Tag: Nutrition Tips

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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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.