Exercising properly on a regular basis is a significant component to losing weight; however, only 20-30 percent of the weight stays off.
“You’ve got to clean it up in the kitchen first,” said UMKC personal trainer Shannon Hutsler. “You can work out until you’re purple, but if you’re eating whatever you want, whenever you want, you’re not going to see the results.”
Hutsler’s personal rule is that if something isn’t natural, “I don’t need to put it in my body.”
“I don’t think God grew Cheetos,” she jested. “I view food as fuel. We love food in our society, but it is important to think [to yourself], ‘What does my body need to function on a day-to-day basis?’”
Instead of making drastic alterations to one’s diet, Hutsler believes nutritional health is best achieved in baby steps.
“If you try to take the whole thing on at once, you’re probably not going to be successful,” she said. “Cut out one thing at a time until the big picture has changed.”
Hutsler recommends setting weekly nutritional goals.
For example, someone who loves soda may drink eight-16 ounces daily. The ultimate goal could be to cut soda out completely.
Soda drinkers can set a starting goal to drink a maximum of four ounces a day. During the following week, soda drinkers can reduce their intake every other day, and later only consume soda three days a week and, finally, once a week until soda intake stops all together.
Hutsler said that the bad food needs to be replaced with healthier alternatives, in addition to simply cutting it out. “Pick something like a cup of berries every day,” she said. Aand by the end of the day – if you’re committed – you’ll realize that you didn’t reach for that bag of chips or bar of chocolate.”
She also said there is nothing wrong with taking one’s time to combine both eating right and exercising regularly when that person first embarks on a health journey.
“It’s okay to say, ‘I’m going to eat really healthy, but I’m not going to stress out if I don’t get to the gym every day,’ and then the next week say, ‘Now, I’m going to try to work out a little more,’” Hutsler said.
With determination and perseverance, becoming a healthy eater is attainable. But, what about those times when we have a craving that’s almost unbearable to fight?
Stay tuned for the answer in next week’s issue with “Feeding the Craving.”