So... January is over with and we are already half way into February.
What’s up? How are you doing? Are you following through with your new year resolution(s)? Or have they already been kicked to the curb? If you abandoned them, why?
I’m asking because it happens all too often. We make a promise to change, but then we realize it takes [hard] work to produce a real change, and before we know it we are doing the exact thing(s) we wanted to stop doing.
It seems impossible. It feels like a never ending cycle...When will it stop?
(Hint: When you make it stop)
We have the power to achieve the goals we set in our minds. Whether this is for our health and fitness, finances, etc. We just have to take the time to do it. Thinking about it is easy, but doing...that’s a whole different story. We can see in our minds how it’s going to go; better, how we want it to go. The visualization is bright. It’s vivid. It’s all within reach.
When the new year comes, however, it isn’t all montages of you kicking ass with your favorite music playing in the background. It’s the real world and it’s a grind.
With all the, what seems to be, wasted effort and constant curve balls life keeps throwing, you end up going back to the same, tired, routine. Spending time on who knows what, but it’s definitely not on the things you were setting out to work on. Before you know it we are six months into the new year and we are kicking ourselves in the butt for allowing so much time to go by. Not only did it go by, it went fast. Now you’re left thinking about everything you could have achieved in that time...It’s a lousy cycle.
Time can be funny. When we are passive (think “auto-pilot”) time seems to fly by, but when we are working on something, when we are taken out of our comfort zone, time can feel like it’s taking forever.
The other funny thing about time is we always seem to be running out of it. We never seem to have enough time to do what’s truly important to us.
When we are bustling on throughout the year we find it harder and harder to “find time” to keep our resolutions alive. All of these “things” just keep getting in the way.
So what am I getting at with all of this?
I want you to want to take care of yourself as much as you wanted to watch the super bowl.
I want you to take care of yourself with the same passion you have for music.
I want you to take care of yourself as much as you take care of your car.
I want you to take care of yourself as if it mattered as much as everything else in your life that takes up so much of your time.
No matter how busy life gets do your best to take the time to work on those things you’ve been saying you will do. Before we know it more time will pass us by... Opportunities become missed.
Time doesn’t wait on any of us. It doesn’t care if you had a bad week. A bad month...it keeps moving.
Time doesn’t get stuck or hung up on moments, which we often do... As time flows, as should you.
Take care of yourself this year. Get away from the distractions. They will always be there. We can always visit them. The important things in life, like our health and fitness, won’t always be there.
Take the time. Put in the effort. Achieve your goals.
Until next time
Can you believe we are nearing the end of 2016? It’s been a heck of a year!
This time of the year tends to be challenging for a lot of people. With the end of the year comes the holidays. With the holidays comes food; someone always seems to be baking some sort of delicious treat.
Next come the holiday parties. Then leftovers.
Oh and would you look at that...another party…. with more food and drink.
For some of us it seems like there is no escaping the holiday death grip.
Although it seems like we gain anywhere from 5-100 lbs over the course of the holidays, we don’t (I mentioned this in a blog last year.. actually it was my first blog post!).
Over the course of the major holiday season (Thanksgiving - New Years) we gain just under one pound, on average. The big numbers we see during the season tends to be more water weight than anything (phew!).
However, I’m sure a lot of us would rather not gain the extra pound (or more..). So what do we do to enjoy our holiday, but also continue on the road to losing or maintaining our current weight?
1. Keep up with Your Exercise Routine
Our exercise routines become more important as the colder months come in. Firstly the holidays [typically] have us eating more. Which is the perfect reason to keep up with our routine. If we eat more and stop exercising we put ourselves at risk for gaining weight (Actually..I guarantee it will happen!).
Second, with it being cold outside we [typically] find ourselves indoors more. There’s a reason why people tend to put on more weight in the colder winter months:
We stop moving.
We might not be taking those long walks, or hikes for another few months. If you’re someone who tends to gravitate to the indoors during these colder months it’s imperative to stick to your routine. We’ll have a better chance at making it unscathed as we make our way through this holiday season!
2. Stay True to Your Nutritional Goals
Just like with our exercise, we will want to stay true to our nutritional goals here. Just because “it’s the holidays” does not give us a free pass to throw everything out the window. Keep your goals in mind. You can still enjoy your holidays. I promise.
