Nutrition Facts vs. List of Ingredients
Korbie, “I am following my diet, I’m not cheating, I’m doing my cardio, I don’t know why I am not losing weight!!!” This was the start of a lesson learned for one of my personal training clients. After a detailed overview of her food journal, I see that she has been adding sugar free coffee creamer to her coffee. I narrow in on this little additive. For this is the culprit that is preventing her from dropping those few extra pounds. “No Korbie, it definitely can’t be the coffee creamer. For the nutrition facts state that it’s sugar free and has less than one carb per serving”. After seeing this commonality with a few of my clients who are trying to lose weight, I had to lay down the true facts on those not so true nutrition facts!!!
We’re all familiar with the standard Nutrition Facts label that appears on all packaged foods. The label is mandated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in accordance with the 1990 Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) and requires that values for specific nutrients be reported in a standardized format. This law was intended to provide clearer, more transparent information to consumers, and enable them to compare and contrast the nutritional merits of different products.
Unfortunately, those transparent Nutrition Facts labels are not always transparent much less factual. For starters, the law permits a fairly lax margin of error—up to 20 percent—for the stated value versus actual value of nutrients. Essentially, that means a 100-calorie pack could, theoretically, contain up to 120 calories and still not be violating the law. The sugar free creamer states that there are 0g of sugar and less than 1g of carbohydrates. However, if you read the ingredients, the first listed is dextrose. Dextrose is a form of sugar. Other names for added sugars include corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate, maltose, sucrose, honey, and maple syrup. Beware for this doesn’t bode well for diabetics, carb counters or those looking to lose weight. Hungry for more, read my previous blog on hidden sugars.
The same margin of error goes for other nutrients as well. The FDA has never established a systematic, random label-auditing process, and compliance with the law is expected to be self-enforced by food manufacturers. You ask yourself, if these nutrition facts are far from factual, what is one to do in order to reach their fitness goals and get the results they’re looking for? Well I’ll tell you, first and fore most visit a certified specialist in fitness nutrition, like myself, to establish a meal plan that is made for you and your body type. Second, instead of focusing on those nutrition facts, read the ingredients. If there is a laundry list of ingredients you can’t pronounce, chances are you should toss it to the side and go with something more natural. Whole, natural, clean foods, are what you want to consume to feed your body and provide it with the nourishment it deserves. The best guidance I can offer is to minimize the number of foods in your diet that even have a nutrition label; eating more whole, unpackaged, minimally-processed foods is likely to bump up the quality of your diet and minimize the risk of hidden calories. As for those foods that do come in a labeled package, select those with short, recognizable ingredient lists featuring whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruit, and vegetables are most likely to deliver the most nutritional benefits, regardless of what the label states.
Reasons You’re Not Building Muscle!
Have you had a hard time building muscle? Have you been lifting weights for months or even years and not seen any appreciable changes in your physique? Well you’re not alone! Here are a few common reasons I find in potential personal training clients for not building muscle.
Not working out with enough intensity
One of the most common mistakes people make is not working out hard enough. Unfortunately, many people lift weights that are too light for them. Weights that don’t promote any meaningful increases in their strength or muscle size. In order to increase strength and muscle mass, it’s important to lift weights that are heavy enough to force your body to adapt. Muscle growth is an adaptation process where you put a significant amount of stress on the muscles to break them down. Our bodies don’t feel comfortable with the stress our muscular system is experiencing.
Therefore, it proceeds to repair and rebuild stronger muscles to combat future stresses our bodies may endure. Many people think they can’t handle a particular weight when in fact they can. Or they stop their set too early because their muscles are burning when they really could have done several more quality repetitions. I’ve trained a lot of people who don’t realize how strong they really are and are surprised by how much weight they can actually lift. A good experienced trainer like the ones here at Training Innovations, don’t just spot you. They will provide both a physical and mental safety net that will allow you to push harder.
