1) Serving Size: Start from the top! Serving size is where the main deception lies. Something may appear to be worthwhile when in reality, you are eating multiple servings. Always multiply all nutrient values by the total number of servings you are consuming. A serving is typically much less than you’d think!
2) Calories: Total calories are important. If something is excessive, you’ll know it right away. Your body can only handle and break down so much at once. An overload could lead to fat storage. Keep meals small and often, not large and sparse.
3) Fat: There are good types of fat (essential fats) and bad types of fats. Saturated fats and trans fats can lead to weight gain, clogged arteries and, increased LDL (poor cholesterol). At a whopping 9 calories per gram, it’s important to limit excess consumption. As a general rule, we rarely recommend more than 15 grams for a meal and 5-7 for a snack.
4) Fiber: Fiber is one of the most important nutrients. Fiber helps to eliminate toxins, increase digestibility, and keep you full longer. Aim high. >25 grams for women, >35 grams for men.
5) Sugar: Here’s a task. See how many foods you can find that are higher in fiber than they are in sugar. Not many. Nowadays, almost everything is full of high fructose corn syrup. It’s in our breads, our cereals, our meats, everything. Be careful! There is no use or need for excess sugar.
6) Sodium: Sodium is packed into sauces, canned goods, deli meats, and snacks. It’s everywhere. More often than not, it’s used as a food additive to aid in preservation. You’ll find that your sodium levels will drop off if you start eating natural foods. Low sodium reduces your chances for high blood pressure.
7) Vitamins and Minerals: Always try and get the majority of your vitamins and minerals from food sources. Fruits and veges are your best bet!
If you’re like most people, the holidays are a time of mixed emotions. You’re excited and anxious to spend time with family, and you’re dreading the extra weight that you know you’re bound to gain. Are these holiday pounds inevitable?
Lean in close to catch these seven secret ways to help you fend off extra weight through the holidays. And once you’re done, don’t keep it a secret. Go tell somebody!
Holiday Secret #1: Listen to Your Body
It may not speak quickly enough all the time, but you know your body is constantly telling you things. Sometimes it tells you to stop a certain activity before you get hurt. During the holiday season, it tells you to put the brakes on your eating before you go beyond the point of no return. When your body tells you it’s full, listen up! A single bite after you’re full will lead to extra calories and eventually, extra pounds.
Holiday Secret #2: Confine the Holidays
For some, holidays become weeks and even months of poor eating. Be careful to avoid this pitfall by digging into your holiday foods only on the actual holiday. Treat the other days like normal days—even if you’re off of work. And when the holiday is over, let someone else take the leftovers home and go to your own house without any pudding or gravy in tow.
Holiday Secret #3: Eat First, Party Second
You read right—it’s good to eat before heading out the door. Have a healthy, well-rounded meal at home with fruits, vegetables, and your protein source of choice. And drink a tall glass of water. Why? So when you get to that holiday party that is overflowing with cookies, cakes, candies, and calories, you’re not hungry for it. Your stomach is full of healthy goodness and has no room for the fattening stuff.
Holiday Secret #4: Plan Your Escape
Getting away from food isn’t easy. If you expect to be able to walk away from delicious thigh- and gut-growing foods without any forethought, think again. Before walking into a potentially fattening situation, plan out what you’re going to eat and take your own dish to share if necessary. Any time there is a particularly difficult eating situation, make plans an hour or so after the dangerous-to-your-diet event begins and excuse yourself.
Holiday Secret #5: Exercise Everywhere
One of the best excuses to gain weight is that you have to travel to visit family and don’t have access to your personal trainer. Well, guess what? Just because your trainer isn’t staying in the hotel with you doesn’t mean you aren’t accountable! Scope out the area where you’ll be traveling and take advantage of whatever exercise opportunities are available. There may be a gym or pool at your hotel, a pay-as-you-go gym, or a nice park nearby where you can walk or run with or without family members.
Holiday Secret #6: Pay Attention to People
Holidays are about family and friends…right? Then stop focusing on food! When you go to a party, there is no need to hang out by the food table when there are people all around you! Ignore the grub and go for the meaningful stuff that you’ll remember and cherish. Besides, it’s much easier to talk without munching and you even listen better when you’re not stuck thinking about how good the next bite is going to be.
