Monthly Archives: July 2012
When you’re watching calories, you become more aware of everything that goes in your body. It’s like trying to save money for something special. You quit blowing calories on stuff you don’t really care about anyway, just like you’d quit blowing money on stupid stuff that is senseless.
The problem is, you can still waste calories and make bad decisions because reading a label is not as easy as reading a price tag. If only there was one simple number to look for, but there isn’t. We are looking at calories, fat, carbs, protein, fiber, sugar and all kinds of other stuff too. So, in the end, we can read the wrong thing – or read only one thing (missing other things) and still mess up. Plain and simple: labels are tricky business – and I believe many of them are tricky because that is exactly the way they planned it!
Here Are My Top 10 Label Rants:
1. Who eats 1/4 cup of granola and calls that one serving size? Unfortunately, most of us use a cup or more. In my case, that would mean a bowl of my granola would be 520 calories – and that’s WITHOUT milk!
2. Since when did 5 grams of protein become “high protein”? I hate it when a product proudly announces “Now, High-Protein” just because they added 2 more grams of protein. This is false advertising, preying on people who know high-protein is a good thing. In addition, it’s all relative. High protein isn’t high protein if the majority of calories are coming from everything else but protein.
3. Fat means nothing if it still has a million calories. Sugary products are known for trying to come up with something positive to say, like “this product is fat free”, when they should be saying “this product is loaded with sugar and is 500 calories, which can make you fat anyway”.
4. “Sugar-free” doesn’t mean healthy. Chocolate products are horrible about doing this. They tell you it’s sugar free, when it should actually say “made with sugar alcohol and still packed with fat”. Sure sugar alcohols are half the calories as sugar, but they are still calories, and many of the chocolate products are still high in fat. Erythritol, Hydrogenated starch hydrolysates, Isomalt, Lactitol, Maltitol, Mannitol, Sorbitol and Xylitol are all alcohol sugars. Bottom line – unless you are diabetic, just look at the calories – all ingredients will eventually be reflected there.
5. Who really uses 2 tablespoons of salad dressing on their salad? Restaurants typically give you two 2 ounce containers of dressing, yet a bottled dressing’s serving size is only 2 tablespoons – which won’t go very far on a dinner salad. My trick is to dilute it with water, but honestly people? Don’t you want the truth on the bottle, and for a company to actually show us what a REAL serving size is?
6. “Made with real fruit” doesn’t really mean made with real fruit. When “made with real fruit” is on the label, you picture workers mashing up berries and mixing it in to the food. No, instead, what it really means is that it has fruit concentrate in it – which the Dietary Guidelines for Americans considers just another form of sugar. This is very common in snacks for kids. Sugar is sugar, and calories are calories. Bottom line, if you want fruit – just eat fruit. You might as well call all the other fruit-like products candy.
7. I don’t care if you say you have “no trans fats”, you still have a lot of fat. This is another very irritating and misleading marketing tactic. Products scream “NO TRANS FAT”. Yet, they either have a ton of healthy fat, or they replace trans fat with saturated fat which is bad too. Although not all fats are created equal, some being healthier than others. They are all created equal when you are talking about calories and weight loss. 1 gram of trans fat, saturated fat, or unsaturated fat all have 9 calories in them (instead of 4 calories that are in 1gm of proteins and carbs). So, if it still has a lot of fat in it, it still has a lot of calories in it, maybe just slightly healthier calories.
9. “Light” and “Low Fat” can still mean heavy and fattening. Salad dressings, peanut butter and milk products (like cheese) are the worst! They say “Low-Fat” but they still have a ton of fat in them. The fact is, they can’t take too much fat out of certain products, so they do what they can and proudly display it. The problem is, they often replace those calories with sugar, and other ingredients, to make up for the flavor. Some of them are the same calories, just a few calories less, or even more calories. For example, low fat JIF peanut butter and regular JIF both have 190 calories in them. So, if they reduced the fat by 4 grams, the calories should have been reduced by 36 calories. So that means they replaced those calories with something, considering the carbs doubled and the sugar also increased. These are the things that make you go hmmmm.
