Wednesday, 31 August 2016

5 Reasons Why You Should Take Supplements

Your Fitness and Nutrition Secret Weapon

Supplements are an essential part of any fitness and nutrition program. They are for everyone, not just bodybuilders. Whether your goal is to lose body fat, gain muscle, or just improve your overall health, supplements will help you get there. They are the vitamins, protein powders, and energy boosts that you take throughout the day. Here are five reasons why you should be taking supplements:

1. To Fill in Gaps in Your Nutrition

Supplements are designed to fill in gaps in your nutrition. We live busy lives. Between work and home, spare time is a rare treat. It is difficult to get all of the nutrients that you need from food alone without eating too many calories. Like most people, you are probably not eating enough protein and not receiving the necessary amount of every vitamin, every day. Your body needs each and every nutrient for a reason and supplements will help you get there.

2. To Maximize Your Potential

Supplements will help improve your overall health, as well as give you the energy to take the steps that will lead to a lasting lifestyle change. Think of your favorite professional athlete. They didn’t get there by chance. They worked hard and part of that work was making sure that they provided for their bodies. By giving your body all of the nutrients that it needs, in the quantity that it needs, you are giving your body the tools for success.

3. To Lose Body Fat Instead of Muscle

If you aren’t getting enough protein, your body will struggle to build and maintain muscle. Do you ever feel like you just can’t lose the body fat even though the number on the scale is going down? This happens when the body isn’t getting the nutrients that it needs and uses the muscle for fuel instead of the body fat. Since body fat uses less energy, it is easier to maintain than muscle. We don’t want this to happen though. While on a calorie deficit, you want to train your body to use the stored body fat for energy. Increasing your protein intake through supplements helps your body do this.

4. To Help With Aging and Nutrient Absorption

As you age, the body becomes less efficient in processing protein and other nutrients. Your body processes a percentage of the nutrients that you take in. This means that you need to increase your intake even more so that, even when the percentage is lower, the amount that is utilized is the same. This is why, as you age, you also tend to lose muscle mass and gain more body fat. If you don’t increase your protein intake, your body will eventually lose muscle. Less muscle on your body means that you will burn less calories overall and, unless you lower your calorie intake, you will most likely gain body fat.

5. To Boost Your Energy

We’ve all had those days where we were just too tired to go to the gym and it is too easy for one day to turn into one week. Supplements give you the energy to keep up your momentum when motivation is fleeting.

There You Have It!

Supplements exist to help you get to your goal. They are your secret weapon to help you fill in the gaps in your nutrition, as well as, help your body function at it’s highest potential. Talk to one of our trainers about which supplements are right for you today!




Related Links

The post 5 Reasons Why You Should Take Supplements appeared first on Access Change.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Sugar… I Shouldn’t Eat That, Right?

The Evil Stepmother of Weight Loss

Is sugar really trying to sabotage your diet plan? Absolutely not! In fact, all carbohydrates are eventually broken down into glucose (a simple sugar molecule) for absorption. Sugar is a necessary carbohydrate!

It’s Not The Sugar, It’s The Calories

Sugar is so commonly consumed that it is often blamed for weight gain. It isn’t the guilty party though. Foods that are high in sugar, also tend to be high in calories. The extra calories are the reason why people gain weight or struggle to lose weight while eating sugary foods. You know those cupcakes that you ate? It’s not the sugar’s fault. It’s the 400 extra calories that are in each cupcake. I know what you’re thinking. If you walk past any magazine stand, you will see the “I cut out sugar and lost 10 pounds” title. Well, yeah, but that doesn’t have anything to do with the sugar. Of course, if you stop eating extra sugar, you may also lose weight because you are inherently eating less calories.

Everything in Moderation

Say it with me. Sugar is not inherently bad for you. There’s a reason why it exists. It provides quick energy for the body that is easy to absorb. Problems only arise when you are replacing nutrient dense foods with sugary foods. As long as you are consuming this carbohydrate in balance with the other macronutrients, you will be fine.

Where The Fear Came From

There’s a reason why sugar has a bad reputation. It makes sense. When you eat sugar, insulin is released to help transport the glucose (sugar) into the tissues and bloodstream, as well as store extra glucose for later in the form of body fat. This means that the more sugar that you eat, the more insulin your body releases to process that sugar. People commonly believed that this spike in insulin from the extra sugar would also cause the body to store more body fat from that sugar. It doesn’t necessarily work this way though. Yes, if you are eating more food, more of it will be stored as body fat, but this is from the extra calories and not the extra sugar. Your body can only store extra body fat if you are eating more calories than you are burning. It isn’t the sugar’s fault.

Now You Know

Sugar isn’t inherently bad for you. A balanced diet can contain sugar. As long as you aren’t taking in extra calories, you won’t gain weight. 


