Two Vacations, Two Different Results

HAPPY 4th of JULY!

After getting back from my week cruise to Alaska, I was back at it Monday morning.

One of my clients was also on vacation the entire week that I was gone – in Italy.

He was curious to see how he did while being gone for a week, and he stepped on the scale.

To his amazement and as I expected – he lost weight.

So how did he vacation for a week, and lose weight – while I GAINED weight?

It’s the food (mostly). It’s always the food.

Before discussing the food, this was probably the 2nd biggest factor:

Movement

I worked out 4 times on my cruise – but walked much less than I am used to in a normal week. I usually average 12,000 steps per day, but this week I averaged 7000.

He walked 17,000-20,000 steps everyday.

As I have discussed many times – daily steps and movement is VERY crucial to weight management. Studies have shown a range of 500 – 2500 extra calories can be burned in a day based off of just how much you move!

The Food

The food on the cruise was amazing. However – it was VERY VERY rich. There was butter in everything. There were extra portions of everything. I had a roll every night with butter. I had dessert every night. I had several drinks most days.

What does this add up to? Considering ONE tablespoon of butter is 100 calories…

One old fashioned is 200+ calories…

2 scoops of REAL ice cream could be around 500 calories…

I have no idea how much I consumed.

Do I feel guilty? Shameful? Nope – I chose to do it – I’m an adult and I’m cool with my decisions.

So what was different with HIS trip?

Traditional and authentic Italian food is relatively “light” compared to the American versions.

They eat limited red meats, little butter, plenty of fruits, veggies, pastas, and olive oil (yes it’s still a high calorie fat – but much less is needed than butter).

So is butter and fat the problem with American diets?

NO! It is one of the leading factors contributing to the American diet – but the bigger picture is just an overconsumption of FOOD and CALORIES.

When you prepare your foods, when you know what you are eating, and when you are in control of your nutrition – you know exactly what to expect.

Back to normal habits for me!

How to GET BACK to it!

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Are You A Weekend Saboteur?

 

You are trying your hardest to eat healthy. You eat super clean all week. You eat a caloric deficit. You do your workouts. THEN Friday night arrives along with the weekend.

You overeat on whatever you want. You drink plenty of alcohol. You sit on your ass all weekend. When Monday comes, you are frustrated and sick of spinning your wheels and not getting anywhere.

This is okay – you aren’t the only one, far from it.

My first year of trying to lose weight was this exact scenario – after all it was college.

How does this happen?

Here is a fantastic graphic from Carter Good (Envision Being Thin – @cartergood on Instagram)

So how do we avoid this? Stop having fun? Stop being social? STOP DRINKING?

No, no, no, and no. There is no need to become a full on Buzz Killington.

1) Set Rules

Rules suck, but we listen to them. Instead of coming up with weekend goals every weekend like “I’m gonna do better this time…”, set rules like:

  • If I go out at night, I will go to the gym the morning of.
  • If I go out on a Saturday, I will have an active Sunday.
  • If I go out on a Friday, I won’t go out on a Saturday.
  • If I know I’m going to have a fun filled night with drinks and food, I will focus the rest of my day on eating lean proteins and veggies.

Set the rules, and follow them, and enjoy your weekend – guilt free.

2) Change How You Eat During the Week

Do you fixate on “clean eating” Monday through Friday? Can’t have this, can’t have that…well that may be setting you up for disaster on the weekend.

If you try so hard to “eat super healthy” all week and deprive yourself of certain foods or food groups that you might really want you are more likely to binge on them over the weekend.

Let’s find a happy medium.

If you want a sweet treat during the week – have it – but account for it appropriately:

  1. Know roughly how many calories it is.
  2. Know what swaps you could make to stay within your nutrition parameters.
  3. Plan it out in advance. If your kid has a baseball game and they always get ice cream after, you can plan your day accordingly so you can still enjoy ice cream later.
  4. Know what you REALLY want, and what you could exclude to shave off some extra cals. i.e. you really want a brownie, but could pass on the extra pecans on top (shave off 300 cals)

It doesn’t even have to be sweets either.

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring and bland! Experiment with recipes, spices, flavors, make it fun – make it an activity with family.

3) Shift Your Mindset

“I earned this weekend”

“Thank God the weekend is here, time to rage”

“I was good all week, time for a break”

“This is what we do on the weekends – bottomless mimosas WOOO!”

