Body Mass Index (BMI) is a statistical measure of the weight of a person scaled according to height. This measure indicates the percentage of fat in the body relative to your total weight. This formula can be used for adults from 18 to 65 years, and the acceptable body fat percentage varies according to gender and age.
The following equation can be used to calculate your BMI: Weight (kg) / Height (m) squared = BMI.
less than 15: seriously underweight,
15 to 18.5: underweight,
18.5 to 25: normal,
25 to 30: overweight,
30 to 35: moderate obesity,
35 to 40: severe obesity,
over 40: morbid obesity.
Originating in athletics and sports, the term "coach" is now widely used in almost any field. A coach is an expert who instructs others in a particular area, and can work with one or more clients at a time.
Coaching is the guidance offered to an individual by a coach, which includes the processing and analyzing of data, assessment of the situation and research for possible solutions, and finally, assistance; working closely with the particular individual within a fixed framework in order to help him/her achieve his/her goals, whether in the private or professional sphere.
Coaching can be summarized in the following essential points:
1. Coaching helps a person to identify and boost his inner motivation,
2. Coaching is the analysis and application of personalized solutions,
3. Coaching develops the individual's independence (with respect to the coach),
4. Coaching enables a person to achieve his/her goals in a manner which exceeds his/her expectations!
Though we might not agree on what your personal ideal weight might be, what counts is your body fat percentage. Body fat percentage helps determine whether or not you are at your ideal weight. Refer to my introduction on Day 1, where you can find a table of body fat percentages classified according to levels of physical activity.
I speak about it all the time... let's redefine it! Metabolism is composed of three elements:
1. Basal metabolism: all the energy expended in order to maintain regular body functions which accounts for 65% of our daily energy needs.
2. Physical activity (running, taking the stairs, walking through the subway station) which accounts for only 25% of the energy one expends each day. This may sound surprising, but it's a fact!
3. Thermic effect of food, which accounts for 10% of our energy needs. Thermic effect is the energy expenditure for digestion and processing of food we eat. For example, if an apple brings you 150 calories, it will cost you 15 calories to digest, leaving you only 135 calories to be burned (150 - 15 = 135). Easy, no?
As you can see, the majority of our energy expenditure is simply for the maintenance of our body functions. Muscles consume the most energy, thus an increase in muscle mass = more calories burned, even while sleeping. The more muscular you are, the higher your metabolism, hence my emphasis on increasing your physical activity. Through consistent exercise, we will develop a harmonious muscular mass and maintain a high metabolism.
Cardio (from the word "cardiovascular") refers to exercises which sufficiently raise the cardiac rate; a duration of at least 30 mins is necessary to burn calories, work the heart, improve blood circulation, etc. Runing, jogging, walking at a rapid pace, dancing, and swimming are all examples of cardio exercises.
Endurance is the ability to maintain a certain level of intensity in exercise for a specific period of time.
In sport, and in physical activity in general, physical endurance utilizes the following factors:
. cardiovascular and respiratory endurance: the heart and respiratory system must provide sufficient oxygen in order to maintain the desired intensity,
. muscular endurance,
. willpower, motivation, and morale
Literally "speed play" in Swedish, Fartlek is a form of conditioning which puts stress mainly on the aerobic energy system due to the continuous nature of this exercise.
It is interspersed with calm aerobics to oxygenate and pace the body.
Swede athlete Gunder Haegg broke the 5,000 meter World Record in 1942 using this method.
An example of Fartlek exercise can be as simple as running for 2 min, slowing down to a walk, picking up the pace again, and so on!
Refers to exercises which improve flexibility. These include yoga and stretches.
Refers to exercises which help develop muscles. These include lifting weights, abdominal crunches, and body-building exercises.
I have created a series of very powerful exercises, Metaboosts, which have an essential characteristic: they can be performed almost anywhere, at any time.
The exercise sequences last between 5 and 15 minutes, and can be chosen according to how much time you have during the day.
You will have the opportunity to discover them throughout the program.
To find a Metaboost Workout, simply click on "My Gym".
Glucids (sugars) in food are transformed into glucose by our body and constitute a source of energy for our body, particularly for the brain.
Glucids can be categorized into:
1. Simple sugars; those with a single-molecular structure, including glucose, fructose (fruit sugar), and galactose; or with two molecules, including saccharose (pure sugar) and lactose (milk sugar).
2. Complex sugars, a long chain of glucose molecules: cereal starches, leguminous plants, and potatoes.
Which are better to opt for, simple or complex sugars? This answer is not that simple... Indeed, glucids are also called carbohydrates, and products in this food group have very different properties, according to their glycemic index.
