Profile picture – Gravatar

In case you were wondering how to get a profile picture and make your profile personal around here. Use Gravatar.

What Is Gravatar?

 

An “avatar” is an image that represents you online—a little picture that appears next to your name when you interact with websites.

A Gravatar is a Globally Recognized Avatar. You upload it and create your profile just once, and then when you participate in any Gravatar-enabled site, your Gravatar image will automatically follow you there.

Gravatar is a free service for site owners, developers, and users. It is automatically included in every WordPress.com account and is run and supported by Automattic.

https://en.gravatar.com

Lifestyle Patterns Rather Than Strict Dieting.

A number of studies have shown that the most triggering behavior pattern change is the focus on individual’s lifestyle all together rather than just on a diet or exercise alone. Once lifestyle patterns are identified, individual behaviors can be applied to a diet, physical activity and weight loss in general.

Throughout a lifetime dietary intake and physical activity are lifestyle behaviors, which are learned, developed, and applied. These lifestyle habits are playing a major role in health and quality of life. We all know that despite highly promoted benefits of behavior change, it could be extremely challenging to actually make a change. It gets even harder to correct societal misperception, as we are aging, obesity and diseases can’t be avoided. Which is maybe even a bigger hurdle than overcoming a prominent cultural message.

Further, any activity such ag group classes or gyms, running or walking groups, painting or gardening, cooking clubs or even volunteering proved to work in improving health and well-being. This was reported by a group of people with long-term conditions. Seems that the key to success was a ‘Link Worker’ who directed participants of the study to select their activity, and supported them every step of the way.

 

References:

Bardach, S., Howell B., Schoenberg N. (2015). What Motivates Older Adults to Improve Diet and Exercise Patterns? J Community Health. Retrieved August 10, 2017 from: http://eds.a.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.montclair.edu:2048/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=2&sid=a73ddc1a-5f4e-4ea9-a89d-844ccd8347a7@sessionmgr4010

Fuglestad, P., Jeffery, R., Sherwood, N. (2012). Lifestyle patterns associated with diet, physical activity, body mass index and amount of recent weight loss in a sample of successful weight losers. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical ActivityRetrieved August 10, 2017 from: https://ijbnpa.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1479-5868-9-79

Newcastle University. (2017, July 17). A prescription of activities shown to improve health and well-being. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 10, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170717091048.htm

 

Website Fix

Some of you noticed that when they click on message, they get redirected to an image. It is unfamiliar bug to software developer, and they are working tirelessly on fixing it.

Sincere apologies,

FitEffort Team

A Brief Orientation To FitEffort Group

On FitEffort website, you get 2 options:

“Registration” is necessary to be able to login into the group.

Please check your junk box for confirmation email, in case you don’t think you’ve got one. It happens quite often.

Once you’ve completed registration, “Login” is the next step. You get this image, which may seem confusing for a second. You may or may not have wordpress and it is irrelevant. It is just the way our platform chose to promote itself.

Please click: “Login with username and password” on the bottom, it is highlighted.

When you’re logged in, there are many more menu options. First is “Activity”. In “Activity” menu there are “Messages” and “Notification”, these are pretty self explainatory.

In “Activity” there are many other options, after you click on it, of course. Look at it as the mix of social media accounts you’re already using. Hopefully. 🙂

Friends! Do not forget to make friends, since it’s the only option to see their updates, by clicking on “Friends” in your menu.

“Groups” – join or create your own.

“Mentions” – Twitter like option (ex. @fiteffort2) where you can tag your friends.

Did you know that you can upload Profile and/or Background picture/s? All you have to do is click on “Profile” in your menu option and you’ll get the options to “Change Profile Photo” and “Change Cover Image”.

At the end you’ll see SNC Account option, which is an upgrade. It is up to you whether you want to join it or not. It has materials for 10 counseling session, where your client will get charged at least $50 per half hour, plus a bonus one. In this package we have also included one year group membership, which usually costs $49 per month. SNC account is an educational account and will discuss the program only. Click on SNC Membership to register.

The goal is to create a community of health professionals exchanging their information. Please remember it.

So very glad to see you here!

 

Should You Count Calories For Fat Loss?

