Simplifying PRE– and POST- Workout Nutrition for Weight Loss

August 20, 2014 By: office Comments Off

Written by Sonya Luisi, M.S. Dietetics and Nutrition

Pre & Post Workout Blog

What you eat before a workout is imperative for fueling your workout and maximizing your performance.

What you eat after a workout is crucial for optimizing the recovery process and gives your body the energy it needs to recover quickly and work more efficiently.

Ensuring that you have the proper PRE- and POST- workout nutrition will certainly play a positive role in your overall results.

What should you eat BEFORE a workout?

The last meal you eat before your workout is meant to give your body all the energy it needs to ensure optimum performance. Your pre- workout meal functions to:

  • Decrease muscle glycogen depletion
  • Decrease muscle protein breakdown
  • Decrease post workout cortisol levels

According to the Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutritionist group, your pre-workout meals should be a combination of low-fiber carbohydrates without added sugars and protein.  Aim to make your meal or snack with well-tolerated foods, which means avoiding fast foods, pasta buffets, high fiber products and spicy foods. Aim to eat these about 45 minutes to one hour before your workout though food intake timing may differ for each individual depending on your body’s ability to tolerate specific foods before activity.

Stay hydrated with water and avoid carbonated beverages before physical activity. Sports Dietitians suggest aiming for 16 ounces of water two hours before your workout.

For a quick carb fuel-up to your next workout, chose an apple and with all-natural peanut butter. For a PRE- workout meal option, mix salad greens with assorted veggies and a hardboiled egg, with a drizzle of olive oil and vinegar, or your favorite low-fat dressing.

What should you eat AFTER a workout?

Immediately after a workout the body needs to repair, replenish, recover and adapt.  Your post- workout meal is a first defense for maintaining and building lean body mass, which increases our metabolism and helps us burn more calories throughout the day. In addition, a post workout meal will:

  • Decrease muscle soreness and fatigue
  • Decrease muscle protein breakdown caused by exercise
  • Decrease cortisol levels
  • Replenish depleted glycogen levels from exercise
  • Increase overall muscle protein synthesis

A post- workout meal should be a combination of protein and carbohydrates. Aim to consume these within twenty minutes post- workout when our body is primed and ready to accept protein and carbohydrates so it can immediately begin processing the nutrients to accomplish all the above functions.

Put one medium banana, one cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk and ice in a blender for a quick post-workout snack. For a post workout meal, have “breakfast for dinner”: scramble one whole egg and two egg whites with a handful of chopped spinach, bell peppers and ½ sweet potato, diced and add one ounce of low-fat cheese or avocado.

How do you incorporate PRE and POST workout meals into a weight loss plan?

Menu planning will be the most important tool to incorporate into your daily activity to ensure your pre and post workout meals are not “extra” calories but are part of your total daily energy needs. For example, if your estimated energy needs are 1500 to 1700 calories per day, then the calories from the meals and snacks before and after your workout need to be part of those 1500 to 1700 calories – not in addition to them!

Sources:

http://scandpg.blogspot.de/2012/03/eating-for-exercise.html Accessed July 19, 2014.

http://www.acaloriecounter.com/diet/pre-and-post-workout-meal/ Accessed July 20, 2014.

http://www.muscleandfitness.com/nutrition/gain-mass/sponsored-post-pre-and-post-workout-nutrition-simplified Accessed July 20, 2014.

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Fun and Tasty Watermelon Recipe!

August 18, 2014 By: office Comments Off

Written by: Kori Mann, Nutrition Intern

watermelon recipeWhen the summer heat hits and everyone is looking for a way to stay cool, not much can beat an ice cold slice of watermelon. Originating from southern Africa, watermelon proves more nutritionally dense than most would think. 92% of the fruit is water and it contains antioxidants including vitamin c and lycopene; the latter is involved in cancer prevention research, particularly in regards to prostate health. Two cups of diced watermelon is about 80 calories, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 270 milligrams of potassium, 30 per cent of the Daily Value for Vitamin A, and 25 per cent for Vitamin C.

