What’s Sabotaging Your Weightloss?

Weight loss is getting a bad rep as being a tricky thing. Between hormones, over-training myths and dieting dilemmas, we are quite confused about weight loss all together.

So, let’s break down what could be the very reason YOU aren’t seeing results.

1. You wear spandex or some form of stretchy clothing ALL THE TIME….

spandex

I can be VERY Guilty of this one, I admit. Spandex has give and can give the illusion we may be smaller or not gaining any weight. If our spandex does start to tighten up, we claim it’s muscle (stay tuned for that one). People who spend their hours on workout clothing run a serious risk of regular clothing not fitting when you need….like on the weekends :)

Pro Tip: Wear your jeans 3 days per week while running errands or working around the house.

2. We think it’s muscle….

fat vs muscle

While muscle gain may show on the scale, it’s not really showing in your clothing. The average female is LUCKY to gain 3-5 pounds of muscle in a year. If your jeans fit yesterday, but they’re tight today, it’s probably water retention.

Pro Tip: First, make sure you have a variety of styles (especially in jeans) and be honest about what it takes to gain muscle.

3. We are fudging on our foods.

food log

Whether we aren’t keeping an accurate record OR we aren’t weighing and measuring, most humans can underestimate the amount of foods they consume by 20%. That’s a large margin for error….

Pro Tip: Plan meals ahead of time and LOG IT ALL, even what you cook with

4. We binge eat and drink….we just call it a “cheat’, “treat” or “reefed”.

fatman-eating

You can tie any kind of ribbon around it that you want, but weight loss requires a sacrifice. While treats aren’t off the menu completely, many people will indulge in a treat once per day OR over indulge in a treat meal (that often extends into the day or weekend) and that will all add up to stored fat. Then, you’re back at it on Monday.

Pro Tip: Limit treats to 1 meal, once a week MAX in the beginning. If you’re weight isn’t dropping, try once every 2 weeks. If you’re struggling with weight fluctuations AND indulging in drinks….skip the alcohol altogether for 6 weeks and see what happens.

5. We translate a hard workout into calories burned.

p90x

On average, we overestimate the amount of calories we burn by about 30%. If we perceive a workout to be tough, we will consume extra calories to “make up for it”, but the body will only store those calories.

Pro Tip: Don’t think in terms of calories. Know how many macronutrients you need (a good macro calculator is at bodybuilding.com) and stay in that framework NO matter the workout.

6. We blame somebody else.

cookie monster

I get this time and time again and I cannot stress this enough: weight loss depends solely on the one carrying the weight. A trainer and/or nutritionist can give you a guideline to help speed things up and help you over the bumps in the road, but the changes necessary for weight loss to occur are yours to make. You spend every waking minute with yourself….nobody can change you but you.

Pro Tip: Suck it up. Check your foods, portions and workout effort to increase your own results.

 

Till next time,

Michelle

Don’t Forget to Play

This morning as I ambled onto my yoga mat set up in my bedroom, I decided to do things a little different. I threw away any pre-conceived “stuff” that had to be accomplished during this time and I threw on some Lorde (always good for yoga, in my opinion). Then, I just let go. I began to move through the stiff joints and muscles caused by teaching high impact classes and I began to feel invigorated and much freer than if I had just focused on flattening my abs or burning what I was about to eat for breakfast. There was an element of play involved in the process.

meghan yoga

Yoga helps many athletes to find balance within life. While life will never be completely balanced, yoga helps us find that internal balance that can lead to more focus and less freaking out. I find that this is better accomplished through a sense of play. In the world of fitness that I reside in (that would be weight loss), there seem to be more rules than actual fact. There are always new diets promising big results, but only if you follow their rules. There are workouts promising the body you always wanted, but only if you follow their rules. It gets to the point where many seeking weight loss do begin to take things too seriously and feel as though they must be told how to eat and move on a daily basis. Welcome to the land of crazy…

Without an element of play, we can begin to feel stifled by the very thing that we are working so very hard to obtain. If we feel as though it is always against the “rules” to eat the cake, then we feel guilty if we eat our own birthday cake. Life itself demands a certain amount of enjoyment and rules for the sake of rules can leach that enjoyment away over time. Then we are left with possibly smaller waistlines and a feeling of want all over.

sadie yoga

So now you’re probably thinking, “Cool, so I need to add yoga to my list of things I must do right?”

