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NIFS Healthy Living Blog

Angie Scheetz

Recent Posts by Angie Scheetz:

The Confusing World of Nutrition Bars

GettyImages-1150113612_webThere are so many nutrition bars out there that I am sure it can be a challenge to pick one that is the best. So how do you know if the bar you are choosing is the healthiest option for you? With anything, when it comes to your food and nutrition, the key is moderation and balance. You should be choosing a bar that you like the taste of and that works for your schedule and habits.

The goal is to try to eat as many whole, fresh foods as possible and decrease the packaged foods with a giant ingredient list of things you might have trouble pronouncing. However, these bars can be a nice backup to keep in your purse, car, gym bag, or desk drawer for those times when you need fuel and don’t have other options. 

Here is a good rule of thumb to follow when it comes to these convenient bars:

Protein: Choose one with at least 5 grams and no more than 15 grams. This will help keep you full, and protein is what makes these bars have more staying power than a regular granola bar or candy bar. Too much protein will make the bar have an unpleasant taste, or more ingredients will be added to cover the added protein taste. Also, this bar is intended to be a snack to hold you over until mealtime and not replace the quality protein you should be getting from meals.

Fiber: Choose one with more than 3 grams. Fiber is another thing that will help to keep you full, so choosing a bar with staying power will help keep you satisfied until your next meal. 

Fat: Choose one with mainly heart-healthy fat. Check the label and make sure the saturated and trans fat content is low and the majority of fat is coming from mono or polyunsaturated fats like you would find in nuts. 

Carbohydrates: Choose one with mostly whole grains and 15 grams or less from sugar. This can be tricky because a lot of bars have added sugar to make them taste better. Try to steer away from the ones that are a fancy candy bar and choose one that is lower in sugar.

Here are a few bars that meet these requirements:

Was your favorite not on the list? Or did it not meet the requirements? Remember, if you are choosing a nutrition bar occasionally, then it can fit into a balanced diet!

If you have nutrition-related questions or simply struggle to incorporate proper dietary habits into your lifestyle, a Personal Nutrition Coaching (PNC) session may be for you!

Find out more about nutritional coaching

This blog was written by Angie Scheetz, RD, Wellness Coordinator. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: nutrition healthy eating snacks protein

Thinking of Going Vegetarian?

Have you been considering a vegetarian diet? Approximately 3.2% of the American population currently follows a meat-free diet, with 0.5% of those following a vegan diet, which includes no animal products at all. This is very small when compared to India, where an estimated 42% of the population follows vegetarianism.

Veggie

So why would you consider going vegetarian? There are many reasons, but the most popular are for health reasons, to help preserve the Earth’s natural resources, and for animal rights.

Essential Nutrients for Meat-Free Meals

When some individuals decide to eliminate meat and other animal products from their diets, they might not be getting all of the essential nutrients that are important. So here are some nutrients to make sure you are getting in to guarantee your diet is balanced.

  • Protein: Essential for growth and maintenance. Food sources include beans, nuts, nut butters, peas, and soy products (tofu, tempeh, veggie burgers). Milk products and eggs are options for lacto-ovo vegetarians.
  • Iron: A primary carrier of oxygen in the blood. Food sources include iron-fortified cereals, spinach, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, lentils, turnip greens, molasses, whole-wheat breads, peas, and some dried fruit (apricots, prunes, and raisins).
  • Calcium: Important for building bones and teeth and maintenance of bone strength. Food sources include fortified breakfast cereals, soy (tofu, soy-based beverages), calcium-fortified orange juice, and some dark green, leafy vegetables (collard greens, turnip greens, bok choy, and mustard greens).
  • Zinc: Necessary for many biochemical reactions and helps the immune system function properly. Food sources include a variety of beans (white beans, kidney beans, and chickpeas), zinc-fortified breakfast cereals, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, and milk products for lacto vegetarians.
  • Vitamin B12: Necessary for cell division and growth, and strengthens the immune system. Food sources include milk products, eggs, B12 fortified foods (breakfast cereals, soy-based burgers, veggie burgers, and nutritional yeast).

Additional Recommendations for Vegans

476027891Vegans who do not have fortified foods and ovo-vegetarians who do not have fortified milk substitutes should consume the following daily:

  • 3 to 5 teaspoons vegetable oil (for calories and essential fatty acid)
  • 1 Tablespoon blackstrap molasses (for iron and calcium)
  • 1 Tablespoon brewer’s nutritional yeast for B vitamins, especially riboflavin and B12

Build Meals Around Low-Fat Proteins

Some final advice is to build meals around protein sources that are naturally low in fat, such as beans, lentils, and quinoa. Don’t overload meals with high-fat cheese to replace the meat.

