Jack is a quality engineer working in the oil industry in Houston, Texas. His days consist of checking controls, fuel gauges and making sure that the operations of the facility run smoothly. It is a very demanding job and Jack tends to work long hours. As a result of his hectic schedule, Jack often eats out after work. The restaurants he frequents don’t provide the most healthy food options and he soon begins to notice weight gain in the wrong areas. One day after he becomes winded climbing a flight of stairs, he commits himself to changing his eating habits. Although Jack’s pumped up about turning the page in his new healthy eating regimen, he is unsure where to begin to look for answers. What should Jack do to improve his eating habits? Let’s find out:
Debunking the myth
I recently started doing research on the best resources to create a healthy eating plan. My search led me to a book called “Eat Fat Get Thin” by Mark Hyman. In the book, Dr.Hyman talks about the myths commonly associated with eating a high fat diet. He recounts how he used to recommend low fat diets to his patients as part of a healthy lifestyle. One of the first concepts discussed in the book is that all calories are not created equal. A calorie from a coke is not the same as the calorie from an avocado. The different food we consume will be processed by our body differently and illicit different reactions.
Studies conducted by Harvard University explored the effects of healthy high fat diets on the body. One set of participants were put on a low fat diet while the other set of participants were put on a healthy high fat diet (lots of avocados, eggs, olive oil, nuts, seeds etc). Each group ate the exact same amount of calories per day. By the end of the two week study, the group who had consumed the high fat diet had burned 300 more calories per day than the other group of participants! Along with these incredible results, the increase of healthy fats in the diet has been shown to reduce the risk of a multitude of diseases including diabetes, heart disease, cancer and even Alzheimer’s.
Dr.Hyman recommends committing to a “Peagan” diet which is a mixture of a Paleolithic and vegan diets. I love eating meat so the fact that this diet allows you to eat meat was a driving factor for me trying it out. As far as the meat goes, Dr.Hyman recommends grass fed organic beef, free range organic poultry and freshly caught fish as part of a healthy diet.
Establishing a weekly cooking routine
Preparing food for the week is crucial when you make the commitment to eat healthy. Weekdays are hectic and it’s often hard to set aside time to prep a good meal. I usually do all my meal prep for the week on the weekend. Start by determining what you would like to cook and make a large portion for the rest of the week. I will provide some of favorite recipes for you to try in future articles. You can then store all the extra food in Tupperware containers that can easily be taken to work for lunch.
By using this strategy for meal prep, I’ve been able to eat healthy delicious meals every day and have saved quite a bit of time and money doing it. All it takes is a little commitment on a Sunday to ensure that you have healthy satisfying meals throughout the week. Establishing this event of meal prep as part of your calendar will enable you to adopt healthy eating habits.
Bringing healthy snacks to work
Most offices I’ve worked in have some sort of unhealthy snacks available. Whether its doughnuts on Friday or chip bags in the break room, it can be difficult to resist the temptation of eating these delightful yet unhealthy treats. In order to combat the temptation, I recommend packing a healthy snack to bring with you to work. You will get hungry throughout the day, it’s inevitable. When your hunger pangs start to develop, be sure to reach for your healthy snack. I personally bring almonds and different types of berries to work as snacks. Almonds are high in protein and fiber and have many other added benefits. The skin of raw almonds is filled with antioxidants which help reduce the risk of a host of degenerative diseases. Almonds also help reduce cravings throughout the day.
In a study conducted by the University of Florida, 28 parent/child pairs were told to eat almonds daily for 4 weeks. The adults were asked to eat 1.5 ounces of almonds while the children were asked to eat 0.5 ounces of almonds in the form of almond butter. When the study began, each participant was rated on the Healthy Eating Index scale (HEI). This score measures how healthy your overall diet is compared to others in the US. Other lab tests such as glucose levels and cholesterol levels were also tested. By the end of the study, the participants had raised their HEI score by around 8 points and their glucose and healthy cholesterol levels had improved substantially. Try incorporating almonds and berries as your go to snack and see what a difference it makes.
Bringing it all together
By committing to making his weekly meals on Sunday night, Jack was able to cut down on the time it took him to get ready in the morning and how much he spent on food during week. He began preparing meals with lots of healthy fats and would pack them in Tupperware containers to store in his fridge. When Jack got hungry in-between meals, he would reach into his bag and grab some raw almonds and fresh black berries to snack on.
As a result of his eating habits, Jack began to see his energy levels and mood improve. With this increase in energy, Jack began jogging 3 times a week and started seeing improvements to his overall health. After 6 months of this regimen, Jack had lost over 12 pounds and felt better than he ever had. These are just some of the results you can accomplish if you commit yourself to healthy eating. Take Dr.Hyman’s 10 day challenge today and see what a difference it makes in your life.
My book recommendation for this article is “Eat Fat get Thin” by Dr. Mark Hyman. This book crushes the myth that fat is bad for you and shows you how a healthy high fat diet can improve a variety of areas of your life. This book also provides a 10 day challenge so you can see the results for yourself. I have provided the link for the book below: