Use Nutrition to Meet your Fitness Goals

What was your New Year’s resolution? This year, instead of vowing to lose weight, why not vow to eat healthier? According to Brad McCleary, owner of Bodies Health and Fitness, improving your nutrition choices can not only help you lose or maintain weight but also can also help improve cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure and reduce inflammation around joints. This all adds up to a healthier you for 2016.

Follow these tips to get the best results from the food on your plate.

-Increase the amount of vegetables you eat. While the recommended daily amount is five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, you should aim for eating 8-10 servings per day in order to get the vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy. “Fruits and vegetables contain fiber and water, both of which help keep your digestive system healthy,” says McCleary. Fruits are a great choice for snacks and healthy desserts.

-Eat (good) fat: So much misinformation has been written about eating fat. Your body needs fat, but it needs good fats. Good fats, or unsaturated fats, are found in avocados, nuts, olive oil and fatty fish such as salmon. These fats not only help satisfy your hunger and offer many health benefits. “The omega 3 fatty acids found in many fish can help lower cholesterol and, the fats found in nuts can help reduce heart disease,” says McCleary. Though these fats are healthy, they are also high in calories so you still want to limit how much you eat of them, he adds.

-Eat carbs. Your body needs carbohydrates for energy. “Not all carbohydrates are equal,” says McCleary. “Breads, crackers and bagels taste good, but they are full of calories and refined sugar. Instead, replace them with whole grain options and vegetables.” These have less sugar and calories and are digested slower which will keep you feeling full longer. For a sweet pick me up, eat a piece of fruit. This simple carbohydrate is digested quickly and natural sugar will provide you with a burst of energy.

-Keep protein lean. Concentrate on eating lean proteins and limiting the amount of protein that you eat. “Your body needs protein to keep your metabolism burning, to help build muscle and to maintain energy levels. However, if you eat more calories in protein than what you burn, then your body will convert that to fat just as it does all calories it doesn’t burn off,” says McCleary. Healthy proteins include egg whites, tuna, salmon, poultry and lean cuts of beef.

-Drink more water. Keeping your body hydrated is vital to weight loss and to good general health. “Water lubricates muscles, organs, helps flush toxins through your body and even helps moisturize skin and hair from the inside out,” says McCleary. Start with drinking 64 ounces of water a day and try to increase that amount to one gallon.

The New Year offers an opportunity for a new start. Eating better will lead to a new, healthier you.

For more information, or to talk with Brad,  call 816.524.7733 or visit