Eat Clean and Train Mean

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It should come as no surprise that you need both a healthy diet and an effective workout plan to reach your health and wellness goals. As the old saying goes, “You can’t out-train a bad diet.” If you want to be healthy inside and out, you have to eat clean and train mean. Some people take this mantra very seriously, but even small lifestyle changes will go a long way.

Use these tips from Life Fitness to clean up your diet and step up your workouts:

Eat Clean and Train MeanWhat is eating clean?
Eating clean involves not only choosing the right foods to eat but also avoiding junk foods and processed foods whenever possible. Try eating more plant foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Also consider choosing grass-fed and free-range meats and poultry, fresh fish, low fat dairy products and raw nuts and seeds.

Shop the perimeter.
At the grocery store, stick to the outer perimeter where you will find fresh fruits and veggies, fish and other lean proteins. Avoid processed foods, boxed food and packages that are full of ingredients you can’t pronounce. Opt for foods closest to their natural state as possible and with the least amount of ingredients. Read nutrition labels and look for ways to reduce your intake of sugar, salt and saturated fat. Swap soda and juice for more water and switch from refined grains (white breads and pasta) to whole wheat.

Get back to cooking.
Instead of buying frozen or boxed meals, cook meals from scratch. Clean, whole foods are easy to prepare and you can make extra to take for lunches and use for leftovers. It may take some extra planning upfront, but there are many blogs dedicated to sharing clean, homemade recipes that will fit into your busy schedule. Extra bonus: Avoiding processed foods and cooking from scratch can save you money in the long run.

Mix up your exercise.
If you truly want to train mean, don’t keep doing the same old routine. Challenge and surprise your body with a different workout, heavier weights, a new class or an exercise machine you never tried before. Change happens when you push your limits.

Take the intensity up a notch and try some intervals. Are you sweating or just reading a magazine while you drone out riding a machine? Make sure your workouts in and out of the gym make you sweat. Go high intensity for short bursts during your workout to get in some interval training. If you are on the treadmill, try running at your fastest pace for a minute, take it down to recover for a minute and repeat. On the elliptical? Bump up the resistance level to work different muscle groups and increase effort. Track your workouts and make consistent plans to increase intensity and you will see progress.

Fit Tips are provided by Life Fitness, the leader in designing and manufacturing high-quality exercise equipment for fitness facilities and homes worldwide.

Hidden Holiday Calories

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From gingerbread cookies to turkey dressing, holiday dinners can be a recipe for disaster if you don’t plan ahead for the extra calories – the average holiday meal can rack up 3,000 to 3,500 calories. Follow these tips from Life Fitness and learn how to enjoy holiday dishes in moderation without setting yourself back.

  • Tip 1: Think before you drink. We often drink more calories during the holidays than we realize. Eggnog, juices in cocktails and cream-based drinks can really add up. Drink in moderation and think about the content of your drink. Try lower calorie options like sparkling water with a lemon or lime, and choose a glass of wine over a sugar-laced cocktail. Make sure you drink a glass of water between each alcoholic drink.
  • Tip 2: Identify healthy alternatives to some of your holiday favorites. Try substituting sweet potatoes instead of mashed potatoes and gravy, pumpkin pie instead of pecan pie, and roasted turkey without the skin.
  • Tip 3: Watch your portions. Load your plate up with vegetables and lean turkey. Eat less of the high calorie foods like casseroles, breads and desserts. A serving is typically the size of a deck of cards or your iPhone. Also try putting your appetizers on a plate to see what you are eating, instead of continually grazing by the table.
  • Tip 4: Select real, fresh foods. Cranberries are full of antioxidants, but the canned kind are packed with sugar and calories. Sweet potatoes have a lot of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and fiber, and you can add flavor such as cinnamon or nutmeg. Desserts made of baked apples or poached pears can be lighter options than typical desserts with candied nuts and chocolate. And don’t forget the pumpkin – pumpkin is a low-fat, low-calorie food with potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C.
  • Tip 5: Make a lower-carb stuffing by using more veggies like onions and celery, or even dried fruits. Use less bread and skip the sausage and butter. You can also add extra nutrients by choosing whole grain breads.
  • Tip 6: Space out your helpings. Take smaller portions and always remember you can have more the next day. Holidays are about spending time with friends and family, so make a conscious effort to take a break between bites and enjoy the conversation.
  • Tip 7: Start the holiday off by walking or running in a Turkey Trot race or just meeting some family members for a bit of holiday exercise. Try getting your metabolism elevated for the day by taking a walk outside or playing a game of flag football a few hours after the holiday feast.

Enjoy the holidays with smart choices and your body will thank you come January 1!

Fit Tips are provided by Life Fitness, the leader in designing and manufacturing high-quality exercise equipment for fitness facilities and homes worldwide. For more information on Fit Tips and other fitness advice and expertise visit www.lifefitness.com or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/lifefitness or join our Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/lifefitness.

New Dietary Guidelines – No Big Surprises

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Federal regulators for the US Government issued new U.S. Dietary Guidelines at the end of January, outlining what is good for us and how to avoid making lifestyle and dietary choices that make us fat and sick.

The gist of the advice: drink water instead of sugary drinks, eat more fruits and vegetables, cut down on foods high in sodium, fat and sugar.

