“What we miss when we see all these different diets is that they’re all grounded in the same basic principles.”
When people begin their fitness journey, they can easily become confused and overwhelmed by the onslaught of conflicting information and opinions on the best way to get healthy and lose weight. There are hundreds of different diet plans out there, and everyone seems to be preaching a different way to accomplish your goals. One day we hear that carbs are the enemy, and the next day someone cites research telling us the exact opposite!
People are constantly debating the details, and we end up missing the forest for the trees, suffering paralysis by analysis and never actually settling on a consistent plan.
People! I have news for you! Weight loss and good health are actually pretty simple. What we miss when we see all these different diets is that, for the most part, they’re all grounded in the same basic principles. Following these principles with patience and consistency will lead us to success. So what are these principles? Well, let me tell you!
1) Eat Mostly Whole and Unprocessed Foods
Eating whole foods is the best way to fill up and feel satisfied while keeping the calories low and the essential nutrients high! Every successful, sustainable diet preaches this, and for good reason! Stick to foods found on the periphery of the grocery store; the aisles are generally there for canned, packaged and processed foods, full of sugar and additives, and lacking in the nutrients we really need.
2) Control Your Portions
How much you eat will ultimately determine how much fat you hold onto in your body. Again, most diets will have you practicing some form of portion control. The basic science of calories in vs. calories out tells us that we need to be eating fewer calories than we burn in order to be able to reliably burn that fat.
It’s no secret, just basic science! If you don’t regulate how much you’re eating, then it doesn’t matter what diet you follow. You won’t reach your goals.
3) Eat Processed Foods In Moderation
We all have our go to comfort foods: pizza, ice-cream, Grandma’s famous mint-chocolate cake. There are some foods out there that we eat purely for the purpose of enjoying them. And that is totally fine! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: eating is also about pleasure. And we should be able to relax and enjoy the foods we eat.
Eliminating those fun, hyper-palatable foods is not the answer. When we put such strict limits on ourselves, we are creating an unhealthy relationship with food and that is the last thing we want to do. It’s totally unsustainable, and leads to a vicious cycle.
We tell ourselves we can never eat that thing we love, so we avoid it like the plague. For a time, it works. Every time we’re offered it or crave it, we push through and deny ourselves, repeating over and over “I can’t have that! I can’t have that!” Eventually, though, we burn out, and the time comes where we cave and eat that chocolate cake, or pizza, or whatever other yummy thing we’ve denied ourselves so religiously.
Then, the shame kicks in. We spent so much time demonizing that food, and holding ourselves back, that now we feel guilty! The diet is down the drain, we think. This often leads to spiralling out of control, gorging ourselves on those things we were running away from.
Now we’ve just taken three steps backward, and risked falling completely off the wagon!
So let’s foster a healthy relationship with food instead, and avoid that guilt and shame! Allow yourself to have a bit of your comfort foods from time to time, in moderation, and be easy on yourself!
4) Eat a Variety Of Foods
Variety really is the spice of life! In order to keep our diets fresh and interesting, it’s a great idea to branch out! Try some vegetables or fruit you don’t usually cook with. Find an interesting recipe and test it out!
What we eat should be good for us, but it can and should add another kind of value to our lives. If we’re going to be spending time preparing food and planning meals, we might as well have some fun and get creative! By switching things up and keeping it interesting, you’ll not only avoid the boredom-cascade, but you’ll equally provide your body with a wide assortment of nutrients to stay healthy and fit! It’s a win-win!
That’s it! Four simple rules to live by! Don’t get caught up and confused because of all the opinions out there. Its really as simple as following these few basic guidelines with patience and consistency, and you’ll see the changes come!
Keep It Simple!
Milesfit - Montreal Personal Training - One-stop-shop for health and fitness in the Monkland Village in NDG.
Contact us for more info on how we can help you achieve your health and fitness goals!