Author Archives: Bonnie Pfiester
The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Built with Chocolate Milk.
When you think of maple syrup, you probably think “PANCAKES”! A beautiful stack of buttermilk pancakes with warm golden brown maple syrup poured over melting butter, ready to be washed down with a glass of cold milk. At least that’s what I think of! However, there is a lot more to maple syrup than you think – and I think you’ll be very surprised to read what I have to share!
First surprise: 80% of the world’s maple syrup comes from Canada. If you want real maple syrup you need to make sure it is Canadian Maple syrup, which is unprocessed and 100% natural.
Second surprise: Did you know most leading pancake syrup brands do not even have maple syrup in their syrup? How crazy is THAT? They rely on high fructose corn syrup (which isn’t as healthy and has more calories than Canadian Maple Syrup). When I heard this, I had to go check it out for myself. (watch the video)
Third Surprise: Canadian Maple Syrup has fewer calories than honey (and a LOT more flavor too!). This is funny to me because I prefer maple syrup over honey in many recipes (like oatmeal and mashed sweet potatoes), but figured it was higher in calories. Maybe it’s because it’s called “syrup” and I just think high calories when I think syrup. Ironically, I found I use less syrup than honey because it has more flavor!
Fourth Surprise: Canadian Maple Syrup is high in anti-oxidants – and the darker the grade of syrup the higher in anti-oxidants it is. Check out the difference between Canadian Maple Syrup and other sweeteners.
Canadian Maple Syrup Versus Popular Sweeteners
Pre-Workout Protein Rice Pudding
I found this great pre-workout rice pudding, and I decided to tweak it to make it a little lower in calories and higher in protein. So, I put my thinking cap on and went mad-scientist in the kitchen. I replaced the flour with protein powder and the condensed milk with fat free milk. I reduced the amount of maple syrup (because I’m trying to make the yummy stuff last!!) and I topped it with a sprinkle of cinnamon and granola. Then I tested it out on my house guests. …and the verdict was “Wow! That is really good. Can I have a bowl?” So, I would say it was a success!!
3 cups cooked rice
2 cups fat free milk
1/4 cup greek yogurt
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1/2 cup Canadian Maple Syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
Combine all the ingredients, minus the greek yogurt and protein powder, in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Once it begins to boil, mix in the yogurt and protein powder, reducing heat while mixing. Remove from heat and let it stand to thicken. Serve cold or hot. Makes 4 servings. 314 calories per serving.
Cooking With Maple Syrup
“I tried every diet in the book. I tried some that weren’t in the book. I tried eating the book. It tasted better than most of the diets.” Dolly Parton
When I think of Dolly’s quote I think of how my mother also tried every diet in the book before she finally lost her weight. I know she must have felt like she spent her entire life dieting. The truth is she just made a few common mistakes that just continued to prolong her results – and it happens to so many people. That’s why so many American live their all their life dieting.
10 Tips to Break the ‘Never-ending Diet’ Cycle:
- Avoid diet hopping. Some people never stick to a diet long enough to get results before they hop on the next diet that comes their way. If you chose a diet plan, stick to it.
- Never attempt an unrealistic diet. I can’t help but think of the Cabbage Soup Diet, which I was on for all of four very long days. A successful diet is one you can stick with for the long haul.
- Don’t rely on the quick fix. We all know better, but our patience often gets the best of us. Don’t give in to weight loss gimmicks. A quick fix is just a temporary fix and only postpones the inevitable.
- Be realistic. If you are on a mild diet and exercise plan, expect mild results. The more intense the program, the faster the results. Be realistic when setting and working toward your goal.
- Be honest with yourself. People seem quick to recall all the healthy low-calorie foods they eat but get amnesia when it comes to unhealthy choices. The scale will tell on you so, in all actuality, you aren’t fooling anyone but your self.
- What you don’t know can hurt you. I find most people who have failed on their diet have been guessing their way through it all. Other people just don’t want to know the truth. I can’t tell you how many times my husband has taken a bite of something and as soon as I begin to read off the calories he plugs his ears saying “lalalalalalalala, I don’t want to know, lalalalalala”! The fact is the calories are there whether we know it or not.
