BLOG 324 TRUST THE PROCESS
Our fitness journeys are a process. We know that change takes time, old habits die hard, and the road isn’t always smooth along the way. Recently, on my own fitness journey and recent endeavors, the saying, “Trust the process”, has really hit close to home. We make so many choices every single day, some more important than others, but one choice often leads to another and unfolds the outcome or sets the tone for what is to come. I hope this BLOG brings you clarity, strength, and reveals some helpful tools to help YOU trust the process of your fitness journey.
Many of our poor choices are made from fear. We don’t want to fail. It’s as if having lower standards or expectations (taking the easy route), avoids failure. The uncertainty of what lies ahead steers us towards our comfort zones. For example, I’d rather not try jogging because then what if my knees start to hurt or what if I pull something…. But what if you don’t and if you just ran for thirty seconds, walked a little, and repeated the process maybe the body will respond better than anticipated?? The fear to TRY can be hindering.
Some of my own personal fears I have to learn to adjust to include being able to “go with the flow” and being flexible. There are aspects of life I am not able to control and being resilient and adjusting when needed can throw me for quite the loop. The process for a perfectionist becomes more challenging by default when I refuse to take a different direction when my original plan is altered. Simply put, for a planner, sometimes the plan has to change and I need to be okay with the new route and move forward. I need to, “Be open to ‘not knowing’. Life changes in an instant. Change with it” (http://theboldlife.com/2013/04/10-ways-to-let-go-of-fear-and-trust-the-process/).
YOU have to believe that being healthy long term is a process not a destination. We can make milestone goals along the way. Let’s say you want to lose twenty pounds, then the process requires getting there and keeping the twenty pounds off for good. In the meantime that means staying on course is up to YOU. Some of my recent videos have been about honesty and happiness. If the process requires 4 workouts a week and staying on the meal plan course, then having wine three times that particular week and an extra dessert may very well negate one or two workouts. So now the process has been tampered, but you have to TRUST to get back on track. I find that many almost reset each week, and the more start overs you have (which is okay), understand that the process is changing. Know that if you made this just a clear cut destination with a time line, then you are setting yourself up for failure. And maybe those choices are out of fear because you suddenly lost two pounds this week and you self-destruct and have a huge dessert in order to retaliate out of fear that now you actually can lose those other 18 pounds. Out of fear, you revert back to old habits. Sound familiar??
By no means do I want to get all philosophical haha. I found three really great tips to live by: (http://tinybuddha.com/blog/being-patient-through-transformation-trust-change-believe/)
Trust life. There’s a higher purpose behind every seemingly impossible and difficult phase. You’ve just got to hang in there and know that it’s for the best.
Change. If you find yourself feeling bad a lot more often than not, take time out to reflect on whether or not you’re happy deep down with what you’re doing.
Believe. Believe in yourself, even if the world around you doesn’t. If you don’t, who will?
When opening my business, any test I have ever taken, and my own fitness journey, are all examples of some of life’s processes I have had to just trust and let the uncertainly of the possible outcome come as it may. Please trust your own fitness journey, and most importantly, be strong and confident in your choices. Make your choices with no regret. One choice at a time, one rep at a time, the process will carry us through. And hey, don’t forget to ENJOY the process as well.
BLOG 323 REASONS PEOPLE STOP EXERCISING
Our beloved fitness journey through life can be marked by intervals of inactivity. The exercise roller coaster that aims for consistency, can plummet from time to time. As one day off leads to another, time passes, body shape changes, and willpower falters. SO I had to look up the common reasons this might occur for people, especially since I want to keep the green light turned on for every BODY
Reality speaks: “Studies show that 60% of American adults don’t get the recommended amount of physical activity, and over 25% of adults are not active at all”. (https://www.verywellfit.com/top-reasons-you-dont-exercise-1229759).
In no specific order here’s what I found. You may or may not relate to one or more of the following “excuses”:
You hate exercise.
Not in your budget or unable to afford it.
Not seeing results.
Have to take care of the kids/family.
You just don’t have time.
There are other interests you would rather do with your time.