Poor exercise execution
I often times see people spending hours upon hours in the gym. They may plan their workouts, log their weights and reps, then they go to actually perform the exercise with improper form. This is because they are not focusing on the actual muscle they are training. The mind muscle connection is just not there. When this occurs we start shifting the load from our weaker muscles to our stronger more dominant muscles or even worse, our joints. When I go to the shooting range, I can practice shooting for several hours a day. But if my fundamental technique is wrong, then all I am practicing is bad habits. However, when you start improving your fundamentals and improve exercise execution, tiny improvements add up to significant gains. Remember when you overload the muscle you are working, you will produce massive amounts of hypertrophy inducing tension.
If you work out with enough intensity, you will break down muscle tissue. This will leave your body in a state of depletion. Which means the glycogen stores of your muscle have been used up for fuel. And some of the proteins in your muscle have also been broken down and damaged. And this cycle creates a perfect environment in your body for nutrient absorption. After your workout, your body tries to rebuild its glycogen stores and repair and regrow those muscle building proteins. With proper nutrient consumption after exercise, you will rebuild your muscle proteins and glycogen stores. And this will stimulate the growth of new muscle tissue. So the next time you are packing your gym bag, don’t forget your protein powder and your Training Innovations Shaker Cup!!
For more information on reasons you’re not building muscle, losing weight, or if you’re frustrated with your level of fitness and are looking to hire a personal trainer, contact us.
Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight!
Trying to lose weight can be frustrating, and at times you might feel like it’s impossible. Sticking to a healthy diet and regular exercise is a big step in the right direction, but sometimes the weight just won’t come off. Before you give up, you should consider these 3 reasons you’re not losing weight. For these 3 reasons are what I find to be most common in my personal training clients who come to me for nutrition management.
Failing to Plan Your Meals:
A wise man once told me ”If you fail to plan you plan to fail!!” Consider walking into a gym and randomly doing a few sets here, a few sets there… a wandering sheep without a shepherd. Do you REALLY expect to see progress without having a game plan? No, of course not! It’s why having a plan to follow is imperative to reach your goals. We know we need a workout plan to make progress, but why don’t we think of food the same way? Having a plan eliminates 99% of the distractions that can derail us on our journey to success.
You see there’s a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path. Making choices based on emotion and convenience is just too easy. How many times have you gotten out of work after a ruthlessly long and miserable day, skipped lunch, had to run errands, and THEN still need to think about what to make for dinner? Our days can zap our willpower, decision fatigue sets in, and instead of going home to make a healthy decision and eat that healthy meal, you do the thing to make your stomach happy temporarily, you eat out. Life isn’t a box of chocolates. It’s a can of paint; things get messy. Stuff happens. which means if we can set ourselves up for success with a good meal prep system amidst this messy reality, it’s a near guaranteed way to see success.
Seeking Social Approval:
One of the biggest reasons you’re not losing weight is you lack the ability to say “No”. You have a trip to Mexico coming up in 6 weeks and you want to lose 20 pounds, but every other day your friends are inviting you to a different get together. Remember why you started in the first place. Are you really going to sacrifice your own, determination, gratification, and overall success to attend that happy hour party to make others happy?
You are responsible for your own happiness, don’t let anyone take that away from you. If you do find yourself in a situation where you just cannot decline an invitation, it is important to mentally prepare yourself beforehand, so that once you are at the event, you can stay focused on achieving your health and fitness goals. You may have very different priorities than most people at the party. Once there, remind yourself of this frequently!
Lack of Sleep:
Logically, it’s practically impossible to stay committed to a healthy lifestyle if you don’t have the energy for it. You think you are burning mega calories spending all that time on the treadmill do you? The truth of the matter is, you burn the majority of fat while you are sleeping. Sleep is responsible for the repair and restoration of the body. It’s only when you get into those levels of really deep sleep that your body secretes growth hormone(the body’s #1 fat burning hormone). So make sure to power down those electronic devices at least a half an hour before you go to bed in order to allow the body release melatonin(blue light inhibits melatonin release).
For more information on reasons you’re not losing weight, help burning that stubborn belly fat, or if you’re frustrated with your current level of fitness and looking to hire a personal trainer, contact us.
Should I Workout When I’m Sick?
