Ever wonder what happens when you burn & lose body fat? Here’s your answer!
Note from author: This is a little bit more personal than most of my other articles. Stick with me on this one, it’ll make sense in the end.
You’ve probably heard that when it comes to weight loss, health and wellness, nutrition is the most vital component of the process. I agree wholeheartedly. You can’t out-train a poor diet. That’s a 100% fact.
Nutrition has always been the most intriguing piece of this fitness puzzle to me. Ever since I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease back in 2012, my entire lifestyle has changed – for the better. I place an extremely high priority on my nutrition, and my knowledge on the subject.
Of course, the exercise and anatomy portions of the fitness world are very important to me as well, but something about nutrition just really gets me going. Clients at the gym have noticed this about me and I’ve kind of become the go-to guy for nutrition questions. I love that. Keep it coming.
I got into this profession to help people and I enjoy doing that every single day. I do want to come clean about something and extend a challenge to everyone reading this!
Before I get to that, let me give you some background…
Had such a great night lecturing at @CommunityHealthNet's Healthplex Sports Club, discussing #CeliacDisease & the #GlutenFree lifestyle. As many of you know, this is something that is extremely important to me. It was awesome to share my knowledge and passion on nutrition and personal Celiac experiences! Hoping to speak publicly again soon. It was a blast, thanks again for having me! #health #nutrition #fitness
I recently lead a lecture and discussion about Celiac Disease at the Community Healthplex Sports Club, which is part of the Community Health Network. It was an unbelievable experience. I was able to spread great information to a receptive audience and it went better than I could have ever expected. It did open my eyes to some things I was not aware of.
I realized that sometimes my nutritional beliefs, when compared to the common view of nutrition, can be:
But I also know that my nutritional beliefs produce:
- Healthier Lives
- Happier Lives
I’ve lived it and seen my clients live it. When I discuss my nutritional lifestyle, a lot of people’s initial reaction makes it seem like they think I eat a perfect diet – and at times I think this can be discouraging for clients, rather than the uplifting effect I was aiming for. I never want to give that impression, and sorry if I have given that impression to you!
This is what I want to come clean about. I have slip-ups just like everyone else. Let me tell you something, no one eats a perfect diet. I can guarantee that. Like I said, I have slip-ups, overeat occasionally, give in to temptations, etc. It’s natural for us to do so, we just have to minimize it.
Sounds easier than it is, right? Because life happens. My wife, Catherine, is 23 weeks pregnant and her cravings are my top priority. If you’ve never experienced pregnant woman cravings, it’s exactly what you think it is.
She craves something unusual, unhealthy and/or delicious. You go and get it for her immediately.
I have pretty strong willpower, but as you know from my previous article, environment trumps willpower. Sometimes her cravings become my snack. Or my dinner. Or my dessert. Or all of the above.
As I said before, you can’t out-train a bad diet. As my dietary slip-ups are increasing, I would love to increase my training intensity to at least try to level it out – but I can’t. A herniated L4-L5 disc will do that to you.
I’ve been battling this for 4-5 months now and I’m finally receiving injection treatments for it after trying several other methods. With that, comes a lowered level of intensity of my workouts. Sorry about all the personal info, but it all has a point! Just wait… it’s coming!
Nutrition is going to be exponentially more important to me over the next 12 weeks during my recovery process. Not exercising as hard will leave less room for dietary errors and I’m ready for the challenge!
I’ve decided that during the month of June I’m going to do the Whole 30 challenge. Whole30 is not one of those fad diets that may or may not work. It has only one rule: Eat real food. It’s like hitting the ‘reset’ button on your nutrition, or it could be an intro into a healthy lifestyle for those who may not be happy with their diet.
For 30 days, you avoid added sugars (even natural ones like Stevia), alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, MSG and pseudo-treats. During the 30 days you step away from the scale and any other body measurements and just let whole, natural food have its effect. You will feel great and this will undoubtedly get you closer to your goals.
