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A Transformation of a Lifetime

posted by Fitness Focus    |   October 11, 2017 17:04
This Transformation Coaching Package will be an opportunity of a lifetime for one person!  This Free Training Package isn't just for anybody. If you have a lifetime of struggling with your body weight, experienced fad diets that lead nowhere, and you don't know where to turn next; this opportunity is for you! 
 
Pictured Below is Russ Buhr.  Russ, as you may already know, is one of the Team Wawryk Pro Trainers that operate out of Fitness Focus. Russ hasn't always been a professional Personal Trainer; for years he had his own battles with weight gain combined with a lifestyle that didn't consist of enough physical activity or proper nutrition. After meeting Vince Wawryk, Head Trainer of Team Wawryk, he redirected his lifestyle, started to learn proper diet and training methods and shortly after began competing in Provincial Level Bodybuilding alongside his wife Lorraine.
 
 
 Fitness Focus Saskatoon Personal Training
 
Now, with ISSA Professional Training Certification under their belts, Lorraine and Russ wantto share their knowledge and experience with one deserving applicant for this Training Transformation Package. 
 
If you have a substantial amount of weight to lose and the drive to completely change your lifestyle, Russ & Lorraine of Team Wawryk Pro Trainers want to help you create a whole new healthier version of yourself by giving away this one year of free coaching package.
 
One Year Package Includes
Mentoring & Coaching
Weekly Check-ins
Gym Membership
Personal Training Sessions
Help with Meal Prep
Year End Photo Shoot
 
To nominate yourself or someone you know for this once in a lifetime opportunity please email russ.teamwawryk@gmail.com 

Take a Minute to Meet Our Trainers

posted by Fitness Focus    |   August 1, 2017 17:12

Take a minute to learn why our Trainers are so unique and among the best in Saskatoon. Team Wawryk Trainers are passionate for wellness, living a healthy lifestyle, have a drive for personal improvement and the desire to help their clients discover and reach their goals. 

Team Wawryk Trainer - JESS FRIESEN

Personal Training Saskatoon at Fitness Focus

Hard work, perseverance, motivation and determination are just a few of the traits that have fueled her passions throughout her life. From a very early age, she discovered her athletic abilities and excelled at many sports including volleyball, basketball, swimming, track and hockey. After high school however, the demands of post secondary education forced Jess to lose focus on sports and a healthy lifestyle and soon came face to face with the reality of not only being uncomfortably overweight and out of shape, but also dealing with an unhealthy relationship with food. Once realizing that she allowed herself to lose sight of something that she had been so passionate about for so long, she decided to embark on a journey down the path of health and fitness and has never wanted to look back. Her own experiences battling weight issues, self image and emotional eating, she understands the effort, energy and support that it takes to get the desired results. Jess' ultimate goal as a personal trainer is to motivate inspire and educate others about the benefits of exercising and living a healthy lifestyle. Results do not come over night, but with patience, persistence, and consistency anyone can achieve realistic goals.

Team Wawryk Trainer -  RUSS BUHR

Lawson Heights and North Saskatoon Gym and Personal Training

North End Gyms in Saskatoon

Russ Buhr is an ISSA certified personal trainer for Team Wawryk Pro Trainers with a passion for fitness at all levels. He believes in building a balanced lifestyle where fitness fits into a regular routine until it becomes something we do because we love it.  "Teaching you how to do this is my job".  Whether you need to lose 100 lbs or you want to step on stage in competitive fitness, Russ wants to provide you the tools to do so. Russ understands the struggles of being overweight; he recalls a time where he started training for the simple reason of becoming healthier and adding years to his life. After losing 100lbs and over the age of 40, he competed in the Saskatchewan Novice Masters Body Building class in 2013 and won. Since that time he has become the Provincial Masters Champion in Body Building under the coaching of Vince Wawryk (owner of Team Wawryk Pro Trainers).

Since his success in bodybuilding, Russ has added personal trainer to his resume of life experiences and is excited to learn and grow along side all of his personal training clients.

Create.

Believe.

Achieve.

 

Team Wawryk Trainer - DENISE KOMINETSKY

 Saskatoon Gym Personal Training

She completed the CanFit Pro Fitness Instructor Specialist Course (FIS) in 2013, and the Personal Training Specialist Course (PTS) in 2016. Denise has been a Figure Competitor with the Saskatchewan Amateur Bodybuilding Association since 2011. She placed well in each competition and qualified for nationals after only her first year competing.  

