Category: Nutrition

You’re Not Fat, You’re Just Bloated

You’re Not Fat, You’re Just Bloated from Elevate Fitness Gyms in Syracuse, NY

There always comes a moment in a person’s life when the three words no one wants to hear emerge from one’s mouth – Am I fat?

According to the World Population Review, the statistics are that the number of obese people has tripled since 1975.

This would mean that statistically you may really be fat and your friends are sugar coating it. Or maybe you’re just bloated…

Abdominal bloating is when your gastrointestinal tract is full of air or gas. Many people describe the feeling as feeling full, heavy, with painful abdominal colics.

Excessive gas and frequent burping are also amongst the effects that accompany the bloating sensation.

Sometimes it is really hard to sense the difference between being bloated and gaining weight. The reason is usually that you will feel bloated for long periods of time.

Not to mention that It will most probably going to affect your productivity and mess up your eating habits.

Why is this happening to me?

You may feel like you’re the only one that goes through the whole bloated abdominal situation, but don’t worry. It is actually a pretty common thing and here is why…

Most of our eating and drinking habits are the reason we get bloated. This could mean all the time, If you don’t even know you’re doing these things.

For one, eating and drinking too fast will fill your digestive tract with gas, because of the quantity of air that you consume. Everyone swallows air when they eat or drink, but some people can swallow more than others.

Chewing gum and smoking also help this process to interfere with the amount of gas that goes through you.

Burping and flatulence are the result of your body trying to release all that excess gas. So don’t worry, It’s perfectly normal.

That is If It happens within a couple of hours after doing the activity. If you still feel bloated after a long period of time then the problem may be a little bit more serious.

Sometimes you just don’t take care of your body, do you?

I know that from time to time every one of us tends to skip a meal, or get by on junk food, or gets up at 3 am and finishes the whole tray from the night before.

All these cheating rituals may very well be the culprit for your bloated stomach.

Things like IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (ulcers) and eating disorders have this exact effect on your body. They could possibly be the reason why you feel like you have a bowling ball in your intestine.

Other possible reasons are food intolerance and hormonal flux – the second one affects mainly women.

Last, but not least, we mustn’t knock mental health problems and stress off the table. A lot of people have bloated abdominals from stress that has been filling up through the years.

Okay, but what should I do?

A change in your lifestyle can go pretty far down the road. Small things like cutting back on chewing gum and carbonated drinks (If you feel like you’re constantly bloated).

Avoiding some foods that typically cause gas, like vegetables from the cabbage family, beans, lentils and etc., would help with the problem.

While we’re on this topic you definitely should check what foods are best for your blood type.

And, ofcourse, the more obvious thing you should do – especially If time goes by and nothing helps – is see a doctor. Don’t take any of this lightly, It’s your body and your responsibility.

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Why Gut Health Is Important

“Gut health” relates to the function and balance of bacterias in some parts of the gastrointestinal tract.

Optimally, organs like the esophagus, stomach, and intestines all work side by side to allow us to eat and digest food without feeling any discomfort.

However, there are more than 70 million people in the U.S. struggling with digestive diseases.

The food we consume is broken down in our guts, where it is turned into nutrients, ready to enter our bloodstream.

Yet, this won’t be possible if we have an unhealthy digestive system.

A healthy gut contains immune cells and healthy bacteria that fight infectious “pests”, such as viruses, fungi, and bacteria.

Having a healthy gut is extremely important for our general health and well-being because it communicates with the brain with the help of nerves and hormones.

But how do you know if you have an unhealthy gut?

Why Gut Health Is Important with Elevate Fitness Gyms in Syracuse, NY

Signs Of An Unhealthy Gut

  • Sleep Deprivation and Persistent Fatigue

An unhealthy gut is a guarantee for sleep disturbances.

Poor sleep and insomnia potentially lead to chronic fatigue and a decrease in our productivity.

Serotonin, one of the hormones of happiness, is actually produced in the gut.

For this reason, having an unhealthy digestive system leads to producing less serotonin, which makes our life miserable.

  • Food Intolerance

When we have difficulty digesting certain types of food, we experience food intolerance, which is completely different than food allergy. (It is caused by a reaction of the immune system)

  • Accidental Weight Change

Caloric consumption is the primary reason why people lose or gain weight, however, unintentional weight change could occur for another reason.

When we have an unhealthy gut, it harms our body in a way that it has a problem absorbing nutrients.

Furthermore, our body’s ability to store fat or regulate blood sugar is also damaged.

Having decreased nutrient absorption increases our appetite and urges us to overeat.

  • Irritated Skin

An unhealthy gut does not only harm us from the inside but externally as well.

Inflamed gut leads to “leaked” proteins from the gut to the skin, which causes irritation and itching.

Moreover, a bad digestive system could potentially lead to skin disorders such as eczema.

  • Autoimmune Conditions

The impact of the gut on the immune system has been tested many times in the past.

Researchers have found that an irritated gut is related to systematic inflammation, which changes the proper function of our immune system.

This leads to autoimmune diseases where the body doesn’t protect itself versus harmful “enemies”, but it rather attacks itself.

Some autoimmune conditions are:

  • Celiac Disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Crohn’s disease

Other signs of an unhealthy gut are:

  1. Abdominal Pain
  2. Bloating
  3. Loose stools
  4. Constipation
  5. Heartburn
  6. Nausea
  7. Vomiting

Influence Of Gut Health On Our Bodies

The microbiome within the gut is created from trillions of bacteria, other microbes, and fungi.

It plays a major role in our general welfare because it helps controlling digestion and benefits our immune system

A disproportion of healthy and unhealthy microbes within the intestines might lead to obesity, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and other disorders.

We suggest eating a wide assortment of fruits and veggies to help support the growth of healthy microbes in your gut.

Takeaway Message

A healthy gut is important for maintaining a balance in our body and its proper functions.

Immune cells and healthy bacteria have a vital role in our body because they are connected to the brain.

We hope you understand how important it is to keep your microbes and healthy bacterias under control, for your overall wellbeing.

In part 2 of this article series, we’ll tell you the fundamental, actionable tips to instantly implement in your daily life and make your gut happy!

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Why You Should Eat Honey

Is Honey Good for You with Elevate Fitness Gyms in Syracuse, NY

Honey is an organic, natural sweetener that serves a great purpose as a sugar alternative.

It is widely used in almost every cuisine around the world.

This is perhaps because it has many great qualities such as its indefinite shelf life, its ease on the stomach, and the reason that it adapts to all cooking processes.

According to an article by Date Carson, honey dates back to 2 100 B.C. It is believed that the natural sweetener was found in Asia or Africa.

On top of that out of 12,000 different bees, there are only a few varieties that store honey.

An average bee’s life span is from 4 to 6 weeks and the required amount of bees to produce  450g (1 pound) of honey is around 160,000.

That means, in order to get a single jar of honey, there are so many generations of bees involved.

Honey is also used in Medicine…

According to a 2012 review, regardless of whether it will be consumed directly, mixed with other remedies, or applied directly to the skin honey helps for treating the following illnesses or injuries:

  • Coughs
  • Vomiting
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Obesity
  • Arthritis
  • Eczemas and dermatitis

Now, let’s look at what are the pros of eating honey.

Benefits Of Eating Honey

  • Honey Helps With Coughing

We bet that the good old honey came in handy at least once in your lifetime.

It is believed that honey is an effective measurement against a cough in children and adults.

One or two spoons before bed is a guarantee for a calmer night.

  • Honey Supports A Healthy Guy

According to a study from 2017, honey contains prebiotic properties.

As we know, prebiotics help ferment beneficial bacterias in the gut.

Furthermore, this was related to a stronger immune system and general welfare.

  • Honey Contains Quality Nutrients

Honey is not only rich in antioxidants, it is also very rich in nutrients.

It is found that there are 31 minerals found in honey, such as magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and calcium.

In general, honey cannot be a substitute for a healthy diet, however, it does contain many important nutrients in its complex structure, which can benefit us on many levels!

  • Honey Is Rich In Antioxidants

Some types of honey help protect your body from cell damage.

It is believed that there are almost the same amount of antioxidants in honey as in fruits and veggies.

Having antioxidants in our diet is healthy because they may prevent the development of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.

  • Honey Improves Your Sports Performance

As we know honey is far better than glucose from sugar, used to boost endurance.

Consuming a spoon of honey before or even during your training is believed to enhance your athletic performance.

Pro Tip:

Add a spoon of honey to your bottle of water and consume it during your session.

But with so many benefits, is there something that could go wrong?

Cons Of Eating Honey

  • Honey Is Rich In Calories

If your goal is to decrease body fat percentage, then consuming a lot of honey might not be a good idea.

Because of its liquid form in most cases, eating too much honey can easily make you exceed your daily caloric intake.

Always strive NOT to exceed the recommended amount of honey per day, which is around 1-2 small spoons for a healthy person without any weight problems.

  • Honey Raises Blood Sugar Levels

For this reason, always use honey in moderation.

  • It’s a Risk to Give to Babies

Babies don’t have the required digestive system to consume honey, and there is a risk of botulism.

Takeaways

Honey is one of the oldest foods in the world and it is used in almost every cuisine around the globe, as well as in medicine.

It has many benefits but should be taken in moderation because it can be very calorie-dense.

Thank you for reading and don’t forget to share the article with a friend!

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Superfoods & Their Effect On Health

For many people, the term “superfoods” sounds like just another marketing gimmick to make you believe in an easy solution to a certain problem.

In reality however, superfoods are products that are proven to have a certain net benefit for human health, meaning they are actually functional and beneficial.

With this article, we’ll provide you with the basic information you need to know about superfoods, as well as a list of our favorites!

Superfoods & Their Effect On Health with Elevate Fitness Gyms in Syracuse

What Is Health, Even?

It is likely that traditional medicine has made some of us believe that health is dependent on one thing.

However, you have to realize that the body is a complex machine and so is its health.

By definition, health can be defined as the proper, balanced functioning of all bodily systems, active tissues and processes.

The thing here is that health is AUTOMATIC … Your body takes care of it all!

You don’t have to think about digesting and absorbing essential nutrients.

You don’t have to think about feeling sleepy, hungry or thirsty.

You don’t have to think about waking up in the morning.

All of this is automatic and ALL you have to do is feed the body the right nutrients for it to be able to sustain the healthy functioning of all those systems and tissues.

Macro VS Micro Nutrients

Now, if you know a thing or two about healthy nutrition, you probably know the terms “macronutrients & micronutrients”.

