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If your family was lucky enough to have Disney movie-style breakfasts with eggs, fruit, pancakes, and orange juice then we’re jealous. Normally, it’s a struggle to wake up early enough to have a piece of toast and make coffee before rushing out for work.

Breakfast is also known as the “most important meal of the day," but how true is that statement? Until very recently, it’s been common knowledge. However, some of the research on eating breakfast might be skewed.

Consider a research paper published in 2020 in Obesity Research & Clinical Practice. The scientists reviewed 45 studies to see if breakfast impacted weight loss. They found that in the majority of studies, people who skipped breakfast were more likely to be overweight. The results were true across all races, genders, and economic classes. 

That seems pretty conclusive until you read into the studies. They were all observational, which means that the researchers didn’t intervene. They simply asked people how often they ate breakfast, took their weight, and noticed that people who eat breakfast more often tend to weigh less.

Contrast that study with a paper published in the British Medical Journal in 2019. In this study, the researchers sifted through 13 experimental trials. That means they assigned one group to eat breakfast, and the other to skip. In those trials, more often than not the group that skipped breakfast tended to lose weight. 

This tale of dueling studies shows that observational research skews our perspective on breakfast. There’s no doubt that people who eat breakfast tend to weigh less, but why is that? The experimental studies show that eating breakfast isn’t the cause, so what is? A possible explanation is that breakfast is billed as “healthy,” therefore people who are more health-conscious eat it.

While you don’t need to run to the fridge and throw out all your yogurt and eggs, consider that breakfast might not be all it’s cracked up to be. If you usually skip breakfast, try eating a little in the morning. If you like to start the day with a meal, try skipping it for a few days and see how you feel. Notice the changes and see if you like the new way better, or not!

-Henry Halse

Can Exercise Cancel Out A Bad Diet?

Can exercise cancel out a bad diet? Perhaps that’s the wrong question to ask.

Theoretically, you should try to eat a healthy diet either way. That means eating more fiber, less sugar and less saturated fat. In other words, you have to fight the food around you.

The so-called “western diet” consists of sugary foods and drinks, low fiber intake and high levels of saturated fat. Contrast that with an approach like that Mediterranean Diet, which is high in fiber, low in sugar and low in saturated fat.

These are the three things you need to watch out for if you want to lower your risk of heart disease (the #1 cause of death in the US and worldwide). However, the role of exercise in keeping you healthy might be severely undervalued.

was just published in the Journal of Physiology. Researchers gave mice workout equipment, like a wheel, and let them workout as much as they wanted. They fed one group of mice a western diet and one group a healthier diet.

As it turns out, mice that exercised regularly were able to protect their arteries from the damage caused by a western diet. That means what they ate didn’t have an effect on their heart health. That’s a big deal!

There are a few important things to keep in mind when reading this article. The study was performed in male mice, which means the results may not carry over exactly in humans (although we’re physiologically very similar to mice). The mice that exercised walked the equivalent of 3-5 miles per day (that’s a lot for a little creature). This is also just one study, and research needs to be repeated to be validated.

This isn’t an excuse to eat what you want, but it follows a current trend in research: exercise is medicine. If this research pans out in humans, it means that exercise is as powerful (if not moreso) than following a proper diet. For the record, you should focus on both to see the best results.

-Coach Henry Halse

We have always been taught that breakfast is so important, but is it?

We’re now seeing folks who adopt intermittent fasting, skip breakfast, lose weight and feel great.

So the short answer to this question is "It depends on your lifestyle and personality."

Does your lifestyle allow you to wait to eat until 12 pm and then cut your eating off at 8 pm?

Are you someone that can stick with a pretty strict eating timeframe?

If that’s not you, then eating breakfast is important for you.

Breakfast starts up your metabolism and keeps you from craving carbs and overeating throughout the day.

Your breakfast should have 3 things:

Breakfast...Important or Not?


We have always been taught that breakfast is so important, but is it?

We’re now seeing folks who adopt intermittent fasting, skip breakfast, lose weight and feel great.

