Tuesday, December 21, 2010
The most effective ab exercises start with the bicycle, which is the best move for targeting the rectus abdominis (i.e., the 'six pack') and the obliques (the waist), according to an American Council on Exercise study.
1.Lie on the floor and lace your fingers behind your head.
2.Bring the knees in towards the chest and lift the shoulder blades off the floor without pulling on the neck.
3.Straighten the left leg out while simultaneously turning the upper body to the right, taking the left elbow towards the right knee.
4.Switch sides, bringing the right elbow towards the left knee.
5.Continue alternating sides in a 'pedaling' motion for 1-3 sets of 12-16 reps.
The captain's chair leg raise is the second most effective move for the rectus abdominis as well as the obliques. You can do a variety of exercises on the captain's chair, which is a rack with padded arms that allows your legs to hang free and can be found in most health clubs and gyms. The key to keeping this move safe and effective is, first, to avoid swinging the legs or using momentum to bring the legs up. Second, keeping the knees bent will help you focus more on the abdominals and less on the hip flexors.
1.Stand on the chair and grip handholds to stabilize your upper body.
2.Press your back against the pad and contract the abs to raise the legs and lift knees towards your chest.
3.Don't arch the back or swing the legs up.
4.Slowly lower back down and repeat for 1-3 sets of 12-16 reps.
If you don't have access to a captain's chair rack, you can try a ball roll out as a substitute. Ab rolls are a challenging exercise that targets all the muscles of the core. This advanced move requires attention to detail to avoid straining the back. Make sure you only roll out as far as you comfortably can. If you feel any strain in the back, back off the exercise or avoid it completely.
1.Kneel in front of the ball and place the hands on the ball, parallel to one another and with the elbows bent.
2.Contract the abs and pull the belly towards the spine.
3.Slowly roll forward and out as far as you comfortably can, until the feel the abs engage. Don't go so far that you hurt your back or collapse.
4.This move does not involve bending the hips, so keep them straight throughout the exercise.
5.Keeping the body straight, slowly pull your body back using your arms and abdominals.
6.Continue for 1-3 sets of 8-12 reps, avoiding this move if you have any back problems.
7.You can change the difficult of the move by placing your hands closer in or further out.
The exercise ball is an excellent tool to strengthen the abs and is the third most effective move for targeting the rectus abdominis. What makes this move a bit more effective than crunches on the floor is that the legs are often involved in floor crunches. On the ball, the abs do more work.
1.Lie on the ball, positioning it under the lower back.
2.Cross your arms over the chest or place them behind your head.
3.Contract your abs to lift your torso off the ball, pulling the bottom of your ribcage down toward your hips.
4.As you curl up, keep the ball stable (i.e., the ball shouldn't roll).
5.Lower back down, getting a stretch in the abs, and repeat for 1-3 sets of 12-16 reps.
And this is only the beginning!
Thursday, December 16, 2010
We must do focused core work, not a million crunches. The abs are the showcase muscles of your body. Because they reside in the center of your body, the abs are the first place that draws attention when you wear a bikini, midriff shirt, crop tanks, fitted tees and similar garments that are designed to flaunt this sensual area. For many women, however, a flat, toned stomach is elusive due to genetic factors.
What? Did I just say that? Genetics are in play when it comes to our abs?
Afraid so. Despite that, targeted bodysculpting can help you develop a great set of abs. Once you strip away abdominal fat (with eating properly and cardio) it is rather easy to bring out the detail in this region. With a dedicated routine, your midsection will readily take shape, achieving a toned, washboard appearance.
The abdominals are one long sheath of muscle that runs from just below your breastbone (sternum) all the way down to your pelvis. Thus, you CANNOT separate the upper and lower abs or train one part without effecting the entire muscle. You can, however, apply more stress to the upper or lower abs by lifting from either the chest or the pelvis, respectively. Moreover, the sides of the midsection (obliques) are involved in various bending and twisting movements. Consequently, abdominal exercises are classified by weather they emphasize the upper or lower abdominal regions or the obliques.
Group 1 - crunches and similar variations. These movements put maximal stress on the upper portion of the abs. When executing crunches, you must concentrate on pulling your chest down toward your hips. Your lower back should never move. If it does, you activate your hip flexor muscles at the expense of your abdominals.
Group 2 - leg raises, reverse crunches and similar variations. These movements focus more on the lower portion of the abs. Lower abdominals are one of the most troublesome muscle groups for women to develop. Because of their anatomical position, they have limited range of motion, making if difficult to achieve muscular contraction. To work lower abs most effectively, it is imperative that you concentrate on raising your pelvis toward your chest, not simply raising and lowering your legs. This minimizes hip flexor involvement and therefore maximizes stress to the lower ab region.
Group 3 - side bends, trunk twists, and similar variations. These movements target the internal and external obliques, the muscles that run along either side of your waist. When properly developed, the obliques provide the finishing touches to your midsection, giving your body a polished look.
Whew! I know this is a lot of information, but stay with me for part 3 as we get ready to learn what exercises work the best for the core.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
- Better core control
EATING: Eating six smalls meal a day stabilizes blood sugar, prevent mood swings and energy lulls throughout the day and provide increased energy to really burn fat.
- Under eating and under sleeping can cause over training
- Schedule meals in advance.
- Become sensitive to your body needs.
- Don't skip meals!
- Eat two servings of carbohydrates and one serving of protein at each meal.
- Eating and training speeds your metabolism.
- Consume more of your calories early in the day.
- Eat slowly to avoid overeating.
