Fitness & Wellness

Why It's Important To Meal Plan

Why It’s Important To Meal Plan

When I suggest to clients that it’s easier to lose weight and get healthier when they have a meal plan, I can almost feel their disdain for the idea. However, meal planning and cooking the meals ahead on the weekend not only saves money and time, it makes it far easier to say no to take out and fast food. The meals are all ready to heat and eat, so the time spent during the week is less than it would take waiting at the drive through window.

Meal planning is a multi-step process.

One day is spent planning and creating a grocery list. One day is shopping for the food and a day or even two will be devoted to cooking the meals for a week or more. One of the biggest problems people face at the end of the day is that their brain is in no condition to decide what to eat. They just want something easy to get it done. Half of the battle is having all the ingredients on hand for a dinner. That’s why the planning and shopping phase is just as important, if not more important, as the preparation stage.

Cooking food on the weekend lets you rest after work during the week.

Whether your work is that of domestic genius, factory worker, office worker or multiple roles, at the end of the day, most people are exhausted. You can cook several meals at once, chopping and combining ingredients for one, while another one is in the oven. You can also double recipes, creating meals for a following week, cutting down preparation time later. If baked chicken is one meal, plan a salad using leftover chicken for another day.

Paying attention to serving size is important.

If you’re trying to lose weight, serving size is one of the most important factors. By planning ahead and using divided freezer containers to create your own microwave dinner, you’ll be able to have an accurate measurement of serving size. It also cuts the risk of leftovers and eliminates those questions about dishes tucked to the back of the refrigerator. “Is it brown vegetables or green meat?”

  • It also is important to plan snacks, too. Don’t forget to make snacks that are easy to store, like veggies and dip or homemade trail mix.
  • Planning meals ahead allows you to find ways to use all the leftover perishable food you buy for one meal for other meals, so nothing goes to waste.
  • Planning meals lets you take advantage of sales and coupons. That provides one more savings, in addition to the savings on restaurant food and wasting food.
  • When you plan meals and have a shopping list, you’re not only less likely to buy take-out or junk food, you’re less likely to impulse shop and bring home bags of sugary treats.

For more information, contact us today at Skin Sport Fitness

How Much Protein Do You Actually Need?

How Much Protein Do You Actually Need?

Depending on the latest trend in dieting, whether it’s keto or simply healthy eating, the amount of protein necessary varies, but not by much. Higher protein diets keep you feeling fuller longer, so people often have more weight loss on these types of diets. However, you can also get an excess of protein and miss many of the nutrients you’d get from one that is based on healthy eating if you take it too far. Finding the right mix of fats, carbohydrates and protein is important, too.

The amount of protein you need is based on several factors.

Age, physical activity, gender and whether you’re pregnant or breastfeeding all help in determining the amount of protein you need. The average person needs about 1/3 gram (0.36 grams) per pound of body weight. However, if you’re really active, you need more. For the very active person, the amount increases to 0.5 to 0.9 grams per pound. There are also exceptions. As a person ages, their ability to process protein declines, so they may require more protein to prevent muscle loss. Women who breastfeed or are pregnant require the extra protein for the baby’s needs.

Adequate protein is important, but you can get too much of a good thing.

Just because active people require more, there is a limit. Getting too much protein for a long time can cause health issues. It may start with intestinal problems or indigestion, but lead to exhaustion, dehydration, nausea, diarrhea, headache and irritability. Long term over consumption may cause disorders of the blood vessels, seizures, kidney disease, liver disease, cardiovascular disease and even death. There are also links to cancer, osteopenia and osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes. Luckily, you’d have to consume over 2 grams for every 2.2 pounds every day, which is double the recommended amount for a sedentary person, for a long time to see signs of over consumption.

How much is too much?

If you weighed as little as 110 pounds and ate a pound of steak every day, but no other protein, you’d still be safe. That pound of steak would average about 112 grams of protein, which is still under the danger point of 2.2 grams. It’s still good to keep an eye on your protein intake and not overdo it, especially if you’re following a Keto or other high protein diet.