- If you aren’t dieting, you should be maintaining. Even if you lose the weight, you still have to be accountable for what you eat in order to maintain your new size. Many people who hit their goal end up right back where they started because they went back to eating poorly.
- The “Weekday Diet” doesn’t always work. Many people diet all week, only to erase their hard work each weekend with poor food choices. Although this may work while in maintenance, this diet faux pas is what makes people feel like they are dieting all the time and never reaping the reward.
- Never underestimate the power of the calorie. Weight loss boils down to one thing – calories in vs. calories out. You can’t expect results if you are not sure how many calories you are eating.
- Commit to dieting the right way. A lack of commitment just prolongs the amount of time it will take to get results. You can live on a yo-yo diet for the rest of your life and get mediocre results, or you can commit to working hard for a while and live the rest of your life enjoying your results.
So many people don’t understand what Fat Burners really do. Are they diet pills? Do they work? How do they make you feel? Will it help you lose weight? How fast should you see results? When is it best to take them? These are many of the questions we get about Thermogenics (AKA Fat Burners).
First, watch this quick video, where Steve explains what thermogenics actually are – and what they do.
Now, to answer some of those questions.
Are they diet pills?
Do they work?
Yes, but not if you are depending on a fat burner alone. Fat burners can give you the edge you need to be more apt to move, exercise and stay active. It will increase calorie burn, but you have to understand how easy it is to erase those calories with poor food choices. Let’s say, for example sake, you burn 200 extra calories a day when on a fat burner. You could erase those calories easily with a big gulp coke or an extra snack. For this reason, fat burners work best when you combine it with exercise and diet.
How do they make you feel?
Some fat burners make you feel like you’ve had 10 cups of coffee. The old school fat burners that had ephedra in it really freaked people out. However, I think most fat burners today are more mild feeling in comparison to the Ephedra, caffeine and aspirin variations. People may complain about feeling anxious and jittery on some fat burners. Since I have heart palpitations, I have to watch out for fat burners that get my heart racing. ThermoHeat doesn’t make me feel that way at all. It makes me feel focused and more apt to stay moving, but I don’t feel like I’m on speed or anything. Basically, the answer to this question is “it depends”. Every fat burner is different.
Yes. If you are burning more calories than you are consuming, you will lose weight. The key to success is to make the most of the fat-burning opportunity. Exercise when you are feeling energized and avoid replacing calories with poor food choices. However, if you aren’t going to track calories or even try to be in a caloric deficit, you probably will not get the results you want.
How fast should you see results?
How fast you get results depends on how dedicated you are to your weight loss goals. First, you need to know that you should feel results right away. You should feel more energized and more focused pretty quickly. This should help you WANT to workout and stay more active, which can often be an issue for many people. People lack the motivation or the energy to workout. BUT, if you don’t workout and you refuse to be more active, you aren’t going to get all the goody out of your fat burner. If you are taking ThermoHeat, you should also not feel as hungry, which can help with controlling your appetite. So, in many ways, you should be getting results almost immediately. However, if you are talking about seeing results on the scale, that’s a different story. The results you get are dependent on consistency and accuracy. Staying consistent with eating low-calorie foods and exercising will get you faster results. Accurately tracking calories burned and calories consumed will help you get the best results. But if you plan on just guessing your way through the day, I can only guess your results (and I would guess they won’t be what you want).
When is it best to take them?
Personally, I like taking Fat Burners to help give me an edge when I’m taking my training or dieting up a notch. I only take them for a season, and then I go off for a while. For example, I took ThermoHeat to help me prepare for my competition. It REALLY helped me get my 3 workouts in a day (2 cardios and 1 weight training workout) when I was extra low on calories. I honestly don’t think I would have had the oomph to do it without it. It’s also great for people who are starting a workout and diet plan. It can give people the mental and physical boost they need to get in a routine. It also will help increase energy when people would typically experience a loss of energy from just starting a diet and exercise program.
