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Know Your Body’s Budget

Can I afford that?If you can balance your bank account, you can balance your body account. Our weight is the result of caloric checks and balances. It takes a little time, discipline and mathematics, but the reward outweighs the work.

In my article at Answers.com today, I share 3 ways to to manage your weight:

1. ) Learn how many calories you burn

2.) Learn how many calories you should eat to reach your goal

3.) Learn how to track food like you track your money

CLICK HERE to get the Answers. (pun intended!)

Have a fitness question?

Comment below and I’ll add your question to my list for upcoming articles for Answers.com.

Why Losing Weight Gets Harder as You Get Thinner

When someone starts a new diet and workout routine they often feel the have a disadvantage but, when someone is overweight, they have more going for them than they think. On the flips side, thinner people actually tend to struggle with weight loss as the get closer to their goal weight. Here are 4 things you need to know about calories and weight loss.

1. Heavy People Burn MORE Calories at Rest 
Many people who are overweight think their metabolism is slower than skinny people. The truth is, it takes more energy to run a heavier person. The more you weigh, the more muscle your body needs to carry you around. This is why heavier people typically have more muscle mass and burn more calories. You may feel sluggish, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have a lower metabolism or are burning fewer calories than a thin person.

NOTE:  250LB person that is lightly active with a slow metabolism burns approximately 3,500 calories a day.  Read the rest of this entry

META-IGNITE: My Motivation Pill

If only we could take a motivation pill. Well, maybe you can.

When people talk about having a slow metabolism, they are normally talking about overall energy level. They aren’t referring to how fast their hair or nails grow, or how quick they heal. Most people don’t even know their Basal Metabolic Rate (calories we burn at rest). All they know is how tired they are or how they don’t feel like doing much – especially exercise.

Before I go any further, a person who feels they have a slow metabolism may actually have the same BMR as someone that seemingly has a high metabolism. I think the biggest issue is someone with a “slow” metabolism is more likely to drives past the gym on the way home from work and plop down on the couch. But if they DID go to the gym, they would burn as many calories as anyone else their same weight.

So with that in mind, what if you could get a little boost so you were more likely to workout? This is when a thermogenic is helpful.

People often ask me about fat loss supplements. Some people just want to take a pill, but the pill itself isn’t going to transform your body. However, a pill can give you the edge you need to feel like working out – and work out harder than you normally would.

I’m currently taking the GNC’s GenetixHD line. I don’t normally take supplements, aside from protein and creatine – but when I need a boost, I can definitely tell a thermogenic gives me exactly what I need to take my workouts to the next level. Sometimes, it just helps me just to GET to the gym on those days I want to skip my own workout and plop down on the couch.

Here is what thermogenics do for me:

1.) They give me energy. Most thermogenics have a blend of energizing ingredients. Similar to having a really good cup of powerful coffee, sometimes it’s just what I need to get moving. However, a good thermogenic won’t give you short-lived energy like a cup of coffee, but will give you lasting energy that will help you through the entire day.

2.) They help me focus. It’s not that they give me a special ability to focus my mind, but when I’m spending the time, money  and energy on supplements, I am a lot less likely to throw it away by skipping workouts or blowing my diet. It gives me a sense of purpose for each day. Each time I take my supplement, it is a physical reminder that I am working toward a specific goal.

3.) They give me a mental edge. Not only do the energy enhancing ingredients help me to be mentally sharp but, when I take a fitness aid, I mentally feel like I’m getting the support I need. Although supplements do physically help, just knowing I’m doing everything I can to get the best results gives me mental encouragement too.

4.)  They give me results. GenetixHD is riddled with natural ingredients to boost results. For instance, although Green Tea Extract isn’t that powerful by itself, mixed with other key ingredients, scientists say it can boost your metabolic rate by 4% – and that is just the effects of Green Tea. Although 4% may not seem all that high at first glance, if you combine that small improvement with other small improvements from other effective ingredients, along with improved workouts – obviously I will get better results than if I didn’t use them.

If you’ve been dragging your feet lately, or just need to draw a fresh line in the sand for a fresh start, maybe adding a thermogenic to your fitness program is just want the trainer ordered! 🙂

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Product Review: GenetixHD – Ignite, Sculpt & Burn!

