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Hit a Weight Loss Plateau? Hit Back With These Five Tips

Hit a Weight Loss Plateau? Hit Back With These Five Tips

If your weight loss has stalled, take a look at my top five tips to help you avoid a weight loss plateau and achieve your weight-loss goal.

One of the more frustrating parts of losing weight is the inevitable weight loss plateau. Everything seems to be going along fine, and then all of a sudden––no matter what you do––you find that the scale just doesn’t budge. When you find that your weekly weight loss has stalled, you’ve hit a ‘weight loss plateau,’ and many dieters find the sudden lack of progress deeply frustrating. When you cut back on your calories, your body reacts as if there’s no more food coming its way. So, it does what it’s programmed to do: it hangs onto stored up calories by slowing down the rate at which you burn them. Your resting metabolic rate––the calories you burn every day just to keep your body functioning––goes down a little bit. The drop isn’t huge (10% at most), but it’s often enough to put your weight loss on hold. And suddenly you’re feeling stranded on the dreaded weight loss plateau.

Your resting metabolic rate is determined by your body size and accounts for most of the calories you burn each day. So, it makes sense that as your weight drops your metabolic rate goes down, too.

In order to keep losing weight at the same rate, you need to either cut your calorie intake further, or exercise more. Or, accept that your rate of weight loss will be slower as you approach your goal. Below are some tips to help get you started:

  1. Use a food diary to keep track of your calorie intake.

You may have been more careful when you started your diet, by weighing and measuring everything that passed your lips, but you might not be as accurate as you once were. Being more consistent with your journal can help get you off the weight loss plateau and back on track.

  1. Drink a protein shake.

Replace two meals a day with a protein shake to help you stay within your calorie limit. When you make your shake, you know exactly what goes into it and how many calories are in the protein powder, the milk and the fruit. That takes the guesswork out of calorie counting. Use the shake for two meals a day, have a healthy third meal, and fill in with snacks of low-fat protein foods, veggies and fruits.

  1. Dine out less often.

This one may be hard to do, but it can make a difference. No matter how careful you think you are when you go to a restaurant, it’s usually difficult to accurately estimate how many calories you’re eating. It’s often hard to tell exactly how foods are prepared––extra fats and calories are often lurking. If you’ve been eating out more often than usual, try to cut back for a couple weeks to see if it helps get your weight moving again.

  1. Increase your cardio and strength training.

As you build muscle, your resting metabolic rate goes up. If you’ve been working out for a while, you might also be in better shape. And that means that if you haven’t increased the intensity of your activity, you might not be burning as many calories as you used to. Add some new moves to your exercise routine, increase the intensity and pump some iron.

  1. Get your body composition checked.

Consider that you might actually have reached an appropriate weight. If you can, get your body composition checked. Muscle is denser and takes up less space than body fat. So, if you’re carrying more muscle than the average person, your body fat percentage might be well within the normal range, even though you might weigh more than you think you should. If that’s the case, then you may not have much, if any, additional weight to lose. For more tips visit AviationNutrition.com!

Aviation Health Coaches Needed Worldwide

Aviation Health Coaches Needed Worldwide

Aviation Health Coaches

Our founder of Aviation Nutrition as an aviation professional and former  professor for a leading aviation university found that there was very little research completed in the area of nutrition for aviation professionals, especially for flight crews. His research did find that even with the introduction of technology over the years and the greater use of technology that poor nutrition could be a causal factor for many aviation accidents especially in general aviation. For this reason he founded Aviation Nutrition.

Aviation Nutrition with its affiliation with the leading nutrition company in the world is seeking to educate aviation professionals worldwide and currently seeking leaders to build a network of Aviation Health Coaches in over 90 counties to educate, train, and promote the use of nutrition products with the goal of increasing safety.

Today's technology requires aviation professionals to be fueled with the proper nutrition to meet the physical and cognitive demands of their jobs that contributes to improving Human Factors and improving safety. To learn more about becoming a Aviation Health Coach which offers a part-time or full-time business opportunity click this link.

The mission is nutrition!

Cutting Out All Carbs and Fat? Think Again Before you Do!

