Your life is what you create it to be!

Posts tagged ‘weight’

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.

Advertisements

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!

Stretch Much?

Ok, so maybe Stretch Armstrong is a little stretch of the imagination of how flexible we may be, but ya get the point. A question I get a lot is how and when to stretch.

There are several different types of stretches, as well as different techniques so I’m not going to dive into the fine detail and definition of all of the possibilities.

Some common categories of stretching that you can do on your own (without a partner pulling or pushing to create a stretch or force) are ballistic, dynamic, & static.

The first stretch I mentioned, ballistic – don’t do it. It’s basically been banned due to the injury possibilities and no beneficial effect over other, safer, forms of stretching. Ballistic stretching is the bouncing type of stretching, where you take the muscle to near its limit and then bounce to stretch it further using momentum. For example reaching over to touch your toes and bouncing to increase the range even further. this kind of stretching can injure vital muscles and nerves with the sharp jerking movements.

Dynamic stretching involves moving parts of your body and gradually increasing reach, speed of movement, or both. There is no bouncing, quick movement or jerking. It is slow and controlled; such as slow, controlled leg swings, arm swings, or torso twists.

There is also static stretching, which is the most commonly used type of stretch. This is when you reach into a stretch position, stretching to your farthest point and hold the stretch for a length of time. You feel a stretch in the ‘belly’ of the muscle, not in the joints.

So – do you stretch right off the bat before you get going into your workout or sport to get your muscles ready to go? Research shows that stretching immediately before your workout or sport can actually hinder your activity and can even cause injury.

See. there is a difference between warming up and stretching.

Our muscles are like taffy. If you left a piece of taffy sitting in the cold for a while, then grabbed it and started stretching it – what happens? SNAP! But if you warmed it up first, and then started stretching, now we’re talking Stretch Armstrong flexibility.

So get warm first. And warm ups will vary, depending on what you’re warming up for. You may want to mimic the type of activity you’re going to be doing, but in a slower, controlled way. For example with Turbo workouts, the warm up starts out with controlled punches, knee lifts, but some stretching is then integrated in the form of squats, shoulder rolls, etc to get the blood flowing to the major muscle groups as well as to prepare them for what’s coming.

Then rock your workout or play your game hard. And then cool down.

And THEN stretch. A lot of the studies haven’t really confirmed whether stretching prevents injuries or improves performance but may reduce soreness and help with flexibility. So whatever your reason for stretching – just make sure your body and muscles are warm and you are careful in your technique.

“You’re only as young as your spine is flexible.” ~Bob Harper ;~}

What Workout will Work for ME?

This is a question I get a lot.

I mean it’s either cardio or strength training or both – right? Well, at a high level, sure. But if you really want your workouts to be the most effective, understanding the type of cardio and strength training you’re doing is key.

Wait, the hours on the treadmill or stair climber and doing countless sets of heavy lifting isn’t going to get me where I want to be?Exercise and Workout Questions?

Let me explain. Sure, walking, running, stairs and weight lifting are all great exercises.

BUT.

There are some really effective concepts that are utilized in exercise, workout and training programs that can increase your results and performance so I wanted to talk about them here. You’ll see that I reference some workout programs that utilize each specific concept but it’s only because these are the programs that I am most familiar with and know deliver results, there may certainly be many others as well.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) – Exercising at your max in short (less than 1 minute) intervals improves aerobic and anaerobic energy release and cranks up your body’s metabolism to burn calories faster. So you burn more stored body fat to help you recover from the workout. This occurs because the intense intervals fatigue your muscle groups. In turn, your body works overtime to replenish the tired muscles with oxygen, creating the AfterBurn Effect, which can last for up to 24 hours after you’ve finished class. The AfterBurn Effect means you actually continue to burn calories for hours after your workout is over.

HIIT burns up to 9x more fat and calories than traditional cardio. Hello! Who doesn’t want that?

Turbo Fire uses these HIIT moves known as “Fire Drills” where unlike traditional cardio, HIIT means working out at your max in up to 1-minute intervals. Even after you’re done with class, your body continues to burn calories for up to a 24-hour period. This means 4 minutes of HIIT can be more effective than 30 to 45 minutes on a treadmill or stair climber.

MAX Interval Training – long bursts of ultra-high intensity moves at your maximum exertion level followed by brief periods of rest. Due to this fact, each workout keeps your body fully engaged as you rotate between aerobic and anaerobic intervals. Max Interval training increases your RMR (Resting Metabolic rate) which in terms continues to aid in burning fat longer than just while you are working out. Hours after finishing your workout you would be burning calories at a higher rate than normal. It is the High intensity workout’s that aid in raising the RMR similar to what having more lean muscle mass does from lifting weights and you additionally get this from your workouts during Insanity. By creating leaner muscles you aid in the increase in your RMR.

INSANITY uses MAX Interval Training which replaces your moderate intensity exercise with maximum-intensity exercise, and your short intervals of intensity with short periods of rest. Adding high-intensity exercise, during which your heart rate is raised to 80 percent or more of its maximum capacity, forces your body to use fast-twitch muscle fibers not normally engaged in cardio exercise. These fast-twitch fibers continue burning extra fuel even during lower-intensity exercise.

Muscle Confusion – Also known as periodization, muscle confusion is a systematic variation in resistance training program; periodically varying program variables such as type of exercise, training weight (resistance),position, number of sets, rest interval between sets etc. Our bodies will quickly adapt to an exercise routine and resist responding when it knows what’s coming. We can prevent this “plateau effect” by continually challenging the body to reach its maximum potential. Since it’s impossible to continually improve at the same rate over long-term training, properly varying the training variables can limit training plateaus, maximize performance, and reduce the likelihood of over-training.

