REST EASY: SLEEPING WELL

Sleeping is overrated, am I right?!

We live in a world where to get ahead you must sleep less and work more. People view sleep as a waste of time. There’s not enough hours in the day so the first thing to go is our sleep.

Well, reality check: SLEEP IS NECESSARY! Sleep is a pillar of health, right along with nutrition and exercise.

On average, as an adult, 7.5 hours to 9 hours of sleep is what your body and mind needs. Inadequate sleep directly leads to fatigue, but it also important to note that too much sleep also leads to fatigue. 

Sleeping is so important. It is vital for your rejuvenation and for your overall health and well-being. I get it…a lot of you work long hours, you are raising families, getting a degree, or the million other things you have to get done in a day. You are busy, so sleep is always the first thing to go. I simply encourage you to try and get a little more sleep over the next week, and to pay attention to any differences you see.

Adequate sleep will improve all aspects of your life from your diet, to your performance, to your relationships with others. You need to sleep for so many reasons, and here is a list of reasons why you should focus on getting adequate sleep!

 

10 Reasons Adequate Sleep is Necessary:

  1. Adequate sleep sharpens your attention. When you get enough sleep, you are more attentive to detail and have a better over-all awareness. You will also be more productive. 

  2. Healthy weight. Those who sleep more tend to have a healthier weight than those who do not. Research has even linked adequate sleep to a healthier weight. If you are struggling to lose weight, try sleeping more. Lack of sleep even makes you hungrier. 

  3. Reduces stress. Sleep more, stress less. It is as simple as that.

  4. Protects you from heart disease and diabetes. If you continually wake up groggy from a lack of sleep, over the years this can really pay a toll on your health. 

  5. Improve your immune system. When you are sleep deprived, your body’s emergency stress system kicks in. Sleeping better helps you to keep illness away. Don’t fall behind on sleep, especially during flu season! 

  6. Reduces inflammation. You have to give your body the time (sleep) it needs to fight inflammation and recover. 

  7. YOU WILL LOOK BETTER! Baggy eyes? Groggy? Yeah…you probably don’t want to look in the mirror when you are not sleeping enough. Sleep not only makes you feel better, but also look better. 

  8. MOOD. Sleep improves your mood. We have all been irritable and we know how toxic this can be to not only our own life, but also everyone in our lives.  

  9. Athletic performance. Adequate sleep will not only increase your motivation to go to the gym, but a good night’s rest will also enhance your performance at the gym. 

  10. Improve your memory. Getting more sleep and quality of sleep will help you to remember and process things better.

 

10 Tips to Improve Sleep:

 

  1. Stop taking naps. Not napping will help you to sleep better at night. Nix the nap and swap it out for a tall glass of ice water or a short walk to revive you. 

  2. Sleep and sex. Only use your bed to sleep and for sex. Don’t do work in your bed, don’t talk on the phone or watch TV in your bed, and don’t even read a book while in bed. Sleep and sex. Make your bedroom a relaxing environment. 

  3. Go to sleep and wake up at roughly the same time. Create consistency. You will even find your body getting into a routine and waking up around the same time on its own. 

  4. No caffeine after noon. I get it, I love coffee too…but nixing it after the noon hour will not only help you to fall asleep faster, but also it will improve the quality of your sleep.

  5. Turn off your electronics. Power down at night. If you can, turn off all electronics one hour before you go to bed…this will tremendously improve the quality of your sleep and help you to fall asleep way faster. 

  6. Beware of alcohol. Yeah, yeah…I know. “It makes me tired.” That is great, but be cautious because it also causes you to wake up more frequently during the night (hint, hint- you are not reaching your deep sleep!).

  7. Block out the noise. Use earplugs or turn on a fan or some type of white noise to avoid interruptions of sleep from loud noises.

  8. DIM THE LIGHTS. Lower the lights in your home a few hours before bedtime. This signals your brain to start producing melatonin, the sleep hormone. 

  9. Sleeping pills may not be the answer. Sleeping pills should only be used as a short time solution. Pay attention to any side effects.

  10. See a doctor. If you absolutely cannot sleep at night, it might be time to go see a doctor. Sometimes sleep issues can be linked to health problems. Always be aware and cautious. 

 

Lastly, a nighttime formula can be a very beneficial supplement for getting a better night of sleep. Nighttime formulas are made using all natural ingredients to relax your body and help achieve a more restful night full of R.E.M. sleep where your body really recovers. They will promote a deep sleep leading to you waking up more refreshed and not to mention, suppress cortisol levels! (Cortisol is a stress hormone that causes fat to be stubborn – no bueno.) Unwinding and getting a relaxing night of sleep will promote optimal metabolism throughout the night and the rest of the day.

Thank you for reading!

Sleep tight. 

YOUR BODY’S POWERHOUSE: THE CORE

“Abs, Abs, Abs!” 

“Swimsuit Season is HERE”

“Foods to Eat for a Flatter Belly”

“Do More Crunches”

We see titles and sayings like this EVERYWHERE! Does seeing these titles and posts actually motivate you? Yeah, maybe looking good in a bikini or shirtless does motivate you…but having a strong core goes far beyond looking good at the pool. Having a strong core is crucial, and here is why! 

 

THE POWERHOUSE:

Your core is the powerhouse for your entire body. Your core facilitates all movements for your body. Not only that, but it is also the home for all of your internal organs and your central nervous system. All movements begin with your core, so essentially your core helps you to do EVERYTHING! Strengthening your core helps to strengthen your back (your back muscles are a part of your core) which helps to reduce back pains. 

Being strong does not necessarily mean you have a strong core. It is important to start from the inside out and BUILD A STRONG CORE! It is all about the foundation.

 

Core Strengthening Exercises: 

Not sure where to start? Below are some simple core exercises plus a chart of core workouts. Check out Pinterest for more core workout ideas, there’s plenty out there! 

 

Side Plank Hip Dips:

  1. Start in a side plank, resting on your right forearm, body forming a straight line, left foot stacked on top of right.

  2. Lower your hips a few inches, lift hips to return to starting position. 

  3. Do 15-20 reps on each side.

 

Oblique Pulse Crunch:

  1. Start lying on your back, knees bent. Crunch to bring shoulders off the ground, with your left arm reaching toward your left foot and right hand supporting your head.

  2. Do 20 pulses, bringing your left-hand closer to your left foot with each pulse.

  3. Repeat in the other side. 

 

Upper Abs Pulse Crunch:

  1. Start lying on your back, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor.

  2. Engaging your abs, lift your chest forward into a crunch, bringing shoulders off the ground.

  3. Reach your arms forward in between legs. Pulse, reaching forward and lifting higher off the ground with each rep.

  4. Do 20 reps. 

 

CORE STABILITY:

 

What is Core Stability? 

Stability is defined as remaining unchanged even in the presence of forces that would normally change the state or condition…just apply this definition to the core region and there you have it, core stability. It is important to constantly be challenged and switching it up when it comes to anything, but especially your core. Simply, the more balanced and coordinated your muscles are, the less likely you will be injury-prone because of a certain pressure or force.