When it comes to losing weight, all that people seem to think about are calories. They will obsess over the numbers of calories that they consume, in the belief that reducing them will lead to weight loss. Now whilst this is true, neglecting food quality and focusing only on calorie intake is problematic.
You don’t need a nutritionist or expert health professional to tell you that a 100 calorie banana is more beneficial for your health than a 100 calorie cookie. However, when looking in more depth at structuring a diet for fat loss, we need to look at each of the three macronutrients, and their place in your nutrition program.
Carbohydrates
One of the most controversial of these 3 macronutrients is carbohydrate. There is a lot of evidence showing that decreasing carbohydrate consumption and increasing protein and/or unsaturated fat consumption may increase insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance, both of which will benefit your fat loss efforts. However, cutting out carbohydrates altogether – as many diets advocate – is not a good idea.
Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of energy, help to maintain proper cognitive function, and are crucial for optimal athletic performance, particularly in endurance sports. When it comes to improving body composition however, carbohydrate choice is key. Sugary sources of carbohydrate like chocolate and biscuits provide little nutritional value. They cause a rapid rise of the hormone insulin and may leave you feeling hungry, tired, and craving more sugar.
If improved body composition is your aim, these kinds of foods should be avoided. Better choices of carbohydrate include whole grains like brown rice, bulgar wheat, oats and quinoa, amongst others. These grains are high in fiber, which helps to improve satiety and may help to reduce daily calorie intake.
Protein
The role that protein plays in improving body composition is vital. It helps to repair muscle tissue, which is damaged during exercise, and increases thermogenesis (amongst a number of other vital functions).
Sources of dietary protein are known either as complete, or incomplete, depending on whether they contain each of the 9 essential amino acids. Complete sources of protein include animal based foods like meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy.
An incomplete protein is one that is low in essential amino acids. Two or more of these incomplete sources of protein can be combined in one meal to boost the amino acid profile of that meal. Combining legumes and grains – like hummus and bread, and rice and beans – will produce a complete protein.
Fat
Finally, we get to fat, which has recently become a hotly debated topic. Various studies have established a correlation between fat intake and heart disease, as well as stroke risk. However, that doesn’t mean that you should eliminate all fat from your diet –you just need to pay close attention to the kind of dietary fat that you are consuming.
Monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat and omega-3 fatty acids are considered good fats. In fact, Omega-3 fats appear to decrease the risk of coronary artery disease. On the other hand, diets rich in saturated fat and trans fat, both of which are labeled as ‘bad fats’, raise blood cholesterol concentration and contribute to the clogging of arteries. Clogged arteries will block oxygen-rich blood flow to the heart and brain. So when it comes to dietary fat, remember that quality counts.
Structuring Your Diet
The exact structure of the diet that you follow will be influenced by a number of different factors, including your current weight, your lifestyle, and your goals. But regardless of what you want to achieve, it is important to recognize that calories are only part of a bigger picture.
Consuming 2000 calories a day from only carbohydrate will yield very different body composition results compared to a diet that is properly structured and contains each of the three macronutrients in ratios specific to you. Calories do play an important role in a diet, but for proper health and improved body composition, focus on food quality and a well-balanced and structured diet.
References:
1.) Acheson, K. (2010). Carbohydrate for weight and metabolic control: Where do we stand? Nutrition. 26(2). Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com.ezproxy.montclair.edu:2048/science/article/pii/S0899900709002949
2.) Lejeune, M. Westerterp-Plantenga, M. (2005). Protein intake and body-weight regulation. Appetite. 45(2). Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com.ezproxy.montclair.edu:2048/science/article/pii/S0195666305000498
3.) Slavin, J. (2005). Dietary Fiber and Body Weight. Nutrition. 21 (3). Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com.ezproxy.montclair.edu:2048/science/article/pii/S0899900704003041
4.) Willett, W. (2010). The Great Fat Debate: Total Fat and Health. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 111 (5). Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com.ezproxy.montclair.edu:2048/science/article/pii/S0002822311002926

Will Extreme Diets Help You Lose Weight?

