2012 Resolution #3 - Fit Body
Posted on January 03, 2012 by Maria McInnis, One of Thousands of Life Coaches on Noomii.
#3 in a series on resolutions
Resolve to build a fit body.
Many people make the new year’s resolution with an aim to burn the fat away. Whether they resolve to ‘eat right’, ‘exercise more’, or simply to ‘lose weight’, it’s one of the most common resolutions that are made, and, not surprisingly, the most common to fail.
Obesity is one of the leading problems in North America: the issue lies in our diets, our habits and even in our environment. With Sodiums, like MSG, Corn products that are undigestable to our systems, and so much contradicting facts coming at us about what to and what not to eat, eating right is becoming harder and harder, making obesity a bigger and bigger problem. Obesity leads to heart disease, breathing disorders, liver failure, high blood pressure, gastronomic issues and countless other assaults upon one’s body.
Some blame corporations for starting children on the cycle early by pushing foods filled with salt, saturated fats and refined sugars, three things that lead to early obesity in children. Some blame the fact that many of the foods on our shelves contain little to no true nutrition, meaning that obesity has become an issue for the rich and the poor alike.
So, with that said, how can we possibly hope to lose weight and come more into balance? The world is a busy place, and many people cannot afford to eat healthy, or take the time to enjoy exercise. This is an issue that I have intimate knowledge of. When I first graduated from high school and moved out on my own I found myself having a sudden and drastic change in both my diet and my habits. I had work to attend, no time to exercise as I once did (I come from a country background, and exercise was simply part of life. One was always walking from one place to another, sometimes pitching wood for the winter, or simply out and about. Being inside doing nothing was not an option most of the time), and my diet suffered for it. I very quickly learned the dangers of living on convenience food while working a desk job in which I almost never moved.
In less than a year I went from being a normal weight, to obese, and my struggle began. Moving from a size 4 to first a size 12 and as far as a size 20 was as much a shock to me as it was to the people around me. I resolved to find out what happened and fix it.
My search began with my diet, which I knew had changed, and that I blamed most of all. I began to read labels: ingredients, nutritional values and everything that the food I was eating had to offer me. What I found was shocking: my food was filled with things I couldn’t begin to pronounce, let alone explain. The research began in the free time I had.
By the end, I came up with a list of things I could easily remove from my diet without breaking my budget. It’s not necessary to eliminate them all entirely, but it certainly helps to do so.
Avoid These 10 Things in a Healthy Diet
1. Anything containing High Fructose Corn Syrup – This is a man-made sweetener with absolutely no nutritional value. It cannot be digested by our bodies and it is in so many things, especially convenience food. More shocking, many things containing HFCS contains small amounts of mercury: a elemental metal that leads to skin disease, high blood pressure, increased sweating, muscle weakness, lethargy, eczema-like symptoms and, in extreme cases, brain issues. Most people will never receive this level of poisoning in their bodies, but the fact that we ingest it at all is terrifying.
2. Refined Sugars – These convert to fat almost immediately in our bodies. Most things ending in “ose” will be refined sugars. The most common are Dextrose, Fructose, Lactose, Glucose, Maltose and Sucrose. Like HFCS, many of these are corn products that cannot be digested easily and actually contain “anti-nutrients” that cause our body to store them. These things are found in most products aimed at our children. Use honey and organic sugars instead. (Note: Never give honey to children under the age of 1)
3. Enriched Flour – These are processed grains that can contain, amongst other things, bleach and ammonia. Whole grains, especially oat fiber, has beneficial side effects, which include lowering your cholesterol.
4. Trans Fat – These are listed as “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated.” These, like HFCS are man-made and increase increase risk of heart disease. Many Canola products contain this word, so beware.
5. Saturated Fat – These are animal fats, and though we do require some Saturated Fats in our diet, too much has an enormous effect on our bodies. The more healthy choice are monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), which is found in things just as often, but one has to read the label to find them.
6. Mono-sodium Glutamate (MSG) – This is one of the more devious of things found in our foods. It is a flavor enhancer that can also be labeled as Ac’cent. According to the World Cancer Research fund, this is a product ‘too dangerous for human consumption’. Many people take adverse reactions to MSG, but it wrecks havoc on our bodies.
7. Silicon Dioxide – This is a chemical that has a dual effect: it can actually help us, while doing long term damage, especially in children. It does promote the health of hair, skin and enamel, and CAN help to stave off heart disease. It is put in foods to prevent things from clumping and caking, but in the long term. It creates collagen build up, cellulose and, in the right environment, such as inhaling it (remember, this is a main ingredient in most powdered foods) lung disease.
8. Sodium Nitrate – This is a color fixture, and it causes cancer. All it does is keep our food looking bright and fresh. It has many long term side effects that do nothing to help us.
9. Aspartame – Originally developed as a biological chemical weapon by the US department of defense, Aspartame is pure poison and causes stomach ache (as it converts to formaldehyde in acid), brain hemorrhaging and worse. It is considered one of the most dangerous substances we take into our bodies, and we use it as an artificial sweetener as an alternative to refined sugars. There are 92 side effects of this substance and should be eliminated from your diet as soon as possible. It is sometimes listed as Saccharin.
