Wednesday, February 13, 2013

National Nutrition Month

Most of you may not know this, but next month (March) is the 40th anniversary of National Nutrition Month.  

As a personal trainer, my primary objective is to get clients healthier; this includes everything from getting stronger, faster, and more powerful; improving balance and coordination and improving flexibility.  However, one of the more overlooked pieces to the "healthy" pie is nutrition.  Unfortunately, what we eat is much more difficult to change than adding in more daily exercise.  In my opinion nutrition is the key to all successes (results).

When sitting down with potential clients, the first 15 min I like to spend talking about what they eat.  Now don't get me wrong, I am not a registered dietitian or a nutritionist, and don't go outside my scope of practice, however, I try and help make simple changes in one's eating habits so that all the effort they put in the gym strength training doesn't go un-noticed.  I like to have those who are looking to lose weight sign up for an online food journal account (,, etc).  Something as simple as tracking the foods you eat can make a big difference, you will be amazed by how many more calories you eat than you think.  If after several weeks they continue to struggle with their nutrition, I will refer them to one of our local dietitians to explore more options.

Visit Eat Right for lots of helpful information and some healthy recipes.

With just over 2 weeks to go until March, think of ideas you can incorporate now to help improve your overall diet.  Don't opt for the "quick diet" plan that promises that you will lose 20 lbs in 3 weeks.  Instead, choose food habits that you can sustain for the rest of your life.  Here are just a few ideas that may help get you started.

     1.  Eat breakfast - You have probably heard this more than once, but eating breakfast (doesn't have to be big) will immediately help improve your diet.  Eat some oatmeal, have a banana and some yogurt, or even better make an omelet with veggies and a piece of toast.  You'll be surprised by how much more energy you will have during the day, and may even find that you are less hungry at lunch.

     2.  Eat 4-5 meals during the day - By spreading your daily calories over more meals, you will eat less at each meal and not overheat.  This can be difficult for some and requires some planning ahead to have meals ready.  Instead of eating 3 (700 calorie meals), try 5 (400 calorie meals).  Depending on your BMR (basal metabolic rate - the amount of calories YOUR body needs to maintain a heart beat), you will need to adjust the amount of calories per meal.  Keep in mind, the more you exercise the more calories your body will require.

     3.  Eat more fiber - Foods high in fiber will help keep you "feeling" full longer and prevent you for overeating.  foods high in fiber include:  vegetables, black beans, brown rice, avocado, raspberries or even some ground flax seed in your cereal.  Fiber can help reduce cholesterol, and lower blood sugar levels.

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