Staying Fit with Diet

by Sarah Harris | November 16th, 2011 | Nutrition

As a Holistic Health and Fitness Consultant, people tend to ask me how I keep in shape. I witness them eagerly expecting to hear about my secret workout regime or the latest fat-gobbling exercise trends. Their face quickly changes to disappointment, when I mention that even though it’s important how we choose to exercise, that in my opinion, 70% of staying in shape is how we choose to eat.

Changing the way we eat can be a challenge, as some unhealthy food choices can be a way for us to find comfort in our busy and hectic lives. Yet, could it be that we can still nourish ourselves with the foods we love, while building the body shape we desire?

I’d like to offer three easy ideas to help revamp your nutrition for body shape success:

1) Choose Healthier Versions of  Your Favorite Foods

You may want to consider the 80/20 rule. It works like this – if you can eat and live well 80% of the time, then go ahead and have the chocolate bar or the glass of wine the other 20%. Are your ratios reversed? Perhaps switching over to these healthier options could help:

Unhealthy Food Item vs. Healthier Option
• White processed breads and pastas  vs.  Sprouted Grained breads such as Ezekiel or Manna Breads, and Brown Rice Pastas.
• Ice Cream  vs. Plain Organic Yogurt with nuts and fruit or raw honey.
• Commercial Chocolate Bars  vs.  Antioxidant rich 70% Organic Dark Chocolate and Carob.
• Commercial Potato Chips  vs.  Baked Sweet Potato Chips, Kale Chips, and Gluten free Crackers with hummus or Guacamole.
• Pop  vs.  Kumbucha, a probiotic rich drink.

2) Become a Mindful Eater

Becoming as present as a Buddhist monk when eating can go a long way in staying fit. After all, have you ever seen an overweight monk? It can be challenging in our busy day-to-day lives to find time to eat, let alone, to eat mindfully. Yet, could this be time well spent in achieving your body shape goals while providing a much needed peace point in your day? Try taking one meal and spend 20 minutes to fully taste and digest your food. This can prevent us from overeating, as it takes the brain 20 minutes to receive information from the tummy to say we are full. Additionally, when we actually spend time tasting our food, could it be that we nourish our stress in a positive way rather than gobbling it down and consuming excess calories?

3) Choose Nutrient Rich Organic-Foods

By choosing organically grown veggies, we are helping out Mother Nature and optimizing our nutrition. Organic veggies have been shown to have as much as 50 to 90% more micronutrients than conventionally grown counterparts. Micronutrients are not calories like fat, protein, and carbohydrates, but are vitamins and minerals that support our body’s function. The abundance of micronutrients in organic foods can supercharge the body, satiating our appetites and supporting our fat burning and muscle building capabilities. Like mom always said, “You are what you eat.”

It’s better to take baby steps when it comes to lasting change. You may want to try one of the suggestions above and see how it works for you, then in time, adopt the others. Happy Eating!

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.