Cutting Out All Carbs and Fat? Think Again Before you Do!

Carbs and Fat

Often we hear that the first step to losing weight is cutting out all carbs and fat from your diet.

The mantra of “cutting out all carbs” is repeated so often, that it has almost become cliché. Fats have become synonymous with rapid weight gain and poor eating. Once you decide to begin a weight-loss routine, it’s highly likely that you will be inundated with advice telling you to drastically reduce or even eliminate your overall carbohydrate or fat intake.

Before you declare a war on fats and carbs, take a moment and consider what they actually are and what they do for your body.

Carbohydrates are essential for your body to make and store energy. “They help to stimulate hormones in the body, such as insulin, that help to store energy.” says Luigi Gratton, M.D., M.P.H., vice president of worldwide nutrition education and development at Herbalife. This “storage effect” is why diets high in simple carbohydrates are often associated with weight gain.

Fats have their benefits as well, as certain fatty acids can support coronary function, brain functions, and even help maintain cholesterol and triglyceride levels already within a healthy range.

“The key to a healthy diet,” says Dr. Luigi, “is having a balance of carbs, proteins and fats.”

 

Aviation Nutrition

 

Get the right kind of carbohydrates
At first glance, it might make sense to eliminate all of your carbs to get rid of that stored up energy so you can get to the challenge of burning calories. However, carbohydrates are your body’s preferred source of fuel. In fact, your brain and your red blood cells rely on carbohydrates exclusively for their fuel and energy. Eliminating carbs entirely would deprive your body of this vital fuel.

Like with anything else, the key is balance. Instead of fearing carbohydrates and cutting them all out, try to consume a balance of simple carbs with the rest of your diet.

Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products are all excellent sources of simple or “good” carbohydrates. These will aid your body with storing the energy you need throughout your day.

The carbohydrates to avoid are called “refined carbs.” These can be found in white bread, white rice, pasta, cakes, cookies and similar foods. Start with these refined carbs to reduce your carbohydrate intake.

The right kind of fats
Getting the right kind of fats is important to the balance of your nutrition as well. Fatty, fried foods are not the way to go when trying to eat healthier. This does not necessarily make “fat” a scary term, though. Some fats have their place in a healthy nutrition plan.

While a diet high in certain fats will make it difficult to lose weight, adding omega-3 fatty acids can support your heart, brain and other functions. Try adding more salmon, olive oil, avocados or walnuts to your diet, as well as an omega-3 supplement.

It’s all about balance
It’s important to take all of these ideas into consideration before embarking on any diet based on “cutting out all carbs” or “eliminating fats.” Your body needs the energy it gets from simple carbs, and a reduction in refined carbs has its place in a weight-loss program. And don’t deprive your body of the benefits of fatty acids to your overall health.

The next time you’re told the only way to lose weight is to cut out all carbs or go fat-free, stop and think about what that means. Consider what role carbs and fats play in your diet and overall health, and then consider moving forward with a more balanced approach to your weight-loss routine. For more articles like this visit AviationNutrition.com.

Want to Shape Up for Summer?

Want to Shape Up for Summer?

Want to shape up for summer? Don’t wait until the last minute. If you start now, you’ve got six weeks or so––plenty of time to see some serious results before swimsuit season starts.

Six weeks may sound like an eternity, but if you’re trying to get in get in shape for summer, you’ll want to get going right away. I’m nudging you now, because many people have the tendency to put this off. As in, “I’m going on a surfing trip next week, and I can’t be seen looking like this!” A crash diet to take off a couple pounds in a week might make you slightly less self-conscious in your board shorts. But if you really want to make some headway before swimsuit season, the time to start is now.

Six Weeks ‘til Summer:  Shape Up Now

Here’s the thing: a safe and achievable rate of weight loss is about one or two pounds a week. In order to lose a pound in a week’s time, you need to tilt your calorie balance in the negative direction by about 500 calories per day. Now, a pound of fat stores about 3500 calories. If you burn up 500 of those stored calories every day for a week, you’ll lose about a pound of fat. Larger people can often tip the balance a little further, coming up with a shortage of 750 or even 1000 calories a day to lose a bit more quickly.