Related Links


The post Sugar… I Shouldn’t Eat That, Right? appeared first on Access Change.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

What are Supplements?

Protein, Vitamins, and Energy… Oh My!

Supplements are for everyone. Sure, bodybuilders use them but you should too. They’re not just for the men looking to bulk up or the athletes getting ready to compete. They are an essential part of any health and fitness program. Supplements are anything that you consume that either completes or adds to the nutrients that you get from food. These include vitamins, protein powders, meal replacements, and performance enhancement, such as caffeine.

According to dotFIT, the leader in evidence-based nutrition and fitness programming, “The function of dietary supplement preparations is to provide a safe vehicle for delivering precise amounts of desired isolated nutrients and compounds in a low to no calorie form with the purpose of complementing the diet in order to enhance health, sport and fitness goals, i.e. dietary support.”

Supplements Fill in the Gaps in Your Nutrition

It is very difficult and impractical to get all of the nutrients that you need in the quantities that you need them from food alone, especially when consuming a calorie deficit. We live in a real world. You wake up, take the kids to school, go to work, get the kids to their activities, cook dinner, and somewhere in there you have to get ALL the nutrients that you need. That’s tough! This is where supplements come in. They help you fill in the gaps in your nutrition that you aren’t getting from food. For example, when you aren’t getting enough protein, you can boost it with a protein shake.

Supplements are Essential

Supplements are an essential part of any fitness and nutrition program. They provide the body with adequate amounts of essential nutrients which ensures that there aren’t any gaps in your nutrition that would stop you from getting to your goal. The last thing you want is to feel too tired or fatigued to make it to the gym. Supplements can help with this. 

Supplements are Unregulated

The FDA doesn’t have to regulate supplements because they don’t qualify as a drug or food product. Yeah, scary, right? It’s up to the company to be honest about their ingredients and, unfortunately, a large majority of companies are not. This is why it is so important to choose supplements from a company that has all of their products tested by a 3rd party. Our particular favorite is dotFIT because they actually are FDA approved and 3rd party tested. If you’re going to be paying for supplements, you might as well pay for something that you know will work without putting unknown chemicals in your body.

The Big Picture

Supplements don’t have to be scary or overwhelming. It isn’t just something that bodybuilders take. Supplements are for everyone because they are a great tool to get all of the essential nutrients that your body needs and isn’t getting from food alone. Through supplements, you can take your fitness program to the next level!



“Practitioner Dietary Supplement Reference Guide 2015.” (n.d.): n. DotFIT Worldwide. Web.


  • What are Supplements?
  • 5 Reasons Why You Should Take Supplements


Related Links

The post What are Supplements? appeared first on Access Change.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

7 Benefits of Wearing an Activity Tracker

The Fashionable Fitness Tool

Activity trackers are an excellent addition that will make your fitness journey easier. We prefer trackers that you can wear on your wrist, such as the Fitbit or Apple watch. Here are seven benefits to wearing an activity tracker:

1. Knowledge is Power

Knowing where you are gives you the power to make changes. You may be surprised how sedentary you actually are because It is common to overestimate the amount that you move. When you know how much you are moving throughout the day, then you know what needs to change.

2. Guidance For Changing Movement Habits

Once you know where you stand, you can start making the necessary changes to increase your activity level. So you don’t move nearly as much as you thought you did? That’s okay because the first step to change is making a change. Set your initial step goal to be a minimum of 10,000 steps per day and keep increasing it from there. Remember, moving continuously throughout the day will help you burn more calories!

3. Calorie Burn Estimate

Speaking of calories, weight loss comes down to eating less calories than you’re burning. The very first thing you need to know in order to lose weight is how many calories you are burning. An activity tracker can provide this piece of the puzzle. By knowing how many calories you are burning, you can plan your calorie intake as well as monitor and increase your calorie burn.

4. Personal Accountability

Excuses don’t burn calories and an activity tracker will help you to keep track of whether you FEEL like you’ve been active or if you are actually being active. It will always be honest with you which will help you succeed.

5. Accountability with Friends

Fitbit and other trackers have the ability to add friends and even create daily, weekly, and weekend step challenges. Friendly competition can go a long way in motivating you to get to your goal because your peers will help encourage you. 

6. Reminders to Move

It’s like your own mini personal trainer. You can set the tracker to give you a buzz when you haven’t met your step goal for that hour. It’s a great reminder to get up and go on a quick walk. Remaining active throughout the day will greatly increase your daily calorie burn.

7. Sleep Tracker

Do you feel tired? Maybe you aren’t actually sleeping enough. Many of us will lay in bed for hours without actually getting any sleep. An activity tracker will tell you whether the zzz’s you are catching are actual sleep or a restless night.

Your New Best Friend

Now you know, activity trackers make getting to your goal much easier. They help you know where you stand and keep you accountable with yourself and your friends.


