Low Density Calories Rule for Weight Loss​

Calorie Density: Low density vs high density If you are looking to drop weight and paying attention to what you are eating then calorie density will be important to reaching your goals. When eating healthier foods that are more beneficial and aid in keeping you full longer we look to eating high volume with lower calories which are low density foods. To give you a better idea density describes the number of calories in a particular food in relation to its volume or amount. Let’s take a food that has 100 calories in 1 ounce and another food that has 200 calories in 1 ounce. This tells us the second food has a higher calorie density. In other words you want to choose the food that has lower calories in volume. The following foods are examples of low calorie dense foods with high volume: Lean proteins like meat, fish, tofu, and chicken breast provide satiety and aid in muscle buildingVegetables provide large amounts of food and low calorie packed with fiber, nutrients and provide satiety.Berries are great low density foods with fiber and antioxidants.Fish are high in protein and low in calories.Greens/salad mixes can provide high volume and low calorie.Building salads without the extra fat can be a great snack or meal after adding a lean protein like fish or chicken. High density low volume foods usually are the ones we love to eat and can contribute to weight gain like fast food, processed foods, and baked goods. These are the ones we need to start removing from our daily eating habits and replacing with healthier choices. Let me remind you there are healthy foods that are high density and low volume to consider like almond butter. One tablespoon is 90 calories and we all know we love to eat well more than a tablespoon. Some are guilty of eating nearly half a cup if we aren’t mindful and that adds up to 720 calories of mindless eating. The following foods are examples of high density calorie foods: Baked goods like cupcakes, bagels, muffins, bread, CornbreadJunk food like chips, fried foods, fast foodTrail mix with dried fruit and nuts are high density and should be portioned to 1 ounce servingsSugar induced beverages like soda, fruit punch, artificially flavored juices, alcoholic beverages Energy In VS Energy Out It’s one thing to choose the right foods that are low density, we also need to have an understanding of food energy balance when it comes to weight loss. To lose weight energy in (total calories consumed in a day) has to be less then energy out (total calories burned for the day). If your body burns 2000 calories a day then you have to eat less than 2000 calories to lose weight. The same goes for weight gain. For the same 2000 calories you burn a day you have to eat more than your burn a day to gain. For maintenance, to keep your weight the same, you eat 2000 calories a day. Sounds simple, right? Well, this is where quality comes in because the kinds of food you eat are going to reflect how you feel and look. For now let’s focus on low and high density foods. Calorie density not only plays a large part in the amount of calories it contains but the impact it will have on the other components of a weight loss diet like hunger, satiety, and hormonal effects. These contribute to the success of a plan and if there is an overconsumption of high density foods then it can impede on your goals of losing weight. Once we learn which foods are the right ones to keep us satisfied and on track with our goals we can better plan our meals and see consistent results.​

Burning fat for fuel with ketones  

 The ketogenic diet has been around longer than you think. In fact, our ancestors that roamed the world lived in a ketogenic state in efforts to sustain hunger and use fats for fuel.  With the ketogenic diet the goal is to eat high amounts of healthy fats, moderate protein, and low carbohydrates.  At the end of day for keto to work properly your fats should be 75% of total calories, while protein are a moderate 20% and carbs 5%.  If you want this plan to work properly you must monitor your calories so you don’t knock yourself out of ketosis.  With the keto plan MCT’s (medium chain triglycerides) are the preferred fat source and can be found in coconut oil.  These have been found to produce more ketone bodies than long chain triglycerides.  Burning this kind of fat is a cleaner source for the body than using glucose/sugar.  You don’t require insulin to break down your energy and you don’t get the highs and lows of your blood sugar.  The downfall of this plan is if you eat too many carbs you knock yourself out of ketosis and you have to work to deplete your body of carbs before you switch to fat burning mode and that requires low energy days. As more and more diet fads come and go the ketogenic diet has made a strong comeback and is used by many doctors when insulin use has become compromised. No, I am not making medical claims, but when I personally put myself through a process or use a supplement I like to tell people the benefits I encountered and share the love.Studies have found that a low carb high fat Ketogenic diet works better than a low-calorie restricted low-fat diet. This diet sounds great considering it recommends fats like butter, eggs, and bacon but can be hard when trying to deplete your body of glucose.  This requires a lengthy 1-3 weeks of carb depleting until the body creates ketones to burn fat. Thankfully there are now therapeutic ketones you can take in powder form to get your body in a ketogenic state in less than hour!  Yes, you read that correctly, less than an hour.  How do I know for sure?? I use a blood testing kit to read the mmols of ketones in my blood.  That means I had proof of ketone bodies in my blood an hour after consuming keto-os.  It’s like drinking a pre workout that actually flips on your fat burning switch and knowing it actually works! I have been using keto-os in my daily routine for the last year and a half and never looked back.  Not only is it helping me burn fat, it has reduced inflammation in my body and nagging ailments like my sciatica in my lower back, tendonitis in my shoulder, and I definitely have better mental focus.So, how does this help with nutrition?  It’s simple, while the ketones are in your system you burn fat.  I also notice it curbs my appetite and removes my cravings.  I don’t get the roller coaster sugar highs and lows so it makes sticking to a healthy plan easier.  One question I get asked the most is “Do I have to do the ketogenic diet for it to work?” The answer is no, but it definitely helps get you into ketosis a lot easier.  Whenever I had a party to attend where I knew there would be a large spread of food I would drink my keto-os and knowing they were in my body burning fat releived me but also reduced my cravings so I wasn’t eating everything in front of me.  Ketones, are a powerful fuel source and it’s one supplement I can count on.  Besides, who doesn’t want to burn a little fat and get better focus and mental clarity?? I know I do.​

