You Can’t Out Train a Bad Diet

You Can’t Out Train a Bad Diet

fastfoodandtrainingIt’s a common mentality for many to think that when trying to lose weight that the answer lies in an effective exercise program. The body transforming benefits of exercise, quickly diminish when your nutrition is even slightly less than ideal.

People will begin to exercise with the best of intentions, including improved nutritional habits. The idea of “eating clean” allows them to eliminate the bad things they’re currently consuming; they may eliminate some processed food, sugar, caffeine, saturated fat and so on. Unfortunately most of these things taste good and consuming them results in a positive feeling. At the same time their new exercise program begins to stimulate the metabolism causing them to be hungry more often (generally a positive sign) leading to eating more often (also positive). The problem lies in the relationship of proteins, carbs, and fats. Each time you begin a new nutritional program this ratio of nutrient consumption changes. Even if you know and understand your ideal ratio and how to monitor it at first changing these habits will be met with physical and psychological resistance, usually in the form of cravings.

Cravings are never positive, that is until you satisfy them leading to guilt, many people find reasons to dislike their new nutritional habits or find their mood deteriorating as they subconsciously push themselves to incorporating some or all of the old habits. Essentially this is a detoxification period, much like a drug or alcohol; food exudes very powerful habit forming effects. Our own form of psychology begins to go to work validating why it’s ok to slide on our new habits. We justify that, “we can work out a little longer to compensate for having ______.” This validation comes from the generalized approach of calories in versus calories out made popular by many mainstream weight loss. Unfortunately in the simplest form burning more calories than you consume is completely logical, and with a severe enough restriction it’s likely you will lose weight: 1) You are literally starving your body and 2) (oversimplified) food consumed enters cells and brings water with it, less food, less water. The down side to this is it’s like trying to complete an algebra problem with only addition and subtraction. What isn’t considered in the calories in versus calories out philosophy is that when you restrict calories your body also restricts many metabolic functions. Less water in the cells means less nutrients leading to decreased strength, performance, an increased chance of injury and a suppressed immune system. Oh and there is one more thing, a much higher chance of rebound weight gain.

The answer is absolute consistency with nutrition; in fact we strongly encourage our new clients to weigh and measure their food and consume the same nutrient ratio for the first 10-14 days of any new fitness program. The statistics are staggering, those that do have nearly a 100% success rate and find their lives run smoother, their much happier, have more energy, and are more productive while their body begins to change. Those that don’t are 5 times more likely not to reach their goal. When starting a new exercise and nutritional program your chances of success are higher with the help of an expert, everyone is different there is no absolutely right place for everyone to start. When it comes to nutrition if you’d like to learn on your own a good book suggestion is The Metabolic Typing Diet by William Wolcott as a place to start.

Dealing With Headaches, Naturally and Permanently

Dealing With Headaches, Naturally and Permanently

photo-2If you’ve ever had a headache you know they can range from uncomfortable to debilitating. If you are someone who experiences headaches on a regular basis here are a couple of very common causes and a natural solution for immediate relief.

Dehydration – Losing only 2% of your total body water can have a marked impact on your ability to perform, live or concentrate. One of the most notable symptoms of dehydration is a headache. Eight glasses of water per day is not enough for anyone active or living in our temperate climate. Aim for 12-16 glasses per day to eliminate headaches caused by dehydration.

Postural Deficiency – There’s no such thing as perfect posture. Your posture will develop and continually change throughout life based on your day to day activities. Over time gravity works hard to pull us closer to the ground, the most prevalent posture is head forward posture. You’ll recognize this posture instantly all around you by noting when someone’s ear resides forward of the bone on the top of their shoulder when viewed from the side. Headaches are common with this type of posture as the weight of the head pulls continually against the now stretched and weakened muscles of the back of the neck and upper shoulder girth. Unfortunately there is no quick fix, as fitness professionals we spend more time helping people overcome the effects of this type of posture than anything else. The good news is with a qualified fitness professional headaches related to posture can be reduced and eliminated most commonly in a few weeks to a few months.