If not, here’s the short story – Macronutrients are protein, fats & carbohydrates and they provide the majority of the energy our bodies need, along with essential nutrients.

Think of the term “essential nutrient” as something that the body needs but can’t produce on its own.

Contrary to macronutrients, we have micronutrients, which include vitamins, minerals and electrolytes.

These nutrients don’t really have a caloric value, but are intricately involved in a variety of processes, meaning that most of them too, are essential.

THIS is where superfoods shine!

The 5 Best Superfoods

Granted, health isn’t dependent on consuming just one “superfood”, but these are the exact foods that can help reinforce your body’s overall health.

So let’s have a look at the top-rated superfoods & drinks!

Green tea

Herbs and teas are known to have a variety of active ingredients that have different effects on the body and its processes.

The right combination of herbs can treat a variety of issues, which is why herbs are a big part of traditional medicine in many countries.

More specifically, green tea is a Chinese herb, rich in antioxidants, polyphenols  and some caffeine!

Looking to fight inflammation and maximize your mental focus and energy levels? Get yourself some green tea.

Ginger

Some of the most potent ingredients have the strongest smell and taste and granted, ginger is one of them!

Ginger is a root, used in Chinese traditional medicine to create a variety of different home remedies, teas and even some food products!

This root has a variety of antioxidants that too have the anti-inflammatory & antioxidative effect on the body.

Ginger shines when it is time to treat acute and chronic inflammations and can also be consumed regularly as means of prevention for cardiovascular diseases.

Forest Fruits

If there’s one food group that we could call “stacked with goods”, well that would definitely be forest fruits!

These sweet fruits have a load of antioxidants which are proven to reinforce immunity and improve overall health.

Blueberries, raspberries, goji berries and strawberries are amongst the best-tasting, most nourishing superfoods one can add to their nutrition plan!

Final Thoughts

If you’ve covered your main nutrient requirements coming from protein, fats and carbs, it is time to add some sides to your meals!

Or better yet, have a nice afternoon cup of green tea with ginger in the shade…

If you liked this article, stay tuned on our blog as we are releasing content like this on the regular basis!

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Magnesium – The Most Beneficial Mineral?

Magnesium - The Most Beneficial Mineral? with Elevate Fitness Gym in Syracuse

There are multiple types of vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to function healthily.

Vitamins and minerals are referred to as “micronutrients” and each of them has a different function inside of the body.

Some micronutrients for example act as coenzymes, meaning that they help carry chemicals between enzymes, while others just serve as catalysts for certain chemical reactions.

Magnesium is one of the most important micronutrients for the body, as it helps catalyze a variety of processes in the body.

As a matter of fact, more than 300 biochemical reactions require magnesium!

For this reason, it is important to derive sufficient magnesium from your food and supplements.

Magnesium Deficiency

Because the modern-day diet is deprived of many vitamins and minerals, magnesium deficiency is a very common thing nowadays.

And though magnesium deficiency isn’t likely to lead to bad side effects in the short term, it is definitely not something to overlook, as the long-term may speak otherwise!

The Symptoms

Some of the first symptoms of magnesium deficiency one can notice are the following:

  1. Loss of appetite
  2. Nausea
  3. General exhaustion
  4. Weakness
  5. Lack of appetite
  6. Muscle cramps
  7. Numbness
  8. Mood swings

Now, the thing is that there is a multitude of reasons for the occurrence of a magnesium deficiency.

If you are generally healthy, however, the most likely cause of a deficiency would be your diet!

So let’s have a look at the best magnesium-rich foods one can find nearby!

Magnesium Food Sources

Luckily, unless your deficiency is severe, you can solve your problem by just picking out the right food sources.

Magnesium can be found in a variety of food sources, with the most abundant ones being plant sources.

Here are the foods that contain the highest amounts of magnesium:

  1. Seeds
  2. Walnuts
  3. Hazelnuts
  4. Almonds
  5. Rice
  6. Basil
  7. Spinach
  8. Coriander

Now, a thing to consider is that thermic preparation of some of these foods may lead to depletion of their magnesium contents, so don’t overcook these foods!

Magnesium Supplements

If you find it hard to meet your body’s magnesium needs from food alone, supplements can be a viable alternative!

Before you go on to buy a tub of pills, however, you have to know a thing or two.

Firstly, the amount of magnesium you take in is NOT the only thing – You have to also consider its bioavailability, or, in other words, how much of it is absorbed.

This bioavailability depends massively on the type of magnesium supplement you are getting.

Magnesium oxide & magnesium carbonate are two magnesium supplements with a lower bioavailability.

Instead of getting those, opt for magnesium supplements bound with organic compounds like salts and amino acids, such as:

  1. Magnesium citrate
  2. Magnesium glycinate
  3. Magnesium lactate

These are some of the most bioavailable forms of magnesium that have been shown to be optimally absorbed.

Recommended Daily Intake

Alright, we’ve been talking about deriving sufficient magnesium from food and supplements, but… How much of it is enough, actually?

Well, the recommended intake varies, depending on factors like age and gender.

Here’s how the recommendations go:

  • 14-18 years old – 410 mg for males, 360 mg for females
  • 19-30 years old – 400 mg for males, 310 mg for females
  • 31-50 years old – 420 mg for males, 320 mg for females
  • 51+ years – 420 mg for males, 320 mg for females

Note that this is the recommended COMBINED intake, meaning you should calculate the amount from both food and supplement sources.

Take-Home Message

Your nutrition plan is not just about meeting your caloric & macronutrient goals for the day.

It is also about understanding that there are microelements that your body needs for proper functioning.

Magnesium is one of the more important ones, that plays key roles in hundreds of functions in the body and for this reason, you should make sure to pay attention to magnesium in your diet!

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How‌ ‌Important‌ ‌Are‌ ‌Micronutrients?‌ ‌

In the modern-day world, we are constantly blasted with often contradicting information about nutrition.

Some people swear by the importance of protein and animal products, while others tell us it’s all about the caloric balance.

Now, because fat, protein and carbohydrates are taking the majority of the attention, one thing remains quite ignored…

That is namely, the importance of micronutrients, which is the topic of discussion for today!

So without further ado, let us go in depth on micronutrients and discuss what they are, what they do in the body and what the best sources are!

How‌ ‌Important‌ ‌Are‌ ‌Micronutrients? with Elevate Fitness Gyms in Syracuse

Macro VS Micro

So what exactly is the difference between macronutrients and micronutrients? 

Well, as the names suggest, macronutrients are the primary nutrients our bodies need in big quantities – Protein, fats and carbohydrates.

These nutrients provide caloric value and are needed to sustain a healthy body weight and physiological functioning.

On the other hand, micronutrients do not really have a caloric value, but are just as important, due to their role in a variety of important processes all around the body.

Micronutrients include phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals and last but not least, antioxidants!

The body needs these nutrients to sustain the production of a variety of enzymes and hormones, which relate to the overall healthy functioning of the organism.

Micronutrient Deficiencies

Though the body needs micronutrients in small amounts, their absence quickly surfaces with a flurry of unwanted side effects.

For example, a magnesium deficiency can cause you to:

  1. Have bad sleep
  2. Crave sugar 
  3. Cramp
  4. Be unable to focus on the task at hand

Vitamins and minerals are an important part of human nutrition, mainly because they help kids grow healthy and strong, while adults can reap the benefits of sustained health.

Fortunately enough, micronutrient deficiencies are generally easy to diagnose and can be seamlessly treated with various supplements and foods.

Common Micronutrient Deficiencies 

With the abundance of nutrient-poor foods that many people survive on, micronutrient deficiencies are quite a common thing!

Here are the most common micronutrient deficiencies found in humans:

  1. Vitamin B12
  2. Iron deficiency
  3. Iodine
  4. Magnesium
  5. Vitamin D

Some of these are easy to diagnose and don’t hide much risk, but others can cause severe discomfort and if sustained in the long term, even damage.

For instance, B12 deficiencies which are common in vegans and vegetarians, can lead to anemia, memory issues, mood swings, irregular work of the heart and even neurological problems.

Micronutrient-Rich Foods

Unless you have severe deficiencies, micronutrient supplements are not really mandatory, as most deficiencies can be treated with a slight change in nutritional habits.

Let’s have a look at the most vitamin & mineral-abundant foods!

  1. Fatty fish – Omega-3s, vitamin D
  2. Citrus fruits – Vitamin C, Folic acid
  3. Carrots – Vitamin A
  4. Eggs- Vitamin B, Iron
  5. Avocados – Vitamins B2, B5, B6 (And tons of healthy fat!)
  6. Kiwis – Vitamin A, C, E, K, Folate & Choline

Including these foods in your menu regularly will keep you away from deficiencies and maintain a balanced inner chemistry.

Don’t like diversifying your food sources? Shoot for micronutrient supplements!

Take-Home Message

Your best nutrition plan is a good balance between macronutrients, micronutrients and calories.

Though micronutrients do not provide a caloric value, they play important roles in a variety of bodily functions.

Because their deficiencies will lead to worsened function, it is important to grant sufficient micronutrition through your food.

Last but not least, micronutrients don’t really need to be tracked as long as you consume a variety of foods in decent amounts.

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Caffeine & Training Performance

In a world broadly influenced by fitness and nutrition, the search for ingredients that improve performance is something that will never stop.

But even though many new companies can try and sell you on new, promising products, there are a handful of substances that have been proven to work time and again.

When it comes to improving athletic performance, caffeine has been one of the most used ingredients.

Caffeine & Training Performance with Elevate Fitness Gym in Syracuse, NY

But How Does Caffeine Work?

Globally, caffeine is one of the most consumed stimulants, due to its innate ability to boost mood and energy levels.

However, oftentimes this stimulant is used in all the wrong ways, as the modern-day way of life is unnatural and you need energy when you’re supposed to sleep.

There is a compound called “adenosine” that builds up throughout the day and when it binds to certain receptors, it has a unique effect – The mind & the body relax, leading to a feeling of drowsiness.

And well, if you want to avoid that in a situation where you need to be active and alert, coffee seems to be the answer!

In the brain, caffeine blocks the adenosine receptors which makes you feel more alert, making it a perfect choice.

Now, though the mental fog will fall off when caffeine starts peaking in your blood, this clear focus is just one aspect of training performance.

Additionally, caffeine ramps up your central nervous system which is perhaps why it is proven to enhance both strength & endurance performance.

Recommended Doses

If you’ve had a good cup of coffee followed by a workout, you know what we’re talking about when we say that caffeine really is effective at enhancing athletic performance.