10. Just give it to me straight! No one buys a 20 ounce drink to split between 2 1/2 people. Get real people! Coke, Pepsi, Gatorade, Welchs – PLEASE just tell us how many calories are in the entire bottle because that’s what I plan on drinking. It is ridiculous to split up the nutrition information so I have to multiple everything by 2.5. If something is an individual bottle or single use container, it’s label should have a single serving. Period!
- B -
What is YOUR label rant? Do Tell!
If you want to succeed, focus on results instead of your feelings. Feelings are inconsistent and unreliable. They mess with your head and they have nothing to do with getting you results. You may feel motivated from time to time – and if that’s the case, you’ll feel like working out time to time.
Of course we don’t allow our feelings to dictate other areas of our life. We go to work whether we feel like it or not. We pay our bills whether we want to or not. We set guidelines and make schedules based on what needs to be done – not necessarily what we WANT to do. If these principles apply to our job, money, marriage and laws, then why should the be in different with fitness?
Once you set your guidelines, commit and follow the plan, the results will come – and there’s nothing more motivating that experiencing results. Once you start to see the results, you’ll find more motivation to keep you going. But, until then, you have to look at diet and exercise like a job. You have to keep showing up if you want to get paid.
It’s Monday. It’s time to refocus & recommit. Instead of worrying about what you did or didn’t do last week, or whether you are motivated or not enough to do what you need to do this week, think about where you will be 4-6 weeks from now if you keep showing up and doing what has to be done. - B -
As a member of a gym, your biggest obstacle is just getting there. However, when you’re already home the biggest obstacle is just moving to another room and starting. Sounds simple enough. You don’t have to put your make up on (good news boys! ha!) and you don’t have to even change out of your PJs if you don’t want to. You don’t have to pack your gym bag and you don’t even have to put on your tennis shoes. So if it is that easy, why is it so hard?
People struggle because of all the same reasons. Packing a gym bag and getting ready for the gym is part of the process that gets us mentally prepared to train. So when working out just means closing the lap top and starting to sweat, the transition can be a struggle. A gym offers a certain type of atmosphere, along with people buzzing around, getting their pump on, which is very energizing. Yet, at home, the washer and dryer may be going, the phone is ringing, and kids are wanting your attention. There’s nobody inspiring you. Without hot girls and guys at the gym to look at, you can forget what fitness can do to your physique if you really stay disciplined. All in all, it can just plain suck.
With that said, there are still millions of people working out at home – or trying. While working out at home is not for everyone, it may be an important start, like Jenny Venn from Wyoming, who’s lost 70lbs on her own at home. Or a home gym maybe more convenient for those who’s office is at home like Christopher and Dawn Borders from Utah. Or, maybe you don’t workout at home, but you squeeze in a workout on your lunch break at work like Bradley Grinnen has done before. On the other hand, you may prefer to workout in a gym, but you travel a lot for work or you’re on facing a vacation like Nadine Armstrong or Robin Sullivan. For gym goers who’ve experienced great progress, a vacation is stressful unless you can find a way to turn your hotel room in to your gym while you’re out of town so they don’t feel like they are backsliding.
Whatever the case, there is a massive need for tips to help people get their workout in, where they are, with what they have. There’s an desperate need for motivation and encouragement. So, last night in our FitStudio tweet chat I asked the home gym pros – the people who’ve made working out at home a success. Here are their experiences and personal tips they shared with us last night through their tweets.
Q1: What did you do to prepare for your home routine?
Home Gym Pros Say Preparation is Key
@JenniBfit: I changed mu spare bedroom into a workout room! And devoted a certain time of day everyday to working out!
@cborders: A little homework to pick a program that will provide support and feedback.
@girlfromsocal: I dedicated a spare room as my workout studio & stocked it w/ equipment!
@happilymaintain: think about what i can use and plan. ex, on stairs, you can do hops, run, or bear crawl up. so many options!
@cborders Commit to a program! It’s SO important that you stick to it!
@jenvenn I created a dedicated space, set everything up so that it was easy access, and committed to a schedule.
Q2: What was your 1st week like – good & bad?