Before I close, let me be super clear. If you want to lose weight, the first thing you need to focus on is diet. You need to learn to track calories and stick to a caloric budget (I like using the LoseIt app for this). Second, you need to get in a good exercise routine. It doesn’t have to be an intense workout everyday, but a consistent workout routine you can stick to. Third, once you are willing to commit to eating right and exercising, THEN you can add supplements to the equation, like protein, creatine, fat burners, etc. Sadly, people often do the exact opposite, because making a protein shake or popping a pill is a lot easier than committing to a lifestyle change. You should never rely on supplements – they are only to SUPPLEMENT what you are missing and enhance what you are already doing. They are the icing on the low-cal cake! As long as you understand that, you are golden. Are they effective? Heck yeah, when they are used correctly! As long as you realize there is no protein shake or fat burner alone that will get you ripped like you see in the ads. Will they help? Absolutely! But, if you want results, you will be required to work for it. But I do promise you it will be SO worth it!!!
CLICK HERE to learn more about the fat burner we take, ThermoHeat.
If you are looking for some new unique fitness wear that is high quality and a great flattering cut, you need to check out TLF Apparel. I just discovered them a couple of months ago and I am so impressed with their clothing line.
MY OUTFIT FOR OCTOBER
My latest outfit, in “Hot Coral” (which is a cool orange color), is a winner! I love the cut of the bra top, which is high enough in front that is shows up under most tank tops. This makes it easy and fun to layer clothing to add color and style to any outfit – even my work uniform top (which is my Max tank top here).
Hot Coral is the name of this color. It’s not pumpkin orange, but it’s definitely orange (and orangier than it appears in this pic). It’s a cool orange with a hint of coral in it. However, it seems to match all my clothes that have electric orange or coral accents. The vibrant color really brightenes up other solids, like black, grey and white. “Hot coral” is great for fall, but bright enough to go all year long. LOVE IT!
BETTER WITH BLING
Both pieces have a really pretty blinged logo which adds a bit of class and “prettiness” to each pice.
If you like ORANGE, then here are some TLF pieces I loved…
Casual comfy layer that keeps you cool with this “air-conditioning back”. Love this!
This first grey tank with the orange logo is the tank I got to layer over my orange outfit. It’s a great fit and has a little “dressier” feel than the above tank. This is a great outfit for people who like to look sharp (perfect for trainers and fitness professionals). The Infi-Dry fabric keeps you from looking like a wet rat after a hard workout – and dries fast too.
Coupon Code 20% Entire Store: 20TLF002
FOLLOW THEM ON Instagram 2: @TLFapparel
FOLLOW US ON Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TLF.Apparel
TLF HASHTAG: #TrainLikeaFreak
The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Built with Thermo Heat.
Here’s one of our latest leg workouts, designed to burn fat, strengthen and sculpt!
Turn Up The Heat Fat Burning Leg Written Workout
15 Leg Press
15 Squat Jumps
X3 (with little to no rest)
15 Leg Extensions
15 Double Unders
X3 (with little to no rest)
What is ThermoHeat?
ThermoHeat is a new thermogenic (fat burner) that’s out. Steve explains what thermogenics are, how they work, and what Thermo Heat does.
Losing weight can be very challenging, especially if you aren’t prepared for trials along the way. Since everyone experiences trials and failure on the road to success, the best way to conquer them is to be ready for them. Luckily, most people struggle with the same challenges. Here are 5 of the 10 common stumbling blocks I shared in an article for Answers.com. Click HERE to read all 10 at Answers.com.
You can’t fix a problem you haven’t admitted to. This is why admitting your problem is the first step in addiction groups. If you can’t be honest with yourself, you can never overcome the problem you aren’t willing to admit you have.
2. Lack of support
If you had an alcohol problem, your loved ones wouldn’t keep alcohol around. However, people don’t think about having a weight problem as having a food problem. If you suffer from obesity, you likely have self-control issues with food and need more support. If you want success, share your concerns with your family and friends. Be honest with your loved ones about your weaknesses. Explain how much you need their support and protection against temptation. The more your family can understand your needs, the easier the process will be for you.
