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Nutritional Obstacles: Get Over Them!

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By Paula Jager

2004-fall-classicLife is like an obstacle course, things do not usually run smoothly and in order to reach your goals you must constantly overcome the obstacles that get in your way. This is especially true with nutrition. There is no quick fix, no magical supplement, and no “diet” that will keep the weight off long term and promote health and well being. Let’s face it, most of us weren’t born overweight with clogged arteries and diabetes, it took us years and even decades of nutritional abuse and inactivity to get that way. Simply stated, you must eat clean, healthy, unprocessed whole foods, more fruits and vegetables, minimize the animal and dairy products and get some exercise or fat loss will not happen.

What are some of the obstacles that get in your way? One I hear most often, “I don’t have time to eat healthy”, MAKE TIME. It takes just as much time to eat a greasy burger, fries and wash it down with a sugar laden soft drink as it does to eat a grilled chicken salad, sweet potato and a bottle of water.

“I eat out all the time”, SO WHAT, most restaurants are more than happy to accommodate special requests such as; sauces/dressings on the side, dry grilled or steamed chicken and fish, vegetables without oil or butter, etc. . . You can request that no bread be brought to the table, order water instead of alcohol and just say no to dessert. If the portions are too large, get a to-go box and you have lunch for the next day.

“My children won’t eat that”, IMAGINE THAT, that’s why adolescent obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes are fast becoming an epidemic. Happy meals, cereals covered with refined sugar in colors not found in nature, fast and processed food with many additives, chemicals, artificial dyes and other ingredients are probably a contributing factor to allergies, ADD and other western disorders so common in our children. Children’s bad eating habits are lessons taught and learned at home. They weren’t born with an aversion to oatmeal and a donut in their hand. As the parent you must lead by example, your child must learn healthy eating at a young age to prevent diseases and maintain a healthy weight.

“There was nothing else to eat”, (at the office luncheon, dinner, party etc. . .). Eat before or bring your own food, functions such as these are planned ahead of time and you must do the same. By planning your meals, preparing food on Sunday and taking a small cooler with you if you are on the road all day can prevent you from grabbing fast food or ruining your nutritional strategy. Plan to have healthy snack foods available if you fear stumbling blocks in your day.

These are just a few obstacles that can sabotage your efforts if you let them. If you do the same thing over and over again and expect change, you’re not going to get it. Proper planning or strategy is vital as is GOAL SETTING. If the goals are to lose body fat and become healthier then behavior modification is necessary and in order for that to happen you must CHANGE YOUR MIND. It all starts from within; you must decide in your mind that you are going to lose weight and improve your health by making the right choices nutritionally. The information is out there, we are bombarded with it–it is common sense and a matter of doing it.

When you set a goal, follow through with action and achieve desired results it is life changing—you become empowered. Don’t let obstacles get in your way—over, under around or through, you must take control.