Baby, it’s hot out there!
If you have been working out over the past winter and spring months, you may be surprised at the new challenges that summertime fitness throws at you. Today is the first day of summer, and you are probably discovering that your body reacts to the heat and humidity differently than it does to cooler, drier conditions.
But don’t let the heat cause you to lose your momentum. You can keep working hard in the summer, you just have to adjust your approach a little. Keep the following summertime fitness tips in mind as you continue getting stronger and healthier.
1. Cool down first! You can improve your performance in the heat by lowering your body temperature before heading outside. Taking a cold shower or simply putting ice cold cloths on the back of your neck can help you to better tolerate the heat.
2. Find some shade. You may need to move your workout to a different area in order to be in the shade. If you are a runner or biker, change your route to a wooded area.
3. Avoid caffeine. Because caffeine acts as a diuretic, it forces water out of your system. This is the last thing you want when exercising in the summer heat. Save your caffeine intake for several hours before or after your workout, rather than near the time you will be exercising.
4. Stay hydrated! Drinking plenty of water before, during and after your workout will reduce the heat stress on your body.
5. Choose your clothing carefully. Now more than ever it is important to wear clothing that will move sweat away from your body and help it evaporate it quickly. A cotton t-shirt may be fine in the winter, but you will be much cooler in a fabric designed for exercise.
6. Change your workout time. If you are used to exercising during lunch or in the afternoon, you may need to adjust your schedule for the summer months. Early mornings and late evenings are the best times for outdoor exercise. On blistering, hot days, even the shade will not bring much relief.
7. Wear white or light colored clothing. Lighter colors reflect the heat better than darker, more intense colors.
8. Take breaks. Your body can only handle so much extreme heat. When the thermometer climbs, you may find that you need more frequent breaks to keep performing at your best. Be sure to take them. Listening to your body and caring for it is not a sign of weakness: it’s smart.
9. Monitor your heart. The heat places greater stress on your heart. Keep tabs on your heart rate as you work out in the heat. If it spikes quickly or stays too high, give it a rest.
10. Hit the gym. You may find that it is best to simply move your workout indoors for the summer. If you would prefer not to put your body under summer stress, work out in a gym. You will have the added benefit of personal attention and group accountability. It’s a great time to work on form, increase intensity, and plan out a new and exciting workout routine. Beat the heat by mixing things up this summer-try a gym workout.
There are 5 basic habits that we teach at Preston Strength for nutrition. If you can master these 5 habits, you will be well on your way to the body of your dreams without ever counting calories or weighing food. These habits should guide your eating choices and help you make the right decisions no matter the situation you are in.
You may already be following some of these habits. That is great! If you are, then continue to do so and read on a bit more about each of them. We will be providing you with a meal plan at the end of the book you can use for great results.
You also may not be following any of the habits, and that is OK as well. We all have a starting point, and knowing that point is crucial to our success. If you are not following any of the habits, start with the first one and master it for the first week. Each week, continue to add in one habit until you have mastered all of them! If it takes longer than one week to consistently apply a habit to your life, no worries! Simply try again next week.
We want to focus on successes in this program. Don’t worry about your mistakes; instead, focus on what you did well each week, and build on those successes so that you can continue to grow and learn about your nutrition.
Here are the 5 Habits:
1. Eat frequently. This doesn’t mean that you need to eat 6 meals a day. That can be overwhelming. We recommend eating every 3-4 hours, but don’t sweat the details. At first, just try to get in consistent meals and one snack each day.
This way of eating will help you keep your metabolism running high and maintain your lean mass. You are also less likely to binge if you eat consistently every 3-4 hours.
A great schedule for this is eating when you wake up at 6 or 6:30am, then again at 11am, then a snack at 2 or 3pm and dinner at 6 or 7pm. This is a simple and easy to follow schedule. You can also eat first thing at 6am, snack at 10am, lunch at 2pm, and dinner at 6 pm. The meals can be moved around to fit your schedule.
You shouldn’t be so concerned about eating at the exact right time that you can’t focus on anything else. The important thing is that you are prepared with your foods and understand when you need to eat.
