Category Archives: nutrition

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

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 aka REAL 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.  Aim for 1 serving of 5 different colours per day.  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. Put your fork down in between bites. Eat undistracted at least once per day. Yes that means put your phone down and focus on eating one bite at a time!

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 a tbsp of nut butter and/or 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

1-2 tablespoon chia seeds

1/2 banana

1-2 tbsp nut butter

1 scoop chocolate protein powder

2 cups unsweetened almond milk or water

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, fats 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

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3 WAYS TO REDUCE THE “MIDDLE-AGE BULGE”

Blog Title 3 Ways to Reduce the -Middle Age Bulge-

As health and fitness coaches who work primarily with people over 50, this topic comes up quite frequently in session.

Client A – “How do I get rid of this (as client points to mid-section)?”

The answer to this is never quick and easy. But there are things that are in your control that can make a difference right away.

There seems to be something that happens to us humans when we reach middle age.

It may seem as though the body takes a bit of a drop off and things change all of a sudden.

You may feel that your clothes are getting tighter.

The weight loss battle becomes more like an uphill battle and the things that worked in the past, just don’t seem to work as well as they used to.

What is the cause of this?

It is safe to say that it is rarely one thing that causes this. Instead we usually see a combination of factors that lead people to this point.

Factors like;

• Lean muscle loss. It is estimated that we lose on average 5lbs of lean mass (the kind of mass we want to keep) for every decade after 25. If you do the math that is 15lbs of lean mass by 55. If our weight were to stay exactly the same, that means we would have increased by 15lbs of fat.

• A decrease in metabolism. On average a 2-4% decrease in resting metabolic rate (RMR) each decade after 25. Although this doesn’t seem like much, it really adds up.

• Overestimating how well we eat/Underestimating our intake of indulgences or foods that generally don’t help us.

• Inactivity/sedentary lifestyles. Never before in history have humans sat down so often (i.e. TV, eating, work, driving, etc.).

• Hormonal changes (i.e. menopause, andropause).

• Inability to train intensely due to growing injury/mobility concerns.

• Medications. 

• and more.

Tackling one’s health and fitness goals takes a multi-faceted approach (nutrition, fitness, lifestyle, etc.), but the path to success in anything starts with one step. Below we outline 3 actions you can take today that will help you to reduce “the middle-age bulge”.

1. Eat lean protein and vegetables at every meal (focus on breakfast for even better results).

This is a foundational habit that we teach all of our members. To see change now and in the long run, master the basics first. By eating protein and vegetables at every meal you can see a dramatic change in your waist line.

Here are 2 reasons why you will want to implement this into your daily routine.

• Increased Thermic Effect of Feeding (TEF). BLOG IMAGE 3 Ways to Reduce the -Middle Age Bulge- Calories Out

When we ingest food, our digestive system must work to break it down, absorb and assimilate its nutrients. This work has a cost in calories. The amount of calories burned in this process is referred to as the Thermic Effect of Feeding (TEF). In other words, eating itself can increase your metabolism. Protein and vegetables are at the top of the TEF scale. Having protein and vegetables at every meal will help you burn more calories almost immediately.

• Steady blood sugar levels.

Keeping blood sugar levels steady can help to improve insulin sensitivity and help with your overall food quality and quantity throughout the day. Imagine a day of work where you aren’t hungry. You’re not thinking of food and craving the homemade cookies that your co-worker brought to the office this morning. You go into lunch and dinner calm and ready to enjoy a slow paced and relaxed meal (as opposed to scarfing down every last bit on your plate and going for seconds).

Eating lean protein and vegetables at every meal can lead you towards this kind of eating. Not having these at each meal, can potentially keep you hungry through the day, craving foods you know you probably shouldn’t eat and even cause you to overeat without realizing it.

Lean Protein All-Stars;

• Red meat

• poultry

• lean pork cuts

• wild game

• fish/seafood

• eggs

• plant-based proteins (beans, lentils, tofu, etc.)

