Weight loss and fitness and good nutrition may seem out of reach because your life is already too busy and packed with more obligations and activities than you can possibly do justice to.
Almost everyone’s life is like that today. So if you can take a simpler approach in any aspect of your life, that’s a definite plus.
One of those life areas is the one involving nutrition, fitness, and weight loss. As with most things, the simple, common-sense approach is the one that will work best over the long haul.
So here are the nutrition secrets to weight loss and fitness (“secrets” because they are hidden away in the forest of trends and fads and obscured by popularized bad science).
Take the Long View to Make Lifestyle Changes that Result in Weight Loss
First, let’s be clear that your goal really isn’t weight loss. It is, rather, fat loss – losing fat (not mere weight loss) while while maintaining or increasing muscle mass to both look better and feel better.
And what’s the hardest thing about losing fat? Foregoing favorite foods and living on tiny salads? Counting calories while subsisting on stems and twigs? Having no life because you spend hours every day sweating away at the gym?
Nope, it’s none of that . . . really.
The hardest part of weight loss (that is, losing fat) and getting in shape is shedding the wrong ideas and attitudes. And the main one, the primary American myth, is that there is some quick fix – some pill or system or secret application – that will cure your problems and help you achieve your weight loss and fitness goals.
Consider modern Western medicine.
We like to think there is a quick fix – a pill, an antibiotic, a drug, something – that will cure the condition and make all the unpleasant symptoms go away. But it usually doesn’t work that way (and that’s why the holistic, homeopathic method is gaining so much ground now). That’s how we see things, though.
The problem is that this same attitude is rampant in the world of health and fitness and weight loss. You know, if you can find just the right secret diet or the perfect workout regimen, everything will be just fine. But it just ain’t so.
Weight loss, fitness, and muscle gain should actually be secondary goals achieved over time by effective and persistent lifestyle changes. Lead a healthier life, and the fat will disappear . . . over time. And there are health benefits even if you don’t fully achieve your goals.
Some high-profile studies have shown that many people who have attempted and yet failed to lose weight still live longer than those who didn’t make the attempt owing to the healthy lifestyle changes they made.
In addition, thin people who look healthy may not be all that healthy after all. Remember all those runners dropping like flies a couple of decades or so ago? Weight loss, if achieved in the wrong way, can even have a negative impact on your health.
What all this means, then, is that you should shoot for better health first. And doing that can be remarkably easy and simple.
All it takes is long-term commitment to improving health through increased activity and an improved diet. With this approach, slower but longer-lasting weight loss is the usual natural result. And the results are usually much easier to hang onto.
So take at look at these nutrition tips . . . .
Avoid Extremes and Excess
The first thing to keep in mind is that you should avoid any extremes and excess (except for dramatic, short-term results in special cases) in your quest for weight loss and better health.
An example here is the so-called keto diet everyone is raving about today. Sure, you can lose weight with a protein-dominant, high-fat, almost no-carb keto diet, but it can be dangerous and have detrimental effects on your health if practiced for very long.
And remember the low-fat craze that swept the nation in the 1980s?
Everyone was suddenly afraid of consuming fat and turned to hours-long aerobic workouts for health and weight loss. And what were the results? A lot of skinny people with little muscle and still a lot of fat on their bodies.
And then there are eggs. Just a few years ago, they were absolutely evil, except for a limited amount of egg white. But that’s all gone now. Today, you are encouraged to eat eggs because they are a good, cheap source of protein and good fats, and the yolks contain valuable trace nutrients.
So common sense, moderation, and gradual progress always win the day when it comes to health and weight loss.
Don’t Be Afraid of Fat
So how did we arrive at our irrational prejudice against fats?
It all dates back to a slipshod study conducted by Ancel Keys not long after World War II. The media and medical community latched on to his study, promulgated the flawed findings, and foisted it all (under pressure from certain lobbies) on the American public.
Keys’ study concluded that a low-fat diet was the key to a long and healthy life, especially a healthy heart. But he cherry picked his findings and left a lot of important data out.
