If you’re the average man or woman, you may have many questions on nutrition, fitness and your personal body image. As a society we’re flooded with images of the so-called perfect body on TV, in magazines and pretty much anywhere you look. These images often show that if you have a certain type of body, you’ll be much happier and more popular than everyone around you. Often we’re told that in order to achieve the “perfect body” that we should diet or do something crazy and possibly harmful things to our bodies in order to achieve those goals!
In the media today being “thin” is the only way to be considered attractive, successful, popular and highly sought after and envied. Because this is so prevalent in the media, studies have shown that young girls as young as 9 years old have tried some form of dieting to lose weight. But….did you know that more often than not these media images have been manipulated to have thinner thighs, tight/toned abs, absolutely flawless skins and making these people look so different from what they really do look like, you probably wouldn’t recognize them if they were standing right in front of you!
Now if you have a goal to lose weight, decrease your body/belly fat or to improve/increase your energy levels, I’m here to tell you that as a Certified Personal Trainer and Nutritionist, who has worked and trained hundreds/thousands of both men and women, that although exercise is extremely important, it’s what you put IN your body will make or break your results!
Keep in mind that no one nutrition program works for everyone with the same results, but I’ve personally found that what gets my clients the best results are always going to be based on the following:
- Current weight
- Goal weight
- Current body fat percentage
- Goal body fat percentage
- Current level of physical activity
- Health History
After getting the above information, a good nutrition program will ALWAYS include the following:
- Eating 4 – 6 small meals a day or 3 meals, with 1 – 2 snacks
- 4 – 5 servings of vegetables (fresh or frozen are best)
- 2 – 4 servings of fruit (fresh or frozen)
- Limiting or eliminating starchy carbs (breads, cereals, pastas, chips, etc.)
- Eating lean proteins (chicken, turkey, fish, beef, etc.) 0.5 – 0.8gms per body weight
- Drinking plenty of water (not soda, coffee or energy drinks!)
- Limiting or eliminating fast food and junk food
- If you’re serious about starting and being successful in your nutrition program, and you’re willing to do the above, there’s one other thing that I cannot stress enough to put you in the success category: Journaling! Now what journaling involves is writing down EVERYTHING that you eat whether you made good or not as good choices. This is your moment of truth! By being extremely honest with yourself you’ll be more successful in meeting your goals! There are several awesome apps that you can download onto you cell phone/tablet (one of my favorites are MyFitnessPal, but check around and see what app (if you’re using one), works best for you.
Okay, with all that being said, exercising will only improve upon your results. Getting in at least 30 – 60 minutes of some form of cardio (dance classes, walking, running, workout videos, etc.) 4 – 6 days a week, along with strength training 3 – 4 days a week (trust me…you will not bulk up!), to increase your metabolism, causing you to burn more calories, increasing your lean muscles, which yields great results…yay you!
It’s now time to put all this information together and start on the road to a successful life to become more fit, have more fun and increase your energy level so that you’ll be able to stay focused, motivated and play all day!
Until next time, Cheers to Life and stay focused!
——— About the Author ———
Lisa L. Taylor, B.S. Holistic Nutrition, CFT ACE, AFAA, FITOUR