Home Gym Pros Say it was challenging, but rewarding.
@girlfromsocal: realizing week 1 of BCX that I wasn’t working hard enough (before the program)
@dawnborders: It was painful, but I felt like I accomplished something great
@cborders: I modified many of the exercises because of back issues and fitness level. As I continued, I was able to do the exercises
@dawnborders: Had knee pain, and #FitStudio experts Bonnie and Steve were able to tell me how to modify made a big difference
@cborders: I modified many of the exercises because of back issues and fitness level. As I continued, I was able to do more
@jenvenn The first week challenged me in ways I didn’t know we’re possible! By the end of the week I was empowered though!
Q3: How do you get psyched up for your home workouts?
Home Gym Pros say music is a must.
@jenvenn: music is key! I always had a playlist picked out the night before so that I had something to look forward to
@girlfromsocal Music! Since you don’t have a roon full of people, I have tons of playlists geared to various workouts:)
@happilymaintain best trick: PUMP UP THE MUSIC! when i do that, my family knows i’m either cleaning or getting my sweat on!
@jenlgiordano stay connected to other fitness people. We motivate each other
@boutdrz Online accountability is awesome & key! facebook groups, tweetchats, fitstudio forums…
@JenniBfit watched the videos!! Very motivational! Prepared a killer play list
Q4: What fitness tools do you have? What was your favorite?
Home Gym Pros say their workouts don’t require many tools, but they all had their favs.
@jenlgiordano Must admit my fab “tool” is my music
@cborders Over time, we have accumulated many fitness toys. Started with our body. So that is my favorite
@jenvenn My iPad. Made BCx videos easy to watch and was ultra portable when working with my bands and weights!
@happilymaintain: the floor! good 4 jump squats & suicides & etc. but my fave is punching bag. can do so many things with it!
@ChristysChomp: Agree, that music is a huge motivator! Keeps me going & distracted, esp during early morning workouts.
@CoachFitNick Music is my requirement when working out.
@girlfromsocal plyo box, bodylastics and kettle bells…best!
@ENERGYbits gotta say free weights and medicine balls. You can do SO much with them. Workouts are never boring
@ENERGYbits medicine balls are fun! especially if you have a workout partner
@boutdrz bands, some dumbells, and music. and outdoors.
Q5: What has been the key to your home fitness success?
Home Gym Pros say it’s all about accountability.
@cborders Surrounding myself with like minded friends on facebook, twitter etc. The more I talk about fitness the easier it is to be fit… and a little friendly competition between spouses never hurts!
@dawnborders accountability to other friends on line,support from #fitstudio with the pfeisters, and the will do get healthier
Kim Kirchherr: starting day with it. Workout in morning equals always time for it, home makes it easy that early.
@CoachFitNick #Accountability, The #DoBCx crew, and The Pfiesters.
@jenlgiordano Seeing the results and all of the positive feedback I am getting. Dropped 60 lbs so it has made a huge difference
Gene : my wife. hands down. she allows me the opportunity to work out, and encourages me to keep going!
Q6: A6 What is the hardest part of working out at home & how do you overcome it?
Home Gym Pros say they all have obstacles, but they’ve found ways around them.
@dawnborders no one to push me when I am ready to quit! Pictures of great bodies and written goals keeps me pushing, we all struggle got to see it to keep moving! It’s worthit!
@happilymaintain VARIETY is key to workouts at home. it not only makes it fun for you but also challenges the body so it won’t adapt!
@jenvenn: Pushing yourself past your own personal best! Telling yourself to WORK HARDER!
@happilymaintain:working w/ no equipment. there’s only so many body exercises u can do so i use water bottles,pillows,chairs,etc
@cborders pushing yourself can be challenging. But you have to! Compete with yourself to do more reps or more weight etc.
Q7: What is one tip you’d give newbies to help them succeed?
Home Gym Pros found success and so can you if you follow their lead.
@cborders: My #1 tip is to treat it like your job. You work out or you get fired! It IS THAT important.
@girlfromsocal Ihave found a great number of inspiring people on Pinterest. Great motivating phrases, pix, and community.
