It's Not a Diet, It's a Lifestyle
AUTHOR RHYS SKELLERN / CATEGORY LIFESTYLE / PUBLISHED: OCT-01-2019
Weigh up or Weigh In, What’s More Important?
Stepping onto a scale doesn’t have to be a scary thing. However the honest truth is that weight, especially when you’re using it as the only indicator, is a very poor way to track your progress. Here at Movement Food we’re all about a holistic approach to health, not just weight management, so this week we thought we’d dive deeper into the need to balance your week and how tracking macro’s instead of kilo’s can help you reach your goals faster.
Balance Your Week- Don’t Balance on a Scale
How often do you step onto a scale only to be disappointed? It’s especially worse when you feel you’ve been doing all the right things, and the changes just aren’t coming quick enough. Of course, this is usually followed with frustration, a feeling of despair, and more often than not a poor food choice isn’t too far away.
Regardless of your goals, tracking your weight as the only measure of progress often leads us to set-backs, rather than propelling that growth. Research has shown that it takes around 8 weeks to form new habits. When it comes to health, that means:
- 8 weeks to make exercise part of your routine
- 8 weeks to make better food choices, more often
- 8 weeks until you should actually start to expect a result
Getting the picture? The hardest part in setting and maintaining healthier choices is understanding, and accepting, that they will take time. It is OK to have a cheat meal every now and again, or to go out for a night on the town. But on the flip side you have to balance it with choices that are good for you. That means healthier foods, regular exercise, and most importantly real and effective rest.
The second thing to understand is that that balance can come at any point during the week. If you stayed out all night and didn’t get enough sleep- catch up on it the next day. If you couldn’t resist and just nailed a whole packet of M&M’s- reduce your caloric intake the next day. By creating and breaking up your cycles into easy to track weeks, it’s easy to balance when you ‘live a little.’
We want to take a moment here reiterate that the ultimate goal should be to be healthier, not skinnier. To have more energy to spring out of bed in the morning, to run around with your kids, to look and feel better all round! So how do you form these habits, while taking out all of the guesswork? By keeping yourself accountable, of course.
Not All Macros Are Created Equal
We often hear the term macros thrown around in the health and fitness world, but it is poorly understood. Macronutrients are the most readily available nutrients found in the food we eat, and primarily it refers to:
One of the biggest misunderstandings when it comes to healthy eating, or forming new, healthier eating habits, is that all macros are created equal. Sadly, it just isn’t the case. For example, the carbohydrate intake (and the subsequent ability of your body to break them down and use them for energy) from a yam, compared to what your body receives from the sugar laden ‘bread’ served on a McDonald’s hamburger are vastly different.
Similarly, the proteins you receive (and process) from lean turkey breast over the ‘meat’ served in the same burger are again vastly different. See where this is going?
Track Macros, Not Kilos
By first establishing, and then tracking and maintaining the macronutrients entering our body, we are able to consciously adjust our diets to suit us! Of course this next explanation is oversimplified, but it does ring true for most of us:
- Burn more calories than you put into your body, and you’ll lose weight.
- Consume more calories than you burn, and you’ll gain weight.
BUT- there is a caveat. Consuming calories from fast food or any other unhealthy source only leads to poorer health and the opposite result to the one you’re after.
One thing you need to understand is that maintaining our superior intellects as human beings takes a lot of energy. A LOT. More than 40% of the food we consume is turned into processing power for our brains. If everything we put into our system is just another form of sugar, we get incredible spikes in insulin-a huge stressor and one of the leading causes of almost all food/lifestyle related diseases- not to mention constantly consuming a substance that is literally more addictive than cocaine and heroine put together. Add to that our biological precursor to turn any additional calories into fat to store for the winter, and you’ll only end up further from your goals, with less energy to boot.
So How Do You Track Macros?
Thanks to our technology enabled world, tracking macros is actually incredibly easy. Start by calculating how much energy you actually need to get through your day/week.
From there, you can use an app like My Fitness Pal to keep track of the things you’re putting into your body. Once you start paying attention to the food (and drink) you’re consuming, and keeping yourself accountable by actually recording and reviewing it, you will skyrocket your results without that feeling of guilt every time you eat pizza!
The key takeaways here are, again, the need to remember that it will take you at least 8 weeks to turn this into a habit- so that needs to be your first goal. Thankfully My Fitness Pal has created ways to incentivize and keep you interested- tracking your macros doesn’t have to be a chore it can be really fun!
To make things even easier, each meal available at Movement Food comes with a My Fitness Pal barcode, so you just have to snap it with your smartphone and it will automatically update your food journal! If you’re unsure of where to start, try using our simple meal plans to help achieve your results faster, and create a more positive and vibrant you!
Second, you need to review and evaluate! There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to a healthier diet, so keeping a record and actually understanding which foods give you more energy and which give you less will have incredibly positive effects on your mood, sleep, libido and more!
To help you get moving (and as a reward for finishing this article!) we’re also giving you 10% off your next meal order! Just use the code ‘balancedlife’ at checkout to take advantage, and get moving on a brighter, healthier you.
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.
- Mahatma Gandhi