Romain Chevalier is a certified health and performance coach, pilates instructor and personal trainer.
A highly decorated athlete, he is ranked among the top 10 triathletes in Thailand.
He is based in Hua Hin and can help you become the best version of yourself.
Connect with Romain on Facebook and start your journey to a better you @HealthCoachRomain
Continuing his monthly health and fitness feature for Hua Hin Today, Romain debunks some myths regarding nutrition.
It’s true that if you are looking to lose weight, most of your efforts should be spent in the kitchen.
But quick fix or fad diets will not be the answer to your waistline woes and will not lead to sustainable weight loss.
Fad diets are only a temporary solution, which may help you to shed a few kgs in the short term, but which will almost certainly see that weight return in the long term.
It can then become a vicious circle that results in nothing more than yo-yoing weight, where you will get nowhere fast.
There are so many different diets and you have probably heard of most of them: low carb, high fat, keto, fruitarian. Some gain a lot of publicity or seem to be ‘trendy’ or popular.
And while all of those diets may have some benefits, they also have many downsides.
The biggest problem with such diets is that they are very restrictive.
For example, a diet such as keto (high fat, very low carb) is unlikely to be sustainable for most people, especially those who like to run or swim, or for anyone who needs to consume carbs in order to fuel their training.
A ‘good diet’ is a sustainable diet.
So if you want to lose weight, instead of thinking about a diet, you should start thinking about how you can implement a better overall approach to food that is sustainable over the long term.
Your diet should also fit your lifestyle
Having the best food approach for your own body must be an individualized and customized experience as it has to fit your own lifestyle.
In the simplest terms, people who are more active, will need to eat more.
For example, if you are very active and you move around all day long, or you like to participate in intense exercise, then your food intake will need to support your active lifestyle.
Too often I see people with a very active lifestyle making the wrong food choices and actually eating too little.
This can leave them feeling tired and hungry, which in turn can lead them to reaching for less than optimal foods – or junk – which over the long term is counterproductive to their weight loss goals.
Of course, the opposite is also true. I see it all the time – people who have a very sedentary lifestyle, with next to no activity eating too much food.
For anyone who wants to keep their weight manageable, then your food intake must match your lifestyle.
This is why you should always look for a more sustainable long term approach to your diet instead of opting for the latest fad.
Carbs are not the enemy
All too often I speak with clients and the first thing they ask me is if I think they are eating too many carbohydrates.
My answer is always, “it depends”.
How many carbs you consume is probably not the issue. If you have gained weight it will be due to the overall amount of calories you consume on a daily basis.
As mentioned, if you lead an active lifestyle, exercise regularly, go running, cycling or take part in CrossFit, for example, your body will need carbohydrates. And in fact, it can be a big mistake not to consume enough carbohydrates.
All calories are not equal
Counting calories is a great way to understand if you are eating too much or not.
But it is important to understand that all calories are not equal.
A frappucino that has 500 calories is very different to a 500 calorie serving of rice, salmon and fresh vegetables – which is nutrient dense and will be much more beneficial to your body.
Generally speaking, you want to have a nice balanced nutrition with diverse types of food. As a simple guide, try to follow this:
– Vegetables and fruits daily, the more color in your plate the better
– Different sources of protein throughout the week: fish, meat, nuts, beans
– A good load of healthy fats: avocado, fish, nuts, hummus, dark chocolate
To sum it up, try to eat depending on your lifestyle and always try to opt for nutrient dense foods.
If you would like more information on nutrition and training, connect with on Facebook at: facebook.com/HealthCoachRomain