Sunday, December 7, 2014

Healthy Eating

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I am currently hosting a 30 day Healthy Holiday Challenge. There are about 50 of us who post pictures and hold one another accountable for what we put in our bodies. I post daily workout challenges and participants score points for healthy choices.

We are 1 week in. After seeing pictures of what other people are eating, I'm 1, collecting ideas for myself!! :) But 2, a little concerned there might be a misconception about what is "healthy". First, let's talk about what is NOT healthy...
Obviously 'not healthy' includes things like fast food, fried foods, huge portions, added sugar, and processed. But here's my concern: as athletes, not consuming ENOUGH calories. Not healthy is also eating as few as calories as possible <--- it's starving yourself!! You have to EAT to be healthy.

Healthy eating is not about a strict diet, limitations, or being super model skinny. It's about fueling your body with nutritious food, having more energy, and feeling good, healthy, and happy. This means we want a well rounded balanced meal with fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, lean sources of protein, and whole grains (unless you're gluten free or limited gluten). Eating an apple or a banana for breakfast just won't cut it. YES, it's a healthy food choice, but it's not enough to be a healthy meal.

At rest, a 140 pound female body burns 1,500-1,700 calories. This is just breathing, organ function, temperature regulation, LIFE - basal metabolic rate (BMR).
To figure out your BMR:
For Women: BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years)
For Men: BMR = 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in years)
Another way to get a (very rough) estimate is to multiply your body weight in pounds by 11.
Do the math above, it's more accurate!!

Now consider ALLLLL the extra activity you are adding to your life. Think small, fixing breakfast, showering, walking to your car, working, standing, smiling, laughing, sex, moving, etc... while few, with these activities comes calorie burn too. Add in your daily workouts: 4 mile run, 400 calories (give or take), 45 minutes of miscellaneous cardio, 400 calories, 20 mile bike ride... you get the picture. You're burning calories. We know that we need to burn more calories than we consume to lose weight <--- create a caloric deficit. But as athletes, we need to consume enough calories for simple body function + activity (optimal performance). If you don't, you won't have the ENERGY to challenge your body. What happens to a car when it's out of gas? It won't start. But when you add gas, vroom vroom, it goes all day. That's how your metabolism works. You have to feed it to fire it up.
^ this is all called your RDI - recommended daily intake - what's enough gas to make your car go but still creating healthy deficit to lose weight.

So, you're eating healthy, you're exercising everyday, but you're not losing weight <--- this is another post, but in short, you're not creating a healthy caloric deficit. You may think you are, but you're probably not. 

If you focus on healthy eating (as described above, well rounded balanced...) and you are putting in EFFORT to challenge your body daily (30-60+ minutes of cardio and fitness) creating a healthy deficit, your weight will be maintained or fall off. Time to get honest with yourself and REALLY evaluate what your putting in vs. what your putting out.

Tips:
determine your BMR
count your calories (make healthy choices, balance your meals)
daily exercise (how much effort? how long? what kind of calories are you burning?)
try an app like FatSecret that you can record food and activities and it will track it all for you!!

If you have questions or need help creating a plan that works for you, call me or email me. I am a Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist and I'd be happy to get you on the RIGHT track to Healthy Eating!! 

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