1. Don’t skip meals. This backfires because you come to the next meal over hungry and eat more than intended.
2. Fill up on lower calorie, nutrient dense foods such as fruits, veggies, lean cold cuts on whole grain bread.
3. Make just one trip to the buffet.
4. Use a plate for even the smallest snack—you’ll eat less.
5. Eat slowly and enjoy each mouthful. Hold your glass in the hand that you normally eat with to make finger foods less accessible.
6. Eat only when you are hungry and not because food is near.
7. Don’t waste calories on foods you don’t like or foods you can have anytime.
8. Contrast flavors, textures and temperatures for more satisfaction in your eating.
9. Don’t buy candy or goodies too far ahead of event. Once purchased, keep out of sight.
10. Avoid grazing while you cook. Little nibbles can really add up! When it’s time to eat, sit down and savor it!
11. Beware of liquid calories-eggnog, beer, soda, wine. They go down so easy and add a lot of extra calories to your intake.
12. Choose only the foods you really want and keep the portions small.
13. Don’t hang out near the food-socialize a distance away. This will help prevent unconscious nibbling.
14. When you arrive at a party, avoid rushing to the food. Greet people - you know conversation is calorie-free! Get a beverage and settle into the festivities before eating. Overall, you
may eat less.
15. Ask for sparkling water (calorie free) with a lemon or lime twist rather than wine, champagne, or a mixed drink.
16. If you’re bringing a dish to share, make it healthful and delicious. That way you know there will be one thing you can munch on without racking up calories too fast!
17. Forget the all-or-nothing mindset. Depriving yourself of special holiday foods or feeling guilty when you do enjoy them, isn’t a healthful eating strategy. And deprivation and guilt certainly are not part of the holiday spirit!
Simple carbohydrates are smaller, easily processed molecules. They contain either one sugar molecule or two sugar molecules connected. (Simple sugar cube, hard candies, etc...)
Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, have more than two sugar groups linked together. (Whole grains, quinoa, steel cut oats, etc…)
“Monosaccharides are the simplest form of carbohydrate and cannot be broken down any further since they contain only a single sugar group. Oligosaccharides consist of short chains (di-, tri-, etc) of monosaccharide units all put together. And polysaccharides are long chains of monosaccharide units all put together.” Dr. John Berardi Precision Nutrition
Why is carbohydrate intake so important?
All carbohydrates we consume are digested into simple sugars before they’re absorbed by the body, it doesn’t matter what the food source is, a jolly rancher hard candy or a high-fiber, low glycemic bowl of oatmeal. The difference is the “healthier carbs” are digested and absorbed much slower while the “non-healthy” carbs are digested very quickly.
Once broken down and absorbed, these sugars go to the liver to fill energy stores. After that, they enter the bloodstream and travel to the other cells of the body. This is when insulin is released to handle this “sugar load” on the body.
Carbohydrates are primarily a source of immediate energy for all of your body’s cells.
Like I said above, carbohydrates also cause a release of insulin. A larger insulin response can be beneficial at certain times (like after an intense workout) and not so beneficial at certain times (like before bed).
This is what you need to know….
Although the process of digestion is the same, people differ in their tolerance and handling of carbohydrates. The type of carbohydrate also plays an important part….
When someone’s diet consists of simple sugars and refined carbohydrates (which the body breaks down rapidly), you will notice elevations in blood triglyceride levels (fat in the blood), bad cholesterol, and insulin resistance.
When someone’s diet consists of carbohydrates that are digested and absorbed slowly, like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, these can help to control insulin response, energy levels, and body composition. Such unrefined, unprocessed, complex carbohydrate sources may reduce triglycerides and improve one’s cholesterol profile (Jenkins et al 1987).
Most people should be consuming a minimum of 130 grams of carbohydrates per day, with most of that coming from vegetables and fruits. Higher amounts of carbohydrates are needed with increased muscle mass and increased physical activity levels. But be careful! Too much carbohydrate consumption will be stored for future use (as fat or glycogen).
The rate at which the carbohydrate is digested and absorbed can influence body composition and health.
