Short Term Pleasure; Long Term Pain…

Recently I was listening to a fantastic podcast from my friends at Relentless Dietetics –> http://relentless-show.libsyn.com/rss

In their most recent episode they were discussing higher level thinking – how as humans we can think and plan for long term, where as animals, live in the now and literally only react to what is currently happening, and don’t necessarily do things in the current time while thinking about how that will impact future.

Which brings up the point of “short term pleasure; long term pain” or vice versa “short term pain; long term pleasure”

The word ‘pain’ does not need to be actually PAINFUL, but it might be the thing you don’t really want to do, or the less desirable of two or three options…

When it comes to being fit, exercising or taking care of your body – its easy to choose short term pleasure by skipping the gym, sleeping in –  skipping the gym, and going out to the bars – even deciding to take the elevator; instead of the stairs…

You consistently choose the easier, more “pleasurable”, more compelling, more mainstream frankly, and more average choice – you are likely to find yourself in the long term “pain” bucket.

Pain in this case being – not happy with how you feel, not happy with how you look, not confident, always thinking that you are a failure – these may sound harsh, but they are all things that I have unfortunately heard.

How about short term “pain” for long term pleasure in regards to fitness/activity/etc?

Going to the gym consistently – not always what we want to do.

Tracking workouts and progress – not what we always want to do.

Taking the stairs – not what we always want to do.

Walking to the grocery store that is 4 blocks away – not what I always want to do 🙂

All things that in the short term might not be the easiest or most pleasurable choice…but they will lead to the long term pleasure of feeling good, being confident in how you look, and living a longer an healthier life.

How about when it comes to nutrition? This is where it gets a little harsh sounding…

Short term pleasure; eating whatever the hell you want. Drinking however the hell you want. Mindlessly eating and not being aware of what you put in your body day to day…etc…

If this is what you have always done, it will lead to what you have always had.

Am I saying that you need to start suffering and eating like a bodybuilder day after day? Nope. It’s really doesn’t have to be THAT painful. Same thing goes for fad diets. When you yo-yo from one extreme to another, you are usually getting SO much short term pain, with the shiny promise of long term pleasure, but is it really worth it? Does it REALLY work??

So what will constitute as reasonable short term pain for long term pleasure?

Learning about food and how much you are currently eating – not the most exciting…

Tracking your calories – but it takes time…

Passing on seconds after dinner because you know you are full, and you know that you are at your goal for the day – very hard

Doing these things might not be ideal in the moment, but what you will gain long term is much much greater than any short term option you can choose.

But here’s the deal – you don’t ALWAYS need to choose short term pain for long term pleasure – you just need to be aware of what you are choosing, and have realistic expectations about how you plan to feel afterwards.

This is where I cannot stress enough about how cool tracking your food is. This has essentially allowed myself and many clients to enjoy short term pleasure, for long term pleasure…ooooo,ahhhhhh…

How do you mean? More on this another time – but I have already touched on the topic before. –> https://mgfitlife.com/2017/02/16/how-to-eat-girl-scout-cookies-and-stay-on-track-with-your-goals/

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50 Ways to Cut Calories Without It Being Absolutely Terrible

Why are these ideas not terrible? Because they don’t involve you completely changing your diet or completely removing every food you love from your life. It’s all about finding moderation and creating awareness of what you put in your body.

The fancy stuff that most people focus on only matters once you master the basics 🙂

No more chitchat – right to the list:

