Nutrition advice is about as ubiquitous as breathing. We’ve all sought it out at some point, just as we’ve all doled it out from time to time. Don’t deny it.
So why does something as simple as eating seem so complicated? Why are there conflicting guidelines? How are we supposed to know what’s healthy and what isn’t?
It’s time to cut through all the crap and deliver what’s taken me years of research and personal experience to figure out. It’s not complicated. It’s not complex. Healthy eating is very simple and can be summed up in a few nice equations.
Fat + Protein > Carbohydrates
You’ve probably heard of the Keto Diet by now. If not, you don’t have an Internet connection or have no friends in Crossfit. The gospel preached by Keto is that carbs are bad so basically avoid nearly all of them as much as possible. That’s over simplifying, but not far off.
But here’s the thing. Our bodies need carbohydrates. However, those of us who are children of the 80’s and 90’s will recall a Food Pyramid that recommended a trillion servings of grains each day. Just because we need carbohydrates, doesn’t mean we need a steady diet of bread and rice.
All you need to do is eat more fat and protein than carbohydrates. That’s literally it. I don’t care if your split is 51–49 or 90–10. Just get more calories from fat and protein than you do from carbs and you’re good.
Do you want to go full Keto and practically eliminate carbs? Go ahead. Do you want to try the Starch Solution and eat a ton of carbs? Great, just keep them to under 50% of calories. The important thing to keep in mind is that if you eat something high in carbs, you need to balance it out with something high in fat and/or protein.
Some refer to this as counting macros. Call it whatever you want. Just look at the food labels, or if eating produce, look it up online or on an app, and check out the nutrition information. You can find the fat, protein and carbohydrate levels of basically every food on earth whether it’s in a package or not.
Find those levels, and focus on getting your fat and protein higher than your carbs. That’s the first equation.