People often believe that I live a very healthy lifestyle and I only eat healthy food, but I’d like to state that I don’t eat healthy all the time. During the last few months, I have barely eaten vegetables and you need to show me the person who claims this is healthful. I get often asked how I stay in shape while eating this way – I mean, most of all available diet programs are consisting mainly of vegetables. In the following article I’d like to write about food in general and how I manage my diet.

First of all, you need to know that there is a huge difference between weight management and eating for health.

Health and weight management can of course overlap, but basically they are two completely separate things. On the one hand there is weight management:My personal goal is to maintain my actual body weight or even gain a little bit, that means I have to eat at least as much calories as I burn or even more to be in a calorie surplus. If my goal was to lose weight, I should eat less than I actually burn to be in a calorie deficit. In other words, you have to eat another amount of calories dependent on your goal:

  • Maintaining your weight: Balanced: You have to eat the same number of calories that your body is using.
  • Gaining weight: Surplus: You have to eat more calories than your body is using. Extra calories will be stored and you will gain weight.
  • Losing weight:  Deficit: You have to eat fewer calories than you are using. Your body uses your fat as energy source and you will lose weight.

Lets take an sportive adult who needs 3000 calories a day for example. We learned that he needs to eat as much as his body uses to maintain his actual weight. He could eat 3000 calories coming from junk food or even from natural, organic food.  Of course the volume of food would not be very high with fast food, because there is often a large amount of calorie in a small piece of food like burger or cake for example. The same theory applies to weight loss and weight gain:

  • If he were in a calorie deficit he would lose weight, even if those calories come from chocolate and cheese.
  • If he were in a calorie surplus he would gain weight, even if those calories come from natural and organic food.

As you can see this man could lose weight by eating crappy fast food, which is of course not healthy.

On the other hand, there is food which affect health parameters like blood pressure, blood cholesterol and blood sugar response and give you a health-giving quality. Every child knows that fruits are healthy as they contain lots of vitamins and other essential nutrients. As a result of eating lots of fruits, your chance to get a heart disease or some types of cancer can may be reduced. Also very healthy are almonds, which are rich in magnesium, iron, calcium, fiver and also vitamins. Almonds help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels and also prevent heart-attacks.

Even though almonds are very healthy, it’s not recommended to add a large amount of them to your daily diet as they’re pretty high in calories and that’s where those two things – weight management and eating for health conflict. You can not eat hundreds of healthy almonds every day when your goal is to lose weight, because you’d simply eat too many calories and probably gain weight (or at least not lose weight).

An ideal balanced diet meets your calorie requirements and also consists lots of healthy food.

However, I’ve focused my food habits more on weight management the last months. In other words, I didn’t care about health-enhancing food at all. I barely ate fruits and vegetables, but I always made sure I eat enough to maintain my body weight. I ate high caloric fast food some times. On those days, I made sure my other meals weren’t too high in calories, so that my calorie balance still was in balance. It’s being said that I care on the quality of food I eat. My actual diet consists a lot of complex carbohydrates like oatmeal, rice, quinoa, potatoes and lean proteins like Swiss chicken and beef. All these types of food are more or less healthy, but I guess my diet is too onesided to be healthy and that’s why I always roll my eyes when someone says I live a super healthy lifestyle. I’d like to add that it really matters where the calories come from. If I reached my calorie needs with just protein and fat, I would have no energy at all to workout. Carbohydrates give me the energy that I need for a powerful gym session. Also I just feel bad and kind of sick when I eat too much crappy foods. So don’t get the wrong idea and eat junk food only.  This blog made me think about my food habits and I think I really should add more vegetables in my staple diet! 🙂 As you can see this blog is not only useful for you, but also for myself… 🙂

Please keep this two things in mind before you judge someone because of their lifestyle:

  • Just because someone looks healthy, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are healthy.
  • Just because someone looks unhealthy or is a little overweight, doesn’t necessarily mean that they eat crappy food. However, this seems often to be the case.

I hope I could clear things up a bit and you know now the difference between healthy food and weight management.

Let me know If you have any questions.

– Tinu


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