Selected Podcast

Diet Tips to Help You Achieve Your Fitness Goals

Are you starting a new fitness program? Have you been working out for a while but can't seem to reach your weight or fitness goals? Learn to fuel for your workouts; how to eat the proper amount of carbohydrates, protein and fat; how to properly recover after workouts; how to lose or gain weight without sacrificing the quality of your workouts; why some of today's fad diets do or do not work.
Diet Tips to Help You Achieve Your Fitness Goals
Featured Speaker:
Kim Brown, RD
Kim Brown is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who is currently working at Henry Mayo Fitness and Health as a Community Educator. Kim has over 15 years of experience as a Dietitian.

Melanie Cole, MS (Host): Are you starting a new fitness program or have you been working out for a while, but you just can't seem to reach your weight or fitness goals? Welcome to It's Your Health Radio with Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital. I'm Melanie Cole and joining us today is Kim Brown. She's a Registered Dietician Nutritionist currently working at Henry Mayo Fitness and Health as a Community Educator. And she has over 15 years of experience as a dietician. She's here to help us today to help you fuel your workouts. Kim, welcome back. You are such a great guest as always. So tell us about a class. I just want to get right into your class that you teach, called Fueling for Fitness. What kinds of things are you talking about in that class?

Kim Brown, RD (Guest): Some of the things that we talk about are number one goals. You know, you may have a goal in your mind, but you really need to write it down and be really specific about what you want to do. In our class, we use a term called SMART goal setting. It's an acronym. And that stands for specific, you want to you want to write down what you want to happen. Whether you want to lose weight or you want to change your body fat or gain some muscle, you want your goals to be measurable. You want to know that you have accomplished what you've set out to do which would include using a scale, maybe using a tape measure or even a body comp scale where if you're tracking your body fat changes, you want to make sure your goal is attainable. Is this something that's really doable? You also want to make sure that your goal is realistic. Have you set a goal that's too easy or too hard? It should be somewhat of a challenge, however. Also your goal should be timely. And this is what I really want to get into is you have to set a timeframe for your goal.

If you set a goal to lose five pounds, but you don't set a timeframe, you could procrastinate your way right out of it. You know, you want to set a goal that's very specific. Something like I will lose 10 pounds in three months that checks all those boxes. Or I will increase my HDL cholesterol by 10 points in three months.

So those are just a couple of tips on goal setting. We talk about exercise, obviously. We talk about nutrition, which is the most important aspect. You know, a lot of people could certainly not argue that you can't out exercise a bad diet. We spend a lot of time on nutrition. Back to exercise, we talk about the basics. We really want to make sure, when we're talking about adults, that everybody's getting the amount, the right amount of exercise that they should be getting. In other words, meeting their minimums. We talk about pre-workout, post-workout and I also talk about some tools that are very helpful in tracking your progress.

Host: Wow. It sounds like a great class. And we're going to talk about those tools to track your progress, because I'm fascinated with that. What's involved as we start in eating to achieve those goals cause you mentioned you can't out exercise a bad diet, and I hear you there. Because you know, people think, well, I just ate pizza, but if I go on the treadmill now for 20 minutes, then you know, I've, I've nullified that, but that's not really how it works. When you talk about eating to achieve your goals, whether that's weight loss, or building muscle or maintaining, whatever it is, what do you think are some of the most important aspects of eating to achieve goals?

Kim: Well first you, first just to back it up, you need to make sure that you're eating within your calories. There are different ways of tracking your calories and calculating them. You want to make sure that you have a balanced diet. A lot of these you know, fad diets cut out whole macronutrient groups, for example, carbohydrates. People sometimes think that's the way to go and it just leaves you feeling really run down. Keeping track of what you're eating having some sort of guidance on how to put meals together. I like to, well here, myself and my colleague in all of our nutrition classes, we talk about the MyPlate and you can go to for a little more information, but the basic premise of the MyPlate and putting together your meals, it's really an excellent template to make sure that your, your plate is balanced. So for instance, you want to make sure that your, half of your plate is filled with fruits and vegetables to make sure you're getting enough vitamins and minerals and fiber and energy. Since we are talking about fueling for fitness. You want to make sure that a quarter of your plate is whole grains or starches. Again, more fiber, more vitamins and more energy. And a quarter of your plate is lean protein or plant version of protein for building muscle and stabilizing blood sugars.

