4 Diet Killers

4 Diet Killers

While there are many things that can wreck clean eating these four tend to wreck it without you realizing it.

Agave Nectar – Even though it is a “natural” sweetner agave nectar has been shown to derange liver function and promote obesity. The main reason is because it contains the highest amount of fructose. Even more than high fructose corn syrup.

Gluten Free Snacks – Today it is common to walk down any grocery store aisle and find gluten-free Oreo’s, gluten-free Pop Tarts, you name it. Just because a snack food is gluten-free doesn’t mean it is healthy.

Fat-Free – When fat is removed from a product taste is usually removed. So in order to make up for taste something else has to be added typically sugar, salt, flour, food thickeners, and other food additives. All fat is not bad and the body actually needs fat to function properly. Naturally occurring fat is what you want to eat, the man-made franken-fats are what you want to avoid.

Stevia – Many of the sweetners on the market that contain Stevia, claim that it is natural. But, in order for it to be made into a sugar it has to be processed and have other things added, like sugar alcohols. There is also evidence that artificial sweetners, which includes stevia products, contribute to obesity.

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5 Things To Look For When Buying Food

We had a great turn out this past Saturday for our Nutrition Seminar, taught by PNF Nutrition Coach Courtney Kirkwood. In case you missed it here are five take-aways from her presentation on things to look for when shopping for food.

  • When buying meat look for Certified USDA Organic. Certified USDA Organic is the cleanest meat on the market with no pesticides or hormones having been used, the animals are treated the most humanely, and it is the most environmentally friendly way of producing meat. Also, in the U.S. it is illegal to used hormones in pork. So pork that is marked hormone free is just a marketing ploy to get you to spend a little more money for the same product.
  • Artificial sweetners are masked under many different names. Check your labels for the following: Acesulfame Potassium, Aspartame, Neotame, Saccharin, Sucralose, Stevia, and Rebaudioside are just a few. Do your research on the ingredients in your food.
  • Prepare as much of you food at home as possible. This not only ensures that you eat less hidden calories, but it also helps you control what you are eating and what is in your food.
  • Watch for added sugars they are in just about everything that is packaged.
  • Don’t fall for Stevia’s “natural” claim. There is something like 42 or 43 molecules that make up the Stevia sweetners we buy in the store, of those only one molecule is natural the rest are all made in a lab or through processing. Stevia, also under the name Truvia and Stevia in the Raw, is just the latest hot sugar substitute and is really no better for you than Sweet N’ Low, Equal, or Splenda. When using sugar it is always better to use a true natural sweetner like plain sugar or honey. These are less processed and our bodies know how how to handle to them.

Eating clean can be very difficult, as there are many hidden ingredients in our food these days. The best rule of thumb is to look for items with the least amount of ingredients, look up the big “science class” words, and cook most of your meals at home.

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Never Diet Again

Never diet again.

We don’t do diets. We do habits.

Here are 5 Habits that will never require you to diet again.

  1. Cut out the bread and pasta. These are both loaded with refined processed flour and will result in overeating empty calories due to an increased craving for more.
  1. Eat more veggies. We all could benefit from eating more veggies each day. Not only are they loaded with vitamins and nutrients their fiber will help you fill full longer with adding calories.
  1. Cut down your portions. Many times the food we eat is not bad, but the portions are too large. Try using a smaller plate. It will trick you into to thinking you are eating more because the plate will still appear full.
  1. Eat more lean protein. Protein not only get you feeling full, it also provides your body with the building blocks of muscle, which will boost your metabolism and increase your strength as your body adds muscle.
  1. Drink more water and less latte’s and soda. Drinking calories is the easiest way to gain weight. This is due to the ability to drink exuberant amounts of calories, primarily from sugar, in a very short period of time. Replace your daily soda, latte’s, juices, and sports drinks with good old plain water.

Eating healthy is a lifestyle change based around habits, not a quick crash diet.


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Gluten-Free Doesn’t Mean Healthy

A gluten-free diet is not a weight loss plan.

