Working out and Still Not Losing Weight?

Are you watching what you eat, exercising often and still feeling like you’re not losing that stubborn weight? The truth is that watching what you eat and exercising often (or even a LOT) is not specific enough and may be a bit “safe” as we can’t really measure these areas.  If we are honest with ourselves, there’s a very good chance that we are totally capable of trying a little bit harder in both of these areas.

Total-body wellness is a lifestyle. Fat loss happens when you ditch the scale, find an activity you enjoy, and start to see food as fuel instead of something to feed your emotions or occupy your time.

No matter who you are or what you’ve been through, chances are that you are struggling because of one of these 7 reasons….

1. You’re eating the wrong foods

A calorie is just a calorie? While this statement seems logical enough, our bodies respond to the nutrients it needs to burn fat and achieve the goals we are working towards. If you aren’t losing weight, you should begin by looking at your foods. I know many people focus on burning off the calories in their workouts and they don’t take the time to plan out what they are putting into their bodies as fuel. Diet is responsible for 80% of our results. I’m not a fan of manuscripted “diets”, either but a good rule of thumb is to choose natural, clean foods most of the time.

Eat most of your starchy carbs (like potatoes, brown rices and grains) on the days when you do your strength training or more intense workouts. On your rest days or lighter cardio days, try sticking to more protein and veggies and limit your starchy foods. Cut out your excess breads, white sugars and anything that’s processed. Look for the foods that have the fewest ingredients on their labels (aka: less processed). If you can’t pronounce something on the label, it’s probably not something your body needs so put it back on the shelf.

2. You’re eating too much

If you’ve already cleaned up your diet big time and you’re still not losing weight, it may be that you’re simply eating too many calories. You know the saying, “Eat less and move more”?  In order to lose the weight, your body needs to be in a calorie deficit, meaning you need to burn more than you consume. That being said, you shouldn’t have to deprive yourself either. Life is about balance. Don’t become obsessed with counting calories or weighing yourself every day.

Eat when you’re hungry and eat slowly enough so you can stop just before you get full. Healthy snacking during the day will keep you from overeating during meals. I always carry a healthy snack in my purse, because you never know when you’ll need a quick snack and it eliminates any quick and unhealthy food purchases in my day. Also, don’t be afraid to give yourself healthy ‘cheats’ like a few chocolate covered strawberries for example. The moment you start depriving yourself from foods you love to crave is the moment you start to feel like you are missing out on something and want to binge.

3. You’re doing too much cardio

If I had a dollar for everyone who has told me they do tons of cardio and still don’t lose weight….(I’d have a LOT of dollars! lol) Yes, cardio is a necessary part of your workout routine. It keeps your heart healthy, boosts your metabolism, and gives you a good sweat (you should break one daily). The problem is, that only doing cardio (and doing too much of it thinking it’s ‘better’) can actually add to our problem. Longer cardio workout sessions, like staying on the treadmill or elliptical for 90 minutes, or going for regular 10-mile runs can eat away at your lean muscle mass, which is necessary in increasing the metabolism to burn more calories.

It causes the body to become more endurance-focused, storing energy as fat to ensure it has plenty of reserve fuel to keep you going for all those miles. Not to mention it dramatically increases your appetite, making you more susceptible to unnecessary snacking or overeating.

4. You’re not lifting weights

This one goes hand in hand with #3. I’m not saying you can’t or shouldn’t do cardio. If you love to run or bike for reasons other than losing weight, then by all means don’t stop. But if your primary goal is to lose fat,  there are other forms of exercise that give a much better result for your burn. The best way to lose weight and build a toned and tight body is by doing some form of strength training, in addition to your cardio. When your body has more muscle tone then you’ll be burning more fat.

You might not be ready to give up your cardio just yet, so you can start by adding in some interval training. This means you’ll be doing short bursts of maxed out intensities into your regular sessions. This is a much more effective way of waking up the hormones that are needed to target the stubborn fat stores. Then, add in some resistance training to your routine. If you’re worried about lifting weights, you can always choose body weight exercises instead. Try a round of push-ups, squats and lunges and you’ll get great results without an actual weight just yet. 🙂

5. You’re not working hard enough

There’s no exact equation to working out and eating healthy—it’s a matter of trial and error, finding out what works specifically for your body. Just because you spend more time in the gym, doesn’t mean you’ll become a fitter person. Unless you are an athlete, body builder or marathoner in training, the average Joe shouldn’t be working out more than one hour  a day.

If you are spending more than an hour in your workouts, I bet you aren’t working hard enough. The workouts should be based on the intensity; versus the time. Remember this simple fact; the harder you work, the shorter your workout time may need to be. That’s why is super important to make the most of your time in the gym or fitness classes so you can achieve that “afterburn” effect which keeps your metabolism fired up for 24-48 hours after. Pretty cool, right?