Keys deliberately ignored certain populations: 1) those that ate a lot of fat, but still had a low incidence of heart disease and 2) those where people consumed very little fat and still had a high rate of heart disease.
So his facile conclusion that the way to a healthy heart is through very low fat consumption was mistaken. There’s just a lot more to the story.
The renowned proponent of consuming healthy fats Dr. Udo Erasmus had this to say: “We just finished a study with a mixture of oils that has everything good in it—none of the bad stuff that we should be avoiding anyway. And we had world-class athletes.
“We put them on a tablespoon per 50 pounds of body weight per day of this oil blend mixed with food spread over the course of the day. Their average increase in stamina was over 40%, and some of them had over a 50% increase in stamina. That’s pretty close to what you get with steroids.”
So, the truth is you need plenty of the good fats for optimal health, weight loss, and strength and muscle building.
Shoot for the Optimal Diet
Now, with respect to the larger aspects of diet, you should eat a balanced diet (nothing extreme or faddish) that is optimized to help you achieve your fitness goals.
The general breakdown (though with adjustments to take into account individual differences and needs) goes like this . . .
Macro-nutrient Diet and Caloric Percentages
- Protein – 30%
- Carbs – 45%
- Fats – 25%
- Lean beef
- Whole grains
- Dark-colored vegetables
- Fruits with low sugar content and high in anti-oxidants
- Egg yolks
- Olive oil
- Fish oil
- Flax oil
It’s not rocket science, just common sense and balance.
Although a balanced diet was once plenty adequate to meet all our nutritional needs, that may not always be the case today.
Crops grown in nutrient-depleted soil with the aid of chemical fertilizers are just not as nutrient rich as they should be. And if you add to the mix strenuous exercise and the stress of modern lifestyles, diet alone may not provide all the nutrients and in the quantities you need.
Also, keep in mind that if you’re working toward weight loss, you are likely restricting calories to some degree by eating less or eating less of some foods. And a reduction in food consumed also means reduced nutrients taken in.
Supplementation, then, might be a good idea, at least as an inexpensive insurance policy. For example, you might consider supplementing at least with . . . .
The B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, B-6, B-12, and folate) are essential for proper functioning of the body in several areas and are needed for cell repair and production. Supplementing with B vitamins has also been linked to higher levels of athletic performance.
This vitamin is important in the repair of connective tissue and helps bolster the immune system. Because vitamin C is also an anti-oxidant, it can aid in reversing some of the oxidative damage that results from strenuous exercise.
Calcium is often overlooked in supplementation regimens for sports and fitness. But for women and people involved in contact or other high-impact sports, extra calcium is important for bone health and repair.
Be Kind to Your Joints
If you’re engaged in any kind of exercise, then your joints are going to take a beating. And if you jog or engage in cardio, your knees and hips will take a brutal beating.
So it’s a good idea to ensure the health of your joints with some supplements, such as . . .
Glucosamine aids in maintenance and repair of cartilage, slows breakdown of cartilage, and, it’s claimed, stimulates cartilage growth.
Chondroitin sulphate promotes hydration of cartilage for better joint mobility and reduction of abrasion damage.
Methylsulfonylmethane, as the name suggests, is a sulfur compound, and sulfur is a component of collagen—the protein in connective tissue. MSM is good for joints because it promotes a healthy inflammation response.
The clinical evidence for the effectiveness of these supplements is inconclusive and ambivalent. Some studies suggest they work while others say they have little to no effect.
Still, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence from users that these joint supplements help reduce pain and keep joints healthy.
Get Your Workout Attire and Accessories
After you get the right attitude, implement an optimal diet, and get some supplements, you know you need to exercise.
For most of us, that means going to the gym – because when we pay for that monthly gym membership, we’re more likely to work out so that we don’t waste that money.
And then you’ll need the right attire and the necessary accessories. Whether it’s bandanas, caps, or backpacks, you’ll find it at Wholesale For Everyone – with significant savings on even single items.