Tag Archives: Nutrition

Make Your Diet Work For You


There are millions of people in North America who are considered to be overweight, and many are actually obese. Being overweight or obese is never a good thing, and can lead to a lot of health problems,  including heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes, just to name a few. Unfortunately weight loss is not the easiest thing in the world to accomplish, and for many of us it is a lifelong battle to maintain a healthy weight.
Finding Your Ideal Diet
If you have decided that it is time to go on a diet to lose weight, you are probably wondering which diet is the best for you. Every day we are bombarded with new fad diets, each one guaranteed to “melt fat”. I agree, some of these diets do just that, but some are extremely low in calories. The problem with these low calorie diets is as soon as you go off the diet and eat more food again, the weight you lost will come right back. The best way to lose weight and keep it off, is to follow a balanced diet with all of the nutrients we all need to stay healthy, and also making sure that you are eating enough so that you do not feel hungry. This is one of the first things that make people want to go off their diets – they feel deprived and starved, which can lead to binge eating.
If you are not sure how to go about getting started on a healthy and well-balanced diet, you should speak with a registered and well educated nutritionist. A nutritionist will know exactly what you need, and this will help you with your new diet that will keep you  satisfied while helping you to lose weight and keep it off. No matter what type of diet you plan to use, it is important to first discuss it to  make sure that you are getting all of the proper nutrients you need.
Treat Meal
Make sure that when you are on a diet, that you allow yourself the occasional treat. This will help to keep you from binging and keep you feeling sane. There are all kinds of healthy foods that also make delicious treats, such as fruit, unsalted nuts, and even dark chocolate which is loaded with healthy anti-oxidants. If you use your imagination, you can come up with healthy treats that taste naughty!
Keep Going!
With great snack options, a positive mind and a balanced lifestyle, you should have no problem at all with sticking to your diet, and you will see those pounds fall off in no time. The key is to never give up and to never get discouraged if a mistake is made.


Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

Remain a Fat Burning Machine On and Off Season

[facebooksimplelike]

Come competition time, the aim for all competitors is to become as lean as possible, while maintaining a hard physique. Although achieving this type of appearance should be relatively easy, there is one factor that often negates progress in even the most diligent: a slow metabolism.

A slow metabolism is the one thing a competitor does not want to be cursed with, when the main goal is to lose body fat.

Maintain a Healthy Weight Off Season.

The metabolism is adversely affected when one consumes a large amount of food for a certain period of time. In fact, the term yo-yo dieting stems from many peoples attempts to lose weight, while reverting to bad eating habits, when they should be sticking to a more sensible diet.

The body will simply adapt to maintaining a low metabolic rate if it has to continually adjust to a sharp decline in calories for a certain period of time, followed by engorgement for another period of time. This has obvious implications when it comes to losing weight during competition season. Attempting to lose fat at a rapid rate can also result in losses in protein, and loss of muscle protein means a decrease in metabolism. In my opinion, it is very important to keep a high protein diet, along with supplements like glutamine and branched chain amino acids during dieting to avoid muscle loss.

Another problem with drastic weight loss, is an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPL). LPL is a fat storing enzyme that increases when calories are dropped at a significant rate. When your body produces too much LPL and you start to pile on the fat, you will possibly need to diet harder to lose this fat after, which may further increase LPL and making fat loss next to impossible.

Your best bet is to maintain a sensible eating plan during off-season, so when pre-contest rolls around, calories do not have to be severely restricted to lose weight.

Eat Smaller Meals

Eating smaller meals more frequently helps to keep the metabolic rate constantly heightened, and helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. A constantly stimulated metabolism means fat-burning over a longer period of time.

Stabilized blood sugar prevents the hypoglycemia that occurs when one eats a huge meal and feels tired and lethargic soon afterward, due to low glucose levels to the brain. The body is more likely to store fat when in a hypoglycemic state, due to spiked insulin levels.

Train Aerobically

Competitors serious about fat loss should engage in aerobic activity both off-season and pre-contest, to keep the metabolism high. Aerobics, or what we all like to call cardio, has a great effect on fat-loss. Cardio stimulates the metabolism, metabolizes fat directly as a fuel source, and burns carbohydrates. In turn, this will all help to lower the fat-storing potential of these macronutrients.

Cardio can however deplete the body of protein if done too often or for too long. Therefore, if you feel like you are losing muscle pre-contest, it might be a good idea to cut back on cardio to the point where fat, rather than muscle, is being utilized. Depending on the individual, cardio sessions 4-5 times per week for 40-minutes should be sufficient.

Train with weights

This should be an easy one for competitors: training with weights. Weight training builds muscle and muscle stimulates the metabolism to a significant degree. Individuals with more muscle tend to have more efficient metabolisms from the fat-burning effect that comes along with muscle.

Eat Protein

Protein plays a very important role in the fat burning process. Protein stimulates the metabolism far more efficiently than either carbohydrates or fat, due to the energy demands of amino acids.

In fact, studies show that eating a meal high in protein will stimulate the metabolism by as much as 30%, as opposed to fat or carbohydrates which increase it by around 4%. Protein will heighten the metabolic rate for around 12-hours after eating.

Eating sufficient protein shouldn’t be a problem for most competitors, as it is a fundamental requirement in terms of muscle building, and should be an established part of their nutritional plan.

Always eat breakfast

Breakfast has always been the most important meal of the day to most of us, and for good reason: it kick starts the metabolism and helps to negate the possibility of “indulging” later in the day.

Skipping breakfast will keep the body in starvation mode because it has essentially been fasting over an 8 hour sleeping period. When starved for too long, what can happen is the body will need to hang on to every available calorie, and fat loss will be the last thing to occur.