  1. Drink (none) as little of your calories as possible.
  2. Leave one/a few bite (s) of food on your plate at the end of every meal.
  3. Always have a vegetable at a meal.
  4. Load your plate once per meal – no going back for seconds
  5. Choose mini servings of desserts at restaurants
  6. Don’t eat anything that is free at restaurants (bread, chips, etc…) <— TOUGH!
  7. Always get the steamed veggies as a side dish at the restaurant – and still get whatever you want for the main dish.
  8. Try to avoid cream sauces, stick to lighter red sauces on pastas.
  9. Never eat anything out of a bag or container – make yourself put it out on a plate first.
  10. Have a big glass of water before you eat.
  11. Eat your salad or vegetables before your main course.
  12. Sub a 30-50 gram protein shake for one of your snacks or meals
  13. Buy the low calorie version of the foods you eat (check the labels, its not always the low fat version!)
  14. Choose grilled versions over fried or breaded versions of protein
  15. Mustard over mayo on sandwiches
  16. Plan your meal before you eat it – log it or write it down prior to actually eating
  17. Eat fruit for your main carb at breakfast
  18. Order salad dressings on the side, and only add what you need to the salad
  19. No calories in the coffee – either drink it black or use a zero cal option
  20. Do you eat appetizers at home? Then stop eating them at restaurants
  21. Stop eating when you are satisfied
  22. Don’t order anything with the word “double” or “triple” in it
  23. Always choose thin crust
  24. Eat with your non-dominant hand
  25. Learn how to cook
  26. Learn about calories, and what foods are sneakily high in them
  27. Eat protein at every meal
  28. Use diet mixers with you booze
  29. Always get water or diet soda at restaurants
  30. Just say no to supersizing or jumbo options
  31. Try not getting cheese on sandwiches (do you REALLY taste it?)
  32. Eat fresh fruit instead of dried fruit
  33. Choose leaner cuts of meat
  34. Pick one part of your meal and eat half of what you normally do
  35. Start tracking your food
  36. Write out a list of trigger foods that you can’t seem to control yourself around (yes, just becoming aware of it will help in the long haul)
  37. Place high calorie foods higher up in your fridge, and closer to the floor in the pantry
  38. Stop giving food morals – it’s just food
  39. Eat 30 grams of fiber per day
  40. Use a teaspoon of oil/fat instead of a tablespoon
  41. Put butter and jelly on your toast? Skip the butter
  42. Make your own salad dressing or use zero calorie brands (Walden Farms)
  43. Don’t get the combo meal – just get the sandwich and water
  44. Get a fruit side at fast food restaurants – most have them
  45. Swap plain Greek yogurt for sour cream
  46. Use a food scale
  47. Use a smaller plate then normal
  48. Ask for a take home container with your meal – and bag up anything more than your normal portions.
  49. Don’t eat snacks at movies.
  50. Cut yourself some slack. Maybe you don’t need to cut more calories…maybe you need to be more patient. Maybe you are going through a stressful time and holding onto water weight – and in that case, cutting calories will only hurt you by adding MORE stress. Are you confused yet? Here is the deal: lists like this pop up everywhere, and they can be helpful, but many people will just blindly follow them or pick an random a few things to try. Instead, be aware of your body. WHY are you where you are right now? What do you really need to focus on? Maybe one of these tips will make the biggest impact on you, so focus on that and ignore the other 49. Consistency and enjoying the process is what it all is about.

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Is This Your Year?

 

Happy 2018! We made it!

Every year people come up with New Years resolutions, and every year, people give up or fail those resolutions fairly quickly.

So what will you do to be different? Will this be your year to make the changes you have been talking about for years? Or finally commit to something you have been thinking about for all of 2017, but never pulled the trigger on it?

Whatever your goals or resolutions may be; great, keep them – but if you say you’re going to do something, I hope you have enough respect for yourself to do it. Don’t lie to yourself about what you are going to do, and actually take some action this year.

So how can you make it easier on yourself?

Here’s the thing, people love easy. They want easy. Yet many resolutions they set are not easy. Losing weight that you have put on over the course of 20 years of self sabotage and neglectful bad habits and lifestyle choices…

That is a hard challenge! But it can be done.

However – it IS simple.

Simple doesn’t equal Easy

Instead of moaning about how hard it is, and how easy you wish it was – take a look at how complex and daunting you are making it, and simplify it down to simple, manageable, and small steps.

Think about the hardest math class you ever took (Calc 2?). Did you start in that class from day one of learning math? No. You learned the basics at a young age and built upon it over years and years of practice and learning.

Same goes with any big New Years goal. You have to start from the basics.

Right now with the New Year motivation being strong you might feel like you can tackle all these things at once, and get to the gym 7 days per week, and measure out every gram of rice and chicken you bulk prep over the weekend…but then once the shiny luster of the New Year wears away, and real life kicks you in the face…now what?

