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Open for Business!

Natural State Fitness is happy to announce that we are open for Charter Members!


Please bear with us as we finish off the last little bits of construction and enjoy your workouts!

Weight Management

One of the most popular topics in fitness and wellness is managing weight.  I think we can all agree that losing weight is hard.  I, along with so many of my other dietetics friends have all struggled with weight and keeping ourselves healthy.  I love cupcakes and Dr. Pepper and I’m not afraid to hide it.

Repeat after me: “if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.”  You will see hundreds of weight loss ads claiming to take inches off your waistline and drop the fat in weeks.  That simply is either not true or not safe.  The truth of the matter is that when you lose weight quickly, you are more likely to gain it all back, and just as fast.  A safe amount of weight to lose is 1-2 lbs. per week. That may not seem like the popular option, but it is the safest and more sure way of losing the weight and keeping it off.

To lose 1-2 pounds per week, it is estimated that you should reduce your calorie intake by 500 calories a day.  You should consume at least 1,200 calories a day just to carry out normal body function.  Luckily, we can easily understand how many calories we need with and without physical activity and how much we can reduce to lose weight thanks to technology.  You may have heard of MyFitnessPal, an app available for your smart phone.  MyFitnessPal allows you to track every meal and provides the calories for each of the foods you eat.  The app also will let you put in your height, weight, etc. to determine how many calories you need per day.  Then, the app will readjust the calorie intake simply by you telling it how much weight you want to lose.  The app allows for a safe reduction of calories.  It even lets you know when you aren’t getting enough!  MyFitnessPal is extremely user-friendly and something that I use every day.  Simply search it in your App Store.

While MyFitnessPal helps you reach your weight loss goal by the touch of a screen, you simply can’t do it alone.  Find partners with perhaps the same or similar fitness goals and keep each other accountable.  There are also many community wellness classes offered through hospitals and clinics that will be given by a dietitian.  These are often free and a great way to make connections with others.

As always, seek attention from a physician or Registered Dietitian for more detailed weight management.

Thanks again for reading our blog!

Molly McAfee

Fueling Your Workout

I get lots of questions about what we should eat when are exercising and living an active lifestyle.  While you may not think of your time at the gym as a time to chow down, it is very important to remember that how you fuel your body for exercise is crucial to your workout.

I hate to say this, but sometimes our workouts burn less calories than we think!  We need to keep in mind the intensity of our workout before we snack.  We may only burn 100 calories when we run or walk a mile, but may be consuming a 250-calorie energy bar or 400-calorie smoothie.  If you are doing a low-intensity activity, like a morning walk, it is good to focus on a small, carbohydrate-rich snack.  Try 16 oz. of water and a 100-calorie granola bar or mini bagel.  After the workout, refuel with carbs and add protein.  An egg, a slice of whole-grain toast, fat-free milk, and 4 oz. of 100% juice make a healthy breakfast.  You can even great protein from 100-calorie or Lite-n-Fit (80-calories) Greek yogurt.

If you work out in the evening, try to eat lunch 3-4 hours before exercising.  Sandwiches and soups or salads are usually good options that will provide you with enough energy to make it through the afternoon but not drag you down to keep you away from your trip to the gym.  To give you an extra boost before your workout, snack on fruit 15-30 minutes before.  After your workout, if you are heading home to eat dinner shortly after, there is no need for a refueling meal.

Try not to skip breakfast and try to make lunch a lighter meal of the day, then give yourself the quick boost before your workout.  ALWAYS remember to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. Keeping up with your 8 glasses a day is one of the best things you can do when exercising.  Also, I know that one of the hardest things to do is not reward yourself with a high-calorie food or drink post-workout.  Trust me, I understand!  How can there be so many donut shops on the way home?  But you can do it!  Reward yourself with new workout gear to make you feel even more confident in your healthy lifestyle instead 🙂 (or a movie with some light, snack-bag popcorn!).

Thank you again for checking out the blog!  As always, be sure to post comments or questions!

Molly McAfee

Giveaway Contest

There are only 25 Charter Memberships left so let’s do another giveaway contest! This contest will be a referral contest. For each new member you refer to us your name will be entered 1 time. For each new member you physically bring in your name will be entered in twice. The prize for this contest is a box of Spark!

You do not need to be a member in order to win this contest. Like and share this post to get the word out!

A Beginner’s Course in Nutrition

Happy Monday!  Thank you once again for visiting the Natural State Fitness blog.  We hope you are having a happy and healthy Labor Day weekend!

In my 4+ years of Nutrition education, I have learned so much information.  The nutrition world is full of changes as we develop our technology and research.  I’m sure you’re aware of the many fads and trends out there, and quite frankly it can be frustrating.  I want to give you a quick “course” on basic nutrition so that you are able to understand and make healthy choices for yourself when you’re shopping for groceries or looking making a meal plan for your lifestyle.


Carbohydrates are important, especially when exercising.  Carbs are found in plant sources and make up about half of our daily calories we need.  In fact, our brain depends on the carbohydrate glucose to function.  So when you see a low-carb diet, know that this could be scary for your diet.  Yes, loading your body with carbohydrates can be at the expense of major calorie intake, but know that our body needs a steady intake of these foods to carry out almost every bodily function.  Like I mentioned, you can find carbohydrates in any plant source.  It is best to eat fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables before canned to get the most of their nutrients and without the added salt.  If you preferred cooked vegetables, steam for the least amount of time possible.  Carbohydrates are also essential for fueling your workout, which we will talk about next week.


