Perfect Fit Personal Training

A blog to enlighten you about health and fitness

Cheat to Stay on Track

Diet; it can be a bad word in some circles. If you’ve ever been on one, you know how it feels to be without your favourite treats and foods. So why go crazy depriving yourself of all the foods you love…just cheat!
Cheating on a diet is crucial if you want to stay focussed and stop pining over the chocolate bar in your cupboard, or the ice cream in your freezer. So how can you cheat without feeling guilty and going overboard?

Make a plan

If you have a plan in place, it’s harder to fail. Give yourself a set menu for the day, including your fruits and veggies, healthy whole grains and lean proteins. At the end of each day, give yourself something that you really enjoy, but that you know is bad for your diet. For example, one square of chocolate, or two tablespoons of rich ice cream.

Buy Less

If you have less of the bad things in your fridge or cupboards, you are much less likely to eat them! If you don’t have chocolate bars or ice cream pops in your freezer readily available, it’s much harder to go grab some when you’re watching your favourite show on the couch. If it’s not in the house, it’s a lot harder to indulge.

Best Splurges

If you’re going to cheat, but only want to cheat a little, what are the best choices you can make?
• 100 calorie pre-packaged treats. You know you’re getting the same taste as the treats you love, but in a much smaller package. Easier to cheat when you only have one; bigger sizes make it easier to eat more.
• Make Your Own- buy in bulk things like chocolate covered raisins or pretzels and figure out how many make up 100 calories. Make your own cheating snack-packs. Freeze the rest for later.
• Low calorie pudding- you can get your favourite flavours like chocolate or butterscotch in single servings of 60-100 calories.
• Fresh fruit- might not seem like a splurge, but it’s so sweet and tasty! Buy what’s in season and enjoy a variety like strawberries, watermelon, or cantaloupe.

Cheat Day

If you aren’t interested in doing the 100 calorie cheat every day, then why not take a day off from your diet once a week? That way you can enjoy the things you really love in their full capacity. For example, Saturday is your day off from dieting. Enjoy three meals that you really want and craved all week. Get those craving out of your system and get right back on track the next day.
Surprisingly, after you’ve been eating clean for a while, you may stop craving those treats and not even enjoy them anymore!

Depriving yourself of the foods you love for long periods of time can make you feel very unsatisfied. Keep your diet going by allowing yourself that little cheat every now and then. You will be better off in the long run; your diet will last longer and you won’t have so many cravings.

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HcG and Fat Loss?

What do you know about HcG besides that you need it to get a positive pregnancy test?

I have had clients asking me about this hormone, and if it can, indeed, help them lose fat a little easier.

Here is a study that shows hcg does help, but it was done on participants who ate a Very Low Calorie Diet (500 calories) http://www.indexmedico.com/english/obesity/hcg.htm

 

The Mayo Clinic talks about the hcg program, but does not seem to think that it works on it’s own, it’s the low calorie diet that is doing the trick.

WebMD doesn’t much like the hcg program either. Really, eating so few calories per day can lead to weight loss, but on what terms?

 

A quick fix would be great, right? However, it will take time, focus, determination and motivation to get you to your goals.

 

 

 

 

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An Interesting Tidbit on Insulin

Here is a blurb that I found very interesting from “The Journal of Clinical Investigation”.

Obesity is a well-described epidemic in Westernized cultures. In the United States alone, it is estimated that approximately 66% of all adults are overweight and approximately 32% are obese (1). With obesity comes a variety of adverse health outcomes, such as high blood pressure, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes (23). Insulin resistance is defined as an inadequate response by insulin target tissues, such as skeletal muscle, liver, and adipose tissue, to the physiologic effects of circulating insulin. The hallmarks of impaired insulin sensitivity in these three tissues are decreased insulin-stimulated glucose uptake into skeletal muscle, impaired insulin-mediated inhibition of hepatic glucose production in liver, and a reduced ability of insulin to inhibit lipolysis in adipose tissue. In fact, insulin resistance is a major predictor for the development of various metabolic sequelae, including type 2 diabetes (4), and is a defining feature of syndrome X, which is also known as the metabolic syndrome (3). This syndrome encompasses a constellation of conditions, including insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and obesity, and is often accompanied by hyperinsulinemia, sleep apnea, and other disorders (3).

