Nutrition is always a hot topic in the health and fitness industry. It seems that every other day there is a new diet, pill, or powder coming out to help people on their quest to get in shape or lose weight.
When we are bombarded with all of these quick fixes and fly by night cures how can we tell what is going to work and what is not going to work?
Well the truth is that nutrition, along with exercise science, is very young when compared to the hard core sciences like physics, chemistry and math. So young that we are learning new, groundbreaking stuff every day. The problem is deciphering the hype from the truth and sometimes it can be a bit grey. Often you have to take everything with a grain of salt.
Take Canada’s Food guide.
This has been a staple of many dietitians and nutritionists core beliefs for years. The government actually made some serious changes a few years ago and moved some of the food groups around in order if importance and added a bit more info on other things.
This past March there were more changes and last week in the news the government is considering making more changes based on its recommendation of fruit juice in the guide. There was even a MD that was interviewed claiming that if you followed the food guide exactly you would gain weight. Is he right? Maybe. From my point of view it really depends on your metabolism and your activity level. He may have been making a generalization,but nun the less it has some concerned.
When a Doctor says that you will gain weight by following Canada’s food guide on TV it ll make some panic. If I followed the food guide to the letter I would lose weight.
The idea behind science is to have evidence based results. Meaning people have a thought that doing something will get you certain results. They conduct an experiment in which there are strict parameters and see what the results are. If they are what you concluded then you have evidence of what result will occur. Others should be able to do the same experiment with the same parameters and get the same results.
As we learn more and more how food interacts with our body scientists will be doing more studies and what we think is best for us now may change in the future.
This is how we find out new things and advance science.
What does this all mean for us and what we should use as a guide for food intake. How do we know what to do if everything contradicts everything else?
What you need to do is a little self experimentation.
A few small rules and suggestions and it you should be able to figure out what works best for you. Having someone tell you what to eat, especially if you don’t like that particular food or have some other food preferences won’t work for most people.
Here are some suggestions, some never fail general recommendations to help you lose weight and to be healthy overall.
1) Stick with natural foods. The less processed the better.
2) Eat lots of vegetables and fruits, more veggies then fruit but keep both in your diet.
*Note if you are not gaining or losing weight on a regular basis then your body is in balance. The energy from food you take in equals the energy you expend.
3) Keep a detailed food diary. Include what you eat, how much of it you eat, when you eat it, how it makes you feel and your energy level after eating it.
4) Weigh in every week. Same day same time.
5) Study your results and make changes based of of them.
Do the above for a few weeks and track your progress.
For the most part many of us have a tendency to eat similar foods every week or two. If you notice that your energy is low or you just feel like crap after eating a particular food then remove it from your diet.
Think about when you feel bloated, tired, or sleepy and try and pinpoint particular foods that may be associated with those feelings. Then take them out of your diet for a few weeks and see if you notice a change.
Same goes for when you feel lean, more energetic and have a clear mind.
If you haven’t lost or gained any weight you will need to remove some calories form your diet. Stay tuned for next weeks post on how to easily remove calories out of your diet without even noticing.