Recently we talked about the importance of body composition numbers BMI and Body Fat percentage and the role they play in determining ones health. There is another number in the conversation that is worth discussing and easy to obtain: Hip to Waist Ratio. This number can indicate a person's overall health, any serious conditions they may be at risk for, as well as fertility.
That number is exactly what it sounds, the measurement of your waist over the measurement of your hip. The waist measurement may vary depending on your body type; for a lean individual it is taken at it's narrowest point (natural waist), and for persons with a more convex shape (including those who are pregnant) the measurement is taken one inch above the belly button. The hip measurement is taken around the widest part of the buttocks. It is important that both measurements are taken with the feet together, and body weight evenly distributed.
Once you have both numbers, divide waist by hip and you'll be given a decimal value. Females with a value of .85 or higher and males with .90 or higher fall into the obese category. People who fall into those values face increased health risks including heart disease and diabetes. These values also have shown to be consistent in predicting fertility in females. Women above .80 have lower pregnancy rates, while women in the .7 range have ideal levels of estrogen and are less susceptible
to ovarian cancer.
While not the most complete or invasive measurement for one's health, it is a value that is easy to obtain and track. And if you're aware of future health risks, you are much more likely to take action. Here is a good general rule of thumb to remember: A person's waist should measure at about half of their height. So, an average woman is 5'4" (64 inches) making 32" an ideal waist line measurement.
What are you waiting for? Get your tape measures out!
There are many different measurements that are used in testing a person's overall health and well being. Body composition is one area that is quickly growing in popularity with the obesity epidemic the United States is facing. Two common tests of body composition are BMI & Body Fat percentage but what's the difference? Is one better than the other? Which should you pay more attention to? First, let's talk about what they are, and what BMI even stands for!
However, many now say that this number is too generic and does not take each individual's body composition into consideration. BMI does not distinguish fat from muscle and we all know that muscle weighs more than fat. So it is not uncommon for highly trained athletes to have a BMI that falls in the overweight or obese categories. Which is where the advocacy for Body Fat percentage comes in.
Body Fat is the measurement of the total weight of fat, divided by total weight. There are two common ways of obtaining these numbers, skinfold method and bioelectrical impedance. The skinfold method is typically done by a trained professional using a caliper, measuring specific areas on males & females. One critique of this method is that it allows room for error if a person is not properly trained or assessing the correct areas.
Essential: 10-13% 2-5%
Athlete: 14-20% 6-13%
Fitness: 21-25% 14-17%
Average: 25- 32% 18-25%
Obese: 32%+ 26%+
The bioelectrical impedance is a device that has two or more conductors attaching to the body (some are handheld, some you stand on with bare feet) and sends a small electrical current through the body. Muscles are primarily made up of water, which makes for an excellent conductor. The more muscular one is, the faster the current reaches the other conductor end, in turn producing a lower number.
owner, Jay Siefert believes that body fat is the better of the two body composition analysts. Unlike BMI measurements, body fat shows the actual weight, in pounds, of muscle and fat. With the Body Mass Index reading you are unsure what is fat and what is muscle. This also makes it difficult for people new to working out to realize the changes that are happening. You will lose fat but gain muscle, which sometimes causes the scale to go up. (The real number everyone is watching!) However if you reassess your composition you will have actually lost fat but gained muscle, something many people overlook.
, Studio Element's Lead Personal Trainer and registered Dietician
says that it is important to not overlook BMI however. For athletes this measurement may not be useful, but as far as the general population is concerned, it does have value. Not only is it the easier to track as mentioned previously, but it is the number your doctor reports to your health insurance companies. Both are a good indicators of what is going on but do not tell the whole story by itself, so Leah recommends paying attention to both numbers if possible.
Hopefully we've helped you to understand more specifically what these numbers mean and why they are so important. Do you know what your BMI and/or Body Fat are? If not, have you trainer check you next time you are in!
Well we've reached the mid-way point for the first round of the Smallest Winner's contest for 2013, and the contestants are all still pushing. Recently we gathered to see how everyone is doing, sharing their successes and of course their struggles.
