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

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

How To Create The Ultimate At Home Gym

How To Create The Ultimate At Home Gym

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