Health & Fitness – Fiber

10-17-2015 9-53-33 AMEating healthy may improve your health and lower your need for prescription drugs. Dietary fiber is a component in plant based foods that is linked to a wide range of improved health outcomes, including lower cholesterol, better blood sugar regulation, improved intestinal health, greater satiety (feeling of fullness), and lower rates of certain types of cancer. Fiber is found naturally in plant foods that should comprise the greater part of a healthy diet.

The typical American diet includes only about half of the daily recommended amount of fiber, primarily due to the amount of processed foods we eat. A good rule of thumb is to aim for 30 grams of fiber per day in your diet; and here are five great fiber sources.

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Legumes
Legumes are a class of vegetables that include beans, peas, and lentils. They are some of the most versatile and nutritious foods available. Legumes are typically low in fat, contain no cholesterol, and are high in folate, potassium, iron and magnesium. They also contain soluble and insoluble fiber. Because they are a good source of protein, legumes can be a healthy substitute for meat, which has more fat and cholesterol.

Canned beans are affordable and a convenient way to get your legumes. Try subbing pinto beans for meat in your next batch of chili (or add less meat and more beans), add black beans to your burritos or canned beans to your salads, or whip up a batch of lentil soup. If you’re concerned about sodium, rinse the beans under running water first. This will eliminate about 30 percent of the sodium. The fiber in legumes ranges from 5 to 8 grams per half-cup serving.

Berries
While fruits and vegetables both contain fiber, fruit generally has more fiber per serving than do vegetables. One cup of berries, for example, contains 4 to 10 grams of fiber (about twice that of an apple). Blackberries and raspberries have 8 grams fiber per cup, while elderberries top the chart with 10 grams per 1-cup serving.

Bran
There are many different types of grains that contain bran. Oat bran, for example, contains soluble fiber, which helps lower bad cholesterol levels. The bran found in corn, wheat and rice is largely insoluble fiber, which can help fight constipation. High-fiber cereals often include bran in their ingredients. Or if you don’t eat cereal, sprinkle bran on fruit and yogurt or add into casseroles or baked goods. One ounce of wheat bran and oat bran yields 12 grams of fiber, whereas raw corn bran packs 22 grams of fiber per ounce.

Pears
Many fruits contain 2 to 3 grams of fiber per serving, but pears contain two to three times that much. A large pear has 7 grams of fiber, while a large Asian pear contains 10 grams. Stick with fresh pears because canned pears usually have added sugars and less fiber (because fiber degrades over time and is generally lost during the canning process).

Peas
Peas are one of the few members of the legume family that are commonly sold and cooked as fresh vegetables. Black-eyed peas pack 6 grams of fiber per half-cup, and even green-pea powder is popping up with 4 grams fiber and 4 grams protein per 1 ½-tablespoon serving.
To check out the fiber content of some of your favorite foods, visit the USDA Nutrient Database website at http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search. For more help with a healthy nutritious diet, talk to a registered dietician or a certified Health Coach.
By: Janet Hunt
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.

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10-2-2015 2-41-01 PMThis article is reprinted with permission of the American College of Sports Medicine. Copyright © 2011 American College of Sports Medicine.

Any type of activity that places unaccustomed loads on muscle may lead to delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). This type of soreness is different from acute soreness, which is pain that develops during the actual activity. Delayed soreness typically begins to develop 12-24 hours after the exercise has been performed and may produce the greatest pain between 24-72 hours after the exercise has been performed.

While origins of the soreness are complex, it is well-established that many types of physical activity can cause delayed soreness. Most believe soreness develops as a result of microscopic damage to muscle fibers involved the exercise. This type of damage likely results from new stresses that were experienced during the exercise. One common misconception about DOMS is that it is due to lactic acid accumulation, but lactic acid is not a component of this process. DOMS appears to be a side effect of the repair process that develops in response to microscopic muscle damage.

