Fueling Up On Water

Fueling Up On Water

It’s our body’s vital fuel, a health drink from Mother Nature. It’s calorie-free, inexpensive and easily obtained. Yet, few people follow the old fashion advice to drink eight glasses of water per day.  Fueling up on water is key to ensuring your body functions optimally.

Does the average American drink enough water?

Most people drink when they are thirsty, but the beverage of choice tends to be some other drink besides water. Americans drink two or three glasses of plain water a day, according to a U.S Department of Agriculture study done in the late 1970s. Based on an analysis on all fluid intake by adults, water consumption is said to total about two quarts per day, and this includes water from foods and other beverages. It is usually not necessary to actually swallow two quarts of plain water every day, but people with special problems such as kidney conditions might be exceptions.

How much bottled water do we drink?

Americans drink eight gallons of bottled water per year, roughly two ounces or a quarter cup a day, according to the International Bottled Water Association. Californians drink three times the national average of bottled water, downing 24 gallons per year, or nearly a cup a day. Climate and seasons of the year play a role in one’s thirst as well, and just as we tend to perspire more in the summer months, we also tend to drink more water.

What are the benefits of drinking more water?

According to many experts, boosting intake of plain water makes good sense because water eases digestion and regulates body temperature. Water also bathes the cells and accounts for about 60 percent of body weight. Additionally, it can help us exercise longer and more efficiently. Drinking water can ward off constipation and maybe even crankiness. Since it’s a natural appetite suppressant, water can help us lose weight and keep it off. It can help keep skin healthy as well, although it won’t necessarily banish acne.

Who should drink water?

We all should, but pregnant women, nursing mothers, and athletes should be especially careful to drink a sufficient amount. Upping water intake is also wise when it is hot or humid. There are certain workers who seem to have a more difficult time developing the water-drinking habit. Among those who don’t normally drink enough water are teachers, airline attendants and nurses.

Water and Exercise

Drinking fluids, particularly water, during exercise reduces cardiovascular stress and improves performance. After a strenuous workout, you have to replace the fluids you have lost or you will suffer chronic dehydration. Drink water before, during and after exercising. Remember, water reduces body temperature and makes the whole exercise process safer.

Water is vital for kidney health.

Water can be especially helpful for people with a history of kidney stones because it dissolves calcium in the urine, reducing the risk of stone formation. It is also interesting to note that water helps prevent urinary tract infections, both for men and women. Among physicians, urologists are probably the most likely to extol the virtues of water. As a tip, it has been documented that drinking water mostly before 6pm can reduce the likelihood of nocturnal bathroom visits.

Alternative ways to track water intake.

Too busy to count how many glasses a day you drink? There are other ways to calculate if your intake is sufficient. Dark-colored urine often suggests you are not drinking enough water. Get into the habit by starting with a glass of water with every meal, then work in a cup in between meals.

Ready to get started on your fitness goals? Contact Us to setup a time to speak with a trainer about your goals!

Lifting Weights Is Necessary For Weight Loss

Lifting Weights Is Necessary For Weight Loss

Is it really true that lifting weights is necessary for weight loss?

When most people think of losing weight, they think that starving themselves and doing excessive amounts of cardio is the answer. While some of this is true, most of it is not. Lifting weights is also a necessary component of a weight loss program. Losing weight is one of the most popular fitness goals in America due to a lack of exercise and improper nutrition which leads to poor health and weight gain. Nutrition is about 75% of the process when it comes to achieving your fitness goal. Whether it is losing weight or gaining weight, people need to spend more time dialing in their nutrition to make sure that they stack on track.

How Much Does Working Out Contribute to Weight Loss?

Working out we’ll say is the other 25%. That doesn’t mean that you should just do a bunch of slow-paced, long duration cardiovascular exercise and assume that will do the trick. It’s important to have a good program in place- preferably from an experienced, certified personal trainer- to make sure that you get the best results possible. People neglect weight training when trying to lose weight for many reasons.

The most popular reason is because the weight room is intimidating. Nobody wants to look like a fool amongst people they perceive as expert; regardless if they are actually experts or not. A popular reason amongst women is for fear of looking “too bulky”. EATING AN EXCESS AMOUNT OF CALORIES MAKES YOU BULKY, NOT WEIGHT LIFTING!!!! It takes many years of hard work to put on the amount of muscle that makes you look “bulky”.Muscle burns more calories than fat, so the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism is and therefore, the easier it is to lose fat.

Will Lifting Weights Slow Down My Weight Loss?

