Monday, July 31, 2017

This is the fastest way to put you in a bad mood !

The scale- your mood- destroyed !
So that might be dramatic and all but really, how many times have you stepped on the scale and got so pissed because of what you saw? I know it has ruined my day plenty of times. But why? Just like I tell my clients, your weight is a combination of things. When we talk about body weight, we’re talking about fat free mass + fat mass.Fat-free mass is everything that isn’t fat – muscle, bone, organs, muscles, water, etc. While fat mass is, well, fat.
Here is the million dollar question, which would you rather lose? Well duh! Fat mass. This distinction is important because, firstly: ‘weight loss’ is easy and can be easily manipulated, you see fighters, weightlifters and powerlifters do this all the time by extremely dehydrating themselves before a weigh-in to simply weigh less. Did they lose fat? No, they just manipulated a few things to cause a decrease on the scale for short term.
What is important to remember is that your weight fluctuates probably by the hour. What you weigh in the morning is not what you will weigh tonight. When we talk about scale weight we’re talking about your ‘actual weight’ plus all the ‘weight anomalies’. It's those anomalies that mess with your head. So let's look at what some of them are so you understand the next time your weight gets all out of whack,
-Carbs: The number of carbs you’re consuming will affect scale weight. Remember, 1 gram of carbohydrate comes along with 3g of water. This is why when people go on a low-carb, or ketogenic diet, they see rapid weight loss (not fat loss) initially as the body drops water. Inversely, if you’re ending a period of low-carb or ketogenic dieting, you can expect your weight on the scale to go up.
-Water retention. If you are dehydrated your body HOLDS onto water. Funny how what most people think is true, that if you don't drink a lot you will look thinner the opposite is true. More water means a better looking physique and less bloat.
-Sodium intake: If you’re consuming a certain level of sodium per day and then one day you consume more sodium your body will retain water, conversely, if you decrease sodium intake, your body will release water.
-Hormones, specifically women and your period. Your monthly cycle will make you retain water. I know, it sucks, but you’re awesome so smile.
-External factors like stress, sleep and working out affect your weight. Poor sleep can also increase stress levels = water retention = weight increase on scale.With increased stress comes water retention, and with water retention a spike in scale weight.
This is why I advise everyone to not get too caught up with the scale weight because it’s only one tool to measure progress.In fact, sometimes I simply stop my clients from weighing themselves altogether because it messes with their head, which only stresses them out further, increases cortisol, that in turn increases water retention.Instead, focus on body measurements, progress photos, and performance in the gym (strength gains) because they are far more reliable metrics to gauge trends in body composition and your progress.

Friday, July 28, 2017

What do you do when your stuck?

Losing weight is all about calories in vs calories out. What happens when your are in a deficit but weight loss is not happening ? Weigh loss is one of those things that have MANY factors that come into play. Things like your stress levels, how much sleep you are getting, are you doing activities that you normally do or maybe you are eating the wrong types of foods.
You see it's not just a clear cut answer of this+ this = weight loss. You need to learn your body and adapt when needed. Here are few mistakes I see people make when they are on their weight loss journey.
1. Be patient, it takes time. Ask yourself how long it took you to gain the weight you have. Now take that answer and that is a good figure of how long it might take you to get all that off. This isn't to discourage you but to emphasize that you can't rush it.
When you first start your fat loss diet you see fast results and are super motivated. These initial results give you a false sense of what the process will actually be like. Soon, progress slows down as you enter what I call “The Suck”: that period of time where you’re doing everything right but still no progress is, seemingly, being made. This is the time that many people give up.
2, Fad diets DO NOT work ! The people who have this “fast fat loss” mentality are also the ones who tend to gain it back after the diet ends, or quit entirely after a few weeks. Not because aggressive dieting doesn’t work but because this mentality encourages the use of fad diets that,won’t be sustainable in the long-term, and doesn’t help you build the habits that allow you to maintain the loss in the long run. Why do you think when you start working with me I want you to track your food and I don't give you a STRICT meal plan? Because you can't stick to it your whole life !
3. Expecting to lose 10+ pounds in a month will only set you up for disappointment. Set fat loss targets between 0.5 – 1% of your total body weight per week. Yes that's it! The higher your starting levels of body fat, the faster you can expect to lose; conversely, the leaner you start, a slower rate of loss will be best to minimize muscle and strength loss.
4. Metabolic adaptation. A major reason why fat loss comes to halt even when t eating in a calorie deficit is simply due to the adaptive component of the metabolism. While we refer to the metabolism as one entity but really it consists of four separate component parts: BMR, NEAT, EAT, and TEF.
BMR: As you’re sat reading this there are a bunch of chemical processes occurring inside of you.
NEAT: Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis is all the activity that isn’t intentional exercise; fidgeting, walking, playing with your dog, etc
EAT: Exercise Activity Thermogenesis is intentional exercise.
TEF: Thermic Effect of Food is the number of calories you burn digesting food.
5. STOP "dieting" and start eating ! The chronic dieter is stuck in a perpetual state of dieting. They ‘end’ a diet, only to begin dieting again a week later. This constant dieting is neither healthy or conducive to progress. With chronic dieting comes:
-Muscle loss: the longer you stay in a calorie deficit, the more you risk muscle loss. This is why you should be phasing periods of dieting with periods of maintenance or a slight calorie surplus.
-Disordered eating: You can only sustain a calorie restricted diet for so long. The longer you restrict calories, the more likely you are to end up bingeing, and then feel guilty about your binge, try to restrict calories again – through unsustainable methods – and then binge again when you can’t adhere to it.
-Goals are on hold because your body is saying NO !
Solution:
Reverse diet and give your body a break. Focus on your training, while striving to find some normalcy. Yes, this means you might gain some fat and not look how you want for a while. But it’s something you’re going to need to do to make progress in the future.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

What do you want out of your fitness journey?

