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Maintain muscle mass

When you lose weight, it is nearly impossible not to lose a portion of your muscle mass at the same time. This means if you are eating a calorie-reduced diet or are following one of the many food trends, which allows you to be in a calorie deficit; you will lose muscle mass as well as fat tissue.

Naturally, there are ways that you can minimize the loss of muscle mass. By combining the right diet with a healthy amount of strength training, might result in an increase in muscle mass instead of a loss. However, you have to continuously make an effort to maintain that muscle mass – especially as you get older, as your muscle mass naturally decreases.

Proteins are the building blocks of your body, and of the nutrients that you get from meat, lentils, beans, soy products, and milk products. Proteins are already a part of your diet, but if you wish to build muscle mass, you might find it necessary to increase the amount of protein in your diet. Nupo offers two different protein bars (called Protein Bites), which are easy to bring along, to be enjoyed on the go, or after a successful workout.

Strength training is a broad definition, and covers a wide variety of exercise options – but it is essential that you are putting your muscles under stress. It can be beneficial to find different exercises or programs online to get you started right away. You do not necessarily need a gym to do strength training; you can easily work out at home without a ton of equipment, as there are plenty of bodyweight exercises.

If you find it difficult to get started, I can recommend using a “workout diary” to keep track of your exercises – what exercise do you need to do, and how many repetitions should you do. Furthermore, it is a great way to schedule your workouts – I often plan one week ahead, so I can make sure that I have time for all my workouts.

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Walking as an alternative exercise

If you think that exercising is difficult, because you have not done it in years, it is just a bad excuse for not getting started. You can get in decent shape, just by implementing long, regular walks in your calendar. Walking has plenty of benefits compared to running. For example, walking will not overload your joints in the same matter as running would.

Furthermore, you can probably endure longer distances when walking, than you can run because it is not nearly as exhausting. Walking also has the benefit that it does not require any special or particular outfit before you can start your walk. You burn nearly the same amount of calories when you walk, and it is beneficial for your general health. As with any exercise, there is no need to start by walking for 1-2 hours – you can easily build yourself up slowly, and for example, start with 1 kilometer and increase the distance from there.

If you are carrying a few too many kilos on the sides, have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or have a risk of developing diabetes, you can be guaranteed to improve your overall health by implementing regular walks in your daily life. It might seem overwhelming to use 1 hour each day walking, but most people can agree that they spent about the same amount of time in front of a screen – smartphone, TV, or computer. The time spent on these devices could be replaced with a nice, long walk. By doing this, you might quickly experience that the quality of your sleep schedule and energy level increases. The late summer and early autumn are also perfect for walking as a means of exercising, and it increases your physical health as well as your mental health.

Just do it! One of the key factors in changing your habits regarding exercise is taking that final decision that takes you from “thinking about exercise” to “doing the exercise”. If you want to fit into an old dress or pair of jeans, you need to do(!) something and not think about it. If you begin today, and slowly increase the distance – or time spent – on walking, there is a great chance that it will become a habit when autumn arrives.

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Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is an American tradition, which usually includes flowers and chocolate – Valentine’s Day is always on the 14th of February. I like that we have this special day, where we do something special for the people we care about – this does not mean that we should not do it every day.

Valentine’s Day is not all about flowers and chocolate, but it is also about during something nice for each other and help the ones closest to you, to achieve their goals and dreams. This could – for example – be a weight loss; it can be nice to do different activities together. On Valentine’s Day, you can spend the day – with your partner – and do different activities that get your heart rate up. You can challenge each other to come up with new and exciting activities, which you can do together – for example, bowling. I am rarely at a bowling alley, but I am always surprised, how sore I am the day after.

How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day this year? I will start my day with a short run and then a trip to my local gym. I have my normal routines, which I like to maintain – even when it is Valentine’s Day. This year, Valentine’s Day is in the same week as my children’s winter break, so I will prioritize spending time with them, and do some fun activities – maybe go swimming? Whatever you have planned for Valentine’s Day, I hope you will have a nice day, with the people you care about.

Health consultant, Team Nupo.

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When is a good time to begin a healthier lifestyle?

Women love to talk about diets and (un)healthy food. All the magazines write about more or less healthy diets and they also show lots of pictures of the fashion world’s interpretation of how the ideal female body should look. It is understandable that people get confused when it comes to dieting and a healthy lifestyle.

