Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

March 21, 2013

On Fitness column: Eating advice

On Fitness
The Andover Townsman

---- — QUESTION: On nutrition, be specific. What do YOU eat and drink every day? Breakfast, lunch and dinner, snacks, drinks…

Expert: Art McDermott

Owner, Matrix Strength & Fitness

Answer: Here you go:

Breakfast: Four eggs with low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella and some blueberries or strawberries.

Snack 1: Mixed nuts – walnuts, cashews and almonds. About ½ cup.

Lunch: A chicken breast and a veggie. Usually broccoli.

Snack 2: Protein shake with natural peanut butter and a ½ teaspoon of Chlorella. This is a “superfood” known to help remove toxins from the body.

Dinner: Six ounces of meat and more veggies.

Snack 3: A bite or two of chicken and maybe some more mixed nuts. My meals generally decrease in size throughout the day, as caloric needs lessen.

I drink water constantly during the day, well above the cliché of six to eight glasses. I don’t believe this recommendation is nearly enough water.

Guilty Pleasure: a few squares of dark chocolate (70 percent cocoa or above).

Nutritional downfall: diet soda. I dislike the taste of coffee, and use this as my caffeine source. I am doing my best to minimize my intake here.

Cheat meal: Sunday evening. I have 1 high carb meal per week to prevent my metabolism from slowing and to keep the production of the fat burning hormone, leptin from slowing.

QUESTION: Resistance training: What changes can I expect as a 50 + person going back to the gym after many years. Do I really need supplements?

Expert: Art McDermott

Owner, Matrix Strength & Fitness

Answer: Getting back into the gym is a great move, but there may be some things to consider.

1) You are going to sore after the first few workouts. Don’t overdo it. This soreness will disappear after the first few visits.

2) Your recovery time will take much longer than it used to. You may not be ready to workout 3 days per week at first. Build up to this.

3) Your gains may be smaller than you would like. This is due to decreases in testosterone and a lower level of muscle mass from years of atrophy. Be patient. The good news is that research shows that even individuals even in their 90’s can build muscle mass.

Regarding supplements: I recommend the following: Fish oil and a high-quality multi-vitamin. That’s about it for the general population. Other protocols are highly individual, varying with each person.

QUESTION: Motivational tips: What are the most amazing ‘side effects’ of exercise and eating right?

Expert: Art McDermott

Owner, Matrix Strength & Fitness

Answer: Wow! This is an easy one. If this list doesn’t get you thinking, I’m not sure what will.

The benefits of a sound diet and exercise routine include: Improved body composition, improved mood, lower blood pressure, increased energy levels, better sleep, decreased incidence of diabetes, heart disease and some cancers, including breast cancer, increased quality of life, a better ability to forestall Alzheimer’s disease, better sex life, longer life-span, and better memory and thinking skills. The list goes on and on…