  1. Start simple.
  2. Pick one thing each day.
  3. Write it out.
  4. Cross it off when you accomplish it.
  5. Do it again the next day.
  6. And the next… until you have a chain of “x”s lining your paper or calendar…now don’t let that chain break! (this is what Jerry Seinfeld did with writing jokes, seriously – https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/231023)

So pick your one thing, focus on it – build on it, and progress through 2018 like a boss!

 

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The Way We See The Problem Is The Problem

Last night I was reading a book that I have been meaning to read for some time now, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

I got halfway down page 48 and read this line, “The way we see the problem, is the problem”…

I had to re-read it several times to let it sink in. Once it did, it was perfect. The author goes on to write, “people are intrigued when they see good things happening in lives of individuals…that are base on solid principles. They admire such personal strength and maturity…and their immediate request is very revealing of their basic paradigm…”

What is the usual immediate request?

“How do I fix this?” “What are some tricks/tips?” “Tell me what to do…”

Now the author goes on use examples such as kids misbehaving, marriages falling apart, and managers failing at work…but I’ve got to take the nutrition approach.

The way we see the problem, is the problem…

What will me writing out a specific meal plan for you change in your life?

What will me telling you to eat this and not that change in your life?

What will me telling you what I eat change in your life?

What will me telling you the “secrets” to fat loss change in your life?

Sure, answering simple questions might get you a little closer to your goal, but most of the time these type of questions lead to short term solutions, initial progress, followed by back tracking into usual habits.

There are people out there who will gladly give you these answers, for only $49.95, and they will probably help you – in the short term. They may “fix” some of your problems…only to expose deeper issues and struggles when it comes to your mindset and relationship with food.

The more and more you look for a quick fix and an easy solution, the more and more that very approach will contribute to your underlying chronic problem.

So what the heck do you do?

Good question. Everyone is different. Your needs, your intolerances, your habits, your cravings, your guilty pleasures, your body type, your hormone status, your food you enjoy, your food that you hate, your stress and emotional eating tendencies…

This is why cookie cutters rarely work (long term). Remember what I have said, if you lost weight doing something for 12 weeks, and gained it all back, did it really ‘work’?

Because I want to provide SOME actionable content here, I guess I will give you my 3 general “best” practices when it comes to changing your mindset and relationship with food – and playing the long game.

1 – Take away any morality and power you have given to food. It is not bad, it is not good – it is food. It is nourishment. It can under nourish, and it can over nourish. You are a human being, the most advanced creature on this planet, and that is a 2×2 square brownie – who has more power?

2 – Learn about your food. What food contributes to your most calories? What food surprises you when it comes to calories? What food is less calories than you thought? What food is high protein?

If you want to change your body, take some time to learn about what you are putting in it.

3 – Focus on and Enjoy the process. Stop fixating on your goal weight in 6 months. Stop talking about how much you weighed in college. Focus on the now. What are you currently doing to improve your current situation?

Looking to change your relationship with food? I am opening up 3 limited spots in my online coaching program in the New Year. Fill out this quick survey to find out more!

Apply for ONLINE Coaching

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8 Ways To Prevent Getting Sick

 

Now, these are not guaranteed to keep you from ever getting sick, but they should hopefully increase your chances of making it through winter with minimal damage.

The irony is that I thought of this post this weekend, and as I write this, I feel like I have something coming on in the form of a little winter cold…oh well, must be karma.

1) Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate

You can never get enough water, but especially in winter many people actually drink less because of the temperatures not being hot. However, you actually tend to lose MORE body water in the the cold winters  – so make sure you are drinking more water than you think you need.

2) Eat Your Fatty Fish

We should all know, Salmon is high in Omega-3 fatty acids. These fats are awesome for anti-inflammatory properties and may help keep your immune system strong. Eating salmon twice per week is great and all, but for most of us that isn’t a realistic option – so consider getting a Omega-3 supplement –> http://amzn.to/2kq9VyY

3) Get Your Vitamin D

This might be the most underrated and under appreciated vitamin out there. In Wisconsin, we don’t see the sun nearly enough to produce enough vitamin D, and most of us don’t get nearly enough through the diet. What is enough? I recommend everyone who experiences cold, dark winters take 5000 IU D3 per day.

