Week 1 Wrap-Up

I made it through week 1 with limited struggles and hunger cravings!

I’m actually a little surprised because I usually struggle mentally in my first week of a new plan only because my calories are being cut back a little.

But that all stems from diets and feeling deprived of what I love to eat. In the past week, I’ve counted every food and macronutrient that I ingested. Even those “small tiny bites” that most of us usually discount as “too small to count”…unh uh. It’s all getting counted and I’m sharing it all with you, me dear reader. Aren’t you feeling fab? 😉

So let me start with each day’s workouts and calorie breakdowns (I am set at 1800 calories a day):

Monday, Day 1: 1684 – Total Body Synergistics 30 minute workout

Tuesday, Day 2: 1842 – Body Barre class (which I lead) and 30 minute upper body workout 

Wednesday, Day 3: 1699 – Yoga and Pilates 

Thursday, Day 4: 2176 – Body Pump and Pilates classes (which I lead) and 30 minute workout

Friday, Day 5: 1749 – 30 minute circuit training workout 

Saturday, Day 6: 2616 – Cycle and Body Pump classes (which I lead) and 30 minute body weight training 

You could see that my calories fluctuated up and down depending on the activity I did that specific day. It helped me to listen to my body’s hunger cues and eat as needed. I’m tracking my protein, carbs and fats so I know how to break them down each day to give the best results. If you’ve never heard of this before, it’s basically called “macro counting”. My daily goal is to get in 40% of my calories from carbs and 30% from fats and proteins. This allows me to get the best quality nutrition and best results as I progress through the coming 3 months.

A calorie is not just a calorie. Our body uses the nutrients we eat and if it’s empty calories (aka: sugar and processed adds) or too many of one nutrient; our bodies are forced to store the extra calories to fat storages if they can’t be used efficiently at that specific time. That’s why it’s so important to find out how many calories our body’s require (and it’s going to change along the way), how we should break down our meals (in terms of macronutrients and timing of meals) and what to do when we get hungry or start to crave the foods that our body’s are used to eating.

I’ll talk more about how I handle these areas along the way as they come into play. What I’d like to leave you with today is that when we follow what our body’s need to survive and thrive and change the habits that are pulling us into the land of unhealthy and illnesses; we have no options but to succeed. The scale is one small area to show changes but it’s definitely the least accurate along the way as it can only show a number and not what that number means in a specific time period.

If you want to learn more about the scale and how it can hinder us if we give it too much credit, please check out this post from last year: How to understand the scale 

 

Results in the first week on the scale.
Results in the first week on the scale.
Getting my 30 minute workouts done at home.
Getting my 30 minute workouts done at home.
Ready for my Super Burpee!
Ready for my Super Burpee!

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Made sure my nutrition was met with daily Shakeology!
  Made sure my nutrition was met with daily Shakeology!
My favorite breakfast choice!
  My favorite breakfast choice!                            

 

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Day 3: Cravings can kiss my booty!

I’m seriously stubborn and competitive by nature. I don’t like being told what to do and I don’t like feeling like I’m letting myself down from being and doing my best. (and better than everybody else…just being honest!)

Crazy? Maybe…but I figure if we focus on our strengths and weaknesses and work on creating new strengths out of our weaknesses; the sky is the limit on what we can achieve.

What the heck is Kathy talking about? 😀 LOL

Let me explain how this relates to my cravings blog. I’m on day #3 of my 90 day program. I need to be this accountable to you so that I stay on track (remember the competitive nature? well I also don’t like looking like a failure or a liar..yes, I have issues!). My competitive nature makes it easy for me to stick to and push forward in my fitness plans. Although there are days that I don’t want to work out or workouts that I don’t want to do; I won’t be satisfied unless I just do it.

Take yesterday for instance; it was agility training day. That means lots of cardio stuff. I hate cardio. It is awful and evil and makes me want to cry.

But I do it anyway because I need to beat my inner negative voice. I need to persevere when my mind is telling me not to. I’m sharing this with you in case you wonder how I love fitness so much. I just love weights. Heavy lifting is my BFF and now that I’m better at stretching; so is yoga. Yoga used to be my nemesis though too because it made me cry and hurt and keep looking at the clock hoping the practice was done. But I kept at it and it’s not as hard and I found that I actually do better with everything else when I continue to do yoga.

