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Fueling Your Body

or, "Why can't I eat crap and look like a swimsuit model?"

When a car gets low on fuel, you take it to a gas station and fill it up with the appropriate type of gas—diesel, unleaded or premium. You wouldn't fill your car up with the wrong fuel, or it could damage the engine.

Food is your body's fuel, but do you know what you're putting in your body every day?

Pop quiz time. How many calories do you eat in a day? How many grams of fat? And exactly how much sodium (salt) can a healthy person eat? If you're like most people, you probably have no idea.

Here are answers to those questions according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The average person should eat between 2,000 and 2,500 calories each day. If you are consuming 2,000 calories a day, you should be taking in less than 65 grams of fat, and no matter how many calories you eat, you shouldn't have more than 2,400 milligrams of sodium a day.

How does what you eat compare? Your assignment for the next week is to find out. We suggest a program like MyFitnessPal that works on your computer, smartphone or tablet.

If you don't have a computer, then get a pad of paper and a pen.

Every day you're going to write down the following information about everything you eat and drink. On the first line of your pad, you will list the total calories. On the second line, list the fat. On the third line, all the saturated fat, and so on. It is extremely important that you include sauces, creams, dressings and other condiments because these can account for up to a third of your total calories.

Finding the caloric content of most foods is easy. There is a label on almost everything you buy, and the calories are listed first. The hardest thing to find calorie counts on are fruits and vegetables.

When you track your total calories, drinks are important too. Did you know that a single can (12 oz) of Coca-Cola (TM) contains 140 calories, 50 mg of sodium and 39 grams of sugar? Three cans of soda are equivalent to one small meal! Alcohol can also sabotage a healthy diet. A 12 oz Budweiser has 143 calories. Go out with your friends, drink 3 Budweisers, and you've just packed away almost as many calories as a Mcdonalds (TM) Hamburger and Fries.

Once you know what you're eating, you can make intelligent changes. If your calories, sugar and fat are high, look for ways of cutting them down. Reduce the amounts of creams or sauces; drink water or Crystal Light instead of soda. If you have no idea where to start, check out magazines like Cooking Light. Visit the recipe section of my website, where I list meals that are lower in fats and sugars and higher in fiber and protein.

Remember, just because a label says fat-free or sugar-free doesn't necessarily mean it's lower in calories. Fat-free isn't always a healthy option.

For those of you who want a step-by-step diet plan, you won't find it here. There are dozens of diets being promoted from Atkins to the Zone. You can diet according to your blood type or the colors of food you eat. Diets are an incredible waste of your money.

Surprised? There are two ways you're going to lose weight. Read carefully because this is the secret the diet industry doesn't want you to know. If you want to lose weight, you need to either:

1) Eat fewer calories or,
2) Exercise and burn more calories than you consume each day.

Pretty simple isn't it? Burn off more calories than you take in, and you lose weight!

By tracking your food and drink for a week, you'll know exactly what your caloric intake is, and you can find those hidden calorie bombs. With that information, you can decide on sensible ways to reduce those calories.

You can also use a free app called MyFitnessPal to track what you eat and drink. Every recipe on the WeBeFit website is already entered into the database.

CAUTION: Only a licensed Nutritionist or Medical Doctor can make dietary recommendations based on your individual needs. If you should decide to go on any diet, always consult your Doctor or Nutritionist first.

Start keeping track of the things you eat and drink.

Call for a FREE Consultation (305) 296-3434
CAUTION: Check with your doctor before
beginning any diet or exercise program.

Updated 7/3/2010
Updated 2/2/2021