Posts Tagged personal training 92660
Is it better for me to eat before or after I workout?
In my opinion, it really depends on what time you’re working out. For early workouts right after you wake up in the morning and your blood sugar is at its lowest, I feel that you are better off at least having something small to fuel yourself for the workout. That way you can workout harder and get more out of it. A small glass of juice, coconut water, or a piece of fruit should work for people that have a hard time eating early in the morning. In this case you should make sure to eat both protein and carbs within the 45 minutes immediately following your workout to help aid in recovery.
Assuming that you have eaten some carbs during the day, an evening workout doesn’t necessarily require a pre-workout meal. This is because your body will store sugar in the form of glycogen in your liver. That glycogen can be converted back into glucose for quick energy usage. Again, I do suggest trying to get your next meal in within 45 minutes of that workout.
If you do choose to eat before your workout, make sure to give yourself about 1 1/2 hours before you start to exercise so that you don’t get nauseous.
A friend of mine recently posted on Facebook, “Choose one, the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. And tell me why…”
This was an easy one for me to answer, because I talk to my clients about this all of the time. Here was my response:
“The pain of discipline is short-lived and is without regret, but the pain of regret can last forever”
The next time you find yourself making a decision about what to eat, think about how that food is going to make you feel afterward. Better yet, ask yourself if that meal will help get you to your goal, or will it hold you back? It is amazing what we will do to sabotage our own efforts, wants, needs, and goals for something that is so insignificant you will never remember it. What did you eat at your business meeting 2 months ago? What was your late night snack last Tuesday? Do you now wish that you would have gone with a healthier choice?
What has been holding you back from achieving your fitness goals? Business goals? Personal goals? Write it down. Seriously! Go grab a pen and write down what it is that you need to change. If you don’t, you will start feeling the pain of regret set in the next time you think about your goal and how you blatantly put it off. Now act on your goal. Do just one thing that you know you have been putting off or not putting enough effort into. I promise you that the feeling you will get after some time is put in will far outweigh the pain of discipline!
I get a lot of questions surrounding this topic. What is a plateau? How do I avoid plateaus? I hit a plateau; how do I get through it?
Put simply, a plateau is a speed bump in your progress that feels like a dead-end. Whether you are trying to build muscle or lose fat, this can be very frustrating. In my opinion, “plateau” is also a word that is WAY overused! People think that they hit plateaus all the time, but this is not necessarily the case. Just because the number on the scale isn’t moving, doesn’t mean that you hit a plateau (are not getting results).
That brings me to the first problem: over-diagnosis. I don’t know about you, but my weight fluctuates by multiple pounds every day. If I consume too much salt or don’t drink enough water to flush out extra salt, my weight goes up. Women: you know what this is like. Every 4 weeks you have a few days where the last thing you want to see is a scale! Right?! People, this is normal! So why weigh yourself every day if your weight can fluctuate so easily? Doing this is just asking for disappointment. Keep the weigh-ins to 1x per week, MAXIMUM! Also, weigh yourself in the morning before breakfast, ideally after a bowel movement. Also very important- don’t weigh yourself after a “not normal” day (heavy drinking, ate way more than normal, didn’t eat enough, ran a marathon, etc…) Doing this is just asking for an inaccurate reading on the scale that can result in several outcomes:
- Weigh in lighter than you are, which means you will not show favorable results the following week.
- Weigh in heavier than you are, which means you will ask your husband if you look fat, then get mad at ANY answer that he comes up with
Method of measurement:
Is the scale the only thing you are doing to check your progress? This is very common and is a HUGE mistake! Results should never be measured by only one form measurement. Circumference measurements as well as monthly picture can be a great way to check progress. Most people now know that muscle weighs more than fat, right? The idea of being happy that you lost or gained a certain amount of weight doesn’t make much sense if you are not sure that you are gaining muscle, or losing fat.
Plateau as a Scapegoat:
Do you measure and log your daily food intake? Are you consistent day in and day out with your workouts? Are you pushing yourself as hard as you used to with your workouts? Are you still refraining from alcohol when you hang out with friends? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you have not hit a plateau, YOU ARE JUST SLACKING!!! Be honest with yourself. Plateaus are not common and can usually be explained. If something is missing from your program, replace it. If you are not as dedicated to a part of your program, get back on it!
How to get through a plateau:
Ok, so you hit a plateau. You are having a hard time losing more fat: this is why it is so important to log your food. It is easy to go back through your notes to see what can be changed. Check to see what, if anything, has changed. If you notice that something is in your diet that wasn’t there before, get rid of it and see what happens. You can also start eliminating one type of food at a time until you notice a change in how you are feeling and notice that the fat has started coming off again. This will occasionally happen with dairy, as well as wheat gluten, even soy!
You are having a hard time gaining muscle: when is the last time you switched up your rep ranges, weights used, tempo, rest periods? Are you only doing isolation exercises or are you incorporating compound movements? Are you measuring and logging your food? If not, how do you know you are getting enough fuel to your muscles to allow them to grow? Are you getting enough sleep? Enough rest days?
