Belly Blasters!

September 18th, 2012
 
Jen Rowley, A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer
Manager of CoachMeFit Ann Arbor

We all know it is impossible to spot- train and spot-reduce (training just your trouble areas or reducing a problem area) when we are trying to improve our fitness and health. If that were possible, we would all have our own ideal bodies, right? However, we can make small changes in our lives to make reaching our goals a little bit more fun.

As a personal trainer, I love finding new workouts that I can use at home and in the gym. It is so important to have a variety of exercises in order to reach both long-term and short-term goals. The reward of discovering a successful workout, one that is fun and makes you  sore in all the right places, is instantaneous!

As a “foodie” and vegetarian, I also love finding healthy food choices that fuel my workouts, my mind, and help keep me feeling full without packing on the extra calories. Plus, any findings that advise me to add dark chocolate to my shopping list are definitely encouraging!

Here are some tips for your home, gym, and shopping cart to blast that belly fat and help to flatten your stomach.

At the gym:

Do the bicycle exercise to target ab muscles. Lie with your hands behind your head; alternate touching each elbow to opposite knee.

Work in intervals. People who do 20 minutes of interval training three times a week lose more belly fat than people who do 40 minutes of just cardio three times a week.  Try mixing in 1 minute of jump-roping, jumping jacks, or running in place in between exercises.

Hit the gym and watch calorie intake! Time spent in the gym is not a free pass at meals that day. Keep your calories in check to be successful at tummy trimming.

At home:

Read your labels. Don’t just look for fat and calories, but be aware of things like sugar, protein, fiber, and sodium, too. Sugar should be low, as should sodium. Both of these will increase belly fat and bloat. A good amount of protein–between 9 and 12 grams–will keep you full and satisfied. The fiber content is important–at least 3 grams–to help you feel full and keep you from overeating.

Drink a little wine. Light wine drinking can protect against bell bulge, but make sure to limit yourself to just one daily glass.

Avoid carbonation. Fizzy drinks are full of gas–and you will be, too, if you drink them! The result is a not-so-svelte profile.

In your life:

Get more sleep. People who get only 5 hours of sleep a night are almost twice as likely to be obese as those who get 7 hours. Impossible for you to get a solid 7 hours? Be sure to nix the late-night noshing. Enjoy your healthy dinner at a reasonable hour and then be done. If your feeling hungry, you may just be dehydrated…try some hot tea instead.

Keep yourself hydrated. Drink a healthy amount of water to keep your digestive system moving–about 8 glasses a day. Sometimes feelings of hunger can be mistaken for thirst. Feeling hungry? Drink a glass of water and go for a short walk around the block or office.

Add these surprising fat burners to your shopping list:

-Pears. Rich in fiber–15% of your daily recommended amount–they help you feel full and satisfied. Eat them with the peel on though, as most of the fruit’s beneficial fiber is in the skin.

-Grapefruit.  A compound in this delicious fruit helps regulate insulin, a fat-storage hormone. Eating half a grapefruit before each meal may help you lose weight. They are also great segmented and cut into salads or tossed with shrimp.

-Almonds.  Dieting-study participants who ate almonds daily for 6 months lost 18% of their body fat. They are a satisfying snack with  healthy fats and proteins. And they are great chopped in oatmeal, salads, and yogurt.

-Dark chocolate. High in antioxidants, it may help prevent the accumulation of fat cells in the body. Try a chocolate that is 70% or more cocoa to reap the full benefits…a half ounce has less than 100 calories and will satisfy your sweet tooth, too!

These tips are simple to add to your daily routine and will help keep you on track for more healthful living, whether you are trying to lose weight or just maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Health.com

September, 2012

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Try Tabata!

June 26th, 2012
 
Kelly Kalbfleisch, NPTI Certified Personal Trainer
Manager of CoachMeFit Ann Arbor
 

 

I’m sure most of you are thinking, “What in the world is Tabata?” No, it’s not some crazy new fad diet. It’s an advanced way of getting an amazing cardiovascular workout.

