Tag: Nutrition Tips for Aviation Professionals

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.

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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


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


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


• 1/3 cup prepared hummus

• raw vegetables sticks (cucumber, carrots, celery)


• 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


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


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


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


• 1 Protein snack bar


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


• Decaf nonfat latte


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

• 1 cup diced mango

• Sprinkle with nutmeg


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


• 2 ounces roasted turkey breast

• 2 whole grain (brown) rice cakes


• 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


• 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.

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