Many foods that typically contain meat or poultry can be made vegetarian. This can increase vegetable intake and cut saturated fat and cholesterol intake. A variety of meat-free products look (and may taste) like their non-vegetarian counterparts, but are usually lower in saturated fat and contain no cholesterol.

Most restaurants can accommodate modifications to menu items by substituting meatless sauces, omitting meat frm stir-fry dishes, and adding vegetables or pasta in place of meat. These substitutions are more likely to be available at restaurants that make food to order.

To find out more about personal nutrition coaching at NIFS, follow this link. If you would like to schedule a personal nutrition consultation to help you decide whether switching to a vegetarian diet is the right choice for you, contact me at amitchell@nifs.org.

Find out more about nutritional coaching

This blog was written by Angie Mitchell, RD, Wellness Coordinator. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

 

Topics: nutrition weight management vegetarian protein vegan

Flu-Fighting Foods

469103861If you are like most people, as soon as the fall season arrives, it’s time to get your annual flu shot. This is definitely recommended; however, can you also choose certain foods to help fight off influenza? What you eat can help lower your chances of catching that nasty bug.

Here are some foods and drinks to fill up on:

  • Green tea: Green tea is packed with antioxidants. Sip it hot or cold throughout the day to help keep illness away.
  • Sweet potatoes: This bright-orange food is packed with Vitamin A to help keep at bay the free radicals that can threaten to weaken your immune system. Pop a sweet potato in the microwave for 7 minutes for a quick and easy addition to lunch or dinner.
  • Yogurt: Yogurt naturally contains probiotics that help to keep your immune system healthy and strong. It’s such an easy and filling snack to grab or use as a substitute for sour cream, mayonnaise, or cream in any of your high-fat recipes. (See some tasty Greek yogurt recipes here.)
  • Tuna: Tuna is an excellent source of selenium and Vitamin D, which helps protect cells from free radicals and improve your immune system. Try mixing a pouch of tuna with some plain Greek yogurt and place it atop a bed of leafy greens.
  • Mushrooms: Mushrooms are rich in selenium. It has been found that low levels of selenium in your body increases your chance of getting the flu. Chop them up and add them to a pasta dish, salad, or soup.
  • Peanuts: This tasty snack is full of zinc, which helps keep your immune system working properly. A handful is the perfect amount to grab for an afternoon snack or to throw in a stir-fry at dinner.
  • Water: This essential nutrient keeps the body running efficiently. Getting fluid in various forms such as tea, 100% juice, coffee (preferably decaffeinated), and water-filled foods such as fruits and vegetables all counts toward filling your hydration needs.

With most things, a balanced diet is the key. A diet high in a variety of produce, lean meats, whole grains, and low-fat dairy, along with moderate exercise, adequate sleep, and minimal stress, contributes the most to well-functioning immunity and faster healing if the flu does strike. Incorporate the above foods but continue to work on overall balance to your life.

This blog was written by Angie Scheetz, RD, Wellness Coordinator. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

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Topics: nutrition healthy eating disease prevention

’Tis the Season for Healthy Holiday Baking

78464944One of my favorite holiday traditions is making fabulous treats and snacks for friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors. Entire days are spent baking in the kitchen, and the best part (after sampling the treats first hand) is hearing how great everything tastes. Little do they know that with just a few simple tweaks, those cookies and candies can be dramatically lower in fat and calories. Here are a few easy ways to tweak your recipes for healthy eating.

Reduce

Many recipes call for an amount of sugar or fat well above the amount needed for taste and texture. Try reducing these ingredients by one-third or one-half when making your recipe. Also, by using nonstick pans and cooking spray, you can reduce the oil or butter on baking sheets and pans.

Substitute

There are healthier alternatives to use without compromising taste. Give the following substitutions a try.