So the short answer to this question is "It depends on your lifestyle and personality."

Does your lifestyle allow you to wait to eat until 12 pm and then cut your eating off at 8 pm?

Are you someone that can stick with a pretty strict eating timeframe?

If that’s not you, then eating breakfast is important for you.

Breakfast starts up your metabolism and keeps you from craving carbs and overeating throughout the day.

Your breakfast should have 3 things:

Now to fine-tune your breakfast, you need to know what your portion sizes should be.
That’s where we can help.

Find out more about how our nutrition programs can teach you the right portions for your body,

Contrary to popular belief, you can actively lift weights and still build muscle mass without eating meat.

Coach Elvin is vegan and offered to share his typical meal plan. There are plenty of great plant protein sources, which Elvin incorporates into his diet.

Breakfast: 1 cup of oatmeal (10 grams protein), 2 tbsp of hemp seeds (20 grams protein) and 1 tbsp almond butter

First Lunch: 1/2 cup black beans, 1/2 cup garbanzo beans, 1 cup quinoa, 1 tbsp avocado, 2 tsp mild salsa

Second Lunch: Banza noodles, sliced portabella mushrooms, diced eggplant, green peas, vegan "cheese", two slices of Ezekiel toast

Last Meal of the Day: 10oz unsweetened almond milk, 1 scoop of Vega protein powder (30 grams), 1 scoop of peanut butter powder, and 2 kale stalks

We offer nutrition training all year round that will fit your lifestyle and help you hit your goals.

Balanced Habits: Success Stories

TS teamed up with Balanced Habits, a leading nutrition coaching program, to launch a Fall Nutrition Challenge. Our group of 22 Kickstarters recently completed the 28 day program so we’re really excited to share the results and experiences of our program participants!

We offered the program because we knew that so many of us put in the work at the gym but figuring out proper nutrition holds us back from seeing the results that we want. Our goal was to create a program that would instill sustainable eating habits to help our clients for years, not just for the 28 days of the program. As a group, the TS team lost over 136 pounds in 28 days !

 Happy Faces of Success

Happy Faces of Success

Eye on The Prize

Just like in our fitness programs, each of our clients have different goals. For instance, Jackie Regan, an avid weightlifter, looked to improve her eating habits while sustaining her training routine.  “I have always struggled with food choices and never really put my diet first. This program taught me that I can still enjoy food while at the same time managing portions and making the right choices about what goes into each meal,” said Jackie.

The program really demonstrated the benefits of what improving nutrition can do to your workout routine.  “When Coach Noam approached me with joining the program, I was excited but a little nervous. I didn't want the program to have an effect on my strength, Jackie said.

Fortunately, the clean eating habits improved her workouts, especially HIIT. “  I have been killing my workouts. AMRAPs and EMOMs that I would once struggle through - came a little easier. One of my journaling notes reads ‘Feel great. Burpees were easy during tonight's workout"! That would never have come out of my mouth but it is true. I am feeling the strongest and best I have ever felt!”

Creating Healthy Routines

And like the name of the program states, its about changing habits. Balanced Habits recommends that participants space meals out every 4 hours without any snacks. Julie Lamb, discovered the benefits of eating on a schedule. “It completely upended my routine of eating a big breakfast and dinner, and snacking (rather mindlessly) throughout the day. While I wasn't restricting calories dramatically, or changing a lot of the kinds of foods I was eating, the shift to consuming consistent calories at very specific, regular intervals all day long really worked for me,” said Julie.

Balanced Habits, in addition to tasty recipes, provided great resources that made following the program a bit easier. One such resource is “grab and go” sheets that allows participants the ability to create their own meals, while sticking to the program. “The grab and go list was extremely useful and helped to keep the meals simple and convenient,” said Sal Internicola. Jackie agreed. “I love to cook and the cheat sheet was an easy way to turn my own recipes into meals that fit in this program with easy substitutions,” she said.