6. You’re not taking time to recover

Let’s say you do achieve that afterburn feeling and you’re feeling your workout the next day, those are the days to focus on different muscles. If you prefer to work the whole body at once, then plan a workout routine that works your entire body on oneday and then take the next day to do light cardio, a yoga class or just rest and focus on nutrition.

Recovery and rest may actually be more important than the workouts themselves. It’s during those periods that your body does most of the actual fat burning. So give yourself that time to fully recover so you’re ready to work hard the following day. Most importantly, listen to your body. Push yourself, but also give it some love, too.

7. Your body is too stressed out

Exercise is actually a stress to our body. When you have a healthy balance of exercise “stress” and proper recovery time, your body will be healthy and able to lose the excess fat. But if you’re not giving your body the right amount of time to recover, it can be a negative thing since you’ll start to produce extra amounts of cortisol, which is the stress hormone. Cortisol is normal and important when we are working out, since it’s involved in giving our muscles the energy it needs to move.

The problem, however, is when our body is exposed to cortisol for long periods of time and starts to cause negative effects. One of these effects are the stubborn fat stores in areas you don’t want it. Exercise is no the only thing that stressed our bodies out and creates extra cortisol.  The problem multiplies when we are stressed out about personal or professional areas of our life. Obviously, when you stop exercising then you stop producing cortisol; but it’s not so easy to just turn off mental stress that may be wreaking havoc in your life. Make sure you are taking the time and energy to keep your mental and emotional healthy in check too. You should be working towards a total-body wellness goal…not just a simple “weight loss” goal.

Need extra help this season?

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How to get a jump start on your goals

Goals. We all have them, right? We have personal goals, financial goals, relationship goals, future goals, weight loss or fitness goals, vacation goals…and so on. The problem is never in the goals that we make; but more in what we are doing or not doing more often when hoping to reach those goals. If you think about it, every decision you make; every second of every day – starts to add up to a result. That result can either be your goal..or the opposite of your goal.

Let me explain.

Imagine for a moment you are opening a new checking account and your goal is to save $10,000 for your next dream vacation. You figured out the costs for your flight; how much your hotel and amenities will cost; what you would need to pay for food, drinks and souvenirs and anything else imaginable. The grand total that you would require is $10k…so you start planning on saving enough money and choosing a date to book your trip for this amazing travel opportunity. Your account is opened, you’ve deposited $100 to start and you set up a direct deposit 10% of each paycheck into your new checking account to save for your trip.

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Exciting, isn’t it? That is probably how you feel at the start of every weight loss or fitness goal you set in place. You imagine that you’d love to lose 20 lbs (give or take) in time for a family reunion or summer vacation (or whatever the current reason would be) and you choose a workout program, healthy meal plan with recipes, supplements and support of a trainer so that you can make these goals a reality and succeed and enjoy feeling confident and strong.

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This first step of planning and setting in place your ideal progress is the easy part. What becomes a challenge is what follows. Imagine now you are on a road and following a road map. You come to a fork in the road and you see that moving towards the right side of the path will lead you to your goals and dreams; while moving towards the left side of the path will move you in the opposite direction. Even though we know better doesn’t guarantee us results. Sure, we know that if we continue to invest 10% of each paycheck into our new bank account, we will start to see the balance increase over time. We also know that if we are following the advice of our trainer/coach/expert in the workouts needed to reach our goals and the foods and supplements/vitamins – we will eventually see our bodies morph into the shape and size that we were dreaming about.

But that would be too easy, right? In our human minds, we start to rationalize “better ways” or we talk ourselves out of following the plans we’ve set up. Maybe at first for just “one day” – but once we give ourselves permission to go off track, it’s going to be easier to do the next time around. An example would be: maybe you need a pair of new shoes for an event you are attending next week and you are short on cash. You may rationalize that investing maybe just 5% this week and using the remainder to purchase those new shoes won’t hurt us too much, right?

Wrong!

This is where we need to become more focused on WHY we are wanting to create these goals as reality. Why do you want to travel to that exotic destination? What would that feel like? What would it look like? Why is that important today? How about your weight loss or fitness goals? Why are you working to lose 20lbs? What would that look like for you? What would it feel like to be 20 lbs less and feel more confident in your body?

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If we don’t dive into our WHY; we won’t stick to the plans. One small detour changes everything. Think about every single decision we all make in a given day. If you are hoping to get up early and workout before you head off to work but you overslept because you were “tired”…it’s important to accept that you made the decision that day to take a step further away from your weight loss goal.  The decision to sleep in – was more important to you than the results in that given moment. It may seem insignificant, but over time…those small choices begin to add up to large results.

