With just a couple weeks left in the 2019 Fitness Challenge, nutrition continues to be the most difficult part for both competitors.

While the workouts remain intense both Annette Lytle and Gage McCarthy have noted that they have grown accustomed to their sessions at Anytime Fitness in Beatrice.

As the Challengers will soon transition out of the contest and into a more normal routine, Anytime Fitness owner and personal trainer Bryan Seibel took Gage and Annette on a field trip to a local grocery store Tuesday.

Seibel advised the challengers on how to properly read food labels and what principles to keep in mind when grocery shopping.

“I always look for unprocessed, organic food,” Seibel said. “One of the things that is going to be really important is looking at labels.”

He noted that simply reading the labels can help consumers make better choices.

“Take bread for example, a lot of it is highly processed,” he said, while encouraging the challengers to look for healthier options whenever possible.

“If you’re looking at foods that are packaged, items with the fewest ingredients are probably less processed. The closest you can get to not processed is the best thing.”

Seibel also tackled the subject of portion size.

“Keep in mind everything depends on how much you eat,” he said. “Portion size is really important. It’s surprising, but if you eat a little bit throughout the day you can keep from getting hungry.”

In addition to providing each challenger with ideas for healthy meals and advice on grocery shopping, Seibel had both go through the store and pick ingredients for a healthy meal.

“I always recommend eating simple,” Seibel said. “Primarily what that amounts to is when you look at your plate you can tell the ingredients. It’s pretty straight forward and it becomes a lifestyle.”

Other tips Seibel offered: frozen vegetables are generally healthier than canned vegetables due to sodium content; seasonings are typically healthier than sauces when preparing meats; and having a list before you go shopping is a good too to help avoid temptations at the store.

“Nutrition can be complicated,” he admitted. “We hear so many things, it can be hard to make good choices. The best choices are real fruits and vegetables, real cuts of meat. Eating simple and portion control are the two main things.”

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