People are bombarded with too much information. They become overwhelmed by a desire to follow information to the letter and end up giving up before they even get started. Common sense will get you a long way — and information overload can get in your way!
The diet of common sense
People are quick to believe some new diet concept has all the answers for your health and waistline. And while these diets are usually pretty healthy, they’re pretty impossible to stick to. Hello! We have lives, people! For the most part, people know a good food from a bad food. It’s just common sense.
1. Fruits and veggies: good. Sugar and processed foods: bad.
2. Fish, eggs, and meat: good. Fast food or processed meat: bad.
3. Colorful carbs (like yams or brown rice): good. White or processed carbs: bad.
4. Nuts: good. Almost any snack food: bad.
5. Eating often throughout the day: good. Skipping meals: bad.
Just about every diet book comes down to these basic ideas; the problem is the books fail when it comes to real life. They stress what they believe are perfectly balanced proportions of these foods at every meal — and that just doesn’t happen for most of us. In real life, we have to make better choices — not always the best — on the run using common sense with an eye on long-term health and the practicalities of day-to-day living.
Don’t be fooled by marketing
People have always wanted to live long, healthy lives. That’s not new. And people have been trying to make money by exploiting that desire. Countless products claiming to be healthy or healthier bombard us with the concept that we can have it all ... fat that isn’t fat, sugar with no calories or fruit in a pill. Common sense will tell you a cookie is still a cookie. Whether it’s fat free, sugar free or organic, it’s still a cookie and it’s probably not the best thing you could eat.
An active lifestyle is key
You hear about our growing inactive lifestyle all the time. Our natural state is to be moving throughout the day, yet most people spend eight hours or more behind a desk. Then some try to cram their activity into a super-high-intensity workout session. This is a hard routine to keep up and it’s easy to get burned out or injured. Gradually finding ways to incorporate activity into your life is much more effective. My personal routine outside the gym consists of commuting by bicycle, daily walks with my dogs and country dancing at Woody’s. A regular gym routine of resistance training, moderate cardio and stretching, sensible eating choices and a more active lifestyle outside the gym will keep your body healthy and happy.
So, stop listening to the latest this or that and use your noggin! Eat good foods, get off your butt and have fun!
Melissa Kolczynski is a registered personal trainer at 12th Street Gym. To learn more about Melissa and more than 30 other top trainers at 12th Street, visit www.12streetgym.com.