I know it’s hard at times to stick to our plans, especially when we have a great “excuse” (which we usually refer to as “reason”) but having integrity and sticking to what we said we’d do is key to success. Saving the $10k for your vacation isn’t going to be fun along the way; but you better believe it will be well worth it while you are living it up and lavishing your journey. Same goes for your weight loss goals. It’s never fun to pass up on our favorite foods and drinks when we see others indulging, right? It’s also never fun to workout when we are not feeling like it; or when we are tired, sore and just feeling overwhelmed with life. (but hint; you won’t ever regret the workout once it’s done…but you may regret not following through with it as planned after the fact). However, when you think about the day of the occasion that you can show off your new body and hard earned results..all the sacrifice from before will be water under the bridge.

What decisions have you made just today…that have moved you closer to, as well as further away from your goals and dreams?

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Motivation: What is it and how do I get it?

What is motivation? How do you get it? How can you help motivate others?

These questions have always been factors in my personal and business success; as well as how I can help both my clients and my team mates.

So let’s start with “what is motivation”?

The dictionary defines it as the following:

Internal and external factors that stimulate desire and energy in people to be continually interested and committed to a job, role or subject, or to make an effort to attain a goal.

Motivation results from the interaction of both conscious and unconscious factors such as the (1) intensity of desire or need, (2) incentive or reward value of the goal, and (3) expectations of the individual and of his or her peers. These factors are the reasons one has for behaving a certain way. An example is a student that spends extra time studying for a test because he or she wants a better grade in the class.

Yes, I Think I Can!!

Isn’t that interesting? I find that when the commitment level is highest, the results are more apt to follow. When we begin a new goal or challenge with mediocre interest and commitment, then we are met with either mediocre results or we will quit before we reach the goals because the desire wasn’t strong enough to push past obstacles. And there will be obstacles. Life will challenge us and if our commitment levels and intensity are strong enough, we will prevail. An example that helped me see this as truth was when I decided to commit to competing in a fitness competition. It is one thing to decide to compete, it changes when you commit in writing and in putting money down.

I had always desired to reach goals to compete on stage with professional fitness competitors. My biggest struggle has always been in following a nutrition plan as laid out no matter how unhappy it makes me at times. I love to workout and I love to eat. I know many others who will agree with me on these two facts. But in all reality, as I’m sure you know, we cannot exercise to un-do a bad eating plan. But what if we follow clean eating principles, you ask? right? (I know this because I too wondered about this) I ate a strict and clean diet. I eliminated processed foods, white sugars, white flours, fast foods, anything that contained ingredients that I didn’t recognize as whole foods or could not pronounce. Simple is best in my opinion. But simple wasn’t allowing me to reach the goals that I was dreaming of realizing.
What Is Pushing You Today?

Good enough was definitely not good enough for me. I wanted to be at my peak; in both fitness and how I looked and felt. I wanted to drop my body fat below 20% and I wanted to feel like a badass. That’s about as technical as I get. So, I hired a professional fitness competitor to coach me in my workouts, meals, and training to walk and own the stage. I received a lot of negativity from people in my community and those who considered competing on stage a moral sin. That was definitely something I struggled to get past. In my heart and mind, I knew why I was doing this and it was not to “show off my body to others”. It was more about proving that I had what it took to take my commitment to the highest level I could imagine. What could be scarier than committing to walking across a stage in nothing but a bikini and heels and feeling like you’ve already won?

I wanted that. I wanted to conquer that fear.

before and after comp

So, I paid my trainer every month for 6 months to write me up the best workouts for my body to reach the goals I needed to win my trophy. She created meal plans and I signed up for the NPC competition in March of 2012. My husband and family supported me 100% and that was all I truly needed to feel confident with my support.

It was a grueling six months. I had never done anything as challenging as this in my entire life. The commitment level I took on was one I had never quite imagined I had in my reach. The plan was to workout for 6 days a week at the gym (or anywhere I could get the workouts done) and the workouts generally lasted 90 minutes to 2 hours a day.

No non-committed person would agree to this. If I hadn’t signed up for the event and tell my family and friends what I was doing, I may have easily dropped off when it became hard.

And it did become excruciatingly hard. I had decided to begin my training in October of 2011 and in my haste to register, hadn’t considered that I would be following the intense plan over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday events. My commitment level was set and I knew it would be hard but I still told everyone that I was going to stay strong.

During this season, I also earned a week at a resort for some Leadership training in my Beachbody business. This meant that I would be a guest at a 5 Star Resort overlooking Dana Point harbor in California. All food and drinks were included. The gorgeous room and all the accommodations were paid for. I could have easily decided to “just enjoy” the foods that were served and do my best to stick to the clean foods, right?

