Friday, March 31, 2017

I weigh what ?

How much do you weigh? Oh you know down to the decimal what your weight is and that is problem number one! Let me ask you this, what does that number even represent to you ? Do you care that much about a number ? Why are you choosing to want to be "less" of you in life, why not choose to be more? Be more healthy, more fit, more YOU!
In today’s image obsessed world, it’s too easy to beat ourselves up over how we look and how much we weigh. I admit I’ve had this struggle myself, weighing myself in the morning, being frustrated from the start of the day and letting that number affect me. I did learn that my body changes, my weight changes depending on my goals and I am 100% ok with that. It took me a while to fully understand that my body is strong, powerful and overall ready to conquer anything I throw at it.
From the beginning of my fitness journey, I went from wanting to be "skinny" to wanting to be strong. Funny thing is that your body changes as your mental aspect changes. Did you know what the biggest hurdle was? Connecting the dots that food is fuel and that in order to be strong you need to have body fat and size on you. It's true, mass moves mass. So if you want to lift more, have more muscle and overall decrease body fat, you should have a period of time where you weigh more and build muscle, then you can cut to get if off for a short amount of time.
So many people equate the scale, the number and your self worth together. That is the biggest problem I have with clients. Everyone wants to be lighter, less of themselves and smaller. But they also want to be "lean", "cut", "defined. Well what do you think that is? MUSCLE. And muscle needs food.Eating less and doing more puts you at a risk for losing muscle. This is usually the result of becoming weaker, having less power and being slower.
I want you to hear this, so pay close attention. The average woman is made up of about:
35% muscle
28% fat
37% bone, organs, fluid and other stuff
When you weigh yourself, your weighing ALL of that, not just picking or choosing if your weighing fat or muscle.Using your weight is outdated when it comes to measurements of whether your body is changing and if you are healthy. As a society, we need to start approaching exercise, diet and body changes differently and take the emphasis off of what we weigh and instead put the focus on getting fit.
So, what does 144 look like?
What does 125 look like?
What does 185 look like?
Do you actually know? And does it even matter?

Thursday, March 30, 2017

What works for you?

Everyone is always worried about how many carbs they are consuming. Figuring out how to decrease your intake while making sure your hitting your macro requirements for the day can be a simple switch. With summer around the corner, people are finding ways to trim and slim down for the bikini season. Try out some of these tricks that can save you carbs and calories !
Being gluten free ( not by choice) has given me an opportunity to really learn about new products. Flour has been an issue because normal flour contains gluten. However, there are many flour alternative to use in your baking. Almond flour and coconut flour are two that have less carbs than regular flour. Coconut flour tends to have more coconut flavor so I lean more toward almond because the flavor is more neutral. If you use too much coconut flour, it can make the coconut flavor overpowering. The trick is knowing the conversion between regular flour and the other alternatives because they are not equal parts.
Speaking of baking, using oil can increase your fat and calories but what can you use to make it healthier? Believe it or not, pumpkin puree is the swap out ! I used to use apple sauce but it has almost double the amount of carbs. Pumpkin is about 8 grams of carbs per 1/2 cup which really decreases the macros for your treat. You can now have your cake and eat it too!
Have you ever tried Lily's Chocolate? Lily’s chocolate is perfect because it’s sugar-free, and they sweeten their chocolate with stevia. Craving sweets is sometimes super hard to pass up all the time. Try this healthier swap out for your normal chocolate fix!
And my ALL TIME favorite, protein mug muffins ! Yes I make these almost daily because they are just that good! I mix 1/2 scoop protein, with 2 egg whites, 2 tbs coconut flour and a splash of water to make like a pudding mix. Spray a mug and pour it in, then microwave for 2 minutes. You got yourself a high protein little muffin treat that won't make you feel guilty after !
Low carbs don't mean you can't eat. You just need to think a little bit harder for some treats that fit into your meals ! Everything in moderation is key! Need help? Ask me and I will help you with meal plan advice and healthy substitutions that I use myself !

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wellness Wednesday !

Wellness Wednesday tips !
Before you change your caloric intake, consider the following:
Create your meal structure BEFORE your next day of eating.
-When I work with clients on nutrition, the first thing I ask them to do is document their food intake for at least 3 days of normal eating. Once I see a normal eating trend then I create macros to fit the goals of each individual client. Once the macros are prescribed, I ask them to create the next day of meals for me to review. Why do I do this? I want to make sure you are meeting your goals and are ready for the next day. If you plan ahead of the game, you now don't have to stress tomorrow and you know what you are going to eat.
* Eating healthy and consistent meals WILL lead to changes, be patient!
Being hungry is normal when you are dieting.
-You shouldn't be starving but you will be hungry. I won't lie or try to sugar coat it, being in a deficit is hard work because your body will give you hunger cues and you just need to ignore it. However, the problem happens when you are so hungry and you overeat.
This happens for two main reasons. The first one is that of you go too long without food you will be ravenous and all you care about is finding food. The second reason is more emotional. As we feel hunger, it triggers us to eat right away and get rid of that feeling because we see it as a bad thing.
Plateaus are part of the journey.
-Believe it or not, a plateau is actually a great thing; it means you are maintaining. Of course, a plateau that goes on too long can be discouraging, and will eventually lead to gaining some weight back. But, if we use it as an opportunity to start dialing in on your training and nutrition!
Key points:
-Track your food
-Be consistent
-Create a meal structure
-Find a program that works
Need help!? Contact me today for coaching !
Share and tag someone who needed to hear this !

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Progress not perfection!