If you constantly think of the weekend as a light at the end of the tunnel, you will hype your brain and body up for letting loose and getting cray cray.

Don’t use food and drinks as a reward, or as a shoulder to cry on – it’s just food.

Find different ways to reward yourself or de-stress.

ALSO don’t use exercise as a punishment. There is a big difference between, “I had a bad night, I need to go to the gym and repent” vs. “I’m going to feel much better after I go to the gym and work on getting stronger” – exercise is ALWAYS for gaining health – not beating you up.

So find some balance 7 days per week, come up with some little rules to follow, break the mold of what most people think the weekends are, and you will find your life a much happier one, and healthier as well!

 

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4 “Hacks” To Save Time, and Make Tracking Food Easier

Whether or not you use something to track your food, I’m sure you could use some extra time in the day – so don’t rule these tips out just yet!

The number one objection I hear to not being able to track food using an app like MyFitnessPal is “I don’t have time”.

While the smart ass in me could have a few things to say about that, I shall refrain and provide some useful tips instead.

1) Enter some or all of your food the night before.

If you know what you want for breakfast, know what you have for snacks, and know that you are going to have left overs for lunch – then take 2 minutes and enter that the night before.

This is also a great strategy to learn about how you can set up your day to fit within your macro goals.

By doing this, you are already mentally preparing yourself for what you will be eating tomorrow – and this makes your life less stressful, and honestly makes it easier to stay on plan.

2) Measure and cut portions after bulk prep

Did you grill up a bunch of chicken? Do you know that you will need 5 oz. of chicken per meal that you want to have chicken at?

Then cut up the servings into appropriate serving sizes for you.

Then when you are ready to eat them you can grab, and go – knowing that you have 5 oz. of chicken breast at that meal. No need to guess, measure, or weigh out.

3) Keep a measuring cup in any bulk prepped carbs

Similar to the above, say you make a big bowl of rice.

If you learn from tracking that 1 cup of cooked white rice is 38 grams of carbs, and you want 38 grams of carbs at a meal, then keep a 1 cup measuring cup in the big bowl of rice.

When its time to dish it up, just scoop it out, and but the bowl away.

Same thing can be done with pastas, potatoes, corn, etc.

4) Have your “go-to” meal foundations

I have been eating the “same” thing for breakfast the last 3 months (minus a few days).

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup egg whites
  • 75 grams of carbs
  • 10 grams of added fat

This is the foundation of my breakfast meals – but not the actual meal.

The eggs and whites usually stay the same. But sometimes they take the form of an omelet, a scramble, over easy eggs, or mixed into pancakes.

The carbs I like to play around with. By reading labels it is pretty easy to figure out “how much of this food equals 75 grams of carbohydrates – give or take 10 grams?”

My carbs have been cereals, oats, pancakes, fruit, bagels, toast, or a combo of a few of those. THEN I will also add some sort of veggies to breakfast, unless its pancake day, cause that’s nasty.

My 10 grams of added fats is usually just from cooking the eggs in coconut oil, or putting a little butter on toast or pancakes.

This is MY breakfast foundation, work on creating your own – then play around with how you sculpt it.

Hope these tips help you save some time and realize what a great tool tracking your food can be.

Once you get things dialed in, it can be pretty fun and freeing to see how you can play around with your diet – and still make progress.

 

 

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More Leads to Less

 

So many “diet” programs and gurus want to tell you what you CAN’T EAT, and what you MUST EAT to successfully live your life and lose your belly…

Well screw them.

We are all adults and we can choose what we want to eat, and if done responsibly as an adult, we can definitely make tons of progress and get the results we are after.

Here are the basics of eating like an adult:

  1. Add MORE vegetables and fruits

  2. Add MORE lean protein

  3. Add MORE water

Yup, I’m more about adding in foods rather than telling you what you need to take away.

Why?

Because over time when you truly focus on adding more of these options, they will naturally phase out all the junk food that you might eat at most meals – but you could still have it once in a while.

1. Add More Vegetables and Fruit

I think we can all agree that vegetables are good for you. But what about fruit? Apparently some people still think fruit makes you fat!

Fruit is great for you, and you should be eating it.

What makes you fat? Too many calories – so sure, too much fruit COULD stall your weight loss…but I’m willing to bet there are other areas in the diet we could address first.

Here are some ROUGH numbers on different portions of fruits and the calories in them:

Notice that the super healthy and trendy avocado is at the bottom. containing about 280 calories per avocado?? Avocados are super healthy, yet they DO contain a lot of calories – and calories always matter.