So, moral of that last paragraph is to do yoga. Or stretch. Don’t neglect this or you will be sorry one day.

Anyway, my challenge for the next 3 months isn’t going to be sticking to my workouts…it’s going to be sticking to my meal plans and calorie range and macros. We are not BFFs but I know we will soon be.

You see, I relate following meal plans with diets 

BWAHHHHHAAAAHHHAAAA

And diets are bad words and bad, evil practices. They rob us of happy stuff and results and basically; success. So I fight the battle against diets because it ruined my younger years and made me a hostage of feeling bad about myself. Although I now understand that following a meal plan is healthy; heck, I get 1800 calories a day right now and that’s no joke….but it still reminds me of feeling deprived of more. 

More food, Kathy? Why thank you! I don’t mind if I do! I love eating!

I digress, back to my point…since food plans usually challenge me more than anything else in the whole entire world; I decided to share with you, my dear reader friend, the good the bad and the ridiculously ugly stuff to help keep me accountable.

So far, so good. But that’s not going to last forever once my body decides that it wants something off my healthy food plan. I know that one day soon (and it can happen in the blink of an eye), I’ll be sitting there all happy and feeling all badass about myself sticking to my plan…

and then BLAM!

“Let’s go have some chocolate stuff, Kathy” (says my mind) but I counter with my strong self and say, “but that’s not on plan let’s eat brussel sprouts instead”…

And off point again but I have been treating myself with brussel sprouts to get my mind off food with a filled tummy and low calories…

Back to point:

My mind will allow me to eat the veggies and act like it allowed me to “win” this time but then it will hit me up again at a low point or a stressful time or a busier period and say, “Pssst! Kathy! You’ve been doing so good so far…you totally deserve that carb, sugar and greasy loaded truckload of food you’ve been missing”…

And if I don’t share this with you, I will look like a lying ass liar.

I’m not a lying ass liar and I’m not weak and I’m going to kick butt…

Just wait and see!

(my competitive streak there…)

So here are my foods from today. I’m kind of stupidly proud so far cuz on day 1, I ate about 150 calories below my goal range (which isn’t good but makes me feel stronger than going that much over!) and then on day 2, I was just 42 calories over (which basically means nothing after day 1) and today here are my macros so far…before dinner and my evening snack. (I NEED a snack!) I’m kind of proud…what do you think?

Ridiculously proud of this pie chart that I'm sharing with you today!
Ridiculously proud of this pie chart that I’m sharing with you today!

 

And today was not agility training so I was happy…it was blissful yoga day. Here is how happy I feel after yoga day…and no cardio day! 🙂

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and yes, I drank my shake before making dinner so I didn’t take “B.L.T’s” or “bites licks and tastes as I cooked! 😀

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Grocery Shopping tips

Ever heard the saying “abs are made in the kitchen”? 

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I’m sure you have and honestly, it’s not a cute phrase that fitness freaks love to share. It’s actually true! You cannot shed that stubborn belly fat with exercise alone – even if you’re working out umpteen hours a week! In order to show off your hard work, your meals MUST be filled with whole, “clean” foods. Besides that, you are obviously invested (hopefully, anyway) in achieving and maintaining a healthy and well-functioning body, aren’t you?

Good answer 🙂

So let’s begin at the beginning…stocking your home with the foods that will help you look and feel your best long term. I will share what I do and how I help my clients eat to reach goals – instead of starving themselves as diets will have you believe. #ugh

Here are my tips for grocery shopping: 

  • Do not go out hungry! Eat beforehand! (pretty explanatory but needs to be said)
  • If you’re on a budget, stick to the minimum requirements and look for coupons and deals at local stores. (I’ll be sharing more on my coupon tips this year)
  • Just because something is labeled “low-fat” “a good source of…” or “healthy” DOES NOT mean it is healthy!
  • Always shop with a list so you don’t forget anything…and stick to the list ONLY! Don’t buy more than what you need! It will save you money and stress in the long run.

