Dec 28 2017

How Important is Nutrition in Your Fitness?

There is an old adage in the fitness industry – You can’t out exercise poor nutrition.

This has become increasingly true as the food industry has created highly addictive, nutritionally void and calorie dense foods.   People looking for optimal health and vitality must be highly aware not to fall into the trappings that lead to lethargy, chronic illness and weight gain.

Regarding body composition and weight management, it is estimated that 75% of the equation is really about food intake.  It becomes very easy to over-consume especially with the habit-forming foods that flood most grocery store shelves, restaurants and advertisements.  These foods are non-satiating and are designed to create over-consumption, and with high frequency!  We have all known that feeling: you eat something sweet and sugary, and you keep eating it until the bag is empty.  You feel sick and listless and somewhat guilty then several hours later you are hungry again.  This is a frequent cycle for many people, especially in the evenings after dinner.   This chain of actions is at the root of the chronic disease and obesity epidemics in America.  

The Vail Valley does not have the high percentage of obesity that is typical of the rest of the country.  Our population is highly health conscious and interested in how they can use nutrition to benefit their quality of life.  Goals range from better athletic performance to having increased energy and thinking more clearly.   Working to consistently improve your nutrition is the number one thing you can do to achieve your health goals and drop those pesky five pounds many locals seek to lose.

To improve your nutrition, it’s important to identify and understand the foods and nutrients humans are designed to consume.   Protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats that come from natural sources are designed to properly fuel the human body and repair cells and tissue.  These natural foods don’t create addictive tendencies and they have fiber and nutrients that trigger our natural leptin hormone response to indicate to our brains that we are full and should stop eating.  These types of foods have a high satiety factor and release glucose into the blood stream at a slow and controlled rate.   If people eat like this consistently, the extra weight tends to fall off the body and nearly every measure of health and quality of life improves.  

When I start working with a client we discuss their nutrition regimen.  I begin by helping them recognize true foods that their body will understand as well as the non-foods that produce inflammatory responses, cravings, energy crashes and quick weight gain.  I teach them that making meals and snacks composed of healthy, true foods is not about deprivation.  I help them create meals and snacks that are delicious and satisfying and I teach them techniques to overcome cravings and habits that derail their healthy intentions.  

Almost always, clients see dramatically positive effects in a fairly quick period of time.  Better sleep, clearer eyes, improved mental acuity, increased sense of wellness, elevated athletic performance and yes, significantly leaning out, are the primary results.

A cycling client of mine, Dr. Russell Hirsch, followed a clean eating protocol that was designed to help him lean out and support his cycling goals.  He dropped 22 lbs of body fat while improving his power output on the bike.  “I am a completely different rider than I used to be.  This has been powerful for every aspect of my life.  I don’t crave the little bites of this and that, which were impeding my health.  I sleep much sounder now and I don’t take in foods that create this cascade of unhealthy events in my body.” 

I have other clients whose goals might not be about athletic endeavors but who want to feel healthy everyday.  This can alleviate flare up’s for clients with autoimmune diseases or improve parameters for clients with cardiovascular issues.  No matter a client’s goals, we tackle them with a sound nutritional approach.  Universally, the measurables for all health risks decrease and people feel significantly better.

We have created a powerful 30-day nutritional program at Dogma Athletica, and over the past year we have offered it on five different occasions.   The average fat loss for male participants was 17 pounds and for female participants, 12 pounds.   This program comes with strategic information to help understand the trappings of the food industry, how to alleviate cravings and how to eat consistently in a way that leads to a healthier body and mind.  Many participants have had significant improvements in their blood values at physical check-up’s with their physician after completing the program.

The Vail Valley is a wonderful venue for living a healthy lifestyle.  Whether you are an athlete looking for improved performance or an individual seeking a higher quality of life, don’t underestimate the power of a comprehensive nutritional plan.