Non-Starchy Vegetables:

• Leafy greens (spinach, swiss chard)

• carrots

• tomatoes

• zucchini

• broccoli

• bell peppers

• cauliflower

• asparagus

• etc.

BONUS TIP: Have an unconventional breakfast that includes a harder to digest protein and vegetables for even better results. This might be a challenge for most people but will certainly deliver results.

Think this idea is crazy? Try the more conventional option. If you’re ready to challenge yourself and try something new, try taking off “a big chunk”.

• Ready to take off a big chunk:

1-2 palm sized lean steak cut.

1-2 fists of stir fried vegetables or spinach salad

• Something more conventional:

2-3 egg omelette with 1-2 fists of vegetables (spinach, tomatoes, onions, garlic, asparagus, etc.)

(Please note that we have not discussed carbohydrate or healthy fat consumption. This would be a topic for another conversation altogether. At Evertrain we do not necessarily advocate low-carb diets as a long-term solution.)

Do a quick audit of one week’s intake of calorie drinks. It’s not uncommon to see an extra day(or two)’s worth of calories that come from drinks alone.

2. Drink calorie-free drinks. 

Although we are not big believers in counting calories as a means to predict weight-loss, it is important to know the basics of calories in vs. calories out.

BLOG IMAGE 3 Ways to Reduce the -Middle Age Bulge-.pngIn other words, if you’re taking in more calories than you are burning you might find it challenging to lose inches around the waist.

What you really want to do is make sure that the calories that you take in are actually helping, not hurting your efforts. If losing inches around your waist is a goal, you want to be eating mostly nutrient dense foods that are lower in calories compared to calorie dense foods that are lower in nutrients.

Most drinks with calories (we’re not referring to smoothies that replace a meal), are low in nutrients and high calories. And more often than not, these calories are not helping your efforts to thin down your waist line.

Making the Move to Calorie Free Drinking

For most people this is a big challenge. So if you’re not ready for this drastic of a change, even small changes can go a long way. It doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing.

For example, if you are used to having 2 large coffees per day with 2 creams and 2 sugars, try a measurable and consistent decrease.

•Aim for 2 mediums per day.

•Aim for 1 cream and 1 sugar.

•Replace sugar with a natural sweetener like stevia.

•Try 1 or 2 days in the week where you drink herbal tea instead.

If you’re really ambitious and want to see big changes, move from calorie drinks to drinks like herbal tea (with nothing added), black coffee, and water.

At the end of the day, the calories we take in from these calorie drinks are not helping us move closer to our goals. If you want to see a reduction in the inches around your waist, this is usually one of the fastest ways to see change.

3. Reduce/eliminate foods that your body doesn’t agree with. 

Food allergies, intolerances and gut health problems are extremely common. Symptoms can pop-up in several forms such as; bloating, gas, discomfort, etc. To add to this, by eating foods our body doesn’t agree with we are causing damage to our intestinal tract. With time this will lead to a host of other problems.

Copy of BLOG IMAGE 3 Ways to Reduce the -Middle Age Bulge- Food Intolerances

Some of the most common food allergies in adults are;

• eggs

• dairy

• tree nuts

• peanuts

• seafood/shellfish

• wheat

• etc.

It can be hard to figure out which foods your body disagrees with. The best way to do this is to collect data, analyze and make an outcome based decision.

For example, if you suspect that dairy is causing you to feel gassy, bloated and may be preventing your fat-loss goals, collect some data.

1. Take notes of how you feel after eating anything that contains dairy for 3-7 days. Write down anything you think can be related (emotional, physical, mental). You can’t be too detailed.

2. Observe what you wrote down. 

3. Analyze the data you’ve collected (i.e. my digestion is completely off whenever I eat cheese).

4. Make an outcome based decision. In other words, based on the objective information you now have, make a conscious decision on what to do next (i.e. reduce my dairy intake to on occasions). 

Many of the clients we’ve worked with either didn’t know they had food intolerances or knew and chose to simply not address them. Once we worked on reducing or eliminating their intake of these foods, we noticed a big decrease in inches around the waist.

