By Jonathan Rivera, CPT –

healthy eating naplesAs an experienced Chef and Personal Trainer, the most important aspect of creating new eating habits is “Whole Foods.” Processed foods are the leading cause of many health problems that we face, including obesity and diabetes. Whole foods are foods that are unprocessed and unrefined. You can determine processed foods by reading the label. My theory is if you have to be a scientist to understand the label, it’s probably processed.

Carbs are the Body’s Preferred Energy Source
Your body needs the basics, carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats to perform at its best. Carbs are the body’s preferred energy source. Do not drop good carbs from your diet. Good carbs include brown rice, 100% whole grains, sweet potatoes and many more great tasting foods.

Proteins are Main Building Blocks for Muscle
Proteins are your main building blocks for building muscle. They also help with brain function, blood, skin and hair. A combination of lean protein and plant protein are best. Examples of plant protein include spinach, beans and legumes. Lean protein includes skinless chicken breast, fish and lean cuts of meat.

Good Fats
The American Dietetic Association recommends that your fat intake be mostly unsaturated with an emphasis on increasing Omega-3 fatty acids. Stay away from the artery clogging Trans fats that can increase the risk of heart disease. Instead, eat good fats such as avocados, fresh nuts and extra virgin olive oil.

Research shows that the common mistake with dieting is the intake of high calorie beverages. Read your labels. Watch for serving size and sugar content. Fruit juices contain high amounts of sugar and sodium. Water is the best for you, and watch for dangerous additives in sugar free drinks that can be harmful.

Follow These Recommendations:
Eat smaller portions and smaller meals throughout the day instead of the bigger meals that make you feel bloated and tired. Start by cutting your portion size of meat and eating more fruit and vegetables. This will help with that stubborn weight that never seems to go away.

Exercising for 150 minutes a week will complete that life style change that will make you look and feel better.

Ideas to Eating Balanced Meals
For breakfast, try plain oatmeal or a whole wheat English muffin, egg whites with vegetables, cup of coffee (black, no sugar) and some fresh fruits and turkey bacon. At lunch, try a turkey wrap loaded with vegetables. Use mustard instead of mayonnaise. For dinner, have a piece of lean meat, brown rice or sweet potato and plenty of sautéed vegetables.

Our Goal: Education on Proper Eating and Exercise
As a Personal Trainer at Progressive Health Club, my goal is not only to implement a safe and effective exercise program but to educate our clients on proper eating and exercise. From my experiences as a Chef, I have created healthy recipes that not only look good but taste amazing as well.

Free Session Could Add Years To Your Life
If you would like a free recipe or additional information on the above article, call me at Progressive at 941-743-8700 or visit us online at You may also stop by and have an informal talk at no cost to you. A free session with a Personal Trainer at Progressive could add years to your life.

Progressive Health and Racquet Club

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