Now if you are experiencing a headache and agree that there are long term risks associated with common pain medications here is a natural alternative for you. Try applying a quality, therapeutic grade peppermint oil to your forehead and temples. Peppermint (also great for indigestion and IBS) can often relieve or eliminate the discomfort of a headache in minutes when applied in this manner. I’m out of space see you next month.

Losing Weight Shouldn’t Force You to Be Someone Else

Losing Weight Shouldn’t Force You to Be Someone Else

Screen Shot 2014-02-28 at 7.32.10 PMThe multi-billion dollar weight loss industry continues to grow and it continues to fail. Thousands of people who successfully lose weight wind up gaining most, all or even more back after using many mainstream weight loss programs. If you asked me why I thought that was I’d explain, as I do to many of my clients, that I believe it’s because mainstream weight loss programs insist that you must be different than you are and it’s not realistic to completely change your life. What if you didn’t have to?

Whether you use this program or that program you will need to adapt to the guidelines. Many programs try to make it convenient by using pre-packaged meals or supplement products so you don’t have to think, you just do. This is very appealing to our sense of instant gratification, but it’s there in that lies the problem. Our nose for instant gratification and immediate results forces us to “miss the forest for the trees” so to speak.

In the past few weeks statistically the majority of New Year’s resolutions were abandoned, the common reason being, “my willpower ran out.” This is the ugly head our demon of instant gratification and our misguided sense of consumerism providing justification to our goals gone wrong.

The simple truth is we’re dealing with an education and behavioral issue, let’s face it even before you could speak your first word you were already establishing this pattern. It goes against human nature for anyone to do something they don’t like or enjoy for an extended period of time.

If you have a weight loss goal you have some lifestyle habits that have lead you to where you are. I love cheeseburgers, I love potato chips, I love oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, it’s not practical to say that I am going to give up any of these things for the rest of my life, and you shouldn’t give up whatever you love either.

Instead I aim to better understand my own body and educate others about the mathematical side of how their bodies change. If you begin to acknowledge all foods (good or bad) for what they are which is a fuel source you can then begin to learn about the correct mixture of fuel for your body. Unfortunately everyone is different so finding just the right mixture for your body may take time but the good news is with the help of someone like a fitness expert you can get in the ball park almost immediately and still enjoy that lovely lasagna you’re making for the rest of your family guilt free.

It is about portion control, but it isn’t, it is about how many calories you eat in a day, but it isn’t. But most importantly it is about everything in moderation, whatever it is that you love you don’t have to give up, you may need to modify it’s frequency or volume but if you are willing to take the time to understand your body there is nothing you can’t enjoy, after all the whole reason to eat balanced and workout is to enjoy the times you don’t. Visit for dozens of articles that will explain this concept further and help you reach your goals.

Always here to help,


Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency - Are You Falling Victim?

Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency – Are You Falling Victim?

vitamin?In the world of supplements, the multivitamin is arguably the most important aspect to maintaining a healthy dietary intake and ensuring overall health. One should always consider not just the quantity of such a vitamin they are ingesting, but rather the quality of nutrients they are putting in their body. It is not common knowledge that all multivitamins are not created equal, and chances are if you scored a great deal on a giant bottle full of pills at a local market, you also scored yourself some false hope! So what do you look for? Rather, what are some common signs that you could be falling victim too if your multivitamin is just not up to snuff?!?

