Weight Loss

It’s Only Your Life…

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.

  • You eat whatever you want, whenever you want it.
  • You use any excuse to avoid exercise.
  • You indulge whenever it feels good.

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:

  1. What 3 food items can I eliminate from my daily diet? (These should be nutritionally void items like high-calories beverages, fast food, packaged snacks, high-fat food, candy or desserts.)
  2. When can I schedule exercise into my week? (Pick 3-5 days, and select a specific timeframe. Example: I’m going to exercise on Monday,Wednesday and Fridays from 5am-6am.)
  3. When will I allow myself to indulge? (Don’t go overboard here, especially if you need to lose weight. Enjoy a treat a couple times each month, and do so guilt-free knowing that you’ve maintained healthy food boundaries the rest of the time.

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!

5 Bad Habits of Healthy People

You aren’t a stupid person –not by any means.

In fact, I believe that you’re healthier than most. You exercise regularly. You watch what you eat. You keep up-to-date on the latest health concerns. You don’t binge on sugar. And you never – ever – eat fast food. Well, almost never.

But you do have a few unhealthy skeletons in your closet – ones that you probably aren’t even aware of.

The following 5 underlying “bad” habits are frequently committed by health conscious people. Once you break these patterns, you’ll find that achieving your weight loss goals just became a whole lot easier.

1. You’re Dehydrated

  • It has been said that 75 percent of the population is chronically dehydrated. Would you disagree? When was the last time that you actually drank 8 glasses of water in a day?
  • Dehydration occurs when more fluid leaves your body than is taken in. Symptoms include: fatigue, irritability, headaches, nausea, rapid heart rate, and, in extreme cases, even death.
  • Dehydration also slows your metabolism, which hinders weight loss.

You shouldn’t wait until the feeling of thirst or dry mouth hits you, at that point damage has already been done. Instead, constantly rehydrate throughout your day to avoid the side effects.

The best way to do this is to incorporate water into your daily schedule. Have a water bottle at your desk and train yourself to sip on it often, and get into the habit of drinking a full glass of water with each meal and snack. You can even create a water tracker or spreadsheet and mark off each time you finish a bottle.

2. You Eat Out Too Often

  • Research suggests that most people eat out one out of every 4 meals and snacks. That’s an average of once a day.
  • Restaurant food is designed to do one thing: to taste good. In order to increase eating pleasure, each item is loaded with fat, salt and sugar. This causes you to eat way more calories than you actually need.
  • Even when you order ‘healthy’ items, you’re still taking in more calories and fat grams than you would if you had prepared the item at home. Imagine the last salad you ordered out. Didn’t it come with cream dressing, croutons, cheese sprinkles and a piece of butter laden bread on the side?

The main reason people eat out is for convenience, so with a little organization you’ll find that preparing your own meals takes less time than you thought it would.

Over the weekend, sit down and plan out your meals for the upcoming week. Then go to the grocery store and stock up on everything you’ll need for those meals. Pack your lunch and snacks each night before bed, then grab it on your way out the door in the morning. When you prepare dinner at home, make enough for at least the next day as well. Your efforts will pay off both in terms of weight loss and in money saved.

3. You’re Sleep Deprived

    • In Gallup Poll surveys, 56% of the adult population reported that drowsiness is a problem in the daytime. That’s more than half of us that clearly don’t get enough sleep.
    • Healthy adults require 7-8 hours of sleep each night. When you fail to meet this need your body goes into sleep debt, which continues to accumulate indefinitely until you catch up.
    • A lack of sleep negatively affects your immune system, your nervous system, and interferes with healthy hormone release and cellular repairs.The best way to combat sleep deprivation is to set a scheduled bedtime. Your body will benefit from a consistent sleeping and waking routine, and you’re sure to get all the rest you need.

If you have trouble falling asleep once you’re in bed, then try these two tips. First, make sure that you don’t drink any caffeinated beverages after lunchtime. Second, don’t eat for three hours before you go to bed. This helps eliminate sleeplessness due to indigestion, and will also turbo-charge your weight loss, minus the late calories.