Depending on your body size, that means that if you start now, you could lose 5 or 10 pounds by early June, and that could be enough to give you a beach body by the start of summer. With a one-two punch of diet and exercise, six weeks is enough time to see some noticeable changes in your muscle tone and shape if you dedicate some serious time to your workouts.

Diet and Exercise

The best way to create your calorie ‘shortage’ is with a combination of diet and exercise. Don’t try to just do one or the other. For one thing, if your calorie needs aren’t that high to start with, you may not be able to cut out 500 calories a day from your meals without cutting back too far. You shouldn’t go much below 1200 calories a day. If you try to cut too much, not only is it harder to pack all your nutrient needs into fewer calories, but you also may not have enough energy to exercise. Trying the ‘exercise only’ approach is tough, too, because it takes a lot of exercise to burn up 500 calories––like a solid hour of nonstop swimming.

Turn Up the Nutrition

Focus on eating the most ‘nutrient dense’ foods––those foods that give you the most nutrition for the fewest calories per bite. Vegetables top the list, followed by the lowest fat proteins (fish and shellfish, poultry breast, egg whites, fat-free dairy products, protein powder), then followed by fruit and then whole grains.

Power Up with Protein

Make sure to include some protein at every meal and snack. It will help keep you from getting too hungry in between meals.

 

Aviation Nutrition

Hold Up on the Grains

Cut back on your whole grains for the first week or two to give yourself a little head start. You don’t want to cut them out completely, but cutting back to just a serving or two each day can help you save a lot of calories. As long as you’re eating plenty of veggies and fruit, you should be getting enough carbohydrates to fuel your exercise.

Shake It Up

Careful calorie counting is the key, but it’s often one of the hardest things to do. This is why meal replacement shakes work so well. They take the guesswork out of calorie counting, because you know exactly how many calories are in them. Have a protein shake made with milk and fruit for two meals a day, then focus on veggies and protein for your third meal. Keep your snacks small and protein-packed (like a protein bar or a small carton of Greek yogurt), and you’ll keep your calorie guesswork to a minimum. To order replacement shakes and other great nutrition products visit Aviation Nutrition.

Susan Bowerman, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., F.A.N.D. – Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training at Herbalife. Susan is a Registered Dietitian and a Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.

Debunking Four Popular Weight-Loss Myths for Aviation Professionals

Debunking Four Popular Weight-Loss Myths for Aviation Professionals

When beginning any weight-loss program, it’s important to separate the good advice from the myths. Despite being well-intentioned, a lot of weight-loss myths have the potential to prevent more progress than they create. Here are four myths about weight-loss that you’ve likely been told and should probably dismiss. Eating less is the only way for you to lose weight While this might make sense when you hear it, it’s not necessarily true. Luigi Gratton, M.D., M.P.H., Vice President, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Development at Herbalife says this is “Counter to what we do in Herbalife.” Rather than only reducing the amount of food you take in, Dr. Luigi suggests, “replacing and supplementing.” “When dieting, it’s not simply about eating less food. Rather it’s about eating more nutrient-dense food,” Dr. Luigi says, “Nutrient dense simply means foods that are lower in fats, sugars, salts and higher in nutrients per calorie.” What you’re eating is just as important as how much of it you’re eating. As Dr. Luigi points out, “Anyone can reduce their portion of bad food but it’s still bad food.” Rather than simply reducing your overall food intake, try eating small amounts of healthy food, five to six times a day. Plan healthy snacks between your meals and shakes to keep your protein intake up, and your hunger down.

More exercise equals automatic weight loss Often times, you will hear people say, “Just work out more and you’ll be fine!” While it’s true that exercise is vital to any weight-loss program, it is not a license to eat whatever you want. Exercise is an important component of any weight-loss program. However, what is equally as important is decreasing your caloric intake. Reducing the number of calories you consume while supplementing your diet with vitamins and minerals, makes your exercise more productive and burns calories. “You can’t just eat pizza, hot dogs, and soda and then go walk for 30 minutes,” Dr. Luigi says, “You’re not going to lose weight, because the calories you’re consuming are way more than the calories that you’re burning.”

