reasons we crave junk food

  1. The sensation of eating the food: what it tastes like, what it smells like and how it feels in your mouth.
  2. The blend of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates that it contains: junk food companies are looking for a perfect combination, that excites your brain and gets you coming back for more.

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A Beginner's Guide on How to Eat Healthy and Stick to It

A Beginner's Guide on How to Eat Healthy and Stick to It

https://jamesclear.com/eat-healthy

jamesclear.com

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Key Ideas

The reasons we crave junk food

  1. The sensation of eating the food: what it tastes like, what it smells like and how it feels in your mouth.
  2. The blend of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates that it contains: junk food companies are looking for a perfect combination, that excites your brain and gets you coming back for more.

How craving are stimulated artificially

  • Salivary response: the more a food causes you to salivate, the more it will cover your taste buds.
  • Rapid food meltdown: this tells your brain that you’re not full, even though you’re eating a lot of calories.
  • Calorie density. junk foods are designed to convince your brain that it is getting nutrition, but to not fill you up.
  • Memories of past eating experiences: When you eat something tasty, your brain registers that feeling and will bring it up in the future.

Building better habits means changing your environment

Most people think that building better habits or changing your actions is all about willpower or motivation. But your environment has an incredible ability to shape your behavior.

Nowhere is this more true than with food.

Eat healthy using choice architecture

  1. Use smaller plates. Bigger plates mean bigger portions.
  2. Use tall, slender glasses instead of short, fat ones to drink less alcohol or soda.
  3. Use plates that have a high contrast color with your food.
  4. Display healthy foods in a prominent place.
  5. Wrap unhealthy foods in tin foil and healthy foods in plastic wrap.
  6. Keep healthy foods in larger packages and containers, and unhealthy foods in smaller ones.

The “Outer Ring” strategy for buying healthy food

At the store, only go for the “outer ring” , where the healthy food usually lives: fruits, vegetables, lean meats, eggs, etc. These are items that grew or lived outdoors. That’s what you should eat.

The aisles are where all of the boxed and processed stuff is placed.

Stress favors unhealthy eating

Stress causes certain regions of the brain to release chemicals that can trigger mechanisms similar to the cravings you get from fat and sugar, so your brain feels the addictive call of fat and sugar and you’re pulled back to junk food.

Words frame your sense of empowerment and control

I don’t” is experienced as a choice, so it feels empowering. “I can’t” isn’t a choice, is a restriction.

In other words, the phrase "I don't" is a psychologically empowering way to say no, while the phrase "I can't" is a psychologically draining way to say no.

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The Paleo Diet

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Lose weight on the Paleo Diet
  1. Eat fewer calories than you burn every day.
  2. Eat mostly real food if you want to be healthy.
  3. Do those two things consistently for a decade to KEEP the weight off.

When you only eat real food and avoid all unhealthy food, you’re more likely than not going to run a caloric deficit – and thus lose weight.

Eat the following:
  • Meat – GRASS-FED, not grain-fed. 
  • Fowl – Chicken, duck, hen, turkey.
  • Fish – Wild fish, as mercury and other toxins can be an issue in farmed fish
  • Eggs – Omega-3 enriched cage free eggs.
  • Vegetables – As long as they’re not deep-fried, eat as many as you want.
  • Oils – Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil – think natural.
  • Fruits – Fruits have natural sugar, and can be higher in calories, so limit if you’re trying to lose weight.
  • Nuts – High in calories, so they’re good for a snack only.
  • Tubers – Sweet potatoes and yams. Higher in calories and carbs.

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