The spinning plate of components that balance health, nutrition | Sport

This past weekend hubby and I returned from a two week road trip across Canada. OK, realistically we only went as far as Red Lake, but after so much time in the car it looked like we had covered Canada in its entirety. Not that I found the trip boring – we had a great time visiting friends and family, attending the Battle for Canada festival in Winnipeg with our church, fishing – it’s just a lot of sitting. And I’m not a babysitter.

For those of you who follow me on social media or belong to my group, you’ve probably seen me posting workout videos, some live videos walking home from the gym, and just talking about the importance of daily exercise in general. I just feel better when I’m more active and I know many of you feel the same and swear by it, even relying on that daily workout, walking or swimming to stay in shape.

As much as I’m that self-confessed gym rat, exercise and exercise are just one part of the health puzzle and will only get you results for a season when that’s all you use to achieve health and weight goals. Real, lasting, lasting results you can live with come from within.

What and how you fuel your body, along with the right mindset, is what will enable you to win with your health, even if and when something happens to throw you off track with those workouts.

There are six components to health: diet, exercise, water, stress, sleep and supplements. Think of them as spinning plates. You’ve all seen those performers spinning the records high on a stick, another and another, balancing them in such a way that those records keep spinning. When one begins to slow down or wobble, a small shift in the balance causes it to spin again. If the balance hadn’t been checked, those little moves hadn’t been made, they would all have crashed.

Think of each of the six components as a rotating plate. Any board addressed in the way that serves your body is a board successfully spun on a stick. And I use plates because nutrition is the one that has the biggest impact, whether it spins successfully or falls to the floor.

Compared to exercise, nutrition determines about 80% of your results when it comes to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. That doesn’t mean you should stop exercising, not at all. What it means is that your health and weight are made in the kitchen, not the gym.

And while I’m talking about weight, just because someone is skinny or thin doesn’t mean they’re healthy. This is where the diet industry has been selling you lies and telling you that if you just, “Stop eating carbs…” “Stop eating fat…”, “Just take this pill/shot/drops and the fat will melt off…” etc, you’ll get the results you’ve been looking for and you may get results, and by results I mean the number on the scale (for a moment) may be beneficial.

But how do you feel? How stressful is it to live like this? The nutrition plate wobbled (gave up carbs) and wobbled (counting calories) and wobbled (crazy workouts) and ended up being so unbalanced that the plate fell off the stick and crashed. That’s when the weight comes back and the cycle tends to repeat itself. I hope you can’t compare.

It’s not that people are lazy or don’t try hard enough. Obviously they want results, otherwise they wouldn’t buy the book, take the pills, order the food, count the calories, etc, etc, etc, it’s just that they’ve been given bad information. Dieting is big business and if you have the information and tools you need to keep those plates going, reach your health and weight goals without dieting and be able to lock in those results for the rest of your life. it would bankrupt them.

The fact is that achieving your health goals and achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is easy. It all comes down to balance. Learn to eat the foods you love in a way that serves your body and your soul. Did you know that chicken with pizza is more balanced than an apple? An apple is a carbohydrate, and eating only carbohydrates will raise your blood sugar. Pizza is also a high-carb food, but adding the chicken will help prevent the spike for better balance. Am I saying I should never eat an apple and only eat pizza? Of course not. My point is that if you know how food works, you can use it in a way that works for you. And once you’ve learned that, you’ll have it for life and never have to diet again. Using food to create hormonal balance, stabilize blood sugar, increase circulation, optimize digestion and support collagen resilience is one thing. It can be done. When your food is balanced and on schedule, and your nutrition plate is spinning, it’s just that much easier to adjust the wobbles of the other plates and keep them in the air, too.

If you want to learn more about balancing and how to keep those records in the air, join the 8 Weeks is All it Takes Facebook group.

Tania Gustafson is a nutritionist and fitness coach.

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