The Perils of Sugar (Sweet Tooth, Beware!)

If I were to choose the one dietary factor that most influences weight loss or gain, it would be sugar.

 

Sugar is a “sweet” detriment to our health, an insidious stowaway that hides itself in the foods we like to eat and even in foods we consider “healthy.”  I call it a stowaway because most people are unaware of just how much sugar they are consuming on a daily basis. For that matter, most don’t know the recommended amount of sugar they are to consume in a day to begin with!

 

Here’s what you need to know: When we consume too much sugar, it replaces the healthy nutrient-dense foods we need with empty extra calories that have no nutritional value.  That means you feel “full” without getting the nutrition your body desperately needs… so you’re not motivated to eat the good stuff!

 

Furthermore, sugar is a major contributor to obesity, diabetes, cardio vascular disease, and some cancers. Excess sugar sends our blood sugar on a rollercoaster ride and causes an overproduction of insulin (the hormone that regulates blood sugar and stores fat).

 

The American Heart Association recommends 6 teaspoons a day for women and 9 for men.  The average American consumes 22 teaspoons in a day.

 

The latest statistics show that 1 in 3 Americans IS overweight, which is largely due to our excessive sugar intake.  Let’s do the math:   1 teaspoon of sugar equals 15 calories. If we are consuming 16 extra teaspoons a day, that adds up to 240 empty calories. 240 extra calories multiplied by 7 days/week multiplied by 4 weeks/month multiplied by 12 months/year and divided by 3500 calories (which equals 1 pound) quickly adds up to 23 pounds in one year!  The good news is that the reverse is also true:  Find ways to cut out the excess sugar and you will lose weight.

 

Become a label reader!  Know what and how much you are consuming.  The sugar grams in a food product are listed under the carbohydrate totals on the nutrition labels. 1 teaspoon of sugar equals 4 grams.  Your goal daily amount would then be 24 grams of sugar for women and 54 grams for men.

 

One of my clients was shocked when she started reading labels to discover her regular morning bowl of Raisin Bran (which she had considered “healthy”) contained 19 grams of sugar in a SINGLE SERVING – nearly a day’s worth of sugar!

 

Knowledge is power…we can’t change what we don’t know!

 

 

Brenda BobBrenda Bobackack is a Certified Personal Trainer and Cycling Instructor at Harbor Fit. When not teaching classes, Brenda is working one-on-one with clients to help them achieve their fitness goals. She has a special interest in diabetes prevention, nutrition, and women’s health and wellness. You can contact Brenda at fitbydesign@live.com.

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Results or Excuses?

resultsexcuses

I passed a billboard the other day and as I read it, I was immediately inspired and challenged, motivated and disappointed… all at the same time. The power packed phrase was this: You can have results or excuses, but not both.”

 

How does that make you feel when you read it? Does it bring things up in you like it did in me? This is a great observation. We really can’t have both. Excuses prevent results. These two are like oil and water. It is true that sometimes we have good “reasons” that are obstacles preventing results. but if we are really honest with ourselves, excuses are easy to come by.

 

Some excuses I’ve heard from others or myself have sounded like:

  • “I don’t have the time or energy.”
  • “I’m overwhelmed.
  • “I don’t know where to start.”
  • “It’s because … “(pointing the finger at someone else or circumstances).

 

When looking deeper and being even more honest, it can sound like:

  • “It’s just easier to make excuses than actually get after it.”
  • “I don’t know that I’m capable or have what it takes.”
  • “I don’t want others to see my shortcomings.”

 

Doubt is the most prominent stumbling block that seems to be glaring at us. Doubt is given far too much power in our minds and therefore, our lives. It is like water on a fire that is intended to burn hot and bright.

 

So let’s say that doubt is removed from our thinking … wow, the possibilities! Who want to kick doubt in the teeth? I know I do … who’s coming with me?

 

Here are some questions to help get your wheels spinning:

  • What do the excuses in your mind sound like?
  • What are the areas in your life where you are eager to see results?
  • What are you willing to do to make that happen?

 

I believe the capacity within each of us in immeasurable. If doubt is absent, possibilities are endless. Let’s take as stance with ourselves that says “no” to excuses and begin witnessing results!

 

 

brendaBrenda Boback is a Certified Personal Trainer and Cycling Instructor at Harbor Fit. When not teaching classes, Brenda is working one-on-one with clients to help them achieve their fitness goals. She has a special interest in diabetes prevention, nutrition, and women’s health and wellness. You can contact Brenda at fitbydesign@live.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fueling Your Workout

What we eat before and after workouts has a tremendous impact on how we feel both during and after our exercise session, and on how well our bodies recover.  The goal is to maximize our workouts and give our bodies the important nutrients necessary for optimal recovery. Here are a few tips:

 

Before a workout:

How we feel during our workouts largely depends on what and when we eat before it. The last thing we want is to feel dizzy, light-headed, or sluggish. The goal of a pre-workout meal/snack is to provide energy for your workout. Keep it simple and easy to digest. Minimize protein, fiber, and fat. These nutrients take longer to digest, trapping our much-needed energy in the stomach.  Good timing would be at least 45-60 minutes before a workout.  Eat whole grain carbs with a little bit of protein. The carbs will give you readily available energy and the little amount of protein will sustain your energy. Good examples:

  • apples with almond butter
  • veggies and hummus
  • whole grain toast with an egg
  • fruit with yogurt, oatmeal
  • whole grain/wheat cereal with milk

 

After a workout:

The hour following a workout is referred to as the “golden hour.” Training puts a lot of wear and tear on the body. Muscle fibers are broken down, our bodies have used up all of the available nutrients, and our blood sugar has been depleted. It’s within this golden hour that our bodies are most receptive and the absorption rate is at its highest.

