Episode Highlights

00:01:39 Eating Healthily
00:05:00 How do you know that you’re eating healthy
00:06:55 How our Gut works
00:08:25 Why do we need to eat healthily?
00:11:19 Why do we need protein in our diet?
00:15:45 Tracking your diet



Welcome to the Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast, where you can learn how to improve your diet, lose fat and get fitter in a sustainable and fun way without spending hours in the gym. Here is your host, Darren Kirby.

Darren: Welcome back to the podcast, guys. This is the number one podcast for men in their 40s who want to improve their health using nutrition and fitness. This is episode 109. And on today’s episode, it’s going to be yours truly talking about the topic of healthy eating. But before we dive into that, I just want to take a moment to mention the show’s sponsors, athletic greens. Now, as many of you know who are regular listeners, I advocate getting all of our vitamins and nutrients from a good real nutrient-dense food. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible with the busyness of life, family and careers. We don’t always do as optimally as we might like to. And so athletic greens for me personally are a bit of an insurance policy. I take it on a daily basis. It has over 75 different vitamins and minerals in it. And it just kind of ensures that I am getting the right amount of nutrients and vitamins in my diet. And for the listeners of the podcast, athletic greens are offering you a 10% discount off of your first order. So if you go over to athleticgreens.com/fitterhealthierdad, you can get 10% off your first order. So let’s dig into today’s episode.

And I just want to give you some backstory, really, about how today’s episode has come about. Now, healthily, Eating healthily is, I think, one of the most commonly missed overused phrases or terms that I hear quite regularly. And today’s kind of brought it to a head because we’ve recently launched our new online program. And in order to join that program, we go through a bit of a survey and then we get on a call with the clients that want to work with us. And actually, we just open the app to ladies as well. So fitterhealthiermom or fitterhealthierladies, whatever you want to call it. But interestingly enough, both in the survey and on the conversations that we have with this prospective client, can’t say, can’t get my words out is the when we’re going through their history and we’re talking about what they want to achieve, when we’re talking about their goals in general, the most common kind of sentence they use is that, yeah, I want to get fit. I want to get healthier on a leash more. I want to lose some weight and yeah, my diet. So. Right. I eat healthily. And I’ve heard that probably 90% of the phone calls that I’ve had and some of the team have had with prospective clients. So I just want to address this, because I think he’s just kind of saying and we don’t really fully think about what that means. So what does eating healthily mean? Well, I guess in a general sense, we think about if we’re eating healthily, we’re not necessarily eating a lot of takeaways.

We’re not eating junk food. We’re not drinking a lot of alcohol. And you would like to assume. When people say that they’re eating good home cooked food and the reason I say home cooked food is because you’re generally building meals from scratch. You get all the ingredients and you’re creating it in the kitchen. And so, you know, the assumption that it’s being made is that you’re eating healthy. And I would say, by and large, that would be the case. Right. So it makes sense that if you are having a dish that you’ve made yourself in the kitchen, which consists of, you know, if you’re a traditional eating some meat or some fish, some vegetables and some potatoes or some rice or some pasta, you would like to think that is healthy. And, you know, if you are getting a similar food that you could cook in the kitchen, like, I don’t know, something like an abalones or something like that, but you’re getting out of a pocket and you’re sticking it in the microwave. That’s not healthy. And the reason that’s not healthy is because of the additives and the preservatives that are put in those foods in order to get them from the factory to your plate without being off, essentially. And so that’s not as healthy. But, you know, how do you know that you’re eating healthy, as I’ve just said? You make an assumption because.

You’re eating meat, you’re fishing, vegetables and things like that. That is healthy. But one thing that I just want to share is that we as humans, I guess we we we just kind of seem to follow the crowd and we either follow the, you know, the kind of the upbringing that we’ve had in our education around food from when we were younger, or we follow our peers or maybe what we’ve been marketed to on TV and in the supermarkets. But how do you really know that what you’re eating is healthy for you? So we all have what’s called a gut microbiome. And a gut microbiome is individual to all of us. It has trillions of different bacteria in our gut. And our guts are kind of like fingerprints in so much as they’re unique. They’re all unique to us. We have diverse gut bacteria, gut flora as it is also termed. And it’s unique to all of us. And so the reason I mention this is because what’s healthy to me and my gut and my gut, Flora, is perhaps not healthy in the same way to people listening to this podcast. And really, the only way that you can determine that is by having a gut health test where you have your gut microbiome tested and you get the results back from my lab and they tell you about the diversity within your gut. And a good example of this is that when we’re thinking about healthy food and healthy vegetables, you know, the popular vegetable that people talk about, particularly in the nutrition space, is kale. And that we should have kale movies, kale this and kale that.

