Your Fitness & Health Questions!

Thanks to everyone that commented on my Facebook page, or texted me a question for the blog. I’m going to answer all the questions I received here. My answers are from my own personal research, and my knowledge as a trainer. Let me know what you think!

1.) What is the best footwear for working out? 
-I’m honestly not that knowledgable in the footwear department. It really depends on what type of training you are doing- there are different shoes for running, lifting, cross-training, etc. I highly recommend heading into a Running Room store and having them fit you specifically for the activities you are doing the most, and make sure your feet are being properly supported to avoid injuries. I personally LOVE my Nike Free’s because I like minimal support, very lightweight shoes and of course.. the colours are pretty too 😉

2.) What are good safe and effective cleanses?
I’m not a fan of “cleansing” per say. Your body has very effective systems in place to ensure everything is running smoothly and being detoxified. If you are looking for something to get your body back on track and feeling good- this is meal plan that I’ve used to “detox”. It basically very clean eating and focuses on plant based foods. The outline of this plan is 5 days and stick to these meals/ingredients. For a more detailed outline of this plan, grocery list & why all these things are cleansing; facebook me and I can send you the full version PDF for 5$.
Breakfast:
Hot water + Lemon Slices
1/4cup oats
12 almonds
1 cup berries
1 tbsp chia seeds
cinnamon
Snack:
Cucumber/Celery/Tomato
Homemade Hummus:
-1 can chickpeas
-large handful spinach
2 tbsp tahini
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small garlic clove
1/4c water
–Place chickpeas, spinach, tahini, garlic, lemon & olive oil in a blender or food processor. Add water slowly to create a creamy consistency. Add black pepper or cayenne for an extra kick (optional).
Lunch:
1 cup spinach
1 cup mixed vegetables
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 cup quinoa, lentils, or black beans
1/4 avocado
Small handful basil or cilantro
Dressing:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
dash balsamic vinegar
juice from 1/2 lime
any dried herbs/spices you prefer
Snack:
Apple
Dinner:
Stirfry:
1 cup mixed vegetables
1/2c broccoli
1/4cup quinoa, lentils or black beans
1/4 avocado or 12 almonds
1/5th pack tofu
Basil/Cilantro
Handful Chopped Mushrooms
–Heat olive oil in a pan, sautee garlic & onion, add veggies & tofu, add juice of 1/2 lime, salt & pepper, & dressing below.
Sauce:
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
dash of cider vinegar
cayenne pepper
dried oregano/basil
That’s the basic outline. In the PDF there is optional meals included!

3.) Is it best to eat 5 small meals per day?
There are lots of different opinions on this- I always say choose what works BEST for you. Some people prefer to eat 3 larger meals. Personally I enjoy eating all the time (haha) so I usually eat about 5-6 meals per day every 2-3 hours. Whatever makes you feel the most satisfied and energetic is what you should do! The science behind recommending 5-6 small meals per day is that it supposedly raises metabolism (there is a thermic effect of eating food- so when you eat, your metabolism increases to digest food. You burn a small amount of calories through eating. This thermic effect is very minimal though and probably not going to result in weight loss). Other camps say that eating more small meals per day keeps your blood sugar levels stable (true) and results in more energy. This can go either way. It really depends on what you are eating. If you are eating high protein & fat foods- you are not going to get that insulin spike and crash. If you are a carb lover you may find that you need to eat every 2-3 hours because you will find yourself hungrier and crashing after a meal that is high in carbs. There are studies proving that BOTH ways of eating can keep you satisfied and keep your blood sugar levels stable so this is a debate that is still ongoing. Every body is different and thats why you need to figure out what works best for you when choosing a meal plan/diet. Listen to your hunger- Are you hungry every 2-3 hours? Eat! If you aren’t- then you are obviously eating enough at each meal and there is no need to eat a snack.

4.) Is calorie counting effective for weight loss?
I find this to be a very touchy subject and something that I caution my clients against. I think the overall quality and macronutrients of your food is a lot more important than the calorie count. I would rather my clients focus on the NUTRITION they are receiving than the calories they are taking in. I think when you start counting calories and that’s all you take into account- you can end up eating a lot of crappy low calorie foods that are not going to make you feel your best.
That being said- it is a fact that reducing calories results in weight loss. When I am designing a meal plan for someone I do make sure that their calories are below their maintenance level in order to lose weight. I also ensure they are hitting their protein, carb & fat goals everyday for best results.
If you are eating 1700 calories of crappy foods- you will probably lose weight- but your hormones are going to be completely out of whack, you will feel lethargic, you will lose lean muscle mass, you may not sleep well, you will probably be hungry and miserable most of the time.
If you are eating 1700 calories of the correct macronutrient ratio’s everyday- you will have tons of energy, you won’t go hungry, you will preserve your lean muscle mass and lose FAT instead of just “weight” and you will see quicker and more effective results.
So – calories are important- but what you eat is much more important!

