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Your Body Is Your Life

The Skinny On Weight Loss

Posted on Jul. 8th 2010 | in Nutrition

By Maureen Nagle M.S., L.N.

What is your New Year’s resolution? Does it include weight loss?

When I sit down with a client who is interested in losing weight, they have usually tried several other diet programs, low fat, low calorie, liquid diets, starvation, you name it they’ve tried it. Only to find that each time they go on a diet they end up gaining back more weight later. Sound familiar?

Many of the weight loss programs on the market recommend utilizing their bars and frozen meals as a way to control portions. However the cost of this adds up quickly and most concerning is these products contain numerous chemicals and trans fatty acids (hydrogenated oils). According to Walter Willett M.D., PhD at Harvard University, “Trans fats are responsible for an alarming 30,000 cardiovascular related deaths per year.”

Maintaining a healthy weight and level of body fat is important for everyone’s health. Research supports that the individuals who age the slowest and maintain a healthy weight are the people who have the most lean muscle mass. Why is this relevant to weight loss? When people take weight loss into their own hands they often restrict their calories below a healthy level which decreases their level of lean muscle mass. Although they may initially lose weight more quickly by cutting back on calories, and fat, long term they are decreasing their lean muscle mass and setting themselves up to gain back the weight they lost and then some.

The most important element of healthy weight loss is educating clients about how to eat properly for life. When we eat properly we are able to lose body fat and maintain our level of lean mass. Metabolically this creates a lean mean calorie burning machine.

Clients give me regular feedback that learning how to manage their blood sugar has been the single most helpful tool in decreasing their cravings for the wrong foods, empowering them to feel in control of their food choices. Let’s face it, will power eventually wears off and if we aren’t eating properly we will end up with a lot of cravings that will sabotage even the most determined dieter.

In order to set someone up for success it is key to help them decrease and manage their cravings for processed carbs and sugar. Blood sugar management is for everyone not just diabetics. In order to maintain a healthy level of blood sugar all day it is necessary to eat every 3-4 hours and each time we eat it should consist of some protein, fat, and carbohydrate. Maintaining a healthy weight is about more than just calories in and calories out. Each time we eat we create hormones that can either create more energy and speed up fat burning or zap energy and store fat.

Many choose to eat low fat foods when they are trying to lose weight. Low fat foods are more processed and contain higher amounts of sugar, artificial chemicals and sweeteners. These types of foods actually stimulate hunger and set us up for the blood sugar fluctuations which later cause cravings for the wrong foods. Over consuming processed carbohydrates causes our blood sugar to elevate stimulating more of the fat storing hormone insulin. When working towards weight loss is it essential to consume healthy fats. The types of fats that stabilize blood sugar and help produce more of the fat burning hormone glucagon are: olive oil, avocado, and nuts.

Protein has demonstrated to be a natural appetite suppressant, because it helps us stay full longer and supports lean muscle mass. Most people who struggle with weight problems do not eat enough protein frequently throughout the day.

What are the healthiest ways to increase metabolism for life:

  • Stop Dieting
  • Eat every 3-4 hours
  • Eat 5-8 time per day
  • Each time you eat consume some protein, fat, and carbohydrate
  • Protein intake should be the size of the palm of your hand at each meal and half of that at snacks
  • Focus carb intake on mostly vegetables, fruits and smaller amounts of root veggies and grains
  • Healthy Fats are key for weight loss because they support balanced blood sugar and satiety longer which helps us avoid the wrong foods
  • Water is key to weight loss–divide your body weight by two and the number you come up with is the number of ounces you need to drink in a day
  • Exercise- cross training is optimal which includes cardio and resistance training

Changing our lifestyle is key to successfully losing weight. I encourage people to seek advice from a person who is trained and has a degree in nutrition when deciding how to go about losing weight.

Maureen Nagle M.S., L.N.
Licensed Nutritionist and Founder of Nutritional Resources
Nourishing Your Mind, Body and Soul
7200 France Ave S Ste 236
Edina, MN 55435
NutritionalResourcesMN.com

Educating and empowering clients to achieve optimal health through nutrition based lifestyle changes

©2007 Nutritional Resources Corp LLC. “Nutritional Resources” and “Nourishing Your Mind, Body and Soul” are trademarks of Nutritional Resources LLC. All other brand names or marks are used for identification purposes and are trademarks of their respective owners.

Snacks In A Snap

Posted on Jul. 6th 2010 | in Nutrition

By Maureen Nagle M.S., L.N.

With families today, I find that providing them with quick snack ideas is key to staying healthy. Begin with making a commitment as a family that eating healthy is a priority. It is important that everyone feels a part of the decision to eat healthy and no one is singled out or forced to eat a certain way.

The first thing I explain to families that being busy is not an excuse to abandon good nutrition. Who says fast food only comes from a drive thru window? I believe the true happy meals are the ones that are kept simple and made from whole natural ingredients at home. Below are some simple tactics and ideas for snacks that are convenient, healthy, and affordable.

Here are some necessary steps to make sure your family is snacking healthfully in the upcoming week.

  • Prepare a variety of snacks in bulk
  • Purchase plastic containers or baggies to organize and store snacks
  • Make large quantities and freeze the extras to be used later
  • Communicate to the family the location of the snacks and make them accessible
  • Work together as a family to plan snacks that are healthy and taste good

It is optimal to include some healthy protein, fat and carbohydrate at each snack.

This supports stable blood sugar levels, from which the whole family benefits.

This provides the necessary fuel for energy, brain function, and overall health. It will also help decrease the cravings for junk food.

Why Snacking is Healthy

Have you ever noticed that your children come in the door from school and inhale the first processed carbohydrate they can get their hands on? This is a classic example of low blood sugar symptoms setting us up to overeat and make poor food choices. To prevent kids from walking in the door and grabbing the box of cereal, chips and cookies I have provided a list of healthy snack options that will help them refuel and rebalance their blood sugar to help prevent filling up on junk before dinner.

Healthy Snack Ideas

  • 2 slices of natural deli meat
    1 Tbsp of cream cheese
    1 small piece of fruit
  • 1 snack pack of natural Applesauce (cinnamon is great)
    1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder mixed with applesauce
    5-10 almonds
    (this snack is excellent before sports practice)
  • 1 authentic corn tortilla
    1 piece of chee se (put in tortilla and melt in microwave)
    10 grapes
  • 1 hardboiled Egg
    1 pear sliced
    10 almonds
  • 3 celery sticks or apple slices
    1-2 T natural peanut butter (Maranatha or Parker’s Farm is excellent tasting)
    1 slice of cheese

Our bodies are designed to eat smaller portions more frequently. It is ideal to be eating

5-8 times daily to satisfy our energy demands in this fast paced world.

I encourage clients to utilize one day a week to stock up their kitchen with healthy snack ingredients. This practice will support healthy eating all week long.

Maureen Nagle M.S., L.N.
Licensed Nutritionist and Founder of Nutritional Resources
Nourishing Your Mind, Body and Soul
7200 France Ave S Ste 236
Edina, MN 55435
NutritionalResourcesMN.com

Educating and empowering clients to achieve optimal health through nutrition based lifestyle changes

©2007 Nutritional Resources Corp LLC. “Nutritional Resources” and “Nourishing Your Mind, Body and Soul” are trademarks of Nutritional Resources LLC. All other brand names or marks are used for identification purposes and are trademarks of their respective owners.