Saturday, January 9, 2010

Identifying the Necessity for Change.

Verbally expressing that you "want to make a lifestyle or diet change" and actually stepping away from your self, identifying problem areas that demand change, and changing those areas, are two seperate animals. When we decide that we want to improve our fitness by increasing endurance training, strength training, muscle gain or fat- loss, this all demands nutritional knowledge on some level. Yet we are quick to assume that we know what works with out really knowing "HOW" or "WHY" it works. We must indentify the reason behind the necessity for change. Why do we have to burn off excess fat? Why do we need to strengthen our back muscles? Why do we have to increase our endurance? In order to fully utilize foods and liquids for their purpose, we must understand what they do inside our bodies. Saying that you do not want to eat carbs so that you can lose weight is not the correct approach. Yet stepping back, "Googling" the word "carbohydrate" and taking an hour out of your day to educate your self to fully understand the definition and the purpose of a carbohydrate with in our bodies will allow you to confidently and realistically create a plan that works FOR YOU.

When the New Year rolls around, many people are quick to jump on turning over a new leaf. We grab onto the latest fitness and diet fads and immediately assume that "I as well would benefit from no carbohydrates". Integrating new actions into our day for the sake of health is imperative, yet understanding the processes behind these action are even more imperative. I very often meet people that don't eat carbs or sugars. Most are pretty smart about it. Some have been steering clear of white flour, mashed potatoes and drinks with high- sugar counts, yet some even consider oatmeal, whole wheat breads and bananas a threat to their physique. Yes, there are some people out there that are unfortunate to have some sort of intollerance to certain foods, and many do deal with it in smart ways. Yet when I hear a person express that they want to loose weight so they are going to eat "no carbs", but then I see them drink a diet coke. I wonder if they are chosing the right battle. Do we fully understand the thought process behind "No- Carb- Diets"? Or are we just grasping onto these concepts because we think that carbs make us gain weight? Weight gain is caused by more than one reason. And every person gains weight for different reasons. Muscle gain yeilds weight gain. Water intake yeilds weight gain. Constipation yeilds weight gain. High- sodium diets yeild water retention which yeilds weight gain. Fat- gain is the same, some hold on to fat because of internal PH levels, which are caused by diets or stress. Some hold on to weight because of lack of movement, and lack of muscle demand. It is my presonal opinion that body weight is not a good tool to measure when fine tuning your fitness goals. It is an interesting tool, but not a very good representation of what we are working on achieving. I always pay attention to my clothes and how they fit me. May sound silly, but it has worked for me. My body weight fluctuated so much with in a month. If I am training and super lean, I weight more than when I'm being "lazy Kristen" and not doing any strength training. Most know that muscle weighs more than fat. Muscle demands more than fat.( Burns more calories) When we over load our bodies with white enriched flours, fatty animal meat, processed or artificial sugars, this is very demanding and difficult for the body to deal with. So illness, weight gain or even obesity may prevail. But assuming that one particular piece to a puzzle is the sole culprit on a nutrional shortcoming is a falacy .We need to start thinking differently. Diets are based on a process of our bodies. When we seek an action we demand a change. Going on a diet may consist of having a regimented, professionally drawn out "food plan", or it may be as simple as no fatty red meats, no white flour and clean proteins. The processes of our bodies all demand a specific formula of nutirients, minerals, chemicals, protiens, sugars etc. If we are lacking a piece to the puzzle, the process will not be carried out.. Fire will not ignite with out the correct blend of fuel and oxygen.If your going to go on a specific diet, educate your self on the reason you are going on this diet. Constructively criticize your habits and lifestyle. Find out why we gain weight for instance, or find the explination for muscle building. Learn how your body breaks down food, on a simple level, and a whole new world will open up for you! Your wellness and fitness goals will start to become reality with in a whole different realm of clarity.Everyone has the ability to learn something new everyday. We just have to desire the knowledge, and admit that maybe our way isn't the best way, or even the correct way. Educate before you attack! This will allow you to fine tune your habits easily, by giving you clarity with in your choices and an understanding of your body and what it's doing on the inside. Things will start to make sense. You will have control of your body again! Understanding why you gain weight, why you tone down, and why your body reacts the way it does will give you the confidence to assess yourself and create your own personal plan toward your fitness and nutritional goals. Happy New Year!