@jenvenn Set small weekly goals that culminate into huge changes. Yes! The pain & sacrafice is SOOO worth it!
@cborders: Blogging about your progress, sharing with friends family can help and motivate others too.
@JenniBfit throw away the scale! Take pics and measurements instead and stick with it!
@dawnborders: Dont give up keep at it! It will Hirt you will be sore KEEP GOING! …there is lots of support at @FitStudio
@UnnaturalMother: Keep at it, progress not perfection, get up when you stumble..
@jenlgiordano Each day try to do just 1 more until you rock that workout!
@jenvenn: Never focus on the climb – only on the view from the top!
GET IN ON THE ACTION:
Fitness is a lot of things to a lot of people. However, people can be so focused on the small stuff, they lose focus of all the right stuff. Some people get led astray by specific aspects of fitness that tickle their fancy in the moment. Others get turned off by the obsessed fitness freaks who treat fitness more like it’s a cult than a healthy lifestyle, shaping their bodies into something that looks more like a cartoon character than a picture of health. Then there are the people who really have never experienced fitness, so the only impression of fitness maybe a self-absorbed coworker mocking them at the office every day.
Fitness: Keep Your Eye on the Big Picture
It’s more than a trend.
Fitness is cool and everyone knows it. People don’t look at fat, lazy people and want to grow up to be that guy. They want to be the guy or girl they see running the beach in the morning or hitting the weights religiously in the gym every day. They want to be the celebrity in the tabloid shot leaving yoga or doing a quick workout while on vacation, like Matthew McConaughey from Magic Mike.
Fitness is cool, but we need to remember the impact it can make on people’s lives. People who live the fit lifestyle are leaders, whether we like it or not. People are watching us and we have the opportunity to use that cool-factor to encourage others to get healthy. We can ACT cool and turn people off, or we can BE cool and turn people on to fitness. Just think, you may be the only flesh-and-blood fit person someone comes in contact with. Are you going to attract them to fitness or make them run back to the couch and ice cream?
It’s more than a sport.
It’s not just one sport, fitness has a ton of sports and games. Bobybuilding, Figure competitions, Crossfit Games (#CROSSFITGNC), Marathons, Triathlons, Mud Runs, 5Ks, Power Lifting…you name it. Then there’s the competitive side outside of actual sporting events like the P90x Challenges, Biggest Loser contests at work, 90 day challenges, etc.
It can be easy to get so deep into the sport of it, you forgot why you started the whole fitness thing to begin with. Some people get so focused on the sport, they become judgmental toward others that don’t take their fitness to the competitive level they have chosen. Before you know it, someone can focus so much on their particular sport, they begin to neglect their actual health and let other areas of a healthy lifestyle slide.
Yes, it’s a sport, but it’s not just about winning and losing. We need to make sure we don’t get so caught up on our performance that we forget our improvements – and where we are headed.
It’s fixes more things than you think.
Although most people depend on fitness to fix their waistline, no one should expect fitness to be a quick fix – or just fix one specific problem. It fixes a lot of problems – and if you realize that, you will feel even more successful in your fitness journey than you would ever feel if your only concentrating on finding your six-pack.
Sure fitness can whip your body into shape, but it improves (and can completely fix) many ailments and physical issues like heart disease, obesity, cardiovascular health, diabetes, asthma, poor flexibility, body pain due to weak or tight muscles, and many other issues that can make life pretty miserable. Not only that, it helps our mood and is scientifically proven to drastically improve, and sometimes completely eliminate, depression.
Remember, there are no quick fixes, but there are REAL fixes – and fitness shouldn’t be about just fixing only one of them.
Fitness is a lot of things to a lot of people – what does fitness mean to you? - B -
1. Double Date with the Elliptical & an iPad. My favorite way to burn calories on the elliptical is watching my favorite shows on the ABC app or my Direct TV app. I actually save certain shows just for cardio so the shows are special and I only can watch them if I work for them.
2. Go group X. Some people love classes, others (like me) don’t. However, when it’s too hot outside to run, classes are a great alternative. We just have to step out of our comfort zone and try different classes until we find one we like. If you don’t like classes, most of the time you just haven’t found the right one for you. If you aren’t a member of a gym, get a short-term membership or trial for a chance to try classes before you commit to joining. The instructor, members, staff and schedule are all very important.
