Nutrition is complicated. Very, very complicated.
We have oodles of nutrition choices, complicated and conflicting research and science, confusing and often judgmental advise from people like me, or goo-roos peddling their ‘supplements’ or restrictive diets. It can all be very overwhelming when you are trying to be healthy and maintain any specific body composition.
But, it’s also a very important part of our lives and learning to find balance is equally important.
It’s important to understand where you are getting your nutrition advice from. People like me, a Certified Personal Trainer, are not qualified to write meal plans or give any nutrition advice beyond the basics. Unless you are speaking to a Registered Dietician, any advice beyond basics should be taken with heed.
As a CPT, I’ve done some nutrition studies. I have something called the ‘Fitness Nutrition Specialist’ certification through NASM, the organization which I hold my training certification with. But, this does not qualify me to give meal plans. It qualifies me to have a basic understanding of nutrition so that I can help, teach, guide, and suggest ways to implement better dietary and nutrition habits to my clients. That’s it. Truly it. Don’t let any one other than an RD try to convince you otherwise.
When it comes to nutrition, I do not subscribe to any particular ‘diet’. I believe that any approach that you choose to take that helps you to feel energized, to feel satiated, that supports your body composition goals is the right one. As long as it’s done mindfully and with consideration of your personal goals and needs. I say this to caution against any person that may try to push their own process, product, or plan on to you.
The basics to consider and start with are these:
- Drink a lot of water everyday
- Eat enough for your needs (this is where things can get confusing, and consistency, planning, patience, and lots of trial and error can help you figure out what that means for you)
- Eat fruits and vegetables everyday
- Track and monitor your intake in order to learn what works best for you (calories, macros, specific foods etc.)
- Be open to change and flexibility
- Be Consistent and Be Patient. Very Patient.
This process of ‘finding balance’ with diet, nutrition, fitness, and lifestyle can be ever changing. A flexible approach helps to not become overwhelmed. In addition, the process will shift and change as you go. It will change with age, with varying workout regimens, with hormones, to name a few, so any strict ‘diet’ will only show results for so long before it something changes making it less effective.
Nutrition for health and nutrition for body composition should be long term commitments. Nothing will stick if only followed for a few weeks or months. Nor will it stick if there is too much reliance on supplementation. Patience is a huge factor. Allow time for you to figure out what works for you and understand that it could take much longer than you imagine.
Whether you are trying to drop weight, gain weight, or keep to a healthy lifestyle, it’s important to understand even just the basics of nutrition. It’s important to make mindful choices for yourself. It’s important to hold yourself accountable for your choices. It’s important to ask as many questions as possible so that you are empowered to make better choices.
I know my thoughts and advice here are sort of vague and general, and I know most of us want to hear the ‘magic pill’ advice, but that does not exist. When it comes to our nutrition, knowledge, patience, and not getting swooped up in propaganda is the better approach. In my opinion.
Be Well and Practice better Nutrition.