Monthly Archives: November 2013

You’ve Hit The Proverbial Wall…Now What?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before:

“I’m eating right and exercising regularly, but I’m not losing any weight. What’s up with that?!”

Whether the latter has come from someone you know, or out of your own mouth, it’s a common problem faced by a number of fitness enthusiasts at some point or another. And while it is entirely possible that your sudden lack of progression is related to an underlying medical issue, the best place to start is usually with what’s on your plate and/or how your current exercise regimen is being executed.

Let’s start with your diet.

Many people underestimate their food intake or think because they’re eating “healthy foods”, portion size doesn’t make a difference. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth; while fruits and veggies are absolutely better than anything processed and are much easier for your body to digest, said body doesn’t differentiate between healthy and unhealthy calories. So, if you’re ingesting too many natural sugars or doubling up on complex carbs, then one of two things is likely to be the case: you’re going to stay where you are or gain weight.

The important thing to emphasize in any diet is balance.If you’ve set your caloric intake at a certain amount, don’t go above it. At the very least, be sure that what you’re eating—even if it is healthy—isn’t going to work counter to your goals. For example, while eating black beans is a better option than eating a bowl of white rice, all carbs, even the good ones, will eventually become sugar, and those sugars are eventually converted to fat and stored in the body as reserve energy.

And we all know what happens when too much fat hangs around without being used.

The best way to avoid this is to keep a food diary for 30-days. That’s the best way for you to develop a really good picture of what you’re actually eating on a daily basis. Sometimes it’s as simple as one too many trips to the snack machine or one too many soft drinks.

MyFitnessPal offers a phenomenal app for both Android and iPhones that allows you to scan the bar code of nearly any food item, record its serving size, and figure up how much of your daily intake is actually made up of fat, carbs, and sugar. You might be surprised what you find—on a personal note, I started counting calories for the very reason I’m writing this article about, and was surprised at just how out of balance my eating truly was, the snacking in particular—so don’t underestimate the value of keeping a food diary if you’ve stopped seeing progress.

Another possibility is you might actually need to change your training regimen. If you’ve been doing the same workout for the last 3-months or so, then your body is no longer being challenged and needs a jolt; try doing something different, or adding some variation to your current routine, to kickstart your metabolism again.

As I said from the outset, there is certainly the possibility your issue is medical in nature, and you should seek a doctor’s advice if you feel there could be something more at play, but usually the solution is as simple as adjusting what’s on your plate or updating your workout regimen. Start with those and then make adjustments as follows.

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Time to Drink On The Pounds!!!

Starbucks has brought back the infamous “red cups”…let the holiday madness officially begin. Photo: the dieline

I’d like to take a moment to thank the proprietors of Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts for making it possible for the average Joe to find, over-indulge in, then reap the pound-pleasing benefits of their hot beverages; for, without them, we’d all be forced to spend our days juicing and drinking bland tasting smoothies from our Blender Bottles.

First, I’m kidding. Second, if you didn’t know that I was kidding, you might need to reconsider the name of the blog again. After all, I might be a bit of a lush (here and there), but I do try extremely hard to live as fit a life as possible—my overblown ego wouldn’t have it any other way—in case that wasn’t annoyingly clear already.

That said, I am not lying about Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts doing something for the holiday-crazed caffeine junkies of the world.

Both chains have introduced—or in Starbucks’ case, re-introduced—some hot holiday goodness for us to enjoy; and they both seem extremely proud of themselves for granting us this blessing. And Starbucks feels we should feel honored just to hold their red cups in our hands.

“The red cups have taken on almost a cultural role, at least in the US, and now in a lot of other markets around the world as well. When the cups turns red at Starbucks, that’s one of the first cues that the holidays are upon us. The emotional connection that our store partners (employees) have when they open that first box of the red cups and start using them that first day, and the emotional connection they see from their customers, that’s what we strive for. They see that surprise and excitement: ‘Oh, the red cups are at Starbucks!’ It’s really special and all of us in the studio feel privileged to do the work that can create such an emotional moment and connection in our stores between our partners and our customers.” Terry Davenport, Senior VP, Global Brand and Creative Studios at Starbucks:

I mean, I love a good frappuccino, latte, or cup of Joe as much as the next guy, but I felt like I needed to bathe myself in holy water after this dude’s overly ritualistic description of something that will most likely end up in a trash compactor or landfill—I hope they’re biodegradable.

And, how about the hot, unapologetically, calorie-laden drinks going into said cups?

Those delicious holiday flavors won’t come cheap to the fit-minded, I’ll tell you that much.

That beautifully inviting, Caramel Brulee Latte will be the gift that keeps on giving at 52 grams of sugar, 430 calories, and 13 grams of fat.

Not into caramel? Rather give a go to Starbucks delicious Eggnog Latte instead?

Well, you can have all the holiday spirit you want at 460 calories, 21 grams of fat, and 48 grams of sugar. 

Hang on while I paint you a picture, “Mommy, look what Santa brought you this year…elastic waist pants!!!”…”Yaaaaayyyyyy, for the extra pounds in my Christmas stocking!”

That’s right, all that yummy goodness comes at a price, folks. And while one latte here and there won’t do it but I don’t recommend making anything Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts has to offer, a regular indulgence.

Say the word with me, “Mo-Der-A-Tion”.

Again, and with feeling this time, “Mo-Der-A-Tion”.

 

 

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How Bad Do You Want It?

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Sometimes, achieving your overall goal of being “fit”—whatever your personal definition of that word might actually be—comes down to one question, and one question only: how bad do you want it?

You can make a million excuses for why you don’t have the time, energy, patience, capability, ability, desire, or motivation to work out but, again, how bad do you want it?

You can sit on your backside and curse the media for spewing out unattainable imagery of women who literally look like they were photoshopped from the womb, throw your hands up in defeat at what you feel will never be possible for your body, then throw insults towards those who are doing the work to exact whatever level of change they are capable of—labeling them “fitness freaks” in the process—but the bottom line will still be…how bad do you want it?

Say what you want, the information on how to get fit is readily available with little resistance. You don’t have to hire a personal trainer, although they can be an invaluable resource, to tell you what most anyone whose ever read a book, been on a diet, or walked into a gym can tell you: fitness involves a healthy diet and regular exercise. Anything else is a gimmick or temporary fix. That’s it.

It’s the simplest solution in the world yet tens of millions make the decision to eschew the fit life in favor of…for lack of a better word, a not-so-fit one.

You have to want it to get it. So, ask yourself…how bad do you want it?

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