Monthly Archives: September 2010

Be A Pal.


Check out http://www.myfitnesspal.com. It is not only an online calorie and exercise tracker, but it also has nutrition information for pretty much everything you can think of.  It even has specific brands of your favorite items. There is a web-based version, and mobile versions for the iPhone, and Droid.  A version for Blackberry is currently in the works.  The web version has several other features including a calculator that provides nutritional analysis for all your recipes.

So next time you go to order a blueberry muffin at Starbucks, thinking it is a healthy option, look it up in on myfitnesspal first, you may be surprised to find it packs 380 calories, 19 g of fat, and 28 g of sugar and think twice before ordering.

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.

-Alicia and Nikki

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Be Lost.


Most of us know that you need to cut calories to lose weight, but just how much cutting will it take to help you achieve your weight loss goals?

The simple answer: in order to lose 1 pound of weight, you need a 3500 calorie deficit. This caloric deficit can come from cutting calories from your diet, or expending more calories through exercise. Ideally, weight loss is best achieved by a combination of both.

In other words if your weight loss goal is 10 pounds in 3 months, you will need to a 35,000 calorie deficit over the course of those 3 months. Broken down, you will need to expend and cut an extra 389 calories every day.

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.

-Alicia and Nikki

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Be Core Strengthened.


I can’t tell you how many times I have heard clients say “I do crunches every day and I can’t get a six pack.”  Well here is some good news: Your abs are a muscle group just like any other muscle group and the more you use it, the stronger it will be.  Often, clients are not doing efficient exercises to target their abs. To some extent, our abdominals are engaged whenever we are in an upright posture because they help in holding our bodies erect. To maximize the amount of work your abs are doing, think about pulling your belly button through to your spine whenever you are standing up. Many times we think of this as “sucking it in.”  If you find yourself doing that, instead try to think about engaging your abs as if you were getting ready to be punched in the stomach. Force yourself to practice this position as frequently as possible. Start by focusing on the position while you are exercising and then slowly expand the amount of time you spend in this position.

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.

-Alicia and Nikki

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Be Plated.


Try this trick to help control your portion size…

Use 7″ plates instead of the standard 9-10″ inch plates we typically keep in the kitchen cabinet. By having these small plates, it will be easier to serve yourself more appropriate portion sizes and resist loading up your 10″ plate. Make sure to store the smaller plates in an easily accessible location to encourage you to use them.

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.

-Alicia and Nikki

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Be A Diligent Diner.


Dining out poses several challenges to those of us trying to watch our waistlines or just make healthier choices.  Menu items are frequently over-portioned and have hidden ingredients, calories and fat. Dining out doesn’t necessarily have to wreak havoc on your healthy lifestyle.

Here are some tips for being more diligent when dining out:

  1. Have a piece of fruit or a small snack before you go out if it has been awhile since you last ate. This will quiet your hunger and help you make more sound decisions when looking at the menu.
  2. Do your homework. Many restaurants list their menus online, along with nutritional information which will help you select a tasty and healthy option without feeling rushed by a server or making a choice without all the nutrition information.
  3. Wait to order your dinner until you’ve finished your appetizer.  How many times have you ordered an appetizer and a meal only to realize you’re full after the appetizer?
  4. Ask for a to-go box when you order and wrap up half your meal as soon as it arrives at the table. Doing so will help you resist the temptation of picking at your plate until the server comes back to clear it saving you unnecessary calories, not to mention lunch for the next day!
  5. Modify the menu. Ask for dressing and sauces to be on the side and fried items to be grilled instead.  (And don’t worry, I can guarantee your waitress has had stranger requests.)
  6. Start with a side salad or soup and split a main dish with a friend.

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.

-Alicia and Nikki

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Be Grainy.


Eating whole grains instead of refined grains provides several health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and obesity, and can also help lower cholesterol levels. Refined grains have been polished and bleached so the outer bran layer, a layer containing rich antioxidants and fiber, and the inner germ, containing protein and healthy fats, have been removed. What’s left is the endosperm which provides carbohydrates and a small amount of vitamins and minerals.  In your healthy eating plan, strive to make at least half your grains whole.

Here are some tips to incorporate more whole grains into your diet:

  • Read the ingredients list. Whole wheat should be listed as the first ingredient. Try to limit items with “enriched” or “refined” wheat listed.
  • Don’t judge a bread simply by it’s color. Just because a bread is brown, doesn’t mean that it is a whole grain.
  • If you don’t like brown rice, try mixing half brown rice and half white rice.

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.

-Alicia and Nikki

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Be Controlled.


The rate at which you perform your weight lifting has a big impact on your results. While lifting at a quick tempo may make it easier to lift more weight, you are not getting optimal results. Additionally, lifting at a quick rate limits the control you have over the weight which can lead to injury.

Ideally you should lower the weight at approximately half the speed as you raise it. For example, when doing bicep curls, lower the weight towards the floor for a 2 count and raise back towards your shoulders for a 1 count.

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.

-Alicia and Nikki

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