Martial Arts for Life

On A Quest To Be The Best!

After The Holidays…

As featured on the New Providence Patch: Read our Blog on The New Providence Patch

The six week period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is perhaps the most challenging part of the year to stay consistent with a workout plan and maintain a healthy diet. Many folks simply stop trying during this time of year and pledge they will get back to exercising and eating right “after the holidays.”

If you choose to take a break, do not underestimate the physical and mental output required to make a 180 degree turn when the season ends. It is incredibly difficult to switch from practicing minimal self-discipline to working out regularly and eating a proper diet. Every January many people’s resolution to exercise and eat right end up failing because of the tremendous effort required.

Slacking off on your workout routine is especially dangerous if you are new to the fitness game. It is very easy to slip out of your routine and lose the results you have worked hard for. In addition, when you decide to get back on track, you will lack the stamina and fitness level needed to exercise with the same intensity. In fact, it is estimated that after four to five weeks without exercise your fitness level may decreases by as much as fifty-percent!

However, the fact remains that the holiday season is a tough time. There are more temptations than usual with office parties, holiday dinners, and family gatherings. Holiday shopping and visits make scheduling workouts difficult. Your goal should be to take a balanced approach that allows you to keep the gains you have worked hard for and also indulge in some holiday cheer.

Here are 5 ways to find balance this Holiday Season:

1.) Decide In Advance. Decide in advance to exercise moderation when it comes to food and drink. Before attending holiday celebrations, make a decision to limit yourself to one slice of pumpkin pie instead of two – or two cocktails instead of three. Many holiday dishes and treats are high in calories. For example, one cup of egg nog contains nearly 350 calories and a slice of pumpkin pie has about 320 calories and 17 grams of fat!

2.) Avoid An All Or Nothing Approach. Even if you cannot maintain your regular workout schedule, you should still stay physically active. Remember the concept “to maintain is to gain.” If you are able to maintain your current fitness level (or a portion of it), that is an achievement in and of itself. Even small things like walking more or taking the stairs is helpful.

3.) Eat Before You Go. Consider eating a lean, high-protein meal and/or drinking plenty of water before attending a holiday event. This strategy will help curb your hunger and prevent you from completely overindulging.

4.) Observe the 70/30 Rule. During the holiday season, eat healthfully and avoid excess sugar, alcohol and fatty foods seventy percent of the time. The other thirty percent of the time allow yourself to enjoy your holiday favorites (without going completely overboard).

5.) Get Enough Rest. Many times feeling tired or stressed is mistaken for hunger. Proper rest also helps you to deal with the stressors that often accompany a hectic holiday season.

If all else fails, be sure to get back on track as soon as possible. Try to follow a simple rule: If you eat more, exercise more.

Martial Arts for Life New Providence, NJ

Making our community healthier & safer, one person at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

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November 15, 2012 Posted by | Health & Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

You Just Made The List!

This week I’m going to share a concept with you called “the list strategy.” This method is most valuable when you are trying to make changes to your diet for the purpose of eating healthier. However, it can also be a useful part of a weight loss plan as the two often go hand in hand.

We all consume things as part of our diet out of habit, or sometimes simply because they are made available. An example might be having a soda with lunch each day or mindlessly snacking on a bowl of chips at a party. It is estimated that up to ninety-five percent of our behavior is habitual – meaning that we are on auto-pilot for a lot of our daily tasks including eating and drinking.

The goal of this strategy is to raise your level of awareness when it comes to what you are eating and drinking. Then you can make better decisions about what you want to continue to have as part of your diet and what you can cut back on or eliminate completely.

Here are four action steps to implement this strategy:

Step #1: Goal Setting

The first step is to decide what your goals are. Are you looking to reduce sources of saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet? Do you want to avoid processed foods? Is your goal to consume less empty calories each day? Having a specific goal is important for success. A goal such as “eating healthier” is a bit too vague and can make it challenging to complete this exercise.