Aviation Nutrition

Dr. Luigi recommends getting your caloric intake below 3,000 calories a day. A caloric intake between 1,200 to 1,800 calories a day, depending on your size and body type, allows you to reach that point where you’re burning more calories than you’re taking in. Reducing or eliminating carbs is the first step to losing weight You hear it all the time. Carbohydrates are the enemy of weight loss, and eliminating as much of them as possible is the true path to losing weight. Carbohydrates actually help stimulate hormones that store energy, insulin being one of them. This is how your body stores and uses the fuel you need to get through the day. Reducing the amount of carbohydrates you take in reduces the activity of insulin, reducing the stored energy you need to burn, thus helping you lose weight. This is great, but your body still needs energy to live. “The balanced diet,” Dr. Luigi says, “should include about 30% healthy fats, 40% healthy carbohydrates, and about 30% proteins.” It’s important to pay attention to where your carbs are coming from; to be sure you’re receiving the good kind, which will fit into your weight-loss program. As healthier sources of carbs, Dr. Luigi recommends fruits and vegetables, whole-grain breads, pastas, and nuts. While a diet high in carbohydrates is not at all healthy, keeping the correct kind of carbs in your diet and in the right proportions is an important component in any effective weight-loss program.

This might make sense when you first hear it, but it’s another myth you’ll want to dismiss. Eating a healthy, balanced diet that’s high in protein is important. At the same time, it’s equally as important to ensure you’re getting the vitamins and minerals you need.  This is because much of the food you’re eating, while still healthy, isn’t providing them.
“Most people don’t get enough micro-nutrients from the food we consume,” Dr. Luigi says, “So supplements can act as an insurance policy.” This “insurance policy” can fill in the nutritional gaps left by an otherwise healthy diet.  Your diet can be high in protein, fiber, and beneficial carbohydrates, but still be leaving you deficient in vitamins and minerals.  Using that insurance policy of taking vitamins and minerals in addition to your healthy diet is how you can help ensure that your body is getting the complete nutrition it needs.

No matter how healthy your diet is, a good vitamin and mineral supplement is always key to balanced nutrition. Separating what’s real from what’s myth is a big step toward crafting a truly effective weight-loss program. There’s no shortcut to weight loss, and no magic wand. Take the time to learn what makes a truly effective weight-loss plan, and dismiss the myths.

Visit our Nutrition Store for more articles, tips, and products!

Healthy Weight Loss for Aviation professionals: 1,500 Calorie Diet With Sample Menus

Healthy Weight Loss for Aviation professionals: 1,500 Calorie Diet With Sample Menus

I always encourage my patients to tackle their weight issues with a one-two punch of diet and exercise, and a 1500 calorie diet plan reinforces this approach.  This type of plan allows for a reasonable amount of food, and it generally leads to a healthy rate of weight loss in most people. A 1500 calorie diet plan might be right for you if you’re a female who gets regular exercise but you’re still seeking weight loss. This also applies if you’re a male who’s only lightly active and seeks weight loss, or if you’re a male over the age of 50 who gets minimal activity. It should go without saying that regular exercise is important for your health and can also help you reach your weight loss goals.

A drop of no more than 2 pounds (1 kg) per week is considered a safe rate of weight loss. If you’re losing more quickly than that, move up to the next highest calorie level. If you’re losing more slowly than that, you can try the 1200 calorie diet plan, but you shouldn’t cut your intake to less than 1200 calories per day.

1500 calorie diet plan overview

This plan calls for three meals and two snacks each day. Here is the basic breakdown for the 1500 calorie diet plan:

Breakfast: 1 Protein + 1 Fruit (+ vegetables if desired)

Lunch: 1 Protein + 1 Vegetable + Leafy Greens + 1 Starch/Grain + 1 Beneficial Fat

Snack: 1 Protein Snack

Dinner: 1½  Proteins + 2 Vegetable + Leafy Greens + 2 Starch/Grain 1 Beneficial Fat

Snack: 1 Protein Snack

Daily Totals: 3½  Protein, 1 Fruit, 3 Vegetable + leafy greens, 3 Starch/Grain, 2 Protein Snacks,  2 Beneficial Fats

As long as you don’t exceed the daily totals for each food group, feel free to move your portions around. But try to keep the same general pattern of three meals and at least one snack. It’s not recommended that you skip meals and then “double up” at the next one. More evenly spaced meals will help keep your energy level up, and protein at each meal (and for the afternoon snack) will help to keep you from getting too hungry.