In type 2 diabetes, it has been widely established that insulin resistance precedes the development of overt hyperglycemia (5). The causes of insulin resistance can be genetic and/or acquired. Genetic causes or predispositions toward insulin resistance in prediabetic populations are poorly understood from a mechanistic point of view, although lean, insulin-resistant, prediabetic individuals (e.g., nondiabetic offspring of 2 diabetic parents) can display defects in oxidative metabolism (6). In addition, inherited defects in the basic insulin signaling cascade have been proposed (7). Nonetheless, it is likely that any genetic component must interact with environmental factors in order for insulin resistance to develop into a pathophysiologically meaningful abnormality. In Western cultures, the most common acquired factors causing insulin resistance are obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and aging, all of which are interrelated (238). In the presence of a robust compensatory insulin secretory response to insulin resistance, glucose levels can remain relatively normal. However, when insulin-producing pancreatic β cells can no longer compensate for the decreased tissue insulin sensitivity, glucose homeostasis deteriorates and impaired glucose tolerance and eventually frank type 2 diabetes develop (5).

http://www.jci.org/articles/view/34260

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Oats; Not Just for Breakfast!

 

Mmmm, oatmeal in the morning. Cinnamon, nutmeg, a little brown sugar. Sounds like a great breakfast to me!

Oats, however, are more than just a breakfast food. They are great in a variety of ways.

You can  make an oat scrub for your face and take care of exfoliating with a home made scrub.

You can also make an oat mask for better skin.

Oats are even a bathtime favorite! You can add whole oats with some honey to your bath to enjoy softer skin and even help with dry, cracking skin or eczema.

Here  is a recipe for a healthy oat bread: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/honey_oat_quick_bread.html

Enjoy your oats! They will fill you up and give you the soluble and insoluble fiber you need, as well as antioxidants and essential fatty acids. http://websurfpro.hubpages.com/hub/Oatmeal-Month

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Popcorn is a Great Snack Food!

Did you know that popcorn is healthy?

Yep, it’s true.

Not your movie theater popcorn of course; that is laden with saturated fat and calories (over 1000 in a large bag). Check out this article on movie theater popcorn from the CBC: http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2009/11/19/popcorn-movie-theatre-salt-fat.html

 

However, home popped corn without butter is a great choice for a healthy snack. Did you know it’s a whole grain?

http://www.fitnessandfreebies.com/food/articles/popcorn.html

 

So enjoy some popped corn today and eat up your whole grains the fun way.

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Avocado: High Fat, High Calorie…Great For You!

If you enjoy avocados as much as I do, you really like them!

Squish them up to make homemade guacamole, add them to salads, spread them on toast…they are a great healthy addition to many recipes.

Avocados do have a high fat content, but it is of the healthy fat denomination. 30 gms per medium avocado.

Calories? Yup, they have a lot of those too; about 230 per cup.

Don’t be scared to include this fruit in your diet, as the health benefits are outstanding. Just remember to keep your portion sizes small, around two tablespoons per serving.

Enjoy these articles below for more info:

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/avocado-advantage

 

http://oss.mcgill.ca/everyday/avocados.pdf

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=5

 

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Acai: Healthy and Amazing?


Acai, pronounced AH-SIGH-EE, has been talked about significantly in the press; it has been touted as a “super food” and proclaimed to have many health properties, such as high levels of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins C and E.

Let’s find out just what Acai is, and what it can do for your health.

The Acai berry grows naturally in Brazil, and is about the size of a grape, but with less pulp. The seed takes up approximately 80 percent of the berry, and is separated before using the pulp.

Acai berries in powdered, freeze-dried preparation are high in dietary fiber and low in sugar; both important properties for people who have blood sugar issues.

