It’s a common question for dieters: do I really have to count calories? As a personal trainer who counsels clients on nutrition, I feel that obsessing over numbers isn’t healthy. Knowing how your body feels, on the other hand, is. We’ve been programmed to think that fewer calories equals weight loss. In reality, it’s not just about calories—it’s about portion size, the types of foods you’re eating and many other factors. Eating a balanced diet that includes lean proteins, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats will not only support healthy weight loss, it will help you with a realistic, long-term healthy eating plan.
Category: Mrs. Fitness
Southern States Championships top contender Melissa Transou, a figure competitor, wife and mother, blogs about the unique sports nutrition needs of female athletes exclusively for Vitacost.com.
I love fall weather. Just stepping outside and feeling the cool, crisp air instead of the humid stickiness of summer instantly energizes me. Now is a great time to switch up your workout routine and take advantage of the nice weather before the chill of winter sets in. There are plenty of exercises you can take outdoors, and some creative activities you can do for a good workout and some fall fun. Here are a few of my favorites:
Getting ready for my last competition, I would make my daily trek to the supermarket and head straight for the fish counter once inside. Unfortunately, to get there, I had to pass through the bakery with its aroma of fresh breads and desserts, the overflowing cheese cases and all sorts of other food displays that called to me as I hustled by. As much as I tried to stay focused, there were days I couldn’t resist browsing and making mental notes of what I would splurge on once my dieting phase came to an end.
Remember the days when bending down to touch your toes was as easy as…that? Now that you’re older, moving your body in certain ways may be trickier, especially if you’re not active or haven’t spent much time stretching over the years. I grew up involved in cheerleading and gymnastics, so bending and stretching was a part of my normal routine. But today, flexibility is something I work on maintaining—not because I’m still cheering sports teams from the sidelines, but because staying flexible is good for my health.
Getting enough protein can be tough when you’re a vegetarian, especially if you’re on the strict side and fish, eggs or dairy (in addition to beef and chicken) are on the list of foods you don’t eat. Being a vegetarian athlete or active person makes things even trickier because your daily protein needs are going to be higher than those of someone who does not exercise regularly. Although the recommended daily intake of protein varies depending on your age, gender and weight, it’s said active individuals should aim for about a gram of protein per pound of body weight daily.
Looking for a quick workout that will burn calories, tone muscle and improve coordination? Pick up a jump rope! Did you know jumping rope at a moderate pace for just 15 to 20 minutes can burn up to 200 calories—that’s almost the amount in a candy bar.
What’s the best way to recover from that tough workout in the gym, long run or strenuous cardio session? If you’re a woman, your recovery needs are a little different than a man’s. The most beneficial thing you can do for your body is to plan and consume an optimal post-workout meal. It may just be the most important meal you eat all day.
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