Until our culture changes the majority of British people will always remain fat, unhappy and unhealthy.
I’ve just returned from a holiday to Cyprus and whilst there I noticed a lot of things relating to health and fitness.
Just to give you a bit of back story and before I set away on another rant I want to explain what caused me to start paying more attention to other people’s eating habits.
I’m going to be honest here and say that I feel like I let myself down a bit as a member of the fitness industry here. I was on a boat trip and we were about half way through and having a great time when I turned around and noticed a girl chomping on a massive raw carrot and I couldn’t help but laugh, this was probably in part due to my immature sense of humour.
Hopefully I don’t need to explain that bit. Anyway I told my girlfriend and together we had a right laugh about how odd and random it was.
Then it hit me, what the fuck am I doing. There was children everywhere eating chocolate, crisps and fizzy pop and there’s me laughing at someone for eating a carrot.
It was one of the first times since entering the fitness industry that I felt part of the problem not the solution. It’s so so wrong that the sight of seeing someone eating a natural and nutritious snack opposed to a load of manufactured shit is amusing yet I think the majority of people would have had a giggle to themselves in the same situation.
It should be the other way around I thought and if it was everyone on that boat would have probably looked a hell of a lot better and been a hell of a lot healthier. Just make sure not to deep throat your carrots and you’ll be goodin.
After that nutrition was on my mind and I started paying a lot more attention to the way people eat. Besides having a great time and relaxing holidays are an excellent opportunity to observe people and cultures that you wouldn’t normally see and perhaps learn something from them.
The first thing I noticed was the different attitudes to food from the varying nationalities there. Firstly; at lunch and dinner all the European guests would pile there plates up with loads of fruit, veg and salad they would then top up that plate with a portion of meat or whatever else was on offer. What followed this meal would be a large plate of fruit for desert.
The other meal breakfast followed a similar pattern the fried bacon, sausage and egg was ignored and instead swapped for fruit, porridge, cereal or toast/croissant.
Another thing I noticed was they rarely drank with their meals. They’d have a glass of water or perhaps a glass of wine with their evening meal but they was no glugging down pints like there was no tomorrow.
This trend stretched throughout the rest of the day also, pretty much every time I seen someone drinking an alcoholic drink during the day they were British.
The British guests in comparison just seem to have an horrendous relationship with food and every meal time looked like they’d been starved for 3 days rather than the 3 hours.
I’m not sure if something has been lost in translation here but we don’t seem to understand that there’s no limit to how many times we can go back; you don’t need to pile your plates up to the point where you can’t even carry them anymore. Just get a second plate full; in fact thinking about it they’ll probably do that anyway.
There was never an effort to make a meal out of anything.
Once the plate had been suitably lined with enough chips to feed a small family everything else on offer in the entire restaurant just seemed to get balanced on top not sure where the cut off point here was, stopping a couple of inches off the ceiling seemed the norm.
In fact I’m pretty sure I seen a couple of close calls where small children almost made the tower if not for quick acting parents.
Obviously I’m joking here but you get the idea. There’s definitely a cultural problem and that’s why we’re fat.
I mean it’s not exactly complicated is it?
Surely people aren’t seriously questioning why these people are in such better shape than them when their sitting by the pool and not noticing them walking past at lunch, with a salad, whilst their attacking the dessert through with a shovel.
Their not perfect but we can definitely learn something from their eating habits. Perhaps we can swap their secret in exchange for learning them please, thank you and excuse me.
Oh and how to smile!
(In fairness though I’d probably be miserable too if I had to spend my meal times with a bunch of animals I.e. Us)
Before I get a load of comments here please take this in the jovial manner in which it was written although the message is definitely true.
We are all free to enjoy our holidays and I’m not saying there’s a right and wrong way to do that, I definitely fall closer to British side of the fence (however I do compensate that with training).
I think somewhere in the middle is ideal as with most things nutrition it’s about balance and also awareness which is what this blog has been about.