Cereal Bars: Sneaky fat or healthy snack?

One thing I happen to love about cereal bars is how convenient they are. I tell clients when they are in a Nutrition Counseling session that it is ok to have these items with you so you do not grab an unhealthy snack. It can also help you fight off the temptations that may arise when you find yourself hungry during the day.

However, a recent study shows that some of the most popular bars actually contain as much sugar as a serving of cookies! We all know that if you are looking for a healthy snack, a cookies is not your go-to item.

So what to do? READ THE LABELS. Right now. If you have your favorite box of granola bars near you, grab the label and look at these key points:

1.) Does it have at least 3g of Fiber?
Think about it; fiber helps keep you fuller longer, so the more fiber in the bar, the longer it will hold you over if its in between meal (or a quick breakfast option).

2.) Does it have at least 5 grams of Protein?
This amount of protein will add balance to the calories and fiber, and again keep you satiated.

3.) Does it contain less than 35% of its calories from sugar?
This is our main argument. Unfortunately, what you may find will shock you!

There are plenty of bars out there, but all-in-all, it is always better homemade. Check ou our  favorite bar recipes!

Volumetrics or Crowding Out; How this principle can help you lose weight

Do you feel like every time you go on a diet you are never satisfied? Always hungry and looking for the next snack or meal?

When weight loss is your main goal to starting or maintaining a healthy life, the Principle of Volumetrics or Crowding Out can be a useful tool to your success.

Studies have shown that most people will eat the same volume of food per day. The key to Volumetrics is to take the volume that you are eating, and cut roughly 25% of the caloric value of it. To do this in a way where you will still be satisfied and full, here are some quick tips:

1.) Bulk up your meal.
Take your traditional meal of protein, veggies and healthy grains (like brown rice) and bulk up the amount of veggies, cut back slightly on the amount of grain and keep the protein to an appropriate portion of 3-4 oz.

Most vegetables like broccoli, bok choy, and dark greens have a lot of fiber and satiety value- so you’ll stay fuller longer.

2.) Portion Control is now QUALITY over QUANTITY.
Instead of saying, Oh for 500 calories I can have chicken and french fries, its quick and easy. And this is the caloric value if you keep the portion size under control. What about the QUALITY of those calories? Chicken is protein, but french fries are empty calories- no staying power to keep you full. Now, if you were to replace the french fries with a more QUALITY side item, like roasted baby potatoes with peppers, tomatoes, and a spinach salad, you would not only be eating LESS calories but you would actually be able to have a meal that gives you the amount of fiber you need to make it through to your next meal or snack.

3.) If done right you can have dessert!
What if someone told you you could have dessert every night and still lose weight? Obviously, you would know that it is about how you pick you foods and what you choose to eat. However, it doesnt have to be boring.

I often tell people if you start with soup or a salad, you will eat a smaller main dish, and will have room (both physically and calorically) to eat a 100-150 calorie dessert. Who doesn’t want that?

The principle of Volumetrics or Crowding Out is far more than a diet to follow; it truly is a different way of looking at how you eat and planning your meals. In Smart Workouts Weight Loss Program, we discuss way to be successful with the idea of Volumetrics and how you can benefit from it.

Happy Eating!

 

-Written by Sandi Partyka, CHC, Senior Fitness Assistant

It’s February – Have you stuck with your Weight Loss Resolution?

Its time for a little check-in. Did you make a healthy, weight loss resolution a little over a month ago? Was 2012 going to be the start of a new year where you were really going to concentrate on your health and diet?

Well, now that its February, its a great time to check in! Have you stuck with it or fallen a bit off track? Most of us are a little over-zealous when making our weight loss resolutions for a new year, so I wanted to give you some quick tips to help you stay on track:

1.) Do a monthly check in. And I mean it! Set up an appointment in your google calendar, an alarm on your phone, something that will remind you to check back in with yourself. This way, you don’t go 3 months into your program and say oh well! guess I couldn’t stick with it!

2.) Set mini-goals. For each month that you check in there should be a mini-goal you are trying to reach. Think small; like eating 1 more serving of fruit and veggies per week, adding one more class or workout to your normal routine, or even planning to get up and move through your lunch break 2 days per week.

3.) Find a cheerleader. We all have friends that would love this job! This is a friend or family member who agrees to help keep you on track by checking in with you, seeing if you are in need of more support. Think of this person as your backbone, and your sense of accountability. Make sure its a family member or friend that will give you some tough love too! This was also one of the main reasons why Smart Workout developed their Weight Loss Program with private nutritional counseling sessions. It is this support that really makes the difference in a successful weight loss regimen.