Step #2: Tracking

The next step in this process is to keep track of what you are eating for at least a week. Two weeks would be better, but most people get sick of tracking by the end of week one. It’s nearly impossible to keep track of everything you eat in your head, so get a pad and pen and write down everything you consume for a week. If it passes your lips it goes on the list.

Step #3: Analyzing

After you track what you’ve been eating for a week (or two) it’s time to take a look at your diet objectively. The goal is to examine what you are eating on a regular basis and make a list of the things you must eat less often or eliminate in order to accomplish your goals from Step #1. Remember, items to be eliminated could also be condiments like sour cream, mayonnaise, etc.

Step #4: Experimenting

The goal in Step #4 is to start with just one item from your list and do without it for two weeks. If you find that you really didn’t miss it, perhaps you can eliminate that food or brverage completely. If you find that it is something you really enjoy having in your diet, choose to consume it less frequently (for example, no more than once per week). Repeat this practice until you complete it with all the items on your list.

Naturally, any kind of change, even when it is an improvement, can be uncomfortable. This causes many people to revert back to their old behaviors and fall short of their goals. Choosing what to focus on and using the concept of substitution are two methods that can help “soften the blow” when making improvements to your diet.

Consider choosing what to eat based on how you feel afterwards, rather than how you feel during the meal. For example, you might really enjoy eating a double cheeseburger, fries and a large soda for lunch, but how do you feel afterwards? Are you energized and ready to for the second half of your day or do you feel tired and sluggish with indigestion? Concentrating on how you feel after a meal or a snack is a great way to view healthy eating in a proper perspective – focusing on what you are gaining (health & vitality) rather than what you may be losing (enjoyment from eating certain foods).

Another useful tool is the concept of substitution. For example, if your goal is to cut back on dairy products such as milk, perhaps you can try soy milk or almond milk as an alternative. You might find that you enjoy one of those products just as much as regular milk. It is much easier to replace a habit, rather than totally eliminate it.

Remember, the main objective of this strategy is to raise your level of awareness when it comes to what you are consuming on a regular basis and identify opportunities to improve your nutritional habits. The objective is not to completely eliminate all unhealthy foods and beverages that you enjoy, but rather to find a healthy balance between eating for pleasure and the benefits of a proper diet.

Martial Arts for Life New Providence, NJ

Making our community healthier & safer, one person at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

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October 16, 2012 Posted by | Health & Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Getting Back On Track

As featured on the New Providence Patch: Read our Blog on The New Providence Patch

As summer rapidly draws to a close, it’s a perfect time to re-evaluate your day to day eating and workout habits. Summer often becomes a time when we tend to overindulge in food and beverages due to vacations, barbecues and the desire to enjoy ourselves. Almost everybody associates a sense of pleasure with consuming certain things. In addition, we are conditioned from the time we are children to recognize summer as a time to relax the rules a bit and enjoy ourselves – which is good for our mental and physical well-being.

Unfortunately, this “summer mindset” tends to lead to undisciplined eating and workout habits that should not be carried over into the next season. One of the biggest threats to your fitness is allowing those relaxed summer habits to slide all the way into the holiday season (which is rapidly approaching). Once you get off track, it becomes a slippery slope due to the forces of momentum. We’ve all had the experience of getting into a good groove with our diet and fitness regimen, which gives us the momentum to stay on track and avoid unhealthy meals and skipped workouts. You’ve probably also had the experience of skipping a work out, which turns into a couple missed workouts and leads you to make some less than healthy dietary decisions until you get back on track.

With the unofficial end of summer, it is a great time to develop some new momentum – starting with your nutrition habits.

One of the biggest misconceptions about eating healthy is that it requires a Spartan diet and you cannot have a bowl of ice cream or a cheeseburger ever again. The reality of the situation is most people want to be healthy and fit, but not at the price of completely eliminating the foods and drinks that they really enjoy. The key concept here is balance.