This is going to be tough. I already avoid grains, alcohol, dairy, most legumes and the food additives, but as I mentioned before, I have slip-ups more often than I’d like to. The added sugars can be tough to avoid, even if they’re natural. I can buckle down and do this for 30 days. If not, then that’s just weak!
I’m going to document the entire month on this blog. You’ll see what I eat, how I’m feeling and stay updated on my progress.
Then… YOU CAN JOIN ME!
After I complete this during the month of June, I’ll repeat it in July and invite friends, family, clients, etc. to join the fun so we can all feel great together! So stay tuned and do some research on Whole 30! It’s going to be an awesome month for me in June and I hope you all join me in July!
Sign Up For Free Below
This is a 100% FREE challenge. Just fill out the contact form below and we will get in touch with tons of useful tools/info to help you out when the challenge starts on July 1. Myself, and other 1 & Only Fitness staff members, will be there right by your side every step of the way! We are participating too and can’t wait to share the results.
This contest ended April 29, please find the answers below. Winners have been contacted! Good luck on the next “Guess that Workout!”
Find the Answers Here!
Is Workout A:
A) Leg Day B) 5 mile walk with puppy
C) Mowing the lawn
This was just some good ol’ fashion yardwork! Cut the front and back in under an hour. My lawn is about 7,000 sq ft, in case you’re curious of what YOU might be burning when you mow and wanted to put it into perspective.
Is Workout B:
A) Leg Day
B) 5 mile walk with puppy C) Mowing the lawn
Ahh, gotta love leg day! It’s a good thing I cut the yard before working out my legs, because the day after this workout was pretttttty rough.
Guess that Workout
Let’s play a little game called Guess That Workout! Here’s how you play:
- Look at the two photos presented below. The data is taken from my Microsoft Band, which measures heart rate, calories burned, length of workout and a ton of other useful statistics (that I left out of the pics).
- Try to match the workout options to the data in the pictures.
- Submit your answers and if you get them both correct, you’ll receive $1 off your next post-workout smoothie!
Is Workout A:
A) Leg Day
B) 5 mile walk with puppy
C) Mowing the lawn
Is Workout B:
A) Leg Day
B) 5 mile walk with puppy
C) Mowing the lawn
Guess That Workout Below:
“Americans of all ages, regardless of individual risk factors, can improve their heart health and reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease by restricting their daily consumption of sodium to less than 1,500 mg.”
– Nancy Brown, CEO, American Heart Association
There is a debate going on right now with sodium intake being the center of attention. Are you eating too much? Are you watching your sodium? Are you not eating enough? There are scientific studies that literally contradict each other on the subject. One side saying this, while the other side says that. Well, I’m not here to join that argument. I fit under the umbrella that sodium (especially in the form of sea salt) is incredible for your body when used in moderation.
Now I know there are some readers out there gasping in disbelief that a fitness professional just said that salt is good for you. I’m really sorry that you’ve been misinformed for so long! Salt is not the enemy, nor is sodium. Pre-packaged, refined carbohydrates with artificial ingredients and fillers are the enemy. Trust me.
When used responsibly, sea salt (which is now going to be used interchangeably with ‘sodium’) can actually be beneficial to active individuals. Raw sea salt is a great alkalizing food because of its natural state of ingestion. It’s never been heated or stripped of the natural minerals it offers. The alkalizing affect can prevent your body from becoming too acidic, which will improve your immune system and help fight off illnesses or life-threatening diseases.
Sea Salt can also help maintain a healthy electrolyte balance in your body, which optimizes blood composition, circulation, muscular strength, and overall functioning of the body. Minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sodium contribute to the electrolytic equilibrium of the body. Look at the nutritional facts in Gatorade and you’ll have a better understanding of what it actually is and how it’s supposed to be used.
Aside from those two major benefits, there are also 15-20 additional ways sodium can help your body. Sodium can aid in avoiding or treating muscle cramps, prevent hair loss, maintain healthy blood sugar and… oh, duh… make your food taste better! Not to mention the cosmetic uses that sea salt can offer such as exfoliation, acne reduction and dental wellness.