Most importantly, remember that reaching your weight loss goals is a journey. There will be hills to climb, plateaus to face, and great triumphs too!

So good luck and keep striving toward your finish line!

-written by Sandi Partyka, CHC, Senior Fitness Assistant

Jump Start your Weight Loss – Take a Vacation!!

Welcome to 2012!

Whether it is a small amount of weight youd like to loose, or tone and decrease inches, or fit back into a certain pair of jeans, many people will vow to take on a resolution to lose weight and be healthier this year.

Well, what if you can do something to jump start that goal? What if you could learn how to eat and cook in the real world? What if you had the support and expertise of a staff committed to helping you get the most out of reaching your goals?

Look no further! Smart Workouts Fitness Vacation is an all-inclusive vacations for fitness and weight loss, set in the rich cultural backdrop of New York City!

Your stay includes hotel accommodations, a fully escorted daily activities, small group exercise classes, cooking demonstrations and nutritional lectures. You will learn how you can eat healthfully at fantastic restaurants, and build nutritional, healthy meals without having to cook all day. Youll experience all different types of exercise classes and enjoy NYC in a way that keeps you active; walking around a museum to hit a number of steps on a pedometer, ice skating, or rollerblading in the park. Even if you live in NYC, we offer a way for you to go on vacation and stay at your own residence!

Since we know that this is the time most people will resolve to try to reach their weight loss goals, weve decided to give a Special Winter Offer for the months of January and February only:

If you like Smart Workout on Facebook, you will receive the following discount:

  • $100 off a weekend booking
  • $150 off  a mid-week booking

or

  • $200 off a full week booking

However, in order to receive this Winter Offer, you must like us on our Facebook Page.

When you’re ready to jump start your weight loss for a new year, be sure to mention the Blog or Facebook to receive your offer.

Heres to a happy and healthy new year!

Fitness, Food and Weight Loss Trends for 2012

At the beginning of every year, the American Council on Exercise and the American College of Sports Medicine put out a report on what the leading fitness professionals believe will be the biggest fitness trends of the upcoming year. Similarly, nutrition councils and wellness professionals make their predictions for the same buzz around healthy foods and weight loss trends.

According to all things health and fitness, here is a quick look at what to look forward to in 2012:

FITNESS TRENDS

1.) Unique Training tools like the TRX Suspension Trainer. The TRX trend looks as if it will be skyrocketing through 2012. Some of our trainers here at Smart Workout have already fallen in love with this great tool, I work out with it all the time, says Senior Fitness Assistant Gillian Rinaldo. Clients really love the definition they get and it is easily one of our most popular classes.

2.) Small Group Training. The days of overcrowded classes where its easy to get lost are soon becoming a thing of the past. It looks as though in 2012, an increasing amount of gyms and fitness facilities are realizing what us here at Smart Workout already knew worked; Small Group Classes are more focused and produce results faster than larger sized classes.

3.) Zumba is a hot workout. In 2012, Zumba will not lose its hot status. This sexy dance class is the No. 9 workout requested by clients according to fitness professionals. At Smart Workout, we actually offer TWO unique Zumba classes!

WEIGHT LOSS/HEALTH TRENDS

1.) Weight Loss / Wellness Programs. More and more clients are asking for intensive weight loss programs and lifestyle coaching. At Smart Workout we offer both the Weight Loss Program AND our All-inclusive Fitness Vacations. Either program helps guide you through effective exercise, how to eat in the real world, and how a healthy lifestyle really is achievable!

2.) Whole Grains and Local Produce. More people are focusing on eating whole grains and are beginning to explore great new alternatives to basic breads and pasta. Grains like Quinoa, black rice, and Sorghum (a gluten-free African grain) are popping up in more grocery stores. Also expect to also see special local sections, where you can purchase fresh, locally grown produce from some of the more mainstream grocers.

3.) Strong is the New Skinny. It could be thanks to Michelle Obama and her amazing arms, or Jennifer Aniston’s killer Pilates body, but getting strong is a top priority for the client seeking a hot bod. The emaciated skinny girl look is not coveted the way it was in previous years. In 2012, a lean, toned body is sexy.

-Written by Sandi Partyka, Senior Fitness Assistant, CHC

References

Healthy Food Trends, Self Magazine

Top Fitness Trends for 2012