Related Links


The post 7 Benefits of Wearing an Activity Tracker appeared first on Access Change.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Carbohydrates Don’t Make You Fat

Nope, Carbohydrates Don’t Make You Fat

I repeat, carbohydrates are not the reason why you gained weight. I know what you’re thinking. “That’s a lie. People that have cut down on carbs have lost weight.” Yes, but it isn’t because they ate less carbohydrates. They lost weight because, by lowering their carbohydrate intake, they inherently lowered their calorie intake. Think about it. If you switch out the big spaghetti dinner for a lean chicken breast, you are also cutting back on the number of calories that you are eating.

Follow Science, Not Fad

Diet plans have thrived off of telling people that all they would have to do is cut out carbohydrates. You have to remember that this isn’t science. It’s just a fad that picked up traction over the years because people wanted something to blame for their weight gain. You didn’t gain weight because you were eating the pasta. You gained weight because you were eating too many calories in pasta.

Why This Myth Exists

The carbohydrates that people often blame for weight gain are pasta, bread, rice, and sweets. These foods are all more calorie dense. One cup of spaghetti can have around 200 calories and, let’s be honest, who just eats one cup of spaghetti?

Did you know that the lowest calorie pasta at The Cheesecake Factory, excluding their Skinnylicious menu, is 1,220 calories? For an average female, that’s over half of our calories for the day and we haven’t even gotten to dessert. I love pasta as much as the next person but it is difficult to maintain or lose weight while consuming these higher calorie foods. This is where the myth of carbohydrates and weight gain comes from. People were eating too much of these foods and blaming it on the food instead of owning up to how much they were eating.

Carbohydrates Are Not Just Pastas and Breads

Speaking of which, when I hear people say that they “don’t eat carbs”, I can’t decide if I should cringe or be super impressed with how they manage not to eat any carbs. What they typically mean is that they don’t eat bread, pasta, or rice. This is a very common misconception. I hate to burst your bubble, but if you eat fruits and vegetables, you are eating carbohydrates. Not only would it be incredibly unhealthy, but it is practically impossible to not eat ANY carbohydrates. This only further demonstrates that carbohydrates don’t make you fat. You never hear people say that it was the apple that made them gain weight.

Now you know, eating carbohydrates will not make you fat. The only way you can gain weight is if you are eating too many CALORIES. This myth of the media doesn’t need to hold any weight in your mind. Eat the rice, eat the bread, just keep your calories in line and you will be fine.


Related Links

The post Carbohydrates Don’t Make You Fat appeared first on Access Change.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

10 Ways To Make Logging Your Food Easier

Your Food Log Is Your New Best Friend

It will be your confidant. It will be there for you when you need a reminder of what you’ve eaten. As long as you are being honest with it, it will always be honest with you. Here are ten ways to make food logging as easy as possible:

1. Find A Food Logging App That YOU Like

This is crucial because if you don’t like it, you won’t do it. Make sure that your food log is easy to understand and something that you will want to use every day. It can be an app on your phone or a journal that you carry around. Our members tend to like MyFitnessPal and the dotFIT program.

2. Start With Where You Are Now

To get an idea of how many calories you are currently eating and what needs to change, log one “normal” day. This isn’t meant to be shameful, it is just your starting point. It is a powerful tool to know where you are because then you can develop a precise plan on how to get to your goal. Come talk to a trainer to find out your individual calorie intake goal.

3. Substitute One Item at a Time

Once you know what you are currently eating, you can make changes as needed until you reach your goal. Certain foods can be eliminated while others can be substituted for an alternative. Ask yourself, “what do I like to eat” and figure out a way to make that part of your daily plan. This can be by arranging other meals around your favorite food to balance calories and macronutrients or by substituting that food for an easier to manage alternative.

4. Log Your Food and Prepare Your Meals The Night Before

Lack of time in the morning is a common reason why people don’t log and prepare their meals for the day. Don’t let this excuse stop you! The easiest way to prepare for the day is by getting everything ready the night before. Sit down with your food log and plan out what you are going to eat the next day. That way you can make changes beforehand to avoid running out of calories later. Once you have a plan, pull out the tupperware and prep everything in your log. You could do everything from pre cooking chicken to portioning out snacks. This will actually SAVE you time in the morning because you can just grab and go.

5. Eat The Same Thing Every Day

I know eating the same thing everyday sounds boring but it is a big time saver. When you develop a meal plan that fits your calorie goal and macronutrient balance, eat that same meal plan everyday. As long as you don’t deviate from that plan, you don’t need to do any logging that day. You already logged it once!

6. Use The Barcode Scanner

Many food log apps have a barcode scanner. Use it! It is a HUGE time saver! All you have to do is scan the barcode on a food package and it inputs the food content for you. Then, just adjust the serving size and quantity to what you actually ate and you’re done!

