You’ve heard the phrase, “You are what you eat,” and it’s true. It’s also true that working out does not make up for poor eating habits.
“What you eat is 80-percent of it,” says personal trainer Irene McCormick, “so if you make a lifestyle change and you start an exercise program, but you’re not addressing your nutritional issues, you’re missing a big part of it.”
As part of the “Team 13 Challenge” Irene asked us to keep a food diary. “It’s a great way to examine what you’re eating, if you honestly write down what you’re eating and drinking.”
There are some high tech ways to log your intake. I do it on my phone with an app called “My Fitness Pal” and Sonya uses the online program “Body Bugg,” but you can just as easily keep a notebook handy and jot down notes about what you’re consuming.
We quickly found out that we’re pretty well behaved during the week. Our diaries show lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meat. But when the weekend rolls around things like pizza, chicken wings and wine start showing up a lot.
“A lot of times we eat mindlessly,” Irene explains, “that’s very common. But it’s the one thing that can sabotage your weight loss efforts.”
Irene encourages us to ask ourselves three questions before we eat or drink something. Number one – am I really hungry? Oftentimes we think we’re hungry when we’re actually thirsty. Down a huge glass of water and then reassess how you feel. Number two – is it smart and how will it make me feel? Junk food may satisfy a short-term craving, but in the long run you’ll feel disgusting. Number three – ask yourself, how much do I need? Irene says if you’re choosing between broccoli and a brownie and you choose the brownie, that’s fine. But maybe just a bite will make you feel satisfied.
It’s not rocket science. A good, clean diet coupled with high intensity workouts will give you great results. “You really will go a long way in changing your diet and really making an impact that doesn’t require counting calories or not having things you want.”