Holiday Secret #7: Drink Instead
No, this isn’t a license to drink as much alcohol as you can find. Doing that will add lots of useless calories to your waistline. Instead, do your best to make friends with a glass of water everywhere you go. As you mingle with your water glass, you’ll find it challenging to grab more than a couple of finger foods here and there, and the fact that it is water will help you remember to watch what else goes in your mouth!
Wouldn’t you love to make 2016 the year that you transform your body?
Wouldn’t it feel great to throw out all of your fat clothes? To look forward to bathing suit season? To be given a clean bill of health from your doctor? And to be showered with compliments by family, friends and that special someone?
It’s all more possible than you think.
But you’ll need to take massive action.
REGISTER FOR THE NEW YEAR, NEW YOU CHALLENGE
Go on, do it now and secure your spot before the New Year’s rush.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Yes, the holidays are here, but it’s also time for our favorite program of the entire year: the New Year’s Weight Loss Challenge! This is our third year to hold the challenge, and in my opinion, it brings out the essence of the Energia – 50/50 Fitness community in the most definitive way possible. On paper, it’s a weight loss challenge, but it is authentically about leading your best life possible by learning about what your body and your spirit need independently and synergistically. So many great relationships have been formed and connections made among participants, trainers, area organizations and small businesses because of this effort. It’s incredible to watch the challenge’s effect take place from year to year, during the 8 weeks of the competition and well after. Many participants are still carrying through those lessons learned during the first two years, realizing goals and setting new ones as they continue their journeys. And I sit in awe of their resolve and dedication that was once a mere ambition of theirs. We are excited to kick off the New Year’s Weight Loss Challenge in anticipation of all the greatness we know will materialize.
Your challenge this week is to determine whether the Weight Loss Challenge is right for you. Do you want to lose weight? Do you need help in figuring out how to eat and what you should do for exercise? Do you want to be a part of a community of trainers and co-participants who want to help you along the way? And probably the biggest question of all: do you want to gain tools you need to set and reach long-term goals for yourself in the future? Even people who don’t have 8% to lose have utilized the resources offered as a way to hold themselves accountable as they head into the new year. There won’t be any repercussions for choosing not to sign up (I promise!), but if you are thinking about it, talk to one of us and we can help you figure out what’s best for you. I can honestly say that with all the perks and benefits, no one has ever said to me that they regret signing up. I have had people say to me though, “I should have done the challenge.” Don’t be one of those people! Let us help you actualize those dreams you’ve had for yourself for so long for no other reason than the fact that you’re worth it.
You want what millions of other people do—to better yourself, one way or another. Whether you want to trim off extra pounds so you’ll feel better, look better, or be better prepared to tackle whatever demands come your way, you probably want to find the most efficient way to do it.
So where should you spend the bulk of your time and effort?
In the Left Corner: Diet
While fad diets have tried their darndest to malign the fine name of dieting, proper diet continues to be a vital way to effectively lose weight. In fact, research has shown that if you’re only going to do one thing, long-term dieting is the way to go.
What does dieting mean exactly? The connotation is pretty terrible. When in fact, it simply means taking very careful note of every bite you put in your mouth. Shouldn’t we be doing this anyways? After all, it is going INTO our bodies. But you can’t stop there. Because paying attention to what you eat isn’t going to make you lose an ounce of weight. You’ve got to take note of it and act on what you see. What are the patterns, the trends that become apparent? If you want to lose even more faster, you’ll even want to make sure your calories are predominately good calories. You’ll want to stick with fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein sources, and lots and lots of water.
Consistency and portion control are the two other clear pathways to success. So now, what about exercise?
In the Right Corner: Exercise
Like diet, there have been all sorts of fad exercise programs that have spanned from dangerous to ridiculously funny. But exercise hasn’t lost its place in the race for weight loss. Why? Because savvy people realize you’ve got to hit the gym if you’re going to maximize your weight loss potential. It is the single best way to ensure your weight you drop is fat and not muscle. Also, when you exercise, your muscles tone up and grow stronger. With more muscle, your body’s ability to shave off calories increases, making it easier to burn calories even when you’re doing nothing at all. Diet can’t do that!
Who Wins the Battle?
