This is a really good article about nutrition, and about common mistakes people make in an effort to live healthier. I'm sharing this one because these items have factored into my own experiences over the past year, as I've gone from morbidly obese to fairly fit.
The first item on the list is a suggestion to eat whole eggs. I had switched to just egg whites when I began eating lighter last year, and I only even ate those occasionally. Once I began a more demanding exercise regimen I started researching ways to better compliment my activity level with the right nutrition. A number of sources recommended whole eggs. The positive information on whole eggs was considerable, so I made an intake shift and put a chunk of my daily calories into whole eggs. The energy boost and general improvement to the way I feel was undeniable. My runs became more enjoyable once whole eggs became regular morning fuel for me, and although the link may
be partially in my mind, it's definitely a link that I consider substantial.
The second factor on this list is finding the right carb/fat balance. For me, what has worked has been to simply eliminate simple carbs and processed sugar entirely (or as close to entirely as possible). That is the part of my diet to which most people have the strongest negative reaction. I hear things like "I couldn't live without potatoes," or "I have to have bread," etc. OK, cool... but keep in mind that it isn't one extreme or the other. Your options aren't binary, you don't have to choose between going without bread entirely OR eating bread all day. I think that the key is portion control. Have only a little of certain favorites, savor a daily taste, and control yourself. And structure the rest of your diet around that daily indulgence, so that it is not part of an overall, daily, non-stop carb deluge. Figure out what works for you. My own weakness is craft beer. I feel like I just have to
have my daily craft beer. And I do
still enjoy one craft beer every evening. But it is no longer washing down pizza and potato chips, and that is the key for me. My daily carbs are few and complex, my grains are whole and limited, and my diet is primarily vegetables and lean protein. I eat whole, I eat clean, and I exercise. For me, as long as I live like that, a daily brew is a well earned reward that doesn't impede my progress.
Number three, the misconception that a calorie is a calorie. People with over-consumption problems don't often seem to really understand what a calorie is.
I know that I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about it before I made some changes, and it is as though I thought of calories as some kind of additive that food manufacturers put into their products to make them taste better. The truth is simpler than that. A calorie is basically the potential energy stored in food. Our job is to pick food that gives us the most beneficial potential energy. Food that gives us good nutrition along with
that energy, so that we can do more with
that energy. Once you get that ... that eating is just fueling the machine you live in ... you begin to want to use better and better fuels. Take care of that machine you live in and you can have a lot of fun living in it.
The fourth thing on the list is cooking oil. The list goes into a fairly detailed debate about which oils are better for you than others, which ones to avoid, which ones are a healthy source of fat, etc, etc. I will admit that this is an area where I am still very weak, in terms of my understanding. I don't quite get the cooking oil issue, and it seems like the popular thinking about which oils are best seems to change constantly. So, here is what has worked for me over the past year: I just avoid cooking oil. Period. I don't fry food and don't eat food that relies on a lot of oil in the composition. I cook a lot of food on the George Foreman grill, and I eat a huge amount of my food raw. Raw vegetables are part of every meal for me, and a little raw fruit is my favorite snack. As far as healthy fat intake, I get by on the naturally occurring fat in the healthier foods I eat. There is fat in nuts, and I have almonds daily. I also get fat from salmon, the skin of rotisserie chicken, and a very small amount of daily cheese. Cooking oil, to me, is a riddle for the ages. But not one I need to solve.
The last entry on the list is about the mistake of eating margarine instead of butter. That argument has been another opt out for me. I just don't eat either daily. But I have totally bought into the notion that margarine really is awful for you, and I avoid it like the plague. If I'm having something where a little butter might be in order, then I do have exactly that... just a very little
bit of real butter on an occasional sweet potato, for instance. I don't mind doing that. But margarine? I have no need for it at all, given that the bulk of my daily calories come from raw veggies and fruit, quinoa, beans, nuts, and a little lean meat. Eat what tastes good on its own and you don't need to smother your food in any kind of yellow paste!
Now, all of this is presented with the usual qualifiers. YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY!
One-Size-Fits-All diets and strict routines don't work. Each of us has different nutritional needs, AND our own nutritional needs change as our lifestyle changes. What you need today might not be what you need tomorrow. Talk to your doctor. Figure out what is right for you, and do that.
Eat clean, whole food. Take in good calories and then put them to good use. Life is all about getting the most out of every experience. Suck out the marrow!#Health#Fitness #Nutrition#WeightLoss#EatClean