A Waffle is Just a Pancake with Abs: And Other Nutrition Myths
The biggest mistake that people make when losing weight is approaching their eating habits as a diet. This implies a temporary change and stirs up all sorts of negative connotations such as temptation and denial.
It is far more valuable to see eating as a pleasant, positive, “fueling” activity to provide you with the best energy and vitality possible. When you start thinking of eating as a way to fuel your body rather than limiting calories or denying yourself of certain foods, nutrition becomes much more interesting. The more you learn, the more empowered you become about making good choices.
Very few people understand that good nutrition makes weight loss far easier. Until you understand the biochemistry of eating, the whole thing is completely mysterious and frustrating. Striving for good variety and high quality in your food choices (wholeness, freshness and healthy preparation) is far more important than achieving some “perfect” mathematical formula for the ratio of carbs, fats and proteins.
Still carbs (from fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains) are critical for energy. Proteins (from eggs, meats, dairy, legumes and nuts) are essential for building and maintaining lean muscle. Fats (naturally occurring and added in the form of healthy oils) are crucial for satisfying hunger and supporting important biochemical operation such as thermogenesis that is key to losing weight!
Emphasis on whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables will make weight loss easier for several reasons. First, they have “low energy density” which means that they are high in water and low in calories. You can eat a lot of them to satisfy your hunger. You also need the nutrients and fiber from whole fruits and vegetables to stay healthy, feel energetic and keep your digestive system working properly. Drinking plenty of water also encourages weight loss.
Write it Down
In addition to making smart healthy food choices you need to consider how much you eat. Eating smaller meals and adding two to three small snacks throughout the day satisfy cravings and keeps your energy level high. Keep a food journal. Yeah, yeah, it’s a hassle, I know. But you will be amazed what a difference it can make. Simply logging everything that you swallow makes you accountable in a way. As you track your food intake you will probably notice a dramatic drop in your desire to overeat.
Makes You Go Hmmmm
1. Have you abandoned the “dieting” mentality in favor of a commitment to healthy eating for life? Have you developed a plan that incorporates gradual, consistent eating improvements rather than drastic, overnight changes?
2. Have you educated yourself about nutrition and surrounded yourself with fresh, whole nutritious foods that you enjoy? Have you included a good balance of healthy proteins, carbohydrates, fats and fiber?
3. Have you planned your food intake and broken it into several small meals a day? Have you ensured that you are eating enough and often enough to fuel your activity demands and goals while minimizing cravings and hunger Are you drinking enough water and getting enough nutrients and fiber?
4. Have you tracked your food intake in a journal and taken note of the proportions and your eating schedule? Are you aware of your unconscious eating patterns (night or car snacking, meal skipping, sugar and carb addictions, etc..) and how they effect your energy and well-being?
Here is to better habits, positive things, clean eating, and most of all LOVING YOURSELF!