Category: diet

What is Fitness?

What is Fitness?

You probably take care of your body. From conditioning your hair and doing your nails nails to all matters of personal hygene. So physical fitness should be no different than combing your hair every day. Of course exercise isn’t always as easy as hair care. It’s strenuous and there’s no shortcut to being fit. It requires constant commitment and you’ll have to work at it before there are any visible benefits. Being physically fit is not just about getting a toned body or ripped muscles from pumping iron at an up-scale gym. Fitness is a lot more. It’s a lifestyle improvement which, if you stay faithful to it, will reap countless benefits.

What is fitness?

Fitness is going through the day with a sense of confidence that you can handle whatever the day has in store for you. It gives you peace of mind that you are better equipped to handle the physical challenges of daily life, as well as the mental challenges. Physical fitness is not a race, it’s a pursuit. There is no finish line to look for, but a new starting line to cross everyday. The only real “goal” is to never finish.

Mesomorph, Ectomorph, or Endomorph – YOUR GENETIC DECK of CARDS

Mesomorph, Ectomorph, or Endomorph – YOUR GENETIC DECK of CARDS

Today at the gym there was someone new. Since I work out at the same time and see the same people every day, it is easy to spot a new person. This girl definitely stood out because she was ripped. Her muscle definition is awesome. Boy, I wish I looked like that.

We’ve all done it: checked out the girl (or guy) next to us on the peck deck or treadmill and compared our bodies to theirs. (I wish I had those biceps, or Why doesn’t my butt look like that?) It is human nature to compare and obsess about our own “perceived” physical inadequacies.

As I continued to check this new girl out, I started to notice that her body type was completely different from mine. Even though she has an amazing body that I wish I had, my body could never look like that – ever. Not because of lack of trying, but because of genetics.
I started to appreciate my own physique as well as hers, but my feelings of inadequacy went away.

It is really important to recognize and embrace the genetic deck of cards you’re shuffling. Once you realize what you can and can’t change about your body, it will become easier to positively visualize your physical potential.

First, know your body type. You’ve heard it before: There are three body types: mesomorph, ectomorph, and endomorph. Ectomorphs are thin, mesomorphs are more muscular, and endomorphs tend to be on the overweight side. Most people straddle two categories, such as a meso-endomorph, or meso-ectomorph. You might think you can figure out what body type you are simply by looking at yourself, but it’s never really that easy. Next time you are at the doctor’s office, ask your doctor which body type you fall under and you might just be surprised.

Another factor that affects your figure is bone size. Get a quick general assessment of your bone structure by wrapping your hand around your wrist. If your fingers don’t touch, you’re probably big boned; if they just touch, you’re medium-boned; if they overlap, you’re likely small-boned. Obviously, you can’t change the size of the bones you were born with, but you can let your bone size be a guide to your body weight. In general, if you’re smaller-boned, you should be at the lighter end of the weight range for your height; bigger-boned people may fall at the top weight range for their height… and this is okay.

Now that you know what you’re dealing with physiologically, here are some ways to boost your mental body image:

1. Pick appropriate body role models. Men who grew up hoping to have Arnold’s buff build—but ended up slightly smaller—should work towards a more reasonable (but still healthy) body, like Lance Armstrong. If a woman were big-boned, she’d be setting herself up for certain disappointment by aspiring to look like Jennifer Anniston. Instead, she might want to aim for a body more like Tyra Banks, who’s body type may be more similar to hers.

2. Separate how you feel about your body from how you feel about other things that are going on in your life. Feeling dissatisfied with your career or relationship can make it easier to feel negatively about your body.

3. Look at your parents and grandparents for a guide to your body’s potential. If you come from a long line of jockeys, football may not be your best sport. Pick an activity that reflects and highlights your talents.

4. Ask yourself if you’ve ever been attracted to or fallen in love with someone who doesn’t have the “perfect” body. It’s important to challenge yourself when you get into the train of thought that you have to look perfect; you attract people and are attracted to people not because of perfection but because of a number of things.

5. Give your self-esteem a boost. Self-esteem isn’t about men and women talking about how special they are. It’s about success. Can you successfully handle your emotions, your goals? The better we can handle life, the less we make our body an exaggerated issue. It’s easy to project the bad feelings you have about yourself onto your body.

