Sunday, May 26, 2013

How much protein do we need?

 Protein is the basic element of every living organism. The protein molecule is consisting of hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, sulfur and amino acids. They have a very important role, taking part in every process that takes place in the cell. Their role is much more important as a building block of the organism, than a source of energy. There is a lot of talk going on about how much it should be our daily protein intake. Usually we find a lot of sites on the internet, that will talk about huge amounts of proteins, like 1g per Pound, 2-2,5 g per kg of body weight. Other sources would say that we should divide our daily food intake as consisting of 40% proteins, 40% carbohydrates and 20% fats. These sites all have to sell something, usually protein powders. Be aware of that! These quantities are too big and there is absolutely no scientific proof that if you engage in a sport activity, you would need such amounts of proteins. On the other hand, there are scientific studies about the alimentation of athletes, which do refer to protein as an important part of our nutrition, but in much smaller quantities as mentioned above. For example, according to the American and Canadian Dietetic Association (2000) and the International Society of Sports Nutrition for endurance athletes the daily protein intake is 1,2-1,4 g/kg bodyweight, as for those engaging in power/strength training the range is between 1.6-2 g/kg body weight . Furthermore, the required daily protein intake for the non-athlete population is recommended to be 0.8 g/kg. The latter is a very normal amount, which we can ingest without any problem, through a healthy diet. As far as the other amounts go, there are a lot of questions raised. It is very difficult to stipulate the right amount of an individual due to factors that can be different from one individual to another. May very the needs, the absorption, may be metabolic differences from one individual to another. Also is important to realistically estimate the amount of exercise/ training we do. If you are engaging in Body building activities, you may want to adjust the protein intake according your efforts, e.g. you are training 5 times a week, daily minim 2 hours, maybe HIT training, than you’ll need proteins around the higher range, 2g/kg. But if you are training only three times a weeks with light weights, 45 minutes or a hour, than you will not need to consume 2g of proteins/kg, because your efforts doesn’t require that amount.

 Remember, that everything we do must be adjusted to our self and every “over-doing” of anything eventually will lead to some kind of health problem, which won’t occur in the very moment you are doing it, but probably, when you almost, or entirely forgot about the issue. This is how our health and body works. Things develop in a long time, also does body transformations. Eating a lot of protein won’t make your body “explode” of muscle in a few months. And everything you do artificially to speed up the process is like a branch of a tree, which when it is too bent at a certain point it can hit back. Did you had this experience, when you were walking in the woods, for example, and the person in front of you pulled the branch of the tree to get through and then forgot about you, who was behind and let it go? Well such branches can hit you hard. That is also what you want to experience with your health?

 Always listen to yourself. If you use a calorie calculator app and at the end of the day, you find out that you didn’t eat the up mentioned let’s say 1.4 g/kg protein a day, but you feel, you do not have the need to ingest no meat, steak, egg whites or whatever, but rather prefer an apple, than eat the apple and forget about the steak. Do not force on yourself.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Carbohydrates

   We can hear a lot about carbohydrates. Some are pro, others against, but what are they in fact? Carbohydrates, in their nickname: carbs. It consists of hydrogen, carbon and oxygen atoms. We distinguish: sugars, the simplest form; more complex are the starches; and the fibers represent the most elaborate form of the carbohydrate family. They can also be categorized after their glycemic index (GI). This indicates how fast it can raise the blood sugar level. After this classification the order is again the same: the simplest carbs -sugars- rise the blood sugar levels in short time, on the other hand the more complex carbs, due to their longer decomposition period don’t cause such a rapid blood sugar level rise. Also is important to know, that the lower the GI is of one food, the less it affects the blood sugar. Simple carbs all have a high GI, complex carbs a lower, from which fibers have the lowest GI.
Example of foods containing simple carbohydrates, with a high Glycemic Index: chocolate, white wheat flower bread, baked white potato, pizza etc.
Example of foods containing complex carbohydrates, with low Glycemic Index: brown rice, oatmeal, apple, grapefruit. 
In comparison: brown rice has a low GI, white rise has a high GI. Sweet potatoes have a low GI, white potatoes have a high GI. 
If you have a weight losing goal, you’ll have to aim for foods with a low GI.

