Be Present When You Eat…

Eating With Awareness

Have you ever taken a conferences call during lunch, or eaten dinner in front of the TV? Often times you can look down and not even realize you’ve cleaned your plate. Too often we rush through meals so that we can continue on with our busy schedules, without giving any thought to what we are shoving into our pie holes. Did you enjoy it? Did you eat too much/too little? Was it even good for you?

Eat with purpose!

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Build Strength with Wendler 5-3-1 Progressions

5/3/1 By the Numbers

In 5/3/1, you’re expected to train three or four days a week. Each workout is centered around one core lift — the back squat, bench press, deadlift, and standing shoulder press.

Each training cycle lasts four weeks, with these set-rep goals for each major lift:

Week 1: 3 x 5
Week 2: 3 x 3
Week 3: 3 x 5, 3, 1
Week 4: de-loading

Then you start the next cycle, using heavier weights on the core lifts. And that’s where a seemingly simple system starts getting a little more complicated.

You aren’t just picking a weight to lift five times or three times or one time per set. You’re using a specific percentage of your one-rep max. And not your full 1RM. The calculations are based on 90% of it.

So if your 1RM in the bench press is 315 pounds, you use 285 (90%) as the base number for your training-weight calculations. Here’s how it works:

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When you see 5+, 3+, or 1+, that means you do the max reps you can manage with that weight, with the goal of setting a rep record in each workout.

Let’s walk through the Week 1 workout for bench press. Using the example above, if your 1RM is 315, you calculate all your percentages from 90% of that max, or 285 pounds.

So you’re using     185 (65% of 285) x 5,     215 x 5, and     240 or 245 x 5 or more

After you finish the first cycle (4 weeks), you add five pounds to your 1RM calculations for the two upper-body lifts and 10 pounds to your 1RM for the squat and deadlift.

These specific instructions for 1RM percentages and monthly progression are what set 5/3/1 apart from less useful systems. With 5/3/1, you accomplish a goal every workout. Some programs have no progression from one day to the other.

Another unique feature is that final balls-out set in each workout. You don’t have to go beyond the prescribed reps if you don’t feel like it, but there are real benefits to doing so. Think of it like doing the prescribed reps as simply testing your strength. Anything over and above that builds strength, muscle, and character. Yes, that last set is the one that puts hair on your chest, but the system doesn’t work without the sets that precede it. There might be only one really hard set, but the other sets are still quality work.

Assistance Work

Along with the bench press, squat, shoulder press, and deadlift, 5/3/1 includes assistance exercises to build muscle, prevent injury, and create a balanced physique. My favorites are strength-training staples like chin-ups, dips, lunges, and back extensions.

But don’t go ape-shit with these supplemental exercises. They should complement the training, not detract from it. You must have a very strong reason for doing an exercise. If you don’t, scrap it and move on.

healthy, or all-natural, or high-fiber….Seriously?! Don’t fall for this…

Seriously?! Don’t fall for this

The madness has to stop.

This might come across as a soapbox rant, and for that I apologize, but trust me when I say that this is a message that needs to be spread.

Your fat loss depends on it.

We all want to be fit and lean, right? So why do we fool ourselves into thinking that we are eating healthy…when our diets consist of so many processed foods?

Don’t fall for it: so-called healthy packaged foods are NOT guilt-free.

I can’t tell you how many folks I’ve seen chow down on organic, all-natural, gluten-free, vegan or high-fiber packaged foods…only to see their fat loss halt and reverse.

What did you expect?

Packaged snacks and desserts are going to stop fitness results and encourage fat storage. Every. Single. Time.

Even if it says healthy, or all-natural, or high-fiber, or organic, or gluten-free, or vegan.

If it’s processed and packaged then it’s getting in the way of your results.

If you are serious about shaping up your body then throw out the packaged foods and opt for wholesome, real foods instead.

Start with these:

  • lean protein
  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • avocados

When it comes to fat loss, eating clean is half of the battle. The other half is all about effective, challenging and consistent exercise.

Begin right now by calling or emailing me to get started on an exercise program that will turn you into a fat burning machine!

You Snooze, You Lose…

Sleep matters when it comes to dropping fat.

Your body requires a certain number of hours for rest and recovery, especially when your workouts are dialed in. 7 to 8 hrs per night seems to be the right amount.

A study that followed nearly 70,000 women for 16 years showed that those sleeping less than 5 hrs per night weighed more than those sleeping 7 to 8 hrs per night.

Simple Tuna Salad

Here’s a simple and light version of tuna salad. It cuts out high-calorie mayonnaise and adds some chopped fruit and vegetables to really liven it up. This is a great recipe to enjoy as you journey towards your fitness goal. Servings: 4

Here’s what you need…

  • 1 green apple, chopped
  • 2 green onions, tops only, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 cans albacore tuna, in drained
  • 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup red grapes, halved
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl and serve immediately. I like to serve this salad in large butter lettuce leaves, or scooped onto avocado halves. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 222 calories, 16g fat, 9g carbohydrate, 194g fiber, and 14g protein.

