Nutrition & Dieting/tweak my diet...PLEASE

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QUESTION: hi, i am 45 yrs old 5'2" struggling to lose 10lbs. currently at 142.
can you help me tweak my eating and workouts. because i am NOT seeing any results and am getting VERY frustrated..Here is my week.
mon 1hr zumba(burning 500 cal), fri 1hr bootcamp(burning 500 cal), tues, wed, thurs 30 min. (not always consistant.) i wear a heart rate mont. my diet:
breakfast: dannon lite n fit yogurt with, 8 walnuts, 8 almonds, blueberries, strawberries, banana and flax seed
lunch: salad, with spinach, brocc, tom ,with lemon and olive oil
dinner: small portion on cake size dish of whatever i make.
tons of water and brewed greentea daily.
CULPRIT: light beer on most weekends -fri/sat total 10. my ONLY indulgence.
besides the alcohol, what the heck am i doing wrong. my waist/hips and the back of my arms have expanded. i can't seem to make a dent. it is VERY depressing. in addition, on the 3 days i wrkout at hme for 30 min. aren't always the best workouts, most days just dragging through the motions. NEED a spark for those 5am workouts. i try a cup of coffee, not enough "rocket fuel" i need. my goal is to burn 250-300 calories on those days when not at the gym with instructor.  any suggestions or short term supplements would be greatly appreciated. before ephedrea was banned, used to take zenadrine... was awesome, no jitters, no crash. can't find that anymore.

ANSWER: Hi Darlene. Thanks for providing some good detail. I was able to identify a few issues just by reading what you said.

The thing that stands out to me most is you are not eating enough. If you're trying to lose weight then eating less seems to be a given but is wrong. TV and magazines tend to mislead people.

It appears as if you're trying to reduce carb intake too.

Here is the thing about eating to few calories. Sorry but I may bore you a moment here. The body operates using calories. A calorie is a unit of energy like your house uses watts of power. If the body senses that too few calories are coming in then the brain sends up a red flag and slows down your metabolism. The brain tells the body to store as much energy as possible. The body stores energy 2 ways, glucose and fat. Bored yet?
Anyways you need a negative calorie balance but you also need enough to keep going.

Lets look at each meal.

Breakfast- Looks decent enough but you can afford a few more calories. This can be as simple as adding 1/2 cup cooked Irish oats. You can add the berries and flax and even nuts to it.
And be sure your flax seed is milled or ground. The body can't digest whole flax seed.

Lunch- No protein! Every meal needs a source of protein. The salad is great but you can add a 6 ounce chicken breast or grilled shrimp.

Dinner- what kind of things are you making? The small portion can be good but I always teach calorie content over calorie count. You should never be hungry and it is possible to eat enough.
Whatever you make just make sure it doesn't include simple carbs like white flour breads/pastas, white rice, sugar, etc. And avoid processed fats.
If you eat meat then try to get at least 6 oz of meat in your dinner. Chicken, turkey, lean beef or fish are all fine. A cup of steamed vegetables with 1 tbl olive oil can go with it.

Here is the other thing, meal frequency. I advise easting 5-6 times a day every 2-3 hours. Try not to go more than 4 hours without eating. Think of a camp fire, you throw a log on there and the fire heats up. But eventually it dies down. Well that log is food and your metabolism is fire. The metabolism needs to be triggered to work. Without fuel it will go down until it eventually burns out. This is why people don't lose weight skipping meals.
By the way, did I at least commend you on eating breakfast?

Back to the point, you need to add in a few snacks. Have a snack, around 200 calories between breakfast and lunch and lunch and dinner. For your first snack maybe another yogurt and a handful of almonds. for the second snack maybe 2 slices deli turkey and 1/4 avocado. When buying deli meats though try to stick with Boars Head or similar brands that are free of fillers. another choice is one ounce edamame and 2 low fat cheese sticks.
Or you can have a protein shake between meals too. I usually recommend making your own as opposed to the RTD (ready to drink) ones. Some of those can contain excess sugar and cost upwards of $4.00

Now as for your "culprit" I'll excuse it within reason. I'm a believer in cheat days. Check out my article on cheat meals http://bestfitnessnow.com/2011/09/cheaters-win/
I eat pretty darn strict and mundane all week so come Saturday night don't get in the way of my pizza. I have good friends that own an Italian deli, talk about temptations.

Now the other issue I see. Are you doing any type of resistance training? weight lifting. Most women avoid weights like the plague. This is a mistake. Weights will NOT make women bulky or looking like bodybuilders. Lifting can help you burn more calories and retain your muscle tone. The more muscle tissue a person has the learner they look. this will tighten your arms too.
Try to do 30 minutes resistance training 3-4 times a week. Nobody says you need to move a car but use a light weight dumbbell, maybe 5-8 lb. you can always do bodyweight exercises too.
I'm actually getting ready to do an episode of my fitness show featuring a whole body workout that can be done anywhere from 10-30 minutes as well as a bodyweight workout. If you're interested stay turned to my site www.bestfitnessnow.com. It should be ready hopefully in the next 30 days.