  • A high protein diet may be good for weight loss, because it fills you up and keeps you full longer, but don’t forget, weight loss is still all about calories burned to calories consumed. Any excess calories are still stored as fat.
  • Most of the problem from excess protein isn’t from diet or daily eating. It comes from taking protein supplements. Learning to eat healthy is the best way to ensure you have all the nutrients you need.
  • Protein is necessary. It’s the building block for all the body, skin, muscles, bones, cartilage and blood.
  • One of the biggest problems people find with over consumption of protein is smelly breath that doesn’t seem to disappear with flossing or brushing. It’s a true deterrent to over consumption of protein.

For more information, contact us today at Skin Sport Fitness

The Paleo Problem The Pros And Cons Of Eating Like A Caveman

The Paleo Problem The Pros And Cons Of Eating Like A Caveman

You don’t have to live in Phoenix or Anthem, AZ, to have heard of the Paleo diet. Just what is the Paleo diet and what are the pros and cons of following it? First, Paleo stands for Paleolithic, it’s the diet that scientists believe the people in the Paleolithic era ate. The diet is also described as the Caveman diet. People who follow it say that it is the food our bodies were made to consume. Our body was genetically programmed to digest the food and use the nutrition. Since it’s the diet of early man before farming, many common and often considered healthy foods are eliminated.

Some foods on the Paleo diet may be inconsistent with early man’s diet.

If you’re following the Paleo or Caveman diet, you’re eating fruit, vegetables, lean meat, fish, seeds and nuts, but not legumes, grains, diary, added sugar, salt, processed food or vegetable oil. While every health advisor will agree that giving up sugar, processed food and added salt is beneficial, there’s some disagreement about eliminating dairy, legumes and grain.

While many people who choose the Paleo diet may focus on meat, cavemen didn’t.

One of the fallacies of this diet is the focus on meat. Studies show that early man was an omni Varian—ate both meat and vegetables—but the diet leaned heavily toward the vegetarian side. This focus on fatty and red meat can lead to higher levels of the bad cholesterol—LDL. It also can increase the risk for colon cancer by as much as four fold. A low carb diet can also affect your workout, causing you to tire too quickly. Finally, by eliminating dairy and grains, it could lead to deficiencies in fiber, calcium, selenium, magnesium and iron.

What’s the benefits of the Paleo diet?

As long as you’re limiting your intake of meat, the Paleo diet may not be so bad. The food you eat is healthy and free of preservatives, added sugar and chemicals. The plants, vegetables, nuts, seeds and oils increase the anti-inflammatory benefits to your body. If you’re eating more red meat, and have no cholesterol problems, you’ll get more iron. The reduction of simple carbs and increase of fat and protein will help you feel full faster and aid in weight loss.

  • One 24 month study found that people on the paleo diet lost the same amount of weight as those on traditional diets, but lost more fat, inches around their middle, signaling loss of visceral fat and lowered triglyceride levels.
  • Short term studies showed the Paleo diet helped people control blood pressure, lowered triglyceride levels, improved appetite management and weight loss over other types of diets, such as the Mediterranean diet.
  • Even though the Paleo diet gave a quicker weight loss initially, long term studies showed that at the two-year mark, weight loss between it and other diet types were about the same.
  • One thing that’s important is to note that a big benefit of the Paleo diet may come from eating healthier, eliminating added sugar and giving up processed food, which should be part of everyone’s diet.

For more information, contact us today at Skin Sport Fitness Center

What Are Your Health And Fitness Goals

What Are Your Health And Fitness Goals

There’s a lot of reasons to set health and fitness goals. The first is that when you set goals, your chances of getting an outcome you want are increased. Health and fitness goals can include all types of things. You can set a goal to cut out added sugar from your diet and drop all processed food, exercise three times a week or even to lose a specific amount of weight. If you choose the weight loss goal, remember, not to fret and weigh yourself constantly. Just do the things that you’re supposed to do to reach that goal and it will happen naturally.

Goal setting gives you a specific target.

It may seem lofty or noble to set a goal to live healthier, but what does that mean? It could be something as minor as cutting out potato chips or as major as setting up a program of healthy eating, adequate rest, hydration and exercise. You have to define what healthy means to you and if it’s more than one thing, create more than one goal. For instance, you might have an exercise goal plus a dietary goal. Defining your objective clearly is what’s important.

A goal keeps you on track.

