As you resolve to eat better and make the necessary changes in your diet to have your best body ever, you may be faced with common challenges and pitfalls that can slow your progress. According to the nutritional pros, the following are the most common complaints they hear from their clients, but all are easily remedied with commitment and some preplanning.
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I don’t have enough energy during the day.
With our fast paced, hectic daily work schedules, familial obligations and constant need for multitasking, it’s hard to maintain the energy and focus you need to commit to a healthy lifestyle. According to certified nutrition specialist Josh Axe, DC, CNS, if simply slowing down and unplugging doesn’t give the boost in energy you need, investigate to find out if there’s a bigger underlying problem. “For up to 80 percent of Americans, there may be a more serious issue. Adrenal fatigue is a condition in which the adrenal glands (which regulate hormone response) can’t keep up with the onslaught of emotional, physical or mental stressors. This can cause a variety of symptoms, including depression, muscle weakness, poor focus and sugar cravings,” says Dr. Axe. The good news is that adrenal fatigue is relatively easy to address with dietary changes like limiting caffeine, sugars, processed foods and hydrogenated oils.
I don’t have time to make healthy meals.
Just the thought of making a healthy meal can be overwhelming and tiresome. “I understand your frustration, after all, many healthy meals can take forever to make,” says certified nutritionist Yuri Elkaim. “What I’ve found though is that healthy eating doesn’t have to be a time-sucking struggle. Plan your meals for the workweek in advance and prepare them ahead of time. Meal prep becomes a lot easier once you get in the habit of doing it. It’s all in the preparation instead of figuring it out on the fly when you get home from work.”
I don’t have the time to work out.
Diet and exercise go hand and hand for achieving weight loss and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but many people believe they have to live in the gym to start seeing results. “We’ve all been conditioned to believe that longer workouts are best, and because no one has time to work out for two to three hours a day, we end up doing nothing,” says Dr. Axe. “My clients are surprised to learn that shorter workouts are best, and they can achieve considerable weight loss and health benefits from exercising for just 20 to 40 minutes, three or four times a week. These results are possible with high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts.”
HIIT workouts allow people to achieve better results in less time by combining short, high-intensity bursts of exercise with slow recovery phases. Your metabolism revs up afterward and continues to burn fat for the next 24 to 48 hours.
I don’t want to give up bread or coffee.
“OK don’t,” says Elkaim, “but please understand that your results are a reflection of your choices. If you continue to feel sluggish and can’t seem to lose those last few pounds, then consider your choices. All success comes with some level of sacrifice. Thankfully, bread and coffee aren’t major life upheavals.”
I need to detox, but I can’t commit.
It’s hard to commit to a strict detox program or full juice fast to reboot your system, but there is a huge benefit to giving your body a fresh start. “You wouldn’t go years without scrubbing your bathtub, would you?” says Dr. Axe. “Our food supply is full of so many GMO foods, preservatives and other unhealthy ingredients.” You don’t have to spend an arm and leg detoxing your system. Dr. Axe recommends a simple homemade detox drink. “Mix apple cider vinegar, which is full of enzymes, good bacteria and blood sugar-lowering acetic acid; lemon juice, which helps to regulate the body’s natural pH; cinnamon, a powerful antioxidant; cayenne pepper, a potent metabolism booster; and stevia, an all-natural sugar replacement.” For maximum benefit, drink it three times daily, 20 minutes before each meal. There’s no need to give up your meals.
I don’t have the money to be healthy.
It’s all about priorities. Shift the focus to a healthier diet and lifestyle and you will find a way to afford a better life. “How we spend our money is simply a reflection of our values. If you have a smartphone, laptop, car, etc., then you can likely spare a few extra dollars to go toward better food. If you don’t, you may want to revisit what’s most important in your life,” says Elkaim.
My digestive system is off track.
“With tens of millions of Americans suffering from some form of digestive disorder, I have a regular stream of clients complaining about bowel irregularity and asking for tips to get back on track,” says Dr. Axe. “Fiber and raw fruits and vegetables are incredibly important in maintaining a healthy digestive system. Supplementing with magnesium is also an easy way to get the bowels flowing regularly.” Probiotics are also critical to maintaining a healthy digestive system and bowel regularity. “They ensure that there is a proper balance of good and bad bacteria, which, when off-kilter, can lead to more than 40 different diseases, including, depression, arthritis and cancer, as well as irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders.”
I just can’t seem to lose weight.
“Eat more anti-inflammatory foods, remove gluten and dairy from your diet and exercise to reduce the stress your body is dealing with on a daily basis. Only then can it release the weight,” recommends Elkaim.