Inventory Control

facing the scale Inventory Control.  It’s a term I normally associate with retail.  However, it does speak to, as well as hold value for those of us outside this world.  But what does this have to do with health & fitness?

A scale, as much as we may despise it, does have merit.  I do not advocate it as the be all end all in weight management.  However, it’s one of the most objective tools we have in our arsenal combating the battle of the bulge.  Yet if this is going to be the most objective piece of equipment I use, it has to be one that encourages, not discourages.  A scale which simply spits out a numeric value when I step on it, to me, is useless.  Really worse than useless.  It can be downright depressing.   Yet a scale which differentiates between muscle mass, fat, and bone–well that can be motivating.  Now I can measure progress.  How much fat am I losing?  How much lean muscle am I contributing to this process?

Tape measures can be useful as well.  Though if your goal is thinning your thighs and you start to build muscle, the tale of the tape may not tell the whole story.  Again, selecting the proper criteria to evaluate your results, is as important as the routine or program itself.  Why stick to something if you aren’t getting what you want?  And why use arbitrary measures to evaluate unique and specific goals?  It may not add up; at least not in your favor.

So what exactly do I mean, when I speak of weights & measures?  Measuring out each spoonful or morsel I plan to eat?  No, not for me.  That becomes too tedious too quick.  Counting calories?  Yes, but I’ll speak to that later.  Rather, I ask my clients to consider not just what they eat, but from what they eat.

THE DEVIL IN THE DETAILS

Taking someone under your wing to embark them on a lifelong fitness and nutrition change, is a phenomenal responsibility.  I don’t take it likely.  Nor should they.  It is for that reason, a questionnaire is part of my inventory.  Really it’s their inventory.  Questions I ask regarding intake are as follows:  Do you consistently eat at the same time each day?  Do you work a set schedule?  Swing shift?

Now for what may seem almost nonsensical.

From what you do you eat most often?  Paper plates? Styrofoam container?  Ceramic dishware?  Glass?  Are your utensils plastic or silverware?  Lastly in this series, do you know the size of the dishes from which you eat most often?

Why does any of this matter?

As I’m sure you’ve guessed from the last question, size does matter.  I recently compared plates received as wedding gifts when I was married, with plates from a line from a prominent chef.  I could easily sit the former, with at least an inch diameter difference, inside the latter.  If your focus is portion control, this is a major game changer.  As far as the paper or plastic dilemma, if you routinely chow down from something other than dinnerware, eating can be construed as just the next thing to do.  One that is not necessarily satisfying, enjoyable, or satiating.

Before you protest, think about it.

I realize there is host of paper products to mimic dinnerware.  And with kids, it’s just easier.  I get it.  But there is something to be said for taking the time to sit down to breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  Is this always possible?  Of course not.  I’m a nurse, I know that better than most.  But I also know that taking the time to invest in a meal, is an investment that pays back.  Your memory becomes full and satiated–not just your gut.  And that is just as important as caloric intake and exercise–combined.  When you can recall/construe your eating experience as positive–not just one focused on carbs or lack thereof, or just “feeding” you are changing your mind, not just your body.

That change is a step forward to the sustainable.  And a step off of the merry-go-round of diets & exercise routines which end up by the wayside.

So what about calories? Carbs? Gluten? Protein? Strength training? Cardio?  The end of days?

Well with the exception of the latter, I can help with that.  In former posts, I give my take on gluten-free and high protein diets.  Exercise routines and what I feel works, can be found in my archives as well.   Caloric intake I believe I’ve tackled, but will go into more depth–next post.  The end of days may be in sight however, for diet and exercise as most have to come to know it.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

Questions? Comments?  Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com

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