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The Fitness Tracker- Does It Really Work? July 26 2016

For better or for worse, our society is becoming increasingly obsessed with weight loss and physical appearance. More specifically, we are obsessed with controlling everything that goes in and out of our bodies, and knowing exactly how much is consumed vs. how much is burned on a daily basis. As such, more and more tools and devices are being created to help us track these metrics, which, in my opinion, can become a dangerous game that leads to obsession. Though it is important from a health perspective to stay active and exercise regularly, the line between health maintenance and obsession is too commonly crossed these days.

            

Fitness tracking bracelets (most commonly known as “the Fitbit” although this is just one particular brand) are all the rage right now. The Fitbit is an accessory (worn as a bracelet) that tracks your daily movement and calories burned.  It seems like everyone and their mother are walking around with one of these fitness measuring devices- counting their steps, tracking their weight loss. But here in lies the misconception. It is not necessarily weight LOSS that the Fitbit is tracking, but burned calories. Weight loss is dependent on a combination of calories consumed vs. calories burned. So, the question is- are people really losing weight? Or is this yet another device to help us obsess over every workout missed, every calorie consumed, without any real benefit?

The problem with the Fitbit, is that it doesn’t actually track your caloric intake, and puts all of the focus on exercise. Naturally, effective and sustainable weight loss relies on a combination of a regular workout regimen and a healthy, reduced calorie diet. In plain English- you have to burn more than you consume to actually lose weight. By putting the focus solely on exercise, one might neglect the importance of diet and calories consumed by over-focusing on calories burned. That’s not to say that this device is totally useless. It is helpful to know how much we’re burning, but also to be mindful of what we consume. Basically, it is important to make the following distinction when investing in a Fitbit: this not a device that makes us lose weight, it is a device that makes weight loss easier, by giving us knowledge about how much we are burning.

To effectively lose weight, it’s more about a lifestyle. Getting super specific and counting calories eaten vs. burned is a slippery slope- it’s really not that important to be exact, as long as you are seeing results. You can use a fitness measuring device to help you keep track of your progress, but it’s important to remember that this information is only giving you one of the tools you need toward your end goal. So long as you are being consistent in your regimen, and burning a relative amount more than you consume, you will likely see results. If you aren’t, then just cut back on meal portions or increase your cardio. That simple.

 

 


7 Super-Foods you Should Eat for a Better Workout! March 15 2016

It’s no secret that diet is even more important than exercise in one’s health and fitness regimen, and a proper combination of the two is essential particularly when looking for toning and weight loss results. Incorporating the following foods as a regular part of your diet will give you varying benefits such as elevated energy or improved dexterity, and will also help you achieve your desired physical results much faster!

Avocado:

Many of us shy away with anything overly fatty, particularly those of us watching our waistlines. However, there is such a thing as “healthy fats” which are actually good for us AND beneficial in maintaining our weight and overall health. Avocados are a perfect example of a super food high in “healthy fats.” They contain cholesterol lowering mono-saturated fats that help keep your body strong, and free of pain. Studies have proven that those who eat a diet with restricted fat (less than 31%) have weakened muscles and joints and are therefore more prone to injury. Eating just a few slices of avocado each day is a healthy (and delicious) way to ensure you are consuming enough of the right kinds of fats to maintain your body’s strength and durability, without bulking up.

Bananas:

Packed with energizing carbs and potassium, bananas are a great way to replenish the salts and electrolytes lost through excessive sweating. Potassium helps with muscle cramping and fluid absorption, making this fruit the perfect healthy before or after workout snack!

Carrots:

Carrots are full of complex carbohydrates that energize the muscles, as well as potassium which helps to control blood pressure and muscle contractions. Plus, they are refreshingly crunchy and delicious!

Chicken Thighs:

Dark poultry like chicken thighs or turkey drumsticks have the same juicy, rich impact as dark meat, as well as the iron, zinc and vitamin b’s as red meat, with less of the fat. A diet lacking in Iron or Zinc can cause one to feel fatigued, and naturally have less than stellar workout results, so this food is a perfect way to pack in the nutrients!

Hummus:

This low fat, low cal snack is packed with all the protein, complex carbs and non-saturated fats we need to fuel a solid workout. Pair it with your carrots and you have a delightful, light, energy boosting snack!

Salmon:

Not only does salmon improve heart health, recent studies have suggested that regular consumption of Omega 3 fats (which salmon is rich in) could be linked to lower abdominal fat, which is particularly beneficial for those working out to tone their core.

 

Berries:

One of the richest foods in antioxidants, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are packed with potent nutrients that protect the muscles from free radical damage that can be caused by exercise. As a general rule, the darker the berry, the higher the nutrient content. So pack a few in your shake before you hit the gym! All you need is a handful, and your body will thank you.