A slower carbohydrate breakdown from lower glycemic carbohydrates is better for satiety (fullness), blood sugar, and body composition. These carbohydrates are found in vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains.
Rapid digestion of simpler, higher-glycemic carbohydrates is helpful during the pre- and post-workout periods.
Consume at least 25 grams of fiber per day from vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains to make sure you have optimal health and a good body composition.
“Proteins are organic molecules made up of amino acids – the building blocks of life. These amino acids are joined together by chemical bonds and then folded in different ways to create three-dimensional structures that are important to our body’s functioning.” Quote - Ryan Andrews, MS/MA, RD, CSCS
There are two main categories of amino acids in the body. First, we’ve got essential amino acids –These the body can’t manufacture, so we have to get them through our diets. Next are the nonessential amino acids – the body can usually make for itself.
Why is it important to get enough protein?
Since our bodies need proteins and amino acids to produce important molecules in our body – like enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, and antibodies – without enough protein intake, our bodies cannot function well at all. Protein helps replace worn out cells, transports various substances throughout the body, and aids in growth and repair.
How much protein do you need?
How much protein you need depends on a few factors, but one of the most important is your activity level.
The basic recommendation for protein intake is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body mass in untrained, generally healthy adults. For people doing high intensity training, protein needs might go up to about 1.4-2.0 g/kg of body mass.
These suggested protein intakes are what’s necessary for basic protein synthesis (in other words, the creation of new proteins from individual building blocks). But we may need even more protein in our diets for high performance living, including good immune function, metabolism, satiety, weight management and performance. Basically, we need a small amount of protein to survive, but we need a lot more to thrive.
Can I eat too much protein?
Yes, you can overeat any of the macronutrients. If you overeat protein, this extra protein can be converted into sugar or fat in the body. However, protein isn’t as easily converted as carbohydrates or fat, because the thermic effect (the amount of energy require to digest, absorb, transport and store protein) is a lot higher than that of carbohydrates and fat.
You might have heard that a high protein intake harms the kidneys. WRONG! In healthy people, normal protein intakes pose little to no health risk. Even a fairly high protein intake (like 1.5g/lb) – does not seem to mess with the kidneys of healthy people.
Here’s additional reading on this - Dear Mom and Dad / The Protein Debate
1. - LEAN AND CLEAN
Most of your dietary intake should come from whole foods. There are a few times where supplement drinks and shakes are useful. But most of the time, you’ll do best with whole, largely unprocessed foods. Making sure you know where your veggies and meats came from is important.
You want as many Whole/Natural/Organic foods in your diet as possible. You don’t eat enough vegetables. I know, because I’ve never met a single person who does. Add more and you’ll start noticing the improvements to your health, performance and body composition right away. And don’t fear fruit either – it’s a healthy, nutritious way to add sweetness to your diet, important since you’ll be eliminating nearly all other sugars.
Some Examples of Lean and Clean –
-Extra Lean Ground Sirloin, Boneless Chicken Breasts, Mild Turkey Sausage, Ostrich, Bison / Buffalo, Elk, Salmon, etc….
-Omega-3 Eggs, Egg Whites
-Aged White Cheddar, Baby Swiss, Havarti, Parmiggiano-Reggiano, Feta Cheese, notice they are all white cheeses…
-Apples, Tangerines, Red Grapes, Pineapple, Strawberries, Blueberries, and many more….
-Spinach, Red/Yellow/Green Peppers, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Baby Carrots, too many to list…
2. - FREQUENCY
Are you doing this – no matter what? Now, you don’t need to eat a full meal every 2-3 hours but you do need to eat 6-8 meals and snacks. Forget the standard “three meals a day” edict. Eat three snacks a day, one after each traditional meal. And by snacks, I mean meals that are quick and portable – but still meals.
They too have to have good protein, good fats, veggies and fruits; things like homemade protein bars and shakes are perfect. And if you have the time, make a real meal! The important thing is that you eat well and eat often: every two to three hours, for a total of six or more meals/snacks per day.