Although Josh was unable to attend, through his trainer he let us know how much better his endurance has gotten in just a few weeks. He even ran 16 minutes straight which earned him a Rockstar of the Month honor! He is struggling with food still and getting his mindset to understand this is a complete lifestyle
Amy, Ryan and Megan also noticed increases in their endurance. Amy was able to run a mile straight without stopping, and Megan increased her plank time by over 30 seconds. Ryan is up to 4 minutes on the treadmill, with his biggest success being done with cigarettes for over a month!
Another fellow Smallest Winner participant earned a spot as a Rockstar of the Month for Feburary by losing just shy of 10 pounds! Although it hasn't been all easy for Jr, as he still has struggled with food selection especially when he is on the road with work.
The rest of the participants agreed that their biggest struggle comes with food selection & eating. Several of the participants travel for work, which does not always allow for optimal food selection or meal times. One thing we learned in our meeting is that after living so many years of life unhealthy, it is going to take some time to 're-learn' what we have taught ourselves about food. Nutrition and healthy eating is a way of life which requires major dedication.
During our meeting we were lucky enough to have another Studio Rockstar, Michelle, come in and talk to us about her journey through a 130 pound weight loss!
Her story is an inspiration not only to the participants, but to the staff as well. It reminds them why they love what they do because their clients aren't the only ones who struggle when they aren't seeing the "number" result. We owe Michelle a huge round of applause, as well as all of our participants!
Well I guess we have a sixth sense when it comes to writing our blogs and our following Rockstars of the Quarter. Quarter 3 of 2012 was Stephanie Sutton, traveling mother of 2 who has now lost close to 30 pounds! And most recently the staff of Studio Element voted Shane the final Rockstar of the Quarter for 2012! Shane is continually improving and has a remarkable 8% body fat. Incase you missed it last time around, check him out below. (Plus PICTURES!)
Personal training facilities tend to boast about their clients' successes as a testament to the methods they have that work, usually resulting in testimonials about weight loss. (We know since we LOVE bragging about our amazing clients.) However, this month we wanted to highlight one of our recent rockstars who came in with different goal in mind. Someone who came to the Studio and broke not only personal bests but Studio records as well!
While Shane was pretty fit when he came to the Studio last January, he wanted to get stronger. In the last few months he's done just that and managed some amazing feats. He has increased his deadlift by 50 pounds (315 pounds/5X), increased his bench by 20 pounds (which is more than his body weight) and broke the Studio's Plank, Wall Sit, Push-up, and Pull-up records. (He is technically tied for the last two, but still is a record holder.)
But his body may not even be the strongest thing about him, his willpower and never say die attitude are hard to match. With the new format of our weekly challenges, those who choose to participate are tested on four areas, rotating one per week, repeating the same four monthly, for three months . (Week one is an exercise that tests upper body, week two lower body, week three cardio, week four core. Repeat each for a full quarter, marking progress at the specific exercise.) In the first round of the new format, Shane has beaten his previous best each test and for him, it's all mental. He just does not quit and for that we'd love to give him a big round of applause.
Every year it's the same thing; attend party, over eat, have one too many drinks, and do it all over again the next day and weekend. This year test that will power and resist the second trip to the buffet line or the sugar cookies with an inch of frosting. If you can remember a few of these tips from Leah, our nutritionist
, you'll be sure to stay on track this Holiday Season.
eat more frequent, smaller meals. This will not only enhance your metabolic activity but curb you from excessive eating.
eat in the mall food court. If you know you are going to spend time shopping, fuel your body with a healthy breakfast and toss some granola bars in your purse.
limit your alcohol intake. If choosing liquor, WATCH your mixers so that they aren't filled with calories and sugar. This can be the better alternative over over beer or wine as you have a tendency to drink those faster while you can nurse the hard stuff longer.
make the focus of your get togethers all about food & drink. Instead of going to dinner and cocktails, go to a clay/pottery place to make ornaments or help out at your local food kitchen. If your family prefers a real tree, take the time to go visit a farm where you'll get a fresher tree and get some exercise in.