In conclusion, achieving your best body depends on a number of factors, including a functioning metabolism. A slow metabolism can decrease anyone’s chances of losing sufficient body-fat come competition time.

Rather than blaming a slow metabolism on genetic factors, follow these guidelines as best as possible, lose fat, look and feel great!


Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

Alicia Leombruni – Fitness Model/Entrepreneur


[facebooksimplelike]

I have known Alicia for a few years now and she is always an inspiration to me. When I need healthy advice, competition pep talks or just a friend she is there.  Not only is she a fitness model, competitor and personal trainer, she is now taking over the world of naturally, sugar-free products.  Read more about Alicia….

 

I grew up in Illinois and at the age of 15 started working at Bally’s Health Club. I started teaching aerobics, lifting weights and at that moment I knew this was a field that I wanted to be involved in. I was always active as a child involved in cheerleading, track, volleyball and many other sports in high school. I also started modeling at a young age in many of the Petite USA Pageants all over the States.  That is where my bug for fitness and modeling truly started.

I went to college at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois and got my BA in Interpersonal Communications. After attending my first NPC Fitness and Bodybuilding show as a spectator, I said to myself next time I’ll be on stage and not sitting in the audience.  That led to the last 12 years of my life in which I competed in the NPC, FAP, and WBFF fitness federations. I started out competing in NPC figure then switched to the FAP & WBFF’s  figure, fitness model and bikini divisions.

Fitness, bikini & fashion modeling has also been a big part of my life. Once I started competing the fitness modeling began shortly after and has continued ever since. I have been featured in fitness calendars, on-line, ads, books, commercials, and fitness videos. I am also a certified personal trainer and provide nutritional/workout consultations on-line and locally.
You can say I live my life as a jack of all trades and love every minute of it as each day brings me new opportunities and much excitement. You may be wondering where all of my motivation comes from to stay in shape all the time and hit the gym everyday. I believe staying in shape and eating right is a lifestyle. It’s not just something you do part-time, it’s something you do everyday and not even think about. I truly enjoy going to the gym everyday, it starts my day off right and not to mention the results I have been able to maintain without a doubt makes it all worth while.

As to my latest creation which is my new product line at Ali’s All Natural. I have been working in the last year and a half developing a line of all natural, sugar-free syrups that are sweetened with Stevia and low sugar BBQ sauces. My product line launched a few months ago & all of my products, information and recipes can be found on my website atwww.alisallnatural.com.

This project has been my passion to be able to develop such a healthy line of sugar-free and low sugar products that are not only healthy but taste amazing without all the guilt. Fitness & healthy eating go hand in hand which is why I created the products. I believe living a healthy lifestyle heavily depends on the food choices that we make daily & our dedication to the gym. I have truly been blessed and give thanks to God everyday for giving me the ability to workout, create healthy products & help others achieve their goals towards leading a healthy fit lifestyle.


Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Apple Flaxseed Muffins


A friend of mine shared this recipe with me and I must say they are delicious and healthy. No sugar, no bad fats and great flavor.

1 1/4 Cup Flaxseed Meal

2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

1 Tablespoon Cinnamon

1 Teaspoon Nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

2/3 cup baking stevia

4 large eggs (beaten)

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup of water

1 tablespoon pure vanilla

1 medium Granny Smith Apple (finely grated)

1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare a muffin tin with paper liners. **I find that mini muffins work best with this recipe**

Mix dry ingredients together, mix wet ingredients. Add the wet to the dry and mix well. Let batter stand 10 minutes.

Scoop batter into the muffin pan and bake for 18 minutes, or until a tooth pick comes out clean.

These muffins are a nice tasty treat and I find they taste better after they have cooled completely.  ENJOY!


Technorati Tags: , , ,

Low Calorie Valentine’s Day


[facebooksimplelike]

Valentine’s Day is here! This day of love is also associated with food for many years. Unfortunately Valentine’s Day treats are usually very high in calories since it includes chocolate, candy, ice cream, champagne and fancy dinners. The average consumer spends $122 in candy, chocolate and other gifts during Valentine’s Day! That is a lot of cash for unhealthy and high calorie food.

Here are my healthy food tips and ideas to enjoy a fun, low-calorie and cheap Valentine’s Day with your sweetheart that is not going to break the bank.

Chocolate covered strawberries

Melt chocolate and dip strawberries and other fruit. Keep in the fridge to set

Heart shaped fruit

Use cookie cutter to shape fruit into hearts

Fruit flavoured yogurt dip

Blend some fruit and add to plain greek yogurt, sweeten with stevia for a healthy dip option for your heart-shaped fruit

“Eatmore” Date Treats

Here is my video for date treats and yogurt dip http://1039thejuice.com/events/christy_s_fitness_blog/simpleblog/13/02/2012/Healthy-Valentine-s-w-Angelique

Romantic candle lit dinner at home

Use your imagination and come up with healthy alternatives, and dress up for the occasion

Healthy chocolate pancakes

Blend ½ cup oats, ½ cup egg whites, 1 tbsp apple sauce, stevia, cinnamon and 1 tbsp cocoa and some dark chocolate chips for a chocolatey pancake treat! Make small or a few large pancakes.

Go for a romantic walk together with some homemade cocoa

Very easy to make, use low-fat milk or milk of choice, heat up with cocoa, stevia and some vanilla

These are all cheap, healthy and fun ways to enjoy the day dedicated to love. Hope these tips help and you all have an amazing day with your loved ones!


Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Powered by HostGator