The Flu Spreads Easily
Lately it seems like you can’t turn on the news or scroll through social media without reading about yet another tragic flu related death and, chances are someone you know has already been wiped out due to this year’s strain and just how widespread it has been. This is one of the first years we’ve really seen that this widespread activity is everywhere. As a personal trainer, I am consistently stressing to my clients that one of the most important aspects in reaching their fitness goals and making changes to their physique is listening to your body. The question of whether to workout when you’re sick should be a no brainer.
I know nobody wants to skip a workout. But if skipping a workout means giving your body a chance to recover from an illness, I would always rather you skip. Discretion is the better part of valor! And one of the reasons this year’s flu strain is so widespread is due to people going to work and workout while they’re sick and spreading germs everywhere.
Be Considerate to Others
We must think of our fellow gym goers. Come on people, show a little consideration. Here you are, getting your workout on, coughing, sniffling, and sneezing all over the weights. Your germs end up all over the gym, on benches, mats, and even the water fountain. I’ve got news for you my friend, you are not getting one bit stronger by making it to the gym rather than staying home and resting. What you are getting, is other people sick!
Stay Home If You’re sick
I’ll send my personal training clients home if they show up to my gym sick. There is no point in working out if you have a cold or flu. You are feeling these symptoms because your body is trying to tell you something is wrong. Going to the gym and pushing yourself through a workout when you’re sick, even if it is only a minor cold, is doing your body more harm than good. I have to remind even some of my more experienced personal training clients; working out when you are feeling ill may actually prolong the illness. Our bodies work on a prioritization schedule.
So the next time you think you’re being tough by pushing through your workout while you’re sick, remember lifting is actually breaking down your muscle which awakens a stress response in the body. When we’re healthy, our bodies easily adapt to that stress and we recover and our muscles rebuild. Over time, this progressive adaptation is precisely what makes us fitter and stronger. However, when you’re sick, the stress of an intense workout can be more than your immune system can handle, exacerbating your sickness.
Listen to Your Body
So, listen to your body and the next time you are feeling under the weather, stay home, rest and I can guarantee you will be happy you did. You will return to the gym feeling stronger, more determined and completely motivated to crush those goals! For more information on how to proceed when you are sick, remaining healthy and happy or to reach your personal fitness goals whether it be to increase muscle mass, lose weight, or if you’re frustrated with your current level of fitness and looking to hire a personal trainer, contact us.
Staying Healthy and Fit as We Age
Bone Density Decreases
As we age our muscle mass, bone density, and flexibility naturally decrease. However, to what extent depends completely on the individual. The inescapable fact is that we’re all growing older and there’s not a darn thing we can do about it. It is the inevitable! However, thanks to modern medicine, we are living longer than ever. (Some go as far as to say, seventy is the new fifty!) This statement holds some truth if you have the quality of life to do the things you want to do.
Importance of Physical Activity
As we age, our bodies go through many changes. And although we may try and do everything in our power, we can’t completely prevent age-related declines in function. Both cognitive and physical. However, research suggests that regular physical activity and exercise throughout a person’s life can help slow many age-related functional declines. It can also prevent the onset of diseases related to obesity and sedentary behavior. Additionally, living a healthy lifestyle with regular physical activity can also help to reverse damage caused by a lifetime of inactivity.
Consistent physical activity, cardio and especially weight training, play a large role in staying healthy and fit as we age. Without spending some time in the gym strength training, you are sure to encounter muscle atrophy prematurely. From the time we are born, to around the time we turn 30, our muscles grow larger and stronger. After we reach our mid-thirties, this all changes. We start to lose muscle mass and function. The cause is age-related sarcopenia or sarcopenia with aging. Now physically inactive people can lose as much as 3% to 5% of their muscle mass each decade after age 30. Even if you are active, you’ll still have some muscle loss.