wear tighter fitting clothes, it will keep you more conscientious of what you are intaking.
go to a party empty handed or with an extremely unhealthy dish. Chances are that you will end up taking any leftovers home where it will be more difficult to resist temptation! With the wonderful World Wide Web, you can find healthy recipes or alternatives in seconds which allows you to snack on what you bring-the other guests don't even need to know it's healthy!
avoid treats you can have all year round. (Ok, we're re-using this but it's a good one!) Skip the store bought stuff and let yourself indulge in the cookies your sister-in-law makes but won't share the recipe to.
-Don't forget how hard you've worked all year long to achieve your goals or make the progress you have! And if you haven't, don't say "I'll start tomorrow" because tomorrow never comes! (Figuratively & literally)
hold yourself accountable for sticking to your workout schedule. Everyone is busy, but 1 hour (or 30 minutes of cardio) out of your day will be worth it later on, not to mention the energy it will give you to power through all of the day's activities.
*RANDOM FACT: Did you know that if you refrigerate gravy, it will harden causing the fat to rise to the top which you can then scrap off and eliminate up to 56 grams of fat?!
Doing some jack-hammering here to allow for additional piping. This will be part of the new men's locker room!
The new men's room will be equipped with double sinks, urinal, standard toilet and shower.
All of the frame work is up to build the entrance and enclosure for the locker rooms.
The partial wall structure is up (very right in the picture) to enclose a group fitness area, to be completed with TRX'es. All the old carpet has been removed, making way for the new stuff to be installed. And can you see that sun shining? The new location is equipped with large sky light, letting a lot of natural lighting in!
Keep checking back as progress is really moving at this point! We will be in the new studio before we know it and can't wait to share it with you.
As most of you know by now, Studio Element
is getting a new home! We are all very excited about the new location
, and think you will be happy with the improved and significantly larger space. We encountered a few setbacks but have pushed past and want to keep the most important people updated-YOU! Here are some photos of the progress, and we will continue to update throughout the demolition and build-out phases.
In addition to the over abundance of food and beverage at our family holiday gatherings, we face the challenge of eating on the road. Anyone whose traveled for work or just in general struggles with finding something that is filling and healthy while attempting to get somewhere in the least amount of time. So whether you'll be flying or driving, we've compiled a list of "Leah approved" items.
Leavin' on an airplane...
Ham Egg and Cheese on English Muffin
Calories 330, Total Fat 14, Sat Fat 5, Trans Fat: 0, Cholesterol 210, Sodium 890, Total Carb 33, Fiber 7, Sugar 3, Protein 18
Egg White Veggie Wake-Up Wrap
Calories 150, Total Fat 7, Sat Fat 3, Trans Fat 0, Cholesterol 15, Sodium 360, Carbs 14, Fiber 1, Sugar 1, Protein 9
Reduced Fat Blueberry Muffin
Calories 410, Total Fat 10, Sat Fat 2, Trans Fat 0, Cholesterol 55, Sodium 620, Total Carb 75, Fiber 2, Sugar 40, Protein 7
Medium Coffee with Skim & Splenda
(Keep it low cal, fat free and low sugar by choosing skim milk & splenda)
Calories 30, Fat 0, Sat Fat 0, Tran Fat 0, Cholesterol 0, Sodium 35, Carbs 6, Fiber 0, Sugar 2, Protein 2
Big N' Toasted
Calories 530, Total Fat 28 (43% of your Daily Value!), Sat Fat: 10 (50% of DV), Trans Fat 0, Cholesterol 110, Sodium 1360 (57% of DV!), Total Carb 43, Fiber 1, Sugar 4, Protein 26
Pretzel Salt Bagel
Calories 310, Total Fat 1, Sat Fat 0, Trans Fat 0, Cholesterol 0, Sodium 3380 (141% of DV!!!) Total Carb 67, Fiber 4, Sugar 7, Protein 11
Chocolate Coconut Cake Donut
Calories 550, Total Fat 39 (60% of DV), Sat Fat 25 (125% of DV!), Trans Fat 0, Cholesterol 0, Sodium 390, Total Carb 47, Fiber 3, Sugar: 22, Protein 5
Calories 490, Total Fat 22, Sat Fat 18 (90% of DV!), Trans Fat 0, Cholesterol 15, Sodium 450, Total Carb 71, Fiber 1, Sugar 54, Protein 4
Making something 'skinny', 'nonfat', & 'skip the whip' will maintain the lowest calorie, fat and sugar content. They also have several flavor syrups that are sugar-free.
