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'You are what you eat' adage still holds true

Kris Morrill, Fitness column

Kris Morrill, Fitness column

By show of hands, how many of you celebrated "Cinco De Mayo" this past week? If not that, someone's birthday, anniversary or something as silly as "my kid did good at field day"?

What I am getting at is, it seems as if we as people find any little reason to take in as many unnecessary calories as possible. Time and time again I hear, "Well it was my brother's birthday so I had to eat some cake and ice cream." We seem to celebrate everything! Even worse, we feel like we have to partake in every aspect of the celebration.

Too many times to count, I have been at some dinner party or get together when I would be approached by someone asking me for ideas on how to lose weight and get fit while they are inhaling some dessert dish like it is the last time they will have that opportunity. My answer to them will usually include, "Well, you could start by putting that cookie down." This is when the conversation typically stops and I go back to doing whatever it was I was doing 30 seconds prior ...

You have all heard the phrases, "You are what you eat" and "Garbage in, Garbage out," right? This is just as true now as it was when I first heard them in grade school. I don't care how many times you go through some exercise DVD series or how many butt crunches you do, you will never achieve the desired results if you do not clean your eating up! I realize the cookies, cakes and ice cream sandwiches are good but, then again, some would argue that cocaine was good too; but that doesn't make it a good idea now does it?

Allow me to introduce you to "strict" eating. Now, when I say "strict" I don't mean, "Momma doesn't let me stay out past 9 p.m."; I mean clean, healthy, responsible eating. Here are a few rules to live by:

1. Eat real food -- meat, eggs, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fruit, oils (like EVOO or coconut). Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they're fresh and natural. Stay away from things with ingredients that you can not pronounce.

2. Do not eat dairy. This includes butter, cheese (hard and soft), yogurt (even Greek) and milk (including cream in your coffee).

3. Do not eat grains. This includes bread, rice, pasta, corn (I count corn as a grain), oatmeal, and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains. That's not real food, anyway...

4. Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds.

5. Do not eat sugars of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, Splenda, Truvia, Stevia, etc.

6. Do not eat processed foods. This includes protein shakes, processed bars (like Zone bars), dairy-free creamers, etc.

7. Do not drink alcohol, in any form.

"For right now, don't sweat the calories," I say, because if you are sticking to these simple rules of strict eating, you will not over eat as bad as you might think. I can tell you with a clear conscience that this will work! I have seen it too many times for it not to work for you!

Challenge yourself to do this for four weeks and see what happens. Jump in feet first tomorrow, do not wait! If you will not help yourself, then I or anyone else for that matter, will be able to help you. Remember the only discipline that stays is self discipline.

Thank you for reading this week's column, I hope that you continue to get benefit from it! Have a great week Albany and as always, thanks for reading The Herald!

E-mail fitness columnist Kris Morrill, certified personal trainer and owner of World Camp Fitness in Albany, at kris@worldcampfitnesstraining.com.