We all want to look like something we are not. I’m guilty of this mindset as well. But enjoying life and what you eat and what you do is way more important than counting every calorie. If you’re like me, you can become obsessive over tracking food. Truth is, I don’t track my calories but I do know that I eat whole foods and limit the amount of processed foods as much as possible which results in being and looking healthy. Eating right is not just about eating your fruits and vegetables, its eating food that agrees with you and your body response well too. I am not just talking about cutting out carbs (if someone tells you to cut out all carbs, slap them and walk away. Kidding, but not really). I’m talking about your nutrition being balanced. The reason I say not to listen to someone who says cut out carbs is because carbohydrates are your body’s main fuel source. Have you ever heard of the term “hangry?” I’m probably the worst when I haven’t had enough to eat and I know my family and close friends agree wholeheartedly. The mind isn’t working properly because it doesn’t have any fuel, a.k.a. carbs. When your body digests carbs, it is stored in the body as glucose which is one of the main components for your body’s energy systems. Without it, those energy systems like Aerobic (long distance running) and Anaerobic (sprints) cannot carry on giving you energy to work out. I am not saying you should go eat a whole bowl of pasta but rather to start paying attention to those serving sizes (pasta and rice is about ¼ – ½ cup or 2 golf ball sizes) and how much your body needs a day. For the typical person, your body needs 45%- 65% of your daily intake to be carbohydrates. For example, if your intake is 2,000 calories, the totally calories for your carbs should be 900- 1,300 calories (225-325 grams). You also should pay attention to how many carbs are in fruits and most vegetables. Remember, sugar is a carb! So, all those wonderful juicy fruits we LOVE to eat, yes, they are carbs too. I know, please don’t kill me but at least I am saying you should still eat carbs! We must start being smart about what we put into our body and want it to be healthy and function properly.
Does this mean I can have a piece of cake occasionally? Not so much. “Oh, it’s because you are on a diet” or “You can’t have that, can you?” is the first thing I get when I turn down a piece of cake. It is not because “I can’t”, it’s because I simply just don’t want it. Feeding my body with a wholesome nutrition for so long now, having something like cake or something fried, will tear my stomach up and let’s just say my husband won’t be too fond of the output either. If you are just starting out on having better nutrition, DO NOT go cold turkey, unless that is your personality. Majority of the time, when a client goes cold turkey, they binge a week or two later. Start off slow by cutting out soda or processed sugars. As soon as you have mastered that, add in more vegetables and less pastas. Then move onto more lean meats. A little tip I give to all my clients, “The less legs the animal has, the better it is for you” In order from worst to best, pork, beef, chicken/turkey, fish/seafood. Beef is a bit of a wild card depending on the types of cuts and ways the ground beef can be prepared. Taking care of your body is not just about the “21-day challenge” or a new fad diet, it’s about having a better nutritional lifestyle to feel better from the inside, out. So, when the day comes that you are offered that slice of pie or fried chicken, and have been eating healthy, it won’t agree with you either. But that does not mean you should never have it again. One bad meal or one snack won’t kill you in the grand scheme of things. Just hop back on the wagon and continue down the road of healthy eating.
Food should never be a scary thing. Instead look at it in a way that helps your body. It’s all about the mindset. Without all that extra additives, food is fuel!