It’s Just Eating, Right? No, It’s Eating Right!

I had an epiphany the other day: There are two kinds of people seeking healthier lifestyles:  The maintainers and the ones who want change. Maybe some of you out there have already come to this conclusion, or maybe this is in a text book somewhere.  As a method to understand gym rats and mall walkers (both terms of endearment :-), I’ve distinguished the two.   

The maintainers want to do just enough to be healthy, such as making healthier food choices and spending minimal amounts of time working out. These people don’t want to start lifting weights or running marathons.  Maybe they are on doctors’ orders due to injury or illness.  Maybe time and the level of activity over the years has taken a toll on their bodies.  They just do enough to keep their heart healthy and their body nutritionally fueled. 

The ones who seek change are either looking to lose weight or are in training.  This could be weight-training, bodybuilding, training for a marathon or a triathlon, to name a few.  Regardless of the reasoning, it is ultimately a life-changing decision with higher goals. 

I am a changer.  I want more out of my body than what I have right now.  A lot of people who know me would ask me “Why” and say “You’re skinny as it is.”  To me, skinny is not strong.  Being thin is not always flattering.  A friend recently said to me, “…thin is not an accurate reflection of what’s on the inside.”  I have been self-conscious about my stick-thin figure since I was a teenager, trying to gain weight to offset the negative view I had of my body (with no luck).  This has been an issue that just keeps aging with me.  So this year I set a goal for myself to take steps towards healthy change. I decided that I would start weight-training with the help of my husband.

Weight-training sounds simple enough.  But it’s not.  Not for me anyway.  I have an ectomorphic body type, which means I have a thin frame and high metabolism and I have a hard time gaining any weight. (Find out your body type here)  What I have to do is increase my carb and protein intake, which sounds simple enough.  It’s just eating, right?  No, it’s about eating right.
 
This leads me to the purpose of this post.  I attended a nutrition workshop a couple of days ago and found it quite interesting.  Much of what I had heard but was unsure of was confirmed for me, and then some.  Reading nutrition labels beyond the sugar and calorie content is no longer a foreign language!

Since sharing is caring, I will share my notes.  My only disclaimer is that I am merely regurgitating what the instructors said.  I’m nowhere near qualified to re-teach, so read on with that in mind.  Do your research.  And find a nutrition workshop or class near you! My thoughts will be added using brackets.
Here we go:

  • Carbohydrates
    1. This should be 50-60% of your total calories
    2. Go for complex carbs (not enriched/processed) which are your whole wheats and whole grains
    3. Fiber helps remove negative cholesterol and it’s better for your heart
  • Protein
    1. This should be 15-20% of your total calories
    2. For someone who is inactive, 0.5-0.8 grams of protein/body weight in pounds
      1. To calculate, you change pounds to kilograms: body weight 180/2.2 = 82kg.  Then 82kg x 0.8 = 65 grams of protein needed
    3. [Of course if you are active, you’re going to need much more protein and carbohydrates, so the calculations will depend on your basal metabolic rate, and weight I believe, among a few other factors.  [Someone correct me here.]
  • Dietary Fat
    1. This should be 25-30% of total calories
    2. These are helpful in absorbing fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E & K
    3. [This is really tricky, to me, because I see the word “fat” and think “no this is unhealthy.”  For the next numbers I will break down what type of fats you should have]
    4. You want unsaturated fats.
    5. You should limit saturated fats.
    6. Avoid trans fats.
  • Vitamins and Minerals
    1. These help to regulate processes in the body.
    2. [You won’t get any energy from vitamins or minerals because they have no calories]
    3. [The body has a certain threshold for storing vitamins and minerals, so anything beyond that threshold will be flushed out]
  • Water Requirements
    1. To calculate, you take your body weight and divide by two (180/2 = 90 ounces)
    2. For a workout, here’s a guide to how much water you should be drinking:
2 hours prior
16oz
10 min prior
4-8oz
During workout
4-8oz
After workout
16-24oz

  • Alcohol
    1. The only thing to keep in mind about alcohol in regards to your intake is that for every gram, you are consuming 7 calories

I have some random notes for you too:
*Remember this for calorie counting:

4 calories per 1 gram of protein
4 calories per 1 gram of carbohydrates
7 calories per 1 gram of alcohol
9 calories per 1 gram of fat

*Your body burns 1200-1500 calories a day at rest. 

*When you do not get enough sleep your cortisol levels rise, and as a reaction to the stress, your body will store more fat.

*Lunch should be your biggest meal [though my hubby says to eat like a king for breakfast, a queen for lunch, and a jack for dinner]

*Wait 20 minutes before getting a second plate

*One pound = 3,500 calories

*Popcorn is a great snack.  It has good carbs and fiber.  [I made note of this because I don’t really like popcorn haha!]

*A leaner body mass increases calorie burn

*You should never diet.  Only a doctor can tell you to diet.  What you should do is modify your nutrition intake.  [Eat colorfully and eat routinely.]

I went to this class with one question in mind: What and how can I eat to benefit my goals with weight-training?  You may have other goals in mind with nutrition.  If you’re looking to lose weight, there is no secret diet;  No secret food or drink to help you lose weight and keep it off.  Do you want to know what will help?

MODERATION.  HEALTHY CHOICES.  STAYING ACTIVE.

No matter what your goals, eating healthy and staying active should be your major concerns.  Just remember that what you put in your body is what you get out of it.

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8 thoughts on “It’s Just Eating, Right? No, It’s Eating Right!

  1. I'm usually a bit weary of 'nutrition' advice these days, as there is so much mis-information out there. These tips though, really a good place to start, especially for anyone who struggles and really does want change. As you said, the key is to “Eat colorfully and eat routinely”! 🙂

    Stopping over from Teach Me Tuesday!

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  2. Thanks for your tips!
    I try hard to make healthy choices. I focus on balancing my meals, making sure I have veggies at every meal along with a grain and protein. Since I have a cooking blog, adding whole grains and cutting down on fats isn't too much of a problem because I rarely eat out.
    I love where you say that fat is not the enemy. I try to use olive oil when I'm sauteing or a blend of olive oil and butter. Avocados and nuts are also favorites that are high in good fats.
    I wouldn't say that I always eat healthy or that I avoid sugar as much as I should, but I try because I want to be healthy and feel good. However, I love sugar. I simply try to eat it in moderation.

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  3. Thanks for sharing your notes. I am excited about the note you said about popcorn being a good snack! Yes! I LOVE popcorn (sorry you don't, maybe you will start to now). Also interesting about waiting 20 minutes before the 2nd plate. Do you remember why that is? (Emily)

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  4. Olive oil is my go-to in the kitchen. I use it for practically everything. I agree, choosing to eat in is probably the first thing one should do when deciding to make a change. I can't eat out now! I feel bad, especially if I go out and buy all these healthy foods and ingredients to make healthier dishes at home. LOVE avocados! And I also love sugar. Waahh!!! But I have been doing an alright job at avoiding them for the past two weeks, until Friday. Heehee! It's a new week though, right?

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  5. I actually found a seasoning for popcorn that is all natural that I might like to try on popcorn! It may soon become a favorite of mine. I can't actually remember for sure, but my somewhat educated guess is that you want to give your body time to adjust and “calculate” afterwards. Do you know what leptin is? It is the hormone that sends feedback to your brain when you have enough “fuel” a.k.a. fat stored within cells. Essentially, it tells your brain when you are full. (Thank you anatomy and physiology!)

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