Saturday, January 25, 2014

Still Counting Calories?

I have never counted calories. EVER. Unless you are training for a specific reason you don’t need to. All you have to do is make smart food choices. Easier said than done, right? Making healthy food choices are beat into our heads all the time by the media. Yes, veggies are healthy and fried foods are not. Most of us know what foods are healthy and what foods are unhealthy.

What most people don't understand is what makes the “unhealthy”  foods so unhealthy. Only part of the problem with them is they are high in calories.  This includes most things with bacon, stuffed with cheese or covered with sugar. Most of the problem is that they throw your body's natural regulatory mechanisms completely out of whack.  Think about it...what in nature contains fat and sugar at the same time? The answer: NOTHING! So when you eat like that (aka processed foods) your body goes into overdrive and you wind up increasing your cravings for similar foods rather than satisfy your appetite, and quickly throw your body into fat storage mode.
So, if you want to feel satisfied when a craving hits you should get your body working correctly. Once this happens the unwanted lbs will melt off. There's no need to spend a ton of time arduously plugging in calorie numbers when you do it right.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Problem With Protein

It seems that alot of “diet” plans are advertised this time of year. I can’t tell you how many people have told me they are on a no carb diet. Most people then ask “Is that bad?” Well, my answer: “YES!” Just eating protein is not a good idea.  Although it is a fantastic macronutrient that acts as the building blocks for your body, protein is is not without its faults.  Consuming too much protein can cause a number of health problems.  

1) DEHYDRATION:- When you increase your protein intake you also increase your dehydration levels. Dehydrating yourself can put you at risk for a number of health problems and heat related illnesses.

2) INCREASED FAT STORAGE:- I’m sure you’ve heard this one before: you can eat as much as you like and you will not get fat. That my friend is a common misconception. Simply put, if you eat too many calories (whether they are carb calories, protein calories or fat calories) any excess will be stored as body fat. However, increasing your overall caloric intake by eating more protein will ultimately lead to fat storage.

3) KIDNEY STONES:- Have you ever had these? I have. (I did not get them from eating a high protein/low carb diet) Kidney Stones are awful and I highly suggest you don’t.  A high protein diet consisting of mainly meat could be to blame for these suckers. Why? The reason for this is that when you consume protein it is broken down into acids including uric acid.  This then increases the overall acidity of your blood.  Your responds by releasing the alkaline substance calcium phosphate from the bones into the bloodstream.  Ultimately, this can then lead to an increase in urine levels of both uric acid and calcium.  These substances may then form into insoluble crystals (kidney stones) which are excreted in the urine. Passing them hurt VERY bad. So if you need another reason to stay away this is a good one.

Protein is not perfect. Too much of a good thing can never be perfect. Consuming too much can cause serious health problems.  A Increasing your protein intake at a sensible rate should not cause any of the problems listed above and may help you build muscle and burn fat.  Pay attention though to ensure that you do not go overboard.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Breakfast Burners

Any interest in Burning More Fat? Some Breakfast Foods can help. After all Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Help your body burn fat by including items like these in your morning meal: eggs, yogurt, and whole-grain cereal.

How do they help Burn Fat?

Eggs: If you eat two scrambled eggs with toast and jam for breakfast, you will lose more weight than just eating a bagel and cream cheese. The protein in eggs helps control appetite, so you’ll eat less.

Yogurt: The bone strengthing calcium and other helpful compounds in yogurt may help stop fat storage and put you in the fat burning zone.

Whole-Grain Cereal: Try replacing refined-grain foods, like Rice Krispies cereal, with WHOLE grains. Whole grains include grains like wheat, corn, rice, oats, barley, quinoa, sorghum, spelt, rye. Whole grains even include popcorn. The fiber in whole grains help to control your appetite. Plus, whole grains can help control blood sugar and lower blood pressure, and they can even reduce the risk of heart disease. Also, they are yummy!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Paleo It Again, Sam

The Paleo Diet.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the new diet trend. It seems it’s all over social media these days. Eat like a caveman and shed pounds. No calorie counting is the theory behind the Paleo Diet. It promises that you’ll be leaner and less likely to get cancer, diabetes and other health issues.  Why? Well, you are eating fiber-rich foods like fruits and vegetables. In reality this “new” diet isn’t new at all. It’s basically a high-protein, high-fiber eating plan. It brings up some of questions. So, I’m gonna do my best to answer some questions I hear.
This diet is great because it calls for one eat a lot of fresh lean meats and fish, fruits, eggs, nuts, olive oil and vegetables.
What I love about this eating plan is you can't eat any processed foods on this diet! You also aren’t eating refined sugar, canola oil or salt. That means you can kiss the prepackaged foods from Walmart goodbye.
Since I’m not much of a cook the idea of cooking things from scratch doesn’t pull me in but the fact that eating processed foods are a no-no, I like. I also really like the fact that I don’t have to go to an In-person meeting. I don’t time in my schedule to attend a group meeting about my diet. I like how you can do this eating plan on your own but if you need to connect to other Paleo followers you can find forums online.
Also, you should know that eating like this (AKA not meals on sale out of a box) may raise your grocery bill. BUT taking care of yourself is a heck of alot cheaper than prescription meds, heart disease or cancer.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Believing in Balance

Most gyms have lots of  fun-looking, toy-like devices but most people aren’t quite sure what these devices are actually used for?  Well, I’m here to tell you that these fitness tools are specifically designed to help you improve your balance and help you develop a strong core. I recently took a balance class and I was so wobbly. I know I’ve been neglecting my balance exercises and this class was a great reminder for me.  You do not have to be a world class athlete to benefit from balance training.  Here are the 5 major benefits to incorporating balance training into your workout:
  1. It helps improve the communication between your brain and muscles.
  2. It helps with muscle isolation – during balance training you have to maintain stabilization and you are forced to engage an individual muscle predominantly so that you are not using other muscles to help you “cheat.”
  3. During balance training your body has to work that much harder to stabilize – in turn this helps you to burn more calories.
  4. It helps w hip stabilization – with single leg type balance exercises your glute medius is engaged and worked.  Therefore, this helps with hip stabilization.
  5. It helps with core stabilization – this in turn helps to improve your coordination, athletic skill, and posture.
Every person can benefit from Balance training no matter your age, so don’t be afraid to start incorporating it into your workout today.  

Thursday, January 2, 2014

What To Expect

One of the most frequently asked questions I get this time of the year is, "How much weight is okay to lose?" My answer is always the same because no two bodies are the same. We are all built differently and that means what works for your friend might not work for you. Factors like your body mass index (BMI) and metabolic rate all factor into determining what your healthy weight loss number should be.