10 Simple Diet Mistakes that make your Calorie Counting to be far Less Effective

  • Mistake #1:  Calories are not created equally.  200 calories in chocolate is not nearly as dense as 200 calories in a colorful salad with protein.  We need more good quality calories that bad quality calories in order to lose weight
  • Mistake #2: You are forgetting about macronutrients. Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins make up calories.  Carbs and protein yield 4 calories per gram while fats yield 9 calories per gram.  The goal is to eat the correct amount of each  eating 1400 calories out of your 1800 calorie day in just one macronutrient is not good.  Each macronutrient has a purpose and requirement in our body.
  • Mistake #3: You are forgetting about Micronutrients. While a donut does contain carbs, fat, and protein (usually 1-2g), the calories are empty.  When you consume food the goal is to look at food and think “What kind of energy is this going to give me? and what kinds of vitamins and minerals will it give me?”  Vitamins and Minerals are equally as important as macronutrients….the good news is they do NOT directly add to the calorie count.
  • Mistake #4: Consuming too many calories.  Trying to lose weight?  At the end of the day weight loss is having less calories in versus calories out.  Meaning we need to eat less than what our body burns in activities each day.
  • Mistake #5: Not consuming enough calories.  Trying to gain weight?  You need to be consuming more than what your body burns in activities each day.
  • Mistake #6: Most people do not know how many calories they should even be consuming.  Advice:  My fitness pal does a decent job at giving you calorie needs based on goals and activity.
  • Mistake #7: Overestimating calories burned while exercising.  The calories the machine tells you, is wayyyyyyyy more than reality because it goes off of the machines RPM and not your body’s work.
  • Mistake #8:  Assuming all lasagna at a restaurant is the same.  Luckily most restaurants are registered with my fitness pal and give you calorie, macronutrient, and micronutrient breakdown.  However, when a food from a menu does not pop up, it’s hard to find an exact match as recipe and portion size really make a difference.
  • Mistake #9:  No Plan. Meal prepping is a must!! I know my entire week’s menu before it has even started…helps me stay focused and organized.  Plus i control what goes into my food and then it becomes easier to track if need be.
  • Mistake #10: Drinking calories.  Most people have no necessity for juices.  Skip the liquid calories and go for water!

Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the best fitness programs available to get your body in gear.

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8 Things That You Should Be Teaching Your Children About Nutrition

While I do not currently have kids, I work with a lot of parents and I observe a lot of parents and what they teach their children about nutrition.  Before I begin, I get a lot of heat from people whenever I opine about pregnancy, infant nutrition, adolescent health and fitness.  The same way your male Dr. does not need to know what it feels like to be pregnant in order to help guide you through a healthy pregnancy, an exercise physiologist with an extensive back ground in academic nutrition (not jo shmo nutrition blogs) can help you establish healthy habits for you and your family.  There are 2 critical periods for when children establish the number and size of the adipocyte tissue (aka our fat tissue) in infancy and in adolescence.  The goal as a parent should be to do your best to keep the fat cell size to as small as possible and fat cell number to as little as possible. Here are 8 things parents should be doing in order to help set their children up for health success!  These are not my opinion, they are all backed by the sciences.

