Posts tagged fat loss
Raise your hand if you get enough sleep? Not too many hands there, I know mine wasn't up. But I am constantly working on ways I can improve my sleep/rest, which will lead to better recovery, which will lead me to getting better results with those first two building blocks we have talked about.
Here are just a few things that studies have shown that lack of proper sleep can cause:
-snack more after dinner
-eat more junk carbs
-fat cells age, making you more likely to gain weight and get diabetes
-a decrease in alertness and increase reaction time, making you more likely to be in a traffic accident
-increased levels of stress, anger, sadness, and depression
So here are 7 tips to help improve sleep quantity as well as quality.
1. The single most important thing you will need is a good bed
In my opinion a great bed and mattress are well worth the amount of money they cost. Think about how much time you spend in that bed over the next 10-20 years. A very worthwhile investment, so get a good one that works for you.
2. Create a good sleep environment
Keep the noise level down as low as possible, as dark as possible, and keep your room cool (to my wife this means 87 degrees, for me it is 48 degrees). The research shows around 68 degrees is an optimal temp. Sometimes my wife reads these e-mails, fingers crossed today.
3. Get a routine
You know the basketball players that dribble twice, kiss their cross medallion, wipe the sweat off their forehead, do 4 clap jacks, and then shoot a free throw? No? Okay, just know that you need a routine to help you wind down and relax before you go to sleep. This can be reading, listening to soft music, taking a bath, praying, some light stretching. Just find a calming activity you do every night that will be your body's signal to shut it down for the night.
4. What about when you have to get up in the middle of the night?
The number one thing is to avoid frustration. If you have been trying for more than 15 minutes and nothing is happening, get out of bed and do some sort of light activity (eat a light snack, drink a glass of milk, read something boring) with the lights dimmed. If your mind starts working a hundred miles per hour on things you need to do, keep a notepad next to your bed and write down the things on your mind. All of these are designed to take your mind off things and not be so frustrated at yourself for being awake.
5. Stay away from pills!
They are the absolute last resort. There are times when you need them, but research has shown that using a good sleep routine is more effective than pills.
6. Some things that can mess with your sleepy time:
* Too much food, especially fatty, rich food. These take a lot of work for your stomach to digest and may keep you up. Spicy or acidic foods in the evening can cause stomach trouble and heartburn.
* Too much liquid. Drinking lots of fluid may result in frequent bathroom trips throughout the night.
* Alcohol. Many people think that a nightcap before bed will help them sleep. While it may make you fall asleep faster, alcohol reduces your sleep quality, waking you up later in the night. To avoid this effect, stay away from alcohol in the hours before bed.
* Caffeine. You might be surprised to know that caffeine can cause sleep problems up to ten to twelve hours after drinking it! Consider eliminating caffeine after lunch or cutting back your overall intake.
* Smoking. Smoking causes sleep troubles in numerous ways. Nicotine is a stimulant, which disrupts sleep. Additionally, smokers actually experience nicotine withdrawal as the night progresses, making it hard to sleep.
*Electronics. Turn the electronics off at least 30 minutes to 1 hour before bed time and keep them away from you as you sleep. Our gadgets can suppress melatonin, keep your brain alert (and you awake), and all the beeps, buzzes, and chirps can wake you up in the middle of the night.
7. And of course, the best thing you can do is exercise!
Our bodies are not designed to sit around all day with zero physical activity. I have a saying about kids that applies to adults too. When in doubt, wear 'em out. Moving more and sitting less will help improve your sleep quality.
Some of these may seem obvious, but the idea is to do ALL the steps to optimize your sleep. Not just the ones that come easy to you. Good luck and get some rest tonight!
I was a chaperone for a church youth trip this past weekend. We took the kids to a conference called Motion that was held at the BJCC in Birmingham. It was amazing, overwhelming, and I don’t think I slept more than 6 hours total the whole time we were there. Sleeping on the ground is rougher than I remember. Hashtag feeling old.
Something one of the speakers said really stuck with me He said that knowledge is doubling every 5 years (some sources say every 18 months). So every 5 years the amount of knowledge the world knows DOUBLES. I think that is so crazy!
Like many things that is a two-edge sword. On one hand that means everything you need to know about health, fitness, nutrition, exercise or anything you want to learn is out there for you. On the other hand, there is a lot of garbage out there.