2. Eat a complete protein at every meal /snack. Protein is the staple in our nutrition plan. It helps support your lean mass and will keep you full. Try to get in at least 20-30g of protein at each meal. If you look on a food label, it will tell you exactly the amount per serving of protein. We will cover what is included on a list of complete proteins later.
You have you remember that 20-30g of protein isn’t the weight of the food you are eating; it is the protein in the food. If you look at the food label, you will be able to see the grams of protein in a given food. You can also use the palm of your hand as a guide for protein servings (a portion the size of your palm will provide approximately 20-30 grams of protein).
One of the biggest objections that we get for this habit is that it is hard to eat protein on the run. That simply isn’t true if you know what you are looking for! There are protein supplements, tons of options in convenience stores, and simple snacks that you can pack to help you stick to your habits.
3. Eat vegetables at every meal. Try to get in two servings of veggies at each meal and snack. This can be one of the tougher habits to master, but you can make it easy on yourself by keeping easy veggie snacks around such as carrots, celery, and other quick to eat veggie sources.
One serving of veggies is about ½-1 cup. So you need to be eating 1-2 cups of veggies each meal. This can easily be accomplished with salads!
Veggies not only help to give you nutrients that you need to get the most out of your training program, but they help give you fiber, keep you full, and provide you with many illness-preventing nutritional components. You won’t have a problem with hunger if you make sure to get your veggies in at each meal.
4. Only eat carbohydrate-rich foods after your workouts! Especially if your goal is fat loss, we want to restrict your carbohydrate consumption to within 1-2 hours post workout. This is great news because you don’t have to deprive yourself of carbs, but you have to earn them first in a workout!
The reason that we remove carbs from our meals (other than veggies) outside of workout times is that they increase fat storage because of the effect that they have on our insulin levels. When our insulin levels increase, fat storage increases. This is something we want to avoid.
However, after a workout, our bodies are primed to utilize those carbs for energy and to repair our muscles. This is a great thing! After a workout, we want to replace the glycogen (or broken down carbs) that we used during the training sessions and use them to repair our muscles and make sure we are recovering well. If we recover well, we can come back and train hard again the next time and get better results.
I would try to avoid breads and gluten-based carbs after your workout and stick to things like potatoes, rice, and other non-wheat based carbs as much as possible. The reason is most of us don’t handle gluten or wheat very well, and it can cause some inflammation, which can cause bloating and fat storage (along with other health problems).
5. Eat healthy fats daily. Fats are not the bad guy! You should work to eat a good balance of fats (saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated—just no trans fats!). Fats help regulate hormones in your body and keep you full. It is important that you don’t limit your fat intake to help with weight loss. You should try to get 1/3 of your fat intake each day from each of the types listed above. If you have a carbohydrate-based meal after training, try to limit your fats in this meal if possible.
If you follow these basics most of the time, you can let loose and splurge here and there without regressing in your fitness plan.
Do you need an expert program designed for you, plus coaching and accountability? Click the button below to sign up for a FREE 1/2 Hour Strategy Session to get you back on track:
I remember the moment like it was yesterday...
I had just turned 40 years old and my wife and I were working out at the gym. I was doing a machine shoulder press and attempting to go for a really heavy set. And then... WHAM!! It felt as if a bolt of lightning had shot through my neck as the weight came crashing down. The pain was immense as I had herniated a disc in my neck with immediate nerve pain as well.
I spent the next couple of years trying to figure out new, safety ways to train. I was intent on training hard forever... but I knew that what I once did was no longer working. That was when I realized that my new training goal was to make my body and mind feel 10 years younger, like they used to.
After spending the next few years writing, re-writing, testing and re-testing new training methods for "older body's" I came up with a plan of action that works like a charm. That's why I opened my Preston Strength training studio. I knew that if I could make myself feel 10 years younger and my current training clients, it was time to reach more people.
