Lil Miss Fitness Freak

"And though she be but little, she is fierce"


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3000 Calories and On a Cut…BF Eats Edition

My friends!

I have wanted to do this post for a while because I get a lot of questions about how my boyfriend is loosing weight and continuing to eat ice cream and copious bowls of cereal. I figured I would show you instead of explaining it, but lets get the simplest explanation out of the way first..

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You will loose weight if you’re in a caloric deficit (unless there is some hormonal or physical barrier, which actually is in only like 2% or less of people..). WITH THAT SAID… we want you to perform at your best, feel energized and enjoy your diet so you can sustain it.

My philosophy as a coach is that I want people to never feel deprived, as that leads to unsustainable dieting and weight regain. I also want people to be healthy so a nice balance of mostly wholesome, nutritious foods with a treat of their liking that fits within their macro meals is what I tend to do. This allows them to stay on track while also giving their bodies the fuel it’s wanting and used to using.

I’m going to say this now…your body runs BEST on whole, unprocessed foods. It just does. You will be leaner, have greater energy and perform better on those than a pile of junk, so those IIFYM people eating donuts pre workout…yeah they may not gain weight because they have factored it in, but do you think that donut will give them the best training outcomes?

Probably not.

Also keep in mind that a treat to one person is not the same for another person. While some would want to work in seem ice cream (like my bf), others may really really love a sweet potato with peanut butter as a sweet treat. They both can work as long as your other nutrients are in check.

So thats the shortest I can explain that, so lets get into food now so you can see it come to life.

Breakfast. I was off yesterday so I got out the waffle iron and made him some protein waffles.

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Not pictured was the 4 egg whites scrambled with roasted red peppers, spinach and some cheddar Allegro (lactose-free) cheese

These used Yummy Sports Nutella protein and I topped it with caramelized banana + almond butter + Walden Farms syrup (doesn’t upset his stomach so he likes to use it)

Waffles–> blend together 2 tbsp coconut flour + 1 tsp chia seeds + 1/2 scoop whey + 40g oats + 1 egg white + 30g unsweetened apple sauce + 1/4-1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk + 1 tsp baking powder

Meal 2: This one he eats around 10ish and happened to be his pre workout yesterday. As a PT manager he works a split shift so gets some flex time late morning to go and lift

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This meal is super easy to meal prep and he loves it. This version is with sweet potatoes and extra lean ground beef. He’s also pretty happy with the portion size on that one. #AlwaysHungry #BiggerPortionsAreBetter

Meal 3 –> This was his post workout. He got a bit delayed getting to the gym so he was starving. He does take some pre workout and the stimulants calm his appetite a bit during his workout, but afterwards…look out.

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I like to call this the volume ‘kitchen sink’ stirfry. He has about 48g of carbs per meal but for extra volume uses the cauliflower rice to make this meal massive. With the remaining carbs he likes some roasted potatoes in his stirfry and this week, instead of quinoa, he added left over chickpeas to fill in the rest of the carbs.

Immediately post workout he also has a protein shake. No you don’t need to have a protein shake immediately post workout if you’re going to eat, but mentally he feels better if he does, so protein protein protein..

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We found this company at the Pro Show and they are super yummy and have no fillers or even gums! Happy tummy’s all around.

He has another protein shake in the later afternoon…because always hungry and his protein is really high. The higher protein is an experimental thing that my coach suggested so he’s trying it out. He likes it so far.

Before any comments..no high protein doesn’t hurt your kidneys if you’re a healthy individual. Studies have also shown that even a surplus in calories in protein doesn’t lead to the same degree of fat mass gain as fats/carbs. They have also shown that higher intakes in those who are in a deficit maintain greater lean muscle mass while loosing fat mass than those following traditional macronutrient ratios

Down the hatch goes protein shake numero two.

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This is also very easy for him to just have while busy at work with clients or his staff. Great flavour on this one too and we got this for like 10 bucks because it was on blow out at GNC.

Dinner –> As I was off, I like to make him fun dinners and I happen to see a Poke kit at the grocery store so that was all I needed. Deconstructed sushi is great in his eyes and I got to make a pretty Poke bowl like all of the ones I see plastered on IG

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Great success. He loved it and basically everything (minus the rice) is raw so it’s fast to make too. He’s a bit picky about how he eats his mango, so he picked that out to save for last but other than that, it was a thumbs up from him.