An awesome tool you can use at the gym to help build your core stability is a workout ball. When using a workout ball for core strengthening, it is pretty self-explanatory. You can pretty much do any plank or crunch exercise on the ball. I seriously suggest giving it a try, it can be really challenging if you never have before! 

Another great tool is called a bosu. A bosu is a half-shaped ball, attached to a flat surface or frame (Pictured at the beginning of the Core Stability section). A bosu is great for core strengthening because it can be extremely challenging to balance on the bosu. Simply start by standing on one leg on the bosu for 20 seconds. Be sure to work both legs and build up to more extended periods of time. 

Other great ways to strengthen your core are by doing yoga or Pilates. They are both awesome practices that require you to engage your core. Give it a try! 

 

COMMIT TO IT!

Having a strong core is not something that is going to come easy. It is going to take time and it is going to take A LOT of discipline. This does not mean you have to do a thirty-minute ab workout six days of the week. No, not at all. Simply start small. 

Do you watch TV? During commercials drop down to the floor and do some crunches or a plank set. Get your significant other or your whole family in on it too! It does not have to be extensive, just commit to it. If you only have five minutes that is great. JUST DO IT! Tack it on to the end of your workout at the gym or do it after you go for a run or walk. You just have to start somewhere! 

Taking care of your core is important for the entirety of your health. Stop neglecting those abs! 

We all need to have a strong foundation. It is time to crunch it out! 

Thank you for reading! 

TAKE YOUR WORKOUT OUTSIDE: TRACK WORKOUTS

FINALLY! The weather is only getting nicer, and you have possibly been hitting the gym all winter…it is time to GET OUTSIDE! Go and get a change of scenery. Get some fresh air, switch it up, and get creative. 

A great place to go for a good outdoor workout is a track. Here is a list of awesome workouts you can do at a track to switch up your routine!

 

10 Great Workouts to do at a Track:

  1. SPRINTS- 50 meters, 100 meters, 200 meters, or even 400 meters! However short or far you want to go, mix some sprints into your workout routine.

  2. HILLS- Most high school tracks (at least most around St. Joseph, MO) have a nice, steep hill around them. Hill sprints are a great way to get your heart rate up and going! Do some hill repeats and your glutes will thank you later.

  3. STADIUM STAIRS- Do you like to use a stair stepper machine at your gym? Does it ever get old, but you keep doing it because you know it is a great workout?  Why not try it outside?! Walking or running some stairs at your local track is a great workout and such a refreshing break from the stair stepper machine. 

  4. STRAIGHTS AND CURVES- Dreading running? Try running the straights and walking the curves! It is a great way to learn to better control your heart rate and a nice gradual build up to learn to better enjoy running. Too easy for you to run the straights and walk the curves? Try sprinting the straights and jogging the curves! 

  5. LUNGES- Common sense, right?! You have plenty of room, you do not have to do lunges in place. LUNGE IT OUT! Side lunges, front lunges, back lunges…DO THEM ALL! 

  6. AGILITIES- agilities are a great way to prevent injury, improve your balance, and give you a better mind-body connection. Agilities is a broad category, but it is all so good for you. Do some shuttle runs, high knees, butt kicks, tuck jumps…do it all!

  7. CORE WORK – A track is not the worst surface to drop down on and do some abs, and it is hard to beat a little core work out in the sun! Crunch it out! 

  8. WALK- Simply walk around the track! It is an easy way to keep track of how far you have walked if you do not have a watch or device. Start in lane eight and each lap switch lanes working down to lane one. It makes for a mindless way to keep track of how far you have gone!

  9. THE CLASSIC MILE– Throw it back to high school or middle school! Run a mile! Time yourself and try to beat your personal best each time. Running is such a great source of cardio. Come on…it is just one mile! You can do it! Work up towards it if you have to! Just do it!

  10. BAREFOOT WALK- Saving the best for last! Barefoot walking is so good for you. Take off your shoes and socks and walk around the inside, grassy part of the track. It is so good to allow your feet to breath and walk in their most natural way, barefoot! (Try to do it on fresh, green grass. Dead grass can be uncomfortable.)

ENJOY YOUR TRACK WORKOUT! As always, I advise you to find a friend to enjoy your workouts with. Accountability is GOLD! 

Thank you for reading! Comment with any other track workout ideas. 

Go and get the day!

STRESS, STRESS, STRESS

Are you ever just overwhelmed by the demands of life? Stress has such a negative connotation, but it actually can be a good thing…if in small doses. Stress, or being under pressure, can help you to perform better…so stress truly is not always a bad thing! Recognizing good and bad stress in our lives is crucial. It is important to pay attention to our levels of stress, to pause and look at what in our lives is causing us this stress. 

In the last year, I heard someone say the following quote about stress and it has really helped me to manage the stress in my life in a new light… “Our bodies can’t tell the difference in where stress is coming from. The body sends the same stress signals to the brain whether if we are stressed from work, school or relationships, stressed physically from a workout, or stressed because we are running from a bear.”  When we are stressing, our bodies go into “fight or flight” mode, known as the stress response. Too much of stress can be extremely harmful on our minds and bodies. Are you over stressing?

AM I STRESSED?

THE SYMPTOMS

  • Insomnia

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Headaches

  • Irritability

WHY IS STRESS HARMFUL?

THE EFFECTS OF STRESS ON YOUR BODY

  • Stress can lead to or intensify headaches. If you regularly get headaches this could be a result of stress in your life. 

  • Chronic, or ongoing stress can be emotionally draining and lead to an increase in depression. 

  • Stress even affects your digestive system and can lead to nausea and stomach problems.

  • INSOMNIA. Do you ever have trouble falling asleep at night? Stress can make it difficult to fall asleep or even to stay asleep. 

  • Stress causes your body to release extra glucose (sugar) leading to high blood sugar.

  • Long term stress leaves you more vulnerable to infections and weakens your immune system.

  • Stress increases your heart rate and in time this could increase your chance of heart attacks.

  • Rapid breathing. Stress can leave you with a shortened breath.

  • Stress and the fatigue it comes with can lower your sex drive.

  • Muscle tension. Stress even causes your muscles to tense up which leads to aches and pains.

TIPS TO MANAGE STRESS

  • BREATHE. First and foremost, breath. Take a big, deep breathe. 

  • Identify. Identify what it is in your life that is causing this stress. Maybe it is unavoidable, and this might be the case…but it could also be something you can rid from your life. Ask yourself the tough questions.

  • Cut (or minimize) the caffeine. I know…no one ever wants to hear this one, but caffeine is not helping your stress levels. 

  • TALK ABOUT IT. Don’t bottle it up. Share your stresses with a friend, loved one, or even a doctor. More likely than not they will be able to offer you some advice or support that you are looking for. 

  • Learn how to say “no.” It is okay to be human and not be able to do everything. Remember this, saying yes to one thing is saying no to something else. What are you giving your time to, and where else could you be giving your time? Asking questions like this can help to prioritize what in our lives we are saying yes to.

