Saturday, February 12, 2011


from the Inside-Out!"
Bobby Morrow's
LifeStyle Fitness


Q: How many calories should I eat each day if I want to lose weight?
A: I recommend you start with approximately 10-12 calories per day for every pound of your goal weight. (Example:  goal weight 150 lbs…1,500-1800 calories…this is your “calorie bank account” for the day! But NEVER allow yourself to drop below 1,200 calories for females, 1,500 for males…your body needs at least that amount just to stay alive!! Also, too few calories will cause your metabolism to slow way down…you don’t want that because that’s what burns calories even when you’re just sitting around! OF COURSE YOU’RE NOT DOING MUCH OF THAT, ARE YOU??) If your energy levels should drop during the day (especially on workout days), that’s a sign you probably need to bump up your calories a bit…I’d start with an additional 100 calories per day until energy droops go away.

Q: How many times a day should I eat?
A: Most recommendations now focus on eating 5-6 times a day (3 regular meals plus 2-3 snacks)…the goal is to never allow yourself to get hungry (two reasons: one… if you are hungry you tend to make less healthy choices, and two…hunger is a signal from your body telling you it’s running low on fuel and thinks it may be “starving” and will soon begin to slow the metabolism in order to hold onto what "fuel" it's already stored (body fat)…and THAT is exactly what we are wanting to avoid!

Q: So, how many calories from my “calorie bank account” should I shoot for in each meal and snack?
A: A simple guide would be to divide your total daily calories by 5 or 6 (the number of “fuelings” you plan for your day)…then divide that number by 2…that would be your “snack” caloriesthen add that same number back to the original number for your meals…confused?? Here’s and example:  Total daily calories 1,800 divided by 6 equals 300…half of 300 is 150, this is your “snack” calories, add that 150 to your original 300 calories and you get 450 calories and this is for your meals.  3 meals at 450 equals 1,350 plus 3 snacks at 150 equals 450 for a grand total of 1,800 calories per day. Got it? ;o)

Q: Okay, I’ve heard different theories about Proteins, Carbohydrates, and Fats…what would be a healthy balance of these nutrients?
A: Again, generally speaking I would recommend you get about 25% of your calories from lean low-fat Proteins, 50-60% from Healthy Carbohydrates, and only about 20-25% from Healthy Fats and Oils.  Since your body needs all of these nutrients throughout the day (Proteins are the building blocks for every cell in your body…Carbohydrates are basically the “fuel” your body needs to run on, and also provide vitamins, antioxidants, etc…and Healthy Fats really do help keep the body running smoothly as well as many other health benefits)…shoot for this per cent balance in all of your meals and snacks.

Q: I think I’m with you so far…but what the heck IS a Healthy Protein, a Healthy Carbohydrate, and a Healthy Fat??!!!
A: Great question and I hear it ALL the time.  It CAN get pretty complicated, so I’m going to keep it as simple as possible…

Proteins: (remember, about 25% of your total calories)
The majority of our protein sources come primarily from Meats, Dairy Products, Nuts, and Eggs (however, there are also some high quality proteins in many beans, greens, grain sources, and other veggies).
“Healthy(er) Protein” choices are the leaner, lower fat choices  (take time to read food labels and simply try to opt for the next healthiest choice you can make rather than what you would normally select)…for instance 97% fat free lean deli ham instead of southern style country ham,  1%-2% milk instead of whole milk, or low fat cheese (mozzarella.string cheese) instead of full fat cheeses .  If you want a little help picking healthier (leaner, lower fat) proteins you might try this web site:  To KEEP your Proteins Healthy…use Healthy preparation methodsbaking, grilling, broiling, or boiling (and even stir-fry with a tiny bit of healthy oil)KEEP ‘EM OUTA THE GREASE and DON’T BATTER OR BREAD ‘EM!!!