Order this now if you don’t take it –> http://amzn.to/2kraKYx

4) Zinc It Up

One of the more common micronutrient deficiencies in athletes, vegetarians/vegans, and those who sweat a ton, Zinc is crucial for proper immune function.

Zinc has two standard dosages. The low dosage is 5-10mg, while the high dosage is 25-45mg. The low dose works well as a daily preventative, while the high dosage should be taken by anyone at risk for a zinc deficiency.

For a great overall supplement, I recommend ZMA (Zinc, Magnesium and Vit B6)

-> http://amzn.to/2l2E6jY

5) Garlic is the Herb For You

A study in the journal Advances in Therapy found that people who took garlic supplements for 12 weeks between November and February got fewer colds than those who took a placebo. And of those who did get sick, those who took the garlic supplement felt better faster.

Don’t feel like eating a clove a day? Try this: http://amzn.to/2BeoAI4

6) Be Smart About Training

Listen to your body. If you’re feeling sick, especially in your chest, lungs or stomach, maybe you need to take a day off, hit a warm shower, and chill out for a day.

Exercising while being sick will only delay your return to optimal health, might annoy your fellow gym members who don’t want to get sick, and honestly you won’t get much out of the workout because your body is too busy fighting off the illness, it won’t be delegating many resources to your muscle repair systems.

7) Eat the Rainbow

Load up on veggies and fruits – and eat many different colors. I don’t need to preach why this is important, just know that the different colors mean many different kinds of anti-oxidants and awesome phytonutrients that will help your body.

8) Why No Mention of Vitamin C??

Vitamin C is usually the go to for the common cold – however, more and more studies have shown that taking Vitamin C does not decrease your chances of getting sick. However, once you do get sick, taking some Vitamin C may help.

So instead of waiting to get sick and pounding mega doses of Vitamin C, pay attention to the first 7 tips – and hopefully you will prevent yourself form even getting to that point!

 

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To Hell With Average

 

Sometimes a title just needs to grab your attention.

After discussing avoiding the Holiday Season weight gain with some clients, I got to thinking. Instead of coming up with “tips and tricks”, why not just change the status quo? A paradigm shift of sorts.

***Average American gains 5-10 pounds during the Holiday season by the way…BUT that is because the AVERAGE American is overweight, and according to the most recent studies, healthy weight individuals actually only gain 1.3 pounds during the holiday season***

Why be average? Why be like everyone else? Really. Lets look at average:

2/3 of Adults are Overweight or Obese in America

The norm is to be overweight or obese. Now yes, I know these numbers are based on BMI data, and strong muscled up men and women might be technically overweight according to BMI….but just take a look around. Do you see more tight buns and chiseled arms or saggy butts and big guts? 

So what do we do about this? How do you and I solve this epidemic???

Let’s dive deeper into the “Average person”…

According to a Nielsen report, United States adults are watching five hours and four minutes of television per day on average.

5 hours of TV time!!! Yet…

The average American only gets 4000-5000 steps per day.

The usual recommendation is 10,000 steps per day…

Only 59% of Americans get at least 7 hours of sleep per night.

While it’s more than average getting enough sleep, 41% of people are not. Why is sleep important?

  • Cognitive function – your brain recovers
  • Immune function – your body recovers
  • Hormone production – your muscles and sex drive recover
  • Cardiovascular function – your blood pressure lowers
  • Fat loss – you burn the most fat while you sleep

“Hey average American, cut back on 2 hours of TV, use one of those to go for a walk or exercise and one of those to sleep, and we might get this obesity rate down pretty fast.”

Here is your “average” food group consumption:

https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/chapter-2/current-eating-patterns-in-the-united-states/

Source: https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/chapter-2/current-eating-patterns-in-the-united-states/

How about beverage choices?