Great start to this year's season

Last weekend I was blessed to compete at the IFBB Florida Grand Prix in West Palm Beach.  This was my second out of Texas pro show and am proud to announce I received 1st place in the Pro Masters (competitors 35 years and older) and 3rd place in the Pro Open (competitors of any age).I arrived at West Palm Beach Saturday morning since the Pros were scheduled to compete on Sunday.  We normally compete on Saturday but I later found out there were a few girls that competed in the Pittsburgh Pro Saturday.  It made for a later start time but we were able to do finals just a few hours later.hair, makeup, and suit color. This competition I made a few changes to my overall look. Part of the judging includes hair, makeup, and suit color.  I knew I needed to bring a fresh look as I am always recognized for the big afro style curls. A close friend and former competitor helped me find longer curls to add to my own for a more dramatic look to my hair. I also changed my hair color to my more natural dark brown as opposed to the red locks I usually rock on stage. I was a bit nervous because the curls were looser than my tighter curls but my stylist Brittany curled all of my hair for a perfect match and they all blended together.  She also did my makeup with a smoky eye finish and on stage, the complexion looked flawless with my tan body.  Usually, it’s a lot brighter than the spray tan but she applied the perfect finish.  As for my competition suit, I decided to go for the purple ombre.  Maria Thaikos, owner of Goddess Glam Competition Suits handcrafted my suit and it fit perfectly.  The color and Swarovski stones gave an intense effect to my overall presence on stage. Once my hair, makeup, suit, and jewelry were all in place I felt ready to dominate the stage.  This was the best I have ever looked and pleased with my posing and conditioning.  Prejudging started around 4:30 pm at Keiser University and lasted close to an hour and a half.  After individual poses, we have to stand in a diagonal line and hold our front or model pose until all ladies have done their posing and then wait for call outs.  Needless to say, it made for a long competition due to being in two classes.  In the Masters class I felt confident and when called for first call outs I made sure to shine brighter than the rest in the comparison round. Taking my time and keeping my composure in each movement was vital.  My confidence was high and I felt in tune with everything around me.  Once the Open class started I felt practiced and felt my individual posing was better the second time around. With 22 beauties making first callouts in this class made my energy soar. During the comparison round, I felt confident that my placing was top 3 and the finals proved my instincts to be right.  As for the Masters, receiving 1st place was surreal.  My heart soared knowing my hard work paid off.  The bikini class is very subjective and at times you cannot be sure if the judges are looking for a leaner or softer look.  I tend to get very lean and I definitely fit that look at this show. Each show brings a new outcome and set the tone for the next show.  What’s next?? The Olympia of course. 