More than likely, you read this hoping that exercise alone would help you lose weight because you hate the idea of watching what you eat. Or maybe you’re just the opposite, and you prefer to watch your diet but absolutely loathe exercise. Well, there’s bad news for you either way. This battle that has been waging on for decades (okay, make that centuries) is ultimately a draw.
If you’re not willing to eat right and exercise, the success you see today will be gone tomorrow. Try as you might, one of these ingredients alone is not enough to help you lose weight, keep it off, and have an overall healthy lifestyle. In fact, you will find that once you become serious about losing weight, you will be careful about what you eat because you don’t want to put all that exercise to waste. At the same time, you’ll push yourself harder in the gym because you realize you could burn even more calories and get closer to your weight goal today.
So stop pitting diet against exercise and do both. Your good health and thinner self await!
If you’re on a mission to tone up and stay strong through the Holiday season, then it’s really important to try and hone your fat loss and minimize potential fat storage. And we all know, there’s a whole lot of “potential” lurking around us. Losing pounds feels good, but if those pounds are precious muscle, then you’re actually hurting your overall ability to achieve your desired results. In order to maximize healthy weight loss, let’s try and manage our calories more effectively, to avoid those massive ebbs and flows that inevitably come around this time of year.
Weight Management Tip #1: Keep Track
Your willingness to track your food intake is equal to your desire to lose weight. Being serious about losing weight means taking note of every meal you consume, making sure these calories contain enough protein, and stopping when you meet your daily allowance.
Weight Management Tip #2: Always Eat Breakfast
Possibly the most fundamental eating tip of all time, a healthy breakfast with a good protein source will help your body utilize good calories throughout the a.m. hours, letting you get to lunch without being tempted by that mid-morning office treat.
Weight Management Tip #3: Avoid Getting Too Hungry
Dieters often fast until they can’t take it any longer. Unfortunately, many poor choices are made in the heat of the hunger moment. Keep healthy (high protein and low carb) snacks nearby to stave off hunger and drink plenty of water to avoid eating when you should be drinking.
Weight Management Tip #4: Underestimate Your Routine
Yes, you just worked your butt off in the gym for an hour… But you probably didn’t burn as many calories as you think. To keep from overeating immediately after a workout, grab a bite within 30 minutes, but make it a small bite. And drink plenty of water. Then wait. Your brain needs time to tell your body it’s full.
Weight Management Tip #5: Stay Home
Your favorite restaurant may be calling your name, but don’t listen! By cooking your own dinner at home, you’ll sidestep a variety of pitfalls that occur while eating out.
Weight Management Tip #6: Reduce Alcohol Intake
It helps you relax and—if you drink red wine—can offer health benefits. But alcohol also comes with a lot of useless calories. To avoid having more calories to burn than necessary, skip the bar and grab another glass of water. You can notice the theme here! Most people do not drink nearly enough water this time of year, because it’s not hot. Our bodies still need that consistent intake, regardless.
Weight Management Tip #7: Redirect
Sticking with any sort of plan gets hard, even one as simple as this. The next time it gets unbearable, grab your phone and walk out of the danger zone (your kitchen) and call a friend or loved one. Ask how life is going or plan a movie night—just talk about whatever will take your mind off that temptation that will ultimately ruin your efforts.
Weight Management Tip #8: Hit the Hay
Remember when your parents gave you a curfew because “Nothing good happens after midnight”? Well, it still applies. Get to bed to avoid late-night snacking and help your body function its best!
Weight Management Tip #9: Go Green (First)
There are lots of good foods out there that you need—lean meats, dairy, etc. But don’t let these be the bulk of your diet. Start your meals with something healthy and green to keep your carb count low, and belly full.
Weight Management Tip #10: Weigh Yourself
You might not like the idea of jumping on the scale, but if you don’t weigh yourself, you may not recognize your progress. Just as you should keep an eye on your calories, you should also count your pounds and make adjustments to your eating and exercise routines as needed, based on how your body responds. Listen to it!
Weight Management Tip #11: Disconnect Diet from Life
Life, in general, comes with those ups and downs. Your diet should not. When stressed, don’t go to the vending machine. Put on your walking shoes and get going.
Weight Management Tip #12: Keep the Burn Going
Working out is not supposed to be a walk in the park. To push your body to its true potential and to burn more calories, don’t take long breaks between lower weight and body weight exercises. Rest no more than 30 seconds after each exercise to keep your heart rate up.
