AAT: Ep. 31 – Problems Building Muscle

AAT: Ep. 31 – Problems Building Muscle

Ask A Trainer: Featured Question of the Week

On this episode of ‘Ask A Trainer’ we speak with LA Fitness Pro Results® trainer Morgan C., and get her expert advice on building muscle, protein, and what not to do. 


Do you have a fitness question? Ask one of our certified Pro Results® trainers here! Your question may be featured in an upcoming Ask Our Trainer video.**

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**Selected submissions will be featured on the LA Fitness blog and possibly other LA Fitness digital media entities & websites. By making a submission, you hereby grant LA Fitness a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide, irrevocable license to use and make copies of the contents of such submission for any purpose and in any medium whatsoever, and you hereby waive and relinquish any copyright or other intellectual property right you may have in the contents of such submission and your right to pursue any claim for LA Fitness’s violation of those intellectual property rights.


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Understanding Basic Nutrient Needs

Understanding Basic Nutrient Needs

Question:

Hi, my name is Allison and I joined LA Fitness this summer. My very basic question is, what ARE the nutrient needs of a basic adult?  (I’m female, 5’4″, 135 lbs. and trying to shed 5 -10 lbs., work out 3-4x/ week and walk on off days). I just want to know what the basic categories of things are a person needs. I’ve heard about nutrients being macros (fat protein carb) and micro (vitamins and minerals) but I’ve also heard nutritionists online say to get fiber and leafy greens and antioxidants and others say lots of veggies and lean meat – and I know they’re all related and many of them overlap- so I guess I’m just confused about what to seek out in my diet. Thank you SO much.

– Allison T.

Answer:

Allison, based on your anthropometrics and level of exercise your daily nutrient needs may fall into the following ranges (provided for a 30-year-old woman):

  •                 1,900-2,400 Calories
  •                 63-80 gms Fat (30% calories)
  •                 61-92 gms Protein (1.0-1.5 gram/kg)
  •                 240-300 gms Carbohydrate (50% calories) including 25 gms Fiber (standard daily value)

Please see the Institute of Medicine’s Dietary Reference Intake tables for vitamins and minerals for your intake targets of 29 micronutrients. Antioxidant action is an important function of certain micronutrients and phytochemicals (beneficial compounds found in plants), so we call those antioxidants.

As far as basic nutrients, you just need to add one thing to your list of fat, protein, carbohydrate, vitamins, and minerals – water! It is a macronutrient since we need such large volumes of it. Since it doesn’t provide calories, water is not often regarded the same as the 3 energy-yielding macronutrients. Exact requirements are not specified by the Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board, but the adequate intake of water is 3.7 liters per day for men and 2.7 liters per day for women, including beverages and water derived from solid food.

You can look at nutrient numbers specifically now and then, but to ease the confusion just focus on your dietary habits and overall consumption to obtain sources of those nutrients. What you should seek out in your diet are plant-based protein sources, raw produce of every color, the most wholesome grains, the leanest animal foods, and unsweetened beverages… in amounts that just satisfy you. Those recommendations can be suited to every culture and worldly food belief. Sounds a lot simpler to me!

– 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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The Point of Pilates (and How It Differs from Yoga)

The Point of Pilates (and How It Differs from Yoga)

For people that love to work out but running around the block or hitting the elliptical aren’t their favorite activities, yoga and Pilates can be go-to exercise programs. Both programs take a gentler approach when toning the body and stress the importance of specific breathing patterns. Some fitness classes will combine the two activities, a hybrid of aerobic and non-aerobic exercises. But there is a difference in the way the two programs approach their objectives.

The biggest difference between yoga and Pilates is the spiritual element incorporated into yoga practices. Yoga brings the body and mind together with three main elements: exercise, breathing, and meditation. Structured, static poses are designed to put pressure on glandular systems, promoting overall body efficiency and total health. Yoga was originally designed as a path toward spiritual enlightenment but today has become popular as a gentle form of exercise and stress management.

Pilates was inspired by yoga, calisthenics, and ballet and was originally developed to help injured athletes and dancers. An emphasis is placed on the quality of posture in each exercise rather than the amount of reps. There are 500 Pilates exercises, each designed to put your body in an unstable posture and then challenging you by moving your limbs.There are two different types of Pilates: mat Pilates which consists of exercises performed on the floor using gravity to your body weight to provide resistance, and equipment-based Pilates which uses a spring-loaded machine that you push and pull along tracks. Dumbbell weights can be used in Pilates exercises as well for more resistance.

