My diet has changed a lot over the past 20 years. As it changes, as I try new approaches, I want to share with you what I’m learning continually.
First thing first: my diet is not perfect. Patients seemed surprised to hear that I like M&M’s, ice cream, and my wife’s amazing homemade pizza.
Saying that I make sure these items are treats I have once or twice a week. Never daily.
Many of you may not know that I hold a license in Nutritional Counseling. Nutrition has fascinated me ever since I was a chubby kid in high school just wanted to get in shape.
I know without a doubt the hardest thing for patients is to deal with conflicting information. So please bear with me here.
My goal is to continually educate you on the best science as I keep studying and experimenting with my diet.
Let me start with a reminder to always do the best with where you’re at and what you know. Don’t let yourself be discouraged by new information.
The driving desire behind my diet to allow my body to feel healthy, energized first thing in the morning, stay lean and strong, and be able to function in everyday life without pain.
Through my trial and error over the years I’ve discovered what works well for me.
I’m a huge believer in keeping things simple.
At one point in my journey, I was overwhelmed by my diet and exercise. I was doing way too much and what I learned was only 2-3 key action steps made a difference.
At one point I worked out 5-6 days a week, ate 100% organic foods, a ton of veggies, and I consumed hundreds of dollars worth of supplements every month.
I’m just about a year away from 40, and my approach to eating is very different from when I started my journey to live healthier way back in high school.
So here we go. Let me share the three most effective eating strategies I use.
STEP ONE: I eat a very low carb diet. I started by staying below 50g of carbs a day. I feel my absolute best when I stay below 20g. My energy levels feel superhuman at times. I sleep so good and wake up feeling like I drank coffee. I also notice my joints feel fantastic by keeping my carbs low. What I learned through my study is there are no essential carbs. Meaning if you stopped eating carbs altogether nothing terrible will happen to you. At first, you may feel weird, but your body adapts pretty quick.
STEP TWO: I gave up caffeine. Let me say this: I loved my daily Starbucks. I started drinking caffeine daily after graduating from chiropractic school. I drank coffee every day for ten years. It was tough to stop, but I feel amazing. I wouldn’t say I liked feeling addicted to anything. As my diet improved, I still had some weird health challenges with my digestion and skin. The best part of quitting caffeine is my sleep. I sleep SO WELL now. I literally wake up with a ton of energy.
STEP THREE: I fast 16-18 hours from my last meal. So here’s how this works. I eat the same amount of food, probably more. I eat the majority at night. I’ll feast at dinner and then wait at least 16 hours before eating again. I eat most of my food between 1 and 8 pm. Yes, I often feel hungry, but I refrain from eating. I have a lot more energy because my body taps into my body fat for fuel. This strategy helps me stay lean without really trying. I never count calories either. I think calories are mostly irrelevant. Some excellent studies prove that cutting calories to lose weight is vastly subpar compared to fasting. These studies mean if you want to lose weight and keep it off focus on eating less frequently (as opposed to eating less by counting calories).