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Posts tagged ‘exercise’

Portion Sizes – Measuring is Critical for Weight Loss Success

I recently hired a natural bodybuilder to set me up with a diet plan. As I get older, I find I have to tweak my nutrition plan to get the results I’m looking for. I typically do not stay lean all the time and have to lean out for certain events or video filming. So in this occasion, I was curious on how my body would react with something specifically structured for me.
The diet plan was pretty bodybuilder basic 101. He had me eating 6 small meals a day and drinking at least 150 oz of water.

I was getting results, slowly but surely. But then my body hit a stall. The weight wasn’t moving for 3-4 days and I didn’t look any different either. The problem lies in my serving sizes. I wasn’t measuring, just eyeballing. Hey, I’m a fitness professional, I know what 4oz is. I can figure this out. I THOUGHT my husband threw out my manual scale when we moved from NY to TX. He always hated that thing. I went searching for it again deep in the cabinets, and found it!

To my surprise and madness, I was overeating on serving sizes! Sometimes 3-4 times the amount! Pictured here I was suppose to eat 2.5 oz Chicken and 3 oz Yam. As you can see my “guessing plate” and the “measured plate” on how I was way off!

So many of my meals throughout the day consisted of having 1oz of peanuts with the meals. Well, boy do I love peanuts! And the daily increase of an extra peanut or 10 surely made a difference when you times that by multiple meals in a day! No wonder I wasn’t losing weight! Even an extra couple hundred calories a day can make all the difference. Here was another one of my meals and how off I was:

So what does this all mean? YES, weighing and measuring is THAT important for your weightloss success! Even a fitness professional like myself can get it wrong. Invest in a digital scale (btw, I did throw out my manual cheap one after I bought a digital). It will seriously make all the difference in your hard efforts. By delaying measuring, is only delaying the success of your efforts and hard work.

Lose the Fat! How to get into shape after having a baby

How old is your baby? Well if you are like me after having a baby, there’s only a certain amount of time that passes before you feel embarrassed or silly saying, “I just had a baby” as your excuse as to why you are out of shape. It’s been said that it takes your body at least 1 year to be back to “normal” after having a baby. But, there are so many factors that decide what your shape will be. For me, I worked my butt off to get the weight off without compromising “supply” for nursing. That meant I couldn’t restrict my calories so aggressively to strip the fat off as fast as I would want. And let’s be honest here people, there is that slight mental advantage where you do allow for indulgences as you have that excuse for being out of shape, right?

But sometimes you just have to face it, take control, and get yourself back to healthy with no more excuses.
So what is the best way to lose the baby fat? And FAST! I mean I need it gone next week! Right? I know, I’ve been there! Assuming you have checked with your doctor and are in the clear to go for it, it can be a huge variable depending on your situation. But in general, it’s all trial and error in figuring out how to lose the weight.

I always get asked for help from people to lose weight. It’s a loaded question- because there are so many variables. Also, honesty is something some people don’t want to honestly admit all the time how they may not be living up to their end of the deal on exercise, or their diet is all over the board, or how they think a “this won’t hurt” bite of that won’t hurt their efforts. Well, it does.
As we get older, I tend to find that what worked for me last year, may not work exactly this year. General problems that people come across is they put so much ‘weight’ into the exercise portion of their results. Yes, exercise IS important, but I have seen many bodies come my way who exercise all the time, and they still look the same. The topic of your choice of exercise, is a WHOLE other topic. General rule and guideline we’ll go with right now, is to make sure you are exercising 5-6 times a week, both weight resistance and cardio.

When it comes to really transforming your body, your results are mostly dependent on what you do with your nutrition. You can try and take any fatloss pill to accelerate or stimulate fatloss, but that still doesn’t work if your nutrition is a mess.

TRUTHS
-YES, “that” will derail your efforts! – We nibble extra calories all the time and don’t think they add up, but seriously just having a couple hundred calories each day, adds up. Not to mention the off the wagon of blowing this day may play on your mind as you binge on all the goodies you have wanted because you will start again Monday.

– Water IS important! Generally try to get about 80-100oz a day.

 It IS important to measure! Get the measuring spoons, cups, and scale out because you will be amazed at what an actual serving is!