Remember the flexibility you have with your calories. We know if we eat too much we will gain weight. Period. It doesn’t matter if it’s from “junk” food or “clean” food.
Keep your caloric goals in mind and do your best to hit those numbers by…
3, Exercising Portion Control at Social Gatherings
Let’s be honest here. It’s always nice to make a healthier version of mashed potatoes or gravy, but we can’t count on every party or get together to have “clean” options because...It’s the holidays! And how often does Thanksgiving come around?
The best thing you can do is to exercise portion control if you are not in control of the food choices at a social gathering.
I’m a big fan of using a food scale, but obviously we aren’t going to be wackos and carry around scales in our back pockets when we go to our holiday work party (well maybe some of us!).
Here is a simple way to do this:
In case the image ceases to work:
And when it comes to fats (ie butter), use the tip of your thumb to measure.
Exercising portion control will not only help us during the holidays, but for our everyday lives. Since we have some time before the madness begins start doing this today! Seriously.
Do it! Get the hand of it.
It’s said it takes our brains 20-30 minutes to register the feeling of satiety. With that being said...it’s a good idea to wait.
After you finish your plate, wait. If it took you 10 minutes to eat, wait at least 10 more minutes before getting another serving. There's no rush. Sit back and relax. Conversate. Laugh. Wait.
5. Watch out for Liquid Calories
These calories are the sneaky ones. It’s easy to forget eggnog contains an incredible amount of calories (around 350-400 calories per cup. YIKES!). And when it’s spiked...oh boy. You better believe those calories are adding up.
“But what about vodka?”
Yes. Vodka contains calories. A shot of vodka can net you anywhere between ~70-140+ calories, depending on the serving device ~.^
Enjoy yourself, but be mindful of what’s going in your glass and how much of it!
6. Avoid Starvation
This last one here can truly help.
It’s common to hear folks talking about fasting until “the big meal.” They want to eat as much as they can during dinner. However….
This leads to overeating. If you go into the main event starving you are going to be treading in dangerous waters. Everything.
Is more enticing when you are starving or HANGRY (Grrrrr!). Before we know it we down four rolls with butter and are still hungry for more.
Avoid doing this at all costs! Just remember...
The holidays are something to enjoy. We shouldn’t be afraid of them. We should embrace the holidays. Embrace loved ones. We just need to be mindful of how much we are putting on our plates and how much, and what, we are putting in our glasses. Along with moderating food intake during the holidays, keep up with your exercise routine. Staying on track in the gym will help us to stay on track of our goals. We are prone to make better decisions when we have our goals in mind. Keep them in sight. There are no brakes for our goals.
You are unstoppable and together we can all survive the holidays.
So you decided to join the pedometer (step tracker) revolution. You picked up a fitbit and you’re excited to see your daily steps. At the end of the day you decide to check out those steps and..
ONLY 3,000 STEPS FOR THE DAY? HOW? WHAT???
There must be a mistake...right?
If this sounds familiar...you’re not alone. Scores of people are realizing they don’t move nearly as much as they thought. I know we might get upset by this, but think of it as a good thing. We have gained information about how active we are throughout our day, and from here we can make a plan to move more.
There is no “official” daily recommended number of steps. However most step trackers start us off at a 10,000 daily step goal. For some folks it’s rather easy to achieve, and for others it seems flat out impossible.
If you're looking to increase your steps...Here are some EASY ways to gain more steps throughout your day.
1. Park your car farther away from your destination
No, you don’t have to park a mile away from the grocery store, but strive to park away from the spots closest to the entrance (heck, it’s always a mess to get those spots anyway!). I know, you’ve heard this before, but it’s the “no brainers” that really tend to work.
2. Take the stairs
If you have access to an elevator at work, or perhaps in your apartment building, etc., take the stairs. Sure an elevator ride is quick and easy, but do you really want to get stuck in an elevator? Well, do you?
That’s what I thought. Climb those stairs!
3. Go for a Nice Walk
This one doesn't need much explanation. Go outside and walk. The fall weather is here. Bundle up and enjoy the crisp fall air. Enjoy the lovely foliage...and increase those steps!