In your every day life think about how often you are bombarded with TV commercials, plugs on Facebook, radio ads, and Spam e-mails for weight loss advice, products, and services. I Googled weight loss yesterday and it came back with 270 million results.
How do you know what is legit? There are a few things that have always worked and will continue to work forever. The basics are not sexy or exciting but they are effective.
Are there great supplements out there? Absolutely.
Are there weight loss systems that help people? Yes!
Are there diets that work? Every day people are successful with any number of different ways of eating. But ask yourself these questions first before you try something crazy: -Could I work out harder and be more active (especially outside of your workout) overall?
-Could I eat more foods that I prepare and eat out less?
-Do I take in a lot of empty calories? (junk and processed foods, soft drinks, alcohol)
-Does my body need more sleep at night?
-Is my stress level too high?
That is a very oversimplified list, but if you answered yes to the majority of those I would start there. Exercise, proper nutrition, recovery, and stress management are building blocks of your health. If one of them is off, it negatively impacts the rest of them.
Where do you need to start? Pick one building block and start there. Over the next few e-mails I will break down each of the building blocks.
Let’s get back to the basics, so we don’t have to sift through all the confusion that is out there.
A recent study published by the Huffington Post found that 31 million people skip breakfast every day. Every day! My biggest problem is holding myself to only one breakfast a day.
Another recent study found that HALF of breakfast skippers are overweight. Breakfast skippers have been shown to: -eat 40% more sweets -drink 55% more soft drinks -eat 45% fewer vegetables -eat 30% less fruit In my informal studies, I have found 4 common reasons people skip breakfast and a few ways to help combat them. 1. "I work and have kids, how do I find time to cook breakfast?" Here are some quick, healthy breakfast ideas that take 5-10 minutes to make: -An apple, 1-2 ounces of cheese, and a handful of walnuts
-Green smoothie- Here are some recipes --> 5 Green Smoothie Recipes
-Plain Greek yogurt, mix in almond butter and fruit such as blueberries or strawberries
-Scrambling eggs really doesn't take that long. Heat up a non-stick pan with a little coconut oil (yep coconut oil, that’s a story for another day) over medium-high heat, when hot crack 2 eggs straight in the pan, scramble, and it only takes a few minutes. You can sauté some onions, peppers, and/or spinach to get some veggies in there. Or if you want a few options to try before an early morning workout, you can try these for some quick, light fuel.
-1 small banana
-Toasted English muffin spread with 2 tsp. strawberry jam
-1 cup nonfat or low-fat yogurt
-Half cup of oatmeal with protein powder or peanut butter
2. "I'm just not hungry in the morning."
There are several reasons why you might not hungry in the morning and that’s ok! You might need to experiment a little to find out what works best for you. This article does a good job talking about some of the reasons you aren’t hungry first thing in the morning --->Elite Daily
You can try starting your day by simply drinking some water or doing some light exercise around the house. Many times this will be enough of a signal to your body that you are ready for some fuel. Or if you are a morning exerciser you can wait until after your workout to eat. If you STILL don’t feel hungry, it’s fine! Don’t force yourself to eat when you’re not hungry, but make sure you have healthy food planned out for the rest of the day for when the hunger does hit.
3. "I don't like to eat breakfast in the morning because I eat too much in the evening and I am trying to save calories." It is not as simple as just burning off the calories you put in, about 75% of the calories your body uses come from your metabolism. Going too long in between meals for days, months, and even years messes up your internal system that tells you when to say when. One of the biggest steps you can make is when you begin to start eating out of necessity and not out of habit.
4. "I don't like breakfast foods" Who told you that you had to eat breakfast food at breakfast? They're not the boss of you! I am! Whoops, ignore that. Don't feel obligated to eat breakfast foods just because The Man told you to. Eat whatever your stomach can handle in the morning.
Daniel H. Pink recounts an experiment that tested people’s ability to invest in their future in his book “To Sell Is Human”. Yep, I’m using that book again, it’s a good book. They tested the subjects by having one group look at an image of themselves now and then talk to a digital representation of the researchers.
The researchers asked the subjects if they received an unexpected present of $1000 how would they spread it around. The options they could pick from were:
-Use it to buy something nice for someone else
-Invest it in a retirement fund
-Plan a fun and extravagant vacation
-Put it in a checking account
Everything was the same for the other group, except they were shown an image of themselves at 70 years old for one minute before they were asked the question. You can probably guess that the group that was shown an image of their future selves saved more. They put more than double into retirement than the other group did.
