Let’s get real about weight loss

OK, so there is this thing that has been bothering me. It’s the entire reason why so many of us feel like failures when it comes to weight loss and I have even peddled along with it. But NO MORE! There is a reality to weight loss, but we aren’t really let in on that reality are we?

  1. You cannot deprive the body into losing weight. At least, you can’t deprive it into losing weight for good. Every time you embark on a deprivation diet of ANY kind, your metabolism, NOT YOUR BODY FAT, goes down. It is better to invest some time building your metabolism up instead of falling for quick weight loss fads.
  2. There is a definite science to weight loss…and most trainers don’t even know it. Basic CPT training courses do NOT teach the science of actual weight loss. They teach trainers how to take assessments and protocol for training programs. All of this is very important, but now the market is flooded with trainers that spit out meal plans like a weight loss ATM. Then, when the meal plan fails the client…the trainer blames the client.
  3. NUTRIENTS are far more important than calories. Nutrient help insure health, bone density, longevity and quality of life. If you focus on cutting calories, you inadvertently cut nutrients, leading to more fat gain and inflammation issues as you age.
  4. WOMEN: wrap your pretty head around the fact that you need to train like a man. Start thinking like men (grunting and throwing weights optional). You don’t see too many men starving themselves to fit into a certain size or see a certain number on the scale. Build your muscle, feed your muscle. And as for the flat-out lie that you’ll get BULKY…in the infamous Disney voice, LET IT GO.
  5. Get smart. Choose your trainer wisely. This person is not just responsible for helping you shed a couple of pounds….they are responsible for your HEALTH and wellbeing. Don’t take that lightly and don’t allow them to take it lightly either. If you see them training other clients exactly like they train you, run for the door. You deserve a personalized approach to your own health. Put it on the list as IMPORTANT.

Here’s one final thing that bugs me in the “weight loss” industry (aside from the fact that it should be the health industry…but that doesn’t sell as much):

MANY people fall for fancy marketing. I have blog posts about home workouts on this very blog. I also used to peddle them, but I have since seen a few issues come to light, especially since I started counseling:

  • You ONLY see the success. Let’s take Beach Body for example (please note, they are not the only ones): they KNOW infomercials. They have a specialized team that knows exactly what to do, right down to the lighting, colors and time placement. When Beach Body develops a new program, the program gets sent to beta testing. There is a controlled group of people who sign several documents stating that they will not breathe a word. In return, they get to work with celebrity trainer, get a meal plan and hopefully, a brand new body. Here’s the question: do you see the people that didn’t succeed? You know, the ones that did it for 2 weeks and got bored, injured or just didn’t mesh with the program? UM, NO! They’ve signed contracts that disable them from saying it failed for them, therefore we only see the success. Since we only see success, when we do not finish we feel like a failure….
  • Home based training is not bad, but over promising is. When I take online clients in, they are told up front that my methods aren’t super fast…they’re built to last. Trainers and fitness companies need to step away from the flash of fast and move towards better health and wellness overall. Maintainable fitness and nutrition is what keep you fit, healthy and happy with life.

Now that my soap box can be folded up :) Here’s an eye opener for you:

Januray 13 2014   rockin abs

I know I’ve posted these before, but stay with me here! These are no filter, no fancy lighting pics, just the real deal.

Pic on the left: I was down to 1400 calories, about 80 grams of carbs (that’s low people), no breads, pastas, rice, etc. and I was working out 2-3x per day.

On the right: my calories were worked up slowly to 1700 (I’m now up to 1800 and holding steady), carbs at 150 grams, zero steady state cardio, four 25 minute sessions per week and two hour long sessions to focus on building.

I have more energy throughout the day (carbs!) and I’m leaner than when I was following a plan.

The point? Learn the facts, learn your body and stop depending on people who don’t even know what they are doing! You’re health is worth the time and investment.

Want to learn more about nutrition? Join the next Nutrition Boot Camp that starts in June.

See you soon!

Michelle

National Nutrition Month: Tough Love Tuesday…the real TRUTH

Tough Love Tuesday revisited!!!! Nutrition focus, thanks to National Nutrition Month :)

Need a little more help?

SIGN UP FOR NUTRITION BOOTCAMP! It starts April 7th and will run for 6 weeks in the comfort of your own home. Sign up HERE via email: michelle@michellecfitness.com

 

National Nutrition Month: Nutrition for Weight Loss

 

I love videos! So entertaining right?