Limiting sedentary behavior throughout the lifetime may impact the degree of physical, psychological, and social success experienced by aging adults. Exercise has been shown to help regulate blood glucose. It also restores function of vasculature, reverses skeletal muscle aging and reverses coronary heart disease. It’s well known that exercise and a healthy lifestyle can help with disease prevention. In addition, it decreases the risk for all-cause mortality. It is less known that regular physical activity has played a huge role in reversing age-related cell changes, since it encourages the cells to make more proteins that help with energy production. Regular exercise, especially weight-training, enhances the machinery (ribosomes) to produce proteins, thus increases the production of proteins and enhances protein abundance in our muscles.
Never Too Late
If you realize you are amongst the mainly sedentary or currently inactive population don’t worry, it’s never too late to start. A great percentage of my personal training clients are in their “wiser-more mature” years and making better choices than the so called younger generation. They are fitter, stronger, and wiser too!! For more information on staying healthy and fit as we age, remaining agile, or if you’re frustrated with your current level of fitness and looking to hire a personal trainer, contact us.
Lose Weight By Eating Chocolate!
Chocolate Contains Polyphenols
Thanks to certain flavonoids that exist in chocolate, this sweet treat has been found to decrease body fat. Flavonoids are plant-based nutrients that are prevalent in dark chocolate. The Cocoa in the dark chocolate is a rich source of high-quality polyphenols. Experimental evidence has shown that the consumption of cocoa polyphenols may do more than just help you lose weight.
Lowering blood sugar levels and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease is another benefit of cocoa. What better time to discuss cardiovascular health than now in February? After all….. FEBRUARY IS HEART HEALTH MONTH! The American Heart Association will be the first to confirm that heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. But the good news is, t is also one of the most preventable. Making heart-healthy food choices and increasing the amount of polyphenols in your diet can greatly decrease your risk.
Polyphenols Promote a Healthy Heart!!
Polyphenols are compounds found in foods such as tea, coffee, cocoa, olive oil, and red wine. And studies have shown that certain polyphenols strengthen the arterial walls of the heart. They also strengthen the lining of the blood vessels in the heart while promoting healthy circulation.
Polyphenols Help with Inflammation!!
When your body is inflamed, it experiences problems at the cellular level. Chronic inflammation has been linked to heart disease, cancer and diabetes. It has also has been found to increase insulin resistance, and interfere with feelings of hunger and metabolism-regulating hormones. Munching on dark chocolate in moderation can help prevent and repair the cellular damage caused by inflammation. This is because the flavonoids found in cocoa contain anti-inflammatory properties.
Still not convinced?
Polyphenols can help prevent cell damage caused by oxidative stress. Strong evidence shows that polyphenol-rich diets and foods, such as berries and olive oil, can lower “bad” cholesterol and increase “good” cholesterol. Polyphenols may help relax the blood vessels. Therefore, polyphenol-rich foods like olive oil and green tea may help lower blood pressure. Polyphenols may help reduce certain cancers, especially prostate cancer, through their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
The majority of polyphenols aren’t absorbed in the small intestine and instead travel to the large intestine, where they may promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria.There is strong evidence to suggest that different polyphenols can reduce blood sugar and other risk factors for diabetes. Polyphenols, particularly soy isoflavones, may support bone health. This is especially true later in life when they can reduce the risk of bone diseases like osteoporosis. Polyphenols can improve brain health in the elderly by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress.
Foods Rich in Polyphenols:
Cocoa powder: 3,448 mg per 100 grams. Dark chocolate: 1,664 mg per 100 grams. Flaxseeds: 1,528 mg per 100 grams. Blueberries: 836 mg per 100 grams. Black olives: 569 mg per 100 grams. Coffee: 214 mg per 100 grams. Almonds: 187 mg per 100 grams. Red wine: 101 mg per 100 ml. Green tea: 89 mg per 100 grams
For more information on a healthy heart diet, getting in shape, how to lose weight, reaching your fitness goals, or if you’re frustrated with you physique and looking to hire a personal trainer, contact us.