Are you seeking progress or perfection? Day in and day out people hit the gym, eat healthy and track macros, but what happens when things stop moving forward and you feel stuck? If you are searching to "look" a certain way, you are in a losing battle every day. Do these questions rattle in your mind often?
-Am I not working hard enough?
-Does my diet need recalculating?
-Should I add or cut calories?
-Is this all even worth it?
You need to cherish the moments you take to get you there. The journey is never ending, goals must be set with new ones to follow. In the fitness industry, you will see that many of the people who are striving for a look are simply never happy. Bodybuilders are constantly looking for where improvements can be made and how to look better. I am guilty of this, I look at what I see as my flaws and hyper focus on them. Yes I am a perfectionist and I strive to look better than the previous year but at some point, I need to step back.
How can you see yourself from the viewpoint of others?
Step 1- Appreciate the journey. You have come a long way from where you were. Know that this is an improvement in itself. Maybe you sacrificed time with friends, cooked and prepared meals ahead of time, took care of your body and even missed holidays. We all do that when we have a goal. I suggest taking a look at the decisions you’ve made that have led towards a more positive lifestyle. Lift yourself up instead of putting yourself down.
Step 2- Make sure your goals are really what you want. i see people that get pushed into things they don't want to do simply because they want to feel like they "fit" in. Sometimes your goals are not realistic either. Being stage lean all year round is not healthy. Don't compare yourself to others highlight reel !
Step 3- Food is fuel ! You need to feed your body in order to perform better. Calorie restricted diets are not going to help you perform better. You should embrace a little extra thickness and start putting in work. Your body can be shaped, molded, and sculpted into many things. Don't get caught up in looking a certain way. Fads come on go. Having a healthy lifestyle you can maintain is far more important than looking good for a day and then falling off the diet wagon when you feel deprived.
If you start to feel like your not moving forward, remember why you started in the first place. You are on your own journey ! Create it, shape it, reinvent it often! You can do whatever you want to do !

Monday, March 27, 2017

How intense are you ?

Training intensity is today's topic of conversation. Being that I enjoy teaching people how to become stronger, eat healthy and smash goals monthly, training intensity is something that is a learned behavior. Intensity to me is not the same as it is for you. This is partly due to that fact that we all perceive things differently. There are a lot of factors when you talk about training intensity from the speed in training, weight used to perform the movement and the desired outcome. Knowing which "intensity" you want to create an adaptation for is going to be the golden ticket to success.
So what is training intensity? To be fair, intensity is subjective. So instead of trying to identify it, I want to look at it in terms of training. For starters, intensity of load is where I want to start because it's the easiest to understand. Think of a barbell, with 100 pounds on it. If i would say I want you to do back squats at 75% of 100 pounds and then do singles at your 95% of 100 weight, 75% is less intense than 95%. Agreed? So going with this concept, the intensity of this training at the 95% is very high whereas the 75% is hard but manageable.
Next is your effort in training. A lot of group fitness classes will define themselves as "intense" training. This is referring to the amount of work you are putting in and how difficult it truly is. A lot of times lifters will you s a RPE scale or the rating of perceived exertion, So in terms of lifting, a 10 out of 10 on the RPE scale means you hit failure. A 7 out of 10 means that you might have 3-4 reps in the tank. Knowing the effort and training intensity is going to help you with overloading your training to get stronger as time goes on.
Intensity also plays on your neural, muscular or metabolic effects. So sets of 1-3 are going to be more neurally intense. Doing sets of 6-10 have more muscularly intensity. Sets of 20 or more might be primarily metabolically intensive although the muscular effort is often still quite high. If you are a bodybuilder, contraction of the muscle is also another form of "intensity" that should be considered. While the intensity of load or weight may actually be fairly low, the intensity of effort and concentration are both high.
Reviewing this information, it's safe to say that you need to look into your training. You SHOULD be struggling your final few reps if you are going for a high intensity of training. You shouldn't feel like you have much in the tank left over. However if your training is a lower intensity day, you don't want to cross into the high intensity threshold and create an over stimulus.
Vary your intensity and your results will also start to increase and change to adapt to the intensity variable!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Sugar is a deadly addiction!

Sugar might be holding you back. The food industry does a good job of adding sugar to things that you commonly eat. If your goal is weight loss, making sure that you are watching your sugar intake is important. Sure, you probably went through your cabinets and threw out the obvious things like cakes, candy and sweets but what about some of the other "healthy" foods that have a ton of extra sugar, carbs and calories in?
If you didn't know already, the food industry sneaks sugar into many products. When you are eating processed foods, salt, sugar and fats are the most commonly added things to make it taste good so you crave more. Not to mention that this is increasing the obesity epidemic around the world.
Don't be fooled with common catch phrases either. Unless you are super diligent with your diet, reading every food label and keeping almost all of your foods as whole as possible, you might want to check the "extras" in this list !
-Granola, yes its amazing and tastes great but did you check out the sugar and carbohydrates in it? Granola has a healthy outer appearance because it’s usually made with whole oats, nuts, seeds, which are known as good-for-you ingredients. However, it doesn’t live up to the “healthy” title because it’s usually also loaded with added sugar and artificial ingredients. If you want granola think of it as a snack or treat.
-Fruit juice is so great for you but it also has a lot of sugar in it. Natural sugar is good for you but make sure you are not drinking many cups a day.
-Lean cuisines and other pre-packaged foods seems like a quick and convenient way to get in a meal but make sure you are really looking at the ingredient list. When you see packaged foods that market their low-fat content, you can pretty much guarantee they’re high in sugar. Many manufacturers will add in sugar to make it taste better to you when they take out things to deem it low fat or low calorie. Don't be fooled by low fat labels, think a step further and know that low fat and sugar are linked together!
-Condiments and salad dressings can get you in a calorie overload if your not careful. Dozens of other condiments contain high quantities of hidden sugars and a higher fat content. Try to opt for my favorite, mustard !
-Alcohol. well you knew this was coming. If you didn't already know, alcohol has carbs and sugar in it. Plus it is an empty calorie drink. The calories in alcohol come from sugar. Although liquors like gin, rum, whiskey and vodka, wine, and beer don’t contain any added sugars, these pure alcohols can contain anywhere from 1-13g of sugar per serving. And don't forget all the mixed add ins that bump up that sugar content in higher. To say the least, the sugar and calories in alcoholic beverages add up fast. To make matters worse, alcohol interferes with fat digestion. What that means is, alcohol can prevent fat loss.
If you want to increase your lean muscle mass and increase your health, try to watch your sugar consumption. Increase your whole foods like lean meats, veggies, fruits and healthy carbohydrates like potatoes to keep your body lean and optimally running !

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Change your behaviors.