However, due to its nature, you can easily go overboard and experience unpleasant side effects, such as:

  1. High blood pressure
  2. Dizziness
  3. Headache

For this reason, you should stay away or at least be careful with products that contain high concentrations of caffeine and always stay below the maximum recommended daily intake.

For most individuals, 200-350 mg of caffeine per day would be normal and would not lead to any side effects – This is the equivalent of about 3 cups of coffee, or 1 dose of a stim-based pre-workout supplement.

Which Products Contain Caffeine?

Though caffeine is mostly associated with coffee, it can actually be found in a variety of other natural products, such as:

  • Yerba mate
  • Tea leaves
  • Guarana

Nevertheless, coffee is one of the most accessible and abundant sources of caffeine, so you can primarily focus on finding quality grains!

If you don’t do that, well, someone else will and then you’ll see an advertisement for the newest, most effective stimulant-based supplements!

This is due to the fact that caffeine is put at the core of many stimulant-based fitness supplements, such as:

  1. Energy drinks
  2. Pre-workout products
  3. Isolated caffeine tablets

These are the products that can make it more likely for you to go overboard with the intake, so don’t abuse these supplements and stay safe!

Ultimately, your best bet would be to have a solid cup of coffee, at least an hour before your workout.

That way, blood caffeine levels will peak right in the middle of your workout, granting energy and focus for superhuman performance!

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4 Foods To Keep You Fuller For Longer

Have you ever consumed a couple of consecutive big meals just to feel hungry 40 minutes later?

Well, if this has happened to you, odds are you are not selecting the right foods with the appropriate satiety index.

In this article, we’ll explain the importance of high-satiety foods, and we’ll also give you a list of our 4 best picks in that category!

4 Foods To Keep You Fuller Longer with Elevate Fitness Gyms in Syracuse, NY

So, Why Is Satiety Important?

The modern-day market offers a variety or rather, an abundance of food products to choose from.

However, the thing is that the tastiest foods also happen to be more processed AND least satiating.

With poor nutrient profiles, these processed products simply satisfy your taste cravings, but hardly ever help you meet your actual nutritional needs.

When you’re not meeting your nutritional needs, well, your body keeps asking for more food by sending hunger signals, until you actually give the body what it needs.

That is to say that processed foods are NOT inherently fattening but instead, they make you eat a lot more which therefore leads to inevitable weight gain.

Being satiated for the longest time possible after each meal is important, as that means you have met your nutritional needs and your body has the resources to work with for the goal of sustaining healthy function.

What Actually Brings Satiety?

Every sensation or bodily signal in the body is closely related to the balance of certain hormones.

Specifically for appetite and satiety, leptin and ghrelin seem to be the two predominantly involved hormones.

The macronutrients you get from food, that are most effective in inducing the feeling of satiety, are protein & fat.

For this reason, it is of prime importance to meet your daily protein and fat needs, as they will play an essential role in how hungry you feel throughout the day.

Remember that a hungry mind won’t be able to focus on other, also important tasks you have.

Stay satiated!

The 4 Most Satiating Foods

Now without further ado, let’s have a look at the most satiating foods you can easily find in your local grocery store!

  1. Beef

As we mentioned, protein and fats from whole food sources are amongst the most satiating nutrients you can give to your body.

Beef and other red meats happen to be abundant in both nutrients, so including them in your nutrition plan is a good bet!

If you always wake up hungry, and that oatmeal & coffee breakfast full of sugar can’t satiate you, well, try a morning ribeye steak!

It works.

  1. Nuts

Cashews, almonds, walnuts, and other nuts are so dense in energy that just 100g of them can keep you full for hours on end.

Additionally, these tiny bites are full of essential fatty acids and other micronutrients that will not only keep you full but also provide your body with the nutrients it needs.

Don’t be nuts, eat nuts.

  1. Eggs

If you are trying to establish a nutrition plan that is nutrient-dense enough to keep you full and healthy, eggs cannot be ignored!

Eggs are good as a standalone meal, or can be made an addition to a bigger meal, to make it complete!

Furthermore, they can be enjoyed in a variety of forms, such as an omelet, scrambled, or even over some rice in Japanese style!

  1. Potatoes

Though protein and fats are the most satiating macronutrients, the food with the HIGHEST satiety index contains mostly carbohydrates…

That’s right! Potatoes are, in fact, the most satisfying food a human can eat!

Try for yourself – Get a beefsteak and cook up some potato mash and you will be full for at least 3 hours.

Final Thoughts

One of the most important aspects of your nutrition plan is to make it actually satiating! 

If you constantly feel hungry, you are not using the right nutrition plan, regardless of what anyone tells you.

Make sure to include these 4 foods presented in this article and let us know how they affected your satiety and energy levels!

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Salt – How Much Is Too Much?

Salt - How Much Is Too Much? with Elevate Fitness Gyms in Syracuse

Besides carbohydrates, salt has been one of the nutrients in food that has taken a big punch to the face, being often demonized. 

And though excessive consumption of salt can lead to unwanted side effects, facts remain facts – Salt is a VERY important micronutrient for the body. 

As a matter of fact, salt provides sodium, which is tightly regulated in the body, meaning that if you have too little, you won’t excrete as much and vice versa – if you have too much, you will excrete more. 

In this short article, we’ll tell you more about salt, its functions, roles and recommended daily intake. 

What Is Salt? 

Salt is essentially made up of sodium & chloride, which are both essential microelements for the body that serve a variety of functions. 

Salt can be found in certain foods but is widely available in the form of crystals, which is in fact, the main reason why some people over consume it.

What Are The Functions Of Salt?

The main contents of salt (sodium & chloride) both play roles in many of the vital functions of the human body.

Those functions include but are not limited to: 

  1. Carrying nerve impulses
  2. Muscle contraction
  3. Fluid balance 

One fun fact is that chloride molecules help the body maintain the alkaline-acidic balance, thus helping sodium serve all of its functions properly. 

What Is The Daily Recommended Intake? 

Now, the good part is that the body has learned how to be efficient with its micronutrients, throughout the millions of years of evolution. 

Therefore, the body’s sodium needs are not sky high as one may think – those vary from 2 to 4 grams of salt per day. 

For kids under the age of 10, as well as adults above the age of 65, the daily needs may drop even further. 

According to the world health organization, the upper limit for salt intake is around 5 grams, which is equal to about one teaspoon. 

Side Effects Of Excessive Salt Consumption 

With excessive sodium consumption, it is possible that the kidneys will not be able to excrete the excess amount and thus, levels of sodium in the blood rise. 

Sodium then binds with water and the total blood volume is increased, leading to an increase in blood pressure. 

If sustained, high blood pressure can have a lot of consequences for your health, including but not limited to: 

  1. Insult
  2. Aneurysm
  3. Worsened kidney function
  4. Kidney stones
  5. Cardiovascular problems 

Which Foods Contain Salt?

As we mentioned, there are many foods that contain a lot of salt, but those are mostly processed/canned foods. 

Such as:

  1. Canned fish/meats
  2. Pickles
  3. Chips
  4. Instant foods
  5. Soy sauce 

Most natural foods however, such as grass-fed beef, have a naturally low sodium content, putting them in the category of the safest foods to consume. 

These are the products you should focus on in your nutrition plan, while avoiding any highly processed foods as the ones mentioned above, for the most part. 

Take Home Message 

To wrap this up, let us tell you this – Salt is not the enemy. Carbs are not the enemy. Fats are not the enemy. 

The REAL enemy is the lack of balance and the lack of knowledge about what the body actually needs. 

Salt in and of itself is an ESSENTIAL nutrient, without which you will not function optimally, both physically and mentally. 

For this reason, your best bet is to test for yourself and see which amount of salt daily is most suitable for your own activity levels. 

Some people may feel just fine at 2 grams, while others may need to go up to even 5-6 grams (i.e. people who move and sweat a lot). 

For this reason, you should take all this information with a grain of salt and test for yourself!

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A Short Guide To Protein

A Short Guide To Protein from Elevate Fitness Gyms in Syracuse, NY

Protein is without a doubt one of the most discussed nutrients we get from food on a daily basis. 

There have been many debates and myths surrounding this nutrient, so in this article, our goal will be to tell you more about everything you NEED to know regarding protein. 

Is Protein The Most Important Nutrient?

The word “Protein” comes from the Greek word “Protos” meaning “first/primary” and that in and of itself should speak about the importance of protein. 

Even more so, if you look into biology, most of the body was made out of protein, including muscle tissue, enzymes, hormones and others. 

Now, when it comes to ESSENTIAL nutrients, there are two of them – Protein & Fats. 

Protein and fats provide essential amino & fatty acids, respectively, which the body needs but cannot produce on its own. 

This is why deficiency in those nutrients can lead to unwanted side effects, such as low libido, poor recovery, worsened hormonal function, brain fog and others.

How Much Protein Do I Need?

The widely recommended protein intake has circled around 1 gram of protein, per pound of bodyweight, per day. 

In other words, if you weigh 180 lbs, you’d need roughly 180 grams of protein per day. 

However, this appears to be more relevant for actively training individuals that hold more lean body mass. 

In other words, if you don’t really hit the gym very often, you’d need about 0.6-0.8g of protein per lb of bodyweight, to sustain health and optimal functioning. 

On the other hand, if you are very active and use your muscles, you’d be closer to 1g of protein per lb of bodyweight. 

What Are The Best Sources Of Protein? 

If there is one thing to know, that is namely the fact that not all proteins were made the same! 

Proteins are made up of amino acids – There are a total of 20 amino acids and 9 of them are essential

On top of that, each food provides protein that is digested, absorbed and retained differently. 

Based on the amino acid profile, as well as other properties like the ones we just mentioned, each food can be rated in terms of bioavailability. 

The bioavailability is a fraction of a nutrient in certain foods, that is absorbed and used. 

The things that change the biological value of foods are their chemical form, interactions with other compounds, as well as individual physiological responses to food. 

Here’s the punchline… 

Animal products appear to be of the greatest biological value for the human body! 

These are the foods that provide all essential amino acids, along with healthy fats and a multitude of vitamins. 

Nevertheless, mass-production of animal products implies unnatural growth, where the animals don’t have enough room to run freely and are fed with processed, low-quality animal foods. 

For this reason, we have put up a list of the BEST animal sources of protein: 

  1. Grass-fed beef
  2. Wild-caught salmon
  3. Free-range chicken
  4. Pork
  5. Cheese & Other dairy
  6. Eggs 

Most of these foods are saturated with quality protein, meaning that you will need just a couple of portions to meet your daily needs! 