I’m too old.
I hate doing it alone.
Don’t know what/how to do anything.
It’s too late to start over.
Habits take time to develop. We keep the habits in our lives that are comfortable and pleasurable. Exercise is sweat, it is awkward, it is effort involved. BUT it’s good for you. When you do something good for yourself, your BODY and mind will thank you. You may have no idea how good your BODY is meant to feel, so at least give it a chance to try. You know I bug you when you miss a workout 😊
BLOG 322 FIBROMYALGIA
Living in constant pain, is no way to live at all. When getting out of bed seems like an unbearable task, one is affected both physically and mentally by such a dilemma. Fibromyalgia is a debilitating condition that is somewhat new to the medical field. I have seen an increase in clients coming to me being diagnosed with this and the commercials on T.V. are becoming more and more frequent. So let’s take a better look at what exactly fibromyalgia does to one’s body.
What is fibromyalgia?? According to the Mayo Clinic, “Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals” (http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fibromyalgia/basics/definition/con-20019243) . Pain is the number one complaint associated with this condition: “The pain can be a deep, sharp, dull, throbbing, or aching, and it is pain that’s felt in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments around the joints” (http://www.webmd.com/fibromyalgia/guide/fibromyalgia-symptoms). However the list of symptoms when one goes to the doctor seeking answers for their situation is quite long and may include, “anxiety, concentration and memory problems – known as ‘fibro fog’, depression, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, morning stiffness, painful menstrual cramps, numbness, and tingling in the hands, arms, feet, and legs, tender points, and urinary symptoms, such as pain and frequency” (http://www.webmd.com/fibromyalgia/guide/fibromyalgia-symptoms).
Side note: fibromyalgia is more common in females than males. (http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fibromyalgia/basics/definition/con-20019243).
Another characteristic of this condition is having trigger or tender points. Normally these are areas around the joints or muscles, not the exact joint or muscle itself. They’re tender even to the touch. And then there is the constant feeling of being fatigued. Getting out of bed is extremely difficult and one can be worn out after a quick trip to the grocery store. Not surprising, “Depression is a key symptom for many people with fibromyalgia. Up to half of all people with fibromyalgia also have depression or an anxiety disorder when they are diagnosed” (http://www.webmd.com/fibromyalgia/guide/fibromyalgia-symptoms?page=3). These feelings only worsen from the pain and discomfort one endures each day. It is easy to become less active and isolated when daily living activities just become too much to handle.
I’m sure you have seen and heard the ads for all the medications one can take for fibromyalgia. But guess what folks?? Exercise can help alleviate the symptoms. At first scientists and doctors said rest was the best cure, “But recent scientific studies have shown that, for most patients, range of motion, strengthening, and aerobic conditioning exercises are safe and necessary” (http://www.webmd.com/fibromyalgia/guide/fibromyalgia-and-exercise). Exercise releases endorphins – the good feeling chemicals and helps balance out serotonin levels. Exercise can help tackle some of the feelings of depression and anxiety. Yes, there are days when my fibromyalgia clients call and say they just aren’t able to make it, but I say let’s go walk and talk because movement is key. Don’t let the day be a downward spiral. I tell them to just get here and we will do the best we can with what the body can do today. Adding to this, “Exercise acts as nature’s tranquilizer by helping to boost serotonin in the brain. Studies have also shown that exercise triggers the release of epinephrine and norepinephrine, hormones that are known to boost alertness. For those who feel ‘stressed out’ frequently, exercise can help to desensitize your body to stress” (http://www.webmd.com/fibromyalgia/guide/fibromyalgia-and-exercise?page=2).
And then the list of exercise benefits gets even better and go on to include: “Burning calories and making weight control easier, giving range-of-motion to painful muscles and joint, improving a person’s outlook on life, improving quality of sleep, improving one’s sense of well-being, increasing aerobic capacity, improving cardiovascular health, increasing energy, placing the responsibility of healing in the hands of the patient, reducing anxiety levels and depression, relieving stress associated with a chronic disease, stimulating growth hormone secretion, stimulating the secretion of endorphins or ‘happy hormones’, strengthening bones, strengthening muscles, and relieving pain” (http://www.webmd.com/fibromyalgia/guide/fibromyalgia-and-exercise?page=2).