4. You’re Stressed Out

 

  • I don’t have to tell you that we are living in a fast-paced world and that most of us have stress levels that are through the roof. But what you might not realize is that your stress levels are making you heavier.
  • Stress creates an increase in the hormone cortisol, and chronic stress creates a chronic increase in cortisol. This is problematic because is slows your metabolism, leads to cravings and is linked to greater levels of abdominal fat storage.
  • The vicious cycle of stress and weight gain goes around and around. Stress causes you to eat emotionally, and your raised cortisol levels cause that food to be stored as fat.

One of the most effective ways to instantly eliminate stress is to sit down and write out a list of all the things that are bothering you. This should include things that you need to get done, issues that weigh on your mind and anything you believe contributes to your stress level.

Once it’s all down on paper, organize it like a to-do list and start resolving each item. Doing so will get the stress off of your mind and will put your body into the motion of resolving each issue.
5. You’re on Exercise Autopilot

 

    • You do the same thing each and every time you exercise. Same machines, same pace, same duration. While your routine sure feels comfortable, your results have long since halted.
    • A plateau occurs when your body adapts to your routine and weight loss stops. It is incredibly frustrating, and totally avoidable.
    • You don’t have to increase the amount of time that you spend exercising in order to see quicker, faster results. It’s all about challenging your body.

There are two simple ways to instantly increase the effectiveness of your exercise routine. First, increase your pace. Secondly, increase your intensity. Constantly vary your speed and intensity in order to keep your muscles guessing and adapting.

Another way to break through the exercise plateau is to do something totally new. If you regularly use weight machines then start using free weights. If you normally jog on the treadmill then start using the bike. If you normally do a Spin class, try Spin & Strength or TRX.

Are you ready to break the plateau as you take your routine to the next level? Would you like to know without a shadow of a doubt that you are going to lose weight in the coming months.

It’s our goal to see you achieve greatness. We believe that you’ve got what it takes.

It’s so simple. Call or email today to get started on a program that will improve your health and well being, and will get you amazing results.

 

Stay Fit on Your Vacation

Leaving town for a Summer get-away? If you’re not careful, your trip could quickly derail that momentum you’ve worked so hard to create!

We don’t want your your will-power and enthusiasm to disappear before you return home. It’s far too easy to settle into relaxation mode and far too difficult to get that ball rolling again.

There are plenty of strategies and techniques out there for staying fit on vacation, but most are fairly complicated. We’re not going to give you a list of 27 things to remember in order to avoid those vacation pounds – you are getting away to relax, after all! We’ll keep this simple and effective.

The following 2 steps are all that you need to take with you on your vacation to ensure that you come back looking and feeling amazing.

Step #1: The 1/3 Rule Most vacation pounds are gained as a result of constant indulgence. Each meal becomes an opportunity to eat your heart out to the tune of “I’m on vacation!”

Look, we get that you’re on vacation and want to enjoy the richer tastes of life, but doing so at every meal is ultimately going to do a lot of damage. Irreversible? Of course not. Frustrating? Hugely! Not only will your body respond to the excess food, it will also respond to the inconsistency that is your vacation. Timing is off, food content is different, sleeping patterns change. That’s a lot to take on!

Rather than indulging constantly, I want you to adopt the 1/3 Rule. This means that only 1/3 of your meals ought to be eaten with the mindset of “I’m on vacation.” At this one meal each day you are allowed to eat things that are normally off-limits. Enjoy your favorites and do so with no guilt and no added stress.

At your other 2 meals, you’ll keep things lean and green. Fill up on lots of greens, veggies, and lean proteins. Pass on the breads, grains, potatoes and anything with sugar. Drink water, and avoid beverages that contain calories.

Step #2: The Exercise Rule

This step is just as important as the first one, so don’t drop the ball on this one: Each and every day you must do some form of exercise.

Notice I said some form of exercise. I didn’t say that you had to go to a gym to do a traditional workout. While on vacation, exercise should be diverse and exciting.

Your vacation activities can become your workout. Take a hike, go exploring on foot, swim in the ocean or bike through a foreign town. If you aren’t really able to fit a vigorous activity into your day, then start by doing this body weight routine:

  • 20 push ups
  • 30 seconds of jump squats
  • 20 walking lunges
  • 30 seconds of plank hold
  • 30 seconds of rest
  • Repeat from the top 3 times

Enjoy your vacation! And when you get back into town, call or email us for your Complimentary Fitness Consultation, to ensure you’re well on your way to achieving all of your Summer goals. It’s not an easy time to make big changes, but as always, we are here for you!

