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Archive for weight loss

New Years resolutions hope!

The vast majority of new year’s resolutions are about getting in shape, losing weight and basically looking good. It’s a well-known fact that people are desperate to reduce the flab that they acquire after the holiday debauchery. Cookies, candies, drinking and excessive eating celebrations pile on the pounds in December, and by January everyone is sweating away on eliptical machines. Hopefully, this January you will be well prepared with knowledge of how to go about reducing your visceral fat and firming up your body. Please don’t go blindly into the gym with some hazy plan of just jumping on the nearest cardio machine! As a Personal Trainer, I have a very specific routine and plan for each client to help them achieve their goals, which is not ALWAYS weight loss. However, I’ll share with you some overall tips across the board to help most of you this new year.

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

  1. Exercise AND reducing your calorie intake will result in loosing fat. Please don’t succumb to crash diets. Start slowly with eating smaller portions and cutting back a little on sugar and flour-based foods. This will get you going in the right direction. For more tips on nutrition read this article: Eating at the Right time. Although exercise alone cannot guarantee your ideal weight, regular physical activity is definitely one of the most important factors for successful long-term weight loss.
  2. Plan the work, work the plan. Have a little forethought before diving into your workout. Write it out, do some research on-line, or discuss with a Personal Trainer what your goals are and if they have any recommendations. Most Personal Trainers are happy to advance your success, since it’s good networking. I’ve included a sample workout below to get you started.
  3. The studies have shown that people who lose body fat have done it through cardio exercise, and not simply weight training alone. HOWEVER, there is a very specific type of training known as high intensity interval training or Short Burst Training using weights, cardio machines, etc. that is the key to burning the most calories in the shortest amount of time and increases your metabolism rate. It needs to be anaerobic, not just aerobic. That means you should be sucking wind, working hard with rest in between intervals. Wearing a heart rate monitor will give you the most specific answer of weather you’re going anaerobic or not. Disclaimer: this is not for everyone, check with your doctor before trying this exercise routine.
  4. Women: it is extremely difficult to “bulk up” from doing weights, unless you’re on steroids or other supplements. This is a ridiculous myth that most women believe. The reason most women “bulk up” is by adding muscle to fat. Therefore, it’s best to do cardio and  weight training together, with a reduced-calorie nutrition plan to achieve your lean non-bulky body.

Below I have given you a plan that you may or may not want to use for your new years resolution workout:

  • Warm-up with 5 – 10 minutes of jogging, biking or stair-climbing
  • Repeat the following three times:
  • 20 lunge-walks holding dumbbells (weight varies per person)
  • 30 sec – 1-minute planks or push-ups
  • 1 minute of jumping rope (or running on a treadmill at a fairly fast pace)
  • Then repeat these three times
  • 20 squats-with-overhead-press using a kettlebell or medicine ball (weight varies per person)
  • 12 rows with a band
  • 30 sec to 1 minute of mountain climbers
  • Finish with 10 minutes on the bike doing six 30-sec. intervals (with 30 sec. rest interval)
  • Stretch

And remember: any exercise is better than none. Even if you just want to go for a walk a few times per week, it’s better than just sitting at your computer. You don’t have to workout hard and often for exercise to be beneficial. Just get out there!

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Eating at the right time

Having a hefty meal for dinner, after skipping lunch and barely eating a sufficient breakfast seems to be what many Americans do in their busy lives. Eating a nice piece of chocolate cake at the end of dinner also goes along with this routine. Then a few hours later after consuming 90 % of his/her calories for the day, it’s bedtime.

If you’re gonna eat a donut, do it in the morning!

Is this possibly why we are getting a poor night’s sleep after we just loaded up on fat, sugars, carbs, etc.? How can we run around all day long and forget to eat properly? Easy, life is busy and eating isn’t always at the forefront of our mind. However, our bodies go without food as we sleep at night and when we awake it’s the best possible time to pack it full of calories and nutrients to be productive and burn more calories efficiently. Breakfast is crucial. Numerous studies have linked breakfast-eaters with a lower body fat percentage. Next, lunch is the second most important meal of the day. Try to eat a nice filling lunch full of complex carbohydrates, lean protein and plenty of vegetables. Then, make dinner your smallest meal of the day. If you’re at a restaurant for example, just eat an appetizer.

