We’ve all heard it. You want to lose weight: eat less, exercise more. How many times have we tried that, only to feel defeated, lost and confused? Not to mention we either see the weight barely drop, stay the same, or even go up?! What is going on here!?!?! Things just aren't adding up!
A number of things maybe happening such as we might be eating more because we are exercising more, thus we are hungry! We might be adding additional stress which can influence our hormone levels in turn influencing our metabolism. We could be experiencing something else that isn’t serving our fat loss goals that we are unaware of. We might even find ourselves being very restrictive, to the point at which we end up feeling like we have to eat everything in site. All of this leads to a state of confusion and frustration. Since when did eating become such a complex equation?
That’s a question for another article but for now I want to focus on three ways in which we can make this equation simple, very basic, and not too much analysis or hard core science … yet. Again for another day, but for now I want to give us some tool that all of us can use regardless if we have a fitness tracking app on our phones, access to an exercise testing lab, or the expensive grocery stores. For these ways, you don’t need those tools, you just need yourself and some cognitive effort to embracing these habits.
1. Eliminate fried foods. Cut out the French Fries, donuts, and chicken wings. Fried foods add extra calories and fat to our over all daily consumption and really do not provide any nutritional value. Yes, they may taste good and if that’s the case, use them as a treat ( a special occasion). An easy way to take out the guess work on improving your nutrition, just take out the fried food.
2. Minimize processed foods. Anything in a package, a can, a box, can be put on the back burner for now. Ideally aim to eat real food (ie fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, etc). Processed foods typically have a number of chemicals and additives that aren’t beneficial to our health. In addition process foods tend to be calorically dense and nutrient deficient.
3. Be Mindful. This one is simple. Be present when you eat. Be present when you make food choices. Often times, in the society we live in, we eat to just eat. We eat when we are stressed, we eat when we are happy, we eat when we are sad, we eat when we are board, we just eat and a lot. But what if we slowed down and focused on eating, making it a priority and being in the moment. So even if we did want to have those French fries, perhaps we would actually savor them and not need to eat them all?
Hmm, food for thought, literally. We will get into the science more, but sometimes, even for me, I get a little overwhelmed with all of the information out there. So I like to make things simple, and straight forward. Let’s get back to the basics. Here’s to our nutrition & health!