Renov8 Fitness Blog: Learn More About Health, Wellness, Fitness and Nutrition


Viewing entries tagged
nutrition

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Hunger or Craving?

You’d think it would be easy to eat when you're hungry and drink when you're thirsty, but as we all know, it’s not as easy as it sounds. In our day of living we’ve all become accustomed to habits based upon our daily lifestyles. For example, when I worked in the corporate world many years ago, I started drinking coffee each morning because that’s what everyone did. It was an unnecessary habit I started when I arrived at work each day.

Nowadays we’ve lost our true perception of hunger. How do we know if we’re truly hungry or just experiencing a food craving? The key is learning how to recognize the difference between hunger and cravings.

True hunger commonly occurs when you haven’t eaten for a while (a few hours or more). If you’ve gone a really long time without eating, you’ll also notice hunger pangs in your stomach such as rumbling and grumbling. You may feel weak and lightheaded with a possible headache. My husband always knows when I’m hungry because I get cranky, too (commonly referred to as ‘Hangry’).

One important thing to remember about hunger is that the feeling doesn't pass with time. If you’ve waited approximately 15-20 minutes and you’re still feeling the same way, then you really may be hungry. Your body is telling you that you need to eat and satisfy that hunger with food. Just make sure it’s not one type of food you are fixated on, as that may be a craving.

Cravings are usually for one specific ‘comfort’ food such as sweets, salty items, and fatty foods versus just nourishment in general. Cravings are also commonly caused by negative feelings and can be stronger if you’re dieting or restricting specific foods from your nutrition. And for us ladies out there, these cravings intensify during our menstrual cycle and pregnancy. What fun!

Many times we give-in to our cravings to feel better, but it can also put us a through an emotional roller coaster. We feel good while consuming the food item of choice, but then feel guilty afterward. Occasional guilt after over-indulging is normal, however if every single meal is a battle with excessive guilt, regret, and shame, then this might be something more serious.

Cravings can also occur right after we’ve eaten. For example, I commonly crave sweets the moment I’m done eating dinner – that’s my downfall and it’s a true sugar craving! But the most important thing to remember about cravings, is that they will pass with time. When I have those sugar cravings, I sometimes give-in to them, but many times I try to distract myself and eventually forget I even had the craving in the first place.

Try distracting yourself with journaling, exercise, sleeping, working, studying, listening to music, talking to a friend, or anything else that will shift your mindset to a positive new task at hand.

So, the next time you have the desire to eat, stop and try to recognize if it’s hunger or just a craving.

Have a happy, healthy and nutritious day!

Heather Binns Founder, Renov8 Fitness, LLC


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Good Carbs vs. Bad Carbs

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Good Carbs vs. Bad Carbs

A solid nutrition plan is extremely important when it comes to seeing fast results from working out. Most people will never wear a bikini or go shirtless at the pool (I’m talking about men here), or ever feel confident in their own skin because they don’t understand one important point: No matter how much you exercise, you can’t out work bad nutrition.

In order to lose body fat, get back into a bikini or board shorts alone, you must have a healthy nutrition program that works for you. Pasta, white rice, most breads, pastries, flour tortillas, most cereals, and white flour (i.e. any processed carbs) should either not be a part of your nutrition, or should only be consumed in a splurge meal.

Don’t think all carbs are bad either. Fruits and vegetable are good carbs, along with whole grains such as brown or wild rice, quinoa, chickpeas, and wheat-free breads (healthy starches).

If you want to lose body fat and get the body you desire, you cannot eat foods that don't work for you. Instead, eat small balanced meals focused on green vegetables, lean proteins, and a small amount of healthy fats. Then fit-in those healthy starches sporadically. An example of healthy lean proteins that enable you to build lean body mass and burn fat include chicken and turkey breast, salmon, and grass-fed beef or bison.

So, eat lean proteins, load-up on green vegetables, drink plenty of water, exercise right, and you will start your journey to the body you desire. Check out the video HERE to learn more about healthy eating :)

Have a happy, healthy and active day!

Heather Binns, Founder, Renov8 Fitness, LLC

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Do You Eat?

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Do You Eat?

Healthy that is....

But what exactly does "healthy" mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, healthy means "free from disease or pain," "showing physical, mental, or emotional well-being" and "beneficial to one's physical, mental, or emotional state."

Do you REALLY eat healthy?

I know many times I think I am eating healthy, but when I start logging my food for a couple weeks, I notice that I have slacked. I got caught-up in my old ways of eating too much sugar, not enough protein, not enough vegetables, etc. See, I have the same problem as most people and have to continually remind myself to eat healthy as well.

So how can you REALLY know if you are eating healthy?

I recommend logging your daily food and drink intake for at least 2 weeks to really get a good look into how you eat on a regular basis. You'll most likely be surprised with what you find out. For example:

  • How often do you eat vegetables, lean protein, sugar, processed foods, etc.?
  • How often do you drink alcohol?
  • What is deficient in your nutrition?
  • Do you tend to eat smaller or larger portion sizes?
  • Are you eating only when hungry or are you emotionally eating as well?
  • How much water do you drink each day?
  • How do ingredients make you feel 30 minutes to 48 hours after consumption?
  • And so on...

By putting pen to paper you are actively recording in your brain and keeping your nutrition at the top of your mind. You'll start noticing what you reach for in the refrigerator when it's time you eat versus mindlessly choosing and consuming.

To help make these two weeks of food logging easier for you, keep a pen and paper/notebook with you at all times. Record your intake including food item, quantity, and notes on how you feel or the situation you were in at the time. This is important as snacks are typically consumed unpredictably and, as a result, is impossible to record accurately unless your food log is nearby.