In the bowl –> tuna poke + sauce, serving of sushi rice, seaweed salad from Zehrs, avocado, zoodles, sesame oil, ginger, 1 tbsp soy sauce and some wasabi…plus mango that he picked out.

Bedtime Meal –> So this is where his treat comes in. His last meal is eaten with me in bed every night for us to unwind and watch a show together. We love our bed time snack routine and he takes it as his snack treat time.

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Protein is a standard (which we both have a protein to start..they are not eaten together haha) and than the fats and carbs are typically where he has some fun. Last night he tried out the popcorn I got for him, which was a white cheddar jalapeño flavour. He liked it and it had a nice kick to it.

So that is a day in the life of my bf on a cut. I won’t do the specific macro breakdown for you because that is personal to him and will serve nothing to you BUT he is loosing weight steadily and eating 3000 calories at the moment.

Ladies and gents, you don’t need to starve to loose weight. If you treat your body correctly and keep your metabolism high + your psychological self in check, you will get where you need to go. Patience and consistency are key and enjoying your life.

I hope that has helped a bit and thank you to my love for letting me steal pictures of all of his food yesterday before he ate it…

TGIF!

-Chelsea

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The Sunny Vitamin…Fitness Friday 24

Many apologies for my last weeks absence from Fitness Friday, you see here was my week…

Midterm number 1 Tuesday + Group assignment due for clinical 2

Midterm 2 on Friday morning (Keep in mind that Tuesday and Thursday are full days on campus aka very lil study time)

Midterm 3 (CLINCIAL aka extremely dense material) Tuesday, where I could only start studying following my Friday midterm.

Every day basically went like this..

Get up, eat, study, gym, school, study, eat, study, etc, bed. Repeat for 1.5 weeks.

Did my body hate me after that period…? 1000% yes. I retained so much water which I’m still trying to be patient about it coming off and my digestion has been messed for the past week.

Stress my friends, stress is a problem.

Obviously burnt the candle from both ends and overall burnt out in the end. Thankfully, although I, and all the nutrition students, was a complete zombie come Tuesday, I have managed to pull off an 88 in one and a 90 in another, so at least I get some reward from working my ass off.

Okay now that I have cleared my mental space all over you, lets get on with today’s topic

sunshine

Yes, the “sunshine vitamin

Did you know that a huge number of athletes are deficient in this vitamin and that is has been linked to deficits in athletic performance?

Before I go on, here a quick fact sheet on the sunny vitamin:

~It is fat soluble and is thus best absorbed in the body if taken with fat.

~It’s technically also a hormone. It plays a role as a steroid hormone though working to activate

~The active form, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (or calcitriol) is synthesized in the kidneys and released to respond to decreasing serum calcium levels.

~Most of a persons daily needs of vitamin D can actually be made if you get adequate sunning time as it is converted endogenously from UV light. This is with the help of the liver. Of course, most of use don’t get enough real sun time due to fear of skin cancer and being in places that doesn’t give adequate sunlight throughout the year

~One of it’s most important functions is helping with the absorption of calcium in the intestines.

~It is used for more than just bone health, but has also been linked to immunity, growth, and reduction of inflammation.

If you want more facts, visit here.

Okay so you say that many athletes are deficient in it?

A recent study (2015) presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) found that more than 1/3 of their elite collegiate athlete sample had insufficient levels of vitamin D. Moreover, greater risk was associated with being male and having darker skin tones.

This isn’t just an American issue though, many northern latitudes have also found similar issues. This study presented a few studies of athletes in other countries from Finland to France to Germany who also showed drastically high levels of inadequacy in their elite athletes.

Why is this important? 

As mentioned above, yes it is a concern for bones and overall health, but what about in athletic performance, as it is Fitness Friday after all?

Numerous studies have found impaired performance in athletes who were deficient.

~This study gave a great highlight reel of studies showing how UV radiation improved performance in athletes. The research dated back into the 1930’s and continues to show a seasonal variation in performance that follows a similar pattern as vitamin D levels. Basically, greater activation of the active form of vitamin D occurred during times when there sunlight was greater and more people were taking that sunlight in. So peak training took place during the summer months and a sharp decrease was shown in the fall and winter months.

~This review gave a great presentation of the role of vitamin D in the muscle.

