As a fitness coach I have the opportunity to help many people develop and achieve their health and fitness goals. We choose a regimen that fits best with one’s lifestyle incorporating the elements of resistance training, cardiovascular exercise, and a good sound nutrition plan. It seems likely that if one sticks to the plan as prescribed success is eminent. Why then are so many unsuccessful in their endeavor to achieve their objective?
The sticking point for many, me included, is when it comes to nutrition. It’s not that we don’t understand what, when, or how much to eat. There is certainly enough information to be found on the subject to make one well versed in the logistics of nutritional planning. So, what’s the deal? Why is the most prevalent stumbling block to fitness success that of nutrition?
Habit – Food has become as much of a habitual problem as that of drugs, alcohol, and gambling. We’ve all heard the term, and have probably used it, comfort food. Food has become a source of comfort and sometimes even freedom. In times of stress we reach out to those foods which pacify our need to find relief. Sugar, sodium, and saturated fats seem to comprise much of the properties associated with foods we habitually fall back on. I am, of course, speaking from experience. Of course, we all know that these foods are not typically included in nutritional planning for a fit and healthy lifestyle.
Food Technology – The way we engineer, process, and even market foods has become as scientifically and mathematically calculated as any other industry. I mention this as we see more and more substitutes for the ingredients present in the above mentioned habitual foods. We sell ourselves on the idea that using chemical laden, hormone disrupting food substitutes is somehow an acceptable intermediary to eating the foods we know we should have. Many have become aware of this and may still fall prey to the marketing tactic of calorie counting. Somehow a 100 calorie pack of junk has become an acceptable treat.
Diets – Another element that has become as much of an industry as anything else is the onset of dietary prescriptions solicited under various names and faceplates. These templates of nutritional planning are meant to serve a diverse population and if you subscribe are almost guaranteed to achieve the outcome you’re looking for. Some go so far as to say that if you use this plan you don’t even need to exercise. Wow, how tempting is that in a fast paced, don’t have time to sit down much less go to the gym society?
The Relationship – The ability to break free from unhealthy eating habits brings with it a layer of complexity not found with drug abuse or other addictions. We don’t need to have a relationship with drugs, alcohol, or gambling which allows us to set a goal of total abstinence. Unfortunately, we do not have this luxury with food because we need that relationship. Without it, we will surely succumb to the grips of death. Just as we do with people, we need to recognize the issues within the relationship and work on developing a means to create strong, healthy ties.
The thought of recognizing and developing a sound plan with regard to nutrition may seem a daunting task. Do recognize that once you are aware of the key component to change which ironically is awareness itself, you are well on your way to achieving success of any kind including your fitness objectives.