3. - PORTION CONTROL
It is very important to understand how much of something you are eating. So pay close attention to portion sizes. It is far too easy to overeat foods like Peanut Butter, Meats, and cheeses. So understand what a single portion is when consuming these foods. It’s fine to use a pinch of something here or there, but if you are closely watching your calories, weighing and measuring ingredients accurately is the key to know EXACTLY how much you are taking in with each meal. Measuring cups and spoons should be used in these instances. Weighing food is always the more accurate method when figuring out your calorie intake.
So what about caloric intake, or macronutrient ratios, or all the other technical issues that come with weight loss? The short answer is that those things only become relevant once you’re practicing the above-mentioned habits, and by practicing them I mean putting them to use over 90% of the time.
Most people can achieve optimal health and wellness they desire just by following these BASIC rules of nutrition. Now obviously, everyone needs some individualization beyond these rules. For that, contact me at 402-880-3909 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
But before assuming you’re ready for individualization, make sure you’ve truly mastered the “basics”. Then, while keeping the habits as the consistent foundation, tweak away…..
In-Home Training versus Online Coaching. These are very similar but I would like to explain their differences…
Training is simple.
Trainer shows up and delivers a precise workout designed specifically to the clients needs/wants in a workout. The trainer is there supervising proper form in all the lifts. Trainer is there to make sure the client is doing the prescribed repetitions and sets for all the lifts prescribed. Another aspect of training is the social side of having someone there communicating motivational ideas on your program. Providing emotional support and accountability by being present is a key for most people when they are considering hiring an In-Home Personal Trainer….
Coaching is simple.
Coaching clients receive their workouts via email or fax on a pre determined consistent day. This workout is formatted based on the clients needs/wants also taking into consideration their exercise vocabulary. Basically, they are not given exercises they are not familiar with already. If a new exercise is required in the routine they will be given a hyperlink which will take them to video and written instructions to help complete the exercise.
Just like with In-Home personal training, motivation and accountability is provided but through a different medium. Phone calls, emails, and text messages are used to help the client stay on track. Weekly coaching calls (Mandatory) and Bi–Weekly client feedback reports help the designing of the program stay personalized to the specific client. Coaching is perfect for the individual who already exercises regularly but needs a specifically designed program that will help them achieve a higher level of fitness.
The programs we offer are at least 16 weeks (6-8 weeks to show physical change) two bench marks to show success. When it comes to changing how you look it is a race that tests your endurance not your speed! This competition is not a 50yd dash on a smooth track. It is a 26.2 mile marathon with hurdles on hilly terrain. The tricks and short cuts we try (starvation diets and stuff like The Thigh Master) can easily take their toll, discourage us and we just want to quit! Instead we must become more committed!
No one crosses the finish line without making a decision to persevere. The key is to keep moving forward never letting yourself go backwards. Sometimes you walk and other times you jog during the race (like when you hire The Final Rep)…..but no matter what you continue to work your way forward. Speed will not get you there, but PERSISTENCE will!
One of the first things I teach my clients is to EAT FOOD.
Rule #1 Dr. John Berardi
“1. Eat every 2-3 hours, no matter what. You should eat between 5-8 meals per day” This seems obvious, but you would be surprised how many people just don’t eat enough during the day. Now I’m not talking about eating thousands of calories or go get McDonalds every 3 hours but instead make sure you get enough fuel to your body to sustain the muscle you have or the muscle you want to have. This step seems easy but I know it is hard. The main question I get to this step is…How many calories do I eat? This is one of the main flaws in our nutritional strategies nowadays. We are too hung up on calories!
NOW do not misunderstand me the most proven way to lose weight is being in a calorie deficit. Remember you want less calories coming IN and more calories going OUT if your goal is to lose weight. If you are one of those individuals that like counting their calories down to a T then by all means have at it. You will be able to track your intake in a way that is very detailed and you will be able to make adjustments easily. Most of my clients do not like counting calories. Since this is the case I have to be a little more delicate with these people.
So I want them to follow these simple Steps.