The lack of spirituality certainly doesn’t take away from the effectiveness of Pilates. Its main objective is core strengthening, requiring intense concentration and breathing techniques. Workouts tend to run in the 45-90-minute range, with 5-10 reps per exercise, incorporating precise ranges of motion, rhythm, and breathing. Like yoga, it can help improve muscular and postural strength, but because of the focus on the core has the added benefit of toning abdominals more quickly. Although it is more active than yoga, muscles are never worked to exhaustion and Pilates lengthens and stretches all of your major muscle groups in a balanced way.

Compare them yourself! LA Fitness offers both yoga and mat Pilates classes all week. Check out the schedule here.

Schedule a complimentary Pilates by LAF workout today!

Sources:

  1. Department of Health & Human Services. “Pilates and Yoga – Health Benefits.” Better Health Channel, Department of Health & Human Services, 31 July 2013, www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/pilates-and-yoga-health-benefits.
  2. “PILATES VS. YOGA.” Energy Pilates Fitness Yoga, www.energypilatesfitness.com/pilates-vs-yoga.html.

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Low Carb and Fat for Cholesterol

Low Carb and Fat for Cholesterol

Question:

Hello. Both of my cholesterols are borderline, and my doctor and I agreed not to start on any medication. Instead, a low-carb, low-fat diet is what I’m looking forward to doing. What should I look for in food labels? Fat grams? Total fat? Carbs? Trans fat? There’s so much info. I’m confused. How much do I need of what? Thanks.

– Patricia D.

Answer:

Hi Patricia! Exact nutrition targets would depend on your full lipid profile, so you should consider taking your lab results to a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for a personalized prescription. You’re right that there is so much information – because it is such a complex situation with multiple factors. While I can’t clarify how much YOU need, I can explain which fats and carbs impact each lipid, and what are the major sources of those macronutrients.

  • If total cholesterol is too high AND it is due to the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or other undesirable components being elevated, then take action to reduce those measures. Having a very high level of the desirable high-density lipoprotein (HDL) could push total cholesterol to a high number, but that situation may not be a concern.
  • If the LDL cholesterol is high, then decreasing total fat, saturated fat, and trans fat while increasing fiber may help reduce LDL.
  • If HDL cholesterol is low, then decreasing trans fat, opting for unsaturated fats, consuming alcohol in moderation, quitting smoking, increasing exercise, and losing extra weight may raise HDL levels.
  • If triglycerides are too high, then decreasing refined carbohydrates and saturated fat, limiting alcohol and increasing omega-3 fat, losing excess weight, and exercising may improve triglycerides.

TOTAL FAT – The daily reference value for total fat in a 2,000-calorie diet is 65 grams per day, representing a limit of 30% calories. Major sources are fried foods, animal products including dairy products, nuts, seeds, avocados, and olives. Oils and butter and pure fat. Some desserts and condiments are nearly all fat calories.

SATURATED FAT – The daily reference value for saturated fat in a 2,000-calorie diet is 20 grams, representing a limit of 10% calories. Saturated fat is the type which is solid at room temperature. Mainly from animal sources, palm and coconut. Major sources include cheese, butter, cream, ground beef, bacon, fatty cuts of meat and foods fried in lard or sautéed in butter.

TRANS FAT – Created during the hydrogenation of vegetable oils, this very harmful fat is found primarily in processed foods and animal products. No known safe amount. In 2015 the FDA stated, “…there is no longer a consensus among qualified experts that partially hydrogenated oils, which are the primary dietary source of industrially-produced trans fatty acids are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for any use in human food.

UNSATURATED FAT – Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature and are predominantly found in plant foods. Avocados, olives, vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds are major sources.

OMEGA-3 FAT – A particular kind of polyunsaturated fat that is predominantly from mackerel, herring, tuna, salmon and trout. Notable sources include other fish and seafood, walnuts, flaxseed, and canola oil.

FIBER – The daily reference value for dietary fiber in a 2,000 calorie diet is 25 grams, representing a minimum of 1.5 grams per 100 calories. Soluble fibers are the type that directly help to reduce cholesterol. Major sources include oats, beans, peas, lentils, apples, pears, barley, and prunes.

REFINED CARBOHYDRATES – Albeit from natural sources, white flour and added sugars are not the same as their wholesome counterparts. Refined carbs include pastries, many cereals, flour tortillas, breading on fried foods, regular pasta, pretzels, and the ingredient maltodextrin.  Added sugars should comprise no more than 10% calories according to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Added sugars can come from sugars (any kind; usually end in “ose”), syrups, glazes, honey, fruit juice concentrate, and molasses in products such as candy, desserts, soft drinks, and sweetened cereals.