 

 

 

Grocery List (you can copy this off and take to the store)

*means it’s a better option 😉

Proteins:

Protein powder (Vegan options available)*
Eggs*
Boneless/skinless chicken breast*
Lean ground turkey
Canned Tuna (in water)*
White Fish
Wild Salmon*
Tofu (Vegan friendly)
Plain 0%-2% fat Cottage Cheese
Plain 0%-2% fat Greek Yogurt (I love FAGE brand!)
Nonfat or low-fat cheese sticks

Fibrous Veggies:
Spinach*
Broccoli*
Asparagus*
Kale*
Bell Peppers
Mushrooms
Cauliflower
Brussel Sprouts
Green beans
Artichoke
Zucchini
Cucumber
(Don’t be afraid to experiment! These are just a few suggestions b)

Complex/Starchy Carbohydrates:
Old-fashioned Oatmeal (Gluten-free options available)
Low-carb/Low-sugar cereal (Fiber One for example) (Gluten-free options available)
Quinoa (Gluten-free options available)
Sweet potato
Yam
Whole Wheat Bread (Gluten-free options available, I personally use Ezekiel bread)
Brown Rice

Healthy Fat Options (pick at least 2):
Natural peanut butter or almond butter (only ingredient should read peanuts or almonds, there should be oil on top, low/no sodium).
Olive oil
Coconut Oil
Almonds
Walnuts
Pistachios
Avocado
Flaxseed oil

Fruit
Apples
Pears
Blueberries
Raspberries
Strawberries
Grapefruit
Lemons (for water & fish)

Beverages
Water* – MUST HAVE (obviously)
Unsweetened Almond Milk (can be flavored, I like vanilla)*
Unsweetened Coconut Milk
Green tea bags*
Coffee*

Condiments
Balsamic Vinegar
Salsa
Chili powder
Mrs Dash
Mustard
Cinnamon
Unsweetened Baking Cocoa
Stevia
Honey
Non-stick cooking spray*

Vitamins
Fish Oil*
Multi-vitamin*

 

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A glimpse into our NO SUGAR private forum

Here we are only 3 1/2 days left of the 14 Day NO SUGAR challenge and I’m a bit surprised at how well it’s gone. You’d think with cutting out all sugars; real and artificial, healthy options and natural options – that life would get a bit crazy and uncontrollable, right?

I thought so too..but these ladies that are part of the challenge this month are rockstars and hardcore committed to finishing stronger than they started. I’ve also done better than I’d imagined since I didn’t even think I needed to stay strong because I’ve done this before (excuses much???) but when I say I’ll do something, I stick to my word. What’s life without having integrity?

Today I will share actual comments and shares from these women who are keeping me motivated every day and helped me bypass a fancy ice cream waffle cone this past weekend, that was decorated in the shape of a rose. 🙂

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NO SUGAR CHALLENGE Challenger comments:

“It’s getting easier to turn down foods and drink with sugar in it. I started the challenge well, then got hit hard by cravings and hostility (who knew I’d be so bitter!). Now I’m nearing the end, and am fighting every day to finish well. I went to another dinner tonight where I could’ve easily taken one bite or sip and no one would have ever known. But I would know. I couldn’t undo all the hard work. I couldn’t let down the other women in my challenge group. I wanted to say ‘yes,’ many times, but actively chose to say ‘NO.’ Gonna finish strong.
As hard as I’m fighting for food health, I need to also fight for my body. I feel a cold coming on; I made an executive decision to sit this one out. My body needed the rest, so no workout today.”
———————-
“Yesterday I had a non scale victory when a friend told me it looked like I lost weight! I have been trying to cut and lean out from body beast. I was excited to hear that even though the scale hasn’t moved a ton, which I am totally okay with.”

——————-

“I am grateful that today was the second day I woke up early and did my t25 speed workout. Burpees involve a little hop to the back. I am glad I can do that since my shoulder was out of commission all year. I’m hoping to get stronger day by day.”

——————

“I am seeing RESULTS! 21-Day fix with Shakeology…I’m not getting hungry because I’m eating the right things before I feel that “ravenous” feeling I used to get when cutting calories. Now I never get there and I know what to reach for!”