Wrong! That would not be the highest level of commitment that I was working towards. So what to do? I asked my trainer/coach what she had done in her training seasons as she traveled. The answer was to pre-plan all of my foods ahead of time. Then call the hotel and ask them to set me up in a room with a mini refrigerator because of my “medication” needs. I knew this wasn’t completely true but in my reasoning, I figured that medications meant my daily requirements for my goals in staying true to my needs and this is exactly what it was. I packed up my foods in plastic containers, brought my supplements with me and planned to do my workouts in the hotel gym in the early mornings before the conferences began.

All in all, I did it. And it was absolutely fabulous to know I stuck to my promises and succeeded in my goals.

When we are committed to this level, nothing can throw us off track. Life will always challenge us in new and unexpected ways and it’s up to us to prove to life that we are not going to back down. If we back down, we are not as dedicated to the goals as we said or thought we were.

True story.

I took that stage and won not one, but two trophies that day. I took away 2nd place in my division (and I was truly one of the oldest competitors, at 40 years of age); as well as 3rd place in the overall division (which means out of all the competitors)! I was ecstatic and felt like I could take over the world.

So what about the desire to motivate others? Once you are motivated to degrees that propel you along no matter what may come in your way…there comes a time we hope to motivate others to reach their own goals.

The easiest answer is to live your best life. Become the best version of yourself. I work in the fitness and health industry, as well as in the network marketing industry. This means that I want to motivate not only my clients and customers, but also my team mates who have desires to succeed in their own business and financial goals. Emotion, however is timeless. I can want the success for my clients and teammates more than they truly want it themselves; and if I don’t understand this fact, I could easily overwhelm myself and decide to quit on my own goals.

You cannot change people but you can always point them in the right direction and lead through your own lifestyle, results and actions. This is what I live for every day. I’ve inspired my family, friends and many in my community to take the initiative in their goals and there is no better feeling than the feeling of someone thanking you for helping them change their life. There is nothing better than seeing your children adopt habits and goals that far outweigh any of their peers because of your lead. There is nothing better than being the best you can be and living up to your goals through the challenges of life.

This is why a mentor or a coach is critical to your success. Remember how I had my own trainer to help me with my competition goals? I, myself, have been a personal trainer for over 20 years…and yet I hired my own trainer/coach with my goals. Why? Because I knew I was taking my commitment to higher levels and unknown territories and who better to help me than someone who’s been there before? A mentor/coach will give you a plan and consistently push you to rise up further. A mentor/coach will not allow you to become complacent and finding a mentor/coach will spark your mind because you are already playing the game at a higher level than you have ever done before.

If you would like to get started on our next goal and need some help and mentoring, I am looking for new and committed clients to do just that! There are many options in getting started but let’s start here; fill in the form below and click submit and I’ll reach out to you to talk about the best plan for you. Nobody will see your answers but me! 🙂

 

10 Commitments you MUST make to reach your goals

I am learning more in this decade of my life than in any other. It’s crazy how I could have lived over 40 years, been married over 20 of these years and have 3 grown children and actually have this epiphany that I’m finally freaking LEARNING things that matter.

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Like really deep, right?

Maybe it’s cuz I finally have the time to do so! 🙂 In any case, this year I looked at my life in it’s entirety and measured what I was doing in my day to day that was making me truly happy. When I say “happy”, I mean that feeling you get when you are just HIGH on life. When you can’t sit still because you are jumping out of your own skin. That kind of happy. Do you even feel that feeling any more?

I realized that I wasn’t and it made me reconsider everything, for the first time in my life. Yes, I am blessed. I am so thankful for everything God has blessed me with and I have zero regrets because I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I hadn’t gone through all that I have been through. I’ve lived the life that I was given and I very much love most, if not ALL of it. Ups and downs are inevitable but unless we embrace these too, we won’t truly understand the value and the lessons that the challenges brought us. I’ll save these stories for another time…

Maybe 😉

So as I sat and truly reflected on everything at the end of last year, I found myself at the crossroads that I’ve been before…at just wanting to freaking DUMP everything I was doing that didn’t make me want to jump out of bed every morning, and start over. You know…like pressing “CTRL + ALT + DELETE”? That’s the feeling that usually plagues me every few years and other than feeling overwhelmed (which is a word I’ve come to despise) I never understood that it was simply because I wasn’t getting enough pleasure and happiness from my daily tasks and work.

