In A War That is Stacked Against Us, America Fights Uphill

No, I’m not talking about infectious viruses or actual wars. There is a much bigger problem in America, and it IS the underlying cause of many dangers, many pre-existing conditions, many hospital visits, high healthcare costs, and overall quality of life.

Our nutrition sucks. 

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How To Transition Out of Lockdown With Your New Habits

As things continue to ever change with lockdowns and stay at home orders, one thing is for certain – this will eventually end, you and I will eventually return to work, and our previous schedules will slowly become the norm once again.

How quickly, or to what extent, is the big question. As I stated in my newsletter this week, many of my clients have improved their health during this time.

Why and how? Well in an article from two weeks ago I covered the reasons why, and maybe some of these apply to you.

As we shift back into a new, new normal, how will you take what you have learned from this time and continue to apply it if you found it especially helpful?

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6 Reasons Why You Gained or Lost the “Quarantine 15”

Well, we are about 40 or so days into this whole stay at home deal. How are things going for you health-wise? Run through a quick systems check for me:

  • Physical Health
  • Mental Health
  • Spiritual Health
  • Social Health
  • Financial Health

All of these can be intertwined, and affect one another, but for the sake of this post, I want to look at physical health. Now, more than ever, we are seeing that our physical health is literally a determining factor between life or death.

For the sake of right now, let’s dive into what has happened with your health lately over the past 40 or so days.

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16 Quick Healthy Snacks for a Hard Time

I’ve never been so close to the kitchen all day. 30 to 40 steps and I am there. Any food that I want, whenever I want it. Not going to lie – it’s difficult. I have written many times before on setting up your environment for success, and how this will eventually determine your success because you can only count on willpower for so long.

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8 Ways Your Diet Could Be Weakening Your Immune System

No food or pill can make you invincible. However… 

…that isn’t the end of the story.

You have to love the world we live in. “Never let a good crisis go to waste” is alive and well in the nutrition and fitness world.

Every single fitness trainer’s business is on life support while trying to help as many clients as possible from a computer or cell phone via Zoom. Coming up with bodyweight and minimal equipment workouts to try and best serve clients, and pivoting to full force online coaching, for the time being, is a move that everyone in the fitness industry is (should) be doing.

And then you have the nutrition people...

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Stress Will Get You, One Way or Another

For those of you on the insider’s email list, you know that I sent out a newsletter this week about balancing your stress with decompression/destress activities. For those of you NOT on the insider’s email list, what are you waiting for?

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP for Insider’s Newsletters every Tuesday.

I got an awesome email response back from one of my subscribers, and here is the part that I want to focus on:

“For me, I think that leaving work mentally and emotionally exhausted, and going home and eating shitty processed food, or going out to dinner for shitty deep fried bar food (and some nights I literally had wine or bourbon for dinner) was the killer… I ended up in a tailspin that I am glad is behind me.  I’m below 200 lbs for the first time in a long time. 

Putting all that behind me, and taking the time to make a healthy-ish dinner, and walking to the grocery store has been huge.   

So moral of my rambling non-sensical story:  stress has a huge impact on your weight and well being.  Not just the cortisol, but also whatever your coping/ escape mechanism is.”

First – bravo my friend! I was so happy to read this email I even did it mid-workout, during my heavy bench press rest period, and those of you who know me, know it takes a lot to break my focus in that exact moment.

Second – he is 100% right here.

We can talk about cortisol, stress levels, stressors, etc. forever – we all have them – but it is the ACTIONS we do because of the stress that really ends up compounding the problems on top of us and leading to potentially unhealthy coping mechanisms.

So first we must look at what is causing the stress, and is it something that we can either change completely or do we need to change our response to it?

If the weeds in your front yard are stressing you out, you can change that – weed killer or hire a company.

If your boss at work is stressing you out…well you could change that by quitting, but what if that isn’t an option?

Then we need to go to step 2 – and alter our reaction to the stressor.

It first begins with analysis – why is the situation stressing you? What is your reaction to the stress, and is this healthy?

Problem: Continuously getting asked to work long hours at work.

Why is this stressing me: I’m overtired, it makes me crabby, and I am missing out on family time.

What is my reaction: I get home late, have a drink or two, and eat whatever I can get my hands on quickly.

What is the consequence of this reaction: I have gained weight, I sleep like shit because of the greasy food and alcohol – which then adds to more stress and less recovery, making me more susceptible to making these types of decisions more quickly and frequently.

What are my options to change this: Change the situation – quit my job. Change my reaction/change outside of the job – ask for a meeting with the boss, prioritize sleep patterns better to increase productivity, pre-plan meals so I have something that isn’t shit food ready for me when I get home late, enlist a no drinking during the week rule on myself, remind myself that I am more than my job and this behavior is not helping the problem, take a look at the project and maybe realize that the end is in sight and I can grind it out – then plan a vacation to recharge, practice 5 minutes of meditation every day…it could go on and on.

Now, there may be many ways to try and change your reaction to a big problem – and they may not work. This is when the nuclear option may be the only choice. That might be scary, especially when it comes to something like quitting a job, breaking up with your partner, moving to a totally new place, or other often scary and daunting choices.

But you might need to think about it deeper – what do you have to lose? What do you have to gain? Where does this balance out? Weigh out the pros and cons of both situations – and go from there. This critical analysis can help you rationalize an often daunting emotional decision much better than sitting around and pulling your hair out over it (shout out to one of my mentors who taught me this and put me through this during a bigger decision point in my life)

I’m not telling you to go out and quit your job today – but I’m also telling you that spending 50+ hours a week, doing something that you hate 100% of the time is no way to live, no matter what the paycheck is.