Monday, November 15, 2010
A: Please give me a dollar for every time someone asks me this question! I’d be very wealthy. Why is it that most women are obsessed with getting the tummy flat as possible? Second would be toned arms and slim legs, but abs rank number one for nearly every female I run across. Either they are already thin and have a problem middle section, or they have a few pounds to lose, but mostly care about the waist line.
I blogged about this before here. Flat abs is so much more than doing 100 crunches a day. Those are nice, and go ahead and do them if you like. Doesn’t mean you will have that six-pack abs. To get the abs flat, it’ll take overall weight loss. No spot training, that’s just not going to work. Adding in abs training with total body strength training and cardio exercise, and now we’re getting somewhere.
But that’s not all! Didn’t think it was that easy, did ya? Flat abs won’t show under a layer of flab if you are not eating properly. And this involves eating no processed foods, following a clean diet and limiting foods that bloat or cause water retention. Eating 5-6 meals a day, spaced out every 2-3 hours, versus the standard three helps a lot. And you have to stick with the eating and fitness plan if you are really dedicated to getting the stomach tighter.
One more thing, genetics plays a role in how flat your tummy will be and if you can actually achieve a six-pack look. I know you didn’t want to hear that, but it’s true. A flat tummy is yours for the taking, just stay dedicated to get there.
I’ll have a part two to this question later this week with tips on how to achieve a flat tummy.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
1 teaspoon yeast
1 1/4 cup hot water
2 teaspoons salt
3 cups unbleached white flour
Dissolve the yeast and salt in the hot water. Add flour to the mixture and knead until the dough is no longer sticky (add a little more flour if it is). Divide the dough into 6 balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes.Spread dough out to form six 1/4 inch thick loaves. (If it tries to slide back and won't stay flat, let it rest a minute before stretching it again.) Bake at 450 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. (It should be lightly browned). Remove from the oven and enjoy! This recipe also works well with wheat flour, although it will not form as many little pockets. It tastes great alone, with homemade hummus, or topped with sauteed garlic, onions, and peppers, or for traditional mini pizzas. It's very versatile and great to have on hand. My kids love it!
Serves: 6 loaves
Preparation time: 50 minutes
Monday, November 1, 2010
A; No, that is mostly water weight, especially if what you pigged out on was high in sodium. The best way to flush it out is to up your water intake for the next couple of days. It wouldn’t hurt to up your cardio minutes as well. If all the five pounds have not disappeared in a week, just keep at it…no more cheating!!
Q: I like to walk outside, but now it’s getting cold, what else can I do?
A: You can still walk, indoors. Find a place that you can walk, inside track, school’s gym, the mall, or even walk your favorite big box store. You want to walk continuously so no stop and go walking. Also, walking in place at home may work. Put on some of your favorite music and just go for it. You can add moves like side to side, walking backwards, and even add some strength training moves. Try Leslie Sansone’s Walk Away the Pounds series and see how it’s done.
Q: Time. I don’t have time to work out!
A: Hey, I totally understand, but let’s not freak out. In a 24-hour day, break down where your time is most spent. Can you squeeze in little 15-minute sessions? How about moving things around to fit in a 30-minute workout. Wake up early or stay up later for an extra 30 minutes. While watching TV, fit in a workout. Keep tennis shoes in the car and directly after work, go walking for 20 minutes. If you want to get in shape bad enough, you will find the time.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Jamie Eason's Turkey Meatloaf Muffins
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
2 tsp. dry yellow mustard
2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. McCormick’s Chipotle Pepper Spice (spicy, but key to the recipe)
1 tsp. salt
1 cup quick cooking oats
2 cloves garlic, minced (or 2 tbsp of garlic powder)
1 small onion, finely chopped (I get the pre chopped version or even the frozen - thawed)
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 egg whites
1 1/2 - 2 lbs. ground turkey (or ground chicken)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, add cumin, thyme, yellow mustard, black pepper, McCormick’s Chipotle Pepper Spice, salt, oats, garlic, onions and celery. Mix until well combined. Next add the ground chicken and egg whites and mix with your hands until evenly distributed. Make racquetball size portions and place in muffin tins, sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake for 40 minutes. Yields about18 muffins
2 g fat
4 g carbs
11 g protein
Servings are usually 2 for women and 4 for men.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
These are compiled from some of my favoriter fitness gurus on twitter.
- Consistency is key. Don't skip workouts by assuming, “one day won't hurt”
- Cut down on your portion sizes gradually - it is not a punishment, just a slight change will make a big difference over time
- Food is fuel not the "enemy". Eat every 2-3 hours.
- Muscle burns Fat. You burn more calories and fat if you do cardio and weight training in your weekly program!
- People who exercise regularly lose more weight and keep it off longer than non-exercisers!
- Get your body moving and take care of YOUR HEALTH before you take care of everyone else!
- Don't say, "I can't eat that because I'm on a diet". Say "I choose not to eat that because I know it's bad for me
- If you eat poor quality food you will have a poor quality body!
- The cells that make up your skin, hair, internal organs, hormones, brain & connective tissues come from the food you eat!
- Fill your body with Quality Nutrients and your body will run like an Elite Super Machine!
- You will burn more calories throughout the day if you eat small meals every 2 to 3 hours. Feed the furnace.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Q: What kinds of food should I eat to lose weight?
A: What a loaded question. I can’t tell you specifically every little bite you should eat, but there are a couple of keys things you should know about nutrition as far as weight loss goes.
