Werk it

That’s right put in werk, move your bum, go wizzerk,

Eat your salad, no dessert, get that man you deserve.

-Kanye West

Well, despite what judgement I may have cast here, I know a lot of people really are interested in getting into shape for summer. The weather is nice, and people are out running, biking, hiking, climbing, and all that good stuff. So I have decided to do a little segment highlighting physical activity, weight loss, and sports nutrition! Hurray! Everyone’s favorite topic! I am mostly excited to include lyrics from The Black Eyed Peas, Pink, and the Ying Yang twins that are relevant and inspirational.

Today I thought I would start out by discussing fitness and it’s health implications. As we all know a calorie is a form or expression of energy. We need to consume calories daily to maintain a balance for the calories our bodies expend each day. Our bodies expend calories in 3 areas: basal metabolism, thermic effect of food, and physical activity.

Here is a helpful pie chart to help you understand what percent of energy is used where. Basal metabolism or resting metabolic rate is the amount of energy our body needs to function. Ya know, like to allow your heart to beat, kidneys to flush, lungs to expand, liver to detox, and eyelids to blink. Typically this takes about 800-1200 calories. Thermic effect of food is the amount of calories needed to digest and break down your meals. Did you know you technically burn calories (aka use energy) to digest what you eat? Nifty! And then there is physical activity, no brainer here, you burn calories when you work out. So can you guess which area is variable? If you guessed physical activity you are correct and please message me your address to redeem your prize! This folks, is why physical activity is important when it comes to weight maintenance. If you are in the market to loose weight, or eat more delicious foods because you love it and don’t want to gain weight, then learn to expend more calories through physical activity!

Some other benefits of physical activity include:

  • More restful sleep. I think more than half of people have sleep problems, so check you PA levels! (physical activity)
  • Nutritional health. Obviously
  • Optimal bone density and body composition
  • Resistance to colds and infectious diseases
  • Strong circulation and lung function
  • Lower risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some cancers
  • Lower incidence and severity of depression and anxiety
  • Stronger self-image
  • A longer quality life!

And if that list isn’t convincing enough, do it for the endorphins. Hormones are the real drugs, let’s get high on life! But seriously, it’s amazing how many people recognize that a good work out is the cure for unhappiness, stress, and anxiety, every single time.

Please visit my favorite website that I have linked to at least 3 times on this blog : choosemyplate.gov/physical-activity to learn more and find out different types of activities from moderate to heavy. The old MyPyramid program also gave these great tips to help you achieve fitness:

EVERY DAY – Be as active as possible

  • Use the stairs
  • Mow grass, rake leaves, garden, shovel snow
  • Walk or bike to class, work, or shops
  • Scrub floors, wash windows (yeah guys, you really should be doing this everyday..)
  • Walk your dog, cat, rabbit, or snake
  • Wash and wax your car (again, this should be a daily routine anyway)
  • Play with children

4-6 DAYS/WEEK- Engage in moderate activity

  • Aerobic actives such as: running, biking, swimming, cross-country skiing, dancing, power walking, jump roping, roller-blading, rowing, curling, rigorous canoeing, fencing, Insanity¬©
  • Sports activities such as: soccer, basketball, baseball, volleyball, tennis, football, racquetball, softball, etc.

2-3 DAYS/WEEK- Engage in strength and flexibility activities

  • Sit-ups, push-ups, curl-ups, pull-ups
  • Weight lifting
  • Stretching and yoga
  • Leisure activities such as golfing, bowling, table tennis, horseback riding, dancing in your bedroom, and leisure canoeing

DO SELDOM- Limit sedentary activities

  • Watch TV or movies
  • Leisure computer time
  • (Reading was not on this list, so I guess do that as often as you want…)

Good luck getting started on your fitness ventures! Consider making a SMART goal for yourself and check back often for more sports nutrition tips!