Training Innovations recently had our twelfth annual Christmas party. We would like to say thanks to all of our clients and friends who were able to attend. We really appreciate your continued support. This was the first year that we changed the party venue. In all of the previous years, we’ve held the party at the Training Innovations west side location, but this year we opted to hold it at Del Webb Mirehaven Sandia Center. It was a very nice facility with a beautiful view and was easily able to accommodate all of us. A special thanks goes out to Judy and Jack Babel for reserving the facility for us. Also a big thank you to Theodore Robinson from Nomad’s Barbeque for catering the event. The pulled pork was absolutely delicious. Awards were given to clients that lost 25lbs or more, 50lbs or more, and even 100lbs or more. A most improved physique award was Continue reading
Eat More Fat to Lose Weight!!!
“Korbie I eat healthy. I don’t eat red meat, I stay away from fatty fish like catfish, and I don’t eat eggs because they are high in fat and cholesterol. I also stay away from avocados and nuts because those are so high in calories”, these are just a few things I hear from some of my personal training clients when they initially inform me of their supposedly healthy eating habits. My “healthy eating” client had eliminated fats from their diet with the thought they were eating healthy. It doesn’t surprise me because for quite some time fat has gotten a bad rap as the guilty culprit to causing heart disease and other health problems. What if I told you to eat more fat to lose weight?
There are some fats that we have to consume through the diet that our bodies can’t make on it’s own. Polyunsaturated fats are known as “essential fatty acids” because our body can’t make them on it’s own. They help prevent weight gain, help build muscle, and help us burn our stored body fat. Polyunsaturated fats can be categorized further into omega 3(alpha linolenic acid reduces inflammation) and omega 6(linoleic acid increases inflammation)fatty acids.
These fatty acids work great together in the body to help support our cellular function and to fight off illness when they are in the correct balance(there should ideally be a 1:1 ratio of omega 3 to omega 6). But the western diet is far too high in omega 6 fatty acid. The ratio is more like 20:1. A little inflammation isn’t bad as it helps fight off viruses and other illnesses, but when your body becomes too inflamed without the ability to bring the inflammation back down we end up with chronic illnesses and chronic pain. In order to create a better balance of our fatty acid ratio, we need to be more aware of the foods we consume.
Grass Fed Beef vs. Grain Fed Beef:
grass-fed beef contains significantly more omega-3 fatty acids and more CLA(conjugated linoleic acid) than grain-fed beef(because cows were not meant to eat corn and grains). Grass-fed beef, one of the best sources of protein around, is also higher in precursors for vitamin A and E and cancer-fighting antioxidants compared to grain-fed beef.
Omega-3 Eggs vs. Regular Layer Eggs:
Browsing the grocery aisle, you’re likely to find eggs with the words “omega-3” on the label. These eggs are different from regular eggs because they’ve been enriched with essential polyunsaturated fats, which is done by feeding laying hens flaxseeds which they convert into omega-3 fats. Enriched eggs typically cost more than standard eggs, but the added health benefits are worth the extra cost.
Wild Caught Salmon Vs. Farmed Salmon:
Salmon is known for its health benefits. It is a fatty fish that is loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids, which again most people don’t get enough of. However, today, a lot of the salmon we consume isn’t caught in the wild, but bred in fish farms. Whereas wild salmon eats what is found in its natural environment, farmed salmon is given a processed high-fat feed(corn, grain, and soy)in order to produce larger fish. Farmed salmon is much higher in Omega-6 fatty acids and has three times the amount of saturated fat. It also contains more calories, mainly from fat. Conversely, wild salmon is higher in omega-3 fats and various minerals, including potassium, zinc and iron.
Omega 3 Rich Foods
To sum it up folks, we need to pay closer attention to what we are eating. Because more important than what you ate, ask yourself what did what you were eating eat? That chicken breast you had for lunch…..what was its lunch before it became yours? We need to try to consume more foods that are rich in Omega-3 and limit our consumption of Omega-6 rich foods in order to balance our fatty acid ratios. Some foods high in Omega-3 include: walnuts, sardines, wild caught salmon, grass fed beef, pasture raised eggs, and flaxseeds.