  • Look at the big picture. You can’t control the uncontrollable. Stay positive. Focus on yourself and the way you react. 

  • Be grateful. When stress is weighing you down, think of all of the people and things in your life you are thankful for. Focus on what brings you joy.  

Health is so much more than working out and eating right. Taking care of our minds is arguably more important (or equally… it is all SO IMPORTANT!) than our physical health.

Don’t stress the small stuff!

Thanks for reading and please share with friends and family! 

Much of this post came from the links below. For additional information, see below:

https://www.healthline.com/health/stress/effects-on-body#1

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/145855.php

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/stress-symptoms-signs-and-causes.htm

SAY “NO” MORE!

More likely than not, you probably categorize yourself as a busy person. You probably ALWAYS have a list of “XYZ” things to do by tomorrow, and you always have a place you have to be. Your free time is minimal. It is safe to guess your calendar is always full. Honestly, it probably feels like your life is even dictated by your calendar or schedule. If this relates to you, then it is safe to say you are probably one of those people who say yes to everything. 

Well, it is time to start saying NO.

WHY SAY NO?

Saying no to something good gives you the space and time you need to say yes to something great. All too often we say yes to things because we feel obligated to do them or even almost guilty. When you have so many events, meetings, hobbies, activities – whatever it may be – going on in your life it is difficult to be great at the things you are doing. 

Ask Yourself: Am I good at many things, or am I great at a few things? 

Stop trying to do everything, and do a few things very well. 

Simply use your gift and talents to grow as people, doing what you are passionate about. 

BE GREAT, not good. 

Too often, we are spreading ourselves too thin. We are conditioning ourselves to be average at a lot of things rather than being the best we can be at a few things. 

We are limiting our own capabilities by being average. 

Variety is a good thing for sure. No one really wants to do the same exact thing over and over and over again…but if we have too much on our plate, we are holding ourselves back from doing what we want and what we love to do, and holding ourselves back from doing it well.

We were not made to be average. 

PRIORITIZE!

What do you love? What are you passionate about? What are your goals for life?

Do you desire to be a great parent?

Do you want to write a book?

Do you want to own your own business?

Do you want to compete? Run a marathon? Lift competitively? 

You must say NO to the things that are holding you back from doing what you love to do. We all need to “check ourselves” every now and then. We need to look at where we are giving our time, money, and talents. Are we giving of ourselves in line with what matters the most to us?

Be honest with yourself. Start now and reprioritize your life around what really matters. 

PRACTICE!

Start by saying no to the things holding you back from being a better version of yourself. Stop people pleasing. I know it is hard, but you have to make decisions for you and the most important people in your life sometimes. 

Like anything, saying no is going to take practice. Practice saying no to the small things so you will be prepared to say no to the bigger things that don’t align with your passions or values.

If you are indecisive, ask yourself, “What is the next right thing to do?”

Practicing saying no to things in your life holding you back from doing what you love will not only positively affect you, but also the people in your life. 

Saying no will free you up to give the people you love the most the time and energy they deserve from you.

Say yes less and no more. 

Thanks for reading!

ARE YOU MAKING GOALS OR ARE YOU MAKING WISHES?

We all have hopes, dreams and wishes. Hopes, dreams and wishes are all great to have, but if we want them to become a reality it requires action. It can be easy to live life with our head in the clouds. Honestly. Don’t get me wrong, dreaming is good, but I would go as far as to say dreaming BIG is good, but day dreaming…not so much. Dreaming big is a productive way of thinking and motivating ourselves while on the latter, day dreaming can be a waste of the precious 24 hours we have been given in a day. Our hopes, dreams, and wishes require action to become a reality.

TAKING ACTION

How do you make your dreams come true? It is simple, really. MAKE GOALS…but don’t just make goals, WRITE YOUR GOALS DOWN. If your goals are written down and visible so you can see them every day, the likelihood of you achieving them is so much higher. It is said that those who write down their goals are 80 percent more likely to reach them…Write them on a napkin, a sticky note…get your goals framed, tape them to your bathroom mirror…whatever works, just WRITE THEM DOWN! If you wake up every day, look into the mirror and glance at your goals, you are going to make them happen. You are going to be cognitive of what you are after and you are going to have a new sense of focus or even purpose. Read your goals, out loud. Recite your goals daily. ROME WAS NOT BUILT IN A DAY. Writing your goals down helps you to remain focused on what you are striving to accomplish. It helps you to keep your eye on the prize. Be a visionary!

The word is: STRIVING

I am a realist and we are not perfect nor will we ever be perfect. We are human and the quicker we grasp this reality the better off we will be. The quicker we learn we are going to fail the better people we will become. When we realize we can learn something from our failures we are going to be so much better off. Buzz word: STRIVING. When you make goals, you have to realize you are striving to achieve them. You have to understand you are going to fail in some shape or form, but when you are striving, you wake up the next day ready to get after it, ready to strive for your goals again. 

EMBRACE YOUR FAILURES

In an inspiring book called, Perfectly Yourself, Matthew Kelly shares three truths to remember when we come across failures or shortcomings: 

  1. Other people before you have successfully overcome the obstacle you face; seek them out and draw strength from their stories and example.

  2. All of your past failures leave you better equipped than ever before to succeed in your next attempt.

  3. It will never be easier to break that pattern of defeat than it right now.

There is never going to be a perfect time to start something. 

The time is now. 

Take action and make your dreams a reality. 

Write down your goals. 

STRIVE AND EMBRACE YOUR FAILURES. 

Thanks for reading! Share with family and friends who need to hear this too! 

FORGET FOOD COMAS, WALK IT OUT

What is your favorite thing to do after eating a big (or even small) meal?

NAP?

… or maybe sit down to watch some TV, a movie, or read a book.

RELAXATION IS GOOD AND NECESSARY! It is good to give our body the rest it needs and deserves. You should always listen to your body and when it is telling you to rest, by all means…REST! 

It is a New Year, and it is time to start a new post dinner tradition. I am here to offer you an alternative…a small change to your habits that can have a great effect on your overall health in the long run. It really is the frequent, small changes you make to your lifestyle that will lead to big changes in the long run.

SUGGESTION: After you eat, go for a short walk.

Now, I am not telling you to walk five miles, a fifteen-minute walk will do just fine! 

WHY?

Walking after you eat not only is a great way to burn some calories, but it also helps you to better digest the food you just consumed. Walking after you eat lowers your blood sugar. It helps to clear the glucose (sugar) from your blood stream because more of it is taken up by your muscles. Walking and being active of course improves your mood as well, and it is always a good opportunity to get your creative juices flowing! You really can’t go wrong with choosing to take a walk after dinner. Make it a habit, make it a tradition! 

This does not have to a new habit for just you. Get the whole family bundled up and out the door, take the dog out for a walk, go for a walk with your significant other, or call up a friend and set up an evening walk tradition! People need other people.  Be intentional and form good habits with others to live a better life!

 

“You can’t pour from an empty cup.”