Why You’re Gaining Weight (and how to stop it)

Tired of gaining weight? Of course you are – none of us enjoy it when the number on our scale begins to climb. So why are you gaining that extra weight now?

That is a valid and frustrating question. And the answer is often found in recent changes in your life.

According to Edward Abramson, Ph.D. the author of Emotional Eating, “Any change in your life circumstances can produce changes in eating and exercise, which leads to weight gain.”

Let’s dive into the major changes in your life that have caused that annoying weight gain…

Life’s Unavoidable Traps: We all gain weight for different reasons. You often hear about one-size-fits-all weight loss solutions that take little or no consideration of how the extra weight piled up in the first place. To experience true weight loss it is important to understand why you gained it in the first place.

Think back to the time in your life when your weight was just right. Were you in your teens? Your twenties? Or maybe your thirties? Picture yourself as you were at your ideal weight. Now when did things change? Was it a gradual addition of pounds that accumulated over a span of multiple years? Or did you gain it all at once?

Check out the following weight gain triggers and determine which one is responsible for your plight.

College: The college years are some of the easiest for gaining weight. In fact, a recent study by Cornell University found that on average, college freshman gain about 0.5 pounds a week – almost 11 times more than the average weight gain among 17-and 18-year olds and almost 20 times more than the average weight gain among American adults.

Marriage: There’s nothing like holy matrimony to encourage a barrage of calories to overtake your diet. Late night comfort snacks are always more enjoyable when you have someone to share them with—and who better than the person who pledged to stick by your side through sickness and health?

Pregnancy: Talk about a great time to gain weight! And we’re not just talking about women here—most men admit that they gained ‘sympathy’ pounds right along with their wife. Hormonal changes along with strong encouragement from everyone you know to indulge in anything their heart desires leave most pregnant women with a feeling of entitlement when it comes to food.

Career: Though you may not realize it, your career choice plays a major hand in your weight. Those who go from an active lifestyle to spending 8 hours a day behind a desk and another 2 hours commuting almost universally gain weight. Conversely, people who spend their 8 hours in constant motion find weight loss a natural byproduct of the job.

New Habits: Close your eyes and go back to the fat trap that triggered your weight gain. What changed in your lifestyle? To help sort things out, I’ve broken things down into two specific behavioral categories.

Eating Habits: Did your eating pattern change at this time in your life? If your weight gain occurred in college then maybe you went from eating 3 square meals to an all-you-can-eat buffet style cafeteria. Or if marriage was your weight gain trigger, then maybe you went from eating small meals to fattening comfort food. Pregnancy brings on the perfect environment for a change in eating habits. You go from eating normally, to eating ‘for two’, to munching on your baby’s snacks right along with him/her! Your job can also dictate your eating schedule. Long hours and early meetings may cause you to grab a donut or chips from the vending machine.

Activity Level: The second category that leads to weight gain is your activity level. Simply put, what kind of exercise were you doing before your life changing event and how does it compare to your current exercise regime? Chances are good that you were doing more exercise before your weight gain began—which means that you are doing less exercise today! Go ahead, think back to the exercises or physical activities that you used to do and compare them to your schedule today.

Your Transformation: You’ve figured out which trap in your life led to weight gain, and then narrowed down the exact behaviors that changed as a result, so this naturally leads us to a solution.

It’s time to make a change.

No Time to Workout?

The number one reason why you don’t exercise is that you don’t have time.

At least that’s what you tell yourself.

I know we are all busy. Between getting to and from work, balancing responsibilities and having time for yourself, there’s little left over for workouts.

With summer in full swing, your busy schedule is sure to get even busier. There will be vacations, cookouts and family gatherings. It’s no wonder that exercise quickly takes a backseat to summer activities.

You don’t have to succumb to weight gain this summer. Escape the time crunch excuse in three easy steps:

Step One: Schedule Your Workouts: You’ve heard this before, and it makes so much sense. If you treat your exercise time with the importance of a work meeting then you’d never skip a workout and you’d be in amazing shape.

While the scheduling concept is brilliant in its simplicity, you have to put it into practice to reap the benefits. Pull out your calendar and a pen. Don’t laugh, I’m serious! Just do it. If you want to get into shape it starts with committing to a revised schedule with a set exercise time.

