HAPPY NEW YEAR, and welcome, or welcome back!
It has truly been too long since I blogged, but I am back with some big ideas and am looking forward to getting back to doing what I love.
Through out this coming year, I will be tackling some of the most common “medical diagnosis'” that we hear about, are diagnosed with, or know someone who has been diagnosed. I will be taking an approach to these issues as both a dietitian AND a fitness professional.
By no means am I claiming I can cure these issues, replace certain medications, or an entire medical team. My intent is to provide you with some quick nutrition and fitness based, actionable steps, that can help you or someone you know.
Trainer Mike Says:
- Set up a reasonable exercise plan. You may be thinking about spending 2 hours at the gym per day, and getting an extra 1 hour of exercise in at night right now, but what happens a week from now, a month from now? Come up with a MAINTAINABLE plan for moving with intent as many days as possible – within reason. You need to come up with a plan that you can stick to for the long run, not some gimmicky flash in the pan workout.
- Focus on big movements for your lifting. Yes, I put lifting before cardio. Multi joint exercises will work best for revving up your metabolism and getting your biggest bang for your buck when at the gym. Instead of spending 5 sets on bicep curls, hit some body weight rows, or barbell rows to work more muscles. Choose squats over the leg extension machine. Presses, squats, hinges, and pulling movements are the 4 prime movements (loaded carries makes it 5) that you need to be focussing on.
- Incorporate cardiovascular exercise into your workouts. Cardio is such a one-sided topic in the fitness industry. People swear it will make you fatter, or it is the only way to lose fat. I like a middle of the road approach here. Cardio is great for your heart, metabolism and your body. It isn’t 100% necessary for fat loss, but it definitely helps and will make you a healthier person.
- What workout is the best? THE ONE THAT YOU WILL CONTINUE DOING! There is no magic bullet fat-loss, 21 day, 7 minute per day, no equipment needed, super shred, high intensity interval, metabolism scorching workout that will work for everyone. The bottom line is that you need to find something that keeps you motivated, challenges you, and you enjoy doing (most of the time). You won’t always LOVE it, but you need to get some positive vibes from your workout in order to keep wanting more.
- Create your caloric deficit…through your diet. This goes back to tip #1, don’t focus so much on burning as many calories through exercise as possible, but rather creating a caloric deficit through your diet. If only we had a registered dietitian here to give out some tips on that…
Dietitian Mike Says:
- Set a reasonable weight loss goal. If you need to lose 10 pounds, and keep it off for good, I recommend the following weight loss goals:
- 2 pounds per week for obese (BMI >30) – it’s not uncommon to see larger numbers when starting out, this is okay.
- 1 pound per week for overweight (BMI 25-30)
- Create a small caloric deficit through your diet. You notice here I didn’t say a HUGE caloric deficit, rather a small, obtainable deficit. In some cases, creating a large deficit may be necessary – but this is usually best recommended while under close supervision of a professional. A drop in too many calories could also lead to some muscle loss, which nobody wants. How much should you cut out? I recommend 300-500 calories under maintenance. Using the Mifflin-St.Jeor equation is a good place to start:
10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (y) + 5
10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (y) – 161.
- EXAMPLE: Me = 10 x 95.45 (210 lbs./2.2 = 95.45kg) x 187.96 (74 inches x 2.54 = 187.96cm) – (5 x 26) + 5 = 2004 calories. This is your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR).
- Once you have your RMR (2004 for me) multiply it by your activity factor (*Note: These are MY personally recommended factors for results. You may find different numbers elsewhere)
- Sedentary (little or no activity) = RMR x 1.1
- Mild activity level (intense exercise 1-3 times per week) = RMR x 1.2
- Moderate activity level (intense exercise 3-4 times per week) = RMR x 1.3
- High activity level (intense exercise 5-6 times per week) = RMR x 1.4
- Hard Daily level (intense exercise 7 times per week) = RMR x 1.5
- Extreme activity level (intense exercise multiple times per day) = RMR x 1.7
- EXAMPLE: Me 2004 cals x 1.3 (I workout 4 times per week currently) = 2605 calories. This is the amount of calories I need to maintain my weight at 210.
- Final step: 2605 – 300 calories = 2305 calories per day would be a perfect level to start at for ME.
- For those of you who hate math, just click here.
- For those of you who don’t want to deal with the math, calorie counting, and tracking – it can still be done. Think about your weight right now. Have you been gaining, maintaining, or losing lately? If you have been holding steady, just try cutting out 100 calories per meal from your current diet and see what happens at the end of the week or 2 weeks. Still not losing? Try cutting out another 100 calories per day. This is a process, but take it slow rather than cutting out a huge chunk of your intake super quick.
- Focus on nutrient dense foods, instead of calorie dense. 100 calories from candy vs. 100 calories from vegetables is a huge difference in volume (and unfortunately taste). Watch out for the caloric dense foods, and try to focus on getting more nutritious foods throughout most of the day. Cutting out 100 calories per meal can be easier than you think. Skip the cheese slice on your sandwich, switch from 2% to skim milk, drink water instead of soda… little substitutions can make big differences at the end of the day. It is important to familiarize yourself somewhat with food labels so you are at least aware of what 100 calories looks like.
- Tackle your stressors with other means than food. Stress and emotional eating are a huge reason behind over eating. This could be a whole article in itself (ARTICLE DROP HERE) and it’s easier said than done. But realizing that you are emotional eating is the first crucial step to overcoming your weight. Remember, food won’t fix it! Find other means to work with what’s stressing you out. PRO TIP: Exercise is great stress relief 🙂
I hope these basic tips can help you lose some extra pounds, and get you started on the path to health! As always, let me know if you have any questions, concerns or comments!
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Stay healthy my friends,