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Category: Nutrition

Everybody is different and that means that everyone’s fitness and nutrition needs aren’t exactly the same. Fine-tuning a custom nutrition and workout plan with a personal fitness and nutrition coach can allow you to give your unique body exactly what it needs to be healthy and succeed!  Because each body is unique, the amount of calories and type of nutrition that each needs to perform optimally is different. Finding out what works best for your body, including calorie intake and output and how genetics play a role, is key into leading a healthy lifestyle. The caloric intake of an elite athlete differs drastically from a casual fitness enthusiast because the demand on their bodies is unique. By working with a nutrition specialist, you’ll be able to determine what works for you!


Age Makes a Difference

Another differentiating factor in nutrition is the specific period of your life. The nutritional needs of someone at 30 can be quite different from someone at 70. Eating healthy becomes even more important as you get older. As you age, your body goes through several changes that can impact how nutrients are absorbed. For example, some people experience lowering stomach acid when they age, which can cause nutrients like vitamin B12, calcium, iron, and magnesium to be poorly absorbed and distributed throughout the body. Focusing on eating fresh, whole foods can combat these issues. You may also need to add a supplement to your diet to ensure that you’re getting the appropriate amount of vitamins and nutrients, those recommendations can come from your Doctor.


Cancel Those Processed Carbs

Eating whole foods benefits all ages! Your body needs a foundation of quality nutrition in order to perform at its best – whether that’s when you’re training or simply participating in everyday life. Quality meat, vegetables, and some fruit should make up the bulk of your diet with a little room for some limited processed foods. Diets don’t work long-term and focusing on building a healthy approach to nutrition is a lifestyle. Moderation is important and each person must determine the amount of calories coming in versus the number going out – this is how you maintain a healthy weight for your specific body!


Work With a Nutrition Professional 

Since everyone is different, getting professional help with nutrition is key. You can do lots of research and think you’re feeding your body appropriately, but in actuality be following a nutritional plan for another type of body! Getting help from a fitness and nutrition coach to figure out what works best for YOU can truly be a game changer. If you have questions about nutrition or strength training, let the professionals at Loyalty Fitness help!

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If you’ve started on your journey to a fitter lifestyle and are wondering how to properly fuel your body, macro-based nutrition should be at the top of your list. Macros, or macronutrients, are in each bite of food that you eat. They are the molecules that our body uses to create energy and function. Macros are broken down into three groups: protein, fats, and carbs. Each of these is important to the proper function and output of your body’s systems. When you begin a training program, like super-slow strength training at Loyalty Fitness, you want to maximize your success through how you fuel your body. One easy way to do that is through balancing and monitoring the macros that you consume.


Types of Calories You Consume Matter

While the old adage that you need to burn more calories than you consume is still true, the types of calories that you consume are even more important. For example, if there are 100 calories in a cookie versus 100 calories in half an avocado, which do you think will serve your body better? For years the diet industry has claimed that consuming too much fat is the reason people become overweight. However, new research shows that’s simply not true. Eating the 100 calories worth of cookie instead of the avocado can actually cause weight gain because of how your body uses each of these foods. Cookies are typically comprised of carbs which your body breaks down into simple sugars and sends straight to your bloodstream for a quick boost of energy. If you don’t use that energy straight away, it gets stored as fat. Avocados contain good fats that your body can use for fuel over a longer period providing better nutritional value and sustained energy. However, your body still needs carbs. But picking the right kinds of carbs to fuel your body is key – just as picking the right kinds of fats and proteins to consume is, too!

A simple way to think of macronutrients is the function of each component. Protein builds muscle which means that all the work you put in at the gym may be useless without the appropriate amount of protein intake. Building muscle is important to strengthening your body and allowing it to burn more calories even while at rest. Getting enough protein is usually the first order of business in any macronutrient-based nutrition program because it complements the training that you’re doing. Fats are useful for providing more than half the body’s energy needs. They take longer for your body to process, so they’re an excellent form of sustained energy. That doesn’t mean that chowing down on bad fats will get you to where you want to be. Good fats are what your body needs, and these can be found in things like nuts, fish, and healthy oils. Finally, your body needs carbs but again choosing the right kinds of carbs is crucial. Allowing your carb intake to be solely comprised of refined products like white bread, pastas, and pastries isn’t going to work. Your diet should include whole carbs which are found in vegetables, fruits, legumes, and more.


