Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Snack Time

Get your protein on! Especially before a workout to boost your metabolism and calorie burn. So before you spend 20-60 minutes busting your booty lifting weights or getting your cardio fix, high-protein snacks are recommended.

It’s not new news that a strength training session revs your body’s calorie burn for hours. You can use elastic bands, free weights, or your own body as resistance. Awesome! But why does my body burn more? Your body is working overtime to rebuild muscle broken down during your workout. So that means a little extra protein from high-protein snacks may encourage your body to work even harder. Protein may help you to have a more powerful workout which means you will burn extra calories. Consider a pre-workout, high protein snack,such as a slice of low-fat cheese, a hard-boiled egg, or a few ounces of Greek yogurt.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Spark, Inspire, Egg On. Whatever You Want To Call It.

If you had summarize your feelings about exercise in two words most people would answer “It stinks."  Just knowing that exercise is good for you doesn't seem to be enough to get most moving.
To stick with an exercise routine, you need a reason to carry on when that little voice inside says, "Sit on the couch. Have a doughnut."

Does this sounds familiar? Don't give up hope. I’ve got some ideas on how to love the art of working out.

Be Practical
If it’s your First-time going out for a run don’t set an unrealistic goal that is too ambitious. Like “I’m gonna wake up super early and run 2 miles, 3 miles the day after that, and then I’m going to run the New York City Motha-fuckin’ Marathon!” You don’t want to go for maximal goals and then get overwhelmed so you give up.

So here’s an idea: don’t start off trying to work out an hour every day. Instead, set more reasonable, achievable goals, like exercising 20 to 30 minutes two or three times a week.

Track Your Footprint
Want to see your improvements? Duh! Everyone does, so chart your progress! Don’t worry there is an app for that.  You can go high-tech or old-school and write in a  fitness journal. Seeing incremental improvements, whether it's improved time, increased reps, or greater frequency of workouts, can boost your exercise motivation

Finish What You Started.....
No one is perfect! I repeat NO ONE is perfect! If you miss a day because life happens (you get sick, a loved one dies, etc) you don’t just give up. You get back up on the horse and start again. This will make you better prepared mentally to deal with setbacks.

To keep injuries from sidelining you, do your best to prevent them by warming up, cooling down, stretching properly, and not doing too much too soon.

Don’t Scrutinize
I know there is a 13 year old inside of you that compares yourself to that Barbie looking girl at the gym who has such a tanned, toned bod and wears her sports bra as a top.

She is a freak and hardly anyone looks like that. I’m serious! I workout for a living and I don’t look like that. Nor do I want to. This is important: Don’t compare yourself Barbie Girl Do not let her 0% body fat deter you from your goal.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Eat Bounteous And Subtract Weight

Lettuce your BFF? Chicken on top of greens everyday? Let me guess you are trying to lose weight? Most people eat like this when "dieting" but you should ask yourself if you are really full. To really fill up without the calories you don't need to eat boring foods. Be clever instead. Use portion distortion that fills up your plate and your belly.

Make it spicy!
Most herbs and flavorful spices are calorie free and send a satisfying message to your brain. They tend to trigger the sensation of fullness faster than bland dishes do. Plus some spices stabilize your blood sugar. BONUS!

Bar Time.
The salad bar silly! Try new veggies ‪
and take the boredom out. Of course the salad bar is a bit pricier than cleaning and chopping your own, but when you factor in what won't go bad in the crisper bin, the cost evens out.

Air Head.
Air has no calories. That's why popcorn and egg whites are satisfying but don't have mega calories. Try eating puffed up foods.

Just Say NO to dry fruit.
You've heard that water adds weight. Right?In this case its a good thing. Water adds weight and volume to food, but zero calories. Think one small banana OR 2 cups of grapes, 2 1/2 cups of watermelon, or 2 1/2 cups of strawberries. That's a decent amount of food and it'll fill you up!

Maintaining a constant desirable weight can make you not only look younger but you will feel younger too!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Magical Powers Of Tea?

It's hard not to hear people talk about the great things about green tea. It has the potential to fight cancer and heart disease, lower cholesterol, burn fat, prevent diabetes and stroke, and staving off dementia. It has some pretty amazing qualities. I understand the hype.
Green tea has important antioxidants and compounds that help in maintaining good health. Grapes and berries, red wine, and dark chocolate also have potent antioxidants. How awesome is that? I love all of those things!

