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macro nutrients

10 Tips for Women for a Healthier Lifestyle

10 Tips for Women for a Healthier Lifestyle

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month.  It is a good reminder for us busy ladies to take a moment and focus on our health. Women are so busy juggling careers, children and homes, just to name a few.  We can get caught up in the day to day grind and push our health and maintenance aside.  

Let’s put you front and center and let’s take care of YOU!

Here are 10 tips to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

1. First and foremost, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the following are the American Cancer Society’s Recommendations on breast cancer screenings:

  • Women with an average risk of breast cancer – most women – should begin yearly mammograms at age 45.

  • Women should be able to start the screening as early as age 40, if they want to. It’s a good idea to start talking to your health care provider at age 40 about when you should begin screening.

  • At age 55, women should have mammograms every other year – though women who want to keep having yearly mammograms should be able to do so.

  • Regular mammograms should continue for as long as a woman is in good health.

  • Breast exams, either from a medical provider or self-exams, are no longer recommended.

  • Still, all women should be familiar with how their breasts normally look and feel and report any changes to a healthcare provider right away.

For more information visit The American Cancer Society.

2. Keep up with your screenings.

Medical exams and screenings by a physician are recommended routinely to screen for other diseases and disorders.  Some of these will be screening for other cancers, monitoring and screening your blood pressure, cholesterol and thyroid to name a few.

3. Maintain a healthy weight.  

This is probably the MOST important thing you can do for yourself to live a longer and healthier life.  Being overweight increases your chances of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, breathing problems and osteoarthritis to name a few. In my years in practice as a physician assistant, I personally see this on a DAILY basis.  I’m not saying that all overweight people have these problems, but it certainly increases the risk if not now, then eventually.  Because I deal with this daily, this is one of the primary reasons I created Refine YOU, my online fitness and nutrition company.  I want to impact and change as many lives as possible by helping my clients regain control by regulating hunger, regulating hormones and losing fat.  The FAST, ATTAINABLE TRANSFORMATION is a reasonable, doable lifestyle change with a jump start at the beginning.

4. Drink plenty of water.  

Stay away from artificial sweeteners, sodas, etc.  Everyone should be drinking at least half their body weight in ounces of water daily. A tip I like to tell my clients is,  every time you pick up that water bottle you should take 8-10 gulps of water before you put it back down again.

5. Maintain a healthy body composition.

This is along the lines of maintaining a healthy weight, but takes it one step further. Maintaining a healthy body composition means less fat and more lean muscle. This is for adults of ANY age. There are many benefits of having more lean muscle mass with strength training.  Having more lean muscle improves your metabolism which means you will burn more calories at rest.  For every pound of muscle you gain, your body can use about 50 extra calories per day.  Building muscle also protects you from injury to your bones and your joints. Not only does a lean, tone body look better, but it also allows you to live a longer more independent life as you age.   

6. Eat clean.

Refined grains (processed food, bread, chips, crackers, wheat) are unnecessary in our diet for fiber or nutrients. We can get all the fiber that our bodies need from fruits and vegetables. Refined grains are made up of lectins, gluten and phytates which cause mild to severe inflammatory reactions in our bodies. These reactions can affect our thyroid, digestive tract, immune system and liver. Gluten is the one we hear about the most but they are all unnecessary and can be harmful. If we cut refined grains out of our diet it decreases our risk of problems such as diabetes, heartburn, hypertension and helps us get rid of pesky stubborn fat. Dairy products commonly contain hormones, pesticides, antibiotics and GMO’s. They also contain a high amount of carbohydrates and lactose that can cause sensitivities.

7. Your nutrition should focus on the Macro nutrients and portion sizes.

In my opinion, this is the KEY to maintaining a healthy weight and body composition. Your body composition is 80% what and how you eat and only 20% exercise, sleep, stress and other factors. This is NOT just counting calories. This has more to do with what makes up the calories you are eating… the amount of carbohydrates, protein and fat (the 3 macro nutrients). Eating enough protein will help you feel full and encourage muscle growth. Keep in mind, not all fats are bad for you! A diet higher in healthy fat in combination with lower carbohydrates, will stabilize your hunger hormones and encourage your body to burn fat for energy and not be dependent on carbohydrates for energy.  Once you are dependent on fat for energy you will also have the added benefit of not have the energy fluctuations during the day.  To learn more about what Macros are and why they matter, check out my blog

8. Get enough sleep.

The lack of enough sleep may affect your body in more ways than you realize.  It puts you at risk for weight gain and puts more stress on your body which will increase cortisol and will put you in fat storage mode. It can increase your hunger by affecting your hunger hormones (ghrelin and leptin) and affects your mental state by increasing risk of depression, impairing judgement, makes you forgetful and makes you foggy.  The lack of sleep will also cause you to look older and we all don’t want that!

9. Keep your mind active.  

Studies have shown that you may delay the development of dementia and memory loss as you get older by keeping your mind active. Having a hobby that you enjoy, doing stimulating puzzles, playing games, reading books and learning new skills are great ways to keep your mind active and healthy.

