Who Wants ABS? (or maybe I should just ask who doesn’t to weed out the non-committed folks!) :)

IMG_0953This is for all the beautiful people who have been dreaming and wishing and hoping to one day have a sexy midsection! Is that YOU?? I am pretty sure it’s most of the population! LOL

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.

Seriously, I know! I’ve worked out so intensely and so often that if this was a proven method, I’d have had a six pack for most of you reading this today! 😉  But, alas, foods are the KEY to getting those abs to POP!

If you’re following the dietary guidelines of a 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.

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.) Tell me how much protein do YOU get each day? I see and talk with so many women who DON’T bcuz they think it will “bulk” them up….

NOT! Get that protein in yo face asap! 😉

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. DUH!  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. And “double-whammy” is such a fun word to use that I encourage you to try it out a few times this week!

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. It’s why I eat Greek yogurt and drink my Shakeology DAILY!!

5. Don’t forget to eat.
Tempted to lower your daily calorie count by skipping meals? Don’t. Seriously, I cannot tell you how many women tell me that they don’t know why they aren’t losing weight; since they only eat maybe 1 time a day!!! EXCUSE MOI??????

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. You MUST eat!!! It’s the ONLY way! 😉

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.  I will challenge you to drink the recommended amount for fit individuals; 1/2 your body weight in ounces!! So for someone who is 150 lbs; they would need to drink at least 75 oz of water every day! Or a gallon if you are really up to the challenge!

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. Something to seriously consider especially over the weekends, am I right or am I right? (you are SO smart! lol)

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 that’s just  for free.

Do you need an added incentive? I have a BUSY MOM’S support group starting first of the month and welcome you to message me today for info on joining. You can succeed and have time for your family AND save money along the way! All thrown in for extra bonus!! 😉

Email me at: http://www.spazzykay@gmail.com

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Are You Struggling Today?

It’s amazing to me when I hear people assume that if you don’t complain or talk about your struggles; that you must no have any.

BULL!!! 

Our struggles are our stories!!! Embrace them and learn to grow from them.  That is your message to the world around you.

In keeping with today’s topic; I will share some of mine…

I am a very happily married woman of almost 20 years to my amazing hubby.  Do you think that it’s been bliss ever since the day we said, “I Do”???

FAR FROM IT!!!

…and to those of you who are, or have been married know that it would have been a complete lie for me to say otherwise.

We started out as your average “happy” young couple with dreams of a family life, successes, growing in our faith and many blessings.

While I can’t say we aren’t enjoying all of these today, it sure has not been “easy” in any respect.

Which reminds me of a joke my son told us this summer;

“Why did the washing machine stop working?…. Somebody threw the towel in…”

=D =D =D

We all have struggles and if we stick with what needs to be done consistently; we can work our ways through them and come out stronger than ever. This doesn’t mean it’s a great idea to complain to everyone around you or share all over social media about your issues…

Because there is such a thing as an “unfollow” button and that will get pressed if you make complaining a habit. Instead, act as though everything is going great and your reality will become so. You have more power over your progress and success than you know.

My point is that although life has had it’s share of ups and downs for us, we never gave up. We kept refocusing on helping each other and moving forward in the best way we could understand at the time. There is no fairy tale life. There is no perfection for anyone. I know we will continue to have our struggles but without them, we wouldn’t be as happy and as strong as we are today. My hubby is my best friend and I know he has my back just as much as I do, his.

But you have to get a little bit (sometimes, a LOT) uncomfortable before you feel proud of where you’ve come from…

Let’s focus in on the happy parts of today!

Have You Tried the Latest Diet Craze?

Through more than 20 years (the more I say that; the less impact it has on my ego of getting “old”) in the fitness industry; you can bet that I’ve heard some interesting and completely ridiculous ideas.  It still makes me cringe when someone tells me something that they “heard” that is so idiotic, I’m a bit shocked they believed it to a point.  But who am I to judge?  Let me tell you a bit of my first few thoughts and ideas to get in shape.

