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Advice From The Experts At Fenton Fitness

Tara Parker-Pope wrote a great article in the October 17, 2016 edition of The New York Times entitled “The 8 Health Habits Experts Say You Need in Your 20s.”  While I agree with some of these recommendations, we at Fenton Fitness and Fenton Physical Therapy have some suggestions of our own.

#10–Establish A Veggie And Protein Habit

One of the biggest deficits I see in many food logs is the lack of protein consumed.  We have been conditioned to snack on high carb/highly processed food, so eating more protein can be a difficult shift.  When I do see protein, it’s in the higher fat varieties of sausage, bacon, burgers, etc.  It would benefit younger individuals to start adding healthy doses of protein to their diets as soon as they are responsible for their own food preparation.  Shoot to have some form of lean protein as the base of your meal along with a couple of servings of vegetables. Once you have that base (taking up ½ to ⅔ of your plate), then you can add in whole grains, starchy carbs, fruits, dairy, healthy fats, etc.  Protein increases your metabolic rate more than any other nutrient, aids in recovery, helps build and maintain muscle mass, and much more.  We recommend 25-35% of total calories to come from protein, or 0.8-1gram/pound of body weight.  Most individuals should shoot for 4-8 servings of vegetables per day as well.

-Jeff Tirrell, CSCS, Pn1

To read the article, click on the link below:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/10/16/well/live/health-tips-for-your-20s.html?_r=0

 

 

Advice From The Experts At Fenton Fitness

Tara Parker-Pope wrote a great article in the October 17, 2016 edition of The New York Times entitled “The 8 Health Habits Experts Say You Need in Your 20s.”  While I agree with some of these recommendations, we at Fenton Fitness and Fenton Physical Therapy have some suggestions of our own.

#9–Build Muscle

Much like strength, muscle mass is often not prioritized until it is largely too late.  Though you can still build muscle at an older age, it is much more difficult.  Muscle mass is highly correlated with strength which is correlated with power.  All of these tend to decline substantially at around age 30.  If you take advantage of your hormonal environment and your recovery abilities in your 20’s, you can stockpile a good amount of muscle for the rest of your life so that you can keep doing everything you want as you age.  More muscle also means a better and healthier metabolism which means less accumulation of unwanted body fat and overall better health. The best way to build muscle mass is through resistance training with gradual increases to volume (weight x reps x sets) over time along with a moderate to high protein intake.

-Jeff Tirrell, CSCS, Pn1

To read the article, click on the link below:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/10/16/well/live/health-tips-for-your-20s.html?_r=0

 

 

Advice From The Experts At Fenton Fitness

Tara Parker-Pope wrote a great article in the October 17, 2016 edition of The New York Times entitled “The 8 Health Habits Experts Say You Need in Your 20s.”  While I agree with some of these recommendations, we at Fenton Fitness and Fenton Physical Therapy have some suggestions of our own.

#8—Eliminate Liquid Calories

One of the easiest ways to improve nutrition is to eliminate liquid calories from the diet.  Liquid calories for young people can come in many forms including coffee drinks, alcohol, pop, smoothies, juice, energy drinks, etc.  Most of these items offer very little nutritional benefit, are highly correlated with increased body fat, and don’t cause the same amount of satiety (feeling of fullness) of their calorie matched food equivalents.  Over the last decade working with individuals on their nutrition, I have seen magical transformations simply by eliminating calories you can drink.  Rather than wait for the body fat to pile on and your insulin sensitivity to be shot, avoid this pitfall early in life.  Opt instead for more water, plain tea, or diet soda if you can’t resist something sweet and fizzy.

-Jeff Tirrell, CSCS, Pn1

To read the article, click on the link below:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/10/16/well/live/health-tips-for-your-20s.html?_r=0

 

 

The holidays offer ample opportunity to eat, drink, and be merry with family and friends. Unfortunately, this may not be in the best interest of our health or our waistline. We will continue to feature nutrition tips over the next few weeks to help minimize the damage during the holiday season and avoid feeling so guilty come January 1st.

Bring a dish and skip the condimentsimages

We all know that our family and friends are not always as health conscious as we are. An easy way to take control of what is available at your next holiday feast is to bring something yourself. Opt for something that is traditionally higher in calories and make it using lower calorie alternatives. For desserts, calorie free sweeteners such as Splenda or Stevia can be used. Instead of using butter or oil to grease a pan, use calorie free cooking spray instead. Every calorie you spare on a dish you bring will help to offset your intake. Avoiding condiments and dressings is huge as well. While many don’t contain too many calories in a serving, most of us tend to eat far more than the suggested serving of 1-2 Tbsp. If you insist on dipping or pouring something on your food, opt for things that have mustard or vinegar as a base as these items are both calorie free.

