Keep a Fit Body in Mind

Apr 04, 2010
Keep a Fit Body in Mind

Stay on top of your Nutrition with some simple steps

Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day...

As of late, all my nutritional clients consist of 35- to 45-somethings that came to me with the same dilemma; exercising their butts off and making absolutely NO progress towards their health and fitness goals. These are men and women alike, all with full-time careers, busy families of 2 or more kids, houses to maintain, taxes to pay – regular, every-day people that make up the bulk of our wonderful country’s population.

The more I practice in this field, the more I come to realize that this demographic is the mainstream of America, and, for all their ambition, energy, fortitude and diligence, they are like hamsters on a wheel!

I need to ponder the question

“What has created this cycle of frustration for these poor folks?”

The answer is not too far off; as our planet gets smaller (increased population), as our modes of communication get faster and more electronic (texting, pdas, video conferencing, telecommuting, podcasting, virtual EVERYTHING!!!), we begin to lose site of the most important elements of human health….slowing down, listening to our bodies, and taking time to honor our existence as living, breathing, physical creatures. Everybody wants the quick fix; the quick meal plan, the quick workout, the easy way out; and, I’m sorry to disappoint, but that mindset has to change if you want to find fitness success.

The number one request I get with nutritional planning, not surprisingly, is to lose weight. Along with that, have more energy, build more muscle, oh, and make it quick! People complain about the hours and hours of exercise they put in every day, and can’t understand why they can’t reach those goals. When I ask them what they’re nutritional intake is currently like, they look confused; they tell me they “eat healthy”, and “watch their caloric intake”. Well, therein lies the first problem – 9 times out of 10, they are not eating enough, and certainly not enough of the right stuff. Too much media pedaling too much crap! This seems to be a mind-blower to them, and I am beginning to be stunned at the number of smart, educated people who don’t understand the concept of fueling their most precious machine – their body. Wow.

After a simplistic explanation (picture your body as a fine-tuned car; would you expect it to run on empty? How about the quality of the fuel you put in it?) As the veil slowly lifts, as clients start to grasp the concept, the next challenge steps up: how quickly can they make this work? A good friend put it like this; imagine your body is like a heavily-loaded barge that you are slowing down and turning mid-stream and heading in the other direction... slloooowwwwlly. Once that barge gets going again, though, it’s full steam ahead. I am careful to explain that the expectation of losing 20 to 50 pounds in two to three months is not only unrealistic but will do nothing for the long-term goal of educating themselves about creating optimal nutrition to reach and maintain their fitness goals and lifestyles. Give it 8 months to a year; after all, how long did it take you to get in this position? Certainly longer than that, more like 10 or 20 years!!!

My recommendation for most people in the above predicament is to focus on getting some sound nutritional advice, whether through your own research on a site like M&F, or actually plunking down some cash on a certified nutritional consultant. The above demographic are of a generation that were raised with sports and fitness as a part of their lives, for the most part; you know your way around a gym, have been on a treadmill a time or two, were a step-aerobics fanatic in the 80s, or have been a runner forever. Committing to exercise every day is not the challenge, it’s what you put in your mouth afterwards. Our society has done itself a great disservice by not addressing the issue of nutrition as readily as fitness, and it is only in the last few years that it has become obvious that, truly, you are what you eat…or what you are not eating. In the meantime, here are a few general nutrition tips to help get you started on turning that barge:

  1. Start eating more protein. Proteins are the building blocks of lean muscle and the system from which our metabolism is fired. You cannot reach long-term fat-loss and energy-gain unless you incorporate protein into every meal.
  2. Eat 4-6 small, balanced meals a day.
  3. Drink water….yes, eight 8-oz glasses is the goal.
  4. Fresh, whole foods are key – green veggies, colorful fruits, lean meats.
  5. Avoid sugar, packaged foods, high sodium content, and excess alcohol.

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