As important as exercise is, it is only half of the equation. A healthy diet is essential for good health and should be a key aspect of every fitness program. The importance of a healthy diet is no secret and most people know that a diet of fresh fruits, vegetables and foods high in protein will provide a well-balanced and healthy diet. However, many Americans who exercise regularly still remain overweight due to unhealthy eating habits. They continue to exercise regularly and then turn around and eat junk.

Overall health and fitness requires more than a commitment to regular exercise; it requires a well balanced diet as well. It is easy to develop bad eating habits given the fast pace of life today. People today are encouraged to eat quick and fast; they rely on calorically restrictive and nutrient poor diets. This, in turn, leads to bad eating habits that can lead to poor diet and overall bad health.

Modern diets can also be dangerous to one’s health for a number of reasons. Many of them require you to make dramatic changes in your eating habits making them both inconvenient and impractical. They can further restrict your caloric intake, slowing your metabolism making it harder to burn fat and easy to gain weight. Thus it is easy to see why many people who exercise regularly still have trouble losing weight.

It may be worthwhile to invest some time in seeing a nutritionist. A good nutritionist can create a custom and practical nutrition program, one that is both enjoyable and easy to follow.

Refined carbohydrates in the form of simple sugars should be avoided when trying to obtain a healthy diet. They can be found in soft drinks, some fruit juices, and candy to name a few. These simple sugars can inhibit fat burning, cause blood sugar fluctuations and they provide no nutritional value. Another group of foods to stay away from would be those made with white flour such as pasta and white bread; when eating pasta and bread go for those made with whole grains.

Also try to stay away from hydrogenated fats such as margarine, cookies, crackers, cakes and fried foods. These foods are a primary cause of heart disease and various forms of cancers.

Overall health and fitness, in addition to a regular fitness program, requires a commitment to eliminating bad eating habits and establishing good ones. Remember, a healthy diet is essential for good health.

Billy Katz and Hudson Ellis are the co-owners of Simply Fit gyms,
located throughout the New Orleans area. Please e-mail your health and fitness questions to health@renpubLLc.com.