Carbohydrates: (50%-60% of your total calories)
Simply, if you get it from trees, bushes, from the ground or any plant source, (we’re talking about fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds here folks)…it’s a Carbohydrate! However, food manufacturers tend to over-process these great Carbs when they can, freeze or otherwise attempt to extend their “shelf-life”…so choose “fresh” whenever possible, then frozen!  Also be aware that when they process “grains” they tend to remove many of the healthy parts…so avoid the white breads, white pasta, and white rice… choose  the darker, denser “whole wheat”, “whole grain”, “high fiber” breads,  pastas, and rices.  You can usually pretty much “load up” on most “green” vegetables, but just be cautious again with preparation, baking, steaming, boiling, stir-frying, or fresh are your best choices (DON’T FRY ‘EM!!).  I also recommend, especially in the beginning,  that you try to limit the high-calorie fruits (you know the super-sweet ones you’ll actually eat, like grapes, bananas, peaches, etc, which are mostly just water and sugars)…small amounts are fine, but focus more on denser fruits like apples, pears, etc.  And of course there’s the “potato question”…until you reach the Health Level you want to achieve, I recommend that you stay away from “white potatoes” and opt for sweet potatoes instead.  And for heavens’ sake let’s not forget the great old American standby…CEREAL!!  This one is actually pretty simple…go for the higher fiber, and lower sugar (again no more than 10 grams of sugar per serving) and measure your servings (most are only one cup)…it’s okay to have more than one serving, if that’s in your calorie budget…just make sure you are doing it consciously!

Fats and Oils: (these make up the balance of your calories)
I won’t get too complicated about Fats and Oils, but there are a few things you should be aware of in order to make healthier choices.  The first is that Fat and Oils carry TWICE AS MANY CALORIES as an equal amount of Proteins or Carbohydrates!  Second, your body NEEDS Healthy Fats and Oils…they  help keep your body lubricated and insulated, allow your body to use certain Vitamins and other Nutrients, help eye function, ease inflammation to keep metabolism and immune system healthy and functioning…and Fats compose 60%  of your brain (so if somebody calls you a “fat-head” say thank you!). Healthy Oils used in food preparation and cooking include canola oil, peanut oil, and olive oil… other good sources of healthy fats and oils are avocados; nuts such as almonds, pecans, hazelnuts; and seeds such as pumpkin and sesame. There are also a group of Super Healthy Fats called Omega-3’s…the best sources of Omega-3’s are from fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, or even anchovies and sardines…if you don’t eat much fish I recommend you invest in a Fish Oil Supplement and take 1,000-2,000 milligrams per day (choose the ones with ZERO cholesterol)the research is still coming in on these Fats, but it’s ALL very positive including reducing Heart Disease, Dementia, Depression, Some Cancers, and some research even indicates they help in weight loss…so you should try to include some of these several times a week (or take a supplement daily)!  And actually FATS are your body’s preferred fuel, that’s why we store our calories that way!  So Fats are definitely NOT our enemy…we just want to select the ones that will give us the most benefit and try not to overuse them…for instance Almonds, Pecans, and Walnuts make GREAT for snacks but are VERY high in calories as just a quarter cup will provide around 150 calories!

I hope you’ve found this information understandable and usable…I’ve tried to keep it condensed down to what I believe are the absolute basics you need to know in order to start making Healthier Choices for yourself and those you care about. There are unlimited resources on the internet that will provide you with more in-depth information…the more you know, the more you can take an active role in your Health, Fitness, and General Well-Being, so take advantage of those!

Bobby Morrow


First and Formost...FORGET FAST FOOD!! (It is NOT your Friend!!)

"It's VERY important to plan out your meals (and snacks) in advance...even put together 3 or more
"menu's" for each meal...that way you'll have a plan (as well as some variety)and will less likely wander off course."

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got!!”

“Do I want to feel, look, and be healthier…or do I want that food choice??”

If you don’t know what’s in it…don’t put it in your mouth!”

(For Now) If it’s fried…don’t eat it!

If it has 10 grams or less of sugar (per serving) in it, use sparingly…if it has MORE than 10 grams of sugar (per serving) in it…leave it alone, and opt for a choice with less useless calories.

For now, drop the “sauces”, “gravies”, etc…unless they are vegetable-based and low-fat (and low-sugar), like a salsa.

NOTE: As a Certified Personal Trainer with over 6 years experience helping 100's of folks on their way to their Health and Fitness Goals, I feel confident to offer the above general nutritional information to you in good faith...however, I always recommend that you check with your Physician before beginning any new Health and Fitness Program.  And if you have problems or concerns related to getting a handle on Nutrition...because it is VERY important, I recommend you check with a Registered Dietitian to help lay out healthy meal plans just for you.