MY SUGGESTED/RECOMMENDED GUIDELINES:
1) Figure out what your daily caloric intake should be for a low activity day.This is the lowest amount of calories you will eat per day, and no, it’s not 1200 calories for everyone.
*Average a couple hundred extra calories on top of your low calorie range, and eat that amount about every 3-4 days in rotation.

2) Suggest dividing up 5-6 mini meals. Get away from calling them 3 meals and a snack. The brain will work more efficiently if you can keep it easier to count. Suggest keeping your mini-meals about the same amount of calories each time you eat.

3) Be sure to pair up your food with a carb/protein/fat almost every meal you eat. Generally have your starchy carbs in your morning meals and have your fibrous carbs in your afternoon/evening meals. Be sure to keep good fats in your diet and sometimes in each meal. Be careful to not have too much of a serving of the fats when you do, use your caloric range on each meal to guide you on how much.

4) If you stay up late, then you need to eat! If you are a night owl, gage that your last meal should be about 3 hours before bedtime. If you go to bed at 1am, then yes, you can eat at 10pm. Be sure to choose a fibrous carb and protein in this time. Or straight protein works well here too. If you aren’t sure what to have, go basic with greens and lean meat. Or you can make it easy and fix a protein shake.

These are some basic guidelines and the mistakes people tend to make when looking to lose the weight.
Important to get your vitamins, Omega’s, and suggest CLL.

I’m not a nutritionist, just a fitness professional. Just sharing what I have learned along the way.

5 TIPS on Achieving Your Goals This Year Without Making a Resolution

The New Year is approaching and you may be thinking of New Year’s resolutions. On average, the success rate on follow through it quite low. So instead, start thinking about where you are now and where you want to be. You still will be making a plan of action, but don’t call it a “resolution”. Set measurable and achievable goals to get on track and keep on track.

Plan – then take action to make it happen!

Don’t you find that it’s easy to sit down and make the plan of action, but then implementing and following through each day, you start to lose steam or have “make up task” days?

Written goals provide you clarity of direction that set you, your business, and your movement towards your goals up for success. But, it’s your commitment to take action and to keep following through to actually make things happen. One of the biggest areas where people de-rail their efforts they wrote down on paper, is setting to LARGE of a goal or task item to-do list each day. Best advice, is to break it up!! Big pie in the sky dream goals are good to have for the upcoming year, but break it down to week by week, and then day by day to-do list. General rule of thumb, is to create a TOP 3 list each day, and do that no matter what!! They all don’t have to be extensive and elaborate, but just a step in motion moving forward.

You may know where you want to go but realistically, without taking time out to make a written plan or map of how to get there, you are losing valuable time to actually reach it!

Below are my TOP tips on making a plan of action and to-do list that will actually have you feeling successful as opposed to as a guilty failure.

1) Make your plan something you want to do!
Too many times people make a list of what they SHOULD be doing because someone else says they should or they think that is the right thing to do. Define, what you are most passionate about, what you are most talented in, and set the plan to focus more on tasks that involve those things. You will be more likely to follow through.

2) Pick Something You Can Do Easily
Ask yourself if your plan is realistic and achievable for you right now. Evaluate realistically where your current obligations are in your life, and how your new action items can fit in for success. If you think it’s going to be too hard to stick to your plan, change it so that you’re likely to succeed.

3) Be Action-Specific
Specify exactly what is it that you’re going to do. Measurable action goals are a way for you to actively keep working on them in motion. You feel yourself doing and completing it as opposed to a wish list of “I’m gonna”. Set your action goals with measurable notches.

4) Set Measurable Goals
Defining a goal without a mark of deadline, quantity, or risk is still a wish list. There is no gage or mark of achievement. Be specific with your goals when you have them broken down in years, months, and days. For example, in business you may have a monthly goal to sign up 10 new customers. Breaking that down even further into the weeks will help you keep a measurable rate as the month nears it’s end. So your goal for the week may be to speak with 20 people. We all know the law of averages with success rates. If your goal is 10 new customers a month, you surely need to speak with almost 100 people to nail that goal as achieved.
If you have a goal each week of 20 people, then now break it down to your working days, and how many people will you be speaking with on those days to ensure you at least hit your 20 per week.
Weight loss works the same way. You may have 50 lbs you want to lose, but you can’t say at the start, I’m losing 50 lbs. You have to break it down into what will you achieve that month and that week etc.