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~This study, among many others, suggested that athletes may require higher than normal levels of vitamin D to support performance and recovery. Furthermore, a safe dose of radiation therapy may be beneficial, but more research is needed.

Overall, despite a lot of research on why low vitamin D levels could contribute to performance and recovery deficits, the research in supplementation with athletes is minimal and mixed. Perhaps they need higher doses of supplements as supplemental forms do not get as well absorbed in the body? This could be a good guess as these have been numerous studies showing that UV light (which enables more endogenously created vitamin D) increases performance and that is the form that is most related to circulating vitamin D.

So how can I make sure I get enough?

Another quick fact is that the majority of your vitamin D that contributes to circulating serum levels is not from you diet. In fact, there is quite a shortage of foods that contain vitamin D and the actual amount of that you absorb is not that great.

Most of us here in Canada are deficient, in the winter time especially, and so supplementation is always recommended on top of trying to get in some sources from food. Overall, all methods that include ingesting sources are not the best at reaching your targets so the best idea is simply to try to get a bit of all sources. Some sun, some food (natural sources + fortified) and take a good supplement.

Foods highest in Vitamin D

~Fatty, cold water fish (mackerel, sardines, etc)

~Egg yolks

~Liver

~Fortified sources like dairy and even some juices like O-J are also fortified. NOTE that being a fat soluble vitamin, you best bet is to buy full fat dairy sources. 

***NO this is not bad for you. Fat is not bad for you. It is simply more calorically dense, which should leave you feeling more satisfied and fuller. Sorry had to get that out of the way. 

For you supplement route..

If you take a daily fish oil (one of my top recommendations), most of those contain a good dose of vitamin D. For example, cod liver oil is a great choice. I will also say liquids first, try to avoid capsules for fish oils or pure vitamin D supplements. The sublingual forms of vitamin D, those that go under the tongue, often come in flavours these days and fish oils have come a long way as well. No excuses folks, just chuck them back. 

So what is my take on all of this?

It appears to be too early to tell whether performance can be enhanced with a supplement. It may be that supplements are just not absorbed well enough to present any benefit for athletic performance or it could be that athletes just need more. That is unclear. What I will say that is that regardless, I still recommend a supplement to help you out because most of us Canadians and Americans are deficient and there are umpteen other health benefits of vitamin D that are important to consider.

Well that’s it for tonight friends!

Happy start to your weekend 🙂

Do you take a vitamin D supplement? 

-Chelsea


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Gotta Keep That Metabolism Firing…Fitness Friday 20

I’m sure we have all heard this..

Gotta eat every few hours to keep that metabolism chuggin along.

Well guys, this idea is FALSE.

How often you eat has no effect on muscle gaining and/or fat loss so eating more often doesn’t mean your metabolism is tickin faster either….

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Shocker!

I’m going to introduce this post with a video I watched recently that inspired this topic. Eric Helms is featured and discusses the controversial topic of meal frequency and explains how it has no effect on metabolism.  Instead, it’s more about what fits your life best. Click the video below and take a listen!

Eric Helms is a very prominent figure in the sports and exercise field.  He has multiple degrees in exercise and nutrition (BS in fitness and wellness, MS in exercise science, and MS in sports nutrition), is a natural bodybuilding Pro and coach, often writes for excise and nutrition journals and even speaks at Universities and other events sharing all of his knowledge.

Some Highlights

~No specific number of meals is associated with greater or less muscle gain/fat loss

~Studies have shown that number of daily meals MAY be associated with satiety and therefore diet adherence (which in the context of weight management is the most critical component). It appears that having less then 3 meals (the average number of meals most people eat) may be associated with greater hunger. BUT that being said, if you have way more than 3 (one study even did 14 daily feedings) that hunger was also greater.

~Tips for success: Find a number of meals around 3ish or slightly more that fits your schedule and leave you feeling the most satisfied. Spread your protein across these meals for additional satiety.

I think the message here is clear. As with many things, it’s not a specific one-size-fits-all protocol for how many meals you should eat, it’s about what will fit your lifestyle best and allow for you to reach your goals while not overthinking and becoming obsessed with food.

….

So lets address this well known myth that was discussed in the video:

You need to eat X number of times a day because if you don’t, your metabolism will slow down to a crawl and you will get fat.

I swear every generic personal trainer will preach and preach this like it’s going out of style. You should be eating 3 square meals and 2-3 snacks every day because if you’re not eating every 2-3 hours, your metabolism will not be running as fast as it can be.