With everyone’s crazy schedules, you shouldn’t be surprised when fatigue strikes. Instead, you should expect the temptation to skip your workout. As soon as that thought crosses your mind, remember how energized your body feels after a workout. The same way laziness breeds more laziness, staying moving helps you keep moving. The best way to get energized is to get moving.
The easiest way to conquer temptation is to avoid it. It is difficult to eat junk food if there is no junk food around. Sadly, many people start a diet plan with all kinds of unhealthy foods still in the pantry. Even worse, many people continue restock the pantry with foods that aren’t on their diet. Even if your family is not overweight, junk food is unhealthy food and should be replaced with healthier options. Purge your kitchen of anything that would be a temptation for you. If it’s out of sight, it is easier for it to be out of mind.
People make mistakes. It’s easy to miscalculate calories, cheat on your diet and skip workouts from time to time. Regrettably, you can let one small slip keep you down if you aren’t careful. The best thing you can do is forgive yourself and plan your comeback. As the silent film actress, Mary Pickford, says “If you have made mistakes, even serious mistakes, you may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call “failure” is not the falling down, but the staying down.” Failure is almost inevitable, so expect to fail along the way. Your weight loss success will be determined on how fast you recover from each fall….READ MORE
The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Built with Chocolate Milk.
They DID IT!! Apolo & Jen with Team Chocolate Milk finished the IRONMAN! I had the privilege of interviewing Gold Medalist, Apolo Ohno, and the Fitness Director at Women’s Health Magazine, Jen Ator, before their incredible IRONMAN experience. But first, here is the last video footage before the race…
Q. Of course your training has to be very different, what do you love most about the new training program – and what do you like least?
A. I love the intensity of IRONMAN training, but I have not enjoyed training for the run so much. I’m not exactly a runner!
Q. One of the biggest questions people have when training for an endurance sport is what to eat before the event. What is your favorite pre-workout fuel(food)?
Q. People often talk about carb-loading before a distance sport, what is your meal plan, or key foods, you will rely on to prepare you for the IRONMAN days and hours prior to competing?
A. For dinner the night before I’ll have fish and salad or vegetables. I’ll get my carbs in throughout the day, but I won’t eat them at night.
Q. After doing Dancing with the Stars, which relies heavily on the musical backdrop, what was your first thought when you were told the IRONMAN didn’t allow music or any electronic devices during the event? And do you have any tricks to keep your mind off the pain?
A. I always train with music, so it’ll be tough without it on Saturday. Especially the bike – that’s the longest hardest part – but no doubt there will be so many people on the course to talk to for distraction!
Jen Ator: fresh out of ACL surgery 20-something year old Jen Ator’s was thirsty for a life-changing challenge. Through her “day job” is Fitness Director at Women’s Health Magazine she learned about IRONMAN and wondered if she had it in her to compete. Just a regular girl, competing on the world’s stage…she’s one motivating, inspiring athlete!
Q. Out of all the training you’ve done over the years, and for this event, what is your favorite type of training – running, cycling, swimming, weight training, yoga…?
A. I used to be a lacrosse player and have also done a lot of weight training in the past. For this, I’ve really enjoyed getting outside on the bike and running around Manhattan (West Side Hwy and Central Park, specifically).
Q. Since most women are interested in shaping their physique or controlling their weight with exercise, how has training for the IRONMAN affected your weight or physique?
A. I’ve gained weight because I’ve built so much muscle, but I’m a little more toned that I was before, that’s for sure!
More Articles Sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Chocolate Milk.
The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Built with Chocolate Milk.
On October 11th, over 2,000 athletes will embark on a 140.6-mile journey that presents the ultimate test of body, mind and spirit to earn the title of IRONMAN – and one of those athletes isn’t known for his endurance abilities. He’s actually known for his short-distance power and speed.
Gold Medalist Olympic Speed Skater Apolo Ohno, is retraining his body for a totally different sport – to compete in the IRONMAN world championship with Team CHOCOLATE MILK. Apolo is in the best hands though, being coached by eight-time IRONMAN World Champion Paula Newby-Fraser and three-time IRONMAN World Champion Craig Alexander. One may think that training is the main focus this close to a race, but really training is useless without equal focus on recovery.