3-day menu for a 1500 calorie diet
DAY 1

Breakfast

• Protein Shake made with protein powder, nonfat or low fat milk and 1 cup berries

Lunch

Large salad made with:

• Leafy greens (lettuce, spinach) – any amount

• 1 cup (80g) chopped mixed vegetables (carrots, peppers, tomato)

• 4 ounces grilled chicken breast

• ½ cup (150g) cooked white beans

• 2 Tablespoons (30g) reduced-calorie salad dressing

Snack

• 1/3 cup prepared hummus

• raw vegetables sticks (cucumber, carrots, celery)

Dinner

• 6 ounces (200g) grilled salmon with lemon

• 2 cups (160g) steamed green beans with garlic

• 1 cup (150g) cooked brown rice

• Mixed leafy greens salad – any amount

• 2 Tablespoons (30g) reduced calorie salad dressing

Snack

• 1 single-serve (about 5 ounce/150g) Greek-style vanilla yogurt + ½ cup berries
DAY 2

Breakfast

Breakfast bowl:

• Fresh or frozen spinach, steamed or microwaved until hot

• Topped with 2 eggs, cooked any style, and tomato salsa

• 1 cup (80g) cut melon

Lunch

Veggie and Tofu stir-fry. Sauté veggies in oil, then add tofu and seasonings:

• 1 tablespoon oil to stir-fry

• 1 cup (80g) broccoli florets

• 2 cups chopped Chinese cabbage

• 3 ounces (about ¼ block or 125g) firm tofu, cut into cubes

• Season with soy sauce, garlic, pepper and ginger

• ½ cup (150g) steamed brown rice

Snack

• 1 Protein snack bar

Dinner

Grain salad with protein. Toss together:

• 6 ounces (200g) grilled shrimp

• ½ cup (150g) cooked quinoa

• 2 cups (160g) chopped mixed vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, carrots, cucumber, onion)

• Dressing made with 1Tablespoon olive oil and vinegar; salt and pepper to taste

• Place on a bed of leafy greens

Snack

• Decaf nonfat latte
DAY 3

Breakfast

• 1 cup (250g) plain nonfat Greek-style yogurt

• 1 cup diced mango

• Sprinkle with nutmeg

Lunch

Tuna pita pocket:

• 4 ounces (100g) tuna mixed with

• 1 Tablespoon low fat mayonnaise

• Chopped mixed veggies (i.e., green onion, cucumber, peppers)

• ½ whole grain pita bread

• Mixed leafy greens salad – any amount

• 1 Tablespoon reduced calorie salad dressing

Snack

• 2 ounces roasted turkey breast

• 2 whole grain (brown) rice cakes

Dinner

• 6 ounces (170g) grilled lean steak

• 2 cups (160g) roasted Brussels sprouts (halve, toss with olive oil, roast at 400 F / 205 C for 20 minutes)

• 1 Tablespoon  olive oil (for Brussels sprouts)

• Steamed kale, spinach or Swiss chard with vinegar

• 1 medium baked sweet potato sprinkled with ginger

Snack

• 1 ounce roasted soy nuts

Want more options? Customize your own 1,500 calorie diet plan with these additional tips.

Susan Bowerman, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., F.A.N.D. – Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training at Herbalife. Susan is a Registered Dietitian and a Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.

Visit the Nutrition Store at AviationNutrition.com to view our products!

Nutritious Snacks for Aviation Professionals

Nutritious Snacks for Aviation Professionals

Snacking – when it’s done right – serves a few purposes. A nutritious, balanced snack can help keep you energized between meals. Small, nutritious snacks can also help control your hunger at mealtimes, which means you might get by with a smaller portion. And, having an extra “eating opportunity” once or twice a day means that you can work in a few more servings of nutritious foods over the course of the day.

