Posts Tagged ‘diet’

The Not So “Diet” Soda

Posted: April 15, 2013 in Healthy Choices
Tags: , , ,

The other day I was approached by a woman at my gym where I train at.  I was teaching an abs class when she came up to me asking about my hours and how she could sign up for one of my classes.   No problem, nothing unusual, except while talking to her I couldn’t help notice her red coozie she was holding with a nice big straw coming out from the top.  Couldn’t really see what it was so I asked, “whats that you’re drinking?”.  She replied, “Oh its my diet soda.”  “I’m really trying to cut back on my calories so I like to drink this while I workout, it gives me energy.”  “sigh”………There were so many things I wanted to say at that moment, but I was still in the middle of a class. So I grinned and just told her to please talk to me before she leaves.  Needless to say she left before I could talk to her.

Now I know most of you would never do this…right!? 🙂   (I am still shaking my head about it.)    But I do think most people are a bit misinformed when it comes to these zero calorie, zero sugar soft drinks.  So here is a list of 5 long-term health effects that drinking diet soda has on you and your body.

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The main one I want you to pay attention to is the ingredient Aspartame. Doing research around the web I’ve found plenty of websites relating this sweetener to so many terrible health risk,including cancer. Whether they are all true or not is unclear, but why risk it? Just something to think about when you reach for that second or third glass of Diet Soda.

I do want to say though, switching from regular soda to diet will help you lose weight short-term. Cutting 150 calories (if you only drink one a day) and the extra sugar from your diet will drop the scale down a bit. But its the long-term effects of Diet sodas that you at least need to be aware of.

Everything in moderation is the key. Drink more water and have a great week! 🙂

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Eat Less Salt

This question comes from my sister Megan who is currently pregnant and asked me if I think she might be getting too much sodium in her diet, and is it a bad thing. Well, Megan great question, glad you asked.

Too start off you need to know that sodium, a.k.a salt, is very important to your health and you need it to carry out normal body functions. But just like most things, too much of it can be a bad thing. The recommended intake a day is no more than 2,400 milligrams(mg), but even that’s a bit much. To keep things on the safe side, especially if you have high blood pressure, you should try to keep your intake around 1,500 mg.

While you’re pregnant though (Megan) it is recommended to have a little more sodium in your diet to maintain fluid levels. So the swelling is most likely not from too much sodium, just a part of the process to make me an uncle. 🙂 Just drink a little extra water and keep an eye on your salt intake, as good as those foods might taste to you right now. One good rule of thumb is to try and keep your sodium intake per meal at or around 400 mg.

Let’s make one thing clear, sodium does not make you fat. What it will do is make your body retain extra water and, in result, have the scale read a bit higher than usual. More importantly though having too much sodium in your diet is most known for causing high blood pressure, which can lead to plenty of other unwanted health risk. If you think that you might be getting to much sodium, drink plenty of water to help your body release some of the water it might be holding on to (sounds funny I know, but it works). Remember, always check serving sizes. Just because they stuff everything into one package doesn’t mean it only counts as one serving.

Do your best to try and read more lables of the foods you are eating and be careful eating too many of those frozen dinners that claim to be “Lean” or a “Healthy Choice”. Most of those frozen dinners come very close to your recommended daily intake and will put you way over your limit.

Click on the picture below and see if you might be maybe eating too much salt.

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Just by knowing some of this info you can easily lower you salt intake and be healthier for it.

Live the Salt Life at the beach and not in the kitchen. 🙂

This is going to be the hard part sometimes. There are to many convenient  and easy choices that we all know to well. The trick is to start slow and give yourself a break and just begin to make better choices. Every healthy choice you make is one step closer to creating new habits and breaking the old. Yes you will have slip ups here and there and order that supersized #2 :(… but as long as you keep in mind where you want to be in 6 months you will move on from it and continue on.