A December, 2008 study published in “The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” proved that the antioxidants in acai berries are absorbed into the bloodstream; an important discovery for people looking to improve their health by ingesting antioxidant-rich foods.

Many websites have claimed that consuming acai will help people lose weight quickly, like no other superfood out there, but these claims have not been based on scientific research, and are unfounded.

Weight loss is not a sure thing with any specific foods, and acai berries are no exception. According to an article in CanadianLiving magazine, Toronto-based Registered Dietitian and nutrition expert Cara Rosenbloom says that there is no scientific evidence showing that acai is an appetite suppressant, nor can it speed up your metabolism or flatten your belly.

What you will get from acai, however, are the benefits of berries, like fiber and vitamins that are part of a healthy diet.

Acai has been shown to be very high in antioxidants, which is a substance that reduces the oxidative damage to cells, such as that caused by free radicals. Free radicals attack molecules and modify chemical structures in the body.

Antioxidants, such as those found in acai, can help to reduce the risks of certain types of cancer, and age related macular degeneration.

Acai may be the latest wonder food on the market, but it has similar properties to many other berries out there, including regular, tried and true strawberries and blueberries. You can get great health benefits at a lower cost by eating these berries when they are in season, or eating frozen when it’s winter.

A March, 2009 article on CNN’s website which interviewed Johnny Bowden, a certified nutrition specialist and author of several health books agrees that most berries are high in antioxidants and do the same thing as acai; they have simply not been marketed in the same way.

So, eat your berries, any of them, and enjoy the great health benefits of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins!

RESOURCES

REFERENCES

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You Might be Skinny…But Are You Really Fat?

Body fat is not always something that is obvious; someone can look quite slim, but when they are tested, their body fat is higher than is optimal for their age and gender.

High body fat can lead to many health problems, like high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes,  heart disease, and  increased types of cancer.

Here is a link on ways to test your body fat:

http://www.new-fitness.com/body_fat_measuring.html

 

Canadian Guidelines for healthy body weight:

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/weights-poids/guide-ld-adult/qa-qr-pub-eng.php

Learn more about obesity:

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/life-vie/obes-eng.php

 

Your health is in your hands; make sure your body fat is in check so that you can stay healthy and happy, living a long and enjoyable life.

 

I am available to do body fat testing; with a portable device I can take it just about anywhere! Call me today to set up your body fat test: 604-318-6534

 

 

 

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Fiber, Friend to All!

Here is a very interesting and informative article on Fiber taken out of this month’s IDEA journal.

 

Enjoy!

 

http://www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/fiber-amp-digestive-health-for-active-people-of-all-ages?sourcecode=ACEIFJ

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Are you Just Fat, or is it Your Thyroid?

I’ve been reading an interesting book the last couple of days about thyroids, and how they work; and in a lot of cases, how they don’t work.

It’s quite interesting to read about the millions of people in North America that suffer from hypothyroidism in a variety of ways.  I had no idea it was such a problem on our continent.  Hypo meaning that their thyroids are not producing enough thyroid hormones.

So what is your thyroid supposed to do anyway? Here is an excerpt taken from MedicineNet.com:

Thyroid gland: A gland that makes and stores hormones that help regulate the heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and the rate at which food is converted into energy. Thyroid hormones are essential for the function of every cell in the body. They help regulate growth and the rate of chemical reactions (metabolism) in the body. Thyroid hormones also help children grow and develop.

 

Of most interest to most of  us, of course, is the part about regulating the rate at which food is converted to energy, or in other words, your metabolic rate.

When thyroids are not working the way they are supposed to, you can become very obese in a short amount of time. There are a number of problems that can occur with thyroids, and in women over the age of 50, this is increasingly prevalent, according to Mayoclinic.com. Very interesting that increased weight gain can occur with hypothyroidism in women who may be going through menopause, while menopause is also supposed to result in increased weight gain due to hormonal fluctuations.

Getting your thyroid checked as a routine precaution may be wise if you are a woman going through menopause, as there may be more at play in your body than only menopause.

 

Have a great Sunday night!

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