August, 2011 | The Cycle Project

Archive for August, 2011

Aug
25
2011
0

Grilled Salmon and Peach Salad

This recipe makes a perfect flat-abs meal. Fresh greens, grilled peaches and tender salmon make a mouthwatering combination. Enjoy for lunch or dinner.
Servings: 1

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • 1/4 cup grilled peaches
  • 1 Tablespoon blue cheese crumbles
  • 1 Tablespoon dried cranberries
  • 1 Tablespoon light salad dressing
  • 7 oz grilled salmon
  1. Toss the greens, peaches, blue cheese, and cranberries in a bowl with salad dressing. Top with grilled salmon.

Nutritional Analysis:? One serving equals: 365.3 calories, 14.5g fat, 404mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, and 39.7g protein.

Aug
20
2011
0

It’s Ok To Cheat

Does the thought of eating healthy everyday make your head spin?

Establish a weekly “Cheat Day” where you allow yourself a taste of all your favorite indulgences.

It’s OK to cheat once a week – just indulge with control, and stick with your clean eating habits on all other days.

Aug
15
2011
0

5 Diet Tweaks For Flatter Abs

If your stomach isn’t as flat as you’d like it to be then you have come to the right place.

Exercise alone will not get you a toned stomach – diet is a huge part of the equation.

Below I have compiled 5 very easy tweaks to your eating habits that will dramatically flatten your abs.

Diet Tweak #1: Don’t eat after 6pm
This is such a simple and effective way to lose fat. Late night eating is the most damaging to your waistline, so cut it out completely.

  • Brush your teeth immediately following dinner. Once your teeth are brushed, you’ve put a period to the end of your consumption for the day.
  • Change your evening routine. If you’ve always ended your day watching your favorite shows with your hand in the snack bowl, then now is the time to change things up. Find activities that don’t revolve around food and stick with those.
  • Make it a habit. The first few weeks will be the hardest, but soon your new no-food-after-6pm routine will feel normal.

Diet Tweak #2: Cut back on carbs
Notice I didn’t say to cut out all carbs, but rather to cut back on carbs. These diet tweaks are meant as lifestyle changes that you stick with long term. Cutting back on carbs is a realistic and very effective way to lose weight.

  • Always choose whole grain bread and pasta over white. Whole grains are less likely to be stored as fat than processed grains.
  • Eat half of the carbs you normally do. Eat your sandwich open-faced and reduce the size of your pasta serving.
  • Avoid carb-filled snacks between meals. Instead of crackers or chips, have fresh fruit and veggies.

Diet Tweak #3: Eat more fiber
Most people simply do not get enough fiber in their diets. Fiber is essential when it comes to getting lean since it is low calorie while filling you up.

  • Instead of seeing salad just as a side item, make salads into meals. Add protein to a large pile of greens for a guiltless meal. *Try the recipe for Grilled Salmon and Peach Salad below.
  • Make veggies a part of every meal. The benefits of eating more vegetables are too numerous to list, just know that your body will become healthier and leaner with each fibrous bite.
  • Fruits are a delicious source of fiber. Incorporate fresh, seasonal fruits into your daily diet.

Diet Tweak #4: Drink tons of water
Drinking plenty of water is another extremely simple way to promote weight loss. Chronic dehydration leads to false hunger signals and unnecessary calorie consumption.

  • Drink a large glass of water before each meal. This will prevent overeating.
  • Choose water instead of sugar-filled sodas and juices. Sugar-filled drinks are a huge weight-gain trap.
  • Carry a water bottle with you throughout your day. Keep water in the car and at your desk for constant hydration.

Diet Tweak #5: Enjoy natural sweets
Traditional sugar-filled sweets will quickly add up around your waistline. Instead of going for sugary sweets, enjoy natural sweets.

  • Fruit is nature’s candy. Reach for sweet, seasonal fruit for dessert.
  • Avoid foods that contain white sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Consider these items ‘anti-flat-abs’.
  • Use wholesome sweeteners such as pure maple syrup, brown rice syrup or dates in your recipes instead of white sugar. Eliminate white sugar from your kitchen.

Eating right, coupled with challenging exercise, is the formula for a toned, lean body – so guarantee your results by teaming up with me.