5) Celebrate and Evaluate
Celebrate and recognize your achievements no matter how small they are! It’s forward progress in reaching your goals!
A strong tip I have suggested to many of my team through the years is to create a note book log. Record what action items, steps, programs etc.. you did during the measurable timeframe. Write down what you didn’t feel went well or was good effective use of your time as well as write down how you can really improve and do things differently or even better next time.

It’s easy to say you will be a huge success, you will lose 50 lbs, you will make the highest award level you can achieve. But, when it comes right down to it, your goal setting, you to-do lists, your action, your commitment and confidence, and your follow through will prove you got what it takes.

Working Out Your WillPower

We are faced with battling our willpower everyday. As soon as the alarm goes off, you are faced with many choices of will. Do you hit the snooze alarm, do you skip choosing a quick sugar filled breakfast for something healthy, do you skip the double mocha latte with whip and go for the plain coffee, Do you finish following through this major task for work or jump on facebook, and Do you choose to get a chicken salad hold the dressing or get that Turkey club complete with bacon! The list goes on! All day we are battling our will just to make better choices, ones that should be moving us towards our goals, keep us healthy, as well as form to what should be the best decision according to society standards. Does it make you cranky? Sure can! It’s exhausting at times to constantly be fighting temptation. Over and over again, it surely can start to chip away at your willpower and before you know it, BOOM; you’ve given in by allowing your priorities to crash and good choices fly out the window!

 

But great news is that research as proven that willpower works just like a muscle! Overtrain/work your willpower just like a muscle, it falls into fatigue. But, on the opposite scope of it all, it can be strengthened making you more productive and happier with your choices and results. Below are some habits you can use to help create strength in your willpower and not allow yourself to hit that wall.

1) Write it Down!– Keep a journal that you can keep daily notes and tracking on how you perform or scheduled your day. Whether it’s for weight loss and keeping track of your daily meal plan and exercise to following through on business building techniques for your business. This is a way to track back. So if in times where you start to fall short or hit a wall, you can track back to when things were good and progressing.

2) Don’t Procrastinate! – When you procrastinate on a task or get anxious, research has shown we tend to give into an urge to improve our moods by doing something else. One suggested book to read is Eat That Frog, by Brian Tracy. Suck it up, and get the hardest most daunting task done first!

3) Be on the OFFENSE team! – Many people are successful at making good choices and not constantly battling their will because they put themselves in situations where temptation isn’t even a choice. If you can proactively arrange your day and your life to avoid problems or bad choices in temptation, you will have a much smoother day with sticking to your plan in action. If you are trying to lose weight, plan your meals for the day and don’t fall into the lunchtime crew heading out to the all you can eat buffet! If you are working on habitual for jumping back and forth between email, twitter, and facebook to avoid a work assignment, close those programs or shut the computer down if possible! People who are proactive avoid risk. Just like taking your car in for check up and maintenance.

4) Pick your Battles! – You can’t control every situation or every temptation in front of you. It’s easy to fall into a trap where everything just goes to “pot” because you are stressed out with too many situations, obligations, and tasks! Choose your timing! If you are just starting a new job, trying to lose weight, and trying to quit smoking, maybe lighten up on how strict your efforts are while you take on such a major change in your life. Keep that forward progress but maybe put the breaks or slow down on the pace.

5) Reward yourself often! – People love incentives. Your reward doesn’t always have to be like a kid in a candy store. Making good choices on your rewards can be as simple as doing something you normal don’t have the chance to do, like a massage or pedicure. Or even schedule a babysitter so you can go out for a couple hours and do anything you want. It can even be having a day or meal where you take in some of the most desired treats you have been cutting back.

Success in your goals and achievements is planned. It’s a plan laid out like a blue print. You can’t build a house, unless you have a blue print. Work on creating habits that won’t leave you agitated and fighting with yourself every day. Find a way where it’s reasonable, takes maybe a different pace than you initially wanted, but will lay out a plan for success.

How to Start Running! I am not a Runner, I just Play one!

 

I am NOT a runner and by no means, will I claim to be an expert! BUT, what I will have to share is the aspect of just getting out there, no excuses, and just following through.

