Jason D. Goodrich “The Fitness Dude”
For most people, the battle for optimal health and well being seems to be a never-ending saga of minimal success followed by frustration. True health is something unseen. Unfortunately, in this day and age, we become driven by visual cues. To put it bluntly, we all want to “look” good! Well ladies, you can look and feel great — with a basic understanding of the food you eat and its effect on the body. Weight training, yoga and cardiovascular training, like other disciplines, are avenues to strengthening and toning our physiques. The real key to overall health is food! Without using too much scientific verbiage, I’m going to try and keep things simple.
Firstly, the key to losing weight is burning more calories than you consume. Seems pretty easy right? It is except for one glaring fact: Most of us are unaware of our food’s caloric make-up and its subsequent effect on our bodies. Ladies, your goal should not be to lose weight, but rather, to lose body fat. Weight is your muscle, fat, internal organs, skeletal structure and water.
One can lose weight, but what exactly are you losing? The belly, love handles and six-pack are all defined by the amount of body fat you carry and not how much you weigh on a scale. Both men and women should desire a good amount of lean muscle. For my beautiful women out there that fear “looking like a man,” this is not possible unless you train and eat for that desired look. Lean muscle promotes a steady elevated metabolism that makes our bodies more efficient at burning calories and body fat.
So what should you eat to become the pinnacle of health? Let’s go over what to avoid first! All processed foods such as: breads, cereals, snack foods, cakes, cookies and pastas. These are unnatural or manmade. They contain large amounts of sugars, fats and chemicals that wage war inside the body! Your meals should consist of lean proteins, natural complex carbohydrates and green vegetables. Examples of these include: fish, chicken, turkey and egg whites for protein sources and sweet potatoes, brown rice and oatmeal for complex carbohydrates. For veggies, I like to stick with greens like: broccoli, spinach and asparagus. There are several vegetables that one can have with their meals, but green veggies are high in antioxidants. These examples probably look incredibly boring…and can be. However, looking and feeling a certain way takes dedication and commitment! Plus, if you know how to handle yourself in the kitchen, these foods can take on many different looks and combinations to break-up the monotony. The most difficult part of the health and fitness journey is beginning. We get caught up in the hamster wheel we often run through, called life and often neglect the most important part — our health. In my experience as a fitness professional, clientele have the most difficult time changing their eating habits.
Remember, most of us have been eating a certain way for years! Try changing your habits slowly. Be conscious of how you feel and how your body responds to these subtle changes in your diet. Gradually adjusting your food intake will make it easier for you to maintain these healthy habits. There are no tricks or gimmicks to this, just belief, will power and a strong desire to change your lifestyle. Anything that is worth doing takes time. Change the way you eat and all of the sweat and tears at the gym will seem like a “piece of cake!” Yeah, I said it!
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