Weight Management Tip #13: Goodbye Sugary Sweet
Everyone needs a quick sweet on occasion. Make sure yours is natural, whole fruit rather than regular old sugar. Every day, it seems more research is showing that refined sugars and high-fructose corn syrup increase your likelihood of weight gain more than anything else.
Weight Management Tip #14: Move Now!
Maintaining a consistent, challenging exercise program is essential for your overall health and well-being, but don’t let that be your only exercise. Build 15-minute windows throughout your day during which you can take a brisk walk, stretch, or just generally move around a bit. You’ll be more alert at work, energetic, and motivated.
Weight Management Tip #15: Don’t Give Up
You may think it’s too easy a tip to list, but very few people have the will power necessary to keep with a program long enough to see the desired results. Commit yourself today to being one of those few. If you’re not yet a personal training client, it may be the perfect time to really experience the difference when you decide to finally put yourself first.
The main reason that you’re not happy with your weight is because of what you eat. It’s hardly your fault. Have you ever stopped to notice how many times you’re bombarded by food marketing each day? Ads come at you from magazine pages, T.V. commercials, on websites and billboards, each boasting of cheap, convenient and tasty ways to cure your hunger. The question “What’s for dinner?” has never been more complex than now. Extensive menu options and large entrees have distorted your concept of a proper meal, and before you know it you’ve fallen into the trap of the chain restaurant, the drive thru, and the take-out line. But wait – truly healthy eating is simple. First you need to block out the blizzard of food marketing around you.
Remember that advertisers want your money, and they don’t stop to consider if the food they promote will expand your waist – that’s your job. It’s safe to say that, with few exceptions, any food that you see marketed should be avoided. When was the last time you saw an ad for grilled white fish, steamed broccoli and a side of brown rice? So what does truly healthy eating look like?
A healthy meal contains lean protein, fresh vegetables and a modest serving of whole grains.
Just as importantly, a healthy meal does NOT contain:
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. What you decide to eat when you first wake up will set the tone for the rest of your meals that day. Try these healthy options:
It is important to plan your lunch ahead of time in order to avoid turning to a fast food joint or vending machine. Pack your lunch the night before and carry it with you. Try these healthy options:
Dinner is the meal where most people splurge and eat far more calories than they should. Eating at home is the first step in reducing your dinnertime calories. Try these healthy options:
While healthy eating is a huge factor in achieving your ideal weight, exercise is the other half of the equation. Your exercise routine should be challenging and should be done on a regular basis.
I know that you have more than enough in your life to think about without having to plan your own exercise routine. Leave that job to us—call or email today to get started on a personalized fitness program that will leave your body no choice but to shed those unwanted pounds, in spite of the holidays!
This post is for those who are completely fed up with trying to hit a goal that seems unreachable…
You’re probably thinking: What’s the deal? Why won’t the weight come off? Or why can’t I seem to get stronger and more fit when I am putting in all of this effort? You are doing everything you can think of to make it happen…
There’s one simple thing standing between you and all that you strive for. One. Simple. Thing.
And here it is…You eat too many calories. OR, you don’t eat them at the right time, in the right proportion, based on your activity level.
Wait, don’t give me the excuse that, “I only eat healthy calories.” That’s great, but even healthy calories add up to extra pounds when we let them go unchecked. And all of us have our own ideas about what it means to eat healthfully.
Back to Basics: Why Calorie Counting Works
You may have heard about the professor from Kansas State University, Mark Haub, who performed a famous junk food diet. Professor Haub proved a powerful lesson for anyone who still has weight to lose, so let’s listen up.
In a demonstrative experiment for his nutrition class, Professor Haub ate a diet of pure junk food for 2 months. I’m talking candy bars and packaged snacks – the kinds of things you find in a snack machine.
You’d expect him to gain weight, right? Well, there was one catch. He was only allowed to eat 1800 calories each day. Yes, those calories were pure junk, but the limit was firmly put at 1800 calories.
Before the experiment, Professor Haub’s typical calorie intake was closer to 2600 calories. So his junk food diet put him at an 800 calorie per day deficit.
Boy did that calorie deficit pay off. Within 2 months he had dropped 30 pounds, bringing his BMI from overweight down to normal.
No, we’re NOT recommending a junk food diet as your answer for everything. What we are pointing out is how powerful a reduction in calories is when it comes to redefining old patterns.