Challenges

Starting a new program is never easy and Julie found the first week to be difficult as her body adapted. “I was hangry. And my runs were rough! I was trying to adhere very strictly to the program but I couldn’t execute my long runs,” said Julie. Julie was at peak marathon training, running over 50 miles a week in addition to teaching yoga and taking GPT.  Julie had to adjust her pre-run nutrition plan and that helped. “Week 2 was hard in its own way because I didn’t lose as much as the first week, but then weeks 3-4 were great. I wasn’t hangry, or hungry, anymore,” said Julie. Julie saw excellent results. “Overall I lost 9 pounds so I feel really great about that.

Sal discovered that sticking this Balanced Habits routine was a challenge in social situations. “I found it difficult to completely sustain from drinking alcohol, especially during celebratory occasions with my friends. The first few days were hard to get through!” said Sal. Meanwhile, Julie had to the navigate the program alone at home. “I think the hardest part was maintaining an iron will living with a partner who was not on the plan. And remaining strong when my kids asked me to share a snack or treat with them”, said Julie. “I was careful to never tell them I was on a diet, I just said no thank you, firmly but gently, and said I wasn’t hungry (even if I was!).”

Looking to the Future

Sal and Jackie are both excited to continue their progress. “During the 28 day challenge, I lost a total of 18.5 pounds and won the contest! I even had to buy a new suit!” said Sal. “I have already incorporated the challenge’s portion awareness by continuing to measure units each day,” he said. Jackie is continuing with the program on her own. “I joined the Balanced Habits monthly recipe subscription and have continued with my food journaling,” said Jackie. “I also have learned that you can still enjoy a night out or a few glasses of wine and that the program was really a lifestyle change and not so much a diet” she said.

Jackie is also proud of her success, not only losing 7 pounds but also 6 inches off her waist.

Coach Rachel and Hannah, who led our program, are so proud of our Kickstarters. “A lot of our clients are seeing amazing strength gains in the gym, but people don’t realize how BIG of a role nutrition plays when it comes to fat loss,” said Rachel. We were so proud of all our participants. We saw such determination and success!” she said.

Nutrition isn’t a quick fix but creating healthy habits can have a lasting impact on your fitness and typically is the deciding factor in meeting your goals. At TS, we are here to build you up and provide you the tools necessary for you to reach the goals that you want for yourself.

Spots are now open for our January challenge.  Email nutrition@tsfitnessnyc.com for more details.

Tips to Stay Healthy as the Seasons Change

As the weather starts to change, many of our clients start getting sick. Since we like our classes full and our community healthy, we wanted to share a few of our favorite tips for avoiding the flu and other seasonal colds.  

Doctors recommend that the best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot but good health habits can stop the spread of germs and keep you healthy.

Practice Good Hygiene

No, we don’t mean that showering will keep you from getting sick but washing your hands will. Clean your hands for 15 seconds with soap, warm water, and vigorous rubbing. If you sneeze or cough, you should wash your hands as not to spread germs. Germs can be spread when people touch their eyes, nose, or mouth. Hand sanitizer is great for when you’re on the go and grab that subway pole.

Hand washing is very beneficial but you don’t have to go crazy. If you wash your hands too much, you can actually dry out your skin and remove healthy bacteria, leading to cracks that may allow viruses to enter your body.

Avoid Close Contact with Sick People

Stand far away from that dude on the bus who is hacking up a lung. If you do get sick, stay home. No one wants to share.

Get Sleep!

Sleep is extremely important and studies have shown that sleeping at least 7 hours a night will help you fight off colds. Sleep also has plenty of benefits that can help your workout.

The lack of sleep can undo all the hard work you do in the gym. One study showed that sleep deprived participants burned more muscle than fat compared to a group of athletes who got enough sleep.  If you are not sleeping well, your body produces releases the stress hormone cortisol, which slows down the production of growth hormone, ultimately affecting your muscle development.

Stay Active

New research shows that working out and staying physically active may better your body’s immune system so keep your regular schedule of HIIT and GPT classes during the winter months.