We’re actually kale for some people is completely toxic when you ingest it and it goes into your gut. So plant based foods have nitrates. That’s how they protect themselves. OK, so an animal will protect itself by attacking another animal or fending off that animal, whereas a plant can do that, obviously. So it releases chemicals and things like that to protect itself from bugs and other things that it has to deal with in the big wide world. And yeah, for some people’s guts, Kale is absolutely toxic. And you will not you wouldn’t necessarily get an allergic reaction, but you would get a reaction in your gut. And they might not be you might not necessarily feel it. But with our gut brain connection, we have the vagus nerve that goes from the gut to our brain that can send inflammatory signals up to the black brain. Sorry, I can’t say what my brain is today, and it would cause inflammation on the brain. So that’s just one example. So what I’m rambling on a little bit on this topic, but what I’m trying to say is that what was healthy to me is not necessarily healthy to you. And so when we’re sort of talking about, i.e., healthily, how do you really know? And I guess, you know, you might be thinking, well, how far do I really want to go with this? And it really depends on your goals and what your intention is, why you want to eat healthily.

We eat healthily because we want to maintain good health, which means we maintain a good quality of life. But with the people that we work with, the majority of people we work with come to us because they want to make a change. And so they want to in the majority of cases, they want to drop weight. We do have a few people that weight is not the issue that’s here in reverse. She struggled to put on weight, which is a different topic entirely. And so when it relates to eating healthily, are you eating healthily in relation to what it is you’re trying and trying to do what you’re trying to achieve? So when it comes to weight loss in general, we want to be in a calorie deficit. So we want to eat, you know, less calories more than what we usually do. So that when there is a calorie deficit the body naturally adapts when we start to drop weight. But then there’s the other side of this, and that is macronutrients, which is being talked about a lot more. And in the world of fitness and nutrition now more than what it has done in the last five years, I think.

But the majority of people, guys specifically that we work with when we analyze it and we do a baseline of their diet, we track their diet over seven days and we genuinely use the app for more fitness power. And what that app allows you to do, it allows you to break down the food into the three main macronutrient groups, which is proteins, fats and carbohydrates. And when we look at it generally, 99.9% of the time, most men and this can go for ladies as well. The macronutrient breakdown is out of balance in relation to what they’re trying to achieve. So what I mean by that is. The body needs carbohydrates, which is the first macronutrient I talk about, and I’ve talked about this on previous episodes and many times before, because it’s the carbohydrate that is the body’s primary fuel source. But how many people listening to this podcast know what the foods are, which are predominantly carbohydrates? A very basic, simple term. Potatoes, rice, bread, and pasta are your carbohydrates. And then we talk about protein. Protein comes from either fish meat. And if you’re a vegetarian, it comes from beans and legumes. So chickpeas and things like that. So that’s a protein source. And we need protein in the diet to maintain lean muscle mass. That’s essentially the fuel tank for which your carbohydrates get stored in your muscle.

This is not talking about becoming a bodybuilder. This is just about maintaining lean muscle mass, because as we get older, our natural muscles start to waste away. So we need to make sure we’ve got enough protein in our diet. And when it comes to weight loss, generally, depending on what you’re doing to help with that weight loss, if you’re if you’re doing a lot of fitness, then you would probably need to have a good balance, a good ratio of fat, of proteins to carbohydrates. And then the final one is fast. Now, fats have been demonized for the last 70 years. Thanks to Dr. Ancel Keys in the US, who did a study and determined that saturated fat was bad for us and would, quote, cause cardiovascular disease, which is not 100% correct. So we need fats in our diet. But that doesn’t mean we need fried chicken types of fats. We need a good kind of omega3 fats that come from avocados, that come from oily fish, that come from olive oil. And we need that as a ratio in our diet. So when it comes back to what I’m talking about, the topic of the day of eating healthily, we need to break all of that down so that we know what to eat in our diet, so that we know that we are actually eating healthily in relation to what it is you’re trying to achieve.

