Most of us don’t realize it, but we all are nutrition and diet experts, at least in relation to our own nutritional needs. In a society where we are spoon fed solutions to any and all problems we have developed an unhealthy behavior of dependency. This is not only unhealthy, but also unproductive. This point is obvious with the rising obesity rates in spite of there being more health and fitness experts than ever before. Today, there are just far too many “gurus” saturating ( and watering down) the quality of information, products and services available in this profession.
So how can you qualify nutrition advice from an expert?
How can you be sure that a diet will work for you? Well I can tell you it’s not because the person who sold you the information claimed his diet worked for hundreds of other clients and that it’s guaranteed to work for you too. No, I’m talking about listening to your own body. Applying logic and common sense to everything you do. I’m amazed at how some intelligent people can remove the ability to think for themselves in favor of having someone do it for them. This to me, is the ultimate laziness. The inability to listen to and apply what your body is telling you about your current needs and sate of wellness.
So what makes you so qualified to deliver precise dietary recommendations to yourself?
Because you have ( enter your age) years of eating experience. Experience is a major factor in determining if someone is truly an expert in something. What other credentials do you offer? Here’s just a sampling of your nutrition expert resume:
- You have years of trial and error, experimentation and feedback
- You at least have an idea what foods make you feel good and which ones don’t
- You know what foods have the most positive impact on your workouts and recovery
- You know what foods tend to make you fat
- You attended grade school and covered the basics in Health class
- You’ve tried every diet available so you know which ones work or don’t work for you
- You have a pretty good idea of what is holding you back from your goals right now.
Wow, that’s a pretty impressive list of qualifications. So why don’t we use these tools when we attempt to lose weight? It’s a real mystery. You need to take stock of the things you’ve learned in order to apply it down the road. Life is no different. Same with exercise. To keep moving forward you must learn from your successes and failures, otherwise expect to be counted in the high number of us who just don’t have a clue. The weight loss industry will be raking in the billions until we can all get our acts together and start thinking for ourselves for the betterment of our health and wellness.
I don’t just talk about this stuff. I do in fact live it. . . . everyday of my life. Taking time to observe and absorb information and my surroundings. Going through life as a passenger is not for me. Maybe, I’m a control freak. But I believe that if I’m not in control of my body then it must out of control and that is a very dangerous state to be in. I’ll share with you some of the things I’ve learned about my own diet:
- Focusing on eating nutritious foods that taste great can greatly reduce my craving for junk food.
- I focus on eating 3 times a day and adding nutritious snacks in between meals when possible. Eating 5-6 meals a day means I’m always thinking about eating and that is not how I want to live.
- If I eat a big dinner less than 2 hours before going to bed I don’t sleep well and feel almost hungover the next day.
- I try to make unselfish food choices. Opting for foods that make a positive impact on my local community and planet. Always trying to stay lean puts me in a selfish frame of mind that I find unhealthy for prolonged periods.
- Worrying about specific nutrient ratios is largely a waste of time unless I am very lean and want to achieve a peak condition. Most of the time I just eat whole foods and just keep everything balanced.
- Calorie counting is useless unless I am very lean. If I wake up one day and feel a little thicker, I just back off my intake for a day or two, then return to normal eating . I usually can account for why I’m thicker and it usually means I’ve been to the Dairy Queen for the Blizzard of the month.
- I can’t tolerate carbohydrates well eaten by themselves as they send me on a blood sugar roller-coaster that’s tough to recover from. Eaten as part of a balanced meal ( with protein, healthy fats and fibrous carbs I have no problems.
- If I focus on balancing my meals and employ good food choices I can sustain even energy levels for the majority of the day.
- Playing sports helps me keep my nutrition on track. I’m very competitive and if I want to perform well, I know what foods I need to eat to be my best and recover well enough to avoid the “hangover feeling” and to play again the next day.
- If I find myself “emotionally eating” I try to uncover what my emotional issues are and correct them.
I could go on and on with my own list but I want you to do the same for yourself. Make a list of what you’ve learned from your own eating habits. If you can’t think of anything then start today. Record how food make you feel. Write it down. Use it!
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