Macros…Smackroes.

Lots of talk lately about macros. Maybe you feel silly because you don’t know what macros are or understand what they have to do with weight. I kept seeing IIFYM on blogs and social media and was clueless, so thankfully Goggle helped me out! (It stands for If It Fits Your Macros.) Macros is short for macro-nutrients: Carbohydrates (carbs), proteins, and fats used for fuel by the body. Many body builders count their macros to ensure that their intake of protein is sufficient to “make gains”. Athletes of all kinds have tweaked macro intake to “cut” or “bulk” or maximize performance. The reality is our bodies are complex machines that are built for survival. And just as an engine requires gasoline, oil, oxygen, and spark to purr…our bodies require different types of fuel to function properly.

There is nothing wrong with counting macros but you certainly don’t have to in order to be healthy or lose weight. The science continues to hold true that food intake – calories burned = weight lost or gained. If you eat 2500 calories everyday and only burn 1800 calories everyday, at the end of the year you are going to have added some pounds to your frame. Science.

Here’s how I keep it simple. I use My Fitness Pal to track my intake. There are many apps available that will track calories, macros, exercise, ovulation…you name it! The important thing is to track what you are taking in. Set some goals, pick your app, and get started.

My Fitness Pal allows custom goals to be entered. I work out regularly which includes strength training, so I set my daily macros at 50% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 20% fats. I do not stress about these numbers. By setting these goals, I can make educated food choices that will give my body what it needs. For instance, if I’m feeling lethargic and I note that I had eggs (protein) for breakfast, and a Baby Bell mini cheese wheel (protein and fat) for a quick snack, it quickly becomes evident that some carbohydrates would be an excellent choice for a snack to perk myself up. My body is lethargic because it needs quick fuel. Carbohydrates are our body’s #1 choice for fuel. Cue an apple, banana, carrot sticks, or hummus with red peppers. This logical approach to eating helps me to think of my body as a machine needing fuel instead of a hot mess of emotions that just wants chocolate all day, all the time. It doesn’t always work, but I keep moving forward.

I also enter my weight and my desired weight into my customized goals. The app spits out an approximate daily calorie count for me to aim towards. This is not a detailed nutritional analysis like I would receive from a dietitian, but it is certainly a helpful guide and place to begin (and free)! Once I track my intake for a couple of weeks, if I’m not getting the results I want, I can look back and figure out where I need to make changes in my plan. Maybe I didn’t stick to my calorie count or eat many vegetables. If I look back over the previous weeks and see that most days I only logged breakfast…that is a clue, right? Weight management and living a healthy lifestyle are not going to just happen…we gotta commit and work at it every day.

Key Points:

Eat regularly. Remember your body is a machine built for survival. If many hours pass without fuel, it defaults into storage mode. This is why breakfast is important. You have fasted all night, it is time to tell your body that food is abundant and it can burn it, not store it. Shoot to eat every 3-4 hours while awake. This keeps your metabolism humming.

Track your intake. Eating a large meal every 3-4 hours will not result in too much of a good thing! Portion control is critical. Variety is so important as well. By tracking intake you can see if you are getting all the nutrients that you need. A balanced diet including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats is the goal.

Move! Walk, crawl, roll, jump…whatever works for you, but get your body moving. Strength training (lift those weights) is important for building muscle which keeps metabolism revved up and strengthens bones and joints. If you don’t own weights or belong to a gym, that’s alright! Get creative. Full water bottles work great as weights.

Plan for Success. Failure to plan = planning to fail, right? Plan your meals, take snacks when you run errands so that you aren’t tempted by those clever marketing tactics. One evening while the family watches TV, cut up veggies and wash fruit so that you have quick grabs that fit into your desired lifestyle. You have time, you just need to make healthy eating a priority for yourself (and your family).

