So it’s another new year, and everyone’s talking about making changes to their routines. Some of you may remember how I talked about exercise in an earlier series of blog posts, so this time I’m going to ask you all to check your eating habits. No, this isn’t about ‘dieting.’ I really hate the word ‘diet’ in the context of losing weight. Changing your eating habits is a permanent thing, and yes, it’s easy to live with after you’ve been doing it for a while.
The human body has evolved over the ages to eat vegetables, fruits, and meat. It turns out that there were evolutionary advantages to having such a diverse diet. Eating herbivorous animals meant less competition for those fruits and veggies. And of course, eating the carnivores that were hunting you for their food supply was an extra survival bonus. In other words, if the first humans had decided to become strict vegetarians, they would have died out.
By the way, if you’re already a vegetarian, I’m not saying that you have to start eating meat again. If you’re in good physical shape, then obviously your diet and exercise routines are working for you, and there’s no point in messing with them.
So even though we guys love steak, it’s important to remember that it’s not eating the steak that’s unhealthy: it’s blowing off the fruits and vegetables. These two wonders of nature give you many more vitamins and minerals than your body can get from meat alone. Adult bros should eat at least 2 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables every day. Also, don’t forget that red meat isn’t the only kind of meat that a bro can have. Chicken and pork are both awesome sources of protein, and you definitely want to have some kind of fish (not shellfish) as an entree twice a week.
It wasn’t until later in human (pre)history that we started growing and eating grains. At first, this was fine, and it still can be, if you do it right. Whole grains, such as brown rice, oats, barley, and whole grain bread, are perfect for nutrition and body fat reduction. It’s only when you get into refined (white) flour that you end up eating a lot of empty calories and gain weight as a result. Just one of several reasons that modern man has gotten so fat.
Speaking of calories, an adult dude who works out regularly should be eating anywhere from 2000 to 2800 calories per day. Where you fall on that spectrum is going to depend on your height, your type of body build, and your age.
The bad news, of course, is that a lot of things that taste good are the things you need to avoid most of the time. Basically, anything with simple sugars (candies, cookies, and cakes) should be off your list for routine snacks or dessert. Fruits have complex sugars, so they’re okay. Saturated fats also have to be cut down on as much as possible, including fried foods, cheese, butter, cream, and very fatty or greasy meats.
Before you despair about this, remember that if you get a craving for something, it IS okay to give in to that craving now and then. Just make sure that you never eat a ‘bad’ item as part of more than one meal per week.
Life is supposed to be fun, dudes. Don’t cut yours short by always choosing to eat crap.
-The Blog Dude