How to Set Realistic Weight Loss Goals

… and not only realistic, healthy.

It’s March, and with March comes Spring Break. What better time of year to realize that you aren’t where you want to be? That your goals might have been forgotten about, or maybe half-assed the last oh, 6-8 months?

So it’s March, and new weight loss goals are being set. And the fitness industry knows this. Now, I am proud to be apart of, present and past, of organizations that revolve their goals for members around healthy achievement, but I do know that that is not the case for everyone in the “health and fitness industry”.

Nothing. Nothing Makes me cringe more than the weight loss ploys to lose 5-10 lbs A WEEK! Like What?! Have you ever taken a course in nutrition or how the body works?!

Excuse me while I go calm myself down…

 

OKAY. I’m back. Here’s the thing, if you have been victimized by one of those weight loss ploys there are a few different things that could be happening here.

  1. you are shaking your head yes with every passing sentence thinking about the money you spent and the results you did NOT get.
  2. you are shaking your head yes with every passing sentence thinking about the results you did get, and the weight gained back- not to mention how your body hasn’t been the same since.
  3. you are shaking your head yes with every passing sentence just simply because you couldn’t agree more.

I’ve seen it. I’ve seen friends, acquaintances, co-workers, community members, new clients, etc. put money into something that just didn’t measure up. I’ve seen people with such damagemetabolisms that no matter what they do they can’t get it back on track. I’ve seen people with cupboards full of supplements, detoxes, pills, powders, and fridges full of cucumber waters, etc. that aren’t being used because they don’t work.

And here’s why they don’t work

Based on scientific, long-research, mathematical equations, a person should only *healthily and realistically* lose up to 2 LBS per week. TWO POUNDS! Why? Well here’s some math for you…

1 lb of weight loss per week= 3,500 calorie deficit per week = 500 calorie deficit in one day. Double that for 2 lbs.

What does a 500 calorie deficit look like? For most people starting out, who likely eat maybe 3 meals a day, that is essentially cutting each meal in 1/3. But realistically it is cutting your dinner in half, because that is where most overeat.

Sure, this may sound easy, and to some it is. I’m not saying the caloric deficit is hard, I’m saying that a deficit more than that is hard on the body.

What do most of these “lose 30 lbs in a month” or “lose up to 20 lbs in a week” ploys do? They put you on a restricted diet. And for the love of God, don’t get me started on the “CUT OUT CARBS BULLSHIT” like do you even know what your body’s preferred source of energy is? It is NOT 4 servings of green tea a day + 1 bowl of cottage cheese (eye roll). And if these weight loss fixes don’t put you on a restricted diet they are filling your body with chemicals that confuse the heck out of your body.

What happens when you restrict your caloric intake?

You restrict your nutrient intake. You might be eating less and not physically feel starved (but honestly most of the time you will) but instead you will start feeling lethargic, your immune system will suppress and you will be sick more, you might break out with more acne, you might get injured more easily. There could be a lot of “side effects” that you won’t even realize are related.

Not getting enough nutrients in your diet because you are eating 600 calories per day? You’re going to get sick. Or maybe you’re drinking some sore of drink that is “full of nutrients” which it MIGHT be, but chances are your body is only absorbing 10% of those nutrients (this is common among most multivitamins anyway). So if you’re drinking a nutrient rich drink and not absorbing it, where are those nutrients going? You’re peeing them out.

OH and when you lose a lot of weight each week, what kind of weight do you think you’re losing? Fat? Yeah sure, you’re losing some. But you’re also losing muscle. Muscle doesn’t only exist on bodybuilders and gym rats, EVERYONE has muscle. And even if you don’t have muscle definition you still have muscle and that muscle is the support system of your body. It is what keeps you tall with proper posture and supports your core in daily activities. You need muscle, not only for that, but for the fact that you want your body, your bones, your organs, protected.

The jyst here: I could go on and on about why these things don’t work but it all comes down to the fact that health and fitness professionals, along with scientist and people who dedicate their lives to their field have proven that weight loss should not happen in more than 2 lbs per week, and that fact has stayed tried and true for YEARS.

*Side note: if you are BRAND new, to a fitness and health program there is a good chance that you do  lose more than 2 lbs per week, this is called adaptation. It is not something that lasts*

So how to set realistic health and fitness goals

  • Set that goal for 1-2 lbs per week!
  • Incorporate not only a cleaned up diet but also a prescribed fitness routine by a professional
  • Set small goals that lead to a big picture
  • Know that not all goals need to be weight loss related. Make performance goals.
  • Realize that progress is still progress no matter how small. We are not sprinting here, we are running a marathon, and that-that is what makes results that last. Why? Because you are creating not only healthy habits but a healthy lifestyle. You are not falling into a 1 month quick fix only to “bounce back” and relapse as soon as you’re done. No, to be healthy you have to realize that it is a lifetime commitment to yourself

When it comes down to it, trust your gut, but more importanty trust yourself. You are much  more powerful than you think you are. You got this. Go rock the world.