You can see, in this video (below), recovery is the main topic this close to Kona. Ice baths, foam rollers and good communication with their trainer are essential for getting through this kind of training – and that applies to us too. We can’t expect to spend all our energy breaking down the muscle, burning tons of calories, pounding the pavement (and our joints) and expect our body to just take it, day in and day out. We HAVE to give our body what it needs to recover.
That’s why Chocolate Milk is so involved in this sport – because they are truly the perfect recovery drink. They believe in recovery and repair, and you should too.
7 Fit Tips for Optimal Recovery
1. Refuel your body within 30-45 minutes after your workout. There is a short window to effectively refuel your body. Consuming the right post-workout fuel during this time can restore glycogen stores (which fuels your muscle for your next workout), as well as carries protein into the muscle for optimal repair and recovery.
2. Choose your post-workout fuel well. Post-recovery time is not the time for peanut butter in a shake or a fatty meal. It’s time for carbs and protein. That’s why chocolate milk is a good recovery drink. Believe it or not, it has the perfect carb-to-protein ratio for refueling exhausted muscle.
3. Reduce inflammation. Ice and anti-inflammatories are an important part of pain management and injury prevention. Reducing and preventing inflammation early is crucial to preventing bigger issues. Even if you have a small twinge, it’s always best to tackle it before it can end up being an full-blown injury. Injuries, muscle spasms and fatigued joints or muscles should be iced for 15-20 minutes at a time, letting the body completely warm back up between icing (an hour between icing is a safe bet). Ice as often as you can, not just when you are in the most pain.
4. Re-hydrate. With intense exercise, comes intense sweating. Your body needs fluids for all functions, including nutrition uptake and muscle repair. Drink at least 3 cups (24 ounces) of fluid per pound of water lost during exercise. If your urine is not clear or pale yellow, you need to drink more water.
5. Get Good Nutrition. It is super important for athletes to get the right food, vitamins and supplements. Each vitamin and mineral has a purpose – from strengthening your bones to protecting your body from toxins. In addition, healthy nutrition will help you keep your energy up and prevent you from getting sick. Moreover, you are only as good as your nutrition. If you want to perform well, you’ll need to eat well, as protein, fats and carbohydrates work together to restore glycogen, provide you with energy and repair valuable muscle.
6. Get Treatment as Needed. Massage, foam rolling, stretching, chiropractic care and medicinal care are all important modalities in athletic training. Knowing what your body needs may take some research, as well as some professional guidance – but I think you are worth it!
7. Rest. Fitness and training can be addicting. It can also mess with your head in a big way if you let it. Your body can be screaming “STOP! I NEED REST!” but your mind says “I’m have to train. I’m not ready”. This is when you have to realize how important rest is. You have to protect your body and give it time to heal and recover. You can’t look at rest as being “off”. Rest is actually part of your training program. It’s a requirement for success.
Words of Wisdom from Apolo’s Trainer
“…their future will depend on their choice at that moment.” 8X IRONMAN Champ.
Q – What’s been your lotto or mantra that’s kept you going?
A – You can’t live your life with plans and hopes and dreams but you live your life as it presents itself. I try not to complain about the situation but embrace what’s happening and life as a gift. I fully submerge myself in the experiences I get every day. I don’t live on hope.
Q – What do you tell athletes who are on the verge of giving up to keep them going?
A – I simply tell them they have a choice on how to handle the moment. I encourage them to realize that they have a choice and their future will depend on their choice at that moment, so choose to adapt. You don’t have to give up. When you’re somewhere you can’t be, make the decision to get there mentally. Giving up is a necessity in dire circumstances.
I love it! “Giving up is a necessity in DIRE circumstances. How often do we give up due to a little discomfort or inconvenience. We should act like a champ and do all we can to stay in the game, as our life depended on it. Wait! Our life DOES depend on it. Our body needs us to stick with fitness. It needs us to be relentless with our efforts to be the best version of ourself possible. Giving up should only happen when we have absolutely no other choice. Thank you Paula for such wise encouraging words!! Now, let’s go #BuildIt !! Go TEAM CHOCOLATE MILK!! GO APOLO OHNO!
