Food and Fitness

We have made it to March and Spring is around the corner, we hope!  In January and February I wrote about setting goals, sticking to them, and common reasons we fail to meet those goals.  This month I am going to address food and how it relates to fitness.  Whether your goal is to lose weight or just to eat healthily, food must play a role in the formula of a healthy lifestyle.  Oh, by the way, are you still sticking to your fitness goals this year?

Let’s first take a look at “diet” verses “eating healthy”.  When someone hears the word “diet” they usually cringe.  Take a moment and recall your body language when you read the word just now.  Diet usually equals the following thoughts, “I can’t eat” and failure.  I would rather talk about healthy eating.   Diets can be successful, but are not necessarily sustainable.   A lot of times a diet is also a way for a company or individual to make money.  Typically this marketing tact proves successful.  I am sure we can all think of different diets or diet books out there that have created a craze.  I think if we take the healthy eating approach and make it a lifestyle change, that this is a more maintainable approach.  Food is not the enemy!  Food can be fun and nutritious.  Large portion sizes and eating foods high in fat and simple sugars can lead us to the dark side. 

 Food is energy.  Foods are made up of protein, carbohydrates, and fats.  Our diets need to include all of three of these macro-nutritients.  You should never exclude one of these groups, you may want to limit the amount of each, but not exclude.  Many diets will tell you to eliminate carbs.  This doesn’t make sense.   Fruits and vegetable have carbs.  Would you ever tell someone not to eat fruits and veggies?  Don’t we beg our children to eat these same things?  Can you ever get enough of these fine foods?  And I do not mean dipped in chocolate or fried!   Also note your body needs carbs to burn as fuel during exercise.  Without carbs you cannot burn fat!!!  Don’t we all want to burn fat?

A great way to get started towards eating for health is try a food log for a week.  There are many different options available, I like Daily Plate, which is free and can be found on www.livestrong.com.   Try logging just what you eat now without making any changes so you know where you are starting from.  This can truly be an eye-opening experience.   Most of the time we have no idea how much we are eating or that what we are eating consists of so many calories.  Once you have established a starting point you can start to make small changes to your diet and add more fruits and veggies.  You have to know where you are before you can move forward. 

Once you know where you stand, now focus on the changes you need to make.  Start with your grocery list.  Make a list that includes healthy options.  Buy what is on the list!  Be sure to wash and prepare your fruits and veggies before the week begins so you have healthy options for snacks the entire week.  If not, it is too easy to grab something less healthy when you are hungry.   Try this approach on your own for a few weeks and see how you do.  You may find that you need to seek the guidance of a Dietitian as well.   Don’t forget to incorporate exercise as well.  Again you are trying to achieve a healthy lifestyle, not just lose weight.  Bottom line, CALORIES IN / CALORIES OUT!!!!

Turning Point Fitness, LLC

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Westerville, OH 43082
(614) 895-1433

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