 

Team Wawryk Trainer - LORRAINE BUHR

Best Saskatoon Gym and Personal Training

Lorraine is certified through ISSA (International Sports Services Association), official Personal Training Certification (CFT), the Youth Fitness Training Certification (YFT), the Specialist in Fitness Nutrition Certification (SFN), and Certified in Sports Taping Therapy (RockTape).

     Along with all the credentials, Lorraine has competed in 5 bodybuilding competitions, the last one was in 2016, at a national level in the women’s physique class.

      Her approach to your fitness and health is that of a partnership. "I am here to work with you, to guide you, encourage you, listen to you, push you, be real with you, and keep you accountable to make sure you reach the goals".  Lorraine is your ticket to your health and fitness goals whether that be to build muscle, lose weight, increase functional movement, recover from an injury or surgery, or just live a healthier lifestyle.

Team Wawryk Trainer - Chris Pylypchuk

Chris is a Can-Fit-Pro Certified Trainer with a B.Sc Biochemistry from the University of Saskatchewan. He has always had a passion for fitness and sport. He is a firm believer in practicing what he preaches and as such is not only a trainer but also a competitive fitness athlete. Chris' goal as your trainer is to be 100 per cent honest with you on your progress, on what is achievable in your trainer-client relationship. Chris continues to educate himself to provide you with the latest and most effective techniques to help you achieve your goals through functional training and focusing on proper intensity. "I will not only help you condition your body but also your mind, to make my teaching something you can live with and enjoy."

 


Qualifications:

  • Can-Fit-Pro Certified Personal Trainer Specialist
  • WBFF Pro Fitness Model
  • B.Sc Biochemistry University of Saskatchewan

 

 

Are We a Part of Your Social Media Feed?

posted by Fitness Focus    |   August 31, 2016 16:08

You need to stay connected with your gym! You have all those social media apps on your phone and you're on them all day; why not add us to your network? When we have member exclusive promotions, contests, giveaways, updates, events or happenings around the club; you need to stay informed and there's no better way. 

Saskatoon Fitness Gym Social Media Fitness FocusSNAPCHAT: fitnessfocus.sk

Saskatoon Fitness Gym Social Media Instagram Fitness FocusINSTAGRAM: @fitnessfocussaskatoon

Saskatoon Fitness Gym Social Media Facebook Fitness FocusFACEBOOK: Fitness Focus

Saskatoon Fitness Gym Social Media Twitter Fitness FocusTWITTER: fitnessfocusgym

Saskatoon Fitness Gym Social Media Pinterest Fitness FocusPINTEREST: Fitness Focus

Personal Training at it's Best

posted by Fitness Focus    |   February 12, 2016 17:43

Personal Training isn't about having your work in the gym done for you, it's about learning something new or building on what you already know, from someone with experience.  You want a Personal Trainer that you can build a relationship with, so that their success is your success.

Take some time to learn about the Trainers here at Fitness Focus, the TEAM WAWRYK Pro Trainers. Their passion for fitness makes them your ultimate weapon to reaching your goals in the gym. They specialize in every aspect of fitness from weight gain, weight loss, proper nutrition, training programs, fitness competitions, psychological approaches to fitness and much more. You have nothing to lose by sitting and meeting with a trainer, consultations are a no cost way to see if a Personal Training is right for you.

Saskatoon Gym Personal Training

Through the chaos of work, raising 4 kids, coaching hockey, moving and the failing health of his father, Vince never put the dumbbells down. He entered his first bodybuilding contest in 1991. Over the past 20 years, Vince has dedicated his life to the sport. He works hard, researches information constantly, studies nutrition, he eats, eats, and eats some more. Vince is constantly tweaking his diets different training methods to be the best that he can be. His motto has always been..."compete against yourself" he tells clients "don't worry about somebody else on stage, and work towards doing better than you did the time before. If you can do that, you will learn, grow and ultimately achieve your goal." That's what Vince did; and that is how he became the 2007 Canadian National Champion of Body Building.

Saskatoon Gym Personal Training

Fitness and sport have always been a passion of mine and I feel fortunate to be able to share this passion with clients and friends at Fitness Focus. I am a firm believer in practicing what I preach and as such I am not only a trainer but also a competitive fitness athlete. My goal as your trainer is to be %100 honest with you on your progress, on what is achievable, and in our business relationship. I will continue to educate myself to provide you with the latest and most effective techniques to help you achieve your goals. Additionally I will not only help you condition your body but also your mind, to make my teaching something you can live with and enjoy.