 

The goal of this meal to replenish what you lost and provide what is needed for adequate repair and healing.  This meal should consist of more protein for muscle repair and recovery, and less carbs to replace blood sugar and give us energy to get through the rest of the day. Good examples:

  • chicken breast with some black beans
  • turkey sandwich (made with whole grain/wheat bread)
  • chicken stir-fry with veggies and brown rice
  • protein smoothie

 

And last but not least—water!  We lose water when we work out and we need to replenish.  Drink water before, during, and after every workout. Water gives you energy. It is needed for all bodily processes, and flushes out the by- products and toxins produced during your workouts.

 

BB

 

brendaBrenda Boback is a Certified Personal Trainer and Cycling Instructor at Harbor Fit. When not teaching classes, Brenda is working one-on-one with clients to help them achieve their fitness goals. She has a special interest in diabetes prevention, nutrition, and women’s health and wellness. You can contact Brenda at fitbydesign@live.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Your (Healthy) Weight Loss Calorie Intake

I have been asked many times, “How much (calories) should I be eating?”

 

Great question!

 

First of all, get it out of your head that all calories are “bad.” We need calories! They are energy, an important source of fuel your body cannot live without. What’s important is that you get the right calories–nutritious ones that feed your body, as opposed to “empty” ones–and that you get the right number of calories.

 

You need to find the right balance of calories every day, depending on your fitness goals. Eating more calories than you burn will cause weight gain.   Eating less calories than you burn will cause weight loss. We burn calories to sustain life, through non-exercise physical activity, and through planned exercise.

 

The number of calories you need in a day depends on  individual factors such as age, weight, height, and activity level.  Generally speaking, though, a good baseline for a weight-loss calorie intake starts with 8-10 calories per pound of body weight. This is just a starting point and will need adjusting as your weight drops. Take that baseline number and divide by 5 or 6 (the number of times you will eat in a day). You can have a few more calories for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and less calories for snacks.

 

For example: a 150-lb. person would multiply this weight by 10 calories, which gives a total of 1500 calories a day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner = 400 and 2 snacks =150.

 

This is only a guideline. If you want more calories for breakfast, cut back somewhere else in your day. Bottom line: you want to expend more energy than you take in.  Without this deficit you will not see results.  Keep in mind, though, that consuming less than 1,200 calories per day can be harmful to your health. It is impossible to get all the essential nutrients our bodies need on less than 1200 calories a day.

 

I always recommend writing down everything you eat or drink. Try using the My Net Diary app or another on line food tracker.   I can’t stress this enough. When we record what we eat, I’d say 99% of the time we will find things that are halting progress. We can’t change what we don’t know–and many times, what we “think” we know, we don’t!  I encourage at least three weeks of food journaling to really get a clear picture of the reality of your food choices and to “cement” your new way of eating. I know this is tedious, but the payback is HUGE.
Counting calories is not difficult. Knowing and watching your (healthy) weight loss calorie intake might just be the big breakthrough you need to achieve your 2013 health and fitness goals!

 

BB

 

brendaBrenda Boback is a Certified Personal Trainer and Cycling Instructor at Harbor Fit. When not teaching classes, Brenda is working one-on-one with clients to help them achieve their fitness goals. She has a special interest in diabetes prevention, nutrition, and women’s health and wellness. You can contact Brenda at fitbydesign@live.com.

 

 

 

 

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Lose It for Life!

I was reading an article recently that listed the top 10 “the-faster-the-better” health and fitness trends we should FORGET.   The trends for weight loss were the ones that specifically caught my attention.

 

Most of us remember (or have tried) the juice fast or eating gluten-free for weight loss. And then there was Sensa—the flavored sprinkles that supposedly trick your mind into thinking you are eating the comfort foods you love but without the calories.

 

Although some of these trends may cause weight loss initially, weight gain will surely return when food is consumed.  Like a yo-yo, our weight fluctuates up … then down then up then down … then up and down … which can really mess up our metabolism.

 

I can’t help but think that we are a nation of impatient people!  We want what we want now, to see results immediately. The faster the better! Why is it so difficult to put in the necessary hard work and then be patient and wait to see the results?

 

We are turning a corner to a New Year—a fresh start or a new beginning.  Most of us will contemplate what changes we want to make for 2013. Since you are reading this blog, my guess is that health and fitness will be a priority for you. My encouragement to you is to make realistic goals, and create a plan to achieve those goals in such a way that the changes you make will cement and last a lifetime!  And be patient.   Be steadfast and consistent; slow and steady wins every time. This is what works!  The slower the weight comes off the better chance it stays off—for good!

 

Here’s something that can help: HarborFit is offering a 90-Day Weight Loss Challenge starting January 9th.  Sigh up on the website on the Register/MyAccount tab. Come join us and get the knowledge, tools, encouragement, and support you need to lose it for life!

 

BB

 

Brenda Brenda BobackBoback is a Certified Personal Trainer and Cycling Instructor at Harbor Fit. When not teaching classes, Brenda is working one-on-one with clients to help them achieve their fitness goals. She has a special interest in diabetes prevention, nutrition, and women’s health and wellness. You can contact Brenda at fitbydesign@live.com.

 

 

 

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