What If I’m Plant-Based?

As we mentioned, animal foods are the only products that contain the full set of essential amino acids, along with the greatest bioavailability.

Plant foods unfortunately lack one or more essential amino acids and take up a lot of space in the stomach, for little caloric value.

Nevertheless, if you’ve decided to not eat meat, your best bet would be to combine different plant products, in order to compensate for their lacking nutrients.

Here are some of the best plant-based protein sources:

  1. Lentils
  2. Beans
  3. Other legumes
  4. Cashews
  5. Almonds
  6. Edamame
  7. Tahini
  8. Peanut butter
  9. Peas
  10. Macadamias 

In combining those, you will be more inclined towards providing sufficient amounts of protein for your body, on a daily basis!

Protein Timing

Now here’s for a brief mention – If you want to further optimize your protein intake and how it’s being used, try timing it to your workouts.

Have a solid protein feeding 2 hours before your workout, and then within 2 hours AFTER the workout.

This will give you a slight boost in terms of the constructive, anabolic processes that happen after the workout.

Conclusion

Protein is a powerful nutrient that keeps us healthy, alive, well and recovered, which is why, you just can’t ignore it!

Place quality, protein-rich products at the core of your daily nutrition and you will see the difference for yourself!

Focus on quality-fed meats, along with some dairy and eggs, and if you are a plant-based eater, just stick to grains, legumes, nuts and seeds!

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Veggies = Weight Loss?

Veggies and Weight Loss from Elevate Fitness Gyms in Syracuse, Ny

There’s a commonly known idea that during a period of weight loss, you should eat more veggies and fruits, as that somehow, can supposedly help weight loss. 

But is there anything more specific to fruits in the context of making fat loss sustainable?

In this article, we’re going to give you some clues on the do’s and don’ts of weight loss nutrition, to help you create a more clear plan of action. 

What Actually Causes Weight Loss? 

It is a fact that the total amount of food, relative to your levels of activity (calories in vs calories out) is the most important principle of weight loss. 

In order to shed off those excess couple of pounds, you MUST consume less calories than you burn throughout the day. 

That is also referred to as “eating in a caloric deficit” and is, again, the fundamental principle of weight loss. 

What About Caloric Content? 

Being in a caloric deficit is something you simply cannot skip, but that does not really exclude the choice of food in your diet. 

No food can cause weight loss/weight gain in and of itself, but we can choose foods that can: 

  1. Increase satiety
  2. Improve recovery
  3. Fill up energy stores
  4. Replenish micronutrients 

HINT: Veggies are just a part of your diet 

The goal of fat loss is to not just decrease the number on the scale, but to also be able to adhere to the nutrition plan and to be in peak physical shape. 

Therefore, it is essential to provide the body with the highest possible quality of foods. 

Choose These 

In general, you should focus on whole foods that were grown in a good environment and if that’s animal foods, you should make sure that they were fed well. 

As a matter of fact, most animals grown for their meat do not get sunlight, live in tight spaces with many other animals and are fed with processed fodders. 

All of these factors affect the meat quality and thus, it is optimal to look into alternatives. 

Here are the best foods you can add to your nutrition plan: 

  1. Grass-fed beef
  2. Free range chicken
  3. Pork
  4. Free range chicken eggs
  5. Broccoli
  6. Avocado
  7. Carrots
  8. Beetroot
  9. Sweet potatoes
  10. Normal potatoes
  11. Brown rice
  12. White rice
  13. Dairy products 

All 13 of these foods are likely to help keep you full and satiated, thus making it highly unlikely for you to overeat and exceed your caloric needs. 

This technically patches the problem of cravings and furthermore, if you combine whole foods with resistance training, you are setting yourself on a path to aesthetics. 

So Veggies Don’t Really Mean Much? :( 

As we mentioned, no food, even veggies, can cause weight loss just by being in the diet. 

The perks of veggies however are the following: 

  1. Plenty of micronutrients (vitamins/minerals)
  2. Plenty of fiber (Keeps you full)
  3. Big volume of food for little calories
  4. They feel fresh!

Do include veggies in your weight loss plan, as they will help keep you fuller for longer, on top of the other nutrients you get from whole foods, that regulate satiety. 

The same thing goes for fruits and even more so, one of their main perks is that they are sweet and can replace processed desserts. 

Take This Home 

If you are trying to lose weight, focus on eating whole foods with plenty of quality protein and fats, as those are the nutrients that will keep you full and satiated. 

Once you have secured your macronutrients, you can add a couple of high volume, low-calorie salads here and there to totally kill the feeling of hunger! 

This is where veggies truly shine.

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What You Need to Know About Serotonin and Weight Loss

Elevate Fitness Gyms in Syracuse Explain Serotonin and Weight Loss
Do you diet and exercise, but stay the same size? A serotonin imbalance could be the reason that you find it difficult to lose weight. Serotonin may be best known as a neurotransmitter that fights anxiety and depression. However, it also plays a major role in digestive health. In fact, most of the serotonin in your body is in your gut, rather than in your brain. Put this natural appetite suppressant to work for you. Learn more about how serotonin affects weight loss and lifestyle choices you can make that will help it to do its job.
 
How Serotonin Affects Weight Loss:
 
1. Curb your appetite. 
Serotonin affects your brain’s melanocortin system, which is partly responsible for controlling body weight. It activates some neurons that decrease appetite and blocks others that increase appetite.
 
2. Resist cravings. 
Do you yearn for chips and cookies in the late afternoon and evening? Serotonin can be especially helpful in reducing carbohydrate cravings. Keep in mind that your body still needs some healthy carbohydrate calories, typically about 40% of your daily intake.
 
3. Burn more calories. 
Low serotonin levels may also cause your body to store more fat. Correcting any imbalance can help you lose weight around your midsection, which is very beneficial for your overall health.
 
4. Reduce emotional eating. Do you reach for comfort food when you’re sad or frustrated? You may find yourself eating less as serotonin helps stabilize your moods.
 
How to Boost Serotonin:
 
1. Work out. 
Physical exercise increases serotonin. Aim for at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity activity. Focus on cardio activities and strength training if you’re trying to lose weight.
 
2. Adjust your diet. 
A nutritious diet rich in whole foods supports serotonin production. For a bigger boost, consume probiotics and foods high in tryptophan, like salmon and chia seeds.
 
3. Manage stress. 
On the other hand, cortisol and other stress hormones suppress serotonin. Develop a daily practice of taking time to relax.
 
4. Consider supplements. 
While research findings are mixed, some adults report positive results using serotonin supplements. You can also find formulas with related substances like 5-HTP and vitamin D.
 
5. See your doctor. 
There can be many medical reasons why you have trouble losing weight. Your doctor can help you understand your serotonin needs and other treatment options.
 
Other Natural Appetite Suppressants:
 
1. Eat more fiber. 
Along with serotonin and exercise, there are many more natural and safe ways to regulate hunger. One of the most effective is focusing on foods high in fiber that will fill you up with fewer calories.
 
2. Drink water. 
Beverages with little or no calories can quench your thirst and make food easier to resist. Sip water or tea throughout the day.
 
3. Slow down. 
Your brain needs about 20 minutes to register that it’s full. Sit down and savor your food. Talk with your family or dinner companions. You’ll make mealtimes less fattening and more fun.
 
4. Add spices. 
Certain seasonings can put the brakes on your appetite. Flavor your dishes with ginger, black pepper, and cinnamon.
 
5. Distract yourself. 
Remember there’s a difference between true hunger and appetite. You may be eating for psychological reasons if you only want something specific, like ice cream or pizza. Entertain yourself with activities other than food and give your cravings time to pass.
 
When your serotonin levels are balanced, you’ll have more energy and feel full while eating less food. Along with losing weight, you may also enjoy greater happiness, sounder sleep, and significant relief from headaches and many other common conditions.
 

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Top Snack Tips From Fitness Gurus

What do fitness gurus eat, and what do they recommend for others?

Fitness gurus have mastered snacking before and after exercise. Just like everyone else, they face cravings throughout the day.

Try their tips the next time you have a long day at the gym or at work:

1. Eggs.  Hardboiled eggs are one of the best snacking options. They’re inexpensive and easy to make ahead of time. They’re also filling, so they can satisfy cravings and give you energy.

Many fitness gurus rely on eggs to get through a busy day.

Try slicing hard boiled eggs and adding sliced tomatoes or avocados on top. Sprinkling them with a little salt improves the flavor.

2. Precut vegetables.  No one wants to gnaw on an entire celery stick or large bell pepper. Try chopped carrots, bell peppers, and celery.Also, consider having small pieces of broccoli or cauliflower. Wash and cut vegetables for a healthier snacking option.

You can keep the precut vegetables in sandwich bags or small plastic containers. You can also purchase precut veggies in the store, but you save money when make your own.

3. Granola.  Instead of buying granola in stores, many fitness gurus make their own version. They prefer the homemade granola because they can control all the ingredients and balance the nutrients.

A healthy granola mix includes carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

Try making your own granola with peanuts, almonds, cashews, raisins, oats, and dried cranberries.

Another popular granola mix includes sunflower seeds, oats, chia seeds, flax seeds, and raisins.

Experiment with different nuts and seeds to create your favorite.

4. Peanut butter.  Peanut butter provides protein and healthy fats that are filling. From adding peanut butter to smoothies to eating it directly from the jar, many fitness gurus include it in their snacks.

Consider making a bread-free peanut butter sandwich that many fitness gurus adore. Simply slice a banana into long, thin strips and add peanut butter in between.

5. Almonds.  Almonds also provide protein and healthy fats. A handful of almonds can stop cravings and provide an energy boost. Many fitness gurus rely on almonds for a quick burst of energy during the day.

You can buy small bags of almonds, or use sandwich bags to make smaller portions from a bulk bag. Stuff them into a bag or purse that you use during the day and snack on them whenever you get hungry or feel your energy waning.

6. Emergency protein bars.  There are many brands of protein bars on the market, and fitness gurus rely on them, although they’re not in agreement about which ones are the best. You’ll have to experiment and find one that you prefer. Focus on finding protein bars that are low in sugar and preservatives.

Pay attention to the ingredient lists on the back of the package. Try to avoid the ones that have ingredients you can’t pronounce or spell. Simple ingredients are healthier. The healthiest bars will also have a short list.