I’m so glad I am an army wife, cuz this is exactly what I look look like…

Ditch the Crash Diet forever

Raise your hand if you have ever tried a fad diet? Don’t know what I mean? Try South Beach, Blood Type, Atkins, Total Body Makeover, Fat to Fab… ring a bell? I’m going to guess everyone has, even if it was for only 2 hours.

Well I will let you in on a pretty nice secret. They.Don’t.Work. Wanna know why? A little thing called:

Intuitive Eating

2 things I love most about this book. One, it is actually written by dietitians (is it just me or is it weird that hardly any nutrition books or diets are actually written by dietitians?), and two, it is a an eating plan (not a diet) that is totally intuitive.

The first time I read this book I thought it was written for me. It describes perfectly different complexes we all seem to have with food. Like why we really gain 15 pounds our freshman year, and why kids are the only ones who seem to be able to eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full. I won’t babble too much about this book but I will say it is for everyone. Whether you struggle with over-eating, under-eating, or chronic dieting.

Healthy eating is the ability to see a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies and either eat a few because they are so delicious without feeling guilty, or eat only one and know they will still be there later.

 

I didn’t get that from the book, but it embodies a lot of the ideals of this book.¬† And isn’t true that that’s a lot harder than it should be? Anyway, I recommend this book to everyone I talk to. And the best news is, it’s only $10 on Amazon.

 

Resolutions

So although I am 23 days past the new year and it is highly cliche to start my first post with resolutions, I am jumping on the band wagon anyway. I was inspired by this article here and appreciated it because it was written by the National Institute of Health (these guys are a big deal). And although very simplistic, it reminded me of a concept I learned during my Nutrition Counseling and Education course at USU.

The concept is SMART goals with SMART standing for:

Specific is when you would ask yourself the who, what , where, why, when, how questions. Instead of saying ” I will get in shape” say something like ” I will go to the gym every Monday Wednesday Friday from noon-1″ or something like that.

Measurable has to have concrete criteria and this is where the quantitative results would come through. Are you going to track your progress to get in shape by the number of pounds you loose, the number of miles you can run, or the seconds you can hold your breath under water ? (I don’t know if that’s really the best way to track fitness, but you get the idea).

Attainable is the ability to reach your goal. If you prioritize your goals and pick something that is very important or motivating to you, then you can attain it. As time goes on and your goal becomes closer to being attained, it won’t be because your goal changed or shrunk, but because your attitude and determination has changed and grown.

Relevant means being real folks. One of my personal pet-peeves is when people tell me they are going to loose 20 lbs in a month so they can fit into a certain dress for an event or something. NOT gonna happen! Sorry, here’s a tissue. Pick small goals that can be achieved over a short period at first, so that you can feel confident in your goal attaining abilities, but also don’t shoot too low because low goals mean low motivation. Consider the best plan for yourself.

And finally, Time Bound. To me this is the most important step. Open ended goals mean a endless amount of time to accomplish them. If it’s a fabulous pair of jeans you are trying to fit into, they aren’t going to even be in style 8 years from now when you finally reach that goal! I learned this concept when I was training for a half marathon. I had a certain amount of miles I would have to run by each Friday and I either did or didn’t do it. and unfortunately for me, one week I didn’t make my miles quota and never ended up running the race. I really need to work on my SMART goals too apparently…

I apologize that this post isn’t as fun and flavorful (no pun intended) as my future ones will be, but I think it’s an appropriate place to start. I make it a high priority when I do nutrition consults to make sure my client leaves with a SMART goal, and then if I have a follow-up appointment with them we can use the goal to really determine if it was accomplished. It eliminates the grey areas for both myself and the client. So I hope you will keep this in mind as you make health and nutrition goals for yourself. Now I am off to the gym on a Monday from 5:30-7, so that I can sweat 3 oz, feel endorphins afterwards, and probably not loose any weight this one day, but if I keep going until Friday maybe I can loose .8 lbs. How’s that for a SMART goal?