Thursday, November 17, 2011

Balancing Your Diet For Better Diet

Have you figured out your food balance yet? It’s a strange theory with dieting that many people don’t take into account, but recognizing what foods make you uncomfortable and what foods don’t as well as how much of each can be daunting. There’s more information than ever on what will and will not kill you out there, but what is the balance in it all is the hard part for anyone trying to get their diet under control. I have fallen into these traps myself, which has led me to standing on a scale feeling terrible and wondering why my weight doesn’t change in whatever direction I want it to. Not all foods are created equal for everyone, so I want to share some of my observations and see if anyone else has these problems too.

Now of course when I was younger I used to just load up on proteins. Proteins are the food that builds the outer muscle in your body and when you are a bodybuilder like me then you assume that building is better. In theory this is great when you are younger, because your body seems to handle all of the proteins better, but as I got older I was able to see the disadvantages of a protein mostly diet. Technically it doesn’t come out the other end all that well and it will leave you bloated often. As the years wore on I had a very hard time comprehending why I would get more bloated with less protein, and more constipated even when I cut back. It’s all about balance, and anything you eliminate your body craves, especially as you get older and don’t recover as fast.

Now as difficult as it is to truly comprehend what your body needs for balance the benefits of just feeling better are well worth it. I know when I have a rather bad bout with too much of this or two little of that, I feel like a super hero when I get it under control again. Starting with the old theory that you need 30% of your diet to be protein, 40% of your diet to be carbohydrates, and 30% of your diets to be fats, is the best starting point. From there I simply adjust things in any direction slowly until I get the feeling of “yuck” that says I have gone too far. Inevitably the first things you are going to cut back is the fat, and then keep in mind what you replace the fat with. If you get your fats down to say 15% that means you are going to get 15% more protein or carbs or a combination of both to equal the missing 15% and that changes everything just as much as eliminating 15% fat.

Then you need to factor how you are getting your carbs and proteins too. There is a huge difference between Yoghurt and Steak on your digestive system. I shouldn’t need to go into a proper diet scenario here, but I will say when you eliminate some fat you should replace it with digestive proteins like Yoghurt. This will make it a lot easier on you just like replacing your fat with carbs should involve fiber from say Oatmeal. In any regards if you do not drink a lot of fluids and bring your fibers up while your fat content goes down that will make you dehydrated and hungry at the same time. It’s a very strange state of being but as long as you keep that in the back of your head it will make it a lot easier on you in the long run. I always concentrate on my two cups of oatmeal and three Greek Yoghurts a day and my digestion usually stays in check and I rarely have bloat, dehydration or hunger.

Lastly I just want to point out from my own experience that a half assed effort at any fad diet will do nothing more than make you miserable. Take Atkins for example. Technically I can’t see how it works, but it does, so many people use it. That’s great for them, but if you are “kind of” doing Atkins you will gain weight and feel sick. The same holds true for vegetable based diets, carb diets, zero fat diets and just about every other get thin quick schemes. Most of them operate of malnutrition and can work if done perfectly. I would never suggest to anyone that you malnourish yourself but if you are then for the love of God do it right. The results of doing it wrong are not only physical but mental. You hear it all the time, that this diet and that diet failed you or it doesn’t work and most of the time it is a failure of will. We all know this. If you simply start by balancing your diet and then perfecting the balance inside of you, the way it makes you feel, and then start to strip away the calories you will win in the end. Above all else, just remember that it is not a sprint, to an unhealthy albeit skinnier you, it is a slow jog to a permanently better you. Healthy will just be a side benefit.