Many women have issues with their bodies and how much they weigh. Most women have some sort of experience when it comes to diets and most women like to share their experiences with other women. Almost everyone has an opinion about what works and especially what doesn’t. Many women say that they would like to lose weight, but often they have an excuse for not doing something about it. The excuse could be a family birthday, a holiday, a family vacation, or other social gatherings coming up. No matter when you decide to begin your weight loss journey, something will come up. That is life. But when you feel ready and motivated, just do it! Don’t let a family party or Christmas get in your way. Life doesn’t stop just because you change your lifestyle to a healthier one. You still need to live your life and do what you like to do, with whom you like to be around. Just because you are conscious about your diet and maybe eat differently than before, you still need to interact with other people. It is through interaction with other people we create good memories. If you find it annoying not being able to stick strictly to your diet, you must look at it as a small bump on your way to your goal. Your healthier lifestyle is something that is going to last through the rest of your life. You need to make a long-term plan, otherwise, you will gain all the weight you have lost, once you have reached your goal and let go of your healthy lifestyle. When I talk to a client about changing the diet and living healthier, he or she is often surprised that it is not temporary. When we have talked it through and discussed different tools to maintain weight loss, they understand why the new diet must be continuing. The lost weight will be gained back very fast if you let go of your new diet and go back to your old diet and habits. When you change your diet, there is still room for the food and the drinks that you want to have in your diet, but if they are the reason you need to lose weight, there will for obvious reasons only be room for these foods and drinks in limited amounts.

If you want to lose weight it is a good idea to have a weight loss buddy. A weight loss buddy is someone you can share your experiences with. The ideal weight loss buddy is of course someone who also wants to lose weight. The best buddy is someone who has the same goal as you, e.g. a wish to lose ten pounds or kilos. First of all, you can help each other to get going. Once you have started you can help each other to stay focused.

Everybody who starts a weight loss journey will experience ups and downs, and it is such a nice feeling when you can share your victories with someone and also a relief when you have someone to push you forward when life is tough. On Facebook, you can find a great number of closed groups for people who want to lose weight. Especially some of the American groups (that I have come across) are really good and the members are really good at supporting each other. I often see comments where you can write your weight, height, age, and your goal weight.

The members, buddy up in pairs or smaller groups, where they share their experiences and support each other. It is worth trying.

Health consultant, Team Nupo.

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How many meals per day is the right amount?

How many meals do you have to eat a day? That is a really good question and it is also a question without a straight answer. It is individual how many meals one should eat a day. If your weight is within, what is considered normal, and you are used to eating three meals a day and no snacks in between, then you will probably gain weight if you start to eat snacks three times a day without adjusting your main meals.

Other people can benefit from getting a more structured meal plan that includes planned snacks or in-between meals instead of snacking whatever is available between main meals. When I help a person to either lose or gain weight, I always design a meal plan with a meal pattern that is close to what they are used to. There are so many habits around the way we eat and what we eat. To be successful with a weight loss or a weight gain, the meal plan has to make sense to the person it is designed to. When your meals are spread throughout the day with planned snacks, it is less likely that you increase your eating at the next main meal. I often hear my clients tell that they skip breakfast and are too busy to eat lunch, so they often eat very large loads of food later in the day. The body is not designed to consume large loads of food at one go and especially not at nighttime. Your body needs to recover while sleeping, and not use energy on digesting.

For many years, especially the fitness industry has been maintaining that many meals throughout the day keep the burning of calories high. The burning of calories does not stop and/or slow down if you only eat three meals a day. You can boost your calorie burning by being physically active and increase your muscle mass. It is in your muscles that you burn the calories that are gained through the food you are eating. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you will burn.

If you normally eat in-between meals or snacks in order not to eat too much food at your next main meal, then Nupo has some handy solutions. Nupo makes some snack bars that are called Nupo Life. They are made of natural ingredients and they are very tasteful if you ask me. They come in four different flavors and you can use them as a snack for your kids as well. Nupo also produces a protein bar called Protein Bite. It is a small snack that is great before or after your physical activity to help you maintain or build muscles. It is of course always a great idea to have a healthy snack at hand when you are on the go and you want to maintain or lose weight.

Health consultant, Team Nupo.

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What do I need to eat, when I have been physically active?

I am often asked what you need to eat when you do a certain sport or work out in a certain way. A lot of people, especially young people, are very eager on getting sufficient protein. They drink protein shakes, eat eggs every day and eat large portions of meat. But do you really need that much protein to build muscle mass?