1 – Eat 5 x a day
2 – Eat lean meats, fruits and veggies with every meal
3 – Keep portions low (Ladies 300 kcals per meal) (Men 400 kcal per meal) Generally speaking
I know these are kind of vague but that is on purpose. We have to start somewhere and this is the start. When in doubt always go to the simplest of rules. Notice #3 numbers are involved and that requires counting calories. Yes, there is no way around it you need to know how many calories are coming in to your body. I know I tricked you. I made it sound like I had this new found great idea on how to track calorie intake without actually counting….Sorry for the joke.
But tracking one meal is easy, so make it baby steps and ladies shoot for 200-300 kcals per meal and men shoot for 300-400 kcals per meal and you will be on your way in establishing to a lifestyle of following these 3 simple rules which will get you on the right path. But know this is only the start; we have a long way to go and lots of important information to implement to these 3 steps. We need to cover good fats vs bad fats, starches, how much fat?, when to eat starches…..the list goes on and on.
My point in saying that is nutrition is a constantly changing part of your healthy lifestyle. It is daunting to think about it sometimes and that is why I recommend starting with these 3 habits to get your nutrition turned around!
Every Sunday do this…. set aside 3 hours or so on Sundays to prepare for the week ahead:
1. Write out your menus,
2. Do your grocery shopping,
3. Prepare your meals.
If Sunday is a bad day choose a different one. It doesn’t matter as long as you choose a day and stick with it!
First, on your designated day, sit down and come up with your menu for the week. It should only take a few minutes to lay out 7 different breakfast meals, 7 different lunch meals, 7 different dinner meals, and 2-3 additional snack meals for each day. And these meals do not all need to be different. I often just plan to eat the same breakfast, the same lunch, etc., for each day, and I’ll only switch it up only on a weekly basis. Some like to do it more often, and that’s fine. I find it easier to simplify things.
Next, once the menu is laid out, add up exactly how much of each food you’ll need over the 7 days and go pick those foods up at the grocery store.
Finally, once you’ve got all those groceries home, it’s time to start cooking for the week. Some people choose to prepare all their meals for the week on Sundays (excluding shakes). Others prefer to figure out which meals will be easy to cook just prior to meal time and save them for later, preparing only the meals that will need to be eaten during work hours or during busy times of the day when food prep becomes difficult.
For example, some people can easily prepare breakfast meals and dinner meals on demand by setting aside a few minutes each day for meal preparation.
Others have a significant other who can prepare these meals for them. Either way, these meals can probably wait until they are needed. However the lunches, 2-3 daytime snacks, and workout shakes usually present a problem for the unprepared so they should be made in advance. Sunday is a good time for most to do this preparation.
So, if it suits your lifestyle, use Sundays to prepare to get these meals ready for the week. Cook all the meat, chop all the vegetables, measure out all the yogurt and/or cottage cheese, and make dry mixes for each shake. Have them ready and set aside so that you can grab them in the morning and bring them with you regardless of what your busy schedule has in store for you.
If you have any other questions or comments about this topic, please feel free to contact me at 402.880.3909 or email me anytime at email@example.com!
What is Workout and Post-Workout Nutrition?
Workout nutrition has been an intriguing topic lately and rightfully so. Numerous studies have taken place examining everything from the composition of the carbohydrate, to the exact amino acid combination. And newer studies continue to reveal effective workout nutrition strategies for athletes and recreational exercisers of all types. There are plenty of advertisements on this too. Have you seen the Gatorade commercials?
When looking at the broad topic of “workout nutrition,” one has to understand what the ultimate goal is. Exercisers are usually trying to accomplish three things:
1) Energy replacement (glycogen replenishment)
2) A decrease in protein breakdown
3) An increase in protein synthesis
In other words, exercisers want to replenish their energy stores and increase muscle size and/or muscle quality. And in doing so, they want to increase performance and/or improve their appearance.
Proposed Benefits of Workout Nutrition:
- Improved recovery
- Less muscle soreness
- Increased ability to build muscle
- Improved immune function
- Improved bone mass
- Improved fat burning
Why are workout and post-workout nutrition so important?
