We should be cautious about many popular nutritional programs that play to our “common sense” work ethic that we need to restrict more or eat less to accomplish our weight loss or fitness goals.
To change directions for a moment; I think we can all agree that our world is a little more fast paced than it was 100 years ago, and that’s not likely to change. In today’s world just finding the time to do anything is becoming increasingly difficult. On that statement alone this column could easily shift back to time management or goal setting once again but the time management problem I am referring to this time is one of even greater importance. Finding time to eat, as silly as it sounds this has become a tremendously huge issue. Look at the line ups for drive-thrus, it has to be frustrating waiting so long for sub-standard food during your busy day. Or it will be tough to attend an evening function when you work late and have to stop for groceries before you embark on the hour long process to prepare a well rounded evening meal.
Simply, most people are not making the time to eat balanced meals regularly throughout the day. In fact we do a carful approximation for every individual that visits our facility of the number of calories the consume day to day. This number is evaluated by the standardized caloric intake equation pertaining to resting metabolic rate and activity. As of now more than 90% of everyone who has visited us for consultation has came in eating less than the standardized acceptable healthy amount, and often far less. If you hear any of the following: too many carbs, too much fat, portion control, suppress appetite, you should immediately run to the nearest mirror and repeat, “what this really means is I may need to eat more protein, carbs, or fat to balance out what I am already eating. That eating too much isn’t as likely as eating out of balance and too little for my body to function at its best.”
A little analogy I use to demonstrate this is:
Most people eat too little, the body being an incredibly adaptive machine adapts to everything, just like we do. Imagine for a moment if your dining room and bathroom light in your home were burnt out and you could not replace them. It would be a major inconvenience, but if we knew they could not be repaired for some time we would quickly find a way to work around it and it would not be as big of a deal. My point is that your body is the same, if your nutrition is out of balance or you are not meeting minimum requirements it will simply adapt the best it can and you may never know it isn’t working well until you are sick, or injured, or both.
To achieve nutritional balance you need to understand some very basic rules:
1) Understand what nutrients your core foods provide. (mostly protein, mostly carbs, mostly fat.)
2) Combine foods at every meal so you have comparable portions of proteins and carbs and about half the amount of something providing fats. Essentially avoid oils, creams, and gravies and your balance will be in the ball park.
3) Eat frequently, digestion is our most efficient calorie burner, it requires no extra time on your part. The more often you eat the more calories your metabolism burns in a day.
In our fast paced world, time is our most valuable commodity. That is not likely to change but by taking the necessary steps to eat frequently and focusing on balancing nutrients within every meal I can guarantee you will be more successful reaching your fitness goals and as an added bonus you are going to look, feel and perform better. Don’t be fooled by the big promises of low calorie diets, you and your body will thank me later.