February 2017 - Studio ME Fitness

February 2017

Are you an Ectomorph, Endomorph or Mesomorph?

Now that you know your predominate body type let’s find out what it means for your in your health and wellness journey.

As a reminder the three types are:

  1. Ectomorphs – lean, skinny type. Sometimes call skinny fat. They are bony, have fast metabolisms and low body fat.
  2. Endomorphs – larger, have a soft roundness and have difficultly losing body fat
  3. Mesomorphs – muscular types, lean and naturally athletic and gain muscle with ease.

All three types are listed below with descriptions and tips for nutrition and training.  Feel free to scan to your body type and read just that piece. Not sure what you are? Read them all and find out.

Ectomorphs:

You are naturally lean and skinny.  You probably lose weight easily and have a hard time gaining muscle.  Still not sure if this is you? Do you fit these traits?

  • long limbs
  • small joints/small-boned
  • small wrists with narrow shoulders
  • fast metabolism
  • good carbohydrate balance
  • high energy
  • may suffer from insomnia
  • may be difficult to gain weight

When it comes to your training and nutrition…

1. Slow down and reduce stress.

2. Focus on strength training. You will respond well to this type of program.

3. Keep cardio to a minimum.  Try no more than 20-30mins/day three days a week.

4. EAT! Keep your daily caloric intake high, don’t skip meals and don’t forget about healthy fats and carbs. You’ll want about to consume about 50% carbs in the diet, 30% protein, and 20% fat.

Next up… Endomorphs

You find yourself to be more round and on the heavier side. You tend to gain weight fast and lose it SLOW! Weight loss can be a struggle your entire life. You are an endomorph if:

  • high levels of body fat
  • big-boned
  • short arms and legs
  • round or apple shaped body
  • wide waist and hips
  • may not handle carbs well
  • respond to higher protein diets
  • can’t get away with overeating
  • may not be able to keep weight off
  • fall asleep easily

When it comes to your training and nutrition…

  1. Reduce carbohydrates. Diets should be high in protein, healthy fats and fibrous carbs.
  2. Watch those cheat meals. Instead of the typical 80% good, 20% bad. You may want to stick more with 90% good and 10% bad. Your body does not respond well to poor food choices and will result in excess fat storage.
  3. Increase cardio duration and intensity. HIIT workouts or longer interval training may be best for you.
  4. Strength and resistance training is very important to raise your resting metabolic rate but cardio will help keep you there. Think squats, deadlifts, lunges, pull ups, rows, presses. Does this sound familiar? This is what the Studio ME MEfit Bootcamp is build around. 
  5. Consider becoming more active in your everyday life. Siting around watching TV is hurting your progress.
  6. Avoid oversleeping! Do you hit the snooze button a lot? Well stop!
  7. Be consistent and patient. You tend to lose weight more slowly so this will not be an overnight thing. You need to be in this for the long haul. It needs to become a way of life.
  8.  Your daily caloric intake may look like 25% carbs, 40% protein, and 35% fat.

Lastly…Mesomorphs

You tend to be naturally muscular. You gain muscle pretty easily and loose fat pretty easily.  You are a mesomorph if:

  • medium joint size
  • broad shoulders with smaller waist
  • muscular build and naturally strong (think gymnast body type)
  • high energy level
  • faster metabolism
  • respond quickly to any type of training in that you gain strength and muscle easily

When it comes to your training and nutrition…

  1. Don’t rely on your genetics. You have a gift. Take advantage and work hard. Trust me, it will pay off!
  2. Pay attention to food quality. You may be able to get away with eating like crap but it could take a toll on your health.
  3. You respond well to all types of training and should have a balanced fitness plan that includes both cardio and weight training. Lucky you, you don’t need to do as much cardio as endomorphs and because you are naturally muscular you don’t need to go heavy with the weight lifting all the time. One you reach your goal think about maintaining with medium weights. Go get ’em!
  4. Consider 40% carbohydrate in the diet, 30% protein, and 30% fat.