Muscle protein synthesis is increased (or unchanged) after resistance workouts, but not as much as protein breakdown. The relationship between rate of muscle protein synthesis and muscle protein breakdown represents the metabolic basis for muscle growth. I know I know, it's "sciency" sounding
Muscle growth occurs when a positive protein balance can be achieved during recovery (Post - Workout). Some of my long distance running clients gets tired of me harping on them about getting enough protein/food. It is especially difficult for them (endurance athletes) to add muscle since protein synthesis drops and protein breakdown goes up.
But not all is lost -- this trend can be reversed, if protein synthesis is stimulated and protein breakdown is suppressed when you consume the right type of nutrients right after exercise.
It seems like every trainer/coach out there has the same line when coming to nutrition “EAT MORE PROTEIN”. However, protein is not the only concern. During workouts, stored carbohydrates can be substantially depleted. So, it is important to give our body the raw materials through eating food/supplements during the workout and post – workout to foster the best metabolic environment we desire. When choosing carbohydrates, keep in mind that glucose is absorbed faster than fructose, and solutions high in fructose have been linked to gastrointestinal distress, greater fatigue, and higher cortisol levels.
What You Should Know
A main factor that can influence the amino acid/glucose delivery and transport is availability. The blood flow to muscle during and after exercise is very high. Therefore, providing an amino acid/glucose packed blood supply during and after exercise, the rate of protein synthesis goes up.
Some refer to this workout and post-workout phenomenon as “the window of opportunity”. To take advantage of this window, you could eat a whole food meal directly after exercise. However, as whole food is slower digesting, you might want to consider recovery drink/bars that contain rapidly digesting carbohydrates (e.g., maltodextrin, dextrose, glucose, etc) and proteins (e.g., protein hydrolysates or isolates).
Consuming nutrients especially in liquid form can result in rapid digestion and absorption, plus, liquids are usually tolerated better during/workouts.
Summary and Recommendations
As a baseline, start by ingesting 30g carbohydrate and 15g protein (in 500ml water) per hour of workout time. This means if you’re working out for one total hour, you’re sipping your 30g carbohydrate and 15g protein drink during that hour. And if you’re working out for two hours, you’re sipping your first 30g carbohydrate and 15g protein drink during the first hour and your second 30g carbohydrate and 15g protein drink during the second hour. Once your workout is done, have a whole food meal within an hour or two of the workout.
If you want to know more about optimal nutrition, I encourage you to check out the comprehensive Precision Nutrition program. This program is my recommendation for the top practical nutrition resource on the market today.
Hello All! Memorial Day has come and gone. Beautiful weather is here and you might have realized your current “program” hasn’t gotten you the results you were looking for…. You know the bathing suit you wanted to show off didn’t quite fit right or you were huffing and puffing during that 3rd round of golf. Which ever it is I found this great article explaining some of the reasons you might not have lost as much as you wanted….
Fat loss is a tough subject to teach, there are so many factors that go into fat loss it is just too much to cover in one sitting. The main factors we can control are
* The exercise part – which plays a huge role.
* The diet part – another major player.
* The psychology – which is a stumbling block for many.
* The social part – which I covered in my March blog post.
But what happens if you’ve got these in check and you still can’t lose fat?
Well, that’s when you’ve gotta dig deeper physiologically. That’s when you have to look to the 4 major physiological systems that could be holding you back. These include:
1. Your oxygen delivery system
2. Your blood sugar management system
3. Your adrenal system
4. Your digestive system
To be completely honest….most of my clients that follow a “lean and clean” nutrition program and use a exercise program that challenges their aerobic/anaerobic systems have no problem losing fat. However, there’s always those other people who seem to be doing everything right but still can’t lose fat. What’s going on with them?
Let’s assume these people are being 90% compliant and are really on track. They’re likely experiencing abnormal physiological situations where fat loss is quite difficult because the body isn’t functioning as it should.
This quote sums it up….
“It’s kind of like planting a garden. Sunshine and water are requirements for a garden to grow, just like diet and exercise are necessary for fat loss. But even with all the sunshine and water in the world, your garden won’t grow if the soil is unhealthy.” Dr. Bryan Walsh
So go ahead and read a little further.
There are 4 physiological situations that might be preventing you from losing fat.
Fat Loss Barrier #1: Oxygen
The cells of your body run basically on two things: oxygen and glucose. If either one of these is off in any way, all of the cells in your body will not work correctly.
