The Food Factor – Tips from Mackay Personal Trainers

If you are exercising to lose weight, you should know that you will also have to watch your food intake.  Don’t be tricked into thinking that because you’re training you can eat what you want – if you’re still eating unhealthy, fatty and sugary foods, none of which are nutritious, you’ll find that you won’t achieve your desired results.

A large percentage of your results come directly from what goes into your mouth.  Just like a car, if you want your body to perform well and efficiently, you need to feed it premium fuel.  Your diet should be comprised of lean proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fats.

Your body requires protein for growth, repair and maintenance.  The preservation and growth of your muscles, hair, skin and nails all rely on protein.  Lean meats, fish, chicken, eggs and dairy are all great sourcse of protein.

Unfortunately carbohydrates have received a bad name over the years, but our bodies need them to run.  Carbohydrates create energy; and they help the central nervous system function along with the kidneys, the brain, the muscles, including the heart.  Following a very low carbohydrate can make you tired, vague and prone to black-outs.   The best choices contain complex carbohydrates and fiber, like those found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. There are two kinds of carbohydrates: starchy ones found in potatoes and whole grains, and non-starchy ones found in fruits and vegetables. Focus on fruits and vegetables as your main source of carbohydrates and eat the starchy ones in moderation.

Fat is also important when losing weight.  Not all fats are bad.  Saturated fats from animals like butter, cream, and cheese should be used sparingly.  All visible fats should be cut off animal products like beef, pork, chicken etc.  The best fats are omega-3 fats, which come from olive oil, avocado, flax seed oil, nuts, salmon and tuna.

Remember to eat everything in moderation and watch portion control.  It is also advisible to keep a food diary – you can be shocked at what you actually eat in a day when you have to write it all down.  A recent study has shown that keeping a food diary can double a persons weight loss, so why not – what have you got to lose, except the excess weight.

The important thing to remember is that if you want change to happen, you must make changes.

(© Selina Wright 2008)

As published in City Life Magazine

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