This was for 2 reasons;

1. With improved gut health, they were able to better digest, absorb and assimilate nutrients. This led to losing belly fat.

2. They were simply less bloated.

Consistency is the Key

It’s important to know that any change you choose to make, has to be done consistently to have the desired effect. We recommend taking one of these habits and doing it every day for 2-4 weeks. Then once you’ve gotten this down pat, layer on another (just make sure you don’t stop doing the previous one). Overtime you’ll begin to add new habits that will actually last and become the new norm.

Committed to Your Success,

The Evertrain Team

Evertrain Lifestyles Inc. is an Ottawa based fitness and nutrition coaching business that specializes in working with people over 50 looking for a long-term solution to their health and fitness goals. Their coaches are passionate about teaching their members about the importance of safe, injury-free exercise and creating habits that last. www.evertrainlifestyles.com

Do You Need a New Workout Routine to Reach Your Goals?

Blog TItle DO YOU NEED A WORKOUT ROUTINE...

Looking for a new workout routine?

Is a new workout routine the missing link? Is it the one thing that will finally set you up for success?

Have you thought about what you need to reach your goals in both the short and longterm? More often than not, what we think we need and what we actually need don’t entirely match up. What do most people need to not only get there but stay there?

This post will explore these questions and give you an answer that we think, might clear up a lot of confusion and hopefully in turn, provide an “aha” moment and set you on a path to success for the longterm.

We get many inquiries from people who are only looking for a routine or program to follow. It seems as though, in their mind this is all they need to finally get to the place they want to be.

As you may already know, we are coaching business. We’re coaches first and foremost.

Don’t get us wrong, we provide workout programs that are designed to get you great results, all while keeping you injury-free and allowing you to continually make progress for years to come. This is no small feat and it has taken us years of experience and loads of education and travel across North America to be able to provide the kinds of programs that we offer.

But we’re coaches, not program designers… For a reason.

When we tell these people about what we do and how we do it, we sometimes get resistance (which is completely normal and okay). They tell us that they don’t need the coaching, nutrition and even constant program updates. We often hear that they are very self-motivated (which is most likely true) and that they just need a simple routine to follow.

If we knew that a simple routine would get you to where you want, we would be giving out workout routines to everyone. If this was all you needed, we wouldn’t spend all the extra time and effort on providing the extra support and care that we do.
We pride ourselves in being a complete health, fitness and lifestyle solution that is committed to creating long-term change. You might want to call us lifestyle coaches.

(FUN FACT: This idea is why we chose the name Evertrain Lifestyles Inc., instead of Evertrain Fitness or Evertrain Personal Training.)

This is because we’ve seen time and time again, countless people go through the unfortunate cycle of “on-again off-again fitness failure”.

If this were us, it would drive us nuts!

Trying something over and over and getting back to the same place we started or sometimes worse would be pretty discouraging.

If this isn’t you, great! We are happy that this is the case. But we’re sure you know someone who has dealt with this common issue.

Why long-term success is so elusive.

It could be said that this concept alone of on-again off-again behaviour, was the driving force for us to start our business.

We wanted to ensure that people not only reach their goals, but have learned what it takes to actually maintain them for life! (and of course, this takes time and a whole lot more than a workout routine)

This is what we work so hard to provide people with. Seeing our members reach their goals in a healthy, injury-free sustainable way, then reach the point where they know they can maintain them for the rest of their life is what brings us the most joy.

So you may be wondering, do we provide workout routines?

Yes, we do.

  • We provide what we think are some of the best workout routines for men and women over 50.
  • Routines that constantly evolve to suit your ever-changing fitness level.
  • Routines that are easier when they need to be and are harder when they need to be.
  • Routines that are designed to get you from point A (where you start) to point B (your goals).
  • Routines that prioritize quality before quantity. Not the other way around.
  • Routines that will not only heal injuries and make you stronger, but they’ll help you unlock the potential you didn’t even know you had.