Saskatoon Gym Personal Training

 Hard work, perseverance, motivation and determination have fuelled my passions throughout my entire life. From a very early age, I discovered an athletic ability within myself and excelled at many sports including volleyball, basketball, swimming, track and hockey. After high school however, the demands of post secondary education forced me to lose focus on sports and fitness and I came face to face with the reality of not only being uncomfortably overweight and out of shape, but also dealing with an unhealthy relationship with food. Realizing I allowed myself to lose sight of something that I was so passionate about for so long, lead me to embark on a journey that I haven’t looked back on in over ten years and ultimately lead me to a career in the fitness industry. Having been through my own experience battling weight issues and emotional eating, I know what it takes to get desired results. My goal as a personal trainer is to motivate inspire and educate others about the benefits of exercising and living a healthy lifestyle. Results do not come over night, but with patience, persistence, and consistency anyone can achieve realistic goals. I am so excited to be working with Team Wawryk and I can’t wait to get you started on the right track to reach your goals.

Saskatoon Gym Personal Training

My fitness journey started simply from one word, Competition. I was just a young boy from Cape Breton, NS with a brother 7 years older than me who was not only my role model, but a guy the fed a fire that still is burning today. 

I began lifting weights at the age of 13 in a small Olympic Powerlifting gym that was set up in a garage for $20 a month. Over the next year I developed my body, learning proper form and gaining strength which helped me excel in Basketball; that’s when I fell in love with fitness. 

After High School and numerous injuries, I realized I was not getting anywhere with sports. But, still having the competitive fire and burning desire to compete I became interested in Bodybuilding. A few friends were competing at the SABBA Provincials in 2012 and I began to follow their “cookie cut” diet without anyone knowing, so with the thought of maybe competing I pushed myself harder in the gym. After a year of building my body and dieting myself, I entered the 2013 SABBA Novice show in the newly created Men’s Physique category. I placed 4th which did not stand well with me. 

Realizing experience is what I needed to get to the next level I decided to contact Vince with Team Wawyrk and worked alongside them ever since. Gaining incredible amounts of knowledge and developing my physique from a 4th overall SABBA Novice finish to a top 4 overall CANADIAN National finish in little under 2 years. 

Since then I have become a MAGNUM Nutraceutical Sponsored athlete, started prepping for future shows, such as the Arnold Classic Invitational and CBBF 2016 Nationals; also coaching clients towards their own fitness goals, from weight loss, strength building, fitness contests, and more. 

To me, fitness is not about flexing, taking selfies and being better than the guy next to me. It’s about a passion, shared with numerous individuals, with many different goals, dreams and definitions of what fitness means to them but, at the same time trying to be the best they can be! 

I’ve made many lifelong friends, been places I never thought I could be and developed connections that will help me in my own fitness journey. 

This isn’t a part time job. It’s my health, it’s fun, it’s a community and most importantly… It’s a lifestyle!

Canadian Adult Fitness Tax Credit

posted by Fitness Focus    |   November 25, 2013 13:56

The cost of the Canadian Government’s plan to implement the Adult Fitness Tax Credit is stated to be much lower than the originally estimated cost researched by Fitness Industry Council of Canada. On September 25th, a report from the federal budget office was released. This report proclaimed that the implementation of an Adult Fitness Tax Credit could cost the government upwards of $268 million over five years. If the credit were implemented, it would allow Canadians to claim a non-refundable tax credit of up to $500 for eligible physical activity program costs against their taxable income at a rate of 15 per cent, or a maximum of $75 deducted from tax payable. In 2007, Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC) commissioned an economic report from the Centre for Spatial Economics (CSE), which outlined the potential costs of implementing the tax credit, as well as potential economic benefits that would result from its implementation. The federal budget office currently estimates that the implementation of an Adult Fitness Tax Credit could cost $268 million over five years. The 2007 CSE report estimated that it would cost government $389.5 million, which makes the government’s prediction $121.5 million less than expected. 