Why are we overweight?

     No matter where we have the fat on our body, on the upper body or more on the hip area, that “storage of fat” exists due to over-eating, meaning that you introduced more food, which is measured in Kilocalories, than you strictly need for your survival. Woman in a “big general” can survive with around 1200-1500 Kcals, depending on your height, weight, age and activity level. Of course athletes need more, due to the fact, that by exercising so much, they move a lot, ergo, they also consume a lot, they need more energy, as a person who sits for example 10 hours at the office and after that sits on the couch watching TV. So, the athletes may need 2000-2500 or more Kcals a day for maintaining their weight and having enough energy. But let’s get back to us, normal people, who do go to the office, do want to sit down in the evening and watch a good movie. Is there any hope for us to stay in shape? Of course there is. But, it is a matter of a few things I am going to point out here:
      1.Pure mathematics
       You have to adjust your calorie intake to your activity level (age, weight…) or with other words, you have to adjust your food intake to yourself. It sounds easy. But … what is the problem than? Why do so many people have weight issues? You may be obese, a little overweight, or just have two ugly muffin tops on your side…Whatever you have it shows that you didn’t adjust the quantity of kcals to yourself. You eat more than you should. Try eating 1500 kcal a day, and you will observe that you will grow thinner. If you don’t then, try for example two more weeks eating 1300 a day. Because this is the correct way: start eating 1500 kcals, if after two weeks, nothing happen, cut 200 kcals. But never go beyond 1200 Kcals, because, if with 1200 kcals doesn’t happen anything, that means that the problem lies not in the quantity, but in the timing or the quality of food you are “introducing’ in yourself.
       2. Timing. 
           Timing means, when you eat a certain quantity and quality of food. The golden rule, I’ve read once in a book about body building is: "Eat your breakfast, share your lunch with a friend and give your dinner to your enemy". No matter, that it was a book about body building, this is available for anyone, who cares about his or her figure. But what does it mean? It means the following: you have to have three larger meals during a day, and two small snacks. In numbers, when we are talking about a 1500 kcal meal plan for one day it would look like this:
450 kcal for breakfast
225 kcal for the first snack
375 kcal for lunch
150 kcal for the second snack 
300 kcal for dinner 
or if you aim for a daily 1200 kcal intake, than:
breakfast: 360 kcal
snack 1: 180 kcal, 
lunch: 300 kcal,
snack 2: 120 kcal
dinner 240 kcal
      Of course, this can vary among meals, some people may want to reduce a little from the main course, and add it to the snack, that is up to each and every one how we prefer. It also means, that you have to have your dinner with around three hours earlier, you’ll go to bed. Usually you would end your meals at six a clock, and in no case later than seven a clock. Remember, that if you don’t go to bed, just lie and watch TV that also counts as “going to bed”. Actually, it would be more proper to say that you have to have your last meal three hours earlier you in any way lie down, no matter if you fall asleep or not. Anything that after that comes is good only for your enemies, meaning that you would want to embrace any kind of activity that involves food only if you would want to do yourself harm. If you eat beyond that point, when you will no longer get involved in any physical activity, than all that kcals you ate, will turn up again as fat, because you will not use it. Your body will think a little what to do with it, it will observe that you are laying and will decide, without asking you, to store that energy, hoping that one day you’ll use it… it is very optimistic, isn’t it? Or na├»ve? So, this saying assumes that you would want yourself to look good, and the only one, whom maybe you would wish not to look good and slim would be your enemies. 
       I never wish for somebody else to look bad, neither should anybody, but I am damn glad when I feel that I look better than many. It is not a question of wishing bad for anybody, oh no, it is a question of wanting something good for yourself. … Or are you your worst enemy? Think about this…
        3. Quality
       This means what kind of foods do you eat? It is also important when to eat what. Your meals should add up of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, although you might want to adjust them after the timing. For example: in the morning you’ll need more carbohydrates (this doesn’t mean, that you shouldn’t eat fats and proteins, because you should, but in the morning you need more energy to start with, so a slice of whole wheat bread with some scrambled eggs and some veggies would do the trick. On the other hand, for dinner you would want to avoid the whole wheat bread, it is much better if your last meal consists of veggies and lean meat (proteins). If you don’t like meat, also you can opt for veggies (salad) and some low-fat cheese. During the day you can consume fats (essential fats= this means that the body can’t produce them on its own, you will have to acquire them from comestibles, such essential fats you can find e.g. in walnuts. Carbs (e.g. veggies, fruits) and proteins (meat, dairy products-they also have a considerable fat content) you’ll also need to have enough energy. It is indicated to consume fruits (more in the morning, daytime and avoid them or consume in smaller quantities towards the evening). 
These are the main indicators after which you can guide yourself in your journey towards reaching your goals, getting the lean body you wish for.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Motivation for becoming and staying fit