So like you said, it could be a weight loss goal, it could be general health. But just using this term of “I eat healthily” is kind of, I guess unless you’re tracking it, you’re kind of fooling yourself because you don’t really understand what that means or you don’t really understand you haven’t got a measure of that now. Like I said, the way that we measure that is using my fitness pals, so we get a baseline. The other area that I want to talk about is where we live. It generally goes well during the week, but then when it comes to the weekend, it’s party time. And I’m not going to say the wheels fall off, but we will have our heads down and we eat good food and we eat. We drink a lot of alcohol and we watch some sweet snack savory snacks for the rest of it, which is fine. And I’m not demonizing that. But everything in moderation. Right. So if you’ve been good for five days of the week and it comes to the weekend and you absolutely let your hair down, you pretty much can undo a lot of the good stuff that you’ve done throughout the last five days. And again. Sometimes this can become unconscious or is an unconscious act. And you think, wow, now I’ve been good in the week and can let me let my hair down this weekend, and you can largely but not to extreme excess and not continually.

Each weekend, because what happens is a net result. Over the seven days, you’ll probably find that you are either in the calorie surplus or you’re not getting the right balance of macronutrients in your diet. So I’m not saying on this podcast, don’t do that. I do that. I do let my hair down and I do Ben sometimes, but I’m aware. So awareness is key. And then on top of that, I actually kind of backtracking over to the week where some people might. They might be good at breakfast. They might be good at lunch, might be good at dinner even. And then when it comes to the evening and this is where the cravings kick in. So you’ve been perfect throughout the day. You’ve had a good, healthy, in inverted commas, diet throughout the day. You’re sitting on the sofa at night and then you start to snack and then you start to binge. But in your mind, the conversation you’re having with yourself is fine. I’ve been eight one day. I deserve to have whatever the cupboard is going to dish me up, whatever the corner shop is going to dish me up in terms of chocolate or savory snacks. And again, the reason I mention this is not to demonize it and to say that is bad. It’s just to raise awareness and be aware of what you’re doing, because quite easily you can from a calorie perspective.

You can overeat way more calories than you intended to for that day. You have a lot of high sugary foods. A lot of high bad fatty foods that in turn then can affect your sleep and then your sleep quality, and then what happens if you have a bad night’s sleep, then unconsciously your body will start searching for stimulants the next day. So that will be caffeine. There might be sugar. And so you can see it snowballs, right. So it’s having that awareness. And really, if you really want to understand, if you are eating healthily, just do yourself a favor for five or seven days. Just track your diet so you can see the macronutrient breakdown so you can see what it is you’re consuming. And you will be amazed at what you think you’re doing and actually what you are doing, because like I’ve said, awareness and consciousness is key. And just before we finish up today, the other big error, and this particularly goes for parents and when they have children and children not finishing their meals. Now, I’m not saying you don’t give the kids healthy meals, but, you know, sometimes kids have chips and they have some nuggets or some chips, beans and fish, fish fingers and things like that. And then they leave stuff, right? And then. It’s just either before your dinner or you’ve had your dinner and they’ve left a little bit on their plate.

And as you’re tidying up, you might eat that. And again, you can quite easily consume a huge amount of calories by doing that. But not only that, again, when we’re moving away from the ideal amount of macros in terms of proteins, carbohydrates and fats that we need in our diet to maintain a healthy balance. And I think that’s the key. And the message that I want to leave on really is making sure that you do have that balance, you have that balance, so you not kind of ebb and flow and peaking in troughing between being good and being bad, because ultimately the net result, as you progress through that, will mean that you’re more than likely not eating that well. So, yeah, so that was kind of really a topic for today, eating healthily. And it’s just really to kind of raise awareness and just check in with yourself and just question yourself whether or not you are actually eating healthily. And so I will look forward to seeing you in the next episode. Until then, have a good evening.

Thanks for listening to the Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please hit subscribe, and I would really appreciate it if you could leave a review on iTunes. All the things mentioned in the episode will be in the show notes, and a full transcription is over at fitterhealthierdad.com