A similar thing happens with health and fitness. It is tough for younger people to picture themselves ever having to change what they eat or their activity level. Remember when you could eat donuts, mac and cheese, and pizza every day and still look the same?
Young people are not the only ones. Very few of us take the long-term approach to health and wellness. Not sure about you, but I plan on being around for awhile and I want to be strong and healthy that whole time.
Every day I get the opportunity to make deposits in my account through what I eat, how much I move, how much I sleep, etc… I can also make withdrawals with those same choices.
Take some time and think how you want to look, feel, and move at 50. 60. 70. 80 and beyond. Let that guide your daily choices. Not what you want next week or next month.
Keep making those deposits, minimize the withdrawals, and let’s plan on being those old people that work circles around these other whippersnappers.
I don't know about you, but I plan on being around for awhile and I plan on being active for the rest of my life. So the older I get, the more I value endurance.
When you hear the word endurance, what do you think of? Running is my guess. That is part of the equation, but not the whole thing. It is about your heart, lungs, and muscles all being able to do what you want them to do for as long as you want to do it.
That is why we are bringing back our Endurance Training class! It will be a 6-week series on Saturday mornings 7:30-8:30am from August 5 to September 9, 2017.
This class will help you:
-Complete 5ks, 10ks, mud runs, and beyond
-Improve your breathing
-Get stronger and fitter
-Have more energy
-Feel better overall
How awesome would it feel to get up a flight a stairs and not feel completely winded? Wouldn’t you love to be able to go hiking, biking, swimming or just being physically active with your family and not be held back by your current fitness level?
This class was a ton of fun and people saw excellent results last time, so I can’t wait to offer it again. There is a bit of bad news.
There are only 15 spots available and they are on a first come, first serve basis. You can reserve your spot below:
PS-There are two payment options after the registration. The shirt option is $89 and includes a tech shirt with our popular Run HSV logo on it. If you just want to do the training, the 6-week series is only $75.
Happy Half A New Year! Can you believe we are halfway through 2017? I have to be honest, I’m a little bummed I’m not typing this from my flying car that steers itself.
But the beauty of today is that it can be the start of something great. Look back to what your goals were at the beginning of this year. How are you progressing on them? Are you halfway there?
If so, awesome! If not, it’s not too late!
Just think of this as your reset button. This will be a way to either stay motivated or to get you back on track.
Your goal is to get in at least 90 workouts in the time we have left this year. That is a little more than 3 workouts per week, so it is completely doable. You have to be intentional about it though.
We all know that there will be stretches where you won’t be as active as other times. School starting back, football season, holidays, fall break, etc... That is all coming up on the horizon, so you need to have a plan in place ahead of time.
If you have an exercise class, group, or partner that you already meet with, that is ideal. The added accountability will come in handy. But what about on those days when your car breaks down, the kids are sick, you are working overtime, you go on a work trip, or any other scenario that is trying to mess your groove up?
I got your back my friend! On Wednesday I will send you a few options that you can do any time and any where. These will not require fancy equipment, a gym membership, or tons of space.
Hope you have an awesome 4th of July!
PS- If you want to get a jump start on those 90 workouts, Huntsville Adventure Boot Camp is hosting a charity boot camp to benefit Operation Stand Down. They support local, homeless veterans. Check out their needs list, bring a donation, and let's have some fun!
Men, women, and children of all ages and fitness levels are invited to attend. It will be from 8-9am on July 4th at Weatherly Elementary School at 1307 Cannstatt in Huntsville.
If you want to become a vegetarian, I recommend you look into how sausage is made. You will probably become a vegetarian that day.
Nobody wants to think about the "behind the scenes" type of stuff that goes into making something. I went through a sausage making experience with my business this week.
I put out a video on Facebook this week called "Who we are and what we do" that explains kind of how boot camp works. This video was a little over one minute long. So that is how long it took me to put it up there right? Not even close.
That one minute video took me so many takes for so many different reasons. I stuttered, started talking nonsense (more than usual), I filmed half my face, and the list goes on and on. It took me 45 minutes to get one minute of content.
Then all you have to do is upload it right? Yep, that is if your internet is working. Anybody else have issues on Wednesday? Good times.
When I finally got my internet back and got the video uploaded, I worked on getting captions put on the video. Did you know that 85% of videos on Facebook are watched with the sound turned off? Now we both know and that is why I spent another 30 minutes figuring out how to put captions on the video.
