Friday, January 29, 2010

80% Nutrition 20% Exercise

This is from a Facebook note that a friend of mine posted yesterday... It was in regards to many of her friends asking her how to get healthier... Really good advice, positive, and realistic... what we all need!! :) Anne is currently working as a personal trainer and has a degree from Kent State University in Exercise Science... she is part of HEALTHYISHOT! on facebook as well! Add Join Healthyishot as a friend on facebook and join the group!! :)

Anne Miller: 80% nutrition, 20% exercise

80% nutrition, 20% exercise
The following is an attempt to explain healthy eating for all of my friends (and some complete strangers) who ask me for advice on weight loss. Before I begin I'd like to say that the heavy sarcasm is completely justified through my own struggles with weight loss. 18 lbs lighter, I view myself as a pretty good role model for this stuff.

1st and foremost, NO MORE DIETS!! Lifestyle changes are the only way to get real results that last. The only 'diet' that I've found remotely close to what I'm talking about is South Beach. And even that author says, hey, no more dieting, you have to take this seriously and admit to yourself that you can't eat only meat or just grapefruit every day for the rest of your life.

On that note, let me just tell you how much I hate calorie counting. It's boring and annoying so I avoid it whenever possible. HOWEVER, when I first started on my journey of becoming a health nut, I did keep a food journal. It really is important to get an objective idea about what you're putting in your mouth every day.

Assignment number one: Keep a food journal for 3-7 days. Make sure that you include at least one week day and at least one weekend day, since most people tend to go a little crazy on the weekends.

Write down how much your eating and of what. If you have a problem with binging, you might want to throw in an emotion column to try and tack down when you're most vulnerable to binges. Once you pinpoint the emotion triggering the eating, find other ways to distract yourself like knitting or taking a walk! Even something like a cup of hot tea that you HAVE to drink slowly would help. Recognition of the trigger is the first step in getting better.

Try to write down what you eat as soon as you eat it so you don't 'forget'. And write EVERY BITE . Every hersheys kiss, every spoonful of your boyfriend/girlfriends dinner, every shot at the bar.

Once you've gotten a few days recorded, go to a calorie counting website. My favorite is . Now add em up for some daily totals!

The next part is figuring out how much your body individually needs. To ballpark this try a site like .

I personally need about 1700 calories a day. Now this number is to MAINTAIN your current weight. If I want to lose weight, I would simply subtract 200-250 calories from this number and aim for that daily.

If your number seems pretty high for you, then you probably aren't feeding yourself enough. This is such a big mistake that women and young girls make all the time. They think that if they just eat less, they will lose weight. But ladies, your bodies are smarter than they look. "Stupid body, holding on to all that stupid fat". Weeeelll you wouldn't think it was so stupid if a huge draught hit, would yah? Or a country wide famine? Or another depression?

Okay, so your body may be a little behind on the times, but it thinks that if you don't feed it enough, there must be a problem with food sources and it kicks into high gear survival mode...holding onto EVERY CALORIE it can for dear life. The BARE MINIMUM of calories you should be consuming is 1200 a day. Anything less than this and you're doing more damage than good. And if you do reach the point where you're eating so little calories that your body eats itself, you need help, and you need to eat a hamburger.

"Okay Anne, if I need to eat 1200 calories, then why don't I just eat my box of pop tarts and call it a day?"

Do I really need to justify that with an answer? Without going into the boring details of glucose and blood sugar spikes, just believe me and your mother when we say that you MUST have balance. You may lose a few pounds by cutting out carbs completely and eating only bacon and steak, but now your arteries hate you for making them so hard and you can bet that Beyonce booty is coming back the second you eat those delicious cookies you've been depriving yourself of.

Let's take a look at the one thing the government has done right in the past few years, the food pyramid.

This explains how many servings you need of everything in a day. While I don't think that you HAVE to have exactly this number (personally I can't eat that much) I would recommnend soaking in the general message they're giving you. It's all about balance people. Try to get a little of everything in every meal. If you had a dinner plate in front of you, imagine it divided into two halves, then one half is divided again - one fourth should be protein, one fourth should be whole grain carbohydrates, and one half should be loaded with lots of good veggies and or fruits.

Okay now I'm just going to give you a few steadfast rules that I live by every day.

Can you honestly sit there and say "Boy, Anne, after I eat a rice cake I feel completely satisfied for hours."
No. And if you can, you're a damn good liar. I don't know about you, but I want some real food, not cardboard. No, not even cardboard with cinnamon, Crazy Pants. If you really need a snack (and you should be eating every 3-4 hours to keep your energy high, metabolism stoked, and your blood sugar stable) why not have some whole wheat crackers and an ounce of your favorite cheese? A piece of fruit with peanut butter or a handful of nuts and a glass of milk?

You must must MUST start looking at ingredients labels. If you see the word ENRICHED flour (even enriched wheat flour) put it back. You may as well pick up a loaf of white bread. And if you're gonna do that, why not go all out and just bake a cake. Enriched may sound nice, (oh they educate their grains!) but all it means is that they took out all the good stuff, and put a little bit back in. What you need to look for are the words "WHOLE GRAIN". This guarantees that they put the grain in the bread the way god intended it. And we all know Jesus was as thin as a rail so let's take it from him.

Argh! That's my cry of frustration at this one. Okay, a calorie is a calorie is a calorie, whether you eat them in fudge brownies or drink them in orange juice. Just because it's liquid, doesn't mean it won't end up on your muffin top.(Not the kind you just ate). There are so many yummy alternatives out there and of course your body runs so much smoother when you drink water.
Perks to H2O: clearer skin, boosted metabolism, hydrated organ tissue which leads to better functioning organs, less headaches, and the list goes on. It's a win win! Add some lemon juice and a splenda if you really can't stand plain water.

Warning: do not read as "steak bacon and eggs for every meal". Like I said, balance is key. But protein is the one food group that is really gonna stick with you the longest and make you feel fuller longer. Plus it's really important for building up those muscles that I know you're working on ;).

I know there are so many more things that I could address but I really wanted to keep it relatively simple. If there is a question you have, post it and I will do my very best to answer it for you. Thanks for reading! :)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sip on this

DRINK THIS! What to sip for a better workout...

if you feel:

Sluggish & tired --> Green tea, 20 - 30 min before.. the caffeine will help u power thru to the end & the antioxidants will help your endurance as well.

Always get a side stitch (ouch!) --> Coconut water, chock-full of cramp-preventing potassium (15x more than most sports drinks!) (haven't tried this personally... haha if coconut water puts you off.. eat a banana)

Really sore the next day --> Chocolate milk! perfect ratio of carbs to protein plus calcium, an excellent way to help muscles recover post workout. drink within 30 minutes of finishing.

Sweat a LOT --> a Sports Drink, with body replenishing sugar & electrolytes its a great hydator. Choose one free of artificial colors/falvors/preservatives.. sip 4-6 oz every 15 - 20 min during your workout! :)