LEE COUNTY, Fla. – Nutrition Director and COO at Shark Bite Fitness, Katie Onufer, is making it her mission to spread awareness that what you do outside the gym plays a crucial role in your fitness journey. 

 “Nutrition can really make you feel so good. Sometimes you don’t really realize how bad you feel until you start changing your diet and see how much better you can feel,” Onufer said. “What you’re doing at home and all day long really is going to make the difference.”

An article recently published by Media Ambassadors discussed four ways anyone can quickly shed some weight this summer. Onufer weighed in to fact-check their nutrition trips.

“I think that this article is dangerous and it gives you the idea that results can be achieved really quickly without harm,” Onufer said. 

Of the four recommendations listed, the first claim is to start a juice cleanse.

“Juice cleanse is a poor idea because you’re really restricting your calories at that point,” Onufer said. 

She said that while juice cleanses are flat out a bad idea, they also end up doing more harm than good.

“It’s going to make you feel lethargic and likely what’s going to happen is after you’re done with that juice cleanse, you’re probably going to binge and gain all the weight right back,” said Onufer.  

The second claim to losing weight from the article is to switch to a vegetarian diet.

“I wouldn’t say all vegetables, but I would say just add more in, right?,” Onufer said.

While fruits and vegetables play a major role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, Onufer said it’s a bit extreme to cut out specific food groups and switch to a diet made up entirely of veggies.

“Cutting food groups out, changing your caloric intake drastically…these are all things that while they might get you quick results, you’re probably going to feel pretty terrible,” she said.

The third claim follows a similar theme, but instead of getting rid of a food group, the article recommends eliminating an ingredient — sugar.

“When it comes to cutting out sugar, I wouldn’t say to cut out sugar completely cold turkey, especially if you’re accustomed to it,” Onufer said.

Instead of cutting out sugar altogether, Onufer suggested slowly cutting back over time.

“Nutrition is a lifelong thing, right? So we want to find a process that really works for us in the long term. So cutting things out completely is never a good idea,” she said.

So with the first three recommendations disapproved by Onufer, it leads us to the fourth and final nutrition tip on the list — reducing portion sizes.

“We need to really take it back to our roots, right? We need to be eating whole foods. Cutting out processed foods and really making smart choices day in and day out,” Onufer said.

She agrees that reducing portion sizes plays a big factor in anyone’s nutrition journey. But she did point out that the article missed a crucial component — anyone looking to lose weight likely needs to start drinking more water.

“To really get started with feeling better, getting healthier, maybe losing a little bit of weight…start by increasing your water intake,” Onufer said.

Plus, no time is better than starting your day off with a big glass of water.

“Starting with a glass of water in the morning can make a huge difference,” she said,

When it comes to seeking out nutritional advice, Onufer warns that the internet doesn’t always provide the best information. So instead of looking online, she recommends contacting a nutrition professional to discuss your eating habits and goals. 

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