You are what you eat (and drink). Do you use food to comfort and soothe or fuel? Is it for purpose or pleasure? Not that it has to be an either/or. For the “foodies” reading, we’re not against the enjoyment of delicious food. But you need to understand, calories and content matter. Healthy eating is about eating in moderation. How to eat healthy starts with understanding when, why and what you eat. It’s about eating to fuel not to fill an emotional void.
We start with what you eat because we know people who are regulars at the gym or run every day. Yet, their fitness is not improving. They’re not toned and have very little muscle mass. We also know people who regularly attend Pilates or some other group class and immediately after, head to the local Starbucks for a decadent coffee and pastry. After the workout, they take in more calories than they’ve just burned and wonder, “Why no change or why am I ‘gaining’ in all the wrong areas?”
Bottom line: what you put into your body will either help, hinder or hurt your fitness and wellness. It will either leverage your workout regimen or cancel it out.
Be warned though, if you are on a quest to lose weight fast through a diet d’jour, good luck! Most speedy weight loss programs, fad diets, miracle weigh loss foods and supplements are fleeting or worse a hoax. Healthy eating is a personal experience, it has a lot to do with genealogy, metabolism and life style. One person might thrive as a vegan and another might feel like they are flatlining and need more animal-based proteins for energy and performance. Healthy eating is a one size fits one, it is a personal experience. Once you figure out what best fuels your body and mind then it should become a life style. Healthy eating is not a sprint, it is a life-long marathon.
The evidence is clear, if you want to commit to a life-long marathon for improving your fitness and wellness, you have to be conscious of what you consume. Start by asking yourself a few critical questions to help guide your journey.
What are your goals:
If your goal is to lose weight, then it’s simple, you have to burn more calories than you consume. You have to monitor the kinds of calories you consume as well as when you consume those calories.
If your goal is to maintain your weight, you’ll have to regulate your intake against your output. If you want to build muscle, tone, increase endurance or gain more cardio stamina, all will require different approaches for accomplishing your goal.