When it comes right down to it, when I am sitting comfortable in my chair, and I say in my head, “I’m gonna go running”, there’s a SMALL window that can easily derail my efforts.  Being careful to not sit down at my computer, if taking too long to figure out how to get Pandora to work on my iPhone, or even just not finding the perfect pair of sneakers, all can be an easy excuse for me to say- Oh well! I just won’t go. I WISH I established that “runner’s high!” What is that? HOW do you actually get that, can I buy it so this becomes easier???

I have decided to start my days at least with a quick jog around the block. Cross Training is very important, especially when your body gets used to doing the same type of work outs all the time.  I’m normally not a runner, I really should be saying jogger. To be very candid and honest, most of the time it’s because I just hate getting those shin splints and so sore!

So in my ventures to stick this out and start “jogging” more, I started to do some research on how to avoid those shin splints. I have found I tend to be a heel strike runner. Eh, that’s what I get for being a novice! And after watching many training videos on how to land more on your ball of your foot and roll onto your toes, it just doesn’t come that easy. I could have SWORN my high school track teacher says long distance runners run heel/toe and sprinters run on their toes. Well, we know I’m not going out for any records, so feel comfortable on the heel. But, those darn shin splints come fast!

So I watched videos, read articles, and they suggest landing on the ball and rolling off to toes.  I understand this will take practice, just like everything does, but the morning I ran this way I felt slower, it was harder because I had to keep thinking, “Stay off your heel”, “don’t point your toes” “just land neutral” “just be loosey goosey”….seriously, everything was rolling through my head to try and make that happen.  Eh, not sure if I succeeded or not, but I did wake up the next day with my shins and calves more sore. Could it be because of 2 days running in a row or because of my challenge in foot position?

My 3rd day, I snapped some pics while running, and what do you know, the proof is in the picture. 

I’ll keep working at it. It’s something I know I just have to keep practicing. As with everything, you will get better with practice, and I may just find that I might practice this so much, I may actually start to enjoy this!

Well, to tell the truth, I should whisper and tell ya, It’s actually been kind of enjoyable!”

I grew up in a small country town in upstate NY. To find myself in a place where I have been able to actually enjoy my scenery, and put myself back into the world of nature that I actually enjoy, has been nice!  I have been able to figure out that Pandora account on my iPhone, take in the lush scenery around me, get some sun in which I enjoy, and feel good about actually following through with doing what I said I would do!

What is really cool is living in an area that brings me joy! All the things that I have been building up to, and finding a moment of peace in my day to take in the scenery, enjoy the sun, listen to my favorite tunes, and not feel the pressure of constantly feeling like I should be doing something for work or for someone else.

I enjoy that the park across from my road and is the same name as my father’s name. I look forward to seeing that everyday as a mark of completion.

These are my moments, and I should protect them.  Who know’s if I’ll ever become a “runner”, but just to enjoy something different for a moment has been nice!  Being able to step out of my comfort zone and to be vulnerable as a novice.  There is no excuse.  Even if you only have a spare moment in time to do something quick for your work out, those 10-15 mins is better than nothing.  No excuses! You have your gym equipment. You have your gym membership. It’s free.  Just open your front door and go! Squats, walking lunges, and push ups are an extra BONUS!

5 Unhealthy Diet Foods that Can Make You Gain Weight

Eating healthy and finally deciding to take charge of your health and fitness is a great step in achieving the fountain of youth and quality of life!  It’s a fact! People who are fitter and healthier are happier!  A quality diet is essential for good health, but as s novice jumping into this so-called healthy food world, you can easily be fooled. Just jumping into the world of “diet” food conjures up feelings and thoughts of negativity.  My mother use to think that whenever she had to drop some pounds, she would have to eat grapefruit, cottage cheese, and lettuce for all of her meals.  Doing is surely a way to set yourself up for failure in the long run.  That’s not a normal daily diet, and is a quick temporary fix.

Be careful about the so-called diet healthy food.  Companies know how to fool their consumers with just a play on words. Check out some of the common words that easily fools someone into reaching for this so-called healthier version:

  • Fat Free
  • Reduced Fat
  • Low Fat
  • Sugar Free
  • No Added Sugar
  • Diet

We easily can believe that these foods in this category are healthier and the version we should choose, right?  This is an easy mistake to make.

Typically, those words cover up the real story of what is hidden: Full of Sugar, Chemicals, High Carbs, High glycemic index….I could go on!

Think about candy.  Isn’t sugary candy like starbursts, lollypops, jellybeans etc fat free? Why yes! But it’s loaded with artificial ingredients and sugar!