Well, personally I think we could all benefit from a bit more yoga :) I know my family enjoys it when I’m doing a lot of yoga, as it calms me down quite a bit. The Super Bowl XLVIII Champs the Seattle Seahawks incorporate it into their training regimen. So yes, if you want to be a winner, do more yoga…. I kid! What I do suggest is finding the fun in life again. The worst feeling in the world is to be so very devoted to your workouts that you don’t have the time and energy left over to play. So, in the spirit of play, try a lightening up a little with these ideas:

  • Host a fitness party. These can be super cheap or super expensive and it’s really your call. You can hire a personal trainer to come put you and your friends through your paces, but make sure they know it’s in good fun. My favorite way to have some fitness fun? Have everybody bring a healthy dish and an exercise DVD. Then pick 1-2 from the pile to do together (clear the living room!). When it’s time to go home, have a DVD exchange so people can leave with a new workout…bonus points if people bring Tae Bo :)
  • Get off the track. If you meet for walks or runs at the same track everyday, switch it up. Walk in the grass sometimes, head to your local beach or take a hike. A change of scenery is good for the senses.
  • Try a new class. We are now in an age where there is almost no limit to workout classes. We have pole dancing classes, hip hop, salsa, kickboxing blended with Pilates, Pilates blended with yoga and yoga blended with cycling….and that’s just the short list. Contact your local gym or studio and see if they’ll let you try one on for free.
  • Get out of your food rut. Are you tired of chicken, tuna and green beans yet? As Winter gives way to Spring, more brightly colored food is becoming available in the grocers produce section and NOW is a great time to take advantage of it. The brighter the food, the more vitamins and minerals available for you. Play around with salad ingredients: try adding berries to your salads and topping it off with the juice of an orange mixed with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil (CRAZY! I know, but so very good). Try lightening up your meats in favor of fish that you can either grill, skewer or make into yummy tacos. Ask your fit friends for ideas on new recipes or host a recipe swap to get you over your food rut.
  • Ditch sugars for a while. Over time, too much of a good thing leaves us feeling foggy and constantly craving more of that good thing. Sugar is one of those “foods” that causes more and more cravings as we take it in. So, ditch the sugars (both real and fake) for a week to reset your system back to normal. Need more of a challenge? Ditch it for a month then :) but 1 week has been shown to suffice in breaking the sugar cycle.
  • Do a gut check. Make sure your intestines are running smoothly as we enter into a new season. How is this playing? Oh, it’s not. I don’t play around with gut health :) But really, the healthier the gut, the healthier you will be and the more attuned you’ll be to playing, PLUS you’ll be able to handle stress better.
  • Get away. It doesn’t have to take all of your savings to get away from it all for a while. In today’s world, you may suffice by taking a staycation that involves turning off the ringer and NOT checking statuses on Facebook. Choose a weekend to chill out and turn off. Tell everybody you’re going away and be unattainable for a weekend. Take a long soak in the tub, do a sugar scrub, relax, etc. Hey, you could even rub on a little tanner so they think you really did go somewhere :) Often times what we need to get away from is our own expectations of life, so chill and let it go.

These should get you started towards a more playful time. Remember, you can’t control everything…most of the time you can only control your reaction to things :)

Lots of peace and playful thoughts,

Michelle

Turbo Fire vs. Tae Bo

This has to be the ultimate showdown between home based workouts right?

Tae Bo and Turbo Fire are both based on burning fat through fun, easy to follow, high energy kickboxing workouts; however, they are quite different from one another.

Keep in mind I have done both of these and this is simply one professionals opinion.

Tao Bo:

Billy Blanks created Tae Bo decades ago and in his basement. Billy is noted as an ex-military man who has always had a passion for health and fitness as well as a man of great faith. To date, there are countless Tae Bo videos on the market (most of which reside on my shelves!) PLUS Billy has just released Tae Bo TV where brand new workouts are released weekly to keep your routine changing and keep you motivated. Billy’s videos are always in class setting and He is strict on form and function THEN speed. The music is usually house music set to support the rhythms of the class.

Tao Bo is a blend of martial arts and dance which helps burn mad calories and tone lean muscle. Another upside is the positivity of Mr. Banks himself cannot help but rub off on you. Most participants of Tae Bo, either live or DVD, report an overall lift in mood and higher self-esteem. I know I feel much better after a great sweat session where I can fight off all my haters! LOL

Tae Bo is incredibly versatile to any fitness program and while it is intense, it is also suitable for all fitness levels. You heard me right: ALL fitness levels. You are encouraged to “walk it out, but just keep going” many times through the workouts and you never feel as though anybody in the video thinks you’re the couch slug you may view yourself as (hey, I’ve been there!). I have been enjoying Tae Bo videos and DVD’s for a couple of decades now and really appreciate the simple choreography and focus on form. Overall, Tae Bo is one of my absolute favorite home based workouts for dropping inches and trimming the waistline.

