One of the concepts that we learn at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition is "bio-individuality".  There is no one diet that works for everyone.  I totally agree with that.  To a point.  The one thing that *will* work for everyone, is moving from the typical SAD (standard American diet, which is pretty much the same in any industrialised Western country) to a natural whole foods diet.  Whether for you that means, vegan, vegetarian, or paleo, what makes it "work" is the elimination of manufactured foods.

So you may be wondering, "what's a "manufactured" food Reba?"  Did Mother Nature make it, or did General Foods, Tyson's, McCain's, Stouffer's, Mars or or or...?  Do you have to read a long list of ingredients that you can't pronounce?  Is it bread, pasta, breakfast cereal, fast food?  Did you have to open a crinkly, shiny, attractively coloured package to get to it?  Then it's a manufactured food.  If it was made in a plant, don't eat it.  If it is a plant, or if it ate plants, eat it.  Food shouldn't have a list of ingredients.  Food IS an ingredient!

Different exercises are also going to be beneficial to some and not to others.  Studies now are proving that the old adage "calories in/calories out" is not entirely accurate.  It's the quality of the calories in, and the quality of the expenditure that counts.  Chronic cardio can be bad for your health.  Bad for your gut, and bad for your self esteem when you run and run and run and just can't lose the weight, or get the "right" body shape! 

The best exercise is the one that you will do.  Do you like to lift weights?  Then do that.  Do you actually *like* jogging?  Then do that.  But if you're doing any exercise just because the "experts" said that's the *only* way to lose weight/get a bikini bod/get a partner...and you really really hate doing it, then STOP doing it.  You're only contributing and compounding the problem that you're trying to heal.

Natural movement exercises are really good for treating your body well, and for your overall health.  If you're currently 35 or 100 pounds overweight, you can't just walk into a gym and start  lifting 2 times your own body weight.  You have to work up to that.  And if you start out with just lifting the bar, that's perfectly fine!  That's pretty much where everybody starts. The beginning.  But before you start lifting even the bar, you have to learn how your body is supposed to move, and proper form for lifting, otherwise you're just going to hurt yourself and give up.  The same with any exercise, whether it's heavy lifting, running, yoga, or tai chi.  You have to start at the beginning, and you have to learn how your body is supposed to be able to move.  You have to know what your current limits are, and you have to accept them. 

When I started my exercise program, I didn't have any money to join a gym.  I also entirely despise the gym atmosphere.  The last time I was in a gym for a tour when I was thinking about joining, I was abandoned and left to my own by the trainer so that she could go socialise with the new cute manager.  There were people sitting on pretty much all of the machines, not actually working out, but either talking on their phones, or trying to find the "perfect" play list on their iPods.  So I walked out.  A public gym is just not for me.  I found what does work for me though, and that's Turbulence Training.  I do this in the comfort of my own home, with very little equipment needed.  They also have a whole bunch of videos on YouTube under Turbulence Training as well as their Home Workout Revolution channel.   No, I am not getting any money from any of these programs or diet suggestions.  These are just what I have used to get myself healthy and fit over the last few years.  These exercises strengthen my body, so that I can move naturally.  And lift heavy things. 

So what's the perfect diet for You?  The one you'll stick to of course.  Calorie restriction, while in theory sounds like it should work, over the long term, it is not sustainable for either weight loss, or good health.  Depriving yourself of basic nutrition is not a good idea, and most calorie restricted plans are not nutritionally sound.  And if you've enrolled yourself in one of those pre-packaged programs, like WW or JC or or or...most of them rely on manufactured foods that are really really really bad for you!  Calorie restriction and reliance on packaged tasteless nutritionally deficient foods, can lead to dangerous yo-yo dieting, and junk food binges and so many other health challenges.  Most of them do not teach you how to eat to sustain your weight loss, and as soon as you leave the program, you gain all the weight back again.  And you're miserable and cranky the whole time you're in the program because you're basically starving yourself to an early grave.

Instead of starvation and deprivation, eat natural whole foods when you're hungry, stop eating when you're not.  Instead of a bagel with processed cream cheese, or trans-fat full peanut butter for breakfast, have a breakfast quiche.  It can be made ahead of time, enough for almost the whole week, so you don't have to worry about rushing in the morning.  Don't do eggs?  How about one of these delish recipes for paleo porridge then?  Or this one.  Or this one.  Add some bovine collagen for an extra boost of proteins if you're strictly following AIP or can't do eggs for any reason.

The thing is, if you've been trying to lose weight by following all the of "conventional wisdom" advice and it's not working; you're not losing weight, you're not getting stronger, you're not getting healthy, then it's time to change course.  What's the definition of insanity?  Doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome.  For decades now "conventional wisdom" has told us that calories in/calories out, low fat, high carb, grains, and manufactured foods are "healthy".  And yet the rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, etc etc ad nauseum have skyrocketed! 

Buck the system.  Be a rebel.  Do what works.  For you.  If you're serious about getting healthy, weight loss will follow.  If you're serious about getting healthy but you're feeling confused about all the conflicting messages and just don't know where to start, give me a shout.  email me at or click "Contact" up near the top right corner of your screen.  I've been there, done that, and I have the muscles to prove it!  I can help.


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