Archive for October, 2009

Diet: Hindsight Is NOT 20/20

Often times we look back on things that we have done and said “Of course. Why didn’t I see that then?” Hence the saying, “Hindsight is 20/20”. Well, that doesn’t hold true with looking back at the foods we’ve eaten. Recall is not a very accurate way of keeping track of the foods we’ve eaten.

When we want to understand our eating habits and the foods we take in, whether we want to gain weight, lose weight, or maintain, the first thing to do is to keep a food journal. Trying to remember at the end of the day all of the foods eaten has been shown to be consistantly underreported. One of the best methods for keeping track of the foods that you eat is to write it down as you consume it. This accomplishes two things: one, you will have a more accurate account of the foods and amounts that you actually consumed, and, just the act of writing down what you’re eating makes you more mindful of your choices and eliminates mindless eating. This leads to better choices being made and more success with your nutrition program.


10/29/2009 at 8:23 PM Leave a comment

Childhood Obesity: It Takes a Village

USA Today posted a video that absolutely makes me insane. “Mom Worried Over 400 Pound Teen” which, although no longer available, depicted a mother telling the interviewer that there is nothing she could do about her obese son. “I tell him not to eat so much” she says, but she, herself, is morbidly obese. The ever growing childhood obesity issue is, first and foremost, the parents’ responsibility. At what point does this become child abuse? Obesity is one of the most preventable health risks in the world.
We all need to step up and do our part to help overcome it.

The Solution(s)?
1) Be a Role Model – walk the walk – What you do is more important than what you say.
2) Be Supportive and sensitive to the child’s needs
3) Don’t single out the child. Focus on the family.
4) Don’t make food or exercise an issue.
1) Don’t place your child on a restrictive diet. You could inhibit necessary development. (If (s)he is already obese, consult your physician and/or a registered dietician)
2) Try not to use food to punish or reward your child.
3) Don’t overly restrict sweets or treats.
4) Teach your family healthy eating habits and guide choices .
5) Involve kids in shopping and meal preparation.
6) Carefully cut down on the amount of fat in your family’s diet.
7) Eat as a family
8) Encourage your family to eat slowly.
9) Provide delicious, healthful meals and snacks.
10) Plan for snacks.
11) Discourage eating meals or snacks while watching TV (mindless).
12) Make sure your child’s meals outside the home are balanced.
1) Increase your family’s physical activity. Plan regular family activities (i.e. after dinner walks).
2) Encourage physical activities that children find enjoyable.
3) Encourage after school and summer physical activity programs
4) Focus on fun, not on health or weight loss.
5) Reduce the amount of time you and your family spend in sedentary activities, such as watching TV or playing computer/video games.
6) Set appropriate limits that are consistently enforced.
Who? School Boards, PTAs, YMCAs, Hospitals, Chamber of Commerce, Churches, Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs
Be a Role Model – walk the walk – What you do is more important than what you say. Get groups to lead by example.
Nutrition Support:
1) Farmer’s Markets
2) Healthy Food Fairs
3) Healthy Pot Luck Suppers, etc.
1) Create safe walking/biking paths.
2) Create safe playgrounds and parks.
3) Set up other opportunities for kids and community members to be active.
1) Be a Role Model – walk the walk – What you do is more important than what you say.
2) Be Supportive and sensitive to the child’s needs
3) Don’t single out the child. Focus on the class.
1) Teach your class healthy eating habits and guide choices .
2) Teach your class how to shop and prepare meals.
3) Try to have healthy food choices available at your school Cafeteria, Snack Booths, Vending Machines
4) Hold healthy food fairs as a chance for kids to try new foods, Sponsor healthy baking contests
1) Encourage physical activities that children find enjoyable and that they can have success at. (i.e. Leg strength)
2) Limit competition/comparison except with self.
3) Encourage after school & summer physical activity programs.
4) Set up other opportunities for kids to be active.
5) Hold early morning and/or lunchtime workouts
6) Encourage other teachers to offer some activity within their classes (acting out a play, 2 min. stretch break, etc.)
7) School trips (hiking, rock climbing, bike tour, etc.)
8) Focus on fun, not on health or weight loss.
9) Create a family score card/checklist that can be used at home by all family members
10) Educate Students, Parents, and Community
We’ve all got to pitch in. Ensemble Fitness Club will be offering FREE afterschool programs for teens.
What can you do?

10/21/2009 at 8:27 PM 1 comment

THE BEST Exercise Program

I had an interesting discussion about kettlebells and how great training with them is. I don’t doubt it. I’ve used them with clients. I’ve also done full workouts with clients on the suspension training device TRX that are all the rage right now. My clients love them. People swear by tubing, dumbbells, medicine balls, stability balls, BOSU, etc. NONE OF THESE are the best exercise programs or tools!!

Some of these tools are, in fact, really similar to each other. Medicine balls, kettlebells, sand bags, dumbbells are all constant, external resistance implements (weight stays the same). Some can be thrown, flipped, bounced, and pressed, but, with minor differences, they all can give similar results. Sometimes the biggest difference is in the mental variety.

People also rave about programs like Pilates, Yoga, P90X, Zumba, or even Tai Bo. All offer some benefits. None offer all benefits.

Go ahead and try these tools or programs out. Use what you like, supplement with other activities where needed, and change it all up in 4-6 weeks to continue the adaptation that makes you more fit. Variety is indeed the spice of life… and fitness.
(Also, remember that constantly learning/trying new things helps keep your brain healthy.)

10/20/2009 at 9:57 PM Leave a comment

What If Fitness Was Fun?

The quest for fitness is often perceived as drudgery. Uninteresting, painful, and a chore. Well, it can be that, BUT, it doesn’t have to be. Here’s a great example of something that not only gets people to move more, it also is creative and entertaining.

Beyond this example, try thinking of other ways to make exercise more enjoyable. Try dance (all varieties), martial arts, group exercise, socializing while exercising (cycling, running, walking, etc. with others).

Exercise is simply something that is physically challanging to do. That can take many forms and if it’s fun to do, it’s easier to chose to do it.

Enjoy getting fit. Find the fun.

10/18/2009 at 4:25 PM Leave a comment

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