What is one thing most of us want when we start our fitness journey?
A flat midsection or definition around your abs. I am totally with you on that one too! I want to have those sleek abs that women in (photo shopped) magazines have  But guess what? Many are failing to do the ONE thing that will get you there. Do you know why your midsection isn't coming through like you want?
Abs are made in the kitchen and your nutrition is your driving force on your body composition! Food prep and food planning is a fundamental success piece in getting your abs to show or a leaner looking mid section.
Training is necessary for overall caloric output and to build muscle but the synergy between what you eat and how you train is of utmost importance! For optimal success and progress, they go hand in hand. Here are my keys to success to plan and prepare your meals to ensure you are fueling your body.
Invest some time into studying the nutritional profile of the foods you’re eating and learn the calories per serving in addition to the macronutrient breakdown; how much protein, carbs and fat and stay within your requirements. From there, create a plan for the macros that YOUR specific body needs. If you don't know how to do this, contact me and we can work one out.
Make your own meals and pack your lunch and snacks as much as possible! This helps give you greater control over your food choices and enables you to pre-plan your meals and avoid extra unwanted additional calories which may frequently end up being the wrong type of calories. I.E. Restaurant salad dressings often contain crappy, cheaper oils and in general, contain ingredients you shouldn’t be eating on a ‘clean’ and healthy meal plan.
Track your food. You really need to understand the amount of foods you are eating and from what macro they are coming from. While protein and carbs have 4 calories per gram, fats have 9 calories per gram. This can impact your diet exponentially. Know how many calories you need based on your weight and activity level and get an idea of what you’re eating by tracking/journalling; at least for a while.
Eat slowly so you can be in tune to when you’re body is full and when you get those signals, STOP EATING and save the remainder of your meal as a snack for 30-60 minutes later, should you feel hungry. Your body assimilates smaller meals more efficiently and it's way easier on digestion.
Remember you are in control of what you consume daily. You can make the choices to eat an apple at lunch vs. chips. Stick to whole foods that are unprocessed for the best nutritional value that will nourish your body not just feed emotion!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Choosing the right protein powder

Protein is a critical nutrient, but finding the right protein powder means ensuring that you are getting a high quality product to help supplement your daily protein intake.
What to look for in a protein powder:
Quality
Quality is relative concept. Speaking specifically of protein, quality is a statement of products desirability relative to other available choices. Lets face it, not all protein powders are created equal. Some protein powders cause gastro-intestinal bloating, cramps, and flatulence. Yet still, some taste like plaster of paris, are not very blendable, and are so thick that it makes you regurgitate.
The quality of a protein product is determined by the satisfaction of several requirements: Yield, Amino Acid Profile (BCAA - EAA ratio), WPI:WPC Ratio, Filler Percentage, Taste, Ease of use, Blendability, Digestibility and results.
The amino acid profile of a protein powder is also important to consider. There are two classifications of Amino acids that you should look for when buying a protein product. They are BCAA and EAA. BCAA stands for Branch Chain Amino Acids, and EAA stands for Essential Amino Acids. Both are important.
Branch Chain Amino Acids stimulate production of insulin that allows circulating blood sugar to be taken up by the muscle cells and used as an energy source. Amino Acids help the body to spare lean muscle tissue.
Essential Amino Acids include Tryptophan, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Valine, Isoleucine and Leucine. Amino Acids will determine how "complete" or "incomplete" a protein is, because proteins are made of a combination of 20 Amino Acids. When considering the Amino Acids present in a protein product it is important to remember that there are 20 amino acids, and that they each perform different functions in the human body.
When considering buying a protein supplement pay careful attention to the ingredients on the label and look for a combination of Whey, Caesin, Egg and Soy. By doing this you will be "covering all of your bases" when it comes to protein!
I recommend asking what products other people have used, and which ones tasted good and most important how they felt. Its important to find a protein powder you can actually down. You don't want something that is chalky. You want something that is very appetizing when mixed with a beverage like 1% or 0% milk, or water. Get a protein that is very easy to mix, does not stick to the side of your blender [like other products which you must use a knife to scrape off of the side of the blender receptacle]. This will ensure that you do not end up with a protein "shake" that you must CHEW when the protein clumps float on the liquids surface.
The ultimate question is: Does it work? Need help or advice with what protein powder to use? Ask me or comment below a suggestion for someone else to try out !

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

What is holding you back?

FEAR
F-false
E-evidence
A-appearing
R-real
Is fear stopping you in your tracks? Is fear of "something" holding you back? Fear of "what if", fear of weight gain, fear of failure, fear of a loss, fear of being misunderstood, fear of being nothing.... sounds familiar to you? I understand this feeling far to often. I fear a lot, no I fear daily.
“What we fear of doing most is usually what we most need to do” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Change is scary. Change is hard and can stop you from putting yourself out there to even see if it could work. But what if it does? What if the very thing you feared was the one thing that was holding you back from reaching your fullest potential?
How can you break through your fear to unleash your highest self? The reason is that fear only gets loud when you do things that matter. Fear never bothers you if you're average but the second you dare to be more than ordinary, fear awakens. Risks are met with fear, which can cause people to question their ambitions and prevent them from taking action.
One thing I want you to understand is that fear is absolutely normal. Even the best experience fear from time to time. The key is to not let fear hold you back and prevent you from taking action and go after what you want in life.
How to overcome your fear:
Develop mantras and affirmations that build you up and increase your self-confidence. Read uplifting books to help interrupt the negative inner dialogue that goes on in your mind.If you don’t take the initiative to rewire your brain, life will do it for you.
Plan your goals. Things that are not detailed or planned out cause anxiety and stress. Set extremely clear goals with a detailed plan on how to achieve those goals. After you have a well detailed plan, take action.Taking action towards meaningful goals helps to relieve stress and gives you a huge sense of enjoyment. Fear creeps in and paralyzes us when we don’t take the time to plan our lives.
Do one thing every day that scares you. Living in our comfort zone is not the best way to live. Not doing the things that frighten you will increase the likelihood that your fears will become bigger – and taking over your life. It can even be something small that you choose to do, but do something daily that scares you. Step out of your comfort zone and work on becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable. When you form the habit of doing something daily that scares you, your courage grows little by little. Soon enough, the barriers that once were holding you back vanish and your potential maximizes tremendously.
Everything that you want in life is past your comfort zone.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Aloe Vera Benefits

