Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Let me explain what it means to eat clean. It means to eat foods, as best as possible, in its natural state. Instead of thinking about this or that diet, it comes down to developing a smart approach, a lifestyle change on how we look at food and what we end up eating; which in turns lead to a healthier, fitter, leaner, sexier YOU.
There a many diets out there that perhaps to an extent will help you lose weight for a short period of time. In essence because any time you modify you calorie intake or deprive yourself of eating like most of these encourage you to do, you will lose weight. The issue with this is that your body will quickly catch up to it and will adjust itself to the low calorie intake. Not to mention that when you do lose weight its actually essential lean muscle tissue your body is getting rid off while storing on fat. And add to it the lack of nutrients that will make your body unhealthy, weak and saggy…
So instead of depriving yourself or starving, when you eat clean you are being mindful and responsible with your body. It’s not something you “will try and see”. You commit and eat healthy. I am not saying you’ll become a vegetarian, I’m not… but the foods you eat should be low in fat (you can’t eliminate fat entirely from your nutrition as they are essential for your body, you need fat to absorb fat soluble vitamins and nutrients, they also provide energy, protects your organs and bones, etc.), also you’ll eat foods low in salt, sugar and additives.Sodas, candies, sweets, processed, refined foods, refined flour, sugar, trans fats, fried foods and even alcohol, becomes your enemy. HEY! Before you jump out of your chair and scream at me for putting alcohol on this list, just remember that sugar-alcohol is a toxic substance that your body has difficulty processing. If you can eliminate it completely, the better, if not then use moderation and as best as possible eliminate the bad and unhealthy foods that aren’t part of your clean diet.
I understand that on occasions, if you’re like me, you will eat pizza and cheesecake and maybe have a drink here and there. But eating clean most of the time will make you feel better, look better, food even taste better.
Eating foods such as fresh fruits and veggies, oatmeal, whole grains, poultry, fish, beef, milk, peanut butter (organic or as natural and low in sugar as possible), beans, olive oil, flaxseed oil, eggs, low fat yogurt, nuts and natural spices and herbs are all great choices for your meals.
So this is my challenge for you: try going the next four weeks eating nothing else but these foods, while doing exercise and cardio. Take some measurements of your weight and if possible your body fat percentage. And to keep you in check, you will track everything from your daily meals to your workouts. Nothing fancy, just a notebook or on your PC, if you go online there’s a web site called http://www.fitday.com/ that is free and easy to use to track your meals.
After four weeks or during this period get back to me and let me know your progress report, also if you have questions regarding this or what your workout program should look like in order to achieve maximum results during this time frame drop me a line and I’ll get back to you or post it online to help everyone else.
Author: Eduardo Lorenzo, NASM-CPT specializes in sports performance, injury prevention, corrective exercises, physique enhancement, Boot Camp and weight loss programs.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
by: Eduardo Lorenzo
Ok so the holidays are just around the corner (heck it’s already here!) and you need to keep your guard up if you plan to stay healthy and if your goal is to keep losing weight and getting fit.
Undeniably during these times you will eat more than often, and may I presume more of what you know you shouldn’t, but hey who can say no to family and friends…
So what you need is a plan to keep you at the very least on top of your game. There are many options to have healthy meals during the holidays, but I won’t get into meal recipes here. Tammy has already posted some great recipes we can all benefit from and I sure know she has something in store for the next couple of weeks.
So my goal today is to remind you of some simple things that if done right and consistently will help you avoid the pitfalls of holiday eating. This way when January comes up, you have no guilt feelings and instead of having: “lose weight” as your #1 goal… it could be stay fit, go extreme, do something new!
Things to keep in mind:
- Consume whole foods that are high in fiber and low in sugar such as lean protein (lean beef, chicken, fish, and whey protein), fruits & vegetables (oranges, apples, strawberries, blueberries, broccoli, peppers, asparagus, carrots, nuts (almonds, cashews, & walnuts), and whole grains.
- Eat low-glycemic carbohydrates such as vegetables, whole-wheat products and oatmeal instead of refined processed carbohydrates which usually come in a box or a bag.
- Eat some type of lean protein at each meal. Protein helps to satisfy hunger and provide the necessary building blocks to maintain lean body mass while losing body fat
- Don’t overeat. Don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food. Eat meals. Cut out snacking, stick with structured meals.
- If you have gatherings during the week… plan ahead your meals for the rest of the week. This way at the very least you ensure that you will eat properly 75 to 80% of the time. Hey – something is something.
- Go easy on alcohol…. One or two drinks a party here and there won’t spoil your progress, but don’t over do it.
- EXERCISE!! You can lose weight by just following a nutrition plan on its own but very few succeed at it and it takes much longer than when you eat properly as well as exercise. I am not talking about just getting on a treadmill for 30 minutes every other day. Though you can lose weight this way, it is not the most efficient use of your time, nor is it maximizing the ability to burn calories. The most effective way to lose fat is by strength training or some type of interval training utilizing strength training and cardiovascular exercises. A properly designed program can burn more overall calories in 20 minutes than 20 minutes on a treadmill. Also, the X factor in all this is that you will burn more calories per minute hours after you finished strength training because of the EPOC effect (Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). Static exercise on a treadmill doesn’t produce this X factor.
- Don’t forget your food journal. You will be amazed at what you consume and not even realize you did it until you right it down and reflect back on the day. Keeping a food log is critical to your success because if modifications need to be made you need something to be able to evaluate and analyze. If changes aren’t happening like you had hoped the answer can usually be found in the food and or exercise journal, plus it makes you more accountable of your actions.
There it is! Just remember to let yourself have some fun, balance is necessary in life. Enjoy!
I’ll post a few extra reminders and tips to help you stay on track and keep your waistline down during these next few weeks.
Let me know how it goes and if you have questions or issues. I’ll post my responses by e-mail and on this post.