Category Archives for "Fat Loss"

Practice Practice Practice

Changing our behavior to become healthier takes work. Think of it like practicing your golf swing. No one is good at it the first time up to the tee. In fact many times we miss the ball totally the first time but after a bit of time, some help from a coach, encouragement from peers, you get better.

In my experience, changing our normal will involve some mishaps- some missed balls. That's okay. Its practice. I know many of us want to be perfect and not let others see our mishaps. But you are human and so are we. You'll get back up and keep on practicing. 

Next time you decide to add in more vegetables or stop eating mindlessly while watching TV or taking seconds when you're not really hungry anymore remember to practice the new you. 

It is actually freeing to stop trying to be perfect. You can learn your own resilience through struggles.

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

And the Answer Is…..

Vegetables! 

There is no substitute for the power of vegetables as part of your nutrition plan. Vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.

Your mom is not the only one who knew the scoop on how great vegetables are for you. Here’s what Dr. John Berardi over at Precision Nutrition has to say:

“Eating higher levels of veggies and fruits are associated with a lower incidence of:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Colon, prostate, cervical, lung, ovarian, pancreatic, thyroid, and breast cancer
  • High blood cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Stroke
  • Osteoporosis
  • and a lot more that aren’t on this list…”

Here’s a pretty cool graphic (also from PN) that illustrates another great thing about vegetables – they fill you up, literally!

You want to aim for 5 "fists" of vegetables per day.  Ideally, the majority of those "fists" would come from non-starchy vegetables.  Strive for 3-5 fists of non-starchy vegetables and 0-2 fists of starchy vegetables.  (This is VERY important for Fat Loss) 

Getting in 5 servings a day is much simpler than you might think, so no worries – ok?

The great thing about using your own fist as a guideline for portion control is that you always have it with you anywhere you go!

This means you should still keep your veggies in mind at restaurants, when eating on the go, or anywhere else.

It is almost impossible to over consume most non-starchy vegetables, so fill up on these foods without worry. If anything, put your effort towards making sure you eat enough of them, as opposed to too much.

 "Every question you have about your health, chances are vegetables are the answer."- Coach Nancy

 Here is one of my family's favorite recipe. It's for Vegetable Fettuccine. My kids love to help me make this but they devour it up as well. I serve it with our fantastic Spaghetti Sauce and Voila 5 servings of veggies easy peasy. 

To Your Best Health,

Nancy

A Message From Cupid

Dear Valentine,

I have a little advice for you this year on Valentines Day. Let me give you a little poke and prodding. You have 1day left to figure a way to express your feelings towards your loved ones. Let me help you get your creative juices flowing. Let me explain a few “do’s and don’ts” to Valentines Day.

Here’s a few ‘deal’ breakers:

  • Chocolates to those who are trying to eat healthy = bad choice. 
  • Gourmet Cookies… did you read the last sentence? Cookies are not healthy! Even with cute little messages.
  • Champagne… slows metabolism, too risky on the effects, not to mention killer headache the next day, again, BAD.
  • Flowers, although beautiful, will wilt and die in a matter of days. Of course some may love flowers (see below).  
  • And a final ‘don’t’…a simple card (see below)… picked up by your secretary on her lunch break…bad bad idea.

Are you feeling lost and forelorn? no worries, I have a few ideas for you, and some you won’t even have to leave your desk to obtain.

A simple card will suffice, but only if personally picked out by YOU. Or how about making a card or write a poem? Flowers, although perfectly acceptable, bump it up. Instead of cut flowers, give a flowering plant/tree that will be enjoyed for years to come. A continual reminder of your love throughout the year.

A gift card for a massage or a manicure/pedicure… a little spa time. Show your significant other they deserve a little pampering.

Do you want your special someone to know they hold the moon and stars? … have a star in the galaxy named after them. Adopt a manatee/eagle/turtle in need of rescuing. Donate to a worthy cause or charity in your loves name.

No money… no worries…Take a stroll, hike, snowshoe, ski, exercise together. Watch a movie together. Quality time! While you are together,  hold hands, steal kisses, whisper sweet nothings. Make every moment special. It doesn’t have to cost a thing.

Put a little thought into your gift this year. It should come from the heart, it’s not about a price tag, some of the greatest gifts cost nothing. There is truth to ‘it’s the thought that counts’.