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Well ain’t that a lot of time in your day spent eating…

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Well don’t worry, unless that is how you like to live your life, it ain’t necessary. You want to eat 3 times a day, do it. You want to eat 14 times a day, do you. It doesn’t matter.

Here’s some research to back up my words because I like to be accountable and prove that I ain’t just spewing iissshhhh

~An article co-written by Eric himself discussed the current research in nutrient amount, nutrient timing and meal frequency in body builders and specifically highlighted that no studies have shown that more frequent meals leads to greater thermogenesis (which is a factor that affects metabolism). Studies that have been done, which have been tightly controlled, looked at meal numbers anywhere from two to seven and found no difference.

~An early review (1997) by Bellisle et al addressed the idea that ‘nibbling’ is better for ones’ metabolism during dieting than ‘gorging,’ or, in other words, eating more frequently during the day is beneficial for greater fat loss over less frequent, larger meals. From their review, they failed to find a relationship and concluded that if any study did find a small difference that it was probably due to intake records (ie. under-reporting their nibbles during the day).

Finally…

~A 2008 study by Smeets and Westerterp-Plantenga looked at the effect of having 2 vs. 3 meals on things like diet induced thermogenesis, 24-hour energy expenditure, exercise-induced thermogenesis and sleep expenditure. Overall they found no relationship between the number of meals and these outcome variables of interest.

One of their findings warrants further discussion and will conclude this discussion is this:

“The same amount of energy divided over three meals compared with over two meals increased satiety feelings over 24h”

I believe that this is the main point of this all: SATIETY! What will ultimately affect your weight management the most is whether you are satisfied or not. If you are starving trying to eat only 2 meals a day, then you are likely to go over your calories because you will over eat at some point or binge outside your 2-meal schedule. On the other hand, if ‘snacking’ your way through the day never leaves you satisfied you may find yourself picking away too much and over eating your calorie needs.

So to re-state the message a lil bit more simply
Meal frequency means nothing. Do what works for both your schedule and satiety/sanity. If you enjoy eating large meals and 3 leaves you able to live your life and feel good than have 3 square meals. If you feel better having 3 meals and 2 snacks, than do that.

When it comes to things like this, its always about calories in and whether that is higher then your needs that will ultimately affect your weight status.

So don’t over think it, just do you.

Disclaimer: This is for the generally healthy individual. There may be some medical benefits of eating more frequently for individuals with health conditions like diabetes, although more research is needed as results are mixed. Look here (potential benefit) vs. here (no relationship)

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How many meals do you eat a day?

-Chelsea


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Something Salty…Fitness Friday 19

If you eat too much salt, the extra water stored in your body raises your blood pressure. So, the more salt you eat, the higher your blood pressure. The higher your blood pressure, the greater the strain on your heart, arteries, kidneys and brain. This can lead to heart attacks, strokes, dementia and kidney disease. ~Blood Pressure UK

Hmmmm…Salt is bad eh?

Did you know that 80% of the salt you eat every day is “hidden” in the processed foods you eat? ~also Blood Pressure UK

Ahhh there we go.

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Hiya Friends! Okay today I wanted to touch on yet another controversial topic in nutrition, which is …

Salt.

So we have all grown up hearing how bad salt is for you and how it basically will cause heart attacks. Is that actually true though?

Think for a second…Salt is natural. Our ancestors ate salt and I’m pretty sure they didn’t die from consuming it. I always think about these types of things in this way:

If it comes from nature, it’s probably A-okay. The bigger problem is how we choose to use it these days that makes it a ‘health risk.’

Yes, salt, or sodium chloride to be more specific, causes the body to hold onto water, but that actually is an important function (and not it’s only function) for a number of reasons.

~Muscles need it to be able to contract, including our heart.

~Nerves need it to send signals

~Blood volume levels are maintained with the help of salt

~Chloride is integral for digestion as it forms HCL (or your stomach acid)

~Chloride also help keeps acid balance in the body

And many more functions.

So why are we always told to limit it?

Well you see if we didn’t have packaged foods and we simply sprinkled salt on our foods, salt would never be a problem because our taste buds just can’t handle an excess of straight salt poured on our foods. The issue is the fact that, like said above, most of the sodium that we take in is hidden and almost tasteless in processed foods. The simplest of boxed items are filled with the stuff and so then as the amount of sodium creeps up and then yes, you may start to overload and may see negative consequences.

