What's The Difference Between Portion Size And Serving Size?

What’s The Difference Between Portion Size And Serving Size?

Whether you’re eating in a restaurant or at home, portion sizes will vary. However, it doesn’t matter where you eat, at home in Louisville, KY, or in a restaurant in Chicago, IL the serving size remains the same. It’s the same across the country for all food. All nutritional facts are determined by using that serving size. Potato chips are a good example. A one-ounce bag is about 15 chips. That’s the serving size, whether you’re eating from a family-size bag or not. Most people create their own portion sizes when eating snack foods like chips, which can be more or less than the serving size.

When you eat in a restaurant, the portion sizes may far exceed the serving size.

Ironically, the most expensive restaurants often have smaller serving sizes. They tend to focus on more exotic ingredients and presentation. However, mom-and-pop restaurants that compete for most of the restaurant business have to find a way to stand out from the rest. Besides great cooking, serving larger portions can make them more popular. Commercials and advertising gimmicks train us to believe more is better. Super-sizing your meal has become an all too familiar draw. In reality, the portion sizes served are often more than double the actual serving size.

Besides oversized servings in restaurants, you can overdo them at home too.

Unless you know what the serving size is for that particular food, you’ll probably eat too much. If you’re at home or in another serve-yourself situation, learning serving sizes is important. It doesn’t have to be difficult. For instance, a serving size of meat is about the same size as a cassette tape or deck of playing cards. If you stack four dice, you’d get the serving size of 1 ounce of cheese. The serving size for a cup of most food is the size of a fist.

Some easy tips to remember when eating in restaurants.

For most leafy vegetables, don’t worry about serving size, unless you’re worrying about not eating enough. For most vegetables, the serving size is often underestimated. If you’re eating chopped veggies, the serving size is a half-cup. For raw leafy greens, it’s one cup, and for vegetable juice, a half cup. The USDA recommends eating two and a half to three cups of vegetables or about five to six servings a day. Potatoes aren’t included in the vegetable group. In most cases, eating more than the recommended minimum servings is a good thing. Just be careful with sauces and dressing.

  • If you’re making a salad, include other types of lettuce besides iceberg, they’re more nutritious. Baby greens, baby kale and baby spinach are extremely nutritious.
  • If your favorite restaurant has large portion sizes, share a meal with a friend or eat half and ask for a carry-out container to take home. Some people opt for an appetizer as their main dish and add a salad and vegetables as sides.
  • Your favorite snack or meal might come in larger portions and be several serving sizes. You can help yourself and prevent overeating by repackaging the food as soon as you get home to individual serving sizes.
  • If you’re still unsure how to achieve a healthy diet that helps you reach your goals, our staff at Body Sculptors can help with a customized diet and nutrition training.

For more information, contact us today at Body Sculptors Personal Training

Are Personal Trainers Worth It?

Are Personal Trainers Worth It?

Many people who use personal trainers are either just starting a fitness program or have tried on their own and failed. However, that doesn’t mean that those with more experience don’t use them. Some trainers use the services of another trainer to learn new techniques and switch up their workout or improve their form. Trainers focus exclusively on ways to get fitter. They’re specialists. Most have far more training in body mechanics and nutrition than the average doctor.

You can work out on your own, but you might not see the progress.

Not only do trainers keep abreast of the latest research in fitness, but they also can identify areas where you need more work. Some fitness problems may occur because smaller muscles are taking over the work of larger ones. Trainers can identify that and help prevent injury. They create a difficult program, but still within your capabilities. Trainers also do more than just help you with workouts, many can provide information to aid you in eating healthier.

Do you have a pre-existing condition?

If you’re starting an exercise program because of high blood pressure, diabetes or are recovering from a serious condition, a trainer can be extremely useful. Always check with your health care professional first before starting any exercise program. If you have an issue that limits your movement, like knee problems, trainers can modify and personalize your workout to adjust for it.

