Worst Summer Drinks

While few mixed drinks are "good" for you, some favorites are much worse than others.
Liquid calories are consumed much faster than anything you have to chew, so be careful when enjoying these popular summer drinks.

Worst Summer Drinks

Starbucks Vanilla Bean Frappuccino Blended Creme (grande size)
470 calories, (62 grams of sugar!)

Long Island Iced Tea
700 calories

Pina Colada
625 calories

500 calories

417 calories

Another drink that makes the list is Vitaminwater (20 oz).  This drink likes to market itself as a health food, but with a whooping 33 grams of sugar per serving and 130 calories, you may as well be drinking a regular soda.

Finally, I hate to do it, but good old fashioned lemonade is something else to limit or avoid. Even though this drink is so often associated with lazy summer days and good memories, it contains about 50 grams of sugar for 16oz. Luckily you can save yourself the calories and make it with an artificial sweetener like Splenda and you probably won't miss out on taste.

Think You Get 10,000 Steps Everyday?

I try and wear my pedometer everyday. One evening I was bragging to my husband about my step count for the day when he became curious about his own number of daily steps.  He was positive he got in at least 10,000 steps a day, since he works in a library and is always walking up and down the stacks.  I lent him my pedometer for the day, and he went off to work confident that he would return and show me at least 10,000 steps on the pedometer.
Well, he came home a little disappointed.  He managed to get in 7,000 steps that day.  
The American Council on Exercise tracked the average number of steps taken by police officers, lawyers, nurses, restaurant servers, mail carriers, factory workers, custodians and construction workers.
Can you guess which of these occupations had the most and the least amount of steps?

MOST - Mail Carriers.  People in this profession take about 1,900 steps AN HOUR!

LEAST- Lawyers.  This is probably not much of a surprise, considering all the research and paperwork lawyers deal with everyday.  Lawyers took an average of about 600 steps and hour.

There are lots of great pedometers out there if you are interested in counting you steps, and most are very affordable.  At Baseline Fitness our clients use the pedometer shown above (Omron model HJ-720ITC) because it tracks total steps, aerobic steps, mileage, and it comes with computer software so you can download your step count into your computer.  

Why We Are Fat

Ok, so America is not the "fittest" country in the world. According to we are #9 in the list of fattest countries. How did this happen?
I recently read an article in the Harvard Gazette explaining why citizens of modernized countries are overweight. Anthropology professor Daniel Lieberman believes that our weight-gain really started about 10,000 years ago. Way back then, we were still hunter-gatherers, and our bodies needed food that was calorie dense to keep up with the physical work we were doing. But about 10,000 years ago we switched from hunting and gathering to farming. Over time this switch has enabled us to increase our population and given us more leisure time, and while our diets are very different than they were long ago, our bodies are essentially the same.
This really got me thinking about what kind of physical activity our bodies need. Hundreds of years ago our springs were spent planing and tilling and raising livestock. We were in constant motion. Most Americans today, well, we sit on our butts. The American College of Sports Medicine estimates that the average american takes between 3,000 and 5,000 steps daily, which is about half of what is recommended for a healthy activity level. So not only are we not moving enough, we are eating way too many calories for our underproductive bodies.
Next time I get on the treadmill and think I've done my cardio for the day when I hit thirty minutes, I'll think about my ancestors hauling logs and plowing fields for 6-8 hours a day. I bet that will kick my butt into doing a full hour! :)


All Calories Are Not Created Equal

People are always asking me how many calories they should eat in a day, and I am never able to give them a straight answer.  Daily caloric needs can vary widely from person to person, and even if you take two people of the same weight, height, age and gender, chances are the calories they need is going to be very different.
If I eat 1,800 calories of pizza, soda and fried chicken, I will most likely gain weight, not maintain or lose.  But if I eat 1,800 calories or steamed vegetables, complex carbohydrates and lean proteins, then I will probably lose weight.  20 calories of chicken breast and 20 calories of a calzone are not the same thing!  

Calories come in three forms; fats, carbohydrates, and protein.  You need all three forms of calories to support a healthy body.  One gram of fat contains nine calories, and one gram of carbohydrates contains four.  One gram of protein also contains four calories.  Let's look at these three calorie sources more in-depth.  If you have a pure fat, like oil, you can assume that all of the calories in that food source come from fat.  Since most of what we eat is a combination of fats, carbs and proteins, it's always a good idea to really get to know what you are eating, especially if you are trying to lose weight or put on muscle.

Something else to consider when planning out your calories, is how often you are eating.  If I eat 1,800 calories all in one meal rather than spacing out my 1,800 calories throughout the day, my body will store of my that food as fat.  Eating regular, small meals keeps your metabolism high.  You will burn through your meals more quickly, with less of a chance for your body to store what you just ate as fat.  Eating only one large meal everyday signals the body to store everything you just ate, because it isn't expecting to be fed again for another 24 hours.  Keep meals small and eat every two or three hours and you will see a big change not only in your metabolism, but also in your body composition.