As instructors, we often get asked what we eat to stay in shape… It seems that people are looking for very specific tips, e.g. “cut out all carbs” or “do a liquid fasting day once a week”. Neither of us has ever been on a “diet” and we do not believe in cutting out any food groups. Instead, we advocate a healthy, balanced diet, which is sustainable in the long run. Even though many women want a quick fix and can go to extremes, the only way to get long term results without the “yo-yo effect” is to change your eating habits permanently.
There are many myths around nutrition, so here are a few general guidelines we believe in:
1) Eat good carbs: Given the current “no carb” trend, it seems that carbohydrates are being condemned per se without distinguishing between the types of carbs. While eating lots of sugar or white bread is obviously not good for you, whole grain bread (yum…), brown rice and whole wheat pasta are great sources of energy that will keep you full longer and will also help your digestive system. Other “good carb” options include oats, quinoa, lentils and beans. Filling and tasty…
2) Eat lots of veggies and fruit: This is no secret. While being low in calories and fat, veggies and fruit provide you with essential vitamins, minerals and fiber, and they help to keep you hydrated because of their high water content. We love snacking on apples, nectarines and bananas in between classes. Another favorite is carrots and celery with hummus!
3) Make meals from scratch: Stay away from “ready meals”! Besides the fact that they have less nutritional value than freshly prepared food, they often contain “nasties” like artificial flavoring, preservatives and excessive amounts of salt and sugar. Only if you make something from scratch, you really know what is in it. It’s a great accomplishment to cook a meal for yourself (and your loved ones), so take the time to do it! And it’s totally fine to have a glass of wine with it…
4) Drink water: Drinking lots of water and other low calorie fluids helps you stay hydrated and keeps your digestive system going. When you are drinking lots of fluids, you will also feel more full and eat less. Besides water, we love herbal tea and sparkling water with a splash of apple or elderflower juice. Super refreshing in the summer…
5) Indulge and enjoy: Don’t beat yourself up when you have had a piece of chocolate cake or a side of fries. It’s totally fine. Just don’t see it as a reason to give up on your good eating habits for the rest of the day. One unhealthy meal will NOT make you fat. Just like one healthy meal will not make you skinny. ☺
6) Get enough sleep: Sleeping is not only good for your general health but recent research supports that it helps you stay slim by affecting your hormones and metabolism. Besides, the more time you spend awake, the more you tend to have late night snacks, and if you’re sleep deprived and lacking energy, you will be more likely to crave sugar and unhealthy foods.
Last but not least, we obviously believe that exercise plays huge part in maintaining a healthy weight. BARREtoned (www.barretoned.com) is a great way of increasing lean muscle mass and reducing body fat. As a consequence, you always burn more calories, not only when you are working out, but also in a resting position. Even in your sleep! Make regular exercise part of your routine, and you will start feeling more relaxed about what you’re eating and will be able to truly enjoy your food without counting calories.
AUTHOR: BARREtoned Girls
img source: http://www.foolproofliving.com/vegan-zucchini-and-walnut-bread/