Some of you have seen me post about adding in aloe vera juice into my daily routine again. I am adding it in to aid in gut health. Yes, you know the stuff we don't like to talk about yet it affects many of us daily. Believe it or not aloe vera contains key vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids that are vital for our bodies to function properly.
Aloe vera contains many vitamins and minerals vital for proper growth and function of all the body’s systems. Here’s an easy explanation of aloe vera’s active components:
Aloe vera contains antioxidant vitamins A, C and E — plus vitamin B12, folic acid and choline.
It contains eight enzymes, including aliiase, alkaline phosphatase, amylase, bradykinase, carboxypeptidase, catalase, cellulase, lipase and peroxidase.
Minerals such as calcium, copper, selenium, chromium, manganese, magnesium, potassium, sodium and zinc are present in aloe vera.
It provides 12 anthraquinones — or compounds known as laxatives. Among these are aloin and emodin, which act as analgesics, antibacterials and antivirals.
Below are some of the main reasons why aloe vera juice can benefit you:
-Anit-Inflammatory
People who suffer from digestive issues often experience inflammation in the digestive tract. Since we know inflammation is the root cause of many illnesses, it’s important to incorporate anti-inflammatory foods into our diets. Drinking aloe vera juice has been shown to fight inflammation, soothe and relax the GI tract.
-Leaky gut
Aloe vera gel can help heal the lining of a damaged intestinal tract, healing and/or preventing leaky gut syndrome. This is crucial because when a person’s gut lining is damaged, toxins can enter the bloodstream. This can lead to system-wide inflammation and initiate an immune response in the body.
**For inflammatory bowel disease, take 100 milliliters twice daily for four weeks.
-Decrease constipation/ Increase bowel movement
Aloe vera is considered a laxative-acting food. The gel-filled plant increases intestinal water content, stimulates mucus secretion and contains enzymes that help the body break down food. The plant’s soothing effects help to easily move that food through the intestines, encouraging regular bowel movements.
**For constipation take 100–200 milligrams of aloe vera daily.
-Detoxes the body
Along with its rich nutrient content, aloe vera has antibacterial and anti-viral properties. For this reason, aloe vera helps rid the body of harmful toxins and food buildup.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Flexible Dieting 101

Flexible dieting / IIFYM ( if it fits your macros) or Meal Plans. Which one is right for you ?
First off lets talk about each of these a bit. When you are choosing a "diet" or form of eating, you should find one that works for you and your lifestyle. If you can't maintain it for a lifetime then it's not going to be a sustainable diet for you.
What is IIFYM?
You have a required number of protein, carbs and fats to hit during the day. This means that you can have whatever foods you want to eat as long as it fits into your macros for the day. The theory of this is calories in vs. calories out for weight loss if that is your goal.
People on IIFYM are not following a meal plan but you are tracking your food intake by using an app such as MyFitnessPal. By default you will be hitting a total calorie goal on IIFYM because your protein, carbs, and fats add up to a certain caloric intake.
Pro's
-Flexibility
-Not having to plan out and prep ALL your meals
-Can plan "treats" into your day if you wanted
-Ability to make your own food choices therefore you can stick to what you enjoy.
-More feeling of freedom and less restricted.
Con's
-Tracking can be overwhelming or become obsessive.
-It does take some time to plan things out into your day.
-Food choices may not be the healthiest food sources.
-A lot of variables: nutrient timing, insulin control, pre/post workout etc.
Meal Plans
Following a plan that a coach will provide you in order to lose weight or build muscle. Most of the time, the coach will provide you a meal plan of whole foods and clean sources at certain times of the day to maximize your weight loss or strength gains through nutrient timing.
Pro's
-Limited room for errors
-Whole food choices / cleaner choices
-When you make changes to the diet, you know exactly what is /is not working.
Con's
-Restricted
-Lack of variety
-Can lead to a binge meal because of lack of food choices.
Have questions about your nutritional goals? Have you tried plenty of "diets" and they just don't work but you are ready to try something that will ? Let's work together on what works best for you!
Not every person is the same, some can do macros and some need meal plans, lets figure your right plan out today ! Contact me today!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

What is HIIT ?

