Nutrition Tips For Seniors

Nutrition Tips For Seniors

One of the leading causes of poor health is inadequate nutrition. It can occur no matter what your age, but for seniors is more prevalent. There are many reasons for that. Digestive and dental health issues are two of the problems. Physical limitations that impede cooking are another. Even if the senior has a healthy diet available, absorption of nutrients usually isn’t as efficient as it was when they were younger. Less active seniors often don’t have a good appetite, so they eat less, also limiting the nutrients ingested.

Obvious fixes include changing the things that can be changed.

If the senior has poor dental health, seeing a dentist and taking care of the problem is the fix. Addressing digestive issues is another. If the senior has a physical limitation that impedes cooking, services can deliver healthy meals. Education is the best tool for seniors to help improve their diet. Often knowing what to cook and how to balance a diet is the biggest drawback that affects overall nutrition.

Seniors can benefit from meal planning.

Meal planning can take many forms. You can plan healthy meals one day, make a grocery list the next, shop the next day, and cook a week’s worth of meals on another day. It sounds like a lot of trouble, especially creating the meal plans and shopping list. It doesn’t have to be. Our Fit Meal Formula can create a personalized plan for you to follow. It even contains a shopping list. All you have to do is buy the groceries listed and cook. Most people find they save money by meal planning. If you’re cooking for one, simply freeze the other meals and use them for another week later. It’s a lot healthier than using prepackaged foods from the grocery since it provides more nutrients and no preservatives.

Don’t forget your vitamin D.

While it’s cold in the winter and there’s not enough sun to get the vitamin D you need, during the summer months you can make sure you have an adequate supply. Do safe sunning three times a week to boost your vitamin D. Safe sunning means spending 10-15 minutes in the sun. It should be at noon. Not only is the sun at its highest point, but your body is also most efficient at making vitamin D. People with lighter skin should start with less time in the sun. The older you are, the less able your body is to convert sunlight to vitamin D, so taking supplements, eating egg yolks, salmon, or beef liver helps.

  • If dental issues or a waning appetite is a problem, make a smoothie. You can add protein supplements, fresh fruit and vegetables, and nuts. It’s easier to drink several helpings of fruits and vegetables and less filling.
  • Create a rainbow of bright colors on your dinner plate by choosing a variety of fruits and vegetables. Frozen fruits and vegetables are less expensive and keep longer but have the same nutritional value as fresh.
  • Make sure to carry water with you at all times and sip it throughout the day. Seniors dehydrate quicker than younger counterparts. and the signs of dehydration vary. Confusion that resembles dementia is one symptom, rapid heartbeat, weakness, cramps, and exhaustion are others.
  • Always discuss any changes to your diet with your healthcare professional. Some food can interfere with medication. Food sensitivity and medical issues can also be affected by certain foods.

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

Reasons Why People Shouldn't Go Vegan

Reasons Why People Shouldn’t Go Vegan

There’s nothing wrong with being vegan if you know how to create a well-balanced diet and have the will to get past the restrictions. Those people consuming a strict vegan diet often have studied the nutritional requirements or use an app to help them create their daily diet. While a vegan diet can be healthy, some people shouldn’t go vegan. A vegetarian, pescatarian, or flexitarian diet works better for most people.

What’s the difference in the diets?

There are all types of diets, but the most prominent ones in the plant-based world are pescatarian, vegetarian, flexitarian, and vegan. Flexitarian diets are the most liberal. This type of diet includes all types of food but limits the consumption of poultry, meat, fish, and seafood to the occasional meal. Pescatarians eliminate poultry and meat, while vegetarians eliminate meat, poultry, fish, and seafood. The strictest diet is the vegan diet. Only plant-based food is allowed and all animal products are eliminated.

A vegan diet provides many nutrients, but getting certain ones is difficult.

