A healthy body works more efficiently, and here is the best part…a healthy body loses weight more easily and more efficiently than an unhealthy body.

This is why nutrition is so important for weight management as well as general health. There is a definite difference between a healthy diet and a weight loss diet. However, if you want to take baby steps, start on a healthy diet and don’t worry about calorie counting. You will actually feel fuller because of the healthy foods your are eating, so your calories will naturally be lower. Once you get in the habit of healthy eating and you make a conscious effort to reduce your calories, the weight will fly off.

It’s worth remembering that 20 minerals, 13 vitamins and fiber (none of which contain any calories) are essential for health. Their presence or absence can also change the rate at which energy is produced or calories burned. When foods cannot be metabolised properly because they lack the necessary minerals and vitamins, their energy becomes unavailable to our body and is stored as fat until we get the necessary minerals and vitamins at some later time. In the meantime we feel hungry and eat more. This too turns into fat unless minerals and vitamins are also provided.

When you choose NutrientDense Foods like fruits, vegetables, lean meats, oily fish, oats, beans, nuts and seeds, and avoid wasting your daily calorie allowance on “empty-calorie-foods” (which contain calories but no nutrition), like regular sodas, alcohol, sweets and candy, you will get enough vitamins and minerals in your diet which creates a healthy body which makes weight loss easier.

5 Signs You Need a Shakeup to Your Shapeup

SONY DSCWhen it comes to exercise, it’s always good to mix it up a bit, but there are also times when your exercise routine may be ready for a more major overhaul. Because exercise is a personal thing, and your workout results (and problems) can only be recognized by you, here are a few things to be on the lookout for to determine if you need a shakeup in your shapeup. No matter if you’re a novice to physical fitness or an expert, here are 5 signs that you need to switch up your exercise regime ASAP! –

  1.  If you’re working out and eating properly, you should be seeing results. If you aren’t seeing anything noticeable in the mirror, or if your clothing sizes haven’t changed (or gotten tighter), it’s likely that you need a new exercise routine. With the right routine, you should be able to watch your body transform, even if it is only a little bit. Inches should be coming off and you should start to see more tone to your body.
  2. If in the beginning you wanted to lose weight and improve your endurance, so you did a lot of cardio exercises, such as running on the treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike, etc. However, now that you’ve lost weight and built-up your endurance, you want to focus more on gaining muscle, which requires lifting weights. When your fitness goals change, your workout routine should change with them.
  3. Exercising releases hormones within the brain that are supposed to induce a happier mood. If you’re unhappy with your exercise routine, you rush through your exercises, you cannot wait to get out of the gym, or you find yourself losing focus when you work out, you may be bored. A boring workout is never a good one, and it only makes sense to change it. Being unhappy with your workouts means that you aren’t doing exercises that make you feel good. You should be enthused (okay if ‘enthused’ doesn’t quite describe you, let’s just say you shouldn’t dread your workout), and by the end of it all you should be happy with the physical activity that you do.
  4. You could do your workout routine with your eyes closed. You don’t sweat nearly as much as you used to. You don’t have to put forth a lot of effort to complete your workout. When your workout becomes a walk in the park instead of a challenge, it’s definitely time to change things around. You want your workouts to challenge you and to cause you to push yourself to the limit. If you are going to take the time to exercise, you might as well make it count.
  5. Since the day you’ve started working out until now, you’re been doing the same exact exercise. Even though you’re comfortable with this routine, it’s always helpful to switch up your routine at least every couple of weeks. Doing the same workout for months at a time could not only lead to boredom, but your body get used to the workout and you may find that your exercises are now completely and ineffective.

Exercise Tips – Which One is the BEST?

If you Google ‘health and fitness tips’ you will find 155,000,000 results. Talk to five health and fitness professionals and get six different opinions. Clearly there is enough information go around.

 However, with all this information, what are we supposed to believe?  Have you ever started a workout routine only to read a week later that you are doing it all wrong? It can be frustrating and overwhelming.  One of my favorites is the debate as to whether you should do cardio before or after weight training.  I’m still not sure, so I alternate before and after.  I figure at least I have a 50/50 chance of getting it right.

Fortunately, there are actually a few tips that most everyone will agree on, and one of them is my favorite.  It has changed the way I work out, and my fitness results have soared. 

On the surface, this may not seem like an earth shattering, OMG Kristi you are a genius type of tip, but it really is.

 The tip is INTENSITY. Whatever your exercise routine, do it with intensity. Maximum intensity. 

 For all of you who just said “duh”, this is really one of those tips that is easier said than done and takes some practice.

 I have been weight training consistently (and fanatically) for 12 years, and not until this past year did I really understand Maximum Intensity. 

 I got some advice from a college football coach. He put together a three-week plan that included an all over body workout three days a week for three weeks. No cardio.

 My first reaction was serious anxiety. How could I work out so little and not either lose muscle mass or gain fat or both?  However, in his plan, he said something that made me want to try it.  He told me that I had nine workouts, and I must make the most out of every rep, every set, every workout, because there are only nine. So work out at your max intensity and make it count. 