Understanding your body type is key in your health and fitness journey. Just because your genes have given you one type over another doesn’t mean it’s time to throw in the towel. You just need to take responsibility and plan according to your body type. Don’t get discouraged. You can overcome any obstacle if you are willing to work hard enough!

As the late UCLA Bruins basketball coach Jon Wooden said, “The good lord in his infinite wisdom, did not create us all equal when it comes to size, strength, appearance, or various aptitudes. But success is not being better than someone else, success is the peace of mind that is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing that you gave your best effort to become the best of which you are capable.”

References: 

Venuto, Tom. Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle: The Secrets of the Leanest People in the World. London: Vermilion, 2013. Print.

Precision Nutrition. John Berardi, Ph.D. Body type nutrition: Here’s how to eat right for your body type. [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.precisionnutrition.com/eat-right-for-your-body-type

Everything You Think You Know About Healthy Eating is Wrong and it’s Making You Fat and Tired

Oh my gosh – nutrition and diet info is everywhere!

 

And each expert and association tries to lead you in their direction because they know best and their advice is going to help you.  Right?

 

Well, maybe…

 

Everyone has heard (and maybe lived through) the intense focus on how much you eat.  This has gotten way too much attention because while this does affect your weight and energy level, it’s certainly not the “holy grail” of health.

 

Let’s focus a bit more on the often overlooked (and proven) benefits of what you eat and drink and how you eat and drink it.

 

What you eat and drink

 

The “calories in, calories out” philosophy (i.e. how much you eat) is being drowned out with research on other factors that may be just as important.  Don’t get me wrong limiting calories, carbs or fat can certainly help you lose weight but that’s simply not the only factor for long-term weight loss and maximum energy for everyone.

 

When the intense focus on how much we ate didn’t work in the long-run it wasn’t really a surprise. We kinda knew that already, didn’t we?

 

You can certainly still continue to count your calories, carbs, and fat but don’t forget to also pay attention to what you eat.

 

Ideally, you need a varied diet full of minimally-processed foods (i.e. fewer “packaged” “ready-to-eat” foods).  This simple concept is paramount for weight loss, energy, and overall health and wellness.

 

Every day this is what you should aim for:

  • A colourful array of fruits and veggies at almost every meal and snack. You need the fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Enough protein. Making sure you get all of those essential amino acids (bonus: eating protein can increase your metabolism).
  • Healthy fats and oils (never “hydrogenated” ones). There is a reason some fatty acids are called “essential” – you need them as building blocks for your hormones and brain as well as to be able to absorb essential fat-soluble vitamins from your uber-healthy salads.  Use extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil, eat your organic egg yolks, and get grass-fed meats when possible.  You don’t need to overdo it here.  Just make sure you’re getting some high-quality fats.

 

How you eat and drink

 

Also pay attention to how you eat and drink.

 

Studies are definitely showing that this has more of an impact than we previously thought.

 

Are you rushed, not properly chewing your food, and possibly suffering from gastrointestinal issues? Do you drink your food?

 

When it comes to how you eat let’s first look at “mindful eating”.

 

Mindful eating means to take smaller bites, eat slowly, chew thoroughly, and savour every bite.  Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture.  Breathe.

 

This gives your digestive system the hint to prepare for digestion and to secrete necessary enzymes.

 

This can also help with weight loss because eating slower often means eating less.  Did you know that it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full?

 

Thought so!

 

We also know that more thoroughly chewed food is easier to digest and it makes it easier to absorb all of those essential nutrients.

 

And don’t forget about drinking your food.

 

Yes, smoothies can be healthy and a fabulously easy and tasty way to get in some fruits and veggies (hello leafy greens!) but drinking too much food can contribute to a weight problem and feelings of sluggishness.

 

Don’t get me wrong a green smoothie can make an amazingly nutrient-dense meal and is way better than stopping for convenient junk food – just consider a large smoothie to be a full meal not a snack.  And don’t gulp it down too fast.