The glycemic index of a food reveals the food's capacity to raise the glycemia (your blood sugar levels) after a meal.
Indeed, certain foods release their energy fairly quickly into our system. If the glycemic index of a food is high (as in the case of potatoes, or white bread), this means that the glucids (sugars) of the food will be released very quickly into your blood, thus inducing a high glycemic level (a peak).
However, if the glycemic index is low (as in the case of lentils and wholegrain cereals), this means that the glucids of this food will pass slowly through your blood; the glycemic level is weak.
In conclusion, it's important to note which foods have a low glycemic index, and which have a high glycemic index:
- high GI foods (to be limited): sugar, white rice, white bread, white pasta, potatoes.
- low GI foods (to opt for): complete grains which are high in fiber (wholewheat bread, wholewheat pasta, brown rice, cereals: quinoa, bulgur, rye, oats, corn), dry vegetables, vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, eggs, nuts, tofu.
Lipids (fats) are essential for our body. Lipids are used in the composition of cellular membranes, they trigger several hormones, and ensure the transport of liposoluble vitamins (A, D, E and K).
There are various types of fats: saturated fatty-acids, mono-unsaturated fatty-acids, and poly-unsaturated fatty-acids (the famous omegas 3 and 6).
Saturated fats are the least beneficial for our health - found in meat, pork, butter, and cheese, for example.
Mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats play a protective role in our body and it is important to make sure we are not deprived of them (but that's not to say they are low in calories!).
Essential fats are found in plant oils, fish, hazelnuts, seeds, dry vegetables, avocado, etc.
Fats are high in calories, and it is thus very important to take account of the quantity of fat that one consumes, and most importantly, the quality.
Decrease the quantity of saturated fats, replacing these with other fats which are beneficial for the body.
Proteins are the essential components of any living cell. They take part in many chemical reactions in the body, acting as hormonal messengers as well as immune system constituants, known as neurotransmitters.
Contrary to the generally accepted idea, proteins are not found solely in chicken and meat! These are organic compounds found in in animal products, but also in plant products.
There are 2 kinds of proteins :
- Animal proteins, found in meat, fish, eggs and dairy products..
- Plant proteins, found in dry vegetables (lentils, chick-peas, kidney beans, flageolets, broad beans, edamame), soy, tofu, nuts, etc.
Your coach prefers proteins of vegetable origin because animal proteins often bring a high quantity of saturated fat..
Boosts are pure fruit and vegetable juices: natural concentrates of vitamins, nutrients, trace elements and antioxidants.
The boosts vary in vitamin content and color, based on their composition of fruit and vegetables:
. Green Morning Boost, packed with green vegetables is dominantly green,
. Orange Boost with orange and carrots is with dominant orange,
. Blue Boost - thanks to the blueberries :)
Boosts are to be prepared at home with the help of a juicer.
You should drink them immediately after juicing, because they oxidize when exposed to the air and the antioxidants and vitamins lose their potency as time passes.
The Essenes were an ascetic community, historically mentioned in relation to the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The Essenes are credited with the technique and basic recipes for Essene bread, which is made from sprouted wheat and prepared at a low temperature.
These two practices insure the maximum possible vitamin content for this product.
The sprouting also breaks down the lectins and other substances that some individuals may be sensitive or allergic to.
Ezekiel, Essene and Manna breads are made from 100% sprouted grains, as opposed to all other commercially available sprouted grain breads which also have regular flour included in the recipe.
New brand names of sprouted grain bread are continuously coming out on the market.
You can purchase sprouted grain bread at your local health food store in the refrigerated section, and you can also visit http://www.foodforlife.com and click on Store Finder to see where you can purchase sprouted grain products by the Food For Life company.
If you have a dehydrator (my preferred brand is Excalibur), you can actually make Essene bread yourself.
A falafel is a small vegetarian ball made with chick-peas, broad beans, coriander and other spices.
It is a speciality of Middle-Eastern countries.
The good news is that its glycemic index is very low, hence, your blood sugar levels will not move much.
The not-so-good news is that certain restaurants fry their falafel in oil for a very a long time, the oil often becoming rancid.
Therefore, it's better to make your own falafel at home, or to buy them from a place where you can trust the health and hygiene :)
They can be served as a main dish, or if you prepare smaller balls, you can serve as hors d'oeuvres.
Falafel can be garnished with chopped parsley, and accompanied by pickled cucumbers, diced tomatoes, Tahini (sesame sauce with lemon), and freshly crushed garlic.
Hummus (or humus) is a typical Middle-Eastern dish made of chickpeas.