So here are the tips I have for you if you are needing to PURGE (or at least refocus) on the areas that are SUCKING life’s happiness and meaning from your bones and spirit. I wrote down every commitment that I was holding onto and how important each of these commitments were to  me and my happiness and future. The one thing that stood out to me was that I needed to cut back on trying to juggle too many roles in my world. I knew in my heart of heart that I needed to let go of my hours of teaching fitness classes, in order to create more time in growing myself and in growing my at home business. It was much like the day I decided I needed to quit my job as a personal trainer.

I knew how hard this would be for me. Here was a position that I held since I was just 18 years of age. That’s almost 30 years of teaching. That’s a part of me that I have known longer than before I was both a wife and a mother. This role always seemed to define me, for some reason. I felt valued, I felt needed and I knew I was helping others find their energy to do more.

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When I made the decision to give notice for my classes, I sat in my car in the gym’s parking lot and sobbed like a baby. This was a part of me. It may sound ridiculous but it was a LOSS. In order for me to grow into my next level of happiness and life’s roles that I knew would ultimately create more success and happiness for me and my family, I had no other choice. But it hurt so deeply.

Whether you’re deeply invested in your career or starting a business, I’ve learned that successful people commit to certain decisions that help shape them into becoming the elite. 

Choose to make every moment count. Every day is an opportunity and a gift to master new skills and further our goals. Success comes down to having the right attitude and making smart decisions. I know I made a smart decision because my heart is happier and I can’t explain it more simply and fully than that.

Here are 10 tips to help you find your own inner happiness again.

1. See the good in your life/job/work or find it again.
Find ways to love the life you’re in. If you aren’t getting the happiness you once had, do some research on where you are being drawn to instead.

2. Always risk failures
Commit to letting fear be your motivator but don’t let it become your master when you approach a new opportunity or change in your life. Fear only shrinks our success.

3. Work hard.

Measure your success by your work ethic. If all you are looking for is to simply make money, be careful as the need to make money can become a feeling of “needing to always create more of it”. It’s a feeling of LACK versus REWARD and this does not make for a happy life.

 

4. Be willing to grow
Be committed to thinking bigger than you have ever allowed yourself. Always be grateful for the accomplishments but never satisfied to stop. Continue creating bigger goals along the way.

We are always just beginning the next phase. I know that in my making these changes; I’m not “done” and I will always continue to ask “What’s next?”

 

5. Consistency is the key to success.
It will take commitment to working consistently without breaks and interruptions. It’s only through consistent and diligent work, along with having patience and understanding, that we can continue to climb higher towards more success.

6. Be in love with what you’re doing.
Decide to be passionate about what you do. Passion is the fire that ignites our desire to work harder. Just like a car can’t run without gas, our businesses cannot succeed if we aren’t passionate, focused, and hardworking.

7. Have self-respect.
Having self-respect gives us pride in ourselves; brings more confidence in every area of our lives and brings about the feeling of true happiness through and through. It’s also important to treat others with respect and having integrity in all that we do in order to keep that self-respect.

 

8. It’s a balancing game.
You cannot get where you want to go all by yourself. Learn to delegate activities and jobs. Knowing when to delegate means knowing your strengths and weaknesses.

9. Grow and nurture relationships.
Be choosy when adding others to your team or business. When you find the right team mates and members, nurture them along their goals of success in order to keep morale high and infusing them with your passion, vision and purpose.

10. Always ask for feedback.
Take it from me, don’t be a “know it all”. Professionals actively seek out feedback in order to grow. Every piece of feedback is a seed of knowledge, which is capable of furthering to expand both you and your business. Feedback forces you to keep an open mind and being available to new opportunities that may never have even been an option before.

In order to be happier and more successful in business and in life, commit to making wise and self-aware choices. Our success is a direct reflection of our decisions, our attitudes and our thinking. It’s important to ask ourselves when our business isn’t where we want it to be, we must start making new decisions. In order to grow our work, our happiness; we must first grow ourselves.

I believe this is exactly the next natural step for me too.

 

Diet is a 4-Letter word!

 

So, it’s the weekend, right?

I know too many people who take that as a free for all in terms of eating and doing anything they want. I totally get it cuz I always did the same thing before…and then for some reason couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t seeing my results! :-/

hmmmm…seems pretty obvious but maybe not.

I want to share exactly what and why you probably have heard this a zillion times and the reasons they are critical to our body’s success.

We have gone through our entire lives learning from the media. Learning from the diet industry. Learning from other people that share their “thoughts” and “opinions”, right?

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I know from the young age of 11 years old, I thought I had to be on a “diet”…at ELEVEN YEARS OLD!  It was a constant up and down battle with myself and listening to the media, reading magazines and hearing my peers talk about their thoughts and feelings about what the best practices were and what products and secrets would help with the weight loss.