Based on the CSE report, the implementation of the tax credit would also create an economic benefit of $625 million over five years in net healthcare savings versus the tax loss. If both the federal and provincial governments participate, the health care savings would reach $1.1 billion by 2029. With an implemented Adult Fitness Tax Credit, the CSE report estimates the number of physically active adult Canadians would increase by almost one million people. Research consistently shows that a physically active person is more likely to have better health outcomes than a non-active person. Regular physical activity is effective in the prevention of several chronic diseases, untimely saving health care costs. Additionally, the likelihood that workers would miss work due to illnesses related to physical unfitness would decrease. During the 2011 election campaign, Prime Minister Steven Harper pledged that an Adult Fitness Tax Credit would be implemented once the budget was balanced. In March of 2013 at the House of Commons, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty updated his fiscal plan. He stated that the goal remains to balance the Canadian budget by 2015. “The lower cost estimate by the government is positive news for an Adult Fitness Tax Credit and the fitness industry. The estimated cost of the program, and the anticipated balancing of the budget, makes the possibility for an Adult Fitness Tax Credit even stronger,” says David Hardy, President of FIC. FIC is dedicated to continue lobbying the government to ensure that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s re-election promise from April 2011 of implementing an Adult Fitness Tax Credit is completed once the budget is balanced (expected in 2015). For more information on the Adult Fitness Tax Credit or to review the CSE report, please visit http://www.adultfitnesstaxcredit.ca

Does Your Workplace Offer Fitness and Health Incentives?

posted by Fitness Focus    |   August 14, 2013 16:05

The bottom line of a Workplace Wellness Program is to promote healthier employees.  Healthy employees can be an employer's best asset as they tend to be happier and more productive in the workplace. These programs are becoming more widespread throughout Canada and the U.S. and range from simply offering information and fitness education to workers, to subsidized healthy lunches.  Many even go as far to provide an onsite company gym or subsidize the employees gym membership at a local facility. Here is why a workplace wellness programs should matter to you:

The benefits for employers result from the welfare of their employees. Healthy employees provide the company with a strategic edge, and by investing money in a program that will bring them lowered expenses in return keeps them ahead of the competition.  Employers can expect to see its workers performing more efficiently, with lower absenteeism and lower health care costs.  Other indirect benefits for a company providing these programs include job satisfaction, as well as raising retention rates and incentives for hiring. The welfare of employees has a direct impact on the success of the company.

Workplace wellness programs can help you get healthier, even if that simply means learning how to reduce stress and muscle strain when you are on the job. Depending on what your company offers, it might also help to lose weight, lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, sleep better, and save money on prescriptions. You may even find your life taking a new direction, such as the desire to become more involved in recreational sports teams or other forms of competition like marathons or bodybuilding competitions.  Sometimes, all you need is a little motivation to get the ball rolling and a workplace wellness plan might be it.

Another great benefit of wellness programs is a built sense of camaraderie with your co-workers. You’ll have a chance to experience activities with them that aren’t related to work, whether in a walking club or sports team, by having lunch together, or by going to the gym. Social support is a very important part of weight loss and getting fit. By interacting with co-workers, you’ll have others to give you encouragement when you need it, as well as to hold you accountable to your goals. Plus, you’ll be motivated by seeing other’s positive results. By using a wellness program, you’ll be an important part of the team.

If you work for a large company, chances are there is already a Health and Fitness Program in place.  You can find out if there is one offered from your Human Resource Department.  Many smaller companies do offer these programs as well; discuss with other employees and your employer whether it is something that your workplace should offer.

Saskatoon Gyms Company Wellness

If you have any questions about setting up a company health and fitness program or corporate discounts please contact us info@fitnessfocus.ca.

 

10 Tips and Tricks for Weight Loss

posted by Fitness Focus    |   June 16, 2013 16:01

Here are 10 tips and tricks for weight loss that you may never have heard.

1.       The weight loss equation

The easiest way to explain the process of losing weight is that weight loss occurs when the body consumes less calories than it burns.  So the simple equation goes like this: Calories In – Calories Out = Weight Loss.  There are obviously many other important factors involved here, but keeping this simple formula in mind can be helpful in many situations.

2.       Monitor your daily calorie intake

Do Not obsess over counting calories. Being aware and maintaining a clear idea about the number of calories you're consuming daily is important to keep on track with weight management.  Get to know how to use food labels; know what you are eating in terms of carbohydrates, fats and proteins and remember: 1 gram of Carbs=4 calories, 1 gram of Protein=4 calories and 1 gram of Fat=9 calories. 

