Maintaining a healthy lifestyle made easy

Rachel Brauer, Staff Writer

 FinalSmallBy Staff Writer: Rachel Brauer

The biggest epidemic in America today is obesity. According to the American Heart Association, as of the year 2013, 154.7 million documented adults were classified as over-weight or obese. Most people try elaborate diets or strenuous physical activity to lose the pounds, but all these facades to being cover the simple truth that if one wants to achieve an adequate diet, one must live a healthy lifestyle.

Crazy Diets Don’t Work

Some people discover diets where all you eat is one specific kind of food group, and nothing else. Examples of this are the raw food diet, which one only eats plants, and avoid anything that has been cooked or processed, genetically enhanced, or sprayed. It claims that it will preserve the body’s level of vitamins and reduce calories, but this method simply doesn’t work. The body needs a healthy intake of proteins, carbs, and fats to maintain homeostasis.

Eat Better

Instead of using crazy dieting tactics, just reducing the amount of sugar, fats, calories, sodium, and processed food works wonders. Even though it was stated previously that the body requires a healthy amount of fats, which it does, there is one type of fat that the body can go without and that is Trans fat, which is what is used along with sugar, to make food taste good. A few foods that Trans fat are found in cookies, cakes, pie crust, and bread. The American Heart Association states that Trans fat is bad for the body because it raises bad cholesterol, also known as low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and lowers the good cholesterol, also known as high-density lipoprotein (HDL). When reducing calories, the main goal is to eliminate the unnecessary calories and substitute them with food that is substantial for the body.

Howell’s Fit Zone’s trainer, Brianne Galbraith, states the basic truth of empty calories.

“I could drink a bottle of Pepsi, which is 120 empty calories, or I could eat an apple and low-fat yogurt,” says Galbraith.

When grocery shopping, it is best to avoid labels that stating that the product contains zero or reduced fat. Even though the statement may be true, some companies will substitute the fat in other areas such as sugar to ensure that the item still tastes good to consumers.

Consuming water is also a key factor in losing weight. According to the American Dietetics website, an individual must consume 64 ounces of water every day. It helps control cravings by making the body feel full, and it helps the kidneys break down ingested food.

Get Active

The government states that the average American needs at least 30 minutes of exercise everyday, but for some this may pose as an impossible challenge due to hectic schedules. For those individuals it is suggested exercising three to five days a week for an hour. The easiest way to begin losing weight is through cardio. Whether it’s through an elliptical or treadmill, or just a simple job through the park, anything that gets the heart pumping is a positive. Weights are another way to tone and train the body’s muscles.

Galbraith reveals the secret to weights is through the reps.

“It’s all about less weight, and more reps,” says Galbraith.

Stretching is also a key factor of getting healthy, although most don’t realize its importance. It helps loosen the muscles before exercising to prevent straining, and increases the body’s flexibility, such as doing simple, daily stretches of all the body’s main muscles, or yoga.

In any case, losing weight is just a simple balance of eating healthier choices and becoming active everyday. Starting the transition to leading a healthy lifestyle is an action one must make habit in as early as possible in life, because after all, if one can’t take care of their body, it can’t take care of the individual.

Inspirational words to keep in mind from personal trainer, Jillian Michaels, regarding starting the change today: “Why are you choosing failure when success is still an option?”