Category Archives: Nutrition Tips

  1. 5 Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving

    Celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends is one of our favorite time of the year! However, while the holidays are a great time to get together, every party and gathering is also an excuse for us to take a break from our healthy eating habits. The good news is that there are things you can do to stay fit.

    The real meaning of Thanksgiving is not to feast but to give thanks. By focusing on gratitude you and your family will be able to eat consciously and joyfully while not packing the extra pounds. Follow these 5 nutrition tips to help you and your family cut calories without depriving anyone of a feast:

    #1: Skip Extra Portions and Servings

    Before you fill your plate, look around the buffet table and decide what you want to eat. Then select a reasonable portion of the foods that will satisfy your cravings. The trick is to resist the temptation to go back for second servings. Besides Thanksgiving leftovers are much better the next day! If you can limit yourself to just one plate, you are less likely to overeat and have room still available for a small dessert.

    #2: Fill 1/2 of Your Plate with Veggies

    If you are planning to visit family, make sure to take a salad bowl or vegetable plate. Otherwise be a health-conscious host and prepare plenty of veggies for everyone! Adding veggies to your plate will fill you up and keep you from indulging in unhealthy foods. Also, try to avoid cheese, cream, and butter.

    For many families mac and cheese is sometimes hard to avoid during Thanksgiving. But with several types of cheese, milk, and breadcrumbs, you might want to take just a tiny spoonful during your feast. To make your meal healthier skip the mac and cheese and choose a side dish of sweet potatoes.

    #3: Don’t Skip Breakfast and Lunch

    It is a big mistake to fast before a big meal or party. When people skip meals, they end up feeling so hungry by dinnertime that they sometimes behave irrationally and overeat. Don’t make this mistake! Make sure you and your family have a regular breakfast and lunch to avoid packing on the pounds.

    Studies show that teens who skip meals are more likely to be overweight than those who eat three meals a day. The fact is that skipping meals slows down your metabolism and causes you to eat more throughout the day. So make it a priority to have breakfast with your family on Thanksgiving.

    #4: Enjoy More Water, Less Dessert

    Remember to drink plenty of water before and during your meal since it will help your stomach to stay full and keep you from overeating. Teens cannot replace water with juices or diet sodas. Water helps us stay hydrated and increases our metabolic rate while juices and diet sodas contain artificial sweeteners that affect our hormone levels. Sugary drinks are simply empty calories and devoid of any nutrients.

    As for sweets, try to limit your portion to one serving of dessert. Your best bet is a slice of pumpkin pie since it has 40% fewer calories than pecan pie. Pumpkin also delivers fiber and, like all orange foods, pumpkins are packed with carotenoids which can help tackle free radicals and decrease inflammation. 

    #5: Make Fitness a Family Priority

    Take a walk early in the day with your family and again after dinner. Make fitness a family adventure! It’s the perfect way for your family to get physical activity during your special time together. Having the ability to move, breathe, and share life with your family will make you feel even more grateful.

    Eating less and exercising more is also the winning formula to prevent weight gain during the holidays. By making smart choices that allow you to feel both satisfied and energized simultaneously, you will not feel deprived during Thanksgiving or feel stuffed and sluggish. This balance will help you stay fit!

    Focus on Weight Maintenance

    The holiday season is a time for celebration! However, most Americans never lose the weight they gain during this time of the year. If you and your family can shift from a mindset of weight loss to weight maintenance and control portions, then eating healthy during the holidays will not be as hard.

    If you have any questions please let us know. At Kalina’s Fitness we are always here to help you and your family build healthy habits that last a lifetime. Our program combines nutrition, support, and exercise classes to empower kids and teens with the tools they need to achieve their fitness goals.

    We are driven by a strong belief that every child deserves the opportunity to realize their full potential. Let us help your child become an amazing version of themselves and register for your Free Class today. We wish you and your family a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. Thank you for visiting us!

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  2. Quick Weight Loss Does Not Work

    It is true that quick weight loss and fasting, eating little to no food, will result in weight loss but this is a short-term solution that is very dangerous. After all, the reason that we have an obesity epidemic is because fasting and diets simply do not work long-term. It takes hard work to lose weight and be fit!

    The key to achieving your weight loss goals is to focus on building healthy habits and making your meals balanced and nutritious. You also want to develop a regular exercise routine that includes both strength training and cardio. Here are 6 reasons why the risks of fasting far outweigh any of its benefits:

    #1: You Will Lose Muscle

    You will lose weight by dramatically cutting calories but it will also cause all kinds of health problems. When you fast, your body goes into conservation mode and breaks down a mix of both fat and muscle to get the fuel it needs. Muscle is important since it helps your metabolism to burn calories faster.