2. Add more lean protein

I probably write about protein whey to much, but it still needs to be preached.

If you have less than 20 pounds to lose, shoot for 1 gram/pound of body weight.

If you have more than 20 pounds to lose, shoot for .7-8grams/pound of body weight.

(these are not set in stone numbers, but just suggestions – my one on one clients get much more personal numbers)

If there is anything that you SHOULD be tracking, it’s your protein intake. Try it like this:

Using MyFitnessPal, enter only your high protein foods for the day, and see where you are at, then adjust from there if you need to. It may look like this:

So after entering this, I hit 172 grams out of my 205 gram goal. That is great, because after adding in my carb sources, and fat sources I will probably be very close to hitting 205 grams of protein.

3. Add More Water

Simple, and basic – just drink more water, and drink mostly water.

The number of calories you can consume through liquids is insane, and you might never even notice it.

Someone who drinks 2 sodas a day (lets say cans) consumes 300 calories. Cut that out and replace it with water, without changing ANYTHING else, and you will lose weight. Simple and effortless.

BONUS – Add More MOVEMENT

Just move more. Not more cardio, but just more movement.

How many steps do you get a day? Get 10,000. Seriously – just do it.

 

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Fill Up Your Diet With Filling Foods

Do you track your calories and always struggle to stay within your goals?

Find that you are hitting your max caloric intake too soon and you still feel starving?

You may need to take a look at your food QUALITY and how satiating your current diet is.

Satiation, or fullness, is an important physical factor when it comes to your diet. Two of the most important nutrients when it comes to satiety are:

  • Fiber
  • Protein

Both fiber and protein help tremendously when it comes to adding in quality, filling nutrients – without adding a lot of calories. While processed foods (usually low in fiber and protein) do the opposite.

For example, this Memorial Day, I went golfing with a friend. After the first 9 holes, we were hungry for some lunch. Unfortunately the grill girl decided she wanted to go home early, so no grilled food was available. So what was I left with?

  • 1 Snickers Bar – 4 grams protein, 1 gram fiber – 250 cals
  • 1 bag of BBQ kettle chips – 2 grams protein – 1 gram fiber – 210 cals

So I had 460 calories, with only 6 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber.

Needless to say, I was starving by the time I got home.

Compare this to a leftover filled lunch I had yesterday:

  • 6 oz. Pork Tenderloin – 34 grams protein – 180 calories
  • Mixed Red Potatoes and Carrots – 7 grams of fiber – 150 calories

This meal was ONLY 330 calories, but I was easily satisfied until dinner.

***This is a pretty low cal meal for me, but I had a big breakfast and wanted ice cream after dinner – the beauty of tracking and planning****

So back to the point…

If you struggle with feeling hungry after eating a meal, look at how much protein and fiber was in that meal. If it was a highly processed or a hodge podge meal, it likely was low in both.

Great sources to consider adding, but not limited to are:

Protein

  • Chicken/Turkey
  • Pork Tenderloin
  • Beef tenderloin
  • Fish/Seafood
  • Egg Whites
  • If in a pinch – protein powder
  • Beef Jerky

Fiber

  • Lentils/Beans (also a decent protein source)
  • Broccoli
  • Peas
  • Artichokes
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Avocado (higher in cals from fat – just be aware)
  • Pears
  • Barley
  • Oats

Increasing your protein and fiber intake will only have positive health benefits for you as well, so you should probably just consider doing it no matter what 🙂

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5 Foods to ALWAYS Have In Your Home

It’s 7pm. You just finished dinner an hour ago, and you are still hungry! Are you? Maybe you are stressed, pissed off, bored, or just tired?

Or maybe you had a skimpy breakfast, missed lunch, and had a light dinner on the go. Maybe you are hungry.

If you reflect on you day, and come to the conclusion, “wow, I really didn’t eat a lot today”, this may mean it is time for a snack. (Sidenote: this is where using food tracking apps and site, such as MyFitnessPal.com – friend me @mgorski2 – can come in handy)

Another scenario for you: You get home for dinner, kids are gone, spouse is gone, and you are hungry. Nothing pre-made, nothing in the fridge really… order pizza, eat a bag of chips, or just get right to the ice cream. It happens.

9068061-Young-woman-looking-on-empty-shelf-in-fridge--Stock-Photo-refrigerator

With these two scenarios being pretty common, it is best to revisit the old adage of “Fail to plan, plan to fail”.