So the main question is how much of this stuff per day do I need to consume?
Well, drinking at least two cups of green tea daily inhibits cancer growth.
Studies have found the more green tea that you drink, the less the risk of developing stomach cancer, esophageal cancer, prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, and colorectal cancer.
Its not just Green tea, but white tea, black tea -- I like all of them.

Green Tea Is Good for Your Heart As Well?
Yep! The more tea consumed, the less severe the clogging of the heart's blood vessels, especially in women. Of course, lifestyle and overall diet are critical. You can't eat MacDonald's for every meal and sit on your bum being a couch potato everyday then drink tea expecting miracles.
(If tea isn't your thing antioxidant-rich blueberries and pomegranates do the same.)

Can I just take a pill instead of drinking tea?
The best way to get the most out of green tea -- even if your main goal is losing weight -- is to drink it.
It's not going to cure anything and it shouldn't be consumed as a drug, but it can complement the rest of the diet.

Drinking tea alone isn't enough. Listen to your mother and eat your fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, and nuts. Then go ahead, drink as much green tea as you want.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

What's Eating You?

Did you know that 75% of overeating is caused by emotions? When you eat large quantities of junk or comfort foods in response to your emotions is called Emotional Eating.
This kind of behavior can quickly become a habit and can not only prevent you from fitting into your clothing but can also teach you how to mask your feelings with food instead of effectively dealing with issues.
There are triggers for emotional eating. Here are some:
Depression, boredom, loneliness, chronic anger, anxiety, frustration, stress, problems with interpersonal relationships, and poor self-esteem.

There are three main categories when it comes to Eating Triggers. It's important to recognize them if you happen to be eating your feelings.

1.Social. Eating when around other people. For example, excessive eating can result from being encouraged by others to eat; eating to fit in; arguing; or feelings of inadequacy around other people.

2.Emotional. Eating in response to boredom, stress, fatigue, tension, depression, anger, anxiety, or loneliness as a way to "fill the void."

3.Situational. Eating because the opportunity is there. For example, at a restaurant, seeing an advertisement for a particular food, passing by a bakery. Eating may also be associated with certain activities such as watching TV, going to the movies or a sporting event, etc.

Keeping a food diary will help you determine what causes you to eat.
You should be able to see why you eat and when you do pretty quick.

How to Stop Emotional Eating
Identifying emotional eating triggers and bad eating habits is the first step; however, this alone is not sufficient to alter eating behavior. Usually, by the time you have identified a pattern, eating in response to emotions or certain situations has become a habit. Now you have to break that habit.

Is this you? I know I tend to turn to food when I'm sad but when I start to reach for food in response to an eating trigger, I try doing one of the following activities instead.

Read a good book or magazine or listen to music.
Workout. Go for a walk or jog or do some basic yoga in my living room.
Talk to a friend.
Start laundry or clean the bathroom. Even if everything is "clean" something can always use a dusting.
Write a email or go OLD SCHOOL and write a letter. The recipient will be amazed to get something other than a bill in their mailbox.

Sometimes distracting yourself does not work. You might need to do one of the following:
Relaxation exercises

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Summer Foods To Keep You Looking And Feeling Great!

Starving yourself to look good in your swimsuit is not an option! It's not healthy and is a crazy thing to do. What you should do is to choose healthy foods and take in fewer calories than you burn. Since it is summertime making healthier food choices is easy. Rarely do you want heavy, high-calorie dishes. Most people want light foods that keep you out of the HOT kitchen.
The easiest and best way to trim calories from your summer diet, is to load up on fruits and veggies. Produce is at its peak in summer. They are low in calories and loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.
Go wild with fresh berries, melons, greens, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, beets, pea pods, and  vegetables that grow in the garden this time of year. Only when it comes to fresh fruit and vegetables can you forget about portion control.
It is hard to do much damage to your waistline with these super-nutritious edibles.

Here are a few of my fav summer foods that help with weight loss.

1: Chilled Soups
They are low cal and refreshing! I love starting a meal with soup. You will be less likely to eat more than your body needs with a starter like this.  Chilled soups like gazpacho or cucumber-dill that contain lots of chunky vegetables are a great way to start a meal.

2: Watermelon
Need something to satisfy thirst and your sweet tooth? Dig into Watermelon. Half of the watermelon comes from water.

