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Back to School Basics on Nutrition and Fitness

5 nutritional and fitness basics that we all should know:

Math – How do you calculate how many grams of protein you need in a day?

Our protein needs depend on our age, size, and activity level. The standard method used by nutritionists to estimate our minimum daily protein requirement is to multiply the body weight in kilograms by .8, or weight in pounds by .37. This is the number of grams of protein that should be the daily minimum. According to this method, a person weighing 150 lbs. should eat 55 grams of protein per day, a 200-pound person should get 74 grams, and a 250-pound person, 92 grams.

English – Learn the art of label reading:

Rule 1: Ignore all front-of-the-box health claims. They’re about marketing, not health.  A “low-fat” or “low-carb” claim tells you nothing about what else was added to compensate (think sugar or salt).

Rule 2: Flip to the nutrition facts and scan the ingredient list. Look for a list that’s not straight out of a science lab.

Rule 3: Remember that a daily value of 20% or more for any nutrient is considered high (great for calcium, but a warning sign for saturated fats).

Social Studies – We eat more in social situations.

Statistically, we eat more in social situations such as parties, dinner and work events. Because we  don’t have established patterns of eating in these circumstances, every occasion offers different  temptations.

  • Eat a light, healthy meal prior to these events. Look for protein and high quality carbs to sustain you through the rounds of appetizers and desserts.
  • Bring air-popped popcorn to football parties as a healthy snack.
  • Suck on menthol-flavored lozenges during the appetizer round to stave off cravings.
  • Eat soup prior to a meal or in lieu of appetizers. One study shows that people who ate soup prior to a meal lost an additional 5 lbs a year over those who enjoyed appetizers.
  • Weigh yourself on Monday. If you weigh yourself on Friday and like what you see, you may be tempted to splurge on Saturday night. Instead, weigh yourself on Mondays when you have to contend with the weekends spoils.

Science – How to boost your metabolism?

A few specific foods and beverages have been shown to boost the metabolism in research studies.  They are: hot red pepper (capsaicin), grapefruit, green tea, coffee, other caffeinated foods, and even water.  But the resting metabolic rate increases by 5 – 20% for only 30 minutes, which is too little to be meaningful.  Other metabolism boosters include eating regular well-spaced meals, weight training to build muscle, exercising aerobically for at least 30 minutes a day, and sleeping for 8-hours at night.  You will burn fat by any and all of these methods as long as there is a calorie deficit.

Physical Education – Physical Activity for Weight Maintenance

The maintainers in the National Weight Control Registry exercise an average of 60 minutes a day. You might be able to maintain with less, but, at very least, you need to meet the national physical activity guidelines. All adults need 30 minutes of moderate activity five days a week, or 20 minutes of vigorous activity three days a week. Moderate activity includes brisk walking, mowing the lawn and easy bicycling. Vigorous activity includes jogging, step aerobics and bicycling uphill.


(from http://www.prevention.com/34-health-skills/10.html)


ttp://caloriecount.about.com/foods-boost-metabolism-q5617 http://www.prevention.com/health/weight-loss/weight-loss-tips/party-diet/article/ef3388dc78803110VgnVCM10000013281eac____/3

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