Before You Set Your New Year’s Resolutions…

Before you set your 2017 New Year’s Resolutions, take a step back and allow yourself to think about. Sure, almost everyone sets some sort of resolution at the beginning of the new year, but how many stick to them?

Don’t make a resolution that you can’t stick to. Don’t make it too far fetched or out of this world. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Whatever your resolution might be, fitness, weight loss, relationship management, being smart with your finances, trying better at this, doing less of that, take time to think about it and plan it out.

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The reasons most people don’t stick to resolutions could be many- ‘falling off the bandwagon’, everyone seems to give up their resolutions within the first 3 months of the new year, or ‘not having enough support’, ‘setting a goal too big’, or ‘setting a goal too small it isn’t as rewarding to achieve’. But my ever favorite reason for not sticking to the resolutions is…. ‘I’ll try again next year’. NO what if there is NOT a next year?! Do this for you, do it now.

My suggestion? Take it one month at a time. Set an overall goal, but break it down into 12 segments, 12 months. As this is predominately a fitness blog, let’s take a fitness resolution for example:

First off all, let’s call these goals or dreams, ‘resolutions’ seems to have a weird vibe about it. As if everyone expects you to set one, but they also expect you to fail at them. Goals are awesome, dreams are awesome-er!

Say your goal is to exercise 5 days a week in 2017:

Take it one month at a time- pull out a calendar! Maybe in January your goal will be to try out different classes during that month to find your niche. You could sample many different classes and still find one to fit your schedule to make those 5 days a week work.

Using that calendar give yourself a sticker, a sharpie mark, or whatever you want to indicate the days you worked out. Hell, if you’re even following the top predicted trend of 2017 (blog about that to follow) and have invested in wearable technology- write your workout stats on each calendar day!

January could be your month to try fitness classes. February could be your month to bring a friend to class. March could be your month to try one day a week of working out on your own in the gym. April could be your month to try adding functional fitness in, rock climbing, gymnastics (hey it could happen), walking with friends- something that keeps you healthy that can also relate and help you realistically in your normal, everyday life. May could be your month for outdoor fitness. The ideas could go on and on.

Or if you find a class you like right in January just make it your goal to stick to it 5 days a week for your 2017 year!

Maybe fitness classes aren’t your thing, there’s always online programming, personal training, the buddy system, etc. The goal is to find something that will help keep you on track to your goal/dream!

Oh and another tip about goals. If you set a goal specific enough like working out 5 days a week, or even putting money into savings 4 times a month, going to church 4 times a month, etc. and you can’t make it work for those specific days every week of every month of the year, do not worry, do not give up! The beauty of goal setting is to learn to roll with the punches and to keep going when a lot of things are telling you not to.

So go set a goal, start thinking about it NOW, don’t let 2017 pass by, grab it by the horns and take action! And remember, your goals are for your life. Not everyone will understand or support them, ignore those people, they’re not your people anyway. Find your support system and run with them! You can do this, you will do this.

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12 Days of Workouts, Day 1

It’s snowing, it’s too cold, it’s too early, I’m busy this time of year, it’s to dark to get up for the gym, I don’t feel good, I just don’t want to drive, I don’t have enough time.

Common excuses used this time of year, something about the winter is just less, motivating. BUT you can do anything from the comfort of your own home right? You don’t even need that much space!

So here it is, Day 1 of The 12 Days of Workouts.

All bodyweight exercises, all 30 minutes long (except for Day 12) and all easy to do, with easy to follow pictures!

DAY 1

See how many reps of the folowing 3 exercises you can do in a row, with good form. When you start to lose form, slow down or perform half reps- stop there. Use this as a baseline to compare at the end 🙂

  • Squat reps to failure
  • Push up reps to failure
  • Elbow plank hold to failure, for time

HIIT: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off:

Round 1: 3X through

  • Jumping jacks
  • Push ups
  • Mountain climbers

Rest 60 seconds

Round 2: 3X through

  • High knees
  • Tricep dips
  • Plank jacks

Rest 60 seconds

Round 3: 3X through

  • Vertical jumps
  • Shoulder push ups
  • Side plank hip dips –EACH!

Rest 60 seconds

Round 4: 3X through

  • Front kicks
  • Small shoulder circles
  • Plank with glute raises

DONE!

