“We aren’t eating food anymore; we are eating food-like products.” ~ Hungry for Change

If you were the person who labeled this, you've come to the right place.

Time for a moment of honesty: our journey to health starts and finishes with nutrition.  We can do everything else right (exercise, recovery, and so on) but if we don't practice healthy eating habits, our progress will be, at best, at a standstill.  Unfortunately, there is actually so much information available and so many options being offered that it can be a challenge to even know where to start.

So here's our suggestion - before you pick yet another "guaranteed to work", "state of the art" nutrition and diet plan, look at what the common factor is in all of the long-term successes: the prevalence of whole, unprocessed foods.  When you go grocery shopping, instead of reading food labels and looking at the percentage of fat or carbohydrates in it*, check the ingredients list.  If there is something there with a chemical-type name that you can’t pronounce, then you probably shouldn’t be eating it.  The closer to the start of the list these things appear, the faster you should put it away.  "What about restaurants" you ask?  Assume the worst.  In fact, the decisions you make are remarkably simple (if not easy): if it grows from the ground or a tree, ran, flew or swam - you're good to go.  The further the journey for the food from it's natural state to your plate - the worse it is for you.  If all you have to do to prepare it is tear the pull top and pop it in the microwave, you're probably better off eating the package itself (this is not always an exaggeration).

What are some other things you can do?  Try to eliminate junk food, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, trans fats and any foods that will last longer on this earth than you will.

Ultimately, you need to have a healthy relationship with eating (it’s one relationship that’s going to last the rest of your life) and finding a nutritional plan that not only supports your goals but that you can maintain long-term (read: lifestyle) is going to be the key to your success. Beware of those that seem too good to be true because nutrition, like anything else, takes consistent effort over time - there are no shortcuts or quick fixes.

Listen to Chuck.  He knows his stuff.
*I should add that all of this is general advice - we are not nutritionists, dieticians, naturopaths or otherwise trained for specific dietetic recommendations.