Trainers hold you accountable.

You are more apt to show up if you know a trainer is waiting for you. A trainer will also push you to achieve more. He or she will record your progress and modify your workout if you’re not getting the best results. Most people don’t push themselves when they’re on their own or they push too hard initially and injure themselves, setting back training for months. A trainer can determine the best workout for your needs.

  • Learning proper form is extremely important. If you don’t have the right form, it can cause injury or minimize benefits. A trainer will not only show you how to do an exercise, but he or she will watch to ensure your form is correct.
  • Trainers can keep you motivated. Besides holding you accountable and tracking your training and results, trainers can provide the encouragement you need.
  • Trainers will vary your workout. That helps prevent boredom and can also prevent plateauing. When you do the same exercise repetitively, your body becomes efficient and burns fewer calories, causing plateauing.
  • Personal trainers often offer a variety of options to suit everyone’s budget. They may have small group discounts. If you and your friends want to make your night out a healthier option, choose small group training classes, followed by a healthy meal.

For more information, contact us today at Body Sculptors Personal Training

How Many Times A Week Should I Do Cardio?

How Many Times A Week Should I Do Cardio?

The number of times per week that you do cardio all depends on you. The US Department of Health and Human Services suggests you get from 150 to 300 minutes of moderate cardio or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous cardio. One study found that doing as much as 60 minutes of intense cardio each day is safe, but you need to be fit. If it’s an intense cardio workout, there are some risks. If you’re walking that would mean doing cardio three to six days a week, at a moderate pace. It’s always best to talk with your healthcare professional to decide what’s appropriate for your health and goals.

There are several ways to work cardio into your schedule.

If you’re doing intense cardio, focus three days a week on cardio and two days a week on strength training. If you workout intensely for 30 to 60 minutes, it would total the required cardio time. Some people do cardio five days a week and adjust the amount of time spent based on intensity. They include strength training every day, but vary the muscles they work. Your trainer will create a program that’s right for you.

You don’t have to do strictly cardio for it to count as cardio.

There are several ways to do exercises that make strength-building also a cardio workout. For instance, circuit training or HIIT—high intensity interval training—-with strength-building exercises can also get your heart pumping the way cardio does. Kettlebell training works the entire body and builds flexibility, strength, balance and endurance.

If you’re doing moderate cardio, like walking, err on the high side.

Taking a walk every day for 45 minutes isn’t going to tax your body and ensures you’ll get approximately 315 minutes. You don’t have to do it all at once, either. You can break it up into smaller sessions and walk three times a week. You can even count walking in the mall while you’re shopping. To get more from your cardio workout, modify the intensity and turn it into a HIIT workout.

  • Know the difference between moderate exercise and intense. If you can comfortably talk, but not sing while doing cardio, it’s moderate intensity. If you can only say a few words without gasping for breath, it’s high intensity.
  • Don’t forget you also need other types of training. If you’re only doing cardio, it can cause you to lose ground for weight loss. Cardio burns both lean muscle and fat for energy. The less muscle you have, the fewer calories you burn.
  • Cardio doesn’t have to be boring or a specific exercise. Dancing, especially to fast music can be a good cardio workout. Playing basketball with the kids or other active play is also good cardio.
  • People with joint problems need to do low-impact cardio. Water exercises are easy on the joints and qualify. Talk with a trainer if you have physical limitations to ensure you get a program designed specifically for your needs.

For more information, contact us today at Body Sculptors Personal Training

How Salt Might Affect Your Weight Loss

How Salt Might Affect Your Weight Loss

If your resolution is to lose weight, think twice about grabbing that salt shaker at every meal. It can affect your goal of weight loss. Most people realize that consuming too much salt can cause water retention, which makes you weigh more. Salt’s chemical composition is sodium and chloride—NaCl.  Sodium regulates the balance of water in the body. If you are dehydrated, it causes the water/sodium content to be out of balance. You need more water to regain that balance and dilute the sodium content. Your body hoards the fluid, causing edema, bloating and weight gain. That’s temporary, but there’s another way that too much salt can cause weight gain that is more permanent.