There is no such thing as ‘you can’t have too much’ even in beneficial things. So while salt is essential for you, when you start going way too high, it has negative consequences in the body.

Our bodies are not used to dealing with all this processed crap we force it to break down. So we can’t just pee it out and say its all good.

So this is controversial yes, but really it’s just another simple case of how humans have taken something natural, processed the crap out of it and now its black listed.

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It’s not evil. Case closed. 

Also, I felt the need to touch on this because of it’s importance in athletes. You see, many athletes don’t tend to eat much of the processed stuff because they have learned that they feel better and perform better on whole foods. This is a good and a bad thing. Good because they are eating more wholesome foods and getting more vitamins and minerals BUT bad because often they forget about salt. If you neglect salt in your diet, you can actually potentially harm yourself.

Take a track athlete for example.  During a hot day, they are running their event and sweating like crazy. Well in that sweat is salt…

Following their event, they run to grab the first bottle of water they can find and down a good amount of it. After a few minutes, they start to feel a lil dizzy and out of it and next thing they know they are on the ground and have their coach leaning over them with a fan in one hand and a Gatorade in another. 

They just experienced hyponatremia, or abnormally low serum salinity. They drank water to rehydrate, but diluted their blood saline because they didn’t replace the electrolytes they lost. Too little sodium in the blood then can lead to dizziness, nausea, or even worse neurological and/or muscle complications. Read more about exercised-associated hypernatremia here.

So yes, salt is essential. You need it. As a result, stop seeing salt as evil. If you are thinking that you need to cut back, starting taking a look at those boxed products and not at the pure stuff. More importantly, if you don’t eat much processed food, don’t forget that you need salt in your food somewhere. I made that mistake and used to feel light headed during my training.

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So to conclude, a good quality sea salt (try pink salt!) has great benefits, so go ahead and sprinkle away to your taste. Instead of giving it the stank face, give that boxed food the cold shoulder.

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PS a good crack or three of pink salt on peanut butter oatmeal is kinda the **it.

Try it out!

Did you ever fear salt?

-Chelsea


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Sunday Link-Love

Happy Lazy Sunday Friends. I thought I would jump in on this lil blogger favourite as I happened to come across some interesting reads and listens over the past few days. Thought I would share them and my thoughts associated with their content. Hope you enjoy.

1. Your Child is a Brat and it’s Your Fault.

I have often mentioned that I think that this generation is a disrespectful and entitled bunch and this read brings up some good points as to why that may be. There may be some extremes listed here, but in general I think the main point

Parents are spending more time with their kids then ever (in the form of hovering), but that time is the wrong kind of time.

Sometimes parents need to stop worrying about upsetting their child or being their protector and be their parent and teach them some responsibility. Charging into a principles office following their child getting a bad grade leads to children thinking they don’t have to work hard, daddy will take care of it if I don’t do well. Bargaining with a child and saying if you do X I will buy you Y doesn’t teach them responsibility. Things like chores are just done. That’s that. Plain and simple.

2. Fuck Fat Loss

Pardon my french, but this is in fact true. Ever wonder why things like diets and new years/September resolutions don’t stick? Well it’s because we are obsessed with superficial things like fat loss as a main motivation.

You do not have to always be on a diet or think about burning calories or revolving your life around some bullshit regimen that is too impractical to be sustained beyond a few weeks.

You need something more internal to sustain anything. Working out is hard. Making sure your diet is on point while you are working a full time job and wanting a life can be hard too. Body composition changes take time and so if that is your sole reason for making changes in your life, guess what, those changes are not going to happen fast enough for you to use that as the driving force.

Obsessing over fat loss is effective for one thing: Making women increasingly dissatisfied with their bodies.

As it mentioned in the article, if obsessing over fat loss was actually giving results, than perhaps it would be something recommended to do, but it doesn’t. It does however cause disordered eating, stress, potentially eating disorders and unnecessary restriction.

So take a piece of advice from this article and eat and workout for YOU and your health, not just to loose a few inches. Make that fat loss a SIDE EFFECT and not the main goal.

