Category: lose weight

HOW DO I GET TRIM?

HOW DO I GET TRIM?

Everyone wants to know the answer to this question, but the answer is one we often do not want to hear and usually don’t want to do.

Behavior Modification = You gotta make some changes!

More specifically, modifying behavior with regard to food choices is the key to becoming thin.

Of course, there is exercise to think about also. With few exceptions, it’s safe to say that exercise DOES NOT make you thin. Exercise makes your muscles toned, your body firm, it makes you feel good, gives you energy, it can increase metabolism, it reduces risk of disease, and on and on. The benefits of exercise are endless.

Exercise certainly supports and promotes weight loss, but it is not the primary key to losing weight. In fact, most of the time exercise makes you hungry and if you are not in the habit of choosing quality foods, you tend to eat more of the foods that keep the pounds on.

99.9% of the population needs to modify food choices to reach their goals. This is why I am certified in Fitness AND NUTRITION! The best personal trainers teach behavior modification and understand that modifying your behavior with regard to food is the key to becoming thin. When it comes to achieving a fit, toned and thin body, I want to be more than an exercise coach. I want to teach people using comprehensive fitness programming…. promoting complete behavior modification so my clients will get results.

Any program that supports a goal of creating a healthy, fit and vibrant body are going to be outcome based. If you honestly follow the program, your outcome will be a successful one

I hear things like

“I eat healthy, but I am still 20 pounds overweight”

“I make good menu choices, but I can’t seem to lose weight”

“My diet is great, but I have no energy”

“I have a low cal, low fat diet, but still struggle with high cholesterol”

Is it possible that someone can eat a “healthy” diet and still be overweight, low on energy, or have other life-style related issues. Sure, it is possible, but it is very unlikely. Most people who think that they are doing a good job, but don’t have the physique that they want or the healthy profiles that they want, really aren’t doing a good job.

Good nutrition requires honesty and results. If you don’t have the results, you are not being honest with the what your diet really looks like.

So when you’re thinking about losing weight and getting trim, remember, your food is the thing that must change in order to achieve lasting success. The exercise will take that success and make it look awesome! Modify your behaviors regarding food and food choices and your success is guaranteed.

The more you know… Here are two links for ideas to cut 500 calories per day. Click HERE and Click HERE 

Seven Tips That Make Dieting Strategies Work

Seven Tips That Make Dieting Strategies Work

1. Drink Your Water

It’s important to stay well hydrated on a diet. I often hear that people can mistake thirst for hunger. Is this true? The jury is still out, but the next time you get a hunger pang, drink a glass of water first. If you really are just thirsty…problem solved. If you are really hungry, the water will help to fill up some of your stomach space so you won’t scarf down a bag of chips. Tip: Water may be the most boring beverage on the planet, so add a bit of flavored carbonated water to jazz it up. I like La Croix.

2. Remove Sugar

If you want to lose weight, you have to remove the SUGAR. Sugar makes it easy for our bodies to store fat. Removing sugar out of your life is a tried and true way to shed and keep off the pounds. Tip: Sugar is found in many forms, so if you’re trying to reduce sugar intake you also have to stop eating the foods that act like sugar in our bodies. Whether you put a spoon full of table sugar in your mouth or chomp on a bagel, the effect is the same. For a complete list of these foods, http://www.olsonnd.com/what-foods-that-act-like-sugar/

3. Eat Smaller Portions

We love “super-size”! It makes sense, right? More food for your buck. When it comes to a good value maybe, but when it comes to good health, “super-size” is the enemy. Be mindful of the amount of food you consume at every sitting. Tip: use smaller bowls and plates for your portions. It will look like a lot of food, and it will be just the right amount. When possible, use a scale, and when eating out avoid anything with the words “all-you-can-eat” and never “super-size” anything unless you are going to share it with at least four or more people.

4. Eat Your Vegetables
Vegetables are superstar foods. Not only are they low in calories, they are high in fiber. Vegetables are a great replacement for rice, pasta and other starchy foods during weight loss. Non-starchy vegetables are the best selection for weight loss; they include asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, cucumbers, field greens, spinach and more. Tip: Eat your veggies first to fill up most of the space in your stomach.

5. Get Enough Protein
Protein is the best fill-me-up food. It’s more satisfying than carbohydrates or fats because it keeps you feeling full for longer. Protein also helps preserve muscle mass and encourages fat burning. Tip: Include healthy proteins like lean meat, sugar free yogurt, cheese, nuts, or beans into every meal and snack.  If your choice is a carb or a protein, go with the protein.

