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Coronavirus Update: We’re still open and here to help you, but spaces are limited. Please call ASAP to book your appointment.

Are Your Nutrition and Weight-loss Goals Realistic?

By: Anthony Piccirillo

About this time of year, your new year’s resolution might be coming to a halting end. For a lot of people, resolutions mean furiously signing up for gym memberships and committing to crazy fad diets with a full head of steam. Motivation remains high, until, only a week later, they find themselves burnt out and more demotivated than ever. For some people, this seems to happen every year, and every year the failure drives them further and further away from actually achieving any goals. With that being said, let’s talk about some ways to stick to your resolutions and achieve your goals and complete your resolution this year.

First, let’s get into SMART goal-setting. When setting a goal for anything, this is an amazing tool to use. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. This simply means being more specific with your goal, being sure to stay realistic and to have a time frame. For example, instead of saying “I want to lose 30 pounds” you say “I want to lose 30 pounds in 6 months”. Once you have created the main overarching goal, you then break that goal down into other goals that will lead you to achieve that main goal. So, to branch off of this  main goal, you could say “I will go to the gym 3 times a week after work for at least an hour, to help lose 30 pounds in 6 months”, and “I will cut alcohol out of my diet for the next 6 months in order to help lose 30 pounds in 6 months”. Make sure to reference your goals as much as possible; possibly even print them out and put them all over the house. SMART goals; specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. An easy tool to use and one that can have an immediate impact on your success. 

Next, let’s get into being realistic. With any diet or exercise program (or almost anything in life, really) the key is being able to stay consistent. That means setting realistic goals (using SMART goal-setting) and being honest with yourself. Maintained results are generally a product of a consistent and timely effort to achieve said results. Far too often, people want to lose weight and give themselves a ridiculously short window to do so. Humans tend to be addicted to instant gratification. This generally goes one of two ways. One, the person loses the weight and proceeds to put it all back on (and then some) in the weeks following the crash diet, or exercise program. Two, the person becomes demotivated as a result of the extremity of the goal, and quits altogether. This rise and crash tends to happen in cycles, with each cycle driving the person further away from actually wanting to achieve their goals. When undertaking a goal having to do with fitness and health, one must realize that it is a long process that will take a lot of effort. Once this is realized and accepted, goals can be consistently set and reached. 

When attempting to make a change in lifestyle, also remember that humans tend to be creatures of habit. It has often been shown that it takes 21 days of consistent effort to get a new habit to stick or to change an old habit. With this in mind, make sure you give your goal a SERIOUS effort before you quit on it. 

Nutrition wise, losing weight is pretty simple. When you use more calories than you consume, you will resort to burning your body’s stores, and the first choice (after stored carbohydrates) is fat. There are lots of other factors that contribute to weight loss but in general, it comes down to calories in versus calories out. The single easiest way to monitor caloric intake is to weigh and track all of your food. However, this is unrealistic and too much of a hassle for a lot of people. Fortunately, there are many tips and tricks you can use to help with weight loss. One tip is to drink a glass of water before and after every meal. Having water in your stomach before and after eating can help contribute to satiety as well as keep you hydrated which helps with digestion and hydration. Doing this before and after every meal can help decrease the amount you eat as well as stave off post-meal cravings. Another tool to use is the 50/25/25 rule. This means when you fill your plate, 50 percent of the plate should be vegetables, 25% should be protein, and 25% should be carbs. There should also be solid amounts of healthy fats at every meal. Whether this comes from your protein, cooking oils, or another source (avocado, nuts, seeds) is up to you. Having an adequate amount of macronutrients at every meal is key to keeping hunger away. These two tips can help tremendously in keeping hunger away and preventing overeating. As a general rule, three meals following this rule and two small snacks throughout the day is a good amount of food. Just like meals, snacks should be balanced and include all of the macronutrients in some amount. 

Healthy fats are a massively important part of a person’s diet. Fats drive hormone production, protect vital organs, and provide energy among many other things. Hormones control hunger and appetite, and improper balance of hormones can drive appetite way up, leading to overeating. This is why low fat diets can be such an issue, not to mention that major lack of any macronutrient can lead to swings in hormone production and major cravings. The problem with fats are the type of fats people tend to consume. In processed foods, saturated fats and hydrogenated oils are often added to extend shelf life and improve textures. The main problem with these fats is that they have been shown to directly increase LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, and lead to things such as heart disease and diabetes when overconsumed. Unfortunately, these findings have led people to stay away from fat and think that eating fat makes you fat, even though carbohydrates are more easily converted into fat within the body. Instead, we should focus on adding good amounts of healthy fats into the diet. These fats include oils like olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil and butter. Nuts and seeds are also a great source of healthy fat, as well as avocados. Cheese is another solid food containing fat, when coming from a good source. It is important to note however, that fats contain over double the calories per gram as compared to protein and carbs. So they do not need to be consumed in large amounts. Having an adequate amount of fat in the diet helps with overall hunger control, and overall health in general.

If you have any questions, comments, or would like to inquire more about learning our approach to nutrition, please leave a comment, visit our website at barbelltherapyandperformance.com, or drop by the gym here in Lowell, MA!