Like plants are built with carbohydrates, the human and animal body structures are built by protein.  Proteins in our diet make up about 10-15% of our daily calorie intake.  Protein-rich foods include animal products or products that come from animals, like eggs and milk.  If you are a vegetarian, do not fear!  Beans and legumes are an excellent source of protein as well.  All other vegetables are poor sources of protein.


Fats may always get a bad rap, but we should remember that they do have a significant place in our diet.  We need fats to carry out many important functions in our bodies.  Of course, that is within limitations.  Fats make up about 34% of our daily calorie intake.  This may seem like a lot, but this is because fats are so “calorie rich,” in simplest terms.  You can get the fats you need with reasonable consumption.  Foods cooked in or with oils and butters are common sources of dietary fats, as well as dairy products (except fat-free), fatty meats, and processed meats like hot dogs and sausages.  While most fruits and vegetables do not contain fats, there are two exceptions: coconuts and avocados, which are both a hot trend in nutrition now.  In fact, fats are so easy to come by in our diets that it is best to still consume mostly low-fat or fat-free dairy for adults.

Choose MyPlate

You may remember the Food Pyramid from school cafeteria posters or food labels.  The Food Pyramid has been revamped and dietary guidelines are now easier to remember than ever.  MyPlate is the USDA-created visual for Americans  to plan their meals to meet daily dietary requirements but also create limitations.  Below is the graphic that serves as a general template for meals.  You can learn more at choosemyplate.gov.

Thanks again for taking the time to read our blog!  Remember to comment or posts questions so we can better serve our audience and clients.


Molly McAfee, BS

Natural State Fitness – Nutrition Blog

Molly McAfee, BSHello!  My name is Molly McAfee, and I would like to personally thank you for your interest in Natural State Fitness.  It is so exciting to see Northeast Arkansas expanding and getting the healthy resources the communities need for a longer, healthier life.  Many of you have asked, and now Natural State Fitness offers free, general nutrition advice

I am a Northeast Arkansas native and a graduate of the University of Central Arkansas with a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics.  I am currently pursuing my Master’s degree in Family and Consumer Science with an emphasis in Nutrition as well as the dietetic internship to become a Registered Dietitian.  I have two years of clinical experience in nutrition services and over five years of formal education.  I will be the first to admit that I am obsessed with food and how it impacts our daily lives.  Fueling our bodies is even more important when we decide to take the proactive step of exercising.

I am excited to share more about nutrition with our readers, but I would also love to hear back!  What are some questions you have about nutrition and foods?  What are some topics you would like to see explored through these posts?  Your feedback will help Natural State Fitness cater to your nutrition needs even better.

Thank you again for taking the time to look around the site and investing in a healthier lifestyle.  Know that we are here to assist you and would love to hear from you!

*Always seek an opinion from your primary care physician or Registered Dietitian before making major diet and lifestyle changes.

Special Discounts

Want more ways to save? Try out these two easy ways and see if you qualify!

Health Insurance Discounts

Many health insurance companies will offer savings for gym memberships. This may even include personal training! Check with your health insurance provider to see if you qualify.


Employee Discounts

Healthy employees are crucial for businesses to run efficiently. Employers recognize this and may offer a discount on gym memberships. Known companies to offer this will be listed below!

  • Active and Veteran Military
  • Law Enforcement
  • Fire Department
  • Nucor
  • Mississippi County Electrical Cooperative (MCEC)
  • Farmer’s Bank & Trust
  • Southworth
  • Tenaris


If your health insurance or employer offers a discount, please comment below so others can share in the savings!

Now Hiring!

Natural State Fitness is looking to hire! We are in need of:

  • Front Desk Staff
  • Daycare Operators
  • Group Exercise Instructors
  • Personal Training Instructors

CPR/AED certification is preferred for these positions but only necessary for Daycare, Group Exercise, and Personal Training. If interested, please send a resume to james.robert.lee7@gmail.com

Charter Memberships

To celebrate the upcoming grand opening we will be offering 100 charter memberships! Charter Members will have the $49 enrollment fee completely waived and will also receive a promotional *goody bag! Only the first 100 members to sign up will be able to enroll as a charter member so be sure to act fast.


Charter Memberships will be available at the start of presales and will last until the grand opening (early September).


For more information email us at info@naturalstatefitness.com or give us a call at (870)740-8410


*While supplies last. Limit 1 per membership

Contest Winners!

Talent exists at all stages of life. In recognition of this we held a Logo Contest at the high schools in the local area. There were a lot more entries than we had imagined we would get and it was great! Although all of the submissions were talented in their own way, unfortunately we couldn’t select them all. We had originally planned to pick one overall winner, but there were so many great entries that we had to pick another!


1st Place

Jordan Bowman

Gosnell High School

Bowman Logo


2nd Place

BIC Logo

Nikki Gordan & Olevia Hughes

Buffalo Island Central High School

Both of these entries look absolutely fantastic! The artists did amazing jobs on them. These will be featured on various things throughout the gym so be on the lookout! Congratulations again to the contest winners! You have a bright future ahead of you!