Posts tagged weight loss

3 Tips to avoid overeating

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Will power is weak, while systems are strong. No matter how mentally tough you are, you will eventually break down if you don’t set yourself up for success.

I read an article in the October issue of IDEA Fitness Journal that discussed the topic of overeating. This is a topic near and dear to my food loving heart so I read it with great interest.

Part of the article was a section about setting up your environment to prevent overeating. Dr. Brian Wansink, the director of Cornell Food and Brand Lab, had 3 tips to make your kitchen or office space a healthier environment.

1. Fill up the fruit bowl

This one has a tow fold effect. First, every time you walk by the fruit bowl it is a reminder to eat healthy foods. Much like having a bowl of Hershey’s kisses out will have the opposite effect.

The second reason is when you have readily accessible food like that you are, more likely to eat it. Right now we have grapes in a fruit bowl and a chopped broccoli and hummus in the fridge at my house. Easy, healthy grab and go snacks can be life savers.

2. Make the kitchen less “loungeable”

Totally stealing his word on this one. The longer you hang out in the kitchen, the more likely you are to start eating. Even if you are not hungry. Take iPads, TVs, comfortable chairs, etc… out of the kitchen.

3. Be grateful

This was a really interesting one to me. Dr. Wansink recommends saying one thing you are grateful for before you eat. He says it will improve your eating choices. That one is a new one to me, but I am a big believer in gratitude so I am going to give it a shot.

These are some great tips to help you avoid the trap of mindless overeating. Do you have any other tips to share that work for you? If so, I would love to hear them!

HIIT me with your best shot

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In my last post, I mentioned the research backing High Intensity Interval Training (the cool kids call it HIIT) as a time saving form of exercise. You will even see benefits from using HIIT if you use them in your walking program. Just by going a little bit faster a few times during your walk.

HIIT mixes intense exercise with low intensity “breaks”. I promised to give you a HIIT workout like the ones we do in our boot camps. And that is what I will do my friend!

For this HIIT workout we will do 30 seconds of all out effort followed by 30 seconds of a low intensity version of the same exercise.

Below are your exercises. Do 4 rounds of each (4 hard, 4 low intensity for each exercise, then move on to the next exercise in the series).

1. Kettlebell or dumbbell swings (low intensity do them without the weight or a lower weight)

2. High knees

3. Squats (for lower intensity you can use a lighter weight, no weight, and/or slow down your pace)

4. Knees (one foot forward, one foot back, drive your knee up as hard and as fast as you can. Change side every round.)

5. Seal jacks (arms and legs start out wide, jump them all together and clap your hands like a seal).

In 20 minutes you will work muscles from head to toe, get your heart rate up, get a good sweat in, and feel great afterwards. Plus you will get all the cardiovascular fitness, insulin resistance, and cellular level benefits I mentioned in my last post.

Give this one a try and let me know what you think!

What if you got 1% better every day?

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Bigger is better. We do not like things to be small. When we make changes, they need to be huge and life changing RIGHT AWAY!

And that is where most of us fail.

-I need to quit smoking, I'm going cold turkey.

-2017 is going to be the year I will workout EVERY day.

-Time to clean up the old diet! Get out of here pizza and pasta, get in here broccoli and beets. Salads and water until I lose 40 pounds and get back into those Jordache jeans from 6th grade.

Those scenarios usually end up like you think they would. Our brains are hardwired to make change difficult.

This is a great quote from Robert Maurer's book One Small Step Can Change Your Life, The Kaizen Way:  

 

“All changes, even positive ones, are scary. Attempts to reach goals through radical or revolutionary means often fail because they heighten fear. But the small steps of kaizen disarm the brain’s fear response, stimulating rational thought and creative play.”

Kaizen is the art of making great and lasting change through small, steady steps. It is about getting 1% better every day by doing things that seem so tiny they should be irrelevant.

Two examples of this are:

  1. Eating just one less bite of food every meal. Then a month later, you eat two less bites.

  2. Start an exercise program by just standing on a treadmill for one minute a day.

Those seem like such tiny things, but you don't stop there. You continue to slowly make progress, build confidence, and stick to the program.