I went to Weight Watchers at 15 and learned how to portion my foods out but I know at the same time I was still filling voids in my habits with the frozen treats that the company provided for sale. I’d eat great for breakfast and lunch and then “earn” a Weight Watchers frozen chocolate brownie cake for my after lunch as a “treat”. Then the same thing for after dinner with another “treat”. Some days, I’d even warm up a frozen Weight Watchers cinnamon roll and eat it with a serving of cottage cheese as my “breakfast”.

Now these are not terrible habits, as I was able to lose 20 lbs initially doing just that. But was it healthy? Could my body sustain this way of eating long term with no negative effects later down the road?

Honestly, it wasn’t ideal in terms of nutrition. This was a simple and effective weight loss system that kept me in the “diet” phase. I could not be in the best shape; inside and outside by following this plan. I mean, think about it…we can always lose weight doing anything that cuts out any food groups or is restrictive in any way for a short time, right? Losing weight is not the issue…keeping it off  and living our healthiest lives possible is where the battle lies.

There are a zillion plus one diets out there at any given time…and counting. Just google the word “diet” and a plethora of calorie and nutrition restrictive programs will pop up. Drink juiced veggies and fruits all day and lose weight! wow! Surprising? Not really, you’re cutting out every other food group that exists so why wouldn’t you lose weight doing this? But could you do this for the rest of your life? Would you want to?

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How about the diet where you eat just protein, veggies and fats? Sure, you will lose weight because you cut out a whole food group! No carbs/grains so that must mean that they are “bad” for us, right? WRONG!! Our bodies require carbs for certain times and energy needs; so in terms of sustaining this way of eating…probably not! (just give it a try long enough and see how grumpy and lethargic you start to feel over time)

How about drinking a “Quick Slim” diet shake 3 times a day and eating a salad for dinner? Of course you’ll lose weight! That’s not the dilemma here either! Have you read what’s inside those “diet” drinks and shakes? Do you know what half of those ingredients are or where they come from? Why would you put that into your body just to lose weight when losing weight is not the issue? Keeping the weight off and feeling good about ourselves is the problem. Get to the root of the problem in order to find the solution. Diets are just bandaids. They temporarily “cover up” the problem but never deal with the solution. So the yo-yo cycle continues..and we call ourselves “weak” and feel we have no real “willpower”.

hmmmmm

Is what you’re doing now helping you long term? Fast forward 5-10 years from today and imagine you practice the same eating and fitness program until then. Will it benefit you more or less in the long run? I’m not saying to get rid of everything we enjoy; heck, I eat cake, cookies and candy regularly and am not interested if someone tells me I can’t have them! What I am saying is that we need to stop pretending that the issue is in losing weight. We can lose weight over and over and over and over again….and you know what? Some of us might be okay with that process. But think about the body and how it takes a beating each time with the weight gain and the weight loss repeatedly done over the years. We break down lean muscle tissue and we replace it with more fat stores than we began with before the word “diet” was introduced into our lives.

So today, in honor of this weekend, choose to treat yourself kindly to 1 or 2 foods or drinks that you enjoy. The rest of your meals and drinks should be chosen based on good nutrition. Stop buying crappy diet foods. Make sure any drink, shake or food you choose is filled with only the best ingredients and fulfills your body’s daily requirements of vitamins, minerals and full nutrition. If you’re overdoing it on the weekends, only to go cold turkey again on Monday…something is off balance.

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It’s not your “diet”…it’s your habits and mindset. I would love to hear from you if you agree or disagree with this! Please feel free to comment below. 🙂

 

When weekends sabotage our goals

Have you been on track during your weekday schedule? Have you drawn out a plan for your success in hitting your goals? I know for many of us, we are rockstars during the week. We stick to the nutrition plan and we get our workouts in every day that we can. We feel unstoppable.

But what tends to happen as the weekend approaches, is that we feel we’ve done quite well. We may have family gatherings and parties; and our friends are expecting us to enjoy some downtime with them too. We decide that since the week was so successful and we are feeling confident in our ability to do it again next week, maybe one or two days off wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Right? I mean, haven’t we all heard that those “cheat days” can actually help fuel our metabolisms even more? Oh…that’s such great plan!

Right?

WRONG!!!

The weekend should definitely be filled with downtime; with relaxing and having fun but did you know that in doing so, most of us pretty much ruin those awesome results from the previous week by overdoing it completely? You know the saying; two steps forward and one step back? Well honestly, some of us are taking two steps forward during the workweek and about five or six steps back on the weekend. Let’s look at some of the worst case weekend habits that you should eliminate immediately so that you can continue to move forward in your success journey…never to return to previous poor habits.

Ready?