Americans on average drink 58 gallons of water per year. That’s 7,242 ounces of water annually — 20 ounces daily, which is 2.5 cups. And ZERO calories…

I recommend consuming at LEAST half your bodyweight in ounces. i.e.  If you weigh 200 pounds, then drink 100 ounces.

Americans on average drink 44 gallons of soda per year. 5632 ounces…or 67,584 calories per year…from soda

Alcohol consumption is tougher, but 30% of American adults don’t drink, and another 30% only consume one drink per week on average, but the top 10% of alcohol consumers drink 74 drink per week. Yes 74…

Median consumption is 3 drinks per week for those who drink. It’s hard to guess calories because of the types of drinks can vary.

So what do we do with all of this???

If you fall into these “norms” then pick one and get to work. I like starting with step tracking. Find out how many steps you get in a day, and try to add 500 each day, week by week, until you are up to 10k per day.

What if you are don’t fall into these norms, but still struggle to lose weight? Look again. Do you truly meet all the dietary recommendations? Do you consume enough water? Do you get enough sleep?

Are you CONSISTENT with most of the healthy habits? Or do you jump on and jump off the routine often?

I always say, CONSISTENCY is the secret sauce. It’s not sexy, it’s not trendy, but holy moly does it work.

Your success in the long term will always be determined by the persistent execution of the most basic things. So don’t be average. Looking back at those stats, it’s really not THAT hard to be better.

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Why Everyone Should Train Their Arms Directly

 

Friday at the gym…it’s arm day. #FatArmFridays #ArmDay #BisandTrisForDayz

The above would describe my 4 years of high school, and most of my college years as well. Most guys who are into working out will agree with this statement to some extent. Fridays were always the day where your would hit every variation of biceps, and every variation of triceps exercise you could think of.

Fast forward to post-college. Reading articles, endlessly self studying, and digging deep into the training world through continuing education, and working with mostly “general fitness/weight loss” clients lead me to the close minded conclusion of:

Direct arm work isn’t “functional” nor does it demand a lot of effort (calorie burn), and as long as you do heavy rows and presses, you don’t need to train the arms directly.

Fast forward to now.

Here is what I know:

  1. If you want to train arms directly, go for it. It’s your choice, and there is something that science can never “prove” about the good ol feeling of a great arm pump.
  2. Physiologically and anatomically speaking – if you have shorter arms, and are of shorter stature, you can more likely get pretty solid arm development through rowing and pressing movements – but this is still dependent on tendon lengths.
  3. If you have longer arms and want to build your arms up, you probably need to focus a little more on direct arm work.
  4. Last, but not least, direct arm work is indeed VERY functional…

This last point is what I would like to focus on.

 

Let’s look deeper:

Image result for arm muscle

Triceps – Function – The triceps is an extensor muscle of the elbow joint and an antagonist of the biceps and brachialis muscles. It can also fixate the elbow joint when the forearm and hand are used for fine movements.

So even if your goal isn’t to develop some sexy horseshoe triceps, they help tremendously with extending at the elbow – any time you straighten your arm – OR – they work to help fixate the arm for fine motor skills with the wrist or hands – like while writing, knitting, typing, opening jars of pickles, etc.

In other words, pretty important.

Biceps – Function – The biceps has three primary functions. The most important of these functions is to supinate the forearm (rotate forearm to palm up position) and flex the elbow (pull the hand towards the shoulder). It also contributes slightly to flexion at the shoulder (raising the arm forward and overhead).

Again, even if you aren’t trying to build a solid set of 22″ pythons, the biceps are very important when it comes to lifting anything up, and overhead – along with rotating and performing fine motor skills of the arm.

So why can’t you just focus on heavy presses and rows or pulldowns/chin ups?

There are plenty of factors that could be named here, but the biggest one is some people just aren’t ready or physically able to row or press heavy without potentially hurting other parts of their body – in other word usually the shoulder health or their grip strength is limiting.

So train your arms directly.

1-3 times per week – for 6-12 total sets of each per week – 8-20 reps per set- and that should be the sweet spot that most people need to get the minimum effective dose for overall functional benefits.

On a final note: you don’t need to train the arms super heavy – but focus more on getting maximum contraction of the target muscle.