So where am I going with this? Am I pro-sodium or anti-sodium? As I mentioned before, sodium intake in moderation is highly beneficial. I would not recommend depriving yourself of sodium. I would recommend taking in natural sources of sodium by using products like Osee Salt.
What is Osee Salt?
Our Grandma Osee was a character. She didn’t mince words, was a constant knitter and made a mean cherry pie. When you shook the salt shaker at Osee’s house, green salt would pour out. When asked why her salt was green, she said “Because I can’t see plain, white salt.”
At the time, green salt seemed to be a strange and quirky “Grandma Osee thing.” Turns out, it’s a great idea and now we want to share it with the world.
Osee Salt starts with sea salt that is harvested from the waters off the coast of Brazil. Colorants made from vegetable juice are added to this delicious, kosher sea salt to create the beautiful, vibrant colors that you can see on your food.
Why is this awesome?
This is AWESOME because it solves an ongoing issue with our nutrition without taking sides or completely disregarding either side of the argument about sodium. The creators of Osee Salt know that salt is necessary. If not for the health benefits, for culinary benefits. They also know that too much of anything can be bad for your. Moderation is the key.
Let’s be honest, we’re not carefully measuring out one teaspoon of salt when you sprinkle it over your eggs. We’re blindly grinding or shaking it onto the food. Grandma Osee was right, it’s hard to see. It’s basically invisible. With the colorful selection of Osee Salts, you’ll never have that problem again.
Now you can see your salt. So, whether you think you need more or less salt in your diet, at least now you can monitor your intake and properly eat to reach your goals!
Osee Salt is a company based out of Indianapolis/Noblesville, IN. You can order your Osee at www.oseesalt.com or pick it up at these great retailers:
- Marsh Grocery Stores / 17 Indianapolis area Marsh stores
- Gigi’s Cupcakes / 8981 East 116th Street, Fishers, IN
- Gigi’s Cupcakes / 2454 East 146th Street, Carmel, IN
- Gigi’s Cupcakes / 8487 Union Chapel Road, Indianapolis, IN
- The Scoop / 305 South Main, Zionsville, IN
- Cool Beans / 109 North Huntington Street, Syracuse, IN
- Be Boutique / 5607 North Illinois Street / Indianapolis, IN
What are your goals? Whether you want to lose weight, pack on muscle or increase your mobility, there will certainly be some amount of structure and/or sacrifice necessary to earn the goal you have in mind.
When I ask an individual what they believe it will take for them to achieve their goal, one of the most common answers is willpower. Maybe it’s not the exact term willpower, but it’s usually a synonym such as discipline, accountability or dedication. Something along those lines.
Willpower is a sense control deliberately exerted to do something or to restrain one’s own impulses.
What I don’t understand is why we’ve been lead to believe that building healthy habits is strictly based on willpower and discipline. Americans have been relying on willpower to improve their health for decades and where has that gotten us? Nowhere. In fact, things have dramatically worsened over the years according to the data collected by Harvard University’s School of Public Health.
In 1990, obese adults made up less than 15 percent of the population in most U.S. states. By 2010, 36 states had obesity rates of 25 percent or higher, and 12 of those had obesity rates of 30 percent or higher.
Today, nationwide, roughly two out of three U.S. adults are overweight or obese (69 percent) and one out of three is obese (36 percent).
What I’m trying to say is that we CANNOT rely on willpower when it comes to creating healthy habits. Our willpower WILL fail us, you can bank on that. Trust me, for the longest time I thought willpower alone would help me meet my goals. I found out time after time that, unfortunately, that is simply not the case.
Willpower is Scottie Pippen.
Willpower is great, but will not win you championships on its own.
Willpower needs a Michael Jordan.
ENVIRONMENT is Michael Jordan.
Your environment is the absolute most important component of creating healthier habits. Environment trumps willpower and will always be superior when the two are faced against each other. It may not be immediate, but your willpower will eventually give in to your environment. It could take seconds, minutes, days or even years but it is 100% inevitable. No one is perfect, so to think that we can live, eat, exercise, work, etc. perfectly without giving in to temptation every now and then is purely erroneous.
