It seems today the number one goal of any diet is to eliminate one particular food group in the belief that this will somehow counter act all the other food choices we make. I hate to tell you but in less you have celiac disease you probably don’t need to go gluten free! Although in the process of being honest that doesn’t mean I haven’t tried it. In fact I did two months and ended up losing some muscle and gaining some fat. As you can imagine I wasn’t too pleased, but it’s always worth trying something new in my profession before I judge it.
Sure, improvements in any area of life require attention and perhaps some degree of obsession but when your eating/food thoughts and habits are all consuming and have taken over your life, it’s time to re-evaluate your relationship with food.
The importance of the food role in our lives base completely differently on what our goals and needs are. Yes if you are a body builder preparing for a show you will cut carbs, feel bad and lose some muscle, but you are prepared for these reactions based on your need to be 5% body fat. On the other side if you’re training for the Tour de France and cut carbs you will have a nasty fall off a cliff as you pass out on the way downhill.
In other words, diets don’t work.
As an athlete, it’s very easy to critique your body and blame food, especially when you feel vulnerable or emotional or have a bad day or workout.
In fact, people new to fitness can often feel much better about the changes to their body than people already hyper fit. Consider all the many thoughts that go through your head in regard to food and your body and now consider how much of your day you are spending thinking about food and your body?
An unhealthy relationship with food is no different from other parts of your life.
When we focus so much on good food or bad food then this makes us focus on whether we are good people or bad people, it seems crazy, right?
But the fact is I know we all have woken up cursing ourselves for the food blowout the night before swearing never again in front of the mirror (a little dramatic but you get my point)
It is completely normal to want a healthier lifestyle, improved performance and a body composition that makes you feel great but you must also be realistic with the goals that you have and most of all, how you go about achieving them.
Knowing the Christmas binge and then the January “I’ve eaten too much” panic is nearly upon us, here are 10 reasons not to start a diet on January 1st!
10 Ways You Can Lose Weight – Without Dieting
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. I’ve never heard of someone saying I just can’t stop eating carrots and avocado and I’m getting so fat.
- Your body needs food, if it is not getting enough food it will fight to survive and try to store as much fat as possible.
- Don’t ban foods. If you ban foods you love they will become your only waking thought and it won’t be long till your wife or partner or kids find you hiding in the closet, donuts in your hair and writing “I love sugar” on the walls in jelly.
- Try the 80/20 rule. If 80 percent of the time you’re really sticking to a healthy food plan and 20 percent you throw a pizza night in there, you will still see great changes but won’t feel the need to destroy all you’ve worked for (see above no. 3).
- Fat doesn’t make you fat. I will do a whole separate piece on that because it’s to much for a sentence but good fats are essential for the body’s organs to work properly. Try olive oil, avocados or fish as great sources.
- Carbs are not evil, yes pizza every night and no exercise will make you unhealthy, but it’s not the carbs’ fault. More about carbs later.
- Eggs. There’s just no argument, eggs rock! Eat the whole egg–don’t throw away the yolk, it’s the best part–both in taste and for the body.
- Move more. After all the excess this Christmas your body is desperate to move, if you feed your body some good ingredients and start exercising you will feel so much better than starving yourself or going low carb and wishing you hadn’t scoffed so much on the 25th of December.
- Try to buy good ingredients. Go to a farmers market, support your community, meet nice people and add years to life (seems simple but completely true)
- I can’t stress this enough, get some sleep! You want to lose weight get more sleep and let your body rest