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!

The Weight Loss Plateau: How you can jump over it

 

 

One thing that I know frustrates many people is the dreaded weight loss plateau. Weve all been there; you’re staying on your plan, eating right, and adding more exercise, but that little bit just wont come off. The last five pounds are by far the trickiest, right?

Well, here is your cheat-sheet on how to battle a plateau:

1.) Awareness is key. Many times when we’ve reach our goals and hit a plateau, we tend to ease back on our routine. Maintain your awareness by keeping track of your exercise and daily food log. You might find that skipping your afternoon latte or hitting up brunch after a Saturday workout may seem small, but it really contributes to smaller ratio of calories in vs. calories out that you thought!

2.) Change it up. Plateaus happen when the muscles in your body get used to the exercises that you are doing. So, if you keep the same routine for 6 months, and you find that you lost weight in the beginning but haven’t in the past 3 weeks, switch up your routine. Putting in a higher intensity bursts for just 5 minutes in your routine or adding on mileage or increasing the pace can make a huge difference in how your body reacts.

3.) Don’t stress! Putting too much emphasis on the fact that the scale is not budging and really focus on your overall goal: to be healthy, live life better, and keep other weight-related ailments at bay. Every time you are frustrated think about all you have accomplished. Keeping yourself positive could help shed those final pounds!

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!