Valentines Day is a chance to show that special someone how much you love and admire them. Its a day to throw a little romance their way. 

Happy Valentines Day!

Love-

Cupid! 

How to be Successful when Eating Healthy

Habits of Successful People

Successful people notice, learn, and adapt to reach their goals.  A great practice to get into at the end of each week is a strategy called Review and Prepare. 

First REVIEW, look back at your calendar and see how successful you were last week.  

  • Do you see lots of checkmarks or is it lots of circles and question marks?
  • What went right last week?  What went wrong and why?

 

Next, PREPARE for the week ahead. 

  • Based on what went well last week, prepare to do more of that this next week
  • Based on what went wrong and why?  What do you need to do to make sure you can improve this week. 

 

What do you need TO DO TODAY to be successful this week?

  • Plan your meal
  • Prep your food
  • Be Prepared!

 To your Best Health,

Coach Nancy


"The future depends on what you do today." - Gandhi

   

4 Reasons to Prep All Your Meals

4 Reasons Why Meal Prepping Works:

  • It takes the excuse out of eating well.
    • Say goodbye to “I have no time to cook today,” and “There was nothing healthy at home for me to eat.”
  • It gives you more control over what you eat.  
    • More homemade meals means less takeout and meals at restaurants which also means more green stuff in your pockets.  
  • It gets you in the habit of eating portioned meals.
    • For storage, you will pre-portion out your carbs, proteins, and fats for each day.
  • It frees up more time in your schedule
    • What will you do with your extra time??

 

Here are a couple of strategies to help you find the best meal prepping technique for you. 

Cook 1x Per Week 

On Sunday afternoon (or whatever day you have 2-3 hours) put in an epic cooking session.  Bulk cook everything you will need fo assembling meals throughout the week.  Fire up the oven, get all your pans out, plug in the rice cooker, and start filling up crockpots.  This strategy works well for 1-2 person households or VERY busy households that don't have much time in the evening. 

Cook 2x Per Week

This is probably the most common strategy.

On Sunday afternoon and Wednesday evening cook up what you need for the next 3 days.  Make a 3-day meal plan and get to it.  This is a great strategy to save yourself a ton of time in the kitchen.  Spend 1-2 hours prepping, cooking, and cleaning and then don't cook for 3 days. This strategy works well for a larger family that has evening obligations most days of the week.  

Each meal prep day will probably take you about 2 hours of cooking (4 hours per week), but then you are off the hook for days, which ultimately saves you lots of time and hassle.  Put in the work on the front end and save time on the back end.  

The "Dinner is Lunch" Strategy

Some people like to cook and enjoy cooking most days of the week.  For this type of person, try the double portion dinner strategy. 

Each time you make your evening meal, you will make a double portion and save the second portion for lunch the next day.  You get two birds with one stone.  

What do you do to make your food preparations go faster or smoother?

We'd love to hear from you in the comment section below.

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy



Are You Too Hungry?

Have you ever been too hungry? Like over the top, watch out hungry? 

I know I have. 

What do you during those times? 

Sad to say, I usually don't make the best choices when I am that hungry. If I'm at home, I usually pack my plate too high but eat it all anyway because I just couldn't stop. If I'm out and about....... watch out sugary treats......

This week, I did make better choices. I'm proud of myself. So besides telling us what you do when you get TOO hungry, let us know what you are proud of yourself for.

 What is your body saying to you right now? The clock is saying noon, but my body is saying I'm still all set. No need for me to pick up the fork to eat yet. I'm not hungry yet. 

How cool is that?

I had this shake for breakfast today at 8am. Its held off my hunger for 4 hours. Eating foods that will keep you full longer will help you manage your hunger. You'll soon be a Master at hunger management.

1/2 cup decaf coffee
1 1/2 cup of water
2 scoops of chocolate Ultimate Muscle Protein (UMP) powder
6 Tablespoons of flax meal (flax seed ground up in blender as I mixed the shake)
2 Tablespoons of coconut flour

Blended up and yummy

What are you going to eat in order to keep you satisfied longer?

To your best health,

Coach Nancy


Are You Hungry?

What does hunger feel like?
Everyone describes it a bit differently, how do you describe that feeling?

 Some have described it as: "Well, when I am in a good, healthy eating pattern, hunger feels like a grumbly gnawing feeling, but bearable. When I have eaten too many carbs and sugars for a stretch, hunger feels like more of an empty, must shove food in now feeling, usually with some shakiness because my blood sugar has dropped. I can always tell the clear difference."