The cells of your body produce something called ATP. ATP is the basic energy source for your body and allows each cell of your body to do what it does. Without ATP, nothing works correctly.
Read more here - Precision Nutrition
Fat Loss Barrier #2: Blood Sugar
Blood sugar balance is the focus of almost every diet book from The Grapefruit Diet to The Atkins Diet. And with good reason: imbalanced blood sugar levels is one of the many reasons why people are overweight.
When talking about blood sugar balance, to keep it simple, there are two possibilities:
1. Insulin resistance – chronically elevated blood sugar levels
2. Hypoglycemia – blood sugar fluctuations – sometimes way too high and sometimes way too low.
Both of these imbalances result in elevated insulin.
Read more here - Precision Nutrition
Fat Loss Barrier #3: Adrenal
The adrenal glands are your body’s primary defense for managing stress.
When the adrenal glands are activated, they release hormones that help your body deal with both acute and chronic stressors. One of these hormones is cortisol.
Cortisol’s main purpose is to increase blood sugar levels so your body can have enough fuel to get you through a stressful situation. Big problems occur when this stress in your life becomes chronic.
Cortisol levels that are chronically elevated increase blood sugar levels which intern elevate insulin levels. This will not allow your body to burn fat no matter what type of exercise or nutritional program you are on…
Read more here - Precision Nutrition
Fat Loss Barrier #4: Gastrointestinal
Making sure your “gut” is working properly is critical to overall health and wellness. If we are interested in losing weight then we really need to get our “gut” into shape.
How do you know if your tummy isn’t working right? Any of the following can indicate issues:
• burping after meals
• inadequate digestion (feeling like you have a brick in your stomach after you eat)
• undigested food in your stools
• foul smelling stools
• burning in the stomach
• bad breath
A messed up digestive track can virtually ruin your chances of weight loss. From a weak immune system, to a stress hormone imbalances, to blood sugar irregularities — many of these problems start in the gut.
Read more here - Precision Nutrition
Despite what you might hear, fat loss is NOT just about diet and exercise. Physiology plays a very important role. And today, our physiologies are more out of whack than ever in human history.
If your diet and exercise program is not working for you, do yourself a favor and turn your focus inward. The better your physiology works, the healthier you will be and the better your program will work for you.
If you have any questions or comments about fat loss or other fitness topics, contact me at 402.880.3903 or email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org!
If you don’t live under a rock, you often encounter magazines, even when you’re not seeking them out; those glossy covers, tips, tricks, secrets and advice – all so alluring. But when it comes to health and fitness, you need to be especially weary of magazines and the advice they provide. How do you know which ones to trust? Will these tricks really work for me?
As I walked past the hundreds of magazines located in Barnes & Noble, I was shocked at all the health oriented articles and guides. What most people need to remember is that each person has a unique individual body design that does not necessarily work with the health tips that magazines portray as “universal.” As a professional, I can tell you that you are just going to disappoint yourself if you believe everything these magazines say.
So I need your help, if you want mine. I would love it if you suggested topics or posed questions that are on your mind. I can expand on the subject and provide you with realistic advice and pointers. I am here to work with you individually, so let me know what I should talk about!
There are so many articles out there that may be misleading or irrelevant to your own health needs. Your physical wellness is something that deserves the utmost attention and specific answers – don’t hesitate to consult me about all your training and diet needs.
E-mail me 24 hours a day, seven days a week and you might see YOUR question as the subject of my next blog video! Alex@thefinalrep.com. Don't hesitate! Your wellness depends on it!
1. DO THE THINGS YOU HATE!
When most people think of exercise they think of the things they “HATE” about it. You know what I mean….SQUATS, PUSH UPS, PULL UPS, etc.
In most cases these are the exact exercises you need to be doing! People are habitual in nature so after a couple of months of training they are starting to see plateaus in their results.
This is usually because they have been doing the same thing for 12 weeks. The same leg extension machine, the same ball crunches, and the same 30 minutes of Treadmill walking.