I was introduced to Tabata by one of the trainers here, Ann Marie. I’ve seen her use it for her clients and they seem to really get an intense workout.  Here’s how it works:

“The Tabata Protocol: Supra-Aerobic Cardio

Never heard of the Tabata Protocol? Created by Izumi Tabata, the Tabata Protocol is simply the best supra-aerobic cardio workout every discovered.

“The rate of increase in V02max is one of the highest ever reported.” – Izumi Tabata, Japan

“Fat burn is greater when exercise intensity is high.” – Metabolism

With only 8 minutes (give or take) every 3 days, you can turn your body into a fat-burning super-engine.

When you create an Oxygen Debt (read: heavy panting) your body has burned off all of the blood sugar (glycogen) it has and needs to replace all of that energy. It does this by burning fat. You don’t want to try and burn fat WHILE you are exercising. You want to burn off CARBS as fuel when you are exercising.

Your body has 2 fuel systems, so to speak. There is Aerobic and Anaerobic.

Now, the Aerobic system uses oxygen to burn fuel, and the Anaerobic system doesn’t. But one does not replace the other! What happens is you start out by burning fuel with your Aerobic energy system, and once you go past the point where there is enough oxygen in your system to provide Aerobic energy to your muscles, your Anaerobic system kicks in. Think of this as your SUPRA-AEROBIC zone.

To get there, you need to get your heart rate up past what is typically referred to as the ‘Target Heart Rate Zone’ using common aerobics lingo. You should use a Heart Rate Monitor to measure yourself while doing this program.

You will need to build up your endurance gradually. Therefore, you will not start out doing the Tabata Protocol the way it is typically described.

The original Tabata Protocol requires the following:

  • 5 minutes of warm-up
  • 8 intervals of 20 seconds all-out intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest
  • 2 minutes cool-down

You REALLY need to ease into this workout slowly, and perform it only on cardio equipment, not with weights.

You will find people doing a Tabata Workout with weights or kettle-balls or other types of resistance. Don’t do this.

Your Maximum Heart Rate is normally calculated as 220 Minus Your Age (e.g. if you are 30 yrs. old, your Max. HR would be 190 BPM – Beats Per Minute). If you do the Tabata Protocol like they did it in the above study, you may see your heart rate shoot up over 200 BPM!

You need gradually build your heart and lung capacity over time.

Here’s what you need to do when starting out:

*** Medical Dislaimer ***

See your physician before starting any kind of exercise routine

The entire beginner workout starts out at 7 minutes long. It breaks down to 3 minutes of warmup, 2 intervals of 30 seconds each. (1 minute of exercise) followed by a 2 minute cool-down.

1) Use a Recumbent or Stationary Bike, Versaclimber, Rowing Machine, Elliptical Trainer or other piece of cardio equipment that allows for gradually increasing resistance, speed, etc. and utilizes the large muscles of your legs.

Treadmills are a possibility, but because you have to rest for 10 seconds between bouts of exercise, the only option when on a treadmill is to step onto the sides and stop entirely, because the machine won’t respond quick enough to the required rapid changes in velocity during a Tabata Protocol interval.

2) Wear a Heart Rate Monitor. Record the Max. Heart Rate achieved during your entire workout, and your Recovery Heart Rate (see below)

3) Warm up for 3 minutes at a moderate pace. You can start out with a low resistance and low RPMs (like 60-65 RPMs on a bike) for the first minute, increase the tension on your equipment one notch for the second minute, then increase the RPMs to 70-75 RPMs and/or tension for the last minute, gradually raising your heart rate to a moderate level.

4) Start out by doing 2 intervals:

- First, increase the tension one notch above where your warmup ended at, or more if you find your feet are flying off the pedals

- Pedal (or go) FULL SPEED, as fast as you can, well above 85 RPMs (if on a bike) – even over 100 RPMs – for 20 seconds.

- Pedal slow for the next 10 seconds. If you did it right, you SHOULD see your Heart Rate go UP a little AFTER you stop pedaling so fast. This is because of the Oxygen Debt you created, and it signals your body to get more oxygen to your energy system. You will notice yourself panting – this is your body trying to get more oxygen to your lungs to fuel your energy system.