There are two major drawbacks to a vegan diet. Getting adequate vitamin B12 is one of those. Vitamin B12 is vital for nerve, heart, and muscle health. It boosts your metabolism and helps keep your body functioning properly. Supplementing with a B12 vitamin is often necessary unless the vegan focuses on consuming food fortified with B12. Zinc is another nutrient that’s difficult to get from a plant-based source. Many of the plant-based sources also contain phytates that bind to the zinc and make it unavailable.

Balancing your diet can be a challenge.

The body can create many amino acids, but there are nine essential ones it can’t create. You have to get the essential amino acids from your diet. Animal products contain all nine, but only some plant-based products do. You can combine food with incomplete proteins to achieve a complete protein profile. Combining beans and rice is an example. It takes planning to ensure you get all essential amino acids throughout the day, but some healthy people prove it’s possible.

  • Collagen is a building block for skin, muscle, bones, hair, ligaments, and tendons. It’s missing from a vegan diet. Plants don’t contain collagen but do contain the building blocks of collagen, so the body has to create it.
  • Studies show that people who are vegans often are low in vitamins K and B12, collagen, DHA, and EPA. Deficits in those nutrients create a potential for premature aging. A vegan diet can also cause an imbalance of Omega 3 and Omega 6.
  • Plant-based diets aren’t for everyone. People with IBS, soy, nut, or gluten allergies or intolerance aren’t candidates for a vegan diet. If you’re on a low carb diet, it’s not for you.
  • It’s simply more difficult to eat when you’re on a strict vegan diet, especially if you like to eat in restaurants. Few offer many vegan options. If you’re not good with planning or details we can help make it easier with personalized meal plans.

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

Can Intermittent Fasting Lead To The Development Of An Eating Disorder?

Can Intermittent Fasting Lead To The Development Of An Eating Disorder?

What is intermittent fasting—IF—and can it lead to an eating disorder? IF is not a specific diet, but a way of scheduling meals. It can be as strict as fasting two days a week and eating normally the other five to eating within a 16-hour window and fasting the other 8 hours. Creating rules around eating is one definition of an eating disorder and altering regular eating routines is another. IF fits both. Does it lead to disaster or is it beneficial?

Some smaller studies indicate IF isn’t a problem.

Studies indicate that IF may not be a problem, but the few studies existing are small. Professionals who work with those with eating disorders remain concerned. IF, like other diets, provides rules that indicate when to consume food and when not to eat. It ignores hunger patterns and could lead to binging. Another study found that IF was associated with other eating disorder behaviors like binge eating, laxative use, vomiting, and compulsive exercising.

IF is not just a way to lose weight, but also a way to help improve glucose tolerance.

Studies are still investigating whether IF has benefits. Many find that it does help reduce inflammation. Inflammation is associated with several diseases. It could help people with Alzheimer’s, asthma, arthritis, MS, and stroke due to or exacerbated by inflammation. It can cause insulin levels to drop, leading to decreased insulin resistance and improved levels of HGH—human growth hormone. It boosts cell repair and may extend life span.

It’s all about the why.

One factor separates IF from eating disorders and that’s your intentions. If it’s for the health benefits, such as reducing insulin resistance, or want the other health benefits it offers, then it probably won’t cause eating disorders. Following an IF regimen under a doctor’s care also reduces the potential for eating disorders. If it’s accompanied by other symptoms of an eating disorder, such as compulsive exercising or vomiting, it’s also a slippery slope.

  • One way to judge whether IF may be an eating disorder is to ask yourself how you would feel if you ate during fasting time. Would you feel like a failure or accept it and continue the next day?
  • In addition to those mentioned, other signs of eating disorders include weighing yourself several times a day, skipping meals, eating in isolation, fear of weight gain, and skipping meals.
  • Some side effects of IF include hunger, fatigue, headaches, insomnia, and nausea. It’s not for everyone. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid it.
  • If you have acid reflux, diabetes, kidney stones, or other medical conditions, you should always talk to your doctor before starting an intermittent fasting program.

