by Sheena Pradhan
It’s the first week of spring! We’re excited about the warm weather coming, but spring is reminding us at Kandice Pelletier Swimwear that it’s time to refocus on our nutrition and fitness goals. We consulted with our Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist, Sheena Pradhan, for some advice for maintaining a lean and toned body this spring and summer.
1. Include lean proteins in all meals and snacks.
In most of the developed world, people eat enough protein. However, the emphasis on small portions of lean proteins at each meal is key for a healthy diet. Protein takes two and a half hours to digest. One serving of protein will keep you full until your next meal. Staying full on healthy foods like lean proteins will prevent cravings for junkier foods that contain lots of empty calories like cookies and chips.
Protein also helps with muscle repair which is necessary with a changing workout regimen. Getting enough protein also helps to keep your bones strong.
One serving of protein can be an ounce of cheese, a quarter cup of nuts, or 4 ounces of chicken. You can dress up your dishes with cooked vegetables in your favorite seasonings or fruit on-the-side. You can even put your favorite proteins on top of a salad.
2. Include fruits or vegetables at all meals and snacks.
Fruits and vegetables contain fiber. Fiber does not digest and thus helps with staying full for longer. The combination of fiber and protein at meal times help to curb unhealthy cravings.
Fruits and vegetables also contain lots of vitamins and minerals to keep skin glowing through the summer months. Make sure to include a variety of colors in your diet. Different colors in foods indicate different vitamins and minerals. For example, orange vegetables, like carrots and sweet potatoes, usually get their orange color from Vitamin A. Green fruits and vegetables like kale and kiwi are usually rich in Vitamin K. The more colors you are eating, the surer you can be that you are getting a variety of vitamins and minerals from your foods.
3. Include lifting and strength routines in your workout regimen
Too many people set goals of losing fat mass and gaining lean muscle, but do not do enough strength training to reach their goals. Strength training helps to build lean muscle more than just doing cardio will. Include a diverse set of exercises in your routine to workout your entire body doing both strength and cardio.
Interval training is a great way to incorporate both strength and cardio into your routine. If you can’t find an interval routine you like, try doing 30 minutes of your favorite cardio routine (walking, running, swimming), and combine it with a 30-minute full body lifting routine.
4. Incorporate at least 30 minutes of cardio into your workout regimen
Cardio is as important as lifting for your muscle tone and your cardiovascular health. Light cardio will help you burn fat. Moderate to intense cardio will help with muscle tone. Incorporate light cardio into your everyday routine whether it is walking to work, to the subway, or parking further away from your office so that you can walk more than usual. Moderate to intense cardio is important for cardiovascular health. An additional thirty minutes of moderate to intense cardio should be incorporated into your workout regimen daily.
In order to figure out if you are going hard enough, try using a heart monitor. Your target heart rate for moderate intensity exercise is 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. Your target heart rate for vigorous intensity exercise is 70 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. In order to calculate your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. (For example, if you are 40, you would subtract 40 from 220, getting 180 as your approximate maximum heart rate). (http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise-intensity/art-20046887?pg=2)
Calculating maximum heart rate is just an approximation based on the population statistics. Your maximum heart rate may differ slightly than the number you get from this calculation depending on your fitness level.
5. Stay hydrated.
Staying hydrated is the most important and yet often most overlooked nutrition tip. Staying hydrated keeps your skin glowing and healthy.
Additionally, thirst is often disguised as hunger. Drinking enough water can help to stave off unhealthy cravings. Remember to drink 8 cups of water per day and stick to water instead of other drinks. Sweet drinks, including juice, are loaded with sugar. Do not be fooled by diet drinks to stay hydrated either. Your old friend, diet soda, contains sweeteners that can increase sugar cravings. Those cravings can totally throw your healthy diet off.
Too many of us are overworked and frequently do not get the recommended amount of sleep. You need 7-9 hours of sleep each day. Lack of sleep can cause an increase in the hormone cortisol. Cortisol increases fat accumulation.
Lack of sleep can also cause the body to have cravings. Your body will want to get energy from food to make up for the energy you should have gotten while collecting z’s. Additionally, the body needs rest in the evening to recover on all of the stresses from your day. If you don’t rest adequately, your diet and exercise regimens will also not have as big an impact.
Stay healthy and fit this spring! We can’t wait to see you on the beach and on the stage in your Kandice Pelletier Swimwear.