The world’s biggest weight-loss secret is….
More than 100 million Americans made New Year resolutions for 2009, and four out of five were not able to stick with them, according to the third annual Franklin Covey New Year’s Resolution survey released in January 2009.
One of the most popular resolutions is to lose weight and get healthy, but most people don’t understand the single biggest secret of weight loss – to eat more food more frequently. mix1 Beverage Company, a Boulder-based emerging leader in the functional beverage and performance nutrition category, has worked with Dr. James Rouse, N.D., to develop a list of easy ways Americans can more successfully reach their weight, fitness and wellness resolutions in 2010.
People trying to lose weight, get fit and just feel better overall are unaware of one important thing – hitting the treadmill is only half the battle. A recent Opinion Research Corporation survey – commissioned by mix1 – of more than 700 adults nationwide who exercise regularly found that while 89 percent believed exercise and nutrition are equally important in reaching your fitness goals, only nine percent are familiar with the 45-minute glycogen restoration window and the role it plays in losing weight and achieving peak performance. Functional nutrition, particularly properly fueling or eating before and after a workout, is just as important to reaching fitness, health and sports performance goals as exercise.
“Studies have shown that when you don’t use functional nutrition to help your body recover after a workout – whether you’re participating in an intramural basketball, a triathlon or yoga class – you are less likely to lose weight and gain lean muscle mass,” said Dr. Rouse, a naturopathic physician, yoga teacher, Ironman triathlete and co-founder of mix1. “It is only with eating the right portions of carbohydrates, fats, proteins and sugars both before and after a workout that you will see optimal results.”
With losing weight and developing healthy habits among the most common New Year’s Resolutions, Dr. Rouse and mix1 have worked together to develop the below list of tips to help those who set health-related New Year’s resolutions make good on their intentions:
1. Balance over deprivation – The extreme imbalanced diet is out. While you may lose weight by restricting certain foods or food groups for a set amount of time, it is only with a balanced diet that you can reach and maintain a healthy weight.
2. The two-to-one ratio – To make sure your body is properly fueled before and after a workout, look for foods and meals with a two-to-one carbohydrate to protein ratio. When you fail to eat enough foods with the right balance before and after a workout, your exercise will cause your body to produce a stress hormone called cortisol, which tears down muscle and converts it into
fuel to meet your body’s energy needs, taking away from your ability to synthesize protein (muscles) and build endurance. The good news is that finding this ratio may be easier than you think; for breakfast, this could equate to a meal of whole grain cereal or toast balanced with eggs or yogurt. And if you don’t have time to cook, you can grab an on-the-go option with the right two-to-one ratio, like mix1’s ready-to-drink enhanced protein shake or hi-antioxidant fiber drink.
3. Keep moving and have fun – The perfect fitness routine combines the following four elements: cardio, strength, flexibility and fun. Choosing workouts that you enjoy and that help train your heart, muscles and joints are more likely to help you reach your fitness goals than forcing yourself to do something you find unbearable. Also, if you can’t make it to the gym, you can still find ways to move around the office or on the run that will help you reach your fitness goals. Simple choices like taking the stairs, standing up and stretching, or parking at the back of the parking lot can keep your blood moving, help you release stress hormones and help you get fit.
4. All protein is not created equal – It may be surprising to learn you can get better results from a food with fewer grams of protein. The reason for this is certain proteins are more effective than others, especially when mixed with the right ratio of carbohydrates. The easiest form of protein for your body to digest and utilize is whey protein isolate because it is has the highest biological value, contains no allergens and is free of lactose, unlike soy or whey concentrates.
5. Prevent oxidative stress – All exercise causes oxidative stress on the body, which can lead to excessive inflammation, decreased endurance and immune suppression. Antioxidants are required to fight free radicals that cause this inflammation. To prevent oxidative stress, your pre-workout nutrition plan should include antioxidants to protect your cells under stress, thus protecting against immune compromise and performance decline.
6. Eat from the rainbow – Choose foods from the superfoods family that are naturally rich in antioxidants and help prevent oxidative stress, including beans, blueberries, oats, oranges, broccoli/crucifers, sweet potatoes, salmon, yogurt, walnuts, whey protein, spinach, tomatoes, green tea (EGCG) and dark chocolate.
7. Natural – The best way to create a superior metabolism and sustained healthy weight is by utilizing real, nutritious foods. Steer clear of foods with zero calorie claims and artificial sweeteners as they don’t support long-term positive changes in your metabolism and weight.
8. Exercise only on the days you eat – Think about it this way, you wouldn’t drive your car if you didn’t have any gas in it. The same applies for your body; the right fuels equates to the right performance.
9. Breathing – One of the easiest ways to combat stress is to practice belly breathing. When we get stressed, we breathe from our chests. By moving the center of our breathing down and taking time to breathe correctly, we can help reduce our heart rate, increase oxygen consumption and reduce stress.
10. Sleep it off – Getting enough rest at night will help you stay energized and motivated to reach your goals. Rest is essential for keeping stress hormones at bay. Get better sleep by incorporating a morning workout into you daily routine; adding more foods with B vitamins to your diet and not skipping meals. In a nutshell, a balanced diet during the day will help you reach nighttime harmony.
To learn more about mix1, mix1 products and Dr. Rouse, visit www.mix1life.com.