    Your muscles require more calories than fat to be maintained so the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn. As a result, losing muscle is never a good idea if you want to lose weight long-term and be fit. Instead, to lose weight focus on doing strength training to increase your muscle mass.

    #2: You Will Lose Water

    Most of the initial weight lost due to fasting is primarily “water weight” and not fat. However, your body needs water to burn calories it intakes through eating. When you fast you lose water and slow down your metabolism. This is the main reason why after fasting any lost weight usually comes back quickly. 

    Instead, to lose weight focus on drinking at least 8 glasses of cold water a day. Studies have shown that drinking a glass of water before a meal increase your resting metabolism by up to 30%. This calorie-burning effect is even greater if you drink cold water since your body will use its energy to heat it up.

    #3: Harmful Side Effects

    There are many side effects to fasting including dizziness, headaches, fatique, and low blood sugar. It also causes vitamin and mineral deficiencies, diarrhea, and muscle breakdown. The longer you fast the more severe the side effects are including anemia, kidney and liver damage and an irregular heartbeat.

    The reality is that short-term wins on fad diets and fasting almost always fade away. However, the long-term consequences are there to stay. Fasting not only damages the immune system but negatively affects many of the body’s organs and interferes with vital bodily function. It can even result in death.

  3. Tips to Help Kids and Teens Get Fit

    To build lifelong healthy habits it is important to start early! The reality is that once you are an adult it is very difficult to change your habits. If you don’t believe me, look at the numbers. Even though there are over 37,000 fitness centers in the US, the overweight and obesity rates have skyrocketed to 70%.

    Instead of helping adults to change their habits, we need to train our kids as EARLY as possible! Our Lean Teen Program specializes in helping teens (ages 8-18) to build healthy habits and achieve their goals. And even though we have over 90% teen weight loss success rates, losing weight is not easy.

    After doing many nutrition plans, there are several weight loss myths that often hold teens back from achieving success. The following are the most common weight loss myths and tips to overcome them:

    Myth #1: You can Skip the Vegetables

    To have a balanced nutrition plan, it is essential that kids learn to eat more vegetables during meal times and fill half of their plate with plenty of veggies and fruits. Making a veggie smoothie is a good alternative for teens that do not like their texture. However, completely skipping vegetables is out of the question since they are high in nutrients and low in calories. Click Here for tasty smoothie recipes!

    Myth #2: Working Out is Always Fun

    When it comes down to exercising it is all about training kids and teens to be consistent. According to Scarlette Johansson, she got in shape for the role of the Black Widow doing “boring 5am workouts.” It wasn’t about the coolest workout fad or latest gadgets, it was about working out even when she did not want to. Likewise, Sammy (pictured above) earned her shirt for always giving it her best effort!

    Myth #3: You Don’t Need to Lift Weights

    Lifting weights is essential to building lean muscle and having a fast metabolism! That is why it is important that teens get used to doing strength training at an early age. To stay fit Sammy comes several times per week to our Lean Teen classes that include both weight training and cardio. Our coaches always make sure that she works out to her potential by checking her intensity and form.

    Myth #4: You Just Need to Exercise More

    Even though exercise can be beneficial, when it comes to losing weight, nutrition makes up 80% of the equation. The fact is you cannot out-exercise bad eating habits! That is why it is essential that all teens learn how to eat balanced meals, control their portions, and make healthier food choices. Sammy earned her shirt by making big changes to her eating habits and is now at a healthy weight.

    Myth #5: Diet Soda, Juices, and Weight Loss

    When it comes to building lifelong healthy habits, drinking 8 glasses of water is a must. That is why it is important that kids do not replace water with juices or diet sodas. Water helps us stay hydrated and increases our metabolic rate which is important for weight loss and staying fit. On the other hand, juices and diet sodas contain artificial sweeteners that have empty calories and are devoid of nutrients.

    Your whole family can build healthy eating and exercise habits together. To help your kids get off to an early start and achieve their goals, we also recommend that you focus on these 5 important tips:

    Tip #1: Set Early Bedtimes

    It is important that kids and teens get a healthy amount of sleep each night to stay focused. They also need more sleep than adults because they are in a time of fast physical, intellectual, and emotional growth. To help your teen stay alert, experts agree that they get at least 8 hours of sleep each night.

    Tip #2: Eat a Nutritious Breakfast

    Most experts agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should never be skipped. It is also a great opportunity to get a healthy dose of essential nutrients. To get your kids ready for breakfast, consider making their bedtimes earlier each night so they have enough time to enjoy it.