Are Your Nutrition and Weight-loss Goals Realistic?

By: Anthony Piccirillo

About this time of year, your new year’s resolution might be coming to a halting end. For a lot of people, resolutions mean furiously signing up for gym memberships and committing to crazy fad diets with a full head of steam. Motivation remains high, until, only a week later, they find themselves burnt out and more demotivated than ever. For some people, this seems to happen every year, and every year the failure drives them further and further away from actually achieving any goals. With that being said, let’s talk about some ways to stick to your resolutions and achieve your goals and complete your resolution this year.

First, let’s get into SMART goal-setting. When setting a goal for anything, this is an amazing tool to use. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. This simply means being more specific with your goal, being sure to stay realistic and to have a time frame. For example, instead of saying “I want to lose 30 pounds” you say “I want to lose 30 pounds in 6 months”. Once you have created the main overarching goal, you then break that goal down into other goals that will lead you to achieve that main goal. So, to branch off of this  main goal, you could say “I will go to the gym 3 times a week after work for at least an hour, to help lose 30 pounds in 6 months”, and “I will cut alcohol out of my diet for the next 6 months in order to help lose 30 pounds in 6 months”. Make sure to reference your goals as much as possible; possibly even print them out and put them all over the house. SMART goals; specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. An easy tool to use and one that can have an immediate impact on your success. 

Next, let’s get into being realistic. With any diet or exercise program (or almost anything in life, really) the key is being able to stay consistent. That means setting realistic goals (using SMART goal-setting) and being honest with yourself. Maintained results are generally a product of a consistent and timely effort to achieve said results. Far too often, people want to lose weight and give themselves a ridiculously short window to do so. Humans tend to be addicted to instant gratification. This generally goes one of two ways. One, the person loses the weight and proceeds to put it all back on (and then some) in the weeks following the crash diet, or exercise program. Two, the person becomes demotivated as a result of the extremity of the goal, and quits altogether. This rise and crash tends to happen in cycles, with each cycle driving the person further away from actually wanting to achieve their goals. When undertaking a goal having to do with fitness and health, one must realize that it is a long process that will take a lot of effort. Once this is realized and accepted, goals can be consistently set and reached. 

When attempting to make a change in lifestyle, also remember that humans tend to be creatures of habit. It has often been shown that it takes 21 days of consistent effort to get a new habit to stick or to change an old habit. With this in mind, make sure you give your goal a SERIOUS effort before you quit on it. 

Nutrition wise, losing weight is pretty simple. When you use more calories than you consume, you will resort to burning your body’s stores, and the first choice (after stored carbohydrates) is fat. There are lots of other factors that contribute to weight loss but in general, it comes down to calories in versus calories out. The single easiest way to monitor caloric intake is to weigh and track all of your food. However, this is unrealistic and too much of a hassle for a lot of people. Fortunately, there are many tips and tricks you can use to help with weight loss. One tip is to drink a glass of water before and after every meal. Having water in your stomach before and after eating can help contribute to satiety as well as keep you hydrated which helps with digestion and hydration. Doing this before and after every meal can help decrease the amount you eat as well as stave off post-meal cravings. Another tool to use is the 50/25/25 rule. This means when you fill your plate, 50 percent of the plate should be vegetables, 25% should be protein, and 25% should be carbs. There should also be solid amounts of healthy fats at every meal. Whether this comes from your protein, cooking oils, or another source (avocado, nuts, seeds) is up to you. Having an adequate amount of macronutrients at every meal is key to keeping hunger away. These two tips can help tremendously in keeping hunger away and preventing overeating. As a general rule, three meals following this rule and two small snacks throughout the day is a good amount of food. Just like meals, snacks should be balanced and include all of the macronutrients in some amount. 

Healthy fats are a massively important part of a person’s diet. Fats drive hormone production, protect vital organs, and provide energy among many other things. Hormones control hunger and appetite, and improper balance of hormones can drive appetite way up, leading to overeating. This is why low fat diets can be such an issue, not to mention that major lack of any macronutrient can lead to swings in hormone production and major cravings. The problem with fats are the type of fats people tend to consume. In processed foods, saturated fats and hydrogenated oils are often added to extend shelf life and improve textures. The main problem with these fats is that they have been shown to directly increase LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, and lead to things such as heart disease and diabetes when overconsumed. Unfortunately, these findings have led people to stay away from fat and think that eating fat makes you fat, even though carbohydrates are more easily converted into fat within the body. Instead, we should focus on adding good amounts of healthy fats into the diet. These fats include oils like olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil and butter. Nuts and seeds are also a great source of healthy fat, as well as avocados. Cheese is another solid food containing fat, when coming from a good source. It is important to note however, that fats contain over double the calories per gram as compared to protein and carbs. So they do not need to be consumed in large amounts. Having an adequate amount of fat in the diet helps with overall hunger control, and overall health in general.

If you have any questions, comments, or would like to inquire more about learning our approach to nutrition, please leave a comment, visit our website at barbelltherapyandperformance.com, or drop by the gym here in Lowell, MA!