HIIT? High Intensity Interval Training.
What is this form of training you hear people doing ? HIIT can be a variety of things but most often it's a period of intense work at an all out effort, followed by a rest/ recovery period This type of intense training causes a sort of metabolic disturbance which can result in the body burning calories at a higher rate up to 48-72 hours later.
Why is HIIT so popular? It can increase your metabolism, reduce insulin resistance, improve cardiac function, produce faster gains in endurance levels than steady state cardio training and can be an effective way to recruit/build type 2 fast twitch muscle.
This type of training can be done anywhere and usually doesn’t require equipment and may be more efficient in terms of time commitment. Get in and get out ! This type of training also burns more fat effectively than typical endurance cardio. Good thing about HIIT is that you don't need to do it everyday and you shouldn't! IF you are doing it right, you should be pushing at 90% -100% max capacity ! Yes it should be difficult and tiring ! Your recovery periods may last as long as the work periods and are usually performed at a rate of 40% to 50% of a person’s estimated maximal heart rate. The workout involves alternating between the work and recovery periods.
HIIT can be modified for people of all fitness levels and people with various medical conditions including being overweight and people with diabetes. HIIT workouts can be performed using various methods of exercise including bodyweight exercises, strength exercises, cycling, walking, swimming, or running or group fitness classes. HIIT workouts tend to burn more calories than traditional workouts and you can burn more calories during the post-exercise workout period.
HIIT workouts are more exhaustive than traditional steady state endurance workouts. A longer recovery period is often needed. If you are going to start HIIT type training workouts it may be beneficial to start with one HIIT training workout per week and then as you feel ready for a greater challenge add a second HIIT workout during the week while still making sure you spread out the workouts and never do them on back to back days.
One example would be to do a ratio of 1:1 which may be a 3-minute hard work or high intensity period followed by a 3-minute recovery period. 20 on and 10 off is very popular. Another training protocol is where the exerciser does about 30 seconds of sprint or near full-out effort which is followed by 4 to 4.5 minutes of recovery. This type of combination can be repeated 3-5 times.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

How do you measure your success ?

How do you measure success? What is it that you want? How much are you willing to put on the line for your success to showcase worthy enough to you?

My first piece of advice is to choose your goal. Make sure you truly know what YOU want as a person and then you can start the first step of commitment. Direction is essential, but we need to make sure that the direction we choose focuses on the controllable processes that drive our performance. Once we establish the right direction, we will be more inclined to find motivation and realize fulfillment. In order to reach success you need to be willing to forget the standards our society has imposed, and look at the world through a different lens.

WHEN WE DEFINE SUCCESS EXTERNALLY AND WITHOUT PURPOSE, WE CAN ACHIEVE ALL OUR GOALS AND NOT GET WHAT WE REALLY WANTED. Now re-read that !
Success is like perfection, there is no endpoint and yet we all want to strive for it. I don't care who you are, you strive for perfection in some part of your life yet once you reach one goal, you find yourself in search of another. The human need for continual growth must be fed, and efforts that contribute to a purpose greater than oneself bring self-actualization. Fruitful efforts are those that bring fulfillment, not comfort, glamor, ego stroking, or temporary excitement.

Success has some serious values that come with it. First look at your time. What are you doing with it? Are you using your time for something that will make your life / career/ relationship better? OR are you just letting it waste away into the abyss and hope for better things to come. Know the worth of your time and the fact that your life is not limitless.

Now lets look at your relationships and investing in people, things, places and events that bring value to your life. Are you doing these things often enough? Start to place a higher priority on your physical, mental, and emotional health. Health will grant you more time, and more depth of experience in that time. Surround yourself with like minded people who understand that you are willing to work harder for what you want to accomplish.

Success is a willingness to thrive in life. It's your life to live that can create and harness creativity and positive energy to really create a movement that drives you into a higher place of your being!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Glass half full or empty ?

Are you an optimist or pessimist? For many of us, when life is going peachy keen we are all about those positive vibes, yet when we are down, we are DOWN and nothing seems to work right. How many average people are there in this world? How many extraordinary people are there? You can figure that one out pretty quick. I would assume that you are wanting to strive for greatness !

One thing I find far too often is that in YOUR journey you are tying to be like someone else in their journey. If you are focusing too much to be like someone else are you really putting in your best effort to be the best that YOU can be? Once you recognize that, you let go of that limitation and move forward with your life and what YOU are capable of doing. I fall into this trap often because I look at people on social media that I want to be like yet for some reason, I fall short. Or maybe, just maybe, that is not the path that I am supposed to be on!

There is too much pessimism in the world. Unfortunately it's coming from the average that are "striving" for something they are not. Therefore they are not reaching their own full potential. I’m not saying that being average is bad either, not everyone wants to be extraordinary, but if you do, you better be willing to put yourself through some hell and be happy about it. It's important to know that you can be positive and come out the of the other side of darkness. Many people would choose to just give up and they are right there!

Know how to take your losses and turn them into something amazing. The worst thing you can do is just sit around and dwell on the fact that your life is not like those you see. Well guess what? It's not going to be anything like their journey! You need to love your good days twice as much as you hate your bad days.You will have bad days, that is a guarantee and there is no escaping it, but how will you react to it? Those small decisions is what helps the extraordinary people cross the veil from being someone they really don’t want to be. Pessimism is easy, optimism is hard.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Stress

