Which Ingredients Make Good Pet Foods?

When you are considering which pet food to choose for your pet the most important consideration should always be the ingredients. The quality of the ingredients are what truly set premium foods apart from the poorer grades of foods.

When you look at a pet food label the ingredients are required to be listed in order of weight or predominance in the food. However, this can be slightly misleading. This is weight prior to processing. This means that if whole chicken is used in the food it may be listed first in the ingredient list, which sounds very appealing to the customer. Whole chicken contains a great deal of moisture. By the time the chicken is processed it weighs much less. For this reason, some people prefer to see things like chicken meal, or lamb meal in the first few spots in the ingredient list since these ingredients have already had the moisture removed from them prior to weighing for use in making the pet food.

According to the respected Whole Dog Journal, and other sources, for dogs it’s good to see multiple sources of animal protein in the first five ingredients of a premium dog food. It’s especially important to have a good source of protein in the first couple of ingredients. The exception would be with foods that are sold as pre-mixes, such as dehydrated or freeze dried foods, which are intended to be supplemented with protein sources by the owner. In these cases you would not expect to see protein sources among the first few ingredients.

Many concerned owners look for the following in their pet foods:

You should avoid generic ingredients such as “meat meal” or “animal fat.” Instead look for named sources such as beef fat, chicken fat, lamb meal, fish, etc.

Look for human grade, USDA approved ingredients. Pet food cannot, by law, be sold for human consumption, but look for companies that are committed to using human grade ingredients. You can also seek out hormone- and antibiotic-free meats. All poultry is already raised hormone-free in the U.S. but other meats are not necessarily raised this way unless specified.

Try to avoid foods that use corn gluten meal and other glutens. Many dogs are allergic to corn. Corn gluten is often a cheap protein filler and waste product from other industries. There can be similar problems with wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate, which are also used as fillers.

Avoid “meat by-products” and “meat digests.” When reading pet food labels look for specific, named sources of protein, such as lamb, chicken, tuna, beef, and so on. The term “meat” is a catch-all phrase that allows the pet food industry to be very unspecific about what kind of meat it’s using, so you don’t know what you could be feeding your pet.

There’s also a vast difference in preparation between “whole” chicken, chicken “meal,” chicken “by-products,” and chicken “digests.” Each term describes different preparation and parts of the chicken used. As a consumer and pet owner, you want to purchase foods which rely primarily on whole foods and meals. These are the foods which are closest to their original, live form and contain the most nutrition. By-products and digests contain necks, feet, intestines and other parts of the animal that you would not consider fit for human consumption.

Many foods may contain these ingredients

Keeping a Fitness Log For Weight Loss

Losing weight is difficult, but one thing that can make it easier is looking at where you have been and how far you have come. This is what a fitness log is for, and many nutritionists and personal trainers encourage their clients to use them. A fitness log will allow you to keep track of what you are doing and what kind of progress that you have made. Putting together a fitness log will be enormously beneficial to you if you want to lose weight and get fit!

While there are many different fitness logs and workout journals that you can purchase at the bookstores and hobby shops, you will find that you can just as easily use a normal notebook. Just remember to date every page and soon enough you are going to have a lot of data that is quite valuable to you. You do need to keep up with it every day, and the more information that you put in, the more useful it will be.

When you are interested in keeping a fitness log, what should go into it? One of the easiest things to record from day to day is going to be your weight. Weigh yourself every day at the same time and you will soon be able to see what your progress is like. While your weight is going to fluctuate from day to day, there is going to be a clear line of progression that allows you to figure out how well you are doing. You may also want to record how you feel that day and whether you feel that your health is going. This can be an instrumental factor in tracking what affects your weight.

Another thing that you can put down in your fitness log is what kind of food you ate that day. Even the act of writing down all the food that you eat can make you more mindful of the dietary choices that you are making. Even if no one looks at them but you, you will find that you are in a perfect place to see how what you eat affects how much weight you lose or how much weight you gain. Having a record of how different foods affect you can also help you make better food decisions in the future.

Keep track of your exercise routines as well. When you keep track of them, you are going to be able to figure out what kind of routines work well for you and which ones strain you too much. You will also be able to see how consistent you are being about your workouts and whether you are sticking with your goals. You can always mark of a successfully completed week through stickers or a star in your fitness log.

Fitness Training Programs

Physical fitness is the state of the human body when it is in perfect health. Being fit is very important to stay alert both physically and mentally and also to ward off certain diseases that attack as the body ages. Fitness programs are schedules that allow a person to incorporate exercise into their daily routine. There may be many reasons for taking up a fitness program: to gain strength, to lose weight, to lose body fat, to fight certain disabilities, or just to become more fit. Continue reading

Becoming a Personal Trainer

I talk to a lot of people who are interested in becoming personal trainers. In this article, I will briefly share some thoughts on motives, attitudes and resources if you are thinking of becoming a personal trainer. I would recommend that you start by getting a legitimate certification. You can research the internet or talk to personal trainers at health clubs or private studios. As a suggestion, you could check out the International Association of Resistance Trainers, ISSA or ACE. These three certification organizations can be found on the internet and have several areas for you to consider. When considering a legitimate certification program, check out personal training / liability insurance.

Be sure that the certificate you earn will have clear guidelines on how to purchase insurance once you actually start to train clients. There are many fitness certifications that are not recognized by any insurance companies, stay away from these. If you choose to train without insurance, you are taking a big risk. Depending on the physical location of where you will train your clients (club, private training studio, corporate fitness center) you will need to check with their individual requirements regarding acceptable certifications and insurance policies.

After you have done your research on the above issues, if you are still interested, get started today! Whether you remain interested (out of the people who go into fitness training, many more drop out than stick with it) you can always use the information to further your own personal fitness programming. I believe that your initial training / certification will never be a waste. You will want to check out other certification programs later (may be required based on place of employment) in order to get plenty of exposure to all the different training methodologies.

Try to stay grounded – many programs are not that reality based. With any training information, ask yourself the question: How will I use this for my own, as well as my clients, fitness program? I have many doctors, other trainers and people with sports / human performance degrees who hire me to help with training issues. The rubber hits the road when you have a client who is depending on you to give them a cardio, strength training, eating, supplementation, injury recovery and / or flexibility program complete with personalized scheduling. You do not need to have all the answers but try to establish your own process for giving them the answers or effective referrals for what they need.

Not knowing what your previous experience is regarding working with people in general, I would suggest that you assess what your tolerance is for complainers and whiners as there are so many issues for so many people that you will need to address at some level (as a fitness professional). If you want to be a good trainer, you need to commit to the total client. I think too many trainers end up wanting to legitimize their own training priorities and believe that by becoming a personal trainer / fitness professional, they can focus all their time on themselves (not an acceptable mindset). They should stay out of personal training if they are not ready to commit to their clients. Do not fall prey to canned programs or using a cookie cutter approach for everyone you will train.

I come from

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