I’m back…

I’m back from another unanticipated break from the blogosphere.  There been a few things that have keep me away this time, not the least of which has been that my Nutrition Consulting business at CSA has taken off a lot quicker than expected.  It’s definitely a good thing, but unfortunately it leaves me with little time to write.

Anyways, this week I wanted to dive into an AWESOME video I came across discussing healthy eating and weight loss entitled “What’s the Best Diet? Healthy Eating 101” by Dr. Mike Evans.  With all the misinformation out there about this stuff, it’s frankly something that everyone should watch.  Make sure you’ve got some time before starting – it’s a little over 15 minutes long.

Below are a few of the things mentioned in the video that are worth discussing in a little bit more depth.

  • We live in an obesogenic environment.  In the industrialized world it is way too easy to have high caloric intakes and low energy expenditures.  I have often argued that while this doesn’t absolve people of their own responsibility for their health, it is important to recognize that where/how we live does not always make it very easy to be healthy.
  • Diet success is a product of its sustainability.  If you’ll be unable to stick with a diet over the long-term (ie. indefinitely) don’t waste your time starting with it. Because even if you lose weight while on it, as soon as you revert back to your old habits, so too will your weight.
  • Often with diets people tend to focus on very particular macronutrient compositions (low carb, low fat, high protein, etc), however what seems to be much more important is the quality of the macronutrients you’re consuming rather than the exact percentages.  Great quote from Dr. Brain Wansink “Think more about what’s healthy to eat, rather than what not to eat”.
  • The Brazilian dietary guidelines are mentioned.  I’ve previously written about how much I love these.  What’s so great about these guidelines are how they shift the focus away from specific nutrients and onto overall eating patterns (sitting down for family meals, eating unprocessed foods, minimizing restaurant meals, etc…)
  • Choice architecture (or redesigning your environments) is important for successful healthy eating.  This requires self-knowledge about what might trigger unhealthy habits for you.  For example, some easy solutions might be not having “problem foods” in the house or even buying smaller plates.
  • Having social support is critical.  If you’re trying to improve the way you eat but have people in your life who aren’t supportive (spouses, children, friends, employers), it will be much more difficult.  Identify potential barriers and do whatever you can to get them on board.
  • Finally, healthy eating is not about perfection but rather consistency.  One bad choice/bad meal doesn’t need to sabotage your overall goals.  Remember to take a step back and look at the whole picture, because that’s what’s most important.

….The other reason I’ve been away for a bit was that my wife and I spent 8 days in South Africa.  What an incredible country!  We’ve traveled to quite a few amazing places the past couple of years, but this trip is one we won’t soon forget.  It will be difficult to top the great food, beaches, mountains and wildlife anytime soon. And the bungee jumping, shark cage diving, cheetah walking and ostrich riding were pretty cool too!

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On the summit of Table Mountain

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on our sunset cheetah walk at Tenikwa in Plettenberg Bay

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Bungee Jumping from Bloukrans Bridge (216m)

Great White Shark Cage Diving

Great White Shark Cage Diving

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Ostrich riding at Highgate Ostrich Farm in Oudtshoorn

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