What Should I Eat Before Pilates Class? Tips for Pre-Pilates Nutrition

I am often asked about what to eat before a Pilates Class. More often than not people come in either on a too full stomach or haven’t eaten for many hours and don’t have the calorie reserves to fuel their workout.

Here are a few helpful tips on Pre-Pilates meals and snacks:

  • You definitely do not want to eat a large meal right before a Pilates Session. It is difficult to both digest and workout at the same time as your body must attempt to divert energy away from digestion in order to fuel your muscles. This is why you feel cramping, bloating etc. and sometimes may even feel slight nausea. Pulling your abdominal muscles “in and up” as we often say in class is particularly hard on a too-full stomach.
  • You do not want to have gone more than 3 hours with no food. If your class is first thing in the morning, have a banana an hour prior to class. Even a few bites on the way to class will help and will not make you so full that you cannot workout. Not enough calories means that you will become exhausted quickly and may feel weak or even dizziness as your body expends a great deal of energy on little to no fuel

Taking Pilates Class After Dinner?

Have a full meal 2 hours before your session to have time to digest. A full meal with some protein, fat, and lots of veggies gives you just the right amount of pick-me-up to stay focused and power through your workout. Protein and fat are slow burning energy that give you the stamina and energy. They take a bit more work for your body to digest, so don’t dig into a steak 30 minutes before you walk in.

Limit Carbs….unless…

Unless you are doing an intermediate-advanced Pilates Class, Jumpboard or HIIT, you do not need carbs to burn in the same way that you do for more aerobic exercise. Pilates Cardio may not exactly equate to the same cardio expenditure of running for example, however depending on the class Pilates can be aerobic and increase calorie burn in which case carbs may be helpful.

Stick with What Works for YOU
Plan ahead and eat at least an hour before your session (2 hours if it’s a big meal) so you’re energized, not lethargic, going into your Pilates class.

Meal Ideas:
• Green salad with grilled chicken, avocado, nuts and seeds
• Wrap with grilled chicken, ground beef, fish, or healthy protein and greens
• Broiled salmon, broccoli, greens with sauce of your choosing if it is relatively low in sugar and sodium
• Slow-cooker pulled pork or chicken with veggies

What about a small snack less than 1-hour before Pilates Class?

Small snack are appropriate and encouraged before class, particularly if you have not head a healthy meal within 2-3 hours before class.
Snack Ideas

• Apple and almond butter or peanut butter
• Hard-boiled egg
• Small handful of nuts
• Hummus with veggies

Avoid: Dairy and coffee less than one hour prior as this often causes Acid Reflux something very unpleasant during Pilates Session!

I Need to Lose Weight…Is Pilates Right For Me?

If you are struggling with getting started with Pilates because you think it’s only for the ultra-slim ballerina body-types, you may want to rethink this myth. Although Pilates is known for creating dancer-like physiques by sculpting long and lean muscle, Pilates is design

ed for all body-types. In fact, Pilates is the perfect exercise for someone struggling with weight issues, due to the lack of stress placed on the lower back and joints.

I am overweight…should I do Pilates?

YES!! Pilates can offer a gentle, core building program designed to be modified as needed. Reformer equipment (in-studio), is sturdy, safe and can be adjusted as needed. The health benefits gained from regular Pilates practice are numerous. When your core is strong it helps to support the spine and organs. Alignment and posture are improved by lifting the ribcage. Correct alignment doesn’t just improve posture and overall appearance, but it helps relieve back and joint pain.

I am concerned that the Pilates Reformer will not support my body-type.

Pilates can be done on the mat or on the Reformer and Tower. Supine positions and kneeling make Pilates a great choice for someone with a larger physique. Modifications will allow clients to get full-range of motion without stress to the joints. Pilates is a progressive workout, designed to continually challenge the core. The Reformer is an excellent way to progress your fitness level incrementally. Clients who are significantly overweight can benefit from private training to address individual needs and concerns, become knowledgeable about appropriate modifications, and feel comfortable with Pilates.

