The only path to long term health and better shape is improving your relationship with your body (here is my confession). It is in listening to the signals your body sends you and by opening the fridge to choose your meals according to what your body is hungry for and not according to what is written on the paper with your diet. It is not in training according to a strict training plan, but according to the levels of energy that your body has, taking into account if something hurts or if you just had too many sleepless nights, in a row.
One of my favorite things to do is the online work with women and men who turn to me and ask me to become their online mentor. In the process, many of them learn that they do not need to deprive themselves, in order to see their measures going down and that they don’t need to feel tired and exhausted. They realize that they can eat their favorite foods – to eat the yolks and the egg white, instead of throwing it away; that they can eat pancakes (the healthy recipe), eat rice and potatoes and choose full fat milk and last but not least that they do not need to waste 2-3 hours a day for working out.
Being by their side on their path to a healthier and fitter self, I notice one main mistake. Initially, every one of them is trying to eat the same foods – every single day. The same breakfast, lunch and dinner. If the nutrition plan has a set amount of carbs that they need to eat, they choose the same source of carbs for every meal. The most common thing is to get their carbs from bananas and their protein from eggs.
Thus, by checking their tables I see the following – the person was supposed to eat 150 grams carbs – so he/she eats 5 bananas. The protein was supposed to be 150 grams and they eat 10 eggs.
In the math of our body 1+1 is rarely equal 2
Do not forget that the body is not plain mathematics. The body is math, mixed with biochemistry. In the body 1+1 is rarely equal 2.
Tracking the amount of macronutrients is great, but at the end of the day, what matters is if you got the required micronutrients.
A banana can give you about 30 grams of carbs but the micronutrients it contains are few. By eating just bananas, the body runs out of the enzymes that digest it. The body gets overloaded with the micronutrients of the banana and gets hungry – for other micronutrients and for enough enzymes that will help for its absorption.
Eggs are a great food – one of my favorites (check out 21 of my favorite recipes with eggs). But they are not enough. They contain fats that the body needs, but the body needs different types of fats. It needs omega 3, which can be found in fish. It needs some fats from nuts or olive oil. It needs meat and the micronutrients it contains.
By eating just eggs, we once again exhaust the enzymes of the body, we overload it with particular micronutrients and we leave it starving for others.
Meal prep for the whole week? The body is not so provident and next Saturday it might need something different.
For me a healthy diet is the one that achieves balance – between the fuel sources and the micronutrient sources.
The paradox of the diet
Besides that the body is adapted to function in connection with nature (read about the paradox of the diet). No matter how much we have distanced ourselves from nature, our instincts are stronger. We cant eat green salads all year round, when green salad cant be found in nature, all year round. We cant eat strawberries all year round, when there isn’t strawberries all year round.
Remember that food is information. Micro and macronutrients are information, that the environment sends to our body, so it can prepare for the next season and the climate conditions.
Nutrition and workouts are not supposed to be a matter of will.
If we eat the same thing every day, all day long, there will come a moment when we will lose control. Or if we stick to it, it will be a matter of will. And if I learned one thing it is that nutrition and workouts are not supposed to be a matter of will – they are a matter of choice, dictated by the needs of the body.
Your body is not hungry for pizza – it is disgusted by it
And do not rush telling me that your body is hungry for pizza or chocolate. Your mind is hungry for them. The body is disgusted – I am sure. Every symptom –exhaustion, disease, bloating, brittle nails, rash are a sign that your body is not hungry for these foods.
I walked on this road and for a long time I used to eat the same thing – every single day. Then, I understood that this is not healthy, but lazy – eating out of habit and with the feeling that you have control over food and your body. But do not forget that biology always takes a toll over willpower and sooner or later, it will ask for what we deprived it from.
Nature gives us an abundance of foods. Take advantage of them and the next time, when you go grocery shopping or when you open the fridge, choose not with the consciousness of a person who is supposed to follow a diet, but with the instincts of a person who listens to his body.
Often times we wonder how some people are thin, yet they eat everything. The secret is that they do not go too far – neither with deprivation, nor with floating with the currant and obeying to the always demanding mind. They just know that their body needs energy, and the soul needs pleasure. Pleasure is in the dose – too much of something dulls the senses and takes away the initial feeling of pleasure. Eating a banana is delicious… eating five of them is too much. A couple eggs are delicious – eating eggs all day long is just a lack of creativity.