Another big mistake with the right timing of meals is just after a workout. No appetite after your workout? Try drinking a smoothie, or a protein drink such as Kefir. Drinking flavored kefir, like blueberry, pomegranate, strawberry, etc, is full of the protein and carbs your body desperately needs after working out. If you deny your body the post-workout food, you’ll have a much more difficult time losing weight. In fact, some studies show that if you don’t have a post-workout meal, your body goes in to a sort of “starvation mode” and stores more fat out of a survival instinct.

Lastly, the further time goes by after your workout, the less junk food you should eat. That means, no late-night desserts if your workout was at 8 AM. Are you just dying to eat a piece of pie? Then eat it first thing in the morning! Right before or right after your workout! I know it seems crazy, but think of food as fuel. You start out the busy day with no fuel in your tank, things could get ugly. On the flip side, you fill up your tank right before you turn your car off for the day the fuel will not get burned up and will just sit in your tank turning to fat. It’s all in the timing.

Remove ugly belly fat

Some articles proclaim “how to get rid of belly fat!” or “Try these exercise to remove unwanted belly fat!” The articles may be missing one key point. We cannot simply laser off belly fat magically, unless you get surgery. Don’t get me wrong, exercise DOES WORK to reduce body fat. However, you can’t eat cookies and pie all day long and expect to lose the body fat!

Keep in mind, we all have different body shapes and different places fat cells like to accumulate. One type of body has those nice dimply thighs and chunky butts, where the fat cells love to pile up, with less of a chance for the extra ugly belly fat. The other type has less fat on the legs, but chronically chubby tummies. These are body types that you can’t escape. The fat will go where it wants to go.

If you are the type that has extra belly fat, you can do sit-ups all day long and it won’t burn those stubborn fat cells. Although, core and abdominal strength are an extremely important part of a fitness regime. The solution to burning the fat is essentially burning more calories, and then to eat less calories. If you’re burning calories, you’ll eventually use the fat cells to produce energy. Hence, zapping away those piled up fat cells around your belly button!

Don’t listen to all the articles that proclaim the cure to belly fat as being one specific exercise or trick. The key is to just go out there work hard, burn some calories, and then skip the ice cream at night.

Next Fit Camp Starts up on Monday, April 30

Next Fit Camp Starts up on Monday, April 30

Get in shape for summer and sign up for the next month of Pacific Fit Camp! Get a well-rounded workout four days/ week by a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist!

Sunny weather = showing more skin

Are you ready to unveil to the world all your glory on the beaches and boardwalks of summer? How is that tummy looking? How are those thighs? Do you look good nearly naked? If you are confident in your physique then you probably don’t need to read this. But those of us who are striving to look a little better this spring and summer than we did last year, read on.

First off, it IS possible to achieve a lean healthy looking body! Now stop all that negative chatter and have hope.

Slim down before hitting the beaches!

Slim down before hitting the beaches!

Two of the greatest methods for getting that ideal body is through exercise and good nutrition. Easier said than done, eh? From my experience, we have to make it an on-going lifestyle to get the fat off and keep it off. Here’s a few tips this spring for looking slimmer and leaner.

  • Cut back on sugar. Sweets are a big culprit in adding extra empty calories to our diet, especially when consumed not before, not during nor after training. Like at 10 PM! Ease off on those girl scout cookies…
  • Drink more water. Staying hydrated
  • Drink less sweetened beverages. Or cut it out completely. Sodas, flavored drinks and other sweet drinks are a huge source of extra calories that just turn to fat! Just stick to water as the best beverage.
  • Speaking of fat, easy does it on the Easter candy, and other foods high in fat such as trans fats and saturated fats, like butter, cream and cheese. Instead eat healthy fats occasionally like plant-based foods, for exampl avocados, olive oil, and flax seed oil.
  • Don’t skip meals and get really starving and binge. Eat every 2 – 3 hours and prioritize eating more of the calories early in the day and taper off for a light meal at dinner.
  • Workout, get outside in this beautiful spring weather and go for a jog, go ride a bike, or just walk. Soon you’ll be showing the world your tan lines and if you skip workouts today, you’ll regret it in the summer!
  • Buy a nice new pair of running shoes to inspire you to feel excited to run, and throw out those old smelly shoes. Running shoes have limited miles available, so don’t use the same pair for too long.
  • Set a plan and schedule your workouts. If you have a job, you make sure to schedule that into your day, that will pay your bills. Well, if you schedule exercise, it will keep your heart healthy and help you to enjoy your life longer after you retire for that “job.” You are going to have your job your whole life, you are not going to have your job. Make fitness a priority.
  • Track your progress. If you can, take measurements of your waist and hips with a tape-measure to track your progress, instead of just weighing yourself.
  • Lastly, try to team up with a friend or join a running group, softball team, or bootcamp, like http://www.upyourfit.com/ my class in PB San Diego, CA! Power to the teamwork!