Selecting a Studio that’s a Good Fit for your Needs

Probably the single most important thing you can do for yourself is select a studio in which you are comfortable! Every environment is different and all studio have their own atmosphere. You need to have a place to explore your fitness and address your goals in a warm environment in which you do not feel judged. A good way to address these concerns is to try-out an introductory private session. Some questions to ask yourself: Does your instructor respond to your needs? Do you feel comfortable? What is the overall vibe at the studio? At WellBarre Pilates, we actively promote positive self-esteem and positive body-image. We want all of our clients to feel safe and supported whatever their view of their own body.

I want to lose weight. Is Pilates a good method for weight loss?

At WellBarre we believe in Pilates for all bodies regardless of fitness level, age, or physical size. We understand that an ultra-slim body-type and thinness is not the goal for everyone. If you are interested in weight loss, contact the studio for packages to include health coaching with Pilates fitness. We can tailor any program to suit your needs.

Adding low-impact cardio interval training, such as Jumpboard is a wonderful way to burn extra-calories.

In Health~
WP

 

 

You Really Are What You Eat…Why You Can’t Exercise Away a Poor Diet

You really are what you eat…

Conventional approaches to diet and exercise have conditioned us to believe in calories-in vs. calorie-out, and that all calories are created equal. “The myth that you can out-run a bad diet partially stems from conventional calories-in-calories-out thinking,” says JJ Virgin, certified nutrition specialist and author of the Sugar Impact Diet Cookbook. “People become overweight because they eat too much and exercise too little, the theory goes, so to lose weight they should reduce calories and increase exercise.”
So many factors affect the body’s ability to utilize calories and fat storage, and the ability to convert quality calories into fuel for energy and for working-out. Hormones play a critical factor in this. As a Pilates instructor who works primarily with women, I have noticed that many women feel sensitivity around the issue of hormones, as if it is an indicator of an aging body or signals menopause. However, hormones drive the bus throughout the entirety of our lives, and we are merely in one phase or another, continually changing as there is literally no such thing as a consistency with hormone levels throughout our lifespan.
“Thinking of your body as a bank where you just cash in and check out calories neglects the fact your hormones matter most for lasting fat loss,” Virgin says. “What you eat signals hormones to store or burn fat, boost or crash metabolism, and build or break down muscle.”

So Why Can’t You Exercise Off Last Night’s Binge?

1) All Calories Are Not Created Equal….It’s not all about the number on the package…

Many people believe that calories from a high-sugar content snack will be burned off at the same rate as a high-quality protein, or sugar source from fruit or vegetables, as they are conditioned to think in terms of calories. “Sugar is the key player driving up insulin levels,” Virgin says. The result: It gets stored as fat. Whereas a leafy vegetable such as spinach would trigger other hormones like glucagon, “insulin’s sister hormone that releases fat to burn for energy.” When it comes to calories think of nutrient dense calories vs. low-calorie meals. It’s all about the quality of the calories and how well our body functions as a result of the food consumed.

So why isn’t it about calorie content? Our bodies process healthy and unhealthy foods very differently. That is, 500 calories of chocolate and 500 calories of vegetables will have different effects on our bodies, which is why calorie counting often doesn’t work as we’re focusing on calories not nutrients.

2) Exercise increases your appetite and you naturally eat more.

When you eat more low nutrient, highly-processed foods following your workouts, it will slow your metabolism and your body will fight to maintain it’s current weight….processed sugar really is the enemy here! By choosing poor foods, that are highly processed, contain refined sugars, or gluten-containing foods, you are inclined to eat more of the same types of calories that are creating the phenomenon that maintains your weight, and causes you to gain weight. However, fill your diet with foods that regulate insulin, combined with exercise,  and you will lose weight, even if you eat the calories back that you have burned during intense exercise.  Consuming high-quality, nutrient dense calories, that do not spike blood-sugar and will help regulate hormones, leads to weight loss.

3) Certain Foods Promote Fat Burning others Promote Fat Storage

Certain foods promote fat storage, such as highly-processed foods. Other foods can help you lose fat. When you eat foods that are high in protein, they provide something called a thermic effect. The thermic effect of food plays a role in stimulating your metabolism, so you actually burn calories to digest and absorb it. Sugars have a very low thermic effect, while proteins and healthy fats have much higher thermic effects. The thermic effect of food is the energy required for digestion, absorption, and disposal of ingested nutrients. Its magnitude depends on the composition of the food consumed:
• Carbohydrates: 5 to 15% of the energy consumed.
• Protein: 20 to 35%
• Fats: at most 5 to 15=

Here are examples of low-quality, junk-food and the time it takes to burn-off calories consumed…it’s much more than you think…

It’s not all about calorie content. Our bodies process healthy and unhealthy foods very differently. That is, 500 calories of chocolate and 500 calories of vegetables will have different effects on our bodies, which is why calorie counting often doesn’t work as we’re focusing on calories not nutrients.