Achieving Balance is Key

Determining the right balance of each type of macronutrient for your specific goals is crucial to curating an overall wellness plan and functional macro-based nutrition plan. Typically, you’ll want to focus on consuming enough protein first, followed by good fats, then carbs to supplement your diet. To determine how many grams of each component you should be consuming in a day, you’ll need to take into consideration your activity level, your current muscle mass, and your overall goals. If you’re working out at Loyalty Fitness building muscle with super-slow strength training, you’ll need to consume the right balance of macros to fuel that exercise. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, build muscle, or simply maintain the status quo, there’s a specific macro breakdown that you need to adhere to. One thing is for certain, tracking your macronutrients isn’t a “diet.” It’s a lifestyle change that you make to support becoming the healthiest version of yourself!

There are several tools out there to help you set goals and track your macros (Protein, Fats, Carbs), one popular app is MyFitnessPal. Several of the clients and personal trainers and nutrition coaches at Loyalty Fitness use this app to stay on track. Using a food  tracker like this can also teach you what foods are high in proteins, fats, and carbs/sugar and help you eat more of the healthy foods that are good for your body and eliminate those that are hurting your body and keeping you from reaching your fitness goals.

To learn more about how macro-based nutrition can impact your training, or learn more about starting a super-slow strength training program with Loyalty Fitness, contact us today!

Whether you follow a specific diet, or just try to eat as heathy as possible, it’s likely one of your main goals is to consume fresh foods as opposed to those that are processed. Food that has been changed from its original form before you consume it is considered to be a processed food. While not all foods that are processed are bad, there are many that are, and we should steer clear off or keep them very limited.

So, what makes particular processed foods unhealthy?

Extra Calories

When people talk about how processed foods are unhealthy, they’re usually referring to items that are significantly modified and contain long lists of ingredients that provide no nutritional value. Things like packaged snack food, frozen meals, sugar-laden drinks, and processed meats such as sausage are some examples of what can be considered unhealthy processed foods. These processed foods are engineered to taste good and make us want to eat more of them (they almost always contain sugar). Our genetic makeup makes us gravitate toward foods that are salty, sweet, and fatty in order to have enough calories to survive. But our nutritional needs are much different than our ancestors in that most of us are no longer hunters or gatherers and food is in abundant supply. By consuming too many processed foods, you’re getting extra calories that you simply don’t need. Many people ask, “why are processed foods unhealthy?” and this is one of the top reasons = Extra Calories!

Artificial Ingredients and Preservatives

Another thing that makes processed foods unhealthy is the fact that they contain artificial ingredients and preservatives. If you read the label on a standard processed food package, you’ll see that there’s a plethora of ingredients listed – many of which you probably don’t even recognize and can’t pronounce! Processed foods are packed with preservatives and other chemicals that make them stay fresh for long periods of time and taste yummy. Your body doesn’t need and doesn’t benefit from these added ingredients. Studies have shown that many of these preservatives and chemicals can possibly be harmful to your body over time.

The best course of action is focus on consuming fresh foods that don’t come in packages with long lists of ingredients. Picking up a bag of spinach is perfectly fine but leave that spinach and gouda quiche in the freezer! The best way to consume that quiche is to buy the ingredients and cook it at home. To maintain health, your diet should mainly consist of fresh vegetables, lean protein, and foods that are minimally processed before they hit your plate. Everyone indulges in a processed food here and there, and that’s fine, but don’t let these be a staple in your diet. A good rule of thumb while at the grocery store is stay away from the aisles for the majority of your food – stick to the outer limits of the store where the fresh food is.

Loyalty Fitness will work with you to achieve your nutrition and fitness goals. Contact us today to schedule a free session!

