Supplemental learning

Nina wrote:


Congrats on the new job.  I am a whole foods eater, and organic foods eater, and a healthy eater, but I am having trouble staying in shape.  I eat 2200 calories per day, go for walks when I can, and try to eliminate fat from my diet, but nothing’s working.  I am 32, 5ft2 and 173 lbs..I feel huge.  I would ideally like to be back to the 110 I was in high school.  Help!




Many people have a misconception that they can get all of their nutrients from the foods they eat.  You should know now that that way of thinking is false.  In today’s world, even organic foods are less nutrient rich than they used to be (unless you’re growing everything you eat in your back yard).  Why?  Shipping.  In order to get our organics year round, they’re grown all over the world and shipped to our grocer.  By the time they’ve arrived, they’ve lost 25-50% of their nutrients and are 7-10 days away from spoiling.  Even if you were growing all of your food in your backyard, you’d still be missing out on things like essential amino acids (your body can’t make them all), minerals, and some added herbal remedies that could improve metabolism and exercise recovery time.  This is where supplements can help.  Here are a few:

Protein-I’ve talked about whey protein before, and I am a good example of what whey can do.  I take hydrolized whey protein (shaken in a shaker, like a smoothie) after workouts and I take casein before bed.  Whey is a fast acting protein that aids in muscle recovery (think of it as the mortar between bricks), and casein breaks down slowly, which feeds your body with a great source of protein while you sleep.  There are other proteins out there (beef protein, egg protein, blends, etc), so find the one that’s best for you or ask around for suggestions.

Amino Acids-I take a daily Amino Acid pill with my multivitamin every morning as well.  Amino Acids are the scientists of the body..they combine with other things to make crucial substances your body needs.  Amino Acids are needed for everything from hormone production to immune support and 9 of the 28 cannot be manufactured by the body and must be found in food or supplements.  Optimum Nutrition makes a good Amino Energy drink as well if you’re looking for a morning or pre-workout boost, and GNC’s Amino Shooter is a nice, small, power packed drink as well.

Multivitamin-I am big on multi’s.  In my opinion, everyone should be (mainly because of not getting nutrients in your food these days), but you should know that there are still people that are against taking them because these people feel you should get your vitamins and minerals strictly from food.  You’ll be packing on the pounds if you’re eating for vitamins these days.  Centrum, GNC, One-A-Day all have good benefits (I prefer GNC’s Mega Mens Energy “Green” vegetarian vitamin), so do your research and find one you like.

Others-There are pre-workout boosters, N.O regulators to decrease fatigue, post-workout recovery drinks, and everything in between.  Do your research with these and you’ll find that some are greatly effective and others are not.  Talk with a professional and find something that may benefit you for YOUR specific needs.

Now, you also mentioned you’re going for walks, but unless you’re doing 15 mile walks, you’re not really doing much for your metabolism.  your average workout should be burning at least 400-700 calories if you’re looking to lose weight and keep it off.  Running in between weight exercises (circuit training) is a great way to lose weight, but if running isn’t your thing, try biking, swimming, or another form of cardio that is a bit higher on the intensity list than walking is.  You should be aiming for three-four times a week for a workout schedule.  It can be as short as 30 minutes of straight cardio, or up to 2-3 hours with a circuit training plan.  The best way to lose weight through exercise is to talk to a personal trainer at your local gym.  Together you two can work together to design a plan that’s right for your needs.

The key here is keeping a multi-faceted approach to staying in shape.  Workouts, healthy eating, and supplements should provide you with a solid approach to keeping the weight off and feeling great.  Good luck.