Thursday, April 29, 2010

Alcohol and Weight Loss "Don't Mix"

I am often asked about weight loss plans...”What is the best way to lose weight, Trina?”

I dive right in and ask all the important questions; only to find out later that my clients drink a minimum two beers or two glasses of wine a night. “It helps me relax, unwind.”

Like soda – alcohol adds calories. Calories you don’t need right now. These ‘empty’ calories will not make you feel full, in fact studies show that alcohol encourages you to eat more and slows down your metabolism. You will burn less fat with alcohol consumption.

The alcohol sends a signal to the liver – the liver recognizes it as poison and goes to work breaking down the alcohol before it deals with processing the food. In other words your body will burn off the alcohol calories first before it goes to work on the fat. Alcohol inhibits the production of your fat and muscle building hormones.

So if you are serious about weight loss – skip the alcohol for 6-weeks and bump up your water intake. Alcohol is a diuretic and your body goes into emergency mode and makes more cortisol.

Water flushes the waste from your body and helps the nutrients to your muscles; water helps digest food and proteins, and keeps the metabolism running HOT.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Stretch for Success

I know what you are thinking; 'I could never touch my toes' or 'I have been inflexible since my youth'. However with a simple plan and a short-term goal you will be bending and reaching in no time at all.

It would be wise to start with an exercise prescription:

To significantly improve flexibility, you must overload your muscles by stretching them beyond their normal limits

Stretch frequently and for long periods of time

Your intensity level would be to the point of mild discomfort, however be sure you can hold the position correctly

You need to hold the stretch for at least 10 - 60 seconds in length

Most importantly don't hold your breath, make sure you breath long and deep

I would recommend that you do 3 -5 repetitions of each stretch, at least 3 days a week

The answer to your plan is to come up with a short-term goal. Write it down and look at it every day. Tell your family and friends. If you get off track- re-evaluate your goal and start again. Its that Easy!

Here are a few stretching ideas to get you started:

Sit and Reach. Simple sit on the floor and reach forward. Don't worry about how far you reach just hold the stretch long enough so that you feel the legs start to warm up.

Single Leg Stretch. With one hand, hold onto something stable, like a table or chair, then with the other hand reach back and grab your other leg. You could start by using a belt or rope to help you lift up that back leg. Don't forget to do both legs.

Upper Body-Chest Stretch: Stand in a doorframe, stretch out both hands on opposite sides of the walls, and walk your upper body through the door. Be sure to lift your head and neck to provide a full chest stretch.

Neck Rotations: This is a great stretch to release tension in the upper back and neck area. Sit nice and tall in a chair and look to your left, then look to your right and be sure to hold each side for several seconds. Then you will look down with your chin to your chest.

Friday, April 9, 2010

YOU can avoid 80% of diseases if you ate correctly. Here is a simple equation to gives an idea of what I am talking about:

  • 3.5 grams of sugar = 1 tsp or 1 packet of sugar

  • Your average yogurt has 23 grams of sugar per serving. That is 6 ½ tsp of sugar in that tiny container of yogurt you buy. An alternative try Greek Plain Yogurt with only 7grams per serving. Sweeten with fruit.

  • Your Gatorade drinks - they have per serving 14 grams of sugar. Not bad right? However take a look at the bottle; usually there are 2 to 4 servings per bottle. How many of you drink only 1 serving?

  • Regular Soda – On an average a 12 oz soda can has 40 grams of sugar that equals 11 ½ teaspoons of sugar! How many cans do you drink in one day? Maybe you drink BigGulps? By the way if you are saying to me “Trina, I only drink diet”, that is another column I will have to write later.

  • Cold Cereal – I picked Honey Nut Cheerios. Measure out ¾ cup, almost 3 tsp of sugar! How many of us eat ONLY ¾ cup in the morning?
    Milk – 1 cup of milk has approximately 13 grams of sugar = 4 tsp of sugar! Breakfast cost you 10 tsp of sugar. Not including the Pop Tart or glass of juice you had with your cereal.

Some simple advice; eat as many fresh fruits and vegetables as you can. Adults need as many as 9 servings a day. Read labels. Just because the package says whole grain or healthy is not always true. Understand what a serving is. I am a visual person so I will measure and weight my food for a few weeks to have a better understanding of portion control. Educate yourself and be a role model for your children. You can find me on Facebook for everyday healthy tips.