5 Steps for Achieving Your Fitness Goal

 5 Steps for Achieving Your Fitness Goal

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1. Setting your goal

You want to be in “better shape” but that’s so vague. Dig deeper.

What specifically do you wish you had now that you don’t?

  • To drop 3 dress sizes.
  • To lose 2 inches of arm fat jiggle.
  • To melt 4 inches from your waist.
  • To be able to run 3 miles without stopping.

2. Define your timeline

Now that you’ve determined exactly what part of your body isn’t up to par, tie that goal in with a specific timeline. When you have a timeline to measure your progress against, you’ll find that achieving your goal becomes an easier process.

  • To drop 3 dress sizes by August 20th vacation.
  • To lose 2 inches of arm fat jiggle by October 13th wedding.
  • To melt 4 inches from your waist by July 7th pool party.
  • To be able to run 3 miles without stopping by June 16th city 5k.

3. Name your prize

It’s time to take your motivation to the next level. Now that your specific goal is set and your timeline is clearly defined, let’s add a prize that you’ll receive once you’ve accomplished your goal. This prize shouldn’t be anything related to your unhealthy habits – so no junk food or extra large meals. Make the prize an item that will reinforce your slimmer body, like a nice piece of clothing.

  • A couple new outfits for your August vacation.
  • A sleeveless dress for the October wedding.
  • A new swimsuit for your July pool party.
  • A new pair of running shoes for your June 5k.

4. Picture it

You know what you want, when you want it by, and the reward you’ll get by achieving it. Now spend time picturing your end goal. Find a comfortable, quiet corner, close your eyes and see a mental movie – starring yourself – enjoying your reward with your new and improved body. Play your mental success movie several times throughout the day.

  • See yourself enjoying an afternoon of your vacation, wearing your new clothes with confidence.
  • Imagine how you’ll feel walking down the aisle baring your toned arms.
  • See yourself lounging by the pool in your swimsuit, carefree and happy.
  • Imagine the feeling of accomplishment you’ll feel as you cross the finish line.

5. Recipe for success

The steps that you’ve taken above have prepared you to mentally take on the challenge of motivating yourself through this transformation process. All that remains is a solid exercise and nutrition plan to push you through to your “new” body.

7 Fat Loss Problems

One of my friends sent me this email. I thought I’d share it with you…

Can’t slim down? Here’s why…

Wanting to lose fat, and failing at it, is one of the most frustrating experiences ever.

Read the following 7 Fat Loss Problems to discover what is standing in your way and how to quickly and easily begin reshaping it all.

Fat Loss Problem #1: Your Mind

Your mind is your number one ally when it comes to achieving your goals. However, until your mind has been programmed for success, it will do more to derail your efforts than to help you.

  • Take a few moments each day to visualize yourself at your ideal weight. Imagine how it feels to look the way you’ve always wanted.
  • Protect your mind from any negative self talk. If a negative thought comes to mind, immediately reject it.
  • You want to be thin and fit, and yet you think of yourself as out-of-shape and fat. Re-program your mind to think of yourself as fit and attractive, and you will be well on your way toward achieving your goal.
  • Give up the belief that you can’t achieve the body you’ve always dreamed of. See it first in your mind, and then in the mirror.

Fat Loss Problem #2: Your Fear

Change makes most of us nervous – even if it is a change in the right direction. You may not be consciously aware of the fear you have of getting into shape. Until you conquer this fear, your weight loss efforts will be blocked by self sabotage.

Professional speaker and author, Anthony Robbins, has outlined three specific beliefs that you must have in order to conquer your fear and instantly create a lasting change.

  • Believe that something MUST change. You can’t be wishy-washy about it. You can’t be considering it. You can’t even be pretty sure about it. You’ve got to be rock solid.
  • Believe that YOU must change it. You can’t pass the buck of responsibility and expect to lose weight. It’s on your shoulders. Other people will prove to be great assets in your journey, but in the end you are the one who is going to make it happen. You have to want this weight loss enough to make it your personal mission.
  • Believe you CAN change it. You may have failed in the past, but that doesn’t matter. When you put your mind to it, you’re able to do amazing things. Do you believe that you are capable of losing weight? Once you own the belief that you can, you’ll be unstoppable.

Fat Loss Problem #3: Your Excuses

Your excuses for being out-of-shape are getting old. An excuse takes less immediate effort than an action, but in the long run the action taker always has the advantage. Don’t allow excuses to ruin your life any longer.

  • Don’t skip out on your responsibilities with excuses, instead expect more from yourself.
  • Focus on the big reason why you are losing the weight. Make a list of the benefits you’ll enjoy once you achieve your goal, and read them first thing each morning.
  • Remember that you can only have two things in life: excuses or results. Which do you want?

Fat Loss Problem #4: Your Commitment

How many times have you tried to lose weight, only to give up a week or two later? We live in a commitment-phobic world, so it’s no wonder that you routinely abandon your goals. If you truly want to lose weight then your commitment to the process is a must.

