Nutrition + Exercise = Results!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

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As I was working hard to prepare for my wedding, working out 5 days a week, my husband pointed out the latest issue of TIME magazine** saying that it is really caloric intake that makes the difference in your appearance, rather that how much you exercise. And it makes sense! In a spinning class, I burn between 200-300 calories (My husband burns 700+ no fair!). A 123g bagel is 354 calories. So before you indulge yourself because you had a good workout at the gym, do your research. Here are some tips:

1. Learn to read nutritional labels. If you are in the store and choosing between 2 brands or flavours, have a look at the number of calories, the % fat, and the grams of sugar. Being a vegetarian, I like to look at protein content too.

Not sure how many calories you should consume? Here is one interactive tool to help you guesstimate. It doesn't take into account your activity level these charts might be more useful for looking at macronutrients.

I should add these links are ones I found via Google. Feel free to look for your own websites, but keep in mind that anyone can publish online. Look for a ".gov" or ".edu"

2. Watch your portion size. This can be a tricky one, especially when eating out! A few tips I have heard over the years:
*Use smaller plates and bowls at home so you don't have room for lots of
*When going out to eat, have the server wrap up half of your meal to take home
before you are served.
*When having salad, ask for the dressing on the side. The calories are
hidden in the dressing, so being able t control how much you consume is
*Eat at a table, not your desk or on-the-go or standing up
*Count out or weigh portions of chips, crackers, cookies (basically anything
that comes in a large package that you snack on) so you know how many
calories you are eating

3. Try new recipes. With the Internet being so handy, there is no need to purchase cook books anymore. Food Network has a search option and many recipes have the nutritional information listed. Weight Watchers offer free recipes too. An MSU alumni has a fantastic blog called Joy in My Kitchen. She has many food allergies and makes just about everything from scratch. COoking this way allows you to control what goes into your food (chemicals, sugar, fat- everything!) Her blog is full of recipes (with photos) and weekly menus. I have tried a few and have never been disappointed.

I would also recommend the Instinct Diet
(also called the I Diet). I picked up the book and was impressed by the amount of research included and the options for vegetarians. Half of the book is menus with recipes (with meat and without) and it includes options for prepared foods (frozen, take out, etc). It has a focus on why you crave food and how to re-train your cravings to be healthier.

4. Think about your body type.- This is one I am recently looking into. My friend, Kim, recommended a book called "Stop Your Cravings" by Jennifer Workman. I haven't read it cover to cover but what I have read pointed out that depending on where the extra weight goes. For example, I tend to put weight on my mid-section and the book suggests menu full of Mediterranean-style food for me. Kim will letting us know more about the book in a guest post later on.

5. Empty Calories. Remember that many drinks (beer, pop, high sugar juices) are just empty calories without much nutritional punch. Personaly, I would rather use my calories for a nice dessert rather than a cocktail. But I know not everyone feels the same way. :) Drink water when you can. Flavor it with lemon, lime, or cumcumber if you think it tastes too bland.

Do you have any other suggestions on how much to eat? Or what to eat? Please comment below!

**I couldn't find the TIME I was referring but I did find this:
Special Issue of TIME- what to eat Sep. 12, 2011

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