10. Diacetyl – This is a butter flavoring that causes lung disease, and isn’t in too much, but it’s worth looking for. Bottom line: it isn’t good for you.
So…with these ten things listed as things to avoid, what do we look to next?
1. Orange Vegetables – Carrots, Yams, Squash and any vegetable that is orange or yellowish are good for you. They’re loaded with Carotenoids, Vitamin C, Potassium, and Fiber. These help with your immune system, muscular structure, digestion and more.
2. Fruit – Especially tropical things like mangoes, pineapples, bananas and oranges, but also apples and quince. They are rich in Vitamin E, D and C, Potassium and natural sugars.
3. Green Vegetables – Peppers, Broccoli and squashes fall into this category, along with cucumbers and more. They have lots of Vitamin C, more Carotenoids, Vitamin K and Folic Acid.
4. Oat Fiber – This is not only delicious, but also can help lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease. Most whole grains are good for you, but do beware of Modified ingrediants.
5. Beans – The magical fruit. All beans are good for you, from lentils, to chick peas, green beans and black-eyed peas. Cheap to buy, rich in Protein, Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, and Zinc, beans are a super food. My personal favorite are Mung Beans and Chick Peas.
6. Leafy Greens – More super food: eating your greens gives you daily doses of Vitamins A, C, and K, Folate, Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium, Iron, Lutein, and Fiber.
7. Herbs and Spices – Many spices naturally increase you metabolism and have positive effects upon the body. Many herbs and spices are used as medicines in ancient tradition and have become staples for very good reasons. The best spices to include in your diet are: cinnamon, cayenne, cardamon, chili powder, cumin, black pepper, basil, and garlic. These not only boost your immune system and metabolic rate, but they are delicious. Indian foods use almost all of these spices constantly.
8. Green Tea – Replace your coffee and sugary juices with green or herbal teas. They are good for you and increase metabolism, cleanse your body and are delicious when made right. I prefer Oolong and White Tea personally, both types of green tea that help your body shed cellulose and love handles. Remember: C affine is a drug, and has many adverse side effects. Break the habit now with tea.
9. Water – Water is a must. At least 8 cups a day, and more if you have an active lifestyle.
These are all things easily added to one’s diet, and are delicious, easy to cook and even easy to grow if one has the time and space to garden. Urban gardeners may be interested in looking into vertical farming for maximizing space.
Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight probably has tons of exercise books, videos or equipment sitting around their household. Some enthusiasts may even have things like Nintendo’s Wii Fit, Playstation 3’s Move System or XBOX 360’S Kinetic, which are" games":http://www.qpmonline.com/miscellaneous/ aimed at getting people up and moving.
The thing is that most people feel that exercising takes too much time, effort or feel that they are literally incapable to exercising. But there are great things that can help one lose weight, and keep it off. It only takes 10-30 minutes a day, and some can be done at any time. Marching, walking and biking instead of driving can help a lot, and does wonders for your frame of mind as well. Not only is it good for your cardiovascular system, but it helps to build healthy muscles.
If you find yourself sitting in one place, take some weights, or even a bottle of water with you and take the time to lift it, above your head, behind your back or just simple arm “crunches”. Slow, controlled movements over time will do the work for your arms that also helps to burn off calories.
When it comes to calories, it’s always best to burn more than you take in if you want to lose weight, but it’s also important to keep your body maintained with proteins, vitamins and nutrients, which is why simply cutting your diet in half or eliminating meals is a bad idea. Remember those nutritional values? Try to get them to 100% everyday, no more, no less, because too much of a good thing is sometimes as bad as not enough.
Personally I love Yoga. I do it whenever is possible, even if I’m just cooking in my kitchen I do some asanas and stretch my legs. I am notorious for folding my legs into the Tree Position just while I’m standing about talking to people. A sun salutation at the beginning of the day gets the blood pumping and starts your metabolism off on the right foot. Always remember to drink water while doing any of this, breath, and have something with easily digested natural sugars after the fact. I like a cup of white tea with some honey.
Meditation as well can help to balance the mind and the body, but we will speak more on this topic tomorrow with Resolution #4 – Nourishing Mind and Spirit. In NLP we teach that the balance between mind and body is inseparable, and with it we can break habits that do us harm.
I began to make the shift with these simple steps two years ago. The first, by eliminating the toxins, saw an immediate drop in my weight. I went from a 20 to a 18 in one month, quicker than I liked, as losing weight too fast is unhealthy for you. Next, I began to supplement my diet with spices, healthier foods (listed above) and exchanging coffee for tea and water. Then, and only then, did I start to do what exercise I could: walking, marching in place, lifting weight, bottles of water or even books if I found myself sitting down for too long, and walking instead of driving when the opportunity came. I am glad to report that I dropped down to a Size 11 as of November of last year. My goal? Size 8-10. Why Size 8-10? My body type levels my BMI out around that dress size, and I have no intention of looking like a starving model. Health comes first for me.
So, this year, resolve not to lose weight, but to build a body for yourself that is both fit and healthy. Eliminate the negative and dangerous toxins and anti-nutrients, and above all, stay positive. Positivity releases endorphins into your system which boosts everything positive in your body.