Examples of activities that are known to cause DOMS include:
• Strength training exercise
• Walking down hills
• Jogging
• Step aerobics
• Jumping

Activities which cause DOMS all cause muscles to lengthen while force is applied. This is eccentric muscle action. Examples of eccentric muscle actions include the lowering phase of a bicep curl exercise or the lengthening of the thigh muscles while the limb brakes against your body’s momentum as it walks or jogs down a hill. Jogging or running on a flat surface can also elicit DOMS symptoms for those who are unaccustomed to this type of activity. The severity of soreness depends on the types of forces placed on the muscle. Running down a hill will place greater force on the muscle than walking down the same hill. The soreness that develops will likely be greater after running down a hill.

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All people are susceptible to DOMS, even those who have been exercising for years. However, the severity of soreness normally becomes less as your body becomes adapted to work it regularly performs. Just one bout of soreness producing exercise actually develops a partial protective effect that reduces the chance of developing soreness in that same activity for weeks or months into the future.

There are numerous characteristics of DOMS beyond local muscle pain. Some of the most common symptoms include:
• Swelling of the affected limbs;
• Stiffness of the joint accompanied by temporary reduction in a joint’s range of motion;
• Tenderness to the touch;
• Temporary reduction in strength of the affected muscles (lasting days);
• In rare and severe cases, muscle breakdown to the extent that the kidneys may be placed at risk; and
• Elevated creatine kinase (CK) enzyme in the blood, signaling muscle tissue damage.

DOMS symptoms do not typically necessitate the need for medical intervention. If the pain level becomes debilitating, if limbs experience heavy swelling or if urine becomes dark, then medical consultation is advisable.

One of the best ways to reduce the severity of DOMS is to progress slowly in a new program. Allowing the muscle time to adapt to new stress should help to minimize the severity of symptoms, but it is unlikely that soreness can be avoided altogether. It is also important to allow the muscle time to recover from work that produces soreness, and participating in the same exercises on subsequent days should to be done judiciously. Proper warmup is also important in preparing the muscle for the types of forces that may cause damage, but there is little evidence that warm-up will be effective in preventing DOMS symptoms. Stretching is sometimes done before exercise, but it is better to stretch after the body is warmed up and after exercise. Stretching has not been shown to reduce or prevent symptoms of DOMS, but DOMS should last only a few days (usually 3-5 days) and the involved muscles will be better prepared for future bouts of the same type of exercise.
There is little evidence that such treatment strategies will hasten recovery and return to normal function. If the primary goal is to reduce symptoms, then treatments such as ice pack application, massage, tender point acupressure, and oral pain relief agents may be useful in easing pain. It is important to be aware that pain reduction does not represent recovery. Rather, these treatments may only be effective in reducing symptoms of pain, but underlying muscle damage and reduced function may persist.

It is unlikely that you will avoid soreness altogether when beginning a new exercise program. However, pain does not need to be present to achieve gains in fitness status, and pain may indicate a need to reduce or refrain from an activity. While eccentric loading of muscle to achieve gains in muscle size appears to be important, gains in strength will occur without overemphasizing the eccentric component of a weightlifting exercise. Pain that occurs during exercise (i.e., acute) signals a problem with the exercise (too intense, bad form, etc.) and should be halted before muscle or joint damage occurs.

Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.

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9-18-2015 4-08-14 PMIn almost all of my classes, personal training sessions, and for my own personal workout, I use some sort of elastic resistance tubing or bands. Why? Elastic resistance, as the name states, offers resistance, allows free range of motion, allows variable movement speeds, and allows progressive resistance. These are the same properties you see with free weights (barbells or dumbbells). These are the properties needed for an effective strength-training program.

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Studies show that when comparing the same exercise performed using elastic resistance to free weights, the number of muscle fibers activated is similar as is the amount of force provided by the muscle fibers. Also, elastic tubing or bands increase muscle strength and size while decreasing body fat in a similar way to free weights.

