Nutrition Confusion

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Nutrition Confusion

25th Oct 2013

A few years ago losing weight was just about “consuming fewer calories than you expend”. The phrase was: “eat less, exercise more”. These days though there seems to be so much confusion about nutrition, maybe that is because there are so many fad diets or the fact you can find so much written about it on the internet but the truth is most people don’t know which way to turn!

Now it’s great that nutrition get’s all this publicity, but sometimes rather than helping you get a grasp of what a healthy lifestyle looks like, you start to feel totally confused by the huge choice available to you.

Below are 5 tips on understanding the confusion and 5 simple rules I ask my clients to follow.

1. Realize that you are an individual.

Let’s be honest, there is no one way of eating that works for everybody.

Remember this the next time your friend tries to convince you that the latest diet they are following would be perfect for you too.

We all have individual needs, according to our current health and fitness levels, age, gender, size, lifestyle, even religion.

So, when you are offered nutritional advice from someone, maybe you should ask yourself if that person is thinking about you, rather than simply advising that you try the latest fad diet.

Research the advice to see if it is relevant to you, this will help stop that yo-yo dieting and the feeling of failure.

2. Understand that nutrition is complex

With all the contradicting information out there it is hard to understand what is correct and this leads to confusion and mistakes.

There are so many reasons for this, but you must understand that nutrition is a complex area, which means we are always learning new things.

We make our dietary recommendations based on what information we have read, but we need to accept that this could or already may have changed, hence why one minute something is good for you the next it’s not!

An example of this was the advice to avoid egg yolks because they contain cholesterol, now it’s thought that the cholesterol found in food does not have such a bad affect as initially thought!

So just by realising that what you read can and probably will change will help you to feel less frustrated by the change.

3. Know that the Media ‘hype’ things up

We all know the media like to hype things up as that’s what sells, ultimately making them a profit. So are they really looking at things with an unbiased attitude?

I would imagine not so we would all do well to remember this the next time we are influenced by something they are reporting on.

The fact is that most newspapers or magazines are not interested in giving you the very best information to help improve your health, they are all about the money!

So please be careful, if this is where you usually get your diet info from.

4. Realize Not All Advisers Are Qualified

There are many qualified diet advisors out there but unfortunately there are just as many of them out that are not and this leads to people listening to the worst source ever, CELEBRITIES!

I understand it can be difficult to spot a fake diet advisor. So how can you be sure you’re getting the very best information?

Firstly make sure that the diet advisors nutritional advice is backed up with good science. That means if they make a claim that it is supported by a study, rather than telling you to do something because it worked for them.

They should also be able offer practical guidance that will help you make the necessary lifestyle and food choices, rather than confusing you even further.

5. Stop Looking For That Magic Formula

The reason why pills, potions, lotions and fad diets exist is because most of us buy into these in hope that it will be the ‘magic formula’ that will help us to get and stay slim.

Unfortunately choosing between a fake diet advisor telling you what you want to hear, and a real one giving you the same old truth, all too often it’s the fake that gets your ear as those promises are hard to resist!

Please do not fall for these ‘magic formulas’ they just don’t work and end in wasted money, lack of results and even feelings of despair.

So, what should you do to end this confusion?

There are some basic rules I have found work for both myself and my clients when it comes to eating habits.

1. First and foremost eat whole foods, by this I mean fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish and nuts. Things that don’t have an ingredients label. You’re probably thinking but those foods are plain and you would be right but using a few of them together combined with herbs and spices you will never be short of a new experience.

2. Be strict with yourself when it comes to treats, now I’m not saying never have your favourite treats rather to limit those things so they actually become treats instead of just the norm. In fact I would go as far as saying that it is important that you do have the occasional treat as this is more likely to keep you on track.

3. Cook from scratch, now I can already hear you saying I don’t have time and I can’t cook but the reality is that most meals can be prepared within 15 minutes and with very little culinary skills.

There are literally thousands of recipes on the internet a lot of them even include nutritional values that I find really helpful so you have no excuse!

plan as this will not only encourage you to eat the right foods but also decreases the wastage as you only buy what you are actually planning on eating saving you money too.

5. The last rule and by no means the least is drink and I don’t mean an alcoholic one I am talking about water. This is key in assisting your health and weight loss and should be one of the most important parts of your lifestyle. If you were to make only one change I would advise you to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day, yes it really is that important!