6. Determine your body image by the positive body behaviors you engage in each day. Recognize the things you do that make you feel good about yourself. That might be buying a healthy lunch instead of opting for junk food, exercising, moisturizing your skin faithfully, taking some quiet time for yourself, anything that makes you feel good about yourself.

PSYCHOLOGY of a SMART DIET – 9 Tips for Smart Eating

PSYCHOLOGY of a SMART DIET – 9 Tips for Smart Eating

As you know, I am always trying to find the newest info on all things having to do with fitness and nutrition. It is harder than you think. I end up reading many articles that say the same thing and discuss the same concepts that have been written about for over a decade. Blah, blah, blah.

However, I recently read an article on FitClick. This is one of my “go to” sites. It is also a great site if you want to participate in an interactive type online fitness system.

Here is the gist of the article:

The article talks about eating habits. We all have them. Some are good. Some are bad. One of the most important things you can do to ensure success when it come to weight loss is maintain good eating habits.

Are you the type of person to shovel snacks into your mouth while at the computer or t.v., barely noticing the taste or amount of the food you’re eating? Do you still believe it’s a crime not to finish everything on your plate? I call this the starving kids in China syndrome. My dad used to say this quite often. Then as we got older, he changed it to “waste not want not”. I heard this all my life… actually as recently as last Sunday. Some eating habits make it impossible to take off those extra pounds because they are so ingrained you aren’t even conscious of them.

The good news: You can absolutely learn to break these old patterns and substitute better ones, which is a key ingredient to a successful diet. Even better news: In time, these healthy routines will become such a part of your life, they will be second nature. That means not only can you lose the weight but you can keep it off, too.

Here are nine tips: some are so crazy they just might work!

1) Less is more.”If you eat less often, it will become a smaller issue in your life,” says James Rosen, Ph.D., professor of psychology and director of University of Vermont’s Weight Control Program. “Contrary to popular belief, ‘grazing,’ or eating several small meals and snacks throughout the day, isn’t a good way to lose weight for people with self-control issues. The more often you eat, the more you expect food is going to be available, and the more you think that it’s okay to eat whenever and wherever you feel like it.”

I have gotten caught up in this trap, and it is very easy to end up eating way more calories than you realize. So, if you know you are one of those people with self-control issues, decide on your eating times—not more than three or four times a day—and don’t eat in between, no matter the size of the snack.

2) Declare a No-Food Zone. Decide on the eating places in your house—just your dining room table, for example—and declare other places No Food Zones. If you have a habit of eating in your car, in front of the television, or while you’re at the computer, make those No Food Zones—even for healthy snacks. If you train yourself to eat only in very specific situations, you will learn to control food cravings outside of normal meal times.

3) Remember: Location, Location, Location.”Make sure that you eat your meals in one certain place,” recommends Robert Jamison, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and an associate professor at Harvard Medical school. “When you have a craving, tell yourself you can have whatever you want, but you have to eat it in an unusual place—like the bathroom or garage—that doesn’t have familiar environmental cues like the couch in the TV room.” So, if you really want that hot fudge sundae go ahead and eat it, but eat it in the garage,” says Jamison. It won’t be as much fun, so you might stop and think about whether you’re eating it because you’re hungry, because of a craving, because you had a long day and you think you deserve it, or because you’re watching your favorite show. The more conscious you are of what you are doing, the more chance that you’ll make changes.”

This tip sounds a little crazy, but so crazy that it just might be the thing to change a bad eating habit. Definitely worth a try.

4) Make rules and stick to them.”To avoid calories, you can simply establish a rule for yourself: Never eat anything unless you bought it or asked for it,” explains Jamison. “That way, you won’t have to torture yourself every time someone brings cupcakes to work.” Not to mention birthday parties, goodbye parties, Valentine’s Day, Girl Scout cookie season, Halloween…

I love this one. In our house we are rule makers and rule followers, and very rarely do we deviate from the rules. This is probably because we have a 5 and 6 year old in the house. But really, I am a “slippery slope” type person. If I deviate today, what’s to say I won’t deviate next time, and the time after that… slippery slope. So I just stick to the rules, and make everyone else in the house stick to them as well.

