As a person who is ultimately living day-to-day in the fitness world, I have to remember that exercise is still only part of the health equation. When a client comes to me with a goal of weight loss, I always have to keep in mind and share with them that weight loss is generally 75 percent diet and 25 percent exercise. For long term goals, diet and exercise work hand in hand – the most powerful team to achieve a purposeful result. The growing rise in obesity is directly related to the amount and the types of food that we, as Americans, have available to us. So many foods are passed for healthy that clearly are not. In school lunch programs, pizza is considered a vegetable. That is a glaring problem. Since when does cheese and meat on bread come out equal to green beans or celery? This contorted view of food is part of our nation’s weight epidemic. Whole foods – true vegetables, meats, dairy, grains and fruits – should be the staples that we live on day-to-day.
The image above shows how much junk an average american eats every year. Twenty nine pounds of fries is equivalent to an average 2-year-old toddler. That is a lot of fries! Moderation is severely lacking in American adults. The saying that “my eyes are bigger than my stomach” is starting to fade because our bodies are adapting to the giant portions that we see and are served daily. Very few people read the nutritional labels for serving sizes anymore and honestly, most people would be shocked to know what actual servings of their favorite foods are.
Some don’t realize it, but food can kill people. For most who suffer from food related health issues, it’s happening without their knowledge. Many mass produced foods are made with such a high chemical and fat content that there is no nutritional value to them whatsoever. Eating empty foods like this does not help curb your true hunger, it only adds to issues happening within your body. Heart disease and diabetes, while not new issues, are at an all time high due to the lack of moderation and low quality food we are putting into our bodies.
A few tips that I would like to share are these:
1. Read your labels! An easy rule of thumb is “if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it.” Labels ridden with long chemical names aren’t “whole” foods in any way. Try to stick to the real stuff. 2. Snack smart! Keep healthy snacks on hand for the times when hunger hits and you aren’t able to make something. Fruits and veggies are great grab-and-go options. 3. Know your portions! Pizza isn’t bad, but eating half a pizza is.
“While diet and exercise are both important for long-term weight loss and fitness goals, remember this: ‘You can’t out-exercise a bad diet!’” (c).
(a) (image) http://www.creditloan.com/blog/food-consumption-in-america/