Try different flavors to find a favorite. Most energy bars are available in chocolate, vanilla, peanut butter, and fruit flavors. They all have different tastes and textures.

You can also try baking your own energy or protein bars with healthy ingredients.

Fitness gurus know that the fuel you use for the body matters.They understand that snacking is a vital part of a successful diet and exercise regimen. Try their favorite snacking tips before planning your next gym session or long workday.

Interested in learning more about the right exercise and nutrition habits for you? Our Quick Start PT program is for you!

I Changed What I Ate (and Didn’t) to Lose Weight

By Elevate Fitness Marketing Director and Certified Spin Instructor Jason Jaquays-Tarbox

Recently, I found I’d fallen into some bad habits. Bad habits that I’d corrected once before through lots of hard work, determination, dedication, and effort. Bad habits that I’d sworn I’d never allow back into my life regardless of the circumstances.

Oh, Jason, you naive thing you.

I’d recently been recertified to teach spin classes and was teaching and taking classes several times a week burning a butt-load of calories when I took out my summer wardrobe only to discover that some of my shorts were simply too tight to button anymore.

How could this be? I was spinning four to five times a week and burning in the neighborhood of a thousand calories each time. How, when I was doing all that work in the gym, could my waist betray me like that??

Oh, Jason, you naive thing you.

The reality was that on top of all this crazy pedaling I was doing, I was also going home and telling myself that I’d worked so hard in class that morning that I deserved chips before dinner. I deserved full-fat ice cream after dinner. I deserved to bake and eat half a pie before bed.

Yup, I was essentially trying to out-exercise a bad diet. It was time to change things up and take responsibility for what I’d been telling gym members for years – your efforts in the gym only count when they’re accompanied by making good choices in the kitchen.

I set out to attack the problem head-on by avoiding the following things that I self-declared to be out-of-bounds for a month:

  1. No gluten. For me, that meant no bread (and trust me – I could make an entire meal out of bread alone, so this wasn’t an easy task) and no pie. Now, I’d recently discovered that I’m REALLY GOOD at baking homemade pies, so to say this took some willpower is an understatement.
  2. No caffeine. Prior to beginning this journey, I was drinking anywhere from four to six Diet Dr. Peppers a day. I know, I know. I’d chosen for a long time to willfully not believe all the evidence that shows even diet sodas can lead to weight gain.
  3. No white carbs. No regular potatoes (sweet potatoes were acceptable), no white rice (brown rice was acceptable) and no added sugars.
  4. No dairy. That’s right – none.

More important than what I wasn’t allowing myself, though, was what I WAS going to be eating. Afterall, without bread, pie and my beloved Diet Dr. Pepper, what exactly was I going to be eating, then?

  1. Green apples (not red), and lots of them!
  2. Protein shakes with added fiber for breakfast and lunch (meal planning just got a whole lot easier).
  3. Lean protein (chicken) and greens for dinner.
  4. Raw cashews.

Now, I know that list doesn’t look very long or very interesting, but I can assure you that like most routines that we fall into, consuming the same foods day after day became not only normal but almost preferable to me.

In fact, when I set out to do this challenge, my goal was a 30-day period beginning on May 31st and ending June 29th, allowing me to eat anything I wanted come June 30th, my birthday. And I did splurge on the 30th (there was a LOT of bread in my belly when I went to bed that night) but by July 1st, I was ready to get back to the routine I’d established in June.

And so I did, but I added a new rule and went vegan while reverting back to the four off-limits rules from above.

Here’s what I’ve accomplished with this strategy over the past 62 days:

  1. I’ve lost somewhere between 20 – 25 pounds (my weight fluctuates up to 5 pounds a day depending on how long/far I’ve run, how hydrated I am, etc. so this is normal for me).
  2. I’m (mostly) sleeping through the night again (probably thanks to giving Diet Dr. Pepper the heave-ho).
  3. My running form and time have both improved (although, full disclaimer: this could also be due to a recent 32-day run-streak of daily runs of at least 3.1 miles each).
  4. I have experienced fewer and less-severe headaches (again, probably thanks to ditching the doctor).
  5. I feel generally happier and more positive.

Now, you can make your assumptions about why I’m experiencing these improvements, but the bottom line is – they’re improvements and whether the cause is the change in my eating habits or good, old-fashioned placebo effect, the improvements are real.

For me, the effort and discipline have been worth it for the weight loss, the improved sense of well-being and for having been finally able to ditch the soda! And chances are I’ll continue to eat “clean” 90% of the time or more just to maintain the benefits I’ve experienced.

I haven’t been perfect. I’ve faltered. I’ve whined. I’ve complained.

But even when it hasn’t been great, all I’ve had to do is think about how much money I’m saving on soda or how my shorts finally fit (comfortably) again, or how much healthier my skin looks to know that like all things in life, the things worth having (doing?) are rarely easy, but the rewards are oh, so worth it.

 

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The Benefits of Fiber

The Benefits of Fiber from Elevate Fitness in Syracuse

What is Fiber?

Dietary fiber, the ingestible parts of plant-based foods, are a carbohydrate. So why would you eat MORE fiber (a carb) to lose weight? Simply put, dietary fiber, unlike other carbohydrates, isn’t broken down into sugar which is then stored in the body, and most of the dietary fiber you consume simply passes through your body.

What makes fiber truly remarkable (and productive) though, is the work it does on its way through your body. There are two types of dietary fiber: soluble (dissolves in water) and insoluble (does not dissolve in water, and remains largely unchanged as it is digested) and both provide massive benefits to your health and can aid in weight loss.

Fiber has been credited with the following benefits:

  1. Increasing the regularity of bowel movements and maintaining bowel health. (Source: Mayo Clinic)
  2. Decreased cholesterol. (Source: Raleigh Medical Group)
  3. Regulate blood sugar levels. (Source: The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine)
  4. Possible cancer prevention. (Certain types and under certain circumstances. Source: British Journal of Medicine)
  5. Increased longevity. (Source: American Journal of Epidemiology)
  6. Allergy prevention. (Source: Live Science)
  7. Asthma reduction (Both occurrences and severity of symptoms. Source: Scientific American)
  8. Increased heart health. (Source: WebMD)
  9. Can help reduce symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease, duodenal ulcer, diverticulitis, and hemorrhoids. (Source: Pharmacy Times)
  10. Feel full longer, aiding in weight loss. (Source: Men’s Journal)

Our recommendation?

To experience the benefits of fiber, we recommend that you strive to get AT LEAST 30 grams of fiber per day (source: Harvard Health) from some of these high fiber foods.

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Lose More Weight With These 3 Tricks

It simply cannot be argued that the most effective method for weight loss is a combination of exercise and nutrition. Even the world-renowned Mayo Clinic acknowledges that both are necessary components of weight loss in their 6 Strategies for Success.

But is it really as simple as calories in versus calories out? On the surface, yes, it is. For most people looking to lose weight the simple practice of measuring and properly managing calories in and out will be sufficient to create a weight loss effect.

And with the wide variety of tools and apps available to help you measure and track your calories, it’s easier than ever to put the calories in/calories out practice to work for you.

However – there are ways to take it up a notch, either to increase the effectiveness of caloric deficits or to help you push through plateaus when your weight loss starts to slow down.

Here are 3 ways to step up your weight loss game and take caloric management to the next level:

One. Track Your Macros

To track your macros, first, you have to understand what they are. Macros are your carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Finding the right percentage of each to fuel your weight loss can increase your results and help you lose weight faster than tracking calories alone.

You can learn more about macros from MyFitnessPal, which also offers a free app to help you track calories in/calories out AND your macros (which we HIGHLY recommend).

By adding macro tracking to your weight loss strategy, you’ll get better results by focusing on the quality of the calories you’re tracking. This can often result in more weight loss or faster weight loss.

Two. Focus On Digestive Health

Your digestive system is a complex and sensitive system that plays a large role in how your foods are broken down and processed by your body, again helping determine the efficiency and effectiveness of the calories in versus calories out weight loss strategy.

To maintain good digestive health, we recommend including plenty of fiber in your diet. This will help you feel fuller longer, as fiber is super filling but lower in calories than other food types. In fact, Harvard recently reported that a step as simple as getting 30 grams of fiber a day can, “can help you lose weight, lower your blood pressure, and improve your body’s response to insulin just as effectively as a more complicated diet.” Read more here.

Three. Rethink Your Eating Habits.

Just because you’ve always eaten your lunch at 12 pm doesn’t mean that’s the best time for you to eat your lunch.

Some people experience a change in their weight loss by simply changing what they eat when. Maybe you want to try limiting carbs after 5 pm. Maybe three meals per day gets you great results and maybe 6 smaller meals spread out works best for you. Or maybe you’d benefit from intermittent fasting?

The point is to rethink your habits and play around with how your caloric intake is happening and see what you can do to that gives your results a boost!

Need accountability with your weight loss strategy? Consider the Elevate Fitness Weight Loss Challenge. Learn more here.

Eat Healthy Without Depriving Yourself

Have you ever tried to turn over a new leaf and eat healthily? If you have, chances are there were times you felt deprived. Here we have 5 simple tips to help you eat healthy without depriving yourself!

One. Plan Ahead

One of the most common reasons that people abandon their goals when it comes to healthy eating is because they get off track by making a few bad choices due to lack of planning.

That’s why we recommend planning your meals and menus in advance (preparing about a week at a time is pretty customary and easy to do) and shopping with lists. And don’t forget to plan realistically (more on that later) and not idealistically. Know that you’re going to be hungry and you’re going to need options.

If you plan for too few calories or meals and don’t have options available, you’re going to end up making bad choices when hunger hits.

Need help getting organized? We love these meal planning pads from Amazon.

Two. Set Clear Goals

Don’t just jump into a new eating routine without some clear goals in mind. Know what you’re wanting to accomplish with your new nutritional habits and set clear guidelines, deadlines, and measurements in place to keep you on track to meeting your goals. Maybe your goal is to lose weight, or maybe your goal is to cut out caffeine or gluten. Whatever your goal, be specific and smart about it.

Read here to learn more about setting SMART goals relative to your diet and nutrition.

Three. Journal

We’ve said before that documenting and journaling is one of the best strategies for keeping you on track and helping you to reach your weight loss and fitness goals. And we recommend that you don’t just document your plan, document your results, too. Not only will that help with accountability, but it will help keep you motivated and wanting to accomplish more as well.

Read more about our thoughts on documenting your journey and accountability. And consider an app like MyFitnessPal which makes logging your meals, snacks, water, and even your workouts a breeze!

