Now before we get into some of the things we want you guys to limit during the challenge, we wanted to put an emphasis on the real goal of the be better challenge… to eat more real foods!
You might be saying “Guys, what are real foods? What on earth are you talking about?” Well, real foods are just that… they’re real. They don’t usually come in a package or a box. They almost never have an ingredient list. They definitely aren’t made by man or processed in a factory. They usually come from the ground or from an animal.
Real foods are what you want the bulk of your diet to be made up of. They include meats, fish, whole fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds. Real foods are the food without anything added to it. It’s the thing that came out of the ground, or was picked off a tree, or was walking in a pasture or swimming in water. Don’t think about it too much, real foods are just real.
Tips to Maximize Realness
Stick to the perimeter of the grocery store. They keep most of the real stuff around the outside of the grocery store… produce, meats, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, etc. That’s because real foods don’t have a super long shelf life (aka they go bad eventually) while processed foods can sit on a shelf and stay exactly the same for a long time because they’ve been pumped with chemicals to prolong their life.
Learn how to read nutrition labels & ingredient lists. Knowing what you’re looking at is huge when considering whether a food is one you should be incorporating into your daily diet.
If it has an ingredient list, especially one longer than 5 items, steer clear. This means that food is DEFINITELY processed. Also try to avoid added sugars and sweeteners in foods… more on this later though.
Things Commonly Mistaken as Real Foods… that aren’t
deli meat & cheese
tv or frozen dinners
foods that are fried in processed oils (chicken fingers, french fries, etc.)
All right, that’s enough. Go get eating!