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To Diet or Follow a Healthy Eating Plan

HEP - Healthy Eating Plan, I want to get fit and healthy and look better and lose weight

HEP – Healthy Eating Plan

An all too common myth is that dieting, no matter the method, will make you healthy. Losing weight can be approached from two directions: the healthy and the unhealthy way. Making long term lifestyle choices will help you lead a healthy lifestyle, lose weight and get you to your healthy weight range while short term crash diets will set you up for failure.

As a Personal Trainer I am often faced with the topic of Nutrition and planning it. Rightfully so, as I believe it plays about a 70% role in the contribution towards the health and aesthetic goals you are looking to achieve. The saying: “You are what you Eat”, really rings true for me as our bodies are one of the most high performance, complex machines ever given to us. You wouldn’t just put any old oil or fuel in a Ferrari would you, well why then don’t we treat our bodies even better than that.

Today i will address the nutrition topic and more specifically, the question of whether there is a difference between dieting and following a healthy eating plan.

Dieting and the tide of diet books that came out was brought about primarily after people learnt that bodybuilders could manipulate their body fat and weight by changing ratios of macro-nutrients or even eliminating completely a certain macro-nutrient to achieve the desired effect. Most of these diets however are extreme and not easily maintainable long term, if at all and take precision like discipline to implement. The effects are also sometimes very temporary and once the person returns to a more normal eating plan they find they blow up or smooth out.

The medical field was also responsible for developing certain types of diets that helped address problems such as obesity, adult onset diabetes, high cholesterol, gout, and other special needs that patients had in order to try and help them back to a state of normality or “health”. With the help of dietitians and other specialists in nutrition the governments of countries also developed the food guide pyramid, which is supposed to cover all basis and lead to optimal health. We have over the years however found the recommendations of the food guide pyramid to be flawed as it does not account for individual dominating body types, genetic differences, gender, intolerance’s and current weight status of each individual. If every person followed the food guide pyramid, I believe we would have an even bigger prevalence of obesity and deficiencies.

So, having said all of the above, I believe there is a difference between a diet or dieting to change body composition or achieve extreme results faster, and following a lifestyle based healthy eating plan.

A diet is something you do for a certain amount of weeks or months to get yourself into the shape you want to be in, e.g. coming out of winter hibernation mode and then panicking to get into shape fast for vests & summer bikinis. The problem is that usually this may involve extremely low calories, cutting out certain food groups, exact caloric amounts per meal, militant discipline, slight starvation, using ergogenic aids etc.

A healthy eating plan however looks rather at implementing healthy eating principals into your daily lifestyle that can be maintained over a lifetime.

These are principals such as:

  • Portion control
  • Eating low GI carbohydrate foods
  • Keeping empty calories to a minimum
  • Eliminating simple sugars
  • Eating complete protein with most meals
  • Adding more raw foods to your diet
  • Eating foods high in fiber
  • Staying away from hydrogenated saturated fats
  • Keeping wheat based carbohydrates to a minimum
  • Note eating heavy starch and carbohydrate meals late at night
  • Snacking often on healthy food choices
  • Drinking enough water to stay hydrated
  • Taking in daily multivitamins and Omega 3

Final Thoughts

Instead of obsessing over calories, food measurements and drastic changes to your eating habits, simply being healthy will help you lose weight without all of the math. Healthy foods are typically lower in calories than unhealthy ones. If you replace soda, chips, doughnuts and cookies with foods such as vegetables, fruits, lean meats, 100% whole wheat bread/pasta, brown rice, nuts and legumes, your calorie count will naturally go down, you’ll enjoy your food and improve your overall health at the same time.

Yes losing weight by eating healthy foods might be slower than going on a crash diet, however it will be a lot easier for you to adjust to which will guarantee your long term success. Imagine if you could just go to the beach anytime knowing you looked good instead of having to starve yourself for 2 weeks to lose weight.

Thanks to Jason Hough for a great article.

Owen

voxifit

 

New Years Resolutions

The new year is just around the corner and that means new years resolutions. The 3 new years resolutions i hear all the time are:

  1. I am going to start a diet
  2. I am going to start exercising
  3. I am going to stop smoking

Now, out those 3 which one  is achieved? ….NONE!. Do you agree or not?

Honestly it amazes me at how people “wait” for the right time to start a fitness program. It’s been said that as long as we are looking for an excuse we will always find one. In my experience, most people understand that starting a fitness program is  something they should do, however there always seems to be something getting in their way.

Here are the top 4 reasons for not working out, that i hear all of the time, and my replies when i hear them:

  1. Gym is expensive – My reply “It costs nothing to workout at home”.
  2. I’m too tired – My reply “Exercise is proven to boost energy levels and attitude”
  3. It’s boring – My reply “Well its a fact that if you don’t enjoy something you won’t stick with it. There are plenty of other activities you could do. Take up dancing, zumba, basketball, cycling etc.”
  4. I am too busy – My Reply ” Well it comes down to your goals and priorities. If you really really want to be fit and healthy then it has to become a priority. Only if you really want it will you make the time and effort. Schedule a workout time in your calendar and plan your days. Step out of your comfit zone and make it work for you”

If we are looking for excuses we will find them. Always. Stop looking for excuses and go get fit.

What ever new years resolution you have, start doing it today. Do it for yourself:)

Like me on Facebook and get daily motivation…

Owen

voxifit

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