- I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Today I am going to give you a refresher on some of the most important nutritional facts that you should know to help you on your journey to wellness.
I have given you all of this information in previous blogs, but now I am going to bullet point them for you.
First off you need to remember how many calories it takes to gain or lose a pound. That number is 3500. So basically if you ingest 3500 calories more than you burn, you will gain a pound. If you burn 3500 calories more than you ingest, you will lose a pound. Simple math!
How many grams of protein should a female have in a day for optimum results? A minimum of 55 grams is recommended for girls, and if you are active you can have more to support muscle growth and healing ability. The more muscle you have, the more protein your body needs to support it. However, 65 to 75 grams will be ample for those who are participating in athletics.
How many carbohydrates do you need in a day? This is figured by your total daily intake of calories, and there are different opinions on this subject. I personally feel that it should not be more than 30 to 40 percent of your daily amount of calories. For instance; if you are eating 2000 calories a day, 600 to 800 of those calories could be carbohydrates.
How much fat should you eat in a day? This is another percentage equation where there are different theory's. I believe you should not have more than 25% of your calories come from fat in one day. A 2000 calorie intake, should not have more than 500 calories coming from fat. It is also stated that "no" one should have more than 64 grams in one day, which is a lot. Stick to the 25% option, and you will be good.
What is the daily sodium amount? The body requires only 500 milligrams per day. The American Heart Association recommends that you should not ingest more than 2400 milligrams in a day for optimum health. The average American has around 4000 milligrams in a day. Not a healthy choice.
How much sugar do we need in a day? In a 2000 calorie per day diet, the American guideline for sugar is no more than eight teaspoons, or 32 grams of sugar is recommended. Understanding that not are sugars are the same, you should not be getting all of your sugars from white table sugar. That is the worst of the sugars. Best to get the majority of your sugars from fruits!
What are free radicals? Free radicals are the things that disease us and age us. There has never been a diseased that has been diagnosed that did not come from free radical damage. Free radicals come from pollutants, toxins, sun rays, and from breathing pure oxygen. We need a certain amount of free radicals for our bodies to function, but when we have too many, our cells become damaged and disease and aging is the by product of that process.
What are antioxidants? Antioxidants are the things that kill the free radicals by producing enzymes that neutralize the free radicals. They are free radical scavengers. They are the soldiers that go to war against free radical damage. Antioxidants are certain vitamins and minerals that we find in fresh fruits and vegetables. Green tea, nuts, seeds, and some whole grains also have antioxidants. You want to eat lots of these foods to fight the battle of free radical damage.
How much water do we need in a day? A minimum of 64 oz, and 8 oz for every fifteen minutes of exercise that you add to your day. Hydrate and you will feel better, and look better!
What about fiber? You need 25 to 35 grams of fiber a day for your body to function at its best. Fiber comes from fruits, vegetables, grains, oatmeal, and nuts.
So those are some of the things to remember when choosing your foods. If you want to be healthy, fit, and lean, follow the guidelines in this blog and you will reach that goal!