focus

Growing up when my mom wanted something done I had to remove all distractions to complete the task or suffer the consequences. The daily tasks she required taught me to focus. Especially in a time crunch.  Don’t get me wrong, I tend to procrastinate on the things I’m not so fond of but when it’s something I love to do or trying to accomplish something important I laser in on what needs to be done. Every day my schedule requires me to set aside two separate times to train for competition. As I awake I do  for 45 minutes. This means getting everything I need for the day and heading to the gym. Since my work day starts as early as 6am my alarm starts screaming at 4:15am. After cardio a shower is desperately needed and my first meal is eaten before training my first client. Later in the day I schedule an hour for strength and weight training. This happens five days out of the week and then I’m back to training clients until 7pm, sometimes as late as 8:30pm. One can say the days get long but luckily I love what I do and it never feels like ‘work’. Once I’m home I tend to my furry babies then prepare dinner and attempt to enjoy some of the evening with my hubby.  But before I get too comfortable I have to start preparing for the next day. Managing my time is important when I compete. Scheduling times to eat along with clients and my own training can get overwhelming and exhausting.  Staying on track with taking all my supplements throughout the day and drinking at least a gallon of water is a full-time job.  To get my body stage ready I can’t miss a beat.  There’s no wiggle room and forget taking the day off from ‘my comp plan’ because if that box is cracked even a little we might as well bring in the doughnuts because a little taste is never enough.  That is why getting ready for a show requires focus.  If I get distracted then there is a possibility that my plan can start to unravel.  Fortunately for me I am zoned in like a sniper waiting for its next kill. Typical Tuesday…4:15am Alarm…snooze button4:24am Alarm… Rise and shine!4:24-4:45am morning ritual then off to the gym5:00am-5:45am cardio5:45am-6:15am shower, get ready for work, scarf down meal 16:30am-1:30pm train clients, eat meals 2 and 3, take required supplements, drink at least half-gallon water.2:00pm-3:30pm workout, eat meal 44:00pm-8:30pm train clients, eat meal 5 (dinner)8:45pm-10:30pm family time and prepare for next day10:30pm wind down and prepare for bed.  i usually am asleep between 11pm and midnight​

Hit The restart button

As we put Christmas behind us with the relief of having some form of control over our lives we still have the last week of the year where most of us like to use  “I’ll start after New Year’s” phrase.  We all know after too many holiday parties followed by Christmas lunch, brunch, dessert, and leftovers the next day we need to tighten the reins and clean up our eating.  The only problem is many of us aren’t ready to give up the foods that have been comforting us the past few weeks and if everyone else gets to start on New Year’s then I guess I’ll jump off a bridge too.  Wait, what?? Look, you’ve already made additional holes in your belt buckle and started wearing elastic banded pants. Why wait till the first when you can get ahead of the rest by starting now? I know it’s easier said than done, especially coming from someone who eats clean year round but I was in your shoes before and there is nothing worse than trying to restart something you fell off the wagon for and hitting the restart button.  Making changes to becoming healthier and getting in better shape all take planning and preparing and I don’t expect to teach it all to you in one blog.  For now let’s start with the basics and use these simple daily habits to get you going in the right direction. Eat breakfast everyday.Eat small meals throughout the day.Eat a lean protein and complex carbohydrate with every meal.Eat whole foods instead of processed food.Drink half your body weight in ounces every day.Prepare your meals ahead of time.With the new year less than a week away you have to start planning for a better version of yourself and with the right nutrition and exercise plan you can look forward to a healthy New Year and fitter YOU! I will be sharing my food diary for those that ask me what I eat most days.  I prepare all my meals.  When I leave the house in a hurry I go to Snap Kitchen where most of the meals are gluten free and portioned perfectly for me.  For future posts I will include all foods not prepared by me and show you how easy it is to eat healthy and delicious foods when on the go or eating out with friends. Juliana’s Food diary:Breakfast: 1 whole egg, 2 egg whites, 2 ounces chicken breast all scrambled together with 2 TB salsa, 1 whole grapefruitMorning snack: medium apple, 4 ounces lean fround turkeyLunch: 5 oz grilled chicken brest (baked), 5 ounces baked sweet potatos, 1 cup steamed green beansAfternoon snack: protein shake blended with 1 banana and 2TB almond butter, water, ice, 1 ounce trail mixDinner: 5 ounces fround turkey, 1/2 cup brown rice, 1/4 cup black beans, salsa, 1 cup broccoliStay Feisty!​

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Feisty

Fitness