 

If your smoothies don’t fill you up like a full meal does try adding in a spoon of fiber like ground flax or chia seeds.

 

Summary:

 

Consider not only how much you eat but also what and how you eat it.

 

Oh my gosh – nutrition and diet info is everywhere!

 

And each expert and association tries to lead you in their direction because they know best and their advice is going to help you.  Right?

 

Well, maybe…

 

Everyone has heard (and maybe lived through) the intense focus on how much you eat.  This has gotten way too much attention because while this does affect your weight and energy level, it’s certainly not the “holy grail” of health.

 

Let’s focus a bit more on the often overlooked (and proven) benefits of what you eat and drink and how you eat and drink it.

 

What you eat and drink

 

The “calories in, calories out” philosophy (i.e. how much you eat) is being drowned out with research on other factors that may be just as important.  Don’t get me wrong limiting calories, carbs or fat can certainly help you lose weight but that’s simply not the only factor for long-term weight loss and maximum energy for everyone.

 

When the intense focus on how much we ate didn’t work in the long-run it wasn’t really a surprise. We kinda knew that already, didn’t we?

 

You can certainly still continue to count your calories, carbs, and fat but don’t forget to also pay attention to what you eat.

 

Ideally, you need a varied diet full of minimally-processed foods (i.e. fewer “packaged” “ready-to-eat” foods).  This simple concept is paramount for weight loss, energy, and overall health and wellness.

 

Every day this is what you should aim for:

  • A colourful array of fruits and veggies at almost every meal and snack. You need the fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Enough protein. Making sure you get all of those essential amino acids (bonus: eating protein can increase your metabolism).
  • Healthy fats and oils (never “hydrogenated” ones). There is a reason some fatty acids are called “essential” – you need them as building blocks for your hormones and brain as well as to be able to absorb essential fat-soluble vitamins from your uber-healthy salads.  Use extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil, eat your organic egg yolks, and get grass-fed meats when possible.  You don’t need to overdo it here.  Just make sure you’re getting some high-quality fats.

 

How you eat and drink

 

Also pay attention to how you eat and drink.

 

Studies are definitely showing that this has more of an impact than we previously thought.

 

Are you rushed, not properly chewing your food, and possibly suffering from gastrointestinal issues? Do you drink your food?

 

When it comes to how you eat let’s first look at “mindful eating”.

 

Mindful eating means to take smaller bites, eat slowly, chew thoroughly, and savour every bite.  Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture.  Breathe.

 

This gives your digestive system the hint to prepare for digestion and to secrete necessary enzymes.

 

This can also help with weight loss because eating slower often means eating less.  Did you know that it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full?

 

Thought so!

 

We also know that more thoroughly chewed food is easier to digest and it makes it easier to absorb all of those essential nutrients.

 

And don’t forget about drinking your food.

 

Yes, smoothies can be healthy and a fabulously easy and tasty way to get in some fruits and veggies (hello leafy greens!) but drinking too much food can contribute to a weight problem and feelings of sluggishness.

 

Don’t get me wrong a green smoothie can make an amazingly nutrient-dense meal and is way better than stopping for convenient junk food – just consider a large smoothie to be a full meal not a snack.  And don’t gulp it down too fast.

 

If your smoothies don’t fill you up like a full meal does try adding in a spoon of fiber like ground flax or chia seeds.

 

Summary:

 

Consider not only how much you eat but also what and how you eat it.

 

Recipe (Smoothie meal): Chia Peach Green Smoothie

 

Serves 1

 

Handful spinach

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 banana

1 chopped peach

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

 

Add ingredients to blender in order listed (you want your greens on the bottom by the blade so they blend better and have the chia on the bottom to absorb some liquid before you blend).

 

Wait a couple of minutes for the chia seeds to start soaking up the almond milk.

 

Blend, Serve and Enjoy!

 

 

Tip: Smoothies are the ultimate recipe for substitutions.  Try swapping different greens, fruit or seeds to match your preference.