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

Are All Calories Created Equal?

Are All Calories Created Equal?

Clients at Body Sculptors in Louisville, KY, understand that cutting calories can help you lose weight. They even understand that some foods are healthier than others. I’m lucky to have such smart clients who also know not all calories are equal. It’s not the actual calories that makes a difference in whether a food will promote weight gain, but the food itself. If you eat 2400 calories, all from healthy fruits and vegetables and a friend eats an equal amount of calories from sugary treats, you’ll get more benefits and lose weight faster than they will.

In order to metabolize some calories, it takes extra energy.

If you ate a stalk of celery, it wouldn’t amount to many calories. Your body would get even fewer calories since it takes calories to digest the celery. Some people think celery is a negative calorie food, but so far, no studies have proven or disproven the theory. Celery is also a diuretic, so if you’re gaining weight from retaining water, it helps you lose it. Eating 100 calories from celery—which would be a lot—has less effect on your weight than eating a hundred calories of cookies—two medium ones.

It’s about thermogenesis.

When you eat, it has to digest. That all takes energy and produces heat. The body has to break down the food by producing digestive juices and sending the food through the digestive tract. There it breaks food down further, removing the nutrients from the food. Those are extra calories used and not available to the body. Fibrous foods, like fruits, vegetables, or other complex carbohydrates, fats, or meat, use many calories for digestion, while simple carbs, like sugar and sugary products, use much fewer. Hence, 100 calories from high thermogenetic foods depletes to fewer calories, while those from sugary treats are available at 100%

The fiber in the food and the toxic elements make a difference, too.

Food with added sugar can be toxic. It can cause inflammation, which can cause weight gain. It can cause insulin resistance that leads to that and diabetes. A few calories from food with added sugar is more than just a few calories, it also can change your gut microbiome. A healthy balance makes your body work properly, but an unhealthy balance leads to disease and even obesity. If you get your calories from high-fiber food, the fiber feeds beneficial microbes to improve health and reduce weight.

  • Let’s not forget the nutrients in the food. Magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin C, carotenoids, iron, and zinc can all boost your weight loss efforts. Studies show that obese people are often deficient in vitamin D. People eat for a number of reasons besides just hunger.
  • Eating other thermogenetic foods, like meat and fat, can keep you feeling full longer. It’s because these types of food take longer to digest. Complex carbohydrates take longer to digest than simple ones.
  • The same food can have a different caloric effect. If you refrigerate a potato, reheating it later, the chilling process changes half the starch into resistant starch. You can’t absorb resistant starch so it passes out in your feces.
  • Calories from junk food are considered empty calories. That’s because they provide no benefit, other than the calories they provide. Choosing food that offers other benefits can make you leaner and healthier.

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

How Grains Affect Your Health

How Grains Affect Your Health

What are grains? They are seeds designed for plant reproduction. They are also an integral part of a healthy diet and help you maintain good health. There are downsides to consuming grains. They may create health conditions ranging from mild to serious. One issue occurs because seeds have protection to ensure the species survives. It starts with the seed coat, which is strong enough to resist digestion. Not only does each person react differently to grains, but some also have problems with one grain and not others. Celiac disease, for instance, occurs when sensitive people eat grain that contains gluten, like wheat.

Enzyme inhibitors in seeds protect them.

When consumed, seeds pass through the digestive tract and are expelled whole in the waste, often miles from the parent plant. The new location gives it space, and the fecal material provides fertilizer. Other factors that ensure the survival of the seed and plant can cause health issues in humans. Even when seeds have their own space and fertilizer, it doesn’t mean conditions perfect. It may be too hot, cold, wet, or dry. Enzyme inhibitors in the seeds prevent the seed from sprouting where it’s doomed to fail. That same enzyme inhibitor can affect the enzymes in the body that are necessary to digest food, creating stomach issues.

The lectins in grains are natural pesticides that protect the seed and sprouting plant.