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1. Going crazy and binge eating on the weekend
One of the most common poor weekend choices most of us make is binge eating on the weekends. The idea that we have done so well all week but need to let go once in awhile usually results with eating and drinking everything unhealthy in our reach. Who cares, right? We’re getting back on track again, come Monday, so this won’t hurt that much! WRONG AGAIN! This only puts us either back where we first began our journeys, or worse yet, further behind as we continue these poor choices. This way of thinking is also creating a poor relationship with the foods we eat, as we continue this binge and then restrict pattern long term. The key to being fit and healthy is not being overly restrictive; heck, I can out-eat anyone at certain times when I really want to…but having good balance and understanding what to do overtime help us to create those long term results we are looking to achieve. There are times you must be more strict in your diet and exercise, as you are working towards achieving a specific goal. But the goal is not the end zone, in order to maintain those results, balance is the key. When I decide to overindulge (which I do for sure!), then I make sure the very next meal is healthy and on track. I just feel better this way and learning how to find and create that balance so you don’t continue to live the life of going from one extreme of being overly strict and not allowing anything to deter you from your plans, to then completely going hog-wild and overdoing it; again and again.

2. Sleeping too much 
It can feel like such a luxury to sleep in when the weekend finally arrives, right? I know that this was such a wonderful enjoyment for me before too. Not needing to wake up to an alarm and even we  you do wake up; just laying in bed and not having to do anything feels amazing. Yes, rest is an important element to our success BUT spending your entire morning in bed is only going to screw up your body clock out of it’s routine. This will result in feeling like crap come Monday morning when that alarm does ring. Enjoying some extra sleep on the weekends is fine, but it will be helpful for you in the long run to get up no more than an hour later than your normal weekday wake-up call. This honestly helps to keep our body clocks regular and our bodies from going through severe shifts; week after week.

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3. Brunch dates? 
Brunch is a fun way to enjoy the weekends. They are so relaxing and a way to enjoy your friends and family over good foods. The problem is when those simple “brunch” dates turn out to be a huge cheat blowout. Have you ever decided to go all out and order the big breakfast deal? I know those hash browns, eggs, smoothies, breads, coffee and muffins look like a great choice, right? How about that ginormous stack of pancakes; covered in butter, syrup and cream? Yes, those treats are fun and helpful along the way but if you tend to over-do your brunch meals again and again and again and again…maybe you should take a look at another healthier option on the menu and make it more about enjoying the experience versus a food fest. I promise, it’s still worth it! (and no food coma later)

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4. But what about the booze? 
I’m not a drinker so this isn’t a problem of mine but I do know a lot of women and men who use alcohol as the way to unwind and relax over the weekend. Although, the occasional drink isn’t going to throw your goals too far off track; overdoing it is an easy next step as you start to enjoy the relaxed state of mind and body. Drinking in excessive amounts, prevents our bodies from losing fat and can lead to major weight gain over time. It also affects our ability to recover from exercise, it decreases our ability to build muscle and also leads to a list of other major health issues. If you enjoy having a drink or two on the weekends, make sure to keep it to a minimum or cut it out altogether if that isn’t a possibility for you.

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5. Overworking over the weekend
As I work from home, I know all too well how easy it is to fit in more work over the weekends. It’s also more accessible to work more at home because of technology and the ability to “catch up” over the weekend. But I’ve found that this leads to a new problem of adding more stress into our lives when we need to find that balance again. Work is vital to our daily needs. We can’t eliminate it altogether but we can most definitely set up boundaries so that we can enjoy the perks of weekend downtime and renewing our energy stores for the new week. Stress can lead to more weight gain and many other health problems, even disease; over time. Make sure to plan out your work and rest hours just as you plan out your meals and treats along the way.

Do any of these habits ring true for you? Where can you make some changes?

For me, I work on balance. I am not a fan of “diet and deprivation”. It never works. Sure, you will lose weight initially on any diet (heck, even on a “diet” of crappy foods can allow your body to lose weight if you are in a calorie deficit!) but what then? Can you sustain those daily foods and energy requirements long term? For the rest of your life? This is where I had trouble many times in the past. I would lose “all the weight” and feel so good about myself…only to regain it all and have to start over again. Sound familiar? It is for most people. The key isn’t in finding the “right” diet or the “right” exercise plan because our bodies don’t really care what we do along the way. Our body only achieves the results it achieves through the practices we continue to place into our lives. Workout and eat right for 90 days and lose 20 lbs? Great! Then what? Then most people decide to return to their previous habits and what happens then? The body is only doing what we are telling it to do.

If you need some extra help or attention in any of these areas, feel free to drop a comment below or message me at: spazzykay@gmail.com

Eat Your Way to GREAT Abs!!!

