Robert Tamayo

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Eat the Ingredients

I'm currently 165-168 lbs. At my heaviest, I was almost 190 lbs. I was able to drop from 190 to 175 in just a few months by only doing one simple thing: I only ate the ingredients.

Eat the Ingredients


The rule is simple: when you go to the store, don't buy chicken pot pie. Buy chicken and vegetables. Don't buy frozen burritos. Buy beans, rice, and tortillas.

I got it down to one thing: reduce everything you want to eat to its basic ingredients, and only buy those. You can make tacos later from the ingredients. The important thing is that you avoided buying processed foods. So if you want a pumpkin pie, buy everything you need to make it, and make it yourself.

Sometimes I needed to substitute things altogether. Instead of candy bars, I ate actual dark chocolate. Instead of soda, I drank coffee, tea, and water. Instead of chips, I ate small amounts of mixed nuts. And instead of fast food, I made actual burgers.

How it Really Works


I think what really makes this work is that when you eat this way, you can't eat junk food. There is no way you can eat a bag of skittles; you have to eat fruit. You can't have potato chips; you have to eat potatoes.

But instead of traditional substitution diets, where you substitute something bad for something good, this cuts the problem down to the core: the ingredients. You start to think about what you're eating. You start to eat more naturally. I simply decided that I wanted to eat the real food. I wanted potatoes, not potato chips.

When you eat this way, you don't really have to change anything about your diet. You just change how you buy food. For example, I would still eat rice krispy treats. But I wouldn't buy rice krispy treats; I would buy marshmallows and rice krispies. I know that marshmallows themselves have a ton of ingredients, and I also know that rice krispies also have more than just rice in them. But the point is not to break everything down to its molecular level. The point is to take what you want, such as rice krispy treats, and find out what the ingredients for it are.

Approaching a Natural Lifestyle


This approach to life eventually led me to looking for more natural and organic food sources. After cleaning up my food, I'm now looking at the ingredients for all kinds of things. If you start looking at the ingredients in everything, it might lead to you not wanting to eat any of it. You will become more aware of the dangerous chemicals being put into our processed foods. It's not even just our foods -- dangerous chemicals are in everything, now. Sometimes they aren't just dangerous, but unethical. Adopting an ingredients-only eating style has both opened my eyes and made me fitter and healthier than ever.


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