Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Poet

It feels good to feel comfortable, right? It’s safe, it’s familiar, and in that state of comfort nothing changes – but is that a good thing?

There is a saying that states, “Great things never came from comfort zones” (Author Unknown), so why limit yourself to a life of mediocrity? That may be tough to swallow, but it’s the words that many who want to make a change need to hear. Stepping out of your comfort zone can be scary; however, challenging yourself helps push you further than you ever could imagine.

Now take a moment to reflect upon something you’ve wanted to change, improve upon, or take a risk on in your life – let’s make it a reality. The fact is, many of us want to make changes for the better, but it’s hard taking that first step. As part of the LA Fitness family, you are surrounded by a community of like-minded individuals all working towards personal improvements of their own. You are not alone in the journey.


 

Everyone Has a Story

The you today will not be the same you 5 years from now, and that’s a good thing! Push yourself daily to become a better you than the day before, and you’ll be proud looking back at how far you’ve come. However, it’s easier said than done. The fear of the unknown can hold you back from experiencing some of the greatest moments you can imagine, and accomplishing more than you ever thought possible, but we’re here to say: it can be done.

  1. Get to the gym.
  2. Stay motivated.
  3. Keep your goals close, and your reasons for wanting to accomplish them even closer.
  4. Track your progress.
  5. Don’t let small setbacks discourage you.
  6. Celebrate success.

If you feel like you could use a little extra motivation, consider signing up for a training session with one of our Pro Results® personal trainers.* They can help answer your PT-related questions, assist in designing a customized workout plan for you, and provide ongoing motivation and support.

However, if you’re not quite ready to set up a PT appointment, or you just feel more comfortable working out on your own, you can still benefit from the support of your fellow LA Fitness community. Share your Commit to Fit goals with us for a chance to be featured on Living Healthy! Regardless of where you are at on your journey to becoming a healthier and more fit you, we believe in you.

Already an LA Fitness member? Do you feel like encouraging a friend or family member to join you on your path to success? Send them a 14-day guest pass here.


 

*Personal training services require an additional agreement and are subject to additional fees.


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Improving Poor Eating Habits | Q+A

Improving Poor Eating Habits | Q+A

Question:

I am about 5’5 and weigh 160. I’m trying to start my very first diet as I have been noticing that I have been having trouble getting around as easily as before (not too bad). Also I really want to start eating healthy and want to get fit. My stomach is bulgy and I have been having digestive problems which I believe are a result of my poor eating habits. Please help. I really want to start living healthier and fitter. Any advice will help. Thank you.

– Sabrina

Answer:

Not knowing your current eating habits, Sabrina, I’ll point you towards our key recommendations for gut health and weight loss. Read our article on Yoga for Digestion for exercise tips to deal with digestive problems. Here we’ll address nutrition:

First, get rid of added sugars and extra fat. This means to forgo sweetened coffee drinks, sherbet in smoothies, fried foods and limit cheese and sweet/creamy/oily condiments and sauces. Next, curb alcohol intake to no more than 1 drink per day. Then choose complex carbohydrates like whole grains balanced with lean proteins as the basis for meals and snacks. Vegetables should comprise more of your plate than starches (e.g. potatoes, rice, corn). Portions matter so only eat as much as you need to not feel hungry. Add fresh fruit and low-fat dairy as dessert alternatives. Finally, drink ample water and tea to facilitate digestion, support metabolism and promote satiety.

By acknowledging your current situation and being open to change, you are off to a great start toward new eating habits that should become permanent, not a “first diet.”

– 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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Macro-nutrients & Bodybuilding | Q+A

Macro-nutrients & Bodybuilding | Q+A

Question:

I have done body building in the past and know that the perfect combination of protein/carbs/fats produce results with respect to giving the body what it needs to develop lean muscle and lose fat. This is done in part by measuring body fat and weight. How would you calculate this because I had someone do it for me in the past and don’t know how to do it myself. It was broken down into total protein, carbs and fats for the  whole day and further broken down per meal. Can you duplicate this process?

– Alisa O.

Answer:

I will admit that I am not sure what “perfect combination” of macro-nutrients you are referring to. One’s individual body composition can be used to help create personal nutritional goals. Actual nutrient needs are much more complex and depend on protein turnover, nitrogen loss and metabolism. Also, nutrient quality, timing and frequency have an impact on developing lean muscle and losing fat.

That said, I like the summary bodybuilding recommendations from an article in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition*:

Diet component                                     Recommendation

Protein (g/kg of lean body mass)           2.3-3.1

Fat (% of total calories)                          15-30%

Carbohydrate (% of total calories)          remaining

Let’s work through these with a sample 2,000 calorie diet for a 160-pound person with 15% body fat.

  • His or her lean body mass is 62 kg (from 72.73 kg x 0.85).
  • Protein: Recommended range is 142-192 grams (from 62 kg x 2.3-3.1 g/kg). Energy-wise, this amount of protein provides 568-768 calories.
  • Fat: Recommended range is 300-600 calories (from 2,000 x .15-0.3). This equates to 33-67 grams of fat.
  • Carbohydrate energy would be the remainder; we’ll use the range midpoints to get 882 calories (from 2,000 – 668 protein – 450 fat). By grams, this would be 220 grams of carbohydrate.

Apply the recommendations to your own anthropometrics and total energy need to get a possible ideal combination of macro-nutrients for your goals.

*Evidence-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding contest preparation: nutrition and supplementation.  Helms, ER, Aragon AA, Fitschen PJ. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 201411:20

– 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!

14 + 14 =


Recommended Reading - Q+A

Which Apple is Better For You, Red or Green?

Which Apple is Better For You, Red or Green?

