April 30, 2011
April 28, 2011
Here are three ways to fire up motivation from within
1. Visualize the Goal
When I was losing weight I regularly pictured myself wearing "cool clothes" that I could not fit into as a size 13 or 14. Unfortunately, the fashion industry does not think that heavier folk like to be fashionable! I was constantly stuck in frumpy, "bum" clothes when I wanted to be in dresses with groovy patterns and fitted pants. Every time I wanted to quit, and hit the fridge instead of the weights, I imagined how cool it would be to shop anywhere I wanted. It really worked!
2. Make a Promise
Giving yourself a reward for the effort is definitely something to look forward to. Whether it's a new fitness gizmo, a day at the spa or even a slice of cheesecake (yes, you can do this) a promise to reward yourself can get you through the last week of a diet plan, or a tough work week coupled with late nights at the gym. I just purchased body fat calipers that will arrive in a couple of weeks. Of course when they get here, I want to see great results. It's motivating to me, and hopefully when I mention it to my clients, it will motivate them too!
3. Talk About It
Sometimes a verbal commitment is enough healthy pressure to keep anyone going. By telling your personal trainer, friends or family that you signing up for a cycling event, or trying to lose ten pounds, it's almost as though you have made a verbal contract. Now if you back out, you may feel like you're not staying true to your word. Sometimes I find that telling the people around me what I'm trying to do helps me to stay focused.
April 26, 2011
Well now that Easter weekend is over I'm resuming the meal plan..Haha. I picked up Weight Watchers tortilla shells. They're about 100 calories each and made with whole grains (includes the germ). I had to be creative to use a whole bag last week and came up with some pretty tasty small meals and snacks.
1. Tortilla with mixed veggies and scrambled whites
-1/4 cup egg whites (equivalent to 2 egg whites)
-Handful of frozen mixed veggies (mine have peppers, carrots and asparagus) or mushrooms.
-Condiment (ketchup, HP etc)
Saute veggies, add egg whites, roll in a pita and enjoy
2. Tortilla and Hummus
I made hummus and some days cut the tortilla into triangles along with cut veggies. Other days I made a wrap!
3. Cottage cheese and Cinnamon Tortilla
This was surprisingly tasty. Just roll up some cottage cheese, sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy as a filling snack.
This week I have leftover arugula, veggie burgers, cucumbers and tomato. I'll be making more wraps!
April 25, 2011
"The first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want."
"You only live once, but if you work it right, once is enough."
"Love the moment. Flowers grow out of dark moments. Therefore, each moment is vital. It affects the whole. Life is a succession of such moments and to live each, is to succeed."
"Life is just a mirror, and what you see out there, you must first see inside of you."
"never have regrets because at one point everything you did in life was exactly what you wanted."
April 23, 2011
Dietary Changes for Anxiety
1. Switch to Decaf
Caffeine stimulates the nervous system, and too much of it can be overwhelming. It can cause nervousness and panic attacks. Caffeine is in coffee, tea, pop, and chocolate. Reducing the amount of caffeine in the diet will show almost instant improvements for anxiety related restlessness and irritability.
2. Cut Back on Alcohol
When people feel stressed they reach for a drink to, "calm their nerves." Unfortunately boozin' causes dehydration, insomnia and too much will just make you feel sick. It's a depressant that will bring out negative emotions in some people. The source of their anxiety could end up feeling even more exaggerated and ultimately, they wind up feeling more upset both mentally and physically.
3. Eat Complex Carbs
When we're upset or anxious turning to comfort food is fairly common. This includes the simple sugars: chocolate, candy, chips, cookies etc. The problem with simple sugars, aside from being having no nutritional value, is that they don't keep you full for very long, and cause a constant craving for more sugar. Complex carbohydrates such as whole grain breads, beans and legumes take longer to digest. Instead of picking up chips when you're feeling anxious prepare some veggies and hummus or even air popped popcorn instead.
Eating healthy and avoiding caffeine and alcohol is the first steps toward minimizing anxiety. Drink a lot of water to minimize fatuigue, headaches and stress, caused by dehydration.
April 21, 2011
Three Fitness Myths
1. Eat a lot of protein to gain muscle
Protein is the muscle's building block. It helps to repair. However, it's not fuel for an exercise or calories that add mass. Too much protein in a diet can cause dehydration, overwhelm the kidneys and stress the heart. Plus a high protein diet will make you feel plain crappy, and won't give you the energy required for intense lifting sessions. Instead, increase caloric intake by 500 everyday with a balance of all healthy food groups.
2. Sweating means you are working out harder
Not true. Sweat is a mechanism used to cool the body. Actually the amount of work you can do DECREASES when your body is using your energy to produce sweat. Furthermore, energy is lost by sweating because it causes the blood supply to rush toward the skin and away from the muscles. The heart responds by pumping harder, to replace the blood from the muscles. Too much sweating can cause heat stroke or collapse. Don't induce sweat. It makes no contribution to fitness.
