The other day it hit me. I am getting older and I won’t look this good for the rest of my life if I don’t start exercising and eating right. In my family, as it might be in many families, we have a history of diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. It just occurred to me the other day that I don’t want to have those problems plaguing me when I get older. Like most of the world, originally, I wanted to lose weight so that I could wear those low-rise jeans and two-
piece bikinis and look stunning in them, not having my flab hang over all sides of the jeans. Yuck! I have respect enough not to offend the general public.
The first step in getting healthy is eating healthy. You can exercise all you want, but if you are still shoveling donuts, fast food and every kind of dessert you can think of in your mouth, it kind of defeats the purpose. So, to help me on my quest for healthy eating, I enlisted the help of The Diet Center, in Darien, CT.
The first thing people do when they are planning to lose weight is go on a diet. Just to clarify, diet is, “the manner in which people eat. It teaches people how to eat and make healthy choices,” according Melissa Arnold, Director of Fitness at the Diet Center. It is not depriving yourself of carbohydrates or some other important nutrient your body needs. When you cut them out “the body tries to get that nutrient from something else. If you change or stop eating something you will lose weight but you are setting your body off balance and that is not healthy,” says Arnold. Your body needs all of its nutrients. Unless you are going to swear off a particular food or food group for the rest of your life, as soon as you eat it again you will most likely gain the weight right back. Then you are right back to square one, plus more weight and you are all depressed about it.
The way to go is optimal nutrition which is “the balance of healthy foods and whatever is needed to keep your body in balance. It is different for everyone because it depends on your lifestyle, illness, genetics and where you live,” says Lisa French, Fitness Consultant at The Diet Center. It is important for people in our twenties to begin taking care of our bodies now because the more [you] are “aware of what [you] should be doing then the aging process can be a lot kinder,” says Arnold. Eating all the proper nutrients brings the body into balance and helps you age gracefully, giving your body what it needs in order to function properly.
As for those diet pills and such, Arnold says that because they are not FDA approved, what is on the outside label doesn’t have to be what is really inside the bottle. So who knows what you are really ingesting into your system.
Another misconception is that if you skip meals you will lose weight. That is absolutely false. When you are starving yourself and thinking that you are doing something good, your body goes into survival mode. The next time you eat, your body will hold on to the food because it is not sure when it is going to get fed again. The Diet Center suggests that you eat small meals throughout the day, so that you will keep up your blood sugar and have enough energy to get through the day. Also, make sure that you drink eight glasses of water. Water will give you a full feeling and it cleans and replenishes your cells.
This is just an introduction to nutrition to get you all started on the proper way to nourish your body. Don’t forget to incorporate fitness. It works hand and hand with nutrition. You have to burn the fuel that you are putting in your body.