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We all know we love food, but how much do we know about the impact the food we love has on our bodies?

Many people head to the gym with great aspirations when it comes to being active, but no desire to alter their kitchen menu. Unfortunately, no matter how much you try to avoid it, diet is approximately 70 per cent of the weight loss and maintenance plan and should be a major priority in your fitness goals.

Diets

The biggest downfall of dieting is that diets themselves are temporary; a true weight loss plan involves lifestyle changes, which sound scary but are really worth it. Monitoring your calories is necessary in order to reach your goals and shouldn’t be intimidating. You can find help in the simplest places, like your smart phone. Apps like My Fitness Pal (my personal favourite) all

ow you to track your calorie intake and then match it to your average daily activity level. My Fitness Pal also shows you if you’re not getting enough nutrients, such as calcium and iron. After using this app for two weeks, I got a good idea of what and how much I should be eating. Tracking calories makes you really think about what you’re putting in your mouth, which for most of us, is the hardest part about getting fit.

MyFitnessPalMain
My Fitness Pal is a mobil app (available for Blackberry, iPhone and Android) that helps you keep track of your calorie intake and your activity level.

Calories

I brought them up briefly before, but calories are such an integral part of health that I think they deserve their own category. Counting calories should not become an obsession. It’s OK to have a treat every now and then—everything in moderation. It’s part of what keeps us sane.

We need to remember that there are good calories and there are bad calories. For example, an avocado has 322 calories and a Joe Louis has 250 calories. Sometimes, people who are tracking calories can get bogged down by the numbers.

“I’ve only got 280 left. I can’t have this avocado, but I can have this Joe Louis.”

This is not at all a rational argument. In the end, it’s always better to go a little over your count with nutritious calories instead of staying under your daily goal and filling yourself with calories that give your body no nutrients.

There are a ton of benefits to healthy eating. Your wallet will get a break, your skin will thank you, and you’ll have more energy, which can, of course, improve your workouts and leave you feeling less drained at the end (or middle) of the day. Remember, healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring; there are plenty of great recipes all over the web, and you can even make buying and eating healthy foods a part of your goal set.

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