If it were about just that, we would provide just that. But even the best designed workout routine is incomplete.

In our time in this industry we’ve learned that; nutrition coaching (not a simple meal plan), lifestyle change (aka habit change), injury prevention/navigation and stress management/recovery are just as important IF NOT MORE IMPORTANT than the actual workout routine itself.

This means that, even with a good workout plan to follow many people;

  • don’t change their nutrition habits in a way that helps them reach their goals
  • aren’t managing stress well enough
  • are not recovering well enough to train the way they want (intensely)
  • are not sure how to deal with current or growing injury concerns
  • haven’t seriously addressed the appropriate lifestyle changes to reach their goals now and in the long run…

Since most if not all goals include more than just exercise, as you can probably see a workout plan isn’t enough to overcome all of these other factors.

“…even the best designed workout routine is incomplete.”

So we want to ask you some questions…

Is a new workout routine going to be the big game changer you need?

Or would you prefer a more complete solution that helps you not only reach your goals, but maintain them for life?

The Big Secret to Health and Fitness Mastery

We’re going to let you in on a big secret. One that a lot of people don’t necessarily enjoy hearing. Instead most of us would much prefer to find the new fitness trend/diet/piece of equipment that is going to solve our problems. (It’s a bit of a comfort zone thing)

But reaching your health and fitness goals for life is about 10% fitness and nutrition…

The other 90% of the equation is…

…your life.

Your food and your fitness = your life. The way you live your life will dictate your approach to eating and exercise.

  • If you are busy person who rushes around everywhere you go, you will probably rush eating and over eat, eat out a lot, etc. You’ll probably rush through exercise or not do it at all.
  • If you are a person who always puts others first, you will probably put others first which leaves little time for your food choices and fitness time.
  • If you’re a person who seeks instant gratification, you will probably try fitness or diet fads that promise a lot in little time and will struggle with longterm success.

These are merely a few examples of how your life effects your food and fitness. The point is the way you live your life will mirror your food and your fitness.

People often overlook key factors like;

  • your own identity (how you see yourself, this is a big one)
  • your environment (what’s in your kitchen or at your work place)
  • your social circle (how the people you spend the most time with impact you)
  • your stress response (what do you do when life gets stressful?)
  • injury history (how can you heal your body so that you can exercise injury free?)

Addressing factors like these (and others), will allow you to see success in both the short and long-term.

So let’s look at the question in the title of this blog post

Question: Do You Need a New Workout Routine to Reach Your Goals?

Answer: You might. But for most people who are not currently where they want to be with their health and fitness, what they really need is a complete health, fitness and lifestyle solution. 

“…reaching your health and fitness goals for life is about 10% fitness and nutrition…”

Addressing some of the bigger picture things in your life might take time. It might take more effort at first. It might get you outside of your comfort zone.

But it will, in the long run, save you time and effort with less failed attempts and allow you to grow more than you probably ever thought you could.

At Evertrain this is what we preach with our members. Fitness and nutrition are only part of the overall equation.

We hope that this blog post helps you to take the leap towards making the big changes you need to make to not only reach your goals, but maintain them for life!

Don’t know where to start?

Contact us today for a no obligation phone call. If you’d simply like get more information about our programs (including our upcoming FitAfter50 Kickstart Program) and how we can help you or you simply want to ask a few questions on how you can get started on your own, let us know. Call us at 613-295-8080 or email at info@evertrainlifestyles.com

Yours in health,

The Evertrain Team

 

Want to Lose Weight, Control Hunger and Boost Energy Levels? A Simple Tip You Already Know. But Are You Doing It?

logo-cropped

By Evertrain Lifestyles Inc.

Your grandma was right. Eat your vegetables.

We coach our clients to eat colourful fruits and/or vegetables at every meal. Fruits and vegetables are a staple food in almost any diet because they are nutrient dense and low in calories.

