Having worked in many different occupations I have come to believe the only way to maintain a healthy body weight is through diet. I have worked and played every sport pretty well. I have have been a desk jockey, then finally decided to get out of the office to the great outdoors and worked 8 years in construction – mainly as a framer and carpenter. I like to think of the type of work I do or have done entitles me of saying I ran a multi-athon everyday, 5 days a week sometimes 6 . Yes you can consider me lazy, but I like time for other things. The weekend can be an incredibly fun two day vacation. Next venture I would like to try is rock climbing.
Alas , we must have a scientifically credible account of activity and diet. I think one of the the best examples of people expending lots of energy yet living on a ‘normal’ calorie diet is the experience of triathletes. Even triathlon participants and their trainers have figured it out. We do not need high calorie intake to keep our bodies going. Sure there are pre-training carbo-loading recommendations to get ready for race day so you have the calories available for a long competition. Yet this isn’t done all the time. Physical activity actually decreases ones appetite. So while one is exercises or moving you do not feel hungry. In fact once a body becomes fit it can sustain itself on the same amount of calories no matter what the demands of the day are. If we listen to our body; drink when thirsty, eat when hungry and stop eating when we are full, the body develops a state of equilibrium – balance or harmony. We no longer look at food as an escape or an activity. e no longer have cravings. We breath every day naturally, when we need to, eating can become that way as well – natural, enjoyable and not in excess.
When you really begin to understand just how much one has to work, or lift, or run or climb or swim or walk to burn 500 calories, you begin to understand that calorie burning for the sake of eating the cheese cake becomes ridiculous like a rat stuck on a wheel we run run run to consume consume consume. Stand back look at history or nature. We developed as hunters and gatherers we cooked simple wholesome meals which came from the earth – not highly processed foods with unpronounceable additives. Animals do not overeat, do you see an over weight deer, or fox or squirrel? Well maybe those racoons and city squirrels get pretty hefty. But that is my point, the urban, city dweller may well have lost touch with nature and food has become entertainment or psychological comfort. It no longer is a source of nurture.
Scientific study has shown that those people who have a low calorie diet live longer, have better mental clarity and better memory. There truly may be something about the large pasta plate which leaves you foggy minded. And then the physical advantages of having a low calorie diet is a light body, less stress on the joints, less risk of cardiovascular disease, arthritis, diabetes, the list goes on. Basically less dis-ease and more ease, agility and health. Obesity is such a current global problem that a simple, fail safe weight lose system is not a bad thing to consider. There are many protein powder supplements on the market and they make scientific sense. They provide a balanced nutrient rich low calorie meal, when combined with other vitamins and cleansing products can help people lose weight, cleanse toxins from the body and build lean muscle. The Isagenix 30 day cleanse system is one program I am familiar with and I can state that it works well. A great way to kick start and maintain weight loss.
Of course many have sold product after product riding on the back of human vanity and desire to be thin and youthful. There is no trick to it. You must exercise regularly, do not over eat and eat nutrient rich food.
The exercise part of the equation can vary as everyone has different levels of activities. The construction worker argues that he works all day long lifting drywall or 2x8s and equipment. So he/she must eat more – a big breakfast, lunch and diner. Yet, I have worked construction, I have been an athlete playing in a tournament all day all weekend. I cannot perform well with a big breakfast, lunch and dinner – I lose energy with a big meal. It takes energy to digest food. The triathlete can attest to this fact as well. The construction people I came to admire, worked quickly and efficiently all day long on coffee or juice breaks and one good meal a day.
As a personal trainer and Pilates instructor I have given up convincing my clients to run or swim or cycle or have an extreme cardio component to their routine. I think they are great activities and I personally love all of them. However, compliance and routine is the key to weight loss and maintenance of a healthy lifestyle. If you want to run, swim and bicycle everyday for the rest of your life then so be it, but many normal, employed individuals cannot fit this into their everyday routines. So what is the answer? I call it a proactive lifestyle. The more active we are the better inactivity kills our motivation and can kill our heart. I’m sure you have heard it all before; walk or bicycle to the store don’t drive, take the stairs not the elevator, cook your meal don’t order out, clean your house, wash the dishes, wash your car in the driveway, change your own motor oil, cut your grass, do the laundry, take the garbage out, weed the garden, trim the trees, take your dog for a walk, play with the kids. The list goes on, but I think you get the idea there is always a proactive choice for almost every activity. Perhaps some of you see this as manual labour, something to be contracted out. I think this is one of the problems with our world today. Many of us have lost connection with the earth, to see it under your feet as you walk and understand what it takes to really maintain it.
Use a hand held can opener vs and electric one! Simple activities of daily living can not only burn calories but make you feel alive – be proactive. So even the construction worker or any worker for that matter who is active all day long – what happens when they are not working? Do they stop and sit on the couch or do they continue on with the rest of the world. No matter what your job is there is a pro-active approach to how you can choose to live.
Then I believe the easiest most beneficial form of exercise that everyone can do is walk. Young or old, sick or healthy – just walk. Walk fast, walk slow but keep walking. Try to refrain from stopping and talking with the postman just keep moving step after step, day after day and before you know it you are getting fit. Your legs get stronger, you can walk faster and walk longer distances. Walking is rhythmical after a while you develop a natural flow, the muscles become balanced; you strengthen where you are weak and lengthen where you are tight. It is called reciprocal activity as the left arm swings the right side of the trunk and leg counter-balances the action and vice versa. The joints of the body work better with balanced muscles, as they have better alignment with less likelihood of wearing out. The continuous walking action increases blood flow in the muscles and synovial fluid in the joints delivering nutrients and releases endorphins – the body’s natural pain killer. Walking to the body can be like oil to a squeaky hinge it is therapeutic. If your job or activities or an injury has left you with repetitive strain or a chronic musculo-skeletal condition (i.e. a bad back, knee or shoulder) walking can help relieve strain. Continuous walking also stimulates the organs and improves digestion. We don’t have to jump or run around to get this benefit. Walking is simple.
So find your natural strut and walk on!