—————–

“I am so grateful for all the wonderful new friends I have made in these groups! All of you have been so great and supportive -“

—————–

So, I’m not done clearing out the sugar yet, but I had a dream last night and I refused to eat sugary treats even while sleeping!#breakthrough “

—————-

“My change I made this week is that I went grocery shopping, took my time and made sure to get what I had on list not just rushing through grabbing unhealthy choices that fill the belly! Felt great plus I have eaten breakfast everyday this week and can notice I feel so much better!!!!”

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Do you see how I’ve been able to stick to this for almost 14 days now? If it was just me, honestly, I would have easily caved during the weekend ice cream treat. Who wouldn’t, right? I know I may have seemed a bit psychotic in passing up the gorgeous treat but it was more of a victory to stick to the goals that I had made for myself. We all wrote out a contract to follow and are working towards earning a reward we’ve promised ourselves if we finish the challenge without giving in…and there is also a punishment for not following through and we have to “give up” something in exchange for slipping up.

Easy? Not really, but if the goal and the commitment is strong enough then the practice becomes easier to handle as our bodies, minds and willpower get strengthened. What is your biggest vice of the moment and would you be willing to forego the habit for 14 days?

How many calories should you be eating to lose weight?

A question I hear a lot from my clients when starting a new weight loss and health program like “21 Day Fix”, “Insanity”, “Piyo” or anything at all is:

“The meal plan says to eat XXX amount of calories but that sounds kind of high so can I just eat less for better results?”

Simply stated, NO!! Please NONONONONONONONO!!

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Did you get that? The answer is DO NOT EAT LESS THAN THE PLAN SPECIFIES!

Let’s start with the basics of why:

When you cut back on calories below the minimum of your daily needs, it also means cutting back on nutrition.

This is the main reason I always suggest my clients use Shakeology daily. No, it’s not a protein shake or diet meal replacement; it’s how our nutrition is met and this helps us succeed in our results long term. (think the opposite of a “DIET”) Not eating enough calories daily and not getting the nutrition met can then lead to potentially life-threatening health problems that make losing weight the least of your concerns. Not really worth that, in my honest opinion. Every bodily function requires a specific amount of calories to perform efficiently. You burn calories when you sleep, when you lay on the couch and watch your favorite Netflix show, and when you’re browsing the internet. You need to make sure that you get enough calories, and even when you’re trying to lose weight.

So how do you know what your daily calorie requirements are? That all depends on your gender, your age, your body weight and your current activity level. If you are following a Beachbody program, it’s easy to figure out your needs by just following the calculations in the specific fitness plans’ booklet. If you are following Insanity Max:30, don’t follow the guidelines for the 21 Day Fix. Use the calculations for the specified program and do what it says. (these are scientifically proven systems that work when followed as planned). If you are not following a plan at this time and are interested in calculating what your body needs to lose or gain weight with what you’re currently doing, here is a video I made on understanding how to find the calorie range for you:

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I should mention that a daily intake should always stay above 1,500 calories (never lower) if you are a man and at least 1,200 calories (never lower) if you are a woman. These numbers will change depending on your body size and activity level and goals.

 

So what happens if you still believe you can reach your goals sooner by eating fewer calories than you need? Let’s talk about what happens within your body in these circumstances:

When your calories are fewer than your body requires, it will initially lead to weight loss but over an extended period of time, it can actually stall weight loss. By choosing to eat fewer than the minimum 1,200- 1,500 calories, for example, your body will go into “starvation mode”.  Your body is basically working to stay alive…and since it does not want to die, it compensates by slowing down the metabolism (the rate at which your body burns calories), slows down in defense of starving. How do we help our metabolism fuel better again? Simply by increasing our calories and getting the required amount needed, along with the proper nutrition. (you can’t eat fast foods all day and expect to feed your body right)

I always ask my clients if they are only interested in losing weight or if they are invested in total body health, wellness and overall body fat and weight loss. If your goals are just to lose weight, then that can be met by cutting back on calories, eating low nutritional foods and even using unhealthy practices. Fad diets are proof of this fact. These practices rarely end in long term results and can tax our bodies over time when we repeat the bad habits of overeating and gaining weight; to under eating and losing weight again and again. Consuming too few calories over a long period of time can be harmful to your health. Not only are you depriving your body of calories it needs to function, but you are also depriving it of essential nutrients. Physical effects of eating too few calories include dangerously low blood pressure and blood sugar levels, which can cause dizziness and fainting; thinning hair or hair loss; decreased bone density; irregular heartbeat; brittle nails; dry skin; fatigue; cessation of menstrual periods; and constipation.

