JUST FOR THE HEALTH OF IT: Forming better nutrition habits

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First Posted: 8/26/2013

One of the biggest problems with nutrition in today’s society is that we tend to overdo it. Second to that is our lack of knowledge regarding food.

Food is fuel for our bodies, but we also use food in our social settings. We associate food with socialization, which is fine, but I think too much emphasis is placed on it. This is especially true when the wrong types of food are front and center.

With so many choices nowadays, we are not even sure what real food is, what it looks like, or where to find it. We live in a society ruled by instant gratification. If the driver in front of us pauses for too long at a red light, we honk the horn to get him moving. If our Internet connection is slightly slower than normal, we start cursing it. We’ve now become programmed to dislike waiting.

As frustrating as it may be, this state of mind is also sabotaging our nutrition habits. The thought of cooking a meal after a work day sounds so much like a chore. We created the bad habit of eating fast food just so we can eat and get on with our lives because the new episode of “The Real Housewives” starts soon.

What’s worse is bad habits like this not only make us unhealthier, but less active. Posting up on the couch because of the insulin-induced coma we put ourselves into creates a host of other health issues also. Our workouts suffer because of what we eat. Our weight suffers because of the lack of exercise. Sleep is disrupted, and to compensate, we over-caffeinate just to make it through the day. The weekend binge bleeds into the following week, and before you know it, you stopped going to the gym for months and it’s hard to get back because of how you feel. And the vicious cycle of rebirth and destruction continues.

Solution: Stop thinking of exercising and eating well as something you have to do to lose weight. Instead, think of it as something you need to do to prevent your body from breaking down. This simple change in how you view it may just be enough to put an end to the self-sabotaging you do.

Tip: The best way to avoid unnecessary and unhealthy additives to your food is to stick to foods in their most natural form. If you don’t know where to begin or what to eat, start with eliminating what not to eat. The main rule with healthy eating is to look at the ingredient list rather than the nutrition facts. The shorter the ingredient list, the healthier the food.

-Tim Hlivia is the owner of Leverage Fitness Studio in Forty Fort.