-Jeff Tirrell, B.S., CSCS, Pn1

When I work with members on nutrition, I have found 3 main roadblocks: lack of vegetables, lack of protein, and snacking.  Snacking, or grazing, is one of the biggest eating pitfalls that people fall into.  If I were to guess, I would bet that eliminating snacks and calorically dense drinks (pop, juice, etc.) would cut the obesity rate in half in our country.

Because we are a snacking society, it is rarely a question of eliminating snacks, but rather recommending popcorn_snack_fast_food“acceptable” snack foods.  To be quite honest, I don’t like the concept of snacks because for most people, including myself, they are problematic.  If you are eating appropriately and feel hunger, you don’t need a “snack.”  You need to sit down and take time to eat a meal consisting of lean protein, vegetables, a small amount of healthy fats, and possibly whole grains or fruit.  For many, snacking becomes a mindless process of hand to mouth interaction to help pass the time.  A jar of M&M’s on her desk at work, a bag of chips to eat while he watches TV, a nibble on some samples at the grocery store…  All of this is mindless eating serves no real purpose in meeting our nutritional needs.

Depending on your schedule, activity level, and preference, you would be better served eating 2-5 meals per day and forgetting the snacks.  This is a huge undertaking, and I appreciate the psychological aspect to making this type of shift.  For those who aren’t completely ready to overhaul their eating behavior, it is best to choose snacks that are low in calories, high in protein and fiber, and full of micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals).

Following are my top 21 snack picks for the health conscious with their respective serving size, calorie count, and protein content.  Sub these in for your current snack items (the closer to the top you get the better), and eventually, ditch the snacks all together if trying to lose body fat.

Click on the link below to access the list:

Top 21 Snack Foods

-Jeff Tirrell, B.S., CSCS, Pn1

 

 

oreoI get the “How do I get rid of this?” question many times every month. The gym member then grabs the fat on the back of her arm, the front of his abdomen, and/or the side of her thigh. My answer is nearly always disappointing. Everyone wants a miracle, spot-reducing, metabolism- boosting exercise activity. They do not want to talk about food preparation, drinking less beer, eating more vegetables, or not buying Oreos.

If you have five minutes, take the time to read Dr. Aaron Carroll’s article from The New York Times, “To Lose Weight, Eating Less Is Far More Important than Exercising More.“ A consistent program of exercise is a “miracle cure” for many life threatening problems, and it will make nearly every aspect of our existence better. Combine a proper program of exercise with some steady modifications of your diet and the fat loss magic happens.

To read the article, click on the link below:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/16/upshot/to-lose-weight-eating-less-is-far-more-important-than-exercising-more.html?_r=0&abt=0002&abg=1

 -Michael O’Hara, P.T., OCS, CSCS

 

Biceps“I don’t want to get big and bulky”.  I hear this often from people who are new to exercise as well as lifelong gym members when it comes to lifting weights.  Don’t worry.  It’s not that easy. Bodybuilders and strength enthusiasts spend a lifetime trying to achieve it.

Most people’s goals to tone up, decrease body fat, and increase strength and mobility, require them to build more muscle. Let me explain why:

Research has demonstrated that after about the age of 25, Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) starts to decrease by 2-4% each decade. This means, that by age 55, your RMR will likely have decreased by 6-12% or from 2000 calories/day to perhaps as low as 1760 calories/day. If your nutrition and/or activity levels don’t change, this will lead to weight gain.

This easily explains why the average American gains 3lbs every 5 years. Interestingly, we also tend to lose about 5lbs of lean mass (which is metabolically active) per decade after the age of 25. This is no coincidence. With less muscle, our metabolism slows, and we tend to gain weight in the form of fat. We start to move less because it’s harder, which leads to more muscle loss and a slower metabolism. It’s a vicious cycle. This cycle happens so slowly that many of us don’t see it coming until it’s too late and hard to reverse. We have now stored more fat (less toned), lost strength (and power), and don’t move as well.

Looking for the good news?  It’s all 100% preventable.  In many cases, it can also be reversed. Resistance training with the goal of hypertrophy (muscle growth) and strength gives your muscle reason to grow, or at the very least, not atrophy or wither away. Nutrition plays a vital role in this process as well.  You need adequate nutrients (particularly protein) in order to build and repair muscle. Increasing your muscle is a great way to “tone” and helps to ensure success with your long term fitness goals.

Step off the treadmill, pick up something heavy, eat a steak, and give your metabolic rate a fighting chance as you age.

-Jeff Tirrell, B.S., CSCS

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