Four. Do Your Research

The very best thing you can do to kick off your new habit is to meet with a nutritionist or a personal trainer first. But if that’s not possible: make sure you do as much research as you can. Find a plan that fits not only your goals but your lifestyles and preferences as well. If you hate seafood and choose a fish-based diet because it promised you’ll drop pounds and that’s your objective – you’re likely to fail because a fish-based diet doesn’t work with your preferences.

Another great tip is to ask the people in your life who are already living the lifestyle to which you aspire to help you figure out the map for getting you to where you want to be. Success breeds success. Still not sure where to start? Check out this 7 Day Clean Eating Plan!

Five. Be Reasonable

Finally, remember that you will have good days and you will have bad days. You will see progress and you will see what looks like no change. This happens to everyone. The important thing is that you realize that one bad meal or one bad day does not mean you’ve failed and it’s not impossible to bounce back from those moments.

Be realistic and reasonable with yourself. You didn’t get the body you have overnight, and if you’re looking to nutrition to change your body, it won’t do that overnight either. Celebrate your good days. Acknowledge your bad days. BUT KEEP GOING. Don’t give up – it’ll get easier and easier with every day and every victory.

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Three Simple Lists to Live By for Weight Loss

Weight loss can get complicated, we get it. Sometimes making small, simple changes and adjustments consistently can make a big an impact that you might not expect. Here are three simple lists that you can use every day to make small changes that will lead to big results.

List #1: WHAT TO EAT

VEGETABLES: Non-starchy veggies are as good as it gets (especially leafy greens) with huge nutritional benefits.
PROTEIN: Pasteurized eggs, lean meats, fish and other seafood like lobster and clams are great sources of protein.
FRUITS: Low sugar fruits like berries are best.

List #2: WHAT NOT TO EAT

PROCESSED FOOD: Packed with chemicals and large amounts of nutritionally-void calories, processed foods are a major no-no.
FRIED FOODS: This one almost goes without saying.
LIQUID CALORIES: Sports drinks, fruit juices, and soda are better off not consumed because of the sugar and empty calories.
SUGAR: You should avoid any food products that are high in sugar and you should never add sugar to foods as it causes the body to store fat.
ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS: No Nutrasweet or Splenda – use natural sweeteners like Stevia.
WHITE CARBOHYDRATES: Avoid white potatoes, white rice, and cereals
SOY SAUCE, CANOLA OIL & MOST SALAD DRESSINGS: Substitute with oil and vinegar or balsamic dressing that you make yourself.

List #3: WHAT TO EAT IN MODERATION

GRAINS: Corn, oats and brown rice should be consumed on a minimal basis, and should be avoided totally if you have gluten sensitivity issues. When you DO eat grains, ensure they’re whole grains.
DAIRY: Milk and cheese are okay in limited quantities (try to limit yourself to one serving per day). Whole full-fat milk is okay if you don’t have problems with lactose. You may also consider trying almond or coconut milk as a substitution for regular milk. (When considering cheese – try to eat from blocks of cheese – those individually wrapped things aren’t really cheese – they can’t even call themselves cheese – they’re a cheese product, see above regarding processed foods.)
MINIMALLY PROCESSED MEATS: Sausage, bacon, salami, and pepperoni should only be eaten in small portions only. Do not eat hot dogs. Ever. There’s a reason hotdogs are nicknamed “mystery meat” and we believe that nothing you put in your body should be a mystery.
BEANS: While beans are high in protein, fiber and antioxidants (great!) and low in sugar (also great!) they can impede weight loss because they are a starchy carb.
PRE-PACKAGED FOODS: Packaged foods are convenience foods, they are meant to last on shelves for very long periods of time, and that makes them likely to last on your waistline for a long period of time, too.
ALCOHOL: Alcoholic beverages can be toxic to your body and should, therefore, be consumed in moderation. A single glass of wine a few times per week (preferably red as it’s lower in sugar) or liquor without any added mixers a couple of times a week will do minimal damage. Beer should be avoided at ALL costs.

Take from this one or two changes you can make immediately and begin to incorporate more as you start to see results! Want to add a fitness consultation to the mix to make sure the program you’re planning for yourself is the most effective for your body type and your goals? Elevate Fitness can help you!

Weight Loss and Macronutrients

Lose weight using macronutrients at Elevate Fitness in Dewitt and LiverpoolIf you’ve spent any amount of time researching weight loss online, or reading weight loss and diet articles in magazines or getting advice from people in Facebook groups, then you’ve likely heard of macronutrients. But what exactly are they and what role do they play in weight loss?

Macronutrients are the three types of foods that are required, in varying quantities, in our diets for basic nutrition. When discussing macronutrients here, we are referring to Carbohydrates, Proteins, and Fats. And yes, you need all three in order to maintain a healthy eating lifestyle AND to lose weight (those no-fat diets will likely end up causing you to gain weight see this article from The Cleveland Clinic for more).

For the sake of this blog post (and because of the abundance of easily accessible information to be found online) we’re going to make the assumption that you’re less interested in the science behind the macronutrients and that you’re more interested in the role they should play in weight loss.

ABOUT CARBOHYDRATES

  1. Your carb consumption should be based on how active you are and what your goals are. The more active you are, the more carbs your body can burn for fuel. But be warned, if you have weight loss goals, it’s likely your body is storing enough fuel for those workouts, and you won’t need to consume as many carbohydrates as say, a marathon runner.
  2. Carbs provide your muscles with glycogen and your brain with glucose.
  3. Vegetables and fruit are the best sources of carbohydrates because they also contain lots of fiber and nutritional value.
  4. If you’re focused on weight loss, you generally won’t want to exceed 100 grams of carbohydrates per day which is fairly easy to accomplish when you’re avoiding processed foods and sugars and you’re minimizing your grain intake.

ABOUT PROTEIN

  1. Protein is the most essential macronutrient for maintaining optimal body health. Don’t be afraid to consume a lot of protein.
  2. Focus on eating the right kinds of protein. Eat lean meats, not fatty meats. And choose white poultry over dark.
  3. Most people (especially women) aren’t consuming enough protein. Consider using a supplement like a protein shake first thing in the morning, or after you’ve worked out to ensure you’re getting enough.
  4. Because protein makes the body feel fuller for longer periods of time than any other macronutrient – every meal and snack you consume should include some protein. Especially if your goal is weight loss.

ABOUT FATS

  1. Fats are the most misunderstood of the macronutrients. Healthy fats are absolutely necessary for any healthy eating lifestyle.
  2. There are three types of fats: saturated, unsaturated and trans. Trans fats should be completely avoided. Generally speaking, saturated fats should also be avoided, if less so than trans fats. Unsaturated fats are healthy fats.
  3. Trans fats are often added to foods to make them last longer. When you’re eating a lot of fresh foods, the shelf life shouldn’t be an issue – preservatives, trans fats or others, are not usually a good thing.
  4. Most people in today’s “fat-free” crazed world aren’t getting enough unsaturated fats which can be found in foods like fish, nuts, avocados, and some vegetables.
  5. Worrying less about how much fat you’re eating and instead focusing on what kinds of fat you’re eating will likely have positive and lasting effects on your health and risk of disease.

SUGAR

Okay, so this one isn’t a macronutrient. But we find that enough people struggle with sugar, and so it’s worth including a short section here on sugar and why it’s such a big deal.

While sugar isn’t fat, it does cause your body to store fat. Whereas proteins and fats help your body burn fat, carbohydrates are broken down in your system into glucose. Guess what glucose is? That’s right! Sugar!

So, if you’re eating right you’re getting enough glucose in the form of your carbohydrate consumptions, and shouldn’t need to consume any additional sugars on top of that.

And that sweet tooth? It’s not just something cute to refer to your love of candy and baked goods. It’s a condition created by … you guessed it! … eating sugar. When you eat too much sugar, your body will actually begin to crave MORE sugar AND you’ll develop a tolerance for sugar, so you’ll need more and more sugar to satisfy those cravings as time goes on.

By cutting sugar from your diet  – your sweet tooth will most likely disappear completely.

Still need to satisfy that craving? Go for chocolate. BUT go for the good stuff. Quality chocolate uses cocoa (from a bean) for flavor and doesn’t rely on sugar. And opt for dark chocolate which is said to have additional benefits like being rich in antioxidants, potentially good in helping reduce blood pressure and could possibly lower your risk for certain diseases.*

*These are commonly discussed benefits of dark chocolate and their inclusion here is speculative and not meant to indicate that they have been independently scientifically verified.

So what does all of this mean to you? It would be easy if we just said, here’s how many macros you should be eating. But you want to find the right balance of macronutrients for your goals and your body. The best move would be to meet with a nutritionist to determine what you should be eating to accomplish your specific goals. If that’s not an option for you, there are other options out there like MyFitnessPal, which we recommend in our Weight Loss 101 post, that will guide you in setting and meeting your macronutrient and calorie goals.

You should also meet with a personal trainer to ensure your exercise plan is appropriate to the nutrition plan you choose during your weight loss journey as these two components working together are the most effective way for you to lose weight and keep it off.

Don’t have a personal trainer? No problem, your first session with a personal trainer is FREE at Elevate Fitness in Dewitt and Liverpool. Simply fill out the form below to take advantage of this great opportunity!

Get Your Nutrition in Check with Balanced Chef

Get Your Nutrition in Check with Balanced Chef Now Available at Elevate Fitness

BETTER FUEL FOR A BETTER LIFE! That’s the mission for an amazing company out of the Utica, NY area called Balanced Chef.

Elevate Fitness excited to partner with The Balanced Chef after searching long and hard for the ideal nutritional solution to offer our members and guests. We believe that in order to be your best and achieve your fitness goals, you MUST have a nutritional plan in place to support the work you do in the gym. You can’t out-train a bad diet. 

We also know that our members lead busy lives and don’t always have the time to meal-prep or to find the best options for meals on the go or after a long day of work, family and exercise. Enter Balanced Chef.

This local business offers hand crafted, chef prepared meals that are guaranteed fresh and include macronutrient and caloric information, making it simple to track intake and optimize nutrition. Simply pop the meal in the microwave (usually) for the recommend amount of time, and when you’re done you have a delicious, chef-prepared meal that not only doesn’t work against your fitness efforts, but enhances them.

With a variety of dietary options, The Balanced Chef has an array of delicious, healthy meals available to satisfy the nutritional and lifestyle needs of everyone, with a menu that changes weekly. And these aren’t the bland, boring, repetitive meals you might expect when you’re looking at healthy meal options – these are delicious meals that will leave you feeling satisfied and content.

