So, what about the stuff we eat, what about our diet in relation to fitness, I can almost hear you ask…
Obviously, diet is an important topic, because it is a key element of being healthy. And I have a page devoted to it on No-brainer Fitness, so it must be important!
Fitness, in a natural environment, would stem from the food ingested and the activities to procure that food… But that’s no longer the case for us. We have in large part decoupled the two, and therein lies the complexity at times. After all, if we were still all eating what we have to hunt, gather, harvest, or scavenge on a daily basis, this would be a very short blog post.
I have so far stayed away from the topic of diet, in the general sense of “what we eat”, for two main reasons:
- I am not an expert on nutrition. I know what I like to eat, and I pay attention to what I eat, but I am largely like most people: I still struggle to figure-out what’s “best”, and I still like to indulge from time to time. (Yes, I’m a chocolate fiend, and I love ice cream…)
- Although very important to health, nutrition really comes second to exercise. Granted, without food, we can’t live, end of story. However, given some food, our bodies are extremely resilient; we can make do with very little quality of food. Provided we move enough, we can handle a “much less than optimal” diet for a pretty long time.
The single best thing you can do to improve your health prospects is move more. But don’t get me wrong: Of course, it is better if you also pay attention to what you eat. But the reverse, only paying attention to what you eat and moving too little does not have the same long-term effect. That is in large part why weight-loss regimens never work by themselves.
Nutrition is indeed a complex topic, so I prefer to rely on the advice of true experts in this field, and focus on getting more fit through exercise. I invite you to do the same.
Which is not the same as saying I won’t provide advice on the subject. I will, you can count on that. Simple advice. Safe advice. No-brainer advice, you might say. The rest will be up to you.
For instance: One simple change you can make right now, this very instant, to lasting benefits for your health: never, ever, drink sodas (pop, soft drinks, etc.), no matter how tempted on a warm day, no matter if “unsweetened” or “0 calories”. Soft drinks are NOT FOOD, and should be treated as such.
Food is something that comes from nature, as directly as possible. NOT FOOD is something that you could not possibly find in nature, or easily make from stuff you find in nature. (You can bet this topic will come back time and again…)
Down from the soap box, on which I can be found from time to time. Where does that leave us? Ah, yes, experts.
Here is one I have a lot of respect for: Dr. David Katz. He gives solid, unbiased advice, and spends a lot of his energy fighting the good fight against bad nutrition, and bad nutrition advice. For instance, his What’s wrong with us? post is an excellent review of nutrition and our modern industrial food processing complex. I highly recommend his blog.
When it comes to nutrition and diet, the best advice I can give you is to be careful of the advice you receive. There is no magical ingredient that burns fat, no optimal combination to prevent disease, no silver bullet to a long, healthy life.
There is perhaps only one other bit of advice, not originating from me (it’s from Michael Pollan), that you should consider:
Eat food, not too much, mostly from plants.
Photo from Pixabay.