As a certified personal trainer and nutritionist I often get asked what are the best ways to get my body back into kick butt shape again? Are there any shortcuts, magic pills or secrets? Well, unfortunately there are no short cuts, only long hard work, and there are no magic pills nor do I believe there ever will be. There are however some secrets. What I would like to do is share with you my top 7 secrets for getting yourself a new body! I will be spacing these secrets out over the course of 7 separate articles appearing each month so that I can go into greater detail regarding each of these secrets. You will have a full month to implement each of these secrets into your life before receiving the next one. Within 7 months the goal is to have implemented each of these “7 Secrets” into your life!
Secret #1 The Secret of Food Eat Organic:
If you don’t currently eat organic you might want to reconsider. Many people think that organic is all hype but the truth of the matter is that it’s not. Organic foods, such as an organic tomato, have a qualitative value which a commercial tomato could not match. The organically-grown tomato has not had any pesticides used to keep its natural enemies away from them. Typically, organic farmers use a natural pesticide that is safe and does not diminish the quality of the tomato. However, a commercially-grown tomato has lost a great deal of its nutrition because of the pesticides used to keep it safe from its natural enemies. Another reason to eat an organic tomato (or any organic foods for that matter) is that organic food is picked when it is ripe versus the commercial tomato.
Since organic food is picked when it is ripe, the food has had the ability to absorb all the trace vitamins and minerals which is sadly lacking in commercial foods. Commercial foods are picked when the vegetables are still green and do not have the opportunity to absorb all the trace vitamins and minerals which the soil offers. In essence, all the consumer is getting from the commercial grown food is filler with very little amounts of vitamins and minerals. In contrast, the organic tomato has an enormous amount of nutrition and a taste which the commercially grown tomato will not match.
There are certain foods that you should make sure that you eat organic over others. Some conventionally grown foods are treated with more pesticides than others and some retain more of the pesticides. Here is a list of the top 10 foods containing the most pesticides. High-Pesticide Foods: Strawberries, Spinach, Cherries, Peaches, Mexican Cantaloupe, Celery, Apples, Apricots, Green Beans.
Keep in mind that local farmers markets and grocery stores like trader Joe’s and Whole Foods are good places to shop organic. You can also find organic foods in the organic produce section of your local grocery store. Most importantly, always read labels of anything you buy. If you don’t know what an ingredient is chances are good that you shouldn’t be consuming it. Eat Lot ’s of Different Colors:
Each different color signifies the presence of a different carotenoid, a type of phytochemical. Each carotenoid brings its own unique benefits. We all know that fruits and vegetables are good for us, but here’s a list of what the different colors mean for your health: § The color: Reds such as strawberries, red grapes, beets, and tomatoes. The payoff: Improves blood flow to the heart, protects against Alzheimer’s disease. § The color: Whites like bananas, pears, onions, and mushrooms. The payoff: Helps to maintain heart health and healthy cholesterol levels. § The color: Greens like kiwi, pears, broccoli, and peas. The payoff: Helps build strong bones and teeth and protects your vision. § The color: Yellows/Oranges like mangos, pineapple, carrots, and pumpkin. The payoff: Boosts your immune system, protects the health of your heart and eyes. § The color: Blues/Purples like figs, blueberries, eggplant, and cabbage. The payoff: Protects your memory, helps your urinary tract stay healthy. Because each colorful carotenoid has something different to offer, vary the hue of the produce you eat throughout the day to reap all of the benefits. The more vibrant your meal, the better it is for you. Limit Processed Foods:
Many processed foods are made with trans fats, saturated fats, and large amounts of sodium and sugar. These types of foods should be avoided, or at least eaten sparingly. Processed foods that may not be as healthy as fresh foods include: canned foods with lots of sodium; white breads and pastas made with refined white flour, which are not as healthy as those made with whole grains; packaged high-calorie snack foods, like chips and cheese snacks; high-fat convenience foods, like cans of ravioli; frozen fish sticks and frozen dinners; packaged cakes and cookies; boxed meal mixes; sugary breakfast cereals; processed meats. These processed foods and prepackaged meals are very convenient and popular. If you do shop for these foods, be sure to look for products that are made with whole grains, low in sodium and calories, and free of trans fats. Make sure you pay attention to serving size, too, and balance out the processed foods you eat with a delicious fresh salad and some whole grain bread. Graze Not Gorge:
Make sure to eat 4-6 small meals a day to control your blood sugar. The main theory around this eating habit is that smaller meals can help one lose weight and absorb nutrients more efficiently. Experts believe that the body can only handle so much at one serving without eliminating or storing excess nutrients. Eating the same calories spread out over smaller meals four to six times during the day has been shown to raise the body's thermic effect, resulting in 10% more calories being burned. Furthermore, nibbling throughout the day prevents long stretches of starvation. Going from noon to 6:00pm without eating usually ends with an enormous supper. This is a very bad eating habit seeing as our metabolism can only handle a certain amount of calories, carbs, fat, and protein in one sitting. As a final end note, 20 years ago a hamburger had 330 calories. Today a hamburger has 1,400. For a woman that could be more than her daily caloric intake that was allowed if she was trying to lose weight. Do you know what you would have to do to burn that many calories? Well, an average persona burns about 100 calories per mile, so that means that you would have to walk or run roughly 14 miles to burn off that hamburger. Just a thought to consider before pulling into the drive-through.