6. Limit Late Night Snacking
Dangerous snacking occurs most often after dinner, when you finally sit down and relax. Snacking while reading or watching TV is one of the easiest ways to throw your diet off course. If you are going to snack, make sure it is a low-calorie snack like fruit, low-fat cheese or a sugar free yogurt with a serving size of no more than 100 calories. Tip: Brush your teeth right after dinner. This is your signal that eating is done for the day.

7. Get Moving
Regular exercise is an important part of effective weight loss. It helps to control your weight by using excess calories that otherwise would be stored as fat.  Enjoy your exercise routine whatever it may be; sports, a trip to the gym, bike riding, walking, household activities, yard work, or work-related tasks — all are beneficial. Tip: Do some kind of movement EVERY SINGLE DAY, even if it’s just for 5 minutes while you are watching your favorite show. Make a game out of it. Every time your favorite character says his catch phrase do 10 jumping jacks, or 20 sit-ups, or 5 squats, or whatever.

7 Ways to Maximize Every Workout

7 Ways to Maximize Every Workout

images5UGGPMAROne of my favorite sayings is to work smarter not harder. When you take the time and effort to lift weights, you want to get the maximum benefit from your efforts. We’re always being told what we should be doing at the gym: go faster, harder, slower; use a medicine ball; buy a band; free weights; body weight! But more important are the things we shouldn’t do during a workout. I am a little obsessive about form, and I see some crazy stuff going on in the gym each day. When is the last time you paid close attention to your weight lifting form?

So that you don’t cheat yourself out of an optimal workout—here are some common mistakes and solutions.

MISTAKE 1 : Skipping the warm-up. If you are lifting significant weight and you don’t warm up, it will be harder for you to lift because your muscles won’t be ready. You will also increase your chance of injury.

Solution: Do a general warm up before you start lifting, by using a cardio machine at a moderate level for at least four or five minutes. Then do a specific warm up for each of the exercises, starting with about 10 reps of 25% of the weight you intend to lift, and then moving to 50%, before you do your real workout. So, for example, if you are going to do 10 80-pound squats, start by doing 10 squats using just your body weight, and then 10 more squats using just the bar. Then go to your workout (three sets of 8 to 12 reps).

MISTAKE 2 : Stopping short. Not exercising through a full range of motion is a common mistake, especially when doing biceps curls. Many people stop the exercise before they’ve extended their arm all the way down. This means they are only strengthening the upper part of the biceps instead of fully developing the muscle.

Solution: Each exercise should be done in a slow, controlled manner through the complete range, with emphasis on the completely contracted position. Full-range of motion movements contract and strengthen the muscle you’re working and stretch the opposing muscle (in the case of the biceps curl, the triceps). Note: Do not confuse full range of motion with hyper extension—when you use more than the full range of motion, which can cause joint injury. Hang your arms by your side and relax them. This is your range of motion for the biceps curl; anything more and you’re hyper extending. Unfortunately it’s easy to go too far if you aren’t careful. You are in danger of hyper extension any time you use any type of free weight. That’s why it’s so important that your movement is controlled, and you use the correct amount of weight.

MISTAKE 3: Holding your breath during a lift. It’s easy to forget to breathe. My trainer had to remind me constantly to breath. Lifting weights causes your blood pressure to increase temporarily; holding your breath makes it soar even more, and then suddenly drop. Such a dramatic fluctuation in your blood pressure can make you pass out.

Solution: It’s important to develop a breathing pattern while you’re lifting. Some people inhale at the beginning of a repetition and expire at the end, others inhale on the upstroke and exhale on the down stroke. It doesn’t matter which you do. The point is to take a breath with each repetition to make sure you’re not holding your breath.

 MISTAKE 4 : Lifting hips off the seat or bench when doing exercises. For example  when doing a bench press. When you lift your hips you change the angle of your shoulders as you lift the bar, so you are using only your lower pectoral muscles instead of the entire pectoral muscle. Your feet are also contributing to the movement, so you’re not working as hard. More importantly, this also puts more of a strain on the spine which can lead to injury.

Solution: One simple way to prevent this is to place your legs on the bench with your knees bent and your feet down. How does this stop you from making that arch? If you are tempted to push with your feet, you’ll find very quickly that you’ll lose your balance and fall.

MISTAKE 5 : Straining the neck when doing crunches. Straining the neck is a very common mistake with crunches, because people place their hands behind their neck and then yank their arms to bring their head up rather than using their abs.

Solution: Do not do the crunch with your hand behind your back. Instead, cross your arms in front of your chest and hold your torso, neck and head in strict alignment. Your back will elevate to the lumbar spine region, which is exactly what you want. Lifting your torso (and not just your shoulders) off the floor will give you a lower abdomen workout as well. You can also vary this by adding oblique twists.