With no further ado, here are 5 things you should do each day to feel 10 years younger:
1. Drink More Water
It may sound too simple but most people do not drink enough water daily... even though they think they do. The key is to drink enough water each and every day... not just a hit and miss thing. You should aim for half your body weight (in pounds) of water (in ounces) daily. That means if you weigh 200 lbs you should drink 100 ounces of water every single day.
The second part to water consumption is the importance of water as soon as you wake up. Aim for 36 ounces of your daily water intake within 1/2 hour of waking up. This rapid hydration of your body will make you feel fantastic throughout the day as it helps rid your body of toxins and saturates your muscle cells so you feel your best.
2. Get Your Sleep
As a trainer I see so many people who simply do not get enough sleep. This is a non-negotiable if you want to feel and look 10 years younger. There's truth to getting your "beauty sleep"... Zzzzzzz......
Too often adults feel as if they don't need as much sleep any more. BIG MISTAKE! You wouldn't keep driving an overheated car. Your body is like an overheated car when it doesn't get enough sleep.
One of the ways to get enough sleep is simply to go to bed at the same time each and every night. Sporadic sleep patterns create less than ideal quality of sleep. Your sleep habits are developed much like exercise and nutritional habits.
Try to go to bed 1/2 and hour earlier each night for a week. That's 3 1/2 hours more time in bed. Your body will enjoy that.
3. Drink a Super-Shake.
One of the keys to feeling and looking 10 years younger is obviously your nutrition. If you put crap in, you'll get crap out. If you take care of your nutrition... well, you'll just be better all-around,
One of the things I always tell my clients is not to think about what you can't eat. Instead, concentrate on eating the things that are good for you... and then worry about the other stuff later.
My wife and I have been starting each and every morning for years with our Super Shake. This morning shake helps us get a good amount of the veggies, fruit, healthy fats and lean protein that our bodies need for the day. In fact, my shake gives me almost half of the nutrients I need daily. That makes it pretty easy to stay on track. Here is the Super Shake recipe:
- Handful of spinach
- Handful of broccoli
- 1 cup mixed berries (frozen)
- 1 teaspoon almond butter
- 1 1/2 scoops whey protein powder
- 1 cup of water
** Blend for 1 minute and enjoy
4. Strength Train 2-3 Days Per Week
Strength training to add or maintain lean muscle tissue is a must for feeling and looking 10 years younger. The key is to do the right kind of strength training when you're over 40. You should focus on full body strength training sessions, using functional strength training exercises.
[NOTE: We don't believe in using machines at Preston Strength... with only a couple of exceptions. In general, you should use exercises that force your body to move through space as opposed to sitting on a machine. Also, if you can perform an exercise while standing up with your feet on the floor it's always better!]
We also don't believe that adults over 40 need to use barbells much anymore. It's the fixed range of motion with a barbell that can be unfriendly to our joints as we get older. Far better to use other tools such as dumbells, sandbags, sleds, medicine balls etc.
If you're stuck and in a rut and need a coach to help you get on track and stay on track, sign up for a FREE Strategy Session with me by clicking the button below:
TOP EXCUSES AND WHY THEY AREN’T TRUE
1. I don’t have time…. You do have time; it just needs to be important enough. Make an appointment with yourself and make it a habit.
2. I’m too busy - let’s get real, if it’s a priority, you will make time for it, like watching the final episode of Real Housewives.
3. I don’t like to workout….. You just haven’t found what you like. What excites you? What did you love to do when you were a kid?
4. I don’t have anyone to train with….. Grab a friend, join a group, start your own workout club. Like attracts like. There are tons of things to join and do if you just look.
5. I can’t afford it…. There are so many different methods of training that you are bound to find something to fit your budget, even if it’s free!
6. I don’t know what to do…. Research the internet or find a coach, that is what a coach is for, to answer your questions and point you in the right direction to get the results you want.
7. I don’t know where to start…. The most important thing is to start, do something, it doesn’t matter what it is. Still stuck? Hire a coach.
8. I don’t want to get ‘big’….. Ladies, you won’t get ‘big’, you will develop nicely defined muscles. Most of us won’t do what it takes to get ‘big’.