The key is that we must develop an environment that is preparing us to succeed towards our goals.
Our willpower is limited, unfortunately we don’t have an infinite amount. Think of your willpower as your smartphone. If you’re on your phone talking, texting and playing on apps all day that’s going to drain your battery faster. Eventually, your battery is going to die and you’ll be forced to charge it. If you have to use willpower to turn down unhealthy food choices multiple times a day, that’s going to drain your supply of willpower faster. Eventually your willpower will run out and you’ll be chowing down on a combo meal from McDonald’s. Not good.
One of the best scientific studies that illustrates this is the Ego Depletion study by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published in 1998. This is one of the golden standards when it comes to the topic.
Here’s a brief outline:
Students participating in the study were asked to enter a laboratory room that was set up to look like a taste perception study. The room was filled with the aroma of freshly baked Chocolate Chip cookies, which had just been baked in the room. In the room, there were two different food displays; one was bowl of red and white radishes, the other was a plate of chocolate chip cookies and chocolate candies.
The participants were told which food to eat and how much of that food they were allowed to eat. After the tasting was over, the participants were asked to complete a series of geometric puzzles, however, they did not know that these puzzles were designed to be unsolvable. They were told that they would not be judged on the results of their puzzles, but on whether or not they finish the puzzle and the amount of time spent on them. Each participant was notified to ring a bell when they want to give up on the puzzle.
The results show that the participants who ate the radishes gave up on the puzzles FASTER than those who ate the chocolate/cookies (8.35 minutes vs. 18.90 minutes).
What does that mean? That means the group who was told to eat radishes depleted their supply of willpower by rejecting the delicious cookies. They exhausted their own willpower so much that they quickly gave up on the next challenge they were faced with.
Resisting temptation seems to have produced a psychic cost, in the sense that afterward participants were more inclined to give up easily in the face of frustration.
The key here is to set yourself up for success with an environment tailored towards what you’re trying to accomplish. The goal is to NOT use your willpower, because you’re not forced to use it by temptations in your environment. Instead of having your environment battle with your willpower, we need to utilize these two things in tandem, just like the Michael Jordan & Scottie Pippen analogy I used before.
If you are consistently living with a healthy environment, you won’t need to use your willpower. That way when things get shaken up and you call on your willpower for help, you actually have the strength to keep your eyes on the prize.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” So let’s prep our lives to be healthy.
- Prepare your meals in advance.
- Keep only healthy items in your refrigerator and pantry.
- Hang out with friends who also value their health.
- Be positive and friendly to everyone that you meet.
- Work your hardest in everything that you do.
These are easy ways to create the environment you need to meet your goals.
Don’t rely on willpower anymore. You’re stronger than that.
1) “An Epidemic of Obesity: U.S. Obesity Trends.” The Nutrition Source. Harvard University: School of Public Health. Web. 2 Apr. 2015. <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/an-epidemic-of-obesity/>.
2) Baumeister, Roy, Ellen Bratslavsky, Mark Muraven, and Dianne Tice. “Ego Depletion: Is the Active Self a Limited Resource?” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Web. 2 Apr. 2015. <https://www.psychologytoday.com/files/attachments/584/baumeisteretal1998.pdf>.
Body composition requires you to look beyond the bathroom scale.
I was always told “You should never ask a woman how much she weighs, that’s very rude!” I’m more of a progressive type of fellow, so call me rude, but for me to be able to help people reach their goals (ladies included) I have to know what our starting point is.
Also, in this profession, weight is a critical element of somebody’s state of health, mobility and injury risk level. If you are overweight, it can wreak havoc on joints, causing wear and tear over time. Excessive weight can cause restrictions in organ placement and ability to move freely, not to mention the hundreds of chronic illnesses obesity is linked to.