Aristotle questioned human behavior, Einstein questioned the rules of relativity, and Edison questioned electricity. Today, we are questioning nutrition – fruit, to be specific. Are red or green apples healthier for you? Is there a difference? Does having an apple a day really keep the doctor away? We dive headfirst into this important debate.

The apple is a fruit that is often taken for granted. Offered in almost all grocery stores and farmers’ markets year-round, these tasty nutritious treats provide a host of health benefits. Let’s take a closer look.

In general, apples can help with:

Weight loss – Apples are high in fiber and water, which can help you feel more full. In a study of obese mice, those that were given a supplement of ground apples and apple juice concentrate not only lost more weight, but also had lower levels of “bad” cholesterol, triglycerides and total cholesterol than the control group.1

Heart Health – There is a link between consuming apples and a lowered risk of heart disease. Not only are they “high in soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol, [but] they also have polyphenols, which are linked to lower blood pressure and stroke risk.”2

 

Lowered Risk of Type 2 Diabetes – Due to the polyphenol antioxidant content of apples, they’re thought to help prevent tissue damage to beta cells in the pancreas.3 These cells produce insulin for the body, and oftentimes they are damaged in people with type 2 diabetes. A deeper look into the study can be found here.

Good Tummy Bacteria – The type of fiber found in apples (pectin) acts as a prebiotic, helping to promote good bacteria in the belly.4

Better Cognitive Function – Multiple studies conducted have shown that apple juice may help prevent the deterioration of neurotransmitters involved in the memory. This is especially important because low levels of acetylcholine, a type of neurotransmitter, have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, so drink up that apple juice!

The Great Debate: Red vs. Green

  • Red apples tend to have more antioxidants than green, but the difference is small.5
  • Red apples offer anti-inflammatory benefits.

 

  • On the other hand, “green apples may contain slightly more fiber and less carbohydrates and sugar than red apples.”6
  • Green apples have more of a tart taste. Red apples tend to taste sweeter.

The fact is both red and green apples are a good nutritious option. The differences are very slight, so red apple fans and green apple fans rejoice! The overall health benefits of apples, regardless of color, are many. The age-old saying, “an apple a day,” really may keep the doctor away.

What are your nutrition-related questions? Submit your best by clicking here!

Leave us a comment in the box below with your apple preference! Which will come out on top – red or green?

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.


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Is Distilled Water Healthy for You?

Is Distilled Water Healthy for You?

Bottled water, tap water, distilled water – and many more! How do you know what type of water is healthiest to drink? Our registered dietitian dives into this topic, focusing on if distilled water is a safe and healthy choice.

A Taste of Tryst in DC

A Taste of Tryst in DC

Recreate a healthy recipe from Tryst from your own home tonight, and find out what Executive Chef Kevin Eckert, of Tryst Trading Company, has to say about living a healthy lifestyle.

Foods to Help Aid Muscle and Ligament Recovery

Foods to Help Aid Muscle and Ligament Recovery

Whether you’re looking for recovery from short-term daily workouts, or long-term recovery from injury, we have the nutritional guidelines you’ll want to know to keep your muscles feeling their best.

The Connection Between Coconut Oil & Endothelial Cells | Q+A

The Connection Between Coconut Oil & Endothelial Cells | Q+A

Question:

Does coconut oil harm endothelial cells?

– James B.

Answer:

What a curious question!

The endothelial cells lining your blood vessels work to relax and contract the diameter in response to stimuli. They produce nitric oxide, a vasodilator. Stiff or narrow arteries are risk factors for cardiovascular events because they don’t allow the blood to flow through adequately. When the endothelium isn’t working properly, it’s called dysfunction. This can lead to the development of atherosclerosis (plaque deposition).

Coconut oil is 100% cholesterol-free (as are all plant oils), but contains mostly saturated fatty acids. These differ chemically from, and are not as harmful to the vascular system as, animal saturated fats.

In searching the US National Library of Medicine’s database of published research for “coconut” and “endothelial” in human subjects, the search results showed only 3 related articles. One suggested that saturated fats did not affect endothelial function as compared with trans fats1. Another showed no difference between coconut oil and sunflower oil (high in polyunsaturated fatty acids) in cardiovascular risk2. The third showed similar impairment in endothelium-dependent artery dilation from both coconut milk and a Western high-fat meal3.

Leaving no stone unturned, I looked for other studies not in this database. One that compared coconut oil to safflower oil (high in polyunsaturated fatty acids) in a single high fat meal found a “non-significant trend toward impairment of endothelium-dependent vascular reactivity in conduit arteries… after the saturated fat meal.4

All together, the body of research shows that there is not enough evidence to say there is a definitive correlation between consumption of coconut oil and epithelium health. So James, I would say to keep your fat intake at a low to moderate level and from primarily plant sources of unsaturated fat.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

 

Sources: 

  1. High trans but not saturated fat beverage causes an acute reduction in postprandial vascular endothelial function but not arterial stiffness in humans. Lane-Cordova AD, et al.  Vascular Medicine 2016 Oct; 21(5): 429-436.
  2. A randomized study of coconut oil versus sunflower oil on cardiovascular risk factors in patients with stable coronary heart disease. Vijayakumar M, et al. Indian Heart Journal. 2016 Jul-Aug; 68(4): 498-506.
  3. Impairment of endothelial function–a possible mechanism for atherosclerosis of a high-fat meal intake. Ng CK, Chan AP, Cheng A.  Annals of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore. 2001 Sep; 30(5): 499-502.
  4. Consumption of Saturated Fat Impairs the Anti-Inflammatory Properties of High-Density Lipoproteins and Endothelial Function. Stephen JN, et al.

Journal of the American College of Cardiology

Volume 48, Issue 4, August 2006

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!

6 + 9 =


Recommended Reading - Q+A

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