Posts Tagged weight loss

6 Week “Spring into Spring” Challenge

6-Week “Spring into Spring” Challenge:

What is it?

Your New Year’s Resolution didn’t work out how you planned? Afraid you are not going to be “bikini ready” come Summer time? Maybe you have struggled with one fitness goal for a long time, be it diet or exercise related, that you want to kick start now and build new healthy habits? Then this is for you. Starting on Monday, March 18th we will be working as a team to build new habits and get another step closer to where we wish to be in regards to our health.

Oh yeah, it’s FREE   

This is simply an organized effort to get us all motivated to do whatever it is that we have been putting off. It will simply cost you a little bit of time and effort.

Who is it for?

Pregnant and wanting to eat healthier for Baby, or needing to get more exercise in? Overweight and wanting to shed a few? Feeling fit, but you know that a cocktail every night isn’t good for you so you want to cleanse your system? Doing the same thing every day at the gym and wanting to add something new, like Yoga? Want to try cutting out certain foods to figure out why your energy levels are so low, or why your digestive system seems out of whack? Yeah, this is for all of that.

How does this work?

We are all wishing to accomplish something, and we are all here to support one another and hold one another accountable. We will use Facebook to stay connected to each other, share ideas, and ask questions. There will be weekly organized hikes and other outings in the Orange County area to get us all together physically as well. I will also post random health and fitness related articles that I find interesting and relevant.

We will use www.facebook.com/sanchezfitness to communicate with each other during this challenge. Please click the link above or search “Sanchez fitness” on Facebook and “like” it.

First, everyone will announce their SPECIFIC, measurable, personal challenge in detail, including their baseline and expectations. For Example,  I eat really clean and exercise about 5 days per week (resistance training mostly), but I need to do more cardio before I hike the Inca Trail in Peru this June. I currently do cardio once per week. I am challenging myself to a minimum of 5 hours of cardio per week for 6 weeks. All announcements need to be done on the Sanchez Fitness Facebook page by March 17th!

You must post your progress weekly, if not more, or it will be assumed that you did not complete your challenge. Please feel free to have conversations on this page that are related to the challenge. If you have any questions, post them! If you feel like you know something that can benefit other challengers, post it! If you are going for a run and want to invite others to join you, post it! If you notice that someone hasn’t been posting, help them by reaching out to them!

Examples of Nutrition goals:

 

Eat all natural only

Eat whole foods only

Eat organic only

Eat local foods only

Eat more vegetables

Start juicing

Drink more water

Eat more often

Eliminate dairy

Eliminate Gluten

Eliminate Grain

Eliminate ALCOHOL

Eliminate Tobacco

Eliminate artificial sweeteners

Eliminate processed sugar

Eliminate preservatives

Eliminate late-night snacks


Examples of Exercise goals:

 

Start/do more general exercise

More cardio

More stretching

More resistance training

Lose weight

Gain muscle

 

Weight-loss goals:

 

Lose 5 lbs

Lose 10 lbs

Lose 15 lbs

Lose 20lbs (Over 200 lbs only)

Lose X% body fat


Why?

People are often overwhelmed with too many rules to follow when trying to accomplish their fitness goals. They feel too restricted by their diets, stressed because they don’t know enough about exercise, and frustration causes them to fall off the program entirely. The 6-week Spring into Spring challenge allows people to focus on one thing: one thing that they have been wanting to try, or one thing that they know they need. As you check in weekly, you will see all of the other challenges that your peers have chosen for themselves, and they will in turn be able to see how well you are doing with your challenge. Not only will we all be able to hold each other accountable, but we will also be able to use each other as motivation to stick to our personal challenge. You might even be motivated by someone else to take on an additional challenge! Remember, this is not a competition where one person wins all, but an opportunity for us to feed off one another’s energy as we better ourselves. So who’s in?

When?

March 18th– April 27th

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FAQ

I was sent some interview questions by a publisher that was interested in having me featured in a book they are making. Or so they said 🙂  Anyways, I thought that I would share my answers since the questions are pretty common:

Is it true that some exercises produce results faster than others?  Is so, which exercises provide the best and worst “returns on investment”? Yes. This usually depends on what the person’s goals are.  For example, a lot of “core” or stability exercises are great for overall strength and can help a person avoid back problems. Some people though, will do these exercises to develop their rectus abdominus (six pack muscles), when in fact they would probably be better off doing simple crunches and laying off the potato chips! One of the biggest mistakes I see most people make in exercise selection is actually during cardio. People spend so much time on the treadmill and elliptical just wishing their body fat away, when they could be burning far more calories and fat by adding resistance training or higher intensity, shorter duration cardio. My advice would be to at least talk to a professional about your goals and what you are currently doing to achieve them. Again, the problem isn’t the exercise; it’s WHY you are doing the exercise!