The water and potassium content make watermelon a great post-workout snack. Though the fruit alone is delicious, try adding pieces to a salad with some balsamic vinegar, blending some into a fruit smoothie, or making a surprising salsa to go with your meal. Even adding watermelon to a stir fry is a fun way to bring in color and natural sweetness to a dish! Save money and buy your melon whole instead of pre-cut; look for a fruit that is heavier than it seems with a cream-colored patch on the side. Info gathered from watermelon.org Try serving this with your next meal:

Watermelon Gazpacho

Recipe adapted from “A Couple Cooks” website

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • About 8 cups watermelon, cubed
  • 1 medium cucumber, diced
  • 1 medium tomato, quartered
  • 2 medium shallots, peeled and quartered
  • 1⁄4 cup loosely packed basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • A few dashes hot sauce (optional)

Directions

Place the watermelon into a blender or food processor and blend. Pour into a bowl or container, and set aside. Place the cucumber, tomato, shallots, and basil leaves into the food processor. Blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into the container with the watermelon and mix them until fully combined. Stir in the red wine vinegar, the salt, and add the hot sauce. Chill for 2-3 hours before serving.

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Nutritious Recipe Spotlight: Chia Seeds

May 13, 2014 By: office Comments Off

Nutrition Spotlight: Chia Seeds

chia seeds

Chia seeds are tiny black and white seeds that have recently caught the health industry by storm, and with good reason – These little seeds are a nutrition powerhouse. With origins in Mexico and South America, chia seeds were once thought to have supernatural powers. They are in fact excellent sources of several nutrients; just 2 tablespoons (one serving) contains 138 calories, 9 grams of heart- healthy fat (excellent source of omega-3), 5 grams of protein, and 18 percent of the Daily Value for calcium. The taste is very similar to flax seeds, mild and nutty, and chia can be used similar to flax.

If you’re looking for a nutritious recipe and simple ways to boost your eating plan, try sprinkling ground or whole chia seeds over foods like yogurt, cereal, salads, mixing them in smoothies, or even use as a replacement for eggs in baked goods. One very unique property of chia seeds is the ability to form a gel when mixed with liquid. In just a few minutes, a smoothie will thicken into a creamy texture; you can even make jams and pudding out of them.

Info gathered from Food and Nutrition Magazine, Jan/Feb 2014 Issue

Here’s a nutritious recipe to try:

Lemon Chia Pudding
Makes 4 servings
Recipe from Food and Nutrition Magazine, Jan/Feb 2014 issue

Ingredients:
• 1 TBS olive oil
• 2 TBS maple syrup
• 2 TBS granulated sugar
• 1 large lemon, juice and zest
• 1 cup nondairy milk, such as coconut or almond
• ¼ cup chia seeds
Directions:
Blend together the olive oil, maple syrup, sugar, lemon zest and juice, and almond milk. Add the chia seeds, whisk together and let sit for 15 minutes until gelled.

Amber Ketchum, MDS, RD
Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts

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Fats: A Necessary Evil?

April 18, 2014 By: office Comments Off

In the 80s everywhere you went, from the grocery store to your nearest vending machine, that familiar phrase “Low Fat” rang out time and time again. It was almost as though fat was worse for you than the myriad chemicals present in the diet soda or ranch dressing you were consuming. Now, years later, we find things to be quite different. So much so, that a few years back a certain soft drink company rebranded themselves by launching a “Throwback” drink whose singular claim to fame was that it was making use of real sugar again…leaving us all to question, “Well, what was I drinking before?” A return to basics is being touted as the healthiest way toward staying…well, healthy.

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Still, fat has been one of those persistently hounded culprits in the battle of the bulge. And with good reason, I mean…isn’t that what we’re all being told to burn and limit? Fat? Cholesterol? Calories? They are the enemy! Not necessarily. It’s important to stress, as a good part of any diet, the ability to differentiate between good fats and bad ones. So if you’re going to be watching fats as part of your weight-loss regimen, keep these important points in mind to dispel whatever myths you may have been fed about fat in the past.

