the fitness journal
What is a healthy diet?
I was sitting in a coffee shop last week
Probably my favourite place to relax, especially when the sun is shining and I can kick back, soak up the cosmic rays with the beautiful aroma of my double espresso.
But I couldn't relax
I was busy listing in on a conversion going on across the way, I could help but listen in
Well I could have, but when it's fitness chat my ears are primed
I might as well have pulled up next to them and started taking notes by the way I was staring across.
But onwards with my story
One of them was a women in her late 30's was explaining her fitness problems.
She was saying how she ate "healthy" but could never seem to lose weight.
In the past 12 years as a trainer this has come up in conversation time and time again.
It is a big problem for so many people.
It's the kind of problem that gets me asking questions
What does "healthy" mean to you?
Is "healthy" the same for all of us?
Here's my take on the matter
"Healthy" is not the same for all of us. What's right for one of us isn't going to be right for someone else.
Also we can look at "healthy" in two ways.
They are not one and the same.
If you over eat on healthy foods then your diet is not healthy as you will will be carrying extra body fat
If you under eat on healthy foods then your diet is not healthy as you may be underweight
Being overweight has risks
• type 2 diabetes
• high blood pressure
• heart disease
• certain types of cancer
• sleep apnea
• respiratory problems
• fatty liver disease
• kidney disease
And you can become overweight eating healthy foods. It may be a little harder but it's doable.
• Impaired Immunity
• Female Reproductive Issues
• Muscle Weakness
• Hair Loss
• Irregular hormone regulation
• Delayed growth and development
This information shows that one of the most important parts of diet is that we are a healthy weight. All of our energy needs are different so to balance our intake and expenditure of energy is important to live a healthy life.
So what are healthy foods and why do they matter?
Have you ever heard of the Twinkie diet?
If you have you will know you can eat anything you like and lose weight as long as you are in a negative energy balance.
If you haven't heard the story then here goes
Professor of nutrition wants to prove a point.
He calculates his calorie needs and then plans a hefty calorie deficit (1800cals)
He then breaks this down to twinkies per day.
He eats nothing but these 1800 calories of sugary goodness for 90 days and proceeds to lose 27lb.
Yes that's right 27lb.
Whilst the weight loss didn't surprise him (science and stuff)
He was surprised that his lipid profile improved. Likely due to becoming a more healthy weight.
Ok ok, so then why does food quality matter? Can't I just eat twinkies too?
Food quality matters if you don't want horrible body composition, low energy levels, and higher risk of diseases.
Healthy foods are considered those that are minimally processed and as close to their natural form as possible.
These foods provide nutrients for creating new cells, cleaning toxins and for metabolic functions.
They will help reduce the risk of diseases, keep you fit, strong and full of energy.
Sounds good right?
So what does all of this mean for you and and I?
It's simple really
Eat predominantly minimally processed foods
Eat for your energy demands, so you become and maintain a healthy weight.