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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Another Tip Worth Passing Along- Olympic Edition

It's time for another Tip of the Week from My Fit Foods!

This week is Olympic Edition. I got to watch a recording of the women's gymnastics competition last night (I dont have cable/tv. Saddness) and for most of the competition I was just in awe of the muscles on these little girls! Such power and strength for being only 16!

My Fit Foods: Tip of the Week
My Fit Tips You Can Learn From Olympic Athletes


Food Is FuelLike we always tell you, “What you put into your body is very important to how you look and feel. Proper nutrition will provide 80% of your results.” Just like athletes use food for peak performance in their Olympic category, what you put into your body can affect your day-to-day performance at work, your social activities, and of course, during your workouts. If you are not getting the nutrition you need and eating junk food instead, your energy levels and mood can suffer. Most importantly, if you are under or over-eating, you can negatively impact your metabolism and health as well. A good rule of thumb, you should be eating out of hunger to fuel your body at the right times of the day, not out of boredom, stress, or other emotions.  We try to make this as easy as possible for you at My Fit Foods. In fact, this very principal is what helped inspire founder, Mario Mendias, to start the concept of My Fit Foods.

Tip: A good start to becoming more in tune with physical hunger cues is to rate your hunger on a scale from 0-10 (0 = starving, 10 = uncomfortably full). As a rule of thumb, try to only eat when you are at a 2 or 3 and stop at a 7 or 8 so that you get the fuel you need without going overboard. You should be fueling your body with healthy meals/snacks every 2 to 3 hours.

Carbs Are Good, People!Athletes typically make half of their diet complex carbohydrates from sources like whole grains and vegetables. This helps keep their energy high throughout training and events because muscles need carbohydrates to function the best they can. Too often, people don't get enough or the right kind of carbohydrates, which leaves them fatigued, cranky, and more vulnerable to food cravings. Remember, not all calories are created equal. Like Mario, describes in this video, if you eat 1600 calories a day in doughnuts and 1600 calories a day in healthy balanced foods, you are going to see drastically different results in your overall fitness and health. Nobody wants to date a doughnut. Remember, Its not all about the # of calories you consume, but more about the type of calories you are consuming. Healthy Fuel = Health Body!
At My Fit Foods we design our meals with a balance of low glycemic carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Unhealthy fats, gluten, sodium, and sugar are kept to a minimum, while flavor is maximized with antioxidant rich herbs and spices.

Check out the nutrient dense foods we choose for our balanced meals and snacks:
Low Glycemic Index Carbohydrates - We use foods low on the glycemic index (less than 55) that will leave you feeling energized all day instead of lethargic. Examples are steel cut oats, quinoa, sweet potatoes, parboiled rice, squash, leafy green vegetables, and a variety of fruits.
Lean Proteins - We use a variety of lean protein sources such as chicken breast, beef tenderloin, shrimp, ground turkey, and a 5 to 1 egg white and egg yolk mix.
Heart Healthy Fats - We use healthy oils that lower inflammation and aid in weight loss goals. Examples are macadamia nut oil, olive oil, small amounts of real butter, and a variety of nuts and seeds.
Antioxidant Rich Spices - Our food may be healthy, but it is definitely not boring! Antioxidants lower inflammation and slow the aging process and one of the best ways to get them is through spices. We cook with cumin, garlic, cilantro, rosemary, thyme, oregano, turmeric, and cayenne pepper.
Tip: Avoid simple carbohydrates such as sugary sweets and sodas, which cause a rapid increase and decrease in your blood sugar and, therefore, zap your energy levels and inhibit the storage of body fat.

Listen to Your BodyOlympic athletes will eat more calories during training to make up for calories expended during exercise. Remember the Law of Thermodynamics “Calories in Vs. Calories Out” Click here if you need a refresher .

Even if you are trying to lose weight, you still might need to increase how much you are consuming to make sure you are fueling up in the correct way. A great tool to help you calculate your calories is the My Plate calorie tracker database which includes My Fit Foods meals. My Plate is an application you can download on your smart phone, Ipad or desktop via the Livestrong Website.

Drink UpH2O…Water…Hydration, people!  Proper Hydration can often be the most neglected dietary component, but it is probably the most important. Water helps you cool down during strenuous workouts and replaces fluids lost in sweat. Not drinking enough can result in fatigue and being slow to the finish line. Keeping a bottle on hand with you at all times, is a good idea to prevent dehydration.

When we are dehydrated, we might confuse that feeling for hunger and end up overeating. How do you know if you are getting enough water? The best way is to check the color of your urine (Hope this isn't TMI!), it should be light yellow or clear. If darker, drink up! Just keeping it real folks! Remember, these are straight and informative REAL tips you can use! If its good enough for an Olympian, it should be good enough for you!

Recover & ReplenishMany athletes are focused on sports performance and need to be a lean mean machine for peak performance.  A daily Multivitamin is a must in their medicine cabinet.  Since they are eating for performance, they MUST have optimal levels of nutrients.  Athletes also place a lot of stress on their bodies day in and day out.  The added stress will produce a large amount of oxidation which they combat by taking a mega Antioxidant.  We have simplified this for you all in our Daily Fit Pack.  Just like our meals, it is perfectly portioned and super convenient!

Get Your SLEEP!While this isn't exactly a diet tip, getting enough sleep can be just as important as a healthy day of eating. Athletes are religious about their sleep schedules to properly power down and recharge for the next day of training. Lack of sleep can affect our decision making ability as well. When we don't get enough sleep, we feel tired and then we might not have the best judgment with our food choices. Also, with a lack of sleep, we are more likely to overeat since the hormone that tells us we are full, leptin, decreases and the hunger-stimulating hormone ghrelin increases. Make it a priority to get a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night by skipping caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime. Also try sleeping in a cool room, and developing a set time when you go to bed and when you wake up whenever possible. Our bodies were built for routine, so lets get on a healthy one.
Too frequently we let life get in the way of making healthy decisions. But by making time for your well-being with these tips, you can prepare mentally and physically for whatever competition your day may bring!
GO FOR THE GOLD!
**As always, MFF does not pay me in any way, I just believe in their message and vision. I know today's Tip was quite lengthy but I hope you learned something and feel morivated! :-)