The Constants

It seems that there is so much conflicting information out there in regards to training and nutrition, that it can leave you feeling confused and overwhelmed.

What kind of diet should you be following? Intermittent fasting? Small meals every 3 hours? Paleo? Gluten free? High carb? High fat? What about training? Should you do high reps? Low reps? Full body split, or one muscle group a day?

I have been passionate about health fitness for over 10 years now. I've read books, went to school for exercise science, researched on the internet about training and nutrition, and even I realize that no matter how much I think I might know about it...I really don't know much at all!  Even I get confused about things sometimes and second guess myself about whether something I'm doing is "right or wrong."

Over the last few years I have really cleaned up my diet by eating more whole, natural foods than I once did. I eat a lot different now than I did a few years ago on my "what-I-thought-was-healthy-but really-wasn't-high-processed-food-diet". Although I don't claim to eat perfect by any means, I have learned SO much about nutrition over the years and have made many healthy changes to my diet. Namely, cutting back the processed foods, eating more vegetables, more protein, and more healthy fats.

However, while I do try to eat as healthy as I can, I think there comes a point where you have to find what works for you and then just stick with it and not be swayed by every little thing you read. If you can tolerate grains and feel fine eating them, I say eat them. I love my oats and Ezekiel bread and am not willing to give those up! If you hate vegetables and meat, then the Paleo diet is probably not for you. If you can't stand eating small meals all throughout the day, then maybe intermittent fasting is the way to go.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with trying things and seeing how your body responds to them, or tweaking things in your diet here and there. But don't think that just because you read something that said grains are the devil that you shouldn't eat them, or just because someone else doesn't eat dairy or gluten means that you shouldn't either. Yes, some people do need to eliminate grains or dairy completely, but not everyone!

Just because paleo or gluten free or whatever is the next big thing, doesn't mean that you have to jump on the bandwagon. If what you are doing is working for you, you enjoy your eating and aren't miserable or stressing about your diet, then I say stick with it. If I thought I had to do what everyone else was doing or jump on the next big diet craze I'd drive myself crazy.

There are some things that I call the "constants", the things that we really should all be striving for. For me, these things are: eating unprocessed foods as much as possible, cutting back on sugar, getting in enough protein, eating lots of vegetables, and lifting weights.  If you do these things consistently and make them a lifestyle, over time you will make some great positive changes in your health and your physique! The key thing with your training and nutrition is committing to your plan and then being consistent.

Comments

  1. Great stuff- I agree totally! I would add in some sort of cardio at least 1x a week for the heart and to keep the appetite up! The hubby and I will try and do a sprint workout 1x a week or play soccer etc

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  2. Thanks for this post that puts things into perspective. I've jumped on many diet wagons (and fell off each one), because they forced me into cutting out foods I loved (like fruit and oats!), or made me eat things that I didn't like. Each time I just felt worse after. Now that I've decided to stress less and keep to the "constants" highlighted in your post, I feel better and have less 'bad' food episodes.

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    Replies
    1. That's what it's all about! Yes, you may have to give up some things you enjoy(for me it's cereal!), but your diet shouldn't be SO strict that you can't maintain it in the long run. Being too strict can lead to bingeing and constantly going on and off a "diet". It has to be a lifestyle, and your diet shouldn't make you absolutely miserable!

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