  1. Lack of Exercise Recovery – chances are if you are feeding your body ample proteins and whole grain carbohydrates, resting enough, and leading an active lifestyle, you should be leading a pain free lifestyle, right? If you are low in certain vitamins or minerals it is much harder for your body to absorb and use nutrients necessary to perform protein synthesis and promote muscle recovery.
  2. Fatigue – being low in Vitamin B12 as well as iron deficiency can cause an individual to feel drowsy and limits the body’s ability to utilize red blood cell hemoglobin that is necessary for oxygen transport around the body. This can leave an individual in a very groggy and poor state.
  3. Dehydration – drinking tons of water, but can’t stay hydrated? It should be noted that the body will pump out an equal amount of water to the amount it ingests; however, what should be regulated is the body’s ability to hold onto water and retain blood volume in order to perform exercise. Sometimes it may be necessary to involve the use of a balanced electrolyte supplement to help restore and maximize the ability of the body to perform and limit the amount of muscle cramping and dry mouth that goes along with dehydration. Muscles require water to perform, and without it they tense up and become immobile!
  4. Hunger – constantly eating and feeling like you are a bottomless pit is only appropriate after major bouts of physical exercise. If these are common signs and symptoms for yourself throughout the entire course of a day, or week, or even month then you need to consider what it is your body is actually “craving”. If you feel the need for salt, then your body may be low in sodium and requires a balanced electrolyte to help mediate hunger and leave the body feeling normal. To the same degree, the body will crave other vitamins and minerals that will ensure overall health.
  5. Low Immune System – getting sick often? Chances are the handful of vitamins you are ingesting each morning have a terrible bioavailability rate (rate of absorption) and are simply getting destroyed by your body as opposed to absorbed by it.

At the end of the day, the body is designed to maintain and reach a certain level of homeostasis. This means that as a whole, the body wants to get back to a certain point where it feels comfortable and ready to perform. Without consideration of proper dietary vitamin and mineral intake the body cannot perform. Use a vitamin and mineral supplement that is well-balanced, carefully packaged to reduce overexposure, and that has a high rate of absorption to ensure that your body is ACTUALLY going to use it!



Name Major Function(s) Recommended Dose (Male/Female) Dietary Source(s)
Vitamin A Promote vision, growth, prevent skin dryness, overall immune function 900 micrograms/700 micrograms Liver, spinach, greens, cantaloupe, apricots
Vitamin C Connective tissue synthesis, hormone synthesis, neurotransmitter synthesis 70-90 milligrams Citrus, strawberries, broccoli, greens
Vitamin D Absorption of calcium and phosphorous, maintenance of blood calcium 5-15 micrograms Fish oils, sardines, salmon, fortified cereals
Vitamin E Prevention of breakdown of vitamin A and unsaturated fats 15 milligrams or 22 IU Plant oil, some fruit, some greens, nuts, seeds
Vitamin K Activating blood clotting factors, and proteins involved in bone metabolism 120 micrograms/90 micrograms Greens, liver, some plant oil
Biotin (B7) Coenzyme of glucose production, fat synthesis 30 micrograms Cheese, egg yolk, cauliflower, peanut butter, liver
Choline Neurotransmitter synthesis, phospholipid synthesis 425-550 milligrams Wide variety of foods
Cobalamin (B12) Coenzyme of folate metabolism, nerve function 2.4 micrograms Animal foods, organ meats, oysters, clams, fortified breakfast cereals
Folate (B9) Coenzyme involved in DNA synthesis 400 micrograms Green leafy vegetables, organ meats, sprouts, sesame seeds
Niacin (B3) Coenzyme of energy metabolism, fat synthesis, fat breakdown 14-16 milligrams Mushrooms, tuna, salmon, chicken, beef, liver, peanuts, enriched grains
Pantothenic Acid (B5) Coenzyme of energy metabolism, fat synthesis, fat breakdown 5 milligrams Mushrooms, liver, broccoli, eggs
Pyridoxine (B6) Coenzyme of protein metabolism, neurotransmitter synthesis, haemoglobin synthesis 1.3-1.7 milligrams Animal protein, spinach, broccoli, bananas, salmon, sesame seeds
Riboflavin (B2) Coenzyme of carbohydrate metabolism 1.1-1.3 milligrams Mushrooms, spinach, liver, enriched grains
Thiamin (B1) Coenzyme of carbohydrate metabolism, nerve function 1.1-1.2 milligrams Sesame seeds, pork, enrich grains, dired beans, peas