3. Plyo your butt off. When people think of cardio, they think of running, elliptical, spinning or doing classes. Most people are blank when thinking of other ways to burn calories on the living room floor. Beside jumping rope (which is about the most boring and grooling thing I’ve ever done), most people don’t have a list of go-to exercises they could do on the fly. However, there are TONS of exercises that will not only melt more fat than a morning run, but tone your up all over – and all it requires is a few feet of floor space and your body!
Working out while vacationing can be difficult. Whether it’s finding a gym or tracking a route to run, it’s just not always easy. However, if you bring your iPhone, iPad or laptop, you can whip out endless free workouts that require little to no fitness tools -and if you really want to burn some serious calories, they will have a lot of plyometric exercises in them.
Here are a few of our best BCx plyometric circuits that require little to no equipment and can be done in any hotel room. Click on the link, follow the directions, and watch the FitStudio video demonstrations and give each workout a try! Each workout will take anywhere from 3 minutes to 15 minutes. Do just one, or choose a few! Do them alone, or incorporate them with your weight routine.
1. Boot Camp Warmup - Cardio & Full Body Warm Up
2. Ten-four - Cardio/Full Body
3. Mountain Climber / Burpee Suicides - Cardio/Full
4. Old School - Cardio/Full Body
5. Dead Legs - Cardio/Lower Body
6. Bear Crawl Suicides - Cardio/Upper Body
7. SSS – Skater/squat/shuffle - Cardio/Glutes
8. Burnt 3 - Cardio/Upper Body (pull up bar required)
9. The Fire - Cardio/Full Body (pull up bar required)
10. The Bomb - Cardio/Full Body
Steve’s #FitFluential HIIT Workout For Road Warriors
#1 45 Seconds – Air Squats
#2 45 Seconds - Push Ups with Knees to Elbows
#3 45 Seconds - Burpees
#4 45 Seconds – Alternating Oblique Sit Ups
#5 1 Minute Rest
Repeat 4 Rounds for a fast and effective 20 minute workout!
The military says they are good enough to prepare soldiers for war. Athletic trainers use them to create champions. Olympians do them to bring home the gold. You and I do them because they work! I’m talking about plyometrics. They melt fat, sculpt muscle, and get your heart and lungs in the shape of their lives. There’s just nothing like it – and there is no better time to do them than when it’s just too hot to exercise outside.
10 Heart Pounding, Fat Melting, Body Toning, Exercises
The following exercise require no weights, no equipment & no gym – which means you have NO excuses. Click on the link, follow the directions, and watch FitStudio video demonstrations to learn each exercise.
Advanced: Do 5 of any of the above exercises for 45 seconds on and 15 seconds off, with 60 seconds rest after completing the 5 exercises and repeat 5 times for a 30 minute high-intensity sweat-your-butt-off workout.
Beginner: Do 5 of any of the above exercises for 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off, with 60 seconds rest after completing the 5 exercises and repeat 5 times for a 30 minute high-intensity sweat-your-butt-off workout.
Summer Shape Up Challenge:
Try this plyo lower-body workout, a part of the Designer Whey Summer Shape Up Challenge, with Steve Pfiester. Use a step, couch, ottoman, picnic bench or aerobic step for the killer plyo jumps. Try all the Summer Shape Up workouts, designed for you to do at home. The more workouts you try, the more chances you have to win killer prizes.
I am not an egg eater, but sometimes I crave salty meals instead of my traditional fresh fruit and Chobani yogurt breakfast. Here is what I made today and it was YUMMY!
Tablespoon of Wickles Pepper Relish
1/2 Teaspoon of Low-Fat Garden Vegetable Cream Cheese Spread
A Few Slices of Onion
1 Sweet Peppers
1 La Tortilla Low-Carb (High-Protein) Wrap
Top with a Dollop of Chobani Yogurt
Add some jalapenos to spice it up even more!
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring! Spice up your meals for more exciting healthy eating!