Go With What You Know – Ambition Magazine
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Go With What You Know

When babies cry we know a need must be met. When toddlers lift their arms, we know they want to be held. They know that these basic instinctual ways to communicate take care of their basic needs.

How does someone, overweight most of their life and eventually obese, start losing weight and then maintain a healthy body weight in the long run? You could run out and try all the latest diets and detoxes, or you could start with your gut instincts. The things you have been taught through your lifetime by public health campaigns, your teachers, your local “health nut,” and even life’s clichés.

Drink More Water
Water is the ultimate detox superdrink. Plain old water. Why? With no added calories, water promotes all of the bodies processes. It’s the vehicle your body uses to carry in the good stuff and evict the bad. It helps keep your metabolism moving, helps curb hunger, helps skin stay supple, boost energy, and helps us not to retain water weight.

Eat Less Junk
You know that you should be eating less junk.Yes, if you eat less calories than you burn you’re better able to lose weight. Still, the way that your nutrients are distributed on a daily basis will show in your body shape and your energy level.”You’ll just burn it off” is sort of a myth. In other words, what (& how much of) it you eat determines whether or not you’re x lbs of superhero or x lbs of pure sluggishness. If keeping in mind that refined carbohydrates (like most cereals, desserts, and white breads) makes you crash and too much salt raises blood pressure isn’t enough, think of the granny, cousin, or uncle you have that is going through obesity related disease…. It is likely due to a lifelong diet high in refined carbs, animal fats, sodium and low in veggies.

Eat More Veggies
Hey, do you like cancer? Heart disease? Not being able to poop? Didn’t think so! The phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fiber in fruits and vegetables help you to avoid all of that. Not only are you getting all of this good stuff, but vegetables keep you fuller for longer. In other words, you can still eat lots of food. If you compare a crunchy snack of a bowl of chips to a bowl of cucumber slices, the cucumber wins hands-down thanks to fiber, water content, and a much lower calorie count. Need to add flavor? With cucumbers you can control the amount of sodium that you take in if you add a little bit of salt.

Too Much of a Good Thing Can Be Bad
Yes! Go for it! But before you have that extra two bowls of fresh fruit salad, don’t forget that natural sugars are still sugars. Your body only wants somewhere near a quarter of your daily calories max from sugars (even less if they’re refined). That means if you’re going to start your day with a smoothie and you’re eating around 2000 calories a day, you could potentially have about 200 calories in fruit to keep it healthy. Why am I only suggesting 200 calories of fruit (or a banana and a cup of berries max)? There are sugars in most foods, even vegetables, and yes, they count! Also, that alone is around 23 grams of sugar… Quite a bit to take in all at once. Try adding in other foods like spinach, cucumbers and avocados to add volume, fiber, vitamins, water content and healthy fats.

To get what you want, you have to do what you’ve never done. Where is it that you have room for improvement and consistency? We could all stand to drink more water. Eat less junk. Eat more veggies. Remember not to overdo it. This is all basic stuff, nothing you didn’t already know before! This article simply serves as a reminder for the fitness beginner to tap into those gut instincts to move toward the benefit of greater health in your daily diet.

Portia Alves

Portia is personal trainer, group fitness instructor, NPC bikini competitor and nutrition nerd:) Find her classes and personal training at the Mabry Muscle Machine Presents: The Machine Shop, Greater Dayton Recreation Center, and more!

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