How should someone determine how many grams of protein and carbs they should be eating each day? There are many factors that need to be considered here. Age, sex, body type, lifestyle, goal… There are too many cookie-cutter approaches to diet and exercise nowadays. These diets aren’t necessarily bad, but two people’s bodies can react different to the same stimulus. Here is some diet advice that my clients have found helpful. Regardless of the diet plan that you are following, or how many grams of protein, carbs, and fat you are eating, there are two things that you MUST do to be successful.

1.) Log your food. You’ve heard it before, but it is crucial. People that write down what they eat are always more successful at body composition goals than people who don’t. It is even easier now with all of the calorie counting apps that people can use on their smart phones, so there are no excuses.
2.) STAY CONSISTENT! If you are all over the place with your diet and it is not working for you, what do you change? You won’t even know where to start! If you have been consistent and have been logging you food, it is very easy to look and what you are doing, change one thing, and see how your body reacts. Remember, people are different, so their diets shouldn’t all be exactly the same.
Is it a good idea for someone to workout if they have a cold? If they don’t have a hard time breathing, I say go for it. I would lay off of the cardio though, and wouldn’t recommend pushing it too hard in the gym. Also, if you have a fever or are contagious, stay out of the gym!!!

Is it better to perform cardio before or after lifting weights or should cardio be done on a completely different day? Go do 30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of resistance training after. Then, on another day, do the exact opposite. You will probably notice that you had more energy on the latter day. Both cardio and resistance training cause your body to burn through sugar that you have stored in your body. The difference is that your body NEEDS that sugar for resistance training. The sugar (glycogen) improves your strength, and because your brain is sensitive to blood sugar, it helps you to focus (which is important when you are holding a dumbbell over your head!). Do your cardio after. You don’t need to focus as much, nor do you need extra strength. You are working your cardiovascular system. That’s it.

Is it better to exercise every part of the body on the same day, or it better to focus on different muscle groups on different days?   This is another one that differs a lot depending on the goal. If a person wants to grow their biceps for example, they need to overload their biceps with multiple sets of different exercises. They will probably pick one other muscle to workout on the same day. They won’t have the energy, or the time to work every major muscle in their body this way. However, if your goal is more functional, or you don’t want to bulk up, you are better off doing more compound movements and total body exercises. Most women people fit into this latter category.
If someone doesn’t have the time to spend hours cooking healthy meals, how can they still eat healthy? My first advice here is to cook in bulk. Preparing meals for the next couple of days will save you time, save you stress, and make it easier to stick to any diet. If you are a person who travels a lot and cannot do this, there is some good news: eating healthy is getting easier every day! As different health trends catch on, more restaurants (even fast food) are offering healthier choices. Be careful though! Some things passed off as healthy aren’t what they seem. Try keeping apples and nuts with you so that you can snack regularly on healthy foods. This will help stop you from over eating later. Also, when you do go out to eat:

  1. Have a plan. Check the menu online first to see what the healthiest choices are.
  2. drink a big glass of water before you order your food
  3. eat your veggies first
  4. get your dressing on the side
  5. ask the waiter to NOT bring the bread basket
  6. look for the words “steamed” and “grilled”

What should a personal trainer take into consideration when working with each individual client?  Personal training should be personal! Even if 2 people have the same goal, they have different abilities, injuries, allergies, motivational factors, likes/dislikes, and they should have a program designed around THEM. Sometimes trainers forget that in order to get their client to change, they must change their approach. Some people need a drill sergeant, some need a cheerleader, and some need a therapist. Let’s say that a trainer charges $60 per 1hr session. That is $1 per minute. If the trainer isn’t giving their client value every minute that they are together, then that client should be shopping for another trainer!

