Competitive Body Sculptor Shares Insights After Winning

Kelly E.

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It's not the weightlifting but what you eat that matters mostPhoto by milanmarkovic78 on Adobe Stock Images

Working in a gym, Diane decided to take on the challenge of competing as a body sculptor.

In the three years she competed, she won the majority of her contests.

She had direct access to personal trainers, nutritionists and, as an experienced sports massage therapist, she has an excellent understanding of the body.

But she said, we all have access to the thing that makes the biggest difference to our bodies.

What matters most

Diane trained for hours every day but, she told me, it’s what you eat that matters most.

She ate the same thing every day while she was training. It was carefully selected and measured.

But that's not what she suggests we do.

What you need to know

Food plays a bigger role in how our bodies look. Exercise is important, but it doesn’t shape us in quite the way you’d think.

In a recent survey it was found that Americans, on average, consumed 4,200+ extra calories per week due to COVD-19.

Stress and boredom eating during a pandemic are understandable and we certainly don’t want to crash diet to fix it.

Crash dieting never works long-term anyway.

But we can become more aware of what we’re putting on our plates.

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What we put on our plates matters most for our waistlinePhoto by Pixel-Shot on Adobe Stock Images

Small changes make a big difference

Diane says, unless you're training for a contest, you don’t necessarily need to count calories and restrict your diet.

With little adjustments, you can feel like you’re adding in food, rather than taking it away.

Ideas of foods to switch out or add in:

  • Switch what you drink. We often drink more energy than we realize.
  • Add in bigger portions of vegetables and reduce your portions of meat. Your meal still feels satisfying, but it has a larger nutritional value.
  • Find delicious healthy snack options. Explore them and find a few you really enjoy. If it feels like a treat, you’re more likely to chose the healthy option when you reach for a snack.
  • Add easy meals like soup into your week. Vegetable-packed soups can be frozen, or cooked up at the beginning of the week for easy meal options. You can grab pre-made soups from the supermarket too. Easy healthy meals are important because we’re most likely to grab takeaways or a bag of potato chips when we’re feeling too tired to cook.

Avoiding a deprivation state is important

In making your small changes, you also don’t want to plunge yourself into a deprivation state. If you feel deprived of food you’re far more likely to binge eat.

For those of us who aren’t body sculptors, small changes are far better than strict dieting.

In one experiment deprivation was found to increase cravings and eating:

Restrained eaters experienced more food cravings than did unrestrained eaters and were more likely to eat the craved food.--Polivy, Coleman, and Herman (2005)

If you want to change the shape of your body, exercise is important for muscle, tone, and fitness, but what you eat has the biggest impact.

Rather than depriving yourself on a strict diet, try making small changes over time. You’ll be more motivated to eat healthily long-term if it feels easy.

What's your best tip for eating well? Let us know in the comments

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