  • Eggs: For every egg, use two egg whites or 1⁄4 cup egg substitute. Egg Beaters and other substitutes can be found in the dairy/egg section of the grocery store. You can also make your own version of egg substitute: 6 egg whites, 1⁄4 cup nonfat dry milk, 1 tsp. oil, and 6 drops of yellow food coloring. Refrigerate for up to one week.
  • Whipped cream: Make your own! Beat together 1⁄4 cup ice water and 1⁄4 cup nonfat milk powder until thick. Add 1⁄4 tsp. vanilla, 2 tsp. lemon juice, and 1⁄4 cup sugar. Another option is vanilla nonfat yogurt.
  • Baking chocolate: Use 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder for every ounce of baking chocolate.
  • Applesauce: Rather than using all of the oil, margarine, or butter in baked goods, substitute a portion with applesauce. For example, instead of 1⁄4 cup oil, use 2 Tbsp. of oil and 2 Tbsp. of applesauce. The applesauce provides moisture, but you still have the benefits of the fat in the oil and save 230 calories and 28 grams of fat.
  • Prunes: For your best baked chocolate recipes, try baby food prunes as a fat replacement. They retain moisture and add to the color. Substitute the same amount as in the recipe, or try replacing with a portion of the prunes.

For some ideas of healthier cocktails to go with your baked treats at holiday parties, see this post.

Whatever you decide to bake or eat this holiday season, just remember moderation. Enjoy one or two cookies, not the whole batch! Happy holidays and happy baking!

Learn more about Nutrition and Wellness services at NIFS.

This blog was written by Angie Scheetz, RD. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

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Topics: nutrition healthy eating recipes snacks calories holidays

Smart Snacking for Healthy Eating and Weight Management

184366974Some people think that snacking can sabotage your healthy eating and weight management plan. However, snacking keeps your energy levels up, and prevents you from becoming overly hungry, which can lead to poor food choices. Eating every three to four hours can also help regulate your metabolism, which ensures that you burn calories throughout the day. Strive for at least two small snacks per day, but try to limit yourself to 100 to 150 calories or less per snack.

Also, be sure your snack is balanced: it should offer complex carbohydrates for energy, protein for muscle building and repair, and a small amount of fat for satiety. You can ensure nutritional balance and prevent snack boredom by varying your daily choices.

The Benefits of Snacks

You may feel guilty about snacking, but snacks aren’t necessarily bad. In fact, mini meals several times a day can be beneficial. Here’s how:

  • Binge control: If eating several low-fat, whole-grain crackers, a few pretzels, a piece of fruit, or some raw vegetables keeps you from taking second or third helpings at your next meal, you may actually consume fewer total calories for the day.
  • Extra energy and nutrients: Traditional, made-at-home meals often lose out to busy schedules. A grab-and-go snack can be the difference between some nourishment and none at all.
  • Satisfaction for small appetites: Young children’s tiny stomachs can hold only small portions of food at a time. Older adults who are less active and who burn fewer calories also may feel comfortable eating smaller meals more frequently.

Healthy Snack Choices

Here are some great snack choices:

  • 6 oz. fat-free yogurt topped with 1 cup of berries
  • ¾ cup whole-grain cereal with nut and dried-fruit trail mix
  • 1 apple and 1 oz. low-fat cheese
  • 1 cup yogurt smoothie made with real fruit
  • 1 oz. baked tortilla chips with ¼ cup bean dip
  • 2 oz. low-fat cheese on 5 whole-grain crackers
  • 1 whole-wheat tortilla with 1 oz. melted cheese and ¼ cup salsa
  • 1 cup raw vegetables and 2 Tbsp. low-fat dip or hummus
  • 1 Tbsp. nut butter on a banana
  • 1 cup berries topped with ¼ cup low-fat granola cereal
  • ¼ cup whole-grain cereal and ¼ cup raisins with ¼ cup skim milk
  • ¾ cup pasta salad made with raw veggies, cheese, and low-fat dressing
  • ¼ pita pocket stuffed with raw vegetables and 1 slice low-fat cheese
  • 1 cup low-fat vegetable-bean soup
  • ½ turkey and cheese sandwich on whole-grain bread
  • 1 handful almonds and ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup cottage cheese and ½ cup pineapple
  • ½ peanut butter/banana sandwich on whole-grain bread
  • ½ toasted whole wheat English muffin topped with a slice of tomato and low-fat cheese

For more tips on eating well and feeling great, especially after age 40, check out this post.

If you are interested in having your questions answered during a personal nutrition consultation, please contact Sabrina Goshen at sgoshen@nifs.org or 317-274-3432, ext 239. Learn more about Nutrition and Wellness services at NIFS.