There are a couple of different ways to experience Balanced Chef at Elevate Fitness. Each week (starting Monday, March 25th) we’ll have a limited number of grab-and-go meals available for purchase in the clubs. However – once they’re gone, that’s it for the week. The best way to ensure you get what you want is to order your meals ahead of time through Balanced Chef’s easy to use and navigate website and then they’re available for you to pick up at Elevate the following week.

 

HOW IT WORKS

The ordering deadline is Monday at midnight of each week. Choose Elevate as your pick-up location when you’re checking out and then sit back and congratulate yourself on taking the guess work and drudgery out of making nutrition a priority in your fitness and wellness journey!

Interested in nutritional counseling and customized meal plans? Those are also available at surprisingly low rates through Balanced Chef! Check it out!

Not a member of Elevate Fitness? Not a problem - membership not required to pick up your pre-ordered Balanced Chef meals. While you're picking up your meals - why not try out a free trial workout?

So many delicious options from Balance Chef available for pickup at Elevate Fitness

What is Intermittent Fasting?

What is Intermittent Fasting?

WHAT IS INTERMITTENT FASTING?

You can’t have a conversation about diet and nutrition without somebody mentioning intermittent fasting. But what exactly is it and does it work?

Intermittent fasting is the act of alternating between a fasted and fed state. The length of the fasted and fed states can vary but are usually a repeating pattern of some sort. The purposes of intermittent fasting range from weight loss to disease management to lifestyle.

A pioneer in the world of intermittent fasting, Dr. Jason Fung is best known for his book The Obesity Code. Dr. Fung’s research suggests that intermittent fasting can be a very effective weight loss strategy and may even have the ability to reverse the symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes!

Does it Work?

Intermittent fasting has some very well documented benefits. A quick google search for the benefits of intermittent fasting will return hundreds of webpages all espousing the benefits of this trendy craze. However, most research suggests that intermittent fasting (when performed correctly) is safe and effective, but no more or less effective than traditional diets and weight loss programs.

Ultimately, the answer to this question, like so many great questions is yes and no. The most effective weight loss program, ultimately, is the one you’re most likely to stick with. For some people, that’s intermittent fasting. For others, it’s something else. So simply put: intermittent fasting works for some people but not for others. Of course, it also depends on what your goals are. Some people report weight loss. Some report a decrease in the symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes while others report increased energy. Someone hoping to lose weight who instead sees an energy increase is likely to consider fasting ineffective.

However, when it’s all said and done, there are some lessons that anyone who’s trying to lose, or maintain, weight can take away from the idea of intermittent fasting:

Don’t snack before bed. The hours between dinner and bedtime are often the most dangerous. Whether it’s mindless eating in front of the television or a mad-rush to quell hunger that’s been building all day, eating late in your day can be problematic for a number of reasons. It may cause you to make poor choices when it comes to your food (research suggests those who eat or snack later in the day often choose more calorie dense, less nutritious foods) and it may affect your ability to sleep. It’s best to make dinner your last meal (and eating) of the day.

Think before you eat. Often times we eat simply because we’re conditioned to do so (for example maybe you eat breakfast every day because you always have and not because you’re hungry) or because our environment encourages it (eating at a party or gathering simply because there’s food available). We’re all guilty of eating when we don’t need to or eating past the point of fulfillment. A simple trick to combat this is to ask yourself a simple question before eating: “Why am I eating this?”

Drink lots of water. One of the tools used by most intermittent fasters to reduce the feelings of hunger is to drink water when hunger hits. This is a great strategy to follow as the body often has difficulty distinguishing between hunger and thirst. Often times a goals-defeating binge can be avoided by stopping and downing an 8-ounce glass of cold water.

Whether you choose to dabble in fasting or take some of these fasting tips to incorporate into your own program remember that no program is one-size-fits-all and you should always consult with your doctor before starting any new diet or exercise program. See what doctors have to say about fasting here.

 

Learn more about Elevate Fitness in Syracuse.

Fresh Ideas for 30-Min Mediterranean Meals

Fresh Ideas for 30-Minute Mediterranean Meals

(BPT) – With few having the time to devote to cooking an elaborate meal, a collection of delicious and dependable 30-minute recipes for a quick but satisfying meal can be handy. What else keeps things simple? Having fresh staples such as California table grapes on hand helps brighten up any recipe and fuel up after activities.

Mediterranean ingredients and flavors create dishes that are refreshing, colorful and filled with fruits and vegetables. Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad with Grapes offers a fresh twist on the Middle Eastern classic, replacing the traditional bulgur with quinoa, and using grapes in place of tomatoes. The result? An approachable and modern salad that works as well for a quick dinner as it does for a brown bag lunch the next day. Pair with grilled chicken or fish, or simply add chickpeas or kidney beans for a heartier meatless entree.

With Mediterranean Pizza, there is no need to fuss with dough because whole-wheat naan, an Indian flatbread, makes the perfect crust. Simply top with cumin and paprika-seasoned ground lamb, bake it, and then finish with a lightly dressed grape and red onion combination that perfectly complements the flavors in the meat. Pita or flatbread can take the place of naan, and lamb can be replaced by ground beef or turkey as desired.

Finally, when it’s time to decorate the table, create a simple but stunning centerpiece with gorgeous black, red and green California grapes.

For more ideas, visit grapesfromcalifornia.com.

Mediterranean Pizza

Prep time: 15 minutes; cook time: 15 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups halved red California grapes

2 tablespoons lightly chopped Italian parsley leaves

1/4 cup slivered red onion

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (divided) plus additional for drizzling

Pinch of salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 pound ground lamb, beef, or dark meat turkey

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground paprika

Pinch cayenne

2 whole-wheat naans (about 4.4 ounces each)

Directions

Heat oven to 475 F. In a large bowl combine the grapes, parsley leaves, red onion, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add the garlic and meat, and cook until browned, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, cumin, paprika and cayenne.

Place naans on parchment-lined baking sheets, brush with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and spread the meat mixture on the naans. Bake until each naan is browned and lightly crisp, 8-10 minutes. Top with grape mixture and drizzle with additional olive oil if desired. Cut in pieces and serve.

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad with Grapes

Prep time: 15 minutes; cook time: 15 minutes

Yield: Serves 6

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups water

3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed

3/4 cup halved red California grapes

3/4 cup halved green California grapes

2 cups diced English cucumber

2/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

1/2 cup chopped dill

1/4 cup chopped mint

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the water to a boil and add the quinoa; reduce the heat and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain any excess water, then fluff the quinoa and transfer it onto a baking sheet to cool for 10 minutes. In a medium bowl, combine the grapes, cucumber, parsley, dill, mint, olive oil, lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper. Gently fold the cooled quinoa into the grape mixture and serve.

Gobble Up More Turkey

(BPT) - New Year’s resolutions are often hard to maintain, especially if you are trying to make healthier food choices after indulging in treats during the holidays. According to a 2019 Marist Poll, 44 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. For those who plan to make a resolution, two of the top resolutions are losing weight and eating healthier. Focusing on nutrition can start with meal planning and healthy protein options like turkey. Protein is essential to a wholesome, balanced diet, and turkey is an excellent source of protein. Turkey is also low in fat and perfect in many healthy recipes. Honeysuckle White offers a variety of turkey options — from ground turkey, to cutlets, breast strips, ready-to-cook meatballs and more. The brand works exclusively with independent family farmers in the U.S. to raise turkeys with care and without growth-promoting antibiotics. Skinless turkey breast is one of the leanest meats available and is considered a superfood by the American Heart Association. A boneless four-ounce serving of turkey contains 26 grams of protein — 12 percent more protein than the same size serving of boneless chicken breast — and only about one gram of fat plus zero grams of saturated fat. Turkey has much more to offer beyond protein. According to the USDA’s nutrition database, turkey typically has fewer calories and less cholesterol than other proteins, and is rich in all the B vitamins, especially B6 and B12, which help the body convert food into energy. Turkey also provides an abundance of minerals, including immune-boosting zinc, selenium and iron. Family farm-raised ground turkey is a great choice for families who want to eat better, and it is excellent for chili, tacos, fajitas and turkey burgers. With 28 grams of protein and only one gram of fat per serving, 99 percent fat-free ground turkey breast provides a great foundation for a wholesome entrée. For families on the go, convenient, oven-ready turkey meatloaf is a versatile option that is perfect for busy schedules. Achieving balanced, wholesome meals only takes a few simple steps. Smart shoppers plan meals before heading to the store and stick to the outside perimeter of the store to purchase fresh ingredients including vegetables, fruit and lean meats. While shopping, be sure to read the nutrition labels to know what you are feeding your family. Another benefit of laying out your shopping routine and planning meals is saving time and money. This budget-friendly approach will eliminate extra trips out to eat and can inspire new creations in the kitchen. Throughout the week you can have fun with your family, building new meals to put a variety of flavors on the dinner table. Working toward a healthier lifestyle does not have to be a drastic overhaul. Making small strides, including planning meals and shopping trips, will lead to smarter food choices. With a mix of lean proteins and fresh produce in the kitchen, you can deliver well-rounded and healthy meals for your whole family in the new year.

(BPT) – New Year’s resolutions are often hard to maintain, especially if you are trying to make healthier food choices after indulging in treats during the holidays. According to a 2019 Marist Poll, 44 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. For those who plan to make a resolution, two of the top resolutions are losing weight and eating healthier. Focusing on nutrition can start with meal planning and healthy protein options like turkey.

Protein is essential to a wholesome, balanced diet, and turkey is an excellent source of protein. Turkey is also low in fat and perfect in many healthy recipes. Honeysuckle White offers a variety of turkey options — from ground turkey to cutlets, breast strips, ready-to-cook meatballs and more. The brand works exclusively with independent family farmers in the U.S. to raise turkeys with care and without growth-promoting antibiotics.

Skinless turkey breast is one of the leanest meats available and is considered a superfood by the American Heart Association. A boneless four-ounce serving of turkey contains 26 grams of protein — 12 percent more protein than the same size serving of boneless chicken breast — and only about one gram of fat plus zero grams of saturated fat.

Turkey has much more to offer beyond protein. According to the USDA’s nutrition database, turkey typically has fewer calories and less cholesterol than other proteins and is rich in all the B vitamins, especially B6 and B12, which help the body convert food into energy. Turkey also provides an abundance of minerals, including immune-boosting zinc, selenium, and iron.

