You are starting a journey to create a better version of yourself. Here’s some stuff that will matter for your fitbattle
Nutrition is an essential part of my fitbattle… CLICK HERE to shop for nutritional products for your fitbattle.
I love to talk about fitness, the gym, classes, exercises, food, nutrition, etc. When I talk to friends, family, or anyone else that’s willing to talk about all this stuff a typical excuse for not eating more meals during the day is: “I don’t have time”, “I’m very busy at work”, or something similar.
When I started this journey I had a very demanding corporate job that kept me on the go nonstop. I spent the better part of most of my days in meetings or traveling from one meeting to another…so I get it! It’s not easy. Most things worth doing aren’t.
A man too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools. ~ Spanish Proverb
Below I am providing some basic information about key health indicators. Creating a better version of yourself isn’t just about the scale. The scale is the least important measurement. Your focus should be on how you feel, how your clothes fit, your energy level, numbers important to your overall health, and finally the scale.
Weight…does it matter? Sure it does, but it’s not the most important indicator…
I prefer to check, what I call, Morning Naked Weight. I get on the scale first thing in the morning in my birthday suit…no shoes, no clothes, right after I use the little girls room, and before I eat breakfast. Why is this important? It really isn’t, it’s just a number and there are more important results to consider in the fitbattle.
I check my morning naked weight once a week. Getting on the scale everyday is a bad idea. Weight loss takes time. Weighting yourself everyday can result in frustration. Healthy weight loss is anywhere from 1-2 pounds per week. Give the scale a week to register your efforts!
I’m at a healthy weight. That doesn’t mean that I’m not always focused on my weight. Maintaining a healthy weight is a life-time commitment. Weight fluctuations are unavoidable. I am convinced that keeping track of calories is a key ingredient to maintaining a healthy weight.
What is a healthy weight for you? We will determine a healthy weight range for you during your initial consultation. Your initial consultation is complimentary.
Numbers that matter…CHOLESTEROL
These numbers matter! Do you get annual physicals? If you are insured, you insurance most likely offers annual physicals at little or no cost to you. Annual physicals are preventive care, therefore a benefit you should not pass up.
Annual physicals typically include blood tests for cholesterol. Cholesterol is a direct contributor to cardiovascular disease, which can lead to strokes and heart attacks. Physical activity and nutrition both impact your cholesterol.
Here are the recommended healthy ranges for cholesterol:
When I started my journey, I did not have healthy Cholesterol numbers. I achieved healthy numbers through both exercise and nutrition. This was an important battle to win in my fitbattle and as a result I have reduced my risk of heart disease.
Other numbers that matter…MEASUREMENTS
Have you heard of Body Fat Calipers? They are one of the tools that personal trainers use to measure your fat density, yes I said fat or your skin fold, to calculate how much subcutaneous fat (fat under the skin) you have. The measurements are used in a top-secret calculation (never to be shared with laymen like us – not really but you should let the experts handle this) to predict your Body Fat Percentage.
It is not a perfect science and there are several different approaches to calculating Body Fat %. As you know most scales also offer a body fat %. Please note that there is a significant margin of error when measuring or determining body fat %. If this is a number you are interested in, I recommend asking your doctor if they offer body fat measurements using their dexa scan.
Another measurement is inches. The most telling measurements are waist, hips, and thighs. Other measurements that are helpful for monitoring progress are biceps, chest (upper and mid). As your coach I will monitor these measurement every 30-60 days. The best way to know if your measurements are improving is how your pants are fitting.
Depending on who you talk to or what website you read a woman my age is considered healthy if I maintain a Body Fat % between 20-25% (I’m in my early 50s), give or take a few % points. If this is a measurement you are interested in monitoring we will discuss the options during your initial complimentary consultation.
Waist measurement is an important indicator of health risks. WebMD states that men with a waist circumference more than 40 inches and women with a waist circumference more than 35 inches have a greater risk of disease (diabetes and heart related diseases).
Want to read more about fat and the benefits of exercising and losing weight? Here are some articles that you might find interesting:
Log your food! If you bite it – write it!