Important food for thought: Taking care of yourself is also taking care of others in your life. When you are good to yourself, you will find yourself more easily being good to others. 

Take up a new tradition and try out a post dinner walk! 

Thanks for reading and please share with family and friends! 

REPLENISHING WELL: ELECTROLYTES

Knowledge is wealth. The more you know about your body and how it works the better off in life you will be. So I have to ask, how much do you know about electrolytes? 

You probably know a great way to get electrolytes is to drink Gatorade. This has been engraved in our minds for years. Electrolytes are a little more complex than simply drinking Gatorade, so here is a post about everything you need to know about electrolytes! 

 

WHAT ARE ELECTROLYTES? 

We need electrolytes in order to live! Electrolytes provide your body with a more or less charge, or an electric current, in order for your body to function. Electrolytes are chemicals that conduct electricity when mixed with water.  They have many roles in helping the body to function such as hydrating the body, regulating nerve and muscle function, rebuilding damaged tissues, and balancing blood acidity and pressure. 

Electrolytes include potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, phosphate, and bicarbonate. The body needs a mixture of the electrolytes previously listed in order to perform various functions. For example, our muscles need calcium, sodium, and potassium in order to contract. When it comes to hydration, electrolytes are responsible for directing nutrients and water to the areas of your body it is needed the most, all while maintaining fluid balance inside our cells. 

 

HOW DO I GET ELECTROLYTES?

If you are following a proper diet, you should have no problem getting all of the electrolytes you need naturally. Fruits and vegetables are LOADED with nutrients. It is best to avoid relying on sports/energy drinks if possible, mostly due to their high sugar content. One of the best ways to get electrolytes is to drink coconut water. Coconut water is loaded with potassium, sodium, and magnesium. 

Other great sources of naturally getting electrolytes are almonds, kale, chia seeds, broccoli, and oranges. these foods are specifically great sources of the electrolyte calcium.

TIP 1: EAT MORE BANANAS AND DRINK MORE COCONUT WATER! It is common to be deficient in potassium and magnesium. 

TIP 2: Throw a teaspoon of chia seeds in with coconut water and your muscles will be good to go and ready to contract and relax. It is a great remedy in order to avoid muscle cramps and stay hydrated! 

TIP 3: Most Americans get PLENTY of sodium from their diets, so this is not a common electrolyte deficiency in the US. 

TIP 4: Counter to Pro Tip 3, if you sweat A LOT it is very important to make sure you are getting adequate sodium. It doesn’t hurt to sprinkle a little extra salt on your food after a tough, sweaty workout! 

TIP 5: Water, water, water. We all tend to overestimate the amount of water we take in on a given day. Drink more water! 

 

WHAT IF I AM NOT GETTING ENOUGH?

It is so important to listen to your body. Your body gives you signs and will let you know when something is off, you just have to pay attention! Symptoms depend on which electrolyte is out of balance and whether the level of the electrolyte is too high or too low. 

Common symptoms of imbalances include: 

  • Twitching

  • Blood pressure changes

  • Irregular heartbeat

  • Fatigue

  • Nausea 

  • Thirst 

  • Extreme muscle weakness 

Now, PLEASE do not go and self-diagnose yourself for all of the above. I am simply encouraging you to pay attention to your body, especially after a strenuous workout. 

 

One last very good source of electrolytes worth mentioning are a good Branched Chain Amino Acid (BCAA) supplement. These will help your body remain in an anabolic state, helping with muscle recovery! They come in many flavors, taste great and help keep you from getting bored with water, all while including electrolytes and NO sugar or unnecessary calories.

Replenish your body well! 

THE MORE YOU KNOW. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.

Thank you for reading! 

EAT PASTA FOR EVERY MEAL!

What? YES! You read correctly. Eat. Pasta. For. Every. Meal. 

You probably have many questions right now like,

“What?” 

“Do you mean this?”

“How can I do this?”

Oh, and I know, I am sure this question is eating at you…” but what about all of the carbs?”

Stop worrying about it, I have an answer for you! 

One word: ZOODLES. 

What are they?

Zoodles are the new rave. This low carb food is the answer for all of the pasta lovers out there wanting to cut back on the carbohydrates. What is a zoodle? Zucchini noodles!Zoodles are the perfect substitute pasta. If you don’t have a vegetable spiral it is time you invest in one! Don’t worry, you are not limited to just using this appliance on zucchini. A spiral works great with sweet potatoes, cucumbers, carrots, beets, but if you are looking for a substitute to for pasta, zoodles are what you are looking for. The process is quite simple. There are many different types of spirals, I have one from Target that works great. The nicer ones are more expensive of course, but a ten-dollar spiral does the job just fine for me! 

Once you have your spiral your dinner options are limitless. Think of any of your favorite pasta dishes…spaghetti, fettuccini, pesto…. quit depriving yourself from your favorite dishes! Just substitute in zoodles. 

TRY SOME TODAY!

If you are nervous about trying this out and investing in a spiral before you even know if you will like it…we have you covered! 

Come in and try our Zucchini Delight (pictured below). 

Is your mouth watering yet? This meal is so simple yet so tasty. Ingredients are minimal-zucchini, ground beef, tomatoes, shredded cheese, sour cream, paprika, and ground pepper. I am not lying when I say zoodles are a great low carb option…this meal contains 8 grams of carbohydrates, 9 grams of protein, and only a total of 271 calories. Now that is efficient eating! 

Come in and try it for yourself!

Once you love it, invest in a vegetable spiral for yourself. It is another kitchen appliance game changer.

Thanks for reading! 

EAT MORE NUTS!


I don’t know about you, but peanut butter has always been my go to when it comes to nuts. The thing is if I am being politically correct, peanuts are actually not classified as a nut, but as a legume. Along with beans and peas, peanuts are grown underground while nuts such as almonds, walnuts and pecans are grown on a tree. Even though peanuts are not technically a nut, they are still great for you so keep eating them! Peanuts (beans and peas too) have the most concentrated amount of protein in the plant kingdom so don’t stop enjoying your PB&J!

Even though peanuts do not belong to the nut category, classified nuts such as almonds and walnuts have so many benefits and are great to incorporate into your regular diet. It is pretty well known that nuts are an excellent source of protein, but here is a guide to help you to tap into the many benefits of the most popular nuts you can find in most grocery stores! 

 

ALMONDS

Whether you like to eat your almonds in the form of milk, butter, raw or flavored (Try Blue Diamonds Wasabi Almonds, SO GOOD!), you are doing your body a great favor by snacking on this nut. One ounce of almonds contains 3.5 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein, and a high amount of Magnesium (20% of the recommended daily amount). Almonds also contain many antioxidants and are among the world’s best source of vitamin E. SERIOSULY!! One ounce contains 37% of the recommended daily intake. Almonds also assist with blood sugar control and the magnesium found in almonds helps to lower cholesterol levels. 

Yeah, I know it…that’s a lot of information on almonds.

If you aren’t convinced yet, almonds also reduce your hunger, lowering your overall calorie intake.

Bottom line? EAT. MORE. ALMONDS. 