4. Stand up and Move Every 30 Minutes to 1 Hour
If your job forces you to sit all day make a plan to move every 30 minutes to 1 hour. Get up and grab some water. Make an excuse to use the copier, walk over and chat with a co-worker about the project you are working on. Sitting for prolonged periods of time is wreaking havoc on our bodies. Leading to rounded posture, tight hips and tight low backs...Get up and move. You will be doing your body a huge favor. And of course you will be increasing those steps!
This applies to television (or any screen time that has us sitting on our butts) as well. You can even march in place while watching TV *wink* *wink*
Increase your movement. Increase your steps.
BONUS:. Get outside and play “Pokemon Go”
This is a sure fire way to add steps to your day. Not sure what it is, or how to play? It’s easy.
-Download the free “Pokemon Go” app on your phone
-Walk around your neighborhood and catch pokemon
Pretty simple, right? This is a fun way to get moving and to perhaps explore your city/town on foot. Don’t worry about looking silly because there are already a ton of people (like me!) out there playing.
SUPER BONUS: Train with Me
Not only will we help to increase your steps, but we will help to improve your cardio vascular strength and muscle and bone strength.
Changing our lifestyle is not easy, but it is necessary to promote the change we seek. If we keep doing the same thing day in and day out expecting change we are only going to set ourselves up for disappointment. I know these tips aren’t anything groundbreaking, but that’s the thing. It really is the simple stuff that works. Want more steps? Move more, but don’t make it complicated. You will see those steps adding up from all the extra activity. Will it get you to the 10,000 step goal that the pedometers recommend? Maybe. It all depends on you.
Remember: your fitbit (or any other pedometer) is a tool. It’s simply there to give us a reflection of our activity. It’s still up to us to take action.
Get up and move.
Until next time!
Summer isn't over. but let's face it: fall is right around the corner. It's time to start dialing things back in when it comes to our health and fitness.
Perhaps we have put on a few extra pounds this summer from all of the fun we've been having...Or maybe we’re just feeling tired and lousy.
Here are 3 quick, super easy, ways to start falling back into your exercise and nutrition programs.
1. Reduce the Liquid Calories
These calories are sneaky. Drinking some beers at a BBQ, having some sweet, sweet lemonade after some tough yard work...These are calories we don't need.
The fix here? Reduce the amount of liquid calories we consume. We don't need to completely remove them from our diet, but let's moderate our consumption. Shoot for light/low calorie beers and stick with water if you are legitimately thirsty. Sugary beverages won’t quench your thirst (and you won’t sweat Gatorade like in the commercials). They will just have you going for more and before you know it you have added hundreds of unwanted calories to your day.
2. Start Exercising...Again.Today.
There's no better time than now to start exercising. Maybe you were good all winter and spring, but for some reason you can't escape summer's grip (it goes until the 22nd of September!!!).
If you have taken the majority of the summer off from your workouts, suck it up and start it up today. Do some jumping jacks, push-ups, squats, burpees; do something. Get your body back into the habit of working out. The key to getting in shape is to stick with your routine. Exercising for a couple of months and then taking a couple of months off will only set us back and, more than likely, keep our fitness the same.
Start it back up today.
3. Plan Your Meals
This last one isn't just for falling back into fitness, but for keeping ourselves on track throughout our whole journey. Think about what you want to eat for the upcoming week, and make a list.
This way when we go to the grocery store we have a plan. No straying off into the temptation aisles...We stick to the list.
Picking a day throughout the week to prep meals is key to staying prepared. Sunday is a great day to do this, but you can pick any day. Doing this will hopefully give you a week's worth of food which you can take to school or work. A lot of times we make decisions we regret due to simply not being prepared.
Remember: Failing to plan is planning to fail.
Plan ahead to avoid defaulting to those high calorie restaurant meals. Not only will you save on calories for the day, but you will save money.
Enjoy the rest of summer! It’s not over, but start falling back into fitness. Before we know it we will be making resolutions for 2017, but we’re not done with 2016 yet.
If you’re unsure on how to fall back into fitness, contact me today. I’ll help you =)
Every new year holds the opportunity to turn our lives around (let’s be real: every day holds the opportunity!), and with the new year many of us pledge to exercise and eat better in an attempt to live a healthier lifestyle. For some their New Year's resolution lasts for a few months. Others perhaps a day to a few weeks.