It’s time we take this knowledge about weight to the next level. Weight alone is a very elementary approach to gauging health. You have to see what that weight is made up of to truly discern a person’s state of health. I’m talking about intra/extracellular water composition, skeletal muscle mass, body fat percentage, visceral fat and more! This is what really matters and this information can easily be implemented in a personalized health and fitness plan. Not to mention, we have an amazing tool that tracks these measurements for us!
I have personally assessed and consulted people of all ages, races, gender, etc. Not one of them was identical to another nor did either of them have the same story. They truly all were 1 and only; Unique, different, aspiring and amazing. It’s a blessing to be able to have the job I do and to be exposed to so many different people, with a very similar goal, to obtain a greater state of health. Now that 1 & Only Fitness has access to our very own InBody 570 we can take your personal assessment to that next level!
Through our body composition screening process we find out any muscle imbalances between right side and left side and top to bottom halves. We also collect percent body fat percent, calories burned at rest, water levels, visceral fat level and we personally grade your InBody score with our targeted grading scale.
Take this hypothetical situation for instance.
I have two friends, Samantha and Abby. Both weigh 140 lbs and are 5’8. Both are obviously females.
Samantha is an avid gym-goer at 1 & Only Fitness, watches what she eats, gets 8 hours of rest a night and is a positive and motivating personal to be around.
Abby, on the other hand, hasn’t seen the gym since she watched Rocky III, consumes fast food 4x a week, is usually complaining about the problems of the world and likes to sleep whenever she gets a chance.
Do you think these two 140lbs ladies look the same? Do you think they have the same body composition?
“But they both see the same number on the scale! How can that be???”
All weight is not created equal and it should not be treated equal. Samantha is a very healthy, vibrant person who respects her body and mind. She takes the time to take care of herself so she can take care of others better. She is 20% body fat and a role model.
Abby doesn’t lead the healthiest lifestyle and it reflects in her attitude. She is 35% body fat. Both these ladies weighed the same and are the same height, but clearly very different, based upon body composition.
The bathroom scale can be very deceiving to naturally “skinny” people, or ectomorphs. It can actually hurt you in the long run to hold excess body fat percentages, no matter what the number on the scale says.
Body composition analysis is truly the only way to see that the weight you carry around every day is doing you good or brining you down.
We use the InBody 570, which is FDA approved medical device, to assess our clients in our consultations at 1 & Only Fitness. Please stop by today to schedule your InBody assessment.
Let’s see what you’re made of!
Nathan recently came to us with exciting news for our client testimonials page. He lost 40 pounds on his own. What an accomplishment! Now he has a new goal. Nathan wants to pack on some muscle and continue his fat loss journey. At the time of this recording, it had only been a few weeks but Nathan comes in and works relentlessly at his goals so we’re thrilled to see what changes will occur by the end of 2015!
Here is a quick client testimonial from Nadine! Nadine came to us back in September 2014 and has since had a back surgery to fix a long-term injury that has been causing her pain for many years. After the surgery, Nadine wasn’t getting her flexibility and mobility back as fast as she had expected. Physical therapy wasn’t getting the job done and the exercises the hospital gave her weren’t of much help either.
Nadine decided to come back into the gym and work on her mobility with us! A few months later, she’s made tremendous progress and is well on pace to be more mobile and more flexible than she was pre-surgery!
We’re glad Nadine is here at 1 & Only and we’re so happy to see her getting the results she desires!
What are supplements?
Supplements are vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, plants or other parts of these substances that can be consumed for a wide variety of health purposes (1). For many years, bodybuilders, athletes, health enthusiasts and beyond have been taking dietary supplements to help improve their wellness. When used appropriately, supplements can be a great addition to a wholesome diet and an exercise program. The focus in the previous sentence is when used appropriately.
Supplement, by definition, is something that completes or enhances something else when added to it. With that being said, the appropriate way to use dietary supplements is to use them to compliment your diet and exercise regimen. Your dietary supplements should add to, not replace, the foods in your diet. You should rely on whole foods in their natural state for the majority of your nutritional intake.
