In our Roanoke, Virginia chiropractic office, we have the opportunity to teach our healthy eating and living principles in our

[LivFit] seminar series. During our sessions, we frequently hear the question, “What do I make for dinner?” Here are FIVE rules to help keep your family “living fit” as you decide what to make for dinner:

1. Choose food by God.

Simply put, we choose foods that were “made by God, not by man.” We know most of today’s health problems (obesity, diabetes, inflammatory conditions, etc.) are caused or greatly influenced by unhealthy foods. Processed foods, sugar, and trans-fats are the biggest culprits, and you can find them almost exclusively in “man made” foods.

Choose: meats, fish, nuts, leafy greens, regional veggies, and seeds. Sorry, the pasta, cereal, and candy will have to go!

2. Keep your food simple.shutterstock_197301302

Although I love a delicious gourmet meal as much as the next person, it is easy to go overboard with your recipes. If you’re trying to lose weight, you’re better off cooking simple dishes that don’t have a bunch of extra ingredients and additional flavoring.

One reason the [LivFit] program is so effective for weight loss is due to the focus on reducing calories without consciously restricting them. Studies have shown that eating simple foods will lead to eating less, which helps shed pounds without effort.

So how do you keep dinner simple? Stick to the basics of a healthy meal: a protein, like meat or fish, plenty of non-starchy vegetables, and some healthy fat. We’ll reserve the whole-food carbohydrates from root vegetables, or fruit early in the day, when energy needs are at their highest.

For dinner, keep it simple: meat and green vegetables.

3. Be sure to eat enough.

Many [LivFit] newbies believe that less food is always better when it comes to losing weight. This belief causes them to deprive their bodies of the calories and nutrients they need to function optimally. This causes additional stress on the body. Additionally, decreasing the caloric intake too much lowers the resting metabolic rate (how many calories you burn just staying alive), which can cause weight loss to stall or even reverse. Dieting should never be about starving yourself. Calories do count, but when it comes to weight loss, undereating is just as problematic as overeating.

What makes [LivFit] special is that it is more satiating per calorie than other programs, which helps you eat less without fighting hunger or counting calories. Voluntarily restricting calories isn’t an effective weight-loss strategy, but naturally consuming less food without trying is truly the ultimate target of weight loss. This means you can eat meals that are satisfying without counting calories and naturally eat less than you would on a typical American diet. This is one of the key reasons [LivFit] for weight loss is so effective.

4. Eat your carbs, just not at dinner.

Carbohydrate tolerance is highly individual. I’ve seen patients do quite well on a very low-carb diet while others crash and burn. Usually the biggest factor is the amount and intensity of exercise the person is engaged in. Many of my patients participate in high-intensity training programs or spend many hours at the local gym to further weight loss.

While I don’t think it is necessary to restrict carbohydrates, I do think it’s important to match your carbohydrate intake to the amount of exercise you do. Not only can a mismatch stall your weight loss, it can lead to instances of fatigue and muscle breakdown if you’re over-exercising and not eating enough carbohydrates to match your activity level. I’ve had many patients who, in an effort to lose weight, ramp up their exercise and cut back on carbohydrate intake. Many even remove carbohydrates entirely, avoiding even small amounts of healthy choices like sweet potatoes and fruit. This can often do more harm than good.

If you’re relatively sedentary or are only able to do a small amount of exercise every day due to pain, health conditions, immobility, etc., you may find that eating a lower-carbohydrate diet (7-15% of calories) may help you shed weight faster. If you’re highly active, have a physically demanding job, or have tried a low-carb approach in the past without success, you might find a more moderate carbohydrate approach can be helpful (15-30% of calories) in stimulating fat loss.

Remember to time the carbohydrate intake to match energy output. Take in most of your carbs at breakfast, some at lunch, and little to none at dinner. This means no ice cream at night. Apparently that can cause weight gain!

5. Don’t do it alone.shutterstock_141950908

One of the hardest parts about losing weight is trying to do it all on your own. Making major lifestyle changes without any social support is not only difficult but also unsustainable. It’s helpful to have friends or family encourage you, or even make changes along with you. This will greatly increase your success in any major lifestyle change. You can plan menus together, share recipes, work out together, and encourage each other on your journey to better health.

Below is short grocery list that can help you plan your menu next week: For more recipe ideas, check out some of the recipe collections on the left-hand side of our [LivFit] page.

      • Meat – GRASS-FED, not grain-fed. Grains cause the same problem in animals as they do in humans.
      • Fowl – Chicken, duck, hen, turkey – things with wings that (try to) fly.
      • Fish – Wild fish, as mercury and other toxins can be an issue in farmed fish.
      • Eggs – Look for Omega-3 enriched eggs.
      • Vegetables – As long as they’re not deep-fried, eat as many as you want.
      • Oils – Olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil – think natural.
      • Fruits – Have natural sugar and can be higher in calories. Limit these if you’re trying to lose weight.
      • Nuts – High in calories, so they’re good for a snack. Don’t eat bags and bags of them.
      • Tubers – Sweet potatoes and yams.  Higher in calories and carbs, so these are good for right after a workout to replenish your glycogen levels.

Join us for our next [LivFit] Seminar February 18, 25, and March 3.
Register with a friend by January 31 to receive 10% off the registration fee and a free [CORE] blender cup! Stop by the office, or call us to sign up at 1-540-344-1055





Dr. Daryl Rich, DC, CSCS