The Balanced Approach Program:

The first thing you need to do is individualize your program based on:

  1. Metabolic Profile/Sports Nutrition:  Clean Protein, Good Fats, Non-Gluten Carbohydrates
  2. Digestion: Cultural Background, Food Sensitivities, Blood Type
  3. Ayurveda:  Five Elements, Six Tastes, Qualities of Foods, Imbalances
  4. Strength in Balance:  Exercise, Stress Management

As we’ve mentioned before, Americans are spending over $50 billion/year on weight loss, but the country is now 55% overweight to obese.Diabetes is on the verge of becoming an epidemic. The American Dietetic Association, The American Heart Association and The American Medical Association are as frustrated as the consumer about this problem.

After 18 years in the nutrition and fitness industry it seems that clients are more educated about nutrition, but more confused about how to bring all the information together.

The real answer lies in determining who you are based on your individual needs.

The first component is to determine your metabolic profile and proper ratios of protein/fat/carbohydrate. You need to understand your hormonal profile: Do you gain weight in your gut or in your lower body? Are you sedentary or extremely active? Are your weekends very active but your weekdays spent sitting in front of the computer? Are you a body builder or a competitive runner?

All of these people have different macronutrient needs. Each individual needs to determine the correct ratio of protein, fat, and carbohydrates for their body type and activity levels.

Protein:

They would also benefit from consuming better quality ("clean") protein sources, free from antibiotics and pesticides and hormones. It is important for everyone to understand how these additives affect our digestion, gut microflora, immune systems, and hormonal levels, we can begin making more educated choices about what we put into our bodies. Adding 3-4 ounces of good quality, clean protein (depending upon your size, weight and goals) every three hours can help keep blood sugar levels from dropping.

Fat:

Most Americans are shown to be overweight but fat-deficient of the good fats - mono and essential fatty acids (EFA's). EFA's have been shown to be improve hormonal balance, sugar cravings, skin problems and inflammatory conditions. You need essential fatty acids to burn body fat! Fish oils and EFAs such as flax, borage, lecithin, and pumpkin seeds are necessary for skin, hair, nails, and fat metabolism. Individualizing the proper ratios for your body type, sport, activity level and goals is the only answer to how much protein or fat or carbohydrates you need.

Carbohydrates:

The third macronutrient, carbohydrates, seems to have people totally crazy. Most people have read enough to realize that over-consuming too many starchy or gluten-based carbohydrates - breads, pastas, bagels, etc. - will cause insulin spikes and increased body fat. That's how they fatten-up cows. Cows naturally eat grass, but to make them fat they are fed grains. It's the same for many humans.If you are an apple shaped, insulin resistant person and you tend to hold weight in the stomach and face, you could have a carbohydrate/insulin management problem.Too many carbohydrates will cause you to increase body fat. If you hold weight in your lower body it could be a growth hormone problem. The bottom line is that you need to figure out your own needs based on your own situation, and not try to fit into one diet made for everyone.

Digestion:

After figuring out your protein, fat and carbohydrate needs you should understand digestion and food sensitivities. Statistics show that nearly 80% of the American population is suffering from some type of digestive disorder or Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

What most people don't understand is how food sensitivities relate to culture and genetic profile. Most Native American people are type O blood types - the original hunter & gatherer. Their traditional diet was mostly animal protein - buffalo, venison, rabbit, and whatever they could forage - corn, berries, etc. With the introduction of wheat, gluten, soda, alcohol and processed foods into their diets, they are now one of the most obese, diabetic populations in America suffering from abdominal obesity. The typical fast food, high-carbohydrate diet is a disaster for most Type O Native people.

The answer again is very individualized. You need to ask yourself a few questions: What is your cultural background? What is your blood type? How is your digestion? Do you suffer from gas, bloating, constipation or diarrhea? Have you been on antibiotics recently or as a child? How is your stress level? Are your adrenal glands and immune system overworked and under supported? Stress has a direct affect on sugar cravings and abdominal fat and digestion. These are just a few of the questions we consider at The Balanced Approach.

By pulling together the correct ratios of protein, fat, and carbohydrates; considering food sensitivities and how they affect digestion and optimal efficiency; you know have two pieces of the picture.

The third component is your Ayurvedic constitutional type. This will tell you about the emotional connection to food and help you to understand how imbalances can affect digestion, weight, health and food cravings. You will begin to pull together a plan that will meet your individual needs and help you reach your goals without creating more anxiety (see Ayurveda).

The fourth component to consider is your fitness goals and how to balance them properly - see Fitness: Strength in Balance.

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