 What is motivation at all? Do you know what the dictionary says? Well, it couldn’t say better:”… providing with a reason to act in a certain way”… ok… and the reason, that is also a tricky thing. If you are driven by the wrong reason, you are again doomed to fail. But how can you know if you have the good reason or not? Well, dear, you will know if is powerful enough to drive you along the way, and you’ll definitely know if you’ll fail shortly you started. It is a question of elimination. With some reasons you will just fail. That of course doesn’t mean that you can never find the correct one. It just may take a while. For me it took almost a decade. So, cheer up and keep trying! :))

 We can differentiate two kinds of motivation:
              1. A triggering motivation
              2. Long run motivation

 The triggering motivation is what will start the person wanting a slimmer body, a healthier life.
 The long run motivation is what will keep the person going not just throughout a few weeks or months but her or his whole life. The triggering looks somewhat easier than the latter, but only looks like that. Why? Because it has to be strong enough to last till you get the taste, till you learn the game how to promote the healthy lifestyle for yourself all the time. You are not an advertising agency, although you have to act like one. You have to advertise the apple all the time against the chocolate. You have to be also like a politician from the opposition and always show the bad sides of the other party. Oh, my God, you would say, that sounds soooo complicated, but I tell you, it is not. You just have to find the way, and that takes some time. Now, you see, till you do that, the triggering motivation has to last! For example, a graduation reunion is not a strong triggering motivation. To get a new boyfriend also is a week one. In my other article I’ll name some motivation ideas that worked for me, and also I’ll write down some dumb ones, check it out, you have nothing to lose, only to win!

 We have a saying in Hungarian, that “the tailenders eventually will become the firsts”. That is a very good one. Just like the tale of the rabbit and the turtle. (See the example of the persons with 10 and 2 pound extra weight from the article: “What do you need for a body transformation?”)
You have to think, that what you really need to feed the whole day with big amounts is not your stomach, but your motivation. The motivation especially at the beginning is like a black hole. You just throw in, the best looking athletes, fitness models, your osteoarthritis (which you gained from the extra weight putting too much pressure on your knees, for instance…) and when you think that it was enough, it will crave for more, or, as a sissy lady, it will get upset and won’t talk to you for a while and that will have very bad consequences on you…resulting in some “delicious” muffin tops on your lateral extremities… you know the area, I believe…

 So, you can’t afford your motivation to get bored, or upset. You have to treat her like a queen, because you will benefit of that. And what is to remember, don’t ever think that it is enough. You think, last night, you looked at some beautiful fitness models, and the other day, let’s say you ate properly and had a good workout, maybe also a little cardio in the evening…the other day you worked out, ate right again…Don’t think that it is enough. Believe me, it is not so important to necessarily work out or do cardio or something every single day. It is far more important to motivate yourself every single day. Even when you feel that you are ok, you are on the right track, let’s say, since a moth. Do never ever fall in this trap. Read something about health. Read how important is for your joints to carry as less weight as possible. Read fitness magazines. Look at a documentary about Bruce Lee’s life or whatever. I made the mistake many time, I kept up with a good meal plan, exercise for about 4 months, and then due to a workplace change, colleagues, that made me miserable, a load of stress, I was able to put 13 kg (about 28 pounds) on myself in less than two months. What was my mistake? That I became just too confident. Self-confidence is good and you need for everything in life, no matter what you want to do, but staying always realistic is just as important. If you don’t recognize your weaknesses you will not work on finding solutions making eventually strength from it.

What do you need for body transformation?

