Nutrition is an interesting concept in the world today be it diet, health, good food, super foods, and whatever the latest incarnation is to sell more books, lifestyle or weight loss concept. The challenge is not that this stuff exists its that it promises much and delivers little… unless you really want to change.
What they don’t tell you is that you need to change for any of this to work. The key here is the word YOU.
Jeez I was a chunky monkey for years but never really had the desire, it is called a 'dadbod' now, in my day it was just fat! And yes I would have eaten that burger if it wasn't plastic! When I found the drive, and wanted to become a better me, I started to make changes; yes I got suckered into some fads and trends, mostly driven by mens fitness magazines, but realised it is largely the same b/s month in month out. I never carved the 15 mins abs (it exists, Google it!) and the plan to get ripped like was only ever an excerpt of their exercise plan or a meal plan; it omits the support network I expect most have in place i.e., chefs, trainers, spare time!
Marketing sells the dream, for the rest of us mere mortals it comes down to research, making good choices and having sensible goals that fit in with our already busy lifestyles; then pile on some commitment and hard work.
There is a simple, generally accepted, set of equations that really are all the nutritional advice you need (shit, thats the marketing bit screwed again!):
Calories Consumed < Calories Burned = Get smaller
Calories Consumed > Calories Burned = Get bigger
Calories Consumed = Calories Burned = Maintain Weight
There are some exceptions that have been proven but they can also take into a lot of other factors and I’m talking athletes at the top of their game. For example, I’d love to know how many packs of Quorn Mo Farah has to nosh down to stay healthy and sustain the energy to compete over such long distances year in and year out.
For us, the general public, the equations generally work. Really then it just comes down to choice; do I have the piece of cake or do I have a healthy snack? I always prefer the former but save that for my cheat day, that’s my reward for making good choices!
The biggest challenge, I believe, is being able (or concerned enough) to disseminate the volumes of information, real or marketing blurb, that bombard us every day. After all if a cereal maker puts a green banner on all their cereals, because they have whole grains, it doesn’t mean they are all good if some are sugar coated!
It’s about slowing down, processing information, reading labels, really understanding what it is, and how much, you are going to consume. Chicken, brown rice and veggies is a good meal but have a huge pile of brown rice and you're probably over on calories for that meal.
This isn’t about making a massive change in one go, how many people do you know have done a crash diet and months later have bounced back to, or more than, their original weight. It’s about making small changes, one less full fat latte or even having them all as low fat lattes and gradually moving to a black coffee. Slowly cutting out the sugar from tea or coffee. Not getting a chocolate bar every time you fill up your car, perhaps using the pay at pump so temptation is not even presented; you know who you are!
It is the same with exercise, walking a little more, having a swim, engaging a great personal trainer… ;-)
In all seriousness if you start today start small, start with achievable things and small wins. If you succeed every day with small changes think how positive the future could be, build up to the big challenges and you’ll succeed there too.
Any trainer can tell you what you should be doing, write you a diet or exercise plan but in reality you are the one that has to do the work. Trainers should be there to provide support and encouragement, not dictate and pressurise; my assumption would be if you have got this far you have made the decision to engage a trainer because you aspire to reach another level in your own personal journey.
I can help you on that journey be it weight loss, muscle gain or all round better movement.