Now supplements for energy. supplements are my specialty.
I'm usually cautious about suggesting energy supplements. Reason being peoples health and tolerance and reactions vary.  I can discuss some though as long as you don't say "he told me to!"
I see you mentioned ephedra. That and the ECT stack made famous in the 90s was good (I never used it though)but not at the risks. Losing weight isn't worth cardiac damage and death. Recently DMAA has come into question too. It is best to avoid products that contain DMAA.
http://bestfitnessnow.com/2013/02/supplement-safe/
There are many quality thermogenics on the market, or they're called fat burners. I don't like the latter name because its misleading.
I use thermogenics but the key is to understand they are a crutch to support a proper diet and training routine. I worked supplement retail years back and you would be amazed at the people who thought they can take a pill and look like a fitness model tomorrow while hanging out at McDonalds.
Anyway these products usually contain caffeine as the main ingredient, anywhere from  200-400 mg. It is important you read the label and no matter how confident you are, never ever exceed the recommended dosage. In this day and age of coffee houses people think they are immune to stimulants, but shouldn't underestimate them.
When it comes to thermogenics stick with big name brands. Avoid anything that makes bold claims and usually avoid anything endorsed by a model, pop star or reality show star.
Good companies are Nutrex with their lipo-6 formulas. Lipo-6 and its variants are among my favorites. However if you're a coffee drinker you should ditch the coffee when taking any supplement like this.
Also if you have any medical condition I'd advise reading the label and talking to a doctor.
Nutrex also sells a shot version of their popular Hemorage pre workout. You can find them at 7/11 and other mini marts for around 2-3 dollars. Each shot contains 2 servings but it extremely concentrated. Or there is BSN Endorush. Endorush shots contain 3-4 servings. With these shots it is important to just use one serving at a time.
Just be careful with the shots, they can be very powerful depending on your stimulant tolerance.
If I haven't said it enough be careful with energy supplements. I use them and believe in them but then again we are all different. Either way they are intended for workouts, not a pick me up to get through the day.
Sorry to preach.

You might also consider some non stimulant supplements like green tea extract and CLA. Another great and often underappreciated non stim is 7-Keto.

alright so hopefully I didn't ramble, preach or bore you too much here.
Always feel free to write back.
Best of luck.



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: HOLY CRAP>>THAT WAS THE BEST RESPONSE I EVER GOT...........thank u thank u
chock full of info...NOT preaching,not boring,at all, muchly appreciated!!!!!
okay 1st, i guess your right, not eating ENOUGH just might be the "problem"
2nd, i DO work out with weights, just NOT consistantly.
and i DO add avacado (my NEW fav) and sometimes chicken to my salads.
what i think the prob is......not enough INTENSE cardio. and that is bc, i just don't always have the "umph" at 5am (3days/wk)mon/fri i CAN get to the gym, & when i do i burn approx 500 cal hr. i'm not looking for a "quick fix" i'm looking for my morning 30 min "rocket fuel", wihtout wasting my time, just going through the motions.which is what it feels like on those 3 days at home workout. would rather just sleep the extra 30-45min. than "waste" my time.
good point on flax seed, will do. i'm excited to check out your website.
glad i asked the RIGHT GUY on supplements. (btw my prim care Dr. also took ephdrea in college OFF THE RECORD)he also suggested a "good" thermogenic, for "jump start push" i NEED. NOT long term. & i'm ok with that. i'm currently using "cellucor super HD" they'are alright. not the "boost" i want. my Dr. said he's ok with me taking them short term, i'm in GREAT health, strong heart. no medical probs.can't wait to try your suggestions. thank you SOOOOOOO MUCH, you REALLY have enlightened me.

Answer
Wow your doctor supported a thermogenic? I hesitate sometimes with supplements because I'm supposed to tell everyone to "consult their doctor" but the thing is a lot of doctors are anti supplement. They'll give you 101 reasons supplements are bad then write a script for something with a host of nasty side effects.

If you're undecided between a few thermogenics let me know and I can help. Cellucor isn't a bad brand, they get pricy.
Supplements are a lot of trial and error. What works for one may be nothing to another. Hey I once had a guy who was a former speed addict trying to find something to energize his workout. The poor guy, his body was so used to being all hyped up that pretty much nothing worked for him.
I'm pretty "funny" when it comes to brands. I hate to be a brand snob but when it comes to supplements you almost need to be. I attend the Olympia Expo each year and you see these companies that have the best this and that but next year they're nowhere to be seen.

Keep me updated on your progress and if you need supplement help feel free to get in touch.
Write in here or on my sites facebook. I'm not a facebook junkie like most but will check and answer if someone writes in.

All the best.

By the way, THANK YOU for your kind words.  

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Tim Santoro

Expertise

I can answer questions regarding the following. Confusion about basic nutrition, explain how to improve diet, when and how to eat better, eating for weight loss, eating for health, eating for fitness. I will answer questions about nutritional and workout supplements. I will not endorse any fad diets, however I can explain the draw backs to them and explain why they are the wrong way to go. I will not give advice relating to medications and/or their interactions with food and supplements.

Experience

I have earned certifications in Fitness Training and Fitness Nutrition from ISSA. I also self taught and stay current on the fitness industry. I lost 70 pounds training my self.

Publications
www.bestfitnessnow.com

Education/Credentials
SFN- Specialist in Fitness Nutrition from ISSA CFT-n Certified Fitness Trainer from ISSA

Awards and Honors
Just the thank you from people I get to help.

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