Practical ways to start living healthy now

Friday, January 7, 2011

5 steps to beat obesity in the new year!

It’s hard to follow the news without reading or hearing about obesity and the risks associated with it. The United States is still trailing behind most industrialized countries, as over 65% of the population is now suffering from being overweight or obese.
To be healthy, you must think healthy. Here are 5 steps to help you reach your goal:

1. Purchase fresh and organic food products whenever possible, which means food that is free of nitrites and other preservatives, pesticides, chemicals, and hormones.

2. Cook at home with whole foods. Each whole food contains one ingredient; it is unprocessed and unrefined. Over 75% of the diet should come from whole foods, with a good balance of foods from all the food groups and from a variety of textures and colors.

3. Consume low-fat yogurt and foods rich in fiber (such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables) on a daily basis. These foods will keep your digestive track in good working order by eliminating the toxic by-products of digestion. Adults need 25-30 grams of fiber per day. For children, a good way to determine how much fiber they need is to calculate their age + 5.

4. Replace red meat with wild caught salmon or small fish, nuts, and legumes at least two times per week.

5. Consume small portions (3-4 ounces) of meat or poultry three times a week. Unless you’re a muscle-bound body builder you don’t need more. Also, remove the skin from the chicken and all visible fat from meats prior to cooking. Eating small portions and maintaining ideal body weight may help prevent the onset of Type II Diabetes. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

11 tips to stay fit during the holidays!

  1. Eat Breakfast! - Don't let hunger get the best of you and derail your eating habits 
  2. Drink plenty of H2O - Water helps many things! Including eliminating waste and burning fat
  3. Walk Walk Walk! - Park further away and take advantage of the opportunity to burn more calories
  4. PLAN AHEAD - Schedule workout dates with your friends and family
  5. Sprint workouts - Shorten each session but increase the intensity 
  6. Take advantage of what's outside - No matter where you're at there's something to do 
  7. See the sights - Walk and tour the neighborhood with your family to see the beautiful Christmas lights
  8. Eat smaller portions - Being surrounded by food does not have to end in disaster. pick a few items and cut the portions way down 
  9. Double up! - Do more then one workout, if you eat more make sure your burn more!
  10. Calories count - Before fill your plate check the average calorie count for each dish, you might just change your mind
  11. Cheers! - Don't forget, alcohol is FILLED with empty calories, so before you drink up Google lower calorie alternatives 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Myth of Muscle

I have heard a million different rumors about muscle. The worst being that muscle "bulks you up", and I know,  being a women who's trying to lose weight, the last thing I want to do, is bulk up.  A lot of women don't want muscle because they want the scale to read an absurd number. Well let me tell you ladies, there is a huge difference between skinny and fit. their are plenty of out of shape skinny people, So is that really your goal? to lose enough weight to be skinny? to have the scale say 110...          
Heres the truth...
The scale lies, its not your friend. and

Muscle Burns Fat.......

Studies have estimated that for each pound of muscle that you add to your body, you burn an additional 35 to 50 calories per day. So, an extra 10 pounds of muscle will burn approximately 350 to 500 calories a day, or an extra pound of fat every 7 to 10 days, without making any other changes. In another study, researchers found that regular weight training boosts basal metabolic rate by about 15%. This is because muscle is 'metabolically active ' and burns more calories than other body tissue even when you're not moving.On top of that, pound for pound muscle takes up one third of the space fat does. so not only does muscle burn fat, it makes you thinner. 