Host: Wow. You know, it's a lot to think about, but when you say using the MyPlate and looking at our plate and the colors and the portions and all of these, it's really not as difficult as people think. Now you did mention tech tools. I'd like to jump into those a little bit. There's some exciting tools out there to help keep track of not only your calories, but the proteins, carbs and also your exercise amount. Tell us some of your favorites.

Kim: My favorite is MyFitnessPal. I know it's been around for a long time. I have yet to find one that is better. If you've heard of one, that's better, I would be dying to hear about it. But MyFitnessPal, what I love about it, it's a free download on your phone. Yes, they will try to upsell you on premium. It is not necessary.

So I love that it's free. It calculates your calories, which is so important if, if you've set a fitness goal. It also has a food diary with a humongous database there. I have yet to find a food that is not in there from restaurants. It also monitors your macronutrients and now we're getting into the nitty gritty of, you know, really taking your fitness to the next level.

It really helps to have that information about your macronutrients. In other words, what percentage of your calories is coming from carbohydrates, which is so important for energy, fats, which are essential and from protein. And MyFitnessPal offers up a great starting place when it comes to what percentage of your calories should be coming from each one of those macronutrients.

And if you are using the food diary, you will be able to track your macronutrients. And so it really does help you get to the next level.

Host: What are macronutrients? You just mentioned carbohydrates and proteins. We hear these terms bandied about, antioxidants, macronutrients and people don't really know what these things mean.

Kim: So macronutrients are the three food groups that all foods can fall into. So they're carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, all three are essential. That's one of the most important things to understand is that they're all essential. Carbohydrates are your friend as an athlete, as an, as an avid exerciser, carbohydrates are your friend. They are so essential. And the reason why you want to make sure you're getting enough is they are very efficient. So, the body uses them very rapidly. And so when you need that little boost of energy and you're eating carbohydrates, you will never be left, you know, tired or run down. Protein is essential, especially if you're upping your game with your fitness program. You need to replenish those muscle fibers that you just got done working and fats are essential as well. However, they are very high in calories. So you don't need in terms of servings, you don't need quite as many. But the important thing to understand is that all three are essential. When we're talking about micronutrients, we're just talking about the vitamins and minerals that are found within the macronutrients. So if you're getting a good variety of macronutrients, you'll also be getting a good variety of your micronutrients.

Host: Wow. You know a lot. I mean you do. You're just such a smart and really encouraging and motivating lady. So as far as the class, we're learning all of these things, we're learning how to exercise, right? We're learning some things about that. We're learning about how to eat healthy and how to eat to fuel our workouts.

But one of the things that I've always run into in all my years in the business is this negative talk. The things that we do, especially women. So even though we're exercising, we're setting those goals, Kim, we're also saying, oh God, I'll never reach that goal. Or we look in the mirror and we see ourselves and say, when did that happen?

you talk about the emotional, the psychosocial aspect of trying to reach goals? Because it can be very demotivating, if you negative self-talk yourself.

Kim: I agree with that. And it's so sad. So when we do our goal setting, you know, we do some long-term goals. Of course we know ultimately what we want to look like, and we want what we want to do, but we break it down into short-term goals. What can I do this week? Set a goal that is small. Like I will, I will walk three times this week. I will walk for 20 minutes. I will do it in my neighborhood. I will do it in the morning. And a lot of thought goes into what would make this tiny goal successful. And it's just, it's the little victories that add up. That's why you want to make your goals attainable, even the short-term ones, so that you can get over the little hurdles and build your confidence slowly.

Host: That's great advice because it does help. And the motivation builds on itself. So as you see little bits of things and progress, and you see these things happening, it encourages you and keeps you motivated and going. Now, what about fad diets? Tell us about some of the things that are out there because we see these things. Everybody wants a quick fix. Everybody wants a magic pill. But we've learned over the years as these have ebbed and flowed, right. That some of these diets are really, really good Mediterranean diets, such like that, but that some of them, when you restrict all carbohydrates or you only eat high fat proteins and fats, you know, there are all these diets out there. Speak to those a little.