Salt is one spice that doesn’t make you feel fuller.

Some spices add flavor and can add to that full feeling you get after a meal. Salt isn’t one of them. Salt not only can potentially cause your blood pressure to rise, but it can also cause a more permanent type of problem. Scientific studies show that people who eat more salt on their food actually drink less water, but they did one more thing. They ate more. The more salt the people used, the higher their intake of food, which led to permanent weight gain.

Preparing for space travel brings research in other areas.

Many discoveries were made during the space race. Scratch-resistant lenses, artificial limbs, the insulin pump, LASIK surgery, solar cells, water filtration, invisible braces, freeze-dried food, phones with cameras, CAT scans, memory foam, portable computers, LEDs, the computer mouse and many other things we take for granted came from the space race. Testing dietary theories we use today was also part of the preparation. One study focused on how salt affected the body. The Russian cosmonauts-in-training ate a consistent diet, but then the diet was changed. The only change that was made was the amount of salt, doubling the recommended amount to 12 grams. After weeks on the high salt diet, the salt was reduced to 9 grams, then finally to the normal 6 grams a day.

The results of the experiment were very telling.

The Russian study also followed levels of hunger, while adjusting the levels of salt. When the salt level was high, the cosmonauts-in-training were constantly hungry. As the amount of salt was reduced, so was the hunger level. Other studies back that hypothesis. One Australian study linked childhood obesity to a high salt diet. Their conclusion was that the body mistook thirst for hunger or, the children satisfied the thirst with higher calorie soft drinks.

  • Another Australian study found that people who ate a high salt diet tended to increase their caloric intake by approximately 11%. Was thirst mistaken for hunger or did salt make them hungrier?
  • Consumption of high amounts of salt requires the body to create urea, which is important to maintain the water/sodium balance. That requires more calories, which may be why people eating salt were hungrier.
  • Even if salt doesn’t cause you to feel hungrier, consuming too much salt isn’t healthy for a number of reasons. It’s associated with stomach cancer, high blood pressure and heart disease.
  • The sodium and chloride in salt play an important role in the body. It helps regulate nerve function, muscle contraction, blood pressure and fluid balance. A sensitivity to salt may cause a higher potential for blood pressure problems.

For more information, contact us today at Body Sculptors Personal Training

What To Know About Keto

What To Know About Keto

While we don’t necessarily recommend a keto diet at Body Sculptors in Louisville, KY, but instead provide an easier route that’s personalized and doesn’t require calorie or carb counting, there are a lot of questions about the keto diet. The keto diet puts the body into a state of ketosis. That’s where is burns fat for energy, rather than glucose. This type of diet has been around for many years and was originally used to help control seizures in the 1920s. By the 1980s, bodybuilders discovered it and made it a popular weight loss option.

Keto diets are good for more than just preventing seizures caused by epilepsy and weight loss.

There are many benefits to the keto diet. The first is that it reduces the amount of food you eat with added sugar and processed food, just by its lower carbohydrate nature. Reducing sugar is a huge benefit for the body. However, it was also noted for its ability to improve mental focus. Even though it burns body fat, it also helps preserve lean muscle mass.

A keto diet manages the balance of macronutrients.

When you cut the amount of glucose that comes from eating carbs and supplement fat and protein, it causes the body to switch to burning fat for energy. How much do you have to change your diet? The average diet has far too high of carbohydrate count. Even worse, those carbs come primarily from added sugar. A keto diet reduces the percentage of calories from well over 60% from carbs to a diet that has a ratio of 10-20% from protein, 5-10% from carbs and the rest from fat.

It becomes about the type of carbs you eat.