P90X utilizes muscle confusion and gives you intense cross-training with 5 hard-core resistance routines, 3 fat-scorching cardio routines, and 2 ab-ripping routines, as well as extreme yoga and advanced flexibility. You work all your muscles, from every possible angle, using many different techniques. Whether you want to lean out, bulk up, or get ripped, there are endless ways to mix and match the routines to keep you motivated.

Post-­Activation Potentiation (PAP)– Doing a weighted resistance exercise prior to an explosive one can increase the amount of power produced.

Prior heavy loading induces a high degree of central nervous system stimulation, resulting in greater motor unit recruitment and force, which can last from five-to-thirty minutes; PAP intervention enhances the H-reflex, thus increasing the efficiency and rate of the nerve impulses to the muscle. HUH?

In laymen terms, this means that doing heavy lifting prior to explosive activity can actually help you fire higher threshold muscle cell motor units which, even even simpler terms, means that you will jump higher, run faster, or life more weight.

P90X2 is the next wave in applied science for body transformation takes P90x Muscle Confusion™ to a new level, focusing on strength, balance, mobility and explosive power. It takes the principles and foundation of the P90X concept and cranks up the intensity with exercises that demand balance, agility, and athleticism.

If you have questions, feel free to comment and I’d be happy to help!

How to plan your meals for weightloss

If you’re thinking about losing a few pounds, there are a few ingredients you need to ensure your success. Of course you need to have an exercise program scheduled in your week, complete with resistance, stretching, and cardio training. BUT, I’d like to focus mostly on how to organize and plan what you should be eating throughout the day to make those strides towards your goals in weight loss.

If you are like me on the days you haven’t planned what you will eat, you may be likely to either skip eating or grab a bunch of empty calorie foods or a boat load of pretzels. Planning and being prepared is key.

One of my tricks is to stay as consistent in what I eat from each day. Now if you are a person that likes creativity and variety, then I suggest you plan out a couple of days and then just rotate around them until you get in the habit of knowing how to pair up the foods you eat and the portion sizes. But for me, creature of habit. I’m pretty much good with the same thing everyday.

General rule of thumb is to choose foods you actually like to eat, and yes, healthy foods. Additionally, my suggestions below may not fit exactly in your dietary guidelines, and always suggest checking with your doctor.

But in general, you need to eat carbs, protein, and fats. Your life is not living a lifestyle if you omit a food group so you can quickly lose weight. I am not a fan of the no carb diets. Your body needs carbs as well as good fats. I’m a mom of 2 toddlers, married, running my own home business, as well as working professionally in the fitness world. I don’t have a lot of time to “think” about what I want to eat. These are my general guidelines:

  1. Find out how many calories you should be eating for your body type, weight, and goals (maintenance & weight loss) On average- decrease by 500 calories from maintenance to lose 1 lb per week.
  2. Once you know what your caloric goal for the entire day should be, divide up those calories into 5-6 meals. Then just choose serving sizes and foods each time you eat to fit that caloric range.
    1. If I’m on a 1800 calorie diet and eat 6 meals a day, then each time I eat- I’ll eat about 300 calories each meal.
  3. Always choose protein, carbs, and sometimes fats.
    1. Suggest eating 1-2 times a day of good fat. (Avocado, Olive Oil, Peanut Butter, Almonds.)
  4. Eat your starchy whole grain carbs in your first meals and switch to the fibrous carbs in the afternoon for the later meals.
    1. Starchy Whole Grain- Oatmeal, Whole Grain breads (be sure it doesn’t say enriched wheat)
    2. Fibrous Carbs- Vegetables are best choices (green) limit too many fruits.
  5. Be sure to always eat every 2 1/2 – 3 hours. Fuel your metabolism!

The quality of the food you choose will be your focus as well. When selecting your protein sources, be sure to choose lean meats prepared broiled, baked, or grilled. The more processing to the meat, the higher chance it’s not a good food choice. Also, you want to stay clear of deli meats. Those have a lot of preservatives and are not the best choice of meats to choose from. Only select that option if you are in need of something quick.

I personally supplement my meals as well so I’m not always “preparing”. I personally use meal replacement bars like Kashi but additionally everyday, I at least have 1 or 2 Shakeology shakes.

I know I’m getting the delivery of all my fruits and vegetables, probiotics, prebiotics, daily vitamins, and many rare ingredients I just couldn’t possible eat or fit in my day. It’s easier sometimes to just have a quick shake as well so your body is processing food. I personally chose to be a rep with this company because of this product, but I would suggest it no matter. If you want to know more about it or try a sample for taste, let me know.

Your main goal is to have your body run like a fire. Keep throwing small pieces of wood on it to keep the fire burning! Rather than 1 big load, which will extinguish your fire (metabolism) If you feed your body small mini meals, the fire of your metabolism starts working for you and increases caloric burn.

Also, don’t be so hard on yourself! Allow for moments of sweet tooth fulfillment!. Just jump back on your schedule. The more strict you are in your diet for too long of a time, the higher the chance you will go off on a binge and throw it out the window. So schedule in those days of indulgence. Maybe exercise a bit more that day or cut back the calories in the day leading and following. Be flexible, and know this is a lifestyle. We’re human, and as long as you keep working to see what works best for your lifestyle and to see that improvement, you will get there.

Tag Cloud