Seeds are almost magical. They contain everything necessary for survival, including pesticides. The pesticide is the lectin in the seed. It’s a pesticide, so it’s only logical that consuming large amounts can cause digestive issues in humans. Grains contain complex carbohydrates and proteins, which are harder to digest. Wheat, for instance, contains gluten, a complex protein. Gluten intolerance has grown dramatically in the last 50 years since hybridization increased the amount of gluten in grain.

Grains contain an anti-nutrient.

Phytic acid is the anti-nutrient contained in grain. It’s how plants store phosphorous. Phytic acids prevent phosphorous, magnesium, zinc, calcium, and iron from breaking down and absorbing. It attaches to those minerals so they aren’t available to the body. One way to reduce the phytic acid in grains is to soak the grain, ferment it, or sprout it. It was how grain was prepared for use in the past. It eliminated both the phytic acid and the enzyme inhibitors.

  • Eating whole grains can help prevent heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and chronic inflammation. Including sourdough bread, which is fermented, sprouted bread, or bread made with soaked flour. Avoid bread made with highly processed and bleached flour.
  • Why choose whole grains? Processed flour is stripped of nutrients. The milling process removes the bran and germ containing the fiber and nutrients. It leaves only the endosperm that is starchy and high in calories.
  • If you have digestive issues caused by grains, identify which grains cause the problem. Pseudo-grains and brown rice flour might be good alternatives.
  • If you go grain-free it can lead to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and lead to constipation, and nutritional deficiencies. It can cause inflammation, weight gain, and affect immunity.

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

The Benefits Of Eating More Protein

The Benefits Of Eating More Protein

You need to eat adequate protein to ensure your body is working at peak performance and has all the building blocks necessary. One of the many benefits of eating more protein is improved weight control. Protein fills you up and leaves you feeling fuller for a longer period. It lowers your ghrelin—the hunger hormone—level and increases peptide YY—a gut hormone that makes you feel full. One study showed that when obese women increased protein intake from 15% of their calories to 30% of their caloric intake, they reduced the number of calories they ate by an average of 441 daily without intentionally trying.

You’ll build stronger bones when you eat more protein.

You may have read that a higher protein intake causes calcium to leach from bones to neutralize the increased acid load from protein. Most people would believe it would make a higher protein diet bad for bones, but that’s not true. Over the long term, consuming more protein helps build stronger bones. Studies show that people consuming more protein have more bone mass as they age and a lowered risk of fracture or osteoporosis. More protein also helps maintain muscle mass, reducing the risk of osteoporosis.

More protein aids in gaining muscle mass.

Protein is a building block for muscles. It’s why you eat a combination of carbs and protein before and after a tough strength-building workout. It helps maintain and build muscle mass. If you’re trying to lose weight, consume protein to ensure you won’t lose muscle mass. Muscle tissue requires more calories to maintain than fat tissue does, so the more you have the higher your metabolism.

Consuming more protein can help you lose weight in other ways.

Are you prone to late-night snacks or crave food between meals? Protein not only helps you feel fuller, but it also can reduce cravings. Craving food isn’t the same as being hungry and late-night snacking normally doesn’t involve hunger either. Studies show that by upping your protein intake to 25% of your caloric intake, you can reduce daytime cravings by as much as 60% and nighttime snacking by 50%. Consuming protein can also increase your metabolism while you digest it. It’s the thermic effect that increases calories burned and keeps the metabolic fires burning throughout the day.

  • You’ll reduce the risk of a heart attack when you increase your protein intake. Controlled trials show that a higher protein diet reduced blood pressure and even reduced other risk factors for heart disease.
  • If you have an injury, protein helps the body do repairs faster. Whether you cut your hand chopping vegetables or fell outside, eating more protein provides the nutrients necessary to speed recovery.
  • Increasing protein in your diet can make weight loss easier and help maintain that weight loss. An increase in your protein intake can help you keep weight off permanently.
  • People often worry that too much protein can damage their kidneys. If you have a kidney problem, a high intake of protein may be harmful. For everyone else, a diet higher in protein won’t affect your kidneys.