 

CASHEWS

Honestly, cashews are probably my favorite nut. Cashews have this sweet, buttery taste…they are DELICIOUS, especially when seasoned with a little bit of salt! Cashews are one of the lowest nuts in fiber, but they are packed with nutrients. They are high in Vitamins E, K, and B6 and are naturally cholesterol free. Cashews can help to reduce blood pressure, and like carrots they are excellent for your eyes, protecting against cataracts. 

 

WALNUTS

Sometimes the simplest foods are the best for your health, and this holds true for walnuts.  Simply eating one fourth of a cup of walnuts provides more than 100 percent of the daily recommendation for omega-3 fats plus high amounts of copper and manganese. Studies have also shown that walnuts help to reduce the risk of prostate cancer, and breast cancer as well.  Adding healthy amounts of walnuts can also help with weight control. Walnuts even improve sperm quality, and offer support for brain health along with type 2 diabetes. 

So basically, EAT MORE (WAL)NUTS! 

 

PECANS

I once heard the quote, “pop a pecan, not a pill.” PECANS ARE GREAT! Pecans contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals including calcium, potassium, and zinc. Pecans are also great in age defying antioxidants. THAT IS NOT ALL, pecans also help to lower “bad” cholesterol. 

I don’t know about you, but I have a new appreciation for pecan pie on Thanksgiving…

 

PISTACHIOS

Just like almonds, one ounce of pistachios contains 6 grams of protein. Pistachios are high in Vitamins A and E, and contain Vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 tends to be a vitamin difficult for us to get enough of, so go ahead and ENJOY SOME PISTACHIOS! You will be doing your body a great favor. 

 

BRAZIL NUTS

When you buy your typical container of mixed nuts, Brazil nuts are those larger, smooth ones, and there’s typically only a few of them in the container. I always used to avoid them and pick around this nut until I found out this: Brazil nuts are the number one food source of selenium (selenium helps to fight inflammation and actually boosts your mood). Seriously, this nut is a happy pill. Brazil nuts help to lift your mood and help to prevent depression! Brazil nuts also make the list for cancer fighting foods. 

SIMPLY EAT ONE A DAY! THAT IS ALL YOU NEED!

 

HAZELNUTS

If you enjoy coffee, you probably know the great smell of hazelnuts. They taste pretty darn good too.  One of the greatest benefit of hazelnuts is its neuroprotective qualities. Hazelnuts are excellent brain food! In addition, hazelnuts are also loaded with vitamins and nutrients your body needs and craves. Eat 4 or 5 of these nuts every now and then…it only takes a few to reap the health benefits of hazelnuts. 

So there you have it…although this is only a handful (pun intended) of some of the greatest nuts out there, I encourage you to give them a try. Try incorporating nuts into your regular diet and let your body enjoy all of the amazing benefits! 

 

IMPORTANT 

When it comes to nuts, eating proportionally is extremely important. I get it, it is so easy to slam a few handfuls of nuts. I just advise you to be careful about this. Nuts are truly an excellent source of natural fat, but pay attention to the labels and recommended servings so you don’t overdo it. 

Lastly, these make a GREAT low carb, nighttime snack!

ENJOY SOME NUTS!

EAT MORE FAT! AVOCADOS


Are you one of those people who is obsessed with reading labels? When you are at a grocery or convenience store do you check each and every label? Or are you someone who could really care less and you don’t give food labels the time of day? No matter which side of the spectrum you are on, it is important to know that the best foods for you do not have labels. The best foods are wholesome and loaded with nutrients. You don’t have to check if real foods are good for you, just eat them! 

But if you are a label reader, I bet there is a good chance you are constantly checking the fat content of foods… Well, reality check: You do not have to avoid fat like the plague, simply just eat the right kinds of fats. 

THE GOOD FATS! Fat is a nutrient that is crucial for your overall health. What is considered to be a “good fat?” So many foods are good fats! Fish, oils, eggs, flaxseed, peanut butter, and other nuts are all great sources of “good fats”. You really can’t go wrong eating any of those in moderation… but here’s a little about one of my personal favorite fatty foods, AVOCADO.

AVOCADO is a monounsaturated fat, a fat that is known to improve blood cholesterol levels which reduce your risk of heart disease. 

Eating avocado (IN MODERATION*) is indeed a great way to improve your cholesterol, but the benefits go far beyond JUST lowering your cholesterol! 

 

10 REASONS TO EAT MORE AVOCADOS: 

  1. NUTRIENTS: Avocados are loaded with nutrients your body craves: Vitamin K, Folate, Potassium, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Vitamin E AND MORE!

  1. FIGHT FOOD: Avocados are fighters. Eating avocado helps to fight inflammation. Inflammation in the body is connected to most of today’s modern diseases such as asthma, allergies, cancer, arthritis, and heart disease. Eating avocado can only help you, especially when it comes to the longevity of your health!

  1. ABSORBER: Well that is great…avocados are loaded with vitamins and nutrients. Awesome right?! Well…it doesn’t matter how much nutrients we are getting if our bodies are not absorbing the god stuff! Adding avocado to your meals can help to absorb all the nutrients your body is craving! 

  1. SHINE:  Avocado gives you that glow! A complete bonus of eating avocado is that it helps your hair and skin. Eating avocados is a great way to fight aging! 

  1. EYES TOO!: By now most of us know carrots have quite the reputation of helping out our eyesight, but go ahead and add avocados to that category too! 

  1. BONE STRENGTH: Every little bit helps, right?! Avocados can’t do it alone, but they definitely contribute to building and retaining stronger bones. Avocados contain bone-healthy nutrients such as Vitamin K, Copper, and Folate. 

  1. DIGESTION– Fiber. You have probably heard all about the importance of getting plenty of fiber in your diet in order to keep your digestion system moving smoothly. One avocado actually contains 54% of your recommended daily fiber intake! Most Americans are not getting enough fiber even though most fruits and veggies are loaded with it. Eat more avocados to keep everything in check!

  1. IMMUNE BOOSTER: Eating avocados helps you to fight illness and infection! As mentioned, avocados are a great source of Vitamin B which specifically fights illness and infection, along with Vitamins C and E which are both natural immunity boosters.

  1. ENERGY: Eating avocados can help to give you the pep in your step you have been missing. The healthy fat provides you with a slow but steady stream of energy so you can kill it all throughout your day! Fat is the most concentrated source of energy for your body! 

  1. THE TASTE!: Yeah, there’s so many benefits to eating avocados, but don’t forget how great they taste and how versatile they are! Add avocados to anything and everything!

 

GREAT WAYS TO EAT AVOCADOS

Whether you choose to slice them, cube them, scoop them, or smash them, there are many ways to enjoy avocados. Here are a few of the trendiest ways! Recipes are easy to find online:

  • GUACAMOLE 

  • Avocado Toast

  • Avocado Dark Chocolate Truffles

  • Avocado Pesto Sauce

  • Avocado Hummus

  • Avocado Mango Smoothie

  • Avocado Ranch

  • Fried Avocado 

+ Add avocado to anything and everything! Avocado goes great on top of salads, with your burger, add some to your smoothie, or simply eat them plain! 

