12 January, 2011

A-Z Fitness - Quality Control

Last week we talked about how much you eat, the quantity. This week we're talking about quality. It's the kind of yin-yang of healthy eating. Watching your quality will help you focus on quantity, watching your quantity forces you to keep better tabs on your quality. So why watch the quality if you are watching quantity? Remember the old saying, 'you are what you eat'? If we put nothing but junk into our body, we shouldn't expect our bodies to perform well. Watching calories is fine, but if all the calories are a result of doughnuts, McDonald's, beer and nothing more, we won't feel satisfied, we won't feel refreshed and we won't feel motivated.

Tips: If you are unsure what changes you can make, don't be afraid to ask for help. If you are like me, you'll likely have many friends who are into fitness and will consistently offer suggestions for quality foods to try. Or perhaps post a comment in an open forum like twitter, facebook or something similar. You'll be surprised to find how many people are willing to give you great ideas for food substitutes. As an example, I just posed the question "Looking for suggestions to change to better quality food when snacking. 100 cal bag of chips fine or something else be better?"* I received back the following list of suggestions; Raw carrots, broccoli, an apple with natural peanut butter, stove popped popcorn, protein shake, parsnip chips, the entirety of the fruit and veg chart. So even if you can't think of a better quality food to substitute with, there are others who'll gladly offer suggestions.

Remember: Choose foods that will give you lasting energy throughout the day. Snacking on carrots rather than chips will keep our bodies satisfied. Craving something sweet, there is nothing like the natural goodness of a fresh fruit. Sometimes people are prone to eat less fruits and vegetables even if they are watching what they eat. True, chocolate might taste better but it certainly won't have the lasting effects healthier options will have.

Goal: Do your utmost to watch the quality of what you are eating. Is there a food choice you can substitute this week? Try a piece of gum instead of eating a snack. Cut up some fruit for dessert instead of eating a cookie. Changes start with small steps, and slowly changing the quality of what you eat will have lasting effects.

Last Weeks Goal: What did you notice when taking note of portion sizes consumed by yourself or others? Did you make the effort to keep tabs on this, if so you likely took some interesting notes. What were your observations? Care to share?

What fitness words starting with the letter "Q" inspire you?

*This question was posted on twitter so I had to keep the message short, thus the grammatical errors.


  1. Regarding portion sizes last week...several times during the week my husband and I shared a meal out instead of ordering two. When we finished we both said we 'could have' eaten more, but the amount we had 'was enough'. We were no longer hungry and we weren't stuffed and regretting eating so much, as often is the case with large portions at meals. It felt good to eat a smaller portion and be satisfied.

  2. It's odd, at times I've received a restaurant portion and thought "why so small", but it's more accurate. Unfortunately we live in a society where you are made to feel you need more than you can handle. Thus the tip from last week.