- Repeat 1 more time (20 seconds all out fast, 10 seconds slow). Notice your Heart Rate go up a little after you enter the slow part of the interval each time.

- After 2 intervals, decrease the tension to 0 (lowest setting) on your bike or other equipment and pedal slow for 2 minutes.

- After your 2 minute cool-down, stop pedaling COMPLETELY for 1 minute and just sit there.

- At the end of this 1 minute, check your Heart Rate. This is your Recovery Heart Rate – record it!

- Record the Maximum Heart Rate you achieved during your workout. This may have occurred during your 1st interval or your last (usually the last). It will PROBABLY be over the Max. Heart Rate calculated by 220 Minus Your Age. If it isn’t, that’s OK, especially when you are first starting out – don’t overdo it.

5) Do this workout 3 times per week – allow yourself at least one full day of recovery between workouts. Your body needs to heal itself, increase the strength of your heart and lungs, etc.

6) When you notice at the end of your next workout (or however many workouts it takes) that your Recovery Heart Rate went down, add another interval (bringing it to 3 intervals per workout).

7) The next time you notice your Recovery Heart Rate goes down after the workout from its previous number, increase the tension on your equipment to make it more intense.

8) Gradually build up your fitness level by first adding an interval, then increasing the tension, when you see your fitness level has improved from one workout to the next (by checking your Recovery Heart Rate).”

-Article from http://tabataprotocol.com/

Below are a couple more links that show specific Tabata exercise routines.

http://www.fitsugar.com/-Home-Tabata-Workout-22825569

http://www.menshealth.com/fitness/tabata-workout/page/2

Try it!!

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Stop Weekend Splurging!

May 25th, 2012
Kelly Kalbfleisch, NPTI Certified Personal Trainer
Manager of CoachMeFit Ann Arbor
 
 

I have to admit, I’m a weekend overeater.  I do so well eating clean during the week and I’m noticing good changes in my body.  Why is it that I lose self control on the weekends?  I know I don’t feel good after I do this, so why is it that I just throw the feelings of progress, achievement and being healthy out the window for 2 days?  I trust I am not alone in this horrible habit.  I decided to do a little research to find a few ideas on how to prevent overeating on the weekends.  Here are some good ones to help us all out:

Here’s a few strategies I’ve implemented to help with overeating on the weekends.

1.  Keep busy with activities – The more I am outside and involved in various activities, the more I do not think about food.

2.  Plan your weekend menu prior to the weekend.  That way you know what you’re planning on eating … it sets the expectations for yourself.  You may want to try grilling out with lean meats and incorporating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.

3.  Try to eat foods that keep you feeling full longer or provides you with enough volume to stave off hunger.  An example is to eat proteins (lean meats, protein bar, protein shake) OR eating watermelon (1 cup is 46 calories) or green beans (1 cup is 34 calories) … so indulge!

4.  Think positively and remind yourself why you are doing this.  It may help to remember that making appropriate choices on the weekend is a way to reward yourself and be kind to you!

5.  If you’re going out to dinner, search online or call ahead for some healthy menu options.  Explain to them you would like to visit their establishment but are on a plan to lose weight and eat healthy.  Ask them what menu items they recommend in helping you succeed.

6.  If it is a dinner party, just enter into a little casual conversation about what the meal plans are.  You have many options.  You can plan your calories accordingly around the menu, you can explain to the host that you are losing weight and need to eat healthy and ask if they mind if you bring your own entree, etc.  Most people are thrilled to help you …

Tips from Ranae on www.medhelp.org

I’m going to try a few of these tips over the holiday weekend!

Happy Memorial Day Everyone!

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Flip the Switch

May 14th, 2012
Kelly Kalbfleisch, NPTI Certified Personal Trainer
Manager of CoachMeFit Ann Arbor

We all get bored with our workout routine once in awhile.  A lot of people don’t switch it up because they aren’t sure what other options they have.  Listed below is a way to “Flip the switch on routine boredom”.

