Teen Talk: Healthy Nutrition Advice | Q+A

Teen Talk: Healthy Nutrition Advice | Q+A

Question:

Hi! I am a sophomore in high school who has been interested in health and fitness since middle school. Within the past two years I have worked hard to lose a good amount of weight/fat, but I can’t seem to lose anymore. As a matter of fact, my only concern is losing the fat and maintaining my weight. I do plenty of weight training with machines, inclined running, and I even workout at school because I am on the dance team. I use the MyFitnessPal app to track my caloric intake, and even with the “weight loss” setting, I can’t seem to lose any more fat. I refer to myself as “skinny fat” because I am pretty long and slim, but my stomach has a good amount of fat to get rid of, and I want to look more toned. The past three months I have been pushing my workouts harder, and restricting my calories more. I can’t seem to get more results and I just don’t know what to do anymore. I am looking for fat loss, and a more toned look.

– Patricia S.

Answer:

Lots of physical activity for a teen certainly burns calories, though it may not translate to toning because the tissues are programmed to reach their genetic potential under the guidance of your maturing hormones. Granted, you may see some older girls with six-packs in the media, but they are typically fitness models and make up less than 1% of the population. Chances are your body is fighting to attain its adult female form while you are attempting to prevent it from doing so. Consuming less than 1600 calories also makes it difficult to get the nutrients you need, such as iron and magnesium.

Experts do not recommend restricting calories1, but rather making the most out of what calories you do eat. Be sure to get at least 25 grams of fiber and 8-10 glasses of fluid daily. Instead of sweetened beverages or diet sodas, drink water or iced tea. Include healthy fats such as omega-3s (from fish), oils, avocado, nuts and nut butters. Eat two to three calcium rich foods per day, 5 servings of fruits and vegetables and 6 ounces of whole grains. Include a little protein at each meal and snack. Meals should have 3-4 food groups, while snacks should have items from at least 2 food groups.

It’s important to maintain a positive body image. Focus on the health benefits of your good choices. Embrace the long and slim physique that exercise has brought you. Concern yourself with enjoying summer, developing healthy habits and staying on top of dance! You’re on your way to becoming a capable, strong woman of substance.

If you think you may worry too much about your weight or body image, or if thinking about these things is interfering with your happiness, tell an adult you trust, like a parent, coach, teacher or doctor.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

Sourced:

  1. Kids, Caring For. “Dieting: Information for Teens.” Dieting: Information for Teens – Caring for Kids. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 June 2017.

Resources:

  1. KidsHealth.org
  2. GirlsHealth.gov
  3. Teen Dieting

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 Completely Change Your Backyard BBQ Game

How To Completely Change Your Backyard BBQ Game

Summer is upon us, and it’s time to enjoy outdoor dining! For holidays, game days, beach days or good ol’ fun, people like barbeque . But plain old burgers and potato salad just don’t cut it for health or hosting. Why not upgrade your grill menu with newer flavors and lighter fare? Here are our top picks for something new and different this grilling season.

 

Seafood

Pesto shrimp skewers with sliced lemon.

Try lemon pepper marinade for fish fillets, then individually wrap the fillet in foil ‘pouches’ with vegetables – tightly fold in edges to seal in moisture.

 

Miso ginger glazed salmon fillets.

Meats

Grilled flank steak strips with chimichurri.

Grilled pork tenderloin with lime juice, garlic and chipotle powder to serve thin-sliced for fajitas.

 

If you must have sausage, cut into chunks and skewer with onion and peppers!

Poultry

Chicken drumsticks brushed with honey mustard.

Serve grilled bone-in, skin on chicken thighs with tangy white (horseradish/mayo) BBQ sauce.

To give turkey burgers a little more flavor, try adding Worcestershire or crushed red pepper flakes to your patties.

 

Chicken breasts drizzled with balsamic reduction, and sliced zucchini and yellow squash.

Vegetables & Legumes

Be sure to include a bean salad*, baked beans, or Texas caviar side dish.

Soak corn for cooking right on the grill, husks optional. For serving, mix margarine with cumin, paprika or your favorite seasoning.

 

Upgrade your coleslaw with these combos that dress up shredded cabbage and carrot: mango/cantaloupe; lime/cilantro; red pepper/peanuts with soy ginger dressing.

Fruit & Dessert

Add sliced avocado and grilled pineapple rings to your burger topping line-up.

Upgrade your fruit salad with fresh mint and coconut meat.

 

Try making your own popsicles with fresh fruit and juice or yogurt.

Additional Tips

  • Spray the unheated grill with cooking oil first.
  • If you’re going with traditional BBQ sauce, choose one with less than 6 grams of sugar per 2 tablespoons.
  • Cut down on sodium by using an herb & spice rub that’s salt-free.

*Tasty Bean, Feta and Dill Salad adapted from Cooking with Wholefoods, Ross Dobson, 2012:

Ingredients

  • 3 cups canned broad/fava beans (rinse well, slip off skins & discard)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • small bunch fresh dill, finely chopped
  • handful fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
  • handful small fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 oz. feta cheese, roughly crumbled
  • ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Heat 1 Tbsp of the oil in a small frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, until just softened. Remove from heat.
  3. Put the broad/fava beans and herbs in a serving bowl. Whisk together the lemon juice and remaining oil in a small bowl and pour over the salad.
  4. Stir to combine.
  5. Add the onion/garlic mixture and feta, stir again, and season well with black pepper before serving.

Serves 4

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I Can’t Believe It’s Not…Bad For Me? | Q+A

I Can’t Believe It’s Not…Bad For Me? | Q+A

Question:

I use “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter”. Is this product safe as it relates to heart health? Is this a bad fat or fat substitute?