3. Sigma Nutrition Podcasts

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This is a site full of great research and expert based podcasts on a number of interesting topics related to fitness and nutrition. If you are gym rat or nutrition knowledge-seeker like myself, then this is definitely a site to check out. Some of the ones that I have enjoyed thus far include topics on…

~Exercise-Induced GI Distress and the Impact of Gluten and FODMAPs on Athletic Performance

~Hypothalamic Amernorrhea

And this one is next up for a listen

~Role of Micronutrients on Mental Health and Psychiatric Disorders. 

Cool stuff!

4. Latest Interview from Jeff Nippard

You all know how much I love Em Dunc and so I was excited to listen to her words of (very young!) wisdom. She is such a powerful, positive and insightful person to listen to. She takes life my the reins and goes full speed towards her dreams. She makes mistakes and only uses those to fuel her fire and learn more about herself.

“If you fail at something…don’t be that person that it defeats. Be that person that it fuels.”

The famous line of the interview…

“[regarding prep] you go from being a baguette to a breadstick.” 

5. Nia Shanks Twitter Feed

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This lovely lady is the leader of the “Lift Like a Girl” movement that we have seen more recently. I’m no feminist, but I do enjoy female empowerment, especially in the gym! I just came across her profile and have just been enjoying her tweets.

It’s perfectly OK to finish a workout saying “Hell yeah, I did that!” It should build you up, not tear you down. Exercise is not punishment.

Ever wonder what you could experience and achieve if you didn’t allow fear of the “what-ifs” hold you back?

Well those are what have been catchin my eye over the past few days. Hope at least one of them interests you and can give you some insight or inspiration.

Take on the new week with passion and drive! 

-Chelsea


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The Forgotten Nutrient…Fitness Friday 13

Guys there is a micronutrient that is feeling left out. Do many even consider it a nutrient at this point? Well, we all should be because it is essential to your overall well-being.

~It helps you stay satiated which can help with maintaining your weight

~It helps your body bed rid of excess toxins

~It keeps your colon healthy and clean

~Healthy digestion requires it

~Keeps cholesterol in check by helping to excrete excess from the body

~Helps keep your blood sugar normalized by slowing the entrance of nutrients into the blood stream via digestion. 

And so much more.

Did you guess what I’m talking about yet?

fiber

Cough…that would be FIBRE we Canadian here eh!

Fibre Fibre Fibre, oh where do we begin…

Fibre is a necessity to life for more then the reasons than I mentioned about above. If I were to go into a lot of detail on all of those then this post would go on for eternity so, take my word for it that it’s a wee bit important.

One thing I wanted to really touch on was the importance of fibre for performance and body composition, as this is a fitness related post right?

So lets start with Body Composition

Because lets be honest, that is probably the first thing people will want to hear about.

So, I would say that the general relationship between body composition and fibre focuses on satiety. Satiety is a critical component of maintaining a healthy weight because it is what keeps your calories in check because, obviously if you’re full, most of you won’t eat more.

Also, if you really think about it, what foods are often higher in fibre? Well it’s not the highly processed ones. Nope, it’s your natural foods like fruits, grains, and vegetables. These are the foods that help keep you fuller for longer and can keep you from raiding your pantry 5 minutes after eating your meal.

fibre foods

Another thing about these foods is that they tend to be much lower calorie (Given appropriate portion sizes for things like grains and starches) than their lower fibre counterparts. So, despite filling you up more, they actually will contribute to your total caloric input much less.

What else affects your body composition?

Bloating –> If your gut is not healthy and things aren’t moving nicely, it can lead to poor waste removal and that build up not only makes you feel icky but often leads to water retention and bloating. By incorporating foods high in fibre you can keep your tummy happy and keep you feeling less puffy. Please note that the opposite is true here too! Too much fibre can wreck havoc on your gut and leading discomfort and gas, so watch how much roughage you eat. You’re not a herbivore with 2 stomachs, so don’t eat like one or you will suffer. 

If you’re looking for some research, here was a study done in females that looked at the effect of increasing fibre on weight. What is particularly interesting was that they factored in exercise too. So, yes exercise can be a tool for keeping your weight steady, but even in those who exercised, when their fibre intake was lower, they actually gained more weight over the duration of the study. One conclusion made was that it appeared that fibres influence was most probably due to less of a caloric intake, which goes back to our whole satiety discussion.

So what about performance in athletes?

There aren’t really studies showing that fibre helps with performance directly per say, but obviously nutrition is critical for ones ability to perform at their best.