NON-COFFEE drinkers Opt for:
- Nonfat Caffe Latte; 100 calories,
- Nonfat Caramel Machiato; 140 Calories
- Skinny Vanilla Latte; 90 Calories
- Nonfat Cappuccino; 60 Calories
- White Hot Chocolate; 490 Calories, 19 Fat, 62 Sugar
- Caffee Mocha; 330 Calories, 15 Fat, 35 Sugar
- Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha; 520 Calories, 18 Fat, 75 Sugar
-Unless you are getting a water, KEEP MOVING
- Cinnabon Classic; 880 Calories, 36 Total Fat, 17 Sat. Fat, 830 Sodium
- Caramel Pecanbon; 1080 Calories, 50 Total Fat, 20 Sat. Fat, 960 Sodium
They also do not list their vitamin or mineral content, so sugars are not provided. However after some research it is said they have 12.25 TSP of Sugar in one roll, 123% of your daily value.
This restaurant seems to be found in many airports across the country, and has something that is everyone's go-to item. However after looking over their food menu, BE CAREFUL. It is loaded with fat & sodium, as you read this I am probably still in shock of how bad this menu is for you!
- Margarita Grilled Chicken; 160 Calories, 2.5 Fat, 1 Sat Fat, 2090 Sodium
- Southwest Chicken & Sausage Soup (cup); 160 Calories, 10 Fat, 4 Sat Fat, 830 Sodium
- Classic Sirloin; 250 Calories, 7 Fat, 3 Sat Fat, 1520 Sodium
- Boneless Buffalo Wings with Bleu Cheese; 1040 Calories, 67 Fat, 11 Sat Fat, 3630 Sodium
- Skillet Queso; 1580 Calories, 96 Fat, 34 Sat Fat, 3880 Sodium
- Original Ribs; 2180 Calories, 122 Fat, 45 Sat Fat, 6650 Sodium
- Pretty much everything else on the menu...
; 300 Calories, 12 Total Fat, 6 Sat Fat, 0.5 Trans Fat, 40 Cholesterol, 720 Sodium, 33 Carbs, 7 Sugar, 15 Protein
Premium Grilled Classic Chicken Sandwich
; 350 Calories, 9 Total Fat, 2 Sat Fat, 0 Trans Fat, 65 Cholesterol, 820 Sodium, 42 Carbs, 8 Sugar, 28 Protein
Grilled Honey Mustard Snack Wrap
; 330 Calories, 15 Total Fat, Sat Fat 4.5, Trans Fat 0, Cholesterol 30, 700 Sodium, 33 Carbs, 4 Sugar, 14 Protein
; 550 Calories, 29 Total Fat, 10 Sat Fat, 1.5 Trans Fat, 75 Cholesterol, 1000 Sodium, 46 Carbs, 9 Sugar, 25 Protein
; 750 Calories, 39 Total Fat, 16 Sat Fat, 2 Trans Fat, 135 Cholesterol, 1700 Sodium, 61 Carbs, 10 Sugar, 40 Protein
Chicken Selects Strips
(5 piece); 640 Calories, 38 Total Fat, 6 Sat Fat, 0 Trans Fat, 90 Cholesterol, 1240 Sodium, 36 Carbs, 0 Sugar, 38 Protein
While it doesn't cover them all, its a start on items that you should lean towards during the hustle and bustle that coincides with the Holidays. Check back with us in our next newsletter and we'll provide some additional suggestions for travel!
