I want to simplify this as much as possible and clarify that I'm not discussing what workouts to do but instead how your body fuels itself.
You've heard for years that the best way to lose fat weight is to workout as soon as you wake up. But why? Well one of the reasons is that your stomach is empty...so when your body needs fuel during that workout it will look first for any carbohydrates in the stomach to burn. If it can not find carbs, then it will go to the next "source" of fuel which is fat stored in your cells.
Now let's look at the other scenario. You workout right after breakfast. Now image that you just ate a big bowl of oatmeal with fruit. You stomach is full of carbohydrates. Now during that workout, your body is needing some fuel and it finds those carbs first so uses them first. How many carbs are in your stomach? Let's take a single serving of Oatmeal with fruit with an average of 57g of carbs. So you have 57g of carbs (of fuel potential) in your stomach that is waiting for you to burn.
So let's just use some numbers based on a 150lb woman. A one hour water aerobics workout would burn about 5-700 calories and it's research shows that your body can burn about 62g of carbs if they are available. So you eat that bowl of oatmeal and then head to your Aqua Class. You will work off that bowl of oatmeal during an hour of class plus a little more. Another example is if you Walk at a pace of 3mph you will burn about 30g of carbs so only about half of that bowl of oatmeal will be burned and the other half will be stored.
So what if you workout before breakfast (or between meals)? You stomach will be empty and will look for fuel for that workout. Not finding any carbohydrates first, your body will look for "stored fuel" which is stored fat. So instead of waiting to burn fat, your body will start using stored fat first.
This of course is simplifying the whole process and of course we haven't taken into account the amount of stored fat, or your age, or the activity being done but this gives you a simple look at how the food in your stomach, or lack thereof, effects your fat burning. Now of course if you have very low body fat and run for hours at a time, your body will need carbohydrate fuel because your body doesn't have enough stored fat to provide fuel. But that's another blog post for later.
So what if you need to eat something before working out otherwise you feel awful? Then eat a little protein and very minimal carbs. A few almonds or a few bites of grilled chicken are good. Coconut water or milk with a little non sweetened and plain whey protein is good...or just some unsweetened coconut water which gives you some natural electrolytes, and natural carbs but not enough to fill up your stomach.
Remember this: Your body will use carbs, then stored fat and then protein to fuel itself.
DRINK WATER TO LOSE THAT FAT 4/13/13
-Teri Patterson, Fitness Professional
I did a great experiment this week. My scale was showing a 2.6lb weight gain for no reason. I monitor my fat & water percentages every day to see where I'm at. If your scale does not measure these things, then stop. Go get a scale that does this and keep reading.
Before going forward let's talk fat. How do you "lose" the fat? Where do you think it goes? Urine. When your doctor or fitness professional tells you to drink water to lose weight...they are explaining that when the fat is ready to be released from your cells, it has to have that water to remove it. Otherwise it "sits" in those cells and won't leave. The more water you drink, the easier it is for your body to remove that fat.
To function with daily activities you need to see your body's water percentage over 50%. Now remember this is just to keep your body functioning. If I'm drinking more green tea and more water I can keep that number at about 57-58%.
For about a week prior, I saw my weight up and water % down...with my food & activities the same. You know that feeling...get on the scale and the weight goes up for no reason when you're doing thing "right", right?
I quickly realized that my water/green tea was lagging. So on Thursday morning I grabbed my favorite refillable 24oz bottle. I still drink my organic coffee but I refilled that bottle 3 times before heading to the pool to teach class. (water total - 96oz before supper time)
VERY IMPORTANT: Unless you are on a restricted sodium diet by your doctor, it is absolutely necessary to monitor your electrolytes & salt levels. How do you know "you're low?" As we drink more water, you are also peeing out minerals..including salt. If you feel groggy, light headed and/or dizzy..you are probably not getting enough minerals. So on my drive to the pool & mixed up 2 scoops of Beachbody's Energy & Endurance electrolytes powder with some pure Himalayan Salts in about 8oz of water. This replenishes your electrolytes that you lose when peeing out that extra water. Monitor, monitor, monitor how you feel.
Taught class and feel AWESOME! I had 10 fun ladies in class and we kicked it. (water total - 104oz)
Now on to Friday morning...I got on the scale before eating anything and my fat % went down .10the of a percent, my water percentage went UP 2% and my weight? down 1.6 pounds! So what did that tell me?
