By LEIGH VICKERY
Last week, we began our series of interviews with local fitness expert Kelly Hitchcock, owner of KH Fitness
and a passionate advocate for living the best life possible. Hitchcock shared his three-part plan for healthy, balanced living: behavioral modification, good nutrition and exercise. According to Hitchcock, if any of these pieces are missing, a person can't succeed in his or her desire to achieve optimal health.
||Practical Advice from Kelly Hitchcock for Weight Loss
Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, 5-7 days a week.
Keep a food diary.
Eat small portions.
Eat every 3 ½ hours throughout the day.
Drink at least 8 cups of water each day.
Drink only beverages without calories.
Keep meat portions the size of a deck of cards.
Increase fiber to feel full longer and help increase metabolism.
Plan one day a week to enjoy food you like in moderation.
This week, we focus on the second of the three pieces of the puzzle: good nutrition.
"People think that eating right is difficult, but there's really no guesswork involved when you break it down to an individual's body fat and level of activity," Hitchcock said. "Once you establish a person's lean body mass and activity levels, we just use math and science to set up how many calories, proteins and carbs you will need each day to achieve your goals."
Hitchcock's easy definition of lean body mass is simply how much you weigh minus your fat. This is an important number to know because it applies directly to how much fuel your body will need to function at its best.
"The more muscle a person has, the faster their body burns fat, and the better he or she will metabolize food," Hitchcock said. "One big myth in the fitness world is that men burn calories faster than women. That's not true. Metabolism is indifferent to gender. It's all about muscle. A woman with more lean body mass will burn more calories than a man with less muscle. Basically, muscle equals metabolism."
Hitchcock offered three quick tips to keep healthy eating at the front of your mind. The first suggestion helps solve the dilemma of how many carbs and protein a person needs.
"For every one gram of protein you eat, you need to eat two grams of carbs with it. It always needs to be balanced," Hitchcock said. "The only thing that changes is the number of grams and calories a person needs each day."
||1800-CALORIE MENU PLAN
1 ounce lean protein
2 whole-wheat Eggo waffles
8 ounces skim milk
¾ cup berries
3 ounces lean meat
2 slices bread
½ cup carrots
1 small apple or orange
¾ cup light yogurt OR
6 crackers with 1 ounce light cheese
4 ounces lean protein
½ cup steamed broccoli and small salad
1 tablespoon salad dressing
2/3 cup brown rice or small baked potato
Extra snack: 200 calories with less than 7 grams of fat
The second quick tip he said to keep in mind is that the average person man needs to keep each meal at eight grams of fat or less, and the average woman needs to aim for six grams of fat or less per meal. Hitchcock tells all of his clients to eat five times each day, at 3 1/2 hour intervals. He advocates three main meals and two mini-meals at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Hitchcock also stressed the importance of keeping a food log each day, remaining aware of what you are actually putting into your body.
"Most of us think we are eating much less than we actually are. Not keeping a food log is like not logging a check in your bank account. Just as not keeping up with your money would be disastrous to your financial health, not keeping up with the food you eat is just as disastrous to your body because you have no idea what's actually going on inside. This has shown to be a most effective tool in helping people lose weight," he said.
"Learning to eat right is not something you can do overnight," Hitchcock added. "We work hard with our clients to figure out what plan works right for them that they will actually follow to achieve reasonable goals. I am interested in helping people for the long term, for the rest of their lives. It's about becoming who you want to be, not a quick fix that won't last."