Posts Tagged ‘wellness’

Sugar and Weight Gain

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011
 
Kelly Kalbfleisch, NPTI Certified Personal Trainer
Manager of CoachMeFit Ann Arbor

 

I am angry, angry at sugar! 

Due to an injury, I have been very limited in my workouts for about 11 weeks now.  Being a trainer, I know that when something like this happens, it is imperative that my diet be as flawless as possible (which is extremely hard for a girl who loves to eat).  This is where my hatred of sugar comes into play.

I dislike yogurt, but I thought I would give it another shot (for about the 50th time).  I found a few flavors that looked like they may taste ok.  First one was great.  Second one was great as well.  I started thinking something must be wrong with this yogurt if I actually like it.  For some reason, I didn’t bother to turn this little yummy of cup of goodness around to view the nutrition facts, which I typically do before I purchase any food.  It’s low fat = great. It’s low calorie = great.  Then I see it and mid bite I throw the half eaten yogurt in the trash.  Out of the 25 grams of Carbohydrates 22 grams of them are SUGAR!  WHAT?!?!  I could not believe it.  Well, actually, I could have believed it if I would have been thinking straight.  I blame it on the lack of exercise :)  

This led me to start thinking about all my clients who are struggling with their diet and weight loss.  Low fat and low calorie does not mean the product is good for you.  I found a great article that explains what sugar does in the body and why it causes people to gain weight. 

“Isn’t she sweet?” “Rose are Red, Violets are Blue, Sugar is sweet and so are You.” “Visions of sugar plums danced in their head.” “Come on over here, Sugar.” It is everywhere. Sugar, which used to be a rare treat, is in almost every home today. It has woven its way into the fabric of our society. Grandma’s cookies, birthday cakes, Christmas candy, Valentine’s chocolates, the pies and pastries at every celebration feast. Sugar is everywhere.

So, if it is that prominent it can’t be that bad can it? Well, look at the rise in popularity, and availability, of sugar and you will see a similar rise in obesity rates. The research is still out on the different types of naturally occurring sugars and all of the sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners, so we will focus on refined sugar. This includes white, cane sugar and brown sugar.

First, let’s take a look at what sugar does. Glucose is used by the body for energy. The muscles and organs use it to supply the energy they need to perform their regular functions. In order for the glucose to get to the cells that need it there needs to be a transporter. This is where insulin comes in. It transports the glucose to the cells with the open receptors. Once all receptor sites in the brain, other organs, and muscles are closed the insulin then takes the glucose to storage sites (fat stores.) Most foods can be broken down into glucose for energy but it takes time through the digestive process.

Refined sugar is rapidly converted to glucose in the body. That is why you get a buzz or sugar “high” right after you eat sugar. The problem is that because there is so much sugar in the system after a sugary snack the body cannot utilize all of the glucose so the body releases more insulin to rapidly get the glucose out of the system. The easiest way for the body to do that is to shuffle the excess into fat stores quickly. Then you crash. The body now wants the extra energy, but the energy has been stored away so your energy levels drop to the floor.

So, as you can see the influx of sugar causes the body to quickly take all of the excess energy flowing through the blood stream and put it in fat stores. Not a positive situation for a dieter. Since they are trying to lose fat, not gain it.

So, it’s easy then, just don’t add sugar to my foods and drinks, right? That is only a small piece of it. While this will help, it is not the complete solution. Sugar is hidden in many of our foods. One place people are surprised to find so much sugar is in the low-fat and no-fat foods. To make up for the taste lost by eliminating the fat, food manufacturers dump in extra sugar. A fat free cake may have almost twice as much sugar as the regular alternative. Drinks are another area of concern. Look at soft drinks, they are almost completely sugar, with almost 65 grams of sugar in a bottle.

Sugar can quickly sabotage fat loss efforts, but it may not be as simple as throwing out the sugar bowl. Reading labels is important. Food companies seldom list “sugar” in the ingredients. It will usually be sucrose, dextrose, or some other “-ose” item. Looking at the nutrient breakdown will be a good indicator. Under carbohydrates, companies now have to show sugar and fiber content. If a food has 15 grams of carbohydrates per serving and 12 of those are sugar you might want to find another choice. Don’t let these little white granules destroy your diet. Read labels carefully, avoid extra sugar, and eat a mix of nutrients during your meals for a more even blood sugar level.

article By Jennifer Olsen

My advice: READ LABELS…..always!!

