want to start out by stating that I am not a professional athlete, fitness competitor, nor am I registered dietitian. I am an average person who has a passion for health, food, and fitness. That being said, the opinions you find here are mine. I am writing from my own personal experience and experimentation I have made with supplementary products over time. The combination for a healthy lifestyle and/or weight loss is simple. Eat right and exercise regularly – consistency over time. As simple as it sounds and as often as we hear it, we still give in to the quick fix.
With the New Year upon us, most people are feeling the effects of the Holidays and are eager to lose weight, start fresh. Not only do they want to lose weight, they want to lose it yesterday. Many search for the quickest solution, often spending loads of money, on products or programs to make it happen…FAST. Now, I’m not saying that they won’t achieve results, because often times they will. In the short term. Do they last? Sometimes they do, but the key here is consistency, investing more money into the plan. Have you been there, done that? What happened when you stopped buying the products or stopped following the plan? Did you gain weight back? My guess is the majority of time, you did.
My personal experience does not include buying into a weight loss plan or diet program, because I have essentially never been overweight, nor have I felt the need to spend the money on one. I did however go through a period of my life where I was restricting calories and over-exercising because of the desire to be “skinny.” Was I thin, yes, but I was also completely messing up my metabolism. I thought I was happy, but as I reflect back on that period of my life, I was miserable. I enjoy food way too much to ever resort back to that, because I have found what works for me. Balance, moderation, and fueling my body with what it needs!!
Which brings me to where I am at now – eating right, exercising regularly, and allowing treats or a night out here and there. Balance and consistency over time will produce the longest lasting results. I know this because I have tried it. Over the course of the past year or so I have watched my body transform (slowly at times), through the tools of diet and exercise. I was skeptical too, but I started making small changes to my diet, stayed consistent, started going in the weight room, lifting heavier, pushing myself out of my comfort zone, and trusting the process, not the scale! For example, I recently made a decision to give up two things for 30 days, for me these things are refined sugars/sweets and alcohol, as well as, aiming to drink a gallon of water a day, continuing with consistent exercise (not increasing, so for me this is 20-60 minutes a day, 5-6 days a week), and aiming to get 8 hours of sleep a night. For the sake of this example, I just went and weighed myself and I have lost two pounds over the course of 5 days. I am not restricting calories or eating less to try and prove a point. I want to show you what eating healthy can do. Take it or leave it, and once again I am using my experience as an example. We are all different.
January 2014 (left), April 2014 (right)
January 2014 (left), April 2014 (right)
Which brings me to supplementation, and this will be a touchy subject for some of you that are reading this. I am not discrediting supplements, bashing their performance, or saying you need to avoid them as that is not the aim of this post. I am simply providing my honest opinion based on my own experience. That being said, do I use supplements? Yes I do. I have tried several different products from a variety of different companies, some you may be using today (I am choosing not to name them, because once again the aim of this post is not to bash their credibility). To be perfectly honest, I have tried a few different cleanses, and I was never “blown away” by my results. Why? My guess is that my diet has been consistent for so long that incorporation and addition of these products wasn’t a significant shock to my system. Once again, I am speaking from my own experience and I am not saying that these products don’t work. In fact, I strongly believe in parts of these cleanses and continue to use them from time to time, due to some of the positive health benefits they provide. What I continue to use on a regular basis are, an unflavored, unsweetened BCAA powder prior to my workout and a protein powder post-workout, as well as a multivitamin and omega-3 tablet.
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I want to conclude by saying, do what you want with your money, I’m not here to stop you or change your mind. I wanted to open up on my experience, share what I’ve found works best, and show you that when you invest your money in real food you can achieve a lifetime of real results! You are worth it!