Behavior is the number one topic I discuss with my clients. At the end of the day, if you can learn to control and change your behaviors around food. you will be setting yourself up for long term success. We all have things that control us. For some it might be food, others video games and even exercise. Yet, you need to remember these are just behaviors that you repeat over time that become "routine". My goal is to help you break that routine up a bit and learn how to respect and love your body.
Ask yourself this, do you have a healthy relationship with food? Do you see food as good or bad? If you do. your relationship might not be as healthy as you like it to be. Working on that internal dialogue with yourself is important, especially if you are trying to create a healthy lifestyle change. Many of my clients see "good" and "bad" foods. I like to start changing this by saying all food is just a breakdown of protein carbs and fats, nothing more or less. How your body utilizes them is different but food is not good or bad.
Do you have a trigger foods? I think we all do. For me I have a few but its definitely peanut butter. I can slam a jar down if I am not careful. If you have foods that cause you to go overboard, why are you keeping them in your house or even buying them? Out of sight and out of mind. If you need to go to the store on a special trip it will help you think about what you are thinking about doing. Yet, time and time again, clients buy the foods and wonder why they can't control themselves. Just keep it away!
Do you eat out of emotions? Making food choices because of you are trying to numb emotions and feeling is NOT going to make it better., You become more unhappy and depressed because of the choices you are making. Try to identify the feeling or emotion first then move forward to make changes with your feelings vs. your food choices.
If you have food relationship problems, starting a diet will amplify them. Try to fix or heal your food relationship before you start something new !

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Don't sweat the sweet potatoes !

Carbs, we love them but did you know that there is one that is particularly good for you? Yes, not all carbohydrates are made equal. Some are fast digesting while others are slow. Your body can utilize carbohydrates for fuel during training if your body is proficient at metabolizing them. Just like the difference sources of fats and proteins, there is one carbohydrate that can actually help you lose weight and increase your health.
If you didn't know already, the one food that is great for you is sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are not from the traditional potato family which is known as a night shade, but it is rather from the morning glory family. Yams and sweet potatoes are sometimes confused with one another, but the difference is the skin. True yams are starchier and drier with tougher bark-like skin, while sweet potatoes have smooth, edible skin and are either firm or soft when cooked.
Why are sweet potatoes so good for your health? First off, a medium potato is about 110 calories with 2 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber and helps keep you feeling full. Not to mention, the below vitamins and minerals that one serving of sweet potato has.
Vitamin A (377% DV)
Vitamin C (5% DV)
Manganese (17% DV)
Copper (10% DV)
Pantothenic Acid (10% DV)
Vitamin B6 (14% DV)
Potassium (13% DV)
All of these nutrients are vital to good health, keeping your hair, skin and body looking amazing too!
One of the larges vitamins a sweet potato contains is vitamin A. Vitamin A is a really important nutrient for vision and a healthy immune system. Eating sweet potatoes has been found to increase blood levels of vitamin A into healthy ranges. Beta-carotene is responsible for the orange color of sweet potatoes, so flesh that has a richer orange color is higher in this important antioxidant.
Fiber keeps you fuller longer. Sweet potatoes have 4 grams of fiber. This makes it a great complex carbohydrate that you can eat at lunch and feel full all the way till dinner. Fiber helps to regulate your blood sugar while slowing digestion and keeping you satiated.Weight loss has one common thing no matter how you approach it, being in a deficit of calories which also means being hungry. Learning how to manage that hunger with foods that keep you feeling full is a great tool to have when you are trying to drop a few pounds.
I love to make sweet potatoes in the oven. All I do is wash them up and let them dry. I slice them into "french fry" looking strips. Spray a baking sheet with PAM and season with garlic and herb Mrs.Dash. This gives me my complex carbs for the week and helps me stay right on track of my diet and post workout nutrition!
How do you like eating your sweet potatoes ?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Top 10 Fitness Tips for Beginners

My top 10 tips for any beginner in fitness.
1- We all started at ground zero. We have all been "there" the beginning where you are not sure what you are doing. The point here is that you shouldn't feel like you are the only new person. You are among a lot of beginners that started off in the same way and you can use them for advice and encouragement.
2-Find a gym that feels like your second home. Being comfortable in the place you are working out is important. You will be spending time there and you should confident around the staff and members.
3- Gear up with the right stuff. Training can take a toll on your body but not having the right shoes or clothes can be as equally annoying. Make sure you have the proper gear for what your goals are. Trying to run a marathon? Make sure you have running shoes that support your feet. If you are doing weight lifting, try to find a shoe that has a flat sole with cushioning to support your training.
4-Lifting does not make you bulky. Lifting creates shape. The more muscle you have, the leaner you become and more fat is lost. Having more muscle might not equal pounds lost but that is ok if you go down 2 dress sizes right?
5- If you don't know, ask ! So many times people in the gym will are afraid to ask questions. If you are ever in the gym with me and you see me, ask all the questions you want. Asking questions will help you learn. Better yet, hire a trainer to teach you what you should be doing. If you don't know how to bake a cake from scratch you wouldn't go into it blind would you? Training is the same way. Find someone who's an expert and has the knowledge to give to you.
6- Starting at a gym hold this weird expectation that you need to be in shape before you even get there. How does that make sense? Think about it this way, no one is ever paying attention to you ( unless you are doing something you shouldn't be doing like bicep curls in a squat rack) so don't fear that people are watching. Training can be tailored to your fitness level.
7-Know gym etiquette. If you use something put it back in the right spot. If you used a machine, wipe the sweat off of it. Don't sit on a piece of equipment for the whole time you are there. Just use common sense when you are in the gym.
8-Working out should be fun and you should be nice to others, but don't have conversations with people unless both parties engage. If you see someone, wave hi, if they take out their headphones you are clear to talk if not, wait till they are done training.
9-If you want community, try a group class. Nothing helps bring out your competitive side than training with friends or meeting some new ones. Some of the best classes I have taken were of new things that I did with friends. Sick of boring cardio? Do a spin class. You will change up your routine and maybe find a new workout buddy.
10- You are not alone! If you are a beginner, there are so many people willing to help. All you need to do is express your interest and I know that someone will help you! IF you need help, reach out to me, I am always here for advice about training, nutrition, and supplements. After all this is my job !

Monday, March 20, 2017

Fearing fat is in the past !