One of the most important benefits (and the main reason I use elastic tubing over free weights for some exercises) is that they not rely on gravity. Because free weights rely on gravity to provide resistance, you always have to work in the direction of gravity. Therefore, to work certain muscles using free weights, you may have to be lying in different positions, kneeling, or placed in various positions that may not be comfortable or easy to maintain.

With elastic tubing, you are not limited to working only in the vertical plane. This means you can perform exercises such as twisting side-to-side and horizontal moves. Also, you can do movements that mimic movements used in sports. For example, a study published in the 1998 issue of American Journal of Sports Medicine reports that college tennis players who trained using elastic resistance increased their shoulder strength and the speed of their serve. For the non-athletes, by performing resistance exercises in different directions you can better prepare yourself for the activities of daily living.

Another benefit of elastic resistance not relying on gravity is that it provides continuous tension to the muscle being trained. When lifting a free weight in any direction other than straight up and down, the tension on the muscle can actually be removed at certain points in the range of motion. For example, during a bicep curl with a dumbbell at the very top of the movement the dumbbell is literally falling towards the shoulder. This means that the tension on the bicep has been removed because the dumbbell is no longer being lifted up against gravity by the bicep. When doing a bicep curl with elastic tubing, the tension is present throughout the entire range of motion.

Other benefits of elastic tubing or bands include being lightweight, storable, relatively inexpensive, and easily transported, especially when teaching a group fitness class. Free weights are heavy, difficult to store, and are expensive for heavier weights because they are usually priced by the pound.

Another unique quality of elastic resistance is that as the range of motion of the exercise increases, the resistance provided by the elastic tubing increases. For example, when doing a bicep curl, as you curl your hand up toward your shoulder, the resistance of the elastic tubing increases. As the range of motion increases and the resistance increases, the number of muscle fibers that are being used in the muscle increases as well.

As an instructor, another benefit that I see is that it prevents you from using momentum. This often takes place when using free weights. Once the weight has built up momentum, the muscle fibers do not need to be maximally activated to continue moving the weight throughout the rest of the range of motion of the exercise. The physical properties of elastic resistance do not allow the user to cheat by using momentum. The only way to continue a movement while performing an exercise with elastic resistance is to utilize more muscle fibers in the exercising muscle to continue stretching the elastic material.

As a fitness instructor and personal trainer, I like to use both free weights and elastic resistance when available. Depending on the group or the individual, body weight exercises or weight machines are also good options.

For more information about strength training using elastic tubing or elastic bands, give Janet Hunt a call or visit her on Facebook.
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.
By: Janet Hunt

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9-7-2015 10-17-10 AMTwo of the more popular exercise machines in the gym and my studio are the stationary bike and treadmill. Outside the gym, biking and walking are very popular. Often my students or clients ask which machine or form of exercise is best.

My first answer is to select the one you are most likely to use and continue over time. An unused exercise machine does nothing but take up room. Exercising regularly is important for losing weight, looking and feeling better, and most importantly for your long-term health. If you don’t really have a preference, you might want to consider safety and workout effectiveness.

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Safety

Treadmill Pros
• If used correctly, most new models include automatic shut-off safety devices if you should fall.
Treadmill Cons
• You can misstep and fall off a treadmill.
• Treadmills put more stress on your knees and ankles. If you have arthritis, you might find a treadmill painful at times.
Stationary Bike Pros
• A bike is the safest if joint stress is a major concern due to age or injury.
• It is very difficult to fall off an exercise bike.
• If you have an upper body injury, the support of a recumbent bike may allow you to continue exercising.
Stationary Bike Cons
• Reaching for the handle bars on an upright exercise bike may put stress on your back and discourage proper posture.

