Thursday, January 5, 2012

Eating And Pilates Sure Beat A Cleanse

Brett Howard, center, is a master teacher
Many celebrities go on a cleanse diet designed to remove toxins and reset their bodies. Frankly, I think it's a bunch of bunk. Everything I read says there's no benefit to it whatsoever. Your liver and kidneys do a stellar and complete job of purifying your system, without the aid of packaged powders or unproven nutrients. Why not save big bucks and instead eat a balanced diet of real food?  It's tastier!  Follow the new USDA guidelines and eat meals consisting of a serving of protein, a portion of whole grains, 2-3 servings of fruits and vegetables, plus a serving of dairy. A portion of food is about the size of a clenched fist. Eat 3 balanced meals everyday and not only will you be healthy and feel fabulous, you will probably lose some weight. I think people who go on a cleanse are just trying to lose weight quickly, but eating healthy meals is a better way to sustain your proper weight. Why deprive yourself with expensive gimmicks when it's unnecessary?

If you need to lose a few pounds, eat more fruits and vegetables and cut back on sugar, butter and rich foods until you reach your desired weight.  

Nutritionists claim that artificial sweeteners sabotage our efforts to slim down, so watch your intake of diet soda.  As it turns out too much diet soda robs your body of nutrients.  When I drank diet soda daily, it also made my teeth sensitive. 

Another way to drop a few pounds is to energize the New Year with more physical activity. I don't think it matters what you do, as long as you find something you enjoy and stick with it. Personally, I like walking and classical Pilates. You may like to run, swim or kick box. Some people need to mix it up, or they will lose interest and quit. Just be sure to do something athletic 4-5 times a week. I like walking because I can easily fit it into my schedule, while getting to where I have to go. And I like Pilates because no matter what level you are, it keeps your mind active and your body challenged.  With Pilates, you never get sore.  The idea is not to go-for-the-burn, but to master a series of exercises flawlessly.  Pilates strengthens your core (waist, belly and butt) and helps you stay flexible. 

Perhaps you favor Yoga, dance, or going to a gym. The key is to select an activity you like, that's close to your home (or office) and one you can afford, so that you can do it several times a week.  I purposely pursue exercises I should be able to do all the decades of my life.  How depressing to have to hang it up once I get good at it. Because I've had success with classical Pilates, I can recommend 2 instruction books and 3 excellent DVDs, which help you do it correctly:

1. The Pilates Body (2000) by Brooke Siler
2. The Pilates Method (1999) by Sean P. Gallagher, Romana Kryzanowska and Steven Speleois -- Illustrated

1. Classical Pilates Technique: The Complete Mat Workout Series (2002) by Peter Fiasca (Start with this one.)

The rest is up to you.  What exercises do you enjoy?

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