For more information visit: www.billyblanks.com

Turbo Fire

Turbo Fire (TF) is a high energy, calorie incinerating workout from fitness mastermind Chalene Johnson. TF comes from the Beach Body line up of fitness products and stands up to all the hype. TF is a blend of choreographed kickboxing routines mixed with some funky music and awesome HIIT (high intensity interval training) circuits.Turbo Fire was originally made for “fitness athletes”. These are the elite in class fitness. It is those who have procured an extreme level of fitness through body conditioning mostly through group exercise and challenging sequencing. There comes a point where a well conditioned body needs more challenge. THAT is what Turbo Fire was made to provide: a challenge.

Turbo Fire has a kid sister, Turbo Jam, that started the rage in fitness kickboxing. These classes were created for those who wanted the washboard abs of a fighter without the bruises and scars. TF is more challenging than Turbo Jam. BUT options are given for lower intensity. TF is not suitable for ALL fitness levels, as it does require some sort of fitness background and an understanding of choreography. Don’t let that scare you off though! Start with Turbo Jam and get used to the slower cues, then work your way up.

Expect serious sweat with any TF workout. You can also expect to see very visible changes in body composition as well as weight loss. All of these results must be hard fought for though. TF is a program, meaning it comes with a meal plan and training schedule to help ensure results (side note: Tae Bo has a couple of those as well, such as Tao Bo Amped). Remember to pace yourself and you’ll be flying as high as Chalene in no time.

For more information on Turbo Fire visit: www.beachbodycoach.com/michellecfit

Turbo Fire and Tae Bo make regular appearances in my home workouts throughout the seasons, though I do favor the feel of my glove actually hitting the bag and my feet hitting the pavement on most days.

Do some research to find the best fit for you and enjoy your workouts!

Have a healthy day,

Michelle

Your FREE Total Body Workout

This workout takes about 30 minutes and hits the whole body, particularly the fat burning-metabolism muscles in the lower body. No equipment needed.

Thirsty Thursday!

Can you believe we are so close to the weekend already? Hello Summer!

As we enter into the warmer months, it is important to stay hydrated and what better way than with luscious drinks that also increase your beauty and radiance? Yeah, I thought you’d like that! Read on for a few of my current favorite indulgences :)

Infused Ice Cubes

Water is great in and of itself, but I find it’s much more fun to drink if it has a little personality.

Simply crush fruits of your choice and place them into old school ice trays (about 1/3 of the cube), then cover with water and freeze. Need an extra nutrient and skin hydrating boost? Use coconut water!

Some fruits to choose from and mix are:

  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Orange
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Kiwi
  • Cantaloupe melon
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Watermelon

You can mix and match too. Have fun with it and get the kids involved!

Fruit Flavored Water Pitcher

OK, I keep this in a large glass pitcher right in my fridge. We can all dig into it any time we need something a little extra refreshing.

  • 1 lemon, finely sliced
  • 1 lime, finely sliced
  • 1 cucumber, finely sliced
  • A few mint sprigs

Place into pitcher then cover with pure water OR coconut water if you’re in the mood for more hydration.

TAZO Passion Iced Tea

You can totally get this at the Starbuck’s drive through for less than the coffees! PLUS, it’s packed with antioxidants for glowing skin. Another benefit is the hydration factor. Most of the time when we reach for caffeine, we really need water, or in this case, tea. Skip the sweetening syrup though, it will take fluids out of the body. You can also buy Tazo Iced Teas at your local grocer and make it by the pitcher. :)

Slimming Berry Smoothie

You know how you wash your berries and then they tend to start molding as soon as you bat your eyelashes? Yeah, embrace that they are in full season and at the peak of antioxidant perfection! Just don’t eat the mold ;) . I place mine in freezer bags once I start to notice them moving into adolescence, then I can use them for a super slimming smoothie. Plus, I saved money by using the food I bought.