  • Fats can be divided into two teams…the “hero” fats and the “bad guy” fats. Stick with the hero fats, unless you want to get locked up in a prison of your own creation! “Hero” fats include: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. “Bad Guy” fats include: trans fats and some saturated fats (excluding the aforementioned ones).
  • Never judge a food product by its label alone. “Fat-free” or “low-fat” isn’t an invitation to gorge yourself on whatever it is you’re consuming. In fact, many of these products have been reently found to include ingredients with addictive properties that leave you coming back for more and overeating, as a result, so watch it!
  • Become a fan of the “FANS” acronym. And keep it in mind when deciding which fats you should be eating more of. Fish, Avocado, Nuts and Seeds contain some of the very best complex fats that your body needs to consistently feel and look its very best.

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So to recap, not all fats you come across are out to get you, it’s just important to be aware of the ones that are!

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Obesity News: Food Addiction Similar to Drug Addiction

April 1, 2014 By: office Comments Off

Overeating SmallFood addiction is not only a serious problem, but can also be a major contributor to becoming overweight or obese.  According to a new study, food addiction tendencies create strong responses in the brain similar to those of drugs and alcohol, as reported in Discovery News by Marianne English.

In the past, researchers have used functional MRI machines to look at the relationship between obesity and substance addictions.  This is the first time that the link between food addiction tendencies and responses in the brain are being observed.

An experiment was set up with 48 young women enrolled in a weight management program.  These subjects ranged from lean to obese based on their body mass index (BMI).

After using the Yale Food Addiction Scale to assess subjects’ food addiction tendencies, researchers placed them into a MRI machine to measure blood flow in different areas of their brain.

Each subject was presented with one of two photos: one photo was of a chocolate milkshake, with the other being a glass of water.  Five minutes after exposure to these photos, subjects received small portions of a chocolate shake or a flavorless solution, depending on the image they had been presented with.  When subjects with higher food addiction tendencies viewed photos of a milkshake, they displayed brain responses similar to what’s seen in individuals with addictive behaviors toward drugs or alcohol.

It was also discovered that BMI did not necessarily predict levels of food addiction.  In addition, anticipation of food produces greater response in the brain when compared to actually consuming the food.  This may be an explanation as to why people with addictive eating behaviors overeat from not feeling satisfied.

There will need to be more research done on this subject to discover men’s food addiction behaviors, since this specific study only focused on women.  There will also need to be more research done on various age groups.

The CDC believes that these types of studies will also help us understand biology’s contributions to obesity, which affects nearly one third of adults in America.

What are your thoughts on food addiction?  Can you believe that the brain responses towards food can be as powerful as a reaction towards drugs and alcohol?

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Can You Incorporate Fitness In Travel?

March 27, 2014 By: consultant 2 Comments

Traveling Blues No More

When you travel, you are faced with being outside of your normal fitness routine, limited quality food options, and probably more downtime than normally needed.  On your journey to better health and fitness, you must overcome these obstacles and put fitness in travel. While you are on holiday or personal travel, you need to learn to incorporate physical activity and healthy eating into your daily routine. Do not worry; we are going to give you insights into living a fuller and richer life when you travel.

There are benefits to training outside and getting away from traveling festivities; however, this is easier said than actually done. First, do not make excuses not to exercise when the gym is not handy!  Next, make this your goal, “I will maintain my current body weight.” Lastly, drink plenty of water and be vigilant about appropriate portion sizes both at restaurants, business meetings and visiting homes.

Remaining Fit WHEN YOU TRAVEL

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Let’s be realistic, you are going to have days where you are going to struggle, maybe even eat and drink too much, or weather conditions might impede your training. Everyone does.  But you can strive to be that committed person that does not give in and does not let your traveling agenda stop you from your personal success. Now, get ready to succeed when you travel.