Name Major Function(s) Recommended Dose (Male/Female) Dietary Source(s)
Calcium Bone and tooth structure, blood clotting, nerve impulse transmission, muscle contractions 1000 – 1300 milligrams Canned fish, leafy vegetables, tofu
Chloride Negative ion of extracellular fluid, acid production in stomach, nerve impulse transmission, water balance 2300 milligrams Some vegetables, table salt
Chromium Enhances insulin action 25-35 micrograms Egg yolk, whole grain, pork, nuts, mushrooms, beef
Copper Iron metabolism, antioxidant enzymes, protein metabolism, hormone synthesis 900 micrograms Liver, cocoa, beans, nuts, whole grains
Iodide Components of thyroid hormones 150 micrograms Iodized salt, salt water fish, dairy product
Iron Components of haemoglobin, immune function, cognitive development 8 milligrams/18 milligrams Meats, seafood, broccoli, peas
Fluoride Increase resistance of tooth enamel and dental caries 3.8 milligrams/3.1 milligrams Toothpaste, tea, seaweed
Magnesium Bone formation, enzyme function, nerve and heart function 400 milligrams/300 milligrams Greens, nuts, legumes
Manganese Cofactor of some enzymes, carbohydrate metabolism, some antioxidant systems 1.8-2.3 micrograms Nuts, oats, beans, tea
Molybdenum Actions of some enzymes 45 micrograms Beans, grains, nuts
Phosphorous Major ion of intracellular fluid, bone and tooth strength, various metabolic compounds, acid/base balance 700 – 1250 milligrams Fish, meats
Potassium Positive ion of intracellular fluid, nerve impulse transmission, water balance 4700 milligrams Spinach, squash, bananas, meat, legumes, whole grains
Selenium Antioxidant systems 55 micrograms Meats, eggs, fish, seafood, whole grains
Sodium Positive ion of extracellular fluid, aids nerve impulse, water balance 12-1300 milligrams Table salt, condiments, sauces, soup broth
Sulfur Part of vitamins and amino acids, drug detoxification, acid/base balance n/a Protein foods
Zinc Nearly 200 enzyme function, growth, immunity, alcohol metabolism, reproduction, antioxidant development 11 milligrams/8 milligrams Seafood, meats, greens, whole grains



cravingsWhen an individual thinks about eating disorders, the two that most commonly come to mind are bulimia and anorexia. Both are sever psychological disorders that have damaging effects on the body; however, there is yet another eating disorder that is commonly being diagnosed. This disorder is orthorexia, and although it may not be as physically dangerous as the above mentioned is does have negative effects on the body and thus hampers with overall health and lifestyle.

Orthorexia is a pathological and disturbing fixation on diet and food. It is very closely related to OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and many medical experts believe that it is a differentiating form of OCD. Orthorexia has a large overlap among other eating habits; however, what is known is that it has to do with extreme care and rejection of any meal that does not fit into a particular group or “healthy” as seen by the individual, while these particular groupings can stimulate feelings of violating so-called “laws of healthy eating habits” by the given individual.

Orthorexics usually describe themselves as thorough individuals when eating habits are considered. They plan carefully all aspects of dieting, and perhaps days or weeks in advance. And while they are not planning diets, they usually spend their time simply thinking about food and may involve fanatically ready articles, books, and different websites related to such topic.

Because persons with orthorexia spend all their time reading or thinking about eating and food issues, they often tend to think that they are much more knowledgeable and credible regarding health concerns. In most cases, this feeling of self-regard can causes issues of superiority or contempt towards persons who lack nutritional competence or education. Having keen interest in healthy eating and healthy food is a good thing; however an individual diagnosed with orthorexia tend to take this habit too far.

Orthorexia is common in young women, trying to replicate the body types they see in culture and advertisements, showcased by media and television. With this alleged healthy diet and lifestyle information they expect to attain physical and psychological benefits, avert diseases and evade additives which may harm them.

