Fitness Q & A: Protein Bars & Nutitional Plans
Aaron Savvy, ACSM Certified Trainer

What’s your take on protein bars? Is there one that is better than the others?

            —Keith, Hollywood

Protein bars are exactly that—a meal supplement that is usually higher in protein than any other ingredient. Protein bars will vary from one to another. One can carry high carbohydrates while another will be low, sugars will vary, and so will saturated fats. I have seen a protein bar carry 360 calories while another will carry 110 calories. When I’m looking for a protein bar, I’m looking for one that is high in protein (20-30g) and lower in carbohydrates (20g), saturated fats (0.5-1g) and sugars (2-8g). I would not exceed more than one protein bar a day. I suggest having one as a supplement either between mid-morning and lunch or as a mid-afternoon snack.

I'm 5'10”, 160 lbs. and have worked out regularly since I was 20 years old. I am now 52. I workout for about an hour and a half almost every day. Each time I go, I work out one body part. Is that better than going fewer days and working the whole body?

            —Tom, Palm Springs

I suggest working out two muscle groups per day, and the core (abdominals) every other day. Choose one of the bigger muscle groups first—chest, back or legs—followed by a smaller muscle group—triceps, shoulders or biceps. Perform cardio last. Working one muscle group is OK now and then, but you cut yourself short obtaining your ultimate fitness goal. Working the whole body is a little extreme. Allow 45-60 minutes of resistance training and your allowed time for cardio.

Ryan, I am 40 lbs. overweight and it seems like I have tried every diet in the book. I am 38 years old and it all just seems hopeless.

            —Ryan, Silver Lake

I am here to say that you can lose the weight you are looking for. Let’s start by replacing the word ‘diet’ with the phrase ‘nutritional plan.’ I dislike the word ‘diet,’ as we generally have a tendency to compare it to the word ‘starving.’ A nutritional plan is a well-balanced eating schedule that includes all the essential nutrients your body needs.

The reason most people never see results is because they tend to forfeit their nutritional plan prematurely. The body will change with consistency. Generally speaking, a three-month window is needed to allow the body enough time to grasp to your new healthy lifestyle. Let’s start with applying consistency to how often we eat. Consuming four to five small meals each day—eating each meal every three hours—will force your metabolism to ignite and give up unwanted body fat. Focus on lean meats, vegetables, fruits, whole grains and drinking nothing but water. Water is a diuretic and will help assist in weight loss and hydration. Avoiding sugars, saturated fats and foods high in sodium will help the body recover.

Medically speaking, certain individuals may have thyroid issues, making it difficult to lose weight. If you feel thatyou aren’t seeing results over time, even with a constant healthy nutritional plan, a visit to your doctor is recommended.

Overall, when you combine a healthy nutritional plan with regular exercise, the body has no choice but to give in to your lifestyle.

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Fitness Guy Aaron Savvy prides himself as an elite trainer, working with individuals locally to take the necessary steps in building a healthy new lifestyle.

As an ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) certified trainer in Los Angeles, his goal is to guide and train you to be the best “YOU” can be, through mental preparation and hard work.

"For more information please visit or  email [email protected]."
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