Thursday, March 8, 2012

March is Nutrition Month

All the exercise in the world will not amount to much if you don’t eat properly. Sure when you’re young you can get away with a lot more of bad eating habits, but most people continue on with them gaining unwanted fat in the process. On the flip side, you can be very careful on what you eat but that does little to increase your lean muscle tissue and metabolism, or reshape your body to improve your personal appearance, or strengthen the body to keep you young and injury free.
Good Health is based on two factors: (1) active living (physical fitness) and (2) optimal nutrition.
As March is Nutrition Month, I am going to talk a bit about Nutrition.
Healthy weight management is based on sound nutrition principles. In addition to providing energy, the carbohydrates, fat, and protein you eat provide raw materials for building the body's tissues and regulating its many activities. The challenge is to combine a balanced diet of favorite foods with a nutritional diet that will supplement your activities effectively.
Did you know that you need to run 2 miles to burn off a bottle of Coke?
Here’s the simple truth - OVER CONSUMPTION MAKES YOU FAT!
Most people say understand the concept of “Calories In versus Calories Out”.
Yet here’s a couple of interesting facts;
1) All calories are not equal. Eating calories that are processed and packed with refined sugar is not the same as eating the same number of calories that come from lean meat and fresh vegetables.
2) Diets don’t work - they are temporary solutions. Going on a diet, not only fails to teach you how to solve the underlying problem, but also destroys your metabolism. Your body thinks it is starving and goes into Survival Mode. This makes your body more efficient in storing FAT and leads to muscle loss which then slows your metabolism.
3) Do you know how much you should eat daily? Health Canada’s guideline for a sedentary male is 2,350 calories per day whereas a sedentary female is 1,800 calories. Now that’s if you don’t do anything during the day! Add 200 calories if you have a low activity level and go from there…..
If you aren’t eating enough you’re prone to the previous mentioned fat storage.
4) Most people overstate their physical activity level. If you are sweating and breathing heavy and are focused you are on the right track. And, if you are one of those that think that they can work a bit harder so they can go out and supersize dinner you are setting yourself up for failure.
5) Carbs are not created equal. Our society is bombarded with the convenience and shelf-life of so-called “healthy grains” Refined carbs, wheat and corn make up the majority of a person’s diet. Although Health Canada recommends 45-65% of calories coming from carbs, the focus should be on fruits and vegetables and not wheat and corn products.
In Dr. William Davis’s book,”A Wheat Belly Bonanza, he explains that modern-day wheat is just a strange mutation of the wheat of our grandmother just 50 years ago. The genetically-altered version is especially dangerous to our health because of the impact on blood sugar (much greater than even table sugar), massive weight gain (thus, the title of this book), to the development of diabetes, heart disease, and dementia. And we’re lining the grain industry’s pockets to boot.
6) According to the USDA, here are the 6 Top Herbs that are Rich in Antioxidants (i) Oregano (ii) Dill (iii) Cinnamon (iv) Rosemary (v) Thyme and (vi) Peppermint. These oxidants help neutralize free radicals that are responsible for premature aging, cancer development and cell damage. These herbs have more antioxidants than many of our fruits and vegetables!

Now, I’d like to bring up some nutrition myths, fallacies, and lies.....

“Low-fat products are better for you."
Most "low-fat" products have added sugar to substitute for this low-fat product. Read the label. And stay away from diet sodas. Your body does not know how to digest aspartame as it is an unnatural source. It’s also a trigger for migraines.
"Fat causes heart disease."
Totally false. A LOW-fat diet increases harmful fats in the blood 3 times more than a high, saturated fat diet. Glycation causes heart disease. When a glucose molecule bonds to a protein molecule, its that increased size of the LDL fat particle that results in the plaque build up in your arteries. Sugar (carbs) is the catalyst for this and not fat! Dr. Aiken’s may have been on to something, but then again the Inuit eat mostly saturated fat and have the lowest incidence of heart disease.
"Egg Yolks are bad for you"
FALSE! Although full of cholesterol (one large egg has 185 mg of cholesterol, ½ of the daily recommended cholesterol intake), egg yolks are full of nutrients that is actually better than most multi-vitamins. Egg yolks contain fat-soluble vitamins and essential long-chain fatty acids. Buy organic free run eggs that are free from drugs and antibiotics. It may cost you an extra bit for a dozen but you’ll definitely notice the difference. The yolk looks brighter and it tastes much better.
It should be pointed out that cholesterol is necessary for you to be healthy and by itself, does not cause heart disease. Your liver regulates how much cholesterol you produce. If you eat more cholesterol, your body will produce less and vice versa.
“High Sodium intake causes hypertension.”
Wrong – salt does not cause high blood pressure. Unless you are salt sensitive, lowering sodium intake isn’t going to do much. In fact a higher sodium intake helps to increase blood flow to the working muscles. A proper workout drink will include sodium as it helps with protein synthesis and recovery. In addition, it helps in the removal of fatigue toxins like lactic acid.
Here’s a couple of major rules to follow:
1) Eat abundantly -Fruits and vegetables, Lentils, Dry Beans
2) Eat moderately -Brown & wild rice, whole grain breads & cereals, whole wheat pasta
3) Eat sparingly – Highly processed carbs, Refined breads,cookies, cakes, candy, white rice Potatoes Potato chips. If it comes in a box and you can’t pronounce the ingredients don’t eat it.
4) Use the 85/15 RULE. - Eat healthy 85% of the time and you can each what ever you like the other 15%.
5) Eat small, frequent, evenly spaced meals throughout the day – and eat a good breakfast!
6) Stay Hydrated - As a rule, drink at least eight glasses of water a day.

If you are focused on losing weight, the best type of workouts for fat loss is fastpaced, full body resistance training. This is one of the main reasons why I emphasize working the major muscle groups in my bootcamps. If you aren’t exercising 5 or 6 times a week, you’d better forget the “Sexy Booty” and “Abs of Steel” workouts. And even if you are, remember that if eat poorly you are sabotaging your hard-earned efforts. So when it comes to nutrition – YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT!

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