I am often asked, “Will I lose weight taking Pilates?” The answer to that, you’ll only lose weight if you’re aware of what you’re consuming and burning each day. When I’m in places where people can walk I usually see less overweight individuals. Many of those people don’t own a gym membership.
Every year somebody brings out a new diet or book on how to achieve your ideal weight or how to achieve a perfect beach body. When I was 20 I had a perfect beach body because it was similar to my friends. We were slim, we were young and we didn’t have so much access to celebrities’ lives. We saw them on TV shows or in magazines. We admired them but we didn’t aspire to be them because we saw them for what they were. We aspired to what was in our real day to day lives. Now I’m older I don’t know what a woman my age is supposed to look like because every woman in TV shows and magazines looks like she was created.
In the USA today 610,000 people a year are dying from heart attacks, 14 million people have diabetes, around 1,688,780 have cancer in 2017, and 154.7 million people are overweight. There are too many diets, too much conflicting information, too many processed foods, and too many shows that want to sell you products.
In the United States food has to fit in with life. We rush our meals; eating at the desk and in the car. We don’t encourage our children to enjoy sitting down to a meal. We don’t encourage them to make conversation or for dinner to be an integral part of the day. In other cultures, this has passed through generations where the family eat, talk, and appreciate the love and effort of the person who prepared the meal. I don’t know if there is another country in the world where restaurants turntables as fast and nobody relaxes after each course or sits and chats after the meal. No wonder there are so many adverts for indigestion medicines.
When we travel, we experience other cultures that until recently, due to the digital age requiring more global meetings, have fitted life around eating. In Europe where people are slimmer, they have longer lunch breaks where people don’t eat at the desk. They take time over meals which are often not eaten until much later in the evening than we eat here. They also eat more whole foods which take longer to digest. Many poorer countries are healthier than us in their diet, even though we are richer and have access to more. In Asia the meal is rice-based, in Africa you may have to walk and carry your water on your head but you have a good posture and a strong core from the daily routine. In India, the diet includes split peas and turmeric.
If you want to improve your wellbeing or lose weight leave dieting in the past. Start to consider you are what you eat and your lifestyle. Take into consideration whether you sit most of the day or have an active job. The more active you are the more calories you will require. Consider whether the time of year is warm or cold and what is available locally and not imported. The Mediterranean diet may suit people who reside in those countries but it may not accommodate people who live in colder climates with different foods available. Consider your age, as the older we get and the less active we are we need to eat healthy but less.
Just as I’d never tell a client who hadn’t exercised for years to immediately do an hour of cardio, I would never tell a client to stop eating what their personal taste craves. The client would give up the hour-long cardio after a few weeks and deprivation usually leads to binge eating. If you enjoy a glass of wine, dessert, or candy it is okay to have it in moderation. Just be mindful of how often and if you really need it at that moment or just crave it. Be more aware of what you are eating and what the nutritional value is. Today unhealthy eating has become fashionable. There is so much fast food available to us and unhealthy eating on social media is popular.
If you’re considering, “going on a diet”. Take a week to consider your own habits first. You may just need to be more aware of your choices and save your money. A simple way to make healthy choices is to make two food lists.
Processed Whole Food
Dead food comes in packages, with long labels and can sit on the counter for a long time. Think meal replacement bars, crackers, fruit snacks, and flavored drinks. They have very little nutritional value and come in packages that either go into landfills or need to be recycled. They are consumed quickly making a person hungry in a short time. Try chewing a tortilla chip and counting how many chews it takes.
Alive foods are more natural foods like fruit vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish, poultry, and whole grains. Many of these foods including low sugar kefir, miso, and asparagus contain probiotics. These foods keep you full for longer, take longer to digest, and help fight inflammation as they are full of antioxidants. Try and eat seasonal foods, brown rice, and seeds. You’ll have less to carry home and less to recycle or throw in the trash when you eat like this. It really doesn’t take much more time to prepare vegetables, salad, meat, or fish than to eat a packaged, processed meal. Try chewing a raw carrot and count how many chews it takes.
If you can try eating “Alive” foods for one week hopefully you’ll start to feel more clarity and energy. If you continue for three weeks it will become a part of your lifestyle and you’ll stop craving the foods that are making Americans sick and obese. Look at labels to see if there is a long list of ingredients you can’t pronounce. Check the first ingredient isn’t sugar, avoid artificial sweeteners and corn syrup.
When you sit down to eat, relax, put your smartphone away, and turn off the TV. Play some music and enjoy looking outside. If you put more thought into how beneficial your meal is and make the time a few meal times each week to enjoy your significant other, family, and friends, you may feel healthier, reconnect and lose some weight.
Contact Our Cypress Pilates Studio Houston at West End Cypress Pilates
Will Pilates change your body? Yes, you’ll feel better if you take it regularly as it will improve your posture, strengthen your abdominals, spinal column, and improve stability. It will only change how your body looks if you consider what you’re eating.