Local fitness trainer whips us into shape with her new book
Atkins, Weight Watchers, Jared from Subway—these days everyone seems to have an answer to your weight loss problem. But whom should we listen to, now that it’s barbeque season?
As much as she hates to burst your bubble, local Toadal Fitness trainer and now self-published author, Rebecca Rovay-Hazelton is here to discredit one-size-fits-all health plans and offer tips for guiltless summertime grilling.
In her debut self-help book “Choosing Health,” released this May, Rovay-Hazelton uses her knowledge as a licensed American Health Science University Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant, to give you the lowdown on the pitfalls of dieting.
“There are so many health misconceptions out there and everyone’s looking for a quick fix,” says Rovay-Hazelton. “Either people have a horrible experience or they lose weight initially and then plateau or gain weight—all of which lead to feeling like a failure.”
She identifies this hurdle of self-discipline as half the battle in fitness and dedicates the first quarter of her book to it. “How can we all have a consistent fitness pattern for the long term and not feel like failures?” she says. “I want people to read my book and feel like, ‘I can do this!’”
Her answer resides in a simple phrase: Metabolic Typing. As broken down by her website, choosinghealthnow.com, Metabolic Typing is “a testable, repeatable, and verifiable scientific nutrition methodology based on each person’s genetic dietary requirements.” We typically fall into one of three categories—Carb, Protein, and Balanced/ Mixed Types that determine the types and amounts of foods we should be eating.
“Metabolic Typing targets towards people’s biochemistry; it’s set up to help people in an individualized way,” says Rovay-Hazelton. “It’s not just about diet, fitness or mental work, it’s about the big picture of balancing your health.”
From tips for better posture, to healthy grocery shopping, to smart restaurant eating, and the importance of rest, “Choosing Health” is a guide to wellness without the scientific mumbo jumbo. So what does Rovay-Hazelton have to say about your July cookout?
While she understands that potlucks can be delicious distractions from your health goals, you may want to consider her advice: “Veer away from chips and dips because they tend to be super processed and have lots of additives.” As an alternative when grilling, she suggests starting with whole foods like proteins, fish and vegetable skewers and putting a little bit of each on your plate, rather than selecting single things.
“If you eat carbohydrates by themselves, your blood sugar goes up and—if too much insulin gets produced, you’ll want to eat again,” says Rovay-Hazelton. “If you know you’re one of those people who doesn’t do well with a lot of carbohydrates, start with none or just a little bit on your plate and fill up on the meat first.”
While it may seem natural to sip on margaritas pre-barbeque, Rovay-Hazelton advises to “stay away from soft drinks and don’t drink alcohol on an empty stomach—it’s practically the same thing as eating carbohydrates by themselves.”
But before you get down on yourself, “Choosing Health” reminds us that the media distorts what we think we know about eating right.
“Eating lighter isn’t necessarily better,” says Rovay-Hazelton. “A lot of people are misled to believe that if you consume fewer calories, you lose weight; but that’s not necessarily true.”
Rather than restricting calories, which can mess up your hormone balance, she suggests keeping a food journal—not just for recording foods you consume each day, but also for noting physical observations like energy level, how soon you become hungry and if you feel forgetful. If patterns are not apparent, a Metabolic Typing Advisor can assess the situation.
“It’s all about the little changes … and your attitude changes along the way,” she says. “After all, it takes just as long to wait in line at McDonald’s as it does to wait in line at New Leaf.”
“Choosing Health” sells for $18 at local bookstores and at New Leaf on Pacific Avenue, Staff of Life, and Toadal Fitness. Rebecca Rovay-Hazelton will speak about her book at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 20 at the Westside New Leaf, 1101 Fair Ave., Santa Cruz, and at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 31 at Whole Foods, 1710 41st Ave., Capitola. (Register in advance to attend.) Learn more at choosinghealthnow.com.