Sunday, March 21, 2010

Getting Back to Your Roots

We have had many different eating habits over time and all of them still exist today.

• The gatherer-hunter diet was based on survival!
10,000 years ago we spent most of our time and energy looking for food to keep us alive. This diet was rich in berries and plant leaves. We sometimes ate small animals or fish.

• The peasant-agricultural diet and the discovery of fire improved our diet.
5,000 years ago we began to grow our own grains, cereals, fruits and vegetables, and to raise our own cows, chickens and pigs. Fire let us cook our food. We baked grains into breads and cooked cereals into porridges. We cooked roots and meats until they were soft enough to chew. Eating all these healthy foods every day helped us to grow bigger, stronger and live longer. All the hard work made us physically fit.

• The urban-industrial diet of today focuses on processed foods and meats.
Today we eat many refined and processed foods such as white bread, french fries, soft drinks, candies, and doughnuts. Meat is the focus of our main meals and we often eat large amounts every day. Many of us have too much body fat because we eat too much and do not get regular physical activity. This can cause heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Let’s get back to our roots and eat better in 2010!
Choose vegetables, fruit and whole grains, breads and cereals more often. Focus on vegetables and fruit. Are you getting 5 to 10 servings of vegetables and fruit every day? These foods may really reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer. So snack on a fruit or vegetable today, and include brightly colored vegetables and fruit at all your meal times!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Exercise does NOT counteract your diet!

Over the last number of years the participation of men and women in the sport of running has been increasing. A casual glance at the body shapes and sizes at any race weekend and intuitively one could surmise that weight loss may be one of the drivers of this trend. But does indulging yourself with a favourite treat post run or using those long slow distance weekend runs as a rationale for an all you can eat brunch actually defeat your weight loss goals? Well….you might need to take heed of some dietary advice: exercise does not counteract your diet. Weight loss research consistently shows that if you want to lose body fat, your need to CONSISTENTLY eat fewer calories then your caloric output (basal metabolic rate + any physical activity needs). And this is where many of us overestimate output and underestimate input…….and current research shows that our caloric intake is influenced not only by plate sizes that our food is served on but also by the body types of who we choose to eat with – we model the eating behaviour of those we want to look like and/or perform like – so post workout refueling with a speedy and/or slimmer friend who is piling his or her plate with food may be ruining your weight loss goals IF you decide to follow their eating behaviour! Instead, make a plan for what you need to get post workout and stick to that plan. It is better to err on the side of slightly less than more than you need when it comes to calories in!