PRINCIPLES TO "EAT BY"

There are three universal principles that apply to anyone: balance, moderation and consistency.

by Jamie Beuthin

With all the different diets out there right now, it's easy to become confused about what to eat. Pick up almost any magazine and you will find an article on dieting or food. What I find astonishing is that everbody seems to have adifferent answer. Who do you believe? Everybody is different, so I cannot answer that question. But I believe there are three universal principles that apply to anyone: balance, moderation and consistency. Balance means getting the right combination of protein, carbohydrates, and fat in your meals. Moderation means eating the correct quantity of food required by your body to perform with great efficiency. Consistency means developing the discipline to follow your diet on a daily basis.

Balance

Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are our primary source of energy; they should be carefully selected and included in each meal. The average diet has too many refined carbohydrates. Technology has increased the degree to which foods are refined, and the result is too much low-fibre, high carbohydrate food. Eat more unrefined carbohydrates such as whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruits. Eat fewer refined carbohydrates such as flour and sugar.

Protein

Most people tend to neglect their protein consumption. Everyone (not just bodybuilders!) needs protein to survive. Without protein, muscles cannot repair and they begin to break down. Eat more protein from sources like fish, chicken, turkey, and beans. Eat less protein from high-fat sources of red meat and dairy products.

Fat
Fat is essential. In the quest for a low-fat diet, we have forgotten about essential fatty acids (EFA's), which are the "good" fats. EFA's are responsible for numerous bodily functions. The "bad" fats are the saturated fats; they are responsible for heart disease and high cholesterol. Eat more EFA's from sources like fish, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. Try to eat fewer saturated fats from sources like butter, sunflower oil, and cheese.When one of the above nutrients is missing or in excess, it creates an imbalance. Finding a balance among carbohydrates, protein and fat is a personal process. Some people have a higher metabolic rate and need more energy from carbohydrates and fat. Others need fewer carbohydrates because they have a sluggish metabolism. Experiment with different ratios, but as a general rule, eat more carbohydrates than protein.

Moderation

The massive quantity of food available makes it very easy to overeat. You have to learn to eat portions that are the right size for your needs. A professional athlete that trains every day for hours will need a lot more food than someone who sits at a desk all day. Eat only until you feel satisfied, not to the point of feeling "stuffed". Remember that your body requires only enough food to meet its energy requirements; anything else is excess calories. With this simple fact in mind, eat portions that are consistent with your weight goals. Eat less if you are trying to lose body fat, and eat more if you are trying to gain muscle. Remember to maintain balance, do not cut out all the fat in your diet in order to eat less.

Consistency

Applying the principles of balance and moderation to your meals is useIess unless you apply them with consistency. Developing a lean, healthy body is a long-term process that requires discipline. If you eat a moderate, balanced diet only sometimes, it is almost impossible to make improvements in your health and fitness. This does not mean that you can never eat candy again. It just means that you should make them an occasional treat. The key is to maintain balance and moderation in the long-run.

Finding YOUR eating plan is a process of trial and error. I am confident that if you follow the principles of balance, moderation and consistency, you will succeed.


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