Where are you stuck? What is it that you can not seem to accomplish? Are you willing to try something new?

It will take patience, but if you are willing to persist the Kaizen method may be just the thing you need to finally succeed.

How I caused a ruckus on the dance floor (story time)

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One of the gifts I got my wife for her 40th birthday was a ticket to the Moon Over Three Caves Dance. We’ve been trying to go for years and I am so glad we went because it was awesome!

They had one of our favorite bands, Juice, playing. They actually played at our wedding, so my wife was really excited to see them.

On special occasions, I will take my unique talents to the dance floor. I give the gift of dance to all who are around me because I am a giver. I am familiar with most of the popular line dances, but they all tend to kind of run together for me until I find my way.

 

Juice played The Wobble at one point and I found myself in a familiar position of knowing just enough to be dangerous. I knew all of The Wobble steps, but I may or may have not had the correct order.

The dance floor was in a state of confusion. There were several people who were thrown off by the slightly different rendition of The Wobble. Some were thrown off by the fact they had no idea what was happening. And others might have been thrown off by the glare on my head.

Somebody needed to do something! They needed guidance. They needed a hero.

They needed a ginger.

So I went all in. I did things big, I did things on the 4 count. I did all the steps you’re supposed to do. I have no idea if it was in the right order, but I did it with gusto.

A funny thing happened. People started following my lead and doing the same flawed moves. It was like that dance scene in Can’t Buy Me Love if you’ve ever seen that.

There are a few lessons to take away from this.

1. You have control over two things in life: attitude and effort.

This is something we preach to our 11 and 12-year old football players all the time. You don’t have control over how fast or big you are, but you do have control over how hard you work and your positivity.

The same thing applies to your exercise program. You can’t control genetics, your schedule, and hundreds of other things. You do have control of how much effort you put into it and whether or not you are going to stick with it. Go hard.

2. Psychology trumps physiology.

One of the top guys in the fitness world, Alwyn Cosgrove says this. That just means there is a lot you can overcome going all in with the help of others. You don’t have to have the perfect exercise program to get results. Don’t overthink what exercises to do, how many times, how many days, etc… A group atmosphere has been proven to help you increase your intensity, overcome fatigue, and get you better results.

3. Be careful who you follow, they probably have no idea what they are doing.

Especially when it comes to dancing.

10 Tips For Creating Meals In Under 10 Minutes

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1. Start the Sunday Night Ritual: Integrate an hour on Sundays to plan and prepare meals. Get your family involved in a fun way to help you prepare the meals for the week. Give everyone (kids and husbands) an appropriate job. For example: Husband BBQ’s chicken breast and kids can wash the vegetables and fruit, and separate into baggies. Put on music, funny aprons, etc.

2. Boil a dozen eggs at a time and refrigerate. Hard-boiled eggs will last at least five days in the fridge, and are a great, compact snack.

3. Cook eight chicken breasts at a time. Grill, BBQ, bake or broil with your favorite seasonings. Great for slicing over salad, or even having half of one as a snack. Keep 3–4 in the fridge, and individually freeze the rest. Take out a frozen breast the night before.

4. Chop up vegetables and store in individual containers. Chop up whatever vegetables you like to eat raw. A good tip for making them last is to wrap them in a coffee filter. The filter will absorb any excess water, so they will last longer.

5. Wash entire heads of lettuce and chop for salads. Store lettuce in an appropriate container. If it is already chopped up, it is very easy to make a salad in the morning.

6. Make a vegetable soup. Make your favorite soup recipes and make enough soup for a week. Store 2–3 servings in the fridge. Put the rest in individual containers and store in the freezer.

7.  Cook a huge amount of vegetable stir-fry. Throw a bunch of vegetables into a wok and stir-fry with unlimited condiments of your choice. Store in the fridge in individual containers, so they are ready to grab. Add a chicken breast to it. This way, dinner is almost ready without having to cook when you get home from work.

8. Pick 1–3 recipes and cook ahead of time. Using the recipes provided, cook and freeze. Take out the meal in the morning, so it will be defrosted by dinnertime. Add a side of stir-fry or salad.

