When it comes to achieving a sound body and mind there are two absolutes that you need to understand. The first is that food is fuel; “You are what you eat.” Many studies show that food not only has an impact on our physique but on our mental state as well. For example how many times have you come across someone who is cranky because they have started a new diet or have missed a meal? The second when it comes to food and certain types of activity, we must remember the old adage “Everything in moderation.” Below are 7 excesses that you should work to avoid in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
1. Sugar: We all know the word and in one-way or another we have a sweet tooth. It taste oh so good, but the power of goodness packs an evil punch. There is no nutritional factor in sugar, except high calories, low energy, mood swings and a conversion of being turned into fat.
2. Sweeteners: We know sugar is not the best thing to consume, so we make the alternative choice of using sweeteners: diet drinks, equal, sweet n’ low, Splenda. Did you know that consuming sweeteners is actually worse than good old fashion sugar? Sweeteners manipulate the metabolism by slowing it down and causing a decrease in calorie burning= weight gain.
3. Saturated Fats: Eating foods that contain saturated fats raises the level of cholesterol in the blood. High levels of blood cholesterol increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Saturated fats occur naturally in many foods. The majority come mainly from animal sources, including meat and dairy products. Examples are fatty beef, lamb, pork, poultry with skin, lard and cream, butter, cheese and other dairy products made from whole or reduced-fat (2 percent) milk. These foods also contain dietary cholesterol.
4. Sodium- Sodium occurs in most foods. The most common form of sodium is sodium chloride which is table salt. Processed meats, such as bacon, sausage, ham, canned soups and fast foods are generally high in sodium. Excess consumption of sodium will contribute to high blood pressure. Healthy individuals should consume no more than 2,300 mg per day while individuals with high blood pressure should consume no more than 1,500 mg per day.
5. Lack of Sleep- There can be serious health issues that result from not getting proper rest. Certainly, the most obvious side effect of a lack of sleep is reduced energy the next day. However, it is more than just feeling less than our best… the body actually performs less efficiently when we’re tired. Performance, productivity, memory, etc. are all reduced when our body is running on less sleep than we need. The body needs rest to repair tissue, cope with stress and recharge the immune system. Lack of sleep slows down the metabolism allowing a decrease in burning unwanted calories causing an increase in weight gain.
6. Alcohol- The physical effects of alcohol may be reversible if a person stops drinking, but some side effects may be permanent. Alcohol can be addictive, and when abused can result in heart and liver disease; increase complications in existing health problems and even death. Most alcohol drinks carry high levels of calories causing an excess storage of unwanted body fat.
7. Caffeine- We feel good in the moment, but soon experience low energy. Caffeine is definitely a picker upper, but with its absorption running through our body, its sponge like effect is absorbing the nutrients we so desperately need. Severe addiction can result in jitters and migraine headaches. Though we think we need it, our body is telling us otherwise by giving us the bodily symptoms of abuse.
Aaron Savvy is a Celebrity Trainer and Fitness Motivator based in Los Angeles. Aaron offers a variety of in-person and online fitness and nutritional planning services. For more information please visit www.aaronsavvy.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org