For most of your life, you’ve probably had an image of what your body should look and how you should achieve that image. Everyday our interactions with the world breed a certain notion about “normalcy” and beauty. The more airbrushed images we see, for instance, the more we begin to believe that’s how a “normal” person should look.
But the truth is, you should examine your body based on your own individualistic set of factors. You are not your neighbor, and your neighbor is not you. We all have different shapes, sizes, body types, metabolisms, diets, etc., that all influence how we look.
Body image is an important topic to discuss in personal coaching because the psychological aspect of how we see ourselves can often influence our health. If you see yourself as imperfect and struggle to achieve a facade of reality, you may never attain that goal and that can decrease your confidence in achieving other life goals. It also can inhibit your enjoyment of food and healthy relationships with others. Food, exercise and how you look should never be a stressful endeavor. It should feel right. You should feel right.
I’ve created some guidelines to review in your own personal quest for the individualistic diet. These are encompassing rules that shed light on how you should really feel that create a healthy self image. Choose reality based solutions based on how you want to feel. Unhealthy runway models, steroid induced professional athletes, airbrushed magazine covers and celebrities (who, quite frankly, have an advanced team of practitioners taking care of them) shouldn’t dictate your personal health.
The Individualist Diet:
1. Eat Six Meals A Day
Researchers at Georgia State University found that if you keep your hourly surplus or deficit within 300 calories at all times, you’ll regulate your blood sugar levels and regulate insulin better. Insulin is the hormone that stores fat. When your blood sugar drops in your body for a long period of time (as in very heavy exercise or lack of food for extended periods), the next meal you take in spikes your insulin which works to enhance storage of glucose and suppress the breakdown of adipose tissue, or fat, into free fatty acids.
2. Eat Foods That Swap Fat For Muscle
Donald Layman, Ph.D.6, from the University of Illinois, published research on protein consumption for fat loss. Results show that a high protein, leucine rich diet, in combination with lower carbohydrates (150 grams or 600 calories per day) is effective to support weight loss, blood sugar metabolism, and a variety of factors that have an impact on cardiovascular health. Leucine has a direct signaling effect on muscle that prevents muscle loss during weight loss. This means that on a high protein diet, the weight that is lost is mostly fat, not muscle. Whereas on a high carbohydrate weight loss diet, much more muscle is lost.
Choose 2-3 of these foods in each of your 3 major meals and at least one of the foods in each of your 3 snacks
Greek yogurt (Fage 0%), berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries), leafy greens (spinach, sprouts), lean meats and fish (chicken breast, salmon), nuts (almonds, walnuts), colorful vegetables (red peppers, broccoli, sweet potatoes), oatmeal (steel cut preferred).