  1. In infancy, stick to infant ONLY foods!  No need to sneak an infant soda, friend food, lasagna, or processed sugar before 12 months!  While it may seem like they can handle it, inside their body react adversely
  2. In infancy, if you’re a parent who gives your baby anything that is not labeled for infants because you want to or that’s “how you grew up” (only science is now realizing the way you grew up has lead to a ridiculously obese population), please do NOT give your baby anything that has honey or corn syrup in it.  I see it all of the time and a little piece of my soul dies because you are potentially exposing your baby to something called botulism.  Botulism is a death sentence, if they contract it from honey or any food that has corn syrup because their organism cannot fight it off.
  3. Go as long as you can (goal 12 months) if you are able to breast feed.  Make the sacrifice because the immunological, health, cognitive, you name it benefits far surpass the benefits of formula.  Understand that formula is a first world commodity. In 3rd world countries it’s either you breast feed or the baby unfortunately passes.  Formula is meant to keep your baby nourished enough to where infant death is not an issue in case breast feeding does not happen.
  4. Moving away from infancy and into childhood, one of the biggest mistakes parents make, especially those in the hispanic community (It’s the anthropological studies saying it, not me!) is impose the “clear your plate” mentality.  We have something in our brains called the hypothalamus and it lets us know when we are hungry and when we are full.  The beautiful thing about children (and babies too) is that they have not fried it the way most adults do.  Meaning, their brain still tells them when they should stop eating before they get to a place of over eating.  The clear your plate mentality breeds obesity.  If your child doesn’t want to eat anymore, don’t force them to eat twice as much as they want.  Trust me, they won’t die of starvation.
  5. Don’t make dessert something they can have only if they eat their vegetables.  Find a way to make them enjoy their veggies without bribing them.  If they eat their veggies every day that would mean they get dessert everyday.
  6. Which, brings me to my next point, junk foods, processed sugars, fried foods, sodas, etc. are not foods we should keep at our children’s reach all of the time.  They do not know what nutrient density is, they only know that those foods taste yummier so without realizing it you are allowing them to build poor habits when you aren’t around.  In my house we bring ZERO of the aforementioned and I plan to keep it that way when we have kids.  We do this so that when we go out, it’s OKAY to have a fried shrimp or lava cake because it’s something that we do not eat every day at our home.
  7. This leads me to point number seven.  Teach kids about balance!  I’m not by any means saying forever forbid your kids from eating junk food.  What I am saying is make junk food 15-20% of their overall diet.  Fill the rest with a plethora of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, non-antiobiotic/steroid packed protein sources, nuts, seeds, and legumes.  Growing up chips and sodas were something my mom would save for when friends came over, the few times we went out to eat, or for the holidays.  I personally, love this approach because what do all of those events have in common?  They happen in a minority, meaning the majority of the time you are nourishing your child.
  8. Try to pack your child’s lunch.  It’s a great way of controlling what goes in to fuel their bodies and NEVER let them skip breakfast!  Myplate.gov has killer tools and articles to help you choose healthy lunches.  These plates also from mygov are GREAT to help YOU as a parent portion out each food group while teaching them at the same time what their plate should look like.
  9. Bonus:  Try to teach them how to make healthy choices and why it’s important.  If you are clueless, find a health professional who CAN!  When you understand why something needs to be done it’s easier to do it.

Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the best fitness programs available to get your body in gear.

7 Fruits That Make A Delicious Sweet Treat

Have you every wandered why some fruits are sweeter than others?  The sweetest fruits have what we call a higher glycemic index.  When we are craving the sorbets or cookies, these are the fruits that will most likely quench the sweet tooth in a healthier way.  Here are my 7 favorite sweet tooth quenchers.

  1. Dates
  2. Watermelon
  3. Pineapple
  4. Banana
  5. Kiwi
  6. Grapes
  7. Oranges–Freshly Squeezed is my personal favorite way

Next time you have that tutti fruity craving I challenge you to have a higher glycemic fruit instead!

Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the best fitness programs available to get your body in gear.

Setting Realistic Goals

This topic was suggested to me by one of my clients. Totally wishing I would have thought to cover my opinions on his topic sooner, as I think setting realistic goals is key in anyone’s fitness journey.

Far too often I get emails from followers saying they want to drop 50-100 pounds ASAP.  Wanting to lose 50-100 pounds is a great long term goal.  Where I like to start is short term weekly goes.   For example, why does someone need to lose that much weight? What habits did they create that made them gain so much excess weight? I am a huge follower of the baby steps principle.  I absolutely HATE when “fitness and health professionals” put people on ridiculously restrictive diets.  Sure they might restrict themselves for ,maybe a week but then it all hits the fans.  Binging is what we want to AVOID as we should be trying to promote a lifestyle change.  The other day I got an email from someone who was confused because they bought a nutrition program from someone and all it included was a “No No” list.

