Fitness and Nutrition are mutually important for health and weight loss. One can not help you acheive optimum success without the other. You must become a FIT-NUT!!
Eating every 3 1/2 – 4 hours has an abundance of benefits for the body. It helps keep the metabolism high and the body satiated. It also helps promote high levels of energy and avoids crashes. Finally, it will naturally help you moderate the amount you eat because it is harder to overindulge that often. So choose a healthy snack and have it in between your main meals.
Eating protein every time you eat carbohydrates will help to keep the body satiated longer. It takes the body approximately 45 minutes to digest and use the carbohydrates you eat, but protein takes twice as long and the fats that naturally occur in protein take even longer helping to keep you satiated for as long as 4 hours (and then it’s time to eat again…see the pattern?)
Despite what you have been told, DO NOT wait until you are hungry to eat again. I’ll say it again…EAT EVERY 3 1/2 to 4 HOURS. You don’t wait until your gas tank is completely empty to refill do you? Well, don’t do that to your body either. Refuel before your body breaks down on the side of the road. (Incidentally, the last 3 tips are very similar or related. When I repeat myself it usually means that is something that is very important!)
So how do I determine a protein from a carbohydrate? A simple rule to follow (with exceptions) is, if it has a face, it’s a protein. If it grows out of the ground, it’s a carb.
To portion your carbohydrates and proteins, follow another simple rule: Handful of protein, fist full of carbs. In other words, your protein portion should be about the size and thickness of the palm your hand and your carbohydrate portion should be about the size of your fist. This has a natural portion selection for body size since petite people will have smaller hands and taller people will tend to have larger hands.
Choose lean cuts of meat (protein). Chicken or turkey breast (no skin), fish, beef flank, bison.
Eat unlimited vegetables but do not load them with fat. Choose olive oil or a spray butter to keep it light. Seasonings like Lawry’s or Tony Chachere’s give veggies a kick without the calories.
Many diets try to sell you theories or easy ways of losing weight without worrying about calories. Actually every diet is a calorie reduction diet in disguise. CALORIES DO MATTER. However, healthy choices in foods can eliminate calorie counting because they will provide less calories for more food.
But if you do choose to count your calories, how do you determine how many calories to take in? Well, there are several things to consider in order to find your metabolic rate like weight, body fat %, gender, active lifestyle, etc. But a general way to do it is to multiply your weight times 12. That is about how many calories it takes to stay at the weight you are at. In order to lose weight, you must subtract 500 calories from that amount and you will begin losing weight at a steady and healthy pace (about 1 pound a week). (*Note – this is not an accurate measurement tool but only a starting point. If you want a more accurate account of your metabolism, please contact us for a fitness consultation)
Most people ask me, what can I do to get rid of my love handles or my pooch in my stomach? There is no such thing as spot reducing (okay, most people know this now). So what is the best thing to do? The best thing is to work the bigger muscles in the body like the chest, back and leg/glute muscles. These are all very big muscle groups that will burn lots of calories when developed.
Okay, so HOW do you do that? Work these muscles by performing multi joint movements. Pushing exercises (chest press, push ups) are a multi joint movement that works the chest and several other muscles in the arms. Pulling exercises (rows, pull ups) are multi joint movements that works the back and arms as well. Doing squats and lunges work all the muscles of the legs and glutes. Check out past newsletters of our Women on Weights series for exercise routines (also applicable to men).
Use the F.I.T. principle when changing up your cardio routine:
F – Frequency: Change how often you perform cardio
I – Intensity: Change the intensity of the cardio
T – Time: Change the amount of time you perform cardio.