There’s no science behind this statement, but I would say at least 95% of your fitness success will come from real food. Whether your goal is weight loss, gaining muscle or anything in between, don’t rely too heavily on the supplements you take. Real food equals real results.
What supplements should you take?
I’ve had a lot of clients, friends and family ask me, “What supplements should I take for [insert fitness goal here]?” My first answer is always what foods are you eating for [said fitness goal]? A bit snarky, yes, but a lot of your fitness goals can be met by tweaking your diet. The main reason I ask that question is because I want to make sure you have a basic understanding of what a moderately healthy diet looks like.
Let’s say you ask me what supps (all the cool kids call supplements “supps”) to take to gain lean muscle mass and I ask you about your diet. You tell me that you usually eat fast food 2-3 times a day “because you have no time to cook.” I’m going to assist you with your diet before I tell you what supplements to take. No amount of Mass Gainer Protein Powder, Creatine or Pre-Workout in the world can help you gain lean muscle if you can’t stop eating $5 Hot & Ready Pizzas from Little Caesars.
Those 3 supplements are what I’d refer to as advanced supplements. Advanced supps should be taken for a specific purpose by athletes, bodybuilders or individuals that exceed 30 minutes of vigorous exercise at least 4 days a week. You don’t need a pre-workout to hit the elliptical for 30 minutes. And a post-workout protein shake probably contains double the calories that you just burned. Save those supplements for the next time you try to deadlift 400 pounds. See the difference here?
With that being said, there are some supplements that everyone can benefit from. I call them the essentials. While I definitely recommend implementing a proper diet and exercise program, the essential supplements can benefit even the most sedentary individuals. These are my top 3 essential supplements.
Multivitamins are incredibly useful and packed with tons of vitamins, minerals, herbs and more. Multivitamins can help you achieve the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of all the essential nutrients when you use them in addition to a complete diet. When looking for a multi, here are some tips to help you find a useful product:
- Look at the Daily Value (DV) percentages,
- Most of the vitamins and minerals DV% should be at or near 100% except for Calcium and Magnesium. Those two at 100% DV would cause the pill to be too large to swallow (2).
- If possible, choose a multivitamin designed for YOU,
- A lot of brands will have products specifically designed for men, women, teens, pregnant women, seniors and more. Find the one that fits you the best and assess the multivitamin from there.
- Don’t be cheap.
- As with anything, you get what you pay for when it comes to supplements. Do your research so you can confidently purchase a product that you believe will help you reach your goals. Look for vitamins that are made from whole food sources, with little to no chemicals. Make sure you’re getting a product that contains most of the following: Vitamin C, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12, Biotin, Vitamin A, E, D2 or D3, K, Potassium, Iodine, Selenium, Borate, Zinc, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese and Iron.
I’ve been taking Rainbow Light’s Men’s One for a while now and love it. It’s a food-based product with a great range of nutrients and even goes above & beyond with its use of superfoods and enzymes to enhance the digestive support and absorption of the vitamins. Rainbow Light makes several varieties of their multivitamin supplements. Find one that works for you and you’ll be so glad you did!
One could argue that a Fish Oil supplement is more important than a multivitamin. I wouldn’t have an issue with that claim. Fish Oil is extremely beneficial and has been linked to improved joint health (3), heart health (4), cardiovascular wellness (5), weight loss (5), brain function (6), improved immune system (7) and healthy skin (8). Seems like a good gig, right?
“How,” you ask? Fish Oil supplements are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, which are beneficial healthy fats and oils. Guess what? You can also get Omega 3s naturally by eating Salmon, Cod, Halibut, Tuna or any other healthy seafood along those lines. There are literally plenty of other fish in the sea…
Back to this whole Omega 3 conversation. There could easily be a 5,000 word article written about Omega 3s, what they are and how you should use them. I’m going to keep it pretty brief and just overview the subject. Omega 3s are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential nutrients for health and wellbeing. There’s also Omega 6 and 9, but we don’t get into that today.
