Torres column: Be conscious about what you put into your body
One of the best tools that a weight-loss program has is a follow-up system or assessment. Assessment gives specific information about the unique needs of the individual. This can include but is not limited to injuries, stress, lifestyle, exercise experiences, fears, beliefs and food perception. With this information, an individual approach can be taken. Here is where I can empathize with my clients.
Talking to new members during the assessment is exciting. I always encourage people to talk. Many people have the perception that I’m perfect, I must be on a diet, and I don’t eat certain foods, such as hamburgers. So when I say, “We need to work on your eating habits. It seems like you have a lot of improvements to make,” a common response is, “I know: no hamburgers, no fried foods, no tamales and no carbohydrates.”
I like people to feel comfortable around me, so I start telling them the truth. And the truth is that I do eat hamburgers. However, I clarify what is behind the hamburger myth.
I don’t see what is wrong with eating a piece of red meat with organic wheat bread and veggies (tomatoes, onions, lettuce, avocado and peppers). Usually I eat hamburgers once in a while. However, not all hamburgers are the same, and here is where people need to be aware of the myth.
When I eat a hamburger, I make sure it has real meat and veggies. There are a couple of local places that use organic ingredients in their burgers. And when I say to make sure it’s “real meat and veggies,” it’s because many corporate hamburgers don’t have real ingredients. Here is what I mean:
One of my colleagues did an experiment. He bought a hamburger from a famous chain restaurant and left it on top of his desk for one year. The hamburger remained intact. Only drier. The reason is because the hamburger is nothing more than junk.
Michael Pollan puts it in other words. He says that bacteria are living organisms that need nutrients to survive and, of course, only eat foods that have nutrients. Therefore, they are not interested in the hamburger. There are processing steps that this type of hamburger goes through before they’re sold. These steps remove the nutrients from the hamburger and add chemicals so it will last longer and be cheaper. This is one of the reasons people suffer many disease and digestive problems.
So the conclusion is that many people are eating only trash with no nutrients. These “foods” are a big factor in obesity, diabetes, cancer and other diseases. People eat because they need energy to survive, and many of these “foods” are not providing them with it.
So when we set up eating habits, I help people understand what the best choices are. I don’t prohibit foods. Like I tell them, “I’m nobody to stop you from eating what you want. I only give you information and set the path to achieve your goals.”
Food is the energy we need to survive, and I think it is OK to enjoy our foods. However, it is responsible to be conscious about what we put into our body to achieve a healthy body weight. The decision is always up to you.
Sandro Torres is owner of Custom Body Fitness in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs and author of the books “Lose Weight Permanently” and “Finding Genuine Happiness.” His column appears on the second Monday of the month.
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