SNICKERS CANDY BAR, 47 GRAMS (229 CALORIES)

If a chocolate bar is the only thing you indulge in for the entire day, you could probably work it off easily through some light cleaning for an hour, or a nice 45-minute walk outside. But if it’s just another drop in the bad-diet bucket, watch out.
Cleaning: 1 hour, 6 minutes
Walking: 46 minutes
Push-ups: 23 minutes
Running: 19 minutes

47.9-GRAM BAG OF M&M’S (240 CALORIES)
Like the Snickers, one bag of M&M’s likely won’t destroy your entire diet, but you’ll still need to put aside almost an hour of light activity to burn it off.
Cleaning: 1 hour, 9 minutes
Walking: 48 minutes
Push-ups: 24 minutes
Running: 20 minutes

STARBUCKS GRANDE DOUBLE CHOCOLATY CHIP FRAPPUCCINO WITH WHIPPED CREAM (420 CALORIES)
And let’s not forget about coffee and specialty drinks…
Cleaning: 2 hours
Walking: 1 hour, 24 minutes
Push-ups: 42 minutes
Running: 35 minutes

 

For more information on healthy eating choices, proper meal-planning for optimal energy and weight-loss contact the studio.  Health Coaching is one of the many ways the studio supports clients in having a healthy mind, body and lifestyle. Health coaching may be conducted on as needed basis or as part of an on-going health and weight-loss program.

Brain fog, weight gain…fatigue? 4 Reasons to go Gluten-Free

Gluten-Free Zone

4 Reasons to go Gluten Free

Gluten-free products are more available than ever.  But if you don’t have celiac disease why go gluten-free? The answer is chronic inflammation linked to autoimmune diseases. More recently, medical experts have begun to acknowledge the possible connection between gluten and non-pathologic joint pain—joint pain that is not explained by disease. A growing body of research supports this idea. Many consider gluten toxic to the body.  When you cut out gluten, you are cutting out gluten-containing products such as bread, bread products, baked goods, pasta, breakfast cereal, crackers, pretzels and grain products.

Here are 4 reasons to go Gluten-Free

  • Gluten can trigger chronic inflammation throughout the body if you’re sensitive or allergic to it.
  • Weight loss – most high gluten containing foods are highly processed, have high-sugar content, and are often found in packaged food. These foods are unhealthy providing an abundance of empty calories. Giving these up are a sure-fire way to lose weight.
  • Brain fog, headaches, fatigue, joint and muscle aches.  Recent studies have shown that gluten-sensitivity can cause a host of symptoms that are easily mistaken for hormone imbalances or chronic illness.
  • Gluten containing foods are highly-addictive. Gluten instigates the production of a substance called exorphins that can have an addictive effect. Gluten triggers leptin resistance, which causes overeating. Leptin is a hormone that sends signals to the brain that you’re full, preventing you from overeating.  When leptin-resistance happens in the body, our signal to stop eating becomes faulty.

High Gluten Foods
Barley
Rye
Wheat
Bulgur
Durum flour
Farina
Graham flour
Kamut
Semolina
Spelt

Gluten containing products

Beer, breads, cakes and pies, candies, cereals, crackers crouton, French fries, gravies, imitation meat or seafood, pasta, matzo crackers, processed luncheon meats, salad dressings, sauces, including soy sauce, seasoned rice mixes, seasoned snack foods such as potato chips, vegetables in sauce

Would you like to join our list to receive Wellbarre Pilates Body in the Kitchen for weekly tips, recipes, nutrition help and motivation?  

The Slimming Effects of Reducing Sugar and Processed Foods

Interested in the Slimming Effects of Reducing Sugar and Eliminating Processed Foods?