Workout Effectiveness

Treadmill Pros
• At the same intensity, a treadmill will burn more calories per hour than a stationary bike.
• Walking on a treadmill uses your core muscles to stabilize your body throughout your workout, and allows you to get a more all-over workout, especially if you swing your arms as you walk.
• Walking is a weight bearing exercise, so it helps maintain your bone density.
Treadmill Cons
• If you have joint issues, a treadmill may be too jarring.
Stationary Bike Pros
• If you cannot walk 10 minutes on a treadmill but can easily ride for 20 minutes on an exercise bike, you will burn more calories per session on an exercise bike.
Stationary Bike Cons
• Focuses only on the major muscles of the legs. Riding doesn’t really do much for the rest of the body.

Boredom

Treadmill Pros
• If you can put your treadmill near your TV, you can watch TV or movies. If you don’t watch TV, listen to music.
• You can change your treadmill incline or speeds.
Treadmill Cons
• The treadmill noise will often compete with the television unless you use earplugs.
Stationary Bike Pros
• Like a treadmill, a bike can be placed in front of a TV, but you can also read, play video games or even talk on the phone safely.
Stationary Bike Cons
• On upright exercise bikes, you probably cannot read because you need handlebars for your balance.
• If you get distracted on a bike, you may decrease you speed without realizing it.

Either piece of equipment will help you in your quest for weight loss and improved health, but sticking with your option is the most important, so choose the piece of equipment you are most likely to continue using. For more information regarding exercise equipment and exercise types, talk to a Personal Trainer.
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.
By: Janet Hunt

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8-23-2015 12-41-55 PMFor this edition of Athens Now, I’ve included a table below from the US Department of Health and Human Services on the health benefits associated with regular physical activity.

Always discuss options with your healthcare provider before beginning an exercise program. It is also beneficial to seek out the advice and assistance of a Certified Professional Trainer who can help you find the best exercises for you on a deep, personal level. They can teach you about exercise safety if you don’t have any experience in this area.

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For more information, contact Janet Hunt at 256-614-3530 or visit Janet’s Fitness Facebook page.
By: Janet Hunt
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.

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8-7-2015 2-41-58 PMBack when I was in school and starting a career, many people (myself included) in the U.S. associated professional success with getting as little sleep as possible. Now, after much research has been done, science has come to realize that chronic sleep deprivation isn’t just bad for business, it’s detrimental to our health. Doctors are saying that chronic lack of sleep along with sedentary living can lead to serious health consequences, including weight gain, obesity and all those chronic illnesses associated with obesity, such as heart disease and diabetes.

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Sleep needs and sleep patterns vary significantly from one person to another, but in general, the National Sleep Foundation suggests that healthy adults have a basic sleep requirement of seven to eight hours a night. The National Sleep Foundation, reported that four to five hours of sleep per night typically isn’t enough and can lead to serious physiological and neurobehavioral consequences.

Lack of sleep has been linked to the following adverse consequences:
• Increased risk of driving accidents
• Higher odds of obesity due to an increased appetite caused by sleep deprivation
• Impaired glucose tolerance leading to an increased risk of diabetes and heart problems
• Increased risk for psychiatric conditions including depression and substance abuse
• Decreased ability to pay attention, read signals or remember new information
When it comes to healthy living, getting enough sleep works hand in hand with eating right and getting exercise.

Lack of sleep can trigger the production of cortisol, a stress hormone, and an increase of insulin production, which then promotes fat storage and is associated with weight gain. Two other important hormones are ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin signals your brain that it’s time to eat.When you’re sleep-deprived, your body makes more ghrelin. Leptin, on the other hand, cues your brain to put the fork down. When you’re not getting enough sleep, leptin levels plummet, signaling your brain to eat more food. A study by the University of Chicago in young adults found that restricting sleep to four hours a night for a week brought on the same glucose and insulin level characteristics that are seen in diabetics, which the investigator cautioned can be a pathway to obesity.
Sleep suggestions from the National Sleep Foundation for children and teens differ from those of adults. They suggest that children need much more sleep than adults: Preschoolers aged 3 to 5 need 11 to 13 hours of sleep while school-aged children up to age 12 need about 10 to 11 hours of sleep. Most teenagers typically need nine hours of sleep a night to function well.