 

GUACAMOLE RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe Avocados

  • ½ cup medium Tomato (diced)

  • ¼  cup red onion (minced) 

  • ¼ cup Cilantro (finely chopped)

  • 1 tbsp lime juice 

  • 2 tsp Sea Salt

  • 1 tsp Black Pepper

Instructions:

Easy! In a big bowl, add the peeled avocados and all of the ingredients and simply use a fork to mash and stir! I like mine really chunky so I try to not overdo the mashing. ENJOY! 

Add the guacamole to your burgers, scoop with tortilla chips, or throw it on some tacos. Heck, eat it plain. SO GOOD!

Thank you for reading!

 Enjoy!

COOKING GAME CHANGER


Oh, you are too busy to cook? Yeah, we have all been there. 

Maybe it is work

Maybe it is school and studying

Maybe it is raising a family

Or maybe it is even all of the above…

Whatever it is, it does not matter…it is all an excuse standing between you honing in on living a healthier lifestyle and encouraging the people in your life to live healthier lives as well. 

I get it, we all wish there were more hours in the day…a few more hours to take care of ourselves and cook a meal rather than running through the drive thru lane on your way home from a long day. Take a minute and think of how much money you waste by not preparing meals for the day or a week. I guarantee there are people reading this who go through the drive thru three times a day on a regular basis. It is fine; we have all been there…do not beat yourself up about it too much because yet here we are again, beginning a new year. Maybe you did not make the changes you hoped to make back when we started 2017, and I am sure you have great excuses for why you did not follow through. 

But let’s cut to the chase. The time to start is now. Today, right now, in this very moment. Make the decision to do something different and make yourself a better person. Live the healthier lifestyle and empower the people in your life to believe they can do it too.

It is January, and I am going to offer you many practical ways to transition into a better, healthier life throughout the next few months…but let’s first start simple…start with investing in a slow cooker, or using the slow cooker that just sits in your pantry or closet collecting dust all year long. 

 

A good slow cooker (Crockpot) costs anywhere between 25 to 50 dollars, and you can literally run out to the store and pick one up at Walmart, Target, or Kohl’s, really wherever. 

A slow cooker simply makes cooking easier. It saves you time AND money. You can literally throw a bunch of ingredients into the pot in the morning before heading to work, turn the dial on low, and come home eight hours later to a meal ready to enjoy. IT IS SO SIMPLE. Whether you are cooking for your family or meal prepping for the week for yourself, utilizing your crockpot is definitely a game changer. If you need a meal done in two hours and you have to do laundry, clean, workout, or whatever is on your to do list, simply put all of the ingredients into the crockpot and turn it on high, and you will have a meal ready in less than two hours. 

Utilizing a slow cooker is an easy way to get you on the right track to making better food decisions…it is little time, little effort, and so much cheaper than continually paying for your poor quality drive thru food. 

START NOW! Stay tuned for great slow cooker recipes to come soon! 

2017 WRAP-UP: THE POWER OF A THANK YOU

As the end of the year 2017 approaches, it is always a good idea to slow down and reflect, to look back on the year and maybe even reminisce a little. Sometimes it can be helpful to write down all of your major events or memories throughout the year…write down the places you traveled to, your achievements, the goals you reached, anything that sticks out to you from the past year. Doing this hopefully makes you smile and leaves you a little more grateful for the year of 2017.

I am sure there were ups and downs in this past year. Maybe it was a great year for you, maybe your best year of life yet…or maybe 2017 has not been so great, and you are as ready as ever to enter into a new year. Regardless of how you define this last year, I hope you can at least bring to mind a few events or memories to smile about and bring you some joy. No matter what this last year was like for you, every day is a new beginning, a fresh start, and of course a new year is right around the corner.

As you reflect on 2017, I encourage you to think of those people who influenced you this year. Maybe you will think of the person who pushed you outside of your comfort zone, the person who loved you and supported you, the person who forgave you, or the person who inspired you. Simply think of five people in your life who made you a better person this year. Think of those five people in your life who were there for you when you needed a little pick me up or a little push to not give up. These are the people we need on our team in life.

I encourage you to take the time to write these five people a thank you. Handwritten letters are such a rarity, and a written thank you can really go a long ways. Thank those five people for the role they have played in your life this year. Odds are they probably have no idea how much they have influenced your life. Just do it, take the five minutes to say thank you…you will not regret it. It is so common to give gifts during this Christmas season, but don’t forget the power some kind words play in our lives. Pass it on.

A little kindness can go a long way.

Kill everyone with kindness this holiday season.

And thank you for all of your support this year! We are so grateful for all of our customers and will continue to strive to have a healthy impact on the fast food industry!

We appreciate you a ton & look forward to an awesome & healthy 2018!

Happy New Year!!

LOSE YOUR WAYS TO GAIN YOUR GOALS


Listen Up! We want to help YOU.

It’s a New Year and many of you are getting going on your goals. We want to help you to maximize the hard work you are putting in at the gym. It is difficult enough to get the results you are looking for, so avoid making it harder on yourself by not correctly fueling your body. Whether you are eating Lean Kitchen or not, we want to inform you on four helpful tips in order for you to get the best results:

 

REFRAIN FROM EATING CARBS WITHIN FIVE HOURS OF BED
Carbs are essential. They are the main source of energy for your body. Carbs should be consumed in moderation, and you should also monitor when you are consuming them. The biggest take away is to be aware of this fact: Carbs = Energy. Therefore, carbs must be burnt. If you eat carbs late at night before bed, they go unburned and turn into fat. Try to nix the popcorn, ice cream, or whatever unhealthy nighttime snack you crave. It is also recommended to cut the carb out of your dinner. Go with a protein and veggie combination whenever you can.

 

EAT FREQUENTLY
At all times your body is either Anabolic or Catabolic. Anabolic means your body is building muscle and burning fat. Catabolic means using muscle for energy and storing fat. Obviously, you always want your body in an Anabolic state. To do this, you MUST eat frequent, small meals. This means you eat every two to three hours. You will feel like you are constantly eating. This is GOOD. You may have heard someone tell a fit person, “You’re always eating!!!” and this is why. Eat well and eat often.

 

DRINK MORE WATER
Drinking water does amazing things for your body. Yes, you will have to use the restroom more often, but that is only natural. Drinking more water has many benefits. It flushes the fat you’re burning out of your body, keeps your muscles hydrated (helps with soreness), keeps your hair, skin, and nails glowing, and a handful of other benefits. I can’t stress this enough. DRINK MORE WATER!

ALSO, your body feels bloated when it thinks it is not getting enough water. This is your body’s way of trying to hold on to water because it is not getting enough. Simply, drinking more water equals less bloating.

 

Below is an example of what a typical eating schedule should look like:

6:00-7:00am: Breakfast (within an hour of waking)

9:00-10:00am: Mid-morning snack (something small)

12:00-1:00pm: Lunch

2:00-3:00pm: Snack/Protein Shake

5:00-7:00pm: Dinner (No carb!)

