Reducing Body Fat to 10%

Reducing Body Fat to 10%

Question:

I am at a healthy weight with good muscle mass (6 ft., 160 lbs., and ~11% body fat) for a 50-year-old male. What diet “dos” and “don’ts” do you have to reduce body fat to 10% or lower?

– Jerrod S.

Answer:

Wow, Jerrod! Your 11% of body fat is already at a level that others aspire toward. Hard to say what will give you that final edge to reach sub 10% not knowing what you’ve done so far to get where you’re at. According to the makers of three major body composition analyzers*, less than 10% body fat for men aged 40-59 is “underfat”. The body needs a minimum amount of essential fat for cellular processes, an estimated 5% for men. At this point, too little fatty tissue impairs endocrine and metabolic functions.

Of course, by building muscle mass and increasing percentage of lean body mass, your percentage of fat will drop (without having to lose fat mass). Dedicated athletes, fitness models, and physique competitors reach low levels of body fat by different means. Regardless of goal or specific approach, they all take eating and exercise very seriously, to the point these two activities can make up the bulk of their waking hours. For whatever reason you want to see a “10%” on your next body composition assessment, you’ll have to be even more strict on the diet you follow now or reduce portions slightly. No magic bullet here – just more of the hard work you’ve already put in!

* Omron, Tanita, and InBody. Manufacturer’s websites accessed 3/25/2019.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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Are Cauliflower Substitutions Really Healthier for You?

Are Cauliflower Substitutions Really Healthier for You?

Question:

Cauliflower seems to be all the rage. Cauliflower pizza crust, cauliflower rice, cauliflower mashed potatoes – is it really healthier than the alternatives? (i.e. regular dough, white/brown rice, mashed potatoes) I’ve noticed that sometimes it seems like these cauliflower products are very high in cholesterol, seems counterintuitive. I need an expert’s advice!

Answer:

It IS a craze! Cauliflower is a highly nutritious and under consumed cruciferous vegetable. Incorporating it in forms other than whole raw and steamed may reduce its benefit a smidge but at least more people are eating it. Its mild flavor and bland appearance make the versatile cauliflower suitable for replacing white starches for restricted carbohydrate, Paleo or gluten-free eating. Yes, I know purple, orange and green varieties exist. Here’s a rundown of the various popular ways cauliflower is offered (at present) compared to the original alternatives:

Riced cauliflower vs. rice – As a side dish, minced cauliflower is lower in calories and carbohydrate than traditional white rice. It offers more fiber, calcium, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin K while enriched medium grain white rice provides more iron, magnesium, zinc, and folate. *

Mashed cauliflower vs. mashed potato – With a higher water content than potato, cauliflower contains fewer carbohydrates and calories than the equal volume of spuds. For a moist food like mashed potato, the substitution works, particularly once salt, garlic, butter, sour cream or chives are added for flavor. Cauliflower provides more fiber, calcium, folate, vitamin C, and vitamin K while potatoes provide more potassium, zinc, and magnesium:*

100 g boiled, drained cauliflower                                              100 g peeled, boiled potato

  • 23                                                        Calories                               83
  • 4 gm                                                    Carbohydrate                       20 gm
  • 2.3 gm                                                 Fiber                                    1.8 gm
  • 0.32 mg                                               Iron                                       0.31 mg
  • 16 mg                                                  Calcium                                5 mg
  • 142 mg                                                 Potassium                           379 mg
  • 0.17 mg                                                Zinc                                      0.30 mg
  • 9 mg                                                     Magnesium                          22 mg
  • 44 mg                                                   Vitamin C                             13 mg
  • 44 µg                                                    Folate                                   10 µg
  • 14 µg                                                    Vitamin K                              2.2 µg

Cauliflower pizza crust vs. traditional dough – To hold the consistency together without wheat gluten, oil, egg and xanthan gum are added to cauliflower with starches like tapioca and brown rice flour. The oil content is responsible for higher fat, while egg is why the saturated fat content is often higher than the original dough version. Of course, switching the crust can only partially offset the pizza sauce, cheese, and toppings which are usually not healthy!

Sources:

  1. http://www.berkeleywellness.com/healthy-eating/food/article/catch-cauliflower-craze Accessed 3.11.2019

*Nutrient values from USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Legacy Release, April 2018 database. Findings were used along with RDN’s professional judgment.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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How to Boost Metabolism and Lose Weight After 40

How to Boost Metabolism and Lose Weight After 40

Question:

I wanted to know what’s the best way to boost metabolism and lose weight for a man once you’re over 40?

– Jermaine H.

Answer:

Fighting midlife weight gain is certainly a challenge! Hormone levels and lifestyle are common causes for the metabolism and weight change from prior decades. Targeting these two areas are likely to bring about the most benefit. Thus, it is wise to visit with your physician for a checkup. Amping up your physical activity during the day (walking, cleaning, washing your own car, dancing) outside of exercise is recommended to help lose weight in middle age.