Here are some reasons why weight training DOES NOT bulk women up

  1. Women do not have nearly as much testosterone as men. In fact, according to Bill Kreamer in Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning, women have about 15 to 20 times less testosterone than men. Testosterone is the reason men are men and women are women. After men hit puberty, they grow facial hair, their voice deepens, and they develop muscle mass. Because men have more testosterone, they are much more equipped to gain muscle. Because women do not have very much testosterone in their bodies, they will never be able to get as big as men.
  1. The perception that women will bulk up when they begin a strength training program comes from the chemically-altered women on the covers of bodybuilding magazines. These “grocery stand models” are most likely pumped full of some extra juice. This is why they look like men. If you take the missing link that separates men from women and add it back in, what do you have? A man!
  1. For women, toning is what happens when the muscle is developed through training.  This is essentially bodybuilding without testosterone. Since the testosterone is not present in sufficient amounts, the muscle will develop, but it won’t gain a large amount of mass.  The “toned” appearance comes from removing the fat that is covering a well-developed muscle.
  1. Muscle bulk comes from a high volume of work. The repetition range that most women would prefer to do (8–20 reps) promotes hypertrophy (muscle growth). For example, a bodybuilding program will have three exercises per body part. For the chest, they will do flat bench for three sets of 12, incline for three sets of 12, and decline bench for three sets of 12. This adds up to 108 total repetitions. A program geared towards strength will have one exercise for the chest—flat bench for six sets of three with progressively heavier weight. This equals 18 total repetitions. High volume (108 reps) causes considerable muscle damage, which in turn, results in hypertrophy. The considerably lower volume (18 reps) will build more strength and cause minimal bulking. 
  1. Heavy weights will promote strength not size. This has been proven time and time again. When lifting weights over 85 percent, the primary stress imposed upon the body is placed on the nervous system, not on the muscles. Therefore, strength will improve by a neurological effect while not increasing the size of the muscles.
And, according to Zatsiorsky and Kreamer in Science and Practice of Strength Training, women need to train with heavy weights not only to strengthen the muscles but also to cause positive adaptations in the bones and connective tissues.

6. Bulking up is not an overnight process. Many women think they will start lifting   weights, wake up one morning, and say “Holy crap, I’m huge!” This doesn’t happen.   The men that you see who have more muscle than the average person have worked hard for a long time (years) to get that way. If you bulk up overnight, contact me because I want to do what you’re doing.

7. What the personal trainer is prescribing is not working. Many women, come into a new program and say they want to do body weight step-ups, body weight lunges,   and leg extensions because it’s what their personal trainer back home had them do. However, many of these girls need to look in a mirror and have a reality check because   their trainer’s so-called magical toning exercises are not working. Trainers will hand out easy workouts and tell people they work because they know that if they make the program too hard the client will complain. And, if the client is complaining, there’s a   good chance the trainer might lose that client (a client to a trainer equals money). 

8. Bulking up is calorie dependant. This means if you eat more than you are burning, you will gain weight. If you eat less than you are burning, you will lose weight. Unfortunately, most women perceive any weight gain as “bulking up” and do not give attention to the fact that they are simply getting fatter. As Todd Hamer, a strength and conditioning coach at George Mason University said, “Squats don’t bulk you up. It’s the ten beers a night that bulk you up.” This cannot be emphasized enough. 

Please ladies, 
Do not be afraid to pick up a dumbbell and do some curls. building muscle will give you a huge  boost metabolically, It will slim you down, and reduce cellulite. It is also your best weapon agents gaining your weight back. So stay tuned, my next post will be on easy ways to start building muscle.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving dose not = Weight Gain.

There's a common thought that I'm sure you hear a lot- Holiday times means that you will gain weight. Well gues what? That's only a thought and thoughts can be CHANGED! 

Now of course if you think these thoughts long enough they become your beliefs and if you believe that you can't help but gain weight once Thanksgiving roles around, that it's all downhill from there--then you're right--that will be your result. 

But what if you change your thoughts and think "I can maintain my weight in a healthy manner during the holidays!" Then you know what your result would be if you kept your focus on this thought?You'd find ways to do this. 

Live like a healthy FIT person. When you're living this way, you don't focus on the food during the holidays but instead on the people and the fun! 

Now here's the tips on how to do this: 

1.) Load up on veggies! Be the designated "veggie bringer" for your party and you'll ensure that there are plenty of veggies to choose from. Veggies are also VERY filling. 

2.) Drink your water. No need to induldge in soda or alcohol, but if you must have one alcoholic beverage, choose from lower calorie drinks such as Michelob Select(55 calories) or Vodka sodas. Those are lower calorie options.But remember, in moderation! 
Publish Post
3.) Fit in your work out for the day. Plan our your work outs for the day BEFORE Thanksgiving, ON Thanksgiving and AFTER Thanksgiving. Do atleast an hour of cardio in each work out, that way you will in the right mind set to choose healthier options, and have a few extra calories to spare for that big turkey meal :) 

4.) Cut your potions in half, or even better--in thirds!! If you eat foods filled with sugar and white flour and they do not trigger you to overeat you can still enjoy but cut your portion sizes. There is NO rule that just because it's Thanksgiving you must stuff yourself to the point where you can't button your pants. Yes...I've seen this happen and it's not pretty. So let others fall into the "food coma"...not you! 