Why is this?
1. It's not easy
2. It's not easy
Most people don't stick with their New Year's resolution because changing our lifestyle is TOUGH. We are talking about reworking years worth of bad habits. And a lot of us out there think we can undo all of those bad habits in a few months...heck some of us think it can be done in a few weeks. Then, when our expectations aren’t met and everything hasn’t changed, we get fed up and, well...we give up.
Look, we are already halfway through May (I’m not lying, you can check your calendar), and we are nearly 6 months into the new year. I know, it feels like it was just January.
Some of us have already given up on 2016. The number one excuse for folks not exercising right now...
"It's nice out."
Look, you can still enjoy your summer, while working on your health. You can still attend barbecues, go to the beach, etc.
It’s so easy to be “caught up,” but you need to ask yourself: how much longer are you going to go through the same old song and dance?
Before we know it it’s going to be December 31st, and many of us will be pledging to make 2017 the year it all turns around. Before that happens though, we can still make 2016 great. There's still time!
Forget about waiting until the new year to start up your resolution.
It's time to RENEW your New Year's resolution.
2016 is not over. You can still work on achieving the healthy lifestyle you keep promising yourself. The one which you deserve.
Contact me today and we can work on keeping your promise to start living a healthier lifestyle. I’ll be with you hand in hand on your journey to a stronger, healthier you. Let's continue to make 2016 great.
It seems like no matter where we look there is a new “magic pill” which promises to shed body fat—a new supplement, diet, training program, fad, etc.
They rope us in with promises to be the next best thing. The end all be all of weight loss. So what do we do?
We fall for it.
We go from buying supplements, trying every diet under the sun, to trying the most ridiculous forms of exercise. All for the sake of trying to find a shortcut to losing weight. You probably know, by now, I always say there is no shortcut. Hard work inside and outside of the gym is what it takes. We know this...
Yet we all see it day after day—folks trying to change their health and fitness only to waste their time and money looking for magic—something which doesn’t, truly, exist.
I want to talk about the buzz going around about drinking a half bottle of wine before bed to lose weight. A prime example of the pursuit of a magical shortcut.
First of all (I know, I sound like a broken record!), folks who are looking to lose weight need to cut calories. Period. If you’re already having difficulty with that, adding more calories to the equation will not help. I promise.
Articles making claims about the fat burning properties of red wine all mention a Harvard study, but it doesn’t seem to be available anywhere. The only thing we can seem to find is anecdotal evidence.
After reading the article we find the women interviewed:
What does this tell us?
Being flexible with our diet works. If you’ve been following me you know I mentioned we can be flexible with our diet to allow for snacks or “free foods,” and still get results. That’s exactly what these women are doing.
So much for magic. The women interviewed are all doing some form of calorie restriction, whether they know it or not. And that’s what we all have to do in order to lose weight.
Now, does wine have a fat burning effect? Maybe, but I doubt it’s substantial enough to make up for a poor diet.
Drinking a half bottle of wine to lose weight is just one form of “magic” out there. There are so many others it would be impossible to name them all. Remember:
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Stop wasting time looking for magic. It doesn’t exist. There are no shortcuts to better health and to better fitness. It wasn’t a shortcut which brought us to where we are today, looking to make a change.
Truly think about that.
It was not a shortcut which brought you to where you are today.
It was years of walking a specific path. Making specific actions. It was all adding up over time. Accumulating. Shaping who we are—our [bad] habits.
It’s going to take walking another path in order to achieve better health and better fitness. Continuing down the same ol’ beaten path is going to do nothing, but keep you where you are. You have to do something new.
Think about it like a new chapter starting in your life. You just need to turn the final page of this one, the chapter you’re on right now, to start the chapter which has been waiting for you. Because that’s the thing. The chapter of a fit and healthy lifestyle has always been there. It’s waiting for all of us. We just have to turn that damn page over. And it’s a heavy one. I know. It’s going to take a great deal of strength to lift it. But you can do it.
Will this new chapter be easy? Hell no. Worth it?