Below are some suggestions for good sleep:
• Set regular sleep and wake up schedules, even on weekends
• Create a regular, relaxing bedtime routine such as soaking in a hot bath or listening to soothing music
• Exercise regularly and finish your workouts at least three hours before bed time
• Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows
• Create an environment that is dark, quiet and a comfortable sleeping temperature
• Use your bedroom for sleep and sex (do not watch TV in bed, use a computer or read)
• Eat 2-3 hours (or more) before bedtime
• Stop smoking
• Make sleeping a priority
• Avoid caffeine and alcohol near bedtime
By: Janet Hunt
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.

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7-17-2015 1-15-06 PMLately I have received several questions about coconut water. My standard answer is usually “don’t bother – drink water.” Water is free, with 0 calories. What could be better?

Lately I have read several articles about coconut water, so here is the info:
• Coconut water is the mildly sweet, nutty-flavored clear liquid found in young, green coconuts. It contains approximately 40 calories per cup, (8oz) which is less than half the calories in the same amount of fruit juice or soda. It is low in fat, cholesterol-free and high in potassium.
• Coconut water is different than coconut milk, which is high in fat and high in calories and looks like regular milk.

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Marketers call coconut water “Mother Nature’s sports drink.” Other claims include that because coconut water is high in potassium, it regulates blood pressure, therefore helping to prevent strokes and heart attacks. Others say coconut water has anti-aging properties and can help fight cancer and kidney stones.

Yes, potassium is important for heart health, but it is found in many other foods, including bananas, potatoes, beans, lentils, spinach and yogurt. And simply drinking coconut water won’t magically prevent a stroke. Many of the other benefits are little more than unproven claims.

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Yes, unsweetened coconut water is a more natural way to replenish electrolytes than other sports drinks because it does not contain added sugar, artificial sweeteners, or dyes. It is also high in potassium and magnesium, but low in sodium. A sports drink is only needed when exercising intensely for longer than an hour, and if you are working that hard, you need to replace sodium.

Compared to Gatorade (one of the most popular sports drinks on the market), an 8-ounce carton of unsweetened coconut water has about 40 calories and 9 grams of naturally occurring sugar, while 8 ounces of Gatorade contains approximately 50 calories and 14 grams of sugar. The Gatorade sugars are sucrose and high fructose corn syrup.

If you eat a nutrient-rich diet, it’s fairly easy to get enough potassium from the food you eat. However, due to the eating habits of many in this country, many Americans do not get enough potassium, so coconut water can boost your intake a bit. As for sodium, most people don’t work out long or hard enough to need a drink to replace sodium, but if you do, coconut water is fairly low in sodium.

In my opinion, save your money and save your calories – drink water! If you do think you need a sports drink after your workout, below is an inexpensive, no calorie recipe you can make yourself and keep in your fridge.

This recipe is courtesy of www.wellnessmama.com.
By: Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.

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7-3-2015 3-45-11 PMExercise provides tremendous benefits for health and wellbeing. However, incorrect form or using equipment and tools incorrectly may diminish results, or even cause injury. Below are some suggestions for insuring you get the most out of your exercise routine.