When someone tells me they just want to lose weight fast, I usually tell them I can’t work with them because I will not support unsafe and unhealthy practices. I’ve learned from my own experiences over the years and I know and understand how vital it is to treat our bodies well for long term success.

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If you want to lose weight and create lasting changes (forget the yo-yo diets), it’s recommended to get the nutrition your body needs and eat the amount of calories to sustain these needs and add in an exercise program that can benefit your goals. If you would like a consultation with me or to get some basic suggestions or questions answered, please feel free to email me today at: www.Kathyprofitness@gmail.com 

Your health and long term results are worth the extra effort, don’t you agree?

 

Join the 14-Day No Sugar Challenge

If you are taking on the 14-Day NO Sugar Challenge,  you’ve come to the right place! I’ve been getting so many messages from people asking me, “what does no sugar mean?”

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For 14 days, we are going to start noticing just how much our bodies have become accustomed to extra sugars and extra sweetness. After doing the Whole 30 Challenge a few years ago, I learned quite honestly how addicted to sugar I was. It wasn’t just “sugar” as you would think, since I already follow a whole foods diet and eat “clean” 80-90% of the time. I am not concerned with my weight or good eating habits but instead, just focusing on what it was my body and taste buds have become accustomed to and what that would do to my body if I continued to delude myself that I was doing a good enough thing. I was simply comparing my habits to the habits of the general population; who eat mostly processed and fast foods more often than naught. What I wasn’t considering was the fact that I still had a problem and needed to deal with it sooner, than later.

If you are concerned for your own sugar addictions or health issues that may come from overly stimulation to sweetness; let’s start by addressing some basic health concerns that are caused by too much sugar in the diet.

High blood sugar, which is caused by too much glucose in your blood, can lead to diabetes. Refined carbs, like white rice or white-flour baked goods, are common culprits that lead to high blood sugar. In addition to the high sugar content, they lack fiber which prevents glucose spikes, and this wreaks havoc on blood sugar levels. Simply put, when there is too much sugar in the blood stream at one time, it will lead to fat storage and insulin resistance. This is a precursor to type 2 diabetes. It’s no surprise then that this health risk is a rising concern in the medical industry as more and more people are being diagnosed with diabetes.

What I had noticed in my own sugar challenge and assessment, was that I frequently turned to more “natural” sugars to feed my palate and cravings. Although I’m not one to pick up a doughnut or sugar laced coffee drink; I found myself turning to fruits and healthier sugar options such as stevia and honey. When taken in moderate doses, it wouldn’t be a concern but the fact that I was using these options after my meals was a red-light trigger for me to assess. Fructose is found in fruits, and while I could justify my “better” choices over more popular options, too much fructose also plays a role in these issues and diseases. Our liver turns any excessive sugars into triglycerides that get stored in the fat cells throughout our bodies. The more sugars we eat (in any form), the more fat we store. Yuck! Another surprising result is that too much sugar, even from the fructose found in fruits, can lead to a buildup of belly fat that has been linked to type 2 diabetes.

Do I have your attention now?

In my research, I also noticed the amount of stevia and honey I was “needing” in my foods was more than I had realized until I began tracking.  I would sprinkle a packet of stevia or a teaspoon of honey into my teas, I’d pour some over my yogurt with berries, I’d put it on just about anything and still feel like I was “in control” of my habits as it was considered “clean”. But I started to count up how many times I’d add these extra sweeteners (even though natural and clean) into my foods and drinks and it become apparent that I was addicted to overly sweet flavors and tastes – just as most of the population is these days. I was just getting it in a way that I could validate as “healthier”; it may be healthier than white sugars and simple carbs but it still falls into the category of “too many sugars”.