Very healthy, with a low glycemic index (thus a low impact on your blood sugar levels), bringing good fiber and few calories, this dish is a great way to satisfy your taste buds without gaining the extra weight :)
In my program, I recommend it regularly in the weekly menus!
Kefir can be made from any type of milk: cow, goat or sheep, coconut, rice or soy, and creates ideal conditions in the digestive tract for the colonization of friendly bacteria.
Kefir is made from gelatinous white or yellow particles called grains. This makes kefir unique, as no other milk culture forms grains.
These grains contain the bacteria/yeast mixture clumped together with casein (milk proteins) and complex sugars.
They look like pieces of coral or small clumps of cauliflower and range from the size of a grain of wheat to that of a hazelnut.
The grains ferment the milk, incorporating their friendly organisms to create the cultured product.
The grains are then removed with a strainer before consumption of the kefir and added to a new batch of milk.
Kefir is probiotic, containing many species of microorganisms, and is used for its dietetic properties (flora, transit, health).
A close relative of kefir is kombucha, originating in China. Kombucha is sweetened tea that has been fermented using a macroscopic solid mass of microorganisms.
Kombucha is an effective metabolic balancer (helping the various organs work together), probiotic (supporting the beneficial bacteria), adaptogen (balancing processes that get out of kilter) and detoxifier.
Kefir is a balanced and nutritional drink which contributes to a healthy immune system.
The regular use of kefir can help relieve all intestinal disorders, promote bowel movement, reduce flatulence and create a healthier digestive system.
In addition, its cleansing effect on the whole body helps to establish a balanced inner ecosystem for optimum health and longevit.
To purchase kefir grains, try a Chinese pharmacy or herborist.
You may be able to get kefir at a health food store which sells organic products.
A common way of purchasing kefir is through private individuals, via Internet forums.
Sashimi is a Japanese delicacy primarily consisting of raw fish, sliced into thin pieces, approximately 2.5 cm (1.0in.) wide by 4 cm (1.5in.) long by 0.5 cm (0.25in.) thick.
In order to benefit from all the omega-3's, the fish needs to be VERY fresh.
Ask your fishmonger to cut the fish for you.
Like all fish, sashimi has a zero glycemic index. The best way to enjoy sashimi is in a Japanese restaurant of course. Eat it with chopsticks (not with your fingers - considered impolite to the Japanese) with some soy sauce and ginger.
Soyannaise is mayonnaise made without eggs, but with tofu - hence, very good for your health!
I prefer the store-bought soyannaise as it keeps for longer and generally has more taste than the one I make myself (this is an exception to the rule of always opting for the homemade version!).
In any case, if you do wish to make your own, here is the recipe:
250 grams of tofu
1 tsp mustard
Juice of 1 lemon
pinch of salt
7 tbsp sunflower oil
1. Blend the tofu, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper in a mixer, on high speed.
2. Gradually add the oil; blend until you obtain a smooth, homogeneous consistency.
Stevia is a healthy, natural sweetener, unlike aspartame and other chemical sweeteners which are known to be hazardous to your health.
Stevia is produced from a plant found in China, Brazil, and certain South American countries. Its crushed leaves have a very sweet taste!
In Japan, Stevia represents more than 75% of the sales of sweeteners.
In the United States, because of very powerful lobbying by the manufacturers of aspartame, Stevia cannot be sold as a sweetening product but rather as a dietary supplement.
If you cannot find Stevia, then you can use Splenda which is distributed everywhere and was even used by the Coca-Cola Company in their diet sodas for some time.
Splenda and Stevia do not cause a rise in blood sugar levels, hence safe for diabetics and loved by weight loss coaches!
Tahini is a condiment of sesame seeds, crushed into a paste.
You can find it in Middle-Eastern groceries, organic food stores, and many supermarkets.
Tofu is a curd made from soy beans.
Without a real taste of its own, it takes on the flavor of whatever it is prepared with.
An excellent source of plant protein, tofu is the king of foods for vegetarians and vegans.
You can find tofu in your local supermarket.
The tortilla is the queen of Mexican food. Originally made from corn, it is now also made from other germinated seeds.
You can find tortillas in organic food stores or in the Mexican aisle of your local supermarket.
A vegetarian hamburger is a hamburger made without meat, but with hummus or soy :)? thus no saturated fat! This is very good :)
You can find some in your favorite supermarket or in any organic food store. In my program, I will share with you a recipe for a vegetarian burger that you can make at home.
Grilled on the barbecue or fried in a non-stick frying pan, and voila!
Tastes great with a fresh green salad :)