Wednesday, May 19, 2010

3500 calories

Yesterday I mentioned that you need a deficit of 3500 calories to lose 1 pound of fat. So what exactly does that mean?
Everyone has a unique daily recommended calorie intake. This is based on age, weight, activity level and whether you are male or female.  Lets say your daily recommened intake is 1500 calories.
This is how many calories you need to eat in order to maintain your weight.
So lets say you eat 2000 calories a day, and burn 500 calories a day at the gym. Your net intake equals your recommended intake and you will maintain your current weight.
If you eat 2000 calories a day and burn 700 calories exercising every day after 7 days you will have a deficit of 4900 calories, or 1.4 pounds.
If you eat 2000 calories a day and don't exercise at all you will be in excess 500 calories each day. After 7 days you will have accumulated 3500 calories or 1 pound of fat.
How exactly do excess calories become jiggly thighs?
Anytime you have an excess of any food group - carbs, protein or fat - the body coverts it to fat and stores it in your adipose (fat) tissue.
So the trick is to not consistently take in more calories than you need.

Trying to lose a bit of weight? Don't fall for the latest fad/product/diet ect that promises "lose 7lbs in 7 days" - instead aim for slow and stead. A deficit of about 500 calories a day is a safe number to aim for. Try to cut out 250 calories a day from food, and burn 250 extra calories a day through exercise.
Trying to gain a bit of weight? Increase calorie intake through complex carbohydrates (ie. whole grains, fruit and vegetables), lean proteins (chicken, turkey, salmon, tofu), and unsaturated fat (ie avacados, salmon, almonds).  Avoid the unhealthy versions like simple sugars (ie. white sugar, white rice, and white bread), too much red meat or cured meats (ie. deli meat, bacon, steak), and saturated fat and avoid Trans Fat whenever possible.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

30 Day Shred

I Love the Biggest Loser. I watch as often as possible and I think they teach some really important information on the show. I think one of the biggest flaws of the show is that they send home the people who don't lose enough weight - the people who obviously still need to be there.
I think everyone should get to stay at the ranch the entire time and then who has lost the most should win.
Anyway thats not the point of this post. The point is Jillian Michaels. She is one of the trainers on Biggest Loser. She has a huge amount of products on the market right now, one of those products is the exercise DVD 30 Day Shred.

The idea is to do 20 minutes of intense interval training every day for 30 days. And it is intense. It is a combination of full body strength exercises, isolated strength exercises, ab/core exercises and cardio. I have never done the 30 days in a row because I am always sore the next day.
Im not sure about the 20 pounds in 30 days thing. To lose 1 pound of Fat,  you need to have a calorie deficit of 3500 calories. And if you dont have that calorie deficit, you have lost water - not Fat.
But I would definitely recommend this DVD to people who are looking for a short, intense at home workout.
All you need is maybe a mat, and some 5-7.5lbs weights. It is hard work, it is effective, and it is perfect for people who don't have a ton of extra time in their days.
If you try it, let me know what you think!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Move of the day

Want to tone your glutes, hips, and inner thighs? Then try this move. Its called the speed skaters and it works!
start by crossing your left leg behind your right as you bend you right knee to 90 degrees (making sure your knee doesn't go past your toe).
then either swing your right arm out to the side, or reach down and touch your toe.
then either jump or step a few feet to the other side and bring your right leg behind your left as you bend you left knee.
do 2 sets of 12-15 along with your regular leg strengthening exercises
dont forget to keep your core strong throughout the exercise.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Across Canada For Your Heart

Heart disease is the number one killer  in North America. And it is almost 100% preventable.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation has some health and lifestyle factors that you can control that can reduce your risk of heart disease by up to 80%
Here they are:
-Dont Smoke: smoking causes hardening of the arteries. This will lead to a heart attack. People who smoke have nearly double the risk of certain types of stroke. The good news? Within 24 hours of quitting smoking your risk of heart attack decreases.
-Lower your cholesterol: cholesterol is produced by the body and taken in through the diet. Despite all the negative press cholesterol gets, some cholesterol is needed in the body. The difference is between HDL (high density lipoprotein) and LDL (low density lipoprotein). HDL- "good" cholesterol- helps to remove plaque from building up in the arteries. LDL- "bad" cholesterol - actually promotes the build up of plaque in the arteries - which can lead to heart attack and stroke. Cholesterol can be lowered and controlled through diet and exercise
-Manage your Weight - Being overweight can cause high blood pressure, high cholesterol and blood triglycerides, and increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. All of these increase your risk of heart disease. Manage your weight by controlling your meal portion sizes, getting 30 minutes of exercise every day, getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night, and avoiding excess added sugar.
-Get Physically active! - get moving! it is recommended that you get atleast 30 minutes of exercise each day. But new information has come out saying that you can start to see health benefits from 10-20 minutes. So try getting 10minutes of exercise 2-3 times a day and then build up to a more substantial exercise program - Check out this link for some 10 minute exercise programs!
-Monitor your blood pressure - if your blood pressure is high, some ways of lowering it are: lower sodium intake, exercise, eat a low-fat diet, and talk to yoru doctor
-Manage your Diabetes - by controlling blood sugar, eating a well-balanced diet, having healthy weight and exercising.
-Limit alcohol intake - one or two drinks a day for women or something like red wine has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease. Any more than that is dangerous. And some of the previously mentioned lifestyle changes are much more effective - such as exercise, lowering your weight, eating a well-balanced diet
Reduce Stress - identify stressors in your life and how to manage them. Talk to friends and family about wha is going on in your life. Take time for your self to relaxe or practice mediation, and get active!

