Saturday, January 15, 2011

Dietitians Share Their Personal Struggles with Weight Loss

Even dietitians have battled weight issues and dysfunctional relationships with food. Through our own struggles, we have learned how to better counsel clients who want to conquer the same dietary demons.
First of all, one cannot lose weight for someone else. It has to be a goal for internal personal reasons. Take ownership of your own health. When someone else is in control of a personal issue, resentment takes over and motivation is lost.
One diet does not fit all. It's about finding what works for each individual lifestyle; everyone has their own weight-loss journey. Don't just change what you are eating, but also change what you are doing daily. Surround yourself with dietary habits that include physical activities, and don't expect immediate results.
Restricting food always leads to eventual excess eating. Become more in tune with your own behaviors and emotional aspects towards food, and learn to break certain patterns. Weight loss doesn't mean going hungry. By eating the right foods, the urge to indulge in the forbidden is diminished.
Be comfortable with who you are and avoid the yo-yo diet trap; too heavy, too thin - find balance. Obsessing over food and exercise pushes people to extremes. This pertains to developing a healthy self image and a healthy relationship with food. Don't hesitate to work with a counselor if you struggle with these issues. Fix the inner self, and the outer self will follow suit.
Weight control is about more than just eating right. It involves deeply rooted emotional issues and habits. If you wish to consult with an RD, by all means, don't feel intimidated; many have had the same experiences with weight control as everyone else. Besides being able to pass along healthy tidbits learned from our own weight loss journeys, we are able to empathize and inspire.

~ Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Choosing A Personal Trainer

Today's trainers are certified by a variety of organizations, and you may be wondering which is the best certification to possess. Each tends to bring something unique to the table, so the pivotal factor is not the certification itself, but the individual. It is more a matter of finding one who will work best to fit your specific needs and one whom you trust.
Here are some of the more well known organizations and what the credentials mean:
The American Aerobic Association International Certification is based on prior study and an exam. Certifications are good for two years and are renewed each year.
The American Council on Exercise Includes a written test on a variety of questions relating to execise and health related topics, designing programs for hypothetical clients, and requires automated external defibrillator (AED) certification. Credentials are good for 2 years and require continuing education annually to maintain certification.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) This designation requires a current CPR certification and a high school diploma prior to sitting for the exam. The exam includes a written test assessing the ability to design exercise programs, perform fitness tests, and safely work with healthy people and those medically cleared for exercise training. 45 continuing education credits are required each year to maintain certification.
The Cooper Institute Personal Trainer Exam consists of a written exam covering a range of topics; from exercise prescription and assessment to exercise science. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and hold a current CPR certification. Certifications are good for 3 years.
The International Sports Sciences Association consists of an at-home study program; the exam is taken on-line. Students must have a current CPR/AED certification prior to the exam. 20 continuing education hours every 2 years are required to maintain certification.
National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Trainers must hold a current CPR/AED certification prior to the exam which consists of 120 multiple choice questions. Two continuing education credits are required every two years to maintain the credentials.
The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) is a 200 multiple choice question exam that assesses the students knowledge of exercise prescription and testing as well as exercise technique. CPR/AED certification is required prior to the exam. This organization also offers other credentials such as the certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) which requires a college degree to sit for the 400 question CSCS exam.