The fitness center I train at in Florida has one of those in-house TV channels that they show on half the monitors in the building. It has a lot of little news bits and advice about nutrition and working out. But the other day I saw something that made me shake my head: a story about losing fat based on making sure you have multiple colors of food on your plate. Wow! Sounds so simple. And it is simple. Perhaps too simple, but it makes a great TV sound bite. It’s yet another example of something catchy trying to be trumpeted as the new secret to fat loss. Don’t buy into the hype of new “miracles” or “ancient [insert any foreign/exotic country here] secret to burning fat.” Now, I’m not saying that eating different colored veggies doesn’t have some merit; what I’m saying is, there’s always some supposedly new thing that is being touted (or marketed or sold to us). It’s easy to lose focus and get caught in the “flavor of the week” hamster wheel.
Most of us are bombarded by all kinds of news stories and facebook posts about how so and so lost weight using this NEW and UNIQUE program… and if you hear that, just tune it out. Nutrition is actually very simple, and you just need to know a few key things to apply to your own habits that will turn you into a lean, mean fit machine.
The keys to a positive, healthy nutrition program are not based on the color of food. They are based on facts and the tried and true principles of managing your calorie intake and expenditures, and managing percentages of macronutrients (45% protein, 35% fats, and 20% carbs) and eating the right kinds of those macronutrients (clean, lean proteins like chicken breast, fish, and lean beef; healthy fats like avocados and fish oils and certain nuts; and complex carbs, avoiding sugars and simple starches like flour-based foods). By minimizing sugar and simple carbs, you minimize the opportunities for your body to go into fat-storage mode.
Combine that nutrition plan with a solid cardio and resistance exercise regimen, and you have the components of a great program to get you – and keep you – fit, lean, and healthy.
That’s it. It’s not overly complex, is it? The fact is, people have been getting into great shape for decades by following this sort of nutrition and exercise plan. Author and certified nutrition coach JD Griffin outlines this perfectly in his book. I followed his nutritional advice, adopted his cardio and resistance programs, and I got into amazing shape in 12 weeks.
So next time you see that article or TV commercial proclaiming “European Women’s Secrets to Fat Loss” or “Ancient Chinese Herbs That Melt Fat Overnight,” or even “Super Duper New Never-Thought-Of-Before-Now Fitness Fat-Destroying Annihilation Program on 237 DVDs!!!”, just don’t listen to it. You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on some “secret” mix of herbs or a giant DVD set. All you need to do is follow a sound nutrition program, do your cardio and resistance training, and you’ll achieve your goals. What are you waiting for? Eat clean, workout like a machine, and get fit and lean!
About the author:
Steve Welch is a medical publishing professional who Got Fit, Lean and Kept His Day Job at the ripe old age of 50. If he can do it, so can you. So get on it!