I know this is a lot of information but it is important information. I got it from the website of a friend who is riding her bike across Canada to raise money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
Check out her website Across Canada For Your Heart to learn about the journey and find out how to donate!

Monday, May 10, 2010

vitamin D

the sunshine vitamin.
Did you know it is actually a hormone produced naturally by our bodies. When we are exposed to UVB rays,  our skin produced vitamin D3 and we only produce as much as we need. It only takes about 10 minutes of unprotected exposure to UVB rays to get all the vitamin D that we need.  That being said, I think our hands and faces should always have sunscreen on them because they are typically always exposed to the sun. But maybe consider waiting 10 minutes after going outside before putting sunscreen on your arms. (Make sure you talk with your doctor/demetologist before going out without sunscreen)
Unfortunatly... here in Canada about 6-8 months out of the year, you could go outside without sunscreen all day and your body wouldnt produce any vitamin D.
This is because the sun is at the wrong angle, and the UVB rays are not strong enough to activate the vitamin D synthesis process (this DOESNT mean they arent strong enough to do damage. a sun burn in the winter is as dangerous as a sunburn in the summer).
That is why so many doctors recommend taking a vitamin D supplement.
Currently, the recommended daily intake of vitmin D is 1000 IU but a lot of research is suggesting that the number be increase to as high as 5000 - 10 000 IU.  (check out an interesting article here)

Vitamin D plays an important role in bone density. it raises blood calcium levels by increasing the absorbtion of calcium from the gut, and reabsorption of calcium from the kidneys. When blood calcium levels rise, more is stored in the bones increasing their density and strenght.
It has also been implicated in the prevention of many types of cancer, and Multiple sclerosis.  MS is almost not exisitant in equatorial regions where sunlight and vitamin D levels are typically adequate.
Vitamin D can help improve mood by alleviating Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD/Winter blues), and can also help reduce muscle fatigue and chronic pain.
Some preliminary studies also suggest that low Vitamin D may also be linked to an increased risk in heart disease and stroke (see a brief overview of Vitamin D here)

Vitamin D is found in some foods, such as salmon, and milk and breakfast cereals are typically fortified with vitamin D (fortified means it has been added to a product that did not naturally contain that vitmain/mineral, where as enriched means vitamins and minerals that have been lost during processing have been added back in). Most multivitamins contain about 400 IU (about 10% of the body's daily need)
So how do you know if you are getting enough vitamin D?
Ask your doctor, and get your blood tested for vitamind D levels. Once the results come back talk to your doctor about how much vitamin D you should be taking every day. 1000IU may be sufficient, or they may recommend more. Make sure you follow the doctors advice because, as with all vitamins, Vitamid D does have toxic effects if taken in excess (although up to 10 000IU appears to be safe)
Write down some questions or concerns that you have before you go to the doctor so you don't forget or get overwhelmed!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

did you know...

Yogurt with live cultures can actually reduce your allergy symptoms.
Now its not for immediate relief of symptoms but an italian study has shown that people who suffer from hay fever who ate 2 cups of yogurt every day for 4 months, had half the amount of histamines in their bodies.
Histamines are released from your immune cells to help protect your body from pathogens. And with the case of allergies, your body interprets harmless pollen as dangerous and releases histamines.
This causes inflammation in the tissue - which is responsible for your stuffy, runny nose.

Helpful tip: there is no need to pay the extra money for probiotic yogurt. All yogurt has live cultures because it is a product of fermentation. Most of the extra "probiotics" in the fancy yogurt are actually dead and not therefore are no help to your body. So save your money and just buy the yogurt you like best.

anti-oxidants have also been shown to help reduce the symptoms of seasonal allergies, so load that yogurt up with lots of fruit like strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries.
Enjoy this healthy, yummy, natural allergy relief!

update:  here is an article I found that gives some information on yogurts effects of seasonal allergies. As well as other foods that can help treat allergies.
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