We are driven toward our beliefs about food, exercise, wellness and beauty from the first days of our existence. What defines handsome, pretty, healthy and “good” are influenced culturally, by mass media, through our peers and through the legacies we inherent from our parents and their relationships with their bodies. After working as a fitness coach and instructor for over ten years, here are a few things I have learned that I hope will help free people to redefine their relationships with food and exercise, adjusting their definition of true wellness:
Food is not our enemy, neither is fat!
Gone are the days when starvation diets have a place in our society. We have ample evidence, anecdotal and scientific, to verify that fueling our bodies with healthy, clean foods (including good FAT) is critical to optimal wellness. Want to drop a few pounds? Increase your intake of healthy fats like avocados and
nuts, while decreasing your consumption of processed foods. You will see your body relax into releasing stored fat as extra weight, once it trusts that you are going to fuel it the way it needs. Our parents and grandparents instilled this concept of eating minimally to stay “skinny” and, between the quality (or lack of quality) in today’s mainstream processed foods and the knowledge we have about stored, stubborn fat that accumulates when we deprive our bodies of adequate nutrition, their beliefs are outdated. Don’t misunderstand, this doesn’t mean you can ramp up your caloric intake however you’d like and expect to see your body become leaner. It does mean that giving your body more calories from unprocessed foods, REAL foods, while increasing your intake of healthy fats will create a positive change in your body composition. Eating is IN!
If you are curious what your specific body type may need in terms of carbs, proteins and healthy fats, there are several resources to explore. Find a provider in your area who can complete a body composition assessment (underwater, in a Bod Pod, or through a DexaScan). Beyond completing the test, finding someone to interpret your results in relation to the optimal eating plan is critical to success! For me, I found Orson Kinney in Arizona – he interpreted the data, plotted out the ideal ratio of food groups for my wellness goals and helped me achieve the healthy results I wanted – more energy and shifting my ratio of muscle to body fat.