"How Should I Eat?"
Jan 27, 2015
People talk to me about nutrition all the time. It's my "thing," so I'm constantly getting questions...and rightfully so. The question that comes up the most is, "Blair, what am I supposed to eat?"
What a loaded question! Here's the answer that no one wants to get from any question: "It depends." Bear with me, I'll get to where you and I will be on the same page.
When I tell folks "it depends," I first want to get to the root of what their goals are. You see, there's no one-size-fits-all approach to eating. Sure, most of the folks that I talk nutrition about have weight loss goals in mind. But that still doesn't mean that they can all eat the same way and get the same kind of results. There are several factors that determine the best eating strategy for you and your goals...
- What is your goal? Are you wanting to simply lose fat and maintain your muscle mass or are you wanting to put on muscle and get really lean? Are you okay with your current physique and are more concerned about eating in order to protect your heart? Are you trying to remain as far away from diabetes as possible because you have a family history of the disease? You see what I mean--you have to first establish what you're wanting to accomplish.
- How active are you or do you plan on being/remaining? Once you establish your goal, you'll have a corresponding type and amount of activity you'll be participating in from now on. There are different ways of eating that are best for different amounts and types of activity. For instance, an Olympic-level sprinter and a Couch-to-5K beginner that needs to shed some excess fat cannot be on the same nutrition plan and expect to get the results they set out to achieve. People need different ways of eating to support their activity.
- Do you have any food sensitivities that need to be addressed? Let's say your neighbor has gotten great results having a breakfast of full-fat yogurt with blueberries and walnuts, and you'd like to give that a try...But every time you come within a mile of dairy your stomach swells up like a balloon and you are stuck in the bathroom the rest of the day. See, not all foods are "healthy" for everybody. Any time you have a physical response to eating a food, it's an indication that you ought not eat that food because you will suffer inflammatory consequences. When inflammation is around, your body will put your goals automatically on the back burner.
It definitely helps to have someone who's skilled in deciphering these factors, someone who can help you plan what you need to be doing to suit you as an individual. It's more and more mentally accepted that you can't exercise away poor eating habits. And more folks are taking responsibility for what they put on their plate and then into their mouths. My advice is to find someone you feel can help you get your ducks in a row and to help hold you accountable along the way.
*Please speak to your doctor before beginning any exercise or nutrition program. The addition of a Registered Dietician may be advised.