Keep It Real
24-Jan-2013 Contributed by: Roberto Chavez
Real Food is meant to be peeled, sliced, and cooked. Not unwrapped or zapped like most so called "food" products. Nor should it have an expiration date that lasts for a whole year. Unfortunately, these foods dominate most grocery store aisles and our airwaves. Ironically, the foods and beverages most advertised on television are the ones you should avoid.
As I have alluded to before, 75% of losing weight consists of having a balanced diet. Well, the quality and nature of the food you consume is part of that equation. All the fillers and preservatives that inundate packaged and pre-made food is working against us. Don't be fooled by food labels that claim to be "healthy" , "all natural" , "100%" because they are simply not so. Food that is good for you doesn't require labeling.
The constant bombardment of advertising such "healthy" food and the pervasive nature of these products can make it challenging to avoid. Now, I am not saying you have to avoid them entirely. I would be lying if I said I don't like microwaved popcorn or the occasional slice of pizza . However, if you are looking to change your body composition, you have to start by omitting such products from your daily intake. Our bodies do not process such foods as efficiently as it does fruits, vegetables, and good fats.
I realize that in our busy lives taking the time to eat real food or make a home cooked meal can be difficult. Plus, the convenience of fast food chains can be hard to resist. Thus, it will take planning ahead and preparing meals the night before. But in the long run it's in your best interest.
Making such a lifestyle change can be costly but so are health care bills. Do it incrementally if needed. I do not subscribe to the belief that you have to go "cold turkey" and get rid of everything at once. It will take some time, as it should. Slow and steady changes are the most lasting. Thus, no matter what your fitness goals are, your ultimate goal should be a better quality of life so that you can live long and healthy.
Roberto Chavez is a nationally certified personal trainer, indoor cycling instructor, and endurance athlete. After receiving an MA from CSULA he decided to change his career path and took a grand leap of faith by deciding to immerse himself in the world of fitness as a vocation. Since then he has accumulated several fitness certifications from AFFA, NASM, Bally Total Fitness, and the Ketchum Downtown YMCA, all while simultaneously completing several marathons, duathlons, and triathlons. Roberto presently works at the Ketchum Downtown YMCA. He is also Race Director and co-founder of the 5K for Earth Day in Chicago, through which he teaches the community the importance of an eco-friendly lifestyle.