- It’s really all about portion control. You can eat anything (within reason) as long as you are eating the proper portions. There’s the whole thing that brown rice is better for you than white rice, and yes it’s true. But if you must, a ½ cup of white rice every now and then cannot do any harm. It is when you pile 3-4 servings on a plate and eat it nearly every day where problems occurs.
- Moderation, which is nearly the same as number one. But with moderation, portion control is not the only thing you are watching, it’s how often are you eating something. If pizza is your absolute must have, have 1-2 small slices of cheese pizza every other week, or even less often. You don’t have to give pizza up FOREVER, just learn some moderation.
- Fill up on the fruits and veggies. Fruits are a great alternative to sugary desserts and candy. Have an apple or banana whenever you have the munchies. It’s so satisfying! Try and eat 1-2 servings of veggies with every meal. Per serving (most ½ cup) the calories are pretty low which means you can have more. The key is to fill half your plate with veggies, ¼ with a protein, and ¼ with a carb.
- Watch out for low-fat, fat-free products, sugar-free, low-calorie, because they simply add more sugar, salt or other artificial flavoring to modify it. Stick to food in its natural state.
- Shop from the outer ring at the grocery. The food is less processed, more in its natural state like veggies and fresh meat. If it comes in a box, bag, frozen, canned or otherwise packaged it’s been processed.
- Read the labels! Most people don’t realize what exactly a portion of pasta, rice or meat is. Labels also include calories, fat, carb, fiber and sodium content, all things to watch when starting a healthy lifestyle. But really, if the food has a label, you’ve strayed out of the outer ring! But that’s okay, just remember portion and moderation.
- Pack all your meals. This is key when you spend most of your day away from home. This way there will be no temptations to stop for fast food, or hitting the vending machine for a snack. Packs meals, snacks and extra water if needed.
- Plan all your meals in advance. Shop for the week on one day and pre-cook everything over 1-2 days and put them into serving size containers. This way there is no fretting over what to eat; everything has been taken care of in advance. Always keep some handy standbys on hand like pre-cut veggies, protein bars, and fixins for sandwiches.
I'm sure there are more things I could say here. Nutrition being 80% of the weight loss equation, this is nothing to take lightly. I recommend the Eat Clean book by Tosca Reno because she explains very clearly how to eat the best foods to maximize weight loss.
Friday, October 22, 2010
One can never have too many list of tips! I found this list in my continuing education course Athletic Abs.
- Undereating and undersleeping can cause overtraining.
- Schedule meals in advance
- Become sensitive to your energy needs.
- Don’t skip meals.
- Eat two servings of carbs and one serving of protein at each meal*
- Eating and training speeds your metabolism.
- Consumer most of your calories early in the day.
- Eat slowly to avoid over eating.
*.77 grams of protein per pound of body weight separated into several meals throughout the day for anybody who does cardio and weight training.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
2. Drink 8-10 glasses of water each day.
3. Veggies should always be the most abundant food on your dinner plate!
4. Use smaller plates at dinner time. Simple, but it works!
5. Measure & weigh everything & adhere to serving sizes for portion control.
6. Use spray butter instead of margarine.
7. Forgo the coffee creamer & drink the coffee black.
8. No sodas of any kind, including diet.
9. Exercise at least 30-60 minutes daily-7 days a week
10. Use a pedometer & walk a minimum of 10,000 steps daily!
11. Eat some type of fish twice a week & limit beef to 1-2 times a month.
12. Veggies, veggies, & more veggies! Raw, steamed, grilled, & sautéed!
13. Pack your lunch w/portable foods when you're out & about even on weekends!
14. Plan ahead when eating out...& take home 1/2 of your entrée.
15. Find a fitness buddy!
16. Keep bowls of fruits & vegetables on the counter & in frig. for easy access
17. Switch to turkey products for your burgers & sausages!
18. Use dabs of olive oil to sauté with & drizzle on veggies for grilling.
19. Focus on getting as many super foods into your diet as possible!
20. Use an all veggie soup to ward off hunger (no meat, legumes, or grains).
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
1 cup water
2 T soy sauce
1 cup quick cook oats
1 t honey
1 t onion powder
1/2 t sage
1 T nutritional yeast
1/2 t garlic powder
1/8 t Italian seasoning
Combine water and seasoning in a two quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Add oats and cook for 5-10 minutes. Cool slightly and form into sausage patties. bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes on each side on an oiled cookie sheet.
Makes 10 patties.
I have tried it with egg white and toasted bread as a sandwich, or with protein waffles drizzled with syrup. This could be tweaked according to your taste buds. I have yet to vary it up.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
I started in January 2008, but either I didn’t chart it or threw it away, but the first chart I found starts 9/27/08. I started at 161 in January and by September I was at 130. Here’s a weekly look at my numbers
So as you can see, lots of fluctuation. Lots of up and down. But look at the start and look at the end. From 130 to 117, but look how long it took to lose 12.4 pounds!! Imagine what the whole 43 looked like. I bolded the first weigh-in of the month just so you can see total monthly weight loss. Very small amounts.
But that’s just me and how I lose. But I got it DONE!! 10 pound losses a month are great, aim for that…but be realistic about it too. Don’t ever give up, because there is no finish line!
Monday, October 18, 2010
Q: About how much weight should I aim to lose a week?
A: I'm going to stick with the standard 1-2 pounds a week. Anything extra is great! Expect to lose more the first few weeks, then it will slow down to the 1-2 pounds a week, if that. Don't get frustrated, losing weight as part of a permanent lifestyle change will take some time. It's a slow process. I call it a roller coaster ride because you will have ups and downs, twists and turns, and may even fall off (but stay buckled in).