Together we will come up with a fitness plan that is uniquely yours, one that fits your lifestyle and brings you promptly to your goals.

Aug
12
2011
0

Normal Weight Obesity: An Emerging Risk Factor For Heart And Metabolic Problems

An amazing article on how people who appear to be normal weight or even skinny can still have a high percentage of body fat, and therefore and increased chance for heart complications!

 

ScienceDaily (Mar. 29, 2008) — More than half of American adults considered to have normal body weight in America have high body fat percentages — greater than 20 percent for men and 30 percent for women — as well as heart and metabolic disturbances, new Mayo Clinic research shows. The finding conflicts with the widely held belief that maintaining a normal weight automatically guards against disorders such as high levels of circulating blood fats and a tendency to develop metabolic syndrome, which often leads to type 2 diabetes.

The researchers defined “normal weight” by body mass index (BMI). They found that people with normal BMI who had the highest percentage of body fat were also those who had metabolic disturbances linked to heart disease. The researchers use the phrase “normal weight obesity” to describe this new type of patient at risk for metabolism problems and risk factors for heart disease, but who rates as “normal” on standard weight charts. They defined normal weight obesity as a condition of having a normal BMI with high body fat percentage.

“Using the term ‘normal weight obesity’ is really a way of being more precise about the changing conceptualization of obesity, because the real definition of obesity is excess body fat,” says Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, M.D., a cardiologist on the Mayo research team. “Our study demonstrates that even people with normal weight may have excessive body fat, and that these people are at risk for metabolic abnormalities that lead to diabetes and, eventually, to heart disease.”

Significance of the Mayo Clinic Study

Heart disease remains the major cause of death and disability in westernized countries. Researchers around the world are striving to refine the relationship of body composition to heart health as a means of:

  • Designing more effective risk assessment tools
  • Improving public health programs for reducing risk
  • Designing new and better clinical rehabilitation programs for heart patients

While a focus on maintaining “a healthy weight” has long been a centerpiece of these efforts, Mayo’s new study suggests the focus may need to shift. Instead of tracking weight and BMI only, public health measures to prevent heart disease might benefit more from measuring the belly or by assessing percentage of body fat as more reliable risk factors of heart disease. Mayo studies in 2006 and 2007 suggested this criterion by demonstrating the inability of BMI to discriminate between body fat and lean muscle. “Combined, the data from our earlier work and the current study suggest it’s time for a new measure of body fat as a risk factor of heart disease,” says Dr. Lopez-Jimenez.

About the Study

The researchers studied 2,127 adults, equally divided between men and women, who had normal weight (BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 units). The participants’ body composition was assessed, and their risk factors for metabolic and heart disease were collected by the U.S. government in its Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

From this data, researchers found that normal weight obesity appears to be highly prevalent, affecting more than half of patients with a normal weight as defined by the BMI. After controlling for age, sex and race, normal weight obesity subjects had significantly higher rates of several alterations in blood chemistry that can negatively affect heart and metabolism health. These markers of disregulation include:

  • Altered blood lipid profile, such as cholesterol
  • High leptin, a hormone found in fat and other tissues and is involved in appetite regulation
  • Higher rates of metabolic syndrome

The Mayo team will present its study results at the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session in Chicago in the beginning of April.

Other Mayo Clinic team members include Abel Romero-Corral, M.D.; Simona Boarin, M.D.; Justo S. Johnson; Virend K. Somers, M.D., Ph.D., all from Mayo’s campus in Rochester, Minn. Their work was supported by Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research and the American Heart Association.

 

Original Normal Weight Obesity Article 

Aug
10
2011
0

Spinach, Mango & Red Quinoa Salad (w/ Chicken)

Spinach, Mango & Red Quinoa Salad (w/ Chicken)

Crisp baby spinach blends with sweet mango, tender chicken and a sprinkle of red quinoa in this refreshing salad. Complete with your veggies, protein and wholegrain, this salad is a balance meal in and of itself.
Servings: 2

Here’s what you need…

  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 small carrot, shredded
  • 2 Tablespoons red onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup red quinoa, cooked
  • 1/4 cup ripe mango, diced
  • 1 cup cooked chicken breast, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons lowfat salad dressing (Newman’s Own Low Fat Sesame Ginger Dressing)
  1. Place the spinach, carrot, onion, quinoa, mango, and chicken in a medium bowl. Toss with dressing.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 248 calories, 4.7g fat, 301mg sodium, 25.5g carbohydrate, 3.4g fiber, and 25.5g protein.