Tough Love Tuesday is making a comeback on Friday to help you reach your weight loss goals.

Stay healthy,

Michelle

 

The Fad Diet Fallout

OK, so this post may be better suited for Tough Love Tuesday, BUT I feel it is needed.

Let’s dive in head first shall we?

WHAT IS THE DEAL PEOPLE?!?!?!?!?!? Are we SO very desperate for losing a few pounds that we will MINDLESSLY hop on any fad that comes along? By the way, I find it incredibly mind-boggling that we are so very willing to cut out entire food groups JUST TO AVOID DOING THE ACTUAL WORK. Crazy…

Did you know that 2014 already has a compilation of “best diets”? No lie. These are broken down into categories for “commercial”, “weight loss”, “easy-to-follow”, etc. While Weight Watchers, The Biggest Loser and The DASH Diet all top the lists, I see absolutely nothing that really works long-term. Why? Because they are blanket fads making big promises. They basically want you to act as a trained monkey, eating ONLY what they say and then when it doesn’t work it is somehow your fault. I’ll be honest with you: it totally is your fault IF you keep falling for it.

What are the problems with diets anyway?

  • For starters, the word “DIET” is grossly overused. Diet refers to what we take in on a daily basis. It is not a person or a style of eating. Statistically, the average American diet consists of cheap, fast, greasy and sliding out of a window. 6 weeks of your life on some miracle diet will not reverse the majority of your eating habits.
  • Those big promises are NOT regulated or tested in any way and are lies that sound good. How did the serpent tempt Eve in the Garden? Uh, HE LIED TO HER! And now look where we are…
  • Fad diets are not a lifestyle. They are a blip on the blurry screen of your diet-lived life. Meaning? You skip from one promise to the next never really understanding why it doesn’t work. Diets are never designed to work. They are designed to sell.
  • You’re always giving up something. Many diets make big claims like “you’ll never be hungry”, or “it’s easy to stick to”, or ” you’ll lose 10 pounds the first week”. Let me drop a physiological knowledge bomb on you: That 10 pounds you lost in 2 weeks was WATER. Losing water doesn’t count as losing fat. As a matter of fact, once your body has regulated the water after the initial shock it will hold onto more FAT, even if it lets weight go. So, if you’re not losing fat and you’ve lost your water, then what are you losing? MUSCLE. Losing muscle makes you a floppy mess, period.
  • You’re deprived of nutrients. TRUTH: weight loss (I prefer the term fat-loss actually) is a science. It’s not by chance or by finally finding “THE ONE”. It’s science, period. And if you are cutting out nutrients, then SCIENTIFICALLY, you will leave weaker than when you came in. But hey, at least you’ll die skinny right? At the end of the day skinny is what we care about, not healthy…

So, I should just resolve myself to the inevitable…that NOTHING will ever work for poor me?

Did I say that? NO. You should resolve yourself to wise up and stop being the one that falls for the fads. You are no longer a trained monkey because YOU want results that stick. If you are a trained monkey, then by all means head over to the banana bowl and have a blast…the grownups among us have work to do.

What DOES work?

  • Education. Educate yourself on fat loss. Talk to people who know. Perhaps somebody who has had over 600 hours studying the human body, nutrition and fat loss. Know anybody like that? (Hint: you can reach her on this site.)
  • Think more nutrition, not calories. Even in competition diets (again, that refers to what we intake), we focus on the nutrient density of foods as opposed to calories. Why? We’re trying to recover from workouts and the training game, PLUS we need to look our best. Nutrients help with all of that and the same goes for ANY type of goal in which fat loss and/or muscle gain is involved.
  • GET OFF YOUR BUTT. Seriously, you have to move and move a lot. You need to be burning an excess of 500-1000 calories more per day to lose weight. There are simple math problems out there to help you determine what you burn to stay alive and what you need to increase to lose fat. Invest in a device to show the burn (please, not the Nike Fuel band as it is WAY too optimistic, sorry Nike).
  • Your kitchen determines your weight loss, not your workouts. You get fit in the gym, but you lose weight in the kitchen. You cannot out-work a terrible diet. If you’re looking to drop the weight that’s holding you back, stick to your clean eating guns 5 full days per week! Feel free to have 1-2 small treats on the weekend, but don’t overdo it. Far too many clients still “reward” themselves for hard workouts. This contributes nothing to health, fitness or weight loss.
  • Develop some self-control. The #1 problem we face today isn’t diabetes, cancer, or obesity…it’s a simple lack of self-control. We don’t want to wait for results, so we try to hit the EASY button as many times as we can. Fad diets, crazy cleanses and shakes don’t work. You work. That’s it…YOU. Exercise discipline to see results. Who cares if you don’t “feel” like a workout? What does it matter if you don’t “feel” like eating your veggies? You cannot be governed by your “FEELINGS”. If I were governed by my feelings there would be a lot of people walking around headless…self control is key :)

