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The #1 Nutrition Myth: Food is either “Bad” or “Good” Food

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You hear it all the time:

  • “Carbs are so bad for you. They are the reason you gain weight.”
  • “I try to avoid anything refined.”
  • “I only eat bad food on the weekends.”

When I hear things like this, I have to laugh.  Two years ago, I would have agreed with each of these statements.  In fact, I would have probably taken it a step further and told you everyone should have a list of foods they eat and should not eat. A “naughty” and “nice” list, if you will.  The list looked something like this:

“Naughty”

“Nice”

Chips

Fruits

Pizza

Veggies
Doughnuts

Lean Meats

Cookies

Nuts & Seeds

Candy

Sprouts & Legumes

Today, I have completely abandoned this logic, and I want to tell you why.

Most of us, in some shape or form, have an unbalanced relationship with food. At some point, we were told some foods were “good” or some were “bad.”  The second you adopted this logic, you attached emotion to food.  Adding an emotional element to food also means you can use it as a coping mechanism when something unfavorable is happening your life.  This can be as small as a bad day at work, a big fight with a significant other, or a major life event like death or divorce.  

For me, it was when my dad passed. My entire family would mask our sadness with food… and more food… and, you guessed it, more food.

As I got older, this relationship turned worse for me.  My solution was a “naughty” and “nice” list.  When I was a good boy, I would reward myself with a blackout night of drinking and pizza at 2 A.M. When I was a bad boy, I would eat grilled chicken, salad, no carbs, little fat, and absolutely ZERO junk food.

Unfortunately, this dug me deeper and deeper into this terrible relationship. I would eat “clean” all week and then on Saturday, I’d pick up a bag of chips and not stop until it was all gone. Effectively, I was erasing all the progress I had made during the week.  The mindset was so extreme and  addicting, it was very hard to break.

We all suffer from some version of food-as-reward or the “eat well Monday-Friday and cheat Saturday-Sunday” complex.

We all suffer from believing some food is “good” and other food is “bad.”

Hell, the media and internet have found ways to make enormous amounts of money promoting and celebrating these ideas.  They are all around you and you don’t even realize it.

Well, I disagree with their shameless tactics. And I care about finding solutions to our bad habits and toxic beliefs.

Here’s the deal: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS GOOD FOOD OR BAD FOOD. RE-READ THAT.

All food is either nutrient dense or not.  

Oreos, Skittles, and cheesecake still have nutrients. Do they contain as many vitamins and minerals as chicken or broccoli? No, of course they don’t. Will they help you get a six pack on their own? Nope. Will they fuel your 30 minute burner workout? Not as well as other foods.

But can you still indulge in foods like them that you enjoy, and still stay lean and mean?

Hell YEA!  In fact, I’ve seen tons of my friends do it.

Just like we learned in the past five articles, balance and mindset are the keys to sustainable, long term nutrition.  Anyone can go on a diet and follow a “naughty” and “nice” list.  But eventually that motivation will wear off, you will start binging, and you will be back to square one. BIG FAT FAIL (no pun intended).

So, whether you want to lose weight, gain muscle, or just have more energy, your success depends on finding the right mix of these macronutrients for YOU. Not for the other guys or girls at the gym, not what you read one time on the internet, but something designed specifically for you.  

And that’s why at Strengthlete, we have created a New Food Pyramid. This pyramid flips what we learned in grade school on its head and values one thing above all: Food Balance. I encourage you to print it out and stick it on your fridge.

strengthlete-nutrition-pyramid-v2-1-copy

When you check out the pyramid, you’ll see we’ve done two things that no one else has or will:

#1 – We built in indulgences.  

There is no reason not to indulge. Depriving yourself of food or overindulging is a mind fuck. Don’t do it. Have your favorites, but notice where they are on the pyramid.

#2 – We are a supplement company that puts supplements where they belong.

Contrary to what “business experts” would say will help us make our wallets fat, we have placed supplements in the middle of the pyramid. But that’s where they belong.  For them to work, you must use them properly in conjunction with food. They don’t work alone. You need to have balance in food first, supplements second.

As I mentioned above, print the pyramid. Keep one at  your desk and one on the fridge.

Although the science of nutrition can be broken down into simple terms, executing it day in and day out is rarely simple.  We all have dieting demons, insecurities, and reasons we have not succeeded on diets in the past.  The key to implementing something that will work over longer periods of time is developing a plan that is tailored to you, your life, your schedule, and your preferences.  All other ways will eventually fail.  

All you need to do is complete the assessment questionnaire.  

This will help me learn a little where you are and what’s slowing you down, where you’d like to go, and how I can help you get there.  Once you complete the questionnaire, I will be in touch to discuss your answers and determine what to do next.  Lastly, make sure to join our community on facebook to join other CFJC members and Strengthlete clients from all over the country!
Ready to see how much food knowledge you have digested (see what I did there)? Take the Nutrition Quiz now!