Sugar comes in a few different forms: Glucose, fructose and sucrose. Glucose helps keep all of our systems chugging along smoothly.  Carbs break down into glucose and is our body’s main source of fuel.  The fructose that is found in fruits (and the only type of sugar found in fruits) is metabolized in the liver, and not in the bloods stream. Table sugars, or sucrose, is a combination of both glucose and fructose.

So for just 2 weeks, or 14 days, I challenge you to join me in this challenge. We are going to start noticing just where that added sugar comes from, and kick it out of our lives. We will start with the obvious culprits such as; sodas, candies, pastries and desserts (come on, isn’t your health and belly fat important enough to do this for just 14 days??) – and start to check the food labels to see where the rest of our sugars is coming from.

I will start by saying that the “challenge” part of this IS going to be a definite challenge because you will soon realize that there is sugar in almost EVERYTHING!!!

So, I want to ask you first, have you ever realized this before? If not, this has probably already taught you more than you imagined, right?

 

Knowledge is POWER!!!

Did you know that the American Heart Association recommends no more than 36 grams of sugar per day for men, and no more than 24 grams per day for women? That is the equivalent of just 9 tsp of sugar and 6 tsp of sugar. If we just ate foods that contained sugar naturally (for example milk has lactose, which is a natural milk sugar, fruit has fructose, a natural fruit sugar) we would reach that cap naturally through the course of the day.

The problem isn’t those foods at all, it’s all the foods that aren’t in their natural form that have had sugar added to them “to make them taste good.” You can solve this by getting in the habit of reading the ingredients list, and checking the food label for grams of sugar.

This can be tricky if you’ve never tried it before – but here’s why you should: many common products you wouldn’t expect have sugar added in various forms. Foods like bread, condiments, pasta sauce, flavored non-dairy milk, creamer, most cereals and salad dressing often have added sugar. What can you do? Look for the ones that don’t, try something else, or make your own.

If you’re worried about what to put in your coffee..try plain, full-fat coconut milk. It’s a delicious alternative to creamer and sugar and has its own natural sugar. If you read the label on the can, the only ingredient listed will be “coconut.” You can also add spices like nutmeg and cinnamon to your coffee for a little natural flavoring without the sugar. And if you’re thinking maybe Equal or Sweet n Low would be a better choice in your coffee than than a couple spoonfuls of sugar, keep reading….

Alternative sugar products can make you think they’re the smart choice – but alternative sweeteners have the same potential to trigger an insulin response by tricking your brain and body into thinking its having the real thing. Not to mention, many alternative sugars have been linked to negative health conditions.

Be on the lookout for: dextrose, maltodextrin, sucrose, fructose, cane sugar, evaporated cane juice, acesulfame potassium (sold as Sweet One – often combined with aspartame or sucralose to sweeten gum, diet soda and other sweet products), aspartame (Nutri-sweet and equal), saccharin (sold as Sweet n’ Low), stevia (combined with sugar alcohol and sold under brand names like Truvia and Pure Via), high fructose corn syrup (made by treating starch extracted from corn with enzymes to make fructose and glucose) – and if there’s anything on a food label that you think might be sugar, google it.

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Let me be clear. There is NOTHING wrong with sweets and treats in moderation, and many of the above sugars aren’t bad sugars. The purpose of this challenge is not to demonize our dessert, it’s to cut back our consumption of the foods that have sneaky sugar added to them. That sneaky sugar is a serious culprit in weight gain, chronic inflammation and worst of all, long term health issues.

Why should we avoid added sugar?

The problem with added sugar is that it creates situation overload in your system very rapidly. There is a delicate internal equilibrium regulated by your hormones that keeps you energized and tells your body what to do with the nutrients you take in. Food is measured by a scale called the “glycemic index,” which measures how rapidly that food causes your blood sugar to rise. The higher the glycemic index (GI), the faster your blood sugar spikes when you eat that food.

We don’t want our blood sugar spiking, because it causes the hormone insulin to come into play. Insulin, and important hormone that will stabilize your blood sugar also triggers fat storage. Once it does its job, you’ll feel lethargic, sleepy – and crave MORE sugar because you’ll suddenly be feeling low energy. Crazy, right?