For one, if you’re not getting enough fibre then you may actually not be fuelling your body effectively for your craft. For example, if you’re fibre is low that may mean that you’re not taking in enough good sources of carbohydrates, which can lead to not having enough energy to supply your training. This could also mean that you’re not getting enough fruits and vegetables, which can also hinder performance as those are where the majority of the vitamins and minerals are which are often found as co-factors in energy releasing reactions.

Performance would also suffer if your gut is being a pain right? I know if my stomach is not happy, my performance in the gym suffers because 1. I have a lot of energy going towards trying to fix said tummy issue and 2. because I feel like crap so I’m distracted and off my game. Fibre helps the tummy so eat yo fibre rich foods!

Lastly, obviously body composition comes into play here as well. In many sports, weight maintenance is a big deal. If you are maintaining a healthy weight, you are often better able to be more efficient and perform more optimally than if you were overweight. Unfortunately, that is just a reality.

So overall, can we now give some love to this very critical micronutrient? It does way more for you then you can ever imagine! Despite being so simple to get, it’s one nutrient that is often overlooked and under consumed in our typical American diets these days.

If everyone got in the right amount of fibre, would we be having such a hard time with obesity? Hmmm..

So, take a look to nature a few times a day and get in some foods that boost up that fibre intake. And no, this doesn’t mean you have to eat like a rabbit and hate your life. Natural foods are yummy too, you just need to be a bit creative! Your body will thank you and you will be happier because you will have more energy and feel much more satisfied in the long run.

For specific daily intakes, there have been ball park estimates here and there. From Canada’s Food Guide (eww don’t like that thing) it says around 25-38g per day. The Canadian Diabetes Association says upwards of 50g for the upper limit which seems like a world of pain in my eyes. From the fitness community, I have heard that around 10-15g per 1000 cals is sufficient. So, I would say take an average, so anywhere from 25-35 seems reasonable to me, smaller number being for smaller people like females. 

fiber shake

-Chelsea


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Down She Goes…Fitness Friday 12

Happy Friday friends.

I have a bone to pick with the ladies out there who choose not to eat before they workout

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Okay so IF (intermittent fasting) is a whole other topic to discuss later, but I wanted to bring up the idea of a pre-workout meal because of something that happened earlier this week.

I had just arrived at the gym and saw one of the trainers running over to her client, who was on the floor, with a juice and a protein bar.

Well that ain’t looking good.

After about 15 minutes of them chatting, her nibbling and drinking, she got up and walked out of the gym.

Of course me being too curious and nosey spoke to the trainer afterwards (I didn’t just go right up to her and ask, I know her and she was training beside me) and asked her if her previous client was okay and she mentioned that yeah, she didn’t eat much before she came in…

#AsIPredicted

She also mentioned that she was pre-diabetic

Further #FacePlant moment…

If you’re diabetic you need to talk to your doctor about how to eat if you’re working out! That is potentially life threatening!

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Now, I talk more so about women here because that is who is most doing this. Men on there other hand typically have no issue fueling their bodies before they lift. Why is this? Perhaps it’s an attempt to limit calories. Maybe they have heard that the “fitchicks” workout fasted and obviously they look good so it must be right. Or maybe it’s just a lack of education on how the body responds to training in the absence of fuel.

I dunno.

But whatever the reason is, it needs to be addressed and changed.

Please note that what I’m referring to here is working out first thing in the morning on empty or going hours upon hours without food and then training. 

Saving my calories.

This is something we definitely need to get out of our heads. If any time is a time for eating, it’s pre and post workout. What are you thinking is going to fuel that workout? If you think that working out without eating automatically leads to your body using your own fat stores as fuel, I’m sorry, but that’s not true. #BroScience

So, not only does it not speed up fat loss, but for most people, you will just end up leaving you tired, weak and having a bad workout because you just can’t give it everything you have.

Or in the case of the poor woman mentioned above (well almost)…

floor-hug-pots-poster

Lets avoid that mmmmkay?

But the fit girls on Instagram do fasted training?

First off, that’s most often fasted, LOW INTENSITY cardio first thing in the morning NOT HIIT or weight lifting. Cardio is a funny thing, some people feel sick doing it with anything in their stomach, while others are fine. So often the best suggestion is to say “go on how you feel.” Also, I have already addressed before that fasted cardio is not a means of effective weight loss as opposed to non-fasted.