Fibromyalgia is certainly a serious condition that can send one on a downward spiral of feeling hopeless. Don’t let the pain control you. Take control of your body, love your body, and fight for your health. We have to do the best with what we are given and embrace each day as an opportunity to self-improve. I can certainly help one exercise those aches away, but remember just take it one rep a time, and put one foot in front of the other because YOU are strong. So now maybe those commercials might make a little more sense to you.
BLOG 321: JOBS THAT CAUSE WEIGHT GAIN
A career life and the adulthood that goes along with making a living, can correlate with lots of time spent sitting. the hours of being sedentary increase with age and eventually, less time is spent being active and making healthy choices. Between office lunches, entertaining clients and customers, the spread in the breakroom, vending machines taunting in the hallways, and whatever co-workers decide to share, the combination of more time seated with more sugary and fat ridden foods, become a recipe for gaining weight and increase the risk for poor health.
Some of the most common jobs that are prone to weight gain include the following:
1. Software engineer: IT professionals are prone to getting wrapped up in projects that lead to skipping meals and then eating junk food when there’s time to scarf something down. All this while sitting at a computer.
2. Nurse Practitioner: Ironically this profession in the health field that advocates for nutritious eating, is rampant with stress eating.
3. Teacher: Between students, other staff members, parents, and standardized testing, this profession can be stressful. Managing a classroom setting all day then taking homework to grade can lead to stress eating and reaching for whatever is closest and most convenient to eat.
4. Police offer: There are many hours spent patrolling, sitting, and observing. When there’s action this can be very stressful. Dealing with life threating situations does lead to stress and often times comforting foods.
5. Bus driver/ Taxi/Uber/Lyft Driver: Night or day, this job is all sitting and eating on the go.
6. Administrative assistant: This profession requires juggling the lives and schedules of everyone else, leaving little self-time. Often times, this person is the first one in the office and the last one to leave, sitting and working away to help others.
7. Call center or sales jobs: The phone is always in hand and each hour is filled with constant conversation while sitting. Customer service can be stressful, while meeting commissions and quotas.
Stress alarms the body as cortisol levels strike. Feelings of fight or flight lead a person to want to suppress such levels of high emotion with food or drinks. The mind doesn’t always turn off at the end of the day, and poor sleep leads to poor choices. Waking up tired attracts the easy route when it comes to what to wear, what to eat, and this can lead to complete disregard for extracurricular activities like exercise. Even though a person might be sitting all day, coming home and sitting more sounds more appealing then hitting the gym. Suddenly, years have past and pounds have added up. Your I.D. badge depicts an entirely different body shape. Don’t let stress and your career cut years off your life. Don’t work just to use your health insurance later to cover the costs of the damage that has resulted to your body. Find time for health and set the example to your co-workers that quality of life is critical and necessary.
BLOG 320 HORMONES
Our bodies are fascinating functioning entities that are designed to endure and last. Machines don’t always function properly and fine tuning may be needed. If our heart is acting strange, we see a cardiologist. If we are having issues with our feet, we go see a podiatrist. But sometimes the answers aren’t so obvious when we know something just isn’t right. Endocrinology, the study of hormones is only 100 years old so it’s in its state of infancy. Hence, why there isn’t always a direct response from a doctor when it comes to a woman’s inquiry about her sudden weight gain or lack of energy, or a male feeling depressed or sluggish.
Hormones can rule our lives. They turn children into adults, affect or appetites, and affect our passions. We may not think of them in our daily thoughts, but they are part of our daily lives for sure. The earliest example of hormone study was with the famous opera singer of the 1700s named, Ferinelli. He was castrated to keep his opera voice high. As a result, he had many female features. Later, cattle and roosters were the lab rats to be tested on.
In the 1800s, when women were having issues the answer was to remove their ovaries. 150,000 women in Europe were treated this way to address their unsolved womanly ailments. Yet, that just caused early menopause.