9. I have a bad __________(knee, back, shoulder) so I can’t workout…… Great excuse, but that is all it is, an excuse. You can always do something, even if it’s just stretching on the floor or a slow walk around the block. Move improve your body!
10. I am not motivated.. Another excuse. If you always wait until you feel like it then you won’t do it because your feelings keep you locked into your comfort zone to keep you safe, not successful.
11. I worked out before and didn’t see any results….. Did you have specific, measurable goals? Did you have a plan? If not, of course you didn’t see any results, you didn’t have a plan or even know what you wanted in the first place.
12. I am too old…. It’s never too late to be what you haven’t been.
13. My kids get in the way…. Get it done before they get up, work out while you watch them play soccer or better yet do something with them like biking or hiking. Set an example for living a healthy lifestyle.
14. I’m too fat…. We ALL need to get exercise to stay healthy no matter our size.
15. I’m already thin…. Being thin doesn’t mean you have a healthy body fat % plus exercise has other benefits besides weight such as lowering blood pressure, reducing stress, etc.
BOTTOM LINE: There will always be an excuse not to, the trick is to find a way to do it. Commit to be fit.
If you're like most of my clients over 40, many of the reasons you should strength train might leave you unconvinced. The rippling abs at the poolside and flirtatious glances across the gym are more of an irritating distraction than a persuasive reason to try a new style of training.
But "middle age" probably isn't something you're ready for either. If walking downstairs makes your knees sound like the cellar door in a horror movie. You're often resisting the lure of the afternoon nap ("I was just resting my eyes, honest!"). If you're now having to decide to either buy new pants or lose those few extra pounds you've been carrying around… Read on.
Reason #1. Increased Muscle Mass
One of the best reasons to include strength training is the increase in lean muscle tissue. This is great for many reasons; you look lean and muscular, not the frail look that comes with losing a lot of weight without strength training.
Your leaner physique carries more muscle mass, which means you'll burn more calories while at rest, and eat more calories without gaining weight. This means more muscle mass is essential for foodies!
A more muscular physique doesn't mean you'll be bulky - far from it - unless that's a look you're actively trying to achieve. It means you'll be better protected from those aches and pains in your joints that may be starting to creep in. The extra muscle will preserve and strengthen the vulnerable joints like the knees, hips, shoulders, and low back.
Reason #2. Improved Mobility and Flexibility
Flexibility is about muscles being able to lengthen through a range of motion passively. In other words, being bendy. It's the foundation of mobility and can improve posture, coordination, and muscle performance.
Mobility is about the joint being active in a range of motion. That means not just bendy, but strong in that position. It's crucial for keeping your body in the safest position to use your strength effectively.
Strength training should include both flexibility and mobility work. They matter because the improved balance helps prevent falls - and if falls do happen, you're less likely to be injured. The enhanced strength that comes with mobile joints means it's easier to keep up with the demands of life. Quality of life is improved because you can enjoy activities or sports without worrying about physical limitations.
Reason #3. Improved Bone Mass
Peak bone mass is when bones are their most dense. This means they are less likely to break. Bone density peaks around age 25-30, and by age 40, we are all starting to lose bone density - unless we do something about it.
A loss of bone density is known as osteoporosis. Some people are more susceptible to it than others; women over 40 in particular, especially those who have been smokers and who drink alcohol regularly.
As well as consuming a broadly healthy diet, including enough calcium and vitamin D, lifting weights can help make bones denser. This prevents injury from fragile bones. It also improves the chances of a full recovery in the event of a minor accident.
Reason #4. Improved Cognitive Function and Health
Recent research suggests that lifting weights regularly can improve cognitive function compared to people who don't. So, you'll have better memory, quicker and more accurate perception, a longer attention span, verbal accuracy, and you'll find it easier to use language and experience a subjective improvement in thinking.
Thi effect of resistance training has been established for a while in older populations. Still, now it's recognized in younger lifters too. It's not entirely clear why this happens, it's thought it might be because of new neural connections formed, but if lifting weights a few times a week comes with all these bonuses? It's worth considering.
