Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Fat Doesn’t Make You Fat

Bust That Myth!

When you hear the word “fat” what do you think of? Most people view fat as a negative thing to avoid, whether it’s on your body or in your diet. The media told you to eat less fat. “Nonfat” this and “lowfat” that have popped up on every aisle of the grocery store. Is there truth behind the thought that fat in your diet increases fat on your body?

Dietary Fat Doesn’t Increase Body Fat

Just because food has fat in it, does not automatically mean that you will gain body fat because the fat that is found in food is not the same type of fat that is held on your body. Evidence based findings state that the only way to gain body fat is by consuming more calories than you are burning on a daily and weekly basis.

You Actually Need Fat

Yep, you need to eat fat in your diet. Fat contains essential nutrients that cannot be made by the body, as well as acts as the primary transportation for several essential vitamins. Some of the many benefits of dietary fat include:

  • Membrane structure and function
  • Precursors to hormones
  • Regulation and excretion of nutrients
  • Surrounding, protecting, and holding organs in place
  • Insulating the body from harsh environments
  • Prolonging the digestion process which increases the feeling of fullness after a meal

Where The Fear Came From

The fear of fat came into play as obesity rates started to rise. It was also around the time that fast food restaurants were multiplying in numbers. People looked at the correlation between the two and assumed that the former must be caused by the latter. Remember though, the only way to gain weight is by eating extra calories. Fat further gained a bad reputation because it has over twice as many calories per gram than protein and carbohydrates. For every gram of fat, there are 9 calories. In contrast, for every gram of protein and carbohydrate, there are 4 calories. Foods that contain more fat, also tend to be higher in calories, but it isn’t the fat that made you gain weight.

Eat In Balance

The way to combat this is by balancing your macronutrients and making sure to keep your calories in check. Fat should make up 20-30% of your daily calorie intake, while protein should be around 30-40% and carbohydrates around 40-50% of your daily calories. By watching these numbers, you can make sure that you are getting enough of the nutrients that you need without eating too many calories. Get a personalized calorie goal by speaking with one of our personal trainers today. Now you know, fat doesn’t make you fat. Instead, it is an essential nutrient that you need in your diet. 



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


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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

The Truth About Processed Foods

What Are Processed Foods?

Cookies, chips, and frozen meals are several things that come to mind when you think of processed foods. It doesn’t stop there though. In fact, most of the food that you eat is processed. Processing is any change that is done to food before we eat it. This includes, cooking, freezing or drying to preserve nutrients. The following are processed foods that you might not even know are processed:

  • Canned or frozen fruits and vegetables
  • Packaged foods labeled “natural” or “organic”
  • Any fortified food that claims additional dietary benefits
  • Food served in any restaurant, including fine dining.

There Are Different Types of Food Processing

The processing of food started when our ancestors first used fire to cook their food. There are different types of processing that occurs, including:

  • Washing and packaging food to be sold
  • Grinding nuts and coffee beans down
  • Combining ingredients (added sweeteners, oils, flavors, colors, preservatives) into one package. Examples include cake mixes, sauces, salad dressings, rice, and spices
  • Anything that is “ready-to-eat”, such as cereal, oatmeal, crackers, bread, lunch meats, and cheese
  • Anything that is packaged to be eaten later

Processed Foods Aren’t Inherently Bad For You

As stated above, processed foods are just anything that undergoes a change before being eaten. Many people get caught up on the word “processed” because it sounds like it means that that food isn’t real. This is just a false reputation that has tainted the word “processed”. Instead, think of the word “prepared”, because that is all that it really is. When you start to think of processed food as prepared food, you can ditch the negative connotations and start to reap the benefits.

In Fact, Processed Foods Can Be BETTER For You

Yes, you read that correctly. How can this be, you ask? Many processed foods have been fortified with extra vitamins and nutrients that you might not otherwise be getting enough of. It’s the extra calcium in your milk. It’s the vitamin B-12 added to your cereal. Processed foods also include those that have also undergone treatments to remove harmful bacteria that would make you sick, such as pasteurized milk. As well as, foods that have to be cooked before being safe to consume, such as chicken. As you can see, processing food actually has many benefits!

Prepared, Not Processed

Processed foods are really just prepared foods. Don’t get caught up by media trends and fads that are trying to say that processing is bad. All it is is preparing foods to be eaten. While there are some food items that aren’t necessarily the best choice, it is because they don’t equate to a balanced diet, not because they are processed. Once you get past this, you can enjoy eating the foods that you enjoy eating. 