Hormones are chemical messengers that communicate much differently than our nervous system. The word “hormone” came from the ever-famous Greek poet, Homer. Cortisol is the stress hormone. Adrenaline is the flight or fight hormone and there are many more. The pituitary gland is the major house of these hormonal operations. It regulates our levels like a thermostat.
Studies of obesity led to the discovery of insulin and leptin. Without insulin, one will develop diabetes and long ago diabetes was a death sentence. Hence, the name “Die” abetes. Sugar passes straight to urine when insulin is not properly functioning. Leptin is the fat hormone and provides feedback to brain about our appetite. More fat leads to more leptin and studies show this is caused by genetics in addition to self-control.
The movie, “The Fantastical World of Hormones”, by Andrew Smith, was very helpful in my research. This is just a synopsis because we know that hormones are not a straightforward answer. On our fitness journeys there may be speed bumps, but the road to your goals will lead you to better health and a better YOU!!!!!
BLOG 319 MUFFINS
A diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, legumes, and fresh fruits and vegetables is great for overall health and can even help weight loss. However, this food plan is all about the choices that fall under these categories. Muffins are part of the mistake that can cause weight gain. The average medium sized muffin contains about 430 calories, 18 grams of fat, and close to 60 carbohydrates. This doesn’t include the possible 35 grams of sugar. No wonder they taste so good. For breakfast, as a snack, with tea or coffee, a muffin is a tasty, satisfying food that many approve of. The problem is that a muffin isn’t a nutritionally sound option. Then we to consider the giant muffins from Costco, the ones that taste good from Souplantation, the one’s the vending machine has, and then there’s always 7-11. They taught and tease use because they are a grab and go food. They’re easy and filling.
Just because a muffin has some blueberries, is gluten-free, or made from scratch, doesn’t mean the waistline isn’t going to suffer. Even if just half, only 200 calories, those calories could have better been served with 3 eggs and a banana or ½ cup of oatmeal. More bang for the caloric content, but we don’t always make decisions based on that rationale. Often times a muffin isn’t the main meal either, although could count up to be this.
Muffins date back to the 18th century coming from either the British or Europeans. It is similar to a raised flat bread, shaped like a cupcake. Some even call it a healthy “cupcake”. The main ingredients are flour, vegetable oil, and of course sugar. Flavors range from chocolate to bran and all the types of fruits in between. It is typically eaten for breakfast and enjoyed a mid-morning snack or for brunch.
Let’s take a look at one of Costco’s chocolate muffins just for shock value. This muffin has 690 calories, which if a person is at a 2,000 calorie intake per day, that’s about 35% right there. This makes up 79 grams of carbohydrates and 16 grams of fat. Then there are only 3 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein. All that considered, that is a lot for one muffin and a lot for just one item. There are other types like banana nut or poppy seed, but these still come in the 600 calorie range. A muffin is therefore an occasional food choice, not one to have with breakfast on a daily basis. As good as they are, there are not good for the body long-term. We all know the derogatory term that can be used for the shape of a persons’ stomach ☹
BLOG 318 PHIL JACKSON
Coaching has been an integral part of my life. From having a father who’s a basketball coach, having many people coach me over the years, and then becoming a coach myself, I’d say my world has been pretty impacted by this topic. The foundations for my own practices are rooted in the examples my father has shown me, but there’s a well-known coach whom I have read and learned about and wanted to share with you. Phil Jackson, the infamous Los Angeles Lakers coach, has a style and philosophy I greatly admire. Plus I named my pug after him.
Phil Jackson is widely considered one of the most successful basketball coaches ever in the NBA. The titles speak for themselves and the players he has coached along the way are some of the best. He won 6 NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls and 3 titles with the Los Angeles Lakers. He has coached players such as Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. What qualities and skills does he possess to be able to accomplish such feats?? The answer to this would be the application of his 11 Principles of Mindful Leadership. He established and published these Principles to share with others.