THIS JUST IN...STEPHANIE HAS BEEN VOTED STUDIO ELEMENTS ROCKSTAR OF THE QUARTER!!
Meet Stephanie. She is a wife to Jesse (12 years this month!), mother of two (Violet Joy 4, Penelope 6 mo.) working full time with a job that requires 40% travel. In the last two months with Studio Element she has lost 20 pounds, dropping 4 sizes and her body fat percentage. Not only is she feeling physically stronger, but mentally as well.
"I gained a lot of weight during and after both pregnancies. I have also had serious back problems for over 10 years. I started running in the past with no guidance and really exacerbated my back issues. I came to Studio Element because I wanted to be able to run again, to lose weight, and to try to resolve my back problems. I also wanted to be able to be active with my girls without constantly having to say, "watch out for Mommy's back! I am only just getting started but I feel a real sense of accomplishment. I want this to be a way of life. I really am amazed at how much better my back feels."
If you did not know, or have never been with one of Studio Element's Trainers
, not only are they all certified but all are required to have a 4 year degree in an exercise science related field. This is one of the things we believe puts the Studio above your standard gym trainer. Stephanie's trainer (Katie
) has not avoided her back issue but put a plan in place to improve and strengthen it. And that is not the only improvements they've made since they started their journey together...
"I only just started, I have a long way to go, but one major lesson I have already learned from training with Katie has to do with how much of my struggles are completely a matter of perspective. I can think about now, start now, make a good decision now. Don't dwell on the past and don't worry about the future. What can I do right now?
And I'm doing it! It feels pretty good."
And that's a little piece of advice we can all take! Thank you Stephanie for sharing your story and for the inspiring words.
With fall quickly approaching we couldn't help but to be excited for some our favorite seasonal recipes. Pumpkins aren't only good for carving and decorating, but for delicious and nutritious meals as well. (They have 9 important nutrients for the body!)We've picked out a few of our favorites here at the Studio for you to try.
Pumpkin Turkey Chilli
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 2 cups pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 dash salt
- 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup sour cream
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and saute the onion, green bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, and garlic until tender. Stir in the turkey, and cook until evenly brown. Drain, and mix in tomatoes and pumpkin. Season with chili powder, pepper, and salt. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes. Serve topped with Cheddar cheese and sour cream.
*Make it even healthier by using lean turkey, 2% cheddar cheese and low fat sour cream. You could also use the crock pot for this meal.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 285 | Total Fat: 16.6g | Cholesterol: 76mg
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 1/2 cups raw whole pumpkin seeds
- 2 teaspoons butter, melted
- 1 pinch salt
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
- Toss seeds in a bowl with the melted butter and salt. (For additional flavor, add a pinch of garlic salt!) Spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown; stir occasionally
*If you want to ensure crisp seeds, spreading them in a single is KEY!
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 83 | Total Fat: 4.5g | Cholesterol: 4mg
- 1 medium acorn squash, halved and seeded
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
Amount Per Serving
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Turn acorn squash upside down onto a cookie sheet. Bake in a 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven until it begins to soften, approximately 30 to 45 minutes.
- Remove squash from the oven and turn onto a plate so that the flesh is facing upwards. Place butter and brown sugar into the squash, and place remaining squash over the other piece. Place squash in a baking dish (so the squash wont slide around too much) while baking.
- Place squash in the 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven and bake another 30 minutes.
Calories: 189 | Total Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 15mg
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 2 cups pumpkin, cubed
- 2 cups cauliflower, chopped
- 1 oz walnuts, chopped
- 1 tbsp curry powder
Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine all ingredients in a baking dish and roast for approximately 45 minutes. Toss every 10 minutes until pumpkin is tender. Serve immediately.
Nutrients per serving (1/2 cup):
Calories: 188, Total Fats: 8 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 18 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 10 g, Dietary Fiber: 3 g, Sugars: 3 g, Protein: 3 g, Iron: 1 mg