personal training nutrition

Calorie restriction when meeting with a personal trainer?

Most weight loss begins with calorie reduction.  Depending on your body, you may demand different amounts of calories.  An athlete will demand more calories than the sedentary office worker.  The average person should keep their calorie range between 1300-2000 when losing weight (your starting point and health needs may dictate more calories though).   Over the last 9 years of personal training in Chicago, my clients have successfully lost weight in the 1300-1500 range.

Keep in mind that we find that many people lose weight in the 1300 calorie range but can’t sustain this diet long term.  Anything below this mark could have a reverse effect on your weight.   We want your body to work most efficiently.  If you deprive the body, you may slow its metabolism (to limit calorie expenditure) and reevaluate its hormonal and blood sugar balance.  It’s no surprise that some people either maintain the same weight or gain weight on a drastic reduction such as this.

Either way, if you’ve maintained the same weight for a considerable amount of time, a reduction is needed.  Sometimes cutting 100-500 calories in your diet daily is enough to lose weight.   While meeting with you Chicago personal trainer, always consult with a doctor before following any nutritional advice.

Want to lose weight while personal training? Try Dr. Weil's pyramid.

One of the top reasons Chicago personal training clients have a hard time losing weight is because of inflammation.  While the wrong exercises can lead to injury and inflammation, your diet tends to be the top culprit.  Your common grocery list foods-dairy, meat, alcohol, processed items, refined sugar, and grains-can be your biggest adversary when trying to lose weight.  Each have shown inflammatory properties in many studies and will cause your body to slow its metabolism and possibly experience uncomfortable physical symptoms, such as indigestion.

My suggestion while you meet with your Chicago personal trainer?  Check out Dr. Weil's Anti-imflammatory Diet and Pyramid.  It will guide your food choices and limit any obstructions to your ability to lose weight.

Personal Training Secret: Balance Every Meal!

 Chicago Personal Training Secret:   Balance every meal.  

Are you starving after meeting with your Chicago personal trainer?  Have you ever felt ravished an hour after breakfast?  Something may be missing from your last meal (unless the meal is too small-more calories are needed).  We have lived on the popular notion of carbs in the morning and protein in the night for several years.  Is this truly helping our bodies?  Are we supplying the body with an unbalanced supply of nutrients instead?

Considering that our bodies are creatures of habit (although we don’t always recognize this), we must feed it the nutrients and calories it needs to work efficiently.   For those looking for moderation, a balanced meal of about 25% protein (non-animal or white meat is best because they cause less inflammation in the body-which may slow our metabolism or affect our blood sugar levels) and 75% vegetables (with limited fruits/grains) may satisfy your hunger and convince the body that it isn’t deprived (keep in mind that some people require special needs based on allergies, diseases, deficiencies, etc.-which may change this guideline).  If you must eat a whole grain or all-bran cereal in the morning, add fruit and an egg on the side.  If you love carrots or celery, spread Almond Butter on it and sprinkle raisins on top.  Make every meal-big and small-a perfect combination of fuel for your ideal body weight or weight loss.

Personal Training Secret: Eat Every 3-4 Hours for Weight Loss

 ·         Eat every 3-4 hours.  Why every 3-4 hours?  This span is debatable based on you.  Your calorie intake, energy expenditure, and a list of many other factors influence your need to refuel.  Your goal is to keep our body at sea level-not at a deficit-to work most efficiently.  Otherwise, your body may resort to compensatory measures to overcome its deficits-which may hold your body back from losing weight (and may cause weight gain). 

With this being said, physical assessments including blood sugar level or hormonal tests are needed to truly determine your need.  Is it realistic to check these physical levels every hour?  No.  Instead, you should rely on physical cues-lightheadedness, hunger, etc.  Unfortunately, most of my Chicago personal training clients don’t listen to these cues as well as their dogs (Does your dog nudge you for food at the same time every day?) and usually distract themselves instead (more work).

In hopes of minimizing a nutritional and energy deficiency, I suggest a calorie restricted meal every 3-4 hours.  During that time, you’re allowing your body to efficiently digest the last meal while utilizing it and storing it for energy (and running around for your boss). 

When you are near the 3-4 hour mark, determine your need for food.  You may find that some meals are smaller than others depending on your activity level.  This habit will help establish a frequent eating routine, minimize your tendency to overeat calories, and maintain a homeostatic balance throughout the day.  Always keep your eating routine in mind when approaching your personal training sessions in Chicago.