Fat is no longer considered "bad" for you. How many of you think of fat, which is just a macro, as bad or something that will make you fat? Don't worry, I did too, until I learned that my body handles fat better as a source of fuel and energy. I am not sure where the concept of "fat makes you fat" is finally phasing out.
Fat as a macronutrient is important for your health. Eating fat from healthy sources can have a positive impact on your health and brain function. Now that fat is being accepted into nutrition more regularly, ketosis is now a popular form of nutritional eating. Ketosis is having your fat sources high and your carbs lower which allows your body to utilize fats for fuel.
Let's go to the beginning, ketosis is switching your body from using carbs as fuel to using fats as fuel. When you need energy, your body will first pull from glycogen or your carb stores. If you are always refilling your carbs your body is going to keep pulling from that source of energy. In order to enter ketosis you need to eat a low carbohydrate diet and deplete your muscles of glycogen.Once all of the glucose is depleted then our body will look to fat for energy.
Are carbs needed for performance? It depends on your goal and what type of athlete you are. There is not a one size fits all protocol for your nutritional strategy so try to find one that works for you and your body. For most strength-building exercises, short bouts of intense effort will call upon the creatine-phosphate energy pathway. That pathway does not rely on carbohydrates or fat but instead relies on amino acids. If you are trying to build strength, taking a creatine supplement when in ketosis is a good idea.
Ketosis can help you maintain and increase your strength. It is also a great tool if you want to lose body fat. But it is not for everyone. Women typically have a harder time getting to ketosis, and may feel more adverse symptoms as their body switches from carbs to fat for fuel. Remember that you are an individual. Find what works best for you while eating high quality ingredients.
reference: Breaking muscle

Friday, March 17, 2017

Fat loss 101

Fat loss is always on the agenda. No matter who I am talking to, I hear it time and time again that the main goal is to lose weight. However, weight loss and fat loss are not created equal. With that being said, low calorie diets can ruin your metabolism and do more harm than good.
First off, in order to lose weight, you need to know what it takes to get there. Some of the common grounds for weight loss are as putting in the training and cardio to manage your weight loss. Nutrition is your foundation for weight loss and you need to understand that nothing will move forward without your nutrition in tack. So before we start manipulating your nutrition, lets work on what we have right now. Making a huge calorie drop might not be the answer that you need for your weight loss goals. Sounds confusing, right? I would always suggest tracking your food for 3-5 days. This helps you or your coach understand what you are eating, how much, and at what macro/ calorie level your at currently.
Below is a list of what you might see with your eating patterns:
1 – You are eating too much
2 – You are eating an appropriate number of calories for fat loss
3 – You are eating too few calories and risking becoming metabolically adapted.
There are 3 factors that will help with weight and fat loss. Calorie restriction, resistance training, and physical activity.
So if you are eating too much or if you are in a surplus, move more and eat less. An easy way to start is to reduce your intake by 10-20% depending on the degree of your cut.
If you are eating enough for fat loss, but still not seeing changes, there are a few tweaks you can do to you diet.
-Do more HIIT training and functional total body workouts
-Eat a diet slightly higher in protein.
-Ensure your macros are supporting your goals
-Eat according to the activity you are doing. If you are doing strength work, your carb intake should be lower as compared to a high volume training session.
Your macro composition is what will improve your physique or your training performance. Speaking of the last topic which is eating too little and working out too much. Our body is a machine and the mode of survival to a large degree is holding onto body fat and a REDUCTION in metabolic rate. At this point losing weight is not really the proper step and we need to focus on improving your health which means resorting metabolic function.
Ultimately after a reverse diet is the point where you increase your calories to support fat loss. Not only will you feel better, perform better, and recover better, you now have room for a calorie deficit.
Eating less is not always the right answer. Losing weight doesn't mean you lost fat. You should really think abut long term effects of crash diets and yo-yo fads that don't support your metabolism long term.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Be MORE, not less. Dieting is not the answer!

It's not a diet, its a lifestyle. I am sure you have heard this many times before. It really is as simple as eating foods that are not processed and whole ( meaning 1 ingredient ). Fresh, natural whole foods provide us with an abundance of nutrients your body uses to stay healthy and fit.
It's smart to included fruits and veggies in your meals to deliver an abundance of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants and phytonutrients that help us metabolize your food, fight off disease, regulate your hormones and supply your body with energy.
Plant foods help fill in all the micronutrients that your body needs. You should aim for 5-7 servings of each fruits and veggies per day to meet your micronutrient requirements. You should also include eating a high-quality proteins over the course of the day.
Protein delivers a source of aminos needed to build and maintain lean muscle and keep us strong. Also make sure you eat healthy fats from natural sources such as olives, avocadoes, whole eggs, seeds and nuts help aid in hormonal balance, while also helping stimulate metabolism.
This is just a few reasons why eating whole foods is the key to your success. If you can stick to the perimeter of the grocery store. you can fill your cart with a ton of healthy options to get you started. Below are some other helpful tips !
-Overeating is still overeating no matter if they are from good sources or not ! Inversely, remember that diets with too much calorie restriction can also work against you, resulting in muscle losses, weight loss and muscle building plateaus and metabolic slow down. Instead of thinking of 'dieting' think of something you can sustain for a long period of time. If you learn how to be somewhat flexible in your approach, your outcome will be long term and not just a few short weeks.
-Eat smaller meals and they don't have to be at certain times either. Know that your body has many hormones to regulate. If you have a constant flow of energy going through your body, you can utilize that for more movement. Eating too infrequently can lead to drops in blood sugar, and result in cravings and hunger. Starving yourself only sets you up for a binge in the future hours.
-Do not try to cut foods out unless you have a metabolic or condition that requires you to. Not one of the macros ( protein, carbs or fats) make you fat. I repeat, carbs and fats are not the enemy. Make sure you are including things from a wide variety of food groups and colors. Why not eat foods that are good for your body and that fill your metabolism with macronutrients through fresh fruits and veggies.
-There is no magic pill. There is no magic diet. Remeber this when you see the next fad diet pop up. Losing weight fast is not healthy. Ensuring you are preparing your metabolism for weight loss is important. Learn your body and find out what works for you! Not everyone responds to food the same way and you should learn what macros work best. For me, fat is my number one energy source because my body digests it well. For you, maybe carbs are your go to source ! Do what works with your body!
Stay tuned to get help with my 8 week training and nutrition program. All it takes is 21 days to create a habit. Are you willing to work hard with me for 8 weeks to make it a lifestyle?


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Weight loss is easy, let me show you how !