I "flushed" out more then 1.5lbs of fat, retained more water so my organs & brain can function better and feel more energetic.
So make sure you aren't just watching weight numbers without monitoring your fat & water percentages.
Questions? Want to finally look & feel good? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
This has been a long week..I taught 4 Aqua Power Classes in addition to my "normal" P90X workouts. Oh yea and then add in "work" and Off-Ice officiating at 2 RUSH hockey games. What you say? The week isn't over? Oh lord. So this brings up my Tip For the Week.
During a workout, if your heart rate is so high that you can actually see it pulsing...then take a breather...literally.
I tell my class participants this all the time..but apparently I don't practice what I preach.
During my P90X - Core Synergistics' workout on Wed, which was after teaching my Aqua Power class my heart rate decided to take off like it was trying to start up a large engine.
I even took my time with the workout, not feeling terrible but when it was done my heart rate decided to start beating at about 200 bpm. I grabbed my recovery electrolytes' drink, laid on down with my legs up...and waited this out.
After my heart rate finally came back to normal..I was still weak. I took it easy the rest of the night and tried to understand what just happened.
I discuss nutrition ALOT...I know but this is another example of what you eat will determine how you feel. My diet is simple..no sugars, no grains which means fresh stuff...good stuff but I also have a problem with retaining nutrients to fuel my body.
I wake this morning to find a great article posted by Dr. Peter Osborne about Gluten Sensitivity & Magnesium Deficiency . Before I eliminated Grains from my diet...I remember I told doctor after doctor that it felt like my body wasn't properly using ingested nutrients/vitamins ingested. Like I was malnourished even though I was eating "properly". Well they all would look at me like I was crazy and tell me to work out more. (I've been a fitness professional for over 12 years now...and they still didn't take that info in".
After eliminating sugars & grains from my diet...I know now when I'm functioning on proper nutrients. And I also know when I don't have enough nutrients or they aren't processing correctly.
Stuff like your heart rate goes crazy & you collapse.
Looking back on my week so far...little too much and not enough nutrients. Yesterday (Thursday) I started the day with a large glass of electrolytes & himalayan salt...then drank my super Shakeology Shake and made sure to keep drinking water, electrolytes and proper food throughout the day so I was ready to teach Aqua Power last night.
So this is my tip for the week:
Listen to your body and make sure to properly fuel it.
Image from EveryMom to IronMom Blog.
Today's nutrition question is from Twitter and Rochell Selvey @karesskrafters
When trying to lose weight is it best to put on my calories for breakfast and reduce calorie intake (for the) rest of (the)day?
Step 1: Determine your caloric needs per day. Here is one that is easy and takes into account a variety of activity levels. then calculates how many calories for maintenance, or fat loss.
Step 2: Now you know about how many calories you need per day for your goal of maintaining weight or fat loss. Now there are a couple of different thoughts about when to eat those calories each day.
OPTION A: One is that you simply divide up your calories between about 5 mini meals per day or 3 meals & 2 snacks. What this does is keeps your body running on fuel all day long without getting too high or too low in terms of nutrition.
OPTION B: The other thought is to be heavier on calories around the time of day that you expend the most energy. So if you are a early morning exerciser or you have very active mornings at work, then you would take in higher calories at breakfast or lunch and then a smaller meal at dinner. Just remember to stay at your previously calculated calorie total for the day. It's easy to eat a big breakfast and then eat too much at night.
So what's the "magic" answer? There's a debate about this in that if you workout right away in the mornings and are more active during the mid day, then you would eat "bigger" during the day and ween off caloric intake later in the day...personal I think it depends on what time of day is your busiest. And also what feels the best for you?
For me, I'm not a morning workout type of person. I have Adrenal Fatigue that requires me to sleep longer then the average person and so I workout in the late afternoon when I feel at my best. Also because of my adrenals, I normally don't feel like eating a lot of food right away in the morning. I have to watch my Blood Sugar levels & Insulin to make sure that I'm fueling my body all day long...even right before bed I have to have protein/low carb to make sure my Blood Sugar doesn't get too low at night. Of course this is not the average for most people.
So I'm not answering the questions, am I? I truly believe that every BODY is different. Before testing make sure to have some sort of Fitness Journal/Calender/Phone AP to take measurements, jot down notes, and most importantly to write down how you are feeling along with your meals/workouts/activities.