Vegetables and fruits have carbs, so do quinoa, dairy and nuts. You need those in your diet. They’re also lower in carbs and calories. However, not all vegetables, fruit or dairy are low in carbs, but there’s also net carbs to consider. There are three categories of dietary carbohydrates, sugar, starches and fiber. Fiber isn’t digested by humans, even though the microbiome in the gut uses them as food. Even though many vegetables have carbs, not all the carbs are available for the body, since they are fiber. Cutting out foods high in sugar, low in fiber or higher in starch are the ones the carbs that need to be lowered in the diet.

  • Cutting out food with added sugar and refined carbs is the first step to a healthy diet and also to a keto diet. Choosing vegetables that are high in fiber produce a much lower net carb gain, since the carbs can’t be used.
  • There are some dangers to the keto diet. The keto diet can cause constipation, bone damage, heart disease, kidney stones, nutritional deficiencies, and low blood pressure. People with gallbladder, pancreas or thyroid problems should avoid a keto diet.
  • You need to choose your fat source wisely on a keto diet. While bacon is a source of fat, avocados are better, since they have many other nutrients. Choosing meat from grass fed beef is better than choosing meat from traditionally raised beef.
  • One problem with a keto diet is constipation. Many people cut back on vegetables and grain products that are high in fiber, which slows digestion and makes you feel out of sorts, often called the keto flu.

For more information, contact us today at Body Sculptors Personal Training

Pros And Cons Of Supplements

Pros And Cons Of Supplements

It seems like there are supplements for everything from building muscles to improving your memory. Are these supplements any good and are there dangers to taking supplements? There are both pros and cons when it comes to any kind of product, whether it’s natural or not. You can get too much of a good thing, then it ceases to be good and starts having side effects. However, one of the biggest negatives of taking supplements is that people often mistakenly think they’re all that’s needed, and they don’t have to have a healthy diet as long as they take the supplements.

What is a dietary supplement?

The definition for a dietary supplement is any product that’s not tobacco, which contains a mineral, vitamin, herb, amino acid, dietary substance, or herb that’s taken to increase the daily intake of certain nutrients. Whether it’s a pill, powder or power bar, it boosts nutrients in your diet that you might be missing for a number of reasons. It may be poor absorption, lack of appetite or a poor diet. In most cases, it’s due to poor choices of food.

Pros of supplements.

Today’s supplement market is far more extensive than ever. You don’t just have the traditional vitamin and mineral tablets, there are whole food products and capsules that contain dehydrated fruits and vegetables. Vitamin D supplements are often beneficial, especially in colder climates where it’s impossible to get all the vitamin D from the sun and takes delicate meal planning to get it from diet. Folic acid is important for women of childbearing age to help prevent birth defects. For seniors and pregnant or lactating women, nutritional supplements may also be important.

The other side of the supplement coin.

Some of the biggest abusers of supplements are bodybuilders. The supplements they abuse all have to do with protein. You’ll often see a wall of shelves containing these protein supplements in health food and nutrition stores. So, what’s the problem? You can get too much and it’s unhealthy. While the creatine may add bulk, too much of it can cause side effects, which range from diarrhea, dehydration and cramps to heart and kidney problems. It’s far better simply to consume a healthy diet than risk ruining your health.

  • Some supplements are beneficial, but you have to have the right form. Not all forms of vitamins and minerals are bioavailable. Bioavailability means the body can absorb them. If a product isn’t bioavailable, it’s flushed out of your body via urine or feces.
  • Unless you’re taking a whole food supplement, you may be missing the phytochemicals, and the synergistic relationship between nutrients in food that increases the benefits it offers.
  • You can overdose on supplements. If you take too much vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin, is flushed out of your body when you urinate, but it can cause digestive issues. However, fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A, can accumulate in your body to dangerous levels, causing harm.
  • There can be a place for supplements in your life but take them sparingly or if you have a problem getting all the nutrients you need from food. It’s always better to get your nutrition from a healthy diet and far more satisfying.