Orthorexics can suffer from very serious nutritional problems, typically due to massive lack of professional help. Typical issues faced may include: vitamin deficiencies, macronutrient deficiencies, anaemia, loss of bone mass, lack of energy, lack of stamina, increase risk of infection due to given deficiencies, as well as serious psychological disorders.

Bring on the protein!

Bring on the protein!

Bio-X-Isolate-5lb-chocolate-01Macronutrient Basics – Proteins – Part 3


Proteins are considered to be the building blocks of one’s body. More specifically, the amino acids that make up different types of proteins act as these building blocks to help repair tissue that has been broken down. When taking into account that in exercise an individual is essentially “breaking down” their muscle tissue it is important to replace and rebuild this tissue in order to make it stronger. Protein also acts a long term energy source, and because its digestive period is so long it also acts to stabilize blood sugar levels in the time between meals.

Aside from just muscle tissue, protein acts as the building blocks for all other cells in one’s body. In order for an individual to grow there needs to be an adequate supply of protein to do so; therefore it is crucial that a regular dietary intake of high-quality proteins is achieved in order to allow for this growth to occur.

What’s It Good For?

On a chemical level a protein is the combination of one or more polypeptide sequences, which are single linear polymer chains of amino acids bonded together by peptide bonds. Similar to polysaccharides and nucleic acids, proteins are an essential part of many daily functions necessary in the human body. There are multiple proteins that act as active enzymes to promote chemical reactions necessary in the digestion of foods; as well, many proteins act as the building blocks in muscle by creating structural cytoskeletons necessary for the maintenance of cell structure of vital organs and lean muscle mass. Other common uses for proteins in the body on a structure level are: cell signalling, immune responses, cell adhesion and cell cycle.

Most organisms and plants are able to synthesize all 20 essential amino acids; however, animals (including humans) are not able to synthesize some amino acids and thus they must obtain them from their diet. These amino acids are also commonly referred to as essential amino acids. When ingested, these proteins are broken down into their amino acid states and are then further metabolized through gluconeogenesis cycles or used for biosynthesis and cell repair/growth.

When Do I Eat It?

For proper human nutrition, protein should be ingested throughout the period of a day. Regardless of whether or not an individual is participating in regular physical exercise, a constant consumption of protein is necessary to allow for the repair of bodily tissue beyond lean muscle mass.

More specifically, protein should be ingested in appropriate amounts throughout the period of day at every meal. Especially meals that follow physical exercise, as well as meals that are eaten before bed the protein content should be high. When ingesting protein before a workout, a direct protein source should be ingested 2 or more hours prior to ensure that the initial stages of digestion are not being performed while the body is in an exercise state.

Incomplete Proteins – Complementary Proteins

The idea of protein combining is a theory that vegetarians must eat certain foods that complement each other to create whole protein chains in their foods. More specifically, it is the idea that by combining two different foods that each of their incomplete essential amino acid sequences will combine to form a complete protein, meeting all amino acid requirements for human growth and maintenance.

Examples of complementary proteins include:

  • Beans and Tortilla
  • Peanut Butter and Bread
  • Tofu and Rice
  • Hummus and Pita
  • Chicpeas and Rice

The issue with this type of complementary pairing is that although one would be meeting all the requirements needed to obtain a full spectrum of amino acids (all 20 to be specific) they would in turn be ingesting an overabundance of carbohydrates to compensate and thus they would not be eating a balanced menu. As well, typically foods needed to create complimentary proteins are items that should not be ingested such as bread products.

You aren't what you eat!

You aren’t what you eat!

fish_oilMacronutrient Basics – Fats – Part 2


Food must be looked at as an energy source, where a carbohydrate is a fuel that burns up rather quickly, fat is actually a fuel that will burn for much longer. This bodes well for the human body because the longer one’s body is metabolizing the food it is ingesting the less likely it is to suffer from any kind of insulin spike which causes us to feel exhausted following a meal. As well, this long slow energy release that the ingestion of fats gives an individual will increase satiety between meals and can leave one feeling less hungry, long term. Fats are also essential to brain, cell, heart, nerve, eye, lung, digestion, organ function as well as immunity systems in the body.