  • The margin between success and failure is bridged by your commitment. Don’t give up until your goal has been achieved.
  • Treat exercise with the same importance as a work meeting, and you’ll never skip it at the last minute. Find three available 60-minute time slots in your schedule and mark them (in pen) on your calendar. Now stick to your schedule.
  • If you don’t give up, then you’ll never fail.

Fat Loss Problem #5: Your Diet

If you consistently eat the wrong food, then you’re weight loss efforts will all be in vain.

To put it bluntly, you need to stop eating junk. Processed foods, refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup do not belong in your diet if you want to be in great shape. Cut these items out of your diet and replace them with real whole foods like lean meats, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and fruits.

  • Don’t eat processed foods. Even though processed foods are accepted by our society, they contain tons of chemicals and empty calories that will make you sick and fat.
  • Fat contains twice the caloric density of protein and carbohydrates, so make sure to limit the amount that you consume. Eat lots of lean proteins and wholesome carbohydrates from plants and whole grains.
  • Vegetables, whole grains, fruits, nuts and seeds are filled with fiber and antioxidants which are vital for healthy weight loss. Snack on these instead of packaged treats.

Fat Loss Problem #6: Your Patience

It takes time to transform your body from fat to fit, even though you want it to happen overnight. Remind yourself that it took time to put the weight on, so it will take time to take the weight off. When you find your patience wavering, or when you encounter a frustrating plateau, do the following:

  • Review your goal. Is it specific and measurable? Is it small and attainable, rather than monumental? Focus on your goal when the going gets tough.
  • Make each workout a new experience. Challenge your body with different resistance, new exercises and a varied pace.
  • Remember that anyone can have one great workout, but that won’t get you the body you want. The only way to achieve your goal is by consistently exercising and eating right, plain and simple.

Fat Loss Problem #7: Your Support

People who exercise alone are less challenged, less accountable and are more likely to fail. It makes sense. Who would rush to the gym if no one is was waiting for them? Who would push themselves if no one was paying attention? Exercising alone is a recipe for disaster.

  • Find a workout partner who is in better shape than you, or better yet, work with me, your local fitness expert, to guarantee your results.
  • I am passionate about seeing you achieve results—don’t waste your time, energy and effort on mistakes.
  • When you start a program with me, you suddenly have the upper hand on weight loss. I’ll be in your corner, coaching you each step of the way, keeping you accountable to workouts and giving you that dose of encouragement when you need it most.

Get serious about your results and begin the last weight loss program that you’ll ever do.

Water: the fountain of youth…

Water: the fountain of youth!!

Turns out the sought-after magic elixir has been right under our noses!

I’m talking about water. Pure, simple water.

Before you scoff at this idea, check if you’re dehydrated. Sadly as much as 75% of adults suffer from mild, chronic dehydration, a condition that dramatically works against your weight loss efforts.

Here is why water consumption must be at the top of your list in your quest for a fit, healthy and athletic body…

Water does all that?

Though you probably don’t think about it often, water is the most essential element, next to air, to your survival. The simple combination of two parts hydrogen, one part oxygen makes up more than two thirds of your body and is involved in a host of bodily functions that we routinely take for granted.

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Just to name a few:

  • Water works to regulate the thermal condition of your body
  • Water serves as a lubricant in your joints
  • Water helps flush toxins from your blood
  • Water gives your skin a clear, glowing complexion
  • Water assists with digestion, pulling all the usable nutrients out of foods
  • Water aides in disease prevention (Drinking 8 glasses a day has shown to reduce your chance of colon cancer by 45% and bladder cancer by 50%)

What about fitness and fat loss?

You’ve probably heard that you need to drink plenty of water in order to drop weight, but did you ever wonder why? What does water have to do with decreasing your calories and increasing your activity level in an effort to shed pounds?

1. Water is a natural appetite suppressant

Fill your stomach with a glass of water before each meal and you will find that you won’t eat as much. This also works on snacking throughout the day, keep hydrated all day long and watch as your desire to snack decreases.

2. Water increases your body’s ability to efficiently metabolize fat
This process begins with your kidneys receiving enough water to function at their peak, which in turn helps your liver reach optimal efficiency in removing toxins and waste from your blood. With your liver working at maximum capacity, fat will be metabolized at a higher rate. This means a decrease in your overall body fat. (And who doesn’t want that?)

3. Water is the perfect substitute for high calorie beverages
Want to super-charge your fitness results this summer? Well, this is the most effective way to utilize water toward your waist-shrinking efforts. Most of us consume more than our share of calorie-packed beverages. Smoothies, shakes, frozen mochas, soft drinks…you get the idea. When you trade your high calorie beverages in for a tall glass of water you will expedite your results in a major way.

The Other Side of the Story…

Now you know that drinking sufficient amounts of water will help you reach your fitness goals faster than ever, but you should also know that failing to drink enough water comes with serious consequences…

  • Your body will shift into “preserve” mode—which means you will store more fat.
  • Bodily functions will slow—leading to an overall decrease in energy levels.
  • Headaches will become an expected nuisance—your brain is over 70% water.