Identify three 45-minute time slots and mark them on your calendar. That is when you’ll exercise.

Remember this: if the thought that you should exercise this week is floating around in your head, but you haven’t anchored it down to a specific time and date, then it will quickly disappear.

Step Two: Get the Most from Each Minute: The days of endless, mind numbing cardio are over. A great workout can take place in under an hour, when done correctly. The idea is to burn more calories each minute. This is done through short, intense bursts of exercise.

Use the following three tips to bring your routine up to the next level:

1. Be Unstable: Use your entire body, and target your core, by performing exercises that engage stabilizing muscles. To do this use an exercise ball, a balance board, a balance disk, or you could simply stand on one leg.

2. Add Resistance: The more resistance that you incorporate with your routine translates into higher intensity and more calories burned. Some ideas for adding resistance include: carrying dumbbells while doing lunges, carrying weights up and down the stairs, or simply using a resistance band (great for traveling) for a quick, dynamic upper body sequence!

3. Use Intervals: Interval training is an amazing tool for creating short yet effective workouts. Don’t worry, it’s not complicated. Interval training is simply alternating between different short bursts of activity.

Here’s an example: Let’s say you want to focus on your legs and abs, all while getting an effective cardiovascular workout. This would be a great, simple interval routine for your goals:

  • Lunge while biceps curl, 15-20 repetitions/side
  • 30 seconds of intense cardio: sprint, jump rope, or jumping jacks
  • Squat while pressing dumbbells overhead, 15-20 repetitions
  • 30 seconds of intense cardio: sprint, jump rope, or jumping jacks
  • Crunches on an exercise ball, 15-20 repetitions
  • 30 seconds of intense cardio: sprint, jump rope, or jumping jacks
  • Leg raises off the end of an exercise bench or from the ground up, 15-20 repetitions

Step Three: Twice the Results in Half the Time: What if I told you that we have a proven way to deliver twice the fitness results in half the time? It’s simple really… When you attempt to lose weight or meet a fitness goal on your own, the odds are stacked against you. Sure, you could do it over time – but it’s a long and trying road. A road lined with detours that threaten to undermine your progress.

When you start a program with us, you suddenly have the upper hand on weight loss… You have one of our Health & Fitness Specialists in your corner, coaching you each step of the way, keeping you accountable to workouts inside and outside of the gym and giving you that dose of encouragement went the going gets tough.

Call or email today to get started on a fitness program that will put exercise firmly on your calendar, and results squarely in your future.

7 Ways to Avoid Falling off the Healthy Eating Wagon

Whether you’ve been riding the healthy eating wagon for a week or a decade, it may always seem like a roller coaster ride- and that’s okay! It’s so easy to get side-tracked for days, weeks, even months at a time.

It’s Summer, so that means it’s barbecue season. That also means it’s bathing suit season. It’s this kind of back and forth struggle that’s enough to make someone go mad!

Keep reading to learn seven ways to protect yourself against the temptation to fall—or even jump off of your healthy eating wagon—on a daily basis.

1. Don’t Starve Yourself

Eating is a basic human need. Cut your calories in half over night or slash any specific food group out altogether for a prolonged period and you’ll land flat on your face in no time flat. When you’re eating for good health, you still need to eat. You’ll just need to go with healthy options and avoid eating more than your body needs to, to fuel itself throughout the day.

2. No Excuses

There are as many excuses to fall off the healthy kick as there are days in a year. So if you’re going to stay on board, you’re going to have to ignore the excuses and focus in on your goal: eating the right stuff. So, what do you do?

3. Stay Focused

Being mindful of your healthy eating ways is easy during the first few days. After all, you’ve spent years eating one way and now you’re changing everything up. In a week or so, however, it can be difficult to remember your desire to eat healthily and even harder to remember why you made that decision. Stay focused on your choices and why you made them by maintaining some level of accountability. Track your foods, practice portion control, step up your exercise game, etc. It’s all about building that positive momentum!

4. Get on the Right Wagon

Every person’s health goals and expectations are different. If you make drastic changes for the first time in your life and expect to shed 30 pounds in a week, you’re going to be disappointed as you yo-yo your way back to reality. Setting appropriate goals will help you stay on the wagon and help you surpass that next goal, as your wagon gets easier and easier to coast to the finish line.