So exactly how much fat can be safely ingested in a day? Because each individual is so different it is hard to estimate proper amounts; however, most individuals can intake about 20-30% of their caloric intake in fats. If one was to break that down, that would mean for 1800 calories/day an individual would want about 40 grams on a daily basis, with about 2.5 more grams for each additional 100 calories that would be ingested.

What’s It Good For?

Chemically, fats are considered to be triglycerides, which are the combination of a glycerol “backbone” and the combination of several fatty acids. Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluble which means that they can only be ingested and absorbed in conjunction with fats. Fat plays a vital role in maintaining healthy skin, healthy hair, protection of vital organs, the maintenance of core body temperature, as well as the promotion of healthy cell function.

Fats are also considered to be long term energy resources for the body whereby the fat is dissociated into its components, and the glycerol can be converted to glucose by the liver to use a source of energy.

Fat can also act as a buffering system against harmful diseases that may be attracted to the body. When a certain substance reaches an unsafe level in the bloodstream, the offending substance can then be stored in fat tissue to help decrease its prevalence in the blood. This helps to protect vital organs and can be removed or ejected from the body at any time through means of excretion, urination, oil letting, and hair growth.

When Do I Eat It?

Fats are considered to be a source of long term energy for the body. Appropriate times to ingest fats would be for breakfast to help prolong the digestion of the complex carbohydrates, as well as pre-workout (more specifically, MCT fats as discussed later). To ingest fats at other times of the day can be appropriate; however, when getting later into the evening it is not as necessary that the body have direct fat sources available as it no longer requires long term energy when its intended goal is sleep and rest.

Fat is also not necessary after workout bout, as the dominant nutrients being ingested should be in the form of carbohydrates to replenish immediate energy resources as well as protein to help with the repairing of muscle tissue.

Saturated vs. Unsaturated Fats

Saturated and unsaturated fats differ predominantly in their melting points as well as their energy content. On a chemical level, an unsaturated fat contains less carbon-hydrogen bonds than that of a saturated fat; however, with identical numbers of carbon atoms, and thus is less likely to “pack together” and form a solid structure at room temperature. This formation of a solid structure at room temperature (as found in a saturated fat) can cause atherosclerosis if the ingestion of these fats is too high which can put an individual at high risk for heart disease and other cardiovascular related illnesses.

It is more appropriate when ingesting the long chain triglyceride fats that the majority of the fats being taken in by the body be in unsaturated form (either mono or poly-unsaturated forms). These types of fats are more readily available forms of energy and will not work to clog arteries and raise blood pressure.

Trans Fats

Trans fats are extremely rare in nature and are typically formed for food preservation. Chemically, a trans fat contains a kink in the molecule that prevents the fat from stacking efficiently; however, these fats are not as susceptible to metabolization as other fats, and thus put the body at a greater risk of coronary heart disease

Medium Chain Triglycerides

Most Long-Chain Triglycerides are first hydrolyzed in the small intestine to long-chain fatty acids. These acids are then taken by cells from the small intestine and transported via the lymphatic system to the body. Our body then takes these long-chain fats and distributes them to various tissues, more specifically into our liver and our adipose tissue (fat tissue). When used effectively, these fats can be burned off and used as long-term energy sources for our body to store and use later. What this all means is that long-chain fats are for long-term energy, and because the process by which they break down is so long ones body takes time to efficiently use them, and one will generally not store their fat intake as fat on one’s body.

One of the most overlooked items in pre-workout nutrition is the idea that only complex carbohydrates need to be ingested to optimize performance. However, what one needs to consider are the types of exercise bouts that one is partaking in. The issue with a dominantly carbohydrate-based pre-workout meal is the body tends to burn off these stores relatively quickly, so one’s body is forced to tap into a further form of energy, and if this form is not available one will tend to suffer from low-blood sugar (whereby, one would suffer from a large headache and forced to stop exercise). This is where Medium-Chain Triglycerides come in, as these types of fats are considered ketogenic, or rather they produce “ketones” in our body more rapidly than LCT Fats because they are absorbed rapidly by our small intestine. The metabolism of MCT results in these ketones being carried by the bloodstream to other tissues of the body, where they are used for energy production and utilization at a much more efficient rate. One could almost consider an MCT fat the hybrid of a complex carbohydrate and a Long-Chain Fatty Acid, and thus they are perfect nutrition for exercise bouts lasting 30 to 75 minutes in duration.

