Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A balanced diet

What’s your definition of a balanced diet?

Does it have to be perfectly balanced every single day… or the average of a weekly intake? I’m starting to doubt it. What if some days all I felt like was cereal, milk and fruit whereas other days I ate meat and vege?

After over thinking it for ages I’ve decided to define it simply as a variety of whole foods from all the food groups. I figure that this (+ a good quality multi vitamin) is the best way to maximize your chances of hitting your required levels of vitamins and minerals and stay healthy. Its so sad that many diseases acquired later and life can be attributed to nutritional deficiency over time (B vitamins are a common one) but are just accepted as a normal part of growing old!

I’ve enjoy reading some blogs lately (eg Skwigg, KellyO, Chelle) about letting go of diet rules. I can certainly relate to that! Eg I would say that for at least a few years now I have religiously eaten a protein meal every 2 to 4 hours. This rule sounds fairly straightforward but in practice takes a lot of planning and discipline and has a habit of getting in the way of life! I think the ultimate goal for all of us would be to easily and intuitively choose the foods that meet our bodies’ requirements and help us to get strong and stay lean – without stress! Ah, we can dream. I like the recognition coming through that a one size fits all approach is never going to cut it for long term results.

I’m certainly not in a place where I can throw all of my ‘rules’ away. The idea is intriguing but freaks me out. But having said that, being a perfectionist means that having a plan to follow and then not following it 80% let alone 100% of the time drives me crazy! Its like setting yourself up to fail. Previously, posts about ‘finding out what works for you’ meant little to me and I actually found that advice really frustrating. A lot of people want to be told exactly what to eat and when and so did I. In my opinion, this is the only way to prepare for a figure competition. But now I understand that this process is absolutely necessary to maintain a healthy mind and body.

I guess the key as always comes back to balance between the results you want, health and maintaining peace of mind. I’m never going to get as lean as I’d like to without a bit of diet stress. To be honest, sometimes I wish I didn’t know what it feels like to be that lean. So while I’d still like to trim down I need to think about what is and isn’t working FOR ME and what I can happily live with.

Ps. Weight stayed the same during ‘week 11’ of OSB :)


Chelle said...

I tell you what babe, i had to basically let go of nearly every nutrition rule i have lived by over the past few years to allow my mind to do ESE. I thought the 'body builders' way was the only plan that could get me into great shape, but i am learning very fast that it is not the case. I am really enjoying 'less food prep' and not stressing over 'treat meals'. You will eventually find your happy balance of food and figure. Its just a matter of exploring new things =)

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