7. Use a Food Scale

Food scales are an easy and accurate tool that EVERYONE should use. They give you the exact amount in grams and ounces to put into your log. All you need to do is put your plate on top of it as you dish up, zeroing it out in between food items. You don’t even have to dirty a measuring cup!

8. Create Custom Foods

If you can’t find exactly what you are looking for, don’t settle for the next best thing. Use the custom food tool to create your own entry.

9. Favorite The Food Items That You Eat on a Regular Basis

If there is something that you eat on a regular basis, add it to your favorites. This will make it easier to pull it up each time you log your food.

10. Create Custom Meals

In addition to “favoriting” a food, you can also favorite a meal. You know that subway sandwich that you love? It’s tedious to put in every single item every time you eat it. This is where the “favorite meal” button becomes useful. You can group together food items into one meal and name it as a whole. That way, next time you want to eat that combination of food items, all you have to do is input the meal.

Food logging can become an easy process by following these steps. It doesn’t have to be an added stress to your day. Through persistence and dedication, you can do it!


Related Links

The post 10 Ways To Make Logging Your Food Easier appeared first on Access Change.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

How To See If You Have A Posture Issue

I have good posture right?

For some people as kids we used to always hear from our parents to stand up straight and don’t slouch. However we never truly understood as kids but as adults we know it’s important. Why is it truly important? When it comes to posture most people take it for granted and think they are fine. Unfortunately bad posture for certain people is the reason for various health issues. This article will clear up the importance of posture and why we should be paying attention in order to correct any issues.

Upper Body Issues

One issue that is often seen is the “Hunchback” or Upper Cross Syndrome. As the name implies the upper spine is rounded creating a “hunch”. This posture leads to rounded shoulders where your arms hang down in front of your body, as opposed to the side. Rounded shoulders also have the thumbs pointing towards each other instead of forward. Another issue is forward head, where if you were to draw a line from your shoulder to your ear there should be a vertical line. When the line is angled forward a forward head relative to the body is the result. Excessive sitting down, like at a desk, is the cause and leads to many issues. Tight chest muscles, Upper Traps, and Levator Scapula as well as Inactive Neck Flexors, Rhomboids, and Serratus Anterior is the result.

Lower Body Issues

A typical issue in the lower body is what we call forward hip tilt or lower crossed syndrome. In this posture you will see the pelvis shifted forward slightly, buttocks shifted back and a curve in the lower back. A common symptom of this syndrome is low back pain. In addition other risks of this syndrome include disk herniation or hernias. The causes of lower crossed syndrome is excessive sitting and poor lower/upper back posture. Tight hip flexors and thoracolumbar extensors as well as inactive abdominals and gluteus maximus is the result. In addition to the lower back there is also over a condition of pronated feet. Overpronated feet is the foot caving in resulting in “Flat Feet”. The arch of the foot caves in due to weak intrinsic muscles. Too much arch support in our feet, obesity and hard pounding of the foot into the ground compound this issue.

Posture is absolutely fixable!

After hearing of all the different syndromes you might feel like there is too much to do in order to correct them. Never fear! Identifying your potential issues is the first step and most important step. The next step is to address the posture issues. Most of the issues talked in this article are completely fixable with a good exercise program. Stretching, corrective exercise and strength training should be the core aspects of that program. Having good posture is attainable so do not get discouraged! Keep at it and you will get positive results!



  • Baechle, T. R., & Earle, R. W. (2008). Essentials of strength training and conditioning. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
  • Page, P., Frank, C. C., & Lardner, R. (2010). Assessment and treatment of muscle imbalance: The Janda approach. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.


Related Links

The post How To See If You Have A Posture Issue appeared first on Access Change.

Monday, 8 August 2016

3 Macronutrient MUST-KNOWS

Quick Review

Just so we are clear, Carbohydrates, Protein, and Fats are the macronutrients that are present in every diet. Each have important roles to play and should be obtained in different quantities, or more commonly called a “ratio”. Carbohydrates have 4 calories per gram and should be 40-65% of your diet. Protein also has 4 calories per gram and should be 25-35% of your diet. Fat has 9 calories per gram and should be 20-30% of your diet. Remember percentages are not based on “grams”, they are based on the number of calories from each nutrient. Keeping your Macronutrients (macros) in an appropriate balance is important, but should not be the only thing that you are focusing on.

1. Macronutrients Are Calories

Overeating can be a big obstacle when it comes to eating a macronutrient balance. It is too common to go over on your required caloric intake because you are simply trying to get all of your macronutrients. This is an error in thinking: macronutrient ratios are percentages not numbers. They should be a part of your daily caloric limit. This explains why overeating or going over on your calorie count happens so often. It’s easy to pay attention to just those percentages but will result in gaining weight from the extra calories. It’s important to remember to pair specific macronutrients percentages with your calorie count for your goal. Calories come first. 