Losing weight, is it as simple as dropping your total intake of food and exercising more? Sounds right, don't you think?? Let's take a second to really look at this theory.
There are many ways to lose a lot of weight fast. However, most of them will make you hungry and unsatisfied. Fast is not always the answer. Many programs are out there telling you that you need to eat roughly 1200 calories and cut out fats, carbs and eat small amounts of protein while exercising. That is setting you up for a huge metabolism issue in the very near future.
If you have a coach or someone who is professionally trained in fitness/ nutrition/ sports performance then you should already know that the above statement is a metabolic disaster. Cutting out food, increasing cardio/ training will have immediate effects, yes that is true. However, what you are doing is not prepping your metabolism for the changes it just went through. Eating for a aesthetic goal takes time. Yes, time and a lot of it. Do you think any of the bodybuilders or fitness professionals you see on TV did it in 1 month? They why do you feel you are the exception?
That may have sounded harsh but I am not here to sugar coat things when it comes to your health. Facts and science out weigh all the misleading information that social media brings. Losing a significant amount of weight in a short period of time is not healthy. So what is healthy? .5 -1 lb per week.
If you want to lose weight or ever build muscle, look at the foods you are eating. More specifically your macro-nutrient breakdown. Are you eating enough to support your metabolism currently? Chances are you are not. So if you think about it this way. You want to lose weight. To lose weight you need a deficit of calories from food or training. If you are not eating enough food at this moment, where does the deficit come from? You guessed it working out. Oh but you don't have "time" to workout that much. Looks like we need to work on your nutrition then.
This calls to action problem #2. So you want to lose weight by cutting out carbs and fats but you don't want to eat protein because you don't want to build muscle and look like a man.
.....................( insert pissed trainer emoji here ) .....................
So if you want to cut your calories, eat no carbs or fats and the protein is like the devil, please tell me where you think your going to lose weight from? Oh your fat? No it will take muscle. Why? Your body requires fat for survival, it doesn't need muscle.
Did you know, When it comes to losing weight, protein is the king of nutrients. Period. Eating a high protein diet has been shown to boost metabolism by 80 to 100 calories per day. High protein diets can also reduce obsessive thoughts about food by 60%, reduce desire for late-night snacking by half, and make you so full that you automatically eat 441 fewer calories per day. So you don't want to eat it right?
Last but not least, you don't want to lift either, you want to tone your muscles. Please tell me how you want to tone yourself? That look of "tone" muscles is hours of hard work lifting heavy weights. By lifting weights you prevent your metabolism from slowing down, which is a common side effect of losing weight. Lifting weights builds and sculpts your muscles. You create shape and you control your body because you can build it. Don't fear the weights, fear what your body will look like without them.
If you are looking to lose weight, please do it the right way. Eat healthy, find a coach that can train you and properly fuel your body with nutrients. Hire someone that will educate you on how to eat for your body type to lose and maintain weight loss long term. Please do not fall into quick fixes. Nothing worth it in life is fast!
Contact me if you need help with training or nutrition! It's as simple as putting one step forward !

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Why isn't it working?

It's just not working. Did you decide to commit to something? Did you make a decision that you felt would have a better outcome but is just falling short? We all do that in life. We believe the grass is greener on the other side ( sometimes it is) and we go for it without really thinking about the full situation. One decision people make, break, and retry is weight loss or going to the gym.
Why isn't your routine working? Why do you keep falling off the consistency that you start with? A number of things happen in your life that can influence your training or new nutritional program. Did you start off too soon? Did you give yourself the proper time to work into training? Are you eating according to your goals? Here is where you find yourself asking yourself this question: What am I doing wrong?
Been there and done that many times. Now the difference is that you have 2 options. You can sit back and be frustrated and mad or you can keep working at it. You need to remember that you have to commit to this lifestyle. It's nothing that should be looked at as short term. You didn't take 2 months to get here so why would it take 2 months to lose the weight? Your body is smart and you need to accept that this is a journey not a sprint. Once you change your mindset, you will have a lot more positive energy to push yourself forward.
I see setbacks and roadblocks all the time in the fitness world. A lot of times it's not your fault you just don't know how to get over that small hump. Sometimes admitting that you need help is an excellent first step. We don't know everything from the start. Heck, I keep learning as I go as well. It's ok to reach out to people who have long experience and knowledge in the field. Personally, I use a nutritionist for myself. I don't want to think for myself (because all day I am doing diets/ nutrition/ training) so I found someone I click with and we work together on my diet. Reaching out to others is very important to your goals.
Speaking of goals, do you have one? Motivation is put in the forefront when you KNOW you need to meet a deadline. If you are not into competing in anything, what if you set goals for yourself? Put yourself on Facebook, have someone accountable for your timeline or hire a trainer to help guide you. Make sure your goals are not counter productive for each other. You need to have goals that you can accomplish that are reasonable and time managed.
Last but not least, what worked for Sally might not work for you. Are there cases where the same program can work for 2 people,yes. However, if your goals are to build some nice shoulders and your friend is doing more performance / conditioning, you have 2 very different goals. The key to your success is training for what YOU want to accomplish. In this case find a program or hire a trainer to help you set up a plan.
Need help with training, nutrition or just need a friend to bounce ideas off of? Let me know !

Monday, March 13, 2017

Motivation at it's finest !

Motivation, its something that is a developed skill. You don't just have it or not, you need to train it like you train your body. Let me be the first to say that working out is hard to do. It causes "pain" yet at the end of it you feel empowered and ready to take on the world. Believe me, i know the power of a training session and what it does for my mindset and mood. Motivation is more than just "doing it" its about getting yourself in the right mindset first. There are 3 important factors that you need to have met to be great at motivation which are as follows:
Autonomy: you have some amount of control.
Competence: you feel like you’re good at what you do.
Relatedness: you’re part of a community and feel a sense of connection with others.
How can you learn to develop these skills? In looking at this list, motivation is all about how you develop the skill set needed to be confident and in charge of a situation. So let's talk on how we can get there.
You are in control of your situation. You have the ability to say yes I will make it happen or no it's not that important to me. In making decisions about your life, you are the one that can press snooze for the 8th time or you can choose to get up and go. You can't have an all or nothing approach to life, fitness, nutrition, or your goals. Flexibility is key. So what if you ate a meal that wasn't the best choice, make a better choice the next time. If you missed a day of working out, so what, make sure you hit it hard tomorrow. That is where the most issues occur. When people feel they need to stop all together because they failed one time. Don't let a set back stop you from being the best you !
Competence is a tough task to handle as a beginner because no one wants to feel as if they can't do something. Here is my best advice, learn from someone who can teach you! If you want to learn how to eat right, train in the gym or even just learn how to become a better athlete, learn from someone who knows what they are doing. Hire a coach, find someone you look up to and really learn from them. Learn that you can do something before you choose to just give up in the beginning. Learn the basics and find someone you click with to make it happen !
We all want to be a part of a community. Being a part of something larger than ourselves is important for a feeling for motivation to happen. If you are the type of person who wants and needs that external motivation, going to a CrossFit gym or doing group fitness classes might be the best option for you. However, if you workout alone you need to create that motivation for yourself. The best advice is to create an action plan on what you need to do.
We all need focus and help sometimes Reach out when you need it. I am always here for you for support and help. Contact me today with any questions you might have !