The benefits of lifting weights go beyond the physique goals that you may have been led to believe are the ultimate goal. The benefits to your longevity and holistic health can't be understated. That's without any comment about the extensive mental and emotional health benefits.
Often when people start regularly training for strength, they are first drawn in by the physical benefits. The thing that makes weight training so attractive to people in the long term is usually the less visible benefits - feeling younger, sleeping better, and having more energy. If you're new to lifting weights, it's good to start under the guidance of a coach to make sure you're moving safely and with proper technique.
If you’re over 40 you know how much more difficult it seems to lose body fat. It’s frustrating and seems like you’ll never be able to get back into shape. So many people give up and accept that with age comes a slow metabolism and there’s nothing you can do. WRONG! By following just a couple of these tips you’ll find yourself losing more fat, feeling great and ready to take on the world.
Here we go...
1. Have a Concern for Muscle
After the age of 30 we lose up to 1 pound of muscle per year. This means by the time you hit 40 years old you’ve lost 10 pounds of lean muscle. This is a problem.
Muscle cells are where fat is burned. That means if you have less muscle you have less cells to burn fat. This is what’s commonly referred to as a “slow metabolism.” What you believe is your metabolism slowing down is actually muscle loss... and therefore fat gain.
The worst thing you can do is skip resistance training while trying to lose body fat. If you don’t do any resistance training (strength training) at least half of the weight that you lose will be lean muscle tissue. The result will be a huge rebound when the dieting stops... and regaining the fat PLUS additional fat.
The good news is that you don’t need to bulk up or add a ton of muscle. Just by layering a little bit of lean muscle tissue you will quickly start burning fat, feeling great and looking amazing. And yes, you’ll fit into your favorite pair of jeans again:)
2. Moderate Cardio
Have you ever gone to the gym that first week of the New Year? If so, you probably noticed everyone on the cardio machines, relentlessly pumping away for 45 minutes to an hour in hopes of shedding that extra fat they added during the Holidays.
Excessive cardio doesn’t do a whole lot for burning fat. In fact, for every mile you jog you burn around 100 calories. It’s pretty inefficient for losing weight. Besides, who has tine to spend half the day on a treadmill?
Here’s a better idea...
Do a moderate amount of cardio. That means shorter cardio sessions. These shorter sessions are best with only 10 minutes of work. Try alternating between going all-out fast to get your heart rate up, followed by slowing down to allow your heart rate to come down. A short, intense session such as this will burn more calories than endlessly going on a treadmill or elliptical machine.
3. Always Do Resistance Training First
One of the biggest mistakes men and women over 40 make when trying to lose fat and get into shape is doing cardio training and then a few sets of machines as an after thought.
When you do cardio first, your body uses the glycogen in your muscle (muscle energy) to fuel the cardio training. When you finish and go through some weight training, your body doesn’t have any more glycogen to fuel your strength training. So instead of using fat to fuel the strength/resistance training your body will prefer to use lean muscle tissue. The result is a loss of lean muscle tissue instead of fat. It’s like putting the cart before the horse.
Now, when you do strength/resistance training first your body uses the muscle glycogen to fuel the workout. If you finish with moderate, intense cardio the body will now prefer to pull from fat cells to fuel the cardio training.
As long as you are doing the right amount of quality strength training first, followed by moderate, intense cardio your body is now much more efficient at giving you the results you’re looking for.
4. Supportive Nutrition
We all know that you can’t out-train a bad diet. But you don’t need to count every calorie. Supportive nutrition is simply giving your body the right amount of nutrient-dense foods to support your workouts yet allow for fat loss.
When you start eating nutrient-dense foods your body has an innate ability to turn off your hunger mechanism. That’s because these quality foods are loaded with micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). When your body gets enough of the required micro-nutrients it feels satisfied and therefore no longer hungry.
The bottom line is that by eating more of these high-quality foods you don’t need to count calories or watch everything you eat. In fact, if you do this 90% of the time you can have a couple of cheat meals here and there and still lose a ton of body fat.