Q: How do I get past my plateau?
A: Many different ways, try them all till you push past it. Have you been logging everything you eat correctly? If not, begin to monitor it more closely. If you are not eating enough, add 200-300 calories. If too much, deduct calories. How much are you working out? Can you add 15 minutes a day or up the intensity? Try a totally new workout routine. Eat less processed foods, more clean foods. Up your water intake. The basic idea is to shake things up. It's better to shake things up BEFORE a plateau, so keep changing up and tweaking your routine.
Q: How "insane" is the Insanity workout?
A: Very, very intense. If you are relatively new to working out or not in great shape, you may want to sit this one out. It's very explosive, high intense mostly plyometric moves. If you have bad knees, consult your doctor about this workout. In fact, consult your doctor if you have any physical conditions before starting a workout program.
Q: I need to lose ten pounds in a month, can I?
A: No. That's my short answer. I actually get this question a lot. Losing 10 pounds in a month is definitely possible but it all depends. How much a person currently weighs, are they just starting out, how serious are they to losing the weight or is this just a short-term loss for a special occasion. I get the latter as the answer, someone wants to lose quickly for some event. Give yourself time to lose the weight the correct way and it won't come back again. To lose ten pounds a month, the average person has to cut calories to the lowest possible (1200 for women, 1500 for men) and exercise roughly 2 hours every day for a month. And even then, there's no guarantee you can lose 10 pounds in a month. I know there are special products, special workouts, articles in magazines that say you can, and you can....it's just not that a guarantee.
I lost a total of 43 pounds and it took 14 months! See Weight Loss Journey in Numbers blog. The most I lost in one month was maybe 7 pounds. And there were months I lost only one pound. Doesn't mean I didn't work just as hard that month. I was in it for the long haul, not just pushing at it for one month. Look at the big picture and make small goals. You will get there when you get there.
Keep the questions coming!
Thursday, October 14, 2010
These are incredibly easy and super yummy!
Balls of Energy
28 (2 ¾ cups) pitted dates
½ cup water
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
1 cup whey protein powder
¼ cup unsweetened, non-dutched cocoa
¼ cup ground flaxseeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ cup ground walnuts or almonds
In a food processor, blend dates and water. Add nut butter and blend until smooth. Add protein powder in ½ cup increments and process. Add cocoa, flaxseeds and cinnamon and process until well blended.
With clean hands, gather some dough (about the size of a golf ball) and roll it between the palms of your hands. (Note: refrigerating the dough overnight makes it easier to work with the next day.) Roll each ball into ground walnuts. Set each ball on a baking sheet. Place in the freezer for 2 to 4 hours. Serve or freeze for later.
Makes 12 balls. Serving size 4 balls. Well, I eat two with a piece of fruit as a snack. I keep them stored in the freezer at work.
Fat: 7 g
Sodium: 99 mg
Carbs: 31 g
Fiber: 4 g
Protein: 15 g
Monday, October 11, 2010
Q. Can I drink too much water?
A. I’m going to say no, although it is possible, it takes drinking a very LARGE amount at nearly one time. Like downing a gallon in five minutes or something, not like downing a gallon over the course of a day. A base minimum should be eight 8-ounce servings of water, and you will get more by eating lots of veggies and fruits. The more active you are, the more water you need. Lots of fitness professionals drink a gallon or more of water a day. DO whatever works for you.
Q. Should I work out everyday?
A. I would love to tell you, no, that’s not necessary, but it all depends on what you want. If you are just maintaining your current level of fitness, 3-5 days may be all you need. If you are going for weight loss or to increase your fitness level, 7 days a week, with one of those days being a simple active rest day. And this is at least 30 minute workout sessions.
Q. Should I eat 30 minutes before waking up?
A. It is advised that you eat first thing in the morning and not wait two hours later. Personally, I eat maybe an hour after I wake due to having too much to do and not wanting to eat in the car on my drive to work. So I say, eat within the first hour of waking.
Q. Should I workout in the morning, afternoon or evening?
A. I get this question enough! It was something I struggled with when I first started my weight loss journey. Everything I read stated to work out in the morning. But I missed a lot of workouts from oversleeping, or half-heartedly did a work out half asleep. No burn at all! When I work out in the evenings, I am energized and work out to my max. So my ANSWER is to work out when it is convenient for you AND when you can give it 100%.
And this one is not a question, but didn't know how to reword it. In the past I got on a co-workers case about eating fast food EVERY DAY!! It got to the point she was sneaking it past me. I really didn't care much, her body, she's grown, she's not paying me to be her trainer so my advice is unsolicited. I do not like being the food police...honest, I don't. Well anyway, she stopped me last week to say she stopped eating fast food and immediately noticed a difference. Hmmm, you don't say?
If you have anymore questions for the trainer just send them my way!
Monday, October 4, 2010
Let’s start with yearly goals, are as most of us would like to call it New Year’s resolutions. I think there is nothing wrong with making resolutions. It’s just your goals for the year. Most people want a significant amount of weight loss each year, financial status to be more stable, add in traveling that year, finish that project that has taken the back burner for years or something. A yearly goal/resolution will mean that you will achieve this SOMETIME in the year.
Monthly goals are where you can break it down even further. Want to lose 30 pounds? Break it down to 5 pounds a month here. You can also include how you will achieve this. No fast food for the month, pack your lunches every day, exercise, etc.
