Fit or Fat???

By Nicole Flangan

Fit or Fat???

Obesity in America is a big problem. We as a society are getting fatter each year. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of U.S. adults are obese. Some of the leading causes of death in this country include obesity related conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. With that being said, I believe it may be time to take a closer look at how food and fitness play such an important role in the longevity and quality of this modern life.

Today the term “you are what you eat” can have a very bad outlook if you consider what we are putting into our bodies. So much of what we eat is processed and manufactured to the point that when we consume this “food” our bodies don’t know what to do with it. The human body is meant to break down foods that come from natural sources such as whole grains, fresh produce, and natural sources of protein. Food should be seen as a source of energy for the body. When we eat clean natural food our bodies can use every molecule. Each molecule goes to someplace in the body where it can be used and does something positive for your health. Protein molecules go to building and repairing tissue. Healthy fats are used to lubricate cells and keep things like hair, skin and other organs healthy. Molecules from complex carbohydrates are broken down and used as energy for the body to carry out its daily processes. Fiber is used to clean out our system and water carries important nutrients where they need to go. When every little bit of food is used up there is nothing left to store as excess fat. However, when our digestive system encounters something that’s not found in nature, like a lot of the processed, chemically charged, sugar-fortified food that we see everywhere today, it simply sticks it in a fat cell and leaves it, since there is nothing else it can do. This is where the problem of excess body weight begins. The meals we eat should consist of lean protein, fresh fruit and vegetables and complex carbohydrates. Not sugar, caffeine and partially hydrogenated foods that seem to be more abundant and cheaper than what is really good for you.

When it comes to the battle of losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight I am sure that many people believe that if you work out hard enough you can essentially eat what you want. The idea that if you simply burn off more calories than you take in would lead one to the conclusion that this will cause weight loss. For the most part this is not incorrect. However, what if someone told you that 80% of weight management is diet? What if someone said that your weight could be controlled simply by monitoring what food goes into your system? It is almost crazy to think that 80% of weight management is diet, a mere 10% is exercise and the other 10% is genetics. But it’s true! Now, I am not saying that exercise should not be part of a healthy routine, but the fact is that you can change the way you look and feel just by changing what you eat. In fact, your workouts will feel much less like a chore and more something that you look forward to. Think of what you eat more as a way to fuel your body and feed your muscles so that every working part can perform at optimum levels. If what you eat is clean, healthy, and well-balanced meals then that’s what you will feel like. If you rely on fast food and artificial energizers all you will get is a quick buzz before you come crashing down again. Diet should be based on the best way to fuel a workout, and not base your workout on how to work off those extra empty calories.

When you put good healthy food into your system what you get in return is more energy, a healthier complexion, less health problems and more energy. Oh, did I say that twice? Yes, you will have more energy, and not the kind you get from drinking a cup of coffee with a snickers bar. I cannot mention enough how much better you feel when what you consume is actually used up by the body and not stored in some fat molecule. Eating a healthy diet is the first step to maintaining a healthy weight.

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