If someone isn’t sore after a workout, does that mean they didn’t workout hard enough? If your goal requires that you gain muscle, then you’d better be sore after most of your workouts. Otherwise, if the soreness is hit and miss, that’s okay! You weren’t sitting on the couch or taking a nap; you were doing something good for yourself. Just because you don’t feel sore the next day doesn’t mean that you didn’t benefit from the workout.

The new fad seems to be “buying organic”.  Is there any validity to eating organic food over non-organic food?  What are the benefits and/or things to be aware of? This is where goals change. Whether or not your food is organic won’t effect your body fat. People eat organic when they are trying to avoid pesticides and harsh preservatives. I think that there is a lot to be said for eating organic. It means that you care. It means that you are trying to do something better. Unfortunately, it is often far more expensive to buy organic foods. One general rule is that if you are going to peel it, it doesn’t need to be organic. Some foods are more affected by pesticides and herbicides than others. My wife and I have a list on our fridge entitled “The Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen”. It lists which foods should be bought organic and which ones don’t need to be. A quick Google search and you should be able to find something similar.

Should people wait until they’re not sore from their previous workout to start working out again? If your legs are really sore from your workout, it may not be a great idea to do another leg workout, but using your legs during the workout or doing some cardio may help push the lactic acid from your legs and help them recover quicker. What i would do is a light warm up first. If the muscle group you wanted to work is still sore after a warm up, pick a new muscle group to work that day.

If someone reaches their fitness goals, should they still continue to work with a personal trainer? It depends on why they started with that trainer. I have had clients come in long after they hit their goals for one simple reason. If they didn’t have an appointment with me, they would stop working out. Even if this isn’t the case, I think it is a good idea to at least “check in” with your trainer to make sure you are improving, or to get some new ideas. Not everyone NEEDS a personal trainer, but EVERYONE can benefit from having one.

When people first start exercising, why do they sometimes gain weight initially? Multiple factors here again. I see this more with women. The initial weight gain can be from hormones changing, water retention, or muscle gain. Your body is going through all kinds of things when it is subjected to a workout program for the first time. Or maybe all the exercise is just making you hungrier! It sounds funny, but I know people who gain weight when they exercise more because of that reason exactly! Again, this is why I stress the importance of consistency with your diet. If you know how many calories, carbs, protein, and fat you are putting into your body then the initial weight gain shouldn’t scare you. It is the people that have no idea what they are putting into their body that should be scared. It could be the hunger that is getting to them!

If someone has a heart condition, can they still workout? After clearance from their doctor; yes. This person should get into it slowly, and put more of an emphasis on their cardiovascular training initially.

If someone has a job where they don’t move around a lot, what can they do to increase their activity during the day, when they’re not working out? Stand up as often as possible, or even use a stability ball for a chair. That will at least stop you from resting against the back of the chair, which is horrible for your posture. Set reminders on your computer that pop up every 30 minutes to an hour that remind you to stand and stretch out a little. When you do walk around, go ahead and take the escalator down, but always try to walk up the stairs. Park you car a little further away, and if you are in a structure park on the top and force yourself to walk up the stairs to your car. It really is about a mindset here. Some people just want to reach their goals more than others. When you put the extra effort in to little things like this it goes a long way.

Is it safe for pregnant women to workout? Absolutely! There are certain precautions a woman must take into consideration when working out, though mostly in the later half of the pregnancy (like laying on their back). Nowadays women see their doctor so often during their pregnancy that if there were any cause for concern in terms of working out, their doctor can tell them what needs to be avoided (if anything).

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Iliana has been Kicking Ass!

Iliana has been Kicking Ass!

Iliana has been an inspiration to so many people. I have had so much fun working with her; she doesn’t complain (a lot) and has no problem giving 100% during her workouts. It has been amazing to watch her grow as a person, while shrinking at the same time! She has completed her first 12 weeks. Please click the following link to read her blog and find out how great she has done so far!

<http://flab2athlete.blogspot.com/2012/03/my-12-week-fitness-challenge.html>

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Iliana’s Journey

As some of you know, I am involved with a company called 12 Week Fitness Challenge. One thing that I am really excited about is 12WFC’s “Iliana’s Journey”.

