The tip for this week is going to be a little more personal than ones I have done in the past. I feel that because there are so many different strategies and misconceptions when it comes to preparing for a bikini show, it is only fitting that I give you a dietitian’s perspective on what you should or should not do if you’re thinking about competing yourself or know someone else who will.
For several years, the main concern with non-nutritive sweeteners (such as sucralose, aspartame, etc.) was that they can interfere with normal blood sugar levels by causing the body to release insulin when no glucose is entering the blood stream. This can result in a re-bound effect where the release of insulin causes hypoglycemia (or low blood sugar), which can cause fatigue and increased carbohydrate cravings.
If you’re an athlete, performing at your best will likely require you to be more precise in your meal planning than simply eating when you’re hungry. Taking in specific nutrients at specific times supports the energy, alertness, and recovery you need to stay in peak form.
Quite often when clients express an interest in losing excess body fat, they want it to happen immediately. In addition to drastically increasing exercise frequency or intensity, many will also cut calories, sometimes down to under 1000 calories per day.
Yes, you read that correctly! Too often, people who decide they want to lose body fat attempt to go about it by doing more cardio, less strength training, and drastically reducing their calorie intake. However, recent research from the University of North Carolina (UNC) shows that one of the real secrets for getting the body to burn more fat and retain more muscle actually requires the opposite approach.
For many individuals seeking to lose weight or clean up their diets in general, calorie intake mistakenly becomes the sole consideration in making dietary choices. While calorie intake is certainly an important factor to keep in mind when you have a specific fitness goal to achieve (such as weight loss, weight gain, increased energy, or increased performance), it’s best to also consider the source of those calories at the macronutrient level to maximize your results.
In addition to people starting new exercise routines and diets this time of year, another common occurrence is popularity of “detox diets.” The word detox is used in so many different contexts and represents such a diversity of recommendations that it’s difficult to nail down one over-arching definition.
The main focus of the Paleo Diet is to recreate the dietary intake of our caveman ancestors. The source of this idea is that many of the chronic diseases that have become more prevalent over the centuries (such as diabetes and heart disease) are directly related to the over processing and chemical additives to many of the foods we eat.
Some people include only cardio in their exercise routines, while others stick solely to strength training. To be fair, many who only do cardio are endurance athletes that benefit from being as light as possible (i.e. runners), while those who stick to lifting are usually bodybuilders or powerlifters who must add muscle mass to increase strength or aesthetics. However, both groups can benefit from spending some time in the other camp.
When you see a container of protein powder that contains milk-based protein, the source is usually whey protein. But that doesn’t mean it should be your only source of supplemental protein!