 

Bonus: Chia seeds not only have fiber and essential omega-3 fatty acids but they  contain all of the essential amino acids from protein.

References:

 

http://summertomato.com/wisdom-wednesday-salad-dressing-is-your-friend

 

https://authoritynutrition.com/20-reasons-you-are-not-losing-weight/

 

http://summertomato.com/the-science-behind-mindful-eating-what-happens-to-your-body-during-a-mindful-meal

 

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3061/2

 

 

 

Three Ways to Avoid Overeating at Meals

 

Sometimes we overeat on regular days.  Or at regular meals.  Or All. The. Time.

 

Here are three tips to avoid overeating at meals.

 

(Psst, turn these into habits and ditch the willpower!)

 

Tip #1: Start with some water

 

When your stomach is growling and you smell amazingly delicious food it’s too easy to fill a plate (or grab some samples with your bare hands) and dive into the food.

 

But did you know that it’s possible to sometimes confuse the feeling of thirst with that of hunger?  Your stomach may actually be craving a big glass of water rather than a feast.

 

Some studies have shown that drinking a glass or two of water before a meal can help reduce the amount of food eaten.  And this super-simple tip may even help with weight loss (…just sayin’).

 

Not only will the water start to fill up your stomach before you get to the buffet, leaving less room for the feast but drinking enough water has been shown to slightly increase your metabolism.

 

Win-win!

 

Tip #2: Try eating “mindfully”

 

You’ve heard of mindfulness but have you applied that to your eating habits?

 

This can totally help you avoid overeating as well as having the added bonus of helping your digestion.

 

Just as being mindful when you meditate helps to focus your attention on your breathing and the present moment being mindful when you eat helps to focus your attention on your meal.

 

Do this by taking smaller bites, eating more slowly, chewing more thoroughly, and savouring every mouthful.  Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture.  Breathe.

 

This can help prevent overeating because eating slower often means eating less.

 

When you eat quickly you can easily overeat because it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full.

 

So take your time, pay attention to your food and enjoy every bite.

 

Bonus points: Eat at a table (not in front of the screen), off of a small plate, and put your fork down between bites.

 

Tip #3: Start with the salad

 

You may be yearning for that rich, creamy main dish.

 

But don’t start there.

 

(Don’t worry, you can have some…just after you’ve eaten your salad).

 

Veggies are a great way to start any meal because they’re full of not only vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and health-promoting phytochemicals but they also have some secret satiety weapons: fiber and water.

 

Fiber and water are known to help fill you up and make you feel fuller.  They’re “satiating”.

 

And these secret weapons are great to have on your side when you’re about to indulge in a large meal.

 

Summary:

 

Have your glass of water, eat mindfully, and start with your salad to help avoid overeating at meals.

 

Recipe (Water): Tasty (and beautiful) Pre-Meal Water Ideas

 

If you’re not much of a plain water drinker or need your water to be more appealing to your senses here are five delicious (and beautiful looking) fruit combos to add to your large glass of water:

  • Slices of lemon & ginger
  • Slices of strawberries & orange
  • Slices of apple & a cinnamon stick
  • Chopped pineapple & mango
  • Blueberries & raspberries

Tip: You can buy a bag (or several bags) of frozen chopped fruit and throw those into your cup, thermos, or uber-cool mason jar in the morning.  They’re already washed and cut and will help keep your water colder longer.

 

References:

 

https://authoritynutrition.com/7-health-benefits-of-water/

 

http://summertomato.com/the-science-behind-mindful-eating-what-happens-to-your-body-during-a-mindful-meal

Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken Breast

Serves 4

 

2 lemons, sliced

1 tablespoon rosemary

1 tablespoon thyme

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

4 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)

dash salt & pepper

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive old

 

Preheat oven to 425F.  Layer ½ of the lemon slices on the bottom of a baking dish.  Sprinkle with ½ of the herbs and ½ of the sliced garlic.