3.       Eat at predefined hours

Plan to eat your meals at the same time of day, everyday.  This helps digestion since our biological clock is synchronized with our brain and stomach.  Also, eating with consistency will help your know when it actually needs food, versus when your brain wants food.  Eating with consistency makes it easier to monitor and maintain weight management. 

4.       The importance of Water

Dehydration, lack of energy, tiredness and headaches are just a few of the effects from not drinking enough water.  Many of us make this critical mistake. All the maladies aside, when it comes to weight loss, water can assist detoxification and the removal of unnecessary toxins from the body and skin but also helps with digestion and keeps the stomach full, which reduces hunger and the unnecessary consumption of calories. Like vitamins and minerals, water also has a daily recommended intake.  For women, its just under 3 liters of water per day and for men its about 4 liters.  So, begin your day with a cold glass of water to restart all your body's natural functions for the day and don't forget to carry a bottle with you at work, during your daily errands and of course in the gym.

5.       Do not rush into getting super-fast results

Follow a slow and steady regimen to manage your weight loss and keep it off.  Taking on a crash diet from the Internet will end right where you started before diet.  Proper, healthy weight loss takes a bit longer.  Take time to do it right, and learn the proper changes to your lifestyle to make your weight management something you can do for life.

6.       Learn how to lose weight the safe way

Even people that have made healthy living part of their lifestyle for year make mistakes and often just aren't doing things correctly.  So as a beginner, its important not to get discouraged; there are many paths along the way to your goals and a lot of them will be dead-ends. If you are new to dieting and weight loss then most probably you are confused from where to start and what should be your first step etc. This is very common and one of the most popular questions we get from our readers the last 6 years. In my opinion before even starting a diet or weight loss program you should do some reading and familiarize yourself with the basic weight loss concepts. I am not suggesting spending days learning the theory, after all losing weight is a practical matter, but learning a few important concepts in advance can prove very helpful in the long run. The guide you are reading now is a good starting point as it covers all aspects of weight loss, fitness and dieting; you can continue reading our other articles as well since we have planned to gather all the information you need in one place.

7.       Keep a food and emotions journal

For many people emotions and feelings are associated with the quantities of food consumed.  When you are stressed or depressed you turn to food (and especially fatty food) for comfort. This is may be happening to you as well and you know that this is bad and can destroy all your hopes for losing weight. You cannot easily control this but one handy tip to try is keeping a food and emotions journal. This is basically a piece of paper (or an online food journal) where you record what you eat per day and your emotional state. If you do this for a couple of weeks and go back and have a look at the results you may identify some patterns and take some precaution measures. For example you can remove sweets and snacks from your cupboards and replace them with healthy alternatives. By doing so when you are feeling stress and turn to food for relief you will not end up eating a tone of calories but food items that are at least healthier.

8.       No need to measure your weight on a daily basis

As mentioned before, weight loss takes time and getting on the scale everyday won't make the process any faster but most probably will add more stress and frustration. Instead try to weigh yourself once per week with consistency; that means the same time of the same day every week because the later in the day will always be high than your weight in the morning.

9.       Never try to follow more than one weight loss program at a time

If you choose to follow a commercial diet or weight loss program then concentrate on one program at a time. Good weight loss programs have different phases, each phase having a clear start and finish goal. Follow the program guidelines correctly for the time required and evaluate your results at the end. Mixing different programs together or not following their instructions will not generate any good results.

10.   Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Don’t be afraid to seek professional help if you are not getting any results. The Internet is a great way to learn how to lose weight but sometimes other factors such as diseases, functional disorders may hold you back. A professional (a doctor or nutritionist) will be able to identify these and suggest ways to overcome them.

 

Are Weight Loss Goals Part of Your New Year’s Resolution List?

posted by Fitness Focus    |   January 3, 2013 17:20

This next year will be different, and you're going to make a fresh start this New Year. Around this time of the year, a lot of us find ourselves reflecting on what we accomplished in the past year and decide what changes we want to make to make a positive difference in our lives for next year. After all the prioritizing, you make your big decisions, and then within a month or so, the ‘New Year’s resolutions’ are all but forgotten.

Weight loss goals don’t have to be another promise to yourself which got lost along the way. Setting a goals is only part of the work; plan smart and get ready for the task and make it a success and avoid being in the same spot next year.  Weight loss doesn't have to be hard; it's all in your approach. Try asking yourself and this is very important; is it that you want to lose the weight or is it that you don’t want to eat or live the way you have been any more? The later is a lot harder if your heart’s not in it.  Long-term planning is important; you have to define your path, not just where you want to be.