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Topics: nutrition weight loss snacks metabolism weight management

3 Reasons You Shouldn't Be Training Alone

miniIf you are a solo runner or walker, it is likely because you enjoy having that outlet in your day to just be with your thoughts, relieve stress and clear your head. This is a great way to accomplish all of these things, but if you are looking to make some greater strides in your race efforts this year, you may want to consider adding in a few training sessions each week with other people. This will allow you to step out of your comfort zone and push yourself harder than you would when you are training on your own. Along with this, there are many additional benefits that can be accomplished when training with a group. So why should you consider training with others?

1. Accountability

Knowing that you have other people waiting on you and that you have committed to a group is a big reason that training with others can help you accomplish your goal. Training in the long and cold winter months can be challenging, but knowing that others are layering up too can help you make the decision to join in and get through those training sessions together.

Also, group members can keep you on pace to make sure you get that time you have been training for. Cindra Kamphoff, PhD, a sports psychology consultant, said, “When you run with others, you tend to give more effort. You get caught up in the pace, and you might not recognize how fast you’re going.”

2. Camaraderie

Long-distance walking or running can be tough and lonely. It can be physically and mentally taxing and it is easy to fall into an easier effort level. However, if you are surrounding yourself with individuals going through the same aches and pains, that can help get you through the “lows” and celebrate the “highs.” It can make training a lot more enjoyable. Training in a group can pass the time more quickly for those longer outings and can make training more fun when you aren’t doing it alone.

3. Motivation=Results!

For every personal goal that you have set, there is a walker or runner out there who has achieved it, whether it is qualifying for a marathon, finishing a half marathon with a personal record, or jogging the whole race without stopping. Each person has their own goal, but learning from others that have like-minded goals or have accomplished these tasks can help make you a better competitor.

“You learn more about how other people train and what they’re doing, and it can inspire you to do something different,” Kamphoff says. “It can open up your mind to trying new distances, races, or types of workouts.” Asking questions about routes, routines and injuries can help you gain a wealth of knowledge that will help you succeed in attaining those goals!

There are advantages to training both alone and in a group, so it’s smart to do both. However, if you want more accountability, camaraderie and motivation that helps get you the results you want, consider training in a group!

This blog was written by Angie Sheetz, NIFS Registered Dietitian and co-coordinator of the Mini Marathon & 5K Training Program. Read more about the NIFS bloggers.

 

 

 

Topics: running walking marathon training group fitness group training half marathon

Healthy Eating on a Budget

469650455One of the biggest reasons people give as to why they aren’t eating healthy is the cost of foods, specifically fruits and vegetables. However, a study found that adults could eat the recommended servings of produce for $2 per day. Here are some ways that you can save money on your next visit to the grocery store!

  • Don’t shop when you are hungry. A study from Cornell University found that shoppers purchased 19 percent more food and bought 45 percent more high-calorie snacks than those who had a snack prior to going shopping. This is an easy way to save 19 percent off your bill by having a handful of almonds, a piece of fresh fruit, or a string cheese before your next trip to the store.
  • Buy in season. Your produce will be cheaper if you purchase it during the time of year that it is most plentiful. Use this growing guide to see what produce is most abundant at which time of year. Also, take advantage of local farmers’ markets to get the best deals on locally grown produce. Use this map to see when and where the closest Indianapolis-area farmers’ market to you is. During the winter months, you can purchase frozen fruits and vegetables and they are just as nutritious and less expensive than fresh!
  • Buy in bulk. It makes sense that when you buy more of something, the individual unit price will be less per product; and this is true with food, too. So instead of buying single apples or oranges, purchase bags of them. Or, instead of the single-serving packets of oatmeal, grab a container of oats. Over time the savings will add up. The other option is to join a warehouse club like Sam’s or Costco that offers savings for purchasing in bulk.

There are lots of other ways to save money while practicing healthy eating, such as shopping at discount stores like Aldi, clipping coupons, and buying plain items and flavoring them yourself. The goal is to try as many of these options as you can so that you see the benefits to your health and your bank account!

For tips on packing healthy lunches, read this post from NIFS Dietitian Angie Scheetz.

This blog was written by Angie Sheetz, NIFS Registered Dietitian. Read more about the NIFS bloggers.

Topics: nutrition healthy eating HIT Indianapolis

Race Day Nutrition: Before, During, and After

You have trained for the marathon, half-marathon, triathlon or other race, and now it’s the big day! However, you need to make sure you are properly fueling your body with optimal nutrition to guarantee that you will cross the finish line feeling great! Here are some tips to ensure that will happen.