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Saturday, 17 September 2016

3 Tips For Keeping The Weight Off

Long Term Weight Management Guidelines

Maybe you lost weight but have started to gain it back? Or maybe you have gained weight with age and can’t seem to lose it? These are common issues when it comes to weight loss. Here are three tips for losing the weight and keeping it off:

1. Calories Need To Be Adjusted Over Time

When you lose weight, calorie intake needs to be adjusted. This is because as body fat and lean body mass decreases, your body doesn’t require as much energy to fuel the same motions. There’s less of you so you burn less calories than you previously did. This isn’t a bad thing though. Monitoring your body fat percentage as you lose weight will allow you to track your daily calorie burn. You can then adjust your calorie intake to meet your new needs.

2. Increase Your Protein Intake, Especially As You Age

The two factors in how many calories you burn are how much muscle you have and how much you move with that muscle. Over the age of 30, muscle protein synthesis slows down, which means that your body doesn’t process protein as efficiently as it use to. When this happens, your body has a harder time maintaining the muscle that you have without increased protein intake. You will slowly lose lean body mass over time which ultimately lowers the number of calories that you burn every day. As a result, you will gain weight if you aren’t adjusting your nutrition or activity level accordingly.

You can fight this though! Increase your protein intake to make up for the slowdown in protein processing. Since your body processes a percentage of the protein that you take in, increasing your protein will still give your body the quantity that it needs to keep your muscle mass and calorie burn high. As you already know, the more calories you burn every day, the easier it is to keep the weight off.

3. Embrace Your New Lifestyle

Unfortunately, it is common for people to gain the weight back after they lose it. It doesn’t have to be this way though. The best way to prevent the weight from coming back is by understanding that you lost your weight by changing your lifestyle and that change needs to continue. If you hit your goal and then you’re done, you will fall back into old patterns and habits and the weight will come right back on the way it did originally. Exercise and tracking your calories have to become your new normal. To make a lasting change, you have to change your lifestyle.

Diffuse Your Fears

Losing the weight and keeping it off doesn’t have to be impossible. You need to adjust your calorie intake over time, make sure that you’re getting enough protein, and love your new lifestyle. You can do it as long as you put your mind to it!


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Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Supplements For Weight Loss

Your Handy Dandy Weight Loss Tool

Do you want to lose weight? You’ve probably heard a number of conflicting things about supplements before, some of which are true, others are false. Supplements aren’t a magic solution for weight loss, but they can be a good tool to help you achieve your goal. In order to lose weight, you need to eat less calories than you burn. According to dotFIT, “The goal of incorporating a dietary supplement (or drug) into a weight loss program is to assist the user in complying with the daily routine that leads to weight reduction.” (Dotfit)

Role of Supplements in Weight Loss:

  • Increased energy to help maintain a calorie deficit
  • Appetite control
  • Ensure an adequate amount of nutrients without eating extra calories
  • Keep you feeling fuller, longer
  • Reduce absorption of calories

Appetite Suppressants and Carbohydrate Absorption

Supplements can suppress the appetite and slow down the absorption of carbohydrates, which keeps you feeling fuller longer. How does it work, you ask? Most people don’t have any difficulty eating enough carbohydrates. In fact, many people eat too many carbohydrates and not enough protein. You can actually reduce the number of calories that are absorbed through carbohydrates though by taking specific supplements, such as CarbRepel by dotFIT. The slowed absorption will help you feel much fuller on the remaining carbohydrates.

Protein Meal Replacement

Protein shakes aren’t just for bodybuilders looking to bulk up. Rather, they are for everyone and can help YOU lose weight. While on a calorie deficit, protein shakes and bars make a great meal replacement. This helps you keep your calories low while still getting all of the protein that you need. Without adequate protein levels, you will likely lose more weight from muscle than body fat. Protein supplements help you lose the kind of weight that you want to lose.

Pump It Up With Caffeine

Let’s be honest. None of us just naturally have energy every single second of every single day because we all live real lives and it can be exhausting. Don’t let a lack of energy be the reason that you skip your workout or have that extra cookie. Energy supplements can give you the boost that you need. There are various forms of energy supplements, including caffeine, ginseng, and taurine.

One Step Closer

Supplements can help you get one step closer to achieving your goal. While the only way to lose weight is by eating less calories than you are burning, supplements can help you get there by giving you the energy to keep going and the protein to lose the right type of weight.



“Practitioner Dietary Supplement Reference Guide.” (n.d.): n. pag. DotFIT. Web. <;.