Stress... it's the one thing we all deal with and sometimes can be super hard to cope. Chronic stress makes your body secrete cortisol, which suppresses sleep and muscle-growing hormones.
Excessive stress hormones can overburden melatonin production and can disturb your sleep cycle. Being constantly attached to the computer and cell phones at all hours of the day can negatively impact your life. How many times do you answer that one last email or urgently respond to a friend that needs help? This forces us to be awake and alert when we should be asleep, and it messes with our natural circadian flow of stress.
Since there's no such thing as a 9-5 work day anymore, we secrete cortisol chronically. This suppresses sleep and muscle-building hormones (GH and testosterone), which promotes inflammation and insulin resistance and raises our risk of metabolic dysfunction. Add this on top of a poor diet and lack of exercise and you now have your body working at the mercy of whatever you are giving it.
Stress is supposed to be a short and infrequent reaction, designed to help us run fast, jump high, and be strong when our life is in danger, think flight or fight. It's not supposed to linger with us all day as a reaction to bumper-to-bumper traffic or social media trolls. This chronic stress and over-stimulation keeps us up at night, and not sleeping properly only exacerbates the problem. We don't produce enough melatonin to inhibit the stress production in the adrenals or enough GABA to turn off the over-stimulated neurons in our brain. This makes us sleep like crap and feel even more stressed the following day.
Limit stimulants at night time. This can be working out, caffeine, pre-workout, tea, or anything that causes you to get riled up .It also means clearing your mind instead of filling it with a list of things you want to get done. Alternatives include meditation, writing out a to-do list for the next day, and picking up a book. We need to be heading to sleep with a calm brain, not a highly active one.
If stress is an issue, try to calm your mind and body through yoga or meditation.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

You are what you think !

You are what you think... isn't that the truth to your energy vibes you give off? If this is true, don't you think that you would think more positive throughout your day? Don't you think your internal self talk would lift you up at every chance you had to listen to yourself?
If you follow the Bible or not,the following can relate to you and your life: Proverbs Chapter 4 verses 20-23 states “My son, pay attention to what I say. Listen closely to my words. Don’t let them out of your sight. Never stop thinking about them. These words are the secret of life and health to all who discover them. Above all, be careful what you think because your thoughts control your life.”
Surround yourself with like minded people. Everyone has a few friends that radiate positive energy from the second you talk to them. In the same token you also have a few people you know that fill the room with a cloud of negative vibes that just entraps the people nearby. You want to have the energy you want to attract. Sounds super easy right ? It is sometimes, and our way of nature, to look at the negative quicker than we look at the positive. I think today’s media and social media play a big role in that. Don't you find yourself consumed into the awful cycle of not feeling "good" enough or worthy enough to make an impact? I know that when this starts to happen, I start to turn off all social media and focus on myself and my goals.
I would like to challenge any of you who read this to think positive thoughts about yourself, others, and situations that may have happened that you weren’t fond of or of a situation that you might see going in a tough direction, like a hard talk with a loved one. See if it makes a difference. Now it is impossible to be 100% all of the time, so make sure you tackle this in a reasonable fashion. You have control of your body, so take control of your mind, take a deep breath and turn towards positive thinking when things get tough instead of beating yourself up. I’m not going to lie, most of the time it is going to be hard to do, but the greatest people and the greatest accomplishments in life are paved with a bumpy road of trials and tribulations. Everyone remembers the person who took that road. Be that man or that woman, as Scott Peck’s book states, take “The Road Less Traveled.” You will be happy that you did.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Tracking Progress

What does progress really look like? What is your own definition of progress? Are you willing to take the time to implement something new into your life even if it may not be convenient for you in the moment?
I always like to start with a simple question: What do you want? Really ask yourself in detail what you want? Do you want to lose weight? Build muscle? Perform better? Compete in a competition? Live a healthy lifestyle? If you can answer this question we now can move onto step two.
Making a plan for that goal. If I want to run a marathon, I wouldn't think of just get up the day of the event and do it with the expectations of doing well. No, I would have a plan of action to lead me to that goal. That means that I would have someone who knows what they are doing with training and consult in their expertise. If your goal is weight loss, knowing where you are at right now with your training, lifestyle, and diet all goes into consideration when making a macro prescription. Here's the catch, its a guess and it will always just be a very good educated guess from the data you gave to me.
Why is it a guess ? It's constant and ongoing when it comes to training and nutrition. Think of a training program that you do for the rest of your life? Would you see the same results from the first time you did it? Knowing your body adapts to changes, it would adapt to that change and now it just does the work without expending more energy. Same thing goes for nutrition. Sure we can start you off in one place but eventually your goals will change and so does your nutrition to meet those goals!
Here's the fun part, ASSESSMENT ! Do you assess yourself daily? Do you document changes to your training, sleep, energy, hunger and weight? If you are already working with me you know that this is something we look at as an overall trend in your assessment for the week. If your weight is staying the same but your sleeping better, that is a HUGE improvement. Many people get stuck on that scale number and it's simply just a tool. Weight changes are NORMAL. Yes they are normal and they will happen often.
Consider this:
• We drink different amounts of water daily
• We have different stressors daily
• We sleep a different number of minutes/hours nightly
• We consume different totals of sodium/potassium daily
• We poop different amounts daily (yes i just went there)
• The number of calories burned from exercise is different daily
Instead of being so concerned with the number on the scale, learn to assess yourself on the daily. Are you making better food choices? Are you tracking your food intake regularly? Are you pre-planning your meals so you can make sure you hit your numbers? Did all of this become easier when you became consistent?
I wish that I could tell you that the number on the scale is not a huge representation of your life, so I want you to dig deeper to find that out for yourself ! Be a detective and start to take ownership over your life with the simple choices you make each day!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The gym is EASY, the other 23 hours a day is what is hard!

Training isn't really that hard but nutrition sure is. The biggest setback isn't getting to the gym for your workout or even putting in the effort at the gym, no it's actually the 23 hours following the gym that are hard !! Nutrition is no joke. It can make or break your success and if you have the wrong mindset about it, you might just be setting yourself up for failure from the beginning.

Food is _____________( you can add your word here ). Many people have an emotional attachment to food. From parties, cookouts, entertainment, success: You name it, food is there to help you along the way. No wonder it's so hard for me to teach people how to break out of this habit!