It doesn’t matter that you have to get rid of ten or just two pounds. For both you need a state of mind that is going to stick with you …well, preferably forever! You can succeed in each one, but may lose both. Think about it, that one person may have some issues with 20 pounds. The other person may have issues with 80 pounds. The person, who has “only” twenty pounds to lose will manage it in much less time as the other one, who has much more struggle to put up with. The, “20 pound-Person” will diet 3 months, will get slim relatively fast (because 3 months for a body transformation is mega short time), meanwhile the other will lose the 80 pounds maybe in two years, but after two years she gets the idea, what to eat, when to eat, she makes a habit of constant motivation and “self-monitoring”. In two years, slowly she will build up a “house of motivation” with a solid foundation and she will never return, because gets used to being in a certain state of mind. And after two years she will look great, and what is the most important, will stay gorgeous, when on the other hand, our friend who had to lose only twenty pounds even on the end of her first year will regain it, because the time was too short and couldn’t get used to another lifestyle, she didn’t let her mind enough time to prepare to live in a certain way. That is why you have to come up for yourself with a damn good reason and solid motivation.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Diet and happy ever after…

 Dieting doesn’t exist. There is no such thing as “diet” and happy ever after… if that is the way you think about eating in some kind of way, you’re totally on a wrong track. There is no such thing as 2 months of cruel suffering and then a life of beauty and breathtaking slimness. Imagine: let’s say you are 35 years old. You were eating in a certain way for 35 years, and then of course you get fat. You decide that you want to be slim and start to diet. Your body is used to eating 2300 kcal every day and now you, from one day to another start eating 1200. What will happen?

 As everything you do in life, everything you want to achieve, you need a motivated mental state, ambition and a lot of willpower. Well now… you lived more than three decades without monitoring your eating habits and now suddenly you do. That requires a lot of power, extra preoccupation that your brain has to perform in order for you not to grab that package of chips whenever you have the urge for it. Do you think that only physical activities require strength? No way, man! I assure you, that running a mile doesn’t require that much willpower, as it does not eating cookies and sweets when you have all kind of urges during for example your menstrual cycle. 

 Let's say, you tortured yourself 2-3 months. You got rid of 15 kg and after it? After it, it’s over. You made it! You resisted. You squeezed your teeth, you clenched your fists and made it. And what will you do? You will reward yourself of course. Your mind is stressed, your body is stressed. There is engraved in your mind, that relaxing time comes with something to eat, chips, cookies, or chocolate…when you come home after a stressed day you put yourself on the couch, grab something that “screams of pure health” and swallow…remember, that is engraved in your mind, that was a long term habit, that is what it expects from you…will you do it? Of course you will, because you are stressed out! You are slim but not happy. Your body needs its drugs, to release all kinds of hormons which will make you feel yourself happy. The days passed by, soooo slowly…but they passed, and you made it through the three months of pure torture. You won. Also you’ll go out in a restaurant and eat, drink, and finally you will have fun! You won’t think that a vodka means around 200 kcal, you won’t think that a pizza is around 1700 kcal. Oh, no, you won’t think about all those things, because you need a break from all those stress and pressure you’ve put on yourself during those months. Meanwhile you dance or laugh with your friends over a pizza, what does your body do? Your body wasn’t that happy and won’t take your reward the way you meant it. It’s like Taz from the Looney Tunes… oh my God! It’s food! It’s food! Just think, what will it do with it? Oooo, yeah, you just won the prize! Yes, you guessed, it will put on your abdomen and hips! It won’t even think…where to put it, where to put it…. One escape? The other morning you don’t see any changes…you still look ok… well, yeah… you can afford another escape…and so it starts. Think about that micro millimeters are not visible…but does that mean that they don’t exist? It’s cruel, I know, but it is the truth. And slowly you return to your old habits, I know all too well about this, I struggled with this jojo effect many years. And so, the micro millimeters become millimeters, and those become centimeters, and centimeters …tens of centimeters… Yes. And then, you are back where you started, fat and miserable. But wait…being slim you got also stressed out and miserable… 

