Hate Working Out? Try Focusing on Nutrition!

All too often I hear people talk about how much they detest working out - on social media, in person, even some of my clients as they're working out. I get it - exercising isn't always that fun and it can feel like a chore. So if you find yourself having similar feelings and thoughts about exercise, my advice is simple: start with watching what types of beverages/foods you eat. That's a really loaded sentence right there, but I'll try to go into as much detail as possible. 

First things first - ensure you are drinking enough water. Long gone is the 8 glasses per day rule - nutritionists are now recommending that you divide your body weight in half and aim to drink that amount of water in ounces. I'll give you an example - my usual weight is around 125 (I'm pregnant currently so I weight a bit more). 125 divided by 2 is 62.5 or basically 63. Thus, I should be trying to drink 63 ounces of water throughout the day (more now that I'm carrying a baby). This equals about 8 cups a day so the old age rule may still apply for someone who similar in stature to me, but not everyone weighs the same so adjust as necessary. 

Next, download a help nutrition tracker app like MyFitnessPal. Most people, at least here in the U.S., now have access to smart phones (or, at the least, access to a computer). You can download the app or visit their website at www.myfitnesspal.com. You can easily track your calories and macronutrient information and this can help you with weight loss or just maintaining your weight. I spend less than 5 minutes per day on the app (everyone should have 5 minutes a day available to monitor their nutrition). I've used it for over 4 years now and attribute the consistent use of it as a major factor in my weight loss several years back as well as my weight maintenance currently.  It is such a helpful tool and can actually make your life a little easier, though it may not seem like it at first. 

Finally, focus on the following food groups for the large majority of your caloric intake - 1) Fruits and vegetables (aim to eat at least 1, if not more, at all meals and snacks in between), 2) Protein (chicken, fish, lean ground beef, lean sirloin, turkey - if you're a vegetarian, you could focus on beans, cheese, lentils, nuts/seeds, tofu, yogurt), 3) Whole grains (barley, brown rice, corn, oats, quinoa).

And, of course, it is also important to incorporate dairy and fats/oils into your diet. Some educational material still says to focus on low fat dairy, but a lot of nutritionists are now touting the importance of whole milk or yogurt that still has fat in it. Why? Because it can keep you fuller, longer for one so you eat less throughout the day. There is also reason to believe certain high fat dairy products help prevent diabetes and eating certain types of fat can actually keep off unwanted weight; this idea of eating fat to combat fat which leads me into the importance of eating other fats (from things like avocado, coconut, olive oil). These fats also help to keep you full, satisfied while not requiring a large serving size. Some types have also been shown to prevent cancer, diabetes, and even stroke. Even though their nutrition facts read like they're high in fat (which most tend to associate with bad), they are actually quite good for you. 

I can personally vouch for all of the information within this blog post. I've incorporated all of these things into my diet/lifestyle for over 4 years now and I've never been healthier. I have more energy, I'm happier, and my body looks better than it ever has before. 

So, again, if you REALLY just cannot work out, at least change your lifestyle to incorporate these healthier habits. You'll be pleasantly surprised with the outcomes. Start small (maybe just adding more water into your daily routine) and slowly build from there. Making small, incremental changes leads to a better chance at long term, sustainable change. 

Mariah Fink

Fitness Integrated with Nutrition Knowledge, 8507 McCullough, Suite C-33, San Antonio, TX, 78216

Fitness Integrated with Nutrition Knowledge
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