We truly are blessed in so many ways. We are fortunate to have so many choices when it comes to food. Unfortunately, this abundance of food choices has also had a negative affect on our health (plus the contribution of lack of exercise, stress, poor sleep, etc.) I am fully supportive of anyone who is making healthier choices and working to improve their health. I am deeply saddened to see people I know spending money on products that claim more energy, or help with weight loss or any other claims that motivate you to buy their product. We all have the right to choose what we do with our body. However, before you spend the money on a product, I urge you to truly research the product (please do not research the product on the product website as all you will find there are positive reviews for the product). Rather read the ingredients (unfortunately with supplements it may not contain everything in the product or tell you how much of the active ingredient is in the product) and research the ingredients separately on reputable sources such as eatright.org or the NIH, etc. If taking a pill, powder or drink claims that you will lose weight – ask how – what inside the product will do that? How will the product give you energy? Typically, products claiming a boost in energy contain stimulants like caffeine or other similar substances. Is that how you want to get your energy?
Exercise provides numerous positive benefits for our body – but one positive side effect is that it can help you have more energy throughout the day – naturally – without putting any substances in your body. Eating the right foods (whole foods vs. highly processed packaged foods) will also naturally give you energy you seek as it helps the body to operate properly.
It is so easy to get sucked into the claims on supplements and diet products because they sell their product so well. People who sell these products will have a smooth answer that “sounds” right when they tell you, so it is believable. Unfortunately, many of the diet products and supplements are spin offs of past products that have been banned, but they modify the ingredients enough to make it seem like a whole new product. Realize that the people that sell these products do not care if they are safe or effective – they are only in it for the money.
Yes – choosing to eat healthy does require some work and some planning. However, it can be done and it does not have to be expensive. There are ways to eat healthy and do it inexpensively. The first step is you have to decide not to purchase the processed packaged foods that you do not need to eat. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for the occasionally treat – but it should be that – a treat – something that you do not have every day or regularly, so when you do have it it is a pure treat.
If you are unsure where to find reputable information – please go first to eatright.org. They discuss a number of different topics on Nutrition, Health, and Fitness. If you would like to speak with someone – then please seek out a Registered Dietitian with current and proper credentials (you can find these individuals in your area on eatright.org).
It is daunting to sift through all the information that is thrown at us in so many media outlets. But it truly comes down to the basics:
- Focus on making the majority of your diet from whole foods that have minimal processing
- Be active in some way every day
- Sleep – most of us need on average 8 hours of quality sleep each night
- Use healthy stress reducing activities (not food)
- Partner with a buddy to help you on your journey
Remember, if you are looking to change from where you are now – think about how long it took you to get there. It is unlikely that those changes occurred overnight – so don’t expect them to reverse overnight. Be patient and celebrate the small success along the way in your journey.