Food for Thought

This month Adam Prescott, of Revolution Fitness Academy, sheds some light on nutrition to find out where many of us are often going wrong… 

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Obesity numbers and chronic illnesses are higher than ever before, yet gym and diet group subscriptions are at an all time high. But why is our nations health on the down if our movement levels are on the up?

Last month in August’s issue of Velvet Magazine, I introduced Revolution Fitness Academy and briefly touched upon an argument that has been simmering around in the background of the health industry for years, ‘how much fat, protein and carbohydrate should we be eating?’ The article pointed out that maybe we have been looking in the wrong place for sustained health.

So why are chronic illness and obesity numbers on the up if we are all trying to move more and eat well? What can we actually do to start improving our health? I believe it’s down to a mixture of misinformation, culture, body image pressure and then desperation. Perspective is also key so bear with me as I go back in time to explain more…

In the 1960s a very influential scientist by the name of Ancle Keys delivered his ‘Seven Countries’ study to the American Heart Association and Government. It was a very loosely executed study, with Keys setting out to prove his, soon to be known, ‘lipid hypothesis’ explaining that ‘saturated fat raises cholesterol and increases your risk of heart disease’. There were so many holes in this study that didn’t come to light until we hit the 1980s, but by then it was too late as the theory was already in the public eye. To be fair, it makes sense that the fat in your food adds to the fat in your body – it’s not something you would disagree with if you had never looked into it yourself.

This gave birth to the low fat era of our civilisation. Food industries jumped right on board, removing the fat out of foods. The trouble with removing fat is that it then tastes like cardboard, but don’t worry as they had all sorts of cheap sugars to throw in there as a replacement. Our shelves became littered with the new low fat ‘health’ products packed full of taste bud tingling toxins. To add to that, we saw the introduction of the original Government promoted food plate to help guide us on what to eat each day, and within that food plate, was a recommendation of 6-11 servings of rice, pasta, bread and cereals per day and 2-3 servings of dairy and margarine were given the ‘a-ok’. Wow!

No wonder we all started piling the pounds on with sugar in everything that’s a ‘health food’ (not that I would class these items as food). Anyway, I’m almost getting to my point… Whilst all this was in progress, we also witnessed the rise of Jane Fonda and lycra, whilst seeing gym memberships rocket. Why would this be of importance? As much as you would think it’s great to see people becoming more active (which it is), what it was also doing was gradually pushing a certain body image onto the public, particularly for women. When you push specific body images onto people who are eating in a way that piles on the pounds you get confusion, insecurity, self-doubt and low confidence… sound familiar? Add to that the side effects of being overweight: fatigued, demotivation and signs of metabolic syndrome.

That was a very brief overview, I haven’t even gone into modern diet issues and schemes, but it leads to the same issues. We have generations of people who believe they are eating the right food to lose weight, on top of the increasing pressures of having to look a certain way. This leads to the final piece of the puzzle; feeling lost and sometimes desperate.

As the efforts to lose weight increase, the pounds, either infuriatingly continue to rise, or drop down to then soar straight back up again. We feel increasingly confused and strive to regain some form of body confidence. This causes one of the biggest self-sabotaging issues I come across everyday in my career. Everybody’s focus is on the big ‘R’ – no, not Revolution Fitness – Results. With the ever-lowering confidence and misguided advertisement from the fitness industry, many people are utterly focussed on the speed in which they can achieve ‘results’. When the results come a little slower, not at all, or we meet a bump in the road that causes us to feel like we have failed and are back to ‘square one’, it becomes a downward spiral.

Sound familiar? We need to reprogram ourselves. At Revolution Fitness Academy, we focus on health and we invite you to do the same. When focusing on health where you are guaranteed to see results at some point (as long as the information on your nutrition is correct – something I’ll be talking about next month!). Focus on preventing diabetes, heart attack, strokes, Alzheimer’s. Focus on running around with your loved ones, waking up feeling fresh and enjoying your health. So what if you only lose two pounds a month and don’t look like ‘Mr or Mrs World’, because in a year’s time you’ll be 24 pounds down and it will have been effortless. Not to mention the boost in your energy levels and confidence. After years of misinformation of biblical proportion, combined with social pressure and cultural development, I find more and more people feeling lost, frustrated and with no self confidence. It needs to change now.

Next month, I’ll go into more depth about what we can do to improve our health and what we can do to feel great.

Here’s what I want you to do until next October’s issue of Velvet Magazine:

  • Throw out the scales that are probably lurking around your bathroom.
  • Any negative thoughts you have about yourself, I want you to turn into a positive e.g. “I love my body because it gave me my beautiful children.”
  • Exercise can be hard but enjoy moving your body and think of the challenge you’re setting yourself.
  • Compliment two people everyday.
  • Challenge yourself to make a new home-cooked dish at least once or twice a week.
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Instagram: @revolutionfitnessacademy

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Revolution Fitness Academy 

Unit One Gym, Kempson Way, Bury St Edmunds, IP32 7AR

Tel: 01284 625155

www.rev-fitness.co.uk

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