    Tip #3: Stock up on Fruits & Veggies

    Fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients and low in calories! A healthy snack will also help your teen stay energized and alert during the day. To ensure your family gets plenty of fruits and vegetables each day, we recommend you keep pre-washed produce always available to simply grab and eat.

    Tip #4: Try Not to Skip Any Meals

    Although skipping meals seems like a good way to lose weight, it actually slows down your metabolism and cause you to eat more throughout the day. Studies show that kids who skip meals are more likely to be overweight than those who make eating a balanced meal a priority. During meal times make sure to include one food from each food group – Vegetables, Fruits, Grains, and Protein.

    Tip #5: Exercise at Least Twice a Week

    It is important that your teen exercises regularly not only to stay fit but also to perform better in school. According to experts “exercise boosts academic performance in various ways: allowing kids to focus on their school work; boosting self-esteem and mood; and increasing blood flow to the brain.”

    Maintaining Balance and Consistency

    Being fit is all about learning balance and consistency while having the right guidance and support to be successful. At Kalina’s Fitness, our mission is to give teens (ages 8-18) the tools to transform their lives and build healthy habits that last a lifetime. By combining nutrition, group support, and exercise classes, we provide a complete solution that empowers kids and teens to achieve their fitness goals.

    We are driven by a strong belief that all children deserve the opportunity to realize their full potential. It all starts with a personal consultation to better understand your child’s eating and exercise habits. Let us help your teen become an amazing version of themselves and schedule your free class today. We look forward to serving you and your family with excellence. Thank you for visiting us!

  4. Tasty Smoothies for Picky Eaters

    While doing nutrition plans for our kids and teens, we often find that children today don’t get the amount of vegetables that is recommended by MyPlate. We are big fans of healthy smoothies for kids, especially when they are packed full of nutritious ingredients. To help your family eat more veggies,  we want to share with you these four delicious smoothies that are bright, colorful, and healthy too!

    Butternut Squash Smoothie

    Drink your veggies with this tasty yellow smoothie your whole family will love!

    Serves: 1 large smoothie, Total Time: 10 minutes

    Ingredients:
    1/2 cup almond milk or coconut milk
    3/4 cup steamed butternut squash
    2 large Medjool dates
    1 tablespoon chia seeds
    1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg and cinnamon

    Directions:
    Toss all the ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend until you reach desired smoothness.
    Optional: Drizzle with nut butter, and sprinkle sunflower seeds on top.

    Strawberry Beet Smoothie

    This tasty pink smoothie is the perfect balance of healthy nutrition and yummy treat!

    Serves: 2 large smoothies, Total Time: 10 minutes

    Ingredients:
    1 cup almond milk or coconut milk
    1 cup chopped raw beets (peeled)
    1 cup frozen strawberries
    1 banana
    Juice of 1/2 lemon
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

    Directions:
    Toss all the ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend until you reach desired smoothness.
    Optional: Sprinkle with sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and cinnamon on top.

    Pineapple Spinach Smoothie

    This healthy green smoothie is filled with spinach and is both kid friendly and mom-approved!

    Serves: 2 large smoothies, Total Time: 10 minutes

    Ingredients:
    1 cup almond milk or coconut milk
    2 cups packed baby spinach
    2 cups frozen pineapple chunks
    1 cup orange juice
    1 banana

    Directions:
    Put the ingredients in a blender and blend on high until mixture is smooth.
    Serve immediately for smoothies, or freeze in reusable popsicle molds.

    Blueberry Spinach Smoothie

    This delicious purple smoothie is filled with blueberries, spinach, strawberries, and banana!

    Serves: 2 large smoothies, Total Time: 10 minutes

    Ingredients:
    1/2 cup almond milk or coconut milk
    2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
    1 cup packed baby spinach
    2/3 cup frozen blueberries
    1/2 cup strawberries
    1 banana

    Directions:
    Add all of the ingredients to a blender, cover with the lid, and whirl until smooth.
    Add more milk if needed to reach the desired consistency and taste for sweetness.

    Schedule Your Free Class Today

    At Kalina’s Fitness, our mission is to give kids (ages 8-18) the tools they need to transform their lives and build healthy habits that last a lifetime. By combining nutritional counseling, group support, and exercise classes, our Lean Teen Program empowers kids and teens to achieve their fitness goals. We are driven by a strong belief that every child deserves the opportunity to realize their full potential.

    It all starts with a one-on-one nutritional consultation to better understand your child’s eating habits. Your health coach will prepare a nutrition plan that gives your family the flexibility needed to make permanent lifestyle changes. Register your child today for a Free Day Pass so we can start helping your family use MyPlate.  We look forward to serving you with excellence. Thank you for visiting us!

