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How to eat healthy – 10 tips

Updated: March 6th, 2013

Confused about this? So is everyone else. Even the “experts”.

There are countless opinions, methods, books, and bulls**t out there about how to eat healthy.

Let me try to make it simple for you. Here is my best attempt to summarize how to eat healthy in 10 simple tips.


Some smarty-pants might say: “It’s simple! Just eat according to the national food guidelines!” Actually… no, it’s not that simple. 1

As a healthcare professional and amateur athlete, nutrition is of particular interest to me. However, it’s certainly not my area of expertise. Therefore, I won’t get into a lot of research or boring stuff here. Just 10 simple tips that I feel summarizes the fundamentals of almost every respectable nutritional ideology. I do plan on writing more about this and the research of nutrition in the future.

For now, just the foundation:

1. Eat vegetables. A lot of them. You knew that already? Well, do you eat a lot of them? Didn’t think so. This is the most obvious, fundamental idea that the vast majority of people simply don’t practice. People seem to rather take their vegetables in concentrated pill form. Unfortunate.

2. Stop being terrified of fat. Many fats are good for you. There’s even debate about whether or not saturated fats are all that bad. Low fat foods usually have added sugar, which makes them arguably no better.

2.1 What are bad fats? It’s those weird ‘hydrogenated’ and ‘trans’ fats found in junk food. Which brings me to my next point.

3. Avoid processed “junk” food. And foods with lots of added sugar. Eat real food. If you can’t recognize the ingredients, it’s probably not good for you. Oh you knew this already? See number 1.

3.1 Do not demonize particular foods. Stop saying “cheat meal”. Go ahead, have the cookie (just don’t eat the whole box). Don’t cultivate a bad relationship with food. Enjoy it. Moderation etc.

4. Don’t ignore calories – eat them. Calories matter. If people try to tell you any different, they are selling you an ideology  - a book or something. Calories may not be the whole story for weight loss, and everyone is different… but to act like calories don’t matter is ridiculous. Furthermore, I’m not saying you need to reduce them  - sometimes, people get too little, especially people who are very active.

Don’t starve yourself. Please. Thanks.

5. Tons of protein isn’t necessary. If you eat real, whole foods, you probably get enough protein. Protein makes you feel full, so eating more might help you if you’re trying to reduce calories. Same with fiber (which should be fine if you’re following tip #1).

5.1. If you are a vegetarian/vegan, you’re probably fine, but I’d pay some attention to this.

6. Some people just can’t eat <insert food group here>. This only matters if you have trouble with your guts. Yes, some people are sensitive to gluten, lactose intolerant, etc. It’s best to talk to your doctor about these things, and/or simply experiment with cutting particular things out. But to say that “gluten is killing you” and asserting that we are all meant to eat a particular way is again, ridiculous.

7. Supplements? Meh… only if you might have a nutritional deficiency.

7.1. There is some hope for Vitamin D, Omega 3′s, and Probiotics – from the research I’ve paid attention to. But that’s a maybe. And if you follow the tips above, you probably don’t even need a multivitamin!
7.2. If you’re a hardcore bodybuilder or powerlifter, Creatine and protein powders might help.

8. Learn to cook. Get out of the habit of eating out. Plus it’s fun. And sexy.

9.1. Stop snacking. Eat meals.

9. Eat with people. Eating together is something every culture has enjoyed. Eat with family and friends every chance you get. Food isn’t just fuel – it’s culturally, socially, and psychologically significant.

10. Stop reading about nutrition on the internet. Even here.

These tips are for a long term, sustainable diet for good health and an active lifestyle. If you want to lose/gain weight or be a super athlete, you may have to adjust your diet accordingly. But no matter what your goals are, these 10 tips will likely hold true – at least as the foundation.


Disclaimer: Nutrition is a terrible topic to write about. I almost regret it already.

It’s probably the most controversial, yet most scientifically immature topic that I am aware of. A lot of opinions; very little reliable science. There are countless self-proclaimed guru’s who profit from people with a low self esteem and/or genuine health concerns. There are more scams and even dangerous information than there are credible sources of information. There is a lot of money to be made from this topic. Therefore, information is ferociously criticized by both researchers as well as business competitors.

Since it isn’t exactly my area of expertise, I am likely setting myself up to receive similar criticism. Oh well.

If you want to discuss this list, comment below! Constructive criticism is welcome! But selling garbage is not.

Peace!