Typically when people start lifting weights for the first time, they can gain a lot of muscle because it is a new stimulus for the body which in turn can seem to “slow down” your weight loss. But here’s the cool thing, even though the scale may not be moving when you first start lifting weight, it’s because you might be building a little muscle and burning a little fat! The measurement that will determine if this is this case is your body fat percentage measurement. Regardless of what the scale says, you always want your body fat percent to go down. Another way to see if you’re losing fat is your circumference measurements.

What Is An Easy Way To Tell If I Am Losing Fat?

Usually if your waist measurement goes down, that’s a very good thing! When people neglect lifting weights, their metabolism might increase a little bit but it’s short-lived and they’re not building muscle so there’s a good chance of losing lean body weight which leads to a decrease in metabolism. At this point, you’re a hamster in a wheel, working hard but going nowhere! In my weight loss programs, I always have my clients work with weights!

Ready to start your fitness journey? Contact Us and let’s setup a time to talk!

The Do’s and Don’ts of Weight Loss

The Do’s and Don’ts of Weight Loss

Weight loss journeys are hard no matter where you start or how far you have come. At some point, you have tried to lose weight and quit due to plateauing or receiving improper guidance. There are seemingly endless weight loss gimmicks out there that advertise to be the only thing you need for weight loss which is simply not true. NO 1 THING WILL HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT. It is a combination of puzzle pieces that must all fit together to complete your weight loss puzzle. Here are the Do’s and Don’ts of Weight Loss that you need to know while on your weight loss journey:

Don’t do only cardio

While cardio should be a part of your program, it should not be the ONLY thing in your program. Yes, cardio is great for burning calories and obviously needed for good heart health but when it comes to weight loss, cardio is only a small piece of the puzzle. Now I’m not saying to skip cardio because, it does need to be done, but it is not the biggest point of emphasis in a good weight loss program. You will still want to work up to about 5 days of cardiovascular activity per week for best results.

Do lift weights at least 3 times per week

Lifting weights and strength training is an absolute necessity when it comes to weight loss as it facilitates building muscle. Why is that important? When you build muscle, your metabolism increases and allows you to burn more calories. Building muscle is also great for bone health as your bones become stronger as your musculature increases. For beginners, 2-3 days of weight lifting per week is sufficient but eventually you will want to get to 3-5 days/week depending on your program.

Don’t go too fast

Trying to do too much too fast is just as detrimental to your adherence to a fitness program as not doing enough. Too often, people try to do too much starting off end up burning out after 2-3 weeks and reverting back to old habits. The typical 4 week weight loss guru on Instagram touts a 20 pound weight loss program that’s easy to follow. Truth be told, those programs are not maintainable and don’t encourage long lasting healthy habits. Do not get caught up in these “inspirational” 4 week transformations because most of the time those people end up putting back on that weight and then some in a couple of weeks. Go for the slow and steady approach, you are much more likely to succeed!

Do set realistic short and long term goals

To compliment the above, setting realistic goals provides for steadier results. Aiming for 0.5-1 pound of weight loss per week is a very realistic and possible goal for pretty much anyone. If you aim for an average of 2-4 pounds of weight loss per month over the course of a year, that’s 24-48 pounds lost in a year! Not to mention, you will have established long-lasting, healthy habits that you can carry on with you for the rest of your life.

Don’t take fat burning supplements

These are usually a waste of money packaged with fancy advertising and less than true claims on how they work. Most “fat burning” supplements do not actually burn fat! If they do anything, they help you burn more calories by increasing your metabolic rate. At the end of the day, if you do not burn more calories than you consume, then you will not lose weight.

Also, some supplements will claim that they can “target belly fat” which is absurd. There are no supplements that target fat in specific parts of your body, that’s not how your body works. You are better off spending your time and money on focusing on your nutritional plan and making sure you are burning more calories than you consume.

Do spend most of your time and effort on your meal plan

As I mentioned above, you will only lose weight if you burn more calories than you consume. With diet being about 70-80% of your results, you should spend the most time on this aspect of your fitness program. Meal prepping takes less time than you think and will make your entire week much easier. Meal prepping takes out any guess work for what meal should you eat next because your meals are already prepared and ready for you to heat up and eat.

Don’t drink liquid calories

Liquid calories are sure to derail your weight loss journey for many reasons. One of those reasons is that it contains extra calories (often sugary) that don’t help you feel satiated. Now, having protein shakes is still acceptable as long as it is only whey protein without the extra added sugar. The extra protein will help you recover for the next workout. The liquid calories you need to avoid are sugary drinks (juices, Gatorade, soda, etc… ) and alcohol.

Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram compared to carbohydrates and proteins which are 4 calories per gram and also have addition carbohydrates attached to them. Alcohol can also disrupt your sleep cycle and getting your beauty rest is a critical piece of recovery. What about wine? While some is good for heart health, it still contains those extra calories that you most likely do not need.

Do drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water

The majority of your body is made up of water so be sure to drink up! A good rule of thumb for how much water you should be drinking in a day is half of your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you should drink 100 ounces of water per day.

Don’t focus on the scale

This may seem counterintuitive but hear me out. It is a great feeling to see the numbers get smaller each week on that scale and can give you a tremendous feeling of accomplishment. When you start to plateau and the numbers on the scale aren’t changing as frequently, it can be easy to get discouraged. It is important to remember that the scale only tells part of the story when it comes to results. A more important measurement to also keep an eye on is your body fat percentage.

When used in conjunction with the scale, your body fat percentage will be able to help you determine how much of your body is fat mass and how much is fat free mass. It is not uncommon for the scale not to change very much but the body fat percentage does. If you maintain the same weight and your body fat percentage decreases, then you are a rockstar! This means that you were able to decrease your fat mass and increase your lean body mass! Circumference measurements and progress pictures are also more helpful in determining progress than the scale.

Do focus on improving your overall fitness

Sometimes it is just best to shift your focus to different, but related goals in order to kick start your results. Instead of weighing yourself weekly, try tracking and improving upon your fitness levels such as improving your run time on a 3 mile run or instead of running 3 miles, try to go 4 or 5. For strength, focus on trying to lift heavier weights and improving your overall strength levels. You can also try different programs to improve how many push ups or pull ups you can do. The main point is to get your focus off the scale and to work on your strength, flexibility or cardiovascular fitness.

If you’re ready to start your fitness journey, be sure that you are ready to change your entire lifestyle. If you don’t feel like you’re ready to do that, then ask yourself why? What is holding you back from changing your life to improve your health? If you’re having trouble answering these questions then let me know and let’s get your started on your path to a healthier life! Contact Us to get started!

5 Things Making You Gain Belly Fat

5 Things Making You Gain Belly Fat

Aside from being visually unappealing, excess belly fat is also extremely unhealthy. Now while this may sound a bit extreme, let’s consider the facts.

Belly fat can factor for diseases such as:
– Metabolic syndrome
– Type 2 diabetes
– Heart disease
– Cancer

 

In the world of medicine, unhealthy belly fat is known as “visceral fat”. This type of fat surrounds the liver among other organs in the abdomen.

Here are 5 of the more common things which are causing you to gain belly fat.

 

1. Not Enough Sleep

Sleep is crucial to your health. Over the years, researchers have directly linked weight gain to inadequate sleep. Sleep deprivation can make you gain fat because it increases levels of a hunger hormone, while decreasing levels of a fullness hormone. Without enough sleep, maintaining your ideal weight is nearly impossible.

2. Stress

Cortisol is a hormone essential for survival. It’s produced through the adrenal glands and enables the human body to activate a strain response. Unfortunately, it could result in weight gain (especially in the abdominal region) if produced in excess. Various methods have been used to combat heightened stress levels such as mindfulness meditation practices, a reliable routine and a healthy work environment (among other solutions).

3. Fruit Juice

Fruit juice is a sugar bomb. Even unsweetened fruit juices (typically marked “100% juice”) contain copious amounts of sugar. Daily sugar intake should not exceed 37.5g for men, and 25g for women. In a nation who favors sweet and salty, this can be difficult when watching weight. Mixing fruit juices with water can prove to be a healthier alternative.

4. Inactivity

Over the past few decades, humans have generally become much less active. It’s no wonder there has been a parallel increase in obesity. A major survey observing societal habits in the US between 1988 and 2010 concluded that there was a huge boom in inactivity, weight gain and abdominal girth in both men and women. A healthy, proven workout regimen accompanied by a nutritional diet plan is crucial in this day and age.

5. Alcohol

Habitual alcohol consumption can lead to inflammation, liver disease and many other health issues. Excess calories from alcohol are stored as belly fat (hence the “beer belly”). Recent studies have shown that men and women consuming over three drinks per day are 80% more likely to have excess belly fat. The only solution here is less alcohol!

 

All in all, maintaining a healthy routine with a regular sleep schedule and residing in a low-stress environment can prove to be extremely beneficial to your health. Let’s tackle that belly fat by limiting sugar intake and controlling portions when consuming alcohol.