  5. Teen Weight Loss Tips for Parents

    When it comes to losing weight, teens should never use diet pills or do anything that will harm their metabolism. Unfortunately, diet pills and quick weight loss plans for teens are becoming popular even though they don’t work long-term. In fact one study even found that teen use of diet pills has doubled.

    There is so much pressure to be thin that $40 billion dollars a year are spent on weight loss products that have no proven benefit. The dangers of diet pills far outweigh the benefit of any potential weight loss including: a risk for heart attack and stroke, addiction, multiple side effects, and no guarantees.

    The truth is when it comes to weight loss there is no magic pill. Instead, the focus should always be on being healthy, fit and strong. This is the perfect opportunity for your entire family to build healthy habits together. As experts in teen weight loss, we recommend that you use MyPlate since it is important that your teen makes nutrition and lifestyle changes that can be followed long-term.

    The USDA’s MyPlate program was designed to make balanced eating easy to visualize and apply to everyday life. Kids can clearly see that half of their plate should be filled with colorful fruits and vegetables, about ¼ with lean protein and the remaining part for grains, half of them being whole.

    But you might be wondering: Do I have to serve all the food groups at each meal? Do I really have to give my kids veggies for breakfast? If breakfast or lunch doesn’t include a vegetable or fruit, give them at snack time or dinner. Use the plate as a guide for planning and serving a variety of healthy foods.

    The goal is to think of the plate as an entire day’s worth of eating: So, throughout the day, try to make half of what your kids eat vegetables and fruits, and the other half grains and protein foods. An occasional treat is fine, but be careful to limit foods that are high in calories and low in nutrients.

    How Your Environment Impacts You

    According to studies it takes more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic. In other words to eliminate or create a new habit it will take the average person about 66 days. It is very difficult to develop a new habit since it takes an enormous amount of willpower to do something for 66 days without succumbing to temptation. As a result, most of our daily lives are made up of the same habits.

    Helping your teen to lose weight is a difficult but achievable goal, if you set your family up for success. However, trying to commit to a drastic change and relying on willpower alone will not work. The trick to helping your teen build healthy habits and achieve their goals is to change their environment.

    You simply can not make significant, lasting change without altering your environment. Changing it is the best way to set your whole family up for success! Besides using MyPlate to help your teen lose weight and achieve their fitness goals, we also recommend that you focus on these 6 important tips:

    #1: Set Early Bedtimes

    It is important that kids and teens get a healthy amount of sleep each night to stay focused. They also need more sleep than adults because they are in a time of fast physical, intellectual, and emotional growth. To help your teen stay alert, experts agree that they get at least 8 hours of sleep each night.

    #2: Eat a Nutritious Breakfast

    Most experts agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should never be skipped. It is also a great opportunity to get a healthy dose of essential nutrients. To get your kids ready for breakfast, consider making their bedtimes earlier each night so they have enough time to enjoy it.

    #3: Stock up on Fruits & Veggies

    Fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients and low in calories! A healthy snack will also help your teen stay energized and alert during the day. To ensure your family gets plenty of fruits and vegetables each day, we recommend you keep pre-washed produce always available to simply grab and eat.

    #4: Try Not to Skip Any Meals

    Although skipping meals seems like a good way to lose weight, it actually slows down your metabolism and cause you to eat more throughout the day. Studies show that kids who skip meals are more likely to be overweight than those who make eating a balanced meal a priority. During meal times make sure to include one food from each food group – Vegetables, Fruits, Grains, and Protein.

    #5: Exercise at Least Twice a Week

    It is important that your teen exercises regularly not only to stay fit but also to perform better in school. According to experts “exercise boosts academic performance in various ways: allowing kids to focus on their school work; boosting self-esteem and mood; and increasing blood flow to the brain.

    #6: Limit Liquid Calories

    When it comes to building lifelong healthy habits, drinking 8 glasses of water is a must. Water helps us stay hydrated and increases our metabolic rate which is important for weight loss. On the other hand, juices and diet sodas contain artificial sweeteners that have empty calories and are devoid of nutrients.

    Maintaining Balance and Consistency

    Being fit is all about learning balance and consistency while having the right guidance and support to be successful. At Kalina’s Fitness, our mission is to give kids (ages 8-18) the tools to transform their lives and build healthy habits that last a lifetime. By combining nutritional counseling, group support, and exercise classes, our Lean Teen Program empowers kids and teens to achieve their fitness goals.

    It all starts with a one-on-one nutritional consultation to better understand your child’s eating habits. Your health coach will prepare a nutrition plan that gives your family the flexibility needed to make permanent lifestyle changes. Register your child today for a Free Day Pass so we can start helping your family use MyPlate. We look forward to serving you with excellence. Thank you for visiting us!

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