The most important and valuable Omega 3 fatty acids are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These are what you need to pay attention to when choosing a Fish Oil supplement. It would be ideal to find a product that has at least 1 gram, or 1,000 mg, of DHA and EPA combined.
Here’s the kicker. You have to beware of misleading labels that say something like “1,000 mg of Omega 3s!” It’s not just the Omega 3s we’re after, it’s mainly the DHA and EPA. Everything else is just icing on the cake, so to speak.
If you see a label make that claim, turn it around and look at the DHA and EPA content. A lot of times the product will absolutely have 1,000 mg of Omega 3s, like it claims, but only a small percentage of that 1,000 mg is DHA and EPA. That’s a problem. Do not pay your hard earned money on a Fish Oil supplement that has less than 1,000 mg of combined DHA and EPA. Please, if you take one thing from this article, make that be the one thing.
A trusted brand of Fish Oil supplements that I use is Nordic Naturals. They use 100% pure oils from wild caught fish and get their products third party tested for purity and freshness. Their Ultimate Omega product has 1,280 mg of Omega 3s, with 650 mg of EPA and 450 mg of DHA. That’s a combined 1,100 mg of DHA and EPA, which sounds like a winner to me!
This is by far my favorite of the three essential supplements! This blog post won’t do justice to how incredibly important a probiotic can be to your lifestyle. Probiotics can enhance immunity, improve your gut flora, decrease or eliminate gastrointestinal complications and so much more (9). I briefly touched on “good bacteria” in your body in my last article about Apple Cider Vinegar, but probiotic supplements bring it to another level.
When choosing a Probiotic supplement there are several components that come into the decision. What species or strain of bacteria in included? What is the dosage? How many of the organisms will be alive by the time you consume the last pill? It’s not just as simple as picking the one that Erin Andrews tells you to take in her commercials.
Let’s start with strains and species. Below are, in my opinion, are some of the most helpful probiotic strains to look for:
- Lactobacillus acidophilus – This probiotic strain is imperative for maintaining healthy intestinal walls. This will help you get the most out of your food and other supps, absorbing maximum nutrients.
- Bifidobacteria bifidum – Your intestines need this probiotic strain for digestion process that is free of complications, especially when consuming dairy products.
- Bifidobacteria longum – This strain has one job. Eliminate the bad bacteria that cause discomfort. It also helps break down carbohydrates you consume, without producing excess gas.
- Lactobacillus plantarum – This strain helps your body produce lactolin, which is a natural antibiotic. It can also help regulate healthy N.O. levels and decrease pathogens in your system.
Are you still with me? If so, let’s talk about dosage. How many strains should you take? Typically, I would recommend a product that has multiple strains, and billions of each strain. Yes, billions. These bacteria are measured in Colony Forming Units (CFU) and they come in billions. Maybe I like probiotics so much because it’s the only time I’ll ever to get to touch a billion of anything.
Depending on your activity level and lifestyle, your body can use anywhere from 4 to 10 billion CFUs just fighting off the daily hazards that you come into contact with. The goal is to replenish what you lose, so starting with a product that has at least 10 billion CFUs is a wise choice. This will not only replenish your gut flora, but help you develop an even stronger gut flora by forming a nice baseline of CFUs.
As you become more accustomed to probiotics, you can begin to ramp up the dosage. I currently take a time-released, 55 billion CFU product with 10 different strains of bacteria made by Trace Minerals Research. After trying several products on the market, I found this one about a year ago and haven’t looked back since. The company backs their product with a money back guarantee and I can assure you that they don’t have to make good on that offer, ever.
Side note: Don’t forget that you can get probiotics from your food. Great sources include Kimchi, Kefir, Kombucha, Sauerkraut, and Yogurt.
Now that you know a little bit about each of the three essential dietary supplements, you can go out and do your own research on what products may be best for you. I plan on doing a follow-up article on a few advances supplements that highly active individuals could consider to be essential. A few examples of these are Protein Powder, Creatine, Vitamin D and Amino Acids/BCAAs.