9. Portion out nuts/seeds. Buy your favorite nuts/seeds in bulk and store in containers in the fridge. Portion out your weekly serving amounts into snack bags. This makes it really handy to grab and go.

10. Eat the same lunches and snacks on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and then switch on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Planning to eat the same things on alternate days cuts down on the need to plan, grocery shop and prepare ahead of time. This way, you always know what you are having and can use the leftovers for lunches.

Blackmail your way to success!

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With all the controversy surrounding those knuckleheads in Charlottesville, VA it reminds me of a strange, but interesting book. The book is called The Blackmail Diet by John Bear. The subtitle of the book is Lose Weight Or Else!

Pretty catchy title right there.

The premise of the book surrounds the author has been overweight for most of his life and finally has had enough. So he decides that extreme measures need to be taken. Did he go on a crash diet? Join the Army and go to boot camp? Workout like a madman? He did something a little different…

He put $5,000 in a trust to be paid to the Nazi Party unless he could lose 70 pounds in one year.

He did not have much money and this was in 1983, so $5,000 was a pretty hefty sum. Add that to the fact that he despised the Nazi Party and things got serious real quick.

One March 1, 1983 he weighed in at 255 pounds. On March 1, 1984 he weighed in at 179 pounds. For those of you without a calculator, that is a loss of 76 pounds.

The author decided that since focusing on food had never worked for him, he needed to focus on the psychology of human behavior instead. Specifically there are two main factors:

A: Everyone who is committed and excited on day one of the new diet that is going to change their life. 98% fail because the enthusiasm wears off quick.

B: There are certain times in life where once you decide to start something, there is no going back. You are committed until the bitter end. Think signing up for the military, once you step out of an airplane to skydive, or once the roller coaster starts. In all those scenarios, you are going to HAVE to finish what you started.

The Blackmail Diet combines both of those factors. It keeps you motivated every day and you have to reach your goal because there is no going back once that money goes into the trust.

The “blackmail” does not have to involve money. You just have to find something that you REALLY don’t want to happen as your motivation. You could write an e-mail to your boss that would get you fired, save it, only to be sent if you didn’t lose the weight. You could volunteer to serve on that board on church that you have been trying to avoid for years if you were unsuccessful. Get creative and think of things that are absolute no-gos for you and that would light a fire under you.

Now clearly this method is not for everyone. This is an extreme example of what one person did, but it does offer some interesting tips. When was the last time you went all in on an exercise program or a nutrition plan? Where failure was NOT an option.

If you are fed up and ready to make a change, don’t make quitting an option. You don’t have to pledge $5,000 towards the Nazis, but write out a contract to yourself that you will follow through with your plan. No quit and no surrender, anything is possible with the right motivation.

Building Block Two-The 6 Simple Steps of the Pale Joe Diet

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Not me, but not far off

We walked about the first building block of success on Wednesday. How to find a successful exercise plan for you as an individual.

 

Today is all about nutrition. Eating correctly for your body is THE most important part of changing how your body looks. Period. Exercise can help build muscle, make you feel better, your body start moving better but if you want to SEE results you need to pick your game up in the kitchen.

 

The problem is there are so many nutrition plans out there, which one is the best? Paleo? Raw Food? Mediterranean? Seafood Diet? See Food Diet?

 

I recommend the Pale Joe diet. 6 simple steps to better nutrition. That says simple, not easy. Here they are:

1. Just Eat Real Food

If you did nothing else on this list, you could cure a lot of problems if you just followed this one thing. Cutting processed and fast food out of your diet and eating things that come from the Earth is exactly what your body needs.

Crazy stat from Dr. Mark Hyman- There 600,000 processed food items in our environment. 80% of them contain added sugar.

More on sugar later.

2. Don't fear fat

Fat has a bad reputation because it is high in calories, but it is also very beneficial too. Food like fish, nuts, avocado, and coconut oil (yeah I think we’re still good here) are all excellent examples of beneficial fats to have in your food plan.

Trans fats (man made fats) should be avoided at all opportunities. Shortening, fried foods, canned biscuits, margarine are all chock full of trans fats that will lower your good cholesterol and raise your bad cholesterol.

