Nutrition is not a “one size fits all” proposition. Everyone reacts differently to different foods. Certain vegetables, for example, may cause inflammation in one person, and be perfectly fine another. Some people react to dairy products, eggs, and/or gluten in such a way that their bodies need to direct energy towards expelling those foods from their system, thereby resulting in a drop in mental and/or physical energy (or worse, increasing risk of disease). Others suffer no negative effects at all.
This is one reason (of many) why so many diets fail. They simply don’t work for every body. Another reason is they are not sustainable over a long period of time. For example, someone who consumes too many carbohydrates will initially lose weight on a low carb diet. Eventually, however, they will be carb deficient. Our bodies need carbohydrates to survive, and you need the right mix of nutrients to function without ill effects.
Change how you view food
To truly make a change in your eating habits, you need to change your feelings about food. At the most basic level, food is fuel for our bodies. What would happen if, while gassing up your car, you added sludge into the tank as well. Do you think your car would operate as efficiently? Perhaps not at all? Your body is no different. Fuel it with sludge, and YOU won’t operate as efficiently either. Most of your energy will be spent expelling the food toxins you consume from your body, which leaves a limited supply to think, move, and function. Not exactly a formula for success!
Unfortunately, food has become many different things to many different people. It can be a source of enjoyment, comfort, immediate gratification, a crutch – any number of things. The problem is, as food processing became more sophisticated, the food industry discovered how to maximize their profits: they learned how to make the most food at the cheapest cost, by loading it with additives that were the most satisfying, and in some cases, most addicting.
NEVER deal in absolutes
Well, almost never. When it comes to changing your eating habits, the worse thing you can do is totally eliminate the foods you love, no matter how bad they might be for you. Why? Because that approach simply isn’t sustainable. You’ll spend most of your time focused on what you are giving up, rather than what you are gaining (such as better health, more energy, a more fit body, etc.).
You should also avoid drastic diets that deprive you of all “bad” foods, even for a limited time. Again, the shock to your system will limit your success. A more sound, long term approach is to remove those unhealthy foods from your diet one at a time, while still allowing for one “cheat” meal (or snack) per week to indulge yourself. After a couple of weeks, layer in another unhealthy food item to your removal list.
Throughout this process, keep a log of what you eat, and more importantly, how you feel, so you can record the benefits resulting from your efforts.
The Proper Mix
The following is a percentage range to keep your daily intake of protein, carbohydrates, and fats properly balanced. Where you fall in each range depends on your genetic makeup, body type, activity level, etc. How you feel, and how your body functions, will dictate whether or not you need to make adjustments:
Protein: 20 – 35%
Carbohydrates: 45 – 65%
Fats: 10 – 35%
Obviously, this information barely scratches the surface, but it gives a basic overview of how to eat a healthy, balanced diet.
For more information, or to consult with a Certified Personal Trainer, email us at info@CrowderCoaching.com.