By Stephen McKenzie BSc, BA, CANFIT PRO, Director of Fitness, Cambridge Club
I am often asked by people ”I just don’t think my diet is correct what should I eat to lose weight?”
My answer is always the same “more of the things you eat little of and less of what you eat a lot of.”
People know what they should eat and do already. They will recant their entire days meals to you gladly if they’ve had a “good day” in terms of their food choices. The problem that people have is not the lack of knowledge in most cases, it’s the application of said knowledge that is the point at hand.
Some problems with eating healthy is that it can be expensive and time consuming where eating poorly is cheap and quick. Think about the convenience and simplicity of just throwing a package of pre-made pasta in the microwave - in only 4 minutes you have a tasty meal. At some point of another, we have fallen into this trap, because we are so busy with work and our families. What really needs to be done is for us to prioritize our health in our lives to make things easier to comprehend.
For most people our list of priorities goes as follow:
3. Friends & Social Network
4. Personal Interests
5. Health & Well-being
The list should actually read more like this:
1 Health and Well-being
Because if you are not healthy physically and emotionally you are not in a place to be of use to your family and friends.
3. Friends and Social Network
4. Personal Interests
Your work should enable you to do the things you want with your friends and family, but should not be the first priority. At your funeral no one will ask, "Hey what did he/she do for a living?” because no one will care. It is true that we should strive to work at something we are passionate about and strive to do well, but in the realm of all the important things in your life, your work should not be close to the top priority.
So what does this mean in terms of your diet?
Since your health is SO important to you and your diet is the most influential factor in this regard, one should look at eating vegetables at every meal. Ideally your plate should look like a painters palate. Colorful and with many different sections of equal size.
Most people struggle with 4 things in terms of diet;
1.You can treat yourself once in a while but when you do, be reasonable
ie: if you’re going to have a night out with the boys/girls for drinks, set a maximum for yourself and stick to it
2. Even if you going to eat something unhealthy, eat something healthy with it.
Never have a meal without your health in mind.
3. Eating out can be healthy but never as healthy as eating at home because at home you know what has been added to your food.
4. If it is in your cupboard/fridge you will eat it -so don’t buy it-period.
I took a nutrition course in university and one thing my professor said rings true to me to this day, she said ”your body does not care if you put gravy on your broccoli, it just wants the broccoli.” Meaning, your body doesn’t care if you have a cheeseburger with your vegetables, what it cares about is if it’s getting the vegetables. She also told me, “If it’s not good for you it’s definitely not good for your children either.” So don’t buy sweets for your kids, or cookies etc. They don’t need them buy them fruits and vegetables!
So what should you take from all this?
1. Eat your vegetables and don’t worry about eating too much of them.
2. Stay away from anything processed period.
3. Drink plenty of water.
4. Stay away from fried foods and baked goods
5. Weigh yourself once per week - keep your eye on things so they don’t sneak up on you later.