It really helps explain why people get into that constant sugar craving cycle, and why it’s so easy to keep gaining weight once you start. Keep that 26 grams per day recommendation in mind and check the food labels on a typical breakfast  – between a bowl of breakfast cereal,  a cup of vanilla soymilk and a banana, you could already be over 26 grams, and your day hasn’t even started yet!

So what kind of sweetness can I have? 

RULES:

1. You may NOT eat anything with ADDED sugar in it, this includes, breads, milks, sauces, ANYTHING that has added sugar. (for those using Shakeology, you can continue with this once per day only.)

2. You may eat general food that have a small amount of natural sugar already in it.

3. Natural Sugar – You may eat ONE piece of fruit a day.

4. Sugar substitutes – No Sugar substitutes through the challenge.

5. No Alcohol during the challenge.

**If in doubt general rule, if it has ADDED sugar of any sort its a NO

Our goal is to obviously adopt this habit lifelong. Through our own habits, we will help the people in our lives start to realize how much sugar is in everything that they generally eat. We will learn that cutting it out and taking control of our choices can start to bring the results that we want and get rid of the extras that we don’t want or need! (think belly fat, bad habits, addictions to foods, cravings, and long term health issues)

 

The goal of this challenge

The goal of this challenge is to decrease our consumption of added sugarBecause sneaky, added sugar is the cause of so much weight gain, inflammation and health problems, it’s worth finding out which foods you’re eating regularly contain it. There are so many alternatives that taste better, and are infinitely better for your body that won’t cause the long-term negative effects.

Read your food labels, ask questions, and do your best. It can really help to have your food planned for the day, and bring it with you so you aren’t tempted by things around you because you’re hungry. If you are taking the challenge, here is a contract to keep you honest and on track.

https://form.jotform.com/jsform/61705826606155

How to beat the scale once and for all!

Let’s be real about the scale.

Do you wake up in the morning and immediately jump on the scale? If so, does that number you read on the scale determine how you feel about yourself for the day? For example, a lower number is a great day and a higher number is pure misery? I want to help you put an end to the insanity of those daily weigh-ins. Deal?

I always believed that weighing in daily would help me stay on track when I felt unhappy in my goals. I realized that this practice only kept me stuck at the same place and isn’t that the definition of insanity? I had to learn the hard way; by going through the ups and downs and emotional struggles of this phase many women seem to get stuck in so I want to help you NOT do what I did and get results sooner and keep them long term!

Why are daily weigh-ins a bad idea? First of all, our weight naturally fluctuates a couple of pounds every day- and even within the same day- depending on what food and drinks are inside of us and how much sodium we’ve consumed and whether we’ve used the restroom recently. ahem…

How about when you start drinking more water and you decide to chug down 16oz of water at one time? That’s a whole pound added to your weight right then and there. So does that mean you’ve gained weight if you were to jump on the scale cuz you feel fat? Of course not!! You cannnot gain actual pounds so simply and insantly. But think about it, if you decided to weigh yourself after any of the above takes place (which are actually quite common these days), wouldn’t you freak out and think, “o my goodness! I gained weight!! What did I do wrong? Maybe I won’t eat for the rest of the day!”

Right? Ya, you know I’m right! 😉

Let’s start with sodium. How is it that sodium has zero calories and yet makes our weight fluctuate so much? Sodium has the power to turn our curvy bodies into a bloated water balloon shape. Excess sodium makes our bodies retain water and this makes us weigh more because we are bloated. 

True story.

Now let’s talk about the monthly hormonal evilness; otherwise known as our “periods”. Many women actually gain a few pounds before and even during their periods. If you are drinking water, exercising, eating a healthy and clean food plan, getting plenty of sleep and limiting caffeine and sodium then it’s just some extra water weight that will simply go away after your period ends.

But what if you’re not doing any of the good habits above? What if you are not drinking water; exercising; eating healthy and clean foods; getting plenty of sleep; limiting your caffeine and sodium? What then? Then some of the weight that you see added to your body will be actual weight gain that is here for the longer haul. So the best tip I can share with you about your periods? Be healthy and do what you’re supposed to do to look and feel your best; both inside and out! And for goodness sake, do not EVER freaking weigh yourself right before your period or during your period unless you want to feel like crap and beat yourself up for no good reason.