The major message I received from these Principles is that a leader’s job is to build leaders at all levels (http://www.leadershipnow.com/leadingblog/2013/06/phil_jacksons_11_principles_of.html). The number one principle is to, “Lead from the Inside Out”, which means being true to yourself. Phil Jackson stated, “As time went by, I discovered that the more I spoke from the heart, the more players could hear me and benefit from what I gleaned” (http://www.leadershipnow.com/leadingblog/2013/06/phil_jacksons_11_principles_of.html). Number 2 is to “Bench the Ego” which Jackson describes as “distributing power”, not trying to have the last word, and to always keep the team’s vision in mind. He said,
“If your primary objective is to bring the team into a state of harmony and oneness, it doesn’t make sense for you to rigidly impose your authority” (http://www.leadershipnow.com/leadingblog/2013/06/phil_jacksons_11_principles_of.html).
Number 3 is to “Let Each Player Discover His Own Destiny”. Every player has strengths and weaknesses, and it is important for each player to find out what they can contribute best to the team. This doesn’t always mean points or rebounds. Not everyone looks good on paper, but given direction they can uncover great skills they possess to add to their game and the team. For me, every client has strength and weaknesses and it is important to tailor workouts to both parts. Number 4 is that “The Road To Freedom is a Beautiful System”, which refers to his triangle offense his teams ran. This type of play allowed each player to have a role and the freedom to play within structure that doesn’t restrict the freedom to adjust to the moment. In other words, I’m no drill sergeant and want to create sustainable, realistic, and possible programs for clients. Number 5 is to “Turn the Mundane into the Sacred”. Jackson incorporated meditation into his practices, because contrary to popular belief, playing pro basketball can get mundane and players need stimulation other than just what plays to run. Adding variety to workouts is key to avoid burn out and boredom. Number 6 is called “One Breath = One Mind”, which really highlights his Zen philosophy. He said, “Players “often have to make split-second decisions under enormous pressure. I discovered that when I had the players sit in silence, breathing together in sync, it helped align them on a nonverbal level far more effectively than words. One breath equals one mind” (http://www.leadershipnow.com/leadingblog/2013/06/phil_jacksons_11_principles_of.html).
Moving on, Number 7 says that “The Key to Success is Compassion”. Relationships are important among team members. Building a trusting relationship in a positive environment is critical for client success. Number 8 is to “Keep Your Eye on the Spirit, Not on the Scoreboard”, which involves focusing on the players and their working together rather than what the score is. The scale isn’t the only measure of success. Number 9 is that “Sometimes You Have to Pull Out the Big Stick” which is about preparing players for unexpected situations using methods in practices to make them respond to chaos. We know that life happens, and staying on our fitness journeys when life presents challenges can be difficult. I want to provide the tools for successful adjustments. Number 10 says “When in Doubt, Do Nothing”. He says that some occasions call for no action. Sometimes a plateau just works itself out and the body will respond when it is ready to. He likes the quote from Satchel Paige, who said, “Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits (http://www.leadershipnow.com/leadingblog/2013/06/phil_jacksons_11_principles_of.html).” Finally, Number 11 is to “Forget the Ring”. No one likes to lose, but all you can do it prepare as best as possible for success and the outcome will be what it will be.
I see my clients as my players and there are strategies I use with each one of them. Like Phil Jackson, I know it isn’t always about X’s and O’s or weight and numbers. The fitness relationship we build is important and helping develop a better attitude and mindset towards health and wellness is what I like to emphasize. We are focusing on lifestyle changes and connecting the mind and body for this journey helps for long term results and success. Having the compassion and the ability to work through chaos are all important tools. We can get to our goals and win titles with the correct approach. Coaching can be complicated dealing with the various personalities and finding what tactic works best for each individual, but that’s what makes the job interesting and entertaining. I may be more perfectionist than Zen like Phil Jackson, and don’t know that we will ever meditate haha, but his Principles are written on my desk on a Post- it note whenever I need to re-visit them.
BLOG 317 TIME
There are 24 hours, 1440 minutes, and 86400 seconds in one day. That is the same for every single human being. Feelings of being too busy, pressed for time, and in a rush, are felt my so many of us, more than we would like them to. Two people with the exact same work schedule might handle their time very differently. As a trainer, the excuse of time is far too overused. Here are 10 reasons why time can be either on your team or against you.
