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.

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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Combat Stress Better with These 8 Foods

Combat Stress Better with These 8 Foods

Ugh… The moment you miss an exit and are already late. Stressful!  Stress is an unavoidable part of our strained and hectic lives today. It occurs when psychological or physical demands (whether perceived or real) exceed our ability to cope. Some people experience stress in the form of nervousness or headaches while others get muscle tightening or stomach upset. Long-term stress may cause anxiety or depression and contribute to chronic disease.  

The effects of stress are two-fold: in behavior we react (e.g. stress eating) rather than respond; while physiologically our bodies produce greater amounts of the hormone cortisol. Both can contribute to nasty weight gain. But take heart – and breathe! In addition to relaxation techniques and other therapies, proper nutrition can combat stress. We offer this list of consumables that either reduce/interrupt the perception of stress or mitigate the harmful effects of stress: 

DARK CHOCOLATE 

Studies suggest that 1-2 ounces of dark chocolate (60-70% cacao) daily reduces stress levels and inflammation.1 Part of the effect may be that cacao’s flavonoids affect the brain’s sensory perception and mood, easing emotional stress.  

OATMEAL  

Oats can reduce stress hormone levels and boost serotonin to promote a feeling of calmness.2 Soluble fibers like fructo-oligosaccharides may boost mood since their effect on gut bacteria influences neurotransmitter systems. 

ORANGES 

In addition to having a stimulating aroma, citrus is rich in flavonoids which may increase cerebral blood flow and increase neural activity. Vitamin C and potassium-rich foods also improve blood pressure3 and boost the immune system, combatting chronic stress.4 

WALNUTS 

Various compounds in walnuts like polyphenols, tocopherols, polyunsaturated fatty acids (including omega-3 fatty acids3) may reduce oxidative stress and curb release of stress hormones. Walnuts are also a good source of B-vitamins which promote resilience during bouts of stress.4 

MEDITERRANEAN-STYLE DIET 

Nutrition experts recommend eating more legumes, fish, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables to reduce vulnerability to stress and decrease the effects of oxidative stress.5,6  

PLANNED/EASY PREP MEALS 

Knowing what you’re going to eat takes away uncertainty, eliminates ‘decision fatigue’ and creates predictability, reducing stress. Structured diets function the same way. Consider how much less complicated it is to eat and simply enjoy your meal when the decision (of what, how much and when) has already been made! 

ADAPTOGENS 

Certain compounds in herbal plants may mediate the adaptive stress response, helping to increase the body’s tolerance to stress by stimulating stress-protective responses, such as normalizing cortisol levels.7 Two observed adaptogens are Ashwagandha root and tulsi, though there is limited scientific evidence for their effectiveness. *  

FOODS FROM OR EATEN OUTDOORS 

If exploring nature and connecting with the earth can relieve stress, then picking your foods from a farm stand or straight from the garden may help. It follows also that dining ‘al fresco‘ will reduce stress — think of breathing in that fresh air!  

Whether you modify your eating habits or incorporate stress-reducing foods, bolster those nutritional defenses with other stress-fighters like getting adequate sleep, exercise, keeping a positive attitude and practicing time management. 

*The National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health emphasizes caution with using herbal remedies. They are best used short-term, for a few weeks. 

REFERENCES: 

  1. Dark Chocolate, Health, and Stress Relief. Elizabeth Scott. 6/14/2018. VeryWellMind.com https://www.verywellmind.com/dark-chocolate-health-and-stress-relief-3144564 Accessed 2/26/2019 
  2. Eat Right, Drink Well, Stress Less: Stress-Reducing Foods, Herbal Supplements, and Teas. https://exploreim.ucla.edu/nutrition/eat-right-drink-well-stress-less-stress-reducing-foods-herbal-supplements-and-teas/ Accessed 2/26/2019 
  3. Eat Right, Drink Well, Stress Less: Stress-Reducing Foods, Herbal Supplements, and Teas. https://exploreim.ucla.edu/nutrition/eat-right-drink-well-stress-less-stress-reducing-foods-herbal-supplements-and-teas/ Accessed 2/26/2019  
  4. Foods that Help Tame Stress. WebMD.com  https://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-diet-for-stress-management  Accessed 2/26/2019 
  5. What to Eat to Beat Stress All Day Long, According to a Registered Dietitian. Jessica Cording. 6/25/2018. Forbes.com  https://www.forbes.com/sites/jesscording/2018/06/25/eat-to-beat-stress-dietitian/#71ce5c81245b Accessed 2/26/2019 
  6. How Food Can Affect Your Mood. Karen Jamrog. November 2018. NHmagazine.com https://www.nhmagazine.com/November-2018/How-Food-Can-Affect-Your-Mood/ Accessed 2/26/2019  
  7. Exploring Adaptogenic Herbs. Vicki Shanta Retelny. 10/5/2017. Food & Nutrition magazine. https://foodandnutrition.org/september-october-2017/exploring-adaptogenic-herbs/ Accessed 2/26/2019 

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Reducing Body Fat to 10%

Reducing Body Fat to 10%

Fitness after 50 usually means approaching fitness differently than you used to. To reduce body fat to a level of 10%, calorie restriction may come into play.

Are Cauliflower Substitutions Really Healthier for You?

Are Cauliflower Substitutions Really Healthier for You?

Cauliflower is a highly nutritious and under consumed cruciferous vegetable. Its mild flavor and bland appearance make the versatile cauliflower suitable for replacing white starches for restricted carbohydrate, Paleo or gluten-free eating.

Instructor Spotlight | Transforming Lives Through Yoga

Instructor Spotlight | Transforming Lives Through Yoga

“Going to the gym and working out has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. For that reason, I have been enjoying a good and healthy lifestyle so far.”