Sugar is implicated in disease, obesity, chronic health issues and packing on the extra hard-to-lose ten pounds.

Part of the problem is that sugar is hidden in virtually all packaged and processed foods, including so-called healthy snacks and low-fat options.  Many energy bars are loaded with sugar, actually making them closer to candy bars. The same holds true for many cereals, yogurts and breads. A single cup of plain yogurt typically has about seven grams of sugar in the form of lactose, a naturally occurring sugar found in dairy. A fruit flavored variety of the same yogurt, on the other hand, may contain as many as 19 grams of sugar. That means 12 of those 19 grams is added sugar and lacking any nutritional benefit. This equates to eating a small cup of plain yogurt with a bowl of Frosted Corn Flakes or 3 added teaspoons of sugar dumped on top.

In fact, 74% of all packaged food products available in the supermarket have added sugar.  Sugar is finding its way onto our plates and into our bodies in volumes that humans have never experienced before and the amount with which we consume sugar has reached toxic levels.

Sugar and processed fructose varieties wreak havoc on the liver which has a very limited capacity to metabolize these ingredients. The average adult can safely metabolize up to six teaspoons of added sugar per day. Frighteningly, the average American consumes 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day. That’s almost four times the recommended limit.

Sugar in the end is stored as extra fat in the body.  Not to mention that a diet abundant in sugar may create insulin-resistance particularly in women over forty, making weight loss extremely difficult.

Research coming out of some of America’s most respected institutions confirms that sugar is a primary dietary factor driving chronic disease development.

Scientific studies have linked excessive fructose consumption to about 78 different diseases and chronic health problems, including but not limited to:

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Dementia
  • Cancer

The choices we make from day to day can have a big impact on our overall health.

READY TO JUMP START INTO A HEALTHY YOU?  LET’S START BY CLEANING OUT THE KITCHEN AND RIDDING THE PANTRY OF PROCESSED FOODS.

  • First, trash anything that is not real food. Put aside pre-packaged processed goods, unless it’s whole food, with only a few real ingredients. “Food items should have less than five ingredients, and only things you recognize,” says Dr. Mark Hyman. If you see ingredients that compromise health or that you can’t pronounce or understand – THROW IN THE TRASH
  • Second, dump sweetened drinks like fruit juices, diet sodas, and sports drinks. Cutting out these beverages will save yourself another 15-20 teaspoons of added sugars per serving. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER TO HYDRATE

HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO REDUCE OR ELIMINATE ADDED SUGAR

  1. Raise the level of serotonin, a.k.a. the “happiness hormone,” in your body through REGULAR EXERCISE LIKE PILATES OR YOGA
  2. Prepare a shopping list ahead of time and menu-planning is key. When your hungry and you haven’t planned ahead you will likely reach for unhealthy snacks because they are plentiful and available.
  3. REDUCE stress through Meditation, walking or practicing mindfulness. Learning to implement mindfulness, unplugging from electronics and being present in the moment can help reduce the effects

Ready to get healthy together?

Start the 14- DAY CLEANSE AND RESET starting Sunday, Jan 28th.  Follow on Facebook Group for menu planning, prep and shopping lists.

Are you looking to slim your waist, increase energy levels and improve health?  Combine the 14-Day Cleanse Reset with 3 cardio workouts per week such as Pilates Cardio Jumpboard.  Sign up for class and the challenge…share your results on private forum FB page.

Let’s do it!

Resolution Healthy Meals 2018

Want to get healthy in 2018?  The key is preparation and planning ahead.  One great way to do this is by using a slow cooker.  Many meals can be prepared hours before or the evening before. Just leave your crock pot on and go…you will come home to a nutritious hot-meal that doesn’t blow your caloric intake and meets your nutritional needs to keep your immune system healthy all winter long.Looking for healthy slow cooker meals? Try this super fast, easy and delicious black bean slow cooker meal.

Ingredients:

nonstick cooking spray

1 medium onion

1/4 tsp. ground red pepper

1/4 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp. dried cumin

1/4 tsp. chili powder

1 can (15 oz.) can of black beans, rinsed and drained

6 large, green bell peppers tops removed

1 cup shredded Monteray Jack Cheese

1 cup Salsa

1/2 cup low fat sour cream

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