Ok, I’m on the rant train this week. I think it’s been bubbling for a while but I will try and keep this light and informative.
I’ve been in the fitness industry for 7-8 years now and over that time I’ve seen the rounds of fad diets etc. all come and go and some pop up over and over again. Now it seems said diets have reached the Equestrian sector. Hailed as the answer to busy equestrian lifestyles by anyone from your local riding instructor to someone on your yard who is now suddenly a spokesperson on all things health and nutrition. What is this miracle product……………..It’s protein shakes. I do not have an issue with Protein shakes at all, in fact I use them myself but I do not base my diet around them. Nor do I take an inordinate amount of pills to help me have “brighter skin, more energy……”
The problem is certain companies promote these shakes alongside other supplements as the key to weight loss. Technically this is true as weight loss occurs when you consume less calories than you burn, so a couple of shakes and 1 meal and nothing else will certainly do that, but guess what? You can also do that by eating real food too it just doesn’t earn Sarah, Joan or Beth their commission.
You see you can make nutrition really complicated or really simple.
I do completely advocate the use of Shakes for busy people who otherwise wouldn’t actually eat anything or maybe they’d eat a mars bar (you know who you are!) and definitely if competition nerves prevent you having the stomach for anything else but please don’t buy into them as being some miracle product or an entire basis of your diet. They aren’t; they are just a convenience food quite often being sold to you by someone who has got all of their nutrition knowledge from the people who own the product they are selling. There are lots of other “convenience” foods that you can pick up in the supermarket if you are too busy to cook properly. I use microwave porridge, Micro rice, pre-cooked meats and pre chopped veg etc. to save me time on preparing meals, and the only meal I eat at home each day is dinner so breakfast and lunch have to be transportable-and they are very rarely just a shake.
The thing is, eating so little will more than likely leave you lacking in energy, and if you do use it as a weight loss tool, then of course you will lose weight due to the low calorie intake but what happens when you aren’t drinking just a couple of shakes a day anymore? Did you learn how to incorporate real food into your diet and maintain a healthy weight?
If you want to lose weight then I suggest looking at calories in vs calories out-hit reply if you would like me to write a weight loss blog.
If you don’t want/need to lose weight but would like me to write more on nutrition, fuelling for riding and yard work hit reply and let me know!