While some individuals have a gluten allergy and must avoid gluten from their diet, which typically results in weight loss. For those who don’t have this allergy this isn’t necessary for weight loss and can even be misleading as to making food choices.

A quick walk through any grocery store will turn up gluten-free cookies, muffins, pancakes, pasta, bread, and yes-even beer. Just because these items are gluten-free doesn’t make them any better for you than non gluten-free counterparts.

When it comes to weight loss it is better to focus on eating unprocessed foods and not focusing on eliminating one thing.

Breads and pastas are always good to reduce or remove because they are highly processed, which is why the removal tends to lead to weight loss. Not the gluten.

Meats, vegetables, and fruits tend to keep you feeling fuller longer than processed carbs and don’t make you crave more. This results in eating less total calories, which leads to weight loss and leaning out.

Just because a food is gluten-free doesn’t make it healthy and eating a gluten-free diet doesn’t guarantee weight loss.

Weight loss and body fat reduction are the result of the quality of foods choices made, not the diet followed.


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How To Eat Healthy At Any Restaurant

You’ve finally gotten into a workout routine, you are eating well, and you are beginning to see some changes in your body. But, then friends ask you and your husband out to dinner. Obviously, you want to go. You haven’t seen them in awhile and it would be really nice to have an evening away from the kids. But, then you kind of freak out asking yourself; “What am I going to eat? I’ve worked really hard and don’t want to lose the progress and momentum that I’ve gained.”

Well, assuming that you won’t be eating at a fast-food joint or pizza parlor, here are some strategies for eating well and stay on track with your fitness goals at any restaurant.

#1. Meat & Veggies. Skip the pasta and the cream sauces and order grilled fish, chicken, steak, or pork. Then for your sides, order steamed veggies and a salad with the dressing on the side.

#2. Pass the Bread. We’ve all had that time where we were so hungry that we eat all the bread and then aren’t hungry when are meal comes. So just tell the waiter to skip the bread basket altogether, or if your friends want bread have them leave just enough for them.

#3. Skip Dessert. Okay if you’re at a restaurant that is world-renown for their desserts go a head and have it, but just count it as one of your weekly splurges. Otherwise skip these sugar-laden treats that usually end up leaving you disappointed, not feeling well, and full of regret for eating so many empty calories.

#4. Drink Slowly. Tomorrow you will regret having drank so much wine, not just because of the extra calories, but also because of the pounding headache and two screaming kids you now have to deal with. Ordering a drink before dinner is fine and a great way to relax into the night. Having three at the bar while you wait for your table, another before dinner, and then hanging after for one more bottle of wine is a recipe for disaster. Not only will you consuming more calories than you wanted to tonight, but you will again tomorrow as you binge on comfort foods because you don’t feel well. So drink slowly, drink some water between drinks, and enjoy the conversation.

#5. Enjoy the Conversation. Put down your phone, stop logging what you are eating, and talk to the people you are having dinner with. Talking will force you to eat slower and get fuller sooner, resulting in eating less calories.

You don’t have to be stuck eating home cooked meals for the rest of your life to stay lean. It is okay to eat out occasionally and even have a few splurges here and there.

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Say “No” To Franken-Foods

Fat free, sugar free, low sodium, reduced calorie, gluten free, low carb; Are these really better?

Taste comes from three places: sweet (sugar), salt, or fat. Remove our reduce one an another has to be added or increased to make up for taste. Or worse, something fake gets added.

Eat real food and stay away from all the Franken-Foods and their deceiving labeling that makes them sound like better options.

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What 80/20 Really Looks Like

You may not be eating as well as you think.

Sure Monday through Friday you may do well. But, then Friday night hits. You go out for dinner and order the grilled salmon with steamed veggies and skip the bread. But, you have dessert and a bottle of wine.

Or maybe on Saturday you feel that it would be nice to make your kids a big breakfast of pancakes and bacon. You tell yourself it’s okay because “it’s for the kids” and you’ll only have a little.

Then there is that stressful day that just needs unwound with a few drinks or a bowl of ice cream.

These are the small things that by themselves are perfectly fine, but added up can wreck your progress. To get results in the gym it takes eating clean 80% of the time. For most, it ends up only being 60-70% clean.

