A BRIEF HISTORY OF DIETS
In the beginning, life was tough, food was scarce & there were no microwaveable Brontosaurus meals for one. We were programmed to stuff our faces whenever we could, as we might not eat again for days. In our most primitive brain, this mechanism - like a high-calorie food heat-seeking, missile - still exists. So you have your work cut out for you.
Diets changed over the years & sugar was invented. This was bad news for our bodies, which were only used to processing natural sugars in fruits (in season.) Sugar tastes nice, so we kinda overdid it! And food’s now ALWAYS available. Adverts (almost literally) push it down our throats.
When our work lives changed, into a more sedentary existence (generally speaking - you may still work down t’pit) the calories in & calories out balance swung to FAT. (More & more research shows it’s this lack of activity which is the main reason for obesity.)
Then diets - in the sense of depriving yourself/ cutting out food groups - were invented. Boo! Fad diets make you fat - fact!! They lower your metabolism & can be very dangerous.
First, all fat was bad. Now only bad fats are considered bad. Good fats are oils liquid at room temperature, like olive oil, oils in fish like salmon, & oil-rich foods like avocado. These are essential as some vitamins are fat-soluble, plus oils give you a glossy coat & waggy tail.
Low fat foods are generally rubbish - they’re often processed and stuffed full of sugar, to disguise the fact that they taste of sod all. Also, fat sets off the body’s feel full factor - useful if you’re over-eating because you feel hungry. (Rather than emotional reasons.)
High fibre then became the fad. This wasn’t so bad as a concept, but bloating (due to lack of water taken) & explosive farting associated with it put people off.
Then carbs had a bad press. Very low carb/ high protein diets became the trend. This led to constipation, fainting, bad breath & a huge food bill.
Now, carbs are considered OK. We need carbs. The brain can’t run on anything else. If you exercise regularly & for long periods, you definitely need carbs - to stop your body eating it’s own muscles as fuel!
Confused? Every week new studies tend to say one food is good, or bad. Coffee, for instance, is supposed to be both evil & great for your brain!
The best advice I can give is, eat as well as you can. Cut out processed rubbish. Eat a variety of foods & increase your veggies. Watch your portion sizes if you want to lose weight. Whatever you eat & drink contains calories.
And EXERCISE - to boost your metabolism, change your shape & boost your self-esteem.
Eat before you work out - at least an hour before (small meal/ snack) or 2 hours before (normal sized meal.) Go for slow-release, complex carbs & a small bit of protein EG a few nuts & banana, porridge & semi-skimmed milk, wholemeal or low GI bread sandwich etc.
Save your high-carb, or sugars, for AFTER a workout. You are allowed treats. And re-fuelling, as well as re-hydrating, after a class is necessary.