Our culture is obsessed with food; Social media brings this huge highlight to un-healthy foods that now are revived into "healthy-ish" renditions to become appeasing to the world. Truth is, food is science! From a purely scientific and physiological standpoint, food intake is all chemistry and biology.Nutrition on the smallest scale to teach is simply adding a base (food) to a solution (your body) in a chemistry lab and seeing the response (gaining muscle, losing fat, slowing metabolism, accumulating fat, improved/declining blood profile, etc.).

Did you follow that? The food you choose to eat, is an experiment to see how your body responds. In essence, what you is is now what you become! It would be logical to also choose the most nutrient-dense food sources since our bodies not only need the energy (calories) from foods, but also vitamins and minerals for optimal, efficient health, function and productivity.

Here is the catch 22: Eating food can have little to do with being truly are hungry and even less to do with what our bodies actually need. When your brain starts thinking about food and all the things you’d like to eat, is your body truly in need of energy and/or nourishment? How can you tell the difference between true hunger and “false” hunger?
The difference lies in your appetite as opposed to your hunger..To put it very simply, with hunger you eat due to a physical need, with appetite/craving, you eat for enjoyment.In addition to eating for enjoyment, here are a few other reasons for a false sense of hunger, or “appetite” occurs.

-Stress. Funny how this works in our lives: You have a bad day, you eat until you don't feel bad about your day but now you feel bad about yourself. HMMMM self sabotage don't you think? And now we are all guilty of this issue, myself included. But why? Oh because we are trying to block out an emotion we just don't want to deal with.
-Tired/Fatigue. Sleep or lack there of, can cause your hunger cues to be messed up. If you don't get enough sleep, your body will cue you to eat more because you need the energy.No amount of calories will solve your exhaustion if what you need is sleep.
-Bored/ Habit. The first thing I like to correct with my clients is to help them identify habits in their daily routine. Many people don't even realize they have habits created that they do daily from just being bored or not thinking about it, because it's routine. Stop and ask yourself this: Iif what you are eating is truly nourishing to
your body, or if you are craving it because you developed a habit of eating it and now you legitimately feel like you need to eat this food?

If you are eating for a specific body composition transformation goal, prepping to lean out for a competition, training in the “offseason” to build more muscle, or tackling any other type of specific body re-composition goal, it may require you to eat more or less than your body is accustomed to.

There is always an adjustment period of either feeling like you can’t eat the amount of food required to achieve the goal, or you have to eat more often than you normally do when you aren’t hungry. In these specific instances, you are “re-training” your body’s hunger signals to adjust to a new eating schedule, whether it is more or less than what your body is use to.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Dieting: The TRUTH behind what really happens !

Those of you wanting to get summer shredded are also looking for fat loss to occur. But wait, there are cookouts, family dinners, vacation and beer. Well I know all of that sounds great and you also want to see your results so maybe knowing what to expect before you think of dieting can help you navigate through these issues !
First off, dieting requires a deficit and this comes from both nutrition and exercise. Your body is super smart at keeping you alive, hence why you can breath and not think about it. It's also very smart about making sure that you survive without having any regards to your body composition, you know that last layer of fat that it just wont get rid of. It’s important to understand what you might experience, or expect from your body during a fat loss cycle and how you can manage it.
-Hunger
You are eating less food so you are going to be hungry. This is a great time to get in tune with hunger cues and understand the difference between real hunger and boredom. Being hungry from time to time isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you’re coming off of a surplus or maintenance though, those pangs of hunger, and an inability to focus on anything but your next meal, may surprise you. This happens because your body starts producing less leptin, which is the hormone that signals fullness, and starts producing more ghrelin, which is the hunger hormone. Remember i said your body is smart? It wants you to eat more to restore homeostasis.
How to fix this ?
Drink a lot of water each day (I like to target at least a gallon per day and usually end up closer to two gallons). You can also add in some black coffee or green tea. Mostly importantly, stick with nutrient-dense, more satiating foods. When calories are low, it becomes difficult to fit in a donut or pop-tart. Filling up on veggies, lean proteins, and quality starches becomes even more important.
-Sleep
Do not try to overlook this one. If you are not sleeping 7-9 hours your body starts to compensate and tells you to eat more for energy. The best thing to do is create a bed time routine for sleeping. Turn off your computer and phone. Make sure you are doing things that are calming your body down and not getting you excited or riled up. Try to find the things that make you happy and content and put them into a routine nightly. You will fall asleep faster and you will also have a better night time routine. Proper sleep can help stress levels decrease and give you better quality of living each day.
-NEAT( non-exercise activity thermogensis)
Basically it’s all the stuff we do outside of the gym, from cooking to walking to fidgeting to cleaning. It varies a lot from person to person but can contribute anywhere from 15-50% of total daily energy expenditure. When you are eating more and feel well fueled, you will naturally feel like moving more. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. You may feel run down and low on energy during your fat loss phase, and that’s expected.
One thing I tell my athletes getting ready for a show is to fight that feeling of midday naps when they would be doing something like walking the dog. I tell them to keep the steps they were doing the same all through prep. This way we know we are not decreasing the amount of activity when we are actually trying to increase it. Be conscious of your overall activity and movement. Pay attention to your habits and your food intake on days that you feel sluggish or slow.
-STRESS
There are a lot of hormonal, psychological, and emotional responses that are happening in your body when stress is high. You must focus on the areas of your life that you can control and try to let go of the rest. Practice meditation and/or journaling each morning.I do my daily 5 minute journal each day and night to refocus on all the good things in my life. It's really easy to become over whelmed . Also, make lists and charts to help schedule your day out!
The gym is a stress on your body, so think of getting there and doing quality work within the time you have. The goal of a fat loss cycle is to lose fat and maintain the muscle we’ve already built. We can accomplish that by minimizing the frequency of our training and maximizing our training efficiency. Allocate enough food to get the most out of your workouts and dial back the number of sessions per week you hit the gym. Your body will thank you.
All in all here are the key points
You will be hungry, expect it and get used to it.
Drink a lot of water and eat a generous serving of vegetables with every meal.
Keep steps and overall activity consistent.
Balance stress through meditation or other methods.
Train less frequently.
Fuel your workouts to maximize intensity.
SLEEP!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Why warming up is important BEFORE you train!

