Today’s Tip “Determine your Ratio”

Are all calories created equal?

It’s true that you can lose weight with a calorie deficit regardless of what you are eating but it’s important to consider the ramifications to your health/fitness. I prefer a diet based on moderation. Ideally I would like to achieve a 80/20 split. Meaning that 80% of the time I eat healthy. I prefer this style of eating because it allows me to attend social functions without guilt and allows me to eat the same foods as the rest of my family. In the past I have tried stricter diets but I have found them to be too isolating and unrealistic long-term. In addition I can’t seem to stop losing weight, perhaps because I simply can’t eat enough healthy food to meet my caloric needs. I also find it’s too expensive and time consuming to have one breakfast, lunch dinner for myself and a completely different breakfast, lunch, and dinner for everyone else. With this diet (by diet I simply mean way of eating) everyone can eat the same foods, no one feels deprived, everyone can still enjoy their favorite meals, and we all get to try new foods together. If the other members of my family want additional treats between meals they can have them. Actually I only cook dinner except on weekends sometimes lol Sam does not eat breakfast. Izzy makes her own. Sam eats lunch at work (cafeteria) on workdays and Izzy eats lunch at school on school days.

 

Lists not exhaustive just some points to consider when deciding on your own ratio =)

 

Healthy Eating

 

Pros

  • Meets nutritional needs without the need for expensive supplements and vitamins
  • Regulates blood sugar levels which reduces the risk of binging
  • Improves and regulates mood
  • Greater volume of food at meals/increased fiber leads to feelings of satiation/fullness which may reduce feelings of deprivation
  • Improved athletic performance
  • Improved concentration
  • Improved sleep
  • Appearance improving benefits
  • Improved immunity
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, etc.
  • Aids in digestion and in creating a healthy bacterial culture in the digestive tract (believe it or not the bacteria in your gut can communicate with your brain and even affect your behavior, the good bacteria lives with you in symbiosis and has a vested interest in your health and well-being, the bad bacteria are dangerous and opportunistic, which would you prefer influencing your habits?)

 

Cons

  • Can take longer to prepare (will talk about easing that burden later)
  • Can be expensive if seeking out specialty items
  • It can be quite difficult to maintain this style of eating at restaurants and social events where options are limited (I practice moderation and am not particular social so this hasn’t proven such a burden for me personally)
  • Some people have not acclimated to the taste of fresh, wholesome, unprocessed foods (experiment with different cuisines and preparations, a taste for these foods can be acquired by anyone though no one will like every food!)
  • Fresh foods perish rather quickly so more planning is necessary

 

Calorie Restriction with a “Typical Western Diet”

 

Pros

 

  • Convenience (quicker meal preparation, easy access)
  • Processed foods have a long expiration date
  • Some people prefer the taste of processed foods
  • Some foods are cheaper

 

Cons

  • Requires one to count calories (it’s easy to overeat junk food, it’s not so easy to overeat whole, unprocessed foods)
  • May require vitamins or supplements to meet nutritional needs
  • Restaurant meals and prepackaged meals typically cost more than their homemade counterparts
  • Blood sugar fluctuations
  • Mood fluctuations
  • Hunger often returns quickly after eating which could lead to binging/minuscule portions can also lead to binging
  • Even if you achieve a healthy weight you will still be at an increased risk for heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes etc.
  • Can negatively impact your appearance
  • Decreased athletic performance
  • Reduced immunity
  • Reduced concentration
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Problems with digestion/overgrowth of bad bacteria
  • Body Odor
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