Last Updated on September 4, 2014.
Many people have a misconception on what is means to eat healthy or have a healthy lifestyle. Some would assume eating very little would be the way to go, while exercise enthusiasts might say a strictly protein diet would be eating healthy. The truth is though there are countless methods of dieting and countless food categories one can limit themselves to, the human body requires the same nutrients in everyone. Now obviously there are outstanding exceptions such as diabetics who need to monitor their insulin levels or people with strong allergies to certain foods. As for as the community of confused people simply looking to eat a little more healthy goes, it comes down to dos and don’ts.
The first issue of eating healthy is to address is the idea that eating less is essentially healthier. An active person needs a certain amount of calories throughout the day whether they sit at an office all day or run marathons. When people deprive their bodies of normal food portions the hunger and weariness often builds up. Like a teetering building, the hunger overcomes the person and he/she over
eats before the day ends. Usually this overeating occurs before bed, which is probably the worst time to over consume, since your body soon goes into a slower resting state causing food and calories to stick. A better alternative is to eat often throughout the day in smaller portions. These portions can be as small as a yogurt and banana, as long as they are spread out frequently about ever 2-3 hours. This will help your metabolism stay active while conquering your hunger demons.
The second big eating healthy myth I would like to address is the idea that protein is the only necessary macromolecular your body needs to stay fit. Your body requires carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and minerals amongst many other things in order to be considered “healthy.” (Water should also be considered.) Being an athlete and a training mixed martial artist, I like to break up my diet into percentages. My diet generally consists of 50% carbohydrates, 40 % protein, and 10% fat. The first two are no brainers, but when it comes to consuming healthy fat things get tricky. Most people don’t know the difference between saturated and unsaturated, and whether or not a fat is considered healthy. The way I look at it, just pick a few fats and stick to them. My top two favorites are olive oil and peanut butter, both which can be consumed with nearly anything. Mixing these food percentages and small portions throughout the day will lead to healthy eating, and your body will definitely feel a difference from the usual three traditional meals. (Limit sugar and caffeine!)
On a side note, eating healthy is not the only necessary ingredient to looking and feeling healthy. Though I could go on for days on the myth that lifting weights will lead to a ripped healthy body, I will limit the discussion to mentioning that diet holds the highest value when pursuing an ideal body. Eating healthy alone will help lose weight, lifting weights alone will help build muscle, but not until you put both together will you start sculpting your ideal body. A great shortcut to this would be to consider kickboxing or MMA to your exercise regiment. Coming from a student and fighter at Tiger Schulmann’s MMA in Elmwood Park I can say first hand that when a workout is as fun and effective as a kickboxing class at Tiger Schulmann’s, the dieting is really the only homework that must be done. When life is simplified to simply dieting and showing up to train a healthy lifestyle is inevitable.