8:00-9:00pm: Nighttime Snack (NO carb! Choose a healthy option: Cottage cheese, nuts, almonds, shake, peanut butter and celery)

 

BONUS: WORKOUT TIPS
Many of you are trying to drop some pounds, so you are doing cardio (running, elliptical, biking…). THIS IS GREAT! However, DO NOT NEGLECT THE WEIGHTS. I know they can be intimidating, so start by using the machines. The machines are hard to mess up and easy to learn to use. You should be lifting weights because muscle burns fat. A pound of muscle burns more calories than a pound of fat does. No, you will not get bulky. Lifting weights will only make it easier to drop fat (A tone body is better than a skinny body.). Give High Intensity Interval Training Cardio (H.I.I.T.) programs a shot. Ultimately, it will teach you how much more effective twenty-five minutes of more intense cardio can be than one hour of steady pace cardio. Don’t burn yourself out, switch it up!

We absolutely want YOU to succeed. Please feel free to reach out to us at if you have any questions. Stop in at Fit Republic to ask us anything and/or get a FREE meal plan. You do not have to buy anything from us for this service; it’s just what we do.

Share with friends and family to help them reach their goals too.

Thank You!

NUTRITION IS KEY TO SUCCESSFUL HEALTH AND FITNESS RESOLUTIONS


Happy New Year, everyone! The crew here at Lean Kitchen hopes your 2017 has gotten off to a great start! Below, we’ve shared an article from the St. Joseph Post that features our founder, Austin Evans giving advice on how your nutrition choices can affect your New Year’s resolutions. Enjoy!

At the beginning of every new year, many people make plans to quit something, start something or make other life changes.

Health and fitness goals are often on many people’s New Year’s resolutions list.

According to Austin Evans, owner of Fit Republic and Lean Kitchen Company, with New Year’s resolutions about weight loss and other healthy changes, nutrition is 80 percent of the key to success.

“Nutrition is so important and people can take all the supplements they want, they can work out, and that’s going to help accelerate it, but if your nutrition is not on point, you’re not going to get results,” Evans said.

Fit Republic is a nutrition store in St. Joseph specializing in sports nutrition, weight loss supplements and vitamins and minerals. Evans said they also take time to help educate customers on a healthy diet.

“Everything is about balance,” Evans said. “Quitting things cold turkey is very hard, you’re not going to probably be successful cold turkey, not many people are, they don’t have the discipline. If people want to take out pop from their diet if they’re drinking 120 ounces of pop a day and they go to none, they’re probably going to fail. So take it out in chunks… If you try to do everything at once, people don’t often succeed that way.”

Evans said he encourages people to get off fad diets unless they implement lifestyle changes and to stop paying so much attention to the scale.

“Pay attention to how you feel, pay attention to how your clothes fit, pay attention to how much easier that mile is getting on the treadmill, pay attention to those types of things,” Evans said.

In addition to Fit Republic, which has been open a year, Evans began a meal prep company, Lean Kitchen Company about a month ago. They offer breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks with options including low-carb, gluten-free and vegan. Evans said they’re selling about 500 meals a week just out of the cooler at Fit Republic for people dropping by to get a healthy lunch option. Meals are available to order online and pick up at Fit Republic on Sundays.

Fit Republic is located at 1331 South Belt Highway in St. Joseph. Evans said people can stop in for Lean Kitchen meals or to talk with them about setting up New Year’s fitness or health goals and plans. For more information, visit the Fit Republic Facebook page.

6 TIPS TO STAYING FIT AFTER MARRIAGE


Originally posted on Stjoewedding.com on July 22, 2014. Photo credit: Chris Hunkelervia photopin

When is the last time that you and your spouse finished up dinner and went for a walk together? How about the last time the two of you were sitting around and decided you were going to go on a bike ride? If you are guilty of not remembering the last time you did anything remotely close to either of these things, you are not alone. Studies show that married couples exercise significantly less than people that are single do.

Staying fit after getting married tends to fall lower and lower the “priorities” list. Whether this is due to just the busyness of daily routines, raising kids, or whatever the excuse may be, you should try as early on as you can together to avoid it! If you can create good habits of exercising together and meal planning/grocery shopping together, it can be fun and easy to stay on the right track together. If you wonder why I keep saying “together”, it is because according to a 2007 study*, “your chances of becoming obese increase by 37 percent if your spouse becomes obese.” So you both need to have the goal in mind to be healthy!

 

Here are 6 tips to staying fit after marriage:

  1. Plan at least two times that you are going to do some type of cardio together Monday-Friday (ex: walk, run, swim…) and at least one time on the weekend. Three times a week total. Always!

  2. Do unique things for your exercise. Go hiking, mountain biking, or if you are into tennis then play tennis. Make it fun and switch off who picks what you two do together.

  3. Make a little competition of the workouts. Sprint the last part of your walk. Loser makes dinner.

  4. Take your lunch to work daily. Not only will you save money but it is so much easier to stay on a healthy diet. Save time by just cooking extra dinner and bringing leftovers.

  5. As a basic rule of thumb, stay on the perimeter of the store when shopping. This is where you will find fresh fruits, veggies, & protein. More of what you need and less of the carbs and processed junk.

  6. Be supportive of each other and motivate one another. It will be much easier if you are in this together.

    • Remember that slow progress is better than no progress, and there is no better workout partner than your significant other. You want to be able to grow old together. To set a healthy example for your kids. And to be able to get down on the floor and play with your grandkids one day. So make the lifestyle change.

      For more tips, Fit Marriage is loaded with workout tips for couples.

      Thanks for reading and be well!

CONQUER YOUR FEAR OF GOING TO THE GYM!

GYM-TIMIDATION: BEING INTIMIDATED OF GOING TO A GYM

A major reason people never start working out is simply because they are intimidated by the gym. For some reason, we think that when we walk in a gym for the first time, all eyes are going to be on us; and naturally we don’t want to look like idiots…

I faced this myself. I was a little skin n’ bones prick and wanted to bulk up so bad but thought, “there is no way in hell I’m going to the gym when I probably can’t bench press with a single plate on each side.” But instead of letting this stop me, I just put off going to the gym for a while, got myself some perfect pushups and shortly after, a weight set, and began at home. I did my own thing at home for about a year, and when I felt a little more confident, I stepped foot in the gym.

Well I’ve learned now, that the only people in a gym, watching what anyone else is doing, is the first timers; Because I can tell you that personally, I never pay attention to anyone.

So if you are one of those people that gym-timidation is holding you back, here are a few tips to help you get past it and get you to the gym. Don’t let such a dumb excuse stand in between you and your goals; and trust me you will later agree, it is a dumb excuse.

  • Set your goal and your plan to get there. And have your exact workout for the day planned out. [4 tips when starting working out]

  • Dress comfortably. I always joke about “look good, lift good”, but what I really mean is if you are comfortable and like your outfit, it will be one less dumb thing for you to worry about.