1. Be realistic

It's been said a million times over, be realistic in when trying to make changes in your life.  Be honest with yourself about what is possible and what suits your lifestyle.  Planning to lose too much weight in a short period of time will only lead to failure and discouragement.  Make your decision with reality in mind. What is it that you can do, and how much time do you have to spend in exercising or follow a meal plan and so on. Start with what you can’t do and then build around it.

2. Enjoying the holidays

This doesn't mean you should give in to all urges and have massive eating spree, but just eat sensibly.  The smart thing to do at times like these is, for a few days, try not to diet on the holidays. Eating sensibly isn't the same as constantly sticking to some lettuce and cabbage diet while everyone around you is allowed to enjoy all the goodies that come with the season.

Try looking at it this way, everyone loves the holidays and they only come around once a year. If you don't take advantage of some of the holiday treats you'll be depriving yourself of all the Christmas excitement.  Why spend your holidays hating every minute of it.  By the end of all the festivities, you will be so sick of the dieting you have been sticking to and will find it harder to stay with that good eating plan as long as you had planed.  Don’t stress yourself about your food intake for a few days over the holidays, relax and eat sensibly.

3. Small is bigger

There is no need to go to completely radical lengths to lose weight. Usually it's the small changes we can comfortably make are the ones that last the longest and make the biggest difference.  Lifestyle changes, even the smallest of changes, like replacing certain snack foods with for veggies and greens; you can also cut down or space out your portions into more-smaller meals rather than attempting a very low restrictive diet.

Simply losing weight doesn't mean much if you don't change your eating and lifestyle habits as well.  Set a goal that you'll start walking to work every day instead of saying you want to lose 8 pounds in a month. Small commitments like that will add up expending extra calories.  These types of lifestyle changes are easily made permanent by incorporating it into your day to day lifestyle.

4. Measure the results

It's the reason you want to make changes in the first place, you want to see change and results. You don't want all your effort and time invested to be all in vein.  Measure your results to reassure yourself that you're on the right track. Measure your results consistently at the same time every week. And don’t just look for a change in your weight, results can come in many different ways.

Take Measurements at your waist or other parts of your body right before you start down this new path.  Your weight can be influenced by a few factors, one being water retention, but your waist may have shrunk or that your clothes feel baggy, it all counts because desired result are the biggest motivator. Record your results so you can actually see your progress and all the results.

5. Keep it interesting and keep it moving

The most frustrating part of weight loss and weight management are plateaus.  It happens to everybody at some point in time. This is what happens when your body adapts to the changes you previously made. If you are following a specific diet or workout regime maybe swap regimes every month or every 3 weeks. This may also help in keeping things interesting and battle boredom. Allow at least 2 weeks for any adaptations before changing your diet.

6. Keep a food diary

Try it, by the end of the day chances are you don't remember everything you consumed over the past 12 hours.  Maybe you're eating more than you think you are or more than you subconsciously want to admit.  Keep a diary of everthing you consume including drinks; it is surprising how much extra sugar and calories you probably consume through drinks.

Keep the diary before you start your diet and then see how many things you can change to lose the weight. To be honest the Christmas week may not be an ideal representation of your average week but it can provide you with an idea of what your actual eating habits are like.

Understanding Gluten Foods and Gluten Free Diets

posted by Fitness Focus    |   December 21, 2012 10:11

A very common term that you might have heard recently is "gluten-free diet".  It is a relatively new term, meaning a diet that is structured around excluding foods that contain gluten. Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat (including kamut and spelt), rye, malts and barley. It is commonly added to foods in the processing phase in the form of a flavoring, stabilizing, and thickening agent. Gluten free diets are the only medically accepted treatment for celiac disease, the related condition dermatitis herpetiformis, and wheat allergy.

Gluten free eating might also exclude oats. Medical Advisors are divided on whether to exclude oats or not; it is questionable as to whether they are an actual allergen to celiac disease sufferers or whether it is a matte rof the oats becoming cross-contaminated in milling facilities or in transport by other allergens. Contamination is even possible when oats are grown in rotation with wheat when wheat seeds from the previous harvest sprout up the next season in the oat field and are harvested along with the oats.  A growing body of evidence suggests that a majority of people with celiac disease that follow a gluten-free diet can safely consume oats in small, conservative amounts.