“I have to honest with you, there are days when I’m getting ready for the gym and I’m just not feeling it at all.  This happened the other day, and not a single cell in my body wanted to be surrounded by the same old cardio machines and weights.  So I asked myself, “what would make me happy?”  I love Zumba.  So instead of dragging myself halfheartedly through my regular workout, I popped in a Zumba DVD and danced my heart out.  Not only did I have a blast, but I was dripping with sweat afterwards and burned almost 600 calories!

All too often, we get caught up in the same old routine.  When our excitement for a workout goes down, so does the intensity- that’s when results come to a screeching halt.  For a well-rounded physique and to keep things fresh, incorporate what makes you happy into your workout.”

If you always:

1. Run 5K on the Treadmill:

Hit the park or pavement for some outdoor interval training.  Use landmarks such as streetlights, trees or hills as markers for your sprints.

2. Strength train, then do cardio:

Combine the two with a heart-pounding plyometric routine!  You don’t need anything but an open space and a lot of energy to do burpees, pop squats, mountain climbers or jumping jacks.

3.  Kill an hour on the bike:

Take a spin class!  The intervals and motivating instructor will help you burn way more calories – no distracting TVs!

4.  Do the same ol’ weight routine:

Make a circuit using your favorite moves to elevate your heart rate and save tons of time.

Article by: Miryah Scott-Oxygen Magazine

 

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Earn It!

April 24th, 2012
 
Kelly Kalbfleisch, NPTI Certified Personal Trainer
Manager of CoachMeFit Ann Arbor
 

 

This message stood out to me this week because I’ve been having a pity party about not looking the way I want to look.  I don’t WANT to eat right and I don’t WANT to stay on a regular exercise routine. Basically, I’m saying I don’t want to EARN this body.  How pathetic and lazy!

So often we focus on the things we don’t like, or even hate, about our body and wish we could change them. Guess what?!?!  We can.  It takes work, but we can achieve what we focus on.  If you need help, seek it out and stop sitting around having a pity party.  Earn your body and health.  It is worth it and it will make you proud!!

 

 

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Get Into A Good Habit

April 11th, 2012
 
Kelly Kalbfleisch, NPTI Certified Personal Trainer
Manager of CoachMeFit Ann Arbor

“Motivation is what gets you started.  Habit is what keeps you going” – Jim Ryun

 

Everyone has a lack or increase of motivation at different times in their lives.  What can one do to keep the motivation going after a couple days or even after a week?  The answer is simple, yet sometimes very difficult to do.  Make it a habit!  I found an article with some great tips on how to take something you may want to do, in order to benefit your life, and make it a habit.

18 Tricks to Make New Habits Stick

Wouldn’t it be nice to have everything run on autopilot? Chores, exercise, eating healthy and getting your work done just happening automatically. Unless they manage to invent robot servants, all your work isn’t going to disappear overnight. But if you program behaviors as new habits you can take out the struggle.

With a small amount of initial discipline, you can create a new habit that requires little effort to maintain. Here are some tips for creating new habits and making them stick:

1. Commit to Thirty Days – Three to four weeks is all the time you need to make a habit automatic. If you can make it through the initial conditioning phase, it becomes much easier to sustain. A month is a good block of time to commit to a change since it easily fits in your calendar.

2. Make it Daily – Consistency is critical if you want to make a habit stick. If you want to start exercising, go to the gym every day for your first thirty days. Going a couple times a week will make it harder to form the habit. Activities you do once every few days are trickier to lock in as habits.

3. Start Simple – Don’t try to completely change your life in one day. It is easy to get over-motivated and take on too much. If you wanted to study two hours a day, first make the habit to go for thirty minutes and build on that.

4. Remind Yourself – Around two weeks into your commitment it can be easy to forget. Place reminders to execute your habit each day or you might miss a few days. If you miss time it defeats the purpose of setting a habit to begin with.