Shaun G.

Group Fitness Instructor, LA Fitness

I was working at Bally’s Total Fitness for a number of years in their martial arts program (TMA). I was a Taekwondo instructor (Second Degree Black Belt). Unfortunately, Bally’s Total Fitness filed for bankruptcy and they closed the TMA program. Within a few months, I decided to become a member of LA Fitness and shortly after, I started working as an aerobics instructor.

Going to the gym and working out has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. For that reason, I have been enjoying a good and healthy lifestyle so far. It takes a lot of discipline and hard work. It becomes a habit and addiction that you cannot live without. By teaching at LA Fitness, I have met a lot of people with the same pattern and routine.

In today’s modern world, we are blessed with things that make our lives easier, better, and faster. At the same time, all of these comforts have their side effects too. In today’s world, there are many things that work for us and many things that work against us. Having a modern gym such as LA Fitness with state-of-the-art facilities is a blessing that makes our life better.

We are fortunate to live in the Dallas, Fort Worth area where there are plenty of LA Fitness clubs within few miles of each other. LA Fitness offers a number of different classes at different locations and times.

Most of the members that are attending these classes become regular members. They see the benefit of these Group Fitness classes. Most of them enjoy exercising with others. They love the motivation and inspiration these classes offer. As an instructor, helping people get in shape and stay in shape without dropping out is fulfilling. Not all people are the same, and they have different needs.

As I mentioned before, it takes a lot of discipline and hard work to reach a fitness goal. However, helping people to reach their fitness goals is a great feeling and has its own reward. In a way, by helping other people you are helping yourself. These Group Fitness classes at LA Fitness give members a chance to surround themselves with people that have the same goals. They get a chance to have a happy and joyful lifestyle. Some of them become friends, socialize for life, and give each other support, advice, and motivation.

My goal is to help as many people as I can through Yoga. Yoga is not just wonderful way to work out but also a path to self-discovery. You can lose weight and tone up your body while transforming your life at the same time. This ancient practice or discipline is one of the best things you can do for mind, body, and spirit.

Classes Taught:

I have been working at LA Fitness for almost 5 years. I teach Yoga, Boot Camp, Body Works, Cycling, Mat Pilates and Power Circuit, but my main passion is Yoga. I teach eight Yoga classes a week in four LA Fitness locations (Rowlett, Sachse, Richardson, and Garland in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area.)


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6 Fringe Health Topics You Should Know

6 Fringe Health Topics You Should Know

Staying healthy involves much more than just being fit and eating certain supplements or foods. One area that is often ignored is your mouth. If you neglect good oral care it can ruin your health in many ways – and may actually shorten your life. 

1. Your Mouth Affects Your Overall Health 

Recently, researchers have discovered that the health of your mouth can affect the health of your entire body. This is especially true if you have the more serious form of gum disease – periodontitis. Most people have no idea that they have it or how serious it can become – and one reason is that it is nearly painless until it reaches the advanced stages. About half of the adults in America over 30 have the disease and it continues to be the major cause of tooth loss in adults. 

Periodontitis is caused by some of the natural bacteria in your mouth. It gets into your gums through poor care of your teeth and starts an immune reaction. Once it is in your gums, it also gets access to your bloodstream. Not only will it destroy your gums, ligaments that support your teeth, and your jawbone, but the reaction from your immune system will produce buildups in your bloodstream and organs. 

Those buildups can lead to many serious diseases and other health problems. They include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, heart attacks, several types of cancer, dementia, ED, Parkinson’s, and many more.  

2. Sugary Drinks Are Sure to Produce Cavities 

One of the worst things you can do for your teeth and oral health is to sip on sugary drinks for hours. Many people love to sip on specialty coffees, teas, energy drinks, or fruit juices, thinking it is healthy.  

Unfortunately, the bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease feed on sugar. They also produce the acid that causes the cavities and gum disease for the next 20 minutes after each sip. It is better to drink sugary drinks only with a meal and rinse your mouth with water afterward.  

3. Acidic Drinks Can Damage Your Teeth 

While most people think fruit juice or flavored water is healthy, it can damage the enamel on your teeth. Fruit juice, especially citrus fruit juice, is highly acidic and it also has about as much sugar in it as soda. It will damage the enamel on your teeth, leading to sensitive teeth and cavities.  

4. Vitamin D Strengthens Your Teeth 

Besides the calcium that your teeth need for strength, your teeth also need a good dose of vitamin D. This sunshine vitamin enables your bones and teeth to absorb calcium for ongoing strength. Without it, the acid in your mouth and food will continue to leach the calcium out and make them brittle.  

5. Don’t Brush After Eating 

Researchers discovered that brushing after eating can reduce the enamel on your teeth. This is because acidic foods and drinks actually soften the enamel and a toothbrush can remove tiny bits of it. Brushing right away will also push the acid into the enamel, causing even more damage in the lower layers. You can rinse your mouth out with water and then brush about 30 minutes later.  

6. Stay Hydrated 

While most people who exercise regularly know the importance of staying hydrated, here is one more reason – and it affects your dental health. A dry mouth promotes cavities and gum disease. Normally, your saliva will help to wash away the harmful bacteria and acid off your teeth. A dry mouth lets it multiply more and produce more acid than normal. You can increase your saliva by chewing sugarless gum and drinking more water.  

You can keep your teeth and smile longer by eating healthy, brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing, and making regular dentist appointments. 

This article was written in collaboration with Global Family Dental

Photography provided by John Davydov of Global Family Dental. 


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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.

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!

15 + 5 =


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