Now, take it and run. You are no anomaly. There is nothing crazy different about you when it comes to weight loss. There are LOADS of people dealing with the same issues you have. You either suck it up, educate yourself and do the work or you are doomed to keep repeating the cycle.

Peace out! I’m packing up my soap box and heading to the gym.

Stay focused, stay in control,

Michelle

WORK

Bikini Morning Ritual and a Sample Meal Plan for Tight Skin

My rituals, or habits, play the biggest role in how my body looks and performs on a daily basis. There are a couple of things that are engrained in my daily behaviors which help me to get the most out of my nutrition and gym time.

THE GREEN SHAKE

I cannot stress enough how important this is. It brings my body into an alkaline state, making my supplements more efficient and my energy levels skyrocket. It’s best if you have a high-powered blender (Vitamix), but if not, simply run it through several times. I make mine in large batches and drink it over a 3 day period.

IN BLENDER (in this order)

2.5 cups pure water

3 cups fresh, washed spinach

Run blender on low/medium for a couple of minutes

ADD

2-3 cups romaine, washed

1 cucumber (washed and chopped)

Run for a minute

ADD

1 green apple, washed, cored and chopped

1 pear, washed, cored and chopped

2 kiwi, washed (skin can be removed OR left on for more fiber)

Run for a minute

ADD

1 banana

Small handful of parsley (if desired. Parsley is excellent for cleansing the blood)

Juice of 2 lemons

Blitz it good :)

Feel free to add the flesh of 1 ripe avocado if your diet is in need of healthy fats. If your skin is looking dull and lackluster, avocado will help.

Add more water as needed to suit your tastes.

Drink 16 ounces every morning. If you’re still hungry, opt for oatmeal.

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Sample Bikini Ready Meal Plan:

Upon waking drink 6 oz hot water with the juice of 1 lemon

Coffee or tea is fine, sans sugar or flavored creamers

Breakfast: 16 oz green smoothie, oatmeal if desired

Snack: Small handful of almonds or walnuts, 1 orange

Lunch: 2-3 cups mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumber, lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. 1/2 baked sweet potato, 4 oz baked or grilled fish (or canned tuna or salmon)

Snack: 1 scoop whey protein in 8 oz water. If this falls post-workout ADD 1 piece whole grain bread OR 1 banana OR 1 cup grapes

Dinner: 2 cups steamed veggies, 4 oz baked chicken or turkey, 1/2 cup whole grain rice OR quinoa, small side salad if desired (lemon juice over).

Snack before bed, if hungry: 4 oz low-fat (2%) cottage cheese OR 1 scoop casein protein in water

Follow this plan tight (6 days on, 1 rest day with a treat…not the WHOLE day people) for 4 weeks to notice changes.

Omit breads, crackers, pastas and sweets during meal plan days. Save things like this for treats :)

Michelle

Learning a new way

Good Wednesday Morning!

Today we’re discussing food (what else?!?!) and how it really affects us.

You see, all too often we labor under the delusion that food only really matters to the tongue, so if it tastes good then we are happy with it. WRONG! Food does so much more than satisfy a momentary craving. Certain foods can help to increase digestion while others can slow it to a stand still. THIS is metabolism at it’s finest. Our bodies spend about 50% of our energy just digesting food. If our daily diets are full of foods that take the metabolism down in speed due to overhauling the digestive system (and that workout you had planned? Forget about it!), then we can spend almost 80% of our energy just trying to fix our culinary faults. Don’t worry, there is hope :)

The hope for our intestinal future lies in our food choices themselves. Choosing foods closer to their natural state will help aid in the digestion and absorption of nutrients and minerals. This way we are getting what we intended to get from our foods: energy. After all, that is really what food was created for….to give us the needed energy to live. Somewhere along the line we got all confused and I’m here to try to bring us back.