5.) Make your meals earlier in the day COUNT. Shakeology is a great option for breakfast or pre/post work out meals on Thanksgiving. You will be getting most of your needed nutrients in that one meal and getting your sweet tooth under control before heading to those parties. 

And most importantly, 


Friday, October 29, 2010

The only way to lose weight.


I know none of you want to hear this, But before you click the x button, hear me out.

The age old saying, "move more, and eat less"  is not only true, but it is also the basis of EVERY weight loss program. Please don't use the 'eat less' part as a reason to eat nothing but a snickers all day. And do not think switching from a big mac to a chicken sandwich, with bacon cheese and ranch, is a better choice.  DO NOT fall for the fast food salad is good for you trap. Most of those salads have as many or more calories then the burgers do.  Just because something has lettuce in it does not make it healthy.

As easy as it might sound, eating less and moving more, can be difficult without a plan.  So I am going to give you guys some tools to help you do just that.

Eat less.......

    * Keep a journal: US researchers working on a study comparing approaches to weight loss, found that keeping a food diary can double weight loss. They said that the more food records they kept, the more weight the participants lost. Don't eat it until its in the journal.  

    * Drink more water: Clinical studies have shown that 37% of people mistake hunger for thirst because the thirst mechanism is so weak. By doing so, the body is led to think that it needs food when what it’s really asking for is water. Before you pick up the cookies, have a glass of fresh cold water

    * Choose your food wisely:  A great example of this is, grapes and raisins. Ounce for ounce, raisins have almost three times the amount of sugar as their grape counterparts. Raisins also contain considerably more calories. A half-cup of raisins contains 246 calories and the same amount of grapes contains only 31 calories. Now I'm not claiming raisins are bad for you, But in a situation when you need to cut calories, you will feel more satisfied eating a cup of grapes, then an ounce of raisins.

    * Know what's in your food:  If you look at a package of bread, and think your eating bread, your WRONG.  The only food you can judge by its cover, is food that is not required to have a nutrition label. Like fruit, veggies, some meats. That package of  bread, most times contains over twenty ingredients. Most lunch meat contains tons of salt, and sugar. Keep your food as pure as possible.

    * Tell people what your doing: Accountability is one of the most important factors in losing weight, or changing any behavior. When you have to report to someone else, when you feel a level of pressure, it tends to change how you think and act. One of the reasons the weekly Weight Watchers Meeting is so effective, is that it forces you to weigh in once a week. It forces you to be accountable to yourself.

Now, on to... drum roll please!



    * Find a work out buddy: This one is pretty easy to understand. Doing things with friends always seems to be less work. And you get accountability!

    * Schedule time for exercise: To many of us spend all our time taking care of our family's, and neglect ourselves. In reality, when we are in shape, we move faster, we get sick less, we need less help doing daily activities. Don't let your self believe that you don't have time to work out. You can find 15 minuets a day to prolong your life.

    * Have home work out options: Even if you are a gym or running addict, ALWAYS have back up at home. I guarantee you, at some point in your health journey, something will come up that will stop you from going to the gym. You can get a great workout at home, and not all DVDs are that pricey. You can go to Wal-mart and pick one up for five dollars.  If you need help finding a workout that suites you or you just want a recommendation, call me! I will be happy to help you find one that meets your needs. I've done a million of them.

    * Go the extra mile:  Walking to the mailbox instead of driving, parking farther away form the entrance, and taking the stairs really adds up at the end of the day.  Get a pedometer and run a test. Wear it once and do your normal routine. Then try going out of your way to your daily tasks, the steps won't lie!  

This is just a few ideas to get you guys motivated. There are so many more little changes, that make big impacts on our health.  Feel free to call or email me, any time you need help. And help people that you know are struggling, all of us need a little support.   

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Abs are built in the kitchen!

It's amazing.