The term gluten free is typically used to indicate a seemingly harmless level of the gluten protein rather than a complete absence of it. The precise level that gluten is harmless for anyone with celiac disease is unknown as well as controversial.  In 2008, a systematic review tentatively conducted and concluded that consuming less than 10mg of gluten for celiac in one day is not likely to cause any physiological abnormalities, as it is still a relatively newly discovered disease few reliable studies had been conducted.

There are however, certain starches and grains that are considered to be acceptable that can be included in a gluten-free diet. The most frequently used are rice, corn and corn starch, potatoes, quinoa, and tapioca (derived from cassava). Other grains and starch sources generally considered suitable for gluten-free diets include amaranth, arrowroot, millet, montina, lupin, sorghum (jowar), taro, teff, chia seed, and yam. Sometimes various types of bean, soybean, and nut flours are used in gluten-free products to add protein and dietary fiber.

An unrecognized substitution is Almond flour.  Almond Flour is a conciderably low-carbohydrate alternative to flour, it also has a low glycemic index. Although the name suggests otherwise, buckwheat isn't related to regular wheat. Buckwheat, for the most part, is generally acceptable for gluten-free diets.  Commercial buckwheat products on the other hand are mixtures of wheat flour and buckwheat flours, and therefore can't be included in a gluten-free diet. Gram flour, not to be confused with Graham flour, is derived from chickpeas, is also gluten-free.  Graham flour is not gluten-free as it is made from wheat.  With such similar names, this is why it is important to thoroughly read your food labels. Gluten is used in foods in some very unexpected ways; sometimes added as a stabilizing agent or thickener in products that need to maintain consistency like ice-cream and ketchup.

People that must maintain a completely gluten-free diet must also be aware of the ingredients of certain over-the-counter or prescription medications and vitamins.  Again, check for a gluten free symbol or the words "gluten free" near the product information on the back of bottle. Women should be aware that cosmetics such as lipstick, lip balms, and lip gloss may contain gluten.  Even these trace amounts can cause gluten related reactions, so these products should be investigated before use.

Cross-contamination issues

Restaurants have started recognizing the growing trend among patrons and now offer specific gluten-free menus. People who are gluten-sensitive must always be aware that there are a variety of cooking procedures used in kitchens and grills that increase the likelihood of cross contamination between foods. This especially is the case in buffets where utensils typically are used in different food bowls by customers.

Being Aware of Gluten Free Labels

posted by Fitness Focus    |   December 12, 2012 02:15

The Accuracy of Gluten Free Labels

The legal term of the phrase "gluten free" does vary from country to country, however current research is suggesting for people with celiac disease the maximum safe level of gluten in a finished product is probably less than 200 parts per million and possibly as little as 20 parts per million.

Certain standards only allow the "gluten-free" label to be used on foods with less than 5 parts per million of gluten, 5 parts per million being the smallest percentage that we are currently able to detect. The following ingredients are typical ingredients found in food that does contain gluten:
  • Wheat Flour contains 80,000ppm
  • Wheat Starch contains 200ppm
  • Maltodextrin, Dextrin, Glucose Syrup all contain 5ppm
  • Caramel Color has varying amounts of gluten depending on the processing method.  It can still affect those with celiac and gluten intolerance.

Wheat flour contains almost 12% gluten; such a small number is still a very significant amount.  Even the tiniest trace of wheat flour can cross-contaminate a product that is gluten-free.  A certain degree of care must always be taken to avoid cross-contamination of foods. 

Gluten Free Bread- Fitness FocusGluten-free diets rule out many of the normal foods that we are all used to eating on a regular basis.  The foods in question span from ordinary breads and pastas to many convenience foods in our diets such as crackers, chips and cookies.  Gluten rich foods are food that also use certain thickeners such as gravies, soups, and sauces thickened with rye, barley, wheat or other flour. Gluten hides in many of our favorite day to day food choices. More and more these days various gluten-free bakery and pasta products can be found in specialty retailers.  Large chain grocers are now dedicating sections of their shelf space to gluten-free pruoucts.  Gluten-free foods tend to cost more than non-gluten-free foods, due to the higher cost of production and contamination prevention.

Other unexpected sources of gluten are non-foodstuffs such as certain medications as well as vitamin supplements, mainly the ones available in tablet form, may contain gluten as a binding agent. People with gluten intolerances might require specialist compounding of their medication.  There are also vitamins available without gluten, the package or label will have symbols indicating so, you may also see after any exclaimers the words "gluten free".

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