Drink more water! Yes, we hear that all of the time. Since we are made up of mostly water it certainly makes sense...
Drinking more water is essential to losing body fat. It rids your body of toxins, keeps your body systems regulated and working properly, and can even help suppress your appetite a bit.
But how much water should you actually drink per day?
It’s simple. Take your body weight in pounds and divide by two. Drink that number in ounces of water each day.
For example: If you weigh 150 pounds, you will need to consume 75 ounces of water each day. That’s approximately 9 glasses of water daily.
[LIFE HACK]: If you drink coffee be sure to drink one cup of water for each cup you drink.
6. Get Enough Sleep
This is one tip that gets so overlooked. I can’t tell you the number of adults I know that don’t sleep well or enough each night.
Sleep is recovery. Recovery is necessary to help repair your body and recover from life’s daily tasks... along with working out.
If you don’t sleep enough your body (and mind) are more stressed out. This stress leads to an increase in Cortisol. This hormone tells your body to hold on to more fat... making the process of getting into shape much more difficult.
When you don’t get enough sleep your body is also more susceptible to illness and injuries.
[LIFE HACK]: Cat naps! If you can close your eyes and relax and possibly fall asleep for no longer than 15-20 minutes you can quickly rejuvenate yourself from fatigue. Of course, it’s not a substitute for getting your actual 7 or so hours per night but it’s helpful at times.
7. Hit It and Quit It
When you’re over 40 you need to actually workout less than when you were in your 20’s and 30’s. This is not to be confused with intensity. You should always give it your all and work to get stronger. But you need days of complete rest at this time in your life. A big mistake many 40+ people make when they are ready to get back into shape is thinking they need to go to the gym each and every day. This is actually counter-productive. 2-3 full body workouts each week will suffice.
On days that you don’t workout you can stretch, go for a nice walk or do nothing at all. Your choice.
Just be sure to give it your all when you do workout. This is a great way to keep your motivation too. If you know you have to do some home workout video that makes you do it every single day you’re going to burn out and lose motivation. But if you know you have 3 days per week to work hard, yet 4 days to enjoy your life, family and socialize you’re going to stick with it. I know... I’ve been doing it for years myself and with my clients.
Get a FREE 1-1 Strategy Session
We would love to get you started on your journey back to health. At Preston Strength we have helped countless numbers of clients lose weight, drop body fat, get stronger and move better!
Click the button below to sign up for your FREE Half-Hour Fitness Strategy Sessions:
I decided to write a quick blog post to show you this exercise. It's. called the Cossack Squat. It's truly one of the most important exercises for athletes and adults who want to move and feel better... but it's rarely used by most trainers and coaches.
The lateral movement of this traditional squat variation develops dynamic flexibility in the hips, groin and hamstrings as well as ankle mobility. It also builds strength in the quads, glutes and hamstrings as well as core strength and stability.
Check out the video of my awesome client Shannon performing the Cossack Squat. You can hold on to some weight under your chin to make it more challenging. Many people find when they start this exercise they don't need any additional weight. Range of motion is the key to getting it right.
Remember... all sports are played in 3 dimensions. You also live in 3 dimensions as an adult with daily tasks such as groceries, yard work, playing with the kids etc. If you only train "up and dow" as an athlete or an adult you are doing them or yourself a disservice. Use this exercise to help prevent injuries in athletes (such as the dreaded groin pull).
At Preston Strength we do the thinking for you and plan your training program. We are currently opening up 5 slots for our adults and 3 slots for our young athletes for training. To claim your spot get started by signing up for a FREE Strategy Session by clicking the button below:
1. CHEW YOUR FOOD!
Why it’s important: We are supposed to chew our food... a lot. Taking a few extra bites can improve your digestion and also allow your body to feel fuller quicker!
How to get it done: The average commercial is 30-60 seconds. Try to chew for an entire commercial to practice.
What you’ll feel: You’ll feel less stuffed after meals and in turn you’ll have more energy.
2. USE SMALLER UTENSILS
Why it’s important: When dieting, it feels like there is never enough food. Using smaller utensils can make a small meal look and feel a lot larger than it actually is.