STEP 3: Test it out. Determine your caloric needs and test out Option A for one week. Measure your water/fat/weight and write it down. With this option you can workout any time of the day as your calories will be spread out evenly all day long. Write in your "fitness journal" how you are feeling each day. Write down your calories, what you are eating and your workouts/activities.
For the 2nd week, test out Option B. Again measure your water/fat/weight numbers and write it down. You should now know your workout schedule and schedule your highest caloric meal around your workout. If you workout after waking, then your breakfast is your largest meal and it gradually decreasing as the day goes on. If you workout in the late afternoon then either choose your lunch or supper as the largest meal. Keep to a schedule for the whole week and again monitor how you are feeling and when you are eating/working out. Don't change anything for one week.
From here you can either tweek what you've found out from the 2 week experiment or you can try a 3rd week of testing where you try either moving your workout time or try moving your heaviest meal. Just make sure to take your measurements before and after your week test.
STEP 4: So how do you feel? You have either tested 2 or 3 weeks now and should have a good handle on what works for you. Look over your Fitness Journal. Did you feel weak or dizzy at any time? Were you able to get through your day feeling satisfied or were you starving my 7pm and wanting to raid the fridge?
Determining when you eat during the eat is as important as determining what you eat. You need to fuel for your activity level. It just begins with total caloric need, and then creating a workout schedule and then making sure your body is getting the needed fuel for the day AND night. Remember your body can't repair and renew itself during the night on no fuel.
Any questions? Thoughts? Tell me in the comments and we can continue this discussion!
US NEWS recently evaluted 25 common diets for diabetics. To view the entire article with full list of common diets, click here.
"Diet is a crucial tool for managing diabetes, and weight loss can help people who are overweight prevent type 2 diabetes. The experts who rated the 25 diets below evaluated each one on its ability to both prevent and manage diabetes. Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), an eating plan endorsed by the government, and the Biggest Loser die...t came out on top."
Interesting that the "DASH" approach was on top with The Biggest Loser diet because, "..in the judgment of our expert panelists.. Its emphasis on whole grains, fruits, and veggies matches the sort of nutritional prescription that diabetics frequently hear their doctors recommend."
So the DASH approach was the "experts" pick because it's what they hear doctors' recommend to their patients. If the doctors had it correct, then the rate of diabetes would be decreasing, not increasing at such an astonishing rate, isn't that correct?
Their take on Paleo eating: "...The Paleo diet lagged behind other ranked diets when evaluated for its effect on diabetes. Without the research to show otherwise, most experts rated it a “minimally effective” way to prevent or control diabetes."
In my opinion, diabetes is not caused by being overweight. Insulin issues & metabolic issues create a lifetime of over reactions by the body when sugar & processed grains are constantly introduced to the already overstressed body. When the body can't "react" properly to insulin spikes anymore, diabetes or even pre-diabetic reactions occur. A diet that eliminates sugar & processed grains will benefit the diabetic in every case. Carbohydrates should be only introduced in the form of whole fruits & veges and in a controlled manner to not over stress the pancreas.
I have been dealing with insulin issues for about 6 years. High cholesterol for no reason, blood sugar problems and pre-diabetes. I came across the Metabolism Miracle diet about 3 years ago which gave me the info about the effects of sugar & carbs on the pancreas and the reasoning behind this. Not long after I began to follow a Paleo Diet which had similar facts...that the body can not handle processed sugar & grains for the same reasons. I will write more about my journey with Paleo eating...but I'll give you the facts:
1. My weight is back to near normal - down 30 lbs.
2. My cholesterol is down from 272 to 183
3. I maintain carbohydrates at about 75g or below per day which keeps my blood sugar steady and my pancreas happy.
4. I'm back to working as a fitness instructor and now playing ice hockey without the terrible fatigue I was experiencing.
So do you have any questions? Use the comments area and let's discuss.
Is It Time to Eat?
By Mark Nelson
It probably is. Because if you're like many people, you don't eat often enough. According to Turbo Jam® trainer Chalene Johnson, you should eat at least five times a day. That includes three meals and two snacks. So why eat so often?
It helps prevent your body from storing fat. I kid you not. Our bodies are actually programmed to store fat, and this trait has helped us humans keep going over the eons. At many stages during our existence, it was critical to our survival. If you look back in time with me, I'll show you why.