Do you know how many calories you eat each day? And how much each seemingly small slip up can put you out?
If you’re not sure, don’t worry. You’re about to learn the one tool that will change everything! First we need to get to the bottom of how many calories you’re eating each day.
Yes, even those healthy calories.
Before you start whining, let me explain. Food journaling doesn’t involved lugging around a journal, writing down each food item throughout the day then looking everything up at the end of the day to manually tally calories like it used to.
These days food journaling has gone digital, and tracking your calories only takes seconds of your time.
Here’s what I need you to do:
#1: Download a food journal application to your smart phone. At the touch of your fingers you’ll be able to look up food items and instantly see your running calorie tally. Many of these programs also sync with your activity trackers as well, and automatically adjust according to how much exercise you do on a daily basis.
Our Recommendation: MyFitnessPal
If you’re interested in getting started, follow this prompt, and one of our Health & Fitness Specialists can work to educate you on what sort of things to look for, how to use the app to it’s full capacity, and how to make meaningful changes, over time.
#2: Meet with your doctor to make sure all of your levels are in check (or just to establish a baseline), and to ensure that you’re ready to initiate a change. Eat healthy, fresh foods and when you decide to indulge, make sure to do so within your target calorie and nutrient ranges.
#3: Meet with us for a consistent and challenging exercise routine that’s in sync with your new eating plan.
These three, simple steps will give you structure and clarity that you need when it comes to making food choices and will quickly result in pounds lost and fitness goals achieved.
Once your goal weight is met and your activity level is where it should be, your target calorie range will be adjusted for maintenance. Sounds good, right?
Today I’m going to let you in on a little secret…it’s not hard to get and stay fit. It’s not about hard work and deprivation.
It’s all about boundaries. Let me explain…
When you were a child your parents set boundaries around you. They were the authority on what was or wasn’t acceptable behavior. You had to complete your chores before dinner. You had to finish your homework before going out to play. You had to eat all your vegetables before dessert.
If you failed to comply with these boundaries then you knew that there would be consequences.
As an adult you, and only you, are the authority on what is or isn’t acceptable behavior. You are in the position to set boundaries around yourself. These boundaries serve as a framework of order around you – a rock of support in an otherwise chaotic world.
With self-imposed boundaries you can assure your success in anything…specifically with weight loss.
Your fitness boundaries have to be self-imposed—no one is going to do it for you. Don’t look at this as a bad thing! Self-imposed boundaries are self-empowering. Let’s face it, you’ve been living life without fitness boundaries.
Your Fitness Boundaries
It’s time to introduce boundaries back into your life. These boundaries are the key to unleashing your ideal fit and healthy body.
Fitness Boundary #1: What you eat
If you were to be perfectly honest with me, you could list off the foods that are unhealthy and fattening. So why are you still eating them? You know that refined, fried, processed and sugary foods are not good for you.
Place boundaries around what you will allow yourself to eat. Acceptable food items include whole foods, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean meats.
Fitness Boundary #2: How you exercise
I know that you’re not an Olympic athlete, but that doesn’t mean that you can simply pass on exercise. By now you are well aware of the host of benefits that exercise provides. With regular exercise you’ll look great, feel amazing and have more energy than ever.
Place boundaries around how often you must exercise. Choose exercise that is challenging and fun – don’t be afraid to try new activities that improve your strength and endurance.
Fitness Boundary #3: When you indulge
Let’s face it, we live in a world where indulging has become the norm, rather than the exception. When you live life without fitness boundaries, everyday is an opportunity to indulge. These indulgences all add up quickly, causing your clothes to become tight and your energy levels to drop.
Place boundaries around when you can indulge. You’ll find that by limiting your indulgences you’ll end up enjoying them even more.
Putting It In Action
Sit down and take a long, hard look at your lifestyle. Are you eating as healthy as you could be? Are you exercising 3-5 times each week? Are you indulging too often?
Answer the following questions:
Remember that self-imposed boundaries are self-empowering.
Fitness boundaries put your fitness results on autopilot. If you know what constitutes an acceptable meal, then choosing what to eat just got a whole lot easier. If you’re committed to exercising 3 times a week, soon it becomes second nature.
Need help setting up your fitness boundaries? We are here to help – call or email us now!