You Are What You Eat

What you put into your body also helps protect it. In looking to avoid the flu or colds, make sure to eat your veggies!! Vegetables, fruit and whole grains are high in antioxidants and phytonutrients. Antioxidants may reduce the risk of stroke and enhance immune defense while phytonutrients are linked to increased immunity and faster healing.

Vitamin D is crucial to the immune system so incorporate foods like eggs, wild salmon, and mushroom in your diet as well. You can also get Vitamin D from sunlight. If you are low in the Vitamin D, you can also take supplements, which may be particularly helpful during the winter months.

Zinc is often used to boost the immune system, treating recurrent ear infections, and preventing lower respiratory infections. You can find zinc in meat, oysters, turnips, peas, oats, peanuts, almonds, whole-wheat grain, pumpkin seeds, ginger root, and pecan nuts. We like using zinc lozenges when we feel a cold coming on.

Hydrate!

We often discuss the importance of staying hydrated. Drink your water! Since outdoor air is drier in cold weather and your heated apartment is likely also dry, drinking water helps your body keep your mucous membranes soft and moist, preventing small cracks that can allow viruses to enter your body.

Exercising While Sick

It usually safe to workout if you have a cold but listen to your body. Be aware that some cold medicines can increase your heart rate so working out while taking them may make your heart pump very hard and make you short of breath.

If your cold comes with a fever, exercise may increase the stress to your body even more, so you should wait a few days to get back to your regular exercise routine.

TS Fitness is providing this information for your convenience and we are not doctors. Always consult your doctor to provide you the best medical advice for you!

How to Create Achievable Weight Loss Goals

How to Create Achievable Weight Loss Goals

Fall is the perfect time to focus on better eating, proper nutrition, and weight loss. You have ample time to start creating healthy habits that will before Thanksgiving and the holidays tempt you to wait until the New Year. Like with any goal, whether financial, personal, professional, or in the gym, you need to create reasonable expectations to give yourself the opportunity to succeed. Read on to learn more about how to create achievable weight loss goals.

Body Composition Versus Weight Loss

At TS, we strive to build better bodies not necessarily drive weight loss. Replacing fat with lean muscle may mean little on the scale but improves your overall health, your ability to burn fat, and revs up your metabolism. Our GPT sessions are geared towards building this lean muscle mass.

Be SMART

Losing weight in a healthy way takes commitment, time, and planning. The best way to begin is to create SMART goals, ones that are specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound.  You should create SMART goals for your weight loss and the supporting activities like your strength training goals just like you would create KPIs for your work performance.

Specific: You should figure out what your ideal body weight and body fat percentage should be. We recommend speaking to your doctor or nutritionist to determine what is healthy for you. It is important to have a number in mind as this will make your goal specific. A goal of exercising more often is not specific but attending two HIIT classes a week is more targeted.

Measurable: With a specific goal in mind, you can actually measure your progress and your success in meeting it! Every time you check your numbers, you can see the measurable progress towards your goal. Don’t weigh yourself more than once a week as your body fluctuates day to day. For our GPT clients, we only check your numbers once every three months. You can track your workouts with a variety of apps including Mindbody.

Achievable: Did you pick a reasonable and attainable goal? It is generally recommended that you aim for no more than one to two pounds of weight loss per week. Anything more may require drastic changes that are not healthy nor sustainable for a long-term lifestyle. As you put on more muscle mass, this goal may have to be evaluated.

Results Focused: Goals should be meaningful. In regards to weight loss, is your goal of losing weight supporting more overarching goals like being healthier, training for a race, etc?

Time Bound: When will you aim to complete a goal? Without a definite time period, you will be unable to measure your progress nor will you be able to evaluate your success towards your goal. An open ended goal of losing 10 pounds eventually will likely never come to fruition.  

Long-term and short-term goals

If you can create SMART goals, you can narrow your focus into long-term and short term goals. Long term goals may be your overall body fat percentage while short term goals can consist of monthly weight loss targets, daily calorie counts, and trips to the gym. By completing a series of smaller goals that are all in line with your long term goal, you will be able to make noticeable progress and habit changes to help you along your journey.

