Yes, Sodium is an essential nutrient, a critical electrolyte and is needed for normal body function... but when is it too much??
Your sodium intake should be at about 1500 mg/day
Your sodium intake should not exceed 2300 mg/day.
Unfortunately most American's take in about 3000-6000mg/day- most of it is from processed foods.
If you eat a lot of asian/chinese food which contains the flavor enhancer MSG- your intake level of sodium could be as high as 12,000-16,000 mg/day!
Why should you lower your intake of sodium? Because high sodium is a risk factor for hypertension (high blood pressure). Hypertension is a risk factor for heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke.
Some high sodium foods to avoid are: anything processed, soy sauce and other sauces, lunch meats, salted snack foods, canned soups, pickles and cheese.
Interesting fact: Did you know that 1 teaspoon of table salt = 2,325 mg of sodium?
Take a day to jot down your sodium intake- look at the nutrition facts label on your box/bag- you might surprise yourself...
*NASM Fitness Nutrition*
One of the most important things that you can do for yourself is hydrate yourself with WATER!! Water will give you energy and hydration and it is absolutely essential to live.
To avoid dehydration during or after your workouts you should be drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Water is super important to give you enegy and stamina through your workouts! So don't wait until you feel dehydrated to fill up your glass with water...
Mild Dehydration -->
- diminishes physical and mental performance
- decline of alertness
- decline of ability to concentrate
- increasing feelings of tiredness and headache
- impaired decision making and reaction times
Early signs of dehydration-->
- dry mouth
- dark urine with strong odor
Water is the primary treatment for dehydration
Extra Tip: If you think water is boring- squeeze some juice from a lemon into your glass or any berries taste great too!
(information adapted with help from NASM)
Control your weight successfully by cutting 200-300 calories/day rather than completely restricting your diet. If you make small sustainable changs and focus on the balance of various food groups you will see a more permanent change.
Crash Diets= Don't work- You might get that rapid weight loss your looking for, but you won't maintain it. Adopt a level of food intake you can live with!
Balance your energy sources:
- avoid fatty foods
- add fiber rich foods--will give you that satisfaction of fullness
- consume sugar sparingly
- eat complex carbs
- stick to lean protein .
Eat small frequent meals-->Start by eating Breakfast
Keep in mind... You should always maintain healthful behaviors for permanent weight management!
- eat less red meat -
- ban bottled water (invest in a reusable water bottle) -
- snack substantially ( ditch the processed food- choose whole foods) -
- be an efficient shopper ( reuse bags and buy in bulk) -
- eat locally ( be a regulat at your local farmers market) -
- cook more and order less takeout -
- limit packaged, single serving beverages and snacks
- Fun fact: consumers make 70% of food purchase decisions while shopping! (NASM)
- Helpful tips-->
1. write up a grocery list
2. cut out coupons to save money
3. stick to the produce, meat , and dairy isles for healthier purchases
4. Eat before you shop
To begin your journey on losing weight-->
- Establish healthy eating and exercise patterns and accept limitations of heredity.
- Aim to achieve a body weight that optimizes health.
- Your initial goal should be to Prevent/Stop weight gain
- Begin by reducing 100 calories a day from your diet.
- Instead of focusing on a particular weight as yoru goal, focus on living a healthy lifestyle
For permanent weight management--> Adopt healthful behaviors:
- eat diet low in fat
- frequently self monitor weight and food intake
- obtain high levels of physical activity
- develop coping strategies to deal with stress
*Weight Management advice composed with help from NASM Nutrition Specialist Program.
Are you bored with your workout? Have you stopped seeing results? It might be time to switch up your exercise regimen and start seeing results! Your workout should never be a routine. You need to mix up workouts, try new exercises, use your own bodyweight, and add intensity. You don't need a gym to get an effective workout. Cardio machines and strength training machines get boring and won't give you the best workout you can achieve. Try some plyometrics, crossfit training, intervals, and body weight circuit training. Doing these style workouts will also train your core the entire time. A Personal Trainer can make these exercises fun and upbeat and make working out more enjoyable than being a chore. Having a trainer will also ensure you have correct form, prevent injuries, and be motivational.
What you put into your body is just as important as getting exercise everday when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. It's time you gain control over what food your putting into your body! Stick to whole foods and prepare your meals at home as much as possible. I know this isn't always possible and cravings can arise. Here are some strategies to use when your appetite is getting the best of you:
1. Get enough sleep- the less the sleep you get the more cravings you will have
2. Exercise- it will improve the food choices you make
3. Manage your stress- try deep breathing or meditation
4. Eat a nutritious breakfast everyday
5. Eat more protein- it increases your satiety
6. Eat smaller meals throughout the day
7. Stay away from sugars and refined carbs.
8. Eat more fiber
9. Decrease use of artificial sweetners- they may make you crave more food and sugar
10. Keep healthy snacks close by to outsmart environmental triggers-nuts/seeds/fruits/veggies
*Some of this list was adapted from IDEAFIT*
Are you tired of working out for hours upon hours and not seeing results?? Tabata training is done in as little as 4 minutes and you gain more benefits than walking on that treadmill for an hour.
Example of Interval Time:
- 8 circuits
- 20 seconds high intensity
- 10 seconds rest
- totaling 4 minutes
Tabata training (High Intensity Interval Training) improves your endurance and strength compared to doing just moderate intensity training. Tabata training will increase your long distance running time, burn fat, and rev up your metabolism. If you want to gain more will power try this fun and quick way to get a GREAT workout!
There are numerous ways to construct your Tabata Interval workout and it is great to incorporate into your morning routine or as a warm-up for your regular workout. I personally like to accomplish numerous sets of intervals throughout my workout or after a heavy strength training workout finish with session of High Intensity Interval Training.
Sample Tabata Interval:
- Suicide Jumps- Interval 1 and 3
- Jump Rope - Interval 2 and 4
- Push-ups- Interval 5 and 7
- Squats- Interval 6 and 8
Don't forget to warm-up and cool down.
To get the results you desire make sure your eating nutritiously.
Make sure you are properly hydrated.
Having a personal trainer will motivate you through these taxing exercises!
- Choose restaurants that have low-fat or low-cholesterol menu items.
- Select fish, poultry, or meat that is broiled, grilled, baked, or steamed- rather than fried.
- Choose lean deli meats- Turkey or Roast Beef, instead of Salami or Bologna
- Pick vegetables that are seasoned with spices, rather than butter or sourcream.
- Control your serving size- ask for a small size or a container to take some home.
- Choose pizza topped with veggies or minimal cheese (Less Cheese=Less Fat)
*List adapted from NCEP (National Cholesterol Education Program) *