I get asked for lots of advice about fitness and nutrition, which I absolutely love!
A question that I get asked a LOT is something similar to this:
"I work out so I can enjoy my favorite foods. Does it really matter what I eat, as long as I don’t eat too much?! I hear so much conflicting information about this that it gets overwhelming.”
If you’ve been following me for any period of time, you might already know the answer to this question.
I hate to break it to you … but YES. It definitely matters.
But I totally understand WHY people can start to think it doesn’t matter, though.
All too often we think of foods only in terms of how many calories they contain …
I mean, have you ever seen those “burpee equivalent” or “exercise equivalent” charts for some foods, telling you how much exercise you have to do to burn them off?
HERE’S THE PROBLEM WITH THAT KIND OF THINKING ...
Your food is WAY MORE than its calories! The actual QUALITY of what you eat has a powerful impact on your health.
You’ve heard the old saying, “You are what you eat,” right? You don’t want to build a body out of junk food!
Some foods contain a LOT more nutrients and benefits than others ... and those same foods can also help fight inflammation in your body.
You already know what they are … they’re whole foods like veggies, lean proteins, fruits, healthy fats, and unprocessed grains.
And other foods can be the OPPOSITE of that, containing a lot of empty calories that can actually PROMOTE inflammation in your body.
These are foods that are high in processed grains, sugar, fat, preservatives, and more.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t EVER have your favorite foods! Everything in moderation is the name of the game - as long as you don’t have any allergies related to those foods.
This is where a shift to something like an 80/20 or 90/10 mindset can come into play, where you eat nutrient-dense foods 80% to 90% of the time, with little “extras” thrown in every once in a while.
Knowing you have some treats coming up in the future can actually make it easier for some people to stick with a healthy eating plan most of the time.
One thing to remember with all of this … portion sizes still matter!
This circles back around to that 80 percent – 20 percent ratio. Eating an entire box of cookies or a whole pizza amounts to more than 20 percent of “extras” for almost every one of us!
I hope this helps clear things up a little for a very common question!