AuntJodiIt is so great for me to write about all of this! It reminds me why I do what I do and encourages me to keep doing it! I don’t do what I want to every day. I don’t always eat nutritious foods or log my intake. But I’m trying. Blogging helps me to re-focus; I hope you are encouraged to create the life you really want too. Take good care of yourself, you are the only one that can be you!

 

 

 

Macros…Smackroes.

Lots of talk lately about macros. Maybe you feel silly because you don’t know what macros are or understand what they have to do with weight. I kept seeing IIFYM on blogs and social media and was clueless, so thankfully Goggle helped me out! (It stands for If It Fits Your Macros.) Macros is short for macro-nutrients: Carbohydrates (carbs), proteins, and fats used for fuel by the body. Many body builders count their macros to ensure that their intake of protein is sufficient to “make gains”. Athletes of all kinds have tweaked macro intake to “cut” or “bulk” or maximize performance. The reality is our bodies are complex machines that are built for survival. And just as an engine requires gasoline, oil, oxygen, and spark to purr…our bodies require different types of fuel to function properly.

There is nothing wrong with counting macros but you certainly don’t have to in order to be healthy or lose weight. The science continues to hold true that food intake – calories burned = weight lost or gained. If you eat 2500 calories everyday and only burn 1800 calories everyday, at the end of the year you are going to have added some pounds to your frame. Science.

Here’s how I keep it simple. I use My Fitness Pal to track my intake. There are many apps available that will track calories, macros, exercise, ovulation…you name it! The important thing is to track what you are taking in. Set some goals, pick your app, and get started.

My Fitness Pal allows custom goals to be entered. I work out regularly which includes strength training, so I set my daily macros at 50% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 20% fats. I do not stress about these numbers. By setting these goals, I can make educated food choices that will give my body what it needs. For instance, if I’m feeling lethargic and I note that I had eggs (protein) for breakfast, and a Baby Bell mini cheese wheel (protein and fat) for a quick snack, it quickly becomes evident that some carbohydrates would be an excellent choice for a snack to perk myself up. My body is lethargic because it needs quick fuel. Carbohydrates are our body’s #1 choice for fuel. Cue an apple, banana, carrot sticks, or hummus with red peppers. This logical approach to eating helps me to think of my body as a machine needing fuel instead of a hot mess of emotions that just wants chocolate all day, all the time. It doesn’t always work, but I keep moving forward.

I also enter my weight and my desired weight into my customized goals. The app spits out an approximate daily calorie count for me to aim towards. This is not a detailed nutritional analysis like I would receive from a dietitian, but it is certainly a helpful guide and place to begin (and free)! Once I track my intake for a couple of weeks, if I’m not getting the results I want, I can look back and figure out where I need to make changes in my plan. Maybe I didn’t stick to my calorie count or eat many vegetables. If I look back over the previous weeks and see that most days I only logged breakfast…that is a clue, right? Weight management and living a healthy lifestyle are not going to just happen…we gotta commit and work at it every day.

Key Points:

Eat regularly. Remember your body is a machine built for survival. If many hours pass without fuel, it defaults into storage mode. This is why breakfast is important. You have fasted all night, it is time to tell your body that food is abundant and it can burn it, not store it. Shoot to eat every 3-4 hours while awake. This keeps your metabolism humming.

Track your intake. Eating a large meal every 3-4 hours will not result in too much of a good thing! Portion control is critical. Variety is so important as well. By tracking intake you can see if you are getting all the nutrients that you need. A balanced diet including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats is the goal.

Move! Walk, crawl, roll, jump…whatever works for you, but get your body moving. Strength training (lift those weights) is important for building muscle which keeps metabolism revved up and strengthens bones and joints. If you don’t own weights or belong to a gym, that’s alright! Get creative. Full water bottles work great as weights.

Plan for Success. Failure to plan = planning to fail, right? Plan your meals, take snacks when you run errands so that you aren’t tempted by those clever marketing tactics. One evening while the family watches TV, cut up veggies and wash fruit so that you have quick grabs that fit into your desired lifestyle. You have time, you just need to make healthy eating a priority for yourself (and your family).

