Have you seen the meme about how to get a bikini body? It goes something like this: Get a Bikini. Put it on your Body. Voila! You have a Bikini Body! We love the self-love it takes for such wonderful body acceptance. The emergence of real-sized actresses such as Jennifer Lawrence and models such as Ashley Graham is a celebration. We love real women in their real bodies.
We also love food and fitness. For us, fitness is the combination of a healthy body weight and a happy mind. But sometimes finding the balance between the hedonistic pleasures of delicious gourmet food and stellar fitness can be tricky. In this particular quest, as in many others, knowledge is power.
In a new article from the “Show Me the Evidence” section of Vox.com, we learn that it’s all about food and that exercisse alone will not help you lose weight. In this article, the age-old calories-in-calories-out model of weight loss is debunked with more than 60 studies proving that calories-in is a much more important factor than how much or how vigorously you work out. (http://www.vox.com/2016/4/28/11518804/weight-loss-exercise-myth-burn-calories) According to new research, knowing how many calories are on your plate is more important for weight management than your workout. As the British Journal of Sports Medicine puts it, “You can’t outrun a bad diet.” (http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2015/05/07/bjsports-2015-094911.full)
“While exercise is hugely important for overall health, how much and what you eat has a much bigger impact on your waistline.” (from Vox) Your relationship to your food is more important to your overall health than is your relationship to your personal trainer. It turns out that Michael Pollan’s “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” and Mark Bittman’s VB6 Began-Before-6 (VB6) meal plan are spot on. Both focus on high-quality “real” foods that nourish the body, rather than simply slake hunger.
This shift from eating food to nourishing the body is more than simple semantics. It is the difference between grabbing a quick snack and actually knowing why you are eating—are you hungry, are you bored, or are you eating to fulfill an emotional need? This approach to food is a move toward mindful eating, or eating with intention and paying attention to what and even how you eat.
But let’s get back to bikinis and self love. Here are a few nutritious food substitutes that will boost your self love – they are nutritious, so you’ll feel good about eating them; they are tasty so you’ll still enjoy your food.
- substitute a schmear of avocado for butter or mayo
- use rolled oat instead of breadcrumbs
- choose corn tortillas instead of wheat
- ground turkey instead of ground beef
- eat arugula, spinach or kale instead of iceberg lettuce
- popcorn instead of potato chips
- Greek yogurt instead of sour cream
- use unsweetened applesauce instead of sugar for baking
- instead of a latte, choose an Americano
- sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes
- oatmeal instead of cold cereal
- use dates instead of sugar in smoothies
- replace rice with quinoa
This is just the beginning of the list. There are hundreds of resources to help you become more conscious of how your nourish your body. Find the foods and eating styles that work best for you. Pay attention and your good choices will pay off.
Now where is that bikini?
“There are all kinds of reasons to exercise that are good for your health…However, if you’re trying to lose weight, the biggest problem I see is food. We need to cut back the food we’re eating.”