Now, you may be thinking, “But eating healthy is so BORING!”. And to you I say, keep fooling yourself Einstein. That’s an excuse for you to lazy out on what you were created to do in the simplest form: take care of yourself. Just yesterday my daughter and I spent a little time in the kitchen and prepared roasted new potatoes with fresh herbs, sweet potato fries, juice baked chicken breasts, white fish poached in coconut oil and ginger and lemon, mixed veggies and even some home-made bread. We even had time to run the juicer and make fresh juice for the next couple of days and some smoothies to keep in the fridge. Boring? In my opinion the brownish slab of mystery meat slapped between to sugar muffins and piled with mystery sauce lacks far more appeal….

See, part of the problem is we don’t want to spend time nourishing ourselves. We have convenienced ourselves into a health crisis, and I’m not just talking about obesity. We have highs of cancer, heart disease, inflammatory disease and even mental issues that plague us. And why? Because we don’t “have the time” to put our health and the health of our families first. Honestly, I cook every day, but never spend more than an hour in the kitchen. I prep after grocery day on the weekend and make meals easier by having a plan. It’s not some strict diet, as you can see from the foods we made yesterday. You don’t need to forgo white potatoes (we have baked potatoes, fully loaded, quite often), pasta or breads to reach your health goals. What you do need is to decide whether or not your health and the health of you family may be worth you spending a little time in the kitchen.

As long as we are on the time subject, if you have the time to watch TV, you can prepare your food. Don’t argue, you’ll lose. I hear people tell me all the time that they work too much and have no time, yet we always “find” the time in our day to watch TV, hang out on Facebook, update Twitter, get lost on Pinterest, take a long bath, read a book, etc. None of these are bad, but they shouldn’t replace your healthy habits, such as preparing your own food. If cleanup is your deterrent, get others in the house to help. Note to moms: your husband and children will not wash the dishes and load the dishwasher like you do…get over it! At least they’re helping. If you live alone, create a clean workspace where you can rinse off used dishes as you prep. I have become quite apt at making one pot dishes just so that there is less cleanup and stress. It can be done!

So, consider what your digestive system would say if it could talk. By the way, it totally can. Bloating, gas, acid reflux, swollen joints, painful muscles, diarrhea, constipation, energy loss, mid-day sleepiness, foggy mind, extreme fatigue…these are ALL signs and symptoms that your intestinal systems are out of whack. Consider taking a little time to get them back where they can do their job efficiently. For those looking to be led through an elimination diet that can help restore the body’s vital energy and digestive function, resulting in increased overall energy, weight loss and less chronic pain and fatigue, I offer those services as well :)

Make it a healthy day today!

Michelle

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The Ultimate Flat Belly Drink

Most belly bloat is due to a lack of digestive enzymes and belly fat burning acids in the stomach. This is one of my favorite drinks for flattening the abs and keeping the skin healthy, hydrated and tight.

Sip this belly trimming drink as often as you like, particularly upon waking and before bed. If you suffer bloating post meals, try this drink as a post meal tummy tamer.

Flat Belly Tea

In a tall coffee mug:

2 Tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar (you can usually find this at grocers or a health food store. RAW is important!)

1 tablespoon raw/local honey (raw honey actually helps with belly bloat. If you can’t get any, try local honey for help with allergens)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Pour hot water and stir

If you need it less strong, consider using a larger cup and adding more water. If the ACV bothers you at first, drop it down to 1 TBSP as you build your taste up.

Sip this drink at least 2-3 times per day for the next 3-4 weeks and note the changes!

Have a healthy day!

Michelle

 

A Day in the Life: Walk through my meal plan and see my favorite shake

So, nutrition seems to be the BIGGEST struggle for everybody. You don’t have to be all crazy with it people, just make smart choices :)

Here’s a look at my daily meal plan as of right now. It’s pretty basic, cheap and full of FOOD!

Meal #1:

8 ounces water mixed with 1 scoop chocolate Shakeology.

Workout

Meal #2 (Breakfast with the kids!):

2 fresh yard eggs

1/2 cup cantaloupe

2 cups veggies (usually this is pepper, cucumber and tomato)

1 slice homemade bread (no yeast) with coconut oil and strawberry spread, fruit only

Meal #3:

1 serving 2% Greek yogurt, drizzle of honey

Meal #4:

2 cups cabbage

5 ounces salmon

2 tbsp mustard

2 cups raw veggies

Small slice of homemade bread if needed (depending on my schedule)

Meal #5:

1 apple

1 serving PB2 (powdered peanut butter)

small plate of raw veggies

Meal #6:

This is my absolute FAVORITE of the moment!!!!!!