3. Eating food at night is more fattening
Look, your body doesn't tell the time. It doesn't care if you eat past 8pm. The myth comes from the idea that you won't have time to burn off food before bed. However, recent studies suggest that it's not the time you eat but how much is consumed in a 24 hour period. If you're eating within your caloric range, you are fine! Skipping meals and over eating at night leads to weight gain but if you can't eat a good meal until after work, it won't make you store any more fat than the people who eat their biggest meal for lunch. Besides, we burn fat all of the time, even when we sleep.
Be Fit AND Informed!
April 19, 2011
Then the weight loss stops. We can only reduce caloric intake and exercise so much before it becomes unhealthy. So now what? Being so close to the goal and not easily obtaining it can become frustrating. Try these tips:
Tips to Shed the Last five or ten pounds
1. Is there room to be more regimented?
When we lose weight the plan may have started out by simply adding exercise and quality nutrition into the daily program. Usually this change is enough to lose weight. When it becomes harder then a carefully devised meal plan could be the answer. Eating 5-6 mini meals 3-5 hours a part at about 2-300 calories each will keep the metabolism revved up. The meals should contain lean protein, vegetables and complex carbohydrates. A lot of people lose weight but stick to the same diet they were eating right from the start but as more pounds are lost, less calories are needed to fuel a smaller person. If calories can be cut safely, this is an option to try.
2. A Leptin Boost
Leptin is a metabolism burning hormone which decreases as calories are reduced. After following tip number one all week, you can get a leptin boost from having one day of high calorie foods. It takes about a week for leptin levels to decrease but only one day to get levels back up. This doesn't mean to go all out, but calorie dense foods will "reset" your metabolism and get it back into high gear.
3. Break up your Exercise Routine
If you have been doing cardio and weights at the same time (for an hour combined) break up the workout and add a little more time to each. 40 minutes of cardio in the morning, and 40 minutes of weights at night (or reverse) will burn more calories and you will be better rested in between workouts to add more intensity to each. Plus, cardio will increase your metabolic rate for up to 24 hours, while the new muscle will burn more calories throughout the day. Both forms of exercise will be working for you around the clock!
Try to not become frustrated by the last few pounds. It may take longer but with determination and persistence it DOES happen!
April 18, 2011
"A healthy outside starts from the inside."
"I believe that how you feel is very important to how you look - that healthy equals beautiful."
"I really believe the only way to stay healthy is to eat properly, get your rest and exercise. If you don't exercise and do the other two, I still don't think it's going to help you that much."
"The way you think, the way you behave, the way you eat, can influence your life by 30 to 50 years."
"It takes more than just a good looking body. You've got to have the heart and soul to go with it."
April 16, 2011
Five Tips to Progress Results
1. Form is Everything
Even if you think that you're practicing correct technique, it doesn't hurt to brush up. Review posture and form online or buy/borrow a book. Not only will this improve results but along the way, you will find new exercises to spice up the workout.
2. Add more Weight
Don't fear the weights! If you have been doing bicep curls with 5 pound dumbbells for five years, an increase to eight pounds will get you results within a few sessions. You will not pack on muscle but your arms will be much more toned and defined!
3. Mind your Diet
Studies are suggesting that high carb, high fat diets are causing that belly fat that simply will not go away. Plan a few meals per week which have lean protein and vegetables as the main course. No matter what meal plan you create, there's never any need to give up foods that you enjoy forever but cutting back on high fat, extra carbs and alcohol will make a significant overall difference.
4. Try Different Activities
Every once in a while do something completely different. Take a water aerobic class, martial arts or join a walking group. Variations in types of activities will work the body in a different way and promote results.
5. Get Some Rest
Fatigue produces stress hormones which don't allow fat cells to release their fatty deposits. A lack of rest and sleep causes the body stress, even if the mind feels unaffected. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep a night to stay well rested and to allow the body to burn fat, digest and function at its optimal ability.
And of course, vary your workouts by changing the amount of time you work out, using different exercises and alternating intensity levels.
April 14, 2011
- Builds Bone Density
- Reduces the risk of osteoporosis
- Reduces risk of diabetes
- Reduces risk of heart disease
- Prevents Injuries
April 12, 2011
The method is pretty straightforward. The exerciser moves heavy weights, or the weight of their own body in a quick period of time to boost overall power output. An example of this is performing alternating squat and push up sets for 15 minutes and keeping a record of the number of reps performed. Then a week or two later the sequence is repeated and the goal is to increase the number, the weight or both.
This offers the challenge of a numeric goal, and it's easy to plan workouts and track progress. Okay, doing squats or push ups for 15 minutes seems quite ambitious, and it is! 150-200 squats and push ups even without weights will cause plenty of soreness, at first. However, eventually the body adapts, weight is added and the muscle performance increases SIGNIFICANTLY!
Some key points of this system:
- Form is of utmost importance. If one workout you are performing bench press with perfect form, and the next with lazy technique, the purpose of this methos is defeated. Not to mention that with so many reps proper form will prevent injury.
- Active recovery in between workouts with cardio and stretching is highly recommended.
