Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

March 10, 2010

Ladies of Mommy Makeover focus on nutrition

Check out Anytime Fitness’ tips for creating healthy habits

By Erin Shultz

Anytime Fitness personal trainer Brad Webster said the ladies of Mommy Makeover can spend the rest of their lives in the gym, but the bulk of their results will rest on one thing.

“Nutrition is probably the biggest thing,” he said. “It is probably right about 85 percent of weight loss.”

Webster, personal trainer Rob Land and the gang at Anytime Fitness came up with a set of nutritional guidelines for our three moms, as they work out with personal trainers and let us peek into their weight loss over the next two months.

And just like the rest of Mommy Makeover, we thought we’d let you, the readers, up close and personal with the kind of changes Rebecca, Charity and Jennie are making.

Based on their heights and current weights, the three women will take in between 1,400 and 1,600 calories per day, broken up into three to four individual meals.

“Nutrition is like a roller coaster ride,” said Webster. The idea, he says is to keep your blood sugar and calories pretty stable so you have energy all the time. You’re looking for the little hills and small dips on the roller coaster when you eat three to four meals a day, rather than one meal, which leaves your body feeling like it’s on the Tower of Terror.

Take a look at the kinds of changes the Anytime gang recommends to help these moms get back to their pre-baby bodies.

1. Fill up on colorful fruits and vegetables.

Fruits and veggies are the foundation of good health, Land says. Low in calories, nutrient dense, packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber — there’s not much not to like about them. Land said they should be part of every meal and the first choice for a snack. And the women of Mommy Makeover are to eat at least five portions each day.

Land suggests getting a variety in the colors of the fruits and vegetables because different colors provide different health benefits. (Did you know greens are loaded with calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc and more?)

Land says to avoid fruit juices, which contain up to 10 teaspoons of sugar per cup, canned fruit, fried veggies and things with dressing or sauces.

2. Drink water.

Water makes up about 75 percent of our bodies, Land says, and helps our bodies flush our systems of waste products and toxins. If you’re tired, have low energy or frequently get headaches, it could be because you’re dehydrated, he says.

Caffeinated beverages cause the body to lose water, which fresh fruits and vegetables help with hydration.

Land suggests a minimum of 12 cups per day.

3. Eat healthy carbs and whole grains.

Healthy carbs — which digest slowly and help you stay full longer — include whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables, according to Land. They also help insulin levels stay stable.

Unhealthy carbs — which digest quickly and cause spikes in blood sugar levels and energy — include white flour, refined sugar and white rice.

Land suggests including a variety of whole grains in your diet, and trying to mix in whole grains little by little as you transition from something like white to whole wheat pasta.

4. Eat fiber.

Dietary fiber is found in plant foods — fruit, veggies and whole grains — and is important in maintaining a healthy digestive system, according to Land. It helps you feel full faster and for a longer amount of time, and also helps keep your blood sugar stable. A healthy diet contains approximately 20 to 30 grams of fiber a day.

5. Enjoy healthy fats and avoid unhealthy ones.

Newsflash — fats aren’t bad. At least, not all of them. According to Land. Your body needs healthy fat to nourish your brain, heart and cells, as well as your hair, skin and nails.

The trick, according to Land, is picking the right fats.

Add to your diet:

• Monounsaturated fats come from plant oils like canola oil, peanut oil and olive oil as well as avocados, nuts — such as almonds, hazelnuts and pecans — and seeds — such as pumpkin and sesame.

• Polyunsaturated fats, including Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which are found in fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and some cold water fish oil supplements. Other sources are unheated sunflower, corn, soybean and flaxseed oils, and walnuts.

Reduce or eliminate from your diet:

• Saturated fats, which are found primarily in animal sources, including red meat and whole milk dairy products.

• Trans fats, which are found in vegetable shortenings, some margarines, crackers, candies, cookies, snack foods, fried foods, bakes goods and other processed foods made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.

6. Protein, protein, protein.

Protein is important because it gives us the energy to get up and go — and to keep going.

Land suggests trying different sources of protein, which will open up new options for healthy meals such as beans (like black beans, navy beans, garbanzos and lentils), nuts (like almonds, walnuts, pistachios and pecans), and soy products (like tofu, soy milk, tempeh and veggie burgers.)

He also recommends focusing on quality sources of protein like fresh fish, chicken or turkey, tofu, eggs, beans and nuts.

• Erin Shultz is the Kokomo Tribune Life & Style editor. She may be reached at 765-454-8587 or erin.shultz@kokomotribune.com.