Injury prevention is commonly overlooked and not touched on enough until AFTER you are hurt. This is so fitting being that I am recovering from an injury that I don't even know what started it! I learned this lesson the hard way, as I failed to listen to my body, which resulted in me tweaking something that causes a ton of pain in my left side of my body. While it might seem like a lot of time-consuming work to do EVERY session in the gym, doing these can prevent you from getting injured that might keep you out of the gym for months at a time.
First thing is warming up properly. An inadequate or non-existent warm up is one of the primary factors leading to injuries in the gym.The goal of warming up is to get your muscles, joints and connective tissue ready for some serious action. More specifically, you want to stimulate joint lubrication, increase core temperature and blood flow to local tissue, and activate neuromuscular coordination and stabilization. Depending on your training program and the muscle groups you're going to be training that day, you'll want to customize your warm up to focus more on those muscle groups and their corresponding joints.
Be very attentive of your form. Focus on learning the movement with proper form using just your body weight first, and only once you have it down, add an external load like a barbell. I always teach my clients that form is number one and the weight comes second. I should be able to ask you which muscle you are working and you should be able to tell me that without much hesitation. Perfect practice makes perfect. When you're learning a new movement, make sure to execute every single rep as perfectly as you can. You do not want to learn a new movement incorrectly, as that can not only lead to injury, but it is also very hard to unlearn bad habits once they are formed.
Your day off of the gym is not to just lay around. That dedicated day off is for you to do mobility and foam rolling. If a muscle is tight and stiff, it and the surrounding joints and tissues are vulnerable to injury. That's why having proper mobility is imperative for staying out of trouble in the gym. Address any trigger points you might have in order to prevent myofascial pain. Foam rolling and massages using a lacrosse ball are great tools for that.
Last but the MOST important is recovery. This is nutrition, sleep, rest days and proper hydration. Give your body what it needs to handle the work you’re asking of it. Make sure to eat a healthy, balanced diet and cut out the junk food. Far too many people train hard, and then completely disregard their recovery. They don't have the habit of drinking enough water, don't get enough sleep, and overdo it on the weekends. Then go into Monday training and hurt themselves because they did nothing to prep / repair their body for the workload needed.
Let me restate this: injuries suck. They hurt, they're inconvenient, and they decrease your quality of life. Make sure to follow the advice above, and live to lift another day. All the effort is definitely worth it, in the long run.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Injured? So I eat more ?

I just had this conversation with my coach about macros, injuries and rest days. Many people automatically assume that hey need to decrease their food intake if they are having a rest day or if they have to back off of training. For instance, last week I had a rough week, I was hit with sciatica pain that just left me defeated, angry and upset. Knowing my training wouldn't be 100% I asked my coach what to do.We both agreed that keeping everything the same is the best choice, and here is why!
When we exercise, we stimulate tissue growth. When we rest or "deload" we allow our tissues to repair and grow. Don't think of your rest days as doing less, start thinking of them helping to grow your muscles more! But how does this work? There’s a hormone in our bodies called insulin that does a great job of helping our muscles grow. Specifically doing the following:
-Insulin turns on the mTOR protein which activates protein synthesis in our body.
-Insulin increases the amount of glycogen (storage form of glucose) stored in muscle cells which increases the size of our muscles.
-Prevents the catabolism, or breakdown, of muscle tissue so you can keep all your hard earned muscles intact.
For insulin to do it’s job, you have to follow two guidelines on your rest days. The first is to actually rest and the second is to eat. Insulin is released in response to carbohydrate intake. If you don’t eat enough carbs, fat, and protein on rest days, you won’t release insulin for growth and you won’t give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs for muscle repair.
Sometimes when you rest, you come back stronger! Think of when you took some time off the gym, maybe it was for a vacation and you came back and killed your next workout. This happened probably because you were rested and well fed with glycogen left over to convert to energy! But let's keep this in mind, food quality is always number one on rest days. What you eat is just as important if not more important than how much you eat. Your carbohydrate should come from fruits, beans, starchy, and non starchy vegetables.
Ts time to look at rest days differently. They are a unique opportunity to repair from your workout yesterday and prepare for your workout tomorrow. In order to do so, you have to rest (mobility and light activity allowed) and eat. Rest days are not the time to cut calories. The only calories that need to go are those directly related to your workouts like a recovery drink.
Keep your macros balanced because you need them all...carbs, fat, and protein, to get the job done. Pick from the best sources including dark leafy greens, seafood, seeds, and berries to maximize the nutrition in every bite you take.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Micro-Nutrients, what are they?