For more information, contact us today at Body Sculptors Personal Training

Table Salt Vs Sea Salt

Table Salt Vs Sea Salt

If you’ve spent much time comparing grocery prices in Louisville, KY, you probably notice there’s a big difference in price between table salt and specialty salt like pink Himalayan Sea salt. There are also two other types of salt, regular sea salt and Kosher salt. What’s the difference? Is one more beneficial to your health than another? You’ll notice the difference in texture and appearance almost immediately, but there’s also a difference in flavor and nutrition.

Salt was considered as valuable as gold at one time.

During the 6th century, there were times that a pound of salt sold for almost the same amount as a pound of gold. Soldiers were even paid in salt. Even the word salary is derived from the Latin for salt. Salt was an important preservative and in the hot climate, fish and meat spoiled quickly. But salt plays an important role in good health. Salt is sodium chloride, both of which are necessary for good brain health. Since it came originally from sea water evaporation, it contained other minerals, too.

What’s the difference between sea salt and Himalayan Sea salt?

Sea salt is derived by evaporating sea water. It may contain other minerals found in the sea, considered by some as impurities and by others as benefits. It has a different color, taste and texture because of those elements. Some believe it has anti-inflammatory properties and can improve digestion. Himalayan salt is sea salt, but it comes from seas that existed in Pakistan millions of years ago. The sea evaporated and left behind huge deposits of salt that are pink, primarily due to the iron oxide impurities. It also has calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It’s known for respiratory health benefits, balancing pH, improved sleep, regulating blood sugar and improved sleep.

Everyone knows what table salt is, but how many have used kosher salt.

Table salt is refined salt. All the impurities are removed and it’s extremely refined. It’s ground fine and anti-caking agents are added to prevent clumping. Iodine is often added to some types for those prone to iodine deficiency. Like all salt, it’s a source of sodium that improves muscle functioning, regulates cell functions, improves pH levels and strengthens nerves. Kosher salt just has larger flakes and isn’t ground as fine. It normally doesn’t have anti-caking additives or iodine.

  • Sea salt provides traces of minerals, traditional table salt may be the best if iodine isn’t part of your diet. Only table salt has iodine added. A deficiency of iodine causes goiters, hypothyroidism and neurological abnormalities in children.
  • Even though all salt may have some health benefits, you can get too much of a good thing, since too much sodium can cause a rise in blood pressure.
  • Because the crystals are larger in most sea salt, they contain less sodium by volume, but not by weight. Fewer crystals sea salt can fit in the same space, like a teaspoon, as the finer grained table salt.
  • There are trace minerals in sea salt, but it’s not healthier than table salt. You’d have to eat a shaker full of salt to make a difference and that would be extremely unhealthy.

For more information, contact us today at Body Sculptors Personal Training

Are Multivitamins Useful?

Are Multivitamins Useful?

There’s a lot of variety of multivitamins on the shelves of pharmacies, so you might think they’re the most useful health benefit available. That isn’t exactly true. If you’re in the grocery pharmacy, the produce section is actually more beneficial for your health. Madison Avenue has done a good job convincing America that they need to take vitamins daily, but so did the covid-19 scare. In 2020, the multivitamin market in America grew dramatically with children’s vitamin’s increasing 37.2% for $306 million in sales, men’s up 33.7% for $229 million in sales and women’s vitamins up 19.6% for $474 million.

Recent studies have changed old beliefs.

A widespread recent study of 450,000 people showed that multivitamins didn’t reduce the risk of cancer or heart disease. Another study of almost 6,000 men that lasted 12 years showed it didn’t reduce the risk of mental decline in seniors, contrary to an earlier study that said it did. While there are some benefits for taking specific supplements, that’s not necessarily true for multivitamins. One study, however, did find that multivitamins may reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.

More isn’t necessarily better.