Time at the gym is essential but it’s only part of the fitbattle. Working out expends calories (calories out) and eating means (calories in). You’ve got to burn more than you consume to loose weight. I realize this is obvious and it’s relatively easy with the exception of maintaining the necessary willpower or whatever you want to call it? Willpower, drive, commitment, ambition or control.
I log my food every day. I’ve found that logging my food enables me to hold my self accountable to consume less calories than I burn. It’s not perfect but it does work. It’s my goal to eat five to six times per day, 130+ grams of protein, less than 40 grams of fat and no more than 30-40 grams of carbs at each meal, except for breakfast and evening meals. At breakfast I allow myself up to 60 grams of carbs and in the evening I strive for no carbs unless they come from fruits or vegetables (mostly the later).
To ensure you win the fitbattle, it’s important to have weapons you can rely on. I have a somewhat short list of items that are essential to my fitbattle. Not all items are required, but over time you may find that you have the same weapons in your arsenal. Here’s a list of my fitbattle weapons.
- Gym Membership
- Personal Trainer
- Gym Bag – packed and ready to go
- Spin Shoes
- Water Bottles
- Sports (support) Bras
- Running Shoes
- Spare Headphones
- Versa Gripps
- Calorie or Step tracking device
SNACKS, SNACKS, SNACKS…
When I first started my fitbattle journey I learned that I was not eating frequently enough during the day. Think of your body, like you would your car. Your car requires regular refills of gas to keep going, so dues your body. Unlike your car, your body requires regular gassing up.
The number of meals required if debated by experts. All I can tell you, is that I eat anywhere from 4-6 times a day. Snacks make all the difference for me. By having healthy snacks on hand I minimize the risk of eating something that is not healthy and might derail my efforts.
Here are some of my favorite snacks with estimates of calories, protein, etc.
|Snacks for on the go or beginners||Calories||Protein||Carbs||Fat Grams|
|Herbalife F1 Shake w/ Light Soy Milk||150||15||19||3|
|Zone Perfect – Chocolate Carmel Cluster||200||14||25||6
|Zone Perfect – Chocolate Peanut Butter||210||14||24||7|
|Balance – cookie dough||200||15||21||7|
|Balance – yogurt honey peanut||200||15||21||7|
|Clif Builder’s – Peanut Butter (meal replacement)||200||14||25||6
Once you’ve established the habit of snacking in the morning and afternoon you should quickly make an effort to incorporate real food vs. the bars I’ve listed above. A morning meal-replacement shake is a quick and easy way to ensure you have breakfast. One bar a day for a snack is good, but you cannot live on bars alone.
By eating real food you’ll get more bang for your calories: more protein and less fat. I ate bars as snacks for the first year of my fitbattle and then started to incorporate real food. Real food requires more planning.
Here are some more snack suggestions for when you are ready to graduate to real food:
|Snacks for the committed||Calories||Protein||Carbs||Fat Grams|
|Yoplait fat-free yogurt and 1/4 cup of Bear Naked Peak Protein Granola (#’s are estimates since they will vary with different flavors)||250||11||36||7|
|Oroweat sandwich thin, 1/2 cup Lucerne fat-free cottage cheese, and 3/4 cup of fresh blueberries||240||20||41||2|
|1/2 cup Lucerne fat-free cottage cheese and 3/4 cup of fresh blueberries||141||15||20||0.4
|Banana, 3.5 egg whites, and 1/2 egg (with yolk)||204||17||29||3|
|Edamame (3/4 cups edible parts)||150||12||14||4|
|1 cup Kellogg’s Special K with Red Berries and 1 cup of low-fat Vanilla Soy Milk||190||10||35||2|
|Go Lean – Truly Vanilla Oatmeal and 3 egg whites||200||20||26||2
|Oroweat sandwich thin, 2 oz. chicken breast, mustard||204||23||22||4
Fruits are interchangeable, just keep an eye on the calories and carbs. The key is to strive for a good balance of carbs and protein while consuming the least amount of fat. In order to do this you’ve got to read the food labels or research the nutritional value online. My only other advice is to eat the higher carb snacks in the morning and the lower carb snacks in the afternoon.