A bonus benefit of MCT fats is that recent studies have found that these Medium-Chain Triglycerides increase the “thermogenic effect” of our bodies, and in turn they cause one’s body to burn more calories even when they are not exercising! One of the most abundant sources of MCT fats is actually found in coconut. Supplementing coconut-oil, as well as unsweetened coconut-meat into ones pre-workout meals is a great way to insure that one’s insulin is stabilized and that they will be set up for a very effective, and very productive workout.

Omega Fats

Chemically, omega fats are essential unsaturated fatty acids with a double-bond starting after the third carbon atom from the end of a carbon chain. These fatty acids cannot be synthesized by the human body but are vital for normal metabolism. As well, these fats have shown evidence towards the increase of blood circulation when ingested which can help to prevent and reduce the visibility of varicose veins as well as other scarring and blood clot formations. As well, due to increases in circulation a reduction in blood pressure is also a common outcome which can help to reduce the prevalence of heart attacks and other cardiovascular related diseases.

Women and Weight Training

chrome dumbbells 4

“I don’t want to get too bulky!”

The all too common concern from most women who are contemplating engaging in some resistance training. Fear not ladies! Weight training has proven itself to be one of the most efficient and effective forms of transforming your physique into a strong, lean and well performing machine that you are going to be proud of!

Weight training has many benefits including:

  • Increases in strength in trained areas
  • Increases in circulation and joint function with functional movements
  • Increases in muscle tone
  • etc…

However, what the majority of women fail to take into account is the profound effect that weight training can have on their metabolism! It is no secret that we would all love to benefit from having a greater metabolic rate. BUT, what you may not realize is that by lifting weights you are actively increasing lean muscle tissue which in turn is going to aid in the burning of fat and other unwanted bodily tissue. Lean muscle itself is very dense and hard, and although the notion of putting on a few pounds may make you feel as if you are getting “bulky”, you are most likely still shedding inches due to the effects of losing pounds of fat (comparable in size to a softball) and putting on pounds of muscle (comparable in size to a golf ball).

Strength training will continue to aid in a women’s lifestyle, giving them additional strength to take on whatever tasks they find themselves facing. The increase in protein synthesis that occurs during strength training can also aid in the production of collagen in the skin, which helps skin to bounce back when high levels of weight loss are achieved. As well, adding strength around common joints and bones will decrease risks of osteoporosis, and strengthening muscles in the chest region has been shown to decrease the risk of breast cancer in females.

It is necessary with additional resistance training to increase the dietary intake of protein, and although this may be complicated, with the help of a nutrition and exercise professional it becomes easy. As well, it is worth noting that the benefits of proper functional resistance training can be further amplified with a custom and anatomically correct program as directed by a personal trainer. Learning to develop muscles located on the posterior side of the body can aid in better posture as well as less pain in certain areas such as the lower back as well the shoulder region and spine.

You deserve to feel strong, and you deserve the energy boost and satisfaction that comes with resistance training! Do not fear becoming “too bulky”, because as a female it is next to impossible to ever reach a point where your body will become too muscular. If anything, you will find yourself losing inches and toning in areas that you never dreamed possible!

Goal Setting – Be SMART

Goal setting is crucial for any individual embarking on a fitness journey. In order to stay fit and live up to the fullest potential, it should be noted that what we wish to accomplish needs to be clearly defined for measurable and particular goals. The technique mentioned in this article is one designed to assist in real life scenario, and allows for individuals to set subjective and targetable goals. Rather, the intention is to set SMART goals, as follows:

S – stands for Specific goals – whereby an individual is encouraged to stay away from setting too “general” of a goal

M – stands for Measurable goals – so that an individual may know exactly when his or her goal has been accomplished

A – stands or Attainable goals – keeping in mind the physical parameters around your goal and the time frame with which you have given yourself

R – stands for Realistic goals – making sure a goal is inside the realm of what you as an individual are able to accomplish; however, still willing to think big!