In both scenarios, you are feeling real, physical hunger. (Emotional hunger is a different beast for another time) This means it is time to eat. That is only half the battle. If nothing is prepared or you don’t have any go-to’s in the fridge, it can be so easy to reach for the nearest bag of **** and go to pound town.

To avoid this from happening, I recommend keeping the following foods, ALWAYS stocked in your house.

1) Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is a pure protein delight. A cup of 2% packs 27 grams of protein, 8 grams of carbs, and 6 grams of fat. This is a great late afternoon, or even after dinner snack. The protein helps with fullness, while not adding to your waistline.

When to Eat: anytime. Use it as a main protein source of a meat-free meal, a mid afternoon snack, or even a later day snack to help reach your protein goals, without adding a ton of fat or carbs to your diet. Try adding black pepper, fresh chives or basil to flavor it up a little.

2) Unsalted Premium Mixed Nuts

I say premium just because the non-premium are about 75% peanuts with some almonds tossed in. The premium nuts have heart healthy almonds, walnuts, cashews, and pecans loaded in the mix. The one thing to be cautious with is the calories. One ounce (pictured below), contains 172 calories, mostly from healthy fats. It is not a lot quantity wise, but it can hold you over until your next meal if you are really hungry.

When to Eat: Use mixed nuts as filler snacks (as long as you can control your portion). They can also be used on salads to provide some fat, or crushed up as “breading” for chicken or fish – try pecans or walnuts here.

Mixed-Nuts-28-grams

3) Eggs

I will take this one step further and say “hardboiled eggs” (yolks are ok! – Read HERE). These can be quick protein snacks, or make up part of a whole meal. One egg is about 80 calories and 6 grams of protein. Even having eggs for breakfast is not as time consuming as many people think. Heat some olive oil or coconut oil in a pan on medium. Wait 2-3 minutes, then crack your eggs right into the pan and scramble up in the pan. This saves dishes and time. Keep the eggs moving to prevent burning (I HATE burnt eggs), add black pepper, and they should be done in 2-3 minutes. You can’t tell me that sacrificing your health and eating some sugar filled cereal is worth more time than 4-6 minutes. Combine with some fresh berries (no time at all) and you have a great, high protein breakfast in under 10 minutes.

When to Eat: breakfast or as a protein source at a snack or non-meat meal.

4) Fresh Berries

As I just mentioned, fresh berries can be added to a meal to make it complete and very flavorful. Berries are my favorite fruit, far and above all other fruits, because of their natural sweetness and uber high does of vitamins and polyphenols. I like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and black berries. 

While they may be more expensive than other fruits, they are very worth it. The quantities you can eat without sacrificing calories is awesome, and they are loaded with fiber (especially rasp and black).

When to Eat: as a side with a meal, or in plain yogurt to add flavor. Flavored yogurts are loaded with crap sugar. Instead, buy plain, and blend in some fresh berries. This adds a ton of flavor, and fractions of the sugar. If you are having berries as a snack during a hunger pang, I would pair up with a protein source too – to help with fullness.

5) Beans

Beans are the long lost and forgotten carbohydrate of the western world. A great majority of the world lives off of beans and rice, yet we tend to reach for processed “healthy” garbage like rice-cakes when we are hungry. No need. Beans can fill a carb and protein void quickly and with tons of health benefit. You can buy beans super cheap – especially dried beans – and they last forever. A half cup of black beans – and most other beans at that – contains 20 grams of carbs (8 of which are fiber) and 8 grams of protein.

When to Eat: Add canned, rinsed beans to your eggs in the morning as a great carb source. Add beans to the side dish of any meal – you can replace your bread based carb. Or try making an awesome black bean salad to use as a side dish paired with a good meat protein source.

Awesome Black Bean Salad
Servings: 8
Total Time: 20 Minutes
img_1033

Ingredients

  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 ear fresh cooked corn, kernels cut off the cob
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest (be sure to zest limes before juicing them)
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients  in a large bowl and mix well. Cover and chill for a few hours or overnight. Garnish with a more chopped cilantro if desired. Serve at room temperature.

Cals Per Serving: 212 – Carbs 31g, Protein 10g, Fat 6g

These are my 5 personal favorite staples to always keep on hand for crunch times or when you aren’t feeling like preparing something extravagant but also want to stay on track with your eating plan.

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