Weight! You’ve Got It All Wrong!By Nicki On July 31, 2010 Under childhood obesity, diabetes, Diets, Exercise, Extreme Weight Loss, family obesity, fast and easy weight loss, healthy eating, Make you thin, Motivation, Nutrition, obesity, overeating, unhealthy dieting, weight loss
For the past 20 years, I have worked to inspire others to start and maintain a dedication to healthy living. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s a passion of mine that makes what I do very rewarding. Since I started in this business, much has changed. If you’re like me, you’ve probably jumped on the fat-free bandwagon, the oat bandwagon, low-carb, high-carb and any other “health” fad that came across weight loss radar. Like millions of people, if news was reporting that fat-free could save your life, by God fat-free was for me! However, in the last 5 or so years, I have come to understand that health and wellness information is like anything else we read, there are a hundred sides to every story. This means that it’s ultimately up to us to read, research and find out what is best for us and our body. What’s good for your sister, might not be the same for you.
In 20 years, the one constant I have found that is that weight loss is elusive for many because of nutrition. Yeah, yeah, exercise is certainly part of the equation but if push comes to shove and I have to pick, I would say that poor nutrition, or better said, confused nutrition is the reason that so many people struggle with weight. C’mon, how many times have you started an exercise program only to find that within 6 weeks the weight you’d lost was marginal and soon after tiring of the “diet” the weight came back, and then some?
I recently started training a new client. He’s very out of shape and for a young man, has lost control of nutrition. Additionally, like many other Americans, his job prevents him from keeping a regular exercise schedule alive. He’s pushing 50 and has been told by his doctor that changes need to be made or he’ll be on meds within 2 years. He came to me for exercise assistance and though we discussed the options for exercise, when it came to nutrition he said, “Well if I’m exercising, it really doesn’t matter, right?” WRONG! He believed that he would be burning off calories so that anything he ate wouldn’t matter. There’s two things here, first, people don’t often exercise hard enough or regular enough to create a consistent deficit = sustainable weight loss. That’s a common misconception. Second, no matter how much you exercise, the fuel that you put in to your body DOES matter. It’s no different than saying it doesn’t matter if you pour a gallon of paint in to the gas tank of your car. Um, yeah, it might make a difference. Same with food, you put junk in, low quality food and that’s what you get, feeling “icky” and low energy.
When I shared with my client that food was the majority of the weight loss puzzle he said, ” I wouldn’t know where to start, further, I have a very busy job.” I understand that all too well. So I encouraged him to first write down for a couple of weeks what he’s putting in his mouth. I think we can all agree that very often we’ll pay little attention to the quality of food we’re eating as long as we’re satisfied, right? Once he has an idea on his eating habits, where, why, what, THEN he can begin to address small changes here and there that don’t seem catastrophic to his current lifestyle. The truth is that many people aren’t willing to be inconvenienced by healthy changes, so the changes have to be small enough that they don’t seem that life altering. Make sense?
We are country that’s in a mess when talking about diet and exercise, there’s no doubt. But there is so much garbage, and promises of “easy” weight loss, that so many simply give-up because the task to lose weight and get healthy is daunting. For starters, ask yourself, “What do I want to change and why?” If you can answer that question with a response that will keep you focused, you can start making small changes. Start with something as basic as drinking more water. If you’re a diet soda drinker, strive to eliminate soda gradually from your diet. If you eat a lot of meat, try cooking some meals without meat (the internet is full of great recipes). If you’re a snacker, what is the quality of snacks you’re eating? If it’s chips, opt for a handful of almonds, or some rice crackers (not cakes, crackers) and a small bit of hummus. A bowl of fruit. We have gotten so far away from the foods we’re meant to eat and instead ended up in the land of processed foods and it’s killing us. Start paying more attention to ingredients in your foods, sodium amounts, additives and quantity of food, we eat waaaaay too much food. If you’re a sugar person, how can you start today, by reducing the amount of sugar in your diet? Do you eat plenty of vegetables each day? If not, how can you begin to incorporate more. These are a lot of questions, but start with just one thing, when you feel you’ve mastered it, move on to another change and so on and so on.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you cannot expect to change unhealthy habits in a week, a month or even a year. I personally still strive to improve my diet and knowledge of nutrition every single day. I am a firm believer in “food and mood,” when I eat well, I feel well. There is so much confusion about weight loss and nutrition it can make your head spin. Take it slow, listen to your body after you eat, what is it telling you? Your body is an amazing machine, trust that it has the ability to tell you what it needs and then be kind enough to respond positively.
There’s nothing more valuable than learning about healthy habits that can positively impact your life. Trial and error is part of the process, but if you don’t try, you’ll never know what opportunities are out there just waiting for you!
Here’s to a healthier you!
Some of my favorite books: An End to Overeating by Dr. David Kessler
101 Optimal Life Foods by David Grotto, RD, LDN
Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes
Second Nature, A Gardners Education by Michael Pollan