In prior columns, I have talked about the 70/30 rule, which simply means you eat for health and nourishment 70 percent of the time and you eat for pleasure 30 percent of the time. For most people, this means eating healthfully during the week and splurging a bit on the weekends. Remember, it is about balance, so the 30 percent cannot involve binge eating (or drinking for that matter) or completely over indulging in high calorie, fatty foods. As always, the percentages here can be adjusted upward to 80/20 or even 90/10. However, the minimum is healthy eating 70 percent of the time.

Naturally, a healthy eating plan should go hand in hand with a consistent workout plan. A minimum of 30 minutes of vigorous cardiovascular exercise three times per week combined with some form of resistance training at least twice per week are necessary for optimal health and fitness. Naturally, the less disciplined you are with your diet, the more exercise you will need to maintain your weight and overall health. However, I firmly believe that you cannot out train bad nutrition and a proper diet is the first building block in developing a healthy body.

So, with the change of seasons looming and the holidays around the bend, I encourage you to exercise the self-discipline to get back on track with proper diet and exercise – and avoid the temptation to continue the fast and loose rules of summertime!

Martial Arts for Life New Providence, NJ

Making our community healthier & safer, one person at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

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September 7, 2012 Posted by | Health & Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Simple Plan: Control Your Calories!

A Simple Plan…

According to The Calorie Control Council (www.caloriecontrol.org) the average woman, who has a moderate level of physical activity needs an estimated 2,160 calories each day to maintain her weight. The average man (assuming the same level of physical activity) requires about 2,349 calories. Remember, this is for weight maintenance, not weight loss. Research by the Department of Agriculture tells us that the average American consumes around 2,700 calories per day. Consuming an extra 350 and 540 calories each day is one reason why many folks are deemed overweight.

Most health care professionals recommend gradual weight loss (up to one pound per week) for the best long term results. In order to lose one pound, a person must burn 3,500 calories more than are consumed (500 calories per day over the course of a week). This can be accomplished each day by eliminating 500 calories, burning an additional 500 calories or any combination of the two. For example, one could reduce calories by 300 per day and increase daily activity in order to burn 200 additional calories per day which adds up to the 500 necessary calories.

This is definitely not rocket science; however in my experience most folks grossly under-estimate the amount of calories in the foods they consume and at the same time over-estimate the amount of calories burned by physical activity.

Let’s start with the caloric value of some common snacks and drinks*:

Breakfast items:

(1) glazed doughnut: 350 calories

(1) plain 3 oz. bagel with cream cheese: 450 calories

(1) bacon, egg & cheese biscuit sandwich: 430 calories

(1) 12 oz. (tall) blended mocha cappuccino drink: 208 calories

(2) pancakes with butter & syrup: 520 calories

Beverages:

(1) 12 oz. can of cola: 150 calories

(1) 12 oz. serving of whole milk: 220 calories

(1) 12 oz. energy drink: 160 calories

(1) 12 oz. bottle of sweetened tea: 129 calories

Snacks

(3) Pre-packaged chocolate chip cookies: 160 calories

(4) chocolate / vanilla sandwich cookies: 180 calories

(1) average size candy bar: 275 to 450 calories

(12) potato chips: 160 calories

(1) cup of chocolate soft serve ice cream: 300 calories

*Caloric values courtesy of WebMD, Food-o-meter, fitwatch.com, livestrong.com, & calorieking.com

By the way, if you consume mixed drinks you should be aware of the extremely high caloric value of most of cocktails. A study by Forbes revealed the following cocktails as some of the most fattening: Long Island iced tea (780 calories), margarita (740 calories), pina colada (644 calories), gin/vodka & tonic (200 calories).

“Ok, no problem, I’ll just exercise a bit more to burn off those additional calories,” you say. Not so fast, my friend!

