We live in a world where fad diets and exercise trends are the answer to all your body image issues, until they’re not anymore. From no carb and low fat diets, to cleansing and juicing, the list of new studies and quick fixes goes on and on. There is always a new discovery in the “secret” to burn fat, and heaps of people hop on board desperate to finally reach the results the other diets didn’t give them. As a fitness professional, I preach to all my clients that “diet” and “exercise” does not work, and why “nutrition and training” is the answer to your prayers. When discussing a “diet”, it is generally thought of as a short term program you put your body through that involves a change in what you are currently doing in order to reach a goal. In most cases, that goal is fat loss, but not always. It could be weight gain, increasing strength, overall muscle definition or any number of other “health gains”. A number of these diets require calorie counting and cutting food groups out while on the program. Are there results to be seen? Yes, you may get them! However, the problem with a “diet” is it is simply not maintainable. Most see results, and then immediately go back to the lifestyle they had before they started their diet regimen. The weight returns, you feel discouraged, and now you are on to the next fad diet. It’s a vicious cycle that can lead to disordered eating and body image issues. I have seen it time and time again, and it is preventable by a simple shift in thinking.
Instead of constantly dieting, why not have a solid nutrition plan? Even better, adopt a lifestyle plan. I have found that if you stop looking at food like it’s the enemy, and start treating it like exactly what it is, fuel for your body; you will appreciate each calorie you consume. If you view your next move as a change in nutrition, that is not a program and that it never ends, you won’t fall back to old ways. Nutrition is all about balance, no cutting out food groups, and no feeling guilty over “illegal foods.” In a world where food is a social entity, you should never feel that you “can’t eat that,” and you shouldn’t become anti-social while you “diet.” If you are following a proper nutrition plan, you can allow yourself freedom and still reach your goals. In terms of exercise, it is simply a personal preference that I prefer my clients to “train.” The word “exercise” has started to gain terrible connotations in the fitness industry, mostly because it is attached to the word “diet” so often. Many people embark on an exercise routine at the same time they begin their new diet. These exercise routines have the same problem as a diet; they are short lived and generally lack any foundation. However, “training” is a well-planned and researched program, which is aimed at targeting your goals.
You can see more of this article in our July/Aug issue of ModelsMania