Iliana has struggled with her weight for years. She has gone up and down, but has never been able to reach her goal. I am happy to say that starting December 5th, something is about to change! Myself, Scott Perry, and Parker Green are all trainers for 12WFC. We are going to help guide Iliana as she begins her weight loss journey for the last time! Forget about the Biggest Loser, where contestants live on a ranch, have meals prepared, and workout with trainers for 6 hours/ day! This is real. Iliana has to go to work every day. No vacations here! She has to prepare her own meals on top of her already busy schedule. She isn’t doing this for money. She is someone you can relate to.

We have asked Iliana to do 2 things. One, to not change her lifestyle until December 5th. Two, to blog everyday and document her journey.

Please follow along as she starts this new journey to a healthier lifestyle! She may motivate you to start your New Year’s Resolution early!

Click here to support Iliana!

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CALORIES ARE NOT ENERGY!!!

Wait, what? I thought that a Calorie was a measure of energy. Am I wrong?

Well, not exactly. First off, the correct terminology to use here would be kilocalorie, or kcal. 1 kcal is defined as being enough energy to raise 1ml of H2O by 1 degree Celsius. That means that when a calorie is being used it produces HEAT.  Does your food continue to get hotter and hotter as it sits there? No. This is because the energy is STORED in your food. The Calories that are in your food are not energy; they are POTENTIAL ENERGY. So when you exercise, your body starts to “burn” this potential energy. Heat is produced as a waste product, and your body temperature goes up.  Pretty simple, right? Are you wondering why am I explaining the difference between energy and potential energy?

Mindset.

People are always concerned about whether or not they have consumed enough energy to perform a task. The reality is though, your body is going to find this energy one way or another. Your body has energy stored in a couple different forms, the largest being fat. In the simplest of terms: if your body does not receive enough potential energy from food to survive, it will then pull energy from your fat storage. This is something that I have to explain over and over again to clients; even those who are pregnant or nursing (and have excess body fat). Here is how the conversation goes:

“My doctor says that I need to eat an extra 200-300 Calories per day because I am nursing”

“How many Calories per day are you currently eating?”

“I don’t know. I’ve never tracked it”

“…then what are you going to add 300 Calories to?”

This dialogue always makes me laugh a little bit, because we Americans are always concerned about not getting enough energy from food, when the reality is that we don’t have a starvation problem here in America. In fact, MORE THAN HALF OF US ARE OVERWEIGHT! WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH US?! We need to start looking at food as POTENTIAL ENERGY, because that is a healthier and smarter way to look at it. When you are looking at something you are considering consuming you should ask yourself, “am I realistically going to use all of this energy?” This might help you make better choices.

All that being said, it is important to give your body enough fuel to maintain the muscle mass that you have. Otherwise you will begin to lose your muscle (because your body needed more potential energy) and your metabolism will begin to slow down… But how do you know how many calories your body needs per day? That is a question that is easier to answer if you have had an accurate Body Fat % measurement done recently. Either way, there are websites that you can use to get a good estimate of how much energy (kilocalories) your body uses, both at rest and with exercise. Once you know that you will have a better idea of how much POTENTIAL ENERGY to consume each day.

Here is a great calorie calculator: http://www.freedieting.com/tools/calorie_calculator.htm  (click on “Advanced Options” to enter your body fat %)

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Jay’s “12 Week Fitness Challenge” Transformation!

Jay was told by his doctor that he was pre-diabetic in early 2011. This scared Jay, who had just lost two friends; both close to his age. Something needed to be done. Now. He had a consultation with a Doctor to talk about the Lap Band, but after some thought Jay wanted to try to lose weight the right way. I met Jay in February when he committed to a 12 week program that I am involved with, focused on motivating people to get into the best shape of their life. You can check this out at www.12wfc.com

Jay was just shy of  300 lbs when he started the program. He had lost a few pounds, but felt like he needed more help with his diet as well as his exercise. The 12 weeks flew by, and Jay proved himself to be a MACHINE!!! He never cheated on his diet and never missed an appointment with me. He was also diligent in his cardio assignments, which would change every couple of weeks.

Long story short, Jay’s hard work paid off. He sweat his butt off in the gym, educated himself about nutrition, stuck with our meal plan, and in a few short months Jay looks like a different person! In 12 weeks he lost 41 lbs (9% body fat!), gained muscle, and got word from his doctor that his blood sugar levels look great now! Jay signed up for the next challenge and has stayed consistent with all of his hard work. I can’t wait to show you all how great he has done…

Great job Jay! It has been a pleasure to work with you.


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Bananas are Overrated

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.

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