• Don’t skip your warm-up or cool-down because you are short on time. Without a warm-up your body is not prepared for your workout so you may underperform and create a greater chance for injury. By cutting short your cool-down, you create more soreness by not allowing your body to cool down properly. As a result, you may still be sore and not ready for your next workout.
Instead of skipping the warm-up and cool-down, shorten your workout and increase the intensity. You can get an excellent workout (both strength and cardio) in only 20 to 30 minutes. Add moderate-to-intense intervals (HIIT) and/or decrease your rest time between sets. Make sure you find a way to do five to 10 minutes of mobility (dynamic stretching) work prior to your workout and some static stretching after you’re done.
• Don’t use unfamiliar equipment incorrectly or trying a new exercise tool that you have watched others use but have never tried yourself. Make sure you know how to use the equipment or tools before adding them to your exercise program. This goes for everything from elliptical machines to dumbbells, a TRX Suspension Trainer to kettlebells, a BOSU to gliders. First, if you have never used a piece of equipment, do not assume those that you have watched are using it correctly.
If you are at a gym, ask one of the trainers to show you how to use the equipment. If you are in a class, make sure the instructor gives instructions you understand and ask questions after class if you are unsure. If you work out alone, consider using a personal trainer at least once for added help. I see this all the time. Someone watched a video or read a workout in a magazine. New moves or new equipment have little value and can often be unsafe when done incorrectly!
• Don’t overestimate your fitness level or select equipment that is not right for you. I see this all the time, too. People often think more weight, more resistant tubing or bands, higher step benches, etc. will give them a better workout.

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When you are able to complete your planned workout or class workout using correct form and no longer have muscle soreness after your workouts, you may be ready to increase your weight or move to the next resistance level. More weight and higher resistance have little value and can definitely result in an injury when using incorrect form.

• Don’t cut short your time to recover properly. You need 24 to 48 hours between workouts of a similar nature to rest and recover. Without the recovery time, you could have soreness, fatigue and decreased performance. When this lasts too long, it could result in overtraining syndrome, which has long-term effects such as hormonal imbalances, sleep disturbances, mood disorders, etc.

• Don’t progress too quickly. The resistance rule of thumb is the 2×2 rule. If you can do two more reps for two sessions at your regular weight, then it is time to move up by two reps or 2 percent in weight. For endurance training, your overall weekly distance or time should not be increased by more than 10% each week. So if you are preparing for a competition, give yourself plenty of time to prepare. You cannot prepare to run a marathon in only a couple of weeks.
For more information regarding safe and effective workouts, talk to a personal trainer.
By: Janet Hunt
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.

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6-18-2015 4-03-05 PMFrequently I am asked questions about foods and nutrition as well as exercise. Not too long ago, someone asked me questions about organic eggs. Since that time, I have read a great article on eggs, from the June 2015 Nutrition Action Health Letter which is published by The Center for Science in the Public Interest. Below is what they have to say about the claims on eggs.
Some egg claims are certified by independent organizations. For others, you have to trust the hens’ owners. Still others mean nothing.

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Certified Claims:
• USDA Organic: Hens must be uncaged and have outdoor access (how much is not specified). Hens must be fed an organic, all-vegetarian diet that is free of antibiotics and pesticides. Beak cutting is allowed. Hens cannot have been given antibiotics after they were two days old.
• Certified Humane: Hens must be uncaged. They may or may not have outdoor access. Beak cutting is allowed.
• United Egg Producers Certified: Meets minimum voluntary industry standards, which, according to the Humane Society, “permits factory farmers to intensively confine hens in barren, wire ‘battery cages’ so small the birds can barely move”.
• Animal Welfare Approved: Hens are raised by family farmers in flocks of no more than 500 birds that have “continuous access to an outside area for foraging and ranging.” Beak cutting is banned. The animals are fed no animal byproducts.

Uncertified Claims:
• Cage-Free: Hens live outside cages, but usually have no access to the outdoors.
• Free-Range or Free-Roaming: Hens are cage-free and have some outdoor access. How much? It is up to the hens’ owners.
• Pasture-Raised or Pastured: Hens spend at least some time outside foraging for plants and bugs.
• Raised without Antibiotics: Hens were never fed antibiotics. (If a hen requires antibiotics to treat illness, its eggs cannot carry this claim.)

