by Melissa Gute

Improving overall wellness has been a recurring New Year’s resolution for many. Exercise and good nutrition frequently top the list of specific ways to do that, but often people are met with frustration and discouragement after a few weeks when measurable results are not quickly seen.

But one of the major keys to success is developing a change in lifestyle, which usually doesn’t happen quickly, personal trainer Darnell Jones said.

Jones is a health educator with Total Nutrition Technology. The company has helped people “achieve wellness with a strategy” for 20 years and has 12 locations in the Charlotte region.

Eating a nutrient-rich diet is one of the main components to improving health, and some experts say it contributes 75-85 percent of one’s physique, he said.

It’s more than just exercise. Not putting the right food in your body is like expecting a car to run on water or milk. It just doesn’t work well, Jones explained.

Whereas eating well is a key component to weight loss, regulating metabolism is a key component to eating well.

“It’s the metabolism that actually burns the fat that brings the weight loss through, so if your metabolism isn’t regulated … then that’s going to be a huge problem in your ability to lose weight,” Jones said.

Jones recommended two simple ways to improve metabolic regulation: be consistent in eating breakfast and eat several small meals or snacks throughout the day.

It’s smart to eat in the first 45 minutes from waking up to give your metabolism a jump start, Jones explained. It’s something a lot of people don’t do because they said they’re not hungry when they wake up, but once you get into a routine of eating in the morning, you’ll eventually start to crave it.

Eating about three to four small, healthy snacks will help keep metabolism regulated throughout the day. Not eating for extend periods of time prevents the body from working to its potential, but providing it fuel keeps the metabolism working and the body functioning as it should, Jones explained.

“Your body listens to you,” he said. “Your body works only according to how you tell it to work.”

In deciding what to eat, Jones said protein and carbohydrates go well together, as do fruits and fat.

The combination of protein and carbohydrates provides muscle protection. Often times people mistakenly think that only protein is needed to build muscle, Jones said.

He likened it to a construction site where protein is the material to build a house and the carbohydrates are the construction workers that put the materials in place.

“Without the carbs, protein doesn’t have anywhere to go,” Jones said.

The fruit and fat combination is important because it helps with the digestive process of breaking food down.

The best way to push through discouragement when trying to change eating habits is to find a source of motivation, support and accountability, Jones suggested. That could come from friends, family, co-workers or a support group that is willing to check in and ask how progress is going each day.

“That’s really what’s going to make it happen, but you also have to make sure that any program that you’re working with is going to be an actual lifestyle change,” he said. “It’s going to take a little more time, but you don’t want anything that’s going to be quick (because) either you are just going to lose inches or you’re going to lose the results.”

Total Nutrition Technology offers several services to help people succeedin making long-term lifestyle changes, including personal nutrition and fitness programs that can either be one-on-one with a trainer or in a small group, grocery store tours, metabolic testing and in-home food preparation and pantry makeovers.

The company is physician-endorsed and works with registered nutritionists.

Want to learn more?

For more information about Total Nutrition Technology visit, www.tntgetfit.com. Jones can be reached at 704-340-6168 or by email at darnell@tntgetfit.com.