Here are some tips to start doing if you havent already started:

  •  Eat Breakfast.  I know most of the people I sit down and talk to have no time for this.  You wake up, have a cup of coffee and you’re out the door.  Even if its small at first, a banana, apple, yogurt, bowl of cereal, whatever it is for you to get used to eating in the morning. A healthy breakfast will kickstart your metabolism and help you burn more calories throughout the day as well as giving you more energy.
  • Smaller Portions and Eating More Often.  The eating more often part sounds crazy I know but this is really important.  The less you have on your plate and the more frequent you eat the less calories you will take in and the higher your metabolism will be throughout the day.  Kinda simple as that, but I know it’s not. The main goal is to try to eat 4-6 meals.  Breakfast, Snack, Lunch, Snack, Dinner.  Do your best and just keep this in mind.
  •   Late Night Snacking.  This is what gets a lot of people I know in trouble.  The general rule if you are looking to lose weight is try not to eat past 7pm.  This is not always going to work out I know, but the later it is the slower our bodies get and the slower you’re going to burn calories.  So the late night snack that probably isn’t very healthy will most likely  go straight where you don’t want it. If you are feeling a craving try to have some fruit around to snack on.  I know it doesn’t sound as good as that left over pizza but you will thank me for it later.
  • REMEMBER this isn’t going to be a quick fix.  Focus on these start-up tips for now and don’t make it too complicated.  Be patient, be healthy, be positive and good things WILL come.

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  • So as most of you know if you really are serious about losing weight and working on becoming a better you, you have to start making some different choices when it comes to your eating habits. Theres no getting around it. But it doesn’t nessasaraly mean you have to go on that ugly word…a diet.  There are tons of fad diets that you see and hear about everyday.  The truth is going on these fad diets are only temporary fixes.  Most likley as soon as you go off the diet and go back to your normal habits you WILL gain back all of the weight you lost and sometimes more. Im not saying diets are a terrible thing but I do think overtime that word has been over used and when people hear it they tend to cringe and picture themselves eating salads with no dressing for every meal.  Obvisolouly thats not the case but you get my point.
  •  So in other words without saying that ugly word, when you are just  starting off you simply just need to make healthier choices.  Dont worry about counting calories or beating yourself up if you had a slip up and went through a drive thru.  The main thing right now is just knowing that you need to start making better choices and be aware of what you put in your body.  If you’re working out 3-5 times a week you’re not going to want to ruin your hard work with a #5 from some fast food resturant.  It might be the hardest part when you start, but slowly but surely you will form new habits and see big changes not only how you look but also how you feel.   The best diet is not going on a diet at all.  Rather changing habits over time,exercising, living a healthy lifestyle and enjoying your life!

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It’s never going to be easy or even the right time to start your fitness life.  Whether its your first time in the gym or you got lost along the way and have found your way back, you are already one step closer than you were yesterday. First things first you have to realize its all about YOU. Most likely you have been taking care of other people for a long time or have been distracted by school, work, ect.  and somewhere down that road you have left yourself behind. So in three words I’m going to give you your new motto. TREAT.YOUR.SELF.

For you Parks and Rec. fans you have heard that before and for those of you who don’t watch this hilarious show it means put yourself FIRST for a little while. It doesn’t have to be just in the gym but in every aspect..(as long as you’re not FIRST in line at Wendys) All kidding aside you owe it to yourself. So if your just starting out and for now are just looking to lose weight im going to give you just TWO things to focus on and I promise you if you do just these two things you will quickly begin to lose weight.

#1. ONLY drink water for your liquid consumption.  Yes you can have  your morning coffee , I wouldn’t dare take that away from you. but besides that ONLY water.  You will cut out sooooo many calories just by doing this.  Yes you will be using the restroom quite often, but think of it as a cleanse.  Flushing (no pun atended….well maybe) all of those old habits out of your system.

#2. CARDIO.  If you don’t have a gym membership that’s ok!  The main idea right now is to just start moving.  Try to commit yourself to  3-5 days 30-45 minutes of moderately walking outside, riding your bike, walking your dog, chasing your kids….whatever it is to start burning more calories than you are used to.  I promise you it doesn’t have to be hard or complex if you are just starting.  Make it easy on yourself for now.  Try to form new habits and give yourself a chance.  And always remember to TREAT.YOUR.SELF.