Oh by the way, BMR, basal metabolic rate (metabolism), is the energy (measured in calories) expended by the body at rest to maintain normal bodily functions. This is affected by several factors you cant change such as age, height and gender, some that you can usually affect like the environmental temperature and others you can have a direct impact on such as dieting and exercise habits.
As mentioned above, crash diets or in fact any diets do not work long term, in fact when normal dietary service resumes they can often lead to a great depositing of excess fat. This is due to factors such as the reduction in BMR and the fact that the bodys response to a sharp reduction in calorific intake is to become better at conserving energy, thus further reducing BMR (often referred to as the starvation response). So just in case I havent been clear on this, diets dont work in fact the only good diet is a good diet.
So What Should You Do?
Of course we want diets and overnight fitness programmes to work, were only human and it would make it all terribly easy but the fact is our bodies did not evolve the easy way.
The aim here is not to obsess over food. Dont try to be to precise working out exact meals to set portions & proportions. Its not about overhauling your diet overnight and its absolutely, positively 100% not about allocating points to food. What did you eat for lunch? I had 3 points not sure wed catch Homer drooling over mmh 3 points loargghhh.
Oh and dont calorie count, for loads of reasons but Ill pick 2, 1) you know if youve eaten something energy dense or a treat like food and you know when youre eating something that is largely healthy so make sure you try and keep to 80% healthy and 20% treat (sometimes the lines are blurred so Ive included some basic but handy tips below). Therefore as long as youre sensible about food you dont need to count every last calorie, this brings me onto reason 2) those calories youre counting, you know, the ones nicely printed on the side of packets of food¦theyre wrong, theyre an average and theyre allowed to be. In fact theyre legally allowed a margin of error of 20% (A 2005 BBC study tested 70 products and over 570 nutrients and only 7% came in at the stated value with 1/5th outside the 20% margin of error). Kind of puts the kybosh on counting eh!
Wider Food Issues
Now, I am more than happy to wax lyrical about food and the modern western diet, but quite frankly Id crash the server of this website, if I put down all my views and you would certainly stop reading this before I stop writing! Im not a raving environmentalist (I only use teabags once) but the simple fact is, do some basic research into our food and you soon realise what a mess weve got ourselves into.
Put simply, food is a multi billion pound industry and the weight management part of the food business is also huge. There are unscrupulous practices at play in the whole food industry, misinformation, experimentation and a reduction in choice. Some of this is from genuine good intentions, some is decidedly shadier. Our food is more heavily processed and refined that ever before in history, we also have an obesity epidemic that is reaching global proportions. Its worst in the west where processing and refining has been ongoing for the longest time, but its rising in the rest of the world. In fact wherever the western diet is becoming more prevalent. We also have rising rates of CV disease and diabetes, but we also have better treatment so less people die, which is good, but the cases are still rising and more people are living longer with less quality of life, which is bad.
Rather than go on and on, Ive attached a reading list below of some books Id recommend if this is something youd like to read into in greater detail. These arent fanciful theories but well researched, well written books backed up with evidence.
For now, just think about this for a moment, its food, when all is said and done, its food, humans have been eating food for centuries. We just need to make sure were eating as naturally as possible, so as to give our body the essential fuels everyone knows the Macro nutrients (Fat, Carbs & Protein) but consider the essential Micro nutrients (Vitamins & Minerals) - the more food is processed the more these vital ingredients are destroyed or degraded. This is explained far more eloquently in the attached link (just look out for the bit about a well known cereal and the rat experiment. Intrigued? Then what are you waiting for, click below, just remember to come back afterwards
Some clients may want nutritional advice, others wont and I certainly wont be forcing my views on anyone. However, for those that are interested then guidance can encompass nutrition for weight management, sports performance and healthy living. I also offer full nutritional analysis with diet diary - call me to discuss.
The key is to make subtle changes to your diet that are sustainable in the long term. This means you have to still enjoy your food and still think of it as food, not calories, macro/micro nutrients, and most definitely not as points!