Here are some travel tips to choose from:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • 45-60 minutes of Cardiovascular Training
  • Body Weight Conditioning Training
  • Shadow Boxing
  • Yoga before breakfast
  • Yoga before bed
  • When commercials are on do push-ups and sit-ups
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Go for a hike in a local Park
  • Invite your family, members to participate in activities with you
  • Find a local fitness class and drop in

Benefits

To reap the benefits of fitness when you travel will not be an easy task. Your family, spouse, or friends might not understand why you are training during travel and limiting excess food and alcohol. For people on a journey to a healthy weight and fit life, effort is required to achieve your goals such as to fit into a smaller pant size or receive a much-awaited compliment from our significant other. Remember these are nice accolades, but the largest benefits are decreasing health risks, increasing life longevity, and dedicating oneself to healthier lifestyle. We make the priority to go train at the gym, so let’s make it a priority to train while we travel.

  • Benefits of continuing to train while traveling: Stress relief from family and travel
  • Rejuvenation
  • Keeps yourself focused on your goals
  • Weight management
  • Inspire a family member to live a healthier lifestyle
  • Cross trains and strengthens weaker muscles
  • Decreases burn-out from always training at the gym

Have a trip coming up?  Start planning now how your will weave fitness in your travel plans and keep yourself on track.  We at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts can help if you have any questions.

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Journey of A Weight Loss Camp For Adults Intern: Post 5

March 25, 2014 By: consultant 1 Comment

As this week comes to a close I am able to look back to when I first started interning at Shane weight loss camp for adults and I feel like I can see a huge difference.  Not necessarily physically (although I can now fit into a new pair of paints that I wasn’t able to a few weeks ago, and my stomach looks a little smaller) but more in the sense of nutrition wise. 

Usually when I go to the grocery store I have a list of all the food that I feel like I could use to make different meals (fruit, black beans, corn tortillas, vegetables, crushed tomatoes, tofu, eggs, etc…). I don’t really have a set meal plan but I can make a bunch of different meals from these random ingredients. And while this system worked for a while, my nutrition was all over the place and it would become really stressful because I would eat really health for the first few days (I try to only go to the grocery store about twice a month) but by day 5 I would run out of vegetables or cheese and then my meals would just be a concoction of whatever was in the pantry.

Now (thanks to our amazing Shane staff) I have realized the beauty that is meal preparation. Yesterday morning I made a small list of all the recipes I would like to make and from that I broke them down into all the ingredients I would need.  After that I went and got all I would need, so the plan for tonight is to do most of my meal preparation for the 10-15 days.

As far as workouts go, I had a great chat with Debbie (our program director) the other day while I was on the treadmill and we talked all about my workouts and I realized that not only do I not track my workouts but also that my workouts are not effective. I shouldn’t be spending an hour doing cardio and then another hour doing weight lifting and not seeing any results. So that day, I went to the store and bought a small notebook and now I am tracking my eating and my workouts. I am still getting the hang out of it but I haven’t missed a day yet.

School is going well but as the semester is in full swing that means exams and projects.  Sometimes it seems like there just aren’t enough hours in the day. When your day starts at 4:30 am and doesn’t usually end until 10 pm it leaves very little time for homework but since school needs to be my priority sometimes my workouts get put on the back burner.  But like I said in the last blog post, I schedule my workouts and try to always at least get a small workout in.

As the spring slowly rolls into summer, what are some of the struggles that you find with keeping up your workout routine or maybe some struggles that you have in regards to nutrition?

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Journey of A Weight Loss Camp For Adults Intern: Post 4

March 19, 2014 By: office Comments Off

This week has probably been one of the best as far as nutrition and fitness goes.  I finally found a caloric range to stick with, one number for days that I work out, and another (smaller) number to stick with for days that I rest. I have been sticking with those numbers for about a week now and I feel good.  I think my next goal will be to tackle the skill of meal preparation.  You have to plan for success if you want it!  Over the weekend a friend and I spent about four hours making all sorts of meals and chopping vegetables. The problem with so much meal prep is then finding room in the fridge and freezer for all the containers. But if storage is my biggest problem, I think I have it pretty good.  I also have to say that meal prep is so much more fun with good music and good company.

