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Eating 101


Whenever anyone says they are starting a “diet,” it is usually something temporary in an effort to lose 20 pounds in a month or the last 10 before their wedding. Diets never work because there is a temporary plan and a temporary goal. After that goal is achieved ( if it is achieved) the person goes back to how they were eating before and gains all the weight back.


With a lifestyle, someone may have a particular way of eating, but it’s because (1) it’s healthy, (2) they feel better eating that way and (3) it helps them reach both their short-term and their long-term goals.


Are you ready to go on a diet? Or are you ready to change your life?


At Defiance West, we believe that there is not a one-size-fits-all way of eating for everyone. For the majority of us, what is written below works well. We suggest giving this a try and making adjustments as needed.


PROTEIN at every meal. Poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, meat, pork.

NON-STARCHY VEGGIES at every meal, or at least at lunch and dinner. Peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, zucchini, onions, kale, collard greens, etc.

STARCHY VEGGIES / TUBERS, AND HEALTHIER GRAINS . Sweet potato, potato, winter squash (butternut, acorn, etc.), quinoa, and rice (white or brown), oats. All of these are fine, but can be overeaten, so watch your portion sizes.

Weight loss: This will be different depending on your size, gender, and the amount of exercise you do.

Women: Limit this to 1/2 cup at 2 meals Men: Limit this to 1 cup at 2 meals

Weight gain: Have more of these, but make sure you’re still getting plenty of protein and fat. Too much starch leads to fat gain instead of muscle gain.

Athletes: Make sure you include these in your diet to give you enough fuel for your workouts. It’s especially to include this in the meal immediately prior and post-workout.

HEALTHY FATS Avocado, olive oil (don’t cook at high heats), coconut oil (can cook at high heats), olives, nuts (have a variety), seeds (have a variety).

Weight loss: Stick to 1-2 handful of nuts or ½ avocado at a time. Measure the oil you use to cook, and use no more than 1 tablespoon per meal.

Weight gain: Eat up!

FRUITS Whole, fresh fruit (as opposed to dried fruit or juice) is encouraged. Don’t have more than 3/day.

LIMIT DRIED FRUIT AND FRUIT JUICE Dried fruit and fruit juice are condensed portions of the fresh fruit, the former without the natural water and the latter without the fiber. Condensed = more calories and more sugar (albeit natural), which can lead to fat gain.

ALCOHOL These are just empty calories. If you’re having a cocktail with loads of added sugar, you’ve just made it worse.

“BETTER” SUGARS Honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar are all better options than refined sugar, but should be limited.


GLUTEN Avoid anything with wheat, rye and barley including most bread, pasta, bagels, cereals, croissants, pizza, etc.

REFINED SUGAR Sugar in general is not a healthy choice, but you make it worse by choosing foods with regular refined sugar.

SOY Soy can affect your hormones, whether you’re male or female, and it’s best to avoid in large quantities. Have coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.

FAKE / PROCESSED Margarine, non-calorie sweeteners, fake meats, etc. (i.e. Eat real food.)


DAIRY Find out if you’re dairy sensitive by taking 3 weeks off dairy and see if you feel better. Even if you can digest it well, you might find it makes you congested or your skin break out. If that’s the case, avoid it. If not, keep it in your diet. Have whatever fat % you like best. Greek and Icelandic yogurts are better than regular as they have more protein.

LEGUMES Some believe legumes have a toxic coating, while others believe that if you prepare them properly (soak overnight, rinse, cook well) that they are fine. Determine for yourself – how do you feel after eating legumes?

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