A week ago I started GNC’s GenetixHD. Now I have to tell ya, I am not very good at taking supplements. Fat burners make me freak out and I’m awful at remembering to take pills. So, with that said, let me tell you what I’m attempting.

Lucky for me, the women’s line body sculpting line only has 3 products. A META-IGNITE™ (a thermogenic) Pro-Sculpt (pre-workout drink) and a Physio Burn Stimulant Free (Metabolic Amplifier Complex) which you take with your largest meal.

Getting in the Fat Burning Groove
So I don’t forget to take my pills, I placed the Physio-Burn right next to my bathroom sink. Since my biggest meal is normally my dinner, I remember to take it when I brush my teeth and take out my contacts after dinner. As for the Meta-Ignite, that stays at work on my desk. I normally take that around lunch time since I drink coffee in the morning and didn’t want to risk freaking my little poor heart out. 🙂

The last item to attend to was the pre-workout drink. This one was a challenge for me since I don’t normally like pre-workout drinks. They normally taste horrible, but this one wasn’t bad at all. I started with just half a scoop. After I had that with no negative side-effects, I gradually increased my serving. It didn’t freak me out like NO Explode and some others. I felt energized, and besides feeling just a slight bit of flushing, I felt great.

Bad Bonnie
I think I became accustomed to the added energy, because I skipped a few days this weekend and BAM! No energy and I felt yucky. OK, I admit, it probably had to do with my crappy workouts and poor diet because we were slammed getting ready for a boot camp, but then I realized I had slacked on my GenetixHD.

I started back yesterday and I already feel SOOOO much better today. Bottom line, I think this is great for someone who may struggle with energy and the drive to get to the gym. Once you begin getting the results, the results will keep you going after that, but I do believe this is going to be a great kick start for my new workout program!

I’ll continue on this system and keep you posted on how I do and how I feel. All in all – So far, so Good! Definitely suggest it!

Is Exercise Sabotaging Your Weight Loss?

Top 5 Excuses for Not Losing Weight

1. I’ve probably just gained a lot of muscle.
2. Muscle weighs more than fat.
3. I’m just holding more water.
4. I think my scale is just wrong 
5. Honestly, they’re just making clothes smaller these days. 

When was not getting results acceptable? If you joined a gym to lose weight, and even if you’ve firmed up, but you still weigh the same as you did the day you joined – something is wrong.

Rarely, are any of these above excuses the real problem, and the problem is rarely exercise. The problem is almost always diet. Sure, it would be much easier to commit an hour of day sweating off the pounds rather than actually having to control what you eat the other 23 hours a day, but if you want results you have to commit to a good workout and good eating habits.

Eating Healthy is Not Enough
So you tell me how healthy you eat. It doesn’t matter. So you tell me how much protein you’re getting, but you don’t know how many grams. You say you eat very few carbs, but you weren’t including fruits and vegetables. I ask you how many calories you are eating, but you don’t know. Are you seeing a pattern here? You eat “healthy”, but you have no idea just how much healthy food you are actually consuming or where you are getting your calories from. You are guessing your way through this. Who succeeds in anything based on guesses? Very few people.

Exercise is Deceiving

Before I address diet,  let me boldly talk about the one thing I believe sabotages many people’s success: Exercise. Am I saying exercise is bad? Of COURSE NOT! I’m in the working out business! What I’m saying is exercise messes with our body and our head.

Exercise Makes us WANT to Eat More
It’s only natural for our body to want to replace the calories we burn in the gym. When we exercise, our metabolism speeds up and we get hungry. This hunger is a good thing if we know what it means – it means we are burning calories. However, we aren’t supposed to FEED it, we are supposed to USE it.

What do I mean? Now that your metabolism is revved, every time you are hungry celebrate! You’re flying through the calories. Instead of eating to satisfy hunger, eat to fuel your body so it can keep burning calories.

  • Eat low-glycemic foods (limiting or avoiding processed foods, sugar and starches).
  • Eat small meals and snacks (100-150 calories snacks & 300-500 calorie meals) so you don’t replace the stored food (body fat) you’ve been working hard to burn off.
  • Eat 5-6 times a day. Using the calorie guidelines for snacks & foods, you will be eating somewhere between 1200-1800 calories a day. Women, stay on the low end, men can stay on the higher end.
  • Eat .5-.7gms of protein per pound of ideal body weight (150lb person can eat 75gm-105gms) so you don’t lose muscle while you lose fat.