LOVE THIS ARTICLE FROM IRONMAN: 6 Portable Protein Meals
I put together a 4-week training program from our BCx shows on LiveExercise shows for all my Pfit friends out there. Each workout is only 30-45 minutes long and can be done at home or a gym. All you have to do is Join LiveExercise (it’s only $7.99/month! – and if you aren’t sure about joining, you can get 2 Weeks FREE!). Once you do that, you can bookmark this page and click on the links (below) to go to the exact workouts you need to do. You’ll see me suffer through the workout, and you’ll enjoy the entertaining jokes (I didn’t say they were good ones, just entertaining ones! lol). I think you’ll have a LOT of fun – plus you’ll get a crazy good workout!!
About the 4-Week Program
This workout is a full body conditioning workout – for both guys and girls. The main purpose of this workout is to tone muscle AND burn fat in one single short workout. We use all kinds of training methods – kettlebells, dumbbells, plyo boxes, barbells. Yet, we show modifications for you in case you are limited on tools. You’ll learn proper form, you’ll sweat like a pig and you’ll have fun doing it too!
Suggested Training Schedule:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, with extra cardio or optional heavy lifting (if you are doing this in addition to weight training) on your BCx off days. Guys can typically do Chest on Monday in addition to workout #1 since most of those days focus on lower body.
Use light weights if you want to tone, or if you are a beginner. Use moderate weight to tone and increase intensity (and burn more calories). Use heavy weights if you want to build muscle, improve strength and stamina, as well as burn a whole lot of calories.
Weigh in every Monday. Our gym gives Live Exercise members a discount on the inBody composition machine. You can use a standard scale if you don’t have access to a body composition machine.
Do all the workouts in the gym, or with friends, if you can. Why? Because you are less likely to stop, cheat or slack off when people are around. Going to the gym and working out with friends helps prevent distractions, as well as offers all the tools you need to get the best workout possible. While you can do these at home alone, you will probably perform better in a gym setting or with a buddy.
Before you start: Take a before photo against a white background for safe keeping. You should ALWAYS have a before photo, because you may shock yourself on just how much you can transform your body! Also, do measurements, measuring your waist, thigh, arm and chest. Now you’re ready to get started!
Online Video Training for only $7.99:
Now you can workout with me on LiveExercise, no matter where you live, for only $7.99/month. Not sure you’ll like it? Try it for 2 weeks FREE!
• The person who needs direction.
• The person who needs to be pushed harder.
• The person who would like to ramp up their existing workout.
• The person who can’t afford boot camp or personal training.
• The person who wants to learn more exercises and training methods.
• OK, basically anyone!! We teach modifications for exercises so that anyone can do these workouts – even if you are overweight or have an injury.
Get Started Now:
2. Bookmark this page to view the workout schedule. Pull it up from your mobile device.
3. Get familiar with the tools used. BCx uses kettlebells, dumbbells, barbells, bodylastic bands, plyo box and a bench. Every workout will give you suggestions in case you don’t have the tool we are using (so no excuses!!).
4. Get Started! Follow the workout program from your mobile device, computer or TV (we are on Samsung TV and Roku!!)
4-Week Fat Burning Workout
(Do one extra cardio or class this week)
Workout #1 – BCX, Ep. 31, Conditioning/Lower Body Focus -
Workout #2 – BCX, Ep. 34, Crazy Hard Core & Shoulder Workout
Workout #3 – BCX Ep. 49, Blitz Cardio
(Do two extra cardios or classes this week)
Workout #1 – BCX, Ep. 36, Legs/Glutes/Abs
Workout #2 – BCX Ep. 41, Butt And Shoulder Interval Workout
Workout #3 - BCX Ep. 39, Full Body Intense Cardio And Conditioning
(Do two-three extra cardios, totaling 9 miles, or two high-intensity cardio classes this week)
Workout #1 – BCX, Ep. 36, Legs/Glutes/Abs
Workout #2 – BCX Ep. 44, Cardio Back And Core Workout
Workout #3 – BCX, Ep. 25, Full Body AMRAP
(Do two extra cardios, totaling 9 miles, or two high-intensity cardio classes this week plus one long run or walk.)
