Nutrition 101

After my recent trip back home to the Midwest, I felt a sense of urgency to begin my fist blog post with what I feel is the biggest epidemic we are currently facing in the battle for healthy living, Nutrition.  Many of us are uneducated in this area and after walking into a grocery store we are often left staring at a variety of food wondering which is truly the healthiest option. Many food Items advertise products as fat free, low fat, sugar free, etc., but after careful examination of the nutrition facts and ingredients it's no secret we are often mislead.  Now not only has our food been tampered with and mislabeled but the price to be consistent with a healthy lifestyle can be taxing given the state of our economy.  Throw in the fact that we can't find time to get away from the rat race and next thing you know you are pulling through the drive-thru after a long day of sitting in the office.  Hopefully this first post will give some helpful tips to get you on the right track to a healthier diet and overall healthier lifestyle.

Nutrition is crucial to any successful fitness program and is hard for many people to understand. Growing up in a farm community we often saw long days working followed by gigantic meals which would often put us in a coma.  Weight was something I struggled with for the better part of the beginning of my adult life.  My activity levels were where they needed to be but my choices in nutrition were derived from wants rather than needs. In college I was blessed with the platinum meal card, well at least at the time I thought it was a blessing.  With access to any kind of food you can Imagine at the convenient swipe of a card, I gained the 15 and then some.
My later years I had to wait tables at night after class and getting off late it was very convenient to run through a fast food restaurant.  Soon I was larger than I ever dreamed I'd be and fell into the trap many Americans often find themselves.

It is from my past struggles as well as the struggle many of my friends and family face that I became so passionate about Health and Fitness.  The thing everyone needs to realize is that it's not too late to change, we are the society of Mondays, always going to get started on that day and then revolve right back into our old habits.  There's the key word, habits, these can be positive and negative.  It is no secret we're creatures of habit, chances are you follow a similar routine day in and out from the time you awake to lay back down.  That being said a healthy lifestyle can just as easily be incorporated into our rat race.  My father is a living example of this, around 2 years ago he began a workout routine and slowly changing his nutrition.  Well after 60lbs and 8 inches off the waist later I hate to admit it but his jean size is smaller than mine.  He is living proof that dedication, education, and hard work go a long way in helping you reach your goals.

Here are a few tips off the top of my head to help you reach and maintain a healthy lifestyle:

  • Shop the perimeter of the grocery store.
  • Eat natural foods derived from living things.
  • Carefully examine nutrition facts and ingredients.
  • Cook at home (many restaurants add excessive oils and sodium).
  • Eat smaller portions often.
  • Read about nutrition (I like to use the app "Stumble Upon").
  • Life is about moderation, when you cheat do it moderately.
  • Make your plate colorful (fruits, vegetables).
  • Drink plenty of water (it aids in digestion, flushing toxins, Etc.).
  • Avoid drinks with excessive calories/sugars (sodas, Starbucks, non-natural juices).
  • Eat slow (it takes the brain 20 minutes to process your full).
  • Alcohol in moderation.
  • Plan your meals ahead to avoid sporadic decisions.
  • Keep a food log for a short period of time to learn the caloric content of foods.
  • Keep a record of physical activities to learn calories burned vs consumed.

In conclusion, nutrition is a vital part of living and continuing a healthy lifestyle.  It's no secret that it takes some discipline, planning, and hard work but the results are worth it in the end. Don't feel alone in this subject, it is something we all struggle with but with education and change you can be well on your way.  After all of my past struggles, I happened to land in one of the healthiest cities following my dream of educating others on lifestyle choices.  Give Fight Gravity Fitness a call, it may just change your life!