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

How To Stop Feeling Guilty About Overeating

How To Stop Feeling Guilty About Overeating

People who overeat consistently use food to cope with negative feelings. They stuff down those feelings with food. If overeating is followed by feeling guilty, it adds another negative emotion, and creates a bigger problem. Break the pattern and stop feeling guilty. Guilt drives the compulsion and makes food even more important as an emotional crutch. The shame adds to the feeling of worthlessness and being out of control.

Is it a bad habit, compulsive-addictive behavior, or a way to prove you’re not worthy?

There are many reasons for compulsive overeating. Sometimes, it starts innocently with a desire to look and feel better. Instead of simply looking at healthy food choices, people attach words like good food and bad food, making it more of a struggle of good v evil rather than simply eating a healthy diet. That elevates each infraction to a whole new level. Food can also become your addiction of choice. Foods high in sugar, fat, and salt trigger areas of the brain that cause your body to trigger feel-good hormones. Finding why you overeat will give you a better idea of why, help you control it better, and remove the stigmas.

Learn more about your overeating and guilt with a food/emotion diary.

Instead of tracking every bite of food, track the emotions you felt when you ate the food. Is the message in your head “I shouldn’t eat this,” or “I’m bad if I eat that”? Write down why you should or shouldn’t consume certain foods. Jot down all the self-talk and see how often you taunt yourself with negative input. Before you put your food/emotion diary away, ask yourself if you sincerely want that food and if it’s what your body needs. You might find that sometimes you don’t want it. For those times you do, give yourself permission to eat it without guilt. Eating becomes a decision which gives you control.

Become your own best friend.

Guilt comes with an onslaught of insults inside your head. Ask yourself, “Would I talk to my best friend that way?” If the answer is no, become your own best friend. If you ate the pint of Ben and Jerry’s in your freezer in record time, are you telling yourself you’re a failure, worthless, or something just as berating? Give yourself the talk you’d like to hear from a best friend.

  • If you’re truly craving a specific food, yet berating yourself after eating it, you’re taking all the pleasure out of eating it. Allowing yourself to feel that pleasure without guilt can reduce the need to do it more frequently.
  • Seek professional help if you can’t quit overeating or feeling guilty about it. There’s nothing wrong with getting help.
  • End the deprivation and quit starvation diets. You may be feeling guilty about consuming food that’s necessary for sustenance. Complete deprivation is as bad as overeating followed by guilt. In both instances, you’re punishing yourself.
  • Eat mindfully. Rather than making shame or guilt your focus, turn your attention to the food and savor the experience. Appreciate its appearance, texture, and taste, savoring each bite. You can get as much pleasure from a small amount without overeating.

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

How Not To Gain Weight On A Cruise

How Not To Gain Weight On A Cruise

Even though Louisville, KY, is one of the nicest places to be, sometimes it’s fun to get away from it. People often find taking a cruise is a perfect way. Food plays an important role on any cruise and sometimes people report they gain weight and lose their momentum on a cruise, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can enjoy yourself and may even shed a pound or two when you follow a few easy steps.

Stay active.

There’s a lot to do on a cruise, so take advantage of the situation. Find an active shore excursion you’d enjoy, such as a walking sightseeing tour, snorkeling, kayaking. or biking. You’ll see the sights and make memories, while burning calories. Work out at the gym when you’re not taking an active side trip, swim in the pool, or tour the boat. Don’t forget to use the stairs. When planning a meal, choose an option furthest from you and walk. You’ll burn more calories and aid digestion after a meal.

Go for healthier options and healthier food outlets.

Cruise ships offer a lot of options for meals. Choose healthier options. Instead of a heavy dessert, opt for a sorbet for most meals. You don’t have to deny yourself every meal. Choose one meal you’ll use to splurge. Many people make it to the last night to avoid being tempted every night. Say no to the breadbasket and yes to fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruits and vegetables can become a gourmet treat when prepared by a talented chef. Avoid dishes with high calorie, creamy sauces.