New year, new you? Many people jump on the fitness bandwagon this time of year and that’s great! However, often people start their journey to fitness with a new diet. Guess what? Fad diets don’t work! There are lots of popular ones in the lexicon today – keto, paleo, zone, and so on. But have you ever wondered why diets don’t work? Often, diets are hard to stick to for success. That’s not how life works.

As an example, the keto diet aims to put your body in ketosis, which basically means that you begin burning fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. Because your diet lacks a significant amount of carbs, your body is forced to find other fuel for its functions. While this diet can be very beneficial for some, it isn’t typically sustainable and the minute you ingest more carbs than you’re used to, the weight gain begins. Any other diet that requires you to restrict your intake of specific, and necessary, foods or any diet that requires you to be very specific about what you ingest as far as weights and measures isn’t usually sustainable. If diets don’t work, what does?


Real Nutrition Works

Simply put, realistic nutrition is your best bet. Slowly changing the way you eat and what you eat is the only way to maintain a healthy lifestyle. We know why diets don’t work – it’s because they ask us to completely upend how we’ve been eating for X number of years and start completely anew. While our motivation may be strong in the beginning, life gets in the way and we settle back into what’s easy and familiar. But making small changes, slowly, what’s familiar becomes healthy! Start by looking at each meal of your day and replacing one item with a healthier version. Always stop at the coffee shop for a flavored latte? Maybe try regular coffee with one cream and one sugar next time. Small changes can make for big results when it comes to cultivating a healthy lifestyle and they don’t overwhelm us!

One way to get ahead of the challenge of sticking to a new, healthy way of eating is to prepare. Planning ahead for life’s curveballs means that you already have healthy foods ready when you can’t make the time to stick to your standard way of eating. Setting aside some time during the weekend to plan a menu and do a little bit of meal prep goes a long way!

Exercise paired with consistent nutrition is another component to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and Loyalty Fitness can help! Our personal training and nutrition coaching can get you on the right track to feeling like a new you. If you’re looking to begin a new routine this year, contact us today to learn more.

What Carbs Are and Why You Should Control Them

If you’ve been trying to focus on your health and fitness, it’s likely you’ve heard of carbs and how they’re evil. But do you know exactly what “carbs” are and what they do to and for your body? Carbs or carbohydrates, are an important component of any diet but the type and amount that you consume is where you can get in trouble with your health. Your body typically needs carbs to function. Carbs are simply the sugars, starches and fibers found in a variety of foods. They are macronutrients, one of three main types that the body uses for fuel. Carbs, protein, and fats make up the trifecta of macronutrients that your body uses to function. All macronutrients are gained through a balanced diet and your body can’t make them on their own, but they are crucial to survival. The breakdown of how many “macros” of each category you need varies based on your activity level, goals, and overall health.

Why Are Carbs Important?

Carbs play an important role in your diet, whether you eat a lot of them as a high-performing athlete, or you try to watch your carb intake. Just as any of the macronutrients, you need carbs to survive. They offer fuel to the central nervous system and provide energy for your muscles. They also prevent precious protein from being used as an energy source, which is especially critical if you’re focused on strength training. Additionally, carbs are key in brain function as they can influence your mood, memory, and more. The brain needs carbs to function properly.

The Right and Wrong Kinds of Carbs

The trick with carbs is consuming the right kind. Carbs are classified into two categories: simple and complex. Simple carbs are comprised of just one or two sugars and can be found in fruit, dairy and processed foods like baked good, soda, candy, and syrup. Complex carbs contain three or more sugars and can be found in foods like veggies, beans, potatoes, lentils, and breads. While either type of carb can be beneficial to your body, the source from which you get carbs is key. There are bad carbs and good carbs. Bad carbs are those you get from processed foods that really have no nutritional value like candy and soda. The carbs you get from nutritious things like sweet potatoes and legumes can be all-stars when it comes to hitting your recommended macronutrients.

Can Processed Carbs Be Dangerous?

Consuming a lot of processed carbs can quickly spike insulin. Bad carbs are considered to be high-glycemic foods which raise blood sugar rapidly instead of gently. Research has linked high-glycemic foods to a variety of health ailments like diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and even some cancers. The right kinds of carbs can actually be good for your body but knowing the difference between what to eat is key. In addition, following a consistent exercise plan can combat the effects of bad carbs on your body. Navigating the world of fitness and macronutrients can be tough, but we’re here to help! Contact Loyalty Fitness today to find out more about our strength training programs and what kind of nutrition can benefit you.