  • Bring your headphones with a playlist of songs you enjoy, ready to go. Have enough songs on your playlist to last the duration of your workout. Music stops, you stop, no earlier! The music will also help you keep your mind off your surroundings. Not to mention, if you’re anything like me, music pushes me so much harder in my workouts and keeps me focused.

  • When you arrive, find a stretching station [aerobics room, for example] & observe the gym as you walk to the water fountain or restroom. Get your mind in the right state for your workout and get a feel for where everything is in the gym [certain machines you want to use, free weights, cardio equipment, etc…]. When I say observe the gym, I mean literally the gym. Don’t be watching people, psyching yourself out. Remember, no one gives a shit you’re there, I swear.

  • Now go to work! Don’t slack, get after it, and keep your end goal in mind. FOCUS.

As time goes on & you start to feel more comfortable, don’t be afraid to talk to people. You don’t have to talk anyone’s ear off and they’ll probably rather you not when they’re in the middle of their workout, but build some friendships over time with people and you will feel welcome in the gym much quicker.

“Most importantly, remember that every single person in there started right where you are now.”

EVERYONE IN THERE STARTED WHERE YOU ARE RIGHT NOW. Most people [probably 90% of people] will be very welcoming and are there to help you. And always remember where you started when you do reach your goals.

If you know anyone that faces gym-timidation, please share this article with him or her.

[One last thought that sums things up: Don’t let fear of being in front of people you don’t even know stop you. Think about that, really. You’re afraid of what people think, that you don’t even know… Come on.]

Conquer your Fear

“I’M NOT LOSING WEIGHT” | GET OFF THE SCALE!


The scale is a liar.
 It is a tool that often shows a discouraging number & will trick you into thinking that you aren’t making any progress. Society has convinced us that the scale is how you measure your health & any progress you’re making. Well, guess what? It’s not.

When you are overweight, you start working out/eating healthier with the intentions of “losing weight”. Technically though, the goal is to ‘lose fat’. It’s fair to say that most of the people on this world want to lose fat & gain muscle (If you don’t, then exit now).

So you may hop on a scale at the beginning of your weight loss journey for your ‘starting weight’ (this is acceptable), and then you hop back on the scale every day, or every week thereafter. And according to the scale, you’re not losing weight… This is where you’re going wrong. The scale is a terrible gauge of progress.

 

HERE’S HOW TO TELL IF THE SCALE IS LYING ABOUT YOUR PROGRESS:

  • Not losing weightFat loss vs Weight loss. The scale doesn’t take into account muscle gain when your begin working out, just ‘weight’ loss; So, say you gain 5 lbs. of muscle and lose 7 lbs. of fat for a 2 lb. total “weight” loss. This isn’t very encouraging at all to see on a scale but in reality is a HUGE accomplishment. I’ve seen many transformation pictures of people where they look like they’ve lost 20 lbs. and they have actually gained weight between the before & after picture, and look awesome. This is because muscle is much denser than fat. And not only is muscle sexier, but a pound of muscle will burn more calories in your body than a pound of fat will [Roughly speaking, one pound of muscle burns 50 calories per day vs. one pound of fat burns 2-4 calories per day].

  • If you are noticing your clothes fitting better or becoming baggy on you, you are clearly progressing. If your belt needs pulled two notches tighter but the scale shows you aren’t any lighter, who cares what the scale says?

  • You are feeling better day to day. You don’t get as winded walking up the stairs into work. You don’t feel worn out while moving some boxes around in your garage. You notice how much more energy you have throughout the day.

  • Your health is improving! Your blood pressure is down and your doctor took you off a couple of the medications you were on.

  • You’re stronger. You used to pick up the 15lb. dumbbells and now you can use the 25lb. ones for the same exercise. You can stay on the bike for ten minutes longer or run a mile 2 mins. faster than when you started.

 

Start looking beyond the number on the scale and gauge your progress from things that matter: how you feel, how your clothes fit, how you’re looking in the mirror, etc… Train for your ideal, dream body instead of training for an ideal weight. According to weight calculators, I am 30 pounds overweight, pushing obese. Don’t let the scale discourage you. Get off of it.

 

Thanks for reading!

If you got any value from this, scroll down & subscribe for occasional emails from me to help you towards your goals!

ANABOLIC VS CATABOLIC

When people hear the term “anabolic” they immediately think “OMG STEROIDS!!!” But here’s a newsflash: Anabolism is a metabolic state that your body either is or isn’t in right this second. And if you aren’t in an anabolic state right now, than you’re probably in a catabolic state, another metabolic state of the body. Let me explain the difference between the two & what they mean.

 

ANABOLISM:

An anabolic state is a positive metabolic state that you want to keep your body in whenever you can. You can read about how anabolism is using monomers to build polymers and how it is using ATP and bla-bla-bla… Simply put & what you need to know, is that when your body is ‘anabolic’, it is in a muscle building, fat-burning state.

Anabolism is using energy [nutrition from the food you’ve consumed] to stimulate protein synthesis and build muscle. An anabolic state can actually even increase your bone density.

To keep your body in an anabolic state, you must focus on giving it the right nutrients at the proper times. A body lacking sufficient amounts of protein or carbs at certain times can cause your body to be ‘catabolic’ thus hindering your progress.

The reason steroids are referred to as ‘anabolic steroids’ is because they basically make the body remain anabolic; therefore positively reacting to any nutrients it takes in. But if you can naturally keep your body anabolic by proper nutrition & meal timing, then you can mimic the effect naturally.

[Side-note: Certain hormones in your body are anabolic hormones. Testosterone, Estrogen and Insulin are all examples of anabolic hormones]

 

CATABOLISM:

A catabolic state is a negative metabolic state. Catabolism is the exact opposite of anabolism. When your body is catabolic, it is lacking the nutrients it needs and goes into panic-mode, eating your muscle & storing fat.

It is very interesting how insanely complex the human body is. For an example, I will use a typical time that the body goes into a catabolic state: nighttime/morning. Often times people will finish their dinner around mid-evening, let’s say 7pm and will maybe have some junk snack such as a bowl of ice cream and then hit the sack. Due to not having any protein since dinner [if you even had any then], then the ice cream not lasting very long as energy in your body, you will go to bed & a couple hours into sleeping, your body will actually run out of energy. Once it runs out of energy to burn, it may tap into fat cells, but shortly after will begin panicking that it may be getting starved and will tap into what it feels is a much better source of energy: muscle. [You should consume casein protein to combat this.]

In addition to burning your muscle as energy, when your body is catabolic, it isn’t using any available energy to synthesize proteins & burn up fat cells; Due to this, your body could have excess energy that it will store as fat.

[Side-note: Certain hormones in your body are also catabolic hormones. Cortisol & surprisingly, Adrenaline are examples of catabolic hormones]

 

Now that you know the difference between the two metabolic states, here are a few tips to keep your body anabolic as often as possible:

DO NOT skip breakfast!
Consume protein/carbs post-workout
Consume proper protein before bed
Be sure you are eating enough food throughout the day

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