– Hazel M.

Answer:

Before I get into nutritional analysis, let me say that in regards to any substitutes (for fat, sugar, or salt) I always mention that their risks and benefits depend on how much and how often you consume them. If you use less than a teaspoon only once per week, the difference between the substitute and the real thing is probably negligible. However, heavier daily use may mean a significant change in overall fat, sugar or sodium intake. So you can decide how important the following is for you.

The butter substitute you speak of has 50% less fat than real butter with the following breakdown for a tablespoon; 6 gm total fat, 2 gm Saturated, 0 Trans, 3 gm Polyunsaturated, 1.5 Monounsaturated. Compare that to a tablespoon of butter: 12 gm total fat, 7 gm Saturated, 0.5 gm Trans, 0.4 gm Polyunsaturated, 3 gm Monounsaturated. The substitute has less of the harmful saturated and trans fat with more of the heart-healthy unsaturated fats. In addition it has alpha-linolenic acid, a precursor to omega-3 fat which provides a couple of heart benefits, namely a lower risk of coronary heart disease and improvement in cholesterol.

Yes, used as a spread, the product is safe for your arteries. If you are cooking with it in a pan, I’d suggest using straight oil instead, as margarine and the like are not intended for high heat.

– 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.

LA Fitness Living Healthy subscribe button

Want more? SUBSCRIBE to receive the latest Living Healthy articles right in your inbox!

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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Member Spotlight | Motivated to Make a Change

Member Spotlight | Motivated to Make a Change

The First Day of Forever 

There comes a moment in most of our lives, when suddenly something causes us to want to make a change for the better. For Bryson I. of Anaheim Hills, CA, it was when he weighed in at 280 lbs. It was the heaviest he had ever been in his life. His waist measured 42 inches, and he was noticing that his body’s health was beginning to take a toll. Bryson was told he was borderline diabetic, and with those words, something triggered inside of him – sparking a fitness crave that would ultimately change his life.

“This is the best part; best part of anything is the moment before it starts! Life is beautiful – keep it going at LA Fitness!”

– Bryson I.

It was about a year and five months ago when Bryson walked through the front doors of the Anaheim Hills LA Fitness club. He met with Abed, the General Manager, and signed up for a membership that day. He was determined to take back control of his health. However, this headstrong determination would come as no surprise to those who know Bryson.

Growing up, Bryson had always been involved in sports. In fact, sports were ingrained into his family’s lifestyle. However, 13 years had since passed since Bryson was actively engaged on a sports team, and now he missed playing. He chose LA Fitness because his father had been an avid member his entire life. Bryson wanted to choose a place that not only felt like family, but where he could train with them as well.

Focus, Family & Food

Knowing that it would take a total lifestyle change in order to reap both physical and health benefits, Bryson cut out soda, fast food, energy drinks, and alcohol for 6 months. This wasn’t necessarily an easy thing for Bryson to do, considering he is a professional in the restaurant industry working as a marketing and sales executive. His position allows him the privilege to work with all types of famous and talented chefs, making food a constant staple in his life. However, he had made up his mind that he had to change his diet to obtain the results he desired.

“When I started to see a change in my body, that’s what got me hooked, that’s when I got addicted to change my entire life for the better and share my process with others on social media, and “Bryson 2.0” was born.”

– Bryson I.

Since starting on his fitness journey, Bryson has lost 80 lbs. and gained a growing number of fitness followers on his social media channels. He chalks up his 80-pound loss to a healthy change in diet, as well as making working out a priority. Bryson shared that most of his inspiration stems from his father and sister. His father, Kimo, has been lifting at LA Fitness since Bryson was 5 years old. Kimo had, and continues to act, as a type of fitness coach to his son, which Bryson describes as being “truly an honor”. Because of his father’s years of lifting experience, he was able to help guide his son into the world of lifting. His sister, Malia, has also been dedicated throughout the years by working out daily and meal prepping. Bryson describes his family as being “a big inspiration to me when I lift at LA Fitness, it’s what keeps me going.”

“When you lift, intentionally focus on you, set short and long term goals and don’t give up until you meet them. Also, remember that at LA Fitness you are part of a team, a family. Together, we are all gonna make it!”

– Bryson I.

Where is he now?

Bryson has been asked to compete in his first NPC (National Physique Committee) national qualifier in Hawaii and Olympia, which he is very excited about. And perhaps even greater news is what he heard from his doctor, a year after first starting on his fitness journey. Bryson shared that “he was so impressed to see my body change and health exponentially improve. Because of my LA Fitness family, I have a new life with a new body.” Bryson hopes that his transformation will inspire others to do the same.


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Follow @LAFitness on Instagram to check out our new #BetterBodSquad video series!

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Whether you’re at a beginner, intermediate or advanced fitness level, #BetterBodSquad has helpful instructional videos for you! Complete with step-by-step moves, easily broken down for you, you’ll be able to watch & learn at your own pace. Each video runs within 60 seconds and features fitness moves from Yoga, Zumba® & Bodyworks, which may better help prepare you for your next Group Fitness class.

The #BetterBodSquad series is here to help you reach new fitness heights – are you ready? It’s fitness made easy!

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The #BetterBodSquad series features instructional tips and techniques taught by top LA Fitness instructors to help guide you through Group Fitness classes available at LA Fitness Clubs.

#BetterBodSquad features:

  • Various group fitness class moves, including: Yoga, Zumba® & Bodyworks, broken down step-by-step, all within 60 seconds.
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With new helpful videos added regularly, you’ll be ready to conquer your next Group Fitness workout with confidence!

Follow us on the @LAFitness Instagram and search #BetterBodSquad to keep in the know about some of your future favorite Group Fitness Classes!


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