5. Stay Consistent – The more consistent your habit the easier it will be to stick. If you want to start exercising, try going at the same time, to the same place for your thirty days. When cues like time of day, place and circumstances are the same in each case it is easier to stick.

6. Get a Buddy – Find someone who will go along with you and keep you motivated if you feel like quitting.

7. Form a Trigger – A trigger is a ritual you use right before executing your habit. If you wanted to wake up earlier, this could mean waking up in exactly the same way each morning. If you wanted to quit smoking you could practice snapping your fingers each time you felt the urge to pick up a cigarette.

8. Replace Lost Needs - If you are giving up something in your habit, make sure you are adequately replacing any needs you’ve lost. If watching television gave you a way to relax, you could take up meditation or reading as a way to replace that same need.

9. Be Imperfect – Don’t expect all your attempts to change habits to be successful immediately. It took me four independent tries before I started exercising regularly. Now I love it. Try your best, but expect a few bumps along the way.

10. Use “But” – A prominent habit changing therapist once told me this great technique for changing bad thought patterns. When you start to think negative thoughts, use the word “but” to interrupt it. “I’m no good at this, but, if I work at it I might get better later.”

11. Remove Temptation - Restructure your environment so it won’t tempt you in the first thirty days. Remove junk food from your house, cancel your cable subscription, throw out the cigarettes so you won’t need to struggle with willpower later.

12. Associate With Role Models - Spend more time with people who model the habits you want to mirror. A recent study found that having an obese friend indicated you were more likely to become fat. You become what you spend time around.

13. Run it as an Experiment - Withhold judgment until after a month has past and use it as an experiment in behavior. Experiments can’t fail, they just have different results so it will give you a different perspective on changing your habit.

14. Swish - A technique from NLP. Visualize yourself performing the bad habit. Next visualize yourself pushing aside the bad habit and performing an alternative. Finally, end that sequence with an image of yourself in a highly positive state. See yourself picking up the cigarette, see yourself putting it down and snapping your fingers, finally visualize yourself running and breathing free. Do it a few times until you automatically go through the pattern before executing the old habit.

15. Write it Down – A piece of paper with a resolution on it isn’t that important. Writing that resolution is. Writing makes your ideas more clear and focuses you on your end result.

16. Know the Benefits - Familiarize yourself with the benefits of making a change. Get books that show the benefits of regular exercise. Notice any changes in energy levels after you take on a new diet. Imagine getting better grades after improving your study habits.

17. Know the Pain – You should also be aware of the consequences. Exposing yourself to realistic information about the downsides of not making a change will give you added motivation.

18. Do it For Yourself - Don’t worry about all the things you “should” have as habits. Instead tool your habits towards your goals and the things that motivate you. Weak guilt and empty resolutions aren’t enough.

-www.lifehack.org

 

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Stretching: Focus on Flexibility

March 28th, 2012
 
 
Kelly Kalbfleisch, NPTI Certified Personal Trainer
Manager of CoachMeFit Ann Arbor
 

 

A lot of my clients, and other people in general, complain about stiff muscles.  My first question to them is, “are you stretching”. The answer is typically no.  Most people, myself included, think of stretching as chore. I’m not sure why!  I know the benefits of sticking to a regular stretching routine outweigh the negative effects of not stretching.  We all just need to make it a part of our daily routine.

You can stretch anytime, anywhere. Just follow these tips to do it safely and effectively.

By Mayo Clinic staff

Stretching may take a back seat to your exercise routine. You may think that stretching your hamstrings and calves is just something to be done if you have a few extra minutes before or after pounding out some miles on the treadmill. The main concern is exercising, not stretching, right?

Not so fast. Although studies about the benefits of stretching are mixed, stretching may help you improve your flexibility, which in turn may improve your athletic performance and decrease your risk of injury. Understand why stretching can help — and how to stretch correctly.