If you’ve ever wandered the aisle of a grocery store without having anything in particular in mind to buy…except knowing you need groceries for the week…you probably came home with far too many items you didn’t need and maybe shouldn’t have purchased. You also may not have all you need from the grocery for the week. Having a goal is like having a shopping list. It reminds you what you need to do. If you’re working on an exercise program, maybe your ultimate goal is to do X number of sets or lift a certain amount of weight. For people who want to eat healthy, it could be to eliminate added sugar or eat at least two or three servings of fruits or vegetables each meal.

When you identify your goal and write it down, it can motivate you.

If you’re going to the gym to workout every week with no ultimate goal in mind, it can be pretty boring. You’re more apt to do the same routine continually and never challenging yourself. Creating goals can boost your progress in the gym by giving you that target to focus on and achieve. It can be a great motivator that will keep you on the right track.

  • You can start with a goal and break it down to mini goals to help you achieve success. For instance, an initial goal might be to walk five blocks in 15 minutes, but your ultimate goal is to walk twenty blocks—one mile—in 15 minutes. As you achieve each milestone, celebrate your success.
  • When you track your goals, you can see just how much you’ve achieved. Goals are not only meant to keep you on the straight and narrow, they’re also ways to see your success.
  • If your goal is to lose a specific number of pounds, focus more on the way you’re going to reach that goal, doing everything you need to do to get there, rather than the pounds you lose. Don’t weigh yourself daily, as weight often fluctuates no matter how well we stick with a program.
  • Make sure your fitness goals are what you want, not the desires of others. If you’re not committed to a goal, but simply go through the motions, you simply won’t achieve it.

For more information, contact us today at Skin Sport Fitness Center

How To Change Your Mindset About Weight Loss

How To Change Your Mindset About Weight Loss

Losing weight isn’t necessarily easy, but it doesn’t have to be a trauma or the entire focus of your life, either. You go into a diet or weight loss program feeling you have no discipline and hating yourself every minute for being “fat.” Instead of focusing on the way to get healthier, you only focus on results. That negative mindset can actually be your downfall. In order to take charge of your weight loss program, you need to change your mindset about weight loss.

Look at your goals first.

You can’t always control how much weight you lose. Sometimes, water weight or other things can affect that weight loss. If you celebrate every time you lost a pound and criticize yourself each time you didn’t, you’re probably already on the road to quitting. Instead of focusing on just the scales, focus on those things you can control, like sticking with a healthy diet or working out regularly. When you do the things you need to do to lose weight, it will happen. Trust in that and make those things your goals.

Don’t think of food as a reward and exercise as your punishment.

Eating healthy, getting plenty of sleep and exercising regularly are not only good for weight loss, they’re also good for your health. Punishing yourself for eating that donut by working out extra long makes exercise your punishment. Instead of using it for punishment, just think of exercise as another way to treat yourself better. Sometimes, you’ll eat that cookie or cake. If you do, move on and continue with your program of exercise and healthy eating. Just don’t use food as your reward, either. Remember, it’s all about taking the best care of yourself.

Identify times when you eat more or balk at working out.

Sometimes, the problem of either lack of motivation or consuming unhealthy foods starts with emotions. What happened before you ate a whole bag of chips? Was there an emotional event before you ate a pint of ice cream? People often eat to bury or satisfy their emotions and if that describes you, there are things you can do about it. Being aware of the problem is the first step. Keep a food diary, where you log in not only the food you eat, but the emotions you had before you eat them. Sometimes, you’ll find that frustration, sadness or even anger. Recognize that and find alternative ways to deal with those feelings.

  • If you have cravings, sometimes the easiest techniques are the best. Just say “stop” out loud. It can make you break the chain reaction that often ends up with you eating more.
  • Don’t forget to get plenty of sleep. Other types of healthy behavior are important. They can affect your weight loss, too. Inadequate sleep can increase your hormones that make you feel hungry and diminish those that make you feel full.
  • Look at your attitude toward water. Simply drinking adequate water each day can boost your weight loss by making you feel fuller. If you’re substituting water for a soft drink or fruit juice, it also lowers your caloric intake.
  • Be your own best friend. You’ll gain nothing by being negative or having destructive, insulting self-talk. Would you keep a friend that constantly berated you? If the answer is yes, it shouldn’t be. Treat yourself with kindness. Positive self-talk, eating healthy and working out is the best way to start.

For more information, contact us today at Skin Sport Fitness Center