If your response is, "Hello! This is news?!", it echoed our response when we read the new guidelines. But before we discount the new information completely, it is important to note that these are the most specific and detailed guidelines ever issued (the last version was issued in 2005), and that these "official" guidelines that many of us have been aware of for years, may put additional pressure on the food industry to reformulate processed foods, and reduce portion size. With the obesity epidemic not going away any time soon, it is about time that the federal regulators stop skirting the issue of naming what specific foods not to eat due to fear of the powerful food lobby. This report seems to have taken some steps in that direction.

Specific Guidelines Included advice for most Americans to:

  1. Drastically reduce salt intake. The average person takes in 3200 milligrams per day and the recommended intake is 2300.
  2. Eat more fruits and vegetables
  3. Avoid fast food (this will reduce sodium and fat intake)
  4. Substitute healthy oils for solid fats such as margarine
  5. Eat more fish
  6. Drink 1% or nonfat milk
  7. Reduce overall calorie intake (this is the first time the guidelines have ever suggested eating less!)
  8. Exercise more

The guidelines also list some of the worst foods for solid and saturated fats and added sugars:

  • Pizza
  • Regular cheese
  • Soda, energy drinks, and sports drinks
  • Grain based desserts like cake and cookies
  • Dairy based desserts like ice cream
  • Fatty meats like bacon, sausage, and beef
  • Pasta and pasta dishes
  • Fried foods

There is also a focus in the guidelines on getting children to eat better and adopt a healthier lifestyle (i.e. be more active and sit in front of a TV or computer less!) Hopefully the dietary guidelines will trickle down to most school lunch programs which traditionally have provided lunches with very poor nutritional content.

And while none of these points seem particularly earth-shattering or new, that doesn’t mean that we actually follow them with any regularity. The report wisely suggests making small and gradual changes in your diet with the new guidelines as your goal so that you can live with them.

A full copy of the report and an executive summary are both available on the UDSA’s Website: http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/dietaryguidelines.htm

Full Report: http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/DGAs2010-PolicyDocument.htm

Executive Summary: http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/DietaryGuidelines/2010/PolicyDoc/ExecSumm.pdf

Weight Loss. How To Make it Stick This Time

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I remember how excited a client was when we first met to discuss her desire to lose weight. Her excitement was that she managed to lose almost 20 pounds already in just 6 short weeks and her goal was to lose another 20 pounds before her high school reunion in approximately 5 more weeks. Although I always invite enthusiasm to the first meeting as it makes it easier to help motivate the individual, in this case the problem became apparent immediately while assessing her recent weight loss program. Continue reading

8 Thanksgiving Dinner Foods You Can Eat More Of

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It’s countdown to Turkey Day and for most Americans that means preparing and enjoying traditional favorites, including casserole, turkey, rich meats, stuffing and pie.

Considering that the average Thanksgiving meal packs about 3,000 calories and 200 plus grams of fat, you’ll likely stuff a few extra pounds on your frame too. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Tracy Daly, a registered dietician and nutrition educator and counselor at the San Diego State University in San Diego, suggested that by simply eating smarter, you can still enjoy your Holiday favorites, minus the calories and fat.

Continue reading

Why a Healthy and Low Fat Diet is Important

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Everyone knows that weight loss is basically getting the correct “calories in, calories out” formula. A low calorie diet can be the simplest form of dieting, nothing more than reducing the number of calories you consume. Although it is possible to lose weight that way, there can be a problem in just cutting your food intake down. Continue reading

10 Tips for an Olympic Body

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The 2010 Olympics are just days away. Soon we will all be mesmerized by the amazing feats and figures of the athletes. Their muscles carefully sculpted for power, speed and endurance. Wow! What does it take to get an Olympic body? Can the average guy or gal ever hope to look like an Olympic athlete? Of course you can if you are willing to spend the time. Obviously most of us do not have the time to devote to training that Olympic athletes do. But don’t despair, joining the fitness game at any point can produce amazing results. Here are 10 Tips from the experts on how you can get started Continue reading

EATING FOR A “SWEET” HEART

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February is Healthy Heart Month and a good time to review what types of food can help prevent heart disease: Fruits and Vegetables: Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables ensures that you are taking in a wide range of nutrients to protect against heart disease. Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamin C, beta carotene, bioflavonoids and phytochemicals, all of which are essential antitoxidants in the prevention of heart disease. Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Omega 3’s have been found to help decrease triglyceride levels, the rate of atherosclerotic plaque, and arrhythmias. Fish high in Omega 3 include: salmon, sardines, herring trout, mackerel, bluefish, halibut, striped bass, tuna, Atlantic cod, and flounder. Other sources of Omega 3- rich foods include: canola oil, flaxseed, walnuts and wheat germ. Soluble Fiber: Soluble fiber helps to decrease cholesterol levels, therefore working to decrease risk for heart disease. Foods high in soluble fiber inclue: oats, oat bran, pectin, psylim, flax, lentils, legumes, apples, pears and grapes. Nuts: Nuts are high in fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, and essentially fatty acid. Eaten in moderation, nuts can help decrease risk for heart disease. A few examples of some heart healthy nuts include: almonds, walnuts, chestnuts, peanuts, and pisctchios. Folate: Foods righ in folate help to decrease risk for heart disease by helping to regulate homocysteine levels. Green leafy vegetables, orange juice, lentils, whole grain enrighed cereals, and asparagus are great sources of folate. Jeanne Luetke, MS,RD, CLT EveryBody Nutrition Consulting 825 Grand Avenue PO Box 622 Glenwood Springs, CO 81602 PHONE 970-309-0784 Email: JL.RD@LIVE.com