 What is than to do? How not to go back to the old habits? Well, the good news is that there is a way, and the bad news is, that you need willpower for it, and another collateral bad news is, that it takes time! Just take out from your head that you can’t make it. No, because you can, but in the same time you also have to get out of your head that to get slim it is a matter of months. No! No! No! Wrong. Every damn diet plan is planned for days, weeks or three months. That is stupid. I am not here to help frustrated fat brides to get in there bridal gown for their wedding that is 3 weeks ahead. I am here to help people, who have a natural good thinking and, of course, they have some extra pounds. To love chocolate is normal. To love chips is normal in this era we live in. Just look at a dog. For example my dog doesn’t like to eat its dog food, but he so gladly eats tasty fatty stuff, biscuits or other similar foods. The animal doesn’t know the commercials, he is not influenced by media. He just likes those tasty stuff…because if one thing we can say about every food item that is full of unhealthy fats and carbohidrates is that they are damn tasty. That is the way they are made. How can you not love them? And in your case you have also the commercials…media…you are influenced also by these things… than how the heck not to just love them? 

 Well, if you think that there is gonna come a time, when you would taste a KFC and say, that that is puke, well, such idyllic time will never come. It’s like pissing against the wind…what does it happen when you pee against the wind? The urine will end up on you. You can’t eliminate the means of modern life and society from your existence. Try, and you’ll fail miserably.


Saturday, May 18, 2013

What body type do you have?

Concerning the area where women store most of their body fat, there are two major groups:
     A. Women who store most of their body fat on the upper body
     B. Women who store most of their body fat on the lower body
Of course this doesn’t mean that they in no case deposit any fat anywhere else, this only suggests where the biggest percent of fat tissue is and also doesn’t mean that there aren’t any mixed bodies. Each big category has under categories, which I am going to present later. Now let us just focus on the characteristics (most general) of each group. 

A group – fat on upper body

 Women from this group usually don’t have a defined waistline, the waist and hip ratio is high. (See my other article about WHR – waist/hip ratio). From anterior view, the ilium bone is as wide, or approximately as wide as the femurs most lateral point. (This is also the point through which we measure the hip width). They usually accumulate fat around the Ilium bone just like a swim ring. They store more fat at first place on the abdomen, triceps (arms), chest and back area, but store little to none on the hips, thighs compared to the fat that may occur on the abdomen, they also don’t put a lot of fat on the gluteus. Their gluteus are more square shaped and relatively flat. From this body type come more women with big breasts, as from the type B. Also women from this body type usually are blessed with a better shaped calf muscle.

 Women with this body type wear different size up and down, meaning, if they need a blouse, they will buy for example size 44, but when they want a pair of trousers they will buy a size 42. So, for the upper body they need clothing of a bigger size, on the other hand, from the waist down, due to less hip width, they will need a smaller size.

B type – fat on the lower body
Women with this body type store little fat from their waist up, but they can put serious amounts of body fat from the waist down. They do have a low waist/hip ratio. This type has a big difference between waist and hips, having thinner waist but a bigger lateral prominence. The fat stores like two little cushions on the ilia, a big amount all over the gluteus muscle, and also a big amount on the sides, hips and so it goes down being less and less as it approaches the knees.This type usually comes with normal to small breasts. When I am using “big amount” I mean big when we compare it to the arm, chest and back area, where are relatively less fat deposits.

This body type has minimum one dress size difference between the upper and lower body. I say minimum, because depending on the fat the certain person “possesses”, it may wary 3, 4, 5 sizes. For example: when the person with this body type buys a blouse, she needs let’s say size 38, but if she wants to buy a trouser, she would look for size 40.

 Everybody who is reading this probably realizes that that is a very true fact, and there are not many people who are so proportionate that they could buy the same size for their upper and lower body. Why are then made the clothes like that? Well, I work in the clothing industry, and must say, the clothes are produced for a standard. They work after a well calculated ratio between every measurement our body has, because people come in so many shapes and sizes that we can’t think of individuals. As shown above, the clothing industry can’t favor one or the other body type. They make a standard model, and then the customer chooses the right size for the blouse, and the passing skirt even if that may be a few sizes bigger or smaller.

