My Fat-Loss Pyramid Plan

Nutrition & Good Eats, Workin' Out

Fat-loss is a highly searched topic, where you will find endless opinions and a variety of “foolproof” methods that your head might literally spin with confusion on where to start.

I can’t make any promises, because there are bright sides to every method, depending on each person, their health, and their bodies. However, I can share what I have seen work, and what I believe in.

Losing fat isn’t rocket science, you just have to be persistent, and honest about your goals and the amount of effort you are willing to put forth in meeting them. That’s without a doubt the most important factor, and quite frankly, a big part of why I decided to give up on personal training. The majority of people want results, but aren’t willing to do the work, put in the time, and trust the process.

I think, for me personally, besides the lack of patience people have in their weight-loss goals, my biggest pet peeve is when people assume going for a run is the best route to achieving their abs, or lean thighs, and better butt.

Wrong.

Though, it is true that running can assist in weight-loss, the type of running matters big time. In addition to the lack of promise steady-state running shows for fat-loss, it happens to have a negative effect on muscle mass.

If you’ve done your research you will know by now that muscle helps burn fat!

Also, you NEVER need to assume you have to supplement or take an additional pill or shake in order to achieve your goals. In my opinion, the majority of supplement companies are frauds, or are full of products I could never trust. It is a waste of money to invest hundreds, if not thousands for products that are in many cases, not needed.

So what is one to do?

Here’s my take.

 

FAT LOSS PYRAMID

Most importantly, and at the base of any healthy and fit body is nutrition. Creating a clean diet, full of foods that nurture, heal, and replenish your body after and during exercise. Our family chooses to eat organic, mostly gluten-free (I am 100% gluten-free and have been for over five years), non-gmo, real foods. Sugar isn’t an issue for myself, however my husband has a sweet tooth, so we still have it in the house. Coconut sugar and raw stevia are substitutions we also have available. We do enjoy eating out once in a while, but opt for places who offer grass-fed meats, local vegetables and even then, we tend to order on the safe side…no fatty, or deep-friend platters.

Second, we come to sleep. Rest and sleep are CRUCIAL for not only recovery from exercise, but in general, your health depends on making sure you get enough sleep. Women should be getting 7-9 hours a night, no less. Some men can handle 6-8 and not have any negative side-effects. Some people might say they are “fine” with their routine of very little sleep, and swear it has no impact on their weight gain, health problems, or other areas of their life. Don’t let them fool you.

I used to be a runner. Long-distance. I would rack up 50+ miles a week most weeks. I was also very tiny. I was thin, had no definition, had no butt, had no abs. I was just small. Once I started a more serious weight lifting routine I realized I could have curves, and feel sexy, more womanly. Not only that, I felt strong! Now, weights are my go-to. During pregnancy, weights were my go to. They never let me down. I have seen time and time again the benefit from weight-lifting and strength training, not only personally, but with clients as well as others, and I can honestly say, I’ll never go back to the long-distance running gig.

The best form of “cardio” when it comes to burning fat, without jeopardizing your muscle gains, is interval training. You can use just about any set-up, which benefits both beginners as well as athletes. If you’re just starting out, you can adjust the intervals so that your “rest” period is much longer than your “intense” period. And vice versa for those who may be more advanced. Tabatas are a good example of interval training that you are certainly able to get creative with. Hill sprints, or any other high intensity burst of action can bring you benefits as well.

And at the top of that pyramid, is that darn steady-state cardio. You know, that go out and run comfortably at the same pace for an hour cardio. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll say it again, I have nothing against running. I believe it has it’s place. Just as I believe running is therapeutic, and it can be fun for a challenge now and then. But unless you use it properly, you may be doing your body, and fat-loss goals more harm than good.

And there ya have it.

I’ve just had my third baby, and this is a plan I am sticking to for getting back into shape. It’s a plan I trust, and it’s a plan I feel comfortable with. That’s why I’m sharing it with you. 

 

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How Many Calories do you Burn?

Nutrition & Good Eats

Ever wonder how many calories you might be burning throughout the day? In the world of nutrition, this is called “total energy expenditure”.

How about a little nutrition math lesson!

Through simple equations, one can calculate and estimate the amount of energy used each day. [[Simple?? Right. I dreaded math in school, and nutrition math is no easier. However, very important to learn]] Remember, there will always be individual variations and these calculations are just estimates. I’ve done my own calculations to break down each step.

1. Convert your weight into kilograms from pounds; divide pounds by 2.2 to do so.
(weight in pounds=110, therefore, weight in kilograms=50)

2. Estimate your REE. For women, the calculation goes as such: REE= weight (kg) x .9 x 24 For men, the calculation is: weight (kg) x 1.0 x 24
(50 x .9 x 24 = 1080)

3. Estimate your energy expended in physical activity. I used a chart from my “Discovering Nutrition” textbook. This is the chart:

Activity Level Description % of REE
Sedentary Mostly resting with little or no activity 20-30
Light Occasional, unplanned activity (going for a stroll) 30-45
Moderate Daily, planned activity (breif workouts, or brisk walks) 45-65
Heavy Daily workout routine requiring up to several hours of exercise 65-90
Exceptional Daily, vigorous workouts for extended hours (training for competition) 90-120

I chose 65% For myself (.65x REE(1080) =702)

4. Estimate your thermic effect of food (TEF)

TEF= .1 x Energy(physical Activity) + REE
(TEF= .1 x [702 + 1080] = 178.2)

5. Estimate your total energy expenditure.

TEE = REE + Energy+ TEF
(TEE = 1080 + 702 + 178.2 = 1960.2 )

My total energy expenditure is about 1960 calories.