Keep a bottle of water available at all times.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how water boosts your energy and fills you up. Many cruises focus on fun in the sun, so having a bottle of water at your side constantly fits right into the picture. If you’re on a cold weather cruise, make that water in the cabin and green or herbal tea on the deck. Drink a bottle of water before dining and you’ll eat less. Studies show that subjects experienced weight loss by drinking eight ounces of water before a meal, even though they changed nothing else.

  • Limit drinks to lower-calorie options like white wine, light beer, or vodka. Avoid sugary, creamy ones that may have as many calories as an entire meal.
  • Give yourself permission to enjoy a treat. You’re on vacation, so enjoy. That doesn’t mean you need to become a glutton. Pick one meal a day to splurge, or one every other day. The rest of the time, enjoy healthy but lower-calorie foods.
  • Some dining venues offer a healthy menu with more fresh fruit and vegetable options, no fried food, and main dishes fit for a weight-watching king. Do your research before the trip and opt for the healthiest food outlets.
  • The buffet can be a friend or enemy if you’re trying to prevent weight gain. If you choose the buffet, survey all the options first, then fill your plate. Avoid wearing elastic waistbands and opt for traditional clothing that becomes tight if you overeat.

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

How To Start A Low Carb Diet

How To Start A Low Carb Diet

In recent years, the low carb diet has gained popularity. Even though eating healthier is a simpler solution that doesn’t require calorie or carb counting, it’s true that carb counting does work. One of the main reasons it works is that low carb foods are often low calorie foods. Low carb foods are often whole foods that don’t contain added sugar and are part of a program focused on healthy eating.

What is a low carb diet?

Carbohydrates are macronutrients, just as protein and fat are. A low carb diet limits carbs, which are found mostly in plant-based foods. Not all carbs are bad. There are three types of carbohydrates: sugar, starch, and fiber. Those three types are all necessary for the body to be healthy. Healthier carbs like fruits, vegetables, nuts, milk, grains, and beans, should be part of your diet, but food with added sugar and highly processed foods shouldn’t. That often eliminates special diet foods that are low in fat, since sugar often replaces the fat to provide the flavor lost when the fat was removed. Pasta and bread are normally missing in a low carb diet, too.

How a low carb diet works.

The belief behind a low carb diet is that the diet will change the way the body gets its energy or calories. It will stop getting its energy from carbohydrates and get it from fat and protein. When the body gets calories from carbs, the body changes the carbs’ glucose to glycogen, then it stores the glycogen in the liver. When the liver is full, the glycogen converts to fat. When you limit carbs, the body must get its fuel somewhere else, which is body fat.

The pros and cons of a low carb diet.

Low carb diets can help reduce insulin resistance, a precursor of Type 2 diabetes. It lowers the levels of insulin released. It also aids in lowering the bad LDL cholesterol levels and increases the good HDL levels. It helps stabilize both triglyceride and blood sugar levels. Extremely restrictive low carb diets have side effects like constipation, headaches, lethargy, heart palpitations, and irritability. It can cause undue stress on the kidneys.

  • Extreme low carb diets like the keto diet can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Studies show that extreme low carb diets didn’t provide enough of 15 of the 27 vitamins and minerals the body requires for good health.
  • Often people mistakenly overeat high fat foods like bacon. While bacon will set the body into a state of ketosis, it’s not the healthiest way to do it and can add too much sodium to the diet.
  • You can get many of the same benefits of a low carb diet by simply giving up food with added sugar, highly processed food, pasta, and bread. Always talk to your health care professional first before starting any diet.
  • At Body Sculptors, we provide personalized nutritional plans. It contains menus, shopping lists, recipes and helps you track your nutritional intake, making losing weight and getting fit easier.

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