Stop searching the internet for the next best thing, and look within yourself. Muster the strength to start something new. Something better. Understand it’s hard work and hard work alone which will allow you to see improvements in your health and fitness.
Let’s get you started on the new path to the next chapter in your life. Contact me today. I’ll be there with you hand in hand on your journey =) No more messing around. What are you waiting for?
You decided it’s finally time to get your health and fitness in order. You joined a gym, started to eat better, and you began to feel good. You felt good about working out. You felt good when you ate better, but something happened. You started to notice others around you aren’t being as supportive as they once were, and you began second guessing everything.
You started hearing things from friends, coworkers, or family, like:
The worst feeling is when you have made progress and rather getting complimented you get a sting of a comment. You feel your progress, and you see it, but then someone comes around and asks when you’re going to start back with your diet and exercise.
And you stand there thinking, “why bother?”
The people you thought would be the most supportive turned out to be the least supportive. Encouraging you to eat more than you need to, to skip the gym, etc.
There’s something called crabs in a bucket, or crab mentality. It essentially boils down to, “if I can’t have it, neither can you.” Why is it called crabs in a bucket? When crabs are placed in a bucket they could get out pretty easily, but instead of an easy escape the crabs pull each other down to prevent each other from leaving the bucket.
(“You’ll never make it out of here!”)
When you start making progress with your health and fitness, sometimes other people get a little jealous because you are moving ahead, changing, while they are staying the same. Not everyone, of course, is like this. And the folks who try to bring you down, they might not even realize they are doing it. So think about this...
Think about life testing you when you encounter these situations. Testing to see how strong your resolve is. Are you going to just give up because someone is jealous of your success?
This is one of the biggest tests of your life.
Remember why you started. There was a reason. A reason important enough to get you exercising and eating better. Keep it in your mind so you can tune out those crabs, and when they are really trying to bring you down...
Smile and know it’s just a test =)
Stayed tuned for part 2 in this 3 part series on staying on the path to success.
Contact me today and I can help you get started on your new exercise and nutrition program, and together we can ignore the crabs in a bucket :)
I received a message on Facebook recently asking:
“Can I eat whatever I want if I exercise?”
Typically, when people ask this what they are truly asking is: “can I eat pizza and ice cream?”
If you are literally eating whatever you want with no thought to the portion sizes, total calories, etc., you are playing with fire.
At best you’ll maintain your weight. At worst you will gain weight, which goes against everything if the goal is to lose weight.
Bleh. No thanks.
It doesn’t take many calories to gain weight over time. Think about this…
Mr. Smith eats 50 calories over what his body needs to maintain his current weight. He does this for a full year. By the end of the year he will gain just a little over 5 pounds. Let’s say he keeps up with this trend for the next ten years. Theoretically, Mr. Smith should gain a little over 50 pounds…all from 50 calories.
It does not take many calories to put on the weight. This is why I advocate tracking your food for at least a week (the longer the better!) to get an idea of the energy being consumed on a given day. It will truly help to prevent overeating. Along with tracking, weighing your food comes in handy. A lot of times our portion sizes are incorrect, but a food scale can help to achieve better accuracy.
Back to the question. Can you eat whatever you want if you exercise?
Short answer: No, but you can be flexible.
For those of you who have been reading my posts you may recall me saying you can fit in a snack here and there throughout your week. I know you typically hear the opposite:
“Don’t stray from your diet!”
Being flexible with your diet (and not just eating “whatever you want”) will help to keep you sane, and also to keep you on track.
To do this successfully you need to be tracking your calories. And remember if you do fit in a snack, you have to do just that; fit it in. What do I mean? I mean fit it into your macros and calories. It shouldn’t hurt you from reaching your protein goals, and it should not bring you over your calories for the day.
Always strive to fill your macros with quality food.
When it’s Thursday and you’ve been good all week, and you just need that little bit of something...have it. Just work it in.
Heck. Jillian Michaels was once quoted saying she saves 200 calories in her daily allowance for dark chocolate.
Everything in moderation.
Keep up your hard work and remember to give it your best each and every day.
That's all for now.
Contact me today to get started on your new exercise program.
Andrew Doming is a certified personal trainer in western MA. Contact Andrew today to schedule your free fitness consultation.
Copyright © 2016 Andrew Doming