As I've studied nutrition and fitness, I have come to appreciate the knowledge around the basics. Our bodies are so different and unique in what is required for optimal health, but it ALWAYS comes back to the basics, eat your fruits and veggies, eat meat sparingly, limit added sugars and salts. Simple, right?!
Yet WHY does our society get so wrapped up in dieting, cutting certain things out when not prescribed by a professional or simply multiple days of fasting in an effort to lose weight?
Simply stated, we think that "modern research" is better than the basics, because after all the basics are too easy (easy advice but in reality too hard to adhere to). We think that those in the sales industry selling us the newest, latest way to have a better "diet" will improve our health, yet it leaves us confused and frustrated when results aren't long lasting or become too expensive to keep up with.
I have always held true for the need to watch our portions in regards to all we eat. Our fruits and vegetables need to be larger portions than our meats and starches.
Is it easy, ABSOLUTELY NOT!
Yet, our necessity to do so becomes evident when we experience health concerns that require us to make those changes. Doctors are constantly prescribing medications to help with the side effects or diseases that come with an improper diet. We're constantly looking for relief from the pain (physically and emotionally) that poor health choices cause.
We're not willing to do the work until it becomes necessary to do so, but what if we took the time to just simply educate ourselves from valuable resources, not the latest fabs, about how our bodies work, how they age and how much they appreciate good food? What if we took the time to pay attention to our portion sizes, how we feel after eating certain foods, why we choose to eat certain foods (stress, emotional turmoil, hormone imbalances) and how expensive it really is to eat unhealthy? (we might be saving at the store, but we're spending it in the doctors)
Here's a simply example that me and my husband experienced when we went out to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. I was eyeballing this yummy chinese salad. I wasn't necessarily in the mood for a salad, but I knew I was going to indulge in cheesecake later, so I chose to make a smarter dinner choice. The menu read 1500 calories! While I'm not a fan of calorie counting (stay tuned for next weeks topic) I was shocked to say the least. I noticed that there was an insert with "skinnylicious meals" as the header so I looked there to see if I could find something comparable. I found the EXACT salad with a different dressing for 500 calories. I couldn't believe that a dressing could make that much of a difference! None the less, I ordered what I thought would be a smaller portion since it was less calories and this huge things came out.
After spending a good 15 minutes mindlessly enjoying this salad, I still had so much left. It was filling, nutritious and WAY too much for my belly. My point is, even a salad that we all assume to be the healthiest choice can still be way too much (calories & portions) for one sitting.
In relation, Jeremy ordered this yummy orange chicken (you can tell from his hand next to it how big the plate really is!) He barely made a dent in his plate when he portrayed being finished. We both have FINALLY trained ourselves that when eating out, we don't have to eat all of our food (we were raised that way and honestly raise our kids that way in an effort not to waste food. Yet we have found value in places like this that serve way too big of a portion for one sitting to save for later meals) It's not worth it to us to feel overfilled and unable to enjoy literally anything after because we're so full.
For purposes obviously not mentioned, we won't share the pictures of our cheesecake. IT was a little embarrassing how much money we spent on a slice to only eat 3 bites, yet we felt pretty great after. And we had the wonderful opportunity to feed a homeless man all of our leftovers.
My point is, STOP cutting stuff out of your daily diet. Reduce the amount of added sugars and salts. Add more water, and bigger portions of fruits and vegetables. Most importantly, pay attention to how you physically feel and stop when you're done!