A personal trainer will often be asked about nutrition and weight loss. Making the right choice when it comes to nutrition and healthy eating is so difficult. With so many diets, nutrition plans and quick fix solutions to lose weight and become healthier, it is a nightmare for people who want to make good choices. And, with so many conflicting messages out there, it is a nightmare for me, as a personal trainer, to advise clients correctly.
Whether it is a calorie counting diet, a food combinations diet or even a McDonald’s diet, there are so many ‘fads’ out there that we lose the focus: what is healthy eating?
If a client asks me for advice on the latest dietary ‘fad’ or if I hear of a new one in use within the fitness industry or from another personal trainer, I will always try it out myself before recommending it to anyone. And believe me, there’s some crackers out there!RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
When it comes to losing weight, people are led to do what they believe is right. And all too often it is just the latest fad dreamed up as an advertising gimmick.
‘I’ve been on this new diet ” Beyoncé’s Maple Syrup Diet” for a month and I’ve lost 6 pounds a week!’
Sound familiar? How many of you have heard this through a friend or a friend of a friend, talking about it like it’s the best thing since pockets on jeans?
In truth, what seems like a very complicated subject is in fact, simple, common sense, coupled with a bit of education. It is made difficult by companies advertising, making you think they are the experts and the best people to tell you what to eat.
I treat food like fuel. The human body is a complex machine, evolved over thousands of years to do amazing things and I’m not going to put low quality fuel in my body. Would a Formula One team fill their cars with service station fuel? No. Would a personal trainer advise his or her clients to eat food that would not provide all the nutrition they need? No.
Some simple rules
As a personal trainer, my rules for eating are simple. Eat clean, fresh, high quality food that has little to no added ingredients. Only eat until satiety, there’s no need eat until you are stuffed. If you do this you will probably find, as my clients have, that it’s actually difficult to gain excess body weight, as your body is processing high quality nutrients in the way it has evolved to do so.
My clients also find that they eat more good healthy animal fats as a result of this and still lose weight. Yes that’s right, because the only bad thing about fat is that it’s called fat, making us afraid to eat it. If it were called energy we wouldn’t have this problem. It’s sugar that makes you gain unwanted weight, and it’s so abundant in today’s diet.
‘Fat doesn’t make you fat, sugar makes you fat’
It’s easy to take the necessary steps to a cleaner, fresher and healthier diet. Make small baby steps at first, and soon you will find you will want to take bigger, bolder steps.
Here are some easy changes you can make
Switch your margarine for grass fed butter. Margarine is one of the worse things you can have, the hydrogenated fats in it are a recipe for disaster.
(Here’s a little experiment you can do. Leave an open tub of margarine out in the sun on a hot day for a few hours and come back to it. It will look exactly the same, albeit slightly melted. No flies, bugs or insects will touch it. If these creatures, which will eat anything, won’t eat margarine, do you think it’s an indicator that maybe we shouldn’t?)
Eat grass fed, free-range meat instead of corn fed meat raised in cramped conditions.
Start eating more fresh vegetables with your meal, instead of processed pastas, breads, rice and grain based products.
Drink more water throughout the day. A lot of hunger feelings are actually thirst so this will ensure you don’t start over eating.
Never do food shopping on an empty stomach and be disciplined enough to not buy rubbish!
What are the benefits?
The benefits you will notice are eye-opening. Your body will regulate it’s weight better, your energy levels will be more consistent, meaning you won’t have the energy crash a few hours after eating. You will be more alert and feel invigorated when you’re putting all this good quality fuel into your body. Your taste buds will awaken… One client came to me after a few months saying cauliflower had never tasted so good!
And importantly, don’t take any advice from food advertising companies, or even friends without stopping, thinking about it for a bit and consulting a professional who has no affiliations or vested interest with any food or nutrition companies, therefore having your health at heart, not the size of their wallet.
It’s all about you taking responsibility for your own health. Nobody else is going to do it for you. And changing your nutrition habits is a big part of that change.
(images: pointssports, detoxinphuket, premierfitnesscamp)