Kim: Yeah. I'm glad you mentioned the magic pill because I do start off a lot of my classes with a little joke saying we're not going to talk about magic pills today and it always gets a little chuckle. So the two fad diets that I mainly talk about that are really popular now, one of them is the ketogenic diet. The other one is intermittent fasting. Ketogenetic diet is, is a very low carbohydrate, moderate protein, and fat diet. You know, it's been around for a while. It's sort of similar to the Atkins. You know, one thing I want to say is that what is really happening, weight loss happens when there is a deficit of calories. And sometimes these fad diets kind of trick you into thinking that some other really cool metabolic scientific special thing is happening. And it's really just calorie deficit. It's usually comes down to a calorie deficit, a lot of interesting. But then people will say, well, well, my cholesterol went down when I went on the ketogenic diet and a lot of wonderful things happen with lab work when you're in a catabolic state, you know, but it's not sustainable.

As soon as the weight loss stops, all of those labs start flipping around and moving in the wrong direction again. There is some pretty good science backing up the intermittent fasting. One thing I want to say though, about it is it's not a diet. It doesn't tell you what to eat. So there is no guidance on what you're supposed to be eating. It just tells you when to eat and it has some different methods on cutting or closing your eating window. In other words, reducing the number of hours that you spend eating and increasing the number of hours that you don't eat. The theory behind it is that it gives the body a little bit of rest from digesting food.

And and it, there is some evidence that it does help people with Type 2 diabetes. You would think that, you know, going longer without eating might cause hypoglycemia and it, and they found that it didn't. It turns out that for some people who, especially older participants and patients that I've worked with who are older and they have elevated blood sugar, they're pre-diabetic and they're thin, and they exercise a lot. And nothing was seeming to budge their A1C to come down. They tried closing their eating window a little bit, and it actually worked a little, so, you know. Of course, I would first say, you know, you need to mind your calories. You need to make sure you're eating well balanced first, but, you know, when all else fails, a lot of us eat in a 12 hour window, but closing it down to about 10 hours, and that's what the study support is, a 10 hour eating window seemed to work pretty well for those with Type 2 Diabetes.

Host: That's cool information. I'd like you to wrap it up for us with your best advice. And I know you're coming on again. So listeners don't worry about it cause she has so much information to impart and we didn't even get into the role of carbs and proteins and fats. And there's a lot we didn't get into in this podcast, Kim, but we're going to do more together, you and I, because, I really want to make sure that the listeners know that you have so much information to give them. And there's so much help out there when they're trying to reach their goals and they're trying to fuel for fitness. So give us your best advice about your class and about getting ourselves psyched up. Cause that really is a big part. Getting ourselves psyched up to start really with those SMART goals and Fueling For Our Fitness.

Kim: Well, the first thing I want to say is you can do it, you know, we'll, we will help you with your goals. We will sit down with you and go over what your goals are and help you with those long-term goals, help you with the short-term goals. Talk to you about exercise. What do you want to achieve? What do you enjoy doing?

And we go very deep into nutrition. We touched on a few things and yes, I have about an hour to give you a lot more information about carbohydrates and fats and proteins and the why that goes along with it. We will go over a little more with nutrition. Again, monitoring calories, balancing your macronutrients, keeping a food diary, having a meal plan. Meal timing, we will go over. We will also go a little deeper on pre-workout nutrition and post-workout nutrition. And give you those tools and get you started. We will even spend time in class helping you download MyFitnessPal and helping you navigate it before you leave.

Host: That's great. Thank you so much, Kim, for joining us today. Gosh, you're just such an information filled, energy filled guest. Thank you again. And it's such positive energy you put out there too. I just love that. And to register for Kim Brown's Fueling For Fitness class, visit and type the word fueling in the search box.

That concludes this episode of It's Your Health Radio with Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital. I'm Melanie Cole.