When it comes to creating incredible abs, even the most effective workout programs can only bring you so far. That’s because you can’t get a flat, hard midsection without losing body fat. No matter how much effort you put into creating a six-pack, no one’s going to see it if it’s covered by a layer of flab.

If you’re following the dietary guidelines of a Beachbody fitness program, you’ll automatically be eating the right foods to lose fat as you get in shape. But the following seven principles can give you an extra edge, and will help ensure that the effort you’re putting into your abs will bring you the results you want.

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1. Get plenty of protein
Eating enough lean protein promotes fat loss and muscle gain, the two most important elements for developing great abs. It also helps keep you from getting hungry while you’re eating right. You don’t have to gobble down 12-ounce steaks—just eat a normal portion of lean meat, fish, low-fat dairy, or vegetarian protein with every meal, and make sure your snacks contain some protein, too. If you still have a hard time getting enough in your diet, a daily Shakeology shake can be a perfect addition.

By the way, protein is especially important in the morning, when a lot of people don’t get as much as they should. A protein-rich breakfast will help keep your blood sugar steady for hours, preventing the dips that can lead to cravings later in the day. (Try some low-fat chicken sausage, or an omelet with one whole egg and three egg whites, along with fruit or whole-grain toast.)

2.Reconsider your carbs.
Despite the popularity of low-carbohydrate diets, the average American meal is still too high in sugar and fast-burning starches to bring body fat down to ab-baring levels. It’s time to say goodbye to sweetened soda, ditch the Doritos, and save the cake for your birthday. If your fitness plan calls for a sports drink before a long cardio workout, or a carb-and-protein recovery drink after resistance training, that’s fine. But the rest of the time, stick with foods that are on the low end of the glycemic index (refer to GlycemicIndex.com for more information)—these foods burn more slowly, so they won’t spike your blood sugar and insulin levels.

3. Have fun with fiber.
Something about the word “fiber” just doesn’t sound appetizing. But high-fiber foods can actually be quite delicious: fresh berries and other fruits, salads loaded with colorful produce, your favorite steamed vegetables or vegetable soup, stews or chili made with beans, chewy whole-grain breads and cereals…You get the picture. (These foods just happen to be loaded with nutrients as well.) High-fiber foods keep you fuller with fewer calories, and they help keep your digestive system working at its best—a double-whammy for getting rid of belly bulge.

4. Enjoy some yogurt.
Probiotics, the healthful bacteria found in yogurt and other fermented foods, have been proven to help reduce belly fat. In a recent study in Finland, new mothers who took probiotic supplements averaged smaller waist circumferences—and lower body fat in general—than those who didn’t take probiotic supplements. And while the topic is still controversial, studies have found that eating lots of calcium-rich dairy foods like yogurt may increase overall weight loss.

5. Don’t forget to eat.
Tempted to lower your daily calorie count by skipping meals? Don’t. Going hungry can raise your levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol, which research has found can increase belly fat even in otherwise thin women. And eating too infrequently can lower your metabolism and energy levels, while increasing the chance that you’ll get too hungry and decide to chuck your meal plan entirely. If you’re eating the right foods, regular meals and snacks will keep your body fueled while you’re working toward that strong core.

6. Drink more fluids. Hydration is important when you’re on a fitness plan, but drinking plenty of water has particular benefits for your midsection. It helps keep your stomach full, so you don’t overeat, and it helps flush out excess sodium to prevent belly bloating. (Eating more potassium-rich foods, such as tomatoes and bananas, will also help in this area.) Plain ol’ H20 can’t be beat, but you can also switch it up with flavored waters, iced tea, and anything else you like to drink that isn’t full of sweeteners. How much do you need? The old rule of 8 glasses a day is a good start, but everyone is different: drink more if you’re exercising or it’s hot out, and drink less if you’re running to the bathroom every 5 minutes.

7. …With two exceptions.
It’s time to cut down on those mood-altering substances, coffee and alcohol. Too much caffeine raises your cortisol levels and can impair your sleep, which can lower the production of fitness-promoting hormones. Meanwhile, the proverbial “beer belly” isn’t just the result of extra calories—alcohol actually makes it more difficult for your body to metabolize carbs and fat. Booze also stimulates your appetite and lowers your inhibitions, which can lead to bingeing. The best road to flat abs is no alcohol at all, but if you really like a drink now and then, just have one at a time (and no more than a few a week), and stay away from higher-calorie beers and sugary mixed drinks

If you add these rules to your fitness plan, you’re sure to see faster improvements in your midsection. Of course, there’s an added bonus to eating this way: it’ll keep you healthier, too. That may not be as big an inducement as great abs, but we’re throwing it in for free.

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