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!

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6 Steps to Achieve Any Fitness Goal

6 Steps to Achieve Any Fitness Goal

There are a few things that everyone should do to achieve their fitness goals regardless of what they are. Follow these 6 steps to achieve any fitness goal.

1. Eat a healthy balanced diet

While this may seem the most obvious on the surface, this is the one thing most people choose to neglect over everything. What you put into your mouth is about 75% of your fitness program; QUIT NEGLECTING IT!!! If you are looking to gain some muscle mass then you will want to eat more calories than you consume. If you are looking to lose weight then burn more calories than you consume. You also want to make sure that you are eating low-glycemic foods (foods that will not spike your blood sugar). This is a bigger problem than people eating too much fatty foods because a good portion of the time, these foods are labeled “fat-free!”

2. Weight/Resistance Train

To achieve any fitness goal whether weight loss or muscle gain, you should be lifting weight at least 2 times per week but preferably three. People who are looking to gain muscle should eventually work their way up to 4-5 days of resistance training per week. Building muscle will help increase your metabolic rate which will help you burn more fat! Weight training also helps build strength, improve balance, increase core strength and help you look better!

3. Sleep

Our body needs sleep in order to recover from the events of that day. If you do not get at least 7 hours of sleep per night, you won’t properly recover and impairs you physical and mental function the next day. Not getting enough sleep can also lead to an increase in appetite and unwanted weight gain.

4. Drink Water

A very easy way to determine how much water you should be drinking is dividing your body weight by 2 and that number gives you the ounces of water you should be drinking each day. For example, if you weigh 180 pounds, you should drink 90 ounces of water daily. Your body is at least 50-60% water so do not deprive your body of half of its makeup!

5. Improve flexibility/mobility

Improving flexibility can be done a couple of different ways, but the way that has been most effective for me is yoga. I do not do as much yoga as I probably should but I have always gotten my best results when I implemented yoga into my fitness program 2-3 times per week. Yoga is also great for improving core strength and stability. Stretching is another good way to keep your muscles flexible and strong. Static stretching should NEVER be done BEFORE you work out! This may actually increase your chance of injury! Opt for dynamic/active warm-ups BEFORE you work out and static stretching AFTER your workout.

6. Cardio

Most people understand the benefits of cardiovascular work and that it should be done 5-6 days per week ideally. The fitness goal I would like to focus on here is the muscle gainers. YOU STILL NEED TO DO CARDIO WHILE BULKING!!! Just because you are trying to gain weight and put on muscle does not mean that you should stop taking care of your heart! Now this does not mean you should be doing 5-6 days of cardio per week. Doing cardio does not translate into “losing gains”, if you eat more calories than you burn then you will still gain weight.

The bonus of doing 2-3 days of cardio per week while bulking is that you can fight off the fat gain to a degree and still put on muscle! The scale may not move as fast as you want it to but A) the scale does not tell much of the story of your progress and B) what good does it do to gain weight there is not any muscle mass accompanying it?

Ready to start your fitness journey? Contact Us to setup a time to talk about your fitness goals!

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.

Setting Fitness Goals and Achieving Them

Setting Fitness Goals and Achieving Them

If you’re reading this article, you are geared up and ready to embark on your fitness journey! Setting fitness goals is the first step in the process to ensure you are setup for success.

So What is the first step in setting fitness goals?

Now, the questions you should be asking yourself are: “Why?” “…What are my goals? What am I capable of?” …and most importantly… “What do I want for myself?” Setting goals can be tough. There is a lot of room to overthink things and get caught up in the ‘instant gratification’ side of things. This can be discouraging!

First and foremost, you must let this go… Nothing worth working for will happen overnight, and no one can just bestow upon you the ‘physique of your dreams’. Physical fitness is something that you must work at, but I can promise you that it will be worth it in the end.

Now, your journey begins when you do… so you should start small to avoid overwhelming yourself. “One of the biggest mistakes is that people try to do too much at one time,” Kellen Scantlebury, D.P.T.

What do you want for yourself? Gain mass? Build strength? Lose weight? Increase activity-specific performance.?
The choice is yours. However, if you have no direction (or too many directions) to move toward, you are likely to remain stagnant or to progress very little.

Once you have identified what you would like to work toward, you can then focus your ambitions on a specific set of smaller goals. It is important that you make sure these smaller goals are measurable and specific… and most importantly, you must give yourself a deadline for each bite-size milestone.
In the business world, they call this ‘eating the elephant’. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!

Ready to start on your fitness journey? Contact Us and let’s talk!

Mind Over Matter

Mind Over Matter

 

What if I told you that… you are always reaching your full potential…? Is it really a case of mind over matter?

What I mean by that is, if you spend your time… ‘upstairs’ believing that you are only capable of performing a certain exercise under certain conditions OR if you believe that you will ALWAYS plateau at a certain weight, those beliefs will typically come to fruition.

Once these beliefs break through the blast doors of manifestation, they become your reality. Then you will have a whole new set of challenges… challenges that could have been avoided altogether.

 

“Those who think they can and those who think they can’t are both usually right.”Confucius

Willpower can be trained much like any other set of muscles… just in different ways.

 

Here are just a few ways you can strengthen your discipline and maximize potential:

 

1. Delay Instant Gratification

A significant part of impulsivity is the innate desire for instant gratification. Especially in today’s day and age. If we can learn to delay our gratification little by little, we can then learn to live in a place of gratitude meaning that we are never ‘dissatisfied’ with where we are currently. This is a beautiful thing. If we can learn to delay instant gratification, then we can learn to work toward our goals without becoming obsessive and reliant on a certain accomplishment for self-worth.

 

2. Set Realistic Goals

Ambition is a beautiful thing… there is great value in pushing yourself by setting the bar higher and higher. However, if goals become too grandiose (or unrealistic) then you are essentially planning to fail. Set goals that are big enough to break down into sub-tasks, but small enough to yield completion in a timely manner. Ultimately, the accomplishments following goal achievement will boost your self-esteem and empower your willpower. The feeling of making progress can be powerful!

 

3. Work On Stress Levels

A rational mind is a good friend of willpower. When fight-or-flight signaling is active, actions are impulsive and emotional. The goal is to manage and reduce stress levels to keep a level-head and maintain control over your actions. Focus on things like diet, mindfulness and overall moderation.

 

We’ve heard it before, and we’ll hear it again and again throughout life… it’s always mind over matter. A healthy mental fitness regimen is vital to resisting distraction and impulse as well as boosting productivity. Therefore, if you want to optimize your performance in fitness, maintaining a healthy mind is vital.