MISTAKE 6 : Rocking hips and pelvis while doing biceps curls. If you’re moving your pelvis back and forth during biceps curls, you are using the momentum to help you thrust the dumbbell upward, rather than isolating the muscle and using it to lift the weight. You aren’t getting an effective workout, and you can also throw out your lower back from the back and forth motion.

Solution: To make sure you perform the motion allowing only the biceps to contribute to moving the bar, try the exercise seated, with your legs spread, and rest your right elbow against the inside of your right leg. Then do the same on the left side. Another option is to use a preacher bench, or to stand up against a wall with your butt and back firm against the wall. You should have a 25-degree hip angle, with your legs straight.

MISTAKE 7 : Being wimpy with weights. If a weight is so heavy that you have to jerk, bounce or swing to get it to the top of the movement, it’s too heavy. But on the other hand, if you can do 20 or 30 reps your resistance is to light, and you are wasting your time. You’re not getting enough resistance training to increase muscular endurance or muscle size.

Solution: The setting should be chosen so that your muscle fatigues by the last repetition on the number you choose to do. For example, if you do sets of 12 reps, the 11th and 12th rep should be a struggle, after which you need to rest 1-3 minutes before you can do another set of 12. This takes a little playing around to determine the initial weight. When you are able to do 15 reps at that weight, it’s time to increase the weight.

Get Started (again) – Good Exercise Habits

Get Started (again) – Good Exercise Habits

We have all been there, probably several times. It’s been two months since you’ve seen the inside of the gym or done any type of exercise. Your day to day busy schedule, getting sick, family crisis, overtime at work have kept you from exercising. Now, the question is: how do you start again?

Once you have an exercise habit, it becomes automatic. You just do it. You go to the gym, you run three days a week, you play tennis every other day, you take a kick boxing class every Tuesday, etc… there is no force involved. But after a month, two months or possibly a year off, it can be hard to get started again. Here are some tips to climb back on that treadmill after you’ve fallen off. Choose the ones that you like and make the most sense, and then choose a few that don’t. You may be surprised at how well some of these tips work.

Reward Showing Up – 90% of making a habit is just making the effort to get there. You can worry about your weight, amount of laps you run or the amount you can bench press later.
Commit for Thirty Days – Make a commitment to go every day (even just for 20 minutes) for one month. This will solidify the exercise habit. By making a commitment you also take pressure off yourself in the first weeks back of deciding whether to go. Just go!

Make it Fun – If you don’t enjoy yourself at the gym, it is going to be hard to keep it a habit. There are thousands of ways you can move your body and exercise, so don’t give up if you’ve decided lifting weights or doing crunches isn’t for you. There is an endless range of programs that can suit your tastes.

Enjoyment Before Effort – After you finish any work out, ask yourself what parts you enjoyed and what parts you did not. As a rule, the enjoyable aspects of your workout will get done and the rest will be avoided. By focusing on how you can make workouts more enjoyable, you can adjust your workout plan to incorporate all the exercises you like and take out the exercises you don’t like. You will notice that after time, your likes and dislikes will change. An exercise you used to hate, may become one of your favorites.

Realistic Scheduling – Don’t put exercise time in a place where it will easily be pushed aside by something more important. Right after work or first thing in the morning are often good places to put it. Lunch-hour workouts might be too easy to skip if work demands start mounting.
Get a Buddy – Grab a friend to join you. Having a social aspect to exercising can boost your commitment to the exercise habit. I have a very good friend who is always willing to go to a spin class with me, and she has turned me on to Pilates.

X Your Calendar – One person I know has the habit of drawing a red “X” through any day on the calendar he goes to the gym. The benefit of this is it quickly shows how long it has been since you’ve gone to the gym. Keeping a steady amount of X’s on your calendar is an easy way to motivate yourself.

Measure Fitness – Weight isn’t always the best number to track. But fitness improvements are a great way to stay motivated. Recording simple numbers such as the number of push-ups, sit-ups or speed you can run can help you see that the exercise is making you stronger and faster.

Habits First, Equipment Later – Expensive equipment doesn’t create a habit for exercise. Despite this, some people still believe that buying a thousand dollar machine will make up for their inactivity. It won’t. Start building the exercise habit first, only afterwards should you worry about having a bunch of equipment. Furthermore, some of the most effective exercises require no equipment at all.

Isolate Your Weakness – If falling off the exercise wagon is a common occurrence for you, find out why. Do you not enjoy exercising? Is it a lack of time? Is it feeling self-conscious at the gym? Is it a lack of fitness know-how? As soon as you can isolate your weakness, you can make steps to improve the situation.

Start Small – Trying to run ten miles your first workout isn’t a good way to build a habit. Work below your capacity for the first few weeks to build the habit. Ease your body and mind into your exercise routine, and after a few weeks you will want to start challenging yourself by doing more.

