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  • Writer's pictureTravis J. Vanden Heuvel

Nutrition: Healthy Eating

Contributed By: David Vanderheiden

Going over what I have written already, you now have the direction on finding your motivation and how to set goals properly. This edition will be focusing on the single most important part of losing weight and getting healthier. That's right. It is time to talk about nutrition.

Nutrition is the MOST important part of living a healthier life and shedding those pounds you want to lose. It also is extremely important for those who may want to put some muscle on and gain some of the good weight. You cannot out-train a bad diet. It just is not possible. Even if you exercise regularly, you will not get the results you want without eating right. I am going to give you some good starting tips on how to make this happen. Let's get started.

First off you need to track what you are eating. There are so many apps you can do this with. You need to know how many calories a day you take in. If you are looking to lose weight, you need to be in a "caloric deficit." What that means is you need to take in fewer calories than you burn every day. It is a simple statement but can be difficult to execute. On the other hand, if you want to put some weight on, you need to be in a "caloric surplus." What that means is you need to take in more calories than you burn. A simple example that I use with all my training clients is that if you burn 2500 calories a day and are looking to lose 1 pound a week, you need to have your caloric deficit of 500 calories. 500 a day multiplied by 7 days equals 3500 calories a week which is 1 pound.

Secondly, if you cut out the junk, it is amazing what you can lose. If you cut out the high sugary drinks like soda and energy drinks, that will help you lose weight. If you cut out fast food, you will lose some weight. What that is doing is taking away a bunch of empty calories you take in and leaves room for the good calories like your fruits and vegetables. By cutting out soda and energy drinks and replacing it with water, that is a bunch of artificial sugars that you are not taking in. Cut out soda/energy drinks and fast food and you will feel and see a difference within a month. I promise you that.

Third, shop on the outside of the grocery aisles. The outside of the grocery store is where you will find your fresh produce and meat. It is a little more expensive, but a much healthier way to shop. All the junk food is in the middle of the store and is easier to get to, but stay on the outside. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables with your good proteins like fish, chicken and turkey will be your best friend for losing weight and becoming more healthy.

Fourth, meal preparation is important. Taking that Sunday evening to prep your meals for the week will make it easier to eat healthy all week. Preparing your lunch for work at home will help stop those trips to the vending machines in the middle of the day. Preparing your dinners ahead of time will help you from stopping somewhere on the way home for food after a long day. To be honest, it will take just a few hours on Sunday evening to set up your success for the week with your nutrition.

I have worked with a lot of weight loss clients as a Personal Trainer and those who struggle with weight loss all go back to what they are putting in their bodies. You have to be honest with yourself and track your food, cut out the junk, shop on the outside of the grocery store and prepare your meals ahead of time. This will get you going in the right direction and you can start to cut those few pounds before summer and set you up for a long and healthy life.

If you are in the Northeast Wisconsin area, you can come into Xperience Fitness in Green Bay and meet with me directly and I will get you going in the right direction if you want that extra accountability. If you are reading this from outside of that area, someone like me is waiting at your local gym for you to arrive.

As always, thanks for reading this and you can comment if you have any questions. Let's get this journey going to a happier and healthier you. Be better today than you were yesterday. Be better tomorrow than you are today.

David Vanderheiden is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer at Xperience Fitness in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He specializes in working with clients of different health levels, body types, and fitness levels to achieve their goals of improving their quality of life.

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