Benefits of stretching

Studies about the benefits of stretching have had mixed results. Some show that stretching helps, while others show that stretching has little if any benefit. The main benefits of stretching are thought to be:

  • Improving athletic performance
  • Decreasing the risk of activity-based injuries

Stretching can help improve flexibility. And better flexibility may improve your performance in physical activities or decrease your risk of injuries by helping your joints move through their full range of motion. For instance, say your Achilles tendon is tight and lacks flexibility. If you do a lot of hill walking, your foot may not move through its full range of motion. Over time, this can increase your risk of tendinitis or tendinopathy in your Achilles tendon. Stretching your Achilles tendon, though, may improve the range of motion in your ankle. This, in turn, can decrease the risk of microtrauma to your tendon that can lead to overload and injury.

Stretching also increases blood flow to the muscle. And you may come to enjoy the ritual of stretching before — or better yet, after — hitting the trail, ballet floor or soccer field.

Stretching essentials

Before you plunge into stretching, make sure you do it safely and effectively. While you can stretch anytime, anywhere — in your home, at work, in a hotel room or at the park — you want to be sure to use proper technique. Stretching incorrectly can actually do more harm than good.

Use these tips to keep stretching safe:

  • Don’t consider stretching a warm-up. You may hurt yourself if you stretch cold muscles. So before stretching, warm up with light walking, jogging or biking at low intensity for five to 10 minutes. Or better yet, stretch after you exercise when your muscles are warmed up. Also, consider holding off on stretching before an intense activity, such as sprinting or track and field activities. Some research suggests that pre-event stretching before these types of events may actually decrease performance.
  • Focus on major muscle groups. When you’re stretching, focus on your calves, thighs, hips, lower back, neck and shoulders. Also stretch muscles and joints that you routinely use at work or play. And make sure that you stretch both sides. For instance, if you stretch your left hamstring, be sure to stretch your right hamstring, too.
  • Don’t bounce. Bouncing as you stretch can cause small tears in the muscle. These tears leave scar tissue as the muscle heals, which tightens the muscle even further, making you less flexible and more prone to pain. So, hold each stretch for about 30 seconds. Repeat each stretch three or four times.
  • Don’t aim for pain. Expect to feel tension while you’re stretching, not pain. If it hurts, you’ve pushed too far. Back off to the point where you don’t feel any pain, then hold the stretch.
  • Make stretches sport specific. Some evidence suggests that it’s helpful to do stretches tailored for your sport or activity. If you play soccer, for instance, you’re more vulnerable to hamstring strains. So opt for stretches that help your hamstrings.
  • Keep up with your stretching. Stretching can be time-consuming. But you can achieve the best benefits by stretching regularly, at least two to three times a week. If you don’t stretch regularly, you risk losing any benefits that stretching offered. For instance, if stretching helped you increase your range of motion, and you stop stretching, your range of motion may decrease again.
  • Bring movement into your stretching. Gentle movement can help you be more flexible in specific movements. The gentle movements of tai chi, for instance, may be a good way to stretch. And if you’re going to perform a specific activity, such as a front kick in martial arts, do the move slowly and at low intensity at first to get your muscles used to it. Then speed up gradually as your muscles become accustomed to the motion.

Know when to exercise caution

In some cases, you may need to approach stretching with caution. If you have a chronic condition or an injury, you may need to adjust your stretching techniques. For example, if you already have a strained muscle, stretching it may cause further harm.

Also, don’t think that because you stretch you can’t get injured. Stretching, for instance, won’t prevent an overuse injury. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about the best way to stretch if you have any health concerns.

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Are you Getting Enough Protein?

March 14th, 2012

 

Kelly Kalbfleisch, NPTI Certified Personal Trainer
Manager of CoachMeFit Ann Arbor
 
 

Protein consumption is one of the most important parts of your daily diet…I believe it is THE most important.  It is the primary ingredient in reaching any fitness and health goal you have set for yourself.  The following article explains what protein is, why you need it, how much you actually need and where to find it in your foods.

Protein: How Much Do You Need?

What is protein? How much protein do we need? Is it possible to eat too much protein? These are important questions for people following a low carb way of eating, who usually are replacing part of their carbohydrate intake with protein.

What is protein?