At the gym and in the kitchen, the goal is to preserve muscle mass (and therefore metabolic function) and promote a calorie deficit. ProResults® Trainer, Morgan Connors, advises strength training and cardio workouts. Nutritionally, you should eat the bulk of your calories earlier in the day, include protein at each meal, limit added sugars and alcohol, and get enough fiber and water. Consuming green tea and chili peppers temporarily boost metabolic rate… a little. Other foods purported to raise metabolism include fish, egg whites, coffee, milk, yogurt, coconut oil, lentils, red beans, cinnamon, garlic, broccoli, and berries.

Sources:

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/metabolism-and-age#section7 Accessed 3.11.2019
  2. https://www.webmd.com/men/guide/male-menopause Accessed 3.11.2019
  3. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266749.php Accessed 3.11.2019
  4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/mens-health/in-depth/male-menopause/art-20048056 Accessed 3.11.2019
  5. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-ways-to-boost-metabolism Accessed 3.11.2019
  6. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/14802091/ns/health-diet_and_nutrition/t/can-you-really-change-your-metabolism/#.XIbSUYhKiUk Accessed 3.11.2019

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

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Vegetarian Diet Options to Help Improve Muscles

Vegetarian Diet Options to Help Improve Muscles

Question:

Hello, I am vegetarian and do not eat meat or eggs but do eat dairy products. Can you let me know the following?

  1. What kind of diet should I take to improve muscles?
  2. Also, what to eat before and after exercise?
  3. How would protein powder help?

Thanks for your help.

– Sunil J.

Answer:

Here are your three-fold answers:

  • A well-balanced lacto-vegetarian diet can be sufficient to promote muscle growth and strength when paired with an appropriate workout plan. The bigger you are and the more you burn the more nutrition you need – but also the more you can eat! A sample 2,800 calorie day might look like the following. Also see our recent suggestions for meatless meals.
  • 2 vegan sausage patties
  • Medium waxy potato with onion and peppers cooked in tablespoon oil
  • Banana
  • ½ multigrain bagel with tablespoon peanut butter
  • 5 cups of low-fat milk
  • ½ cup whole beans, two 8” wheat tortillas, 2 oz reduced fat cheese, ½ avocado, unlimited salsa
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • Orange
  • 6 oz. plain non-fat Greek-style yogurt with ¼ cup dried fruit and ¼ cup granola
  • 1 cup mixed vegetables and 3 oz meat substitute, stir-fried in teaspoon oil
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • Apple

Nutrient analysis using www.FitDay.com by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist = 127 gm Protein (16% calories). Findings were used along with RDN’s professional judgment.

  • Before strength training (assuming last meal was more than 3 hours prior) a small snack incorporating a carbohydrate with some protein, but little fat can fuel your workout and help prevent muscle protein breakdown. One example is rice or oat square cereal with non-fat milk and strawberries. Another would be noodles and chunky marinara with a soy meatball. After working out, replenish energy stores and promote muscle repair and rebuilding with a similar recovery snack within a half hour. Graham crackers with peanut butter and banana slices is an option.
  • Protein powder aids in providing variety and convenience to meals or snacks on the go. When mixed with fluid as a beverage, protein powder is more readily absorbed than a solid protein you’d need to chew and break down. A balance of soy, casein, and whey can offer a more sustained delivery of protein.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

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Weight Loss Supplement Recommendations

Weight Loss Supplement Recommendations

Question:

Do you recommend a weight loss supplement?

– Brian N.

Answer:

Hi Brian, I’m so glad you asked my opinion! Powder supplements of actual food components (such as of protein and fibers) can be quite useful in an energy-restricted diet since reduced total food volume can limit intake of certain nutrients. A general multivitamin/mineral supplement providing 100% DRI may also be suitable. These may not directly promote weight loss in themselves but can help the body maintain a healthy status while losing weight and indirectly help by curbing appetite.

Pill supplements of other compounds are nearly the last thing I recommend for weight loss, usually after other interventions have failed. There are many downsides to using popular supplements such as fat burners, appetite suppressants, and metabolism boosters. Due to personal biochemistry, their effects on physiology (positive or negative) may be as great as that of prescription weight loss drugs. The efficacy of a supplement should be weight against its safety. According to the National Institutes of Health*, the compounds with “possible modest effect” on weight, fat mass or waist circumference include African mango, caffeine, green coffee bean extract, green tea, carnitine, and white kidney bean. Reported side effects include various GI disturbances, headaches, difficulty sleeping, urinary tract infections, increased blood pressure, and liver damage.

* Source: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/WeightLoss-HealthProfessional/ Accessed 3.11.2019

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

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