5. Avoid Naysayers

Always struggled with your weight? Tried every diet plan known to man without success? Then you’re going to have a lot of folks who scoff at your desire to eat healthily. People will always judge and think/speak critically – it’s the world that we live in. Surround yourself with people who you know will love and support you, especially when times get tough. As many of you know, they certainly will and do. Once your lifestyle changes start to pay off, make sure to strut by the folks who said they’ll believe you’re serious about healthy eating when they see results and watch their jaws drop.

6. Stay Away from Triggers

One reason healthy eating is difficult for so many is that unhealthy eating tastes so good! Understanding this and understanding when you most want unhealthy food options will help you stay on the fast track. Eat everything in sight when you’re alone? Give someone a phone call when no one is around. Practice the art of self-distraction and you’ll find self-discipline.

7. Know How to Get Back On

You should aim to stay on the healthy eating wagon all day, every day. But you should also be ready when you fall off. While you can find any number of ways to get back on the wagon, the best is to just do it! Admit you goofed up, recommit yourself to healthy living, and start living the healthy life you deserve once again. Don’t wait for that next big event to prompt you to initiate change. Dig down deep, find the internal motivators and make it happen.

7 simple food ‘hacks’ for weight loss

The term ‘hack’ is being used a lot lately. While it used to have a negative connotation, these days to ‘hack’ is to find a quicker, easier and more effective method for achieving a goal. We talk a lot about efficiency in our workout classes. Each workout, each routine is carefully crafted to meet your needs, while constantly challenging you in new and exciting ways. But, we only have 45 minutes or an hour to do it. Sometimes, life works that way too. You have a small window of time and have to choose how to best utilize that time in an impactful way.

 

There are life hacks (like packing Christmas ornaments in empty egg cartons), cooking hacks (like placing a handful of cherry tomatoes between two plates and using a knife to halve them all in one fell swoop), and as I’ll share with you today, weight loss hacks.

 

Weight loss hacks are ways of doing everyday things, like eating, in a way that promotes fat loss and blocks fat storage. Sounds pretty great, right?!

 

Here are our 7 most effective Weight Loss Hacks…

 

Weight Loss Hack #1: Cauliflower Rice

Serve shredded, sautéed cauliflower as rice, rather than traditional brown or white rice. This simple hack will save you hundreds of calories per meal and will leave you no less satisfied. You can even add your favorite spices and flavor additions as you do with traditional rice. It tastes delicious, trust me!

 

Weight Loss Hack #2: Vegetable Noodles

There are many ways to create and enjoy noodles made from vegetables, rather than noodles made from grains. The veggie noodles are a hundred times less fattening than grain-based noodles, so what are you waiting for?! Use a spiral slicer to turn zucchini or butternut squash into noodles; bake a spaghetti squash and scrape out those nature-made noodles; or simply use a traditional veggie peeler to create long noodle strips from zucchini.

 

Weight Loss Hack #3: Lettuce Wrapped

By simply replacing your sliced bread and buns for large pieces of lettuce, you’ll quickly eliminate a couple hundred calories from each meal. Once you get used to the crunch of the lettuce you’ll enjoy your new style of sandwich and burger even more than the traditional way.

 

Weight Loss Hack #4: Protein Powder

Did you know that protein powder can be used in many recipes to increase the protein and reduce the carbs? Replace a portion of the flour in your pancakes with high quality protein powder and you’ll see how delicious it tastes while being so much healthier for you.

 

Weight Loss Hack #5: Coconut Oil

Replace the vegetable oil in your kitchen with coconut oil, and enjoy benefits such as increased fat burning and reduced appetite. In addition, you’ll be avoiding the pitfalls of other, less healthy oils and fats. Coconut oil can be used in virtually any recipe – both stove top and baking.

 

Weight Loss Hack #6: Wholesome Sweeteners

Throw the refined sugar out of your kitchen and replace it with any one of these wholesome sweeteners: coconut sugar, raw honey, pure maple syrup, or pitted dates. By getting your sweet fix from these wholesome, real food sweeteners you’ll be taking in fewer calories and there will be less of an impact on your blood sugar, which will result in less fat stored.