How to get it done: Use the same utensils a 4 year old would use. That’s right, go out and get a solid set of utensils with your favorite superhero on it and soon you could be looking like one!
What you’ll feel: You will start to feel your body get full off of much less food. Since it will take longer to completely eat your meal, you will naturally start to feel full from the food. Normally we eat so fast that the food barely has time to digest before we are already done.
3. DRINK A GLASS OF WATER BEFORE EATING
Why it’s important: Hydration is one thing that makes our body perform and feel it’s best. If we do not drink enough water it can leave us feeling tired and hungry. Water can be a huge help when trying to lose fat.
How to get it done: While preparing your food, pour a glass of water and drink it before you have a bite of food. You may even find that you aren’t hungry after drinking it. Many times feelings of hunger can actually come from just being dehydrated.
What you’ll feel: You will not only feel full but you might even get a kick of energy. It’s amazing to realize how important water is to your body functioning at its best.
4. EAT PROTEIN AT EVERY MEAL
Why it’s important: High protein diets have been found to be the most effective diets when trying to lose fat. This is because the protein helps the body recover after exercise, which means more muscle to help burn fat. Plus, protein is one of the most satiating nutrients. On top of that, it is actually the hardest nutrient to turn into fat!
How to get it done: Make sure to have at least a palm size portion of meat, fish, or eggs at each meal. One strategy that is sure to help would be to prepare meat to eat ahead of time. It’s much easier to reach for a grass fed beef patty when it only takes a minute or 2 in the microwave. Add in a veggie and that’s a meal in less than 5 minutes!
What you’ll feel: When protein is added into your diet you will feel much fuller. It takes a while to digest so it will fill you up and provide consistent energy for hours. After a week or 2 of making this change your pants might start to feel a little bit loose!
5. 10 MINUTE WALK AFTER EVERY MEAL
Why it’s important: When we eat the first move is usually to sit down. This is terrible for digestion. When we stop moving our body slows down. And if that food is just sitting there, it will lead to that mid-afternoon grogginess.
How to get it done: It is as simple as the title says. Just walk. As soon as you take your last bite, head outside, or even to the stairs and just take a lap. It doesn’t necessarily have to be for 10 minutes. But just moving will help you fight off the post lunch sleepiness.
What you’ll feel: You will feel much more energized through the second half of your day. You will feel more productive and focused which will help you perform better in the office and back at home with your family.
6. EAT DINNER AT THE TABLE - NO SCREEN
Why it’s important: Screens take away our attention from what is right in front of us. This could be our family, our work, and even our food. When you eat at a table without a screen it allows you to be present. When you are present you not only give your family more attention, you also give your body the ability to realize how much food you are actually eating.
How to get it done: Let your family know ahead of time that there will be no screens. This will lessen the shock when you present this new option. When the meal starts, put everyone’s phone in a temporary storage space so there will be no texting or answering emails under the table. When this is in place you consciously eat and finish your food. After that you can even put a reward system in place, not just for the kids, but also for yourself. Reward your new habit with some small reward, like a square of dark chocolate, or watch a show you have been putting off.
What you’ll feel: You will feel a greater connection with the people at the table, as well as feeling full from less food.
7. PREPARE 1 MEAL A DAY ON SUNDAY (7 MEALS)
Why it’s important: Terrible food choices are all around us. Advertising agencies spend crazy amounts of money to try to get the public to eat their food. When you are hungry and your brain is telling you that you need food now, it is easy to make a poor decision. However, if there is
a fresh meal you have already spent money on, and have spent time cooking, it will make the decision process that much easier.
How to get it done: On Sunday, clear your schedule as best as possible and go food shopping. Before you get to the store, make the list. This will keep you from grazing the aisles where there will be temptation. After you stick to your list - get the food cooked it as soon as possible. It’s similar to doing the laundry. If you wash but don’t fold, the clothes will sit there all week and get wrinkled. Same goes for food. It will sit there all week and spoil. After the food is cooked, put it into individual containers so that in the morning all you have to do is take it out of the fridge and head to work.