Check out some of the so-called diet good for you items that we so easily get wrapped up in using:

1) Diet Soda – Fewer calories and sugar yes, but research has shown that dieters actually gain weight when drinking this for long periods of time.

2) Smoothies – If you can blend it, it must be good for you, right? Wrong! How many calories are in that smoothie? Sometimes you choose items to add that have high levels of sugar, fat, and calories. It all adds up!

3) Pre-Packaged Frozen Diet meals – Easy for you to heat and eat, but loaded with sodium! These types of foods need artificial preservatives, that’s why they are in long term freezer storage!

4) Yogurt!  Most common choice of yogurt is loaded with calories, sugar, and fruit!

5) Popcorn!  – What? Popcorn is in the category?  Most often times people pop the 3 or more serving bags, and then eat it all! They are loaded with calories, sodium, and preservatives. Stay clear.

General rule of thumb is to choose fresh foods with limited processing.  If you stay simple with your food choices, you will get greater healthier results. Stick to lean meats cooked grilled, baked, or broiled. Fresh vegetables and fruits. And always remember to keep an eye on serving and portion sizes.

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How to Fit in Working Out When You are TOO BUSY?

Fact- You are NOT too busy, you just haven’t scheduled in the time to work out or you haven’t made it a priority in your life. It’s just an excuse, and first thing you have to do, is admit that you are making excuses. I think nowadays, we can all have an argument on who is busier than whom, correct?
I have had many directions and obstacles in my life that could easily be used as an excuse as to why I wasn’t working out. I used to travel nationally/internationally. Flying all day, working all day in an unknown environment, eating out every day; easy recipe to just go back to the hotel and watch tv.
I have had 2 babies, both via c-section all while working 2 full time jobs, 1 managing and developing 60 fitness professionals for a major fitness company and the other was starting up my home business JC Dwyer, Inc where I’m working in creating a monster downline and achievement in the Team Beachbody home business. I was also scheduling and presenting trainings on weekends (3rd job) and so much more! Was that an excuse, could be, but wasn’t.

I’m going to be honest, I personally don’t LOVE working out all the time. I’ll be VERY honest. If it wasn’t for me teaching group exercise, working for fitness celebrity Chalene Johnson, and being a fitness and health coach with the Team Beachbody business, I probably wouldn’t think to work out as much.
But even if those things aren’t your goals or even have the opportunity to do that, you don’t have to believe that’s what you have to do, to do it. You may just need to find the reason for accountability. Because, that is one of mine.

Recently, I moved from upstate Rochester NY to outside of Dallas TX. Family of 4, driving 2 separate vehicles, 1500 miles. My 2 toddlers always wanted to ride in mommies car, which I loved =). But moving across country, away from the state you have always known, the life you developed, comforts of home- is stressful and exhausting.
I didn’t schedule in working out. Left it up to it would only be a couple days, I’ll get back into it. But the struggles of waiting to get into your new home, closing, getting the your stuff moved in from the truck, putting it away can easily be an excuse to not fit in exercise. I did just that! Didn’t schedule it and left it up to how I felt that day and if I had time to work out.
I’m now faced with no classes to teach for group exercise! That was an EASY way for me to have it on schedule, I had to teach other people! It’s up in my hands now.

After 1 week of packing up, traveling across country, unpacking some, I finally scheduled a work out.
It felt horrible! I wanted to quit so many times, but I had to follow through and just do it, because it’s that important.

Bring on the TURBO!


So the moral of this is, schedule it! Life is busy! You can easily let it take over you! If you work for someone else, work from home, or don’t even have a job, your day can easily escape you and get filled with errands and other people’s requests.
Each day, start with these tips to ensure you fit in exercise:

1) Get your work out gear ready the night before!
2) Make your To-Do list which includes your work out
3) Put it on your actual calendar- schedule the EXACT time you will work out!
4) Set an alarm reminder for 30 mins before your scheduled time
5) If you are overwhelmed with things to do when your work out time hits, and you HAVE to do them, change up the length and intensity of your work out to be faster and more intense.

The things you do for other people, the business you build, the meals you make, the errands you run are temporary. How you feel about how you look, your energy level, and your overall positive feeling that you did something for yourself is the fountain of youth. That is longevity, so make it a priority.

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