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Coach April Wallace shares one of her biggest health & fitness pet peeves and 5 ways to avoid it!

These days, there’s an excessive amount of information about nutrition and, specifically, weight loss diets.  It can be overwhelming and utterly confusing.  Will Keto fix my problems?  What is Paleo all about?  During the fat-free craze, I loved eating my bagels with fat-free cream cheese, which now directly interferes with low-carb dieting!  Here are a few tips to help you reach your goals.

1.  Be Consistent
You’ve heard it before: results don’t happen overnight.  Once you determine which path you want to follow, give it some time to work (at least 2 weeks and that’s even cutting it close!)  It’s going to take some effort and patience.

2.  Don’t be a Hater
What works for one person may not work for you. No need to get all fired up.  As Fleetwood Mac says, you can go your own way.  It might take some experimentation to find out what works for your lifestyle and for your body.

3.  Track It
If you’re serious about making body composition changes, you’ll want to keep track of the foods you are putting into your body and how it’s responding. There are plenty of apps now that will help you do this easily and quickly.  Don’t guess.  Get solid information that will help guide you on what’s working or not.

4.  Use Your Common Sense
Is it the cabbage soup that is the magic to weight loss or the fact that you’re eating less than 1000 calories a day?  Being very calorie restrictive or eliminating entire food groups can (and will) work in the short term.  But, extreme deprivation will cause problems later (and that’s an entirely different article!)  Be realistic and understand what you’re getting yourself into before you begin.

5.  Go Back to the Basics
Eat fresh food.  Exercise more frequently.  Get adequate sleep.  Recognize that these (and other) simple actions are still relevant and can positively impact your health.  Stop overcomplicating things and look at the big picture.

If you’re still stuck from all of the conflicting advice and don’t know where to begin, focus on the long game.  Health is a lifelong journey with small incremental steps and adjusting as you move forward.  Reach out to your Infinity Fitness coaches.  We are here to guide, encourage and support you!

Did you find this article helpful?  We’d love to know your thoughts!



Looking for a recipe that screams Summer but trying to avoid dairy and gluten? This pesto recipe (from Food52) is so good, no one knows that it’s dairy-free, and vegan to boot! The parmesan in regular pesto is replaced with Nutritional yeast, which has a cheesy flavor.  This pesto is great as a sandwich condiment, slathered on tomato slices, or as a pasta topping.

Wondering “What the heck is Nutritional yeast?”  Nutritional yeast is a significant source of some B-complex vitamins, and a serving (2 tbsp) has 60 calories and 5 g of carbs (four grams of which is fiber). A serving also provides a whopping 9 g of protein, and is a complete protein (providing all nine amino acids the human body cannot produce).  You can purchase it at most health-oriented grocery stores, as well as at some mainstream groceries.

Makes: 1 generous cup
Prep time: 20 min

  • 2cups tightly packed fresh basil
  • 1/2cup walnuts or pine nuts
  • 2cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1pinch sea salt and freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3tablespoons nutritional yeast
  1. Place the basil, walnuts or pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor fitted with the S blade. Pulse to combine, until the mixture is coarsely ground.
  2. Turn the motor on and drizzle the olive oil in a thin stream. Add the sea salt, pepper, lemon, and nutritional yeast, and pulse a few more times to combine.


 

Recovery is one of the most important aspects of exercise. Everything from how much you sleep to what you eat needs to be taken into consideration. Consuming protein after your workout is among one of the most important. So many people participate in high intensity exercise and then don’t consume post workout protein.

After exercise, your muscles are fatigued and depleted of its natural energy stores. Your muscles are broken down and need to be built back up again. The soreness you feel the day or two after exercise is due to small tears in the muscles fibers. These tears come from extensively working that muscle during your workout. These tears are also what allow your muscles to grow larger and stronger for your next workout. Your muscles contain protein, so in order for your body to repair these tears, you need to ingest protein. This is why post workout protein is so important to consume.

The reason you want to consume your protein post workout is so that it gets into your system as fast as possible. Studies show that the best time to consume post workout protein is within 30 minutes of finishing your workout. The max time to wait is 2 hours post workout. This is because your body’s metabolism speeds up both during and post workout. Within 2 hours is when the metabolic rate is at its fastest. This increase in metabolic rate can remain for up to 24 hours depending on the type of exercise. You want to take advantage of your increased metabolic rate when it comes to ingesting protein. The reason you want to consume your post workout protein as soon as possible is because your body does not efficiently digest protein. A major portion of your protein intake never leaves your digestive system.

The recommendation for protein intake for someone who participates in high intensity exercise is the same recommendation for athletes. These groups should consume at least 1.5 times their weight in kilograms, in grams of protein. For example, there are 2.2 pounds in a kilogram, so a 200-pound man is 91 kg, so he should consume at least 137 grams of protein per day. That is the bare minimum protein requirement for that man, so a little more wouldn’t hurt.

Consuming post workout protein will not only help cut down on that soreness after a workout, but it will also help you recover faster. Whether you have a protein bar or a protein shake of some kind, be sure to bring it with you so you can drink it on the way home from your workout!

Tony Milano, CPT



 

We all think we are drinking enough, but are we really? Why is water so important anyway? You might say to yourself, “I’m not thirsty, so why should I drink water?” There are numerous benefits to water—many of these benefits we can’t physically feel, but are so important to help us our bodies perform at maximum potential both in and out of the gym.

In my opinion, probably the most important reason why we should drink more water: Water energizes and lubricates muscles. Muscle that isn’t well hydrated will “shrivel,” decrease performance, and will put you at risk for injury. I like to think of our muscles like sponges; if the sponge is wet, it has less of a chance of ripping; if the sponge is dry, it has more of a chance of ripping. Your muscles work the same way!

Water helps maintain the balance of body fluids. Your body is 60% water! All of our body functions rely on water: digestion, absorption, temperature regulation, creation of saliva, and transfer of nutrients.

Water aids in weight loss! Okay, it doesn’t directly make you lose weight, however, it replaces sugary, calorie packed beverages that add up and enable you to pack on extra pounds. Filling up on water instead of unnecessary drinks such as soda, sweet tea, or alcohol will help you feel more satisfied, help you cut calories, and support you in your weight loss journey. Drinking 8-16 ounces of water before you consume a meal can prevent you from overeating.

Water helps kidney function. Your body fluids help flush toxins out of your cells, and your kidneys filtrate the fluids. If there is no fluid to filtrate, the toxins cannot be flushed out. In other words, the toxins will be stuck in your body! This makes you feel lethargic, run down, and could potentially put you at risk for having kidney stones.

Water helps the appearance and health of your skin. Our skin is the largest organ in our body, and is beat up enough by pollution and sun. Don’t do any more damage by dehydrating it! Proper hydration can help your skin look smoother, younger, and could reduce the appearance of wrinkles. And who doesn’t want great looking skin?

Bottom line: get your water in! Keep a water bottle with you at all times, know how many it takes to hit your goal and keep track of how much you have drank. You should drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of water per day (example: a 200lb person should drink 100oz of water.) Keep in mind that if you live in a dry, hot climate, you should drink even more!

Heather Weber, CPT, CES