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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.

I get it. No I’m not currently working so it’s much easier for me…now. But 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

Once we get past the excuses the first questions is usually: “what do you eat for snacks?”  So…I thought I’d share some of my snacks with you.

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♦ weight
♦ cholesterol
♦ measurements

 

Matter? Nah! Morning Naked Weight…

I explained Morning Naked Weight in my 2nd blog. In case you missed that one here’s the 411…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 about one a week.

The Scale May
2007
July
2010
February
2012
Weight 176.5 132.4 140.5

 

I’m at a healthy weight. However I would like to get back below 140, somewhere around 135-137. In the fall of 2010 I decided to remove the last training wheel and stopped logging my food. Taking my eye off the ball and facing some of lives challenges resulted in me gaining a few pounds back. Weight fluctuations are unavoidable. I am convinced that keeping track of calories should be a life-time commitment to ensure I remain at a healthy weight.

Numbers that matter…Cholesterol

During my annual physical, cholesterol is one of the many things my doctor checks. I started my fitbattle in May 2007 and I have my Cholesterol Panel results from June 2007. The numbers below represent my before and current results.

I’m extremely happy with my progress and now I can focus on tweaking my nutrition to achieve even greater results. I don’t want to think about the what the effect of doing nothing could have had on my wellness. Cholesterol is a direct contributor to cardiovascular disease, which can lead to strokes and heart attacks. Here are my numbers:

PANEL June
2007
February
2010
May
2011
February
2012
Reference Range
Cholesterol 248 201 242 197 125-200
Triglycerides 73 46 84 65 0-150
HDL (good) 59 81 65 72 46-199
LDL (bad) 174 111 161 112 70-130
Cholesterol/HDL Ratio 4.2 2.48 3.74 2.74 0.0-5.0

 

What does this all mean? My Cholesterol number of 197 is down 19%. My Good Cholesterol is up (yes this is good) and my Bad Cholesterol is down (yay) and now within the acceptable range. I accomplished this through nutrition, exercise, and taking Herbalife CoreComplex daily. 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.

Here’s the deal…this is not a perfect science so the value of exposing my skin (fat) folds in the light of day is that it enables us (me and my trainer) to monitor my progress over time. Since there are so many different approaches to calculating Body Fat % it is important to have the same person do the measurements, otherwise they are not comparable.

Both Kurt (my first trainer) and Chris (my current trainer) measured me using calipers and a tape measure regularly to track my fitness results. Here are the beginning and current numbers for the time I’ve worked out with Chris.

Measurements November
2008
July
2010
Change
Chest 39.0 36.25 (2.75)
Waist 34.75 31.0 (3.75)
Hips 40.75 37.25 (3.5)
Upper Arm 10.5 10.75 0.25
Thigh 21.0 19.5 (1.5)
TOTAL INCHES 146.0 134.75 (11.25)
Body Fat % 32.1 23.2 (8.9)

 

What does this all mean? What numbers really matter? 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%, give or take a few % points. As of my last measurements I’m now in the healthy range – yay!

Another important number is the waist measurement. 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).

In case you care (and keep in mind, as I explained earlier, comparing measurements from two different people make the results even less accurate) my Total Inches when I started working out with Kurt were 154.5 and he calculated my Body Fat % at 37.7. Kurt did not calculate BF% the same way Chris does and I’m sure that he did not measure me at the same place on my arm and thigh as Chris does…hence the reason you really can’t compare the measurements from two different people with complete accuracy.

Want to read more about fat and the benefits of exercising and losing weight? Here are some articles that you might find interesting:

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Snacks for on the go or beginners Calories Protein Carbs Fat Grams
Myoplex Lite Shake 170 20 20 2
EAS AdvantEDGE Shake (carb control) 110 17 4 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 and shakes I’ve listed above. By eating real food you’ll be able to get more bang for your calories: more protein and less fat. I ate bars and 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.