Reassess and adjust your goals as needed

We know that committing to a goal is difficult and sometimes you may overreach. It is important to assess your progress and adjust your goals as needed. If you feel that your goal is too difficult, first try breaking it into small goals. If that is still too much, it is better to adjust your target than completely give up. On the flip side, you may find yourself so successful that you may need to make your goal more challenging!

It takes time to change your body composition and so many different factors, from gender, age, to even sleep patterns can impact your body’s changes. Generally speaking, the speed of weight loss depends on how much weight you are looking to lose. If you are heavier, you may be able to lose weight more quickly than someone who weighs less. At the end of the day, it’s about creating goals that work for you and your body.

Our team is here to help you achieve your fitness goals and can provide resources to help you improve your nutrition. Please shoot us a note at nutrition@tsfitnessnyc.com if you have questions regarding weight loss.

Simple Strategies to Eat Better

If you are looking to improve your fitness results, it is necessary to reevaluate your nutritional habits. We've put together six of our most effective eating tips. 

Portion Control Gives You Control

Controlling the portion sizes of the food that you consume is one of the key ways to improve weight loss.  By properly understanding portion sizes, you may be able to reduce your caloric intake while still enjoying your favorite foods. No matter what type of diet that you are on, having a fundamental understanding of how many carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and overall calories that you eat at each meal will improve your chances of success.

People are generally terrible at estimating the number of calories in a dish. The FDA requires food companies to provide nutrition facts that are actually the amount of food in a suggested serving, known as serving size. Portion size, on the other hand, actually refers to the amount that you should be eating based on your fitness goals and body type.

Take a look at this great chart that can help you estimate the calories in a variety of common foods. Your portion size may vary but this is a great way to start focusing your attention on how much you are eating. You can use these rules of thumb when you are cooking or even at a restaurant.

 

 

Take your time and only eat until you’re 80% full

One of the simplest ways of cutting down the calories is by eating slower. By giving your body time to signal that you are full, you are able to eat less. Secondly, if by simply learning to eat until you are 80 percent full will also reduce your intake. Though many of us have no idea what 80% full actually feels like, if we eat slower, it allows your body to let you know that you do not need to eat more. Usually, we are used to eating until full which is actually past your body’s point of satiation. Stop eating once you are hungry and should likely be 80% full.

Eat Protein At Each Meal

Studies show that you see more benefits if you spread your protein intake over the course of the day rather than just having one heavy protein meal. A recent study in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that participants who ate some protein at each meal were able to lose more weight than those that did not. Protein helps to increase satiety and can help curb unnecessary snacking. By spreading out your protein intake and making sure to include protein during your breakfast, you may be to also improve your muscle growth as well.

Don’t Forget the Vegetables

We recommend that you eat vegetables at every meal, too. Vegetables are generally low in calories so they help promote weight loss. Additionally, vegetables are also packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals that all help your body fight off disease. By eating vegetables, which are high in fiber, prevent bloating and will help you stay full and stop you from filling up on empty calories.

Fat Isn’t Always Bad

Diets over the years have had a contentious relationship with fats. Regardless, our bodies do need a certain amount of fat to function as fat provides energy, facilitates the absorption of vitamins and minerals, protects your organs, and even gives you insulation. Consuming healthy fat at each meal will improve your satiety, actually help you burn fat,  and will improve your brain function. Try incorporating healthy fats such as avocado, nuts, olive oil, salmon, eggs, or chia seeds, into every meal.

Use carbs to refuel after a tough workout

Carbs are also often wrongly demonized. Carbohydrates fuel performance and allow you to burn calories and build muscle. The best time to consume carbohydrates is right after a tough HIIT or GPT session. Carbs help replace muscle glycogen and enhance the role of insulin in transporting nutrients into your cells.

If you deprive your body of carbs, your body actually will restrict the number of carbohydrates your muscles can use as it is trying to make sure your body protects itself from starvation. Not all carbs are created equal so look for sources that will provide longer satiety like fruits, whole grains, and non-starchy vegetables.

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