To Your Health
June, 2008 (Vol. 02, Issue 06)
Avoid high-fat food, chips, sodas and fried foods. Even a small reduction in these foods will go a long way. You want to try to eat lean meats (chicken, turkey and fish) and lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
If you feel you need more assistance and structure, consult with your doctor, a nutritionist or a weight-loss center.
A Few Other Things to Consider
We need to discuss time management, as you must take time to plan ahead. This often is an overlooked component when talking about food. If you plan out your snacks, lunches and dinners for the week, or at least for a couple of days, you will be ahead of the game. It takes about 10 minutes to plan and you will be set for the week. Lack of planning = bad decisions. Another thing to be aware of is your consumption of liquids. All liquids except for water have calories, so be aware and write down calories from soda, juices, alcohol, coffee, lattes, smoothies and other high-calorie drinks. Even though diet drinks have no calories, some studies have linked them with high food cravings.
Sleep is another often overlooked part of losing weight and feeling better. If you're not getting at the very least seven hours of sleep, (eight to nine are recommended), you're fighting against yourself. Sleep correlates directly with your health, and if you're deciding to make some life changes such as exercising more and changing your eating habits, you need to make sure your body is well-rested and ready to work. Don't take my word for it; try it and you'll see and feel the difference.
You must exercise daily, whether it's that 30-minute brisk walk or resistance training, (yes, I recommend doing resistance training and cardio on the same day). Studies show that regular exercise increases health and longevity, while inactivity decreases health and shortens lifespan. Remember, consistency is the key, so get up and get going!
The information I have given you will work. The question is, will you do the work? The time and effort you put into your body will pay off either positively or negatively. It's not only about shedding those extra pounds to fit in those jeans or look good in your summer outfit. It's also about living a healthier, happier life.
Chelsea Cooper, MPA, CPT, is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer, performance enhancement specialist, and rehab and exercise specialist. To learn more, visit www.trainwithchelsea.com.