- 3 PR zones (personal record) per cycle are to be achieved. 2 exercises per 15 minute cycle (typically push and pull like bicep curl and triceps kickback) with 5 minutes rest in between.
- Lift light at first with a weight that would fatigue at 10reps. Go half to fatigue (5 reps) and alternate your exercise. Keep repeating this cycle for the 15 minutes.
- The next workout the only goal is to do more reps!
April 11, 2011
"If I had to select one quality, one personal characteristic that I regard as being most highly correlated with success, whatever the field, I would pick the trait of persistence. Determination. The will to endure to the end, to get knocked down seventy times and get up off the floor saying. “Here comes number seventy-one!"
-Richard M. Devos
"The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places."
"When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on."
-Franklin D. Roosevelt
"When the world says, 'Give up,' Hope whispers, 'Try it one more time.'”
"Decide carefully, exactly what you want in life, then work like mad to make sure you get it!"
April 9, 2011
Fitness Events in Toronto
April 16/11 WWF CN Tower Climb 21st Year!
April 17/11 MS Society Walk 20th Year!
April 14-17 Yoga Conference and Show
May 1/11Sporting Life 10k
May 30/11 My Favourite, The Cycling Group Commute!
What's going on in your city? Torontonians, what are you signing up for?
April 7, 2011
The topic of the interview is maintaining weight and exercise during pregnancy. Of course, any natural pregnancy can expect healthy weight gain but being pregnancy doesn't mean the end of fitness for nine months. Even more, you can begin a fitness regimen while being pregnant, even if you have never exercised before.
Read the interview.
April 5, 2011
The problem with the scale is that pounds fluctuate on a daily, even an hourly basis. Depending on what a person eats or drinks, hormones and even dehydration can alter an accurate weight measurement up to 5lbs.
Here are Three Effective Ways to Measure Weight Loss Progress
1. Tape Measurements
Taking measurements is the easiest way to measure progress. Most people have a soft tape measure, from a sewing kit, or they can be purchased 3/pack for $1. Tape measurements are effective because even a 1/4 inch gained or lost takes a long time to happen. A big meal will not cause you to gain an inch, and a week not working out won't cause an inch loss in muscle. Tape measurements are also very easy because it's a simple matter of placing the measuring tape around the body parts you wish to monitor, oppose to body fat calipers which are more expensive and harder to figure out.
2. How Clothing Fits
Many of my clients do not want accurate readings of their progress because their main goal is to feel good. A big goal to their "feeling good," is fitting better in their clothes. This is a great and healthy way to determine success without the stress of "the big weigh-in, measurement day." The only downside to this technique is that clothes do tend to stretch. If someone is using the same pair of gym pants to determine their progress, they may think they are losing weight when in fact, it's only the pants losing its elasticity. When using this method it's better to try fitting in to something that's a little too tight to start, such as a formal dress, or a pair of work slacks.
3. Body Fat Scales
These days body fat scales can be purchased for home use. Typically they are built in combination with a digital weight scale. A scale that measures body fat usually has programmable features to save readings for multiple users. Body fat measurements are taken by sending a harmless current through the body. The light can go through muscle more easily than fat. The amount of resistance to the current measures the amount of fat-free mass in a person's body.
How do you measure your progress?
April 4, 2011
"If you don’t like the problems and shortcomings in your life and in your world, stop giving so much of your attention to them. Instead of being sick and tired and upset about the way things are, be positively passionate about the way you would like things to be. You will naturally attract into your experience those things you focus on most passionately. The problem is, you move in the direction of what you passionately despise just as surely as you move toward what you passionately desire. So make a conscious decision to let go of the focus on what you despise, and replace it with focus on what you truly desire. Get the power of your passion working full time in your favor. Instead of obsessing about what’s wrong, challenge yourself to visualize in great detail about what would make it right. Then make use of all those details to put your vision into action. It’s great to be passionate about something, because passion can bring an endless supply of energy to your life. And the power of your passion makes it important that you point it in a positive direction. For every single thing that stirs up your passion, there is a positive way forward. Choose to find that way, to follow it, and to transform the energy of your passion into great and lasting value."
"If you don’t like the problems and shortcomings in your life and in your world, stop giving so much of your attention to them. Instead of being sick and tired and upset about the way things are, be positively passionate about the way you would like things to be.
You will naturally attract into your experience those things you focus on most passionately. The problem is, you move in the direction of what you passionately despise just as surely as you move toward what you passionately desire.
So make a conscious decision to let go of the focus on what you despise, and replace it with focus on what you truly desire. Get the power of your passion working full time in your favor.
Instead of obsessing about what’s wrong, challenge yourself to visualize in great detail about what would make it right. Then make use of all those details to put your vision into action.
It’s great to be passionate about something, because passion can bring an endless supply of energy to your life. And the power of your passion makes it important that you point it in a positive direction.
For every single thing that stirs up your passion, there is a positive way forward. Choose to find that way, to follow it, and to transform the energy of your passion into great and lasting value."-Ralph Marston at the Daily Motivator