MY DIET GUIDELINES: HOW I EAT TO STAY HEALTHY, LEAN & FIT
Most people have a misconception about the term “diet”. We're all guilty of sometimes hearing the word “diet” and thinking about the fad diets like “the grape diet” or the “loose 10 pounds in 10 days” diet. Which, let's face it, should be called “loose 10 pounds and 10 days and then gain 15 pounds back in 5 days”…
But a diet really is just a word that describes your eating habits. You can’t be on a diet, you have a diet.
And if you’re on a diet, stop right there! I don’t care which one it is, it’s most likely not healthy. Because if you’re on a diet, it’s probably not gonna be permanent, and you’re most likely trying to loose weight by eating less or by depriving yourself. And we all know that’s not gonna work long term. And the secret everybody knows is: Once you start eating normally again, you’ll gain all that weight back, if not more, and you’ll be shooting your metabolism on the way.
It must be obvious now after that intro that I’m not on a diet. Yet, I’m skinny as shit, but in a lean, fit way. And I still have muscles and strength, and I eat. I eat everything I want, without falling into excess and gobbling down 3 slices of cake. And if I do once, I don’t beat myself up for it. Because I balance it out by eating healthy the rest of the time, and I live by the philosophy that well, you gotta live a little. Life is short, so I don’t see the point of living it in a way that makes me unhappy.
It took me a while to find a diet that makes me happy and leaves me fulfilled while being healthy and good for my body, and it’s definitely been a journey. I’m still learning every day about new super-foods, cool ingredients and delicious recipes, but I constantly use these 3 points of reference to check-up on my own diet and make sure everything runs smoothly:
Diet Guideline #1: Personalize It!
Basically, to work for you, your diet has to be for you. I don’t believe in sticking to a super specific diet and then following everything exactly, thinking that it’s gonna do for you exactly what it did for someone else. Sure, you can take some guidelines, specific recipes and inspiration from someone else’s diet. But we’re all so different from one another, whether it’s because of metabolism, genetic makeup, allergies, and even tastes, that I think it’s vital to test things out and see if they work for you and then only doing what makes YOU feel good, not someone else.
That’s also the reason why I would never tell anyone what they should eat. First and foremost, I’m not a nutritionist, so I’d be talking way out of my ass, and second, I don’t believe that what works for me works for everyone. I simply share my tricks and tips and what makes me feel good, hoping that it’ll help other people find what makes them feel good.
I like to check myself (before I wreck myself) every few weeks and see how I feel about the food I’m eating. A bit like self-awareness does for the mind, I also think body-awareness is super important. I’ll constantly re-assess my diet and see what I should eat more of, less of, or just eliminate because it doesn’t make me feel good.
Diet Guideline #2: Find The Perfect Balance
A diet, much like everything else in life, works best when it’s balanced. “Balance” is a word I love because I feel like it’s a perpetual challenge to find just the perfect balance and stay on top of it. In my head, I kinda picture myself standing up on top of an old fashioned scale. If I add a piece of cake in the left plate, then you can be sure I’ll be adding veggies and fiber on the other plate. And that’s balance.
And the thing is, it’s a constant mission, because as you add something to one plate, the other one always shifts, so you have to bring it back to a place where you’re not falling deep into one side or the other. It sounds like a lot of work, but once you know yourself and you’ve nailed the first principle of finding what works for you, it’s actually easy. I even find it fun because I see it as a challenge!
To me, it’s crazy to deprive yourself if you want to eat something, simply because we all know when that restriction fails, shit hits the fan big time. Instead of eating a piece of chocolate every day after lunch, you might just loose it and eat an entire cake at the end of the week, and that’s just stupid.
Instead, I try to find ways to eat healthy, while still eating things that I love, so it doesn’t even feel like I’m missing out. I like bacon. And chocolate, fried food, and a lot of other things that aren’t considered super healthy. But instead of keeping myself from going into any place that serves bacon, I’ll just have one or two slices here and there, and I’ll pair that with a nice avocado toast or a healthy salad.
Diet Guideline #3: Keep It Stable
I’m not saying you should eat the same thing everyday, because that would be boring as hell. But it’s a well-known fact that our bodies respond well to a routine, wether it’s about sleep or diet. I REALLY love to eat, so that means I also like to cook different meals every day and try new foods… I’m all about a varied menu at our house, in fact, we rarely eat the same thing for dinner more than once a month… BUT, that doesn’t mean I don’t have a routine.
Every day, I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a few snacks in between, and almost always at the same hours. That’s routine.
On weekdays, I also eat almost the same thing for breakfast and lunch. Not like the same thing every day, but I constantly keep 2-3 things on rotation, and then after a while I might switch one of those for something new. For example, if one week I'm eating avocado toast, bone broth and Scandinavian salad, the next week I'll switch the salad for borscht. And then the week after, I'll switch bone broth for healthy pizzas.
Also, regardless of what I eat, I try to keep my diet high in fiber and protein, to avoid processed foods as much as possible and to eat a lot of veggies. So while the meals and ingredients might change, there’s always a certain stability to my diet.
Alright guys, writing about bacon and chocolate kind of made me hungry, so I’ll go for a snack now… Hope these tips and guidelines are helpful and will help some of you make adjustments that’ll make you feel better, because that’s what it’s all about.
Let me know if and how you’re already implementing any of these tips or if you have any others that work well for you. As always, you can hit me up in the comments below or on Instagram.
Talk to you guys soon!
Love, Jenny xx