Protein Powder 101

I used to think that protein powders were meant for body builders or those trying to bulk. I didn’t think I really needed one since my goal is to gain lean muscle and improve my cardiovascular fitness. However, when I started to track my protein intake per day, I realized that I was not getting enough protein. How much protein is enough? Well that can probably be its own separate post, but I like to go by 1 gram of protein per lb of lean body mass as a daily guide.

The first time I walked into the nutrition shop, I felt completely overwhelmed! The stacks of massive cases of powders, supplements, bars and products was a lot to take in. I had no idea where to begin. There are a lot of different powders out there, so I decided to go back home and do some research first. Here is a quick explanation of the different types of protein powders:

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Tame that sweet tooth with these healthy treats

I don’t track my food on the reg, but I will from time to time to make sure I am on track with my nutrition. The first time I tracked my food using myfitnesspal, I was shocked at how much extra sugar I was eating. I don’t add a ton of sugar to things and I avoid processed foods, so I thought I was good. However, when you take a closer look, you realize that there is hidden sugar in almost everything. From yogurt to condiments, sugar is literally everywhere! You also have to account for natural sugar found in fruits. Although natural sugar is much better than the processed stuff, it’s still sugar. The USDA just recently updated the recommendation for sugar intake and it does not allow for much. See below:
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Meals for Prep: Spaghetti Squash, Chicken and Veg

Have you ever had spaghetti squash before? If not, you need to try it! Its a delicious and healthy alternative to pasta. The consistency is similar to rice noodles and it pairs well with anything you would cook with pasta.

I just started meal prepping at the beginning of the year and I have noticed that it makes a big difference in my eating patterns throughout the week. Not only do I save time, but I make healthy choices more consistently. I use my prepped meals as a quick “go-to” instead of stopping for take out or just snacking on random stuff until Im full. This week, my bf and I made a layered spaghetti squash. Its super easy and quite tasty. Here are the simple steps:

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Macros, Macros, Macros!

If you are serious about seeing results from exercise, then you must pay attention to your macronutrients. Many people think that because they workout, they can eat whatever they want. Or that weight loss will happen by restricting calories without paying attention to specific nutrients. So wrong! The breakdown of substrates is so important in order to achieve your fitness goals. There are 6 nutrients that the body needs to function: carbohydrates, fats, protein, water, vitamins and minerals. The macronutrients are carbohydrates, fats, protein and water. Vitamins and minerals are the micronutrients.

The American College of Sports medicine recommends the following macronutrient breakdown for a balanced diet: 45-65% of calories from carbohydrates, 20-35% of calories from fats and 10-35% of calories from proteins. Note that this is a general recommendation and your macronutrient breakdown will be individualized based on your body composition, activity level, exercise training and your goals. So where to start? Follow these steps to get an idea of how to breakdown YOUR macros to get the results you want!

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The real “secret” to weight loss

Understanding Weight Loss: Back to Basic AlgebraNike Math.jpg

Who knew that the key to understanding weight loss is to go back to 8th grade algebra? I know your probably thinking that weight loss is hard enough and now Im supposed to do math…I’m not having it. BUT- having this knowledge is so powerful and will allow you to understand the basic science behind weight loss. We have all heard that the real key to weight loss is diet and exercise, and guess what, thats right! It boils down to a caloric balance in the body. We must burn more calories then we eat in order to create a negative caloric balance. A negative caloric balance = weight loss. On the other hand, when we eat more calories then we expend, weight gain occurs, due to a positive caloric balance.
So how do we know how many calories we are burning? This is where the math comes in. Continue reading