1. Your wake up and bed time. The morning doesn’t have to be so rushed if you woke up a little earlier. Feelings of exhaustion can fade when you get to bed at a decent time. Hitting snooze only makes the adrenaline rush and stress of getting ready quickly pile up.
2. Lack of organization leads to chaos. Can’t find you shirt, can’t find your keys, can’t find your phone…. all that search time is time waisted.
3. Budgeting your time. Prioritize what must be done followed by what can be further down on the list. Schedule wiggle room for traffic and red lights. Plan for what will take more time than others.
4. Trying to multi task can lead to chaos. The brain just isn’t ready for that. Plus, you feel overwhelmed and distracted by so many different agendas.
5. You want everything to happen fast. Well guess what, the line at Starbucks doesn’t allow cuts so you just have to wait like everyone else. Fast means rushed and rushed means stress and frustration.
6. Procrastination. Cramming too much into too little time is extremely stressful. Then time is the opponent you are trying to beat.
7. You don’t value your time. Being productive when no one else is watching is important too. Get ahead. Don’t let other people dictate you being late or you not meeting your priorities. Your time is valuable.
8. You have a now or never attitude. Sometimes the printer just doesn’t work. Sometimes the internet is slow. Don’t get angry, move on to the next task.
9. You opt for convenient. Well fast food will quickly lead to more trips to the doctor. Take time to cook, meal prep, and nourish your body.
10. Next time. Not today. But tomorrow keeps passing by. Time doesn’t stand still. Pretty soon it’s over and you don’t get it back. Don’t wait. Action defines time.
Can you relate?? This year make every second, minute, and hour of your day COUNT!!!!
BLOG 316 INTUITIVE EATING
Our bodies speak to us. Signals of hunger, pain, emotion, etc. tell us an action is required. The act of eating is mandatory, but certainly not a science we all have down pact. Intuitive eating is an anti-diet line of thinking that involves listening to your body’s hunger cues and responding accordingly. I’m not sure how I feel about this approach, but I figured some solid research might help us understand this concept better.
Intuitive eating was an approach I discovered while reading the weight loss memoir by Kelsey Miller (2016), Big Girl: How I Gave Up Dieting & Got A Life. Kelsey is a writer for Refinery29 in New York and she created a project for herself at work that got world-wide attention. She decided to write her articles on her own journey of intuitive eating coming from a background of a lifetime dieter seeking a way to find a suitable relationship with food. She simply ate what she wanted, when she wanted, because she knew that if she wanted more she could have it. There was no restriction or off-limit foods. Having that in mind let her have a couple bites of French Fries instead of attacking them on her plate then asking her friend to polish off their serving. This approach takes some serious self-control.
This led me to that classic Google search. And I came across Intuitiveeating.org. There is an entire community of counselors and books available. Here are their 10 Principles: (http://www.intuitiveeating.org/10-principles-of-intuitive-eating/).
1. Reject the Diet Mentality Throw out the diet books and magazine articles that offer you false hope of losing weight quickly, easily, and permanently.
2. Honor Your Hunger Keep your body biologically fed with adequate energy and carbohydrates. Otherwise you can trigger a primal drive to overeat.
3. Make Peace with Food Call a truce, stop the food fight! Give yourself unconditional permission to eat.
4. Challenge the Food Police .Scream a loud “NO” to thoughts in your head that declare you’re “good” for eating minimal calories or “bad” because you ate a piece of chocolate cake.
5. Respect Your Fullness Listen for the body signals that tell you that you are no longer hungry.
6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor The Japanese have the wisdom to promote pleasure as one of their goals of healthy living In our fury to be thin and healthy, we often overlook one of the most basic gifts of existence–the pleasure and satisfaction that can be found in the eating experience.
7. Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food Find ways to comfort , nurture, distract, and resolve your issues without using food.
