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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7 Food Myths That Stop Your Diet From Being Healthy

Sometimes I seriously wonder where some of these health coaches get their facts, do they not stay up to date with the latest research?  I’ve heard some ridiculously false advice from people that actually keep them from having a healthier diet.

  1. “Egg yolks are bad for you because they raise your cholesterol. So you should only eat the egg white.” Research now shows us that eggs have nothing to do with raising your LDL (bad) cholesterol.  Eggs whites are a great source of protein and egg YOLKS are a great source of zinc, iron, vitamin D, and choline.  Eat the WHOLE egg, unless you’re allergic, like me, then skip them.
  2. “Everyone should eat gluten free.”  Unless your gluten intolerant there is no need because your body is able to digest gluten…it’s just another type of protein that some people just happen to be intolerant to.
  3. “Nuts are bad for you because they are high in fat.”  Nuts are a great source of HEALTHY fats packed with nutrients.  Like with anything, too many nuts can be bad, however research has shown that eating proper servings of nuts can actually help protect you against heart disease.
  4. “Carbohydrates make you fat.”  False.  Too much carbphydrates, just like too much protein, and too much fat, make you fat….aka caloric surplus.  Carbs give us energy, help our brains think, and feed our muscles.
  5. “The label says low fat, so it has to be good for me.” Eat the whole fat.  With whole fat you can simply use the fat grams as part of your daily fat consumption assuming you do not over do it.  The problem with low fat is that they need to replace the fat, which is what add the good taste, with something else so that it is not bland.  What they end up using as a replacer is sugar!  Without knowing, you are consuming extra sugar that you may not have accounted for.
  6. “Organic food is always healthy.”  Definitely not!  Especially deceiving when the organic label is placed on the packaging.  Read the ingredients!  Most of the time if it’s on a box you’re better off saving the money on the inorganic version because it’s the same exact thing.
  7. “When eating out, always choose the salad.”  False.  Sometimes the salad can become the most calorically enriched plate because of the hidden sugars used to preserve the salad or the salad dressings.

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.

5 Delicious Foods That Are Shockingly Low In Calories

Ultimately weight loss is about calories in vs calories out.  Your total daily intake cannot be more than what your body burns from performing your daily activity.  Here are 5 foods that are not only low calorie, but also PACKED with nutrients that may help you on your weight loss journey.

  1. Celery:  A stalk of celery is roughly 3 calories.  It’s calorie coming from .5g of carbohydrates.  The great part about celery is that despite being low calorie it is a great source of natural sodium, potassium, calcium, and vitamin C!
  2. Spinach:  1 cup of spinach is only about 7 calories and has more nutrients that lettuce! The calories in 1 cup of spinach come from about 1.1g of carbohydrates, .9g of protein, and .1g of fat.  Spinach is another great source of sodium, potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, and Iron
  3. Kiwi: 2 Kiwis are about 100 calories coming from 24g of carbohydrates (natural sugars and fibers), 1 g of fat, and 2 gram of protein.  Sprinkle some seeds on those slices and you have a refreshing snack!  Anyways, kiwis are a great source of protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, Calcium, and Iron
  4. Green Bell Peppers: 1 cup of green bell peppers has 18 calories from about 4.3 grams of carbs, .2g fat, and 1 gram of protein.  It is loaded with potassium, vitamin A, more Vitamin C than your average orange, and has some sodium.
  5. Mushrooms: 1 cup of mushrooms has about 44 calories coming from 6.6 grams of carbs, .6 grams of fat, and 6.2 grams of protein! Mushrooms are a great source of Calcium, Iron, potassium, and sodium.

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.

Leafy Greens: My love hate relationship

Leafy greens and I have a love hate relationship.  I am probably the only vegetarian in the world that abhors veggies (except broccoli), but I eat them anyways because they are an integral part of a balances diet.  Vegetables in general are incredibly nutrient dense with very little calories.  Green veggies in general tend to be the most nutrient packed containing Vitamins A, C, K, B, and E along with minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium just to name a few.  Green vegetables are also extra high in protein and fiber.  Now before I continue I want to warn you guys that this is going to be a long, but info-packed post.  Because it is very long and I still have a workout to test, youtube videos to record, and chemistry to study I will not be doing extensive proof reading, only skimming.

Now that I have given that disclaimer I can move on.  So, our bodies have a something called t-bet genes.  They help with the production of immune cells and feed off the foods we eat, more specifically our consumption of green vegetables.  The t-bet gene also allows our body to produce innate lymphoid cells that line our digestive systems and act as a barrier against bad bacterias and allergies.  Without proper consumption of green vegetables you are depriving this gene in being able to carry out its daily activities inside our body.  Leafy greens are high in antioxidants and disease fighting compounds such as photo-chemicals.  Phyto-chemicals help reduce inflammation, regulate cell production and elimination, and they get rid of carcinogens (cancer causing agents often hidden in the processed garbage we eat).

How many servings should we aim for?  According to one of my nutrition textbooks the average American eating 3 servings a week! unfortunately, that’s no where NEAR enough.  The goal should be 4-6 servings of greens a day!  My advice, find a way to make them yummy, but be advised the more you take veggies out of their raw form, the more you strip them of their vitamins in minerals.

Although their are more green vegetables than the ones I am about to list, I chose the following 7 because they are either under-recognized or under-appreciated.

1.  Sprouts:  (Under-recognized) help our bodies to extract the necessary vitamins, minerals, healthy essential fats, and amino acids from the food we consume.

2. Spinach: (Under-appreciated) Contain vitamins A, C, K, and B-vitamins along with minerals such as calcium, iron, fiber, selenium, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, and copper.  They also provide us with folic acid, omega-3s (hint hint to all of my vegetarian/vegan friends, omega 3s are not just found in fish and iron is not only found in red meat, you just need to eat 10x the amount if your source is coming from plant), and lutein for eye health.  Spinach aids in overall heart health and is an anti-inflammatory veggie.

3. Kale: (WAYYYYYYY Under-appreciated) is one of the MOST NUTRIENT DENSE foods in the world!  It contains Vitamin A, K, C, B vitamins, and minerals such as manganese, calcium, copper, potassium,  and magnesium.  You can also find antioxidants and phytochemicals (quercitin and kempferl) that help protect the heart, regulate blood pressure, fights cancer causing agents, lowers cholesterol (which lowers risk of CHD), and also contains lutein and zeaxanmin to help keep your eyes healthy.  Because kale is low in calorie and high in nutrition it is an excellent veggie to stuff yourself with (especially when losing weight).

4.Swiss Chard: (Under-recognized) contains vitamins A, C, E, K, and minerals copper, manganese, magnesium, and natural sodium.  Swiss chard helps maintain an overall healthy skeletal system, lungs, heart, and immune system.

5.Collard greens: (under-recognized) contain vitamins A, C, K, are a great source of fiber, and phytochemicals diindolylenethane and sulforaphane that contain cancer fighting agents.

6. Dandelion Greens: (under-recognized) are like root rooter for your system.  Need a fast acting cleanse? Eat tons of dandelion greens!  They also are an excellent source of iron, calcium, manganese, potassium, phosphorous, protein and vitamins A, C, and B.

7.Broccoli: (under-appreciated) are high in fiber, antioxidants, photo-nutrients beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, and sea-xanthin.  Also have copious amounts of floats, B vitamins, vitamin A and K, and minerals such as calcium, manganese, magnesium, selenium, zinc, and phosphorous.  Contribute towards a healthy colon, urinary tract, and pancreas.

Not sure what all of the aforementioned vitamins and minerals do for us? scroll down to my micronutrient post!