2. Wrong Choice Of Macros

There are many types of sources to get your carbohydrates, protein, and fat from. Which is why we have to be careful of where exactly we are getting those nutrients from. For an example, you might think you are getting enough protein to fit your caloric intake from peanut butter. If you read the label then you will see that there is actually 16 grams of fat included in that peanut butter, 7 grams of protein, and 6 grams of total carbohydrates. That means that there is a total of 144 calories from fat alone and 28 calories from protein.

It doesn’t mean that peanut butter is necessarily bad for you. It just means that we definitely need to be more aware of the types of macronutrients we are choosing. This happens too often. Our macronutrient percentages get thrown off completely by eating foods that we think contain one macro when it actually has an increase of another. 

3. Going Overboard

To be honest, sometimes life just gets in the way. That is totally ok! Do not let macronutrients run your life. Try not to stress about whether or not you hit the appropriate percentages. Macronutrients are awesome and should still play a huge role in your life, but sometimes you need to take a deep breath and not stress about getting all of your macros. It’s extremely hard to always always always get the percentages you need every single day. Just keep in mind to try and stay on track with your calorie count and you macro percentages as best as you possibly can. 

Related Links

The post 3 Macronutrient MUST-KNOWS appeared first on Access Change.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

2 Must Do’s: Warm Up and Stretching

Don’t Start the Workout yet!

There will be times where a person will skip a proper warm up and get right to an activity. This is a mistake! Why? We will explain in this article why that is so. For every workout you do no matter how short or insignificant you believe it is you should do a proper warm up. Avoid quick warm ups! A proper warm up will last you 5 – 10 minutes. When done properly a warm up will make you feel prepared and ready to take on your workout!

Benefits of the Warm up

What a warm up does is increase muscle temperature, core temperature, and blood flow. When a person’s body is either too cold or has a lack of blood flow that greatly increases the chances of injuries. It’s also detrimental to the quality of the workout. In addition a warm body greatly assists in having increased strength during resistance training. Another warm up benefit that occurs from higher temperatures in the body is increased oxygen release from blood cells. This is called the Bohr effect, which allows more oxygen to be released and used by the body. The more oxygen there is the more energy that will be created by the aerobic energy system. More Energy = Better Workout!

Dynamic Warm up

Now that we know a warm up is essential all you have to do is static/hold stretch a bit right? Not quite. What research has shown us is that a good warm up will consist mostly of dynamic stretches and movement. Dynamic movements allow a person to be able to perform movements that will be similar to what they will perform. A great dynamic warm up will target all the major muscle groups/movements. A greater active range of motion is also a result of a dynamic warm up. This allows for better movements during the workout, which leads to a more effective workout overall.

Static Stretching

Being able to get better flexibility has been the goal of static stretching for years. However a warm up was typically thought of holding a static position stretching out all the tight muscles. This is still important but research has shown us that it is best to perform static stretching after a workout. Each stretch should last 15 – 30 seconds and done to the point of mild discomfort. The reasons for stretching after a workout include being able to get a better stretch due to the muscles being warm and loosened from a workout. This in turn would lead to better flexibility and range of motion when done consistently following a workout. However static stretching done before a workout overstretches the muscles and leads to less strength and a poorer quality workout.

Warm Up & Stretching = Vital

The importance of a warm up and cool down can’t be stressed enough. – Jamie Redknapp

As you can see a good warm up is vital to having a great workout. On top of that stretching is a vital part following the workout or even on a regular basis when done properly. A good warm up should be done at a good pace that encourages the heart to be pumping but not to the point of fatigue. Static stretching should be reserved for the end of a workout following the cool down and should last 5 – 10 minutes. Overall there are many good reasons to warm up and stretch. Taking the time out to do both will help you on your journey to reach your goals!



  • Baechle, T. R., & Earle, R. W. (2008). Essentials of strength training and conditioning. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.


Related Links

The post 2 Must Do’s: Warm Up and Stretching appeared first on Access Change.

You Need To Eat Carbohydrates

How Many Carbohydrates Should You Eat?

Yes, you need to eat carbohydrates. But how many carbohydrates should you eat? Forget what the media says. Just open any magazine and they’ll tell you to all the tips and tricks to cutting carbs. This is just a ridiculous fad though. Carbohydrates are essential! In fact, your diet should consist primarily of carbohydrates.

Dietary Guidelines

Carbohydrates should make up 45 – 65% of your daily caloric intake. For example, if your daily calorie intake is 2000, 1000 of those calories should come from carbohydrates. You can figure out how many grams you should be eating through simple math. 1 gram of carbohydrates has 4 calories. If you know your goal is 1000 calories of carbohydrates, you can divide 1000/4 to get the number of grams. In this example, you should aim for eating 250 grams of carbohydrates every day. The majority of this should be in complex carbohydrates because they are more nutrient dense than simple carbohydrates.