Exercise Makes You Think You DESERVE to Eat More
When you work hard, it’s easy to think you now deserve a reward. Think about money. As soon as we get a raise, a new job, or a bonus – the first thing we think of is NOT saving that money. We think about how we can spend it. We think of the bills we could pay, the clothes we could buy, the vacation we’ve been wanting – all because we “deserve it”.

This is how we treat exercise and food. As soon as we start “working” harder and begin to reap the reward, instead of thinking about all the calories we are saving, and the weight we are losing, we think of ways to “spend” those calories. We talk ourselves into believing we can “afford” a reward. But we haven’t even “got out of debt” yet.

We walk around carrying our “food debt”, storing calories we’ve previously borrowed on our backside, but haven’t paid off. Just like money, we really never have any business spending calories on anything until we remove the debt we already have. Just because we work a little in the gym doesn’t mean we can start spending yet. We have to allow enough time to remove that debt altogether. Just like credit cards, the best way to use them wisely is to spend only what you can pay off over a short period of time. So once you reach your goal, you can reward yourself here and there, without getting yourself in trouble, as long as you are willing to “pay it off”.

“Only eat in one sitting what you can burn in one hour”

Every time you face a plate of food or temptation, instead of thinking about what you want to eat, ask yourself this question: “Do I want to add 800 more calories to my fat stores, or do I want to get rid of 800 calories from my fat stores by not eating it?” 

Metabolism: What You Need to Know

Here is Steve‘s raw, edgy and in-depth explanation of metabolism. It’s information you need to know and understand, whether you want to hear it or not. Take a deep breath and get ready to take a hit…

When it comes to metabolism, the health and fitness community has redefined this term from its original definition.  This can be both bad and good.  Good as long as we all have a good understanding of how the word is being used in regards to transforming our bodies, bad when we use half of a clinical definition and half of the “en vogue slang” definition.. as this leads to using excuses in regards to weight loss.

Clinically, metabolism  is defined as  the  processes in any organism for cell growth, reproduction, response to external stimuli(environment), survival strategy, sustenance, and cellular maintenance.  It includes building up of the cell or organism (anabolism), and the breakdown of substances primarily for energy expenditure (catabolism).

By far, the number one excuse I hear when training a client for weight loss is… (drum roll… wait on it… waaaiiiit) yep’ you guessed it… “I just have a slow metabolism)  

Let’s Dig In
What they are really saying is “Steve, I’m eating more calories than I burn”.  The words that actually come out of their mouths are,  “I barely eat anything at all, and I still can’t lose weight”… Of course  I reply in compassion and love and say “so, if I drop you off on a deserted island with no food, and come back in two weeks, you will be the same weight or even a little heavier?”  At this point, If they don’t walk out of my office shooting me a bird then I know I might be making headway.

Allow me to give you a real world look at metabolism.  If two people are walking on a treadmill at the same speed and incline, and they weigh exactly the same, the amount of energy required to move their masses is significantly similar regardless of a fast or slow metabolism.  The deviation of calories burned would be negligible.  You might ask, what about heart rate?  I’ve heard many clients say, “the girl next to me burned a thousand calories in spin class and I only burned 250.  Is it because I have a slower metabolism?”  Of course not.  So what is going on? READ THE REST OF THE STORY  (learn more about heart rate monitoring & boosting your metabolism)

Our Body Needs Breakfast to Stay Fit

“People who skip breakfast are 4 1/2 TIMES more likely to be overweight.”

Before Steve and I got married, I seldom ate breakfast. Since Steve was in school for exercise and nutrition at that time, he knew how important breakfast was. I, on the other hand, was in the habit of flying out the door with only a cup of coffee for the drive if I was lucky. Thankfully, Steve never gave up on me and I finally discovered how breakfast truly does start your day off right.

People skip breakfast for many different reasons. I simply didn’t make the time eat. Others may skip breakfast because they don’t feel hungry. Some people complain that eating breakfast makes them feel hungry earlier in the day, yet others just haven’t found the right food to suit their taste. Read the rest of this entry

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