We believe in being intentional about the food you put in your body. V+B was created to help you do just that, and not yo-yo between fad diets. When we use the word "diet" here, it's meant to reference literally the food you eat, not a restrictive set of rules to follow.
This post was written by Amelia, a NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) Certified Personal Trainer. You can read more about her below.
The best "diet" is one you can stick to
Ever feel like you try one diet, see results, but then get bored or overwhelmed and “fall off the wagon”, only to make the same mistake with another diet later on? When it comes to sticking to a “diet”, it's not so much about what you're eating as much as how and why you eat what you do. Remember, you’re a human, and life is messy. It’s unrealistic to have a strict way of eating that’s not sustainable to your life. The first questions to ask yourself when finding sustainability in eating are: what changes do you want, and why? Then, piece those answers into the type of life you want to live and your lifestyle regiment and practice it consistently.
What works for me might not work for you
Nutrition is not always one size fits all. It's important to know that just because someone posts on Instagram what they eat in a day, or that they intermittently fast, doesn't mean that’s what you need to do. We’re all unique with different genetic makeups, backgrounds, and food sensitivities. We also have different levels of movement in our lives or jobs. It's important to know your daily needs before trying to replicate what someone else is doing. A simple way you can begin to explore this is to keep a food journal for a few weeks and notice patterns of activity/movement in correlation with your hunger and energy. Many of us don’t know what it's like to actually be hungry and sit with hunger, not jumping for the next meal or snack right away. Start to notice patterns and get curious with yourself!
Carbs are not the enemy
Carbohydrates are our primary source of immediate energy for our body's cells. Carbohydrates that can be digested slowly—such as whole grains, vegetables, and fruit—can dramatically effect energy levels and body composition. It’s a common misconception that low carb leads to weight loss, which is incorrect. If that’s your goal—and we always recommend talking to a doctor before attempting weight loss—it comes from consuming less energy (or fewer calories) than the overall energy that you expend. Ultimately, it doesn't so much matter what you are eating (such as following a low carb or low fat plan), as how much. But, when it comes to the calories you’re putting in, we always recommend unprocessed and whole foods, which leads us to our next tip.
Eat the rainbow
Sometimes changing the way you eat can feel exhausting and overwhelming. A simple place to start: add more variety onto your plate! Think about “eating the rainbow”, adding diversity of colors in vegetables and nutrients to your plates. For example, purple or dark-colored foods like blueberries and elderberries are rich in antioxidants and improve cognitive brain function–similarly, dark leafy greens like Swiss chard possess similar antioxidative properties. Also, think about eating these foods first on your plate: they’ll help you feel fuller faster and longer.
Whenever you work on new behaviors or changes, be aware there may be resistance, it will feel uncomfortable, and it will pose new challenges. That is why it's important to have people in your corner who are also committed to seeing you succeed. Something that helps me is knowing what situations or environments can trigger unhealthy patterns and keeping them at a minimum. For example, I have a huge sweet tooth, so I limit the amount of sweets I have in my home and/or find good replacements that still satisfy me. If I know I’m going to have a day of eating out or be on a trip, I make sure to start my mornings with a healthy whole breakfast that will put me on top of my day! You can find accountability by using a comprehensive meal delivery service such as V+B, learning who and what around you supports your mission, or hiring a coach. When you feel unmotivated, lost or confused, who is your go-to person or team?
Amelia McNamara is a NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) Certified Personal Trainer and Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certified Coach. Amelia also holds certifications with Animal Flow Level 1, Kettlebell Athletics Level 1, Pre & Post Natal Corrective Exercise Specialist (Fit For Birth), and PPSC (Pain Free Performance Specialist Certification; Dr. John Rusin), as well as being a Former Tier 3+ trainer at Equinox - encompassing over 220+ hours of science-backed education through the Equinox Fitness Training Institute (EFTI).