With so many different diets and nutrition programs available these days, it can be difficult to figure out which strategy you should adopt to get the results that you want. Some diets claim that carbs are deadly, whilst others advocate a complete avoidance of all dairy products.
The fact is that the majority of these diets promote extreme methods that are not sustainable in the long run. There are no quick fixes or magic pills to guarantee you results, but there certainly are nutritional approaches that will help to maximize your results.
The focus here is on health and making healthy food choices. But first, lets have a look at some of the most popular diets and why they don’t make the best choice if sustainable results are what you are after.
The Atkins Diet
Extremely low carb diets like the Atkins diet do seem to work well in the short term, but because they advocate a complete removal of carbohydrates from the diet, sustainability is an issue. Any diet that completely removes one of the three macronutrients (carbohydrate, fat or protein) should be approached with caution, and the fact that the Atkins diet comes with a warning that those following it may experience weakness, fatigue and leg cramps speaks volumes.
Moreover, very low carbohydrate, or ‘ketogenic’ diets have been shown to be inferior to diets that contain a more balanced ratio of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. A large study was performed comparing ketogenic diets (high protein and high fat, zero carb diets) with non-ketogenic, moderately low carbohydrate diets. The ketogenic diet was associated with an increase in harmful LDL cholesterol.
In addition, the ketogenic diet showed no metabolic advantage over the non-ketogenic diet and those participants following it had less energy than those on the higher carb diet. It does become clear then, that there is little benefit of completely removing carbohydrates from your diet.
The Paleo Diet
Another very popular diet at the minute is the Paleo diet. If you can’t go a day without eating meat, then you may think that this is the perfect diet for you. The diet is based on that of our Palaeolithic ancestors, and focuses on lean meats, seafood, non-starchy vegetables and fruit. Dairy products, grains, legumes, and all other processed foods are to be strictly avoided.
Sustainability is therefore an issue, as are certain micronutrient deficiencies. With all dairy products removed from the diet, it can be difficult to consume enough calcium when following a Paleo lifestyle. Vitamin B6 – found in grains, might also be an issue for those on the diet, who will struggle to meet their requirement for this micronutrient through the consumption of lean protein alone.
A Better Approach…
The problem with extreme nutritional approaches like those highlighted above, is that they only work for a short period of time. Many people will struggle to follow the rigid structure of these diets, and will quickly fall back into their old habits.
Small but sustainable changes are a better place to start. Focus on consuming plenty of whole foods, which will improve satiety and are naturally rich in vitamins and minerals. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables, and try to limit processed junk food as much as possible. Unless you are lactose intolerant, there is no need to avoid dairy. It is rich in calcium and other micronutrients that help to support good health.
If you are looking to maximize your results, then there are a number of other factors that you will need to consider, like nutrient timing and your macronutrient ratios. However these more advanced nutritional strategies should be put in place only once you have the basics covered. Get these right and you will set yourself up for long-term success.
References:
1.) Denny, S. (2013). Should We Eat Like Our Caveman Ancestors? Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Retrieved from http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6442471551
2.) Foreyt, J. (2012). The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet: Smart, Simple, Science-Based Strategies for Losing Weight and Keeping it Off. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 96(3). Retrieved from http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/96/3/681.full
3.) Heimowitz, C. Trager, S (2007). The All-New Atkins Advantage. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. http://www.eatright.org/Media/content.aspx?id=10507#.UmsQZiSxM7I
4.) Heller, M. (2013). The Dash Diet Eating Plan. Retrieved from: http://dashdiet.org/
5.) Hutchins, H. Johnston, C. Sears, B. Swan, P. Tjonn, S. White, A. (2006). Ketogenic low-carbohydrate diets have no metabolic advantage over non-ketogenic low-carbohydrate diets. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 83(5). Retrieved from: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/83/5/1055.abstract

Are Low Fat Diets Good For Fat Loss?

 