Every day I see the same routine over and over again. You'll see a person with a little bit of a spare tire run over to the ab machine and diligently start knocking out crunch after crunch after crunch... only to discover weeks later that their waist hasn't shrunk an inch.
What's going on?
It's the biggest misconception about ab training out there and I'm about to hit you in the face with it...
If you can't control your caloric intake and expenditure... you'll never see the fruits of your ab work. First and foremost:

Your abs start in the kitchen...

Think about it, if you can't spot reduce bodyfat (which you can't), then the overall reduction of total body fat must be paramount in order to reveal a nice midsection.

... and the easiest way to help assure that you'll get there is to watch what you put in your mouth.
If you keep slapping Big Macs in you mouth.. you can kiss those ab dreams goodbye... ditto for the tubs of ice cream.
Keep it simple for yourself:
  • try to get at least one serving of protein with each meal
  • Avoid High GI carbs (like white bread, white rice) except for immediately after your workouts
  • Make sure to include a hearty amount of fruits and veggies in your diet (anything that has a deep color to it is a great choice)
  • Try to up your water intake to one gallon per day to make sure that you're hydrated
Remember, you can do all of the ab work you want, but if you don't have your diet in check... it's all for nothing.

It's all about consistency people, you can reach your dreams, one day at a time.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Combating Emotional Eating

In our society food is a part of almost every activity: watching TV, sports events, weddings, funerals, parties, holidays, business meetings, play dates, basically any social get together has become an excuse to wheel out the food. 

Emotional eating is something I have struggled with most of my life.  With the stress of my husband coming and going, it is a constant struggle not to over eat. I have been raw vegan since the beginning of July, So my diet is very healthy. But the reality of all foods, is that you only need so much, no matter how healthy it is. Emotional eating is defined by any time you eat, not because you are physically hungry, but because you have feelings of boredom, depression, loneliness, fear, anger or frustration. Eating takes your mind off the feelings. Eating comforts you.

Eating in response to emotions and not hunger can result in many unwanted health problems, weight gain, and can even increase stress. 

The first thing someone who struggles with emotional eating or binge eating should do, is identify the triggers. When you know why you are reaching for the bag of Cheetos, or driving two miles out of your way, just to simply  "swing by" your favorite fast food joint, it is easier to prevent the situation.  And we all know, that unless we prevent the situation from happening, we won't have the willpower to step away from the Twinkies. 

The second step is to find new coping techniques. For me, it's keeping a food journal. If I force myself to write something down before I eat it, I think twice. I can also see how much I have eaten, to make a decision if  I can eat or not. This may not work for a lot of people. The key is to find what works for you and stick to it.  

Here are some more examples of coping techniques:

  • Plan alternatives and change routines. Instead of sitting down in front of the TV with a bag of chips after a stressful day you could take a walk, take a long bath, call a friend, write in a journal, or read a book. Do something that removes you from the situation that results in overeating.
  • Remove tempting foods. Don't buy the foods you crave when stressed! Having them in your house or desk is a disaster waiting to happen. If you really want to watch a favorite TV show in the evening, have nutritious low-calorie foods on hand. Better yet, find something to occupy your hands while you watch: give yourself a manicure, fold clothes or exercise.

  • Know when and how to give in. It's all right to occasionally give in to cravings. When you really do want to eat chips, buy a single serving instead of a whole bag, or take a small portion out of the bag, put in a small cup, and put the bag away before you eat.

  • When you eat, focus on the task at hand. Do not watch TV or read. Sit down at the table and leave when you are finished. Consciously eat slowly to give your stomach time to tell your brain when it's full. If you're still hungry after finishing your meal, wait 20 minutes before having a second helping or dessert 
  • Plan nutritious meals and snacks. If you wait until you are ravenous, you're more likely to reach for the wrong foods and to overeat. You may also find yourself nibbling all the way through meal preparation.
  • Reward yourself when you eat in a healthy way. Buy yourself a novel or a new journal, go see a movie or get a massage. Rewarding yourself will increase the likelihood that you will maintain your new healthy habits.

Do not be ashamed to tell some one you are tempted to over eat. Talking it through with a friend might be just what you need to stay on track.

Making dietary changes, and especially those centered on emotional eating, is tough. Changing eating habits that have been ingrained for years takes time. Take it one meal and one day at a time. You will be successful in combating obesity and stress when you combine both diet and exercise.