 

Weight Loss Hack #7: Water

Replace high calorie beverages with crystal clear water. This simple hack could quite possibly change your life. If high calories, sugar-laden beverages make up a significant part of your daily calories then switching to water will swiftly induce fat loss.

 

Start using these Fat Loss Hacks today and enjoy a leaner, more fit physique. Let us know when your jeans start to feel loose around the waist!

Why lose weight?

The answer to this question, for many, may seem obvious. We all know why it’s important to be healthy, but it’s often difficult to remember how much better we feel when we are healthy. We often talk about the transitional phase…much like the one the weight loss challenge participants are going through right now. We had a clear cut “start date” and really worked to create a snapshot of where everyone was and how they felt at that particular time. Fast forward 8-weeks and almost 500 pounds lost, and we’re at the very end of our challenge. So, I challenge those folks, just like I’ll challenge you, to really think about how different itfeels working from one extreme towards another. It’s almost difficult to put into words. I would best describe it as a momentum that builds internally. One good decision leads to another, one compliment leads to another, and hard decisions become easier and easier to make. You find that each day brings you new energy, a new outlook, a new challenge…and best of all, you’re up for it. Unfortunately, seemingly inevitably, life will knock us off course. We just don’t always have enough momentum to push through, to perservere, to make it to the other end of the spectrum. So, naturally we revert back to old ways, return to our comfort zones and wait for that spark to jumpstart our momentum once more.

Personally, I struggle with my ability to be consistent. The quick food options are always easiest, I’m used to not sleeping as much as I should, and it can be challenging to motivate to exercise, as a result. But, deep down I know how much better I feel when I’m doing things right. The problem is that I don’t live deep down. I, too, have such a hard time remembering what it’s like when I’m at my absolute best. So, the point of this article is to really think about what being healthy, specifically losing weight, means to you. If you don’t remember how it feels to be fit and empowered, trust me, you’re not alone. But that’s not to say you can’t light that spark one more time. That’s not to say you can’t dig down deep enough to find that internal motivation somewhere. All it takes is one decision to start the process and one decision more to start building that forward momentum.

 

Big Benefit #1: Confidence

 

You may not consider it a concrete benefit, but that doesn’t stop confidence from being one of the most important perks of losing the weight. Hey, you look AND feel better, healthier, stronger. When you have increased confidence, you change how you view yourself and go about your daily routine. The world is at your fingertips and you are able to take on whatever it throws your way.

 

Additionally, when your confidence increases after losing a few pounds, you’re poised to keep losing. So the confidence you gain gives you what you need to lose more weight and feel even more confident. Talk about momentum!

 

Big Benefit #2: Money?

 

Here’s one you don’t think about! It may be difficult to understand how losing weight saves you money, but it happens. How? Because one of the best ways to trim pounds is to cut down on the amount of calories you consume every day. When you start eating and drinking fewer calories, you stop buying as much food. You eat out less, drink less, and cook more. It’s amazing what it can do to your budget.

Losing weight may also make it possible to stop taking certain medications. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, type-II diabetes…these are some of the heavy hitters. They’re all associated with diet and lifestyle and more importantly, they’re all segways to heart problems and other chronic, long-term (expensive) disabilties and diseases.

You don’t think of the medication as an expense because it’s for your own well being. Buying high quality, healthy food shouldn’t be one either then, right? Instead of being reactive and ending up on medication after medication, be proactive and spend the money the right way.

 

Momentum Boost: Here’s one I saw recently…when you lose weight, you get a boost of confidence, like we talked about. That boost of confidence will change how you handle yourself at work, helping you make the right impression on your boss and fellow employees, so you can get the promotion you want/need. Promotion = more $$! It’s all connected, but you won’t necessarily see the connections and the implications, until you’re immersed in them.

 

Big Benefit #3: Better Health Now (Means Better Health Later)

 

Go to the doctor with some sort of health condition, and unless it’s the common cold or flu, losing a few pounds can almost always help you manage the condition better. From diabetes to heart disease to joint pain, trimming the fat from your body gives you that leg up for the future.

Shedding the pounds also makes it easier to get around on your joints and easier to get out of bed in the morning. If you continue to overuse and abuse your body, this only gets harder and harder.