Aug
05
2011
0

Say Yes to Good Fats

Avocados and almonds contain monounsaturated fat. This healthy fat has been shown to help target stubborn belly fat and lower your cholesterol levels.

  • Use avocado slices in your sandwich instead of mayo.
  • Get your healthy fat fix with a handful of almonds.
Aug
01
2011
2

Get To The Bottom Of Your Weight Gain

Why are the numbers on your scale climbing?

That is a valid and often frustrating question. And the answer isn’t always sweet and simple.

“Any change in your life circumstances can produce changes in eating and exercise, which leads to weight gain,” stated Edward Abramson, Ph.D., professor emeritus of psychology at California State University, author of Emotional Eating. 

So why has your weight increased? And, more importantly, what can you do about it?

1. Life’s Fat Traps
A little addressed fact about weight gain is that everyone gains weight for different reasons. So often we hear about one-size-fits-all weight loss solutions that take little or no consideration of how the extra weight piled up in the first place. To experience true weight loss it is important to understand why you gained it in the first place.

Think back to the time in your life when your weight was just right. Were you in your teens? Your twenties? Or maybe your thirties? Picture yourself as you were at your ideal weight. Now when did things change? Was it a gradual addition of pounds that accumulated over a span of multiple years? Or did you gain it all at once? Check out the following weight gain triggers and determine which one is responsible for your plight.

  • College: The college years are some of the easiest for gaining weight. In fact, a recent study by Cornell University found that on average, college freshman gain about 0.5 pounds a week – almost 11 times more than the average weight gain among 17-and 18-year olds and almost 20 times more than the average weight gain among American adults.
  • Marriage: There’s nothing like holy matrimony to encourage a barrage of calories to overtake your diet. Late night comfort snacks are always more enjoyable when you have someone to share them with—and who better than the person who pledged to stick by your side through sickness or health?
  • Pregnancy: Talk about a great time to gain weight! And we’re not just talking about women here—most men admit that they gained ‘sympathy’ pounds right along with their wife. Hormonal changes along with strong encouragement from everyone you know to indulge in anything their heart desires leave most pregnant women with a feeling of entitlement when it comes to food.
  • Career: Though you may not realize it, your career choice plays a major hand in your weight. Those who go from an active lifestyle to spending 8 hours a day behind a desk and another 2 hours commuting almost universally gain weight. Conversely, people who spend their 8 hours in constant motion find weight loss a natural byproduct of the job.

2. New Habits
Close your eyes and go back to the fat trap that triggered your weight gain. What changed in your lifestyle? To help sort things out, I’ve broken things down into two specific behavioral categories.

  • Eating Habits: Did your eating pattern change at this time in your life? If your weight gain occurred in college then maybe you went from eating 3 square meals to an all-you-can-eat buffet style cafeteria. Or if marriage was your weight gain trigger, then maybe you went from eating small meals to fattening comfort food. Pregnancy brings on the perfect environment for a change in eating habits. You go from eating normally, to eating ‘for two’, to munching on your baby’s snacks right along with him! Your job can also dictate your eating schedule. Long hours and early meetings may cause you to grab a donut or chips from the vending machine.
  • Activity Level: The second category that leads to weight gain is your activity level. Simply put, what kind of exercise were you doing before your life changing event and how does it compare to your current exercise regime? Chances are good that you were doing more exercise before your weight gain began—which means that you are doing less exercise today! Go ahead, think back to the exercises or physical activities that you used to do and compare them to your schedule today.

3. Your Transformation
You’ve figured out which fat trap in your life led to weight gain, and then narrowed down the exact behaviors that changed as a result, so this naturally leads us to a solution.

It’s time to make a change.

Call or email today to get started on a fitness program that will make you immune to all of life’s fat traps.

Once you start working with me, those numbers on your scale will quickly change direction.