Until then, focus on the basics. Hopefully you learned a few bits of useful info and can apply this advice to your daily routine. Thanks for reading!
(1) “Dietary Supplements: What You Need to Know.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 11 May 2014. Web. 27 Jan. 2015. <http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm109760.htm>.
(2) “Multivitamin/Mineral Supplements — Health Professional Fact Sheet.” National Institutes of Health. National Institutes of Health, 7 Jan. 2013. Web. 27 Jan. 2015. <http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/MVMS-HealthProfessional/#h6>.
(3) “Fish Oil Supplements.” Arthritis Foundation. Arthritis Foundation. Web. 27 Jan. 2015. <http://www.arthritistoday.org/arthritis-treatment/natural-and-alternative-treatments/supplements-and-herbs/supplement-guide/fish-oil.php>.
(4) “FDA Announces Qualified Health Claims for Omega-3 Fatty Acids.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 8 Sept. 2004. Web. 27 Jan. 2015. <http://www.fda.gov/SiteIndex/ucm108351.htm>.
(5) “Combining Fish-oil Supplements with Regular Aerobic Exercise Improves Body Composition and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1 May 2007. Web. 27 Jan. 2015. <http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/85/5/1267.abstract>.
(6) “Fish Oil Boosts Brain Power.” Yahoo Health. Yahoo Healthy, 16 July 2014. Web. 27 Jan. 2015. <https://www.yahoo.com/health/fish-oil-boosts-brain-power-91965585587.html>.
(7) “Nothing Fishy about It: Fish Oil Can Boost the Immune System.” EurekAlert! Federation of American Societies for Experimental Bioogy, 1 Apr. 2013. Web. 27 Jan. 2015. <http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-04/foas-nfa040113.php>.
(8) Kessler, Chris. “The Definitive Fish Oil Buyer’s Guide.” Chris Kresser. 24 May 2010. Web. 27 Jan. 2015. <http://chriskresser.com/the-definitive-fish-oil-buyers-guide>.
(9) Fuller, Perdigon. Gut Flora, Nutrition, Immunity and Health. Oxford: John Wiley & Sons, 2008. Print.
Exercise can be fairly intimidating to those starting an exercise routine and to those who have been trying to meet their goals for a while. Exercise and fitness is at its tallest height of popularity, which is good and bad. Its great that we are realizing the importance and benefit of physical exertion and activity and research backs up these claims page by page. Its bad because, there are a lot of “experts” out there that aren’t qualified as experts, just self proclaimed because they have biceps.
Through social media you are able to view many people in great shape, that are throwing out advice for the masses on how to workout, what to do, and what supplements to take. This can be a very dangerous road for the new exerciser because of the information overload. Information overload can lead to confusion and exercise mistakes. Just because Joe Liftalot has a 6 pack doesn’t mean he “knows” the right exercises to do for you and your body. A picture says a 1000 words but there is 10,000 other words that cant be expressed in a photo alone.
Dr. Mercola is a well respected health expert and has been pumping out good infuriation to the public, from a holistic approach, for years. Anything from water and hydration to pollution in your environment, Dr. Mercola has an extensive knowledge of health & wellness. He is a trusted resource by me as well as thousands of other fitness professionals, he’s also backed up by powerful research and delivery. He just recently published an article on his website Mercola.com called “7 Common Workout Mistakes Beginners Make” which I believe is a great and important read!
The Huffington Post and Mens Health recently featured some of these common mistakes as well:
You skip the warm-up
You avoid strength training
You don’t do flexibility training
You miss out on the advice of a fitness trainer
You overdo it
You think you’re too old
You think running is the only form of cardio
Number 6 & 7 are my favorites, and by favorite I mean those are the ones that annoy me the most. I’ve heard some form of these issues at least 500 times a piece.=, but I believe it simply comes down to “training smarter and not harder.” Have you made any of these mistakes on the list? If so, come by the gym and ask me or any of our trainers how you can correct the issue moving forward! That is why we’re here!
Respect your body in 2015. You are worth it.