So what does 80% look like? Or better yet, what does the 20% look like?

To stay at 80% or above means you can have roughly 3-4 cheats per week. Every alcoholic drink that is a cheat. Every dessert that’s a cheat. Every piece of chocolate or candy another cheat. Fried and processed foods, a cheat again. Chips and salsa, you get the point.

Eating clean is the missing link to getting results. And many times what we think is clean eating isn’t clean enough.

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Every Good Workout Starts With Coffee

Here are 7 ways that a cup of joe can make your workout better.

1. Promotes fat cells to be used as energy versus glycogen when consumed before a workout.
2. Coffee can help boost performance by helping you train harder and longer.
3. Increases mental focus.
4. Gives the body a boost in antioxidants to protect against damage caused by free radicals.
5. Suppresses appetite, researchers have found that those who drank black coffee before a workout ate 72 fewer calories later in the day.
6. 300mg of caffeine, roughly the amount found in a cup of coffee, helps the body burn 15% more calories in the 3 hours post-workout.
7. Makes working out easier. Research from the Journal of Applied Physiology has shown that caffeinated exercisers found their workouts easier than non caffeinated exercisers.

Grab a cup 30-60 minutes before your next workout, just skip the cream and sugar.

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A Cheat or Two Is Fine, An Entire Weekend Is Not

A Cheat Or Two Is Fine, An Entire Weekend Is Not

Four awesome workouts and five days of cleaning eating. You’re feeling good and a little proud of yourself. So you feel like you deserve a little reward for all of your effort.

The key words being “little reward”. Not dinner and dessert with friends followed by a night of drinking until the last bar in town closes and then hitting McDonald’s or downing a pizza before heading off to bed. Only to then wake up feeling like death warmed over and spending the next day on the couch eating hangover comfort foods.

Unfortunately for many this is exactly what they do and is why they struggle to see the results they want. Coming into the weekend with a daily 200 calorie deficit, or 1000 for the week, and then binging on 4000 extra calories over the weekend still adds up to a weekly surplus of calories.

A couple glasses of wine, your favorite meal of fish and chips or pasta, a delicious slice of cheesecake are all fine by themselves. The problem is when they all come together. They taste great in the moment, but are regretted later.

Enjoy life, don’t deprive yourself of the foods you enjoy. Just make good decisions around them and don’t undo all your hard work on the weekend.

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Holiday Survival Guide Part 3 – Surviving the Office Party

Holiday Survival Guide Part 3 - Surviving the Holiday Party

Holiday Survival Guide Part 3 – Surviving the Holiday Party

How to survive the office holiday party.

Over the next few weeks you will more than likely have your share of Christmas parties to attend. Some you may be looking forward to and catching up with old friends, while others may be more out of obligation.

So how do you keep your nutrition in check and your belt buckle at the same notch?

Simple really. You just need a plan.

#1. Which parties do you want to really indulge at, let your hair down, and just kick back and have a good time? At those let yourself have a few drinks with your friends. If there are appetizers “to die for”. Treat your self and enjoy them. As for the other obligatory parties sip a scotch or nurse a beer or two through out the night. And then make an early exit.

#2. Never show up hungry. Sure it’s easier to just eat when you get there. But will that be the best and healthiest option? Probably not, and you will end up eating stuff you normally wouldn’t. Eating a healthy meal before will ensure that you don’t gorge yourself on fried and sugary foods along with preventing your from mindlessly munching throughout the night.

#3. Use the smallest plates available. Research has shown that eating a full plate results in a feeling of satisfied hunger, regardless of the size of the plate. So filling a smaller plate will result in eating less, but still experiencing the same satisfaction.

#4. Don’t make it a late night. To prevent weight gain you need to get your sleep, more on this in Part 4, but for now set a time that you plan to leave and stick to it. This way you won’t wake up the next morning regretting the “just one more beer” that you had three times and only four hours of sleep.

This is a fun, festive time of the year. Stick to the rules above and you will make it through to January still wearing the same size pants.