Fitness starts with nutrition. Many people think getting healthy begins in the gym, however, you can’t outwork a poor diet. If fat loss is your goal, 80 to 90% of the solution is nutrition! Figuring out how to read food labels is the first step in changing the way you think about and enjoy food. Learning how to read nutrition labels gives you more control over what you choose to put in your body to fuel your health.

Every packaged food is required to have nutrition facts on a label that the consumer can read. This label includes the serving size, caloric content, protein, fat, sugar, carbohydrates, ingredients and more. Learning how to read nutrition facts on food labels and understanding how this information can impact your diet is key in staying healthy. You really are what you eat (your cells break down the food you eat to fuel your body), so keeping that in mind may help you make healthy choices at least 80% of the time!

Learning how to read food labels gives you control over your meal planning and diet. When you pick up a packaged food product, start with the serving size on the label. Portion is one of the most overestimated things in the country! If you haven’t been focused on food labels, you may be shocked to discover that the serving size of your favorite food is actually usually half of what you’ve been eating. As an example, if the serving size for oatmeal is half a cup and you’ve been eating an entire cup, you’re getting twice the calories and carbs! Figuring out serving sizes lets you know how many calories you’re actually ingesting.

Do Food Labels Show Macronutrients?

Another thing that is featured on nutrition labels is macronutrients. Many people who focus on fitness and exercise frequently pay attention to food labels in order to calculate the calories and macronutrients they’re taking in each day. Macronutrients can be simplified as fat, protein, and carbohydrates (sugars). You may have heard of people trying to fit a specific food “in their macros” for the day. This simply means that they have a set amount of fat, protein, and carbohydrates that they’re supposed to stick to each day for maximum nutritional value depending on their goals. Macros are different for each and every person depending on weight and activity level. Those who are tracking their macros can read nutrition facts on food labels to figure out how much of each component a product contains. You’ll find the fat, protein, and carbohydrate content on every food label. Reading food labels allows people who are focused on their macros to more easily determine how to reach their goals every day.

Nutrition labels also include information on what kinds of vitamins are included as well as their amounts in grams and the percentage of each vitamin the product contains in relation to your daily recommended intake. The information on nutrition labels is based on a 2,000-calorie daily diet, so these percentages may vary. These labels will also provide how much sodium and cholesterol are included in the product and break down the types of fat—either saturated or trans—that comprise the total amount.

How to Read Food Labels

  • Start with serving size: You will be surprised at how small one serving is! If you eat two servings you must double all the macros and the calories, and sometimes you may eat 3 or 4+ servings!! For example: 1 serving of almonds = 1 oz or about 23 nuts = 163 calories, 14g of fat, 6g of protein, 6g of carbs. One oz is about the size of your palm. If you eat 3 handfuls of nuts, you’ll easily triple the calories depending on the size of your handful!
  • Next look at macronutrients:
    Protein—some examples of protein-rich foods: meat, fish, eggs, Greek yogurt, quinoa, lentils
    Carbohydrates can be categorized into good carbs (complex carbs) and bad carbs (simple carbs). Complex carbs pack in more nutrients than simple carbs because they are higher in fiber and digest more slowly.
    Good Carbs (Complex Carbs)—some examples: vegetables, fruit, oatmeal, sweet potato, brown rice, whole grains
    Bad Carbs (Simple Carbs)—some examples: sugar, fruit juice, chips, pastries (baked goods), cereal, food replacement bars (most packaged foods)
    Fat—some examples: oils (olive, coconut, etc.) whole milk, butter, cheese, avocado

Figuring out how to read nutritional labels gives you control over your diet so that you can fuel your body in accordance with your fitness goals. At Loyalty Fitness, our personal trainers can meet one-on-one with you to give you personalized nutrition tips and advice. If you’re looking for a new nutrition or fitness regimen, contact us today!