Stress management is huge – especially for those who choose to turn to food in times of stress, and all of a sudden find that their clothes don’t fit anymore! Many of my online clients deal with this, and this is often the topic of our check in’s. We might not even talk about macros, calories, etc…but just about stress and life, and that is what helps them the most!

If you’re stress eating has you out of control, I can help!

Apply here, and apply now – these spots are limited! – https://mgfitlife.com/apply-for-online-coaching/

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Stay healthy my friends,

De-Stress Your Brain to Better Health

 

I hate this time of year. Hate is a strong word, but it fits here. Over half of my social media is filled with political posts.

“If you support this candidate, I never want to see you again, and we cannot be friends”

“This candidate is an idiot, liar, and needs to be in jail”

Here’s the thing: no one ever changes their mind based off of a facebook status or post, and if anyone wants to lump support for candidate X into a basket of unspeakable, excommunication, zero chance friendship – then fine…but I do have pity on you.
Ok, that’s enough of that…so,

What is the bigger picture here? Stress.

People tend to stress and spew onto social media and into social discussions (you know, like when people actually talk to each other) over certain things that they have no control over (don’t lecture me on voting here – I’m not saying that).

How does this affect our lives?

We lose sleep, we get sick, we stress eat, we get unhealthy – and damn John Snow, winter IS coming…

NO this is not just politics stressing us out, but other things, insert here _____, that in the big picture of things, what can we really accomplish by stressing out over them?

So how do we handle this stress in our lives that is making us sick, tired and fat?


As Elsa says, Let It Go…

But really, here are some tips (that even I need to continue to work on 😉

1) Stay away from things that get you fired up before bedtime. Whatever you are getting upset about, don’t let this approach bedtime. It will only get your brain firing, rage pumping, and adrenaline flowing. This is not a good recipe for sleep.

It is great to be passionate about anything; but please avoid it late at night, when you are trying to prepare for sleep. This might be to set a timer, to remind you to put your phone, computer, and tv away or off 30-60 minutes before your intended sleep time. Yes, treat yourself like your parents treated you as a child. Disconnect from everything that gets you all fired up. This is bedtime, this is your recovery time, this is essential.

2) Remind yourself that food won’t solve your stress. Food won’t fix it – still one of my favorite lines from my internship. We need to dissolve this morality with food that we and your family have created since we were young. Food caries no feeling, it is nourishment and tasty – but does not solve our problems.

If you find yourself reaching for food X – stop, ask yourself, what is it you REALLY want?


Something on TV pissing you off? How is eating cheetos going to fix that. Really. Think about it, laugh at yourself for how silly that sounds, and have some water.

Once you start recognizing emotional/stress eating – you should be able to laugh at yourself, and defuse the stress – and then hopefully find something else to do besides eating.

3) Chillax 

Chill and relax. Read a good book, take an epson salt bath, get a massage, enjoy a good workout, spend time with your loved one…

There are so many things that we can do to de-stress – it is crazy how many people “don’t have time” for them. Yet those same people could catch you up on the latest Kardashian drama, quote the latest polling numbers in the election race, and tell you exactly what their favorite or least favorite people tweeted about.

Schedule some you time, some free time, some relaxing time. You wont regret it.

Be good to one another

Update: my computers hard drive completely crashed as I finished up this post… talk about ironic…deep breaths…

 

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Stay healthy my friends,

 

High Stress Got You Holding On To Fat?

The Stress Impact on Fat Gain

 

Eating too much garbage food, not exercising enough, drinking too many sweet or alcoholic drinks – all things that are commonly attributed to weight gain, and the inability to lose fat.

 

What about stress?

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Stress plays a significant role in weight gain and fat storage. A recent study out of UC San Francisco is the first to demonstrate that highly stressed people who eat a lot of high-fat, high-sugar food are more prone to health risks than low-stress people who eat the same amount of unhealthy food. The health risks of note were:

 

  • Higher Blood Sugar
  • Higher Blood Pressure
  • Higher amounts of abdominal fat
  • Higher cholesterol levels

 

High stress caused an increase in a biomarker, Neuropeptide Y (NPY). Higher levels of NPY (along with cortisol) in combination with junk food, creates larger abdominal fat cells (1). Not to say that eating junk food while stress free is okay if your goal is weight loss, however negative results will be compounded and any type of progress can be slowed. This can even be the case if you start eating healthy, but still have your stressors present in your life.

Even obsessing over eating healthy and meticulously measuring every little grain out and gram of food and be a stressor on the body, thus blunting some results after prolonged periods of stress!

 

How do we eliminate chronic stress?

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  1. Sleep more. Find the time to try and get more sleep. Even an extra 30 minutes a night can help. Put down the iPad, cell phone, turn off the TV, and pick up a book to help you sleep better.
  2. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Some things in life we just can’t control. Learning to take a step back and ask yourself, “Why am I getting so upset about this?” is one of the best things you can do.
  3. Treat yourself. A spa day, massage, or relaxing bath can really help you unwind. Go for a long walk in a nature setting. Listen to calming music. Watch a funny movie or go to the comedy club. Laughter is a great de-stressor!
  4. Write about it or talk about it. Getting your feelings out helps greatly. Talking with a friend, family member, or professional may be just what you need to decrease stress on so many levels.

1) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2914537/