 My second reaction was excitement about this challenge to make it count.  It was on!  I always thought I worked out really hard until I started focusing all my attention on this make it count stuff.  Immediately, I was doing more weight and more reps than I had ever done, and I saw my muscle tone change (something I hadn’t seen in a while). 

 An added benefit; my workouts are much shorter now.  If I really focus on the exercise and the intensity, instead of the kid’s next field trip, or what I am making for dinner, I can get a better workout doing fewer exercises and fewer sets.

 4 Tips for Maximum Intensity

  1. Stop thinking about your list of 46 things you have to do today
  2. Only think about the exercise you are doing right now
  3. Make sure your last rep is as good of form as your first rep
  4. Ask yourself if you can do one more rep, then one more, then one more 

 If you are going to make the effort to exercise, make it count.

Are You Ready to Get Fit? It’s Up to You

I have people ask me all the time how to lose weight, get fit, get healthy, etc. You know that I love to help people, especially when it comes to fitness and nutrition.  Here’s the thing, though, I have come to realize that most of them aren’t really ready.  Maybe they ask me just to be nice, maybe they ask me because they think it is what they should be doing, maybe they are just making casual conversation.  Maybe they do really want a personal trainer, So my first question from now on is going to be:

“Are you ready?”

 If someone says “I think so.” Then I will give them a second chance and ask again, “Are you ready to really make some changes in your life and get rid of what you don’t need, so you can have what’s important to you?” If they need to think about it, I will ask them to come back when they’ve decided. (Okay, so for those of you who know me, I really won’t shut them down like that, since I am a people pleaser. But their answer to my question will give me insight as to how to address their questions.) 

One major truth is that it’s not possible to make any dramatic changes in your life if you’re trying to do so because someone else said you should. The desire and commitment has to come from deep inside of you. No one can make those changes for you. If you truly want to make changes whether it be at home, at work, getting fit, eating better—it’s up to you.

 This is great news, really. Especially for all you control freaks (and I am one).  So much of feeling overwhelmed comes from feeling out of control. You are in complete control of making the changes!

 So Make a decision:  It’s Up to You to Set the Tone of Your Life

 What if we all took that to heart? What if we all stopped blaming others and took responsibility for ourselves?  How great would that be?

 I often hear excuses for why people feel they haven’t lost any weight and feel overwhelmed with a fitness routine.

 I always listen compassionately and then tell them “Let’s start with right now.” It doesn’t matter that they haven’t been able to exercise all week because their boss made them work late, or they slipped on their diet because their kids wanted fast food so, they super-sized their meal at McDonalds, let alone going to McDonalds.

 As soon as you take responsibility for your life, you can change. Thinking it’s someone else’s fault or problem won’t allow you to move forward and make changes.

 Be aware of your surroundings and take responsibility for your results.

 There may be very good reasons why you haven’t been able to lose those last 10 pounds, and trust me, I have heard every excuse in the book.

 But, those reasons can keep you from doing anything. When you blame—you stay stuck. Decide TODAY that if anything is going to change in your life, it’s going to be up to you. You’ll feel an incredible sense of freedom and control. When you take responsibility, you can make changes, you can do something, and you WILL see progress.

The Only Way You Fail Is If You Quit

Some of my clients are facing new weight loss challenges and the dreaded plateau, but you can actually be on a successful weight loss track, and because you don’t KNOW what a successful track looks like, it may feel like you are failing.

Once you believe that you have screwed up, it is easy to say “screw it” and really screw up. I am good at that! If only you knew how well you were doing! While success does depend on your specific goals, starting point, body type and exercise routine, there are a few things that are consistent across the board. Here are some things to consider:

1. Weight loss does NOT come in the form of losing two pounds every week until you reach your goal, no matter how well you’ve stuck to your food and exercise plan.

When you gain weight, you don’t gain two pounds every single week in a measured fashion. You’re not going to lose it in a measured fashion no matter how well you stick to your plan. You might lose two pounds one week. You might even lose three pounds in a week. Then, you might lose one pound the next week.

Some weeks you might lose zero, and there are weeks you even gain. These weeks are the most frustrating, and we all have these kinds of weeks where we feel like we’re doing everything right and the scale doesn’t give us what we want.

Keep track of the weekly weigh-ins but take a look at the month and see the overall trend. You might have gained a 1/2 pound one of the weeks but take note if you lost 4 pounds overall for the month. If the month is trending downwards, you are in the right place.

2. Nobody is perfect 100% of the time.

Just because you went out drinking and ate all the bread, stuffed yourself with fried food and had two desserts, and then woke up and had eggs Benedict the next day does not mean you have failed.

Everyone does this.

We all make a commitment and we all slip up. I ate an entire chocolate cake the other day. You fell. So what? Learn what will work for you to get back on track. You can fall and still be on a successful weight loss track by simply making the decision to get back there.

Real life weight loss is like a marathon, some miles are effortless, some are excruciating and the only way you really fail is if you quit.

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