When performing tricep exercises, get full extension (straightening) at the elbow, and squeeze our triceps HARD, then try to keep tension while returning to a flexed position.

When performing biceps exercises, focus on controlling the weight, and squeezing HARD when the elbow joint is fully flexed (forearm close to your bicep) AND slightly flexing at the shoulder joint when at the top (think about driving your elbows up an inch or two at the top end of the curl). Control the weight down, and keep tension in the bicep the whole time.

There you have it, why the arms should be trained directly – whether or not you want them to look better – but really, who doesn’t?

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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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How To Actually Get Things Done

Ive been writing about goals and mindset a lot lately, mostly because after working in the industry for almost a decade now, I have found that to be the biggest challenge for most people.

Most people know they need to workout/be more active.

Most people know what to eat more of and what to eat less of.

Most people don’t know how to initiate action on either without; A) being totally depressed because they feel they can only eat broccoli and chicken, or B) starting 150% – and burning out rather quickly – a la the yo-yo dieter.

So what does one have to do to have the best chance at results, maintaining sanity, and staying motivated?

I give you – Goal Optimization Technique and Big F***ing Task Management System Pathway to Success – or GOTBFTMSPTS. ($5 to anyone who can come up with something that rolls off the tongue a little better…)

Where did I come up with this? Well – after reading, listening to podcasts and audiobooks, and talking with other great minds, I kind of just threw this together be taking bits and pieces of things that I liked from my sources…

Step 1) Get out a piece of paper or even better a notebook.

Physically writing things out has been proven to be more effective than just saying them or thinking them. Write this stuff out if it’s really that important to you!

Step 2) Write your 3 goals – be specific and be realistic.

  1. Lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks
  2. Retire at age 35
  3. Own 3 sports teams

Are all great, but lets be real here.

***If weight loss is a goal, then I recommend 1% weight loss every 2 weeks***

So lets look at hypothetical person A – Jane. 160 pounds, 40 years old, moderately active, looking to lose another 10 pounds. Thats a 6% weight loss – so about 12 weeks out. Her goals might be:

  1. Lose 10 pounds by Feb. 1st 2018.
  2. Start an online retail business for the widgets she makes by January 1.
  3. Go on a week vacation with her two kids for Spring Break.

So there are her three goals.

Step 3) WHY Are Your Goals Important?

Now is where we dive into the “why”. Why are those goals really important to you. I’ve written on that many times – so I won’t…BUT it is an important step to write out as well! Finding “WHY” your goals are important will get to the root motivational objectives – and will drive you to succeed much better than any motivational speaker or trainer can do.

For more info – read this if you haven’t – “Find Your Why” – Simon Sinek

Step 4) Come Up with Your BFT’s Every Single Day

This is where the money is made. Your BFT’s, or Big “frickin” tasks – are what will get you to your goals. So now that we wrote down the goals, and why they are important, we tuck those away and turn our focus to the TASKS that will get us there.

Write out 3-5 TASKS, not goals, everyday that will get you TO your goals.

They may not be BIG tasks to others, but to you, they are because they will move you towards your goals.

Jane’s could be:

  1. Workout at home for 45 minutes (Goal 1)
  2. Plan meals for the week (Goal 1)
  3. Schedule meeting with web designer (Goal 2)
  4. Put $5 in the vacation fund (Goal 3)

As she completes those tasks – she crosses them off. Physically crossing things off gives people a sense of accomplishment, and leads to winning the day.

Your BFT’s might stay the same day after day, and thats okay.Some will change, but some you might be writing down everyday – and thats what matters!

When you start winning the days, you start winning weeks, months and years – and that is where you find results.

Will you win every day? Heck no.

But you keep going forward.

If you had a task that you didn’t complete on Day 1, then put it first for Day 2, and don’t ditch it until you cross it off.

So if you have never done this before, and you are sitting here thinking – I don’t have time to do that, or that sounds like some stupid guru BS; I don’t need to write out my goals, and daily tasks…then good luck, thanks for visiting.

BUT, if you have never tried it, what is the harm in trying it? I promise that if you do this system, you will find yourself more productive, feeling more accomplished, and having more success than ever before!

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