Meaningless Claims:
• Hormone-Free: It is illegal for egg producers to feed hormones to their hens.
• Natural: It can mean anything

I recommend that you always read labels and do not allow yourself to be misled. Food producers are excellent at marketing their products whether it is eggs, meat, bread, cereal, etc. Labels often say things that are misleading, and the consumer thinks they are eating something that is healthier or better for them. Many times these claims are meaningless, but the producers are charging more because many of us think we are buying a healthier product. Always make sure you educate yourself and take responsibility for your own health.
For more questions about fitness and general nutrition, contact Janet Hunt at 256-614-3530 or visit Janet’s Fitness Facebook page.
By: Janet Hunt
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.

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6-6-2015 11-23-19 AMAs a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and health coach, I am frequently asked “What diet do you recommend?” or “What do you think about this diet?” I usually talk about moderation and healthy eating with limiting the amount of calories if weight loss is the goal. I always emphasize a food diary, whether electronic or by hand.

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But really, the best diet for you is the plan that you can follow, is safe, and provides you with all your nutrients. If calorie intake is too low, you need to work with a registered dietician or doctor. If you have a health concern such as diabetes, you need to choose a diet that is recommended by your physician.

Below is a list of popular diets (alphabetically) and a basic description (from IDEA Fitness Journal, March 2015):

• Atkins ® – low carbohydrates/calories are not specified/induction phase with very low carbohydrates (20g) and then gradual increase
• Biggest Loser® – balanced/individual calorie targets/adherents choose a Biggest Loser book to follow for instructions.
• DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) – balanced/calories based on individual needs/high in fruits and vegetables/low sodium/developed to reduce blood pressure
• Gluten-Free – balanced/calories not specified/eliminates all foods that contain gluten (wheat, barley, and some other grains)
• Jenny Craig ® – balanced/individual calorie target between 1200 and 2000/followers purchase prepackaged meals and snacks and go to a Jenny Craig center for weekly counseling, or sign up for an at-home plan
• LEARN (Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitudes, Relationships, Nutrition) – balanced/calories not specified/emphasizes lifestyle changes to promote weight loss and health.
• Low Glycemic Index – balanced/calories not specified/a diet rich in “good carbs” (low glycemic index)
• Medifast® – balanced/very low calories (800-1000per day)/five 100 calorie meal replacement shakes and Medifast products per day, plus one meat and vegetable entrée per day
• Mediterranean – balanced/calories not specified/emphasizes produce, nuts, healthful oils and minimal red meat, sugar and saturated fat; red wine in moderation
• Nutrisystem® – balanced/calorie targets 1200 – 1550/followers purchase prepackaged meals online and shop for vegetables and fruits to supplement them
• Ornish – low fat/calories not specified/rates food as most (1) to least (5) healthful with emphases on fruits, vegetables and whole grain
• Paleo® – low carbohydrates/calories not specified/adherents aim to eat the way hunters and gatherers did, with no refined sugar, dairy, legumes or grains/emphasis is on meat, fish, poultry, fruits, and vegetables
• Pesco-Vegetarian – balanced/calories not specified/no meat or poultry/includes fish
• South Beach® – low carbohydrate/calories not specified/initial low-carb phase relies on low-glycemic-index and high-protein foods, plus moderate intake of mono- and polyunsaturated fats/gradually adds back “healthy” carbs
• Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC Diet) – low fat/weight loss calorie goals of 1600 for men and 1200 for women/developed to decrease cholesterol
• Vegan – balanced/calories not specified/no meat, fish, poultry, eggs, or dairy
• Vegetarian – balanced/calories not specified/no meat, fish or poultry
• Volumetrics – balanced/individualized target goals/ tracks daily points (few calories relative to nutrient value/fullness)
• Weight Watchers® – balanced/individualized calorie targets/tracks daily points (each point = approx. 50 kcal) based on current weight and weight goals
• Zone® – balanced/individualized calorie targets/active weight loss targets of 1200 calories for women and 1500 calories for men

Each of these diets have pros and cons. If you are interested in following one of the above, I recommend you do a little more research and determine if this is a program that you can adhere to.
By: Janet Hunt
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.

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