  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt (for protein)
  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk (I prefer the almond/coconut milk blend on the market now)
  • 1 handful blueberries
  • 1 handful blackberries
  • 1 handful raspberries
  • 2-3 large frozen strawberries
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • Stevia to taste (you can opt out of this one and leave it plain. At their freshest, berries are very sweet)

You can have a 24 oz glass (whoa! That’s huge) for about 150 calories. Hello slimmer you! The health benefits of this smoothie are a better running digestive system, clearer skin and even a boost in metabolism. If you’re drinking it post workout feel free to add a banana for extra potassium.

I hope you enjoy your slimming sips this Summer! Get creative and make sure you stop by to share your recipes.

Have a healthy day!

Michelle

Workout Wednesday! Total Body Toning in 30 Minutes

If you have 30 minutes, you can tighten and tone all your problem areas!

Do the entire circuit 3 times through, aiming for 12-15 repetitions of each exercise.

If you have more time, add on 30 minutes of intense cardio OR add cardio bursts of 30 seconds to 1 minute (HITTS), such as jumping jacks, jump rope, mountain climbers, jump squats, etc. between each move.

Have fun!

Michelle

Athleta Houston Trip, Cute Workout Clothes, Athleta Training Review, AND the Latest on Bob Harper’s Website

Wow! A lot to pack in to the post today, but you’ll enjoy every second :)

Athleta Shopping Haul.

Aside from the fabulous modeling above (hahahahaha!), Athleta is a company worth looking into. So, when they asked me to look into things, I did just that. It was my extreme pleasure. First off, I visited the newest Athleta Store in Houston, located at 600 West Sam Houston Parkway North, and I was very pleased with the experience. The employees were helpful without being overbearing. There was a wait for the fitting rooms (which are spacious!), but it was a pleasant wait. They even had Luna bars placed in baskets and seats for your co-shoppers (for me, my husband and kids). I ended up with a nice haul from the store, complete with an everyday dress and what are now my absolute favorite pants ever.

Athleta Training Guides.

Aside from making very high quality athletic and lounge wear, Athleta is fully committed to female athletes. Just take a look at the swim wear line. The tops and bottoms stay put, no matter the sport :) . Athleta also has a comprehensive training guide available for athletes as well as those of us who just wish we were athletes! This guide is available for download on their Chi site HERE. This training guide is one of the best I have seen and is compact enough to put in your bag and read at work (you know you do!). This guide has training for 5K, 10K, Half Marathons, Sprint and Intermediate Distance Triathlons. As an added bonus, you get nutrition guidelines to prepare you for your race and to take you all the way through race day and recovery. Athleta doesn’t stop there. They also give you packing lists for both running and triathlons. It’s a small packet full of information to get you to your health and fitness goals. I encourage you to check it out and get started! Yeah, you can get it now. Like I said before, Athleta is committed to female athletes.

Athleta MVP’s

To wrap a beautiful bow on all that Athleta is offering, they have selected some of their most valuable performers for both form and function within your fitness wardrobe. These consist of six pieces of athletic wear that can withstand the most rigorous of activities and still look great while keeping you intact. These styles can be found in Athleta’s 2012 Summer Look Book on Athleta.com. I tried on the running shorts yesterday and decided on the spot that those are a must have for my next trip. They easily beat out Nike and Under Armour for fit, feel and function. Big words, I know, but they do deliver!

Mytrainerbob.com

We all know that Bob Harper has become one of the most loved “tough love” trainers out there. AND, if you read my DVD reviews, then you know his videos are among my most favorites (even for yoga, which is a hard category!). Now, he has gone above and beyond the call of duty with the newest section to his site HERE. Bobharper.com is the newest addition to Bob’s fight against fat and it offers challenging classes to help you reach your hotness goals. Not only do you get classes lead by Bob, but you also get personal training from Bob’s trainer as you follow Bob through a workout. These are not for the faint of heart. Beginners beware, some of these courses are a bit more advanced, but modifications are just about always offered. In conjunction with the classes, you also get food and nutrition advice from the Quaker Oatmeal Advocate himself. All of this is $9.95 per month and worth at least looking into.

 

The world of health and fitness is constantly changing. I try to keep you as up to date as I am and will continue to do so :) If you are not already signed up for the newsletter, head over to the side and get your name on my list! No selling, just information to get you to your healthiest self.

Until next time, keep living the Fit Life!

Michelle

POWER TO THE SHE

 

**Please note: though the word “swag” was used to describe the above items, all were purchased and not gifted.

 

 

The SKINNY on Food Labels