Exercises Part 1:

  • A1&2- Jumping Jacks
  • B1&2-Push ups
  • C1&2- Mountain climbers
  • D1&2- Tricep dips
  • E1&2- Plank jacks
  • F1&2- Plank with glute raises

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Exercises Part 2:

  • G1&2: Shoulder push ups
  • H1&2: Side plank hip dips
  • H3&4: Modified side plank hip dips
  • i1&2: vertical jumps
  • J1,2,&3: Alternating front kicks
  • K: small shoulder circles

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Exercise tips:

  • In any plank position, focus on squeezing the abs tight. Think of squeezing your belly button to your spine. Also think of pinching a penny in your butt checks (Serious!) this helps keep your hips down and in alignment with the rest of your body. Your back side should look like a straight line while planking, even in plank jacks or mountain climbers!
  • During squats, focus on squeezing your glutes on the upward motion to stand. Keep your knees behind your toes when in the down position, and your heels always in contact with the floor. Think of squatting over a port-a-potty- you have to sit back far enough and down far enough to go 😉
  • Moves like tricep dips and push ups can be done on elevated surfaces such as a chair, bedside, couch, etc. Doing tricep dips with your hands elevated makes it harder, doing push ups with your hands elevated makes it easier
  • Exercises like jumping jacks, high knees, vertical jumps can be done in a stepping format instead of jumping to protect injured knees
  • Small shoulder circles should be just that- SMALL! Keeping the up and parallel to the floor the whole time, while also making tiny circles will burn
  • If you have weights, feel free to use them where it is possible to make it harder!

Get On Track For The Holidays Now; Cleaning Up Your ‘Diet’

It’s Wednesday, November 16, 2016. That means that thanksgiving is 8 days away. EIGHT days away?! If you’re anywhere in the midwest like I am, you walk outside into 65 degree weather and think that somehow we all went back 2 months in time, so no way Thanksgiving is next week!

But it is.

So let’s get on track. Cleaning up your diet and your relationship with food before the feast begins will make everything easier, and leave your pants a little less snug.

*PS.  I say diet because diet by definition is the food that a person habitually eats, we all have a diet, everyday*

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Here are a few tips to take with you as you approach the holidays, some obviously stated in a thousand other blogs before, some maybe not:

1) Portion Control

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I know, isn’t it obvious? But let’s just take a minute to remind ourselves. Starting NOW at every meal you eat, take a look at your portion sizes- are they what they should be? How can you measure?

-Get a food scale and portion out in grams or ounces what 1 serving size for that food is (see nutrition label on food, or google it if there is not a label)

-Visualize portion sizes using familiar objects. Example:

*The palm of your hand= Recommended serving size of meat, about 3 ounces

*The front of a closed fist= Recommended serving size of cooked pasta, about 1/2 Cup

*Your thumb= roughly a tablespoon of almost everything, double this portion size for peanut butter

-Think choose my plate when serving your dish:

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2) Use meal tracking apps or websites.

Start today! Download MyFitnessPal or any other app or meal tracking help you can find. If you start now, you will be familiar with the app and know how to use it. When the holiday comes you will find yourself being more conscious of what you are choosing to put on your plate because you will know that you have to track it- it will make you hold yourself accountable.

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If you are wanting to figure things out a little more on your own- see 2 old blog posts (originally meant to be paired with exercise) that go into calculating everything you  need to know:

https://infitinyhealth.wordpress.com/2015/06/04/eating-to-fuel-your-workout-and-your-goals/

https://infitinyhealth.wordpress.com/2015/06/08/eating-for-your-fitness-and-goals-part-2/

3) Cook for yourself 

Pretty simple here, if you cook for yourself you know exactly what is going into it. You can choose healthier ingredients, you can track it better, and just feel good.

4) Think ‘Natural’ or “Unprocessed’ when grocery shopping for your meal.

It’s obvious that buying boxed cakes, pre-made pie crust, pre-made sides, etc. from the grocery store is the easy way, but take some extra time this holiday to find the good ingredients, and this goes back to cooking for yourself. If you are picking out your ingredients to cook for yourself, take the extra step to go as healthy as possible- and that includes as healthy as possible for desserts. Look for fresh fruit to cook with instead of canned, fresh veggies to cook instead of canned or frozen, fresh meat from the deli, and if you must buy something pre-packaged, look for lower sodium or lower sugar options.

Thanksgiving dishes naturally are high in sodium, prevent that number from rising by buying low sodium, and especially, by cooking fresh. Canned and packaged foods have 1,000X more sodium than natural, fresh food. All the extra sodium, and even sugar, and fat on the holidays will not mix well, causing bloat, etc.

Here’s an example of the sodium difference in fresh green beans (left) & canned green beans (right)

greenbeans        canned-green-beans

5) Get on track with a buddy- think power in numbers!