Here is a list of the average calories burned for physical activities (assuming a 150 lb. person). For accurate calories burned specific to your body weight use the free calculator at Healthstatus.com:

30 minutes of high impact aerobics: 238 calories burned

30 minutes of walking (3 mph pace): 148 calories burned

30 minutes of yoga: 297 calories

30 minutes of running (6 mph): 342 calories

30 minutes of vigorous weightlifting: 207 calories

30 minutes of cycling (12 to 14 mph): 297 calories

30 minutes of spinning (moderate): 238 calories

You can see it’s going to take about 30 minutes of walking just to burn off the can of soda you drank with lunch! The better option is to have a bottle of water and eliminate the calories from your diet rather than trying to burn them off every day.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, healthy adults should participate in 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activities each week.  So, assuming you spend 150 minutes each week running, you will burn 1,710 calories. Remember, we need to subtract or burn off an additional 3,500 calories to lose one pound. This means the other 1,790 calories must come from eliminating calories from your diet (around 255 calories per day).

If you spend 150 minutes each week walking at a brisk pace, you will burn 740 calories. Simple math tells us that you now need to eliminate another 2,760 calories from your diet that week to lose one pound!

There is a very small percentage of the population that exercises enough to burn an additional 3,500 calories each week. A healthy sustainable diet is always going to trump exercise when it comes to weight loss. You simply cannot gain weight from calories that you don’t eat! Exercise is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle, however you cannot out train bad nutrition.

A Simple Plan

Many people can eliminate over 500 calories by simply adjusting their beverage consumption. For example if you consume:

Breakfast: medium café latte with whole milk (265 calories)

Lunchtime: 20 oz. bottle of non-diet cola (240 calories)

Dinner: 1 bottle of sweetened lemon iced tea (180 calories)

Assuming no other beverages, you are consuming 685 calories each day without eating any solid food!

By substituting a small café latte with fat free milk (125 calories) for breakfast and drinking water with lemon or seltzer water for lunch and dinner you can eliminate 560 calories from your diet each day (more than enough to drop one pound per week). Alternatively, you can run for 30 minutes and follow that up with 30 minutes of vigorous weightlifting every day to burn around the same amount of calories. Which seems easier and more doable to you?

Eliminating just one fast food meal per week can easily eliminate several hundred calories from your weekly total! A recent article by Jeannine Stein of the L.A. times indicates that over 34% of the people that eat at fast food restaurants order combo meals that average 1,000 calories of more!

Eat a little smarter, don’t drink your calories, exercise a little bit of self discipline and you will be well on your way to shedding a few unwanted pounds.

Martial Arts for Life New Providence, NJ

Making our community healthier & safer, one person at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Martial Arts for Life

June 25, 2012 Posted by | Health & Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Eat Healthy, Away From Home…

By M. Hemmelgran (originally featured in Natural Awakenings magazine)

Health-conscious and sustainably minded folks know how challenging it can be to eat well on the road. Most restaurants dotting interstates and interstates and airports offer super-sized portions of soulless, processed foods, devoid of satisfying whole-food goodness or regional flair. They’re more like a drive-by shoot up of fat, sodium and sweeteners.

Yet it is possible to find healthy foods while traveling, given a little pre-planning that can add fun and excitement to the adventure. Whatever the mode of transportation, follow these tips from seasoned registered dietitians to feel fit, trim and happy while out and about for business or pleasure.

Bring Food: Number One Rule of the Road

Once we feel hunger pangs, we’re more likely to eat whatever’s within arm’s reach, so for driving trips, take a cooler of healthy options that are kind to the hips. and waistline. If flying, pack non-perishable snacks in a carry-on bag. Diana Dyer, an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based dietitian and organic farmer has logged thousands of miles traveling and speaking about “food as medicine.” Her secret: “I carry dried organic fruits and vegetables, organic granola bars, organic nuts and organic peanut butter.” Before arriving at her hotel, she’ll ask the cab driver to take her to a local food co-op to pick up organic fresh fruits, juice and yogurt. Dyer is adamant about organic food, no matter where she goes, because she doesn’t want to consume hormones, antibiotics and agricultural chemical residues, many of which contribute to weight gain, especially in combination with typically high-fat Western diets.

