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sloan hemmer

Body

Fitness Plateau? Check Your Plate

July 2, 2015
planking

Sloan Hemmer (photo above) discusses the REAL reason you can’t seem to lose those last few pounds.

One of THE most common question/complaints I hear in my job as physical trainer is, “I can’t lose those last 5-10 pounds”.  Issues and frustrations you may be having with your fitness regimen most often, like 99.9% of the time, stem from your diet and not what you are or aren’t doing in the gym.

Here is the situation, you are dedicated, you workout and you workout hard.  You have been a good student and have stuck with it but you aren’t seeing the results you want. I can’t say it more profoundly than this, so I’ll put it in bold letters;) you are eating too much and possibly not eating the good stuff that will get you there.

Here are my tips for breaking fitness plateaus and dropping those last 5-10 pounds.

Eat Clean

This means drinking lots and lots of water, eating lean proteins, healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, lots and lots of fruits and vegetables of all different colors with all different kinds of texture, eating complex carbohydrates, nuts and seeds. DITCH most of the processed foods with refined sugars and eliminate white carbohydrates. . OK, don’t panic, you can slowly reintroduce small portions of your favorites, once you’ve lost the weight.

Journal

I can’t impress upon you how important this is especially if you have specific weight loss and fitness goals.  If you like to write, get a pen and paper and write down every morsel that passes your lips along with how much you are exercising.  If you are on the go, there are several great apps; my favorite is My Fitness Pal.It is convenient, doesn’t take much time and has a lot of great tools to assist you.

Set Goals

This is crucial to your success! Write them down and revisit them on a daily basis. This isn’t a hobby-it’s your life. Step up. Create a vision board with your desired weight – don’t stop looking at it –until you see it on the scale. Set  short-term goals (week/months) and long-term goals (1 year or longer).

Change it up

When it comes to your fitness regimen you won’t make the gains you want to if you are constantly doing the same thing. Change is important and change keeps you from getting bored. You might actually discover something you love to do and just never knew it!  Try a class, go outside, buddy up or incorporate interval training!

Nourish

Why is Breakfast So Important?

June 14, 2015
pastries

Burning fat just got easier! According to a study out of University of Northumbria, people who exercise before breakfast burn 20% more fat than those who eat breakfast before working out!

Besides this good news – nutrition expert Sloan Hemmer expands on why it’s important to east breakfast and what to choose — an NO we pastries didn’t make the cut.

The why is easy; breakfast is what kick starts your metabolism in the morning. If you skip it, your brain and your body doesn’t know when its next meal will happen and requires fewer calories to survive. Result?  You are sluggish and so is your metabolism.

Now for the what to choose.

Breakfast should include four things, protein, carbohydrates, healthy fat and fiber AND it should NOT be your smallest meal of the day. Purdue University researcher Wayne Campbell PhD, says that protein blunts your hunger the most so it is a must.

Sloan’s favorites:
Eggs, eggs, eggs!  It doesn’t have to be fancy and it doesn’t take long.  Make a scramble with veggies on hand and you have a terrific combination of protein, fat, carbs and fiber.  If you are worried about the cholesterol use 1 whole egg and the rest egg whites. Throw a piece of whole grain toast in with it for your complex carbs.
Pre-packaged oatmeal and add in some almonds, walnuts, dried fruit, fresh fruit or stir in a nut butter; the options are endless.
Smoothies! Aim for half veggies, half fruit and add in protein powder or some other type of protein like peanut butter.

On the go?
Make a peanut butter (almond butter, sun butter) and jelly sandwich on whole grain bread.
Grab a handful of almonds (fat & protein) and an apple (fiber and carbs)
Starbucks has two good options available. Oatmeal with fresh blueberries –skip the brown sugar and my personal favorite, spinach and feta breakfast wrap with egg whites. This wrap has 290 cals,19g of protein (awesome!) and 6g of fiber!

Nourish

5 Sweet Treats that Won’t Make You Stupid!

June 10, 2015
doughnut

We all know that too much of any kind of sugar can put us as risk for obesity and obesity related disease but did you know that it might make you stupid too? According to a study conducted at UCLA eating a diet with too much fructose may interfere with memory and learning.

“Our findings illustrate that what you eat affects how you think,” said Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a professor of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a professor of integrative biology and physiology in the UCLA College of Letters and Science. “Eating a high-fructose diet over the long term alters your brain’s ability to learn and remember information.”

Sources of fructose in the Western diet include cane sugar (sucrose) and high-fructose corn syrup, an inexpensive liquid sweetener. The syrup is widely added to processed foods, including soft drinks, condiments, applesauce and baby food. The average American consumes roughly 47 pounds of cane sugar and 35 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup per year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“We’re less concerned about naturally occurring fructose in fruits, which also contain important antioxidants,” explained Gomez-Pinilla, who is also a member of UCLA’s Brain Research Institute and Brain Injury Research Center. “We’re more concerned about the fructose in high-fructose corn syrup, which is added to manufactured food products as a sweetener and preservative.”

None of us want to lose more memory as we age but sometime we just need a little something sweet.  We’ve asked Sloan Hemmer to share her favorite sweet treats. Here are her top picks to be consumed in moderation of course!

My first pick is the Think Thin Bars.  Most of them contain 0% sugar but do contain sugar alcohol. Sugar alcohol does affect blood glucose levels but not nearly as much as sugar.  The drawback is that in some people too much can cause excess gas and bloating.

Cacao Nibs are great because they are full of antioxidants and taste fabulous in yogurts and smoothies!

Remember if you are going to consume a product with dark chocolate, it needs to have 70% or more cacao in it for you to get the benefits of the antioxidants.  Dark chocolate is great because it is rich so you are much more likely to be satisfied after a smaller amount.

Body

Simple Steps to Fight Inflammation

May 6, 2015
hey

The Mayo Clinic’s Brent Bauer, M.D. and Harvard Medical School have come to the same conclusion, inflammation in the body is caused by too much saturated fat, trans fat, sugar and refined white carbohydrates. This imbalance causes fatigue, bodily aches and contributes to illness and disease. While exercising is a key component in fighting inflammation nutrition is even more important as are some of these lifestyle choices.

To decrease inflammation, we have combined information form nutrition expert Sloan Hemmer and lifestyle information from Dr. Dale Breseden of the Buck Institute.

Nutrition:

Omega-3’s such as salmon, oh how I love thee salmon (miracle food), walnuts, soybeans, chia and flax seeds
Dark berries such as blueberries (fruit highest in antioxidants), blackberries, cranberries and pomegranates
Dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach (miracle foods)
Monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, avocados and nuts like walnuts and pistachios
Green tea is not only good for inflammation but has many more health benefits such as lowering your LDL, helping boost your metabolism and fighting obesity due to it’s powerful antioxidant, catechins!

All of the above combined not only help fight inflammation but ultimately helps fight disease, prevent cancer and cognitive decline. As a general rule of thumb, try to consume 3-5 different colors at every meal.

Lifestyle:
• Exercise for at least 30 minutes, at least four times per week.
• Keep your waist size less than 35 inches (for women) or 40 inches (for men).
• Reduce stress. High cortisol levels, associated with stress, damage your brain. Try relaxing walks, yoga, music, etc.
• Get at least 7 hours of sleep each night (preferably 8).
• Optimize hygiene with regular baths or showers, cleaning under nails, regular tooth-brushing with electric toothbrush, routine flossing; some like to clean sinuses, as well. And for a brain teaser, brush your teeth with your non dominate hand. If you are left handed, use your right hand.
• Don’t smoke.