ALCOHOL – A moderate consumption of ethanol-containing beverages means 1 drink per day for men and no more than 2 drinks per day for women. A serving size depends on the beverage’s alcohol percentage: 1.5 oz liquor (80 proof = 40% alcohol); 5 oz wine (12% alcohol); 12 fl oz beer (5% alcohol).

Sources:

American Heart Association

  1. http://heartinsight.heart.org/Summer-2015/How-Do-I-Increase-My-Good-Cholesterol/
  2. http://www.my.americanheart.org/idc/groups/ahamah-public/@wcm/@sop/@smd/documents/downloadable/ucm_425988.pdf

Web MD

  1. https://www.webmd.com/heart/how-to-boost-your-good-cholesterol
  2. https://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/lowering-triglyceride-levels#1

Mayo Clinic

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/hdl-cholesterol/art-20046388
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/triglycerides/art-20048186
  3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/cholesterol/art-20045192

– 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!

12 + 8 =


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Member Spotlight | Understand Your Body and Change Your Life

Member Spotlight | Understand Your Body and Change Your Life

What are your current fitness goals?

My number one fitness goal, now and always, is to keep my autoimmune disease under control. Additionally, it is always a goal of mine to live a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle. I like to find the balance between enjoying my time in the gym and enjoying other activities, like eating out and having popcorn at the movies or a hot dog at a baseball game. It is so important to me to maintain a long-term and sustainable healthy lifestyle. Being too restrictive with my diet does not work for me!

How has training helped shape/change your fitness lifestyle?

Training has changed my mind, body, and soul! I remember how uncomfortable I felt in my body before I began my fitness journey, and before I started lifting weights. I hated the way I looked and I had to change my outfit 500x before leaving the house because I couldn’t stand the way I looked in my own clothes. Through weight training and proper nutrition, I have been able to shape a body that I truly love and enjoy. This has absolutely transformed my mindset. I am more self-confident and comfortable in my own skin. This transformation not only has an impact on my relationship with myself but also has leaked over into other aspects of my life, such as my job and relationships with others.

Left: July 2017 | Right: July 2018

What got you to join LA Fitness? How has it influenced your life?

I had tried different things to try to get in shape and lose weight in my young adult life, from Weight Watchers to diet pills. None of these options worked for me because they were not sustainable long-term. The turning point for me was my diagnosis with an autoimmune disease, Sjogren’s (SHOW-grins) Syndrome in March of 2017. Autoimmune disease is a condition in which the body mistakes its own healthy cells as foreign invaders and attacks them. In my case, Sjogren’s Syndrome mainly affects the moisture-producing glands, such as the nose, mouth, and eyes. I was 23 years old and the doctors told me I had to be on medication for the rest of my life. Fearing the implications of what a long-term medication might do to me, I started seeking out holistic treatment options. First and foremost, I researched foods, proper nutrition and how I could use food to heal. I eliminated gluten and dairy from my diet to see how I would respond. Although I wasn’t eating those “unhealthy” options, I still struggled to lose weight because I didn’t know much about general nutrition and hadn’t learned proper portion control. Within two weeks without dairy, my cystic acne disappeared. I knew that I was on to something with food for healing and eating for health. I reintroduced gluten successfully, with no issues. When I reintroduced dairy, my stomach was very upset and my acne returned. I am still eating a dairy-free diet to this day. It was such an empowering experience to get to know how my body responds to certain foods.

Around the same time, my boyfriend and I decided to join LA Fitness in hopes of getting into shape. We realized we had put on some “relationship weight” in our first year together, but it wasn’t until we started actually getting into the gym that we realized how bad it had gotten. Between his knowledge of weight training and my knowledge of nutrition at that point, we began to learn and share with one another. We decided to start tracking our macronutrient intake and weighing out our foods. It was during this time that we learned the proper portion sizes for our bodies and the nutritional value of different food options. It was the perfect combination and it started to actually work. I have lost a total of 30 pounds and my boyfriend lost a total of 75 pounds, leaving us with over 100 pounds lost between us!

If you could give others one piece of advice, what would it be?

My biggest piece of advice would be to be patient with yourself and stay committed to your overall health. It’s not just about how you look, it’s about how you feel in your body, and how your body is functioning. By staying committed for the long haul, you will experience sustainable, long-term health and fitness. There are no quick fixes. Just keep going to the gym, keep fueling your body with healthy and nourishing options and the rest will follow.

Summer S.

LAF Member

IG: @summersenna 


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