5) Eat dessert first.This is for the dessert lovers.. You know who you are. Do you always vow to skip dessert but end up ordering it anyway once the waiter brings the dessert menu? Judith S. Stern, Sc.D., professor of nutrition and internal medicine at University of California says, “If you are going to eat dessert, eat it first.” Why? “Because of what is called the Thanksgiving Dinner Effect. You’re stuffed and can’t eat another bite—but then dessert comes, and you seem to all of a sudden be able to find room for a piece of pumpkin pie. So don’t try to avoid the inevitable. Eat dessert, but know that you must order less for the rest of your meal. You might get some stares, but so what?”

I love dessert, but I am not a dessert person because of calories and nutrition. Desserts are a once and a while special treat. If you are not generally a dessert person, this tip is not a free pass to start eating desserts.

6) Exercise before dinner.”Exercising temporarily decreases your appetite, so if you want to avoid overeating, work out before a meal,” says James O. Prochaska Ph.D., a clinical and health psychologist. “One of the reasons weight loss is so tough is that it’s not dependent on a single behavior, it’s about how much we eat and how many calories we burn up. The most common mistake people make is trying to simply reduce calories without exercising.”

This tip is also very compelling. It is not always practical to exercise before dinner, but what if you went for a short walk, jumped rope 100 times, did 100 sit-ups or 100 jumping jacks… just some short burst of exercise. Worth a try!

7) You’ve got your whole meal in your hand.”If you want to lose weight, the most important element is not what you eat—it’s how much you eat,” says George L. Blackburn, M.D., Ph.D., associate director of the Division of Nutrition at Harvard Medical School. “People don’t realize the volume of food they’re eating and the speed at which they’re eating it. To figure out how much you should be eating, put your hand over your plate and see how many palm- or fistfuls of food you have on it. A serving size of meat, fish, or poultry is about the size of the palm of your hand; your closed fist is the volume of one cup of pasta or rice. Don’t forget that you have your measuring device with you everywhere you go. Also make sure at least twenty minutes passes between the start and end of a meal—even if you have to get up and leave the table somewhere in between first and last bite.”

This is the “no excuses” tip. There is no excuse to not be aware of the serving size of every single thing you eat.

8) Eat mindfully.”Another source of people overeating is the hectic pace of life that afflicts virtually everyone,” says Michael Lowe, Ph.D., professor of clinical and health psychology at University in Philadelphia. “We get geared up, and eating becomes an afterthought; we simply grab things to eat along the way. So set aside half an hour of calm, relaxed, focused eating for each meal. Mindful eating—when you’re aware of what you’re choosing to eat and how much you are eating and when you are starting to feel full—is difficult when you’re grabbing what you can find and gobbling it in front of the television before running out the door to a meeting.”

If you are thinking that a calm, free, focused 1/2 hour is hard to come by several times a day, I call bull sh** (as my husband would say). You are not making a healthy diet your priority. If you really want to, you can set aside a 1/2 hour or even 20 minutes for each meal to ensure you are eating mindfully all day long.

9) Stay positive.”Analyze how you’re eating and exercising, but take a benevolent and accepting attitude,” says Dan Kirschenbaum, Ph.D., director of the Center for Behavioral Medicine in Chicago. “Don’t be moralistic. When you eat a piece of chocolate cake, don’t think of it as ‘cheating or failure’.’ Instead, focus on staying positive, and see your overeating as a problem to be solved, not as a moral transgression. Eating is your normal response to stimuli; it is tough to break established patterns and keep resisting it all the time. Keep fighting the good fight, don’t give up, be proud of any progress you’ve made.”

Consider these tips and start to incorporate them into your routine. Before you know it your good eating habits will far outweigh the bad.

Back to the starving kids for a minute… Have you ever heard of left overs? Instead of cleaning your plate until you are completely and painfully stuffed, save a little from each meal. At the end of the week you can have left over day. We do this every week. By Friday, we have a nice variety of food. A pork chop here, a hamburger patty there, some left over chicken, extra noodles. It is kind of fun because each person gets their favorite, or we all have a few bites of everything – a true smorgasbord. Think of the money you will save because you don’t have to buy food for an extra dinner…. you can send that money to your favorite country with starving kids.