So, once again, no weight loss gains from not eating for cardio.

As far as lifting on empty, just don’t do it. Lifting weights really requires fuel. Them Intermittent Fasters may argue all they want with me but from personal experience (which, actually I don’t think I have every thought to even lift without food as I pass out easy) and other knowledgable people (listen to a few podcasts by Dolce, whom I mentioned in an earlier post) it’s just not a good idea and leads to sucky and unproductive workouts.

Most people just cannot focus and give a workout all they have if their stomach is growling at them. Very generally, weight lifting tends to use carbohydrates as the main fuel as you are working in an anabolic state (without oxygen) during a lift.

….Provided you are working at a good intensity…

Carbs are a fast and easy fuel to get at to energize those quick bursts of activity (ie. lifts) effectively and so if you don’t have much in the tank, your lifts will suffer.

Plus, did I mention how distracted we all tend to get when we’re hungry.

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So if there are no benefits to training fasted and it ends up messing up your workout, why do it?

Lack of education.

Now it’s entirely possible that many don’t even think to eat in a closer proximity to their training because it just doesn’t occur to them that that working out is an additional energy expenditure and, thus, needs more fuel. Maybe they think that if they’re not hungry now, then all is good.

This is not always the case. If it has been hours since your last meal and you’re looking to hit the weights soon, I would suggest giving it something. It doesn’t have to be huge, especially if it’s mid day, but just something that has some carbs and protein in it.

Fats are often dependent on timing. If it’s right before, they may not be the best choice as they take long to digest and your energy will go to digestion rather then to your workout. Also, they may fill you up too much for your liking. 

Consider this, if you’re body doesn’t have the fuel it needs, it may start to search for itself for fuel…and often that is your own body protein (ie. muscle). We don’t want that do we? So avoid the tummy grumbles and self-eating process all together.

So here’s a few scenarios to consider.

Morning lifters. DEFINITELY EAT! You have been fasting already for upwards of 8-9 hours and now you’re expecting your body to give you enough energy to lift weights. Uh no. Give yourself enough time, eat something with good sustainable fuel and power through that workouts. Suggestions? If you have a little bit of digestion time (1-2 hours), aim for a balanced meal of protein, complex carbs and some fat. A common staple is oatmeal. Whip in some egg whites or add a scoop of protein powder, throw on some cool toppings (fruits, nut butter, etc) and enjoy. If you need to be out the door quickly, oats may not be the best as the fibre takes too long to digest. Think faster digesting carbohydrate and protein sources and minimize the fats. Consider a smoothie of sorts perhaps?

REALLY EARLY morning lifters. If you’re one of those people who have to train at some gawd awful hour and you just can’t even fathom eating something, I would still say to try to have something. Your body will adjust but I just don’t think it’s a good idea to go in with nothing. A rice cake with protein powder ‘icing’ or peanut flour and banana could be something small with some carbs and protein. If you can stand drinking half of a smoothie that could work too. Just try something.

Afternoon and evening lifters. The need to eat is less of a immediate cause of concern here as you have already got a few meals in you. That being said, if you haven’t eaten for more then 3-4 hours, perhaps think about a snack or plan you workout about an hour or two after a meal (depending on it’s size). Say you eat lunch around 1, get off work at 4:30 and hit the gym for 5, try to sneak in a snack on your way to the gym. Again, think some carbs and protein but the amount will depend on how you feel and how long you have before hitting the gym.

Cardio only. If your focus is just cardio, then it may be a bit different. If you’re doing HIIT (high intensity) follow the same protocol as lifting. If endurance is your thing, if it’s first thing in the morning, reach for something small but packed with energy. Often I see runners using dates with a bit of nut butter just for a quick burst of energy that won’t weight heavy in their stomach. If you’re an afternoon runner/cardio goer, go with how you feel and what makes you feel best. Once again, I don’t recommend going hours without food as your body will compensate in ways you won’t like, but you also don’t want to eat so much that your puke mid run either.

So yeah, no research this week, but just my thoughts and experience to share here. You don’t save calories by not eating before hand. Most often you will actually just ruin a potentially good workout by performing at a sub par level because you’re inadequately fueled. You can’t build muscle without food. Sorry you just can’t. Your body is smarter then you are as I always say, so don’t try to fool it.

I hope you enjoyed and if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, fire away in the comments 🙂

Have a great long weekend all! 

-Chelsea