8. Respect Your Body Accept your genetic blueprint.
9. Exercise–Feel the Difference Forget militant exercise. Just get active and feel the difference.
10 Honor Your Health–Gentle Nutrition Make food choices that honor your health and tastebuds while making you feel well. Remember that you don’t have to eat a perfect diet to be healthy.
This surely sounds like the diet to end all diets, but gosh there’s not a lot of structure. I think that if we all could just tune into our hunger and put down the fork when we should, well there would be a whole lot less obesity in this world. If only it were this simple. But I think the principle of this approach is great…. just don’t know many who can successfully do it. For example, here’s a clip from another article I read, “Some days, my body needed french fries. Other days, a big salad. Sometimes I’d have two breakfasts because I was just that hungry. Other days, a light dinner was more than enough. I learned that a small piece of dark chocolate could actually satisfy a craving and that I didn’t actually need three glasses of wine with dinner to enjoy it. Butter, burgers, donuts — nothing was off limits as long as I ate when I was hungry and stopped when I was full (but not stuffed). It took a few months, but it’s funny how once you realize you can actually have any food at any time, a lot of food’s irresistible draw vanishes” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennipher-walters/intuitive-eating_b_3976172.html).
I personally may not relate to this approach, but I’m in full support of those clients who can do this. In fact, maybe I envy them haha. Every BODY is different so we all have to find what works for us best. If logging food and counting calories sends you into a resistance mode to not follow orders, then by all means find another way. If 30 day tactics work for you, then do it. Lifestyle change my friends. That’s what I believe. And one better choice at a time we are getting to that level of success we are aiming for.
BLOG 315 Eat BEFORE or AFTER
Food provides us the fuel to exercise. We need energy to be able to perform at our best. Nutrition plays a critical role in our fitness journey. Clients often ask when is the best time to eat….before or after the workout?? There are several factors to consider when deciding which approach is best for you, because of course there is no straight answer to this question. Feeling totally full before a jog is never a good idea. On the other hand, feeling ravenous before a jog might make you more irritable then motivated to sweat.
Carbohydrates are probably the most controversial nutritional fitness topic, but they are the main source of energy for our bodies. We need them in order to sustain a quality workout, but that doesn’t mean we should have a plate of spaghetti or baked potatoes at free will. In summary, “You want every gram of carbohydrate you consume to be utilized as an immediate fuel source or to restore glycogen levels—you don’t want it to be stored as fat. Don’t eat more carbs than you need and don’t worry about spreading them evenly throughout the day. You can eat the majority of your carbs around your workout” (http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/a-beginners-guide-to-workout-nutrtion.html).
Ideally, we are eating our snacks or meals every 2-3 hours, so if we were to workout 2 hours after having a snack, we wouldn’t need to eat again before the workout. On the other hand, if you have not eaten for several hours, then a snack before the workout is in order. For example, if the last time you ate was dinner and you are a morning workout person, a light snack would help energy levels to be able to sustain your workout. This snack should be 100-200 calories, and should have a small amount of carbohydrates and protein. For me, a rice cake with almond butter does the trick. When lifting weights, the body usually requires more energy so certainly have a snack at least 2 hours prior is necessary. A protein shake or 1/2 Quest bar are my go-to lifting snacks. Fast absorbing protein, particularly Whey sources, are best because they contain higher levels of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs).
After a workout, there is a 60 minute time window that our muscles are vulnerable and ready to absorb nutritional components, which means, “They absorb carbohydrates readily to replace lost glycogen, energy stored in your muscles, as well as amino acids found in protein to help repair tissue you break down while working out” (http://www.livestrong.com/article/399834-is-it-better-to-eat-before-or-after-a-workout-to-lose-weight/). When our muscles repair, they grow. More muscle means a higher metabolism.
Set yourself up for optimal results by meal planning and having snacks available to help you strategize your approach. Don’t go all day at work without eating for several hours then head to the gym with no fuel. My approach is to eat half my snack before and half after. So I might drink half my protein shake before or during, then the other half after. Or I might eat half my Quest bar before then the other half after. That way, my body has fuel before and is also receiving the BCAAs and protein after for muscle repair.