Until fairly recently, low fat diets were hailed as the best thing for weight loss. They were widely recommended to those looking to lose weight, and proved to be so popular that the food industry soon began mass-producing a whole range of low-fat foods. However just like all of the other quick fixes out there, these low fat diets aren’t all that they are cracked up to be. Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
The low fat foods that proved to be so popular amongst dieters often contained the same, if not more calories than their full fat versions. These calories came from refined grains, sugar and even salt. In other words, low quality carbohydrates replaced fat. So in an effort to dispel the myth that low-fat diets are great for weight loss, this article is going to look a little deeper at what lies behind the scary word fat. It will look at the different types of dietary fat that we consume, which types of fat are to be avoided, and which will help to improve both your general health and weight loss efforts.
Cholesterol
This is believed to be one of the worst kinds of dietary fat, though in actual fact studies show it is essential for a number of metabolic reactions, and is a key structural component of our cells. Our bodies use 100% of the cholesterol that it needs – it is only when we consume an excessive amount of it from animal products like meat, eggs and cheese that it begins to build up and clog our arteries.
Trans Fat
Trans unsaturated fatty acids are bad fat and should largely be avoided. They are usually found in foods that have been through the process of hydrogenation – so things like commercially baked goods, frozen breaded foods and spreads like margarine.
Saturated Fat
Studies show that saturated fatty acids should also be avoided. These are often found in various animal products like meat, poultry, and dairy, as well as in tropical plant oils like coconut oil, palm kernel oil, or palm oil.
Polyunsaturated Fat
Polyunsaturated fats are another source of good fats. These can be found in seeds, nuts, soy and corn. The polyunsaturated fats Omega 3 and Omega 6 are particularly important. Omega 3 is found in foods like walnuts, flaxseeds and salmon; whilst Omega 6 is found in soybean, corn, and safflower oils. These fatty acids help to clean our arteries, and on top of that, Omega 3 fats have a positive impact on immune function.
Linoleic and Alpha-Linolenic Acids
These are what are known as essential fatty acids, meaning that they have to be obtained from food because our bodies cannot produce them. These fats are found in various cooking oils, flaxseed, as well as in nuts, soybean, cottonseed and sunflower seeds.
So there we go, a brief rundown of the importance that fat plays in your diet. If however, after all of that you are still not convinced about the dangers of a low-fat diet, then consider the importance of the fat soluble vitamins A,D, K and E. The body cannot absorb these without fat, and they play a number of important functions within the body that help to support good health:
• Vitamin A, which is found in any orange colored fruit or vegetable helps with vision. Deficiencies in this vitamin can cause night blindness.
• Vitamin D is needed for calcium absorption, which is crucial for our bone health.
• When the sun is shining you don’t have to worry too much about vitamin D, but during the cold and dark winter months, don’t forget to fill your refrigerator with mushrooms. These are high in vitamin D, which plays a number of important roles within the body.
• Vitamin E is an important antioxidant that protects cells. It can be found in various cooking oils, and avocados.
• Vitamin K is vital for blood coagulation, which prevents excessive bleeding. Green leafy vegetables like kale have been shown to be a great source of this vitamin.
So unless you fancy being a weak boned, shortsighted individual who is prone to excessive bleeding, you should ensure that you are consuming enough of these vitamins in your diet.
If that image alone wasn’t enough to convince you of the benefits of fat, then consider the role that it plays in digestion. Although fat is higher in calories than either carbohydrate or protein, it takes a lot longer to digest. This means that you will feel satisfied for a long period of time and will be less likely to snack or overeat. Obviously you need to strike a balance, and fat should be included as part of a healthy, well-rounded diet. However, consuming about 20-30% of your daily calories from fat is a good idea, provided that they come from sources of good fat like Omega 3.
References:
1. CDC (2012) Nutrition for Everyone http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/fat/unsaturatedfat.html
2. Harvard School of Public Health. (2012) Fats and Cholesterol: Out with the Bad, In with the Good. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/fats-full-story/
3. Cavallini, G. De Marinis, E. Donati, A. Marino, M. Martini, C. Pallottini, V. Strainier, S. Trentalance, A. (2008) Omega-3 as well as caloric restriction prevent the age-related modifications of cholesterol metabolism. Mechanisms of Ageing and Development. 129 (12). 722-727. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047637408001814
4. Millington, K. Reed, C. Simpson, S. The health benefits of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids: a review of the evidence. (2004) Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics; 17, 449–459. http://ehis.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?sid=5f028249-51e4-43b6-9ab2-90931480ce16%40sessionmgr198&vid=1&hid=116&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=a9h&AN=25233540
5. Mayo Clinic. (2013) Drugs and Supplements. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/drug-information/DrugHerbIndex
6. Chang, H. Cooper, J. Kozimor, A. Effects of dietary fatty acid composition from a high fat meal on satiety. (2013) Apetite. 69, 39-45. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195666313001979