It gives me energy and gets me through clients and training, plus I go to bed comfortable, never hungry.

4 ounces no sugar almond milk

4-6 ounces water

handful of spinach

1 cup frozen cantaloupe melon

1 scoop Tropical Strawberry Shakeology

1 Scoop Greens

Sprig of fresh mint

Blend in blender for a refreshing smoothie that totally ROCKS!!!!!!

Well, as you can see I like to eat and I do so a LOT! Fresh vegetables are portable and filling, so you can take those wherever you go. I have 6 meals per day due to the fact that my day starts at 4 a.m. and ends just after 9 usually. If you don’t wake up as early, you can get by with 5 small meals. My largest meal is meal #2 and I taper carbs (like bread, pasta, etc) in the afternoon. THIS is the plan that helps keep my midsection toned, my skin tight and clear, and my energy high.

I’ll see you soon!

MichelleSUPKG0007_30 Day_Vegan_11.29.11_FM_no_die

The Long and Short of It

Goodmorning!

I hope you have found yourself smack in the middle of where you need to be this morning. :)

It’s a funny thing right? Where we need to be and where we want to be? Most of us can think a million other places we would rather be as opposed to where we are right now. The fact is that we are actually where we were meant to be and where our choices landed us in this day and time.

Wow, you can tell we’re getting deep today :) Really though, you have heard me say that life is made up of our choices. We were given the freedom to choose and we exercise that freedom on a daily basis. Do you work out in the morning or evening, or at all for that matter? Do you drink your water? Do you drown your sorrows in wine or chocolate? Do you lash out or hold your tongue?

We are given the gift of choices every single day. We awaken to a fresh start and a new day to make different choices OR rely on the same old habits that landed us where we feel stuck. Can it really be as simple as altering a few choices? Absolutely!

In my journey I have come to realize that the amount of time spent in the gym really pales in comparison to the relationships I keep. So, my choice altered to spend more time with my loved ones. Since this choice was born of a pure heart, while my lifestyle altered, my waistline did as well. I think  most of us who struggle or have struggled with weight tend to tether ourselves to the choices that got us to this point. We latch on to the deprivation=degredation=backlash cycle that keeps us where we don’t want to be. We feel un-enamored by life and generally out of touch. We fall into habits bred from a lifetime of choices.

Habits are what make up your lifestyle. Habits are also as easy to change as your choices. If you have spent the past several years eating out for lunch every day (keep in mind this adds a minimum of 200 calories to your day, 200 x  5 x 52= yeah, extra cals you do NOT need), then consciously CHOOSE to bring a lunch a few days per week. Better yet, partake in a work site fitness class or a light jog or walk with coworkers and eat a light lunch afterword. There are always choices you can make that end up making you feel better in the long run.

Wherever you find yourself, your choices can be altered little by little to get you where you want to be. Perhaps you need to add a little movement into your day OR maybe you’re like me and need to take some of the busyness away from your day. Either way, you were not meant to struggle with confusion. You are meant to be empowered to make these choices and grow your life in the direction of your purpose. Try praying that God will show you the things you need to let go of and I promise it will get easier!

Until next time, Keep on living FIT!

Michelle

Sugar Free Day 1 Update

Since we’re going sugar-free in May, I figured it would be nice to give a little update :)

So, far, so good! although it’s only day #2! LOL My kids are enjoying it and learning quite a bit about added sugar in foods. Instead of the regular honey or natural syrup on the waffles (whole grain, no sugar) and french toast, I am making our very own sweetener. I bought frozen strawberries (make SURE you check the label for added sugars) and place a few of them in a small sauce pan with just about 1 tablespoon of water, a sprinkle of Stevia, and a dash of vanilla extract. I bring it to a boil and let it simmer down from there. The kids love it! I reminded them yesterday that the most important things about this month is to approach it with an open mind. One of the best things you can do for yourself is be willing to fail, especially in the kitchen.

So, if you’re taking the sugar-free challenge, how’s it going for you? What have you noticed about your eating habits?

It’s amazing what you learn by trying new things! Stay tuned tomorrow for a little DVD information. Look closely, I think you’ll recognize somebody!

Stay healthy, stay fit!

Michelle