Monday, August 29, 2011

Week 7 of the 8 Week Healthy Habit Challenge

We are closing in on our 8 week challenge. We have eliminated sugary drinks and most processed foods from our diets. In their place, we are consuming more produce and whole grains. Our bodies are feeling lighter and more energized. This week we are going to focus on the dreaded “F” word – yes, Fats! Good fats, that is.

While we want to watch our fat intake, not consuming more than 30% of our daily calorie allotment, it is an essential nutrient for our bodies. Fats play a vital role in maintaining healthy skin and hair, insulating body organs against shock, maintaining body temperature, and promoting healthy cell function. The vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble, meaning they can only be digested and absorbed by the body while consumed with fat.

Healthy fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as:
Avocados, Olives, Nuts, Peanut Butter, Olive Oil, Sunflower Oil, Safflower Oil, Peanut Oil, Flax Oil, Flaxseed, Walnuts, Fatty Fish such as Salmon, and Sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds.

How much fat is too much depends on your lifestyle, your weight, your age and most importantly the state of your health. The USDA recommends that the average individual:
  • Keep total fat intake to 20-35% of calories
  • Limit saturated fats to less than 10% of your calories (200 calories for a 2000 calorie diet)
  • Limit trans fats to 1% of calories (2 grams per day for a 2000 calorie diet)

Good fats to add into your daily diet: Avocado, olives, nuts, flaxseed

Fitness Challenge:
Beginners: Continue your interval-walking program. If you have access to other cardio equipment, begin incorporating them into your routine. Do 3 weight-training sessions per week, for a minimum of 20 minutes each. If you can, increase the amount of weight that you use. Add in core exercises such as crunches and back extensions. Experiment with fitness DVD’s, you can find ones that offer cardio as well as resistance training. Cathe Friedrich has some great options for beginners.

Advanced: Try fitness outside the box. Sign up a martial arts, pilates or yoga class. Challenge yourself with a high intensity DVD such as TurboFire or Insanity. Training with different programs challenge your muscles in a way in which they aren’t used to and shock them into growth.


Athletes4Life said...

All good advice, this was a good program. Are the participants keeping meal logs and progress reports to check back in at a later date? People sometimes fall off the wagon if there is nothing or no-one holding them accountable!

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