Picture yourself wearing an animal skin or scratchy woolen toga, a few smears of mud and no hair product. (Don't feel bad—no one else looked good, either.) If you look in your hand, you'll see that you're carrying a spear that you made yourself. The reason for making it is that you're hungry.
If you throw well, you eat. If you miss, you don't. So being able to store energy in the form of fat will hopefully sustain you until your throwing improves.
This same survival tool remains part of our makeup today.
So the best way to avoid slipping into this fat-storing mode is to keep your metabolism going with small meals and snacks. Eating frequently prompts your body to efficiently keep working and burning the calories.
And if that weren't enough by itself, there's another good reason to avoid long waits between meals.
Eating regularly tames wild cravings. By eating smaller meals on a regular schedule, you'll help your body work comfortably on fewer calories, and stay in an energy (fat)-burning mode. This will help you feel more energetic, and keep your blood sugar stable, which will reduce carb cravings before your next meal.
Now let's say you need even more help controlling your cravings for the wrong stuff. What do you do?
Start your day with the right stuff. Chances are, you don't eat in your sleep. So when you wake up, your cells are ready to absorb essential nutrients and, in particular, protein.
Throughout the night, your body uses excess or circulating proteins to replenish your muscles, hair, skin, and nails. In addition, your body uses proteins to create millions of antibodies for defense against bacteria, which often attacks while you sleep. That's why eating a healthy breakfast packed with protein is good for you.
Starting your day with eggs, nonfat cottage cheese, a P90X® Peak Performance Protein Bar, or Shakeology can help you get a good serving of the protein and nutrients you need.
And a good rule of thumb for the timing of this meal is within an hour of waking up. If that's not possible, have a meal or snack as early as possible to get your metabolism revving. So what about the rest of your day?
Lift weights, then lift plates. Another smart time to eat is about 30 to 45 minutes after a workout. At this time, the enzymes responsible for energy production are in high gear, and the energy-storing hormones within our blood are suppressed.
This means less energy will be stored as fat. Carbs will be immediately taken up to replenish the low glycogen stores caused through exercising. Protein will be used for the recovery and growth of new calorie-burning muscle tissue. And the best news is, your body will burn most of the nutrients from the meal to fuel these reactions. That's why eating after a workout is a good idea.
Having protein late in the day, for perhaps your last meal or snack, will also provide your body with the protein it will use overnight to revitalize your muscles, hair, nails, and antibodies.
Of course, remember portion size. If you're not sure how much that might be, use the palm of your hand as a guideline. It's a good trick, since you probably have your hands with you.
As with most things in life, timing is everything. So when you're trying to drop pounds, don't just think about what you eat—think about when. This will enable you to get more nutrients from fewer calories. Of course, the fewer calories you eat, the easier it is to lose weight. So eat right. On time. On schedule.
10 Tricks for Losing Those Last 10 Pounds
By Whitney Provost for Beachbody 1/27/11
At the start of a new fitness program, you clean up your diet and hit the workouts, and the weight seems to fall off. But when you get down to the last 5, 10, or 15 pounds you want to lose, the scale may suddenly refuse to budge. You might be tempted to drastically reduce calories or increase the amount of time you spend working out. Don't do it. Instead, here are some simple tricks to help you lose those last 10 pounds.
Cutting calories too low will cause your body to think it's starving, and it will hold on to the fat you're trying so hard to lose. Working out longer will cut into your personal time and probably won't help you drop those last few pounds anyway. Instead, try making these tweaks to your program.
1. Clean up your diet. Once you find a diet that works for you, stick to it. Researchers at Tufts University followed 160 people on four different weight loss plans and found that the type of diet participants were on didn't matter as much as the participants' willingness to stick to their diets. If you've been dieting for a while, you might have become a little lax with your food choices and portions, so tighten them up again. To lose those last pesky pounds, stick to unprocessed foods (the kind that don't come in a box) and choose lean protein, vegetables, fruit, and whole grains. Keeping a food journal will help you track everything you eat and get your calories under control.
2. Cut out some carbs. A simple, short-term trick to losing weight is to cut back on carbs until you're at your goal. Eat lean protein and vegetables at every meal and limit carbs to before and after your workouts, and you'll probably see the scale shift rather quickly. Easy, low-carb meal ideas include egg-white omelettes with vegetables, Whey Protein Powder shakes made with water, salads with lean protein (chicken, tuna, or turkey), and grilled or broiled lean beef, poultry, or fish with vegetables.