Choose Carbohydrates From a Variety of Sources

The whole “good carb, bad carb” thing is misleading. There’s no such thing as a bad carb and one type of carbohydrate isn’t going to make you gain weight over another. Weight loss and gain only depends on how many calories you are eating. You just want to make sure that you’re choosing carbohydrates from a variety of sources to get a wide range of nutrients.

Whole Grains and Fiber Rich Foods

You want to aim for the bulk of your carbohydrates to come from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. These foods are rich in fiber and are the most nutrient dense. The adequate intake for dietary fiber is 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men. The average individual doesn’t get enough fiber.

Fruits and Vegetables

It’s amazing to me how many people don’t realize that fruits and vegetables are also carbohydrates. Yes, if you are eating fruits and vegetables, you are eating carbs! They are actually a great source of carbohydrates and contain many essential nutrients.

Sugar Counts Toward Your Daily Carbohydrate Intake

But what about sugar? Sugar may look like it’s listed separately on the food label, but it is actually a subcategory under carbohydrates. It counts towards your total carbohydrate intake. Sugar is an energy source and, no, sugar does not make you fat. That being said, extra sugar may bring extra calories that can make you gain weight. Just make sure to count the sugar in your daily calorie intake and you’ll be fine.

Carbohydrates To Fuel Your Workouts

Carbohydrates are essential for exercise because they give your body the energy that it needs.

Before Exercise

Another reason to eat carbohydrates? You don’t have to tell me twice! It is recommended that people consume a higher carbohydrate meal roughly 2 – 4 hours before exercising for more than an hour. This will help increase energy for the workout. Endurance athletes traditionally practice carbohydrate loading before an event for this reason. This is NOT an excuse to go eat extra calories though. It has to be part of your daily calorie intake goal.

After Exercise

After the workout, it is recommended to refuel the body with carbohydrates in addition to protein. This will optimize recovery of muscle tissue and restore glycogen levels in the body.

In summary, you not only need carbohydrates but you need to make them the primary source of your calories. By consuming 45 – 65% of your calories in various carbohydrates, your body and your brain will have the fuel that they need to function at their highest capacity.



  • Carbohydrates 101- What Are Carbohydrates?
  • You Need Carbohydrates


Related Links

The post You Need To Eat Carbohydrates appeared first on Access Change.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

How Many Fats Should I Eat

Fat Can Be Beneficial 

It is not uncommon to think “I should stay away from fat.” Fats are supposed to make you fat, right? NO!!!!!! There are benefits and important roles that fatty acids have for you body. But what is the right amount for your body? Everyone is different and requires a different intake.The important thing to remember, is that fat is capable of being good for you.

Quick Review of Fats

In case you were wondering and did not know, fatty acids are not always bad. Some of the functions that fat can provide are cellular membrane structure and function, regulation and excretion of nutrients in the cells, and preserving body heat. Unsaturated fats help prevent heart disease and help the body function properly. Saturated and trans-fats are the ones that we need to be careful of obtaining too much of.

How Much For Me

For an Adult, the recommended acceptable macronutrient distribution range for fat intake is 20% to 30% of that person’s specific total caloric intake. This is recommended by the Institute of Medicine. The proper fat intake for athletes would be to consume 20% to 25% of their caloric intake. It is important to remember that out of the macronutrients, fats are the most energy dense. Even though they are energy dense, a higher-fat diet is not recommended for successful weight loss or maintenance. One simple gram of fat can contain about 9 calories. This is twice the calories per gram when it comes to the other macronutrients of carbohydrates and protein.

When Fat Can Be The Bad Guy

High fat diets can lead to many different diseases and problems within your body. One of which is hyperglycemia. This is when your blood sugar levels are super high or through the roof! Excess calories are stored as fat within the body. This cause fat cells to grow in size. They then become insulin resistant and causes the body to favor using fat for energy at the expense of glucose. Fat will not make you fat! It is only in cases when high-caloric-dense foods are consumed by the person, while obtaining an excess amount of calories. This is in combination with a sedentary lifestyle that can lead to obesity. So keep it simple and try to intake less while moving more.

Yes! You Can Do It

I know foods that contain a lot of fat can be yummy, but it’s crucial to be aware that obtaining too much can be bad for you. There is such a thing as an appropriate intake of fat that will benefit your body. So yes, you can do it now that you know how much is the right amount for you.


What Are Fats

How Many Fats Should I Eat


Clark, M. (2012). Nutrition. In S. Luccett. & B. Sutton (Eds.) NASM Academy of Sports Medicine Essentials of Personal Fitness Training (pp. 453-457). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Related Links




The post How Many Fats Should I Eat appeared first on Access Change.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Carbohydrates 101- What Are Carbohydrates?