One problem with the way many of us snack, however, is that we tend to do it on the run. So, rather than pre-planning our snacks, we simply wait for the craving to strike. And, for most of us, it’s too easy to find a corner store, a vending machine – or even our own kitchen cupboards – to satisfy our cravings with foods that are loaded with fat, salt or sugar. So here are some suggestions for some nutritious snack alternatives that can satisfy whatever you’re craving.

If You’re Craving a Creamy Snack

Foods with a creamy, smooth texture are pleasurable to eat and many people associate them with comfort. But if you’re satisfying your craving by turning to rich ice cream or high-fat cheeses, you might want to try one of these alternatives.

  • Yogurt. Try plain nonfat yogurt mixed with a little honey or maple syrup and topped with fresh fruit.
  • Frozen banana. Peel bananas, wrap in waxed paper and freeze. Slice and eat, or buzz quickly in the blender for a “one ingredient” ice cream-like treat.
  • Lowfat ricotta cheese. Blend with a little fruit and a dash of sweetener for a pudding-like treat with some hunger-busting protein.
  • Quick cooking oats. Cook in a 50-50 mixture of lowfat milk and water, and cook for a few extra minutes for a smoother texture. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
  • Chia pudding. Mix 1 Tablespoon chia seeds with ½ cup vanilla soy milk; let stand 10 minutes until starting to thicken, then top with fresh fruit. Or, try this recipe for chia berry pudding.
  • Frozen yogurt pop. Blend vanilla yogurt with fruit until smooth and pour into popsicle molds and freeze. Or, try this popsicle recipe.

If You’re Craving a Sweet Snack
Sometimes we crave sweets when our energy level is taking a dive, or we turn to sweets as a treat or a reward. But the calorie cost of many sweets can be really high. Here are some tips to satisfy the craving without breaking the bank.

  • Cooked fruit. The texture of cooked fruit makes it seem more “dessert-like”. Try running grapefruit or orange halves under the broiler, roasting peaches or pineapple in the oven, or cooking sliced apples or plums until tender with a spicy-sweet cinnamon or nutmeg.
  • Coffee latte. Have your latte made with nonfat or lowfat milk, and a little bit of sweetener and cocoa powder.
  • Chocolate protein shake. A protein shake made with milk and chocolate-flavored protein powder can satisfy your craving for chocolate and help control hunger, too.
  • Protein snack bar. When you’re craving a candy bar, a protein snack bar is a much better choice – it can satisfy your craving for something sweet and help control hunger.

If You’re Craving a Crunchy or Savory Snack

The craving for foods that are crunchy and salty are sometimes triggered by frustration or stress – that’s because the act of chewing and working the jaw muscles actually relieve tension.

  • Cottage cheese dip. Whirl nonfat or lowfat cottage cheese in the blender until smooth; stir in a little dark mustard and use as a dip for crunchy veggies.
  • Kale chips. Easy to make. Remove tough stems, break leaves into bite-sized pieces, wash and dry thoroughly. Toss leaves with a little olive oil and salt, spread on a baking sheet and bake 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees (Gas Mark 4), turning occasionally, until edges are brown.
  • Simple miso and egg soup. Stir a spoonful of miso paste into boiling water and mix well; slowly pour in one beaten egg and allow egg to cook in the soup.
  • Popcorn. After popping, dust with a little low fat parmesan cheese or chili powder.
  • Baked tortilla chips with avocado. Look for baked chips made with beans or lentils to get a little protein boost. Dip into avocado mashed with prepared salsa.
  • Jerky. Jerky is lean meat that is salted and dried into a chewy, high protein snack. But it can also be made from poultry or fish, and there are vegetarian and vegan versions, too. Their chewy texture satisfies the craving for crunch, and the protein content can help curb hunger.
  • Pistachio nuts or sunflower seeds in the shell. Nuts and seeds contain healthy fats, but the calories can add up quickly. However, if you choose pistachios or sunflower seeds in their shells, it will take some time to crack them open, which can help you control the amount you eat.

Susan Bowerman, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., F.A.N.D. – Director, Worldwide Nutrition Training at Herbalife. Susan is a Registered Dietitian and a Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.