Protein is one of the basic building blocks of the human body, making up about 16 percent of our total body weight. Muscle, hair, skin, and connective tissue are mainly made up of protein. However, protein plays a major role in all of the cells and most of the fluids in our bodies. In addition, many of our bodies’ important chemicals — enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, and even our DNA — are at least partially made up of protein. Although our bodies are good at “recycling” protein, we use up protein constantly, so it is important to continually replace it.

Proteins are made up of smaller units called amino acids. Our bodies cannot manufacture nine of the amino acids, so it is important to include all these amino acids in our diets. Animal proteins such as meat, eggs, and dairy products have all the amino acids, and many plants have some of them.

How much protein do we need?

Our protein needs depend on our age, size, and activity level. The standard method used by nutritionists to estimate our minimum daily protein requirement is to multiply the body weight in kilograms by .8, or weight in pounds by .37. This is the number of grams of protein that should be the daily minimum. According to this method, a person weighing 150 lbs. should eat 55 grams of protein per day, a 200-pound person should get 74 grams, and a 250-pound person should eat 92 grams.

Do people who exercise need more protein?

Although it is controversial, there is evidence that people engaging in endurance exercise (such as long distance running) or heavy resistive exercise (such as body building) can benefit from additional protein in their diets. One prominent researcher in the field recommends 1.2 to 1.4 grams per kilogram of body weight per day for endurance exercisers and 1.7 to 1.8 grams per kg per day for heavy strength training.

But shouldn’t protein intake be a percentage of total calories?

Quite a few programs and nutritionists quote percentage of calories, usually in the range of 10 percent to 20 percent, as a way to figure out how much protein a person needs to consume daily. This is a rough estimate of a person’s minimum protein needs. It works because typically, larger and more active people need more calories, so the more calories they need, the more protein they will get.

Where this falls down is when people are eating diets that are lower in calories for any reason, conscious or not. People who are ill or losing weight, for example, do not need less protein just because they are eating fewer calories — so anyone on a weight loss diet should not go by the percent of calories method of calculating protein needs.

What happens if we don’t eat enough protein?

Unlike fat and glucose, our body has little capacity to store protein. If we were to stop eating protein, our body would start to break down muscle for its needs within a day or so.

Is it OK to eat a lot more protein than the minimum recommendations?

This is the crucial question for people on diets that are higher in protein than usual, as low-carb diets tend to be. In a review of the research, the National Academy of Sciences reported that the only known danger from high-protein diets is for individuals with kidney disease. After careful study, they recommend that 10 percent to 35 percent of daily calories come from protein. They point out that increased protein could be helpful in treating obesity. There is also accumulating evidence that extra protein may help prevent osteoporosis.

Extra protein can be broken down into glucose in a process called gluconeogenesis. On low carb diets, this happens continually. One benefit of obtaining glucose from protein is that it is absorbed into the bloodstream very slowly, so it doesn’t cause a rapid blood sugar increase.

What foods have the most protein?

Meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, and nuts all have substantial amounts of protein.

By Laura Dolson, About.com Guide
Updated October 04, 2011
About.com Health’s Disease and Condition content is reviewed by our Medical Review Board
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Chocolate Meringue Kisses

February 27th, 2012
 
 
Kelly Kalbfleisch, NPTI Certified Personal Trainer
Manager of CoachMeFit Ann Arbor
 
Serves: 5 (2 cookies)
 
Details:
Don’t be afraid to use a pastry bag — once you get the hang of it, it’s really easy. These cookies will keep for a week, tightly covered. Wait until just before serving to sandwich the cookies together.
 
Tip:  
Make sure your bowl is completely dry and clean of grease; otherwise, the whites will not whip up enough.
 