What you’ll feel: You will feel better and healthier from making a better food choice.
You can find plenty of fitness gurus on Instagram and Facebook eager to tell you how to get skinny thighs or six-pack abs. However, their impressive photos and celebrity testimonials may be misleading.
How can you distinguish between fitness myths and reliable facts? Start with discovering the truth about these 5 common claims.
Myth #1: You Can Eat Anything You Want As Long As You Exercise
You may be overestimating how many calories you burn at the gym. You will gain weight if you think you have a license to consume endless donuts.
Wiser Eating Tips:
Myth #2: Lifting Weights Will Make You Bulky
You’re unlikely to wind up resembling Arnold Schwarzenegger accidentally. However, lifting weights is a great way to build and retain muscle mass, especially as you age.
Wiser Weightlifting Tips:
Myth #3: You Need to Work Out 7 Days a Week
Excessive exercise can weaken your muscles and organs and leave you feeling burned out. Most adults need at least one recovery day a week.
Wiser Tips for Workouts:
Myth #4: You Can Spot Reduce
You gain weight from head to toe and you lose it the same way. Sit-ups will tone your core, but they won’t remove fat from just your waist.
Wiser Reducing Tips:
Myth #5: Your Bathroom Scale Rules
Your body weight is only one of many ways to measure fitness. Take a broader view.
Want Better Results?
Fitness myths were around long before the internet, but social media can make them seem more credible. When you’re looking for information, check reliable sources or ask a professional with the proper credentials in their field. Then your fitness regimen will be based on facts - not myths - and you'll be more pleased with your results.
You don’t need to starve yourself in order to lose weight! In fact, using these simple techniques, you can easily cut calories every day... without feeling deprived!
1. Identify your daily eating routine. Many days we eat on a schedule – one we aren’t even aware of! Take an inventory of what you eat and when you eat for 5 days. Use a journal or food diary to keep track.
2. Make subtle changes to start. When you’re making a lifestyle change, it can’t be done quickly or all at once. Accept and be aware that you’ll be making this lifestyle change over an extended period of time. One way is to make subtle changes every week. For example, instead of having three eggs for breakfast, have two. Instead of eating full fat bacon, switch over to turkey bacon.
3. Make a list when shopping for groceries. Believe it or not, when we shop without a list, we’re more prone to just grab things off the shelves that look and sound tasty. However, when we shop with a list, our impulse shopping is drastically reduced.
4. Read food labels. Sometimes we don’t want to draw attention to ourselves by reading food labels while in the store. However, every processed food product has its label available online for easy viewing. Better still, simply go to your pantry and read some labels! You’re looking for calorie content, sodium content, and sugar content specifically. Also ensure you’re aware of what constitutes a serving.
5. Eat more fresh foods. Processed foods, by their nature, are far less healthy and contain many more calories than fresh foods. Sometimes it comes down to a choice: do you want to consume 100 calories of your favorite fresh fruit (about 1 large apple, or 200 grams) or do you want to eat one chocolate chip cookie (78 grams)? You can get twice as much food in a fresh fruit.
6. Find alternatives. Let’s say that you know, even though you want to lose weight, you can’t give up pizza. You can still eat it – just change your pizza choice. Rather than having a deep dish, thick crust meat lovers pizza (loaded with calorie-laden carbs, soaring sodium, and lots of fatty oils), change to a thin crust pizza with just cheese or all veggies.
7. Drop the pop. Carbonated sodas and other high sugar drinks are empty calories. Some people choose diet drinks, but the artificial sweeteners in those drinks can cause health issues (headaches, primarily). Just drink water! If you’re a caffeine addict, you can still drink coffee – just not high calorie lattes, iced coffees, or frappes.
8. Limit alcohol intake. While many of us enjoy a glass of wine or a beer with dinner, both are high in calories. You don’t need to abstain altogether. Simply drink less.
By making these simple changes every day, you can cut a surprising number of calories. When pairing these activities with a suitable exercise plan, you can easily get your body to a place of health and vitality.