Here is the bottom line: the possibility of hitting a plateau means that you are trying to achieve a goal. Hitting fitness goals can be tough, especially if it is a big goal. Be honest with yourself. If you know that you are not doing everything that you can, ask yourself why. Maybe it is time to re-commit to your program. Maintenance is easy, and you have that to look forward to. For now, though, show yourself what you are capable of. Prove to yourself what you know is possible. Be consistent. Be disciplined. Hit your goal because you know you deserve it.
The better your food tastes, the higher likelihood you have at succeeding at your fitness goals. Sometimes it is not just taste, but time that is a factor. I have been eating steel-cut oatmeal for breakfast every day for quite some time. I enjoy the taste, especially with some blueberries and the occasional scoop of vanilla protein mixed in. The problem for me is time. I wake up as early as 4:00am to get to my first client at 5, so between packing up my meals, showering, the other 2 S’s, and sometimes even hitting snooze, I just don’t always have time to prepare oats… And then my wife got on a baking kick that changed everything!
Lilia started baking muffins on the weekends for fun and when I asked her to create a healthy version for my subscribers, the challenge was on! I am sharing my favorite muffin recipe so far (there have been several versions) and will also share a couple of side notes:
- 1 cup Oat Bran
- 1 cup Steel Cut Oats (blended in food processor until it looks more like oat bran)
- 3/4 cup Flax Seed Meal (helps keep moist and adds healthy Omega-3’s)
- 3 medium Bananas (7″)
- 2 medium Yellow Peaches (also helps keep muffins moist. You can sub for 1 more banana)
- 5 tbsp Honey (or Agave Syrup for Bee lovers)
- 1 lg Egg
- 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt (protein!)
- 1/4 cup water (or less… just until you have a good consistency)
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- “a pinch” of Apple Pie Spice, or to taste.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix together flax meal, fruit, yogurt, water, honey. Combine oats, oat bran, spice, baking soda, salt, then stir into the wet mixture. Spoon into muffin pan (use Pam or lightly grease first!) DO NOT USE MUFFIN PAPERS, AS THEY WILL STICK!!! Bake for 20-25 minutes. This makes about 14 muffins.
Note: You can use 2 cups oat bran instead of 1 cup oat bran & 1 cup oat meal. This will drop the muffin to 145 calories and add 1 gram of fiber! You can also use 2 cups oats if you prefer a heartier consistency.
3.5 g Fat (Omega-3’s)
26 g Carbohydrates (Same as 1 serving oatmeal!)
10 g Sugar (You can substitute some of the honey for Stevia or Splenda to cut down on the sugar a bit… currently you get 6g sugar from the honey)
4 g Fiber
6 g Protein
I still get all the benefit of my oatmeal in the mornings, except now it is not only more convenient, but better tasting too! If you have any variations of this recipe that you want to share, please do!
Ok, so there is no way you can go to the store nowadays and NOT see “Gluten Free” labels all over the place. So many people have jumped on the bandwagon to gluten free baking, gluten free this, gluten free that… What’s funny to me is how many of those people don’t even know what gluten is or why they “shouldn’t eat the stuff.”
So just what is gluten?
Gluten, or wheat gluten, is a protein that is found in wheat. Doesn’t sound so evil, right? So why all the fuss? MARKETING.
There are people who unfortunately have Coeliac Disease and should not consume wheat, rye, or barley. These foods will cause inflammation in the small intestine which causes discomfort, diarrhea, bloating, fatigue, and malabsorption of various nutrients. This is only experienced by about 1/2 of 1% of the population. That being said, I am glad that there are companies out there who make gluten free foods for those folks who would normally be limited on what they could eat. Here is where I have to laugh a little:
Gluten Free juice. Gluten Free ice cream. Gluten Free yogurt. OF COURSE THEY ARE GLUTEN FREE- THEY ARE NOT WHEAT PRODUCTS!!! Manufacturers have started labeling everything Gluten Free, because since most people don’t know what it means, they are now afraid to eat gluten. Some people have even been brainwashed to believing that wheat gluten causes weight gain, when in fact people with Coeliac disease will often lose weight when they eat wheat because of the malabsorption issues related to the disease. Most people that lose weight by going “gluten free” stop eating things like bread, pasta, pizza, and beer. Is it the gluten that was making them fat, or was it the excess carbohydrates multiple times per day? I’m gonna go with the carbs on this one…
Bottom line is:
If you are sensitive to wheat gluten, don’t eat it. If you are lactose intolerant, don’t eat dairy. If you don’t have either of these issues, don’t waste your time searching for gluten free foods and fake cheeses. Don’t get scared and buy into marketing ploys so easily. Like I have said before, Google is an amazing tool; educate yourself.
This should probably have been split between several posts, although I am sure that I will revisit some of this content.
What is a supplement? According to www.Thefreedictionary.com, a supplement is “Something added to complete a thing, make up for a deficiency, or extend or strengthen the whole.” Please notice that nothing was ever mentioned about necessity, because supplements are only to be used when something is missing, or as an aid.