3. Shake the sugar habit

Sugar is absolutely killing America, especially our children. It is extremely addictive and has a vicious cycle that is very destructive to our bodies.

The end result? Your hormones get out of wack, you gain weight (among other side effects), and then you crave even more sugar!

Because of this threat, I've got some resources on getting rid of sugar addiction for good. If you are interested, just e-mail me at HuntsvilleBootCamp@gmail.com and I can tell you more.

Not So Fun fact- Having 1 soda per day increases a child's chances of becoming obese by 60%. And 90% of kids have at least 1 soda per day. That is a big reason experts are predicting that be 2050 obesity rates will sky rocket from 36% where we are now, to 50%.

4. Read the articles

If you read nothing else today, start reading your food labels. The package on the outside, is 100% marketing. The true story is told in the food label.

If nothing else, look at the first 3 ingredients (they are listed from the largest amount to the smallest). And if it has a bunch of stuff you don't recognize or can't pronounce, don't eat it.

5. Upgrade your carbs

Carbs have been demonized over the past few years. Carbs are not the devil. The simple starches (chips, fries, aka junk food) are the real problem and should be avoided for sure.

Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are all excellent sources of carbohydrates. It all gets back to the first step we discussed. Eat carbs that are not processed.

6. H2O you didn't!

I hate you can't see me say this with my sassy attitude face and voice on. It is beautiful.

More water, less liquid calories is the key here. I went to Starbucks yesterday and got a look at the calorie count on some of their coffees. Crazy! And the calories come from sugars and creamers.

Drinking alcohol, sweet tea, soft drinks, and other liquid forms of calories can completely throw you off. You don’t have to quit cold turkey, but you do need to cut down.

Which one do you need to start with? Pick the one you think will be the easiest for you to conquer, then start working your way down the list. The simpler you keep things the better.

It’s just too much!!!

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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.

Stop skipping breakfast!

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  Effects of skipping breakfast

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.

 

Lessons from a crepe myrtle (weird, but worth the read)

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All fun and games until they are viciously attacking your sidewalk

It's been a life long dream of mine to write a fitness post crepe myrtles. Today that dream comes true.

 

There is a crepe myrtle in my backyard that has been plaguing me. It looks awesome, but it drops its petals on my sidewalk, they stick to the bottom of my shoe, and then I track them into my gym.

 

So I started off solving this problem by continually sweeping out my gym. Take that myrtle! As you can guess, that didn’t really solve the problem. I was sweeping those petals out every day.

 

So I really got smart and swept the sidewalk where the petals were sticking to shoes. Listen I didn’t graduate high school with a 2.3 GPA by being a dummy. But guess what? The petals just kept acomin down and that became my new daily sweeping chore.

 

But if I really wanted to solve the problem, I should the sweet spot where all this is coming from right? By trimming up the branches that hang over the sidewalk I could prevent all this from happening.

 

There is one caveat for that though. It is not my crepe myrtle. I can trim the ones that I can get to, but there are some that I can’t. I will just have to make it work.

 

I am a little slow in learning this stuff, but I see the same thing with people with their nutrition and exercise habits. People that try to exercise like crazy to overcome a poor diet.

 

Then they switch to strict nutrition habits, but then the exercise habit starts to fall off. It becomes too much to handle.

 

So how do you get to the sweet spot of exercise and nutrition? By changing your mindset.

 

Don’t try to outexercise a bad diet. That is impossible.

 

Don’t put yourself on some crazy, restrictive diet that makes you miserable. The sort term results you get are not worth it because it is not sustainable and you will gain all the weight back.

 

The sweet spot is found where you find some form of movement that you enjoy and you can stick to. Then you find a way of eating that nourishes your body, makes you feel good, and actually tastes good! When you add consistent, effective exercise to consistent, effective nutrition you start seeing tremendous results. And these are long term changes that will stick around.

 

Then there is the things that are out of your control, like rogue crepe myrtles, thyroid issues, or genetics. If you can’t control it and nothing you can do will change it, then it is time to let that go. You just do the best you can with what you got.

  Don’t get down on yourself and don’t use it as an excuse to quit. Just do your best and keep your focus on what you have the power to change.

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