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MELTDOWN Personal Trainer Tip - "Get Your Macros Together!" by Sarah Enouen

So you've probably heard people ask you what your macros are, or at least heard someone talking about their own macro intake. What exactly are they talking about??? Macronutrients. These are your carbs, fats, and proteins. The way that these fit together in our diet effect our body composition and in turn what our body looks like.

This can all seem overwhelming if you are trying to make your diet match your fitness goals. Today we are going to cover three steps in determining what percentage of your calories you want to come from each macronutrient.

Step 1: Determine your body type

There are three main body types. Ectomorph, Mesomorph, and Endomorph.

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Most people actually fall somewhere in between either ectomorph and mesomorph, or in between mesomorph and endomorph. That's a pretty big scale to fall in between! You'll want to determine where on that scale you are, and plan your diet accordingly. Here's a brief description of each body type:

Ectomorph: Naturally thin, naturally lean, and has a more difficult time gaining muscle.

Mesomorph: Naturally more muscular, and has a relatively easier time losing fat and gaining muscle.

Endomorph: Naturally has a higher body fat percentage, and finds it easier to gain muscle than lose fat. Typically more carbohydrate sensitive.

Step 2: Choose your macronutrient percentages based on your body type and activity level. Here are some ranges that you can try and start out at for each body type. Keep in mind that these numbers are NOT exact, and can be played around with as your goals and body composition change. If you are wanting to lose fat, you'll want to go with the higher protein percentage and lower end on the carbs. If you are extremely active on top of your workouts, you'll probably want to go on the higher end for carbs. For those of you trying to gain muscle and size, take your calories up and have your protein and carbs on the higher end of the spectrum.

Ectomorph: Protein 25-35%, Carbs 50-65%,  Fats 20-25%

Mesomorph: Protein 25-35%, Carbs 45-60%, Fats 20-30%

Endomorph: Protein 30-40%, Carbs 30-40%, Fats 20-30%

Step 3: Track your food.

This is not something you'll have to do forever, and you won't even have to do it everyday if you are meal planning for the week. My Fitness Pal is my favorite for doing this. It's a FREE app that's easy to track, and it does the macro math for you.

Track your food for anywhere from one to four weeks, just to get an idea of what you're currently eating. You can make adjustments along the way. If you plan to eat the same thing all week, you can write down what you're wanting to eat, enter it in the app, and see if your numbers look good. You won't have to enter any food that week if you eat just what you wrote down. BOOM!

Nutrition is all about knowing your body, and eating the food that your body needs to meet your goals. Know that those goals will change at some point, and be willing to make adjustments as needed. If you think of your food in this way, you'll be able to stick to it long term, not just during the 90 day MELTDOWN challenge!

 

 

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Exercise Myths...True or False By Dr. Maria Luque

Do you believe that crunches will get rid of your belly fat, that stretching before exercise is crucial, that you should never eat before a workout, or that lifting weights will make women bulky? Well, I sure hope you said no to all of these. These are only a few of many myths that are floating out there and I hope that this little article will help clear up some of these misconceptions and make you a more well-informed fitness and health enthusiast.

Myth: Long bouts of low-intensity exercise is better than short bouts of high-intensity exercise

False: the bottom line is that both fat loss and weight loss depend on total energy cost, which means how many calories are burned during activity. The higher your intensity, the more calories you burn....bottom line!

Myth: Carbs are bad for you

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False: This is one of my favorites...it really shows the power of mass media and how it succeeded in demonizing carbs. The basic fact is that your body needs all nutrients, you can’t cut out an entire food group and think it’s good for you. All food groups, including fats, serve their own purpose...it’s all about balance. Food groups don’t make you gain weight, calories do!

 

 

 

 

 

Myth: Workout hard or not at all

False: You have to find your own way of exercising. Research has shown that any exercise is better than none, even if it’s short bouts of walking or gardening, house cleaning or swimming. Find an activity you like and do it!

Myth: Crunches or sit-ups will get rid of your belly fat

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False: spot reduction is impossible; you can’t pick and chose the areas you like to lose fat. Exercise will help you decrease your overall body fat percentage and hopefully in the areas you desire the most

 

 

Myth: The less calories you eat, the more weight you lose

False: there is actually “too few calories” and that is bad for you. For your body to function properly, it needs a certain amount of calories and nutrients. If you deprive it of those calories, it will shut down certain processes and slow down your metabolism. It’s like wanting to drive your car without any fuel in it...good luck with that.

Myth: Always stretch before exercise

False: yes, I said it! This is a touchy one and I know some people will disagree but there is quite a bit of research that shows that stretching before exercise can actually make muscles more susceptible to injury. Now don’t get me wrong, this does not mean that stretching is bad...it just means that stretching before exercise might not be your best choice. Stretch after a warm-up or at the end of an exercise routine as it has many positive effects.

Myth: Exercise turns fat into muscle and muscle turns into fat without exercise

False: fat and muscle are two completely different types of cells. It’s possible for one to replace the other but they will never turn into the other. It’s like saying that a banana will turn into an orange with the proper sunlight.

Myth: Weight training will make you bulky

False: Trust me, gaining muscle and keeping it requires hard work and dedication. It's pretty simple: If you feel you’re getting too muscular, just cut back on the weights. Muscles can actually be your best friend in the quest for a “toned” body because the burn more calories than fat, which means that your body burns more calories without you even doing anything....now that’s efficiency at its best!

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