10. Keep the stress low.

Stress has a negative effect on your mind, body and spirit.  The American Psychological Association (APA) states that the more stress you have and the longer it lasts, the worse it is on your body.  Reducing your stress levels can not only make you feel better now, but helps protect your health long-term. Some strategies the APA suggest to reduce stress are: identify what’s causing the stress and get rid of any tasks that are not essential, build strong supportive relationships, walk away when you are angry, rest your mind by participating in yoga or relaxation exercises and get help if needed.  

My career as a physician assistant in healthcare is something that I enjoy tremendously. I have a deep passion in helping people. This extends to my company Refine YOU and the FAST, ATTAINABLE TRANSFORMATION. I get great joy in helping clients who want a change. They are struggling to lose fat, they have tried this or that program and/or supplement with no results, they have hit a plateau and they struggle with low energy and feeling hungry all the time.  They just want lasting results, they want to feel better, and they want to be healthy… Refine YOU has the answer.

The next round of the FAST, ATTAINABLE TRANSFORMATION begins October 21st with prep week.   What better way to start the Holiday season!? LETZGO!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

 

What is Carb Cycling?

What is Carb Cycling?

If you’ve ever tried to lose weight then you’ve probably heard someone talk about the evils of carbs and how they are single-handedly responsible for making America obese. Well, the way a typical person consumes carbs, this is true to an extent. While there are plenty of people out there who would like to demonize carbs in all forms, science is clear on the matter: we need some carbs for our bodies to function optimally. So why the fuss over carbs and their role in weight loss or weight gain?
Processed carbs like those found in sugary foods, white breads and sodas, offer no nutritional value...so they are considered “empty calories.” To be fair, these foods certainly do play a part in America’s obesity epidemic. “Empty carbs” don’t fill you up and make it far easier for you to overeat. They provide your body with little to no nutrition while leaving you craving more. This naturally leads to over-consumption, weight gain, and causes hormone imbalances.


However, not all carbs are created equally. Complex carbs, like those found in fruits and veggies, are necessary for brain function, energy levels and good moods. So, saying no to all things carb-related is probably not your best plan of action. That’s why carb cycling is such an effective strategy for weight loss.


Carb cycling is exactly what it sounds like: a cycle of carbohydrate intake. When utilizing this strategy, you rotate your days between higher carb days and low carb days.


Why should you consider carb cycling?
When you cut out carbs completely, your energy levels will bottom out, you will experience brain fog and you will find yourself unable to complete challenging workouts. In addition, people who restrict carbs often don’t eat enough. This will ultimately lower your metabolic rate and make it harder for your body to burn fat effectively.
Plus...we all love carbs, don’t we? Living a carb free life can be incredibly challenging for most people. While many are able to make the change for a period of time, they find it difficult to sustain that type of lifestyle.


However, there are benefits to having some low carb days during your week. When you cut back on carbs, your glycogen levels quickly become depleted. Since glycogen is the first thing your body burns for energy, it will have to reach into its fat stores because there won’t be any glycogen available. 1-2 days per week of eating low carb with some HIIT workouts will do
wonders for your body in terms of fat burning.
If you have too many low carb days, you will find it incredibly hard to complete a challenging strength training workout. These are important for building muscle that will rev up your metabolism. So, having a few days per week where your carbs are less restricted is ideal, specifically on strength training days.
Higher carb days increase your thyroid output and help you control hunger. Higher carb days are also important for lean muscle gain and prevent muscle breakdown. When you cycle your higher carb days with your low carb days, you will see fat loss, lean muscle gain, increased energy levels, and improvements to your overall body composition. You will also see improved insulin levels which will teach your body to store less fat.
Carb cycling isn’t quite as difficult as it seems and is best paired with strategic workouts for optimal fat burning. Low carb days can be challenging at first, but once you find some go to meals, you will find them to be a lot easier than they seemed. Higher carb days are easy to fill up with all kinds of delicious fruits and veggies to keep you energized and thinking clearly.


Carbs are not the enemy my friend. In fact they play an important role in helping you look and feel your absolute best. They keep your body running optimally and keep you feeling alert and energized throughout the day. If you would like more information about carb-cycling check out this video on carb cycling and hormone regulation!


Talk to you soon,
Kim


P.S. If you are interested in learning more about how to implement this nutritional strategy,
check out the next round of the FAST, ATTAINABLE TRANSFORMATION- FAT Loss Program
(http://refineyou.leadpages.co/refine-you-1/) Carb cycling is a huge part of this program and has helped countless MEN AND WOMEN reach their goals, including me! Let me help you take the guess work out of implementing this strategy and give you everything you need to burn fat and feel great all while eating the foods you love! Sign-up soon to secure your spot and be on your way to Refine YOU! LETZGO!
 

Cajun Meatloaf

Cajun Meatloaf

A fan favorite with a kick!  My modifications make this great for low carb day!

Staying on Track during the Holidays

Staying on Track during the Holidays

Stay on track through the holiday season.  Learn how to enjoy yourself with holiday treats and still improve your body composition.