 

Cut Calories – Tips To Tweak Your Menu

Cut Calories – Tips To Tweak Your Menu

The littlest swaps or tweaks can make a big difference. There are all sorts of ways to cut calories here and there, but here are some of my favorite food swaps you can make to cut 150 calories from your menu.

1. Use mustard instead of mayo on sandwiches. There are so many different kinds of mustards that can add incredible flavor to any sandwich.

2. Buy 6-inch low-carb, whole-wheat tortillas instead of the 10-inch flour ones. Not only will you lose calories, but you’ll also get four times the fiber!

 3. Avoid soda and juice and drink water instead (or unsweetened tea). One can of regular soda contains about 140 calories  Surprisingly a glass of juice contains almost as many calories, and like soda contains mostly sugar.

4. If you need a potato fix, try a baked potato instead of french fries. Potatoes are not the enemy, but don’t go crazy with butter and sour cream.

5. Keep 100-calorie popcorn snack packs on hand to eat instead of a bag of chips from the vending machine.

6. Skip the grande Caramel Macchiato at Starbucks and opt for a small latte with skim milk instead.  Save that coffee dessert for a cheat day.

7. Trade in a normal bagel for a toasted whole-wheat English muffin.

8. Load your pasta with veggies to cut calories but not bulk. Instead of two cups of pasta, try one cup of whole-wheat pasta and one cup of cooked veggies. (Remember to cook whole-wheat pasta longer for the best taste).

The New Year’s Resolution Article… Already?

The New Year’s Resolution Article… Already?

OK, so here it is. The article about the ubiquitous New Year’s Resolution to lose weight. Really? Already?

(Like Andy Cohen says…) Here’s What –

The majority of people will gain 7 or more pounds just during the holidays. It is so easy to eat that cookie or piece of fudge, drink a glass of egg nog, or have a plate full of fried appetizers at the Christmas party because you are thinking that your diet starts on January 1st. Everyone does it. I had sweet and salty chocolate covered toffee for breakfast. (It may have been the best toffee I have ever eaten, and for those of you who read my blog, that is a number one rule for “bad calories”.) Anyway, back to my point.

So if you are like most of my clients who have around 10 or more pounds to lose already, then you gain an extra 7 during December, on January 1st things may look a little daunting.

What happens so many times is that people will lose a few pounds in January, maybe even the entire 7 or the entire 10, but then our busy life kicks in and we haven’t had time to really build those healthy habits to make them part of our everyday routine. In February and March you find yourself exactly where you were before the holidays, or even heavier. The motivation of a New Year’s Resolution doesn’t seem to be there anymore, and you go through the rest of the year 10 pounds over weight.

Sound familiar? How many years have you done this? This year try something new! START NOW! Start building those good habits of eating right and exercising TODAY! You don’t have to go crazy, because there will be a lot of temptation over the next few weeks. Enjoy your favorites, but start practicing good habits NOW. I double dog dare you.

Step 1
It is really important to set an attainable goal. Returning to your high school weight is probably not a realistic goal, but getting into healthy habits certainly is. While setting a goal is important, it must be attainable, or you are setting yourself up for failure and frustration.

Step 2
Create a specific plan before you begin. Will you count calories? Go high protein, low carb? How often will you exercise, and what type of exercise will you do? Walk every evening? Go to the gym and lift weights before work? When you improvise, you will often find that you slip up on a regular basis, and, even though you feel like you’re on a diet, you’re not actually losing weight.

Step 3
Have a plan B. Decide what you will do when you head to a friend’s wedding, a business lunch, or make cookies with the kids. Constantly depriving yourself sets you up to binge. If you indulge at every special occasion, you will have trouble losing weight.
Step 4
Build in non-food rewards. Whether you want to lose 10 pounds or 50, it is important to reward yourself for staying on plan. Don’t use these rewards as an excuse to slip on your diet. Reward yourself for staying on your plan for a specific amount of time, with a manicure, a great new pair of jeans, or a night at the movies with your friends.

Step 5
Seek out support. Friends, family members or coworkers can all provide you with support on your weight loss goal. (I know this great girl who loves to help people reach their health and fitness goals. Yes, shameful self promotion.) Tell about your plan and ask for support. Most will be more than happy to ask how the diet is going, encourage you to exercise or simply listen to you complain when the pounds don’t melt off as quickly as you want. Many of them will also have similar goals, so you have an instant support system.

Step 6
Focus on your weight loss. This is a big one! It is tempting to use the New Year as a time to revamp your life, but it takes a great deal of emotional energy to create a new habit. If you are serious about losing weight, don’t set other goals, such as getting up earlier, reading more or anything else to distract you from your goal. Concentrate on one resolution at a time. After you are comfortable with your new routine, you can always try adding something else.

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