More recent studies also found that taking high doses of vitamin E and beta-carotene at high doses may be harmful. If you’re taking water-soluble vitamins, your body flushes excess out in the urine and feces. The biggest problem from consuming too much of a water-soluble vitamin is digestive issues. However, fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin A, D and E, are stored in the body, which can lead to overdoses.

There’s a better way to get your vitamins than taking a multivitamin.

Taking a specific vitamin and mineral supplements is quite different from taking a multivitamin. For instance, women that are considering pregnancy or who are in early pregnancy should supplement with 400 micrograms of folic acid daily. People in northern areas in the winter would do well to supplement with vitamin D if their diet doesn’t contain enough. Also, supplemental iron can be beneficial. If a person is deficient in a specific vitamin or has problems with absorption, it also is a good idea to take it. Most of all, eating a healthy diet is the best way to ensure adequate dietary needs are met.

  • Too much vitamin A can cause liver damage, interrupt calcium storage and cause calcium to build in the kidneys, damaging them. It also can contribute to lung cancer in smokers, but ironically may help those with COPD.
  • In order to get the benefits of multivitamins, they need to be absorbed and the right form of the nutrient. The binders used and type of nutrient needs to be natural and not in tablet form, which normally means they’re very expensive.
  • The most common problem, even for the far more expensive multivitamins, is an insufficient dose to make a difference or an excess dose that can cause problems. Most problems come from an insufficient dose.
  • Many multivitamins contain filler or are made from non-organic materials, such as ascorbic acid—vitamin C—which is made from GM corn. There are artificial flavors and colors added, plus heavy metals and chemicals.

For more information, contact us today at Body Sculptors Personal Training

How Often Should You Go To The Gym As A Beginner?

How Often Should You Go To The Gym As A Beginner?

When someone is a beginner, at Body Sculptors in Louisville, KY, there are a lot of variations on how much time is spent in the gym. Some people come every day to workout, while others come once a week or even less. What is the perfect amount of time to spend? The answer varies based on your goals and even your fitness level. However, if you only come once a week to the gym, you need to be doing some type of exercises on other days to get in at least 150 to 300 minutes a week.

Part of the variation is contributed to the type of exercise you’re doing.

Are you pushing hard and going at peak intensity? Then that 150 to 300 minutes a week is suddenly reduced to 75 to 150 minutes a week. That’s about two to three gym visits, since high intensity workouts are normally shorter. Your body can’t keep up the pace for that long, especially if you’re a beginner. For other people, particularly those out of shape, taking a more moderate pace would require more time at the gym.

Not all types of training have to be done at the gym.

When you’re working with a personal trainer, let the trainer be your guide. He or she will help designate how many days you should come. For others, remember, not every exercise has to be done at the gym. For instance, a beginner might start aerobic training by walking. It’s far more interesting to walk outside, or at least inside an indoor mall, than it is to walk laps around the gym. On days you walk, going to the gym may not be necessary. If you’re doing strength training, you need to rest those muscles for at least 48 hours so the microtears caused by the workout can heal.

Beginners need to start slowly and work toward increasing their workout.

If you’ve been sedentary for years and finally decided that enough was enough, you might need more rest between tough workouts and take it easier in the beginning. Some people start by working out two to three days a week for about 30 to 45 minutes. On the days away, they go for walks, ride bikes or do other gentle exercises like tai chi.

  • You can boost your exercise time by increasing your activity. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park further from the store. On Saturday night, don’t go to a show, go dancing.
  • If you aren’t working with a trainer, at least for the first two weeks take it slow. Focus mostly on form than repetition. Make sure you include warm up and cool down time in your workout session.
  • As you progress, you can increase your workout time or workout intensity. If you push yourself too hard initially, you’re apt to cause an injury that will leave you sidelined for months. Always listen to your body.
  • Make sure your program is varied. Cardio should be done at least three days a week, while strength training should be one to two times for each muscle group. Flexibility training should be done daily.

For more information, contact us today at Body Sculptors Personal Training