Well, if nothing else I hope this gets you pumped up to be healthier and connecting to your physical body. We are in our heads so much, it’s time to get out and go for it! You have the potential to be so much more than you can even imagine.

Low-Carbs Myth

Don't rock the muffin-top at your next topless event!

If you’re trying to shed some weight from the winter-time, and look good this spring and summer in your skivvies, do not eliminate carbohydrates or you may be in danger of bonking at your next workout.

The idea that you should eat low-carb or no-carbs to lose weight has various negative repercussions that many nutritionists have noted over the years. My point is primarily targeted at athletes who try this diet. If you are shooting for weight-loss in your nutrition, simply slashing the carbs you eat can possibly be detrimental to your next workout. Time and time again at a workout I’m coaching, someone eats only protein and fat prior to the workout and then has very little energy to go as hard as he or she wants.

If your goal is weight loss and muscle tone, then I recommend exercising at least five times per week and carefully plan your diet — not by eliminating carbohydrates! You’ll need the carbs for your workouts, so eat around 20 – 30 grams of carbohydrates (depending on your body weight: more if heavier, less if lighter) right before and after your workout. Protein should also be included immediately after exercising: about 5 – 15 grams should be sufficient, also depending on your body weight. What type of protein and carbs is crucial! There are good carbs and bad carbs. Most processed carbs, based from refined sugar and flour are not as beneficial to your body as whole foods. The best carbs I recommend are from fruit and vegetables. If you’re really looking for a sweet, try eating dried fruit like raisins, cranberries, and apricots. If you want something savory try carrots and hummus, for example. For protein, you’ll want to consume complete protein with all 9 essential amino acids, this type of protein comes from animals. Sorry vegetarians, but it can be difficult to get your complete protein from a plant-based diet. Some great forms of protein come from eggs, fat-free yogurt, lean meat and nuts such as almonds. Remember, whole food always trumps powders, bars, and other processed food! However, whole food is not always as convenient on-the-go. So, if you can pre-boil eggs, they are very convenient and “pre-packaged” too! Also, a blend of dried raisins, cranberries, cherries with almonds work just as easily as any protein bar.

Lose weight and feel great one step at a time. Calories in, and calories out. It’s a mathematical equation and a matter of good old self-control and will-power. You can do it! Good luck!

Change it up this year

Inspirational video: How great are you?

Humans are creatures of habit. We like to get into a routine that is comfortable and familiar. The beginning of a new year is the time to think about positive changes we can make to our lives. Generally, there are two types of New Years Resolutions:

  1. Bad habits we want to break.
  2. Goals we want to achieve.

Then, we set about accomplishing those resolutions (sometimes half-heartedly). But do you have a plan to get what you want? Are you just randomly trying to get in shape and randomly resisting the temptations of fattening foods? While these are great attempts at getting your healthy body back, chances are not very high that you’ll actualize your goal.

If you shake it up, and try a really different approach to your lifestyle, this can be a way to break bad habits. If you have compulsive eating habits, a drinking problem, drug addiction or another unwanted bad habit, consistency is key to really quitting! For example, you can’t just do a “crash diet” and expect to have a nice slim body for the rest of your life. The older stubborn fat cells can sometimes take many months, and even years, to finally be evicted from your body.

To start up a new fitness routine, start small, then build slowly. One of my clients started with just walking four miles a few days per week and he built on that by adding more days, and longer distances. He is still improving and getting stronger all the time . . . but it is a slow process.

If you want live the greatest life possible and achieve greatness physically, one must practice discipline, concentration, and patience in order to be successful. These three qualities are the keys to practicing your art. Life is over in the blink of an eye. Make the most of your life today and every day. It’s never too late to begin really making the most of your life. Have a great 2012!

Inspirational video

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