 

Big Benefit #4: Everything Tastes Better

 

As you settle into your new, invigorating lifestyle that includes eating healthily and working out regularly, you’ll notice something. Because you no longer overeat until you’re full, you’re cravings begin to subside. You can actually begin to enjoy and appreciate every bite that you take. As the bite sits in your mouth, you won’t swallow it before tasting or chewing. You’ll take your time and really savor the flavor.

 

And when you do start chewing your food and enjoying the flavors, your brain will have time to register when you’re full and cut you off before you stuff yourself with more calories than you can burn. This is especially inportant at dinner time.

Long term, with each decade you’ll experience a 10 percent reduction in metabolic rate. If you don’t retrain your brain to eat “smart” you’ll continue to eat as you always have. These patterns won’t withstand the test of time.

Big Benefit #5: It is possible

I can’t tell you how many people we’ve seen experience this overall, indescribable change, over time. It truly is a process. One of the most common things we hear is “Wow, I can’t believe I was like that”…referring to eating habits, lack of exercise, inability to be consistent. You don’t realize how far off track you’ve drifted until you begin to refocus and in some cases, redefine what it means to be healthy. Hey, it could be that you were never on the right track and that’s okay too. Our job is to give you the tools that you need to find your way back to a better life. And that all starts with how you feel, every single day. Some of you just need a little help and motivation along the way. Some of you need a whole restructuring. If you’re unsure, schedule a consultation. What do you have to los

Shed the Weight, Mentally

As we dive into the second half of the Weight Loss Challenge, it’s vital to note that while many of our members are striving to get rid of extra pounds, there’s also extra baggage that we all carry around with us, weighing us down mentally. From the death of a loved one to childhood traumas, from low self esteem to having little work-life balance, this extra weight inhibits us from really succeeding at whatever goals we’ve set for ourselves.

I have had many people come to me and say, “I just don’t understand why I can’t accomplish my goal.” People think that they’re doing everything in their power to change, but often something is blocking the person mentally from reaching whatever it is they’re working toward.

Many times, knowledge is really where the power lies. Those who track food in MyFitnessPal are successful in losing weight, simply because they know what they are putting into their bodies. They begin to see patterns in their eating, such as too little protein at breakfast, snacking on the wrong foods, not being able to gauge portion size, etc. And when they realize what the problem is, they can begin to make small tweaks and changes to lead them in the right direction.

My challenge for you this week is to think about what extra weight you carry around with you every day and identify ways you can ultimately shed that extra weight. This can seem daunting at first, but tackle it little by little. You are not going to shed everything in one day, so go in with realistic expectations. Whatever your struggle though, you can overcome it once you acknowledge what it is and take the necessary steps to let it go.  And though it is much easier said than done, when you take control of it, it can no longer take control of you.

 

by Katie

Physical Assessments: calculating body fat

As a trainer, one of the most common questions you hear is “how do I know how much muscle I am gaining when I am working out to lose weight?”. Building muscle and losing fat; it can be a confusing concept, especially when the numbers on the scale aren’t showing what you’d like. Sure, you’d like to believe that any fat loss was off set by an increase in lean muscle but how do you know if that’s really the case?

When initiating a new program, it’s important to take multiple physical assessments to determine a solid baseline from which you can progress. Sometimes, weight just isn’t enough. There are too many factors that can lead to strange fluctuations in your total body weight. Water is a big one. Take the time to snap a few pictures (post them on the site if you’d like!), take body circumferences, or best of all… test your body fat.

Very few like to do it, yet almost everyone gets frustrated with the scale. It’s really a simple process. Using a skinfold caliper, I can measure and calculate your body fat in about ten minutes or less. When you’re done, you’re left with a percentage of total body fat. Multiply this by your weight and we can calculate how many pounds of body fat you have. The remainder will be your fat free mass. From here, we can monitor how your fat to muscle ratio is changing and we can determine how much fat you are losing/have lost at any given point along the way.

The following are a couple of charts that can be used to assess overall progress…

Fat Loss Rates

Excellent: .5-1% loss every 2-4 weeks

Average: .5% loss every 4 weeks

Poor: less than .5% every 4 weeks

Muscle Gain 

Excellent: 1-2 lbs. every 2-4 weeks

Average: 1 lb. every 4 weeks

Poor: less than 1 lb. every 4 weeks


Before you get started in any fitness program, set up a consultation for some fitness tests and measurements. In a few weeks, you’ll be glad you did!

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