According to science, you need to have 0,8 g of protein per kilo body weight per day to maintain your muscle mass.  If your weight is 80 kg you need 80 x 0,8 g = 64 g protein spread out throughout the day to maintain your muscle mass. Most people get a lot more protein than they need and they don’t need to think about if they get enough.

When you do weight lifting and you want to increase your muscle mass, your protein need is a little bit bigger. You need approximately 1,5 g of protein per kilo body weight. If your weight is 80 kg you need to intake 80 x 1,5 g = 120 g protein spread out throughout the day. You might benefit from eating a small meal with protein just before your workout and again just after you have finished your workout. After your workout, your body needs to recover. During the recovery, you can continue with meals containing the protein your body needs to build muscle mass. The body can only turn over 20-25 g of protein per hour. Therefore, you need to divide your protein need into several smaller meals. Nupo produces a protein bar called Protein Bite.  It weighs 40 g and it comes in three different flavors. It contains 12 g of protein. It is suitable to have in your bag and it can be eaten both before and after your workout.

When you exercise or work out you use energy. The energy you use comes from the glycogen stored in your muscles. The glycogen comes from the carbohydrates you eat. When the carbohydrates are digested and absorbed in your body they will be loaded as glycogen in your muscles. When you do physical activity, you use glycogen in your muscles. Your muscles can only store a certain amount and it is beneficial to eat or drink something that contains carbohydrates before your exercise or work out to fill up the depots. After your workout, it is also a good idea to eat or drink something that contains carbohydrates to fill up the now more or less empty depots. When you do high-intensity sports such as running, swimming, or biking your diet and especially the carbohydrates are extremely important according to your performance. When you do a sport such as weight lifting or bodybuilding, your glycogen levels are important according to your performance. A lot of athletes are focused on especially getting enough protein, but the glycogen levels are also important when you have to do your best performance whether it is one kind of sport or another.

Health consultant, Team Nupo.

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The fall season is the time for indoor activities – How do you get started?

When the days are getting shorter, the temperature is declining, and the weather is getting more unstable, we tend to spend less time outdoors and thus be less active. The colder weather is often the reason why a lot of people choose to cut down on their physical activity level. It can be difficult to find an indoor sport that appeals to you and at the same time fits your schedule.

There are so many health benefits from doing sports. First of all, it is important to maintain your muscle mass throughout life. It is in your muscles your energy is being used and your muscle mass is contributing to weight loss and to maintain a healthy weight. Physical activity is strengthening your heart and cardiac. Your sleep quality gets better when you are physically active. And there is also a social degree of joining a group of like-minded people. It is healthy to be around others and it gives your daily life a break.

During the last years, the number of sports activities you can join has gone up. In most clubs, you can join a few sessions before signing up and becoming a paying member. If you are in doubt of which kind of sport is the right one for you, it is really nice that you can try it out before you decide if this is the right kind of activity for you. In some places, you are also able to pay only for the sessions you participate in. If you are in doubt of which kind of sports you can join in your local town, maybe Facebook could be the place to search. Many local news sites on Facebook are showing new initiatives when it comes to local businesses. If there is a contact person you can ask a few questions before going. If you talk to someone in charge who knows something about the sport, then you can ask the right questions to find out if it fits you and your schedule.

If you are disciplined you are able to do your work out at home. If you lack inspiration you can find tons of tutorials on e.g. YouTube. You can stay fit if you for example use a simple workout pass where you only use your own body weight and no other equipment.

If you have some equipment such as hand weights, elastic bands, or maybe kettlebells you can also find complete workout tutorials where you can use your equipment. Another possibility is to use a personal coach to get you started. You don’t have to book for example ten sessions. Most personal coaches are willing to sell maybe one or two sessions where they make you a personal program that meets your needs and your level of physical ability.

Remember to eat before and after your workout so you can fill up your energy depots and get some protein to build and maintain muscle mass. Nupo makes a small protein bar that is called protein bites and it is ideal to eat after a workout. It contains 12 grams of protein and it comes in various tastes.

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Tour de France: A chance to get out on your own bike

When you live in a bike-friendly country like Denmark, summer time equals riding your bike and of course binge watching Tour de France on TV. For many years I was not interested in any bike races incl. Tour de France, but the latter is actually quite a race if you learn what the participants have to accomplish during the course of the three weeks it lasts.