Dyer rejects hotel breakfast buffets too, which typically offer low-fiber, highly processed fare. Instead, she packs her own organic rolled oats, dried fruits, nuts and green tea. Then, all she needs is the hotel’s hot water to stir up a fortifying, satisfying, health-protecting breakfast. Hotel rooms with mini-refrigerators make it easy to store perishable items. If a fridge is unavailable, use the in-room ice bucket to keep milk, yogurt and cheese at a safe temperature.

Roadside rest areas and community parks provide free access to picnic tables, clean restrooms, and a place to romp and stretch (read: burn calories). Plus, Mother Nature’s entertainment surely beats a potentially dirty, plastic, fast-food play space.

When it’s time to restock supplies, ask for directions to the closest supermarket, food co-op, natural foods grocery store or farmer’s market. Most are located close to major highways.

Melinda Hemmelgran is a registered dietitian and awar-winning writer and radio host.

Martial Arts for Life New Providence, NJ

Making our community healthier & safer, one family at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Martial Arts for Life

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June 15, 2012 Posted by | Health & Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How To Drink More Water!

Courtesy of Coach Bronek of Extreme Fitness Bootcamps London.

Most people don’t get enough water. Though inadequate water intake doesn’t always present with obvious symptoms, an increase in water intake can resolve symptoms that you’d never connect to insufficient hydration.

For instance, do you struggle with regular elimination? Increase your water intake. Do you often feel faint when rising from a seated position? Drink more water and see if there’s an improvement.

How much water a day you should drink is open to debate. Many exercise enthusiasts swear by one gallon a day. The average person does not need more than this amount. Crystal clear or very light yellow urine means you are well-hydrated. Dark yellow or yellow-orange urine means you’re dehydrated.

Ways to Increase Water Intake

#1. Have a tall glass with your main meals. Deciding you’ll drink a glass before meals is less inviting,
since drinking water with no food, and without thirst, isn’t always easy. Ideally, you should drink before or after your meals. However, sometimes, it’s better to have something than nothing at all. And since eating
triggers a need for fluid; a tall glass of water will go down quickly when it’s consumed with meals.

#2. Place a small covered glass of water by your bed stand before going to sleep. In the morning before you exit the bed, drink the water.

#3. If you’re at a desk for long periods, keep an icy glass of water with you and sip periodically.

#4. Get a water purification system. This will improve the taste of tap water, and encourage you to drink
more water since you’ll know that toxins are filtered out.

#5. Drink homemade lemonade. Squeeze fresh lemons into a glass—filling about 3-6 ounces (we
squeeze a half of lemon into 1.5l bottle of water). You can add a few drops, or tablets of the natural
sweetener Stevia (you can also find it in a powdered form AND you can get it in some super markets and
health stores). Mix very well. Add chilled water. Or add ice and keep this with you while working at a desk.

#6. Use a straw. Fluid intake goes very rapidly when you drink with a straw. A tall glass of room-
temperature water can be gone in seconds, thereby eliminating any drudgery of having to take many sips to finish the glass.

#7. Remind yourself that chilled water makes the body expend calories to warm it to body temperature. Knowing this fact will motivate you to drink more water.

#8. Fill a pitcher with water every morning and place in the refrigerator. Make sure that by bedtime, the pitcher is empty.

#9. Create water milestones. For instance, have paper cups handy in the bathrooms of your house.
Every time you finish using the facility, fill the cup half-way or all the way with water and drink.

At the workplace, if you must pass a drinking fountain on the way to your department, commit to getting in
a few gulps every morning, and every evening on the way out, even if you’re not thirsty.