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 

WHAT DOES 200 CALORIES LOOK LIKE?

WHAT DOES 200 CALORIES LOOK LIKE?

High calorie foods and low calorie foods: but what does the difference actually look like? Each of the photographs below represents 200 calories of the particular type of food. When you consider that two cups of grapes contain the same number of calories as a spoonful of peanut butter, you might think twice the next time you decide what to eat. This can be helpful when assessing how you like to eat, and how foods containing different amount of calories will fit with your eating style.

For example, I like to eat volume. I feel way more satisfied when I can eat a large plate of food as opposed to a few bites of food. I will choose a plate of sliced apples over 2 slices of cheese. I may enjoy the cheese more, but it will take me awhile to eat the apples which really gives me a sense of being full. I would scarf down the cheese in a matter of minutes and within 30 minutes, I will be hungry again… and that is no fun. Quantity is more important to me, and since I can’t eat a plate of blueberry muffins and stay within my calorie intake limits, I like to choose the foods that are lowest in (per gram) calories.

Some people would much rather have quality over quantity. What I mean by quality… is deliciousness. Even though eight Hershey Kisses might leave them feeling hungry sooner, it is worth it because they enjoy the taste of the kisses, and that is more important.

So weather your style is to eat quality or quantity, just make sure that you stay within your calorie intake limits.


Apples
385 grams = 200 calories
(2 large apples)

Blueberry Muffin
72 grams = 200 calories
Peanut Butter
34 grams = 200
calories
(2 TBSP)
Grapes
290 grams = 200 calories
(about 2 cups)

Broccoli
558 grams = 200 calories
(1 whole -over 1pound)

Cheddar Cheese
51 grams = 200 calories
(2 slices 1 ounce each)

Avocado
125 grams = 200 calories

 

Sesame Seed Bagel
70 grams = 200 calories

Fried Bacon
34 grams = 200 calories
(about 4 pieces)
Hershey’s Kisses
36 grams = 200 calories
(8 kisses)
Low Fat Diet – Pros and Cons

Low Fat Diet – Pros and Cons

I recently met a woman who was following, or trying to follow a low fat diet. She was asking me if I thought low fat diets really work. Like most of us, she has been googling diet and fitness with a somewhat confusing result. So here is my two cents.

Low fat diets have been extremely popular. But there has been a trend to reduce carbohydrate consumption and increase fats and proteins. This overhaul diet strategy has shown to be extremely effective in improving overall health, body composition, and performance.

There is definitely confusion regarding low fat diets, because there is still ongoing research that examines the efficacy of low fat/high carbohydrate diets for weight loss. A lot of the confusion stems from the fact that low fat diets work when it comes to weight loss. But keep reading, there is more to this story.

The reason low fat diets work is because anytime you decrease a person’s caloric intake to a level significantly below their energy expenditure they will lose weight. It isn’t rocket science just simple math. The question should not be if low fat diets work but if they work the best?

From my own experience, the answer to that is NO. And trust me, I have been on some crazy low fat diets. Low fat diets usually include high carbohydrates. But lowering your carbohydrate consumption and increasing your fat and protein intake leads to a diet that is more effective at reducing fat, preserving and building lean body mass, and improving health.

I used to be “afraid” of fat. I would never eat anything with over 2 or 3 grams of fat. What a bore! Then as I started to learn more about the effects of high carbs and the math game (calories in v.s calories out), I realized I would not gain weight if I ate more fat here and there. I actually noticed my physique looking better and healthier after tweaking the fat consumption in my diet. When you can eat more than 4 grams of fat, it opens up a world of new and delicious foods!

The math game is most important when you are dealing with dietary numbers (calories in v.s. calories out), so once you have your math under control look for balance. A balanced carbohydrate/protein/fat diet is key to increase your level of satiety (you feel full longer), increase blood sugar control (yielding better weight loss), and improved compliance. Improved compliance is by far the most important aspect of a successful “diet”. The more you stick to your plan, the better your plan will work.

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