Topic of the Day: Nutrition and it’s Role in Weight Loss

veggies

Happy Sunday!

This past week, we asked followers to write in and tell us what topics that want to see covered in the blog. Today’s topic is nutrition and the very critical role that it plays in losing weight.

Losing weight is comprised of 2 major components. Followed by sustaining that weight loss.

First – exercise. This is a given. You can’t just sit in front of the TV eating Chili Fritos and wish the weight away. With that said, there’s also no need to go to the opposite extreme and workout for an hours everyday either. Just 30 minutes a day of moderate to high intensity exercise is sufficient depending on your goals. So let’s say you join a gym, or better yet, you join bootcamp (because we’ll hold you accountable and keep you motivated), and then after every class you stop by McDonalds on your way home and buy a Big Mac… Common sense should be telling you that this behavior is 100% counterproductive. Nutrition plays a HUGE role in losing weight. I’m tempted to say that it’s the most important aspect, but coupled with a healthy workout regiment – fat doesn’t stand a “fat” chance of sticking around!

Second – nutrition. We have a lot of women who say, “I work out all the time but I still can’t slim down to a weight that I’m comfortable with.” Upon further review of their diet, we usually find out that they are either eating way too many calories and not burning enough, or they’re eating the wrong foods, or they’re not eating enough times a day and their metabolism has slowed down. There are numerous reasons as to why, despite frequent exercise, people don’t lose weight, and 9 times out of 10 it’s nutrition related.

I’m certain that you’ve heard the saying, “You are what you eat”. Well, it’s true. You can’t expect to be healthy if you don’t eat healthy foods. Food is how we take in important nutrients and minerals to help our bodies repair and sustain themselves. Our bodies are not designed to process artificial ingredients or preservatives comprised of chemicals manufactured in some lab. Our bodies are designed to take in natural, unadulterated veggies, fruits, and lean proteins, not Hamburger Helper and McDonalds.

The biggest problem for most people when it comes to doing what it takes to get healthy, is that they are lazy. They’re too lazy to make healthy meals from scratch – they’d rather take the easy way out and order a pizza from Dominos, or pop a LeanCuisine in the microwave. They don’t want to walk up 15 minutes earlier to make themselves a healthy sandwich and pack some veggies to take to work for their lunch. Or they don’t want to work out after work because, they’ve had a long day and they’re too tired. People will come up with 101 excuses as to why they can’t do something (especially eat better and workout on a regular basis) because they’re lazy and afraid to fail.

The way I see it is that you either want to lose weight and get healthy or you don’t. And if you’re someone who truly wants to get healthy and stay healthy – then you have to make some sacrifices and be willing to do whatever it takes. You have to TAKE ACTION. You can’t sit around waiting for some magic pill to come about to turn your life around. That’s the bottom line. Living and eating healthy doesn’t have to feel like you can’t eat foods that you like – you just have to be proactive in finding healthy foods that you do like. If you hate brocoli, then try cauliflower. If you hate carrots then try sliced bell peppers. Instead of viewing healthy eating like a chore, view it like an adventure. It may be frustrating at times when you feel lost, but remember that you have resources. You have so much information and your fingertips, consult experts, do some trial and error. This is your life, and you owe it to yourself to make the most of it by taking care of your health.

Here are a few major changes you can make to your eating habits that will help keep you slim:

1. Stop drinking soda, period. Soda is high is high fructose corn syrup and well as a whole host of other artificial sweeteners and chemical nastiness. The sooner you cut soda out for good, the sooner you’ll see a slimmer waistline.

2. Check your portion sizes. Are you eating 4 cups of brown rice with your chicken at night or are you sticking to between a 1/2 cup to 1 cup? Check how many calories are in a serving of everything that you eat. At least in the beginning stages of your weight loss journey. You’ll be surprised how quickly the calories can stack up.

3. Start shopping on the outside of the grocery store. Why? This is where all the fresh foods are! All the veggies, leafy greens, and stuff that doesn’t have a shelf life of 2 years. Stay away from anything that from in a box. That means stop buying microwavable meals, frozen pizzas, macaroni and cheese, etc.

4. Start planning out meals and making them from scratch! This is a critical habit to develop because by making your own meals from scratch you can control exactly what you’re eating. Start eating more salads, start grilling your meats instead of frying them. Start eating more raw veggies and fruit.

5. Start doing your own research! The more educated you are the better. Don’t take my words as set in stone. The more you understand about how your body works, and the role food plays in having a healthy body the better off you’ll be. You owe it to yourself to have this knowledge, especially if you have kids and a family that you have to take care of. You don’t want your children to grow up with bad eating habits that may lead them to become obese, or to develop health problems in the future.

6. Read the ingredients. Don’t eat anything that has more than 4-5 ingredients, and especially if they are ingredients that your grandmother couldn’t pronounce or recognize. Following this rule will ensure that you eliminate preservatives or other chemicals put in food to “maintain flavor and freshness”.

While, it’s difficult to fit everything about healthy eating habits into a single blog post, I will make it my duty to write as often as I can about nutrition. If you are interested in reading more, check out Food Rules by Michael Pollen. He is a really well known writer and expert in the field of nutrition, most of the rules above are from his book.

 

The take away message is that NUTRITION PLAYS A HUGE ROLE IN WEIGHT LOSS. The sooner you start eating in moderation and eating foods that are fresh and healthy – the sooner you’ll see a slimmer waist. Never stop exercising. It can be as simple as a 30 minute brisk walk every day on your lunch break. But start following the 6 rules about and I guarantee you’ll see a difference.

Please feel free to send more topic suggestions my way!

 

Until next time, keep on keepin’ strong!

Coach Colleen