Micro-nutrients...What are they and why are they important?
Micro-nutrients include such dietary minerals as zinc and iodine, and they are necessary for the healthy functioning of all your body's systems, from bone growth to brain function. Micro-nutrients are essential for good health and deficiencies can cause serious health problems.
Micro nutrients are knows as "vitamins and minerals." The most common ones you know of include minerals such as flouride, selenium, sodium, iodine, copper and zinc. They also include vitamins such as vitamin C, A, D, E and K, as well as the B-complex vitamins. Micro-nutrients are different from the macro-nutrients- protein, carbohydrate and fat. Micro-nutrients are called "micro"-nutrients because your body needs only very small quantities of them for survival, but that doesn't make them less important for you to have in your daily diet.
Here are some of the ways that micro-nutrients help maintain your body's systems:
Manganese promotes bone formation and energy production, and helps your body metabolize the macronutrients, protein, carbohydrate and fat.
Magnesium helps your heart maintain its normal rhythm. It helps your body convert glucose (blood sugar) into energy, and it is necessary for the metabolization of the micro-nutrients calcium and vitamin C.
Iron helps your body produce red blood cells and lymphocytes.
Iodine helps your thyroid gland develop and function. It helps your body to metabolize fats, and promotes energy production and growth.
Chloride helps regulate water and electrolytes within your cells, as well as helping to maintain appropriate cellular pH.
How can you get more in your diet?
Eat a balanced diet including plenty of nuts, whole grains and green leafy vegetables. Eat plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables, like red cherries, purple grapes, yellow bananas and orange carrots. The more colorful your diet, the better.
It's easy to include more fruits and vegetables in your diet. Eat fruit salads for dessert instead of sweets.
Just a quick FYI: Iron deficiency is the most common deficiency in the world, and the only one prevalent in developed countries. Over 30% of the world's population suffers from iron deficiency anemia.
Fill your plate with things that have a ton of micro-nutrient value. I love eating foods that are in season and adding new ones to the list of favorites each month. What is your favorite fruit or veggie ?

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy 4th of July !

Happy 4th of July ! Holiday's are fun but they can also turn into a Holi-week and if you are not careful a month of excuses because YOLO!

So having a “battle plan” along with a little willpower and self-control will help you survive all the festivities without throwing all of your hard work out the window. Here's how:

-Don't skip your workout. Actually on holiday's it's a great time to get in the gym and train because you have the time without the hustle to get  in and out. Start your day off right by hitting the gym early then enjoy the rest of the day!


-Plan your day before it happens. If you know you are going to a cookout at 2pm, don't go there starving from the entire morning. Have a protein filled breakfast such as egg whites and veggies then go to the party. If you are starving, chances are you will eat everything you see.


-Bring a dish you know that YOU can enjoy and know how to track it. Sure I am lame, I track my food even at events but that's just how I function. I like to bring something that I know what is in it so I can enjoy the party too. Also, having a food allergy I am cautious about those things too!


-There will be temptation at the party from food, drinks and friends. You have the choice to eat the food, drink the alcohol or just say no. Remember that you are in control of you. If you have a lifestyle that many people don't understand, like eating healthy or working out for a goal, it can get difficult to navigate if you don't just say no from the beginning.

-Pack some snacks that you enjoy. I have protein powder and rice cakes in my car all the time haha. It's because I know I can figure out a meal if I need to.


As always enjoy your day of food, fun, and festivities ! 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Motivate others to succeed!

Be motivation for others, but do not judge their journey.
I wanted to write something a little bit more personal which will be a one time a week thing. I hope to help inspire people and help you along your own journey by sharing some of my own experiences, my failures, and what I feel can help others.
I try to be a part of many different fitness communities. I want to be well versed in all things so i can use that experience to help others. I have learned a lot of things by working within bodybuilding ( physique training), CrossFit, Powerlifting, Group fitness classes, spin.. basically i tried it all with the sole purpose of learning. One of my biggest strengths as a coach /trainer is having a lot of experiences to share. I try not to have a biased approach to any fitness domain of choice which allows me to really help tap in and help my clients crossover into a lot of different avenues they might have not thought of.
I have been sucked into the judgement mindset before. When you are doing a specific sport, you almost look at other sports with a judgement mindset. Yes I even dabbled into a lot of other sports and the judgement is passed on from community to community. I experienced it first hand. Why would I even want to try other sports if each community was judgmental of the other? Well for me its to start to create awareness that ALL fitness should be related to one another and finally this is starting to catch on!
From experiences, being within a group of people who all do the same thing creates a family vibe yet just like family there is drama. Each fitness domain has a very specific mindset of what is "right" to them and it's hard to be the black sheep in the group, yet I always found myself doing just that. When training bodybuilding, I would dabble into CrossFit, then in CrossFit I did Powerlifting. I always wanted something different. Maybe it's because I don't like fitting in or maybe it's to try to allow people to have an open mind when they train that there is SO much more out there.
Here is my advice, DO WHAT YOU LOVE. It's so easy to get sucked into falling into a group of people who start to judge others. I can bet you that once you reach that "goal" you are striving for it's not going to even satisfy you! Humans by nature are never satisfied. Start to look towards the outside of your passions. Is what you are doing making an impact on those around you? Are you living your life for you or for the sake of impressing others? If you don't take the time to really deeply understand your reason for your being, what are you trying to prove?
Lately, this has been my conversation with myself. Yes I was judgmental of many things. Fear was also part of that judgement that I wasn't good enough to compete so I would just make an assumption and move onto something else. I have found peace within myself to start doing things for me. Yes I love training. Yes I enjoy inspiring others however I do those things for me. Find your purpose and relish in that feeling.What good does it do if we die with only self-serving accomplishments? I can guarantee to you that very few will remember how many powerlifting meets you won or how many pro cards you had. Instead, they will remember the impact you may have had on them personally.
My goal is to help others live a life that is to their highest potential of living. We are not here to judge others but to help encourage others to be better. Instead of living with a close minded view of the people around you, reach out and start to have conversations and make relationships. Serve each other and learn to build a life that will help you flourish and grow as an individual.
Find your purpose and then help others to find theirs !