#10. Eat watermelon, tomatoes and cucumbers, which are water-rich. Coffee, soda and juices do
not count towards your daily water quota. In fact, carbonated drinks have a dehydrating effect.

#11. Order water with your restaurant meals. Get a slice of lemon with it – it will go down even easier.

#12. If you take supplements or prescribed drugs, drink water to swallow them. Fill a glass with more
than what you’ll need. After the last pill goes down, take the extra gulps.

Drinking eight glasses of water a day (the standard recommendation) is easier than you think, once you put these practices to use. To find out more about why water is so important for good health, call us today.

Martial Arts for Life New Providence, NJ

Making our community healthier & safer, one family at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Martial Arts for Life

June 7, 2012 Posted by | Health & Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

10 Tips To Healthy Eating

Compiled by the International Food Information Council Foundation.

Eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods. You need more than 40 different nutrients for good health, and no single food supplies them all. Your daily food selection should include bread and other whole-grain products; fruits; vegetables; dairy products; and meat, poultry, fish and other protein foods. How much you should eat depends on your calorie needs. Use the Food Guide Pyramid and the Nutrition Facts panel on food labels as handy references.

Enjoy plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Surveys show most Americans don’t eat enough of these foods. Do you eat 6-11 servings from the bread, rice, cereal and pasta group, 3 of which should be whole grains? Do you eat 2-4 servings of fruit and 3-5 servings of vegetables? If you don’t enjoy some of these at first, give them another chance. Look through cookbooks for tasty ways to prepare unfamiliar foods.

Maintain a healthy weight. The weight that’s right for you depends on many factors including your sex, height, age and heredity. Excess body fat increases your chances for high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, some types of cancer and other illnesses. But being too thin can increase your risk for osteoporosis, menstrual irregularities and other health problems. If you’re constantly losing and regaining weight, a registered dietitian can help you develop sensible eating habits for successful weight management. Regular exercise is also important to maintaining a healthy weight.

Eat moderate portions. If you keep portion sizes reasonable, it’s easier to eat the foods you want and stay healthy. Did you know the recommended serving of cooked meat is 3 ounces, similar in size to a deck of playing cards? A medium piece of fruit is 1 serving and a cup of pasta equals 2 servings. A pint of ice cream contains 4 servings. Refer to the Food Guide Pyramid for information on recommended serving sizes.

Eat regular meals. Skipping meals can lead to out-of-control hunger, often resulting in overeating. When you’re very hungry, it’s also tempting to forget about good nutrition. Snacking between meals can help curb hunger, but don’t eat so much that your snack becomes an entire meal.

Reduce, don’t eliminate certain foods. Most people eat for pleasure as well as nutrition. If your favorite foods are high in fat, salt or sugar, the key is moderating how much of these foods you eat and how often you eat them.

Identify major sources of these ingredients in your diet and make changes, if necessary. Adults who eat high-fat meats or whole-milk dairy products at every meal are probably eating too much fat. Use the Nutrition Facts panel on the food label to help balance your choices.Choosing skim or low-fat dairy products and lean cuts of meat such as flank steak and beef round can reduce fat intake significantly.If you love fried chicken, however, you don’t have to give it up. Just eat it less often. When dining out, share it with a friend, ask for a take-home bag or a smaller portion.

Balance your food choices over time. Not every food has to be “perfect.” When eating a food high in fat, salt or sugar, select other foods that are low in these ingredients. If you miss out on any food group one day, make up for it the next. Your food choices over several days should fit together into a healthy pattern.

Know your diet pitfalls. To improve your eating habits, you first have to know what’s wrong with them. Write down everything you eat for three days. Then check your list according to the rest of these tips. Do you add a lot of butter, creamy sauces or salad dressings? Rather than eliminating these foods, just cut back your portions. Are you getting enough fruits and vegetables? If not, you may be missing out on vital nutrients.

