Eating Right

Eating Right

Some people live to eat, some people eat to live, and then there’s the rest of us, somewhere smack dab in the middle.  The question is, why is it so hard to eat healthy?

There are a lot of answers to that question, and we will explore them in a moment, however, I think the question that should be asked is, do you want to eat healthy?  If the answer is yes, and it should be, then ask, what does eating healthy look like?

My feeling is that you should enjoy life, and eating is one of the things most people truly enjoy doing.  But…(there is a big one coming), there has to be balance.  Your primary objective should be to care for your body, and what you put in your mouth has a tremendous effect on your overall health.  That is not a secret.  We should strive for balance.

Balance in eating means that you can have that McDonald’s Big Mac once in a while. Heck, you can have a cheat meal, or a cheat day, and your body isn’t going to explode. Just make sure that the majority (I almost said vast and probably should have) of your meals are prepared with a purpose.

Ok, what does that mean?  Eat with a purpose.  Eat to fuel your body and to provide it with the nutrients that it needs to meet the requirements you place on it.  Your body is a performance machine.  Exercise and nutrition help keep it performing at optimum levels for the long run.

Here is a list of foods that can do just that along with their associated benefits:

Salmon – healthy oils that are good for the heart and can raise your HDL (the good cholesterol.

Lean chicken – filled with protein without all the fat.

Spinach – provides protein along with vitamin A and C, antioxidants, and heart healthy folate.

Berries – not only are they delicious, but they are loaded with polyphenols.  Huh?  Think of it this way, polyphenols can help you lose weight.

Potatoes – yep you can eat them.  It depends how.  Believe it or not the temperature can make a difference.  A cold baked (already cooked) potato changes how we digest the starch, which can reduce abdominal fat.

The list goes on and on.  It starts with what you buy at the grocery store, and what you put in your fridge and pantry.  Quick tip, if it comes in a can or a box, it probably has less nutritional value, and can do you more harm than good.  High in sodium, fat, cholesterol, sugar, etc.  Tip number two, buy less foods from the aisles of the grocery store, and stay around the perimeter.  The perimeter is where they keep the produce and fresh meats.

So, have a burger now and then, or a bag of fries, however, the majority of your meals should have a purpose, and that is to fuel your body so it will meet the demands you place on it.  After all, we do that for our cars, don’t we?

Are All Weight Loss Plans Good For You?

Female Doctor Nutrition LabelMaintaining the proper weight as we age is certainly a good thing.  A good rule of thumb to see if you are the proper weight for your height is the BMI formula.  BMI stands for body, mass, index.  It is not the end all be all, but it will tell you if you could stand to lose a few pounds.

The BMI formula is:  your weight/your height in inches squared x 703.  For example, if you are 6 feet tall (72 inches) and weigh 170 pounds, it would be 170/(72×72)x703, or 170/5184 which equals .03279 times 703, which equals 23.05.

That number falls in the normal category.  18.5 to 24.9 is considered normal weight, 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight, while over 30 is considered obese.  Again, it’s not the end all be all, which means it doesn’t mean you are unhealthy or at high risk for disease if your BMI is say 26. but it gives you a general idea of where you should be in terms of weight.

With that said, and you believe that you should lose a few of those excess pounds, the question is, how do you go about it?  There are dozens if not hundreds of programs out there, are they all good?  Are they all safe?  Do they all work?  Is any weight loss good weight loss?

The answer to the last question is yes and no.  Gotcha didn’t I?  Your probably thinking, what do you mean, yes and no?  That doesn’t help me.  Allow me to explain.  Sure, if you are overweight, losing that extra weight is good, but it is possible that more harm than good could be done in terms of your health, if you go about it the wrong way.

From a fitness perspective, it is important to first determine your goal.  Why do  you want to lose weight?  To look better?  To fit in an outfit for an upcoming event?  To improve your long-term health?  All are good reasons.  I favor the last of course, but regardless, there are many ways to go about it.  Then there is the question of how much weight you want to lose, and how fast you want to lose it.  I suggest being realistic here and making smart decisions.  For example, excessive, quick weight loss may not be healthy, and it may not be sustainable, which means you will be back in the same boat in a couple of short months.

We advocate a sensible program for losing weight.  This includes a well thought out and executed exercise program, along with monitoring calories while keeping a close eye on where those calories come from.  This includes having a sensible ratio of carbs, fats, and protein.  That way, you will accomplish your goal, and it will be easier to maintain over the long haul.  After all, good health that lasts a lifetime is what we all should strive for.  Here is a common understanding of weight loss, burn more calories on a daily basis than you take in, and you will lose weight.  It isn’t rocket science.

I will close by telling you what I tell everyone, check with your doctor before making any significant changes to your diet or before starting any exercise program.  Also, to get more detailed information about a good nutrition plan, check out our friends at StrongerUFit.com.  The testimonials will blow you away!