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Eating for Energy

If You Want to Stay Fat, Keep Counting Calories

 

James Schepmyre, BA

With all the contradictory information available to the public advising them to buy this, count that, weigh this, is it no wonder that obesity rates in North America continue to rise at a staggering rate. Today, you can pick up a fitness magazine, and three different health professionals will give you three completely different opinions on what they think you should be eating. When trying to balance your time with family, friends, husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, exercise, jobs, children, mortgages, and so on, how is one expected to take control of their nutrition as well?

The good news is that it does not have to be that complicated. Recently, the Canadian government passed a law requiring all packaged goods to have easily identifiable nutrition labels on them. This is indeed a step in the right direction, but it does not solve the problem of obesity entirely. When purchasing food at your local grocery store, the real part of the package you should be looking at is the ingredient list. It is this list that will determine whether or not the food you are eating will promote weight loss or impair it.

When the human body is highly acidic, it is very difficult to get rid of fat. Usually, the ingredients label on most packaged goods should tell you whether or not the food you are purchasing is highly acidic. Ingredients such as citric acid and lactic acid for example, are good indicators that a food is highly acidic in nature. In order for the digestive system to function properly, we must achieve an acid/alkaline balance in our bodies. On the14 point pH scale, our bodies should sit at approximately 7.4 (slightly alkaline), in order to function optimally. When proper digestion is occurring in the body, fat loss happens much quicker. A few good alkalizing foods are fruits, vegetables, tofu, almonds, and quinoa. Foods that are acidic in nature are meats, grains, sugar, most nuts, pop, and alcohol.

Other factors that hinder weight loss are over consumption and improper food combining. Most people do not realize it, but they are actually addicted to certain foods. Just like the alcoholic or the drug addict, the food addict is also reluctant to admit that she/he has a problem. We live in a society where people will go out to a restaurant, start off with their beverage of choice (i.e. pop, iced tea, beer, wine, etc.), order an appetizer (chicken wings, calamari, onion rings, fries & gravy, breadsticks, etc.), and then order a gigantic main course (i.e. steak dinner with potatoes and gravy, chicken fettuccini, etc.), and wonder why they are having a hard time losing weight.

On most days, I am usually full after eating one main course during any meal, but if I do not order a beverage and an appetizer when dining at a restaurant, the waiter looks at me with astonishment. I took my girlfriend out to a nice restaurant for her birthday a couple of days ago, and I ordered the works. The house started us off with a healthy serving of their freshly baked bread. I then followed with one beer and a French onion soup to start, and finished it all off with a New York steak, asparagus, broccoli, and mushrooms for the main course. By the time we got though eating all of our food (and it did taste very good mind you), I felt so ill that we ended up having to take a cab home even though we only lived less than a five minute drive away. After we got home, I was exhausted and ended up passing out for a couple of hours.

The point of this story is not to tell you to never eat out again for the rest of your life. We all have friends and family that we enjoy spending time with, and going to a restaurant once in awhile is usually an enjoyable experience. The problem I see is that most people indulge in this type of eating on a regular basis.

In order to keep your metabolism high and burning calories at an optimal rate, you should try to eat about 5-6 times a day (3 meals and 2 snacks or 3 meals and 3 snacks). I understand that everyone does not work a 9-5 schedule, but to keep things simple, your first meal should occur between 6:00am - 8:00am, with your last meal occurring at approximately 7:00pm. You should also try to drink about 1 gallon of water a day, but you can reduce this amount if you are eating a lot of vegetables and fruits, because these foods usually contain a lot of water. Not only does drinking enough water aid in fat loss, but it also aids in having a great complexion. The skin is the largest organ on the human body, so it deserves to be taken care of.

Proper food combining can be just the ticket you are looking for to lose that last 5 to 10 pounds of fat. The 5 main food categories are, starches, fleshes, nuts/seeds/dried fruits, fresh fruits, and vegetables. When foods are properly combined, it allows for easier digestion resulting in additional weight loss. I have provided you with a couple of simple guidelines to follow, as well as a chart giving you examples for four of five the main food groups.

1. Starches should not mix with fleshes, nuts/seed/dried fruits, or fresh fruits

2. Fleshes should not mix with starches, nuts/seeds/dried fruits, or fresh fruits

3. Nuts/seeds/dried fruits should not mix with starches, fleshes, or fresh fruits

4. Fresh Fruits should not mix with starches, fleshes, or nuts/seeds/dried fruits

5. Categories 1-3 can all be mixed with vegetables

6. Category 4 can be mixed with vegetables, but works best on its own

 

STARCHES

FLESHES (FLESH-PROTEIN)

NUTS/SEEDS/DRIED FRUITS (FAT-PROTEIN)

FRESH FRUITS

Whole grain breads

Fish

Raw nuts

Citrus

Brown rice

Eggs

Raw seeds

Bananas

Sweet potatoes

Chicken

Raw, un-sulfured dried fruits

Plums

Avocados

Meat (beef, lamb, pork, etc.)

Mature coconut (small and brown)

Nectarines

Legumes (lentils, cooked peas, beans, etc.)

Game

 

Grapes

Cooked corn

Shellfish

 

Berries

Young coconut (large and green)

Raw cheese

 

Other fruits

Pasta