Workout #1 – BCx Ep. 24 Legs, Glutes & Conditioning
Workout #2 – BCX Ep. 45, Full Body Multifunctional Workout
Workout #3 – BCX Ep. 40, Full Body Cardio And Core Suicide
One of the things I hear a lot after someone has lost a lot of weight is that someone gained all their weight back. It’s a big fear for most people. They join a boot camp or do a competition and they reach all their goals, and a few months later they are right back to where they started – or worse.
While, in our gym, there are more people that keep it off than people who gain it back, it happens – and I sure didn’t want that to happen to me after my competition so I sat down with Steve and we made very specific rules. Here are the parameters I plan to put in my life to help me maintain my weight during our “off season”.
Whether you are in between trainers, boot camps or competitions, you can apply these same rules to your own life to make fitness a lifestyle instead of a phase, and make your new goal weight your new normal weight.
5 Tips to Maintaining Your Weight
1. Decide on your new ideal weight. If you haven’t reached your goal yet, your ideal weight will be a lower weight. If you have reached your goal, your ideal maintenance weight should be your new weight (unless you’ve just competed and dehydrated – then your weight should probably be 5-7lbs heavier than your stage weight). This weight is what determines whether you should be dieting (eating fewer calories than you are burning) or maintaining (eating the same amount of calories than your burning).
At 5’9″, my ideal weight used to be 144 for me. If I started rising above 144 (my NO! STOP weight was 148), I would diet back down and get my weight back into control. Now, my new normal weight is 136. After the show I stayed in the high 130s and hit 140 and I immediately jumped right back on my diet until it went back down. Today, I weighed 135 today. I will continue to weigh in to keep me accountable.
2. Set a new goal. Whether this is a race, a bikini or bodybuilding competition, a weight loss contest, a cruise or a photo shoot, you must put some kind of goal into place. Goals give your training purpose, and make it easier to say no to high-calorie foods and the temptation to skip a workout. My goal is to come into January at a specific body fat percentage, muscle weight and fat weight. I want to know I am starting my diet ahead of where I started it last time. I also want my skin to stay tight and continue tightening up. I can’t do that if my weight fluctuates too much, so my goal is to avoid weight gain so I can improve my skin texture. Plus, I just feel a million times better in all my clothes!
3. Make a recovery plan. What do you do if you bounce a check or max out a credit card? Do you keep spending what you can’t afford? No. You start making a plan to pay it off and get back in the black. The same goes for dieting. As soon as you go over budget, you have to start paying it off because you can’t afford to eat that much anymore. This is when you step up your cardio (work off your past debt) and reduce your caloric budget (learn to be more frugal with your calories). This is just checks and balances – but you have to make a plan ahead of time. As soon as you get back to your ideal weight, you can afford to have a cheat meal, you can afford to skip a workout. But, until then, you have to stay disciplined and get your body back in control.
4. Cheats are treats. What I mean is, cheat meals should be a treat, not a habit. There are certain things Steve and I decided we would not buy and bring into our home. This forces us to go out and get it if we want it (which requires more planning and reduces the chance of impulse eating). For instance, we will not buy ice cream. If we want ice cream, we’ll make a date out of it – but I’m not going to have something that available to me. Same goes with chips and other high-calorie snack foods. As soon as I bring them into the house, they can work their way into our daily lives. Then it becomes a unhealthy eating habit. We will continue to have limits on how much we eat out and how much we “treat” ourself. And, we will continue to cook healthy, low-calorie meals and have low-calorie snacks at home.
5. You’re never “off”. One of the biggest mistakes people make is doing a boot camp or competition and then taking “off”. They work hard for 3 month and then they stop completely. You should never be “off” – you are either in weight loss mode or maintenance mode. While a competitor can gain a little weight in off season while they try to build muscle, the more fat they gain, the harder they have to work to get it off when they are in season. Why not try to keep your fat under control so you start your season ahead of where you started it last time.
Stop right now and make a plan of how you plan to control your weight over the holidays so you don’t start 2015 behind where you are right now. If you fail to plan, then plan to fail. Planning is key to success!