Your Favorite Fuel

Carbohydrates… the tasty treat that you try to avoid. You’ve heard about carbohydrates but do you really know what they are? Carbohydrates are a macronutrient, which means that they supply energy to the body. They are the sugars, starches, and fibers found in a variety of food.

Benefits of Carbohydrates

  • They are the body’s preferred source of energy.
  • Carbohydrates promote brain health because they are the only form of energy that your brain can use.
  • The muscles use carbohydrates as fuel during higher intensity activities.
  • They regulate blood sugar levels and digestive health.
  • They promote a healthy heart and lower cholesterol levels.
  • Carbohydrates keep you feeling fuller longer.

To receive these benefits, there are a few things you must know.

Types of Carbohydrates

Firstly, there are two types of carbohydrates that each have their own health benefits:.

Complex Carbohydrates vs Simple Carbohydrates

  • Simple carbohydrates, or monosaccharides and disaccharides, consist of one or two sugar molecules. They are the quickest source of energy because they are the fastest and easiest to digest. Food sources include fruit, honey, various jams, and sweets.
  • Complex carbohydrates, or polysaccharides, are referred to as dietary starch and consist of sugar molecules that are strung together. They provide long term energy because they are slower to absorb. Food sources include grains, pasta, and vegetables.

Fiber, Sugar, and Starch… Oh My!

Secondly, there are three main sources of carbohydrates and each have their own benefits in your nutrition.

A Healthy Dose of Fiber

The media is certainly right when they recommend fiber because it has many health benefits. You can use fiber to lower the risk of heart disease, as well as improve digestive health, and increase the feeling of fullness. There are two types of fiber:

  • Soluble fiber is dissolved by water and moderates blood glucose levels. Food sources include oats, beans, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Insoluble fiber doesn’t absorb in water and helps with intestinal health. The largest food source of insoluble fiber is the bran layer of cereal grains.


Sugar has a poor reputation in the health world but it isn’t bad for you as long as it is part of a balanced diet. This simple carbohydrate actually has a very important function. Sugar provides the immediate energy that the body needs as well as stored energy for later. Eventually, your body will break down every type of carbohydrate into glucose because it’s the easiest to absorb and use for energy. Yes, even vegetables get broken down into sugar.There are two categories of sugar:

  • Monosaccharides– Single unit sugars, such as Glucose, Fructose, and Galactose.
  • Disaccharides– Two monosaccharides linked together, such as Sucrose, Lactose, and Maltose.


Starch is a complex carbohydrate whose primary function is long term energy. The body breaks it It down into glucose and transports it throughout. A wide variety of foods contain starch, including potatoes and grains.

Glycemic Index and Why it Matters

Have you ever noticed that some carbs are more filling than others? This is explained by the glycemic index. The glycemic index is a ranking of foods that contain carbohydrates based on how the food affects blood sugar. Foods with a lower glycemic index are absorbed at a slower rate and help keep you feeling fuller longer. Lower glycemic index foods include whole wheat pasta, beans, and apples. Higher glycemic index foods include instant rice, white bread, and rice cakes.

Now You Know

Carbohydrates are an essential part of your diet because they contain the energy that fuels your body and your brain. Each carbohydrate has a specific purpose and, without them, your body wouldn’t be able to function.



  • Carbohydrates 101- What Are Carbohydrates?
  • You Need To Eat Carbohydrates


2012. NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training. Fourth Edition. Philadelphia, PA. Lippincott Williams & WIlkins, a Wolters Kluwer business.

Related Links

The post Carbohydrates 101- What Are Carbohydrates? appeared first on Access Change.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Why Should I Do Resistance Training?

Resistance Training = Results

I have heard it all too often from multiple people that all you need to do is cardio to lose weight or be healthy. I will tell you right now that the proper mindset should be that you need to lift weights to be healthy and lose/maintain weight. There is much misinformation out there about lifting. However never fear! In this article we will help clear up any confusion and provide valuable information about how resistance training brings you the results you want. The results can range anywhere from gaining strength to losing weight!

Weight Loss from Lifting Weights

Yes it is true. You can lose weight from lifting weights! Muscles require calories to contract/move and therefore when you use muscles you use more calories. Therefore more muscles being used leads to more calories being used! Another aspect that is forgotten about lifting is that it damages your muscle fibers. That’s the soreness you feel the next day or so. When muscle fibers are damaged your body needs to rebuild them. What is one thing you need to rebuild your muscles? Calories! Energy is required to conduct the processes necessary to rebuild muscle. Another important aspect about resistance training is that resistance training maintains/increases lean body mass. It is important to maintain/increase lean body mass and focus on reducing your body fat percentage in order to lose weight and be healthy.