3: Grilled Veggies
Nothing says summer dinner or lunch to me like some Grilled Veggies. Keep grilled onions, bell peppers, zucchini, carrots, eggplant, asparagus, and garlic in your fridge. You can use them to make dishes like:

Grilled vegetable and goat cheese salads
Grilled vegetable pitas
Grilled vegetable, ricotta, and fresh herb pasta and frittatas

Make any one of these and you have a meal in minutes!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Class Act

How many times have you peeked into a fitness class that was in progress and you thought: “Hey, I want to try out that class. I’d be good at it too!” As a fitness instructor I say “Come on in. You are welcome.” Here are some things you should know to make sure your first class is a great one.

Check it out first: Especially if you are nervous, come and look at the class beforehand. See what’s going on in the room and know what you’re signing up for. Some of the studios have glass windows at the back, so you don’t even have to come in!
Dress the part: Turn up to the class wearing suitable, comfortable clothing. Get some decent sneakers and make sure your clothing is appropriate. Please don’t come into a cardio class wearing Tevas. You are setting yourself up for failure.
Bring a friend: Buddy up!I I recommend people wanting to get into new classes to take a friend or a family member. Everything is less scary with a friend.
Don’t try to blend in: It’s important to put your hand up and identify yourself as a new person, particularly in a very full class. Good instructors will always give slightly easier options during the class that you can take, if needed.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Burn Fat In Four

How annoying is it to see the results of your workouts fade away? After a few months on the same exercise routine your body doesn't respond the way it used to. Remember when you first started your routine you lost pounds and gained muscle tone? Then one day all results screeched to a stop.

This is common and happens to everyone. What you do next is important. Prevention is half the battle. So when your stop getting results it's time to mix things up.
This is a good time to do something new. Confuse your muscles! Keep 'em guessing by changing up your routine.

Here are some ways to take your workouts to the next level.

Idea #1: Use a Drop Set
Need to fight a exercise plateau? Drop Sets are the way to go. This technique is great for increasing muscle strength, endurance and for adding to the cardiovascular benefit of your workout - and guess what that means? More fat burn!

How to do a Drop Set: When you perform an exercise to exhaustion, don't stop there. Drop the weight by 80% and do another set.
*Important* Use this technique only once or twice per workout, on the final set of the exercise.

Idea#2: Focus on the Negative
Bet you thought you'd never hear me say that, huh!

Most people are guilty of this one. How many times have you seen someone lift weights fast and then drop them on the ground with a loud BANG? You don't want to completely miss the benefit of the negative in each repetition by allowing the weight to drop quickly with little control. To get the most out of your weight work GO SLOW. Make each rep count!

If you are advanced, then use a training partner to assist you in moving heavier-than-normal weight into a contracted position, then lower it very slowly.

Idea #3: Active Rest
Every minute of your workout counts. Most of us don't have hours each day to devote to working out so be sure to make your workout time is short and sweet. Don't waste precious minutes with long rest periods. You won't increase your fat burning potential if you spend too much time resting between sets.

I know that sometimes you need to catch your breath, most of the time you would benefit more from an active rest. Do one of the following activities for 30 seconds between exercises and turn on your fat burning engines.

High Knees with Alternating Punches: Alternately bring each knee high to your chest in a quick jumping movement while alternating forward punches at shoulder level.

Burpees: Start in a sanding position and bend at the waist. Once your hands hit the floor, push your entire body back, extending your legs until they're straight and you're in the push-up position. Go down for a push-up, and when you push yourself up, jump slightly to bring your feet back near your hands. Finally, jump in the air with your arms fully extended over your head.

Mountain Climbers: Place your hands wider than shoulder-width apart on the ground in a push-up position. Bring one knee to your chest and then back to the starting position, alternate each leg quickly.

Side-to-Side Ab Twists: With feet close together, jump and twist your legs left to right - holding your abs tight. Keep a bend in your knees and swing your upper arms with each twist.

Medicine Ball Squat Jumps: With feet wider than shoulder-width apart hold a medicine ball at chest level. Squat down until your knees are at a 90 degree angle. Explosively jump up, raising the medicine ball straight over your head.

Idea #4: Change Up The Exercise  
I know you most people do the same exercises every time they are at the gym .The squat. The lunge. The chest press. The shoulder press. The bicep curl. While you shouldn't chuck these exercises out the window, find creative ways to challenge your muscles. Try doing this:

. Squat on a Bosu ball or balance board.

. Place a weighted bar across your shoulders and do walking lunges.

. Use an exercise ball for chest presses instead of the bench.

. Do a full squat between each repetition of shoulder presses.

. Do a shoulder press between each repetition of bicep curls.

Change is hard and melting away unwanted fat is even harder. If you have any exercises you do to break through your plateau call, tweet or email today - I look forward to hearing from you.