Tag Archives: junk food

Keep Junk Food Out of Sight

22 Jan

junk-food-300x2251[1]What do you see when you look around your kitchen?  When it comes to junk food, if you see it you’re more likely to eat it.

If you keep junk food (cookies and other “sweets”) on the kitchen counter — or visible elsewhere in the kitchen — there’s a good chance you’re overweight, according to a study in Health Education & Behavior, cited in Men’s Health.

According to the study, 39% of men who kept baked goods visible in their kitchens were obese; while only 6% of guys who kept sweets in sight were slender. (Healthy snacks like fresh fruit or nuts was more typical for the slim guys.)

Here’s why: When you’re hungry, you tend to grab the first quick, convenient snack you see.

To avoid this trap, keep healthy, low-calorie options — like preportioned bags of fresh fruit or nuts — where they are quickly and easily seen and accessed.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

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Good Nutrition Doesn’t Have to be “All or Nothing”

8 Jul

8c08f343446b14128f6f9df8dd797ddb[1]Regular exercise is important, and good nutrition is its complement.  Both are equally important components in maintaining your fitness, health, and wellness.

And, while some may believe an extreme, fanatical approach to diet and nutrition is necessary to reach their goals, I do not.

People often feel overwhelmed with nutrition when they have an “all or nothing” mentality.  They feel that they must never ever eat anything “bad” for them or all of their efforts are ruined.

Free yourself of that thinking.  It’s impossible to never eat anything “bad” for us.  You are setting yourself up for failure with this mentality.  Balanced nutrition means eating foods that will be beneficial for your health most of the time, but also not feeling guilty when you occasionally eat something that may not be the best choice.

Two words:  BALANCE and MODERATION

  • Eat based on your goals and your target (desired) weight
  • Eat a balance of lean protein, clean carbs, and healthy fats
  • Increase your daily protein consumption to about 0.6-0.8 grams for every pound of your desired body weight
  • Limit “junk food” calories to 10% of your total, daily caloric intake
  • If you over-indulge — quantity or quality — get back on track the next meal or the next day

Moderation is the key, but people may have different opinions regarding what is moderate.  Having ice cream once per day is not moderate.  Focus your daily meals and snacks on whole foods like lean meats, and fresh fruits and vegetables.  Save the sweets — like ice cream — for special occasions.  You’ll enjoy it more this way because then it really is a treat.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

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Eat Your Way to Fitness

8 Jun

8c08f343446b14128f6f9df8dd797ddb[1]Exercise is important, but you can’t “out-train” a bad diet.  If you’re serious about results, regardless of your strength and fitness goals, your exercise and nutrition plans need to be aligned.

Complement your efforts in the weight room by following these three simple Diet & Nutrition rules:

  1. Limit the junk.  Snacking on high-calorie, low-nutrient foods like sweets, chips, and soda will sabotage your strength and fitness plan.  And, while I’m not a fan of an extreme, fanatical approach to diet and nutrition — moderation is the key — you’ve got to limit these foods to no more than 10% of your intake, or about 200-250 “junk” calories per day.
  2. Make protein a priority.  Active men and women should aim for at least 0.6-0.8 grams of protein per pound of their target body weight, daily.  Athletes and more experienced weightlifters may require more protein, as much as a gram (or more) per pound of their target body weight, daily.  Increasing your protein intake can help you feel fuller longer, increase muscle growth, and boost your metabolism.
  3. Eat more produce.  Add more (whole) fruit to your diet to provide your muscles with carbohydrates to fuel your training.  You’ll get the added benefit of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients to keep you healthy.  Aim for 2-4 servings a day.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

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100 Calories Worth of Junk is Still Junk

21 Nov

The 100-calorie snack pack concept has become very popular. You can get everything from cookies to crackers, even soda, in small packages that equal about 100 calories. Certainly, there is no health risk posed by eating an occasional 100-calorie pack, but there are lots of better snack choices.  The question is, should these packs have a place in your daily diet/nutrition plan?

Low Nutritional Value

  • The 100-calorie packs are typically loaded with sugar, on average between 7 and 9 g per serving.  Sugar comprises over 30% of their total calories.
  • Many of the snacks, especially the snack crackers, contain over 200 mg of sodium per pack.
  • Most of these snack packs are high in fat. Unfortunately, it’s not good (mono-, polyunsaturated) fat.
  • Snack packs are virtually devoid of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.

Taste and Cost

Many of the 100-calorie pack versions do not even resemble the originals. For example, in order to fit into the 100-calorie parameters, Oreos are flat crackers instead of cream filled cookies and chips shrink in size. Due to the extra packaging and because of the 100-calorie gimmick, the cost of the snacks is inflated, between 15% and 250% more than those in larger packages.

Alternatives

100-calorie packs may help you indulge a craving for junk food, but they should not replace healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy.  If you choose 100-calorie packs instead of healthier foods at snack time, you are missing out on important nutrients. For 100 calories, you could easily eat an apple, a low-fat string cheese, a banana, a tablespoon of peanut butter, a glass of skim milk, or 2 1/2 cups of cut-up vegetables, all foods that provide nutrients like vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and protein. The 100-calorie packs are short on all of these benefits.

Are the snack packs nutritious? Sure they may be only 100 calories, but does that mean they are good for you? Most of them contain lots of sugar, fat (sometimes up to 40 calories from fat), and no real vitamin content. The calories in junk food will always be empty calories, whether you eat 100 calories or 1,000. The fact is that junk will always be junk for your body, no matter how much or how little you consume.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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