They also contain many important micronutrients like vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. These are not only essential for everyday functions (i.e. metabolism, immune system), but research has shown links to obesity, cardiovascular disease and other diseases in those with vitamin and mineral deficiencies. To add to that (although more research is needed), phytochemicals help to fight off cancer and other diseases.

If that wasn’t enough to win you over, fruits and vegetables are high in fibre. By increasing your fruit and vegetable intake you will better be able to regulate blood sugar levels (more sustained energy throughout the day) and stay fuller longer (which will help you to maintain a healthy body weight).

How much do I need?

Canada’s Food Guide suggests 7-10 servings for men and women between the ages of 19-50 and 7 servings for anyone over 50. An optimal amount is 10-12 servings of colourful fruit and vegetables per day. As a bare minimum, aim for at least 5 servings per day.

How much is a serving?

The easiest and most practical way of measuring a serving is to use your fist.

1 fist = 1 serving.

Shoot for 2-4 servings per meal to more easily hit your goal of 10-12 per day.

QUICK TIP:

If fat-loss is your goal, maintain a ratio of 5:1 vegetables to fruits. Although fruit is considered a healthy option, they are high in energy and sugars. So in other words, we don’t want to stop eating fruit, but you do want to maintain a certain ratio if you’re looking to lose fat.

What counts as a colourful fruit/vegetable?

Colourful fruits;

  • raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, etc.
  • apples
  • oranges
  • pears
  • pineapple
  • bananas
  • etc.

Colourful vegetables;

  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • asparagus
  • zucchini
  • bell peppers
  • spinach
  • kale
  • swiss chard
  • onions, garlic
  • radicchio
  • green beans
  • brussels sprouts
  • etc.

What about corn, Potatoes, Lentils, etc.?

Don’t count foods like corn, potatoes, rice, etc. towards this. These grains and starchy carbs fit into a separate category we like to call smart carbs. That’s a topic for another blog post.

What if I don’t like vegetables?

You need to learn how to cook better…

Once you do, you’ll find many ways to enjoy vegetables. You probably just need to expand your repertoire.

Different ways to cook vegetables;

  • raw
  • steamed
  • baked
  • roast
  • stir fried
  • grilled
  • in shakes
  • salads
  • in omelettes.

QUICK TIP:

Some of our clients find it tough to fit 10-12 servings into their day. Here are some ways we like sneaking in more vegetables;

  • throw in an extra handful of spinach (or 2) into your smoothie (you wont even notice it)
  • eat raw vegetables as snacks with hummus or guacamole
  • use powdered veggies greens between meals.
  • Completely fill your morning omelette up with veggies.

But wait, can’t I just get the same benefits from supplements?

The answer is no. Although supplements are handy at times, they should never be a replacement for whole foods. The vitamins and minerals found in supplements are counterfeit versions of what nature designed for us. The impact of these micronutrients from food are shown to have a much greater impact on our health than that which comes from supplements.

Also, it is believed that most micronutrients work best in combination with other micronutrients that are conveniently found in whole foods. Supplements should simply fill the voids from our daily food intake. First work to improve what you eat, then start looking at supplements.

One more thing.

Fruit and vegetable crops found today are not what they once were. With mass production comes depleted soils. Soils that haven’t had the chance to replenish produce crops with less vitamin and mineral content.

So a head of broccoli decades ago, would be more beneficial than one today. That is one reason why some have made the argument that we simply need to eat more fruits and vegetables.

Take aways

Everyone is starting from a different place. First work your way up to 5 servings per day, consistently. Then try adding in another serving every week or so until you get up to the desired 10-12 servings.

Find ways to be creative with how you cook and prepare your fruits and vegetables and you’ll enjoy them much more. Not only that but your body will thank you for it and it will reward you with more energy, less hunger cravings and looser fitting clothes.

Committed to your success,

The Evertrain Team

Evertrain Lifestyles Inc. provides fitness and nutrition coaching to men and women over 50. Whether your goal is to lose weight, rehabilitate from injury or get stronger, we can help you reach your goals. Contact us today by emailing us or visiting our website www.evertrainlifestyles.com.