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Plan Ahead to Prepare Your Meals!

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Kelly Kalbfleisch, NPTI Certified Personal Trainer

Manager of CoachMeFit Ann Arbor


What do you eat for breakfast and lunch?  Are you eating on the fly or feel you have no time for lunch?  I’m a firm believer, and I do this myself, in preparing meals for breakfast and lunch on one particular day during the week.  This way, I have everything in the fridge ready for me to grab to take to work.  I’ve fallen victim to the “I didn’t have time to eat” or “I have to eat whatever is fast” excuses.  I am now prepared and even if I only have 10 minutes to eat, I have healthy food instead of take-out.  I found this article that has really good tips to help you get focused and prepared.

“You wouldn’t start your day, go on vacation, or show up to a job interview without a plan, right? So think of meal prep and packing your cooler as your plan for a healthy body.  Your biggest obstacle is going to be managing your time so that getting fit and healthy doesn’t compete with the rest of your commitments.  Prioritizing and planning ahead will actually make life easier and help facilitate your success in the long term.  While it may seem trivial and even stressful at times, preparedness is one of the most important elements of a healthy lifestyle.  Having everything packed and ready to go will be less stressful than leaving your meal choices up to chance and heading to whatever take-out joint is nearby at mealtime.

Try these tips:

1.       Schedule some prep time: A lot of people (including myself) use Sundays as our shop and prep day.  Pick a day when you have a few free hours to buy and prepare your food for the week.

2.       Pack Cook-Free Snacks: Toss these items into your bag for effortless re energizing:

Raw almonds

Protein Powder

Low-fat String Cheese

Chopped Veggies

Fruit

Ezekiel Bread

Hummus

3.       Get yourself a cooler: Invest in a good, manageable-sized cooler (12-can size or larger) for storing your meals and snacks.  Pack it the night before and store in the fridge so you can grab it and go.

4.       Don’t forget your Gym Bag: Being prepared doesn’t stop with meals.  Pack your gym clothes and sneakers the night before, not as you’re flying out the door.”

-Oxygen Magazine

Engrave this word into your brain:  PREPARE

If you need more tips on what foods to prepare and/or pack, ask your trainer!

 

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Shrimp Pesto Pasta

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

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

This week I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes with you.  Enjoy!!

Ingredients:

 4 oz Barilla Plus penne pasta

12–14 medium-size precooked, peeled shrimp

 3 c chopped baby spinach

1 tomato, chopped

3 Tbsp ready-made pesto OR  pesto dry mix and add water and oil.

3 Tbsp crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

2 Tbsp diced walnuts

How to Make it:

1.  Boil the pasta according to the package directions. 

2.  If you’re using frozen shrimp, defrost them by running warm water over them.

3.  Drain the pasta.

4.  Transfer the pasta to a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients, stirring well to help wilt the spinach and mix in the pesto. Makes 2 servings

 

EXTRA CREDIT

Eat with mixed greens and two or three slices of raw tomato, sprinkled lightly with salt and drizzled with some balsamic vinaigrette.

 

Per Serving (Including salad):  490 calories, 27 grams (g) protein, 47 g carbohydrates, 22 g fat (6 g saturated), 8 g fiber, 515 milligrams sodium

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1 more rep?

Friday, July 17th, 2009

 

I don’t want to seem like I am ripping on my own profession here, but why do most people only experience benefits from working out when they work with a personal trainer? Why do I personally get better results when I work out with a partner? Why is it that when we are responsible for challenging ourselves, we usually will stop when things get really hard?

I think it is an innate human trait that we have a perceived level of exertion or pain that we think we are capable of being able to handle. This leads me to ask, what is fatigue? Where does it come from? Is fatigue something that is actually physiologically happening making us unable to lift one more rep, or not run that little bit faster? Or is fatigue a psychological stopping point that most of us impose on ourselves?