Weekly goal get even more detailed. For example, to lose 5 pounds a month, that’s about 1 pound a week, so set that as a weekly goal. Increasing your water intake to 8 glasses a day can be a weekly goal. Working out 45 minute every day is another weekly goal.
Daily goals, or what I like to call my “To-Do List” includes everything, even my non-lifestyle goals. I’ll put if I need to write a blog on my list (I have 4 different blogs), or that I need to write in my novel or screenplay, or that I need to go grocery shopping. I also put my exercise down, and if I know what I am doing I put what I will be doing.
Writing these goals down helps you to visualize it better, this leads you to actually achieving them. Go ahead, try it!
My Goals for October:
1. No late night snacking.
2. Total of at least 60 minute workout 6 days a week.
3. 14+ cups water a day.
4. Write something every day
5. Finish at least one ACE CEC this month.
Monday, September 27, 2010
1.Soda.....Yes even diet!
2. Fast Food (except Subway and Bread Co.)
3. Anything Fried (unless it is flash fried in a pan with 1-2 TBS of EVOO)
4. Nothing with High Fructose Corn Syrup
5. Try to stay away from "WHITES" (white flour, sugar, salt, white rice)
6. Don't eat past 7:30 pm
7. Double servings of food that sneak up on you (read the label and measure).
1. Water or Green Tea (If you drink a lot of soda then cut back to 1/2 of what you drink now.)
2. Pack your Lunch
3. Baked, Broiled, Grilled, Poached, or Steamed
4. All natural products and sugars
5. Stick with 100% whole grains (not whole wheat or whites)
6. If you are hungry drink a lot of water.
7. Plan meals in advance
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Water is my friend! Water is my enemy! I just call it my frenemy!
I love water, I do! On average, I drink about 10-12 cups a day. Lately, I've been aiming for 16 with success. Some days it is a chore, most days very easy. Everyone has heard about the 8 glasses of water a day. So why do I drink so much?
One, because I am super active, thus require more than the norm. Two, I tend to lean on the high side of sodium intake, and need the extra water to reduce sodium retention. Three, I just love water!
I always tell others this: If you don’t change anything else about your lifestyle, but add 8+ cups of water a day, you will lose weight!!
Well, initially that is. Initial weight loss is largely due to loss of water, and you need to drink an adequate amount of water in order to avoid dehydration. So, you’re upping you water intake, from say, 2 cups to 8. The body no longer needs to hold on to that water like it is dying in a desert. The body will release any extra water it was holding (retention) and that will equal a significant weight loss on the scale. (Part of the reason those numbers are insanely high in Biggest Loser).
I also tell those questioning the benefits of water this: it helps you to feel fuller, quicker!
But listen, we can’t live off water alone, so you still need to eat! Drinking water with a meal will help you feel full sooner and therefore you will be satisfied eating less. However, drinking water alone may not have this effect. In order to feel satiated (not hungry) our body needs bulk, calories and nutrients.
Still not sold on the idea of drinking all that water? Some worry about drinking too much water, but that will likely never happen. Your body will tell you when it has had enough. Water will not cause you a bloated look. There are a number of causes of water retention, including consuming to much salt, but drinking water is none of them.
When you drink enough water, your urine will usually be pale yellow, though vitamin supplements and antibiotics can discolor it. On the other hand, you shouldn’t need to run to the bathroom too frequently. When in doubt, drink a little more.
Here are a few of my quick tips:
*If you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated, so please drink enough throughout the day to avoid that feeling.
*Drinking other liquids provides your body with a source of water, but note diuretics cause your body to expel water. Diuretics include caffeinated drinks (tea, coffee and soda) and alcohol. When drinking diuretics, drink more water to compensate
*Some prefer ice cold water, other room temperature. Drink it however you prefer to ensure you get in your allotment every day.
*Use at least a two-cup bottle or cup. This lessens the amounts of time you have to fill it up. I prefer a 3 or 4 cup bottle just because I only have to refill 3-4 times a day.
*Keep your water bottle/container with you at all times. It’s always at my desk, in my car, several have collected around my bed.
*Drinking water helps to keep your skin clear and young looking. It’s the best facial you can buy.
*For variety, I add lemon to some of my water. Or Crystal Light (or any other form of drink mixes) to no more than half my daily water. It still counts, just don’t do this with ALL your water.
*Start off small. If you never even gulped down 1 glass a day, going from 0 to 8 could be bad business for you body. Start with drinking one cup at every meal, and sipping water throughout the day. This way, you can easily manage 3-4 cups. Then add 2 cups to that intake until you have worked your way up to 8 a day.
*If you’re very active, live in a very warm area, sweat a lot, or if you are overweight or obese, you will need more than 8 cups. But 8 is a good starting point.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
For the most part, I exercise daily. But then there are those days I come up with crazy excuses.
“Well, I ate good today, so I can skip my workout.”
“Well, I ate so bad today, why even bother.”
RIGHT!! I’ll admit it if you will!
When I belonged to a gym, I was obsessed with getting there EVERY DAY!! If I missed a day, I did not work out at all. So you know when that weather got bad, many workouts were missed. What a waste when I have oodles of workouts at home.
Actually, I really prefer workouts at home and have given up on joining gyms (well, not given up, but it’s not feasible now.) But I can get any great workout at home! Through DVD workouts, designing my own, dancing for 30 minutes, going walking in the park, and if I ever put it together, riding my stationary bike.
I get many people asking me which is better, the gym or at home. Only you can answer that. I like both and can get great workouts at either, but I PREFER home. Some people don’t feel motivated enough at home, they need the accountability of showing up at a class, or they need to make the rounds at the weight station. Do whatever works for you.
