Tuesday, January 21, 2014

More on Nutrition

I've been working with a trainer (Nicole) and part of the program is not just working out but also working on my nutritional habits. She thinks balanced eating with many meals a day but sensibly comprised and sized could make a difference.

She has me tracking my food on MyFitness Pal which I do intermitently.

I just saw this great video on 200 calories.  Powerful and educational. Enjoy!

For those of you that are curious, this is what working out at her place looks like:

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Nutella VS. Peanut Butter, nutrionally speaking...

I'm a fan of the taste and convenience of each product. I'll eat them on bananas or on toasted whole wheat.  But in fact, which is better for me? Or worse?

Serving Size - 2 Tablespoons

Lets start with total fat.  While peanut butter has 17g, Nutella has only 11g. But Nutella has slightly more saturated fats at 3.5 grams versus peanutbutter at 3 grams.  Overall, advantage Nutella.

Neither have any cholesterol.

The peanut butter is salty with 105 mg, Nutella has zero. Advantage Nutella.

Peanut butter has 7 grams of carbs (3 grams each of sugar and fiber), Nutella has 22 grams (21 of which are sugars, only 1 of fiber). Is the extra 15 grams of carbs a lot? Is this really what matters the most?

They both have 200 calories. Peanut butter has 150 fat calories, Nutella has only 100 fat calories.

Bottom line, Nutella wins!  Nutella has less fat (17 vs 11) and less salt (105mg) versus zero. Nutella wins across the board except for saturated fats.

UPDATE - I just chatted with someone far more versed in nutrition than me and she (Nicole) said that I was missing the point.

Peanut butter, while it does have salt, carbs (3gs of which are sugar), and 150 fat calories, also has useful protein. Seven grams of useful protein.
Nutella  has slightly less of the bad stuff (salt, sugars, fat) but it only has 2 grams of protein.
Is this difference of 7 v 2 grams of protein that important?

Disclaimer: She also said that she is not that familiar with Nutella so she'd check it out. She did push almond butter (all natural, Whole Foods) as a better alternative than the others. So stay tuned. Or add your insights...thanks.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Ten Commandments for Improved Nutrition

Follow these ten rules:
  1. Feed your body, five to six meals a day.  Some of those will be snacks.
  2. Get the right number of calories. This means keeping track. Make a game of it.
  3. Each meal, even the snacks, should be balanced. A carb, a vegetable, a protein, and a fruit.  If you feed your body balanced and regularly, it will not torture you with great hunger and it will not hoard nutrition in case it needs it later.  Try hard to figure out what balanced nutrition means. Everyone agrees that it's important. No two people agree on what it is.
  4. Don't binge, eat smaller portions.  In most restaurants, aim to take half of your main course home.
  5. Avoid temptation. Don't even go to Mexican restaurants. If you must go, say NO THANKS when they put the salsa and chips on the table.  Don't eat even one...Never think about desert or sweets. Don't have dreams.
  6. Before you take a drink with alcohol, think hard about the calories.  Ditto for any salad dressing or sauce. Drink water all the time.  Accept that you'll never sleep through the night again and most meetings will be torturous. Drink lots of water. You'll be uncomfortable but won't be fat or have heart attacks. 
  7. Some foods are better than others. Almonds are less fatty than cashews. Avocado's are fattier than...anything. Get good glasses and study the labels.  
  8. Track your habits and improve them.  Think and talk about nutrition all the time. Of course, it's going to bore a lot of people to tears.  Find other people who care and be nerdy with them about nutrition and calories.  You can also use a service like FitnessPal. It has no personality but lots of info. And is available on the web, on your phone, and on your tablet. You can give your trainer access and she can point out what a job you are doing.  
  9. Hang out with people who eat sensibly. At night, don't eat. Hungry? Drink more water.
  10. Plan to eat well. Spontaneous meals are nearly impossible to manage. Don't be spontaneous. Don't drink.
Fun fun.