Before the Race154039075

It is essential to have carbohydrates before racing. They provide the best source of energy for your body and give the most efficient fuel for working muscles. Examples of these are whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, whole-grain breads, cereals, bagels, oatmeal, and fruits and vegetables.

Protein helps with sustaining energy for longer periods of time. A small to moderate amount of protein-rich foods is essential before exercising. Examples include skim milk, 1% milk, or low-fat chocolate milk; low-fat cottage cheese or low-fat cheese; boiled eggs; peanut butter; yogurt; a small amount of nuts; lean meat, poultry, or fish; and soy products. Fat is stored in the body and is used as an important energy source. It is especially important for endurance athletes, such as runners.

Try to avoid high-fat foods because they may slow digestion. Examples of high-fat foods are crackers, chips, snack cakes, or muffins. Instead, opt for healthy sources of fat such as peanut butter, nuts, and olive oil.

Eating sugary foods before a race may cause side effects such as upset stomach, diarrhea, and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). This can have a major effect on your race! You might think you get that burst of energy from the sugar, but the energy will peak quickly and will not last for a long time. Avoid pastries, donuts, and high-sugar cereals.

Drink 2 to 3 cups of fluids such as water, 100% juice, low-fat or skim milk, or a sports beverage two to three hours before the race, and then 1 more cup of fluid 10 to 20 minutes before the race. A small amount of coffee (6 to 8 oz.) may be an option, but be sure that it settles well in your stomach.

During the Race Gels

Drink at least 1 cup of fluid every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise (24 to 48 ounces per hour for most people). For every pound you lose during exercise, consume 2 to 3 cups of fluid. It is always good to calculate your sweat rate during training to know the proper amount of fluids you need to be taking in during the race. This can be done by weighing yourself before a workout and immediately afterward.

Water is always an excellent choice during the race, but for durations of longer than 60 to 90 minutes, it is important to take in some type of sports drink. Sports drinks provide a mix of water, carbohydrates, and electrolytes. Electrolytes are lost in sweat during the race, which is why sports drinks help replenish electrolytes in the body.

It is important to intake the proper amount of carbohydrates during the race. Consuming carbohydrates should be a goal during the race to help increase endurance; 60 to 70 grams per hour is recommended. Good options for getting in carbohydrates during the race are sports drinks, energy bars, GUs, gummy blocks, and Sport Beans. If you prefer consuming an energy bar during the race, it is important to consume a bar that is high in carbohydrates, but low in protein and fat. Make sure to take in 4 to 8 ounces of water with the gels or the energy bars to prevent an upset stomach. Consider how your body digests these different items. Go with the item that digests well for you and will help you stay at your optimum performance level. Always practice with these products during training and never try something new on race day.

After the Race

Here are some tips for recovering after the race:

  • Aim to consume a 200- to 300-calorie snack within 30 minutes of finishing the race.
  • Rehydrate with 16 to 24 ounces of fluid for every pound of body weight lost during the race.
  • Eat a well-balanced meal that includes protein, fluids, carbohydrates, and electrolytes.455658863
  • Aim for 15 to 25 grams of protein to be consumed within 30 to 60 minutes after the race.
  • Take in at least half a gram of carbohydrate per pound of body weight within the first hour after the race.
  • Have salty snacks and sports drinks to help with replacing electrolytes, if it will be 3 to 4 hours until your next well-balanced meal.

Remember that training with certain foods is just as important as the physical training for the event! If you need help, consider a personal nutrition coaching session from NIFS.

If you are interested in having your questions answered during a personal nutrition consultation, please contact me at ascheetz@nifs.org or 317-274-3432, ext 239. Learn more about Nutrition and Wellness services at NIFS.

Like what you've just read? Click here to subscribe to our blog!

This blog was written by Angie Sheetz, NIFS Registered Dietitian. Read more about the NIFS bloggers.

Topics: nutrition running marathon training triathlon cycling half marathon hydration endurance

Eat Better, Work Better? Nutrition and Productivity

grainsWe have all heard the phrase that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but who knew that eating a balanced diet would also make you more productive at work? A study conducted by Brigham Young University and published in Population Health Management Journal, found that 19,000 employees from three large companies with unhealthy diets, were 66 percent less productive than those who ate whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

So, how can you be a more productive employee? Try these three simple ways to eat a more balanced diet. Then get ready to impress your boss!