What is the moral of this story? Other than hire someone who knows what they are doing.
The main point is this:
Even though it seems like it takes forever to see a tiny bit of progress, you are still moving forward! It is still working. You are doing something right, don't give up now.
Don't get discouraged because you "only" lost 4 pounds and it seemed like it took forever. 4 pounds of fat is about the size of a 2-Liter bottle. That is awesome progress!
Next time I do a video, I will be able to do it faster because I found out that a squat rack makes a great camera holder. And I will be more efficient at putting the captions on the video.
You keep at it too. I've seen it happen over and over for people. They are plugging away, plugging away, and then the weight and inches start coming off like crazy. That happens because they stayed the course, found out what exercises worked for them, what types of foods their body thrives on, and never gave up.
You can do it too, keep making sausage.
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Something we do in our boot camp classes are personal challenge workouts. In the first week, we will see how many repetitions we can do in one minute. Then in the last week, we will test again to see how much we have improved.
Last camp we did pushups, squats with weights, and shoulder presses. I was amazed at how far people came in just a few short weeks! Many people doubled what they could do in that first week.
I encourage you to do some sort of challenge workout. You can do this with the exercises I mentioned above, see how fast you can do a mile, how much weight you can lift, or any number of things that go along with whatever goals you are working on now.
There are three main reasons challenge workouts are an important part of any program.
1. You will see how far you have come
Sometimes we can get caught up in the workout grind and forget just how far we have come. You need that reminder, especially if you feel like you have not made any changes. It isn’t getting easier, you are just getting better.
2. Gives you a goal to work for
One of the best ways to stay motivated in your training is to have a performance goal in mind. Most of us have aesthetic goals (lose weight, drop dress size, etc...) but do you have a performance goal? If you don’t have one, get one!
3. Gets you out of your comfort zone
You don’t realize how much you are capable of. Part of getting results is moving the bar of what you think your threshold is. When you think your body can’t go any further is when you need to push a little bit longer. This helps your body redefine your stopping point. It is not comfortable, but it is worth it.
What will your challenge workout be?
Are you familiar with the term “having skin in the game”? Most sources credit Warren Buffett for making it popular. He was talking about investing his own money into the first fund he started.
It basically means you are invested and committed to the process. Because, let’s be honest, when something is free we do not place the same value on it as we do on the things that we pay for.
It is why I can’t go to buffets. Because I WILL get my money’s worth. No way would I eat that much if I went over to someone’s house for dinner.
That is why I put a price on the 28 Day Vegetable Challenge. Nothing crazy, just $15, but enough that the people participating in the challenge will take it seriously and really commit to it.
Committing to consistency is the main thing I am looking for. Consistently is the key whether you are eating vegetables, exercising, or any number of things you might want to improve.
28 days, 28 different vegetables and how to prepare them, why you should eat that particular one, how to prepare them, store them, and a daily recipe for each vegetable. The goal is to make it fun, add the accountability, and get you at least one new vegetable that you will eat on a consistent basis.
The challenge starts on Wednesday, June 28th. I would love for you to be a part of it. You can reserve your spot below:
Meal planning may seem monotonous (because it is), but the pay off is worth it. Think about what happens when you do not have anything planned a meal, time gets short, and you are hungry?
Fast food, pizza deliveries, microwave salt licks. (No Lean Cuisines are not good for you).
What if instead of spending 8 minutes a week looking into a fridge hoping healthy food would magically appear, you spent that time productively? Take some advice from dietitian Keri Glassman's article "Change Your Life in 8 Minutes".
Here is what she suggests doing with your 8 minutes:
-Write out your challenges for the week (birthday celebration, busy kid's schedule, girls' night out, etc.) and then write down a plan to overcome the challenges.
-Plan your dinners at home around your schedule for the week and then create a grocery list to go with them.
-Write a list for work snacks, and add them to your grocery list.
-Schedule exactly when you are going to go to the grocery store and then follow through.
I would add, you could spend your time ordering groceries on-line.
If you notice, not one of those is the actual food prep or cooking we all dread so much. This is formulating a food game plan for the week. It will save you time, money, and calories just by having some kind of plan.
If you do have time left in your 8 minutes, Glassman suggests you could:
Make a pitcher of iced lemon water to store in the fridge.
Chop the veggies you have around.
Mix a healthy salad dressing to keep in your fridge.
Portion out healthy snacks, like nuts, into little bags.