Others like this:  "I'm not sure I know what hunger really feels like. When I'm being mindful, I usually need to stop and think, am I really hungry right now or is it something else? When it's hunger, there is an empty feeling.  I often think I am hungry but in reality I am procrastinating on a job task that I don't want to do. Procrastination and then stress because I am not doing what I should be leads me to eating when I am not hungry.

What does hunger feels like to you?

Listening to our bodies is one of our biggest assets.
Mastering is allowing our body to talk to us knowing we will listen.
Listening to how your body feels while you eat. Understanding the level at which you need to eat in order to remain comfortably full, not overstuffed, and yet ‘feel’ hunger before it is time to eat again sounds easy but is much more difficult to do. ​

Take the challenge. Eat each meal this week only if you feel hunger before hand. 

Tell me what you find out about yourself.

To your best health,

Coach Nancy


Dear Me…….

Dear Me, 

Remember that what seems huge or impossible will eventually become a distant memory when it's over and done with. Your opinion and abilities will continue to change over time, and what seems very important now will be replaced by a different priority in the future. Just do the best you can, and take small steps towards better health every day.

Yesterday is gone and today is a new day. A new start. Get back on track and move forward. (I've had to tell myself this once or twice, or 1,000 times.

See, now you feel like crap, shouldn't have eaten that last night huh?

Was it really worth it...?

How many weeks will it take to undo that?

Why did you do that

‪Look at the big picture if it only once no problem, move on. If it is an old habit restarting, refocus and fix it.

‪Start over now... which I did... today.

‪Cut it out idiot. Coach taught you better that that!

Why did you do it? Should have had that glass of water first. Remember it's a mental game. It really wasn't worth it.

This week I am looking forward to increasing my happy healthy life- without food guilt. In fact I wrote myself a note to help me. The constant reminder that consistent action over the long term will far outweigh the small discrepancies. What about you? What are you going to write to you?

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

Give Yourself a Break

 Have you ever found yourself giving others a break for a small mistake or bad choice while condemning yourself for that same action? I do.

Student: "I ate a huge bowl of ice cream yesterday because it was there and it looked great."


Me: "Yes, but look at all the other stuff you did great yesterday. You ate a fantastic breakfast, you are drinking one cup of regular coffee instead of 4 like before, and you avoided the fried foods at lunch."

I end up encouraging them. I've helped them to see the good in their life.

BUT if I do that same thing.

Me : I ate three cookies at lunch actually they were lunch.

Me: I can't believe you ate three cookies. What were you thinking? Well you better not do that ever Ever EVER again. Actually you don't do much right, so never mind. You're hopeless.

(Yes, I do the same thing....give others lots of slack and encouragement while beating myself up...a work in progress for sure.)

You: I ate three cookies at lunch; actually, they WERE lunch.

‪Me: Were they worth it? Are we back on-board with a supper plan? If it's not a lunchtime habit, forget it and move on. In times of stress and rushing from place to place I have survived worst lunches.

Here is a way to move on from it and use it to do better the next time. (Though this is STILL a hard one for me! ) In the long run the 3 cookies won't sink you, unless you let them.

Tell yourself you did a great job at ______________today.

Go ahead a I dare you. What did you do today better than most? 

Here is a list I saw just this morning:

People Motivating others

‪Moms Taking care of their mom.

Running 2 miles and walking 4 more

‪Rocking the chin up bar this morning ..!

Getting myself to 5 am training

‪Training as hard as I could today

‪Planning my supper

Staying calm

When you find yourself discouraged for one action or poor choice. Find other actions or great choices that will spur you onto better action.

To your best health,

Coach Nancy


5 Ways To Control Your Appetite So You Can Drop The Weight You Want

Losing weight (body fat) ultimately comes down to one thing. You need to eat fewer calories than you burn. It's science (physics), and you just can't get around it, no matter how much we would all like to.

Exercise alone (or maybe at all) isn't going to cut it. Exercise burns at best a few hundred calories an hour, and that is very dependent on your physiology. You can't out-exercise overeating. I know, I've tried.

On the flip side, you might be surprised how easily you can cut a thousand calories out of your eating a day with just a few small changes to your diet. 