Whole-Grain Goodness

Swap out your old rice, pasta, bread, and cereal for grains that are higher in fiber and are less processed. Brown and wild rice are excellent alternatives to white rice. Whole-wheat pasta, couscous, quinoa, millet, and oats are more whole-grain options to incorporate into your diet. When it comes to breads and cereal, check the label. Choose options that have at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. Check out the Whole Grains Council website for more information.

Fabulous Fruits

Most people need three pieces of fruit per day to meet their individual requirements. This can easily be done by incorporating a fruit into your morning cereal or oatmeal, grabbing a piece of fruit for a quick and portable snack, or having a bowl of sweet fruit after dinner for dessert. The vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber in fruit are all great reasons to include them in your diet.

Vary Your Veggiesveggies

One of the most challenging food groups to get into your diet, but also one of the best ones for you, is vegetables. It can be difficult to meet that 4 to 5 recommended servings per day, so how can you get these in to help balance your diet? One thing is to make sure that you are spreading them out throughout the day by including a vegetable serving at lunch and snack time. At lunch, grab portable veggies such as baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, mini bell peppers, and sugar-snap peas to add some variety and crunch along with your typical sandwich. Or nibble on veggies with a hummus dip for an afternoon snack. Make it a goal to try one new and different vegetable each week!

Kale has become a popular vegetable choice these days, primarily because of its health benefits. It is an excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K -- and sulphur-containing phytonutrients. Here are some recipes for enjoying it.

If you are interested in having your questions answered during a personal nutrition consultation, please contact Melanie Roberts at mroberts@nifs.org or (317) 274-3432, ext 217. Learn more about Nutrition and Wellness services at NIFS.

This blog was written by Angie Sheetz, Registered Dietitian. Read more about the NIFS bloggers.

Like what you've just read? Click here to subscribe to our blog!

Topics: nutrition healthy eating employee health workplace wellness productivity

The 3 Most Common Nutrition Coaching Questions

As the Wellness Coordinator at NIFS, I get to meet a lot of great clients and help them attain their nutritional goals. I have noticed some common questions that arise during the nutrition coaching sessions. Hopefully, if you have been wondering the same things, these answers will give you some more insight!

How Do I Gain Muscle and Lose Fat? weights-and-food

The best way to lose fat is to either increase the amount of calories you burn or decrease the number of calories you consume. As you are doing this, you also need to make sure you are doing two or three days of strength training to build muscle. To decrease calories, it is important to keep track of what you are eating and see where you can decrease. This might be decreasing the amount of coffee creamer you put in your cup of joe or swapping the potato chips at lunch for some raw veggies.

Increasing your protein intake won’t automatically increase your muscle mass. If you are strength training two or three times per week, a simple calculation to know your protein needs is to divide your body weight in half and multiply by 1.5.

How Can I Lose Weight?

The first advice I always give to anyone wanting to lose weight is to start keeping track of your food. Studies have shown you eat 40 percent less when you write it down! This can be done with apps available for your phone, using a website, or just jotting it down with a pen and a piece of paper. It will allow you to see when and why you eat and also hold you accountable for what you are eating.

The other thing that can be helpful with weight loss is to look at what you are drinking. Are you consuming empty calories from flavored coffee drinks, soda, juice drinks, or alcohol? Most people tend to eat the same amount of food no matter how many calories they consume from their beverages. So, try to stick to water, low-fat milk, unsweetened tea, and 100 percent juices for the majority of your liquids.

How Many Calories Do I Need per Day?food-log

Every person is a different height and weight, and has varying levels of activity, so there isn’t one calorie number that works for all individuals to follow. Instead, use this simple calculator, which takes these factors into account to determine the proper amount you should be consuming. Not only does it give an overall number, but what is more important, it tells you how to get that number. Recommended servings of grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat and beans, and fat are given, along with some “extra” calories for those every-once-in-a-while food choices!

If you are interested in having your questions answered during a personal nutrition consultation, please contact on-site Nutritionist Lindsey Recker at lrecker@nifs.org or 317-274-3432, ext 239. Learn more about Nutrition and Wellness services at NIFS.

This blog was written by Angie Sheetz, NIFS Registered Dietitian. Read more about the NIFS bloggers.

Topics: nutrition weight loss healthy eating calories