 

Place the chicken breasts on top and sprinkle salt & pepper.  Place remaining lemon, herbs and garlic on top of the chicken.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Cover with a lid or foil.

 

Bake for 45 minutes until chicken is cooked through.  If you want the chicken to be a bit more “roasty” then remove the lid/foil and broil for another few minutes (watching carefully not to burn it).

 

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: You can add a leftover sliced chicken breast to your salad for lunch the next day!

What is metabolism?

This word “metabolism” is thrown around a lot these days.

 

You know that if yours is too slow you might gain weight.  But what exactly does this all mean?

 

Well technically “metabolism” is the word to describe all of the biochemical reactions in your body.  It’s how you take in nutrients and oxygen and use them to fuel everything you do.

 

Your body has an incredible ability to grow, heal, and generally stay alive.  And without this amazing biochemistry you would not be possible.

 

Metabolism includes how the cells in your body:

  • Allow activities you can control (e.g. physical activity etc.).
  • Allow activities you can’t control (e.g. heart beat, wound healing, processing of nutrients & toxins, etc.).
  • Allow storage of excess energy for later.

 

So when you put all of these processes together into your metabolism you can imagine that these processes can work too quickly, too slowly, or just right.

 

Which brings us to the “metabolic rate”.

 

Metabolic rate

 

This is how fast your metabolism works and is measured in calories (yup, those calories!).

 

The calories you eat can go to one of three places:

  • Work (i.e. exercise and other activity).
  • Heat (i.e. from all those biochemical reactions).
  • Storage (i.e. extra leftover “unburned” calories stored as fat).

 

As you can imagine the more calories you burn as work or creating heat the easier it is to lose weight and keep it off because there will be fewer “leftover” calories to store for later.

 

There are a couple of different ways to measure metabolic rate.  One is the “resting metabolic rate” (RMR) which is how much energy your body uses when you’re not being physically active.

 

The other is the “total daily energy expenditure” (TDEE) which measures both the resting metabolic rate as well as the energy used for “work” (e.g. exercise) throughout a 24-hour period.

 

What affects your metabolic rate?

 

In a nutshell: a lot!

 

The first thing you may think of is your thyroid.  This gland at the front of your throat releases hormones to tell your body to “speed up” your metabolism.  Of course, the more thyroid hormone there is the faster things will work and the more calories you’ll burn.

 

But that’s not the only thing that affects your metabolic rate.

 

How big you are counts too!

 

Larger people have higher metabolic rates; but your body composition is crucial!

 

As you can imagine muscles that actively move and do work need more energy than fat does.  So the more lean muscle mass you have the more energy your body will burn and the higher your metabolic rate will be.  Even when you’re not working out.

 

This is exactly why weight training is often recommended as a part of a weight loss program.  Because you want muscles to be burning those calories for you.

 

The thing is, when people lose weight their metabolic rate often slows down which you don’t want to happen.  So you definitely want to offset that with more muscle mass.

 

Aerobic exercise also temporarily increases your metabolic rate.  Your muscles are burning fuel to move so they’re doing “work”.

 

The type of food you eat also affects your metabolic rate!

 

Your body actually burns calories to absorb, digest, and metabolize your food.  This is called the “thermic effect of food” (TEF).

 

You can use it to your advantage when you understand how your body metabolizes foods differently.

 

Fats, for example increase your TEF by 0-3%; carbs increase it by 5-10%, and protein increases it by 15-30%.  By trading some of your fat or carbs for lean protein you can slightly increase your metabolic rate.

 

Another bonus of protein is that your muscles need it to grow.  By working them out and feeding them what they need they will help you to lose weight and keep it off.

 

And don’t forget the mind-body connection.  There is plenty of research that shows the influence that things like stress and sleep have on the metabolic rate.

 

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to metabolism and how so many different things can work to increase (or decrease) your metabolic rate.

 

References:

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-energy-balance

https://authoritynutrition.com/10-ways-to-boost-metabolism/