This was all fine and dandy when they first got started but now their body wants more, not the same boring stuff. So listen to your body not your brain! Do the things you HATE….then you will truly change!
2. EATING WILL ALWAYS BE EMOTIONAL
Fundamentally, food is fuel. The only other reasons we eat is for socializing and for emotional reasons. This probably ruffles feathers, but I am basically saying that all eating is emotional, especially overeating and unhealthy eating.
It is also nearly impossible to separate the emotional aspect from eating and make it simply a re-fueling process. If it was, we’d all eat nutritionally perfect foods and be perfectly happy with it. Getting to a healthy level of body comp and staying there requires wrapping your head around the FACT that the reason you reach for the bag of Doritos, or the cheesecake, or the Hershey’s bar is emotional eating.
I don’t think we ever completely get past the emotional aspects of eating. But the people who are most successful at attaining a healthy body comp are the ones who get past it, and learn to look at food purely as fuel.
Decadent foods like pizza or ice cream become special occasions, kind of like the rest of the world might treat an expensive bottle of champagne. They are things to be savored and enjoyed rarely, not as a staple.
Think about this: a person who indulges in booze every day is called an alcoholic. Someone who indulges in junk food every day is called… your average North American. OUCH!
3. IS YOUR BRAIN GETTING IN THE WAY?
This will tick some of you off, but fat loss is actually pretty easy. It’s way, WAY easier than muscle gain. It’s not always pleasant and it’s pretty much always socially awkward, and it forces you to go against the choices of your friends, coworkers and family. But when we break it down to a pure physiological process, fat loss is easy.
It’s all the mental stuff tied up in eating that make it pretty much impossible for most of us. It’s the emotions around eating, the addiction to the taste and the feeling of food, the bonding that comes from sharing food with others, and the sense of belonging that comes from “going with the flow”.
Most people fail not because they don’t have the right diet plan, not because they don’t have access to the right food, and not because they don’t know or understand exactly what they need to do. All the physiological elements are in place, and they work. Most people fail because they don’t consider the psychological aspect of the diet.
Food, particularly sugar and refined carbohydrates, is addictive. The cravings can be emotionally devastating. Hunger is a feeling completely foreign to us and we can’t handle it; it breaks us down like we were physically beaten.
“There is a profound sense of alienation that comes from doing something “different”. Once food and shelter are taken care of, our number one need as human beings is to feel like we belong. When a person starts a diet they isolate themselves form the norm. And the single most social thing we do, as a species, is share food and drink.
Many people will abandon a diet because it feels like they’re excluded, and for a heavy person already feeling badly about their self-image and their sense of belonging, that’s just too high a price to pay. They’d rather be obese than alone.
I’m not trying to be all Mr. Personal Trainer BOY, let me be the first to admit I’m an emotional eater. I get a profound sense of happiness from sweets. It’s such a satisfying feeling eating a bowl of ice cream (Cookies and Cream to be honest). But now I can control the psychological aspects of eating, and for long periods I can treat food purely as fuel.
Going into the mental aspect of eating is almost mandatory when deciding to change your lifestyle. This is a daily battle that needs to be a One day at a time approach. Taking something from each day to build upon for the next…. Even though the quote is overused it is very fitting to leave on….
"Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy." -Sir Winston Churchill, Speech, 1941, Harrow School British politician (1874 - 1965).
Almost every time I meet someone for the first time they ask “How do I get rid of this extra 5lbs?” While asking this they are grabbing some area of their body that they think is not up to par. The worst confrontations occur at gatherings (holiday, birthday, etc.) where there is always someone wanting to know the “secret” to losing those pesky pounds.
If the party is boring I will humor the individual and ask questions about their habits -- Do you exercise? How long have you had these extra pounds? What foods are you eating?
After finding out a little more detail about the person I always end up correcting the way people use the word “diet.” People always tell me they are on a “diet.” You know they have done all those fad diets: Atkins, South Beach, the Zone, the Grapefruit Diet, etc. (Is there even such thing as a grapefruit diet?)
All these are programs, not “diets.” These programs tend to include both a gimmick which separates them from all the others, along with a timeline. The word “diet” has become misunderstood. The truth is, everyone is on a diet. You either have a GOOD diet or a BAD diet. A diet is not a mend-all trick to get slim. A diet is what you eat.
