We all love food.
We all want to be fit, healthy, slim, toned and happy.
And we all want that to be a way of life – not constantly dieting, falling off the wagon, and starting all over again.
What do we need in order to do this?
First, we need to understand food – what it’s broken down to, and what it does for us.
And we need to understand that the balance between the calories we consume through food and drink, and calories we burn through activity and exercise, is what determines our size and health above everything else.
Food is amazing. It can be delicious, comforting and make us very happy.
Food is also fuel. Nutrients for our body. It contains everything we need to survive and to THRIVE:
Protein to keep our muscles strong.
Good fats to create healthy cells and balanced hormones.
Carbohydrates to give us energy to move around and use our amazing body.
All food is broken down into protein, carbs and fat – even the ‘bad stuff’.
Most ‘bad stuff’ – chocolate, crisps, cake, pizza, chips etc – are a mixture of carbs and fat. As long as you stay aware of this, when you really want them, you can fit them in by reducing your carbs and fat elsewhere, thereby keeping your calories the same.
You risk losing out on good nutrition that way – dropping your avocado and sweet potato to have a nice big slice of cake won’t do your body any favours – but if you manage to balance out the calories still, and you eat a nutritious, balanced diet most of the time, you will still be slim, healthy, and be able to enjoy your favourite foods without feeling restricted.
Calories are not sexy or exciting, but understanding them will make a massive difference to your success.
AND it will mean you can enjoy the things you want more often and still be in great shape – you just need to tweak things a little to stay on track. Eat a little less elsewhere or burn a little more later and you’re all good.
You don’t need to count every calorie, but it can help you enormously to have a rough idea of how much you’re having. Portion sizes, drinks, little nibbles, unplanned snacks, all can add up to stall your progress. With anything you’re unsure of – have a quick look on the packet (if there is one) or use myfitness pal or google to see how much you’ll be taking in. Snack foods, sauces, drinks, and carbs like rice, pasta and cereal, often pack in a lot more than you’d think. Once you know what the right amount is for you, next time you can just go straight for that amount or choose an alternative.
Many people find that once they get that balance right, they just intuitively eat the right amount and know roughly how much they’re having. They find that when they get enough protein, healthy fats and good nutrition, and they keep active, they lose weight and are slim and healthy, with no need to count calories.
So don’t worry about it if just living a healthy lifestyle is working for you, just keep going. But if you get stuck, start to gain weight or just aren’t happy where you are, spend a week tracking how much you’re eating and you’ll find where you’re going wrong.
I have a free PDF Nutrition guide that explains more about protein, carbs, fat and how to balance your diet. The ladies in my 12 week online coaching program have made a brilliant start to changing their eating habits for life by applying some of the simple principles that are outlined. This stuff can seem pretty daunting at first, but once you understand the basics it can set you up to be slim and healthy for life. Just let me know if you’d like a copy and I’ll happily send it over to you 🙂