Make changes gradually. Just as there are no “superfoods” or easy answers to a healthy diet, don’t expect to totally revamp your eating habits overnight. Changing too much, too fast can get in the way of success. Begin to remedy excesses or deficiencies with modest changes that can add up to positive, lifelong eating habits. For instance, if you don’t like the taste of skim milk, try low-fat. Eventually you may find you like skim, too.

Remember, foods are not good or bad. Select foods based on your total eating patterns, not whether any individual food is “good” or “bad.” Don’t feel guilty if you love foods such as apple pie, potato chips, candy bars or ice cream. Eat them in moderation, and choose other foods to provide the balance and variety that are vital to good health.

Martial Arts for Life

Making our community healthier & safer, one family at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Martial Arts for Life

March 31, 2012 Posted by | Health & Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NJ Share Network 5k: Join Team MAFL

Martial Arts for Life

Making our community healthier & safer, one family at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Martial Arts for Life

March 29, 2012 Posted by | Martial Arts & Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Soda & Heart Disease

By J. Yaworski – originally featured by Men’s Health.

You already know soda is a big fat problem for your waistline. But new research finds that it’s not too sweet for your heart, either. Just one sugary drink a day increases a man’s risk of a heart attack by 20 percent, according to a study in the journal Circulation.

Harvard researchers analyzed 22 years of data gathered from almost 43,000 men. During that time period, 3,683 men suffered from heart attacks. The men who consumed the most sugary beverages—like soda, sports drinks, and energy drinks—were at a higher risk of having a heart attack compared to non-drinkers. This increase persisted even after the researchers accounted for other risk factors like smoking, family history of coronary heart disease, and physical inactivity.

“The sugar-sweetened beverages and coronary heart disease is probably due to the large amount of easily digested sugar in these drinks,” says study author Lawrence de Koning, Ph.D. These cause higher levels of inflammation and harmful lipids in the blood, which are both indicators of heart disease.

The more you consume, the more your risk increases. For each additional serving of sugary beverages per day, the associated risk of heart disease increased by 19 to 25 percent. And that’s a problem for Americans. According to the American Heart Association, sugar-sweetened drinks made up 3.9 percent of our daily calories in the late 1970s to 9.2 percent in 2001 in the United States.

Don’t ditch all sugar, though. Natural sugars found in foods like fruit and milk are fine, since these foods offer plenty of nutrition (plus, in the case of fruit, fiber to blunt blood sugar spikes).

“Sugar-sweetened beverages should be treated as a rare treat,” says de Konig. Having a sugary drink less often—such as twice weekly or twice monthly—didn’t increase the participants’ heart attack risk, researchers found. Diet versions weren’t linked to cardiovascular disease either. (But choosing no-calorie diet over the regular sugary soda might not be the smarter choice. Research shows that diet soda drinkers have larger waistlines than non-drinkers.

Martial Arts for Life

Making our community healthier & safer, one family at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Martial Arts for Life

March 27, 2012 Posted by | Martial Arts & Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unlocking The Weight Loss Puzzle: Part 2

Unlocking The Weight Loss Puzzle: Part Two

“Get Rid of Junk Food”

Welcome back to “Unlocking The Weight Loss Puzzle” a short series dedicated to providing tips for sensible adults who are looking to reach and maintain a healthy weight.

Part One of this series dealt with the concept of “eating for nourishment versus eating for pleasure.” In Part Two we will be focusing on avoiding the temptation of junk food by keeping it out of reach.

Listen, when you’re in the process of cleaning up your diet and losing weight, there are certain things that are going to be outside of your control. For example, a co-worker brings in doughnuts, a friend bakes you a cake for your birthday, etc. What you can control, however, is what you place in your shopping cart and your cupboards.

