As we enter into another new decade, we have an ever growing and overwhelming amount of information at our fingertips growing faster than ever before (and still growing). Trying to decipher it all and decide what healthy eating looks like for each of us individually is mind boggling for the average person.
Naturally, we are hardwired to take the path of least resistance. And as it pertains to dieting to lose weight and be healthier, most are often looking for shortcuts. The media and advertisements are always presenting promises to help do just that.
Cult like groups that jump on diet bandwagons are easy to find. The confusion among all the conflicting information has just continued to grow through the years. Low fat diet. Then low carb. Zone diet. Paleo. Atkins. Vegan diet. Carnivore diet. Fasting. The list keeps going on and on with each diet having no shortage of proponents pushing their beliefs on the diet they have bought into being the best.
Based upon different variables such as DNA, food allergies, body type or age, there may be some individuals that adhere and do a little better with leaning towards a certain type of diet.
However, at the very simple surface level as it pertains to weight loss; there must be a deficit of calories consumed versus how many calories were used by our body for energy. It doesn’t matter what diet one is following; if the amount of energy output (calories “burned”) does not exceed the amount of calories consumed, there will be no weight loss. Period. End of story.
There are dozens of different ways to create a negative caloric balance. You can starve yourself. You can cut out all carbs. You can not eat any meat. You can pull back on fat intake. You can run your heart out on a treadmill for 2 hours a day while following weight watchers. You can do a juice diet and fast.
Or, you can incorporate and follow a well thought out weight training program that is challenging while incorporating a moderate amount of cardio that you enjoy a couple times a week while eating plenty of properly sized portions of healthy “real” foods you enjoy. This takes a little effort and a small amount of time each week, but the rewards both physically and mentally are endless and awesome.
“Good observation Captain Obvious” you may say to me, I know… I also know it is still confusing on many levels for most. If any of you are like me, I’m a very visual person and I tend to learn by observation or seeing something versus just hearing about it.
There is an awesome guy to follow by the name of Graeme Tomlinson who does a phenomenal job of posting pictures on many of the common misconceptions and myths surrounding diet and nutrition. You can follow him on Instagram at “@thefitnesschef_” which I would highly suggest doing!
The following pictures are credited to Graeme Tomlinson @thefitnesschef_ and we wanted to share some of them with you...
The excuse of having a social life or having to entertain clients for business or work related purposes, is an incredibly overused excuse as to why one continues to fail with their weight loss efforts. It is not so much that these environments you are in are to blame, but rather being informed and mindful to make smart decisions on what you're consuming - is the key to success here!
This one here above is probably what drives me mad the most when I do decide to eat out. Out of habit and even though it is RARELY mentioned on the menu, I will often ask if oils are used with the meal. If they are, I will ask if I can have it without or simply select another meal on the menu. Despite my efforts here, it never fails that at least 30% of the time a meal comes out bathed in oils despite the restaurant menu not mentioning it, or after I have requested otherwise.
One tablespoon of oil typically has 14 grams of fat and well over 100 calories - in a single tablespoon! Most restaurants will have you consuming several spoon fulls of oil in a meal you order from their menu.
I'm absolutely not an advocate for high sugar sodas. But I'm also surely not supportive of all the "healthy" green drinks either! It is mind boggling how much extra sugar most of these drinks contain but yet these companies have been very successful in pulling the wool over so many consumer's eyes with having them thinking there are good for them.
Paying attention to and understanding nutrition labels can really go a long way in one's efforts to knowing what their caloric intake is versus what it should be. For most, drinking more water and less calories can be a big time game changer with waist lines and health.
Often when I ask a client how many ounces of chicken was in his last meal or how many tablespoons of peanut butter was on his sandwich last night, I typically get a blank shoulder shrug with an "I don't know" or a wild guess of a reply (that is obviously being guessed) where it is obvious to me the client is clueless.
There is a big difference in total calories with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter versus 4. And if that is something that is consumed and recorded in a food log on a regular basis, there is a total misrepresentation of actual calories being consumed. This unfortunately doesn't allow for transparency or to make proper adjustments for weight loss success long term. 200-300 extra calories a few times a day over a week, a month and a year really add up...
Learning how to properly measure and weigh your foods is a critically important part of constructive food logging (which we will cover shortly).
Opting to always "just wing it" with eating whatever is available or whatever sounds good when you're hungry is an absolute surefire way to fail miserably and without doubt. Getting organized, planning your week and prepping foods at home that you control and knowing what is in them is a huge key to any successful endeavor towards weight loss and a healthier body.
Arguably the MOST effective tool that we have access to on those little computers we carry in our pockets (aka; smart phones) which may have the biggest impact helping us with weight loss, staying fit and healthy, are food logging apps.
Furthermore and what is mind blowing (considering very few use them), is that most of these are FREE. Americans spends millions of dollars on diet related products every year, but few do or utilize a food logging app and the power that it brings. There are many apps including MyFitnessPal, Fat Secret and more.
Not knowing what you're eating is no good. But knowing, is a huge chunk of the battle towards success!
If we are to be transparent and honest, there are no shortcuts to being fit and healthy. Are there helpful "tools"? Absolutely! Incorporating a few vitamins to fill in some nutritional gaps, using a protein shake or bar here and there when needed or optimizing one's hormones if they need addressed are all good things that can make a huge difference. However, you can never override a bad diet.
Consuming a huge surplus of calories and unhealthy foods on a regular basis simply cannot be overcome.
In summary here;
- Learn how to measure and weigh foods. Get a food scale.
- Start logging foods everyday. Be honest. Be transparent. Pay attention.
- Make necessary adjustments. Be accountable. Be patient.
- Remember; if it grows out of the ground, off a vine or tree, lives off the land or in the water - it most likely is good for you. If it comes in a box, bag, bottle or was made in a factory - you may want to question if it is your best choice of food to consume.
If you’re a new visitor to Youth-Rx or have been on the fence for a while on whether you should embrace a hormone optimizing program or would like to know and explore more, simply fill out our medical history form and one of highly experienced consultants will schedule a complimentary consultation to explain the processes, programs and more to you.
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The team here at YOUTH-RX wishes you the best in health and happiness. We often can't control everything in life, but most of us can surely control more of what we eat and how we nourish our bodies. Remember that we are what we eat. Lets not be fast, easy, cheap or fake!