If you are a do-it-at-home type of person, make sure you have a variety of workouts that include strength training. Make sure you have several sizes of weight and increase the weights as you progress. Resistance tubing, weighted bars, gloves, barbells, and a bench are also nice to have for strength training. Other equipment to use at home is: stability ball, jump rope, step, resistance tube door straps, medicine ball and a mat.
All you need are a few DVDs in your collection to have a nice rotation. My faves are: Hip Hop Abs, Turbo Jam, Tae Bo, The Firm and P90X. But there are so many workouts out there, find something you enjoy and just do it!
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Hey, we all can't be a size negative, or zero, or whatever the heck the average top model is. But guess what, she could still be a model at a healthy size 4 or 6 if that is what her body naturally gravitates to. I think she said "I was a lot heavier before." And then she says she weighed 135, now she's 110. SHE IS 5'10"! What kind of nonsense are we feeding women?
And I don't think they noticed her weight much before. The way the show is set up, they are cast and then go home for awhile before the show starts. I think in that time, she starved herself to get thinner. Hmmmm. Maybe she thought that's what the industry wants. I hope she had a wake-up call.
But in her exit interview she replied that unless 3-4 other modeling agencies said she was too thin, she wouldn't change her look. Wow! Tyra needs to offer her counseling.
Again, WE are so obsessed with being thinner. I know I WAS. A size four wasn't small enough, I still wanted to lose. That is not me anymore. Long as I eat healthy and exercise, I will just appreciate the body that I have. Let's wake up people!
Monday, September 13, 2010
The bad term there is "diet." Most fitness professionals don't use the term, and I am one of those. Call it anything else but a "diet." I prefer "lifestyle change." The change part means, you are making some adjustments to your current lifestyle. You are watching your food intake, cutting calories, adding exercise, or whatever it is you need to do to lose the weight. The lifestyle part is simply what it says, this is not a fad or one time thing, this is something you will be doing FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE!!
Most people don't get this. They want the quick fix. They want that special occasion, "How can I lose 10 pounds for my (insert--reunion, birthday, anniversary, holiday, special occasion)."
Okay, fine, I can HELP you, but then what? Will you stop having a healthy lifestyle and continue eating what you ate before, and thus gaining it all back and then some? This is the "yo-yo dieter." They are doing temporary "diets" that really don't work. Anyone can lose 10 pounds quickly by doing one of those fad diets (if they stick to it by the letter), but after that period of time is over, have they learned how to stay healthy and at their ideal weight?
You want the weight off once and for good? Make it a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE. Don't cut out carbs in your lifestyle change if you know you can't permanently give it up. Cut back on it, eat whole wheat, watch your portion sizes. But whatever you do, don't cut out something that you know will be hard to give up. Moderation is the key.
Same with sugar, chocolate, salt, fast food, French fries (my weakness) and other foods that you crave. For me, I have French fries on special occasions, which is not that often, maybe once every two months or so (if that). Instead, I make a healthy baked fry, sometimes with sweet potatoes, and I don't miss the fried kind at all. Still have to watch my intake of those, but at least I don't feel too guilty about it.
Whatever your weakness is, find a healthier version, and keep it down to a low moderation. A health lifestyle does not mean you can't enjoy pizza once in awhile. It does not mean you can't go out and be social with your friends and have a drink. It does not mean celery sticks and bland foods either. Everyone's healthy lifestyle will be different from another, so don't try and copy what others do.
Do YOU, and I'll do ME!!
Thursday, September 2, 2010
KStyle: Cool. Why?
Size Zero: I need to lose 10 pounds before my wedding.
Size Zero: So I can fit into my wedding dress, or any dress for that matter.
(Me thinking where the heck will that 10 pounds come from.)
KStyle: Let me ask you, what size do you wear?
Size Zero: Anywhere from a zero to a four.
And you thought only the "thick," "plus-sized," and the "overweight" had problems?
I had so many problems with this conversation. First, I never believe that changing to vegetarian, or even pescetarian (fish only) would prompt a drastic weight loss. It doesn't!
Two, if you see this size zero woman, trust me, there is not 10 pounds she can spare to lose. The only suggestion, and I have made this to her, is she needs to tone up. She's the "skinny fat" you hear about. Skinny every where, but flabby. Whenever she wears jeans, there's a pronounced overhang in the abdomen region, better known as muffin-top.
But she's a die-hard cardio queen, like I am...or was. I have preached to her about the importance of strength training, that's all she needs. Killing the treadmill for hours a day WILL NOT get rid of that muffin top.
I typically don't ask women what size they wear. It doesn't really matter to me. I have a good gauge at guessing a person's size, and I'm pretty good at it. And there is NOTHING wrong with being a size zero. She doesn't look overtly skinny to me, she looks fine. But I'm afraid the 10 pound loss would put her on the "looks sick" side of thin, especially if she does not ST to tone up. I'm anywhere from a size four to an eight, but I don't look it. Because STRENGTH TRAINING tones you down and make you appear leaner.
But what do I know. It's her body to lose the 10 pounds for. When she wants my real input about it, I'll gladly give it to her and set up a training plan for her.
Sometimes, it's hard to be a personal trainer, when everyone asks but does not follow your advice!
Monday, August 23, 2010
Combine your favorite juice (half of your usual amount) with plain or sparkling water. You can cut up to 85 calories per glass--and lose 5 pounds or more a year
2. Walk while you talk
Burn calories while you talk on the phone: Do the laundry (68 calories), set the table (85 calories), or water plants (102 calories). Values based on a 150-pound person and 30 minutes of activity.