Let’s first talk about the most commonly asked about supp… Protein Powders. There are several different types, and again, I will go into more detail on a future blog. In a nutshell, protein powders are predominantly whey-based, although there are many different forms. They are usually marketed towards men, promising to “build muscle fast, and to get you ripped.” Some are marketed to women, usually called something like “Her Protein”, and promising to help you shed fat and speed up your metabolism. Here is the interesting part…
They are the same thing!
The only difference about most of these proteins is the label. When it comes to protein powders, they should generally be used when you can’t easily get protein from a whole food source, when you are having a hard time digesting or consuming your recommended amount of protein, or immediately after a workout for recovery. The truth is that your body would much rather get its protein from a natural, whole food source. Things like chicken, fish, yogurt, eggs, etc, contain all the protein that you need. When it comes to picking a protein out, try a few until you find one that you like. I recommend going the natural route, and trying to minimize artificial flavors and sweeteners, which is why I recommend MRM brand protein. I will go into the different types of protein powders and their uses in a future post.
Fat Burners are another hot topic. Fat burners promise to work in several different ways. They will often suppress your appetite using stimulants while increasing your body temperature (thermodynamics). Almost every time a new fat burning product gets put on the shelf, it is only a matter of time before it gets pulled right back off. Bottom line: they are generally unsafe and should be avoided. Also, taking pills alone will never get the extra weight off. No matter what you take or how much you exercise, if you are consuming more calories than you are burning, you will never reach your goal. My advice: your body loves to burn fat. Let it. Educate yourself about what you are eating. Buy a food scale. Increase the amount of resistance exercise that you do, and turn your body into a 100% natural fat-burning machine!
Have you been approached by a friend yet, telling you that they have been taking this “revolutionary, doctor-approved” supplement that has helped them lose weight? If you haven’t, it is only a matter of time, my friend… Let me break this down really quick:
- They lost weight because they are making better decisions and replacing high calorie meals with low calorie shakes.
- There are SEVERAL of these companies promising to be the only one of its kind. Are they all lying???
- They are excited for you to try it because it will make them money. And if you decide to sell it, they make even more. Did you know that with most of these companies you are forced to have the products auto-shipped MONTHLY to your house? That’s a pretty serious commitment for a shake or a vitamin…
- Most of these products are crap. Not all, but why not just get your supplements at a reputable health food store for a fraction of the price?
- The people selling them are often not educated outside of the sales rallies that they attend to learn more about the same company’s products. Ask them a question that is not answered on the brochure and watch them refer you to their sales director. All this for a protein shake? No. All this for a sale.
If it sounds too good to be true, it often is. Do your own research before putting any foreign substance into your body. Don’t take my word for it, and especially don’t take a salesman’s word for it. Remember, supplements are just that- supplements. All goals can be achieved without them. (unless we are talking about steroids) If you feel like you have reached a plateau with your fitness goals, please shoot me an email and I will see if I can get you pointed in the right direction.
Everybody knows that bananas are the best source of potassium, right? Not so fast… Although they ARE a great source of potassium, that doesn’t mean that they are the BEST source… Please keep in mind that the point of this entry is not to get you to stop eating bananas. I just want to get you thinking about some of the information that is fed to us on a daily basis. For example, when people think Vitamin C they think oranges, but did you know that 1 yellow Bell Pepper has almost 4 times the amount of vitamin c as an orange? Yeah, I know. That’s the same reaction I had! 🙂 Wait, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, bananas…
Bananas come in different sizes, so it is hard to say how much potassium, or any other macro or micro nutrient is in “one banana.” The easiest way for us to compare multiple items fairly is to measure out the same amount of each. So, for this conversation we will use 1 cup.
1 cup of mashed banana yields 200 calories, 51gcarbs, 28g sugar, 6g fiber, 2g protein. This amount would contain 806mg potassium. That is a lot of potassium, but that is also a lot of sugar! Quick tip: if you are trying to lose weight, don’t suck down 28g sugar in one sitting! Next item…
1 cup of white beans yields 254 calories, 46g carbs, 19g fiber, 0g sugar, 16g protein, 829mg potassium. This is a much more balanced food and is a lot more nutrient-rich than banana. Next item…
1 cup sweet potato w/ skin yields 180 calories, 41g carbs, 7g fiber, 13g sugar, 4g protein, and 950mg Potassium. Less calories AND carbs than the first two, and contains… get this… 38,433IU Vitamin A! That’s almost 800% daily value! This is also a very strong anti-inflammatory food and is one of my favorites.
So what would I recommend when you are looking to add some potassium in your diet? Hint- not bananas, since you get the same amount of potassium in 1 serving of potato chips as you do in one banana! Drum roll please!…………………………..
Bok Choy! (Chinese Cabbage)
1 cup of boiled (shredded) Bok Choi has only 20 calories, 3g carbs, 1g sugar, 2g fiber, and 3g protein. Its loaded with 630mg potassium! Who knew! They also contain high amounts of vitamin A, Folate, and vitamin K. Bok Choy is one of my favorite veggies. There are plenty of ways to prepare it, and it is delicious just steamed!
Do you have a favorite way of preparing Bok Choy? Message me so I can share!
Quick note: I am expressing personal opinions here. Please contact your doctor before changing your diet. People taking certain heart medications must be careful about the amount of potassium they consume.