 The good news is, that 90 % of us, underneath our layer of fat we are very proportionate. May occur women for example with very wide pelvis having at the same time very narrow shoulders, but even in extreme cases, with proper eating habits and exercise it can be improved almost till pure perfection! :))

Body transformation at any age

  Is it possible? Yes it is, but it is going to take more than a few weeks or months. To do something for a long term you have to prepare yourself as physically as mentally, and have to truly have a reason: to understand why you do what you do. We are grown-ups. We need reason for everything. 

 We questioned God, how wouldn’t we question a diet plan? If you lived decades in a certain way, it would be from yourself very reasonable to need at least one ore a few years to get used to something else. Every existent being is the slave of habits. My dog has habits. My neighbor has habits. The neighbor’s parrot has habits. Do you really think and believe that what you did for 3 decades will disappear starting with your new diet on Monday? Will it disappear in two months? No it will not. The habits are craved deep in to your every cell. You are like stone, a carved stone. It will take a lot of water from the river of life to pour down to make it smooth again. To crush yourself? Would that be a solution? 

 No. It is a boring saying, but good things take time. They just take time. First you don’t have to diet, or do anything else, just understand this. Really, truly and deeply understand it. Don’t rush in any diet. This isn’t the way in achieving anything. You have to build up your brain, gather information, find reasons, have questions, to look for answers and find answers. You have to make your mind want not to eat 3 cookies in the evening, because it is eager to find out how it can transform itself by “tomorrow”. (This is a figure of speech, because no body transforms itself from one day to another) A diet without proper information about nutrition, health and the human body is like a house without any foundation. When the first flood comes – a stressed period at your workplace or whatever- it will be washed away. And a few months later nobody will know that anything ever has been built there…think about it.

  What is with the rush? You lived 30 years being fat and then suddenly you don’t have time anymore? It’s pretty laughable, don’t you think? Everybody comes with this term-thing. You have to fix yourself a term… Great… and what if you fail? Than you will be much more miserable and give up? Bullshit. The goal is wrong, the approach is wrong. I am going to help you find a new approach, a total new way of thinking about the “eating-issue”. Even the word “diet” is scary. Eating is eating. If you eat bullshit or the best food with a lot of fiber it is still food, and whatever you eat, a whole tub or two tablespoons, it is still eating. I don’t pretend to be any guru in Nutrition, I just tell my story, how I did it, maybe I can help someone out there who is struggling with the same issues as I did, and help them not to struggle a decade, only a year. Because I know how hard it can be, I went all through the thousands of phases of depression, frustration and self-torture, I got close to my goals and failed badly just before I reached it… you don’t need to be a rocket scientist or something remarkable, you just don’t have to give up, despite you’ll fail a lot of times. Ambition doesn’t mean you always have to win, and winners are not the people who can only win, but the ones who fucking don’t care if they fail 87 times, because they are gonna make it anyway.

 First you have to recognize that you have a free choice. With your free choice you can choose whatever you want, let’s say you want the perfect body. Good. Than, you will have to want that. If you want something, you will want it, till you’ll find a way to get it. If you read this than you probably know what you want. That is the first step. And now here I come in the picture, I will help you find the way. I will never ever show you, and say: if you go here, you will 100% succeed. No, because that is a lie. Nobody can guarantee you 100 success in anything, but you also don’t want that, because you are a fighter, and you’ll find your way. You don’t want my way, or anybody else’s way, you have to find your own path, that will be your achievement, your own success. And what can a man want in life more, than to come true due to his or her own strength. It’s like when you have the coolest car that you bought from your own work and successes, not because your daddy is rich. The letter will never ever appreciate and enjoy the car in that way, in which a guy who worked for it can.

 I never received stuff like that in life, and you know what? I don’t want to. I will work for it and show to myself that I am able, that I can. Don’t think you have to show anybody else. That is again bullshit. Most of us want to get slim because that bothers us, not our boyfriends. They may love us anyway. Beauty isn’t a guarantee for anything. I read some time ago, that the husband of Cindy Crawford cheated, well, in this case, we can really affirm that beauty isn’t a guarantee. If not, why bother? That is another dilemma we have to clear. You can do something the best way, when you are doing it for yourself. Not a gift for the guys in the neighborhood, the postman or your ex-boyfriend who left you for another. No. You have to do it for yourself. And to do something for yourself you have to respect yourself first. You have to have self-esteem, you have to appreciate the unique you.