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Wednesday, 7 September 2016

5 Ways to Move More Throughout The Day

Combating a Sedentary Lifestyle

Do you sit all day at work? Do your knees, neck, and back ache throughout the day? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then you are in good company. The majority of the population spends all day sitting at a desk because it is the nature of today’s workforce. This sedentary lifestyle leads to joint pain and stiffness because your body isn’t able to move. You’re the tin man and movement is the oil that you need to fully use your muscles and joints. Just because your job requires you to sit all day, doesn’t mean you’re out of luck as far as movement goes. Here are five ways to move more throughout the day:

1. Park Farther Away

You can start your day off with more movement by parking farther away. It is in our nature to search for the closest parking spot, but for what? Just to go sit again? Park at the back of the parking lot and take a nice little walk to get yourself moving. This will not only start you off on the right foot, no pun intended, but it will help to wake you up in the morning. This can be applied to any parking lot that you are in. As an added bonus, it’s typically faster to find parking farther away at places like the mall, so you can save time and gas.

2. Take The Stairs

Once you have started your day, avoid the elevator and take the stairs. Both will get you there and picking the stairs over the elevator will kick your muscles into high gear!

3. Take a Walk

This may sound like an obvious one but it is too easy to forget about going for a walk. You sit all day at work, you sit at lunch, you sit in the car, you sit to eat dinner, and then you sit and relax after your long day of sitting. Take a walk on your lunch break. Take a walk with your family after dinner. Going on a walk will go miles for your movement goals.

4. Set an Alarm to Move Every Hour

Grab your phone or watch and set an alarm to add some movement in every hour. This can be standing up and stretching, jumping jacks, bodyweight squats, or any other form of cardio. Pick a time every hour that will realistically work for you and your schedule. Remember, five minutes every hour, for eight hours, is 40 minutes of extra exercise per day!

5. Use The Farthest Restroom at Work

Changing the restroom that you use at work seems so simple but it can really help you move more throughout the day. Chances are, your preferred restroom is the closest one to your desk. Start going up a floor or further down the hall to use the restroom. This will add in some extra walking each time you get up.

Take Action

Moving more throughout the day doesn’t have to be as difficult as it sounds. A small amount of extra movement throughout the day can go a long way. Choose to walk farther away to the store or the restroom and make a point to walk and stretch on a regular basis. This extra movement will help you get to your goal.


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Tuesday, 6 September 2016

The Truth About A Balanced Diet

Let’s Break It Down

You try to eat healthy, right? But what does healthy really mean? The first thing that comes to mind is to eat more vegetables. Is that really healthy though? If the only thing that you eat all day is broccoli, you would miss out on essential nutrients, as well as probably be bored out of your mind. Too much of a good thing can become bad for you. So if “healthy” isn’t the right word, then what is? We, at Access Change, like to use the word “balanced”.

What is a Balanced Diet?

A balanced diet is exactly how it sounds… balanced. You want to make sure that you are getting all of the nutrients that your body needs through food and dietary supplements. It isn’t a crash diet and it isn’t about avoiding any particular foods. You can have sugar and pasta, it just has to be in a portion that fits into your daily goal.

How Do I Eat a Balanced Diet?

The key to eating a balanced diet is eating a variety of foods to meet your calorie and macronutrient goals. This should consist of various proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, as well as vitamins and supplements. You’ve probably heard that you should have a variety of color on your plate. Adding in fruits and vegetables with your more complex carbohydrates and protein, will help you get all of the nutrients that you need. Talk to a trainer to set your individual calorie and macronutrient goals.

Are Any Foods Off Limits?

Simply put, no. As long as you are staying within your calories and balancing your macronutrients, nothing is off limits. Where you can run into trouble is when you start eating trigger foods. You know what your trigger foods are. Is it the bag of cookies that you promised yourself you would only eat one of? Or is it the salty bag of chips that your hand keeps finding it’s way into? If you find that one food in particular puts you in danger of overeating, it can be wise to limit your consumption and access to that food. Not because it can’t be worked into your balanced day, but because it will make it harder for you to resist abandoning your balanced day.

No More Crash Diets

Eating a balanced diet is a much better solution than following one of the crash diet fads. It doesn’t have to be hard or miserable. You can eat the food that you want, in quantities that will get you to your goal. A balanced diet just means that you are getting all of the nutrients that your body needs, without excess. This alone will free you from the diet chains so you can live a balanced and happy life.


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Push-Up – Level 3

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