Why “Eating Right” Doesn’t Work
Most every diet theory is based on the same flawed premise that the best way to eat right is to simply not eat bad or unhealthy food. This theory works on paper but has produced little more than disappointment and frustration for hundreds of years. This is because trying to eat right just through avoiding “bad foods” has several critical flaws.
#1 Not all experts agree on what you should eat
One expert claims dairy is poison and the next touts it as a superfood. One study claims coffee shortens your life and another says it will lengthen it. It would be great if nutrition was a simple and straight forward science, but that’s seldom the case.
#2 Everyone’s nutritional needs are different
Nutrition is not a one-size-fits-all discipline. What works for one person may not be suitable for another. Nutritional needs also change over time and eating habits need to be flexible to accommodate.
#3 Eating right plans have to coexist with reality
A lot of diets work great in highly controlled settings like in a lab or clinic but real life seldom resembles such constraints. If a perfect diet can’t survive contact with a social event or stressful day at work then it doesn’t work.
#4 Avoiding certain foods can cause stress
Stress is enemy #1 yet many eat-right theories practically pursue it and wear it like some delusional badge of honor. Being stressed and miserable is a sign you’re “being good” but it’s kryptonite to your health and well being.
#5 Diet and manage weight often get mixed up
Healthy Eating and Weight management are two different objectives. While diet is a big influence on your weight, it’s not the ultimate source of success. And while eating healthier may help you lose weight, it’s not the overall objective.
Eat To Satisfy For Health & Success
Your 4 Primal Appetites
Eating right dogmas often ask you to ignore, and sometimes even fight, your natural appetites in order to follow their artificially restrictive rules. Doing this causes stress, deprivation, and unfulfillment which are all unhealthy with chronic exposure.
That’s why the R.D.P Healthy Eating strategies are all about helping you get back in touch with your 4 primal appetites so you can finally support your health and fitness.
Primal Appetite #1 Hunger
Hunger is one of the most primal desires we humans have. When strong enough, it can override any other desire including social acceptance, security, and even sex.
Primal Appetite #2 Nourishment
You simply cannot look and feel your best if your body is being starved of vital nutrients. A healthy diet should supply as many of these various nutrients as possible on a daily basis.
Primal Appetite #3 Energy Support
A healthy diet should support your body’s ability to consume and produce energy for physical and mental activity. Feeling chronically drained and sluggish is a sure sign that something needs to be addressed.
Primal Appetite #4 Enjoyment
A healthy diet should feed more than your physical body. It should also please and satisfy the pallet along while giving you the freedom to enjoy the social aspects of food as well.
The Healthy Eating Net
Each of your four primal appetites are linked in a synergistic relationship to
maintain a balanced diet. For example, eating too much may satisfy your hunger, but it can leave you feeling tired and overfed with an overstimulated palet. A meal of refined food may be enjoyable at the moment but can leave you feeling lethargic, hungry and undernourished.
Honoring all four appetites is the key to covering all of your bases for complete satisfaction.
Tips for satisfying your primal appetites
Respect your appetites
The first step in satisfying your appetites is to listen to and honor them in the first place. This is in contrast to other dietary ideas that encourage you to ignore, or even fight against your appetites.
Respect your satiety and satisfaction
Healthy eating is as much about respecting your need to eat, as it is respecting your need to not eat. This is because all appetites are finite and continuing to eat past the point of satisfaction creates stress. So don’t force yourself to eat once you’re satisfied with a meal. You don’t have to always clean your plate, nor are you obligated to overindulge because you’re celebrating a special occasion.
Consume a variety of food
Eating a wide variety of foods goes a long way to satisfying all 4 appetites. It improves nutritional profile, palatability, and calms hunger and cravings. In contrast, a diet that doesn’t use a lot of foods and ingredients is not as satisfying.
Prepare most of your own food
You only need to control three things in your diet; what you eat, how much you eat and when you eat. You have more control over all three when you prepare your own food. When someone else makes your food you relinquish a lot of control over all three meaning you have much less control over your diet as a whole.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat out or you need to bring your own food to a family cookout. It just means you want to prepare most of your food most of the time. It also doesn’t mean you need to become a 5-star chef and slave away in the kitchen all day. Just packing a sandwich and a couple pieces of fruit for lunch is an example of this practice.
Observe the 3 Ps at each meal
It’s stressful to micromanage every little detail in each meal in an effort to control your diet. That’s why I recommend paying attention to just 3 main considerations at each meal which I refer to as the 3 Ps.
The three Ps of plant, protein and portion size ensure a satisfying meal without having to read labels, weigh food or worry about cooking techniques. By ensuring you have a source of plant-based food and protein at each meal you’re improving the quality of the meal as a whole. The third P, portion size, applies to the meal as well as how much of each food you have on your plate. Making sure you’re eating enough, but not too much means the meal is a healthy size. Ensuring you have plant and protein sources means you have some room for other things like a starch but it won’t be an excessive amount.
Focus on meals over snacks
Snacking has become more common as our busy lives require grab and go food options instead of whole meals you can sit down and enjoy. This tendency to snack throughout the day means you’re consuming more foods that are heavily processed, often devoid of plants and protein and fail to fully satisfy your appetite. It’s also food that’s prepared by someone else and can be high in sugar and calories.
I enjoy a snack as much as anyone, but I still make sure most of my food is consumed in meals that include a variety of foods. Having a whole meal is a lot more satisfying both from a nutritional and enjoyment perspective.
Be prudent with calorie-laden beverages
Overconsumption is one of the leading causes of chronic dietary stress and beverages can be a big influence on this problem. It’s relatively easy to drink a lot of sugar and calories compared to eating the same amount. This especially applies to sugary beverages like soda, juice and even smoothies. This is also why I often recommend cutting back on how much you drink rather than what you eat when trying to lose weight.
Learn to identify and satisfy emotional appetites
Sometimes it may feel like you can’t get enough and that your appetites are very hard to satisfy. An unending appetite can be caused by a medical condition, but most often it’s not quite knowing what you really need. This can be the case with negative emotional eating where you feel you can’t stop eating because the stress you’re feeling isn’t going away no matter what you eat. Situations like this are an opportunity to think about what’s really causing the stress and dealing with it directly instead of trying to pacify it with food.