*REE = Resting Energy Expenditure: The energy needed to maintain all bodily functions needed to sustain life at rest.
*TEF = Therminc Effect of Food: The energy expended to digest, absorb, and metabolize the foods we take in.
*TEE = Total Energy Expenditure: All energy expended
(Keep in mind, energy is calculated in calories.)

So, after doing the math, in order for me to MAINTAIN the body I’m at, if I continue being consistent with the same activity level I am at, I need to consume that 1960 in calories each day. Which I probably do, and I’m sure some days I eat more, especially the days I am more active. I’m pretty good at listening to what my body needs. 

These calculations can help with losing weight, because once you find what your body burns each day, you can adjust your daily intake to a more appropriate consumption. Pleeease remember that your macro-nutrient break down is still important, and you can’t simply eat crap just because it fits your daily breakdown.

And if math wasn’t ever your strong suit, here’s a link I’ve found that comes pretty close to the equations I’ve done above.

Their calculation had me at 1948 instead of 1960, but what is 12 calories really??

http://www.scymed.com/en/smnxdg/health101/srcalx/sr35350.htm 

 

 

Weight-Loss Tips

Workin' Out

Don’t eat this. 

Eat that. 

Take this pill.

Drink this. 

Don’t eat after 5:00 pm.

Where does one even begin when it comes to finding a trusting weight-loss plan that will actually work?! There are so many bogus ideas floating around these days that it’s really confusing for people who are not sure where to start.

In the nearly ten years I have been in the fitness industry as a personal trainer, I would like to share with you my weight-loss tips that I have seen actually WORK. No areas of grey, I will tell it to you straight.

  1. First and foremost, NEVER go overboard with restrictions. It is true that weight loss is a numbers game, and it does come down to what goes in vs. what is being burned…however, it’s not that simple. Your body needs fuel, and everyone’s machine operates differently. When you try to cut calories at an absurd amount, you will only make matters worse.
  2. In most cases, eating frequently and throughout the day has proved to be the most beneficial game-plan when it came to meals and/or snacks.
  3. Prep your food or at least plan ahead. When you are not prepared it is a million times easier to fall subject to laziness and result to whatever might be laying around, or worse, what restaurant offers to-go orders.
  4. Drink water. A lot of water. Most people actually do not consume enough water, so you may even feel like you’re over-doing it. You probably aren’t, keep drinking.
  5. Don’t drink your calories. Those drive-through coffee drinks, and sugar-filled smoothie bottles are unnecessary. If you’re bored and want flavor add fresh fruit or herbs to your water. (And also get the nutrients and vitamins!! Bonus!!)
  6. Eat real food.
  7. Don’t buy junk food. Don’t keep it in your house. Out of sight, out of mind. That’s a real thing! Nothing packaged, processed, or “Fast”.
  8. For those who have serious weight-loss goals, if you are going to restrict carbs, it should only be at night. Carbs are your main energy source, so don’t be afraid of them, just chose the right ones and consume the correct portions.
  9. Train the right way. Steady-state cardio isn’t going to do the trick, and neither is any other half-ass workout. You’ve got to put in the work if you want to see results. For those who are not necessarily beginners, lift weights.
  10. No matter how hard you are training, you cannot, will not out train a bad diet.

If you have the access to a gym, and a treadmill, here is an idea for a fat-burning workout you could try:

**Adjust incline to as steep as you can handle while still doing the interval sprints.
**If the sprints are too challenging, stick to a slow walk for the “rest” and a jog or a run…whatever you can do is better than nothing. But remember, challenge yourself.

Minute 0-3     speed: 3.5     (which for me is a comfortable walk)
Minute 3-4     speed: 9.0     (which for me is a challenging run/sprint)
Minute 4-6     speed: 4.0
Minute 6-7     speed: 10
Repeat this interval pattern with a 2:1 ration of rest/work until you are able to do a 1:1 ratio of rest/work.

If you do not have access to a gym or any equipment there are so many options for exercises you could do.

Tabatas, for instance, is great for building strength, endurance, and burning fat. The idea behind this, is you put forth all your effort for 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds, and repeat for 4 minutes. Then, you begin again with another exercise.

Example:

Jump squats 20 seconds **FULL EFFORT**
Rest 10 seconds
Repeat for 4 minutes (8 rounds)

Pushups 20 second **FULL EFFORT**
Rest 10 seconds
Repeat for 4 minutes (8 rounds)

As I’ve said above, everyone seems to lose weight differently, just as what might work for me may not work for you. However, these methods have always worked when they’ve been taken seriously.

Weight-loss is the number one goal I have with clients, and it is literally something I seem to get questioned about constantly. So I hope this is helpful, and please share with loved ones who may be asking similar questions.