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    11 Responses to How to eat healthy – 10 tips

    1. Vince says:

      Hey Tony! Stumbled onto your blog by way of some friends on facebook; I’m a Bboy from SoCal and a graduate student at UCLA (in the field of Public Health) and I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to see individuals in the culture that contribute to it through more academic, informative means. I’m busy reading your posts at the moment and I definitely like what I’m reading! Keep it up!

      And as for this particular article, I definitely agree with you about there being very little credible sources of information on such an important topic.

    2. Tony Ingram says:

      Hey Vince!
      Great to hear from you! Glad to know the blog is reaching people. Especially happy to hear that a bboy with a background such as yourself can appreciate what I am doing. If you ever have any comments or criticisms to add, do not hesitate. It can only make things better.

      Glad you agree. I also wish not to come off as thinking I am a definitive source on nutrition. I’m a physical therapist, after all, not a dietitian. But I do keep close tabs on the research and popular literature. Hopefully people find this stuff useful.

      Peace!

    3. Moňa says:

      Hey ! I like your site. Im an amateur bgirl from Czech republic, well, but since when I´ve began studying chemistry, i can´t help myself in being crazy looking for the right food to improve myself. I´ve just one more question I can´t solve – is it good for a bboy to be a vegetarian?? I haven´t been eating meat as a child and i started eating it with bboying, but now I´m not sure about the need of meat in breakdance. But the true is, that I used to do gymnastics as a girlie and didn´t get better than so fast like nowadays in adult eating meat..do you know something about this case? thanx.. :)

      • Tony Ingram says:

        Hi Mona! Pretty interesting. You mean you find you are now learning faster than you did when you were young, and the only difference you can think of is that now you eat meat?

        Haha, the meat eater in me wants to use this as proof that eating meat is better for you! But I’ll avoid the temptation! :D

        A lot of people believe that kids learn things faster than adults, but I’m not so sure if that’s really true. You may be learning b-girling faster now because of your experience with gymnastics. Or, you may just love dancing because its awesome. It may have nothing to do with eating meat at all!

        I don’t think there is anything wrong with being a bgirl or bboy vegetarian, and I know a few personally.

        As long as you are eating in a generally healthy way, getting adequate nutrients overall, it probably doesn’t matter if your diet includes meat or not. Eating meat can make it easier to get some nutrients, but it does not mean vegetarians can’t get what they need.

        I’d say keep eating however you like, and whatever makes you feel the best.

        That’s my opinion. I will write more about nutrition in the future with references and research to back it up. But hopefully this response helps for now! Thanks for commenting! Subscribe and like me on facebook! :D Peace!

    4. Redkid says:

      Good stuff indeed. I think the overall community has been needing a site like this for very long. Bboy’s are in general very busy talking about the depths of our culture yet we seem to be only concerned with superficial issues (for the most part). I am glad that you are helping de-stereo type bboy culture by proving that one can bboy and achieve a high level of knowledge. which is exactly what I am trying to do with my own blog (it’s on Philosophy and politics mainly). I read some of your posts and found it quite interesting. In order to elevate our culture and obtain more acknowledgement within society we need to create science that is relevant but also bboy specific. so keep it up dude :D Knowledge is key !

      Bboy Redkid – 5 Crew Dynasty

      • Tony Ingram says:

        Thanks Redkid! Your blog looks awesome, I am definitely going to give it a read!

        I appreciate what you said about about achieving knowledge and still bboying. You’re damn right people can achieve a lot and still bboy. I didn’t even start dancing seriously until I was already in University. People were skeptical about it, and told me I should concentrate on school. I knew that I loved dancing, and I could do well without having to sacrifice marks. It almost motivated me to prove the point to myself and others that I wasn’t too old or too busy to learn something new. So I did it.

        It’s probably something every bboy should do, since only the top few percent of bboys become professional dancers, and I doubt it pays that well, or is sustainable as a stable lifetime career. Don’t get me wrong, I hope things change and bboys can do what they love and still provide for their families, I truly do. But presently, it’s not likely! Bboys, read books and learn lessons. Peace!

        P.S. I enjoy talking about this but we are getting off topic here lol.

        Eat your veggies! :D

    5. Liz says:

      #8 and #9–that’s plenty for me. Your summary is most accurate. My BS is in nutrition (old).

    6. Tim Irving says:

      This is 100% true. If anyone tells you otherwise, chances are, they’re making money from the false info they’re telling you.

    7. Sean solo says:

      Good stuff brother!

      Im a vegan bboy and mostly eat raw. It’s the key to energy, health, and self-love.

      Thank you for knowing your stuff and sharing it.

      Blessings
      Namaste

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