Try to record as precisely as possible every single item that you consume including water, vitamins, condiments, etc. Use a small food scale if you have one, or use standard measuring devices (ex: measuring cups and measuring spoons) to record the quantities consumed as accurately as possible. If you don't eat all of an item as planned, measure what's left and record the difference.

Also record combinations of food separately (ex: 100% lean ground beef, brioche bun, and condiments) and include brand names of food items, or list the contents of homemade items, whenever possible. For packaged items, use labels to determine quantities and ingredients.

Now I admit, this will still feel cumbersome over the 2-week period, but the knowledge you will gain from this experience is ten-fold and well worth the effort. Like I said before, you will most likely be surprised with what you find out. And best of all, you don't need to count calories!

So choose your pen and paper/notebook of preference, determine a start date for logging (ex: Monday, February 12th), and when you are done I would love to hear what you found out. What nutrition habits were you surprised by and what are your plans to adjust them based upon your goals?

Ready, set, go! You got this!

Yours In Fitness, Heather Binns

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Do You Drink?

Enough water that is....

Many times we think we are properly hydrated, but how do we really know?

Our body depends on water to survive. Every cell, tissue and organ needs water. Without water our body cannot remove waste, metabolize food, lubricate joints, maintain its temperature, and transport nutrients.

Did you know that water makes up more than half of our body weight and is the most important nutrient that it uses? We only have one body to live in, so we better make sure to take care of it!

Here are some of the signs of dehydration: " Extreme thirst " Headaches " Muscle cramps " Darker urine or very little urine " Rapid pulse " Dry mouth " Confusion " Sleepiness or fatigue

Here are some easy ways to help stay hydrated: " Drink water (duh!) " Eat foods high in water content such as cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelon, green peppers, lettuce, radishes, bell peppers, celery, broccoli, pineapple, cauliflower, strawberries, tomatoes, spinach, grapefruit, berries, baby carrots, kiwi, radishes, and cantaloupe " Drink beverages high in water content such as coconut water, tea, coffee, lemonade, vegetable juice, fruit juice, milk, etc. " Carry a filled water bottle all day long (I do and it really helps!) " Consume ice chips " Use all-natural sea salt sprinkled sparingly on food to help balance water and potassium levels and to alkalize the body " Exercise to increase circulation to get more nutrients into your cells

I usually recommend drinking half of your body weight in ounces of water every day. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, then 70 ounces of water is ideal. If exercising or working extra hard in a day, additional water will be needed to make-up what is lost while sweating.

So, start drinking up, but keep in mind that increasing water intake abruptly can be a challenge. The key is to slowly work your way up to the allotted amount of water each day and eventually your body will compensate. If you stay hydrated, your body will function properly every day!

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Protein Bar for a Quick Snack?

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Protein Bar for a Quick Snack?

A new Renov8 Fitness member asked about protein bars I recommend when in a bind and need a quick snack. As most of my friends and clients/members know, I always recommend real whole food first. Howeverer, if you are to choose a bar for a quick snack, this is the one I recommend - Rx Bar. Also, that link gives you 25% off :)

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Fitness and Diabetes: The Down and Dirty Summarized

What does it really mean to have diabetes and workout? Last month Renov8 Fitness Coach, Jenn DeMartino, shared with us the different types of diabetes, the different affects workouts have on people with diabetes, as well as how nutrition plays a part in diabetes management. Here is what Jenn shared if you missed it.

"In short, the definition of diabetes is high blood sugar and there are two types of diabetes: Type 1 and 2. Type 1 diabetes is not procured by way of a bad diet or lack of exercise, but rather it's brought-on by an attack of immune cells on the pancreas. Whereas Type 2 diabetes is caused by either a tiring out of the pancreas or a reduction in sensitivity of the cells' ability to take the insulin that their pancreas produces. With both types of diabetes there is a very large number of treatments available depending on the body response to the treatment. Approximately 136 types of medications for Type 2 and 8 medications for Type 1. Each treatment affects the person's blood sugars in different ways by different mechanisms and none of them or perfect.

Also, different types of exercises have different affects on blood sugar levels. There's no cookie-cutter approach. High intensity can either raise or lower blood sugar depending on where the sugar level starts and how much medication and carbohydrates are on board. Low impact exercise usually doesn't affect sugar in the short run, but again it depends on the person. The same goes for heavy lifting, although sometimes people report having high blood sugar. With HIIT (high intensity interval training), there usually is no prediction on what will happen with blood sugar levels. A person with diabetes needs to practice and learn the patterns of their own body on their good days, bad days, high carbohydrate days, low carbohydrate days, sad days, happy days, time of year, time of month, etc.

Just like the different types of medication and exercise, various types of food also effect sugar levels differently. In general, high glycerin carbohydrates spike blood sugar whereas low glycemic carbohydrates do not. Protein in high doses can spike blood sugar and low doses do not. Fat has no direct immediate change on blood sugar levels, but it does delay the absorption of any type of carbohydrate.

In general, for people with diabetes it's not just a simple answer. There can be extremely healthy fit people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes who have no way of getting rid of their disease and there are those that can. Exercise and nutrition may or may not also have an affect on blood sugar levels with or without immediate complications. For example, Olympian Gary Hall, Jr. (won 10 U.S. medals in the 500m swim) had his blood sugar spike to the 300s as a result of his swims, which is not what you would expect.

So bottom line is that exercise and nutrition are both important for a person with diabetes just as much as it is for a person without diabetes. It's just not as easy as 1, 2, 3."

I hope you've learned something new from Jenn's synopsis of her seminar about diabetes and how it relates to fitness and nutrition. No mater who we are and what's going on with us and our bodies, fitness and nutrition is key!

Yours In Fitness,

Heather Binns

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