No you wont get bulky

A fear of some people is that once they start resistance training they will look like bodybuilders. This is not the case! Bodybuilders male and female gain muscle size due to their high calorie diets as well as their high volume training regimens. Regular resistance training allows a person to be healthy and fulfill their health goals without gaining large muscle size. Resistance training 2 – 3 days a week is recommended at minimum in order to pursue a healthy lifestyle.

Get Stronger

Everyone knows that you will get stronger from lifting weights but getting stronger is more important than most realize. Gaining strength is essential in being able to live a healthy and productive lifestyle. Getting stronger leads to less chance of developing disease or other degenerative conditions. Additionally on top of strengthening muscles we must also remember that strength training strengthens bones, which is beneficial in preventing future degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis. 

Older Adults + Strength Training = Health

When we are younger we take strength for granted but as we age strength becomes more important than ever. Strength has been correlated to prevention of injury as well as a higher quality of life in middle aged/older adults and persons with disabilities such as Parkinson’s. Gaining more strength, especially lower body strength, also leads to a stronger heart and less likely chance of developing any type of heart disease like high blood pressure, etc.

It’s fun and beneficial!

Resistance training is the only type of exercise that can slow, and even reverse, declines in muscle mass, bone density, and strength that were once considered inevitable results of aging. – Harvard Health Letter

Yes resistance training is a fun experience as you will be able to see progress towards your goals. Bringing variety into resistance training also makes it fun as resistance training can include anything that has mass. A few examples are kettle bells, medicine balls, or your own bodyweight! We have spoken before that exercise will make you feel good and allow you to pursue your goals. So if you haven’t started lifting today do so today and you will get results!



  • Willis, L. H., Slentz, C. A., Bateman, L. A., Shields, A. T., Piner, L. W., Bales, C. W., … Kraus, W. E. (2012). Effects of aerobic and/or resistance training on body mass and fat mass in overweight or obese adults. Journal of Applied Physiology, 113(12), 1831–1837.
  • ACSM




Related Links

The post Why Should I Do Resistance Training? appeared first on Access Change.

Monday, 1 August 2016

What Are Fats?

Fat Can Be Good

Fats are also called lipids and are the most concentrated source of energy that we get in our diets. Yes, really! They have several other jobs as well. Not only do they provide energy but they are carriers for fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. But yes, of course there are some fatty acids that we have to look out for.

Types of Fats

Saturated fats are the ones that we need to watch out for. These fats are the ones that are a risk factor for heart disease. They are risk factor because they raise bad cholesterol levels (low-density lipoproteins; LDL). The unsaturated fatty acids help prevent heart disease and help with maintaining good cholesterol levels (high-density lipoproteins; HDL). Polyunsaturated fatty acids have more than one point of unsaturation. Polyunsaturated provide essential fats responsible for proper health and function that our bodies cannot make by itself. Monounsaturated fatty acids have one double bond in its carbon chain and also help with treatment or prevention of heart disease, hypertension, arthritis, and cancer. Trans-fats are also something to look out for. They are similar to saturated fats and increase LDL cholesterol while decreasing HDL cholesterol.

Monounsaturated Fats:

Olive oils, canola oils, peanut oil, avocados, peanuts, almonds, and pistachios

Polyunsaturated Fats:

Vegetable oils (safflower, soy, corn, and sunflower oils),Omega-3 fatty acids (herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines, and flax seeds), and most kinds of nuts and seeds

Saturated Fats:

Meat, poultry, lard, butter, cheese, cream, eggs, whole milk, tropical oils (coconut oil, palm, and palm kernel oil), and many baked goods


Stick margarine, shortening, fried foods, fast food, many baked goods and pastries

Yes Fat Can Be Useful

Just make sure to try your best and not intake too many saturated fats and trans-fats. Fats can have several beneficial functions for your body. Some of the functions that fats can be involved in are:

  • Cellular signals
  • Precursors to hormones
  • Cellular membrane structure and function
  • Regulation and excretion of nutrients in the cells
  • Surrounding, protecting, and holding in place organs (kidneys, heart, and liver)
  • Insulating the body and preserving body heat
  • Prolonging the digestive process by slowing the stomachs secretions of hydrochloric acid
  • Creating a longer lasting sensation of fullness after a meal (No one wants to feel hungry!)

We need to not stay away from fats completely. Fat is not a scary thing! Yes, sometimes fats are not very beneficial for us. But just make sure you are aware of the difference between unsaturated, saturated, and trans-fats. And that fats can be good for you!


Clark, M. (2012). Nutrition. In S. Luccett. & B. Sutton (Eds.) NASM Academy of Sports Medicine Essentials of Personal Fitness Training (pp. 453-457). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Related Links

The post What Are Fats? appeared first on Access Change.