Friday, March 10, 2017

What to eat to lose fat?

What to eat to lose fat.
Did I get your attention there? Well good because I wanted to get it so I can speak about this important message. Anyone that comes to me looking to get leaner, lose weight, tighten tone and shred pounds is looking to lose FAT. There is one slight setback, the scale may or may not move! Yes, I said that correctly, you might lose fat, inches and anything in between but that scale might keep reading the same number. First is to focus on your body composition: the fat to muscle ratio.
Ok so you want to start a new way of eating, which diet are you going to do? There are hundreds to choose from and no wonder you are so confused! You might want to ask yourself some questions:
-How long can I sustain this "diet"?
-How much will it cost?
-Is it going to be effective?
-Will it help me reach my goal?
Now, where are you going to create a deficit from? Protein? Carbs? Fats? Do you know how you are going to reach your desired results? Let's talk science, no matter what source it is from, one calorie is the energy required to increase the temperature of one kilogram of water by one degree Celsius. Energy can be neither created nor destroyed. It can only be transformed.
If you do macros with me, you learned the following:
protein = calories/gram
carbs = 4 calories/gram
fat = 9 calories/ gram
How does your body process the foods you eat? Do you know if you should be utilizing more fats or carbs? Will cutting carbs be your ticket to weight loss or less fat? Everyone is a little different and you should learn how your body works with different macro nutrients.
So if you are thinking of doing a lower carbohydrate diet, consider this:
-Low carb diets facilitate the loss of glycogen stores and associated water, which can be as great as 4.4 pounds which is water weight.
-Eating carbs as close to your training can help you utilize your carb sources better. Consuming a high glycemic food within 45 minutes after exercise elevates plasma glucose concentrations and facilitates muscle glycogen replenishment.
-Post-exercise insulin secretion increases protein synthesis by increasing amino acid uptake in the muscles. Insulin also enhances blood flow into muscle, thus facilitating the removal of lactate and carbon dioxide. This decreases muscle soreness.
-Combination foods are best to keep your insulin levels steady. Think of always pairing a carb with a protein or fat!
If you are in need of a weight loss plan, contact me and we can get started on your weight loss journey. Knowing how your body works is critical to get the results you want!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Learn how to program your training split !

When you are thinking about starting a fitness program, what program should you be doing? My first question that I ask clients or people who want advice on training, is how many days (realistic) will you be at the gym training?
Knowing how many days you are going to be at the gym is key to setting up a training program. If you are planning on going to the gym 4 or more days of weight training, going into body part splits is your best option. If you can only make it to the gym 2-3 days, doing full body is something I would suggest to you. Today that is the topic I want to talk about.
What is a full body routine? In theory, every key muscle group is hit every single session. This may sound time consuming, but each muscle group is hit using only 1-2 exercises per session. This allows the session to be completed in about 60-90 minutes, and ensures that each individual muscle group is recovered in time for your next session.Full-body training helps accelerate the results of our training due to the following reasons.

-Since you are hitting your training with a full body workout, you are going to burn more calories overall. There is a massive demand placed on the muscle tissue of the body, which increases the energy used during the session, but also the calories needed to recover from a given session.
-If your program is done right, you can make your training session double up as your cardio as well. By partnering your upper and lower body exercises together, you can increase your ability to train harder and increase your metabolic rate.
-Your training frequency can be as little as 2 and up to 4 days a week of training. The more times you can train with the proper recovery, it helps to your training volume which in turn causes an increase in muscle growth.
-Recovery time is just as important as your training. If you are not recovering properly, you are burning the candle at both ends, so to speak. Your muscles grow OUT of the gym not in it. The increase in recovery time will help to increase your performance. The harder you can train, the more output and faster the results.
Full-body training can be a fantastic way to change body composition and develop strength. Everyone can benefit from full body training especially if you are short on time or just need to change it up!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

What is your goal !?

Being that I love talking about health and nutrition, one of the most common things I get asked is about diet. Now I will answer it this way every single time: What is your goal?
If you don't have one, you need to know that first. Without a goal there is not point to start a diet. However consider the following:
-Are you looking to compete in an event?
** If yes, what kind of event? Does this event require a weigh in? Does it require body composition changes?
-If your looking for weight loss, what is your time line? How are you documenting it? Are you using the scale as your only identification of weight loss? How else are you tracking progress?
**Weight loss is NOT a goal, however, weight loss in a time domain with specific measurements are goals that you can obtain.
-Performance specific. This is one that comes down to your goal. Ask yourself, are you wanting to get stronger or do you want to focus on body composition? Are you training to be better at performance or aesthetics?
**Again goal specific.
Now that you can see a trend, GOAL 1st then we can choose a direction of weight loss or weight gain. There are some commonalities about dieting that you should consider.
1-Protein is king. Male or female, protein is number one on your food macros to meet daily. What sources are you getting your protein from? Is it real food? Is is supplements? How many meals are you eating daily? I recommend the following intake daily:
-For men 1 gram per pound of bodyweight to get started.
-For women .75 gram per pound of bodyweight to get started.
Some supplement use is fine but should be reserved for byour training sessions and at times when you need a convenient, fast shot of protein with no real food in sight. Need help on what to get? This is my recommendation: www.1stphorm.com/burdafitness
#2- Fat does not make you fat.Fat fuels training and your cognitive functions. The benefits of fat include hormone regulation, energy production, and inducing satiety, healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil, nut butters, and mixed nuts will only help you reach your goals. Howeve, be cautious that there are 9 calories per gram of fat so you need to track and use sparingly. Shoot for .5 to .8 grams per pound of bodyweight of female and men respectively.
#3- Carbs are not the enemy, they fuel performance. Your goal will determine this number. Oh your training for 3 hours but think low carb is the way to go? You might want to rethink your goals. Carbs when eaten at the right time and of the right source can positively impact your training. Want to build some size, add carbs or if you want to lean out, limit your carbs to a healthy amount with 1-2 refeed days.
#4-Eat for your goals. Calories in vs calories out is a real thing. If you want to see changes, you need to eat for your goals. Not losing weight? Possible that you are not eating enough food for fat loss. Gaining weight? You might be overeating for the amount of activity that you are doing. In terms of weight loss and weight gain, your goal is the factor for your calorie consumption.
#5-You are going to mess up, that is ok ! We are human. Do not enter dieting with an all or nothing approach. You want to follow an 80/20 rule. So what if you messed up at lunch, brush it off and have a healthy dinner and let it be. Life is not perfect so you need to know that mistakes do happen. f you are about to embark on a new eating plan then just begin now. Why wait?Don’t throw the entire day away and have a “start the whole thing over” mentality. Pick up the pieces and get back at it.