Whether you watch Tour de France or not, it is easy to jump on your bike and exercise. Denmark is fairly flat and does not have hills that are too steep -or any mountains for that matter. You do not need a fancy bike to ride around and when the weather is beautiful it is great just to be outside. A lot of people ride their bikes to and from work, which is a great way to get some physical activity built into your schedule. There are several advantages when you ride your bike to and from work instead of driving your car or taking public transportation. It gives you the freedom to decide over your own time and not adhere to any schedule. One of the advantages is that you don’t have to sit in a traffic jam on the highway. If you cannot normally find the time to exercise, riding your bike to work is a great way to exercise. It takes up to 16 weeks to incorporate a new habit. If you start now, your daily bike ride will have become a habit by autumn and you may have become so happy about biking that you decide to keep it up all year round.

If you going on a long ride, it is important to have the right food and plenty of water. It can be difficult to carry on your bike especially if you only have a small bag. If your bike on an exercise level to and from work, or during the summer to the beach, you can bring a One Meal bar or a shake that fits easily in to your bag. In my experience a lot of people do not eat breakfast before going to work and a One Meal bar or a shake can be a smart choice with a limited number of calories, if you wish to maintain your weight or to lose weight. When eating a bar or drinking a One Meal shake, you get what you need in a meal – and it’s on the go!

If you have not been riding your bike for a while and you think it is difficult to get started, another choice could be trying an electric model. It is a completely different experience and I think most people will find it fun to ride. I know I do. It is definitely more expensive than an ordinary bike, but it is a different experience that just may be worth the money, because you still get a higher pulse and the benefits of physical activity, even though it doesn’t feel as strenuous as riding an ordinary bike. And please – no matter if you are riding an electric bike or an ordinary bike -remember to wear your helmet.

Health consultant, Team Nupo.

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Decide your goal, and plan the way

If you do a competitive sport, there are some fixed rules and tactics to reach the goal. No matter what you are doing there is always a way to the goal. If you don’t have a goal or know the way to the goal it can be difficult to know in which direction to go and how to get to the goal.

The same logic applies to a weight loss procedure. It is a good strategy to consider what you want to achieve before starting out. How much weight do you want to lose? How do you want to lose it? What are the challenges? If you set a goal before you start your journey it doesn’t mean that you cannot change your goal once you have begun. It is all about getting started and getting a good start. Nupo VLCD diet is a very efficient diet if you want fast weight loss. In the first few days or first week you will lose a relatively great amount of weight, some due to liquid. The diet contains about 700 calories a day and consists of six shakes and 2-3 liters of water a day. You don’t have to eat other food while you do the Nupo VLCD diet. Studies have shown that it is easier to maintain weight loss if you lose weight fast. You can use the Nupo VLCD diet for up to three weeks, and then we recommend a one-week break. After the break, you can start up a new three-week period of the Nupo VLCD diet. If you are doing any other given diet and you feel that it is going too slow or you have come to a point where you are not losing any weight you can do a period of the Nupo VLCD diet to give your weight loss a kick in the right direction. Nupo VLCD diet gives you a calorie deficit that guarantees weight loss.

The biggest challenge for most people who wants to lose weight is that they don’t know which food to eat and in which quantities. When using the Nupo VLCD diet you don’t have to think about what kind of food you have to eat and how big your portion sizes should be. Every meal has been planned for you. All you have to do is to decide which taste fits your taste buds. You don’t have to worry if you will feel hungry while dieting. The diet powder is made of the nutrients that your body needs. Your needs are being covered and you will feel fullness. In the first few days, you might feel a little hungry but that is only because you are beginning to get used to smaller amounts of food and your stomach has to adapt to that.

Before you start your diet please think about what you want to achieve. Do you want to lose weight to become healthier? Do you want to lose weight because your clothes don’t fit anymore? Do you want to lose weight because of pressure from your surroundings?  Always be true to yourself. Only diet because you want to and not because other people put pressure on you. We are not alike and we are not going to be alike. You are not necessarily unhealthy because your BMI is above what is considered normal and you are not necessarily healthy because your BMI is within what is considered normal. You always need to think about what it is you want to achieve.

Overweight can lead to many different diseases, for example, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other diseases. Keep in mind that physical activity also plays a big role in your health status. If you think it is too big a step to be on a diet and being physically active at the same time, then start with the diet. You will likely get more energy from losing weight to starting to be physically active.