Ingredients:
  • 2 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup sugar substitute
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, lumps removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Light whipped topping (1 tablespoon per sandwich)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 250°F. Place egg whites and cream of tartar in a clean bowl or electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Whisk at highest speed until whites form soft peaks that hold their shape when you lift the whisk. Add the sugar substitute, 1 tablespoon at a time; whisk until whites turn glossy and form stiff peaks that hold their shape. Do not underbeat. Whisk in cocoa and vanilla until blended.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Fit a large star nozzle into a pastry bag. Fill pastry bag with meringue. Pipe 20 meringue kisses onto prepared sheet. Bake 30 mintues, until crisp and dry. Turn oven off, let cookies cool in oven for 30 minutes. Remove from baking sheet. Sandwich pairs of cooled cookies together with whipped topping.
Nutritional Information:
19 calories
1 g total fat (1 g sat)
0 mg cholesterol
2 g carbohydrate
1 g protein
0 g fiber
11 mg sodium
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10 WAYS TO BOOST YOUR METABOLISM

February 13th, 2012
 
 Kelly Kalbfleisch, NPTI Certified Personal Trainer
Manager of CoachMeFit Ann Arbor

Many of my clients struggle to lose weight, especially those who are middle aged and older.  This week I want to focus on metabolism.  If you’ve never tried to boost your metabolism, I challenge you to do so by making some changes to your diet, exercise routine and overall lifestyle.  It’s amazing how good you will feel when your metabolism changes.

 

Your metabolism is responsible for converting food and drink into energy, according to the National Institutes of Health. Your age, gender and body size all contribute to your unique basal metabolic rate ( BMR). Your BMR is the minimum number of calories your body needs to sustain life while it’s in a resting state. This rate accounts for well over 50 percent of the calories you burn each day. A few alterations in diet and lifestyle may help boost your metabolism.

Aerobic Exercise

You can give your metabolism a boost by performing physical activity for at least 30 minutes most days of the week. Aerobic exercise such as jogging, brisk walking and swimming can increase the number of calories your burn and help to prevent weight gain

Keep Moving

Adopting active hobbies and habits can also contribute to a speedier metabolism. Activities such as gardening, climbing the stairs instead of taking the elevator, standing up while using the phone and parking farther away from the entrances to buildings are simple changes you can make throughout your day to enhance your metabolism.

Lift Weights

Resistance training is another good way to jump start a sluggish metabolism. Using free weights or a weight machine two to four times a week for 20 minutes can increase your resting metabolic rate for several hours after your workout. Keep in mind that muscles burn more calories than fat while at rest.

Say Yes To Breakfast

Eating breakfast helps enhance your metabolism at the start of each new day. Your metabolic rate slows overnight after being deprived of food for several hours. Your cells need to be replenished with nutrients or they will adapt to surviving on less by storing fat in anticipation of future deprivation.

Don’t Starve Yourself

Breakfast isn’t the only meal that is important for a healthy metabolism. Your metabolism works best when you eat several small meals each day. Eating small amounts every two to four hours throughout the day helps regulate your blood and encourage your metabolism to work at a higher rate. When you skip meals, your metabolic thermostat stops working in order to conserve its remaining energy.

Eat Healthy Foods

Eating a nutritious diet that includes plenty of fiber and limited amounts of sugar can help improve your metabolism. Good food choices include whole grains, fish, dark green leafy vegetables, blueberries and tomatoes.

Say No to Sugar

When you eat sugar, you throw your metabolic switch into fat storage mode. High blood sugar levels then lead to increased levels of insulin, our body’s signal to store unused energy as fat.

Spice Things Up

Certain spicy foods, like chili, may raise your metabolic rate. You might want to consider adding a few hot peppers or jalapenos to your meals.

Drink Water

Drinking at least eight, eight-ounce glasses of water every day can contribute to a higher metabolism. Prevention.com says cool water works best because your body burns more calories by working to warm the water to your body temperature.

Get Enough Sleep

When you don’t get enough sleep, you may feel hungry even when you’re full. Sleep deprivation can lead to overeating, which compromises your body’s ability to sufficiently metabolize carbohydrates. This can result in weight gain and make weight loss more challenging. Most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep every night, according to True Star Health.com.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/104922-boost-metabolism/#ixzz1lvxvpojJ  

You will not regret making these changes.  Your body is a wonderful masterpiece and having control over changing it, is one of the most powerful gifts you will ever receive.

 

 

 

 

 

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