Healthy eating, dieting and reaching your goals are not as challenging as you might think. Put yourself into the position to move forward and embark on something new!
If you have questions, I offer wellness/ macro and training programs to help you with any goal you might have !

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

What is your why? Why do you train?

Why do you train? It might be a no brainer but I want you to really think about it. Why do you train? Training for aesthetic purposes is important because let's face it, we all want to look good. However, you want to be able to move and perform just as well. It's important to be able to move your body and perform well just as much as you want to build size and get stronger. What is the point of lifting a lot of weight or "looking" like you lift if you can't actually do it?
It's funny because as a bodybuilder myself, so many people claim we are all show and no go. Truth is, we are strong and we can still move. Sure, we are not at our peak 1 RM nor can we do endurance runs unless we train for them but we are definitely not weak. There are a lot of people who put on size but lose functionality. The goal of gaining size is to also stay strong, stay agile, stay fast, stay flexible, and maintain mobility.
How do you develop a strong foundation? Compound movements will help you do that. Your big lower body movements will be squats, lunges, deadlifts and some olympic lifts. Then for upper body, press, rows, pullups and bench. Yes each will have some accessory movements to go along with them but this is the foundation.
Along with strength you want to be fast and agile. Your program should include plenty of jumping and sprinting. Learn to treat your body with unilateral movements to decrease muscle imbalances so that you can function better as a whole. And then the king of everything is mobility. Take time to stretch and recover properly. The better recovered you are, the harder you can train on a day-to-day basis, which makes the program effective. Use massages and the foam roller to keep your body aligned and working properly. Use ice baths to deal with soreness. There will be a lot of soreness and you want to deal with it by any means necessary. The key to prevent injury is to be one step ahead of the game.
The final piece of advice is to sleep well and eat more. You need to eat to grow. You can do all the work you want in the gym, but if you don’t eat properly, you won’t be able to handle the training volume and you won’t put on any size. You must be as dedicated to diet as you are your training. Nutrition may be more than 50% of the process here. Everyone wants to be big and strong, everyone wants to put on muscle, everyone wants to eat the food - but they don't want to do the work.Be responsible with your training direction and diet. Be realistic with what you're willing to commit.
Have questions about training or diet ? Make sure you reach out to me and we can talk about your training and making sure your diet is appropriate for your goals!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Eating healthy isn't as expensive as you think!

But, I can't afford to eat healthy!
Sound familiar? I am sure that you already have a good idea that "cheaper" foods are those of little to no nutritional value. Think chips, soda, fast food etc. It's fast easy and convenient, none of which you want your body to be comprised of. So if you think eating healthy is too expensive, it's time you learn the tricks of the trade! I am all for eating healthy on a budget so let me teach you some things !
Tip #1
Buy frozen veggies and fruits where you can. Of course there are some things that you need to get fresh like mushrooms, lettuce and your potatoes but you can get away with some veggies frozen! Personally, I get my broccoli, green beans and cauliflower frozen each week to grill. Did you know that frozen foods can actually have more nutritional value because it is frozen until cooked unlike fresh, which can sit for days before consumption.
Tip #2
As tempting as getting everything pre cut is, try to stay away from it. Pre-washed and cut vegetables such as lettuce, cabbage, zucchini, onions, etc. may be much more convenient but are also much more expensive. They are more expensive due to time to have to cut them. Get in the habit of coming home and cutting things yourself.
Tip #3
Go for the sale items, this also means the generic version of some products. There is usually nothing different about the generic product vs. the original. If you compare the ingredients, you will see that often the generic is the exact same, just without the recognizable brand. By buying the store version of the same item, you will save an incredible amount!
Tip #4
Buy some things in bulk.You get charged for convenience and packaging, so when an item is prepackaged and doesn’t require you to “serve yourself” there will be an added expense.You will save so much by bagging your own bulk items. A few items I always buy in bulk and save big on are oatmeal, oat bran, beans, seeds and nuts.
I hope these six tips help you save dollars and show you how you, too, can make healthy eating affordable and realistic for you and your family!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Dieting isn't necessary for fat loss.

DIEt... haha the first few letters spell die but in reality, do you know what a "diet" is? In our society, dieting is very broken. Broken in a way that everyone you talk to wants to be on a diet. WHY? Dieting sucks!
Dieting is when you are on a prolonged caloric deficit. This deficit is for a specific outcome or result that is SHORT term. Most likely those that diet are doing it for a competition or show prep for bodybuilding or something of that sort. However, dieting is short term, for a specific number of weeks and then you reverse diet into a higher caloric intake to build muscle.
For some reason more people are dieting and I am very unsure of why? There is a huge educational disconnect that I want to teach so that you understand the true meaning. I really think people should focus on eating more and stop worrying about dieting!
When I talk with clients, the first thing I want to know is your goal. Do you know what you want? For many I hear " I want to have abs" others say, " I want to lift heavy and compete". Let me ask you this, are you sleeping well? Are you performing well? Is your body adapting to your nutrition? No? Well great, let's work on that first.