Some foods high in Omega-6 include: vegetable oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, soybean oil, most salad dressings, most potato chips, most fast foods(including McDonalds, Wendys, Burger King, and even Subway), most cookies, candies, pastries, and corn fed chicken, pork, and beef. For more information on how to eat more fat to lose weight, or if you’re frustrated with your current level of fitness and looking to hire a personal trainer, contact us.
In a recent interview with Kassi Nelson of KOB TV channel 4, Korbie Nitiforo confirms the fact that there are no quick fixes or magic pills when it comes to getting into shape. Only hard work, discipline, dedication, and lifestyle changes are going to help you achieve permanent weight loss.
“TRI” This to Get Tight, Toned Triceps!
When my personal training clients talk about wanting bigger arms, they’re usually referring to building biceps. However, there is more to developing those guns than just training biceps. What many athletes don’t realize is that without fully developed triceps, you will never build bigger arms no matter how much time you spend in the gym. A greater number of muscles make up the tricep than the bicep. Once you understand that strong triceps are imperative to building bigger arms, you need to make sure to use proper technique and form while training them. Steer clear from these tricep training mistakes!
Too Narrow of a Grip on Close-Grip Bench Press: This multi-joint exercise might be part of your triceps routine, but did you ever give thought to the optimal grip width? I’ve seen a number of athletes close the gap between their hands and place them against each other as if this would optimize muscle recruitment. While triceps activation increases once you move your hands in from a regular bench press, no research indicates that the activation increases further, as your hands close the gap. What can increase, however, is the strain on your wrists and elbows. Too much pressure on your shoulders reduces the activation of your triceps, which then becomes counterproductive. Solution: Try a grip from 10-14 inches apart, or just inside shoulder width. From there, experiment slightly with hand positions to determine what feels right for you.
Letting Your Elbows Drift During Kick-Backs: This is a common error even among experienced athletes. From the arm-extended position with your elbow by your side, you allow your elbow to drop along with the forearm as you lower the weight. As you kick your hand backward, you simultaneously raise your elbow back up. This little movement turns a classic single-joint move emphasizing the lateral triceps head into one that also recruits the delts. Solution: Lock elbows by your side so that your upper arm is parallel with the floor—and keep it there. With the dumbbell hanging at 90 degrees and your elbow serving as a hinge, contract your triceps to fully straighten your arm. As you lower the weight, don’t allow your elbow to drop.
Flaring Elbows During Overhead Extensions: Single-joint exercises for the triceps all have one thing in common: elbow extension. The elbows go from a highly bent position where you are feeling the triceps stretch, to fully straightened, where the triceps are contracted. Simple enough, right? However, if your elbows are stationary in a flared-out position, you can and will lose muscle isolation and limit the effectiveness of the exercise. Flaring of your elbows allows your delts and pecs to assist in each rep, reducing focus on the triceps. Keep those elbows tucked. Solution: Using an EZ-bar and taking a slightly wider grip often makes this challenge somewhat more manageable, but you’ll still want to be conscious and wary of elbow flare.
Letting Your Elbows Move Forward During Push-Downs: Several athletes get this staple triceps move wrong by not paying as much attention to the eccentric as the concentric. I’m not referring to keeping the negative under control in speed, either. As you approach the end of the range of motion, you can still allow the weight to keep pulling your hands forward and up, pulling your elbows away from their place by your sides. Once again, you will see movement in the shoulder joint, turning a single-joint movement into a multi-joint movement. All that extra work you have to do on each rep to reposition your elbows back by your sides for each rep is a wasted energy. Keep those shoulders out of the equation. Solution: If you find it impossible to keep from doing this, you’re going too heavy on, of all things, push-downs. Instead, keep the movement strict by maintaining your elbow position for the entire set, reversing the motion on the eccentric phase before your elbows begin to pull forward. Recap: Pay close attention to where your arms are, especially the elbow in relation to the body. Focus on contracting just the triceps. Do these exercises close to a mirror to watch movement and form. Don’t be afraid to start with a lighter weight to get the form down. For more information on building leaner, more muscular arms, weight loss, health and fitness, or a nutrition plan designed specifically for you, or if you’re looking to hire a personal trainer, look no further contact us today and watch your physique transform!