I've said many times before on my blog that I'm not an expert at fitness (or anything else for that matter). I am fond of saying that I'm knowledgeable though. To that end, I'd also like to add that I'm pretty good at solving problems. It's an integral part of my job and the ability to look at issues and solve them quickly often carries over to other things that I do, including this arena of strength training, health and fitness.
It seems like I'm currently bombarded with people who have problems with their health with the same one problem: they need to eat better. It's stunning to me that in spite of all the attention given to eating right that some people just don't get it. Far too many times I see the same errors committed all of the time despite the best of intentions. At the moment, I see three re-occurring things that most of the people I know could start doing and make a dramatic difference in their health. This time, I'm putting them in order of importance.
1. DRINK WATER Too many people drink way too much unhealthy shit instead of drinking water. If you look closely, many unhealthy people drink worse than they eat. Simply cutting out all of the sodas, iced teas, alcohol, energy drinks, juice drinks, lattes, frappucinos, etc and replacing them with water could probably cleave as much as a thousand calories out of some people's diets.
There's a reason why rampant obesity is a relatively new phenomenon in human existence: Prior to 1900, what people drank was pretty much limited to water, alcoholic beverages, and milk. In times where public health suffered, you can link it to what people were drinking. It applies as much today as it did at any point in history.
2. TWO SERVINGS OF FRUITS AND VEGGIES Restaurants tell an awful lot about people's eating habits. The next time you're frequenting a restaurant, check to see how few fruits and veggies there are on the menu. Then, check how many starchy and processed carbohydrates there are on the menu. Interesting. And unfortunate. We get so many of the vitamins, minerals and other compounds to sustain normal bodily functions from fruits and veggies. Both are vital to maintaining the proper alkaline balance in the body. There are a number of conditions that you can trace back to the body not having the proper pH, including muscle mass loss before you order two different potatoes for your dinner out.
3. COOK FOR YOURSELF Eating better is so much easier to do if you're in control of what's going into your food. You don't need to be effin' Emeril to pull this off. Some of the healthiest eating is also some of the easiest. It's not hard to make marinades, steam, grill, bake or braise food. Get some basic knowledge of cooking and start using your kitchen for more than just storing ramen noodles, potato chips, beer, ice cream and frozen, prepared meals. Always remember the 7 P's: Proper Previous Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance! Preparing your food yourself in your own kitchen helps immensely with this.
I know that there are other things that people can and should do. Based on my observations, I think that these three would probably solve 70% of people's bad diet choices. One of my friends is learning the hard way that he needs to clean up his act. He's not quite 40 and he's already got high cholesterol and is a borderline diabetic. he routinely The question isn't if you can or want to start eating right. The question is will you do it before you are forced to do so? How much damage to your body are you willing to endure before you have to change the way you eat? It's much better and more fulfilling to be preemptive out your diet than reactive.
What do you think? If you had to chose the top 3 things that would help people with their diet, what would they be?