As I wrestle with this question and it’s implications to not only my training, but my life, I have instituted a new philosophy with my weight training, that I am trying to find news ways in my everyday life to apply it to. When I do a set of 10 reps and my legs are shot and burned out, I try to flip the mental switch and do 11 reps. When I am mentally tired and think I need to relax on the couch and bills or mowing the yard can wait, I realize it, flip the switch, and go to work.

It’s been a long standing philosophy of mine that most people, myself included, have absolutely no idea what we are capable of. Physically, Mentally, Financially, Spiritually. What areas of your life can you do 1 more rep with? Are you placing self imposed limitations on what you are truly capable of? Try it in your training, often the mind will learn things through the body. Make it a habit next week to push one rep past what you thought you could do. And let me know if situations arise in your everyday life where you flipped the switch and decided to ignore the voice telling you to stop, and you did another rep.

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A Healthy and Functional YOU!!!

Monday, May 18th, 2009

A few posts ago we talked about how in our East Grand Rapids studio, we were doing lots of functional training with a client. We did treadmill hill climbs with his backpack on in order to get him ready for a hiking trip. Well, he is now on that hiking trip, and in his absence I thought I would offer a few ideas on how the rest of us can incorporate more functional training into our everyday workout routine.

When you isolate body parts, as you sometimes do with traditional strength training, you end up training your muscles but not your movements. One way to change that is to look for ways to make your strength exercises more functional:

  • Incorporate free weights: Machines have a place in strength training, but they offer so much support that the body doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain balance and good form. In real life, we don’t have that kind of support. Using dumbbells, bands or cables forces your body to create it’s own support, which leads to a stronger body overall.
  • Use a stability ball: Doing some exercises on a ball, such as chest presses or pushups involves more stabilizers, the muscles that work to protect joints and maintain alignment.
  • Combine movements: We usually do a combination of motions throughout the day. We lunge forward to open a door and then rotate while stepping through. Combining strength exercises together, like lunging forward with a reach or squatting with an overhead press can mimic this dynamic way of moving.
  • Try unilateral exercises: Doing one-legged squats or using one arm at a time for moves like flies or chest presses forces your core to engage as well as your stabilizers, making these moves more functional and challenging.

Just a few ideas on how you can make your training more effective and funtional for everyday life.

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YOU!

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Hello again everybody. It has been two weeks since we updated you on what our ginea pig Mike has been up to. So here is his latest. Mike seems to have followed the last blog entry and bought himself a new pair of shoes. Can you relate? Have you guys upped your water intake and stretching and core work? Keep at it, it will pay off. Stay focused on the prize, enjoy the nice spring weather, and continue becoming the runner, and person, you know you can be.

Week of 4/6 running summary – Mike Ritsema:
 
Monday               Rest
Tuesday               4 miles in 27 minutes @ 152 bpm
Wednesday        4.5 miles in 40 minutes at 135 bpm
Thursday             Rest
Friday                   7 miles in 56 minutes at 132 – 162 bpm & 565 cal.
Saturday              7 miles in 60 minutes at 141 – 143 bpm
Sunday                 Rest
 
Notes & thoughts:
I actually felt better on Saturday for the 7 miles than on Friday!
I do feel like I lack the energy at times.   Not so much the cardio, but just plain energy to burn.
I’m interested in better understanding this energy burn thing.
 
 
Week of 4/13 running summary – Mike Ritsema:
 
Monday               5 miles in 37 ½ minutes & 505 calories
Tuesday               Rest – busy
Wednesday        5 miles
Thursday             Rest
Friday                   8 miles in 67 minutes at 133 – 143 bpm & 828 cal.
Saturday              8 miles in 65 minutes at 143 – 143 bpm & 800 cal.
Sunday                 Rest
 
Notes & thoughts:
8 miles is a long haul alone.  My brother, Randy, helped me along for 5 miles on Saturday.  That helped.
These long runs are work, but building confidence.   I’m developing a nasty blister on the arch of my right foot.
I’m concerned.  I also am amazed by how my heart settle in at about 135 bpm in the middle of a long run. 
I also bought my annual – traditional new pair of shoes today.  That’ll help I’m sure.  I am paranoid about a pair of 9’s this weekend.
 
Michael Ritsema
i3 Business Solutions, llc
accelerating business results

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