By Dana Yarn, RDLD
Are you doing cardiovascular exercise every day and not seeing any results in terms of weight loss and or performance? If you are performing steady state cardio for a certain period of time as your workout you may want to try HIIT (high intensity interval training) training to reap the benefits of fat loss and improved cardiovascular health. After working in a large corporate health club for almost 10 years I saw the same people get on the same elliptical machine with the same body year after year, doing steady state cardio. They could see tremendous results by cutting total time in half and increasing the intensity of their cardio workouts.
The good news about HIIT training is the workouts tend to be short and because of the intensity it is recommended to only do them 2-3 times per week. On the other days you can do steady state cardio as “recovery,” and of course resistance training is essential for optimal health and body composition.
Convincing and ongoing research proves that the best form of exercise is short bursts of high intensity exercise.
Not only does it beat conventional cardio as the most effective and efficient form of exercise, it also provides health benefits you simply cannot get from regular aerobics/cardio, such as a tremendous boost in human growth hormone (HGH), which improves body composition, energy, and overall fitness.
One study published in the Journal of Obesity reported that 12 weeks of HIIT will result in significant reductions in total abdominal, trunk, and visceral fat while giving you significant increases in overall power and performance.
What HIIT workout should you start with?
At my studio I have a class titled HIIT and we incorporate Tabata intervals into the class. Tabata method created by Dr. Izumi Tabata, a Japanese researcher who studied athletic performance. The method is 20 seconds of drop dead effort followed by 10 seconds of complete rest repeated for 8 rounds totaling 4 minutes. This type of interval training is great for anyone who is looking to try HIIT.
Other versions of HIIT include 15 seconds of work followed by double the amount of rest (30 seconds). Working ultimately up to 2 minutes of work.
Here is an example of a 12 week HIIT training program.
|1-2||15 sec./30 sec.|
|3-4||30 sec./60 sec.|
|5-6||45 sec./90 sec.|
|7-8||1 min./2 min.|
|9-10||1.5 min./3 min.|
|11-12||2 min./4 min.|
|Warm up & cool down 3-5 minutes.||Total time with warm up and cool down should not exceed 30 minutes.|
The great part is this can be done on a bike, in a pool, at a track, inside, outside, etc.
I hope this encourages you to shake up your workouts with some HIIT training even if it means just a few rounds of Tabata per week!
Jodie Parus, RD, LD
Nutrient-enhanced water and sports drinks may contain any of the following: calories, sugar, electrolytes vitamins, minerals or supplements. When do you need one of these and when will plain water be sufficient?
Sports drinks are most beneficial for people who perform continuous physical activity for longer than 60 minutes. For every 15 minutes of vigorous exercise, drink approximately 1 cup. The electrolytes in these drinks assist the cells of your body to maintain fluid balance and other essential functions involving your heart and muscles.
Exercise under 60 minutes generally does not result in loss of carbohydrate and electrolytes therefore will not require nutrient-enhanced water or a sports drink. In this case, plain H2O is sufficient to maintain fluid balance. For those who exercise under 60 minutes or those who are not physically active, supplemental beverages contribute unnecessary calories, sugar and sodium.
If you don’t need an enhanced beverage, things don’t have to be boring! To increase your fluid intake while changing it up a bit, add lemon or lime to your water. Sliced cucumber or one of your favorite fruits can be a great addition as well.
By: Dana Yarn, RDLD
The number one reason why people cannot stick with a healthy eating plan is because they feel restricted and deprived. It can be difficult to lose weight if you feel like you are missing some of your favorite treats. Willpower is great but when it runs out, especially after a restrictive diet you can be in trouble and face binge eating and possible weight gain. The 80/20 diet rule allows you to indulge once in a while still focusing on your goals. This strategy teaches you more than just how to manage your weight; it helps you to better understand moderation and balance.
Definition of 80/20 Principle
The 80/20 principle is more than temporary mindset — it is an approach to healthy eating habits that can be used forever. The principle encourages, choosing healthy foods 80 percent of the time. Because you eat healthy the majority of the time, you are allowed to indulge in a few favorite treats 20 percent of the time. For example, if you eat three meals a day, four meals per week can be your 20 percent treat meals. This does not mean those treat meals are to gorge and feel so stuffed and sick that you undo all of your other healthy eating, it just means that if you want to have a cookie, or glass of wine or handful of chips it’s okay. These treats should help you feel satisfied while exercising moderation.
What foods are recommended in the 80 percent?
Aim to eat 6-11 servings of vegetables and some fruits per day, a variety of lean proteins, such as fish and chicken; unprocessed whole grains like steel cut oats, quinoa, wild rice; etc. dairy (or dairy like) products including Greek yogurt, almond milk, coconut milk, etc. Manage your portion sizes by reading nutrition labels and limiting yourself to the recommended serving. Steam, poach, grill or roast your food instead of frying it. Eat slowly, avoid eating while multi-tasking and stop when your body feels full. Eating slower will also aid with digestion.
Strategies for Success
Recognize your weaknesses and plan your treats around those times, whether it be at parties, on the weekends, at the pool, game, etc. Try to also find healthy alternatives to your treats, if you like ice cream have a frozen Greek yogurt bar, if you like chocolate, go for 70% dark chocolate, if you like French fries bake them instead of frying them. This will prevent any weight gain from excessive treats. If you feel like you are not seeing any progress with the 80/20 principle track your food and nutrients and see if you are going over the 20%.
Jodie Parus, RD, LD
Staying hydrated during the scorching summer months is vitally important. Doing so will help you avoid exhaustion, dizziness, muscle cramps and headaches, while contributing to a beautiful summer glow for your skin.
You’ve probably heard that you should aim to consume at least half your body weight in ounces of water each day. For example a 150 pound person should consume 75 ounces of water each day. In the warmer summer months, you may need to boost that number to somewhere between 3-5 liters, depending on your activity level and time outdoors.
If you can just not fathom sipping that much water throughout the course of a day, choose some of the following super hydrating foods to help you hit your goal. They are all comprised of over 90 percent water!
Jodie Parus, RD, LD
Rewarding children when they do something desirable is a great way to encourage them to repeat the behavior. Unfortunately, the reward is often a sweet treat, such as candy or ice cream. There are plenty of non-food rewards that can be offered to support your child’s positive actions.
When food is offered as a reward, those foods are then thought to be more desirable than others foods. Also, children may not make the connection that food is fuel for their body and may come to expect a sweet treat after every achievement.
You can assist your child in establishing a healthy relationship with food and avoid any negative long-term consequences by opting for some of the following non-food rewards.
• Verbal praise
• Special outing to the movies, park, zoo, etc.
• Play date with friends
• Sleepover with friends
• A new book or toy
• A break from chores