At a quick glance, that candy bar appears to contain 220 calories. But a closer look may reveal that it (or a bottle of juice, bag of crackers, or bag of nuts) provides two or more servings--which more than doubles those calories.
The caffeine frees fatty acids so that you burn fat more easily. And the polyphenols (antioxidant compounds) in green tea appear to work with caffeine to increase calorie burn. (If you have high blood pressure, skip this tip.)
Dining out more than five times a week may make you eat more--nearly 300 calories a day--than if you dine out less frequently.
Use olive oil in place of butter. It's healthier and may also help you eat less. In a recent study, dippers ate a total of 52 fewer calories on average than those who used butter.
High-fiber, ground flaxseed can help curb your appetite and eliminate calories. Add it to yogurt or muffin and bread mixes. Available in most health food stores.
8. Supersize your H2O
Buy the big bottle when it comes to good-for-you stuff such as water: You'll drink more.
Chop carrots, celery, sweet potatoes, zucchini, or other veggies instead of shredding or slicing. It takes more effort to munch bigger pieces; you'll do more chewing and eat less during the main course.
Fill loneliness with talk and companionship--not cookies. This keeps your mind focused, not distracted with snacking.
Writing down what you eat can help you cut calories and stay in control because you're more accountable. No need to record it perfectly or review what you wrote: The benefit is in the writing itself.
If you already jog, speed up to a sprint. These brief intervals allow you to cover more distance, burn fat and calories--without lengthening your workout. The increased impact will also help make your bones stronger.
Before you pry open that tub of ice cream, do 10 situps or pushups. Doing something physical can put you back in touch with your body--and your goals.
People who ate soup containing large vegetable pieces reported feeling fuller and ate 20 percent less during lunch than those who had a pureed soup made of the same ingredients.
You can dab off about a teaspoon of oil--or 40 calories and 4.5 grams of fat--from two slices of pizza.
The weight of food--not just the fat and calories--is what fills you up. Eat less and still feel satisfied with low-calorie heavyweights such as oranges, strawberries, grapefruit, cantaloupe, cooked spinach, collard greens, and broccoli.
Sucking on a menthol/eucalyptus cough drop or hard mint can stop cravings instantly.
To keep yourself on track, place quotes in strategic spots where you might need some motivation: on the fridge, TV, dashboard, or computer. Some suggestions: "I’ll take this one day at a time."
Friday, August 20, 2010
Can I say I have a super duper girl crush on Alicia Marie? Seriously! Not because she is totally pretty (I mean, she is) it's just something about her I LOVE! Her body is BANGIN! She's the reason I fell in love with Oxygen magazine, one of her covers that I STILL have hanging in my fitness room for motivation.
So imagine my surprise when I see that she is on the cover ONCE AGAIN!! Her abs are CRAZY! This lady is fab-u-lous! And she's all over Oxygen being featured in several different ads for products. The first thing I did was read her cover article. They don't have her column she usually has. I hope they haven't cancelled it and it's not there because her cover article. Okay, enough about her, let me droll out some fitness tips from the current issue.
Here's Alicia's tips she gives her celebrity clients before the red carpet:
- Avoid excess salt
- Get as much sleep as you can
- Don't do any intense cardio workouts in the 24 hours leading up to it, as you may hold water.
- And of course, no alcohol for a week before the event!
Sunday, August 15, 2010
- Drink 8+ glasses of water. Serious, this is the easiest and best tip on losing weight.
- Eat 3 meals and 2 small snack. Not the typical 3 large meals.
- Weigh yourself. How do you know if you’re losing weight if you are afraid of the scale?
- Limit your salt intake. This lessons bloating and reduces water retention, which equals pounds!
- Work your way up to at LEAST 60 minutes of exercise a day. Not 30 minutes, I said 60 minutes. To maintain your weight 30 would be okay.
- Stop stressing! Stress causes weight gain, period.
- Bite it, you write it! Log all your food every day, even those 3 M & Ms you ate!
- Make a vision board. Vision those Janet Jackson abs, those Angela Basset arms, Tina Turner’s legs
- Reward yourself with things you really want for each goal you achieve
- Most importantly, do it your way! Don’t follow any one else’s plan because they rave about it. Make up your own healthy lifestyle plan.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
I should know about this. It took me 14 months to lose 41 pounds, and the last 10 was not easy. In fact, I regained that last 10 back and it is ebing VERY stibborn right now. So the co-workere tells me she has really been watching what she eats, showing me carrot sticks and hummus. Okay, that's good. Eating better foods is going in the right direction.
So then she tells me she just started doing exercise. Okay fine lady, but really, nothing you can say would make me tell you you can lose 10 pounds in a month. Realistically I told her, it IS possible...she just won't achieve it. That is more than 2 pounds a week, and unless she is perfect with eating and exercise (which I know she is not) then she will not see that big of a loss.
Am I mean? I just like to tell the truth. Now, if she was really, really serious about losing the weight I would tell her exactly what she needs to do to push her body for the next 4 weeks to get a 2+ pound loss a week. Honestly folks, most people can't take that kind of work. Think of the Biggest Loser contestant workouts. It's killer on the body and the mind. Heck, I can barely do 2 or more hours a day of working out!!
I hope she is happy with whatever loss she achieves. I also explained that by doing strength training, she could slim down and not see much results on the scale, and actually fit into her dress.
The point is...there are no quick fixes!! I had to learn this myself and hope to teach others as well. Weight loss is a process and not a race to the finish line.
Monday, April 5, 2010
2) Drink at least 6 pints of liquid per day, either through pure water, smoothies or fresh juices.
3) Drink away from your meal time – no closer then 30 minutes before eating, and no sooner than 3 hours after eating.
4) Only eat when hungry – yes, even breakfast.
5) Aim for one vegetable juice or superfood smoothie per day, minimum.
6) Fruit, when eaten, should be eaten before a main meal, never after.
7) Eat something green and organic at every main meal.
8) Eat at least one large leafy green salad per day OR drink one large green juice OR make one green smoothie.
9) Eat sprouted foods every day.
10) If you’re eating more-raw eat a large fresh organic salad with each cooked meal.
11) If you’re eating all-raw, eat at least one high density food in adequate amounts with your large fresh organic salad per meal (examples: flax crackers, sprouted wheat bread, nuts, seeds, olives, avocado, pâté, sprouted beans)
12) Avoid desserts wherever possible – eat them as a snack 3 or more hours after dinner. Desserts clog you up!
13) Try to go for savoury snacks over sweet ones. The sweeter ones, such as dried fruits and snack bars, are more likely to knock you off balance, and can exacerbate cravings and mood swings. Try a handful of sprouted sunflower seeds or some dehydrated crackers for something a bit more interesting and satisfying.
14) Make sure you have adequate time to prepare, eat and digest before getting back to business.
15) Try to eat no later than 7pm every night. If the sky is dark, your body is also shutting down for the day and digestion will be more difficult.
BONUS 16) Remember that you need to love what you do, love what you eat and love the way you feel - this above all must be true : )
Thursday, March 18, 2010
So what have I been up to? Well, I like to continue to educate myself on all things healthy and fitness. In that regard, sometime last fall, I attended a raw food cooking class. Now I was a skeptic, thinking, yeah right, are these people serious? I had no idea what raw food really was. Sure, fruits and veggies, I get that, but was that it?
And as a personal trainer, I'm sitting in the class thinking, "Where's the protein?" It went against everything I had learned and studied. Hmmm. Then we tasted the food. I was sold on the first bite!
Why does raw food taste so good? Because you are getting to food as close to nature as possible. You might as well be taking a bite of the apple while it is still on the tree! Everything is fresher, tastier, and tickles your taste buds. It's the food combinations that really get you. With 3 simple ingredients: raw cocoa powder, raw walnuts and pitted dates, you can make INCREDIBLE raw brownies.
Or how about all the tasty green smoothies you can make? Or incredible raw treats like raw fudge, or almond butter cookies, or raw caramels? Have a salty craving like me? Try zucchini chips or kale chips with your favorite seasoning.
There foods you can eat while raw or limitless!
The thing I LOVE most about eating raw is I don't have to count calories. I eat when I am hungry and stop when I am full. Some days that may be 1000 calories, sometimes 1800. Every few days I spot check my calories. No need to do it every day.
I attended my second raw food cooking class on Sunday. And I signed up for a third the next day. Okay, just call me the raw food fanatic!
So, it had always been my plan to study nutrition and become a certified nutritionist. Well, I decided that I want to study raw foods more, so I will be going that route! So excited about my next endeavor.
As always, I am here to train, to coach, and now to teach others about a raw food lifestyle!
Monday, January 25, 2010
And I caved!
A bowl of cereal. That wasn't really what I wanted, but it was the only thing around that was quick. I did 75 minutes of workout, I did the 10 cups of water and the no coffee. Yippee! But I see where I have to work the hardest.
And this morning I almost caved with the coffee. I poured a cup, added Splenda and cream, but I just sat it on my desk and smelled it. Did not drink a drop. Yippee!
I am on cup number 8 of my water and have yet to do my workout, which will have me drinking the last 2. I have two workouts scheduled that total 75 minutes. So today has been a great day so far...as long as I don't give into late night snacking after I post this blog!
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Anyway, I decided to post my weekly goals here on what I would like to stay on top of. I struggle like everyone else and I have some weaknesses.
No coffee! It's not that it is bad, but it is the things I add to it. I have gone a month without it before, but I need to be done with it for good! So far I have gone five days without it so hopefully I can do this for another week.
10+ cups of water. May seem like a lot to some, but for me, 10 is just the base minimum for me. 8 is not enough for me, so I strive for 10 daily and more if I can.
At least 75 minutes of exercise a day. I think I can actually achieve this because I have some intense workouts planned this week.
No late night snacking! Of all my issues, I think this is the worse. I just can't seem to control it sometimes. I went 3 days last week with no late night snacking, so I am hoping to have a 7-day streak this week.
That's all for this week. I would throw the sleep issue in here, but I am not ready to tackle that for this week. But the not having coffee in the morning should make me WANT to get to sleep earlier. We'll see.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Whatever you decide to call them or make them, be it the middle of the year or every month, the object is to just do it!! Be successful at it. Don't let one day destroy your plans. I now I stumble a lot, and people think because I have lost 40 pounds, I know all the answers.
I wish I did!
I gained 10 of it back, so it's a never ending battle for me. I never thought I would let it get out of hand again, but it has. Well, I didn't gain it all back, which could have very well happened if I did not tell myself to STOP! I was so tired of eating the same things over, and over again. I tried all types of variety, even going raw for awhile. Well now, I am not even a vegetarian anymore. I needed something to spice things up.
But hey, no excuses here. I'm human. I try my best every day and that is the best I can do.