When I was a teenager, I had 3 growing younger brothers that could quite literally, eat us out of our home!  The foods that they devoured in tiny increments of time were something to be shared in the Guiness book of world records.  It was at this time that I blame my beginning stages of emotional eating (cuz we really have to pin it all on someone or something else, right?) occurred.  I would be so proud to try a new recipe and upon taking the completed creations out of the oven to cool on the sink; I’d happily go about cleaning up my mess, like the OCD cook that I am.  (sidenote:  In my former “life”; I wanted to be a pastry chef and caterer)

It couldn’t have been more than a few minutes that lapsed, yet, once I turned around to check on my foods…it was gone.

Gone!

Could you imagine how horrible that was?  (okay, but to me it was disastrous!)  No amount of yelling or tattling resulted in any resolutions of this matter so I took it into my own hands.  I decided I’d outwit them at their own game.

I would double the recipe and bake two of anything I wanted.  The upside to this was that I took the second item for myself.

Seriously, Kathy?  You, alone? 

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You betcha!  That only lead to me gaining some unwanted weight and having to deal with the emotions that took place then.  Well, it was a good thing I also had a younger sister.  Eight years younger, to be exact.  And wouldn’t you know it?  She was a petite and tiny young EIGHT YEAR OLD!!!!   I figured I’d be fine if I just followed her diet plans.

Again, really, Kathy???

Yes, I figured she ate every day and seemed happy enough and was thin as could be.  What could possibly be absurd about eating her sized portions?

I’m really a bit embarrassed by that memory but it just proves to me that I was not immune to ridiculous thought patterns of my own doing.  Just imagine, if my friends had told me some great “tips”…that would have been GOLD!!

In honor of today’s topic and the most absurd and annoying “beliefs” that are shared amongst anyone who will listen; I share with you some of mine.

1.  (and this is only #1 cuz I hate it the MOST!)

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1.  Lifting heavier weights than 3-5 lbs will make a woman look like a world-class bodybuilder.   seriously?  Omg!! And to think those “bodybuilder” types waste all of that valuable time and energy actually TRAINING and EATING and SUPPLEMENTING to look like they do.  hmmmmm

2.  You have to train your abs MORE to get a six-pack.  again, if you have never heard the saying “abs are made in the kitchen”…just stop reading now…

3.  Cutting calories is the best way to lose weight; so I will just eat one meal each day and get the best results!! anything below 1,250 cals a day is just asking for metabolism issues…

4.  Slow and long cardio is the best way to lose weight.  nope again!!  Cardio, strength training AND a good, clean diet are all key to your success!! Don’t believe anything that tells you the opposite.

5.  Don’t eat at least 3-4 hours before bed or you will not lose weight.  Myth!!! By eating throughout your day and fueling your body with the proper calories, nutrients and foods that you need, there is no magical time to eat.  There is, however, the guidelines on WHEN to eat certain foods.

6.  If you exercise every day, with the most intensity; you can eat whatever you want to refuel.  bogus!! Your diet is responsible for about 80% of your success.  I know, I hated the person who told me that the first time too but it’s true!!  Just try to prove me wrong!!

7.  Holding weights while doing cardio increases your calorie burn and gets you better results.  while the extra weight will make you work a little harder; the level of intensity will not outweigh the fact that you are putting undue stress on your shoulders and elbows.  You’d have more success by bumping up the intensity and/or resistance to the workout instead.

8.  Eat more protein and build more muscle.  To an extent, this is true.  We need adequate protein intake to help repair and grow our muscles but overdoing it only leads to fat storage from the calories that are not used.

9.  Squats will hurt your knees.  duh, if done improperly and with bad form, it will put undue stress and pressure on your knees and lead to problems.  The problem, however is not the SQUAT; but the SQUATTER.  Build your quads and hamstrings and learn how to do a proper squat and your knees will thank you forever!

10.  Don’t workout when your muscles are sore.  yes, adequate rest between strength training is necessary but in terms of soreness, sometimes a light workout can help to alleviate the residual soreness.

So, there you have just some of my faves but I can go on all day if you want! (I thought not!)  What are some of your most ridiculous myths; both ones that you’ve heard and believed?  Share below so I know I’m not alone on this subject…and please don’t believe everything you read on MSN or see in the gossip magazines…

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