This week is my spring break but in the wonderful land of Carrie-ville there is never such thing as a break. I am always going, going, going.  I am trying to get in 40 hours at my job while school isn’t in the way and then getting in my 30 hours at my internship here at Shane weight loss camp for adults.  But like I said, you have to plan for success, so earlier this week I wrote down everything that I had scheduled in my planner and I scheduled my workouts around that. I read a quote that said “Workouts are important meetings that you make with yourself, and bosses don’t cancel.”   I will not cancel a workout on myself even if it means getting up at 5 am.  So now, my question for you is…..How much are you willing to deal with for success?

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Breaking Down the New Food Label Proposal

March 14, 2014 By: consultant 58 Comments

Reading food labels is a really important part about knowing what is in our food and what we put in our bodies, but let’s face it – they can be a little hard to understand.  Food labels have been around for the last 20 years, and just the other week the FDA announced proposed changes to update and make them more user-friendly.

Here are a few highlights of the proposed changes to the new food label:

  • Updated serving size requirements:  Food manufacturers will be required to change the serving size of a food based on the size of the package.  For example, if a food is commonly eaten as the whole package (such as a bottle of soda), the label would reflect the whole bottle of soda instead of half of it, since most people consume the whole thing.  The idea here is to give people a better understanding of what is in the whole portion they normally eat.
  • Changing the serving size section to say “Amount per ______” which will be listed in common household measurements such as “Amount per ½ cup.”
  • Calories and serving size will be in larger print to make them easier to see and read.
  • “Added Sugars” will be a new required piece of information to be listed under the “Total Carbohydrate” section on the label.  This will make it easier to identify if the sugars in an item are coming from a natural source like fruit or from another form of sugar (such as white sugar, corn syrup, or other sweeteners).
  • Vitamins and minerals at the bottom of the label (such as Vitamin A, C, D, Iron, etc) will be listed in their exact amounts instead of just as a percent daily value.

Here’s what the proposed new food labels would look like:

New Food Label

I’m sure you are wondering when would these changes be in effect? If all of the proposed changes to food labels are accepted, food manufacturers will be required to comply within the next two years.

What does this mean for the consumer, you? Hopefully these changes will help people, including you, have a better understanding about what is in a certain food they eat, and the information will be clear enough to give an idea about how healthy (or not so healthy) that item actually is and how it does or does not fit into a healthy eating plan.

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Journey of A Weight Loss Camp For Adults Intern: Post 3

March 11, 2014 By: consultant 712 Comments

These past two weeks have been a bit of a struggle when it comes to my diet.  I have eaten out WAY more than any one person probably ever should in a two week time span (not something I am proud to admit). However, I did do my best to stick with healthy options such as salad and lot of vegetables on the side of my entrees.

I’m sure you are wondering if I know I shouldn’t be eating out, then why did I? One reason was I had friends in town and it was just so much easier to go out to eat than make food for several people. The other reason is that with being so busy, I had not been to the grocery store in about a month. It got to the point where the only thing left in my pantry was beans and pasta!

I literally had to go to the grocery store at 6 am on Sunday because it was the only time I had free and would have enough time to go. I pride myself on being very organized but this semester has just been hectic. I would be pulling out my hair if I could just get one hand free.

On the plus side my workouts have been more than enough to keep my weight steady.

I was able to take a half hour this morning to prepare my food for the day and create a rough workout plan for the week.

I read a quote this past week from one of my favorite celebrity trainers, Chris Powell, he is the trainer for Extreme Makeover Weight loss Edition, and he said…

“You will never have success if you don’t prepare for it.”

That is so true! I cannot realistically expect myself to be successful in my nutrition or fitness goals if I do not prepare and plan for it.  If anything, that is just setting myself up for failure.  I need to make the effort, whether it’s every day in the morning or for a few hours on the weekend. I need to sit down and plan out my workouts and my meals.

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