More is not more, believe me I know this. Regardless of your goals, you likely have deficiencies in your nutritional approach that need to address. Guess what is most commonly happening when I talk with people? Under-eating is very common! How do you fix losing weight if you are under eating? Eat more. Yes you will gain weight initially. You need to have a healthy metabolism in order to decrease your calories to lose weight.


Weight loss is not a goal. Do you know why? Dehydrate yourself today and get on the scale tomorrow, BOOM you are now lighter but feel like garbage. Is that what you want? No. I need the specific goals! I need to know when do you want to lose weight by, how long are you committing to this goal. What are you willing to give up and change to reach it? Are you able to increase your training to meet this goal? These are real goals they are measurable and have a deadline!


Oh yea, next is the common case of doing too much too soon, Sure you want to reach your goal TODAY, yet you spent the last 5 years doing nothing. Do you really think that is the best decision to start going to the gym 5 days a week? Probably not. IF you thinking dieting is fast, your wrong. Dieting done the right way takes time and you should want it to take time. Yes you have goals,but we also want to keep our results PERMANENTLY and that doesn’t come from quick fixes. My goal is to help you learn and understand how your body is responding, and what is needed to move forward.


Oh it worked for her/him so it must work for you too. Nope, sorry to burst that bubble but are you them? No, so why do you think this would be the magic ticket for you? A real prescription involves A LOT of questions to start and should be built for YOU. If you are not sleeping well that affects your stress levels. If you have a demanding job, you might need more nutritional help than someone who has a job that has very little external stress. Your plan should be made for you!


If you want to learn about you and your body, let me know. Let's work together and move forward to create healthy and positive body/ mental changes !

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Ok so your telling me you DON'T have time?

Do you know what I find to be the common issue with many of my clients? Convenience. This is everything from food choices, training programs and even what you do daily. Why is this an issue and how can we fix it.
First off we all know that food has the power to heal your body from the inside out. However there is so much conflicting information about food, nutrition and and how to make it an easy transition into your lifestyle. Do you think all meals that are healthy are made at home? Do you know that having simple meals at your fingertips is so easy and can be part of your routine? Of course it is and I want to help you out today with that!
Let me ask you this, do you have "time" for your meals every single day? if you are like ANY person who has a busy lifestyle, who takes care of their family, who puts themselves last, you might know that you don't always make time for you. Well if you want to see changes, if you are dedicated to your goals, this is the best advice I can give you.
Hinting your meals takes a little bit of planning. Is eating healthy a little time consuming? Yes, however if you take just 2 hours on one day out of the week, you can plan and prep your meals for the whole week! Now listen I know, your busy, I am too, and I know how hard it can be to get in all your meals. I also have a super good tip for you. Supplement with a good protein powder for a meal replacement when you don't have the time for a full meal made of wholesome food.
Consistency is key and this is a great option for you. So maybe your question is about what kind of protein do you need to get? The good old saying, you get what you pay for, is totally true. To often proteins have fillers in them. Fillers meaning chemicals and things that your body can't break down. Having a protein that is made of quality ingredients and have all the nutrients in tack is the best for your body. My personal suggestion is Level-1 from 1st Phorm protein.
Am I biased? Of course, why ? I love making my protein "ice cream" at night and I am not giving that up! When you have protein that doesn't make you bloat, doesn't give you gas and is filled with amazing qualities that increase my lean muscle mass, I am sticking with it !
Don't believe me? Try it out today and let me know how you like it!
Level-1 uses only proteins that have been low-temperature processed to take extra precaution to not denature or damage delicate protein fractions. Why should you care about this? Level-1 contains among the highest levels of glutamine and glutamine peptides available in a protein supplement at over 4 grams per serving! Glutamine makes up roughly 61% of the amino acid pool in muscle tissue, which quite simply translates into an improved ability of your muscle to deal with stress and the daily beat down you put your muscles through. Level-1 is also rich in the Branched Chain Amino Acids, the “do-everything” amino acids so important to muscle.
More lean muscle mass, smaller body, increased metabolism! Yes these are things you want to happen to your body! If you are having a hard time with getting in your meals, if you are busy and need to "find" time to eat, this is for you!
No bloat, no gas, no burps, no stomach discomfort, no funky aftertaste. It's rich, creamy and makes the best protein ice cream that you will ever have ! If you don't like it, there's a 110% money back guarantee !

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Re-Feed vs. Cheat meals- What is the difference?

Refeed or cheat meals, which should you do? There is a misconception that if you ate healthy all week that you "earned" a cheat meal or a free day of eating. However, you can also have a refeed meal. What is the difference between the two ? So let's break these down a little bit and go over the differences between refeeds and cheat meals.
A refeed is a planned and scheduled increase in particular macro-nutrients. Cheat meals are untracked meals that you can have as a mental break from dieting with no macro -nutrient prescription to follow. A lot of times, having a cheat meal places a negative association with your relationship with food. Cheating, is never a good thing, not for your diet nor any relationship. So why is this term thrown around the fitness community so often?
You might be asking when and why should you do a refeed or cheat meal. The scientific basis for a refeed day lies within the leptin-boosting power from a short-term boost in calories. Leptin, a hormone that regulates satiety and energy intake, decreases when body-fat levels go down and carbohydrate intake gets reduced. As a result, hunger levels rise and satiety is reduced. Ideally, the goal of a refeed day should be to promote a rise in leptin levels to better help adherence to a specific diet.
However, a cheat day can provide a mental break from the rigorous tracking and frequent scrutiny of macros. This pause on tracking food for a meal promotes positive changes, such as an increase in dopamine, a chemical in the brain associated with our brain's reward and pleasure center. This may help to promote adherence down the road.
A properly constructed refeed day will help to replenish glycogen store in your body rather than fat stores. A planned refeed should be done when you are in a calorie deficit and your carbohydrates are low for quiet some time. Be careful of having too many cheat days with higher fat meals. It has the possibility to promote fat gain rather than refilling your carbohydrate stores.
A refeed day should primarily focus on increasing carbohydrate intake. It has been demonstrated that a high-carbohydrate meal can boost leptin, particularly when compared to a high-fat meal. As a result, your raging appetite may be temporarily suppressed, possibly for 24-48 hours, relieving you from the rigors of caloric restriction. So make sure you are putting those calories and extra energy to work the following day.
I would recommend having a refeed day vs. a cheat meal. It's not only helpful for you to plan and keep a little structure, but if you do macro counting, fitting in that meal that you wanted is easier than you think!