AuntJodiIt is so great for me to write about all of this! It reminds me why I do what I do and encourages me to keep doing it! I don’t do what I want to every day. I don’t always eat nutritious foods or log my intake. But I’m trying. Blogging helps me to re-focus; I hope you are encouraged to create the life you really want too. Take good care of yourself, you are the only one that can be you!

 

 

 

Eat for Success

Happy New Year!  I’ve started a monthly newsletter for the gals I work with and I’ve decided to post it here too!  2014 is upon us and so it is time to get a plan and meet goals and make this the year you want it to be!  A health lifestyle includes so much more than just weight management, but I know weight management is the hot topic right now, so that is the topic for today.  I’ll be putting out more posts that go into more specifics related to the ideas presented in this newsletter, but I wanted to get some tips our there for you to start playing with.

   

AuntJodiEat Without Feeling Deprived…Get Lasting Results

Nutrition 101

A healthy diet consists of balance and a combination of different types of nutrients.  Advertised programs that eliminate a category of nutrients should be avoided; our bodies were created to function best with a variety of foods.

Carbohydrates:  Primary fuel and energy source for the body.  4 calories/gram

Complex Carbs are carbohydrates that include starches or fiber.  These types of foods are processed more slowly through your body facilitating nutrient absorption and steady blood sugar levels.

Simple Carbs or carbohydrates that are comprised of natural and artificial sugars; they are an immediate source of energy broken down rapidly by our bodies.

Protein:  Important for moving and balancing fluid, nutrients, waste, and electrolytes throughout the body; important for immune system health, and a component of bones, muscles, and tendons.  4 calories/gram

Healthy Fats:  Secondary energy source, component in many hormones, aids in vitamin absorption, and supports brains and nervous system development. 9 calories/gram

Eating for Success

This is one of my favorite topics because I believe there is so much misperception related to food choices and what healthy eating really means!  I hear it regularly in my circle of friends; they are sure I won’t eat a cookie because “I’m healthy” or they believe that I never indulge in fattening foods or sweets because I’m committed to a healthy lifestyle.  Well, let me dispel the myth right now!  I love sweets and I eat chocolate just about every day!  And yes, it is part of my healthy lifestyle.  So, now that I have your attention, let’s talk about how to incorporate the foods you love into a healthy lifestyle.  Here are some places to start:

  • Strive to eat healthfully 80% of the time.  This allows for special occasions and indulgences without feeling guilty or “bad”.
  • Modify your favorite recipes using healthier ingredients to increase nutrition and decrease fat.  Here are a few tips:

*Wheat flour instead of white flour

*Skim milk instead of 2% milk

*Egg whites instead of whole eggs

  • Portion Control!  Watch labels and know the serving size prior to indulging in a snack.  Buy portion-sized packages on “high-risk” foods.  You know what your high-risk foods are!  I buy the “fun size” packs of peanut M&M’s to get my chocolate fix rather than having a bowl sit on the counter…that would not be helpful!

 

  • Standardized Eating.  Find a couple combinations that you enjoy for breakfast and lunch and just rotate through them.  This reduces some of your decisions and makes it easier to keep pushing towards your goals.  If you plan ahead of time what is for breakfast, you are more likely to eat a healthy breakfast instead of skip it or make a choice you’ll regret.

 

  • Plan for success.  Plan for your eating throughout the day.  If you will be running errands all day then pack a couple healthy snacks in your purse so you won’t be tempted to make an impulse decision involving a drive thru that adds too many calories to your day.  If you are working all day (night) plan for your eating to facilitate healthy choices even when you are tired or busy.

Remember that all Calories Count     You can eat all healthy food and still be overweight!  The science behind weight management can’t be overlooked or re-written.  The fact is that if your calories in are more than your calories burned each day you will gain weight, even if the excess calories are healthy choices.

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Surviving life with grace and hope

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Create the life you want