Nutrition: Balance, not Deprivation

Nutrition is an especially broad topic and something that is often misunderstood.  The more you hear about all the different diets and eating strategies that exist, the more confusing it may become.  We all have the general knowledge that nutrition is the key to leading a healthy lifestyle. We all know some of the basics, like broccoli is healthier than chocolate cake for example.

So why do so many people have such a bad relationship with their nutrition?  

Not surprisingly, it is because there is a lot of misinformation out there as well as a ton of clever marketing which can confuse what is healthy and what is not.  It also seems like there is a different new ‘superfood’ in the news weekly and a new fad diet just as often. If you add in some stress due to daily life and lack of cooking time, then dinner becomes greasy take out as your head is spinning about what is actually good for you?!

A couple of days in this pattern a week, 52 weeks a year, and our waistlines expand, our wallets get light, and we can even start to develop chronic medical conditions.  No wonder we start to get overwhelmed and give up.

Going forward, what we need to know are the basics about what is nutritious.  We also need to learn HOW to integrate healthy eating into our lives, without feeling deprived and then falling back into our old habits.

Nutrition is essential to leading a healthy lifestyle, but balance is truly the key.  Without proper nutrition, our bodies would not be able to perform, repair, or sustain our lives.  But without balance, we lose the point of maintaining proper health – which is being able to ENJOY our lives!  People sometimes shy away from learning how to consume a healthy diet. It is easy to assume that eating healthy leads to a boring life where you have to swear off all the delicious foods that you love.  But, when starting to learn how to eat healthier foods, it is more important to learn about BALANCE and MODERATION at first. Especially when a person’s diet is heavy with processed foods and sugar vs whole foods and nutrient dense options.

Food deprivation can cause a person to feel like they are being punished.  Then they reward themselves for eating a salad for lunch by eating pizza and ice cream for dinner.  Nutrition should not be viewed as a reward/punishment system. Instead the perception of our individual nutrition needs to be viewed as a means of keeping ourselves healthy so that we may continue to enjoy what life has to offer, and to feel good living it!

If we maintain proper nutrition consistently, then it is okay to have that cookie, or that slice of pizza on occasion.  We simply need to make sure that when we have the option to choose something healthy during our next meal, that is the option we go for.  Our nutrition should not be viewed as a fad and we should not consider ourselves as ‘being on a diet’ in our day to day lives. Proper nutrition and good balance is necessary to help maintain a healthy life every single day both inside and outside of the gym.  Once we gain a good general understanding of what moderation and balance is, then we can actually start to take our nutrition a step further and see how we can use it to increase our performance or change our body composition – which can be a very exciting process!

Whether you are looking for some motivation, need to learn how to make healthier food choices, or want to take your performance to the next level, we want to make this all easier to understand so that everybody is able to maintain a healthy lifestyle, feel their best, and unlock their potential at Chimney Rock CrossFit!

Look out for more nutrition blogs as we dive into the elements of food choice for body composition and performance.

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