3. Bump up the intensity of your workouts. No matter what workout program you're doing, you will lose weight faster if you kick up the intensity. Jump higher, squat lower, and increase the weight you're lifting to burn more calories, rev your metabolism, and stoke the fat-burning fire. Whether you're working out to Slim in 6®, ChaLEAN Extreme®, P90X®, or any other Beachbody® fitness program, you'll bust through a plateau by putting out more effort when you exercise.
4. Change your exercise routine. If you've already increased the intensity of your workout program and still find that your weight loss has slowed, it might be time to try something different. When you perform the same exercises over and over, your body becomes more efficient at them. As a result, you use less energy and burn fewer calories. By starting a new fitness routine, you'll shock your muscles, reignite your metabolism, and get the scale moving again. Check out TeamBeachbody.com to find the workout that'll take your weight loss to the next level.
5. Stand up. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic found that lean people spend 2 more hours per day on their feet than overweight people. Participants in the study who stood, paced, and fidgeted burned as many as 350 extra calories a day and were much leaner than those who didn't move as much. Get up from your desk at work, talk on the phone while standing, and stay on your feet in waiting rooms—the simplest effort will yield an extra calorie burn that may help you shed those remaining pounds.
6. Eat a little less. When your body gets smaller, it requires fewer calories to function properly. A 165-pound woman who works out three to five times a week may require 2,300 calories per day to maintain her weight, but the same woman at 125 pounds may only need 2,000 calories for maintenance. Trying to lose additional pounds in your lighter body means cutting back a little more. You do not need to make radical changes, however; if you're already increasing the intensity of your workouts and eating a clean, whole-foods diet, you could probably see the scale move with a modest 100-calorie reduction per day.
7. Zigzag your calories. Cycling your calories, also known as zigzagging, is the process of eating more on certain days and less on others. If you always eat 1,800 calories, try eating 1,500 calories one day and 2,000 the next. As long as you create a weekly deficit, you should see the pounds drop. Much like shocking your muscles into working harder by introducing new exercises, it's possible to shock your metabolism by zigzagging your calories.
8. Drink more water. You may not realize how important water is for weight loss—it's not just a tool to help you eat less. Being properly hydrated will balance your energy levels, which allows you to exercise with intensity. (Have you ever been so thirsty during a workout that you couldn't perform as well as usual?) Drinking enough water may also increase your metabolism and promote muscle building—a well-hydrated body can more efficiently repair and build muscles. On the other hand, being dehydrated encourages muscle breakdown. So drink up, especially since you are exercising regularly.
9. Relax. Believe it or not, you may be trying too hard to lose weight. If your workouts are very intense and your diet is too strict, you could overtrain and burn out. Your mind and body will just not respond in the same way when they're tired. Muscles need rest to repair and grow, and sometimes your brain needs a break from constant calorie counting and worrying about the last few pounds. Instead of becoming frustrated and diving into a box of cookies, try to relax and reduce the intensity for a little while. You may be surprised to find the scale moving again when you give your mind and body a rest.
10. Reevaluate your goal weight. First, congratulate yourself on getting to this point. Losing weight is not easy, and you've already accomplished a great deal—so enjoy your success. The next step is to ask yourself if the "magic" number on the scale is really the best weight for you. Perhaps you've lost fat and gained a lot of muscle; your new hard body might be healthier and happier with a few more pounds on it. Many people want to weigh the same as they did in high school or college. What if you're much more fit and muscular now than you were in those days? You may realize that the number on the scale today is perfect for you.
6 Super-Healthy Exotic Fruits
By Denis Faye
Just when you thought it was safe to sit back, peel a banana, and put the whole exotic fruit rigmarole behind you, we're back with a new list of six more little bundles of sweet, exotic fruity goodness. Maybe you've heard of them, maybe you haven't. Either way, they're delicious and nutritious, and your friends will think you're, like, totally fancy if you bust them out at your next shindig.
It may take a little searching, but most of these six exotic fruits are available at your local grocery store. If you're lucky, you might even find a few of them at your local farmers' market. So put down that apple, get your exotic on, and enjoy!
Teri Lang Patterson
Certified Fitness Instructor & Coach specializing in Aqua Power Training, Kickboxing, Weight Training & Yoga.
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