You Are What You Eat

What you don’t know, could hurt you……

How much thought do you put into what you eat?

I bet you didn’t realize that 80% of what you eat will either help assist in your weight loss efforts or cause self-sabotage.  Shocking percentage, wouldn’t you say??  Well, reality is, it’s true.

Good nutrition starts in the kitchen.  Heard the quote, “Abs are made in the kitchen”?  It’s true.  If you are looking for those taught strong abs, or even a toned body, from head to toe, it starts in the kitchen.

So, as we tend to do a “spring clean”, it’s worth doing a quarterly ambush through your cupboards and pantry to rid you nutrition regime of chemical laden foods and additives (aka “processed foods”).

It’s no wonder that so many of us are overwhelmed on what’s good for us and what’s not good for us.  Sound about right?  The media surely doesn’t help.  Depending on what you read or watch, it could be about eating only “free” foods (think “fat” and “sugar” free), or that carbs are the culprit, and then the Acai berry becoming the holy grail of weight loss (which of course is sold in pill form and promised to deliver rapid results).

Aggh…gives me a headache thinking of all the things out there that claim to be good for us.

It’s time to re-examine what you eat.

It all starts with reading nutritional labels. The nutritional content and ingredient list will give you everything you need to know about the quality of the food item.  A good rule of thumb, the more ingredients in the product, the more CRAP it has to prolong its shelf life, not to mention the cheaper it was to make by the manufacturer.  Oh, and if you can’t pronounce it, then it’s likely no good for you.

Ok, let’s start with the basics and rummage through your kitchen to get rid of the top 5 ingredients that, regardless of what eating plan you follow, should NOT be lurking in your home.  PERIOD.

Ingredient #1: High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
HFCS is a manmade sugar, derived predominantly from genetically modified corn. The sweet concoction has been shown to promote binges and hysterical hunger, and wrecks havoc on your blood sugar levels, promoting fat storage. (

The introduction of HFCS into our food supply directly paralleled a 47% spike in Type 2 Diabetes cases as well as an 80% increase in obesity. HFCS is a sweet deal for food processors and soft drink companies because it`s cheaper than sugar and even sweetener.  Here’s just a short list of common products that include HFCS:

  • Sauces (including ketchup, BBQ sauce, etc.)
  • Yogurt
  • Energy Bars
  • Soft Drinks / Fruit Juices
  • Processed baked goods
  • Cereals
  • Crackers
  • Ice Cream
  • Salad Dressing
  • Most packaged snack foods
  • Basically anything with an extended shelf life

Ingredient #2: Hydrogenated Fat / Partially Hydrogenated Fat (Trans Fat)
Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats have undergone such extensive processing that the chemical structure has changed from a “cis” shape, which the human body recognizes and utilizes, to a “trans” shape, which is foreign and destructive to human physiology.

Check each food label for the word ‘hydrogenated’ and avoid it diligently. Cutting out hydrogenated fats is a simple set towards looking and feeling your best.

Ingredient #3: Aspartame
Um, need I say more?  Ok, what is Aspartame?  It is an artificial sweetener that was denied 8 times by the FDA before being approved in 1973. Many scientists objected the approval, claiming that aspartame hadn’t been proven safe for use as a food additive.

MIT neuroscientist, Richard Wurtman, researched the effects of aspartame and concluded that it promotes cravings for foods high in calories and carbohydrates. Though aspartame is calorie-free it still causes insulin to be released, which job is to stow away sugar – when this sugar is not available, the result is often hypoglycemia and severe hunger. Not exactly a recipe for weight loss.

Additionally, there is growing research supporting claims that chemicals like aspartame disrupt and stunt the normal function of your endocrine system (the system that regulates your hormones) and metabolism. (

In short, anything that claims its “sugar free”, likely has aspartame.  Such as:

  • Yogurt (Yoplait is one that comes to mind)
  • Diet Soda’s
  • Splenda / Equal or sweeteners
  • Gum

Ingredient #4: White Sugar
White sugar comes from the juice of a sugar cane plant that has undergone an intensive refining process. In this process all of the enzymes, fiber, vitamins and minerals are destroyed, rendering it nutritionally void. White sugar is also extremely high in calories, which your body loves to store away in fat cells.

Refined sugar has been linked to a weakened immune system, hyperactivity, ADD, mental and emotional disorders, dental cavities, hypoglycemia, enlargement of the liver and kidneys, and an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain. All that and it leads to weight gain. (

Ingredient #5: White Flour
White flour comes from natural whole wheat that has been stripped of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. This results in a nutritionally void product that is packed with calories that release quickly into your system, creating a spike in blood sugar. As you know, this promotes fat storage and leads to hysterical hunger and cravings. You don’t need that. (

Begin by dismissing just these 5 items out of your diet, you’ll be amazed at the immediate results as it relates to your weight loss efforts, energy and immune system.

Proper nutrition and good eating should come from real food items. That includes lean meats, colorful vegetables and fruit, whole grains, nuts and seeds. The more colorful your meals are from REAL foods, the better off you’ll be in the long run.

The bottom line is that your physique is largely a result of what you eat, so the foods that you put into your body should be carefully selected.

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT.  Never truer words said.

Your partner in health & fitness.


  1. Taryn, Thank you for this post! It is so true! Your blog is very inspirational. ~ Take Care…

  2. choose2befit says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed it, Tracy. Thank you for reading! Keep up your good work and fun posts! What’s your goals with P90X?

  3. Amazing post thank you!

  4. choose2befit says:

    Thank you!!!

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