Let Us Clearly Define The Word 'Diet':
Diet- (noun) A course of living or nourishment; what is eaten and drunk habitually; food; victuals; fare ~Merriam/Webster dictionary
I know I am being particular when it comes to the word diet but I find it is very important to understand the difference between a diet and a program. When people can understand the need to change their lifestyles (which means changing their diets) they tend to stick to it longer than when they try a program. Programs tend to have start and stop dates, or people just ended up starting and stopping them on their own. I want people to change for good, not just for a season. Once someone can grasp the fact that their diet is either good or bad, then they can really make some life altering changes.
What you put in your body is the most important part of losing weight. Without ever picking up a dumbbell or running on a treadmill, you can change your appearance by altering your nutrition. Now, do not get me wrong, exercise is important, and it is definitely a vital part of the equation. Lifting weights and doing cardio helps you burn calories, but if you never address “the calories” you are putting in your body you will not achieve the results that can be attained through exercise and a change of diet.
Understand that you control what you eat, and you have the power to change. Now you just need to figure out if your diet is a good one or a bad one, and make the changes necessary to live your life to the fullest.
Welcome to my new fitness and nutrition blog! Every two weeks I'll update you with an article and video that you can use right now to put exercise and health into your life. I'm always looking for great content ideas and feedback on my videos. Have topic ideas? Send me an email at email@example.com or comment on my blog below.
1. DECISIONS! DECISIONS!
Everyday we make choices. From what we are going to wear for the day to what type of coffee drink we order at your local coffee shop. Some decisions are bigger than others but they all require us to make a choice. Nothing is more important than your Health! The first step to losing that extra holiday weight or getting back in shape is making the choice of getting started. This seems like a very simple step but in fact it is the hardest. You might already be thinking about it right now but more often than not you find a way of talking yourself out of taking that leap of faith. Excuses range from its too cold outside to I’ll start tomorrow. The bottom line is making the choice to become healthier today!
2. FIND A BUDDY!
Being accountable is a very powerful tool when chasing after goals. It makes sense right? Someone helping you push through weak moments. Accountability partners share in the burden of changing bad habits into positive habits. The most important job of the person you choose to help you change is exactly that…..THEY HELP YOU. Stay away from people that are negative, you need positive feedback with some tough love when needed.
3. START EXERCISING!
Exercise is the easiest (for most people) to get started with on their journey for a healthy lifestyle. There are two forms of exercise – Anaerobic training (Lifting weights, Weight machines, etc…) and Aerobic training (Running, Bike riding, etc...). The amount of each of these is to do is debatable. But know this, to physically change yourself you will need to put demands on your body that require it to adapt to the demand. That reaction accompanied with good nutrition will result in physical change.
4. NUTRITION! NUTRITION! NUTRITION!
This is the most important part of a healthy lifestyle. But it is the hardest to master. The best way to start changing your diet is with small manageable steps. Don’t go head on into a calorie counting low carb nutrition program if you have never participated in a program. This is setting yourself up for failure. Nutrition tends to be a “I CANT” mind set. “I can’t eat this, I cant eat that….” Because of this you will need to make small changes and build upon them daily/weekly/monthly. By taking a long term approach you are more likely to stick with it for a lifetime versus just a short period of time.
You will fail! I know I know be positive right? But it is true, there are not many people out there that quit cold turkey and become 5 day a week exercisers and 100% compliant on their nutrition. So know this ahead a time and give yourself some built in rewards. Not all you can eat buffets or gallons of ice cream. Be reasonable, go out to eat one day on the weekend or have a desert one night. Notice I said “one” in both examples. NOT all weekend or every other night.
These 5 tips are very basic and broad statements. Most of you have already heard or read these somewhere. But whether you are just getting started or you are a seasoned veteran to physical change these rules apply. My responsibility as your Health Fitness Specialist is personalize these tips specifically to your needs/wants.
What fitness and nutrition topics would you like me to discuss? Leave a comment below and I'll write an article and film a video just for you...