And it doesn't mean you have to starve yourself, or never eat the foods you enjoy. Here are 5 ways you can control your appetite, make smart food choices, and eat fewer calories.

1) Count calories for two weeks

It's about awareness. We are really good at telling ourselves we aren't eating too much, but we are rarely willing to back up that claim. The simplest way to create awareness is to do the work of tracking your calories, and the good news is you don't have to do it forever. The good news is once you create awareness and start making better food choices, you probably won't have to. 

I suggest buckling down and tracking everything you eat for two weeks using an app like MyFitnessPal or FatSecret. Be honest, and track everything, food and drink. You are going to have to weigh and measure the food, which takes a little getting used to. The other thing that tracking helps me do? Simplify. It's a lot easier to enter 6oz of steak or chicken into a calorie tracker than a complicated recipe.

If this sounds like too much of a hassle, we can "goldilocks" this habit and make it easier. Simply carry a little notebook and write down every food you eat and every thing you drink. For some of us, this creates all the awareness we need. If your log has primarily eggs, lots of veggies, chicken and fish, you know you are on the right track. If it is mostly bagels, cereal, and pasta washed down with coke or a latte, you know that too. Just the habit of writing it down can help us make better choices. Ask yourself the question: Would I show this list to my coach or nutritionist? 🙂

2) Create a crowd

I don't like crowds. But when it comes to controlling our appetites, crowds are our friend. Huh?

You have probably heard that "a calorie is a calorie", and in terms of energy content that is true. But when it comes to a foods ability to help you feel full, that's baloney. You know it to be true - 100 calories of broccoli (over 3 cups!) fills you up way more than that 100 calorie pack of cookies or crackers, or even 100 calories of a better choice, like almonds are walnuts.

The broccoli creates a crowd in your stomach; more volume of food means less room for other food. It's magical! Use your MyFitnessPal app or a tool like the SELF Nutrition Database to get an idea of the nutritional content of the foods you love. I'll bet you'll find that you already make some good choices - eat more of those!

Once you figured out those "fuller foods", a good strategy is to eat those first. Filling up on veggies, lean meats and healthy fats creates that "crowd control" we are looking for, and you will automatically eat less.

3) Exercise for your health, not to burn calories

While it might seem that exercising more is just going to make you hungrier to compensate, that is not necessarily the case. This article explores many of those factors, and many studies show the opposite to be true. Learning to refuel your body appropriately after exercise is crucial; you don't want to train and then not eat for hours and hours.

Mindset is key here. Viewing food as a reward for exercise is counterproductive. I have done it, and it's just plain a bad strategy. Exercise for the health benefits, not so you can have another donut. 

4) Hack your food prep 

Even those of us who enjoy cooking don't always make/find/have the time to spend in the kitchen. If you do, that is awesome - so enjoy!

The good news for the rest of us is we don't have to. Getting in the habit of cooking in bulk, twice a week, is a tremendous help. It's just as easy to grill or roast 5 or 6 chicken breasts as it is two. Roasting veggies and Chicken-in-a-Crockpot are two of my "go-to's" when time is tight. 

Another favorite "hack" of mine is to spice it up! There is a whole wide world of flavors open for those brave souls who use more than just salt and pepper. Coriander, Cardamom, Cloves, Cumin. And those are just some of the "C's". Be bold and experiment, it's a lot of fun.

5) Go to bed

When I don't get enough sleep I find it much harder to control my appetite, and I found out at least one reason. Turns out when you don't get enough sleep your body produces endocannabinoids  - you literally can get the munchies.

But even when your appetite doesn't increase, your willpower and decision-making abilities are affected by lack of sleep. Less sleep = more bad food choices. For me that tends to lead to overeating. I can turn a handful of nuts into half a pound of nuts pretty fast. 

Human beings need 7-9 hours of sleep a night to perform at their best, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I have seen people exercise religiously and make positive changes to their nutrition and still have trouble dropping the weight. Sleep made the difference.

Less Calories = Less Fat

Fat Loss is simple - you just have to eat fewer calories than you burn. But that doesn't mean it's easy, far from it. The good news is that you don't have to follow a specific diet plan or food restrictions to lose weight. There is no one-size-fits all, but you do have to put in the work to discover what works best for you.

If you are having trouble nailing down your diet and you want to make real progress this year, use these 5 tips to help you get dialed in. And as always, we are here to help.

- DC

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