As the nutrition director of Premier fitness Camp, I have come across one common question: What does it mean to eat healthy? I have found that most people who come to our camp have the wrong idea of what eating healthy really is. They relate eating healthy to deprivation, low carbohydrates, low-fat, low- calorie, etc. Well, I am going to tell you what I tell them….eating healthy is not about depriving, following a particular calorie count, or even counting carbohydrate grams. Eating healthy should be simple, delicious and obtainable.
I love the saying, “You are what you eat”, but what about the concept, “you eat what you are”? There are so many cultures out there and each culture is associated with a type of food. To tell an Italian that eating healthy means cut out breads and pasta, is like asking them to change their genetic blueprint. There is no one clear depiction of what eating healthy is, it is different for everyone. Stop falling into society’s game of redefining healthy eating based on the most recent fad diet…. Not only will you most likely fail to achieve your weight-loss goal, but you will make yourself obsessed in the process.
At Premier Fitness we like to follow these eight simple steps to healthy eating:
1. Set yourself up for success: As Leah likes to say “This is a marathon, not a sprint”. Make small, simple changes to your diet instead of making a drastic change overnight. You will stick with it longer and you will be more successful.
2. Moderation is Key: No food is OFF LIMITS! If you allow yourself every type of food, you won’t focus on what you can’t have, and instead focus on all the great things you can eat. It’s human nature to want what you can’t have. For example: if you tell yourself sweets are off limits, you will be reminding yourself all day to not have any and it will make you want them more…. Trust me!
3. Change your attitude about food. Most people who have done the weight-loss rollercoaster become terrified of food. They haven’t been successful in their weight-loss endeavors, so they start creating a bad relationship with food. Stop it. Food is delicious, it’s meant to be enjoyed so start enjoying it again.
4. Keep your plate colorful: Eating a variety of foods will create that rainbow of color you are looking for. The more color, the more vitamins and nutrients you are getting. Broccoli is great, but eating it every day will not only get boring, but there are so many other veggies out there you need too.
5. Carbs are not the enemy! “Fat burns in a carbohydrate flame”. Eating healthy carbs and grains is essential for energy, fat metabolism, and intestinal health. The key is to avoid simple carbs found in white sugar, white flour and white rice.
6. Fat doesn’t make you fat. That is, good fats containing essential Omega 3’s and Omega 6 fatty acids. Fat nourishes your brain, heart and cells, as well as keep your hair shiny and nails strong. Fat will essentially make you pretty. Get your dietary fat from sources like avocado, nuts, fish oils, flaxseed and olive oil.
7. Avoid the S’s. Stay away from salt and sugar…need I say more? All health experts are now linking obesity and the Type 2 diabetes epidemic to sugar. A 200 pound man should not intake more than 40g of added sugar a day. One, 20 oz. coke has 60g!!! As for salt, not more than 1500 to 2300 mg a day.
8. Last, but not least….PLAN AHEAD! It is hard to eat healthy if you don’t plan right. Keep your fridge and pantry stocked full of healthy ingredients and snacks. That way, when you’re hungry you have nothing but good choices to choose from. If you’re dining out, try to look at the online menu of the restaurant beforehand so you know what to expect and can make a good choice.
……GOOD LUCK, I KNOW YOU CAN DO IT!
Megan Olsen bio:
Megan has been working in the exercise and nutrition industry for most of her adult life. Her passion for health started at a very young age, but didn’t always come easy for her. Megan’s desire is to help each guest find the correct solution to their weight loss struggle. Megan’s philosophy is simple, “I don’t believe in diets, nor do I expect you to eat and follow a regiment that will leave you feeling deprived and hungry. What I do expect, is for us to work as a team to figure out a way that will work for you. It is going to take dedication, determination, and a plan. Weight-loss is a viscous cycle usually consisting of yo-yo diets that are impossible to maintain. Too often people set themselves up for failure by setting unrealistic expectations and goal. You are all capable of succeeding! Weight loss should not be a fad, but a lifestyle. It took me a lot of years to get it right for myself and it is going to take some time for you. There is no greater feeling than confidence and I want to help you obtain it!”