Trust me, if it’s in your home you will find a reason and a way to eat it. Think about the Halloween candy you purchase. If you’re like me, passing by the bowl of mini candy bars is temptation enough to eat one (or two!) and I don’t particularly like candy bars. The point is, if there’s a bag of Oreo cookies in your house or a gallon of ice cream in your freezer 99% of people WILL justify eating it at some point. You know the reasons:  you’ve had a rough day, you’ve been sticking to eating healthy and deserve a reward, having just one cookie won’t hurt, or maybe you’re hungry and there’s no better options. Whatever the reason is, you (and everybody else) will eat that junk food.

But it’s for the kids!

I know, I know, the cookies, ice cream and candy are for the kids! Here’s some food for thought (pardon the pun): A study published in the Health Education & Behavior journal looked at six middle schools over a two year period. In three of these schools the snacks offered did not change, but did so in the other three schools in Connecticut. Snacks that did not meet the nutrition standards set were removed and replaced with water, 100 percent fruit juice, baked chips, pretzels, granola bars and canned fruits.

The train of thought was that when these junk food items disappeared from the schools, the kids would naturally miss them and then go home and eat more. However, the result was actually the reverse — the study showed that when pop and fatty snacks were taken out of schools, the kids did not make up for them at home. Instead, they ate no worse at home and even better at school.

When healthier options are presented, everyone wins. Just as junk food is not good for kids, it is not good for adults. Removing junk food from your home benefits your whole family. Our bodies were not designed to live off unhealthy food. You do not need ANY junk food. Junk food makes you fat, destroys your health, and simply makes you feel bad. Trust me… you don’t need it.

What is “Junk Food”?

Just to clarify, for the purposes of this article I’m  talking about the cookies, sugary drinks, cakes, ice cream, frozen pizzas, and other highly processed foods that most people have in their homes. I’m not talking about a white flour free, dairy free, vegan, organic, “sticks & dirt” type diet. At this time, we’re speaking strictly about getting the empty calories that have virtually  no nutritional benefit out of your home.

Healthier Alternatives: Substitution is the plan

Guess what? It’s a bad idea to cut out unhealthy snacks and replace them by starving yourself. Our goal is to substitute healthier alternatives for chips, candy, cookies, etc. FYI, the less junk food in your diet, the less you will crave it!

Protein Bars: When you’re craving something sweet, a protein bar is good alternative. Most major grocery stores and even places like Target and Wal-Mart sell boxes of all-natural bars (Cliff bars, Zone Perfect, Pure Protein, etc.) These bars are always a better choice than cookies to satiate your appetite.

Fruits & Vegetables: You really can’t beat fruits and vegetables for a healthy snack. Nearly all major grocery chains sell containers of fresh cut fruit that’s perfect for a snack. In the past there has been some debate about the sugar content of some fruits, but trust me that no one has ever gotten fat from eating too much fruit. :0)

Flavored Seltzer or Water with Lemon: As a much healthier  (and zero calorie) alternative to sugary soft drinks, try flavored seltzer or water with lemon (or lime).

Yogurt with fruits & nuts on top: Ice cream can be replaced by non-frozen yogurt. It is highly likely your body is just craving something cold and sweet–so make it extra-refreshing with some generous chunks of real fruit.

These are just a few suggestions to get you started. For additional ideas you could Google a phrase like, “Junk Food Alternatives” or “Healthy Snacks.” As a a reminder, any kind of “Low Fat” or “Reduced Fat” cracker or cookie is still probably high in sugar and highly processed – skip these.

As always, Fit or fat? The choice is yours.

This article was written by Rich Brugger. He holds a Strength Conditioning and Weight Training Certification from ISMA and is Black Belt Master Instructor. He co-owns and operates Martial Arts for Life in New Providence, NJ with his wife Michelle (a certified personal fitness trainer, a certified nutritional consultant and Black Belt Instructor).

Martial Arts for Life

Making our community healthier & safer, one family at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Martial Arts for Life

Martial Arts New Providence, NJ

Kickboxing New Providence, N


 

 

 

 

January 1, 2012 Posted by | Martial Arts & Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment