Worried About Holiday Eating? Let’s Talk…

Thanksgiving is supposed to be a happy day, spent with family and or friends, where we come together and ENJOY our favorite holiday foods.

It should NOT be a day where we demonize food, or feel like we need to EARN food, or work off food. Don’t get me started on those posts about “It takes X amount of burpees to burn off a piece of pumpkin pie” – stop it. Enjoy the pie.

On the flip side, if you have been working at creating consistency and positive, healthy eating habits, it should also not be seen as a day to completely forgot about everything you have been working on and just pig out to the point of feeling sick or so bloated that you look like a tick ready to pop.

We need to get away from this “all or nothing” mentality.

Thanksgiving can easily be enjoyed without stressing about our diet, or the scale.

Here are some simple things to keep in mind when it comes to ENJOYING Thanksgiving responsibly.

1) It is ONE day. Enjoy that ONE day.

There are 30 days in November, and 31 days in December. Let’s assume you eat 3 meals a day. That makes 183 meals for the two months.

Let’s assume there are 3-4 meals of pure holiday joy during the two months. Enjoy them – and put your focus on the other 179 meals.

Where people tend to get into trouble is when they start celebrating the feast at the start of the week because “who cares, I will be pigging out on Thursday, so why not just start now?”

Or allowing the feasting to continue past Friday (because leftovers happen) and the rest of the weekend.

This is the mindset that can easily snowball back into old habits that you have worked hard to break. Leading up to Thursday, you should continue your week as you normally would. Eat responsibly, eat when physically hungry, get your workouts in, and maintain a slight caloric deficit (assuming your current goal is fat loss). Simple – IF you have been working on these habits up until now.

Give yourself the day, but nothing extra before or after. It is ONE day out of 365.

2) Enjoy Your Favorite Foods – responsibly 

I use this with my clients all the time. Do you enjoy (insert favorite holiday food here)? Then eat one serving/slice/portion/scoop/etc – not the entire thing.

Yes, it can even be a super rich, sugary, fatty dessert. One piece will not destroy all of your progress and ruin everything. However, if you know you have certain trigger foods, it may take some extra precaution before indulging. Plan to have just the ONE piece – and move on.

The truth is, food does not not carry morals, nor does eating a certain food make YOU a bad person. It is food – that is all.

Thou Shall Not allow guilt to be felt on Thanksgiving Day!

Enjoy it, clean up your dishes like your mother taught you, and move on back to your regularly scheduled life.

3) Plan Accordingly the Day Of

If you are like me you KNOW that you will go a little crazy with the food choices at the feast. These are probably foods you don’t regularly eat, so why not?

This being said, if you normally eat an early Thanksgiving dinner, then maybe have a lighter breakfast, or pass on lunch – knowing all too well that you will definitely get those calories in later.

Focus on protein and veggies early in the day, saving all those rich, carb and fat filled foods for later.

Even if you have the best of intentions and you do over eat, oh well. It’s OKAY!

Side note: I know I said you don’t need to feel like you need to earn your food, however if you want to make the most of it, hit a nice heavy weight training session the morning of the feast – I’m thinking 10×10 squats are on my pre-feast plan 🙂

The Bigger Picture:

Holidays are supposed to be enjoyable times. When you create a healthy relationship with food, you don’t worry about holidays because you know they are only a small fraction of the entire year – and there are bigger habits that matter.

When you have an unhealthy relationship with food, you stress and worry about the holidays, but often ignore all the other moments that you mindlessly snack, over eat, and all the moments that you eat without even being hungry.

The moral of the story here is short and sweet – enjoy the holiday, enjoy your family, enjoy the foods, and get right back to it Friday morning and through the rest of the weekend -and all will be good – I promise!

 

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Why I Am a Fan of Daily Weighing

First let me start with this – the scale isn’t everything. It is one tool in our toolbox of objectifying data we perceive about our progress and therefore it is useful to a point. 

However, if one’s goal is to lose body fat or build muscle – or even just maintain, it is a very valuable tool in providing feedback and information about our progress.

Many professionals have their opinions on weighing in, and how often it should be done, and what is right or wrong – but they miss the point of what mindset you need to be in for the appropriate measure to be effective.

Here is why I am in favor of daily weighing:

ProTip 1: daily weighing requires the right mindset – distance yourself from emotion tied to the scale.

Easier said than done, and it takes practice – but when you weigh yourself daily, you need to not let that number bother you. IT is just a number. It doesn’t make you good or bad – it just says what you weigh in pounds at that exact time.

THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP – IF YOU CANNOT MASTER THIS MINDSET SHIFT, DAILY WEIGHING MIGHT NOT BE FOR YOU!

ProTip 2: do your daily weigh in’s first thing in the morning, naked, and after you empty your bladder.

Our weight can fluctuate like crazy over the course of a day. I have weighed 205 in the morning and been 215 before bed on the same day – no, I didn’t gain 10 pounds of fat in one day.

This is where the scales weakness is exposed. It ONLY tells us our weight. Our daily weight can be different because:

  • We havent peed yet
  • We havent pooped yet
  • We slept like crap
  • We ate a lot of carbs last night
  • We ate a lot of salt last night
  • We drank alcohol last night
  • Women are on their period
  • We are under tons of stress

These reasons are all linked to one thing mostly: water retention. So if we can try to minimize the variables and weigh ourselves every single day at the same time, under the same-ish circumstances – that helps.

ProTip 3: when using daily weighing – focus on the TRENDS, not the day or even week alone.

Losing weight can be frustrating when you focus on immediate gratification. For daily weighing, we take away the “once per week doomsday weigh in scenario”. You know it… “I only weigh myself on Fridays”…so then you eat really “good” up until then, sometimes starving yourself on Thursday, but as soon as you weigh in on Friday – you go hog wild over the weekend. That’s not a way to live.

When you weigh yourself daily, you step on, see your weight, track it somewhere – and move on. From this we can look at general trends.

Example: Person A wants to lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks. Very reasonable goal!

Weight on Day 1: 220 

Weight on Day 7: 219 – Yay! Lost a pound doing great!

Weight on Day 14: 221 – $#!T! WTF%@*&^!&$# 

We have all been there before. You think you are doing everything right, and this happens! So demotivating. Now, did person A GAIN 2 pounds of fat from Day 7 to 14?  We don’t know. Maybe it was just a long night, and they had some pasta and wine, because they are stressed out. We don’t know because this is the main flaw of weekly weighing. We can’t see trends.

This is the point when person A might: 1)give up or 2)get on a more drastic diet that maybe they don’t need…

Now lets look at Person B – same weight, same goals, but daily weighing.

  • Day 1: 220
  • Day 2: 219.8
  • Day 3: 220.1
  • Day 4:219.0
  • Day 5:219.5
  • Day 6: 220
  • Day 7: 219.0 —– Add up, divide by 7 = 219.62 – this is progress downward
  • Day 8: 219.5
  • Day 9: 218.8
  • Day 10: 218.4
  • Day 11: 219.5
  • Day 12: 218.3
  • Day 13 : 219.5
  • Day 14: 221 —- Add up, divide by 7 = 219.28 – again progress in the right direction.

But Mike, thats only a loss of 0.72 pounds in 2 weeks…

Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. Look at the daily weights now. You see some 218’s in there showing up more frequently, and if you rule out the jump to 221 – you would see a much bigger drop in the average. This person could easily get past that one day at 221, and average out at 217 the next week.

Over time this is what weight loss progress looks like when you use daily weighing:

When you look at only one week, it looks like nothing. But over 6 months? PROGRESS!

This is why I am in favor of the daily weigh ins.

  1. Track trends, not single moments in time
  2. It allows us to reflect on the “why” is our weight up vs. just guessing once per week
  3. It provides a sense of motivation with the right mindset.

 

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You Are The Result Of You

 

YOU. Right now, how you feel, how you look, how you are…is a result of everything YOU have (have not) done. Today, yesterday, last week, last year, the last 20 years. It is all accumulated to where you are right now.

Accept it. Live it. Own it.

Have you neglected your health? That’s on you.

And only you.

It’s hard for people to accept this fact. But once you do, you can actually do something about it. Sitting around whining about how hard things are, and how crappy your day was will get you absolutely no where. It will only stress you more, and make you feel even more hopeless.

When was the last time you actually took ownership and did something about it?

Something bugging you? Change it.

Someone bugging you? Talk to them about it.

Don’t like how you look. Do something about it. Do EVERYTHING about it.

This is on you, not your friend, not your kids, not your boss – YOU.

Okay, now I think you get the point.

Here is how to approach it – and since this is a health blog – we will look at how to take ownership of your health and turn this ship around.

1. Your current state is your responsibility.

“I got busy, and now I weigh 50 pounds more than I did 5 years ago”

Chances are, you didn’t gain 50 pounds overnight and ignored it for 5 years.

This is a culmination of everything you have done or have not done in the last 5 years.

You need to accept this fact, stop blaming external factors, and get to work – NOW.

2. Track progress…track SOMETHING

“I don’t want to track ______, it takes too much time”.

Yep, and so does watching TV, browsing facebook, looking at cat memes, and watching youtube tutorials on how to lose fat in 10 days.

I have a client who tracks their food while sitting on the toilet. This may sound funny, but my God is it a great use of time.

Do you need to track your food?

No.

You need to track something. If you keep ignoring everything, how do you think it will change?

Some objective things that CAN be tracked:

  1. Your food intake
  2. Your weight
  3. Your waist circumference
  4. Your visual progress (progress photos)
  5. Your strength
  6. Your cardio health
  7. Your workouts

So say you want to lose weight, but don’t want to track anything…yep, I’ve heard it before. How will you know if you are progressing if you literally don’t want to track ANYTHING?

I want to have 2 million dollars in my retirement fund by the time I am 65…but I don’t want to manage my money, track my investments, or monitor changes in the market.

How dumb does that sound?

Call it a bit harsh, but you need to be aware of SOMETHING.

So you don’t want to track food. So maybe track your waist circumference. Is it going up? Then you are probably eating too much – so eat less. Is it going down? Awesome, keep doing what you’re doing – but PLEASE track SOMETHING!

3. Manage and Adjust 

Once you figure out what you want to track – and you figure out how to know if what you are doing is working or not, you need to manage your life and adjust based off of your desired outcome.

Scale not moving? Then maybe it’s time to have a good ol’ heart to heart with yourself and figure out what you can do to change that. Maybe your clothes fit better, but the scale isn’t moving – that’s awesome, you are probably getting some great body composition changes (losing fat, adding muscle)

Still have no clue where to even start?(I promise, you can probably pinpoint a few areas once you accept that “yes, maybe I need to stop putting 1/4 cup of creamer in my coffee and pounding a 800 calorie muffin every morning”) – then find help.

A good trainer and nutrition expert will guide you – but they still cannot do everything for you – (see the top of this post). Obi Wan didn’t blow up the Death Star, Luke did.

Does your trainer give you advice? Does your nutritionist tell you how to change your diet? Awesome…but did you follow their instructions?

I’m guessing they didn’t give you this advice just for kicks and giggles.

Follow good advice, and good things will happen.

  1. Accept self-responsibility
  2. Decide to change
  3. Do it
  4. Adjust and Manage
  5. Carry on, and repeat steps 3-5.

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Set Goals That Fire You Up

“If your goals don’t scare you; they aren’t big enough”

I like the quote, but I also think that “scare” might not be the ideal word.

This is why I like “fire you up” instead – goals that get you excited, goals that make you want to start NOW, not tomorrow.

When it comes to setting goals, many people approach them so haphazardly, that they never really get anywhere. It’s great to SET the goal, but then what are you going to do about it? Other points that matter:

  • How are you going to reach it?
  • What are you going to do once you reach it?
  • How will it make you better?
  • Or will it even make you better?
  • When are you going to reach it?
  • Why is it important to you?

These are the things that you literally need to write down, and post on your fridge or at your desk, or on the bathroom mirror – or make the background of your phone – anywhere you will see them frequently and often.

I have done this for the past 2 years, and both times I have accomplished my “big goal”.

  1. 2016 – Start my business, and grow clientele by 10% while maintaining 90% retention rate – CHECK.
  2. 2017 – Get published on 3 other websites – CHECK
  3. 2018 – Present at a major fitness conference. 

This is MY goal for 2018, and I am writing it here so all of you can keep my accountable.

So lets dive deeper into my 2018 goal, and this same process can easily be applied to health/fat loss/muscle building/etc.

I have my end goal: presenting at a conference.

Now we need to break it down into PROCESS GOALS – these are the steps that will get me to my end goal. This is where the focus MUST be, not on the end goal.

With “i want to lose weight” as a goal, you cannot sit around and focus on that. You need to write out what are the pieces of the process that will get you there – and hit those HARD.

  1. Get to the gym 4 days per week.
  2. Measure out my portions.
  3. Get 7 hours of sleep each night.
  4. Eat 1 serving of protein 4 times per day.
  5. Eat 4 servings of veggies per day…

If you sit around and just focus on “why am I not losing weight?!” instead of the process goals, you will just keep spinning in place. Focus on the process, and the finish line will come to you.

So back to my goal.

Here are the process steps:

  1. Find 5-10 area conferences that I am interested in speaking at.
  2. Contact the appropriate people in charge.
  3. Have a plan put together on my topic that I wish to present on, and WHY it would be beneficial for them to have me present about it.
  4. Follow up, follow up, follow up!

Truth is, this idea came to me this weekend, and I already applied to 3 conferences in the area, and put together and outline on my ideal presentation and how it will benefit trainers/fitness professionals. I am fired up about it!

So you need to do the same – whatever your goals may be.

  1. Write it out.
  2. No seriously, get out paper right now and W.R.I.T.E.I.T.O.U.T!!!
  3. Write down 2-4 process goals that will help you get to your end goal.
  4. Set a timeline (when you want to accomplish it)
  5. Hit it hard, and stay the course.

If it is truly an important goal of yours, you will succeed. I’m not saying it will be easy, but if you put in the work, you will get there. I promise.

 

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What is the best diet?

 

Yesterday a friend asked me, “so what do you think the best diet is?”

Talk about a tough question…so why not answer it with the easiest cop out answer.

The best diet for someone is the diet that they can enjoy, stick to, get results on, and maintain an optimal level of health at their current point in life.

What a terrible answer…but it’s really the truth.

To break it down:

Eating what you enjoy.

How many of you have tried some kind of fad diet, filled with foods you never eat, and foods you hate? I’m sure you stuck to it for years, and were a very pleasant person to be around.

You have to eat what you enjoy to be successful.

Does that mean I can have a successful diet on ice cream, bacon and homemade chex mix? Probably not all the time, but I can fit those kinds of things in which gets me to point number two…

Sticking to it.

If you enjoy what you eat (most of the time) you are likely going to keep it up, right?

This is where finding true moderation comes in. Moderation is not drinking one soda a day, and eating dessert only after dinner – that is a little excessive. Moderation is how most people consume vegetables – once or twice a week, maybe…

What you eat 80-90% of the time however should be the foods that we all know are beneficial to our health and especially the ones that we enjoy, because by doing this we…

Get results…

Whether it be fat loss, muscle building, or just maintaining our current shape, results matter – and without an appropriate eating plan, results wont happen. (remember, you cant out train a bad diet)

So you may need to do some tracking, measuring, or have someone keep you accountable – but bottom line is, results matter, and they take some effort.

However, it doesn’t need to be as complex as people make it out to be! Look at what you currently eat. Are you currently maintaining weight, but want to lose some? Then cut out two bites at every meal. Simple and silly? Yes – but it would work.

But what if you eat total crap, but still create a caloric deficit – well, you will lose weight, but you might not feel the best after some time…

Maintain optimal levels of health

Clients are shocked when I look over their journals and tell them “okay, switch your 3 cokes a day to 3 diet cokes”, or “lets switch to eating only one quarter pounder with cheese instead of two”…

Most people expect me to tell them to throw out their current life completely and drink only purified water with pH balanced salts, and cook only the purest organic chicken breasts…not eat one less thing at McDonalds.

Truth is, I would love to EVENTUALLY get people away from fast food, and diet soda…but that might never happen (see reasons 1-3) – but if I can get them to substantially reduce their intakes, lose some pounds, and vastly improve their internal health, then that is one hell of a start.

So look over these 4 points, and figure out if you are currently doing the right things for YOU, or are you trying to follow the latest trend on the cover of the magazine at the grocery store?

 

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Eat Less – Exercise More is WRONG

 

If you read anything today, it should be this.

For years, I myself told people, “exercise more, eat less – thats how you lose weight!”

This is true.

Unfortunately, I disagree with this statement completely now. Yes, I can change my views on things too, I am human.

So why is is wrong, and what DO I suggest?

First lets look at the principles behind the statement.

If you increase exercise, or movement in general – you burn more calories.

If you eat less food, you consume fewer calories.

Thus, you create a caloric deficit. Meaning, you are burning more calories than you consume, and by the undeniable laws of thermodynamics – you should be losing weight!

This is all true.

So what is wrong with exercise more, eat less?

Exercise More

“I need to do more cardio” – ” I need to go to more bootcamps” – “I need to workout more”

Three common statements made by people who want to lose weight. All good statements, but all could be neglecting something important – DIET.

You cannot out train a bad diet. You might be able to at the start, but it won’t last. I promise.

You lost weight by running a bunch and not really looking at your diet. Then all of a sudden life happened and you had to stop running 2 hours a day, 7 days a week. Then what happens?

Or you hit a plateau in your weight loss, so you must add more running! Now you are socially exiling yourself from your friends and family, because you need to run 12 hours per week to maintain your weight loss – that sounds fun.

Exercising more is not the answer.

Eat Less

So you want to crash diet to fit into that dress for the winter ball? Ok. Go jump on a standard cookie cutter diet (which definitely doesn’t include cookies) and starve yourself at 1200 calories a day. You will lose weight.

But then what?

You either have to keep eating so little that you burn out, or yup – you have to exercise more to create bigger deficit.

Man or woman, starving yourself brings about some pretty nasty hormonal side effects – I don’t recommend it.

So what the hell do you recommend?

Exercise More, Eat More.

or

Exercise Less, Eat Less

(but maintain a caloric balance suited for your goals)

What does this mean?

Want to lose weight at a sustainable rate? Then live in a 300-500 calorie caloric deficit for most days of the week, and don’t go crazy on days that you aren’t.

Want to gain muscle at a sustainable rate without gaining tons of fat? Maintain a caloric surplus of 200-300 calories for most days of the week that you train.

So say you want to lose some fat.

Here is what your week might look like:

As exercise increase, this allows you to eat more – which will help maintain muscle mass, and your sanity – and as long as you stay within a deficit, you are golden.

So how do you figure all this out?

That is way beyond a blog post – and unfortunately it isn’t as simple as just plugging in numbers to a formula. For in general, if you live by being aware of 1) Did I exercise today? and 2) Did I eat a little more today? and 3) Am I still losing/gaining weight (dependent on goal) – then you will have your answers.

This is my goal for everyone. Stop this trend of eating less and less and less, and exercising more, and more – and find a sustainable process that works for the long haul, and you can switch it on and off like a faucet – with very little problems.

 

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You CAN Get Protein at Breakfast With These 9 Options

Everyone knows they need to get more protein, right? We have been pretty clear on that. I often hear “I can’t get enough at breakfast!” “I don’t have time to make eggs”…

First, there is no “rule” that you must have breakfast foods at breakfast, and breakfast only. However, I get it – we want some familiar delights at breakfast, so lets look at a few different options based on how much time you have.

***The calorie amounts vary, so make sure you adjust based off of your goals***

Unlimited Time

Protein Pancakes 

1 cup kodiak cake mix

1 egg

1 cup Fairlife Milk

530 cals 60C/9F/47P

Breakfast Burrito

1 XL Flour Tortilla

2 eggs + 1/4 cup egg whites

Any veggies

2 Tbsp. Cheddar Cheese

590 cals 53C/23F/35P

 

 Euro Breakfast

1 plain bagel

2 oz. smoked salmon

2 Tbsp. Whipped Cream Cheese

450 cals 62C/13F/24P

Short On Time

All American Breakfast

1 apple

2 hard boiled eggs

1 flavored Oikos Triple Zero Greek Yogurt

350 cals 37C/10F/28P

Classic Crunch

1 cup Raisin Bran

1 cup Fairlife Skim Milk

2 eggs (prepared any way)

420 cals 52C/11F/30P

 

PrOatmeal

1/2 cup oats (dry)

1/2 cup Fairlife Skim Milk

1/2 cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt

1/2 cup berries

1 Tbsp. Walnuts

500 cals 70C/11F/32P

No Time At All!

McDonalds Can Be Healthy

2 Egg White Delights

500 cals 64C/14F/36P

Shake It Up

1 Scoop Whey Protein

1 cup Fairlife Skim Milk

1 Large Banana

2 Tbsp. Peanut Butter

475 cals 38C/16F/46P

 

No Time Breakfast Sandwich

2 slices of toast

2 oz. ham

1 slice cheddar cheese

1 fried egg (this only takes 2 min – I promise)

440 cals 37C/18F/29P

There you have it. 9 options to get protein at breakfast no problem at all.

Now get cookin!

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Why Your “High Intensity Training” Is Holding You Back

High Intensity Training; it’s all the rage. Bootcamps, Crossfit, HIIT Class, Group X Classes with Plyo Box Jumps for 60 year old ladies…

There is nothing inherently wrong with it, rather the approach may be the biggest problem.

Even your more bodybuilding types can be prone to too much high intensity. When you hit the gym day after day, working at high intensity 95% 1RM sets that you have to crank up the Metallica to 11 for, slap your chest and huff and puff – (this was me) – day after day…

What about endurance athletes? Thats not high intensity! While it may not be high intensity in the form of an all out sprint, I would argue that it still is because of the duration of the activity.

See fancy graph:

So what’s the problem? 

You spend all your time doing HIIT, or balls to the wall workouts – because that burns fat faster, right? Not always.

Truth is; the body has a finite amount of intensity that it can endure until somethings gotta give.

Let’s think about this:

High Intensity not only places stress on the physical musculature of the body, but also the central nervous system. What also places stress on the body and the CNS?

  • Work
  • Life
  • Sickness
  • Lack of sleep
  • Poor nutrition
  • Dieting
  • Watching the news
  • Frequent travel

So how many of you High Intensity 5x per week go getters are perfect in all of the above categories? Probably not many.

In that overstressed environment, your body releases chronically high levels of cortisol, a hormone that causes you to lose muscle, retain fat, and lower your ability to fight off illness and injury.

So what do you do???

Am I saying stop doing HIIT all together? NO

Be aware of your volume. If you aren’t sleeping and eating like crap, doing HIIT stuff wont help you 5 times per week – it will probably do the opposite. Get your diet in check and try to sleep more, and limit your high intensity training to 1-2 times per week.

Self monitor. Here’s a novel idea – listen to your body. If you are dragging ass and feeling extra bloated and weak, it’s probably not the best idea to go all out crazy at the gym. Reflect on why you are feeling this way, fix that problem, and then dial it back for the day and do some lower intensity pump work.

Work to Recover. When we talk recovery from training, it’s usually in the form of eat better, sleep better, and do your foam rolling and stretching. How many of us do that?

If you can’t sleep more, and don’t want to change your nutrition habits, then you can at least make an effort to do a solid recovery session 1-2x per week.

What would this include?

  • Breathing exercises
  • Mobility drills
  • Soft tissue work
  • Range of motion work
  • Light cardio

Essentially 30 minutes dedicated to leaving the gym feeling better than when you got there.

By focussing just a little bit on recovery, listening to your body, and dialing back a bit on the crazy 50 box jump workouts, you can actually improve your bodies ability to burn fat, grow muscle, and feel a whole heck of a lot better.

 

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Staying on Your Nutrition Plan While Traveling is Easier Than You Think

Are you on the road a lot? For work? For fun? Because you are a NASCAR driver?

Whatever brings you to the asphalt, you also know that it can be hard to eat healthy when always on the go.

Here’s the deal, it CAN be hard, but it’s really not as bad as you might think. Yes, it takes a little bit of planning, but you can easily make the right decisions and keep your work travels from inflating your waistline.

A few of my go-to options when traveling:

1 – Always be drinking water. 

Even those who do great hydrating regularly, tend to find themselves drinking sub-par amounts of water while on the road or in the sky.

Staying hydrated is one of the best things you can control and do to prevent unnecessary food cravings – which may really just be water cravings.

Staying hydrated will also help with those achy joints and low back discomfort that comes with driving/flying a lot.

DO NOT DRINK YOUR CALORIES. Even diet soda is a great option!

2 – Gas Stations Have Great Options.

You just need to know where to look.

Some of my go to quick snacks/ meals are:

2 hard boiled eggs, 1 apple, and a 100 calorie Muscle Milk

  • 305 calories, 28g Carb/9g Fat/31g Protein

Jack Link’s Tender Bites (whole bag)

  • 210 calories, 15g Carb/3g Fat/30g Protein

Quest Protein Bars (or similar bars which provide at least 20g of protein and are less than 200 calories) – my typical standards for protein bars.

  • 170 calories, 23g Carb/7g Fat/20g Protein

3 – Fast Food Isn’t Forcing You To Eat Their Crap Food

Wanna know a secret? Most fast food places actually have pretty decent options when it comes to making healthier choices.

However, they also usually have calorie dense, fried, greasy, and super salty deliciousness which usually out weighs the number of healthy choices.

Can we be real for a second? And maybe a little harsh…

No one is forcing you to buy the large fries, and a 64 oz. Mountain Dew. You are an adult, and you can make smart, adult decisions.

We all know that salads are great low calorie options (but not always!) – but what about some options you might not consider?

McDonalds Artisan Chicken Sandwich

380 calories. 44g Carb/7g Fat/37g Protein

Subway 6″ Turkey (Double Meat) + Any Veggies w/ Lite Mayo

480 calories. 46g Carb/17g Fat/34g Protein

Taco Bell Fresco Burrito Supreme Chicken

340 calories. 49g Carb/8g Fat/19g Protein

Applebees Cedar Grilled Lemon Chicken

580 calories. 48g Carbs/26g Fat/42g Protein

Any other options can easily be found by looking through your favorite/usual stops menus online and PLANNING in advance what you are going to eat – AND sticking to it!

When are these strategies NOT to be used?

When you go on an awesome vacation to a cool spot – enjoy the trip and enjoy the food that comes as part of the environment you are in – this is one of the beauties and fun parts of vacation. Enjoy vacation, as it is usually only 1-2 weeks out of the year when all is said and done…

However, these options are great for people who find themselves traveling a lot for work purposes, or spending 50% or more of their time traveling or on the go.

It might take some planning and creativity – but it’s really not as hard as you might think!

 

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Stay healthy my friends,

 

How to Lose 55 Pounds With No Gym Experience – Client Story

Who doesn’t love surprises? Especially when you kind of know they are coming, but they far exceed what you expected. Let’s look at one pretty cool surprise, 1 year in the making…

Our story begins with one of my rock star clients, about 1 year ago. When we started, she didn’t want to step on the scale – which was totally fine. We compromised and just did body measurements.

We ran through my usual assessment protocol. She couldn’t hold a plank without her lower back hurting, definitely couldn’t do a pushup, and was pretty much starting from zero gym experience.

This is where many people would be so discouraged that they would quit; but not her. She stuck it out, and surpassed what she ever expected.

Throughout the year we rechecked the measurements, and they were going down in all the right places. She was feeling better, looking better, and kicking some serious butt in the gym.

Now a year later, she reps out full pushups, does stability ball plank variations completely pain free, deadlifts 135 pounds for reps, pushes 330 pound sleds, and weighs 55 pounds less.

55 pounds less?!? Yup, I was stunned.

After we celebrated our 1 year anniversary, she told me that she did weigh herself on her own – day 1. One year later she has lost 55 pounds!

To say I am proud of her is an understatement – but I knew that she would get here. From day one, I could tell she had mostly the right mindset, and was willing and ready to learn along the way.

So how did she do it?

Here is a quick interview that will hopefully inspire everyone, especially those who think they can’t get results, and who might not know where to start.

  1. What made you decide to reach out to work with me?

I had been going to physical therapy and the therapist had suggested working with a trainer. After talking to a couple people, Mike’s name came up and he was highly recommended..

  1. What was the hardest part of starting?

Walking in the door of the gym was one of the most difficult things I had ever done.

3a. How much were you working out at the gym?

I had never been to a gym or worked with a trainer.   I had never even been on a treadmill, so this was a totally new adventure.

3b. How much exercise have you been doing on your own?

Outside of the training sessions, I take one class plus try to work out 2 or 3 more times a week now.

4. What was the first change you worked on with your diet?

Mike suggested writing down everything I ate every day and what a shock that was. He then went over it with me every week, made suggestions about possible changes and recommendations to improve my eating habits.

5a. Over the last year, what has been the hardest part about your approach with eating?

The hardest part was rethinking what to eat.   My diet had not been very healthy and included a lot of sugar and starch since I had never met a dessert I didn’t covet. When I feel myself slipping I have start writing the food down again and have had Mike take a look to put me back on track.

5b. The easiest?

The easiest change was modifying what I could eat and still enjoy. It takes a little more work to eat better but I can now look at my options and know which one will meet my needs and still be satisfying.

5c. The most surprising?

Most surprising is that I can still have some of the things I love most, but in moderation.   Knowing I can have something if I really want it and not feel guilty has made a big difference.

  1. What strategies have you implemented when it comes to eating out?

I make better choices when ordering. Mike has been great about suggesting options that are better for me yet still satisfy my appetite and keep me on track.

  1. Besides all your amazing measurable results, what else have you noticed in terms of positive change over the past year?

The weight loss has given me more confidence.   When I started this journey, I didn’t have much confidence that I would follow through and/or succeed. I have a great coach who encourages me and never makes me feel like I am out of place.

  1. Any more words of wisdom for anyone looking to get healthy?

The day I started Mike’s words were, “If you don’t want to succeed, I’m not the guy you should be working with”.   That has stuck with me and I keep going forward because I do want to succeed and want to continue on this path to a better and healthier lifestyle. I want more from life, and feel that I am moving in that direction. Starting with a good trainer makes all the difference and I wouldn’t be where I am today without the best one in town.

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Stay healthy my friends,