Get a relative to buddy up with you, that way you have someone on your side at the feast. I know it can be extra hard to resist when other, non-health minded people push you to “splurge” or “give in” a little bit. Find a relative, or a friend, whoever! Keep each other on track, sit by each other at the table, encourage each other, and remind each other of portion control 😉

Don’t let Thanksgiving be the beginning of a spiral into fat pants. If you’re on track, stay on track with these tips. If you’re not on track, get on track now. It never makes sense to “Wait until after the holidays.” or to “Wait until January to start a resolution.” Start now! NOW. 🙂

Protein Cake Batter Dip

If you’re ready for your mouth to waterrr, while still staying within your daily Macro needs, try this!

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Protein Cake Batter Dip

The very easiest way to satisfy a sweet tooth:

  • 1/2 Cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 Scoop Vanilla Protein (I used Quest Vanilla Milkshake)
  • 1/8 – 1/4 box of sugar free vanilla pudding mix
  • Vanilla Extract to taste
  • Sprinkles optional (but for real why NOT?)

Calories: 180

Protein: 21g

Carbs: 21g

Fat: 0.5g

**Note: if you want to omit a few carbs, used plain greek yogurt and just add either more pudding mix or more vanilla extract**

** Recipe can also be done using 1 cup of plain greek yogurt + 1/2 box of pudding mix + vanilla extract to taste**

Serve with reduced fat graham crackers or dip in with a spoon! Enjoy!

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Green, lean, protein packed machine!

Smoothies are becoming my go-to morning meal and so it is time to experiment with recipes! I have decided to go the green route today, adding some veggies in with my breakfast, giving me a boost to my day! And it turned out FAB-U-LOUS!

Here is the easy recipe!

  • 1 cup almond milk (I used almond/coconut blend)
  • 1/2 cup trop50 orange juice
  • 1 cup greek yogurt (I used toasted coconut vanilla for extra flavor)
  • 2/3 of a full banana
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 TBSP agave nectar
  • 1/4 scoop Quest vanilla protein powder (can use more than 1/4 depending on protein needs/wants)

Blend together for about a minute and wah-lah! I got this beauty

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Calories: 365

Protein: 23g

Carb: 64g

Fat: 3g

A few tips:

  1. freeze all of the fruits and veggies the night before for easier prep and a colder/thicker smoothie!
  2. Blending smoothies for longer expands them in size by letting more air into the tight spaces, giving you a larger, more filling smoothie for the same calories! (if you don’t believe me, check out #30 on bodybuilding.com’s “40 laws of lean”–> http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/40-laws-of-lean.html)

Burpee Craze 30 min Advanced At Home Workout

Do you like burpees? Sure you do!

Okay, maybe not, but do you know that according to leading exercise scientists, the burpee is THE most effective exercise because it targets all 5 dimensions of fitness: endurance, speed, agility, strength, and flexibility.

So if you’re at home in a pinch- try this, you won’t regret it!

  • Air jumping jacks- 30 seconds
    • Rest-10 seconds
  • Burpee to broad jump- 20 seconds
    • Rest-10 seconds
  • Squat jacks- 30 seconds
    • Rest-10 seconds
  •  Burpee to air jumping jack- 20 seconds
    • Rest-10 seconds
  • Tricep dips w/ feet elevated- 30 seconds
    • Rest-10 seconds
  • Burpee to tuck jump-20 seconds
    • Rest- 10 seconds
  • Mountain climbers- 30 seconds
    • Rest-10 seconds
  • Skater hop to single leg burpee- 20 seconds
    • Rest- 10 seconds
  • Plank jacks- 30 seconds
    • Rest 30 seconds
  • Repeat! 4 more times

30 Minute Intermediate At Home Workout

Continuing this week’s series of at home workouts is an intermediate at home workout. Check out the youtube link to video below!

Intermediate at Home Workout

  • Power jacks- 25 seconds
    • 10 seconds rest
  • Sumo squat with front raise- 25 seconds
    • 10 seconds rest
  • Burpee- 25 seconds
    • 10 seconds rest
  • Up & out knees- 25 seconds
    • 10 seconds rest
  • Push up to knee raise- 25 seconds
    • 10 seconds rest
  • Switch back lunge- 25 seconds
    • 10 seconds rest
  • Standing mountain climbers- 25 seconds
    • 10 seconds rest
  • Bodyweight dips w/ leg raise- 25 seconds
    • 10 seconds rest
  • Single leg v-ups- 25 seconds
    • 10 seconds rest
  • High plank hold- 45 seconds
    • 30 seconds rest

Get the link to the video here! 30 Minute Intermediate At Home Workout

 

At Home Recovery Workout

Working out is tough, you know what is more tough? Recovery. We tend to have a hard time with “rest” days because we feel lazy for skipping the gym, here is something that can hold you accountable to your rest day, but feel good while doing it! Try this for an “active recovery”.

Every move is to be done for 30 seconds before moving on:Active Recovery WorkoutIMG_5533 IMG_5534 IMG_5537  IMG_5539  IMG_5536 IMG_5541IMG_5547 IMG_5542

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IMG_5553IMG_5559Band leg extension