Here is the link to the original article.
Of course exercise and eating right are the most important factors. Some of these are hold some weight (no pun intended) as well. I put together a list of what I do to combat these 5 factors and my take on each.
#1 Take Probiotics. Probiotics have received a lot of attention lately when it comes to weight-loss and improving mood. I definitely believe healthy gut bacteria are important to a fully functioning digestive system. I started taking probiotic supplements about a year ago to help *cough* stay regular. I almost never feel bloated anymore. I highly recommend them to everyone!
#2 Eat Organic. The idea of added hormones in our food scares me, especially when it comes to what I feed my son. We try to eat organic when possible especially when it comes to dairy, meat, and the dirty dozen. But then I don't even thinking about it when we are eating out or having a fun treat at home. In my opinion once it a while is ok. It's the stuff you consume every day that matters. Regular healthy habits allow for unhealthy moments.
#3 Banish extra chemicals from your home. Of all the things on the list, this one unfortunately tends to get the least attention. Common household cleaners are major sources of chemical exposure that can lead to an accumulation of toxins in your body. Many are known as endocrine disruptors and interfere with their normal hormone functions. I banished these harmful chemicals from my home almost 2 years ago. We clean, wash dishes and do laundry with natural products. While you can make your own, I found a great brand that a trust to handle it all. I feel like they work better (and smell better) than the homemade stuff, plus it saves me the time to make it (I'm all about efficiency).
#4 Let yourself have the real sugar. I'm all about real sugar in moderation. IF I sweeten my coffee at all, I put in a small amount of real sugar and cream, and then drink water for the rest of the day, and have a Le Croix as a treat a night. As this article describes, artificial sweeteners just make you want to consume more sweet things (in addition to all the other negative side effects that come with some of them). I say either have the sugar or don't, there is no in between.
#5 Find healthy alternatives. Duh, junk food is bad for you! However, if I told you I never ate it that would be a total lie. I do try my best to stick to healthy snacks. My go to snacks are: fruit, cheese, nuts, popcorn (no butter, esp. no artificial butter), and granola.
I hope at this point you were able to read my post about protein intake requirements. Maybe you are already convinced you should be doing some protein supplementing. I can definitely help you chose the right one for you. If you are meeting your protein intake requirements already, there is something else you should consider: Timing! Are you getting what you need right when your muscles need it the most?
Protein and carbohydrate delivery to the muscles are necessary within 90 minutes of the workout for optimal recovery and increasing muscle mass**. When you think about it, this doesn't really leave you much time. First, it means 90 minutes from the start of your workout, not end. Your muscles have been working from the beginning! To top that off food (especially high protein food) may take several hours to digest and absorb, missing the window. This is where a fast absorbing supplement is so beneficial. These partially digested protein sources can be absorbed quickly! I use an awesome protein blend with whey protein for quick digestion and casien for slow sustained protein release over the next few hours. Send me a message and let me help you pick the protein supplement that's right for you! Make sure you are getting the most out of your workouts by giving your body the fuel it needs to build a stronger you!
**Please note that when I say "increasing muscle mass" I'm not saying we all need to look like body builders. I'm not talking about huge muscles, I'm just talking about adding lean muscle. Adding lean muscle to your body will:
In school we do progress reports for the students every six weeks. Now that we are 6 weeks into Living Room Workout Club I thought it would be fun to have our own week 6 progress reports. I don't want numbers, I want to know how you feel! Mine would be:
I can do more push-ups.
I have more energy.
I have more shape to my butt :)
What progress have you made?
Having more muscle burns more calories! Every 3 pounds of muscle you add will burn 120 more calories a day! Now that I know you’re listening, let’s do a little math (ugh I know, math…. I’ll do this part for you). You need to burn 3,500 extra calories to lose a pound. Put that together, 120 calories a day is pretty much a pound of fat a month, before added exercise, if you add muscle to your body. So it’s simple right? Build more muscle, burn more calories, lose fat. Well, not quite. We need to make sure we are getting enough protein to build that muscle. Otherwise we could be losing muscle along with our fat as we burn calories.
Here comes some more math, so get ready… I’m going to break down your protein needs by activity level. If are not exercising at all, you need 0.4 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. If you are strength training, you need between 0.55 and 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. Endurance athletes should consume at least 0.6 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. Finally, people over 65 should consume at least 0.68 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. These numbers represent the amount of protein necessary to maintain and build muscle. To make it a little easier, I made this table. It shows the amount protein (in grams) you need based on your body weight (in pounds) and your activity level. You will notice there are 2 columns for strength training, they represent the range of protein intake for varies strength training intensities.
Now that you know how much you need, where can you get that protein?
First let’s focus on our food sources. Protein containing food basically falls into 2 categories: complete protein and incomplete protein. Complete Protein includes all essential amino acids in the appropriate ratios for maintaining homeostasis (the self-regulating process by which the body maintains stability while adjusting to conditions that are optimal for maintenance and growth). Incomplete proteins are those that are missing or have too low levels of one or more essential amino acids and therefore, by definition, do not completely satisfy our protein needs. Take a look at the table below to see examples of complete proteins and combinations of incomplete protein combinations to achieve full protein requirements. Also, look at the table showing how many grams of protein a typical serving of common foods.
So the big question is, are you getting enough protein? I know I'm not. Based on my weight an my activity level I should be getting around 80 grams of protein per day. A typical day for me includes yogurt and granola for breakfast (13 grams of protein), hummus and whole wheat pita with veggies for lunch (10 grams of protein if i'm generous), then usually chicken (or fish) with rice and veggies for dinner (30 grams of protein). That's less than 55 grams a day. If I was sedentary, that would be fine, but I'm working out hard 3-5 days per week. I need to supplement with protein shakes and protein bars.
Do a little math of your own. How much protein do you need in a day AND how much are you actually getting? What are your main protein sources? Do you need to consider protein supplements?