With so many diets out there like the Atkins diet, food combining, south beach, low carb, high carb, which is the right one for you? The thing is you don’t know. The best diet for you, is the one you design for yourself! Write your own book. I have my own diet; it’s the Sam Makhoul diet!
So how do you design a diet? You hit the reset button: you eliminate all foods except raw fruits and veges for two weeks. Then you start adding foods like grains, fish, chicken, meat and condiments and you see how you feel after each one. If you feel bad, if you feel bloated or your energy plummets, put a cross next to that one. Introduce it slowly so you have a few days between each one to see how you feel. Bring your self-awareness to it and slowly you’ll design a diet.
But there are some universal principles that will help you maintain your energy levels once you do design your own diet. They are:
- EAT LIVE FOODS. What do I mean by that? An apple is a live food. Apple pie is a dead food. When we eat, our body has to sift through the dead part of the food to find the living part with the most enzymes. It’s simple arithmetic. The more live food you eat the more energy you will earn. The more processed or ‘dead’ it is, the more energy you will burn.
- EAT LESS – EAT OFTEN. We are corporate athletes. We don’t have time to nap throughout the day, under a tree in the savanna after we’ve hunted. So we need constant energy throughout the day. It’s about avoiding peaks and troughs. Eating less is important because there comes a tipping point where the energy you earn is cancelled out by the energy you have to burn to process the food. Eating less ensures you get enough energy without going over that tipping point where you start crashing again. Eating often is important because we tend to eat more if we don’t eat often enough. So by eating often you keep your energy levels sustainable. Lance Armstrong once said in an interview: “When you get hungry it’s too late. When you’re thirsty it’s too late. Your energy has already dipped. It’s about avoiding peaks and troughs and maintaining that steady flow of energy.” It doesn’t have to be much: bananas, nuts, or a packed sandwich. It’s all about preparedness.
- DON’T EAT AFTER 8PM. I will not go into the science behind this tip only to say that our body needs to shut down at night for it to recharge and detox. Two things can either happen when you eat too late. One: your digestion will kick in and keep you up till late. OR Two: you will sleep – your digestion will shut down with a stomach full of food that literally sits there unprocessed. In both cases it is toxic for your body and you WILL wake up lethargic.
- ENGAGE THE SENSES. Why is this important? Because I know people who get the whole process of nutrition right and fall over at the finish line. You can buy excellent quality food, you can prepare it very well, you can eat less of it but often of it but if the conditions in which you’re eating are not within a relaxed environment, your body, when you do induce this food, is not going to absorb its goodness. It’s an amazing phenomenon. Our body produces and releases the right enzymes when we engage with the food we eat by smelling, looking, feeling, tasting it. Why is this one of my big tips? Because a lot of people sit in front of the TV when they eat. Or worse still they may engage in a heated discussion. They’re not engaging with their food. And that last piece of the nutrition process falls over because you’re eating, but your body isn’t absorbing what it should be. So it’s like your sales process. You do everything right. You get the lead, it’s qualified, you get the application and it’s successful but then it falls over right at the end, at settlement. It’s the same thing. So don’t waste your money. Engage with your food.