Now, I know that weigh-ins can have a positive spin when we are following a plan that works and working to reach some goals; such as losing said weight, right? I’ve actually thrown my scale away and I measure my results by the measuring tape, picture progress and fitness gains. If I ever feel the desire to check my weight (which I just don’t like to do for obvious reasons), then I can drop in to a family or friends’ home and use theirs. Cuz everyone but ME has a scale, right?? lol

I suggest the best time to weigh yourself is right after your period ends. Once a month is enough time to see actual weight gains and weight losses if you are doing the weigh-ins at the same time of day and the same time of month. Some women prefer to do 2x a month weigh-ins and for the best plan in this scenario, I recommend right after your period ends and then exactly 2 weeks after. This system helps us not be swayed by the scale and finally get control of our real results instead of a “number” that is usually skewed.

I don’t own a scale for two reasons; 1) I noticed the pattern of how it made me crazy and actually had ruined my good efforts more times than I’d like to admit and 2) my body just weighs more because of muscle. You’ve most likely heard that “muscle weighs more than fat” but it’s really not technically true. A pound of muscle and a pound of fat weight exactly the same. It’s kind of like a pound of rocks and a pound of water both weigh the same – they weight one pound. The reality of what this popular saying means is that a pound of fat takes up more space than a pound of muscle. (think the rocks and water analogy again)

I know this is a confusing topic to understand so check out this photo. You can see that the pic on the far left is the same girl in the other two photos and yet her weight is the least on the left and looks like more than the photo on the right, RIGHT? 🙂  The picture on the left looks larger than the picture with more muscle tone. So when you step on the scale thinking that weight is relative, you are not taking into account how this picture tells a whole different story! a picture is worth a thousand words! 

Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 8.58.55 PM

So my body in reality weighs more than what most women would call a “healthy” range and now that I know the real reason why, I am so much happier not owning a scale because it doesn’t tell the truth. It’s a lying liar that lies!! I know it’s a bit tough to think that your ideal body could actually weigh exactly what you weigh right now (give or take) – but with that muscle mass taking up more space and the fat lessening within your body, you will look like a lean and toned woman!

One more bonus to using weights and focusing on healthier results: women with more muscle mass burn more calories even when doing nothing than someone who has less muscle. (even if the scale says the woman with less muscle weighs less) Are you confused? Basically, it’s non-negotiable for us to use weights…and I dont’ mean those itty bitty 2-5 # dumbbells. Building lean muscle is a great “trick” to reaching your ultimate goals and staying there long term!

Let’s talk about my favorite ways to measure our progress as we are working on achieving better results long term:

  1. Use a measuring tape. Just be aware that with measuring our bodies and when gaining more muscle, it can change the shape of some of the areas of our bodies (in a great way) which may or may not be skewed in our progress. If you are working on your butt and it becomes lifted and more rounded, it may appear to take up more space than a flatter booty so be aware of the best areas to measure monthly. I like to measure the smallest part of our waist and the fullest part around the hips (standing, with feet touching), upper thigh areas, widest area around chest and upper arms (or bicep area).
  2. How our clothes fit. If your clothes feel looser than before and it’s not because you’ve stretched them out intentionally, then that is a good sign you are losing inches; aka: body fat!
  3. Taking pics and comparing. This is a game changer and I never really practiced it until I was training for a fitness competition and knew it would help me see all the changes happening on my journey. It truly was a jaw dropping transformation! The scale never truly moved but my pictures and measurements were off the charts in how much my body changed! Take your before and after pics in the same outfit, with the same background and the same poses for accurate changes.
My weight never changed in any of these phases but you can see my body was changing.
My weight never changed in any of these phases but you can see my body was changing.

Does that make more sense now on why the scale isn’t the best way to see our true results? I mean, if you want to see the numbers change based on how much water or sodium you’ve had in a given day; then go for it! But if you’re looking for real results and long term changes that make all the difference, then pay attention to the above results and ditch the evil scale! 🙂

Need more help with your training? Shoot me a message and let’s chat about your goals! http://www.spazzykay@gmail.com