Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Nutrition Tips from Texas Fit Chicks Bootcamp

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Here are some commonly asked questions from our chicks ~ we thought we'd share with you!

What would be best to focus on first, nutrition or exercise?
The Answer: BOTH! You can eat your way out of any great workout so it's extremely important that if you are trying to lose weight and create more health and wellness to your life you have to make nutrition a priority. Here are some simple tips to keep in mind. Remember, by small changes you will create big results:

     *Don't drink your calories! Check out our fb page HERE for some great links to articles that will shed more light into this.  I encourage you to drink as much water throughout the day as you can and avoid any all soda.  That may seem unrealistic, but when it comes to your health and your body don't you want to give it your best?

    *Make your calories count! Look for nutrient dense foods. It's recommended to shop the periphery of the grocery store, especially the produce section. Start reading the labels--if you can't pronounce it, you probably don't want to eat it! I love Dr. Andrew Weil's statement, "A dish can only be good as its worst ingredient." With that in mind strive to consume food that is minimally or not processed at all. When food is taken from it's natural state, stripped down and processed and then given a few man-made vitamins to make it consumable it's harder for our body to even recognize it as food. It takes longer for our bodies to digest it and it places a lot of stress on our bodily systems to break it down and absorb the small amount of usable nutrition that it holds.  Keep that in mind the next time you are making your grocery lists. Find places that you can start making some healthier changes--a little at a time.

Maybe you're not worried about counting calories, and that's just fine. Just remember that your body isn't a trash can, so don't put garbage in it.  If you are counting calories consider this: you want aim for 100-250 calories for a snack and approximately 300-450 calories for a meal. These amounts will differ from one person to the next. It will depend on your needs and the amount of exercise you do during the week.

   *Stock your Pantry for success. Fill it your with whole grains, beans, nuts and other nutrient rich foods. I'm not suggesting you just throw out what you have all at once and start fresh. It will be easier on your budget to just start with one or two items each time you shop. Some suggestions of items to start using if you don't already: brown rice, old fashioned/steel oats, quinoa, whole wheat breads/pastas/flours, lentils, black beans, garbanzo beans, all natural-low sodium broths, I could go on and on. This is just a place to start. Let me know if you want more detail on this.

   *Don't forget to eat breakfast! Feed your family  something that will give them the fuel they need for the day-not fill them with empty calories and send their blood sugar spiking. On that note if you have any artificially flavored maple syrup once it's gone do not use it anymore. It does nothing good for your body, filling it with empty calories and sending your blood sugar spiking that will cause you to be hungry sooner, and crave more sweets and calories later in the day. My suggestions for pancake toppings: All natural maple syrup, Agave Syrup, nut butters, or my favorite: plain, nonfat greek yogurt and organic strawberry jam.

    *Make sure you include some protein in your meals and snacks. How much protein? Here's how to Calculate your protein needs:

       1. Calculate your weight in kg: body weight in lb. x .45 = body weight in kg.
       2. Multiply weight in kg by 0.8. The result is the grams of protein you should consume    per day.
                For example: body weight 160lb
                 1. 160lb x .45 = 72 kg body weight
                  2. 72kg x 0.8 = 57.6 grams of protein per day

 *Make Portions a Priority! The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute provides these visual examples to help us better understand what a serving really looks like.

One Serving                                                Looks Like
1 cup cereal flakes                                      fist
1 pancake                                                  compact disk
1/2 cup cooked rice/pasta                            1/2 baseball
1/4 cup raisins                                            large egg
1 baked potato                                           fist
1 cup salad greens                                     baseball
1/2 cup fresh fruit                                        1/2 baseball
1 1/2 ounces cheese                                   4 stacked dice
1 teaspoon margarine/butter                         1 dice
3 ounces meat, fish, poultry                         deck of cards
3 ounces cooked fish                                  checkbook
2 tablespoons peanut butter                         ping pong ball

Here's an easy tip, if you're trying to eat smaller portions use a smaller dish!  And when eating out have half of the meal boxed up when it is served to you to eat later. Restaurants typically serve larger portions than one person really needs.

We'd love for you to share this information with your friends if you found it helpful!
Committed to Your Success
Melody Chandler


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