Over the last few years, I’ve been spending a lot of time reading on nutrition, weight loss, getting in shape and I find that it’s getting more and more complicated for people who have little knowledge in the field. There are so many ways now to do it, and everyone thinks THEY gave THE only good way to do it, tons of false information are going around. It’s too bad really because it can be simple. But people are being bombarded from all sides with studies that contradict each other, with strange advice, bizarre tips, extreme ways of losing weight. People don’t know what to do anymore and they end up losing their focus by trying too many things that don’t even work for them.
Where has common sense gone? The common sense that says eating healthy and moving is the solution? That eating healthy is simply eating reasonable portions of basic foods like fruits, vegetables, lean meats, legumes, eggs, nuts and seeds, whole grains.
Here are a few examples of « tips » that I often read
· you have to eat no more than 2 portions of whole grains per day
· you must not eat fruits (what? Seriously?)
· coconut oil is the one you should use
· you have to eliminate all starches
· don’t eat too many eggs
· you must eliminate gluten
· eat 1 grapefruit a day to lose weight
· you cannot eat bananas and carrots
· you cannot eat peanut butter
· you must eliminate meat
· do not eat too much soy, you will damage your hormone levels
With all those types of tips and advice, we don’t know wat to eat anymore. Water is about the only thing left! And then the guilt starts to be eating a supposedly “forbidden” food. There is nothing healthy in that. It’s the perfect formula to abandon. So, is it possible to just go back to good old common sense? You know junk food will not help you in your weight loss, cake either, pastries also. Of course junk food must be minimized as much as possible and eaten only on rare occasions. But as far as healthy foods like I mentioned above, there are no forbidden foods. The key is in portions and the balance between food groups.
Ignore all the advice of the type “don’t eat fruits”. I think that’s the advice or tip that gets me the most. Seriously? No one became obese by eating too much fruit. Limiting or eliminating fruits is for people doing fitness competitions, that need to have amazing muscle definition with a fat % that is very low. Most people are not looking for that kind of results.
Take the time to learn about yourself, to learn what works for you. Each person is different. For one person, eating rice will make them bloated and retain 2 lbs of water, for another, not at all. You really have to take the time to figure out what works for you. Observe your body, how it reacts to food, how you feel. Do you have energy after you’ve eaten? Are you bloated, do you have a headache? All of that is important too.
So for regular people that want to lose weight normally, get in shape and be healthy, a healthy balanced diet with controlled portions will work fine. Where people get in trouble and have difficulties is in what foods to chose at the store, and what portions should they be eating to satisfy their caloric needs. A health coach like me can help you in those regards. Now, if you are looking for athlete results for fitness competitions, then you should consult a professional that deals with such athletes not to damage your health in the long term.
Now for exercising, nothing simpler: MOVE!!!! No matter how, what, how much time, with weights, no weights, what matters is to start somewhere. Advice of the type « don’t waste your time with cardio » or »you have to do intervals » or « you have to lift weights », yes they are all good ways of training, each one addressing a goal and a different way of moving, but don’t let people guilt you for your choice. If you go from nothing to working out, congratulations!
My final message is this: if you are beginning your weight loss journey, do not be intimated or do not let other make you feel guilty. If you are making healthier choices than you were, you are already ahead of people doing nothing. And the others who are at the other end of the spectrum like people doing competitions, their advice is not bad per se, but they address a different crowd of people with different goals. If your goal is not to do fitness competitions, just go with common sense. And remember that for each person wanting to lose weight, there are as many ways of doing it. And even if you were to consult 5 nutritionists, you would probably get 5 different plans.
If you simply want advice and a follow up to go back to common sense that is simple, I invite you to write to me. It’s my role as a health coach to guide you in a process that will work for YOU in all simplicity!
I also invite you to share and comment on my blog. I will be more than happy to discuss with you!