From my last two articles, (here) and (here too), we've learned just how simple and relatively easy the minimalist way of eating is. I've also introduced a very simple course that will help you get started eating simply. But you may be wondering, why?
Why should we eat simpler? What's wrong with counting calories or carbs, spending hours juicing every day, or eating only cabbage soup? These very specific diet trends have pro's and con's. For the most part, they are time consuming and aren't a reasonable way to eat long term. One has to be very determined to eat such specified diets for an extended period.
Also consider the possible complications that can occur. Whenever we eat too much of anything, or eliminate whole foods from our diet, we run the risk of nutrient deficiencies, food addiction, and unwanted symptoms that could lead to serious illness.
For example, a major trend in the fitness industry is to drink and eat copious amounts of dairy products to fulfill enormous protein and carbohydrate requirements in order to bulk up. Dairy can be considered a whole food if it is from free range cows who aren't sick, and the milk hasn't been overly pasteurized or fortified. That being said, too much of anything is a bad thing.
It is estimated that about 65% of the population has a reduced ability to digest dairy after childhood. (1) So, 65% of the people consuming all this dairy are in turn placing greater strain on their digestion. When our digestive systems are taxed we start to see inflammation, reduced immunity, reduced absorption of nutrients, and other side effects that could potentially be quite serious.
This could all be avoided if one used their intuition, which is probably telling them that drinking 4 litres of milk a day is too much.
I believe that we all have the intuition to eat right, but we unconsciously choose to ignore it.
Back to the purpose of today's article, eating simply is chalk full of benefits. So many, I can't possibly list them all here, so I've weeded out my top 5 benefits of the minimalist diet. Drinking copious amounts of dairy products isn't one of them, just saying ;)
Eating a simpler diet means paring down our foods to simple whole foods, or real foods as some would say. A simpler diet is also one where we don't eat to excess and we do our best to minimize waste. When we are eating only what our bodies need, using up all the food we buy rather than tossing it out, and eating simple foods that come from nature, we will save money.
But the real savings are in the nutrition. One receives more nourishment per dollar by eating whole foods vs. processed foods, because whole foods are inherently nutrient dense, whereas processed foods contain very little in the way of nutrition. This can translate to the prevention of health care costs and lost time due to illness or death.
2. You Will Feel Better
This isn't going to happen right away, it may take days or even weeks, but you will feel better. Whole foods are nutrient dense, so as you eat more of them they will start to improve any nutrient deficiencies you may have. Because nutrient deficiencies will make you feel bad, eating more whole foods will help make you feel better.
Ditching the processed foods also means you will be cutting out added sugars, preservatives, colourings, flavour enhancers, and other additives that are shown to make one feel like crap. So, you will feel better.
Be warned though, you will feel worse before better, so stick with it through the hard part, which will generally last about 3 days give or take.
3. No More Dietary Confusion
Because The Minimalist Diet goes back to our roots and makes what we eat simple again, it is less confusing. We can stop scouring the main stream health industry for that quick trick to lose belly fat, or how to lose 10 pounds in 10 days.
These diets and supplements don't work in the long term and will possibly leave you malnourished, which in turn makes you feel horrible, so you don't exercise, then you stress because you aren't eating well and getting exercise, so you don't sleep, then you wake up feeling horrible, then you binge eat whatever processed junk perks you up, and the cycle repeats itself.
Eating a simple whole foods diet is gratifying and over time you will find your body will begin to return to homeostasis. Your weight will even out where it should be, your health should improve, and even your stress levels will decrease. There is no need to seek out conflicting advice from the main stream health industry. Just give this way of eating time to take effect.
4. Weight Loss
With how overweight westernized populations are becoming, it is no wonder the weight loss industry is also as "big" and it's scary. People will try anything to slim down. They will stuff themselves with cabbage soup, pop as many pills as it takes, even resort to highly risky elective surgeries. In my opinion this has got to stop.
The weight loss industry scares the shit out of me.
I think it probably accounts for most of the confusion around nutrition. There are so many people who have little to no education about food and the human body selling systems and products to help one lose weight, it's mind boggling. They feed off each other's so called knowledge like vultures and spread misinformation like the plague.
Stubborn weight is such a multi-faceted subject, just changing ones diet and exercise habits alone won't do the trick. Which is why minimalism and the minimalist diet will be so effective for you.
The minimalist diet takes the guess work out of what is healthy what is not. There is no label reading required.
Minimalism helps us heal our minds and our souls. Removing all forms of clutter, from our stuff to toxic relationships, will give us the chance to think. Reducing chaos will reduce stress. Not having to focus on as much "stuff maintenance" frees our time for uplifting activities. So, this lifestyle address all our needs, mind, body, and soul, all of which contribute to weight loss.
5. Dietary Freedom
The minimalist diet is not a "diet" in the mainstream health industry sense. Diet doesn't mean short term fix. It is actually a word that describes how one eats in relation to their health.
The minimalist diet is a lifestyle. It is long lasting, something that can always be improved upon, it is a journey.
If you've tried constricting diets before, you know how draining they can be, and how hard they are to maintain. They demand a certain level of perfection in order to "work".
The minimalist diet gives you freedom. You choose what you eat based on how you feel when and after you eat it. The only caveat is that the food you eat is as close to nature as possible, or a whole food. Beyond that you shape your diet, making it highly individualized. Hence, giving you the ultimate dietary freedom.
If you love what I'm saying and want a little help getting started with the minimalist diet, consider the Simply Food Program.
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