5.) How many days a week should I exercise?
Ok I’m going to pull out my textbook here and give you some facts on exercises & the recommended amount. The following information is from the Canadian School of Exercise Physiology (which is what I am certified through as a trainer).
For HEALTH BENEFITS
Guidelines for age18-64 years
At least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity per week in at least 10 minute increments. (So.. 30 minutes 5x a week)
-2 days per week of strength training using the major muscle groups
-More daily activity will provide greater health benefits.

FOR WEIGHT LOSS (ACSM Guidelines)
-Weight loss — 150-250 minutes/week of moderate-intensity physical activity provides only modest weight loss. Greater amounts (ie. >250) provide clinically significant weight loss. (4x/ week for an hour)
250+ Will provide the greatest results & should include strength training to increase fat-free mass. (4-6x/ week for an hour)
-For weight maintenance after weight loss — There is some evidence that  >250 minutes/week of moderate-intensity physical activity will prevent weight re-gain.

As you can see, you should definitely be working out most days of the week! The more you do the better, to an extent. I don’t believe anyone needs to be exercising for more than 60 minutes, 5-6 days a week for weight loss (this also really depends on the type of training. If you are going high intensity, bootcamp style – you can get a serious workout done in 30 minutes and you are done for the day!).

If you want a personalized program designed around your lifestyle and your goals- contact for me for personal training!

6.)  Do muscles need time to repair?
Yes definitely! You need to ensure you are getting adequate rest in order to see results. I see a lot of people in the gym thinking “more is better” and they never let their bodies repair or their muscles rebuild … And they wonder why they never see results! This will only lead to injury and overuse. It’s a myth that you build muscles in the gym- you actually tear the muscles down during your workout and they rebuild during rest! (Hence why good post-workout nutrition is important, and you need to let those muscles re-build after a workout by resting). You should give your muscles 24-48hrs to repair between workouts. (This goes in line with that sometimes terrible post workout soreness called DOMS which is worst 24-48 hours after your workout). This does NOT mean you need to only workout every two days. Let’s say you do a really hard upper body workout on Monday- it’s perfectly acceptable to work lower body on Tuesday, do a cardio workout on Wednesday, do a total body high intensity interval circuit on Thursday.. Maybe take Friday off. Long hike/spin class on Saturday.. You catch my drift. Keep your body guessing, mix it up, do different activities and this will ensure you are not overworking muscle groups, allowing adequate rest, and also keeping your body guessing. Get lots of sleep, drink lots of water, and make sure you are eating enough nutritious foods to see results! (You need to EAT to put on lean muscle mass and lose fat!).

7.) Give me some good smoothie recipes!
In order to make a great smoothie you need these elements:
CARBS: Fruit, Oats, Veggies
PROTEIN: Whey Protein Isolate, Plain Greek Yogurt
FAT: Avocado, Nuts, Flax/Oils, Chia Seeds, Nut Butters
Then we are hitting every food group and ensuring we are getting a fulfulling, delicious smoothie.

This is my personal favourite Green Tropical smoothie:

1 cup unsweetened almond milk, or regular milk
1 – 2 handfuls spinach
1/2 frozen banana
Handful frozen mango
1 scoop vanilla whey protein
1 /4 avocado
Blend!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana
-1 cup unsweetened almond milk or regular milk
-1 frozen banana
-1 scoop chocolate protein powder
-1 tbsp natural peanut butter
-1 tbsp cocoa powder
-Ice
Blend!

Coconut Delight
-1 cup almond milk/reg milk
-1 cup frozen berries
-1 tbsp coconut oil or butter
-1/3cup plain greek yogurt
-1/4 tsp coconut extract
-Stevia to sweeten (optional)
-Ice
-Top with some shredded coconut flakes 🙂
Blend!

I hope you found this helpful! If you want to see your question answered- please let me know what you’d like to see on this blog!

 

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