Family farm-raised ground turkey is a great choice for families who want to eat better, and it is excellent for chili, tacos, fajitas, and turkey burgers. With 28 grams of protein and only one gram of fat per serving, 99 percent fat-free ground turkey breast provides a great foundation for a wholesome entrée. For families on the go, convenient, oven-ready turkey meatloaf is a versatile option that is perfect for busy schedules.

Achieving balanced, wholesome meals only takes a few simple steps. Smart shoppers plan meals before heading to the store and stick to the outside perimeter of the store to purchase fresh ingredients including vegetables, fruit and lean meats. While shopping, be sure to read the nutrition labels to know what you are feeding your family.

Another benefit of laying out your shopping routine and planning meals is saving time and money. This budget-friendly approach will eliminate extra trips out to eat and can inspire new creations in the kitchen. Throughout the week you can have fun with your family, building new meals to put a variety of flavors on the dinner table.

Working toward a healthier lifestyle does not have to be a drastic overhaul. Making small strides, including planning meals and shopping trips, will lead to smarter food choices. With a mix of lean proteins and fresh produce in the kitchen, you can deliver well-rounded and healthy meals for your whole family in the new year.

Fast Ways to Eat More Fiber

Fast Ways to Eat More Fiber

By Joan Cline

Getting fiber in our body is very important it helps prevent constipation and manage our weight. It may also help prevent some diseases like high cholesterol, diabetes, heart diseases, and some cancers.

The recommended amount of fiber needed a day is 25 to 38 grams. Most people eat less than 15 grams a day. The Institute of Medicine recommends men under 50 to eat 38 grams and women 25 grams. Adults over 50, men 30 grams and women 21 grams of fiber.

There are two types of fibers, soluble and insoluble and both are helpful to you. Insoluble helps the intestines and colon function properly, by hydrating and helping waste move through your intestine, which keeps you regular and less constipated.

Soluble fiber digest slowly and helps reduce cholesterol and assists in keeping the blood sugar levels stable. Both the insoluble and soluble fiber are important and most foods rich in fiber have both.

Lack of fiber in your diet can cause:

· Constipation; getting hard stools. fiber helps soften your stool and help moves waste along.

· Diabetes; fiber helps regulated unstable blood sugar

· Weight Gain; foods high in fiber helps you stay full longer, which prevents you from eating more food.

· Cardiovascular diseases; this may cause high cholesterol and heart diseases. Soluble fiber that’s found in oats, beans and fruits and vegetables helps.

· Hemorrhoids; hemorrhoids are inflamed veins close your anus and develop from pushing hard stools. Eating food high in fiber can solve the problem.

FAST WAY TO EAT MORE FIBER:

Adding fiber to your diet can be easy as 123, here are simple ways that you can add it in your diet.

1. Flax meal; they come in different colors, tan, brown and golden, they are a good source of omega 3- fatty acids and fiber.

2. Chia seeds; one ounce of chia seeds has 11 grams of fiber, it’s also packed with antioxidants, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.

3. Hemp seeds; they are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber and have many more benefits, they are a good source of healthy fats and protein

4. Cereals; sprouted whole grain cereal, golden flax, Cheerios, Kashi whole grains, General mills fiber one etc.

Other ways to add fiber to your diet:

The best way to get your fiber is through foods, fruits, and vegetables. Below are foods that are high in fiber.

1. Oats; is one of the easiest ways to include fiber in your diet

2. Fruits; berries, avocado, pears, bananas, apples, oranges, papaya etc.

3. Vegetables(cooked); kales, peas, green beans, collard greens, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes etc.

4. Beans and Legumes (cooked); soya beans, lentils, pinto beans, kidney beans etc.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Joan_Cline/2395458

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9667956

Learn more about the right choices for your fitness goals with a complimentary consultation with a certified personal trainer (available to first-time clients, local residents aged 18 and older only, other restrictions may apply.)

September Meal Prep

by Rachael Dydyk

September Meal Prep

One of the hardest things in life for a busy working parent is how to eat healthily. The new statistics are out and diet-related diseases are the number one cause of death in the United States! So yes, more people will die this year from frequenting their local drive through than smoking cigarettes. Since diabetes runs in my family I have been meal prepping for as long as I can remember. Just like my laundry, it is something I do and plan each week.

With this blog, I would like to help people learn how to eat healthy without being overly time-consuming. When you meal prep you will end up saving time, energy and feel a whole lot lighter and
happier. Your skin will be glowing, your pants will fit better and your wallet will be fatter.

Instant Oats Meal Prepping
Your meal prep starts on Thursday night when you clean out the refrigerator of any leftovers or containers. This way you have room for all your fresh foods. I tend to eat a plant-based diet but will
give options for people who to eat more meat. This meal prep includes 5 days of breakfast, 5 lunches, 10 snacks and 3 dinners to prep for dinner and one soup of the month. I will try to include as many of the daily dozen as I possibly can. *This meal plan is roughly 1200-1300 calories with 40 % protein, 30 % carbohydrate and 30 % fat

Carve out 2 hours on a Sunday, put your favorite music or Netflix show and get ready to prep. Feel free to email me with questions at Rachael@elevatesyracuse.com or find @rachaeldydyk on Instagram.

Your breakfast:
2 Overnight Oats
3 Protein fruit smoothie

Lunch menu:
3 Quinoa power bowl with Tahini dressing
2 Baked chicken breast with sweet potato and broccoli florets

Dinner
Shrimp fajitas with Cilantro and Lime
Baked cod with rice and peas. Any fish healthy fish of choice. (If your family doesn’t eat fish use chicken.)
Turkey Burger or Trader Joe’s Veggie Burgers with sautéed zucchini

Snacks
Egg whites, almonds, a fruit of choice and green smoothie
September Soup
Lentil Lemon Soup

What you will need:
9-quart size zips lock baggies
4-gallon size baggies
2 (16) 0z mason jars
1 (32) oz mason jars
3 salad containers. You can use the glass or plastic
2 entrée size containers
4 one cup containers for soup
3 small dressing containers
One large good quality cookie sheet
Your favorite saucepan and soup pot
A lemon zester
A mandolin
A good quality blender for smoothies and juice.
Grocery list
Lemons and 2 Limes
1 or 2 bananas
5 pieces Fruit of choice, grapefruit, apple or pears (These fruits are full of fiber and lower on glycemic
index)
Large bag of multicolored peppers
1 large purple onion
Large package of spring mix
1 bag of kale
1 bag of spinach
Ginger root
5 cucumbers
Tomatoes
Bag of carrots
2 small sweet potatoes
3 Avocados
1 container of mirpox (you can make your own but here is where I get lazy and it’s fairly inexpensive)
Garlic (I buy the already chopped in the jar)
3 or 4 zucchini or veggies of choice
Snow peas
Fresh Cilantro
Ginger root
Olives (I like Kalamata)
Almonds
1 dozen brown eggs
Almond milk (30 calories)
Chia seeds
Ground flax meal
Spirulina
Matcha Green Tea
1 cup quinoa
Old fashioned oatmeal
Any flavor Vegan protein powder for women and whey for men.
1 can black beans or chick peas
2 pounds of frozen precooked shrimp
4 organic Turkey burgers, I prefer Trader Joe’s High Protein veggie burgers
8 0z of chicken breasts
4 pieces of wild cod or any healthy fish
1 bag frozen broccoli florets
1 bag frozen peas
White or brown Rice
Pine nuts
Dry Red lentils
Vegetable or chicken broth
Olive oil
Cinnamon, Turmeric, Sea salt, Cumin, Paprika, chili powder, curry powder, saffron and cayenne
Tortillas, wheat or corn (I wrap my fajitas in bib lettuce so these are for my guys)
Tahini

Instructions
1. Set containers on kitchen table away from cooking area.
2. Season chicken breast with olive oil, cayenne pepper and paprika. Put on pan and add sweet potatoes. Set timer for 45 min.
3. Start the lentil soup- heal small amount of olive oil add garlic and mirepoix and heat until soft. Add one cup of lentils and a carton of broth. Bring to a boil for a few minutes. Add the zest of one lemon, 1 tsp curry, 1 tsp saffron, sea salt and 2 tsp cumin. Then reduce to simmer while you’re preparing the next meals.
4. Bring 2 cups water to a boil and add cook quinoa. I do this while I am chopping veggies
5. Take fish and shrimp out of freezer and defrost in Fridge for Monday and Tuesday night dinner
6. Get power bowls ready by adding spring mix to salad containers, cumber, and purple onion, ¼ cup of black beans 1/3 avocado. When quinoa is ready and cooled add ½ cup. Tahini dressing. Simply mix 1/3 cup tahini, garlic, 1 tsp turmeric lemon juice from one lemon, 2 tablespoons water. Place in dressing containers. Set in fridge.
7. If you are making the green juice set up 5 zip lock bags. Throw in a handful of spinach, kale, one carrot, half of a peeled cucumber,1 carrot, spirulina, 1 tsp pine nuts, 1 tsp chia seeds, a little ginger root ½ tsp Matcha, mix water and ice then pour in a mason jar in the fridge. You can also pour this in the blender in the morning and add into the large Mason jar for an awesome energizing afternoon snack. Some people add apple but I prefer to limit my fruit to mornings.
8. Check soup
9. To prepare overnight oats. ½ cup oats into the each of the mason jars, 1 cup almond milk, 1 tsp flax meal, ½ sliced banana or some berries. Sprinkle with cinnamon and add one scoop of protein powder.
10. 3 zip lock bags for breakfast’s smoothies. Add one cup of frozen berries, 1 scoop protein powder, 1 tablespoon fax meal. Put bags in freezer. In the morning empty bag in blender and add once cup of
almond milk or water. Add to Mason jar and enjoy on the way to work.
11. Place cooked chicken, potatoes and 2 cups broccoli in a container for your second lunch option.
12. Pour soup in one cup serving containers. You can eat this whenever you’re extra hungry. I like to freeze some and enjoy it after my Saturday long run.
13. Hard boil eggs if you eat them for a mid-morning snack or portion almonds.
14. Now that breakfast, lunch and snacks are ready you may take a little time to prep dinner. Take the cut bell peppers and purple onion in a gallon baggie. Add salt, pepper, garlic, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp paprika. Set in fridge. Monday night put everything on the pan with the shrimp and some olive oil. Sprinkle with lime juice and cilantro. Serve with tortilla or lettuce.
15. Set the sliced zucchini in a bag so when you making turkey burgers it is easy to sauté

*Photos by Rachael Dydyk

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