NoNo list example

Fit of all, almond milk and coconut milk aren’t even considered dairy!!!  Avocado is GOOD for you.  Nuts are GOOD for you.  I could rant on and on about this No No list.  How is this person even in business?! This is just not how you help someone establish a healthy lifestyle.  Start with them, help them remove sodas, processed juices from their diet first by replacing it with water, then tackle the fried and switch it with grilled or bakes for example.  But baby steps!  Not that don’t eat this, don’t eat that nonsense. On a sidetone, PLEASE don’t send me an email saying that you bought someone else’s program, but want my free advice.  Not happening.  But anyways…

Set daily goals:

-Today I will have veggies at every meal.

-Today I will have my smoothie without added sugar

-Today I will have more water than usual

and those are just a few

Set Weekly Goals:

-This week I will lose .5-1 pound.

-This week I will only have 1 bag of chips

-This week I will only have whole grain carbs

-This week I will not eat fried foods

-This week I will go from exercising zero times a week to 1-2 times a week.

Get the picture? Baby steps lead to achieving Monthly Goals:

-This month I will lose 5-10 Pounds (everyones body is different and loses weight at different paces, the goal is to focus on healthy habits)

-This month I went from eating 30 bad meals, to 15 bad meals

-This month I hit my exercise goals

Which helps you meet your annual fitness goals.

If there is one take home phrase I would love for “baby steps” to stick with you.  Don;y focus on bad decisions, focus on all of the good decisions.

 

How to Read Nutrition Labels

Oh man, it’s been almost a month since my last post.  Life kind of happened haha.  I’ve had to cope with the sudden unexpected passing of one of my dogs, Handsome.  I’ve also been dealing with 2 new puppies,  school,  tons of demos with LetlerFit apparel, and the release of my new online workout program Get LetlerFit in 30 days! Link to view/purchase my program click here. (Can be downloaded internationally)

Anyways, today’s post is dedicated to reading nutrition labels (the basics).  By law every food item we purchase at a convenient store, supermarket etc. that comes packaged must contain Nutrition Facts that include ingredients, macronutrient and micronutrient break downs, serving size, and calories per serving.

If you start at the top of the label  you will see Serving size and Servings per container.  The macronutrient breakdown of each serving size follows below.  Now, how do they get the calories to declare up top where it says calories per serving?  In my previous post about macronutrients I mentioned that Carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram, protein contains 4 calories per gram, and fat contains 9 calories per gram.  If you look at the attached Nutrition Label that also has explanations on how to read it you will see that this particular item has

12 g of fat, 31g of carbs, and 5g of protein.  So per serving 12g of fat times 9 gives 108 calories from fat, 31g of carbs times 4 gives 125 calories from carbs, and 5g of protein times 4 gives 20 calories from protein per serving.  In total that is 253 (rounds down to 250) calories per 1 cup of this food item.

Underneath the macronutrients, the micronutrients are listed.  Next to both macro and micronutrients you can find the % Daily value column.  The downfall to this column  is that the daily values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet (average male diet) so women have to estimate based off of the listed daily values.  So for example, if you are eating this food item and consume roughly 2,000 calories a day you are getting 20% of your Calcium needs, which means in your other foods you need to consume the other 80% of your Calcium needs.

In the attached photo ingredients are not listed, but on all labels you can find them. So looking at a label you see from very few ingredients to labels that contain tons of weird ingredients.  The less ingredients, generally the better the food item is for you.  The more ingredients on a label, the more fillers, useless junk, chemicals, and preservatives are what can be found.  The order in which the ingredients are listed are NOT random by the way. The ingredients that comes first on the list are the ones that are most found in the food item while the ingredients towards the end of the list are the ones that the item least contains.

ingredients

In the above example, the item most contains enriched flour and has the least of the food dyes.

That just about sums about nutrition labels.  Any questions? Don’t be afraid to comment! Don’t forget to check out my online at home 30 day workout program! Click here (Can be downloaded internationally)