T – stands for Time Based goals – meaning a goal must have a start and end date to ensure that an individual has a time frame with which they must work towards

This goal setting system is designed to make sure an individual who wants to accomplish a particular goal has the proper guidelines with which to obtain this goal. Before a goal  can be accomplished it is important that the proper framework and steps are put into place so that an individual may know exactly what they are going to accomplish! The biggest mistake made by most individuals are setting too general of goals and failing to follow through due to a lack of deadlines and steps.

Conceive. Believe. Achieve.

Above all else, it should be noted that before on is able to truly accomplish something they must first believe it is possible. By continuing to rehearse and visualize ones goals and commitments they are further able to realize that the steps they have set for themselves are possible and their end-date is within their reach.

You will accomplish 100% of the things you believe you can accomplish.

Do not confuse “Realistic Goals” with “Easy Goals”. Set your sights high, and keep in mind the worst thing you can do is put a cap on your own success. Failure only comes if you didn’t do what was necessary to reach your BIG GOAL. Keep in mind ‘Everything in Moderation’, but refuse mediocrity from yourself. Do something significant!

Why We Don’t Do It!

The world of fitness and weight loss is continually evolving, and information is more conflicting than ever. When it comes right down to it we all have a general idea what we need to do to get in shape and feel better but to summarize; we need to:

  • Get an average of 8 hours of restful sleep each night.
  • We need to drink at least 3 L of water each day (and extra for each cup of coffee or times of direct stress.)
  • We need to avoid processed food, consume protein and vegetables at every meal.
  • We need to eat frequently, ideal 5-6 times/day.
  • We need to engage in some form of resistance exercise 2-3/week and cardiovascular activity for 30-60 minutes/day.

That’s it; in a nutshell if you do those things consistently for an extended period of time you WILL change, yet we don’t. I guess I should be happy about this because it’s this very aspect of human nature that has provided me a career. With the simple answer right in front of us the reality is few people will ever commit to consistently doing these things long term. Even though these activities will improve your health, make you feel better about yourself and even live longer we simply just can’t do it. There is a reason for this, we are wired for instant gratification and this emotion is reinforced continually every day. We have an extreme need to continually feel an immediate positive benefit with everything we do.

This need for instant gratification really makes fitness goals challenging. All logic seems to go out the window as we try to validate whether our actions are producing the desired result. Take the scale for instance, we step on the scale and are lighter we are happy, if we are heavier we feel a sense of failure, yet a few pounds either way and you would hardly notice a difference in the mirror. Add to that that our body is 60% water and a change in 1L of internal body water would create a scale fluctuation of more than 2 pounds. Or that based on when we ate last to when we weighed and how that food is moving through our digestive system will certainly have an impact on what we weigh and in both situations this has nothing to do with gaining or losing body fat.

If you are serious about your fitness goals acknowledge our human need for instant gratification and try to satisfy it through other means. Set small goals to experience frequent and periodic success then reward yourself. For example create a checklist of the above items set a point target, each day you complete each item award yourself 1 point for each item. When you reach a certain number of points reward yourself and then try to beat your score. Leverage social media and create your own accountability metric, record your activities in relation to the above list on your Facebook page or Tweet about them. Your friends and followers will surely respond providing some of the same support and accountability that is the core of what we provide for our clients.

The key to successfully reaching your goals is to ensure your methods of measure both satisfy our need for instant gratification and accurately track or encourage the habits you need to reach and maintain your goals. Our bodies are like swings, the faster you lose the weight or inches you swing one way, your body will swing the other way the minute you stop pushing. Developing long-term habits is the only means of permanent weight loss.