Weight Loss and Weight Management Tips That Really Work!

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In our society, it seems everyone has been on a diet at some point in his or her life.  With celebrities seemingly shrinking a way, it is no wonder there is such a focus on physical appearance and being as skinny as possible.  With such a focus on weight loss, it is no wonder that fad diets such as the master cleanse, the cabbage soup diet and the HCG diet continue to gain a following years after they have been proven to be an unhealthy way of achieving weight loss goals.  Losing weight, especially with some of these fad diets that promise instant results, may be easy, but the difficulty lies in maintaining the weight loss once you are off the diet and back to the real world.   If you are one of the many that have tried fad diets, lost the weight and gained it back within months or a year, you are well aware of the many pitfalls that come with losing weight the wrong way.  With that said, there are many ways to achieve your goal weight in a safe, healthy way and finally learn how to eat in order to lead a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

 

Introduction

So, what are they keys to successful weight loss and weight maintenance?  It is much simpler than expected, but it takes a lot of will power, determination and discipline.  By implementing the tips below, you should be well on your way to achieving the body you have always wanted and maintaining your weight, even if it means splurging once in a while on delectable dinners, drinks and desserts!

 The Basics

In order to understand weight loss and weight maintenance, you will first have to understand why most individuals gain weigh to begin with.  Each day, your body requires a certain number of calories in order to maintain your current weight.  On average, women need approximately 1,200 – 1,700 calories per day to maintain and men require 2,100 to 2,500.  These numbers vary depending on height, weight and activity level, but tend to be the norm.  Although these are general guidelines, this number differs in every individual and has a lot to do with lifestyle.  If you are active, your body will require more calories than someone who is sedentary.  If you want to lose weight, you will need to eat fewer calories than the amount you burn each day.  It is a very simple math equation.

In order to understand how weight gain happens, you have to understand that one pound is equal to approximately 3,500 calories.  This means that, if you eat 3,500 calories per week more than your body requires, you will gain at least one pound per week.  If you want to lose weight, you will have to eat less calories than you burn.  To lose weight, you should decrease your caloric intake and create a deficit.  Creating a deficit of 3,500 calories per week or 500 calories per day, will help you lose 1 pound per week.  You can cut 250 calories per day by eliminating a soda at lunch and dinner and cut an additional 250 calories by not eating that chocolate cookie after lunch.  It is not difficult to do but definitely takes some thought and pre-planning.  If you opt to, you can also burn 500 calories per day instead of cut your calories.  Go for a 5 mile run, swim for an hour or jump rope for 45 minutes and you will torch the extra 500 calories per day you need to burn.  By creating a calorie deficit of 3,500 to 7,000 calories per week either through exercise or by eating less, you can lose 1-2 pounds a week and reach your weight loss goals.  In order to maintain it, all you need to do is ensure that the calories you consume are not greater than those you burn.

Weight Loss and Weight Management Tips

So, now that you understand how and why you gain and lose weight, here are some tips to help you succeed and achieve the weight loss and maintenance goals you have been striving for.

 Drink Water

This may seem easy and mundane but it is the easiest weight loss tip to implement into your life.  It is suggested that you drink eight to ten glasses of water per day or a total of 64 ounces.  This recommendation has been suggested by physicians and dietitians for years, but it has recently gained popularity with regards to weight loss.  By drinking one to two glasses of water before each meal, you will feel full faster and help cut your portions, usually by one quarter to one third.  This can help cut calories, leading to healthy, maintainable weight loss.  To maintain your weight, continue to consume water throughout the day and before meals.

Get Moving

It is no surprise that exercise helps you lose weight.  The problem for most individuals is finding the time to fit exercise into today’s busy lifestyles.  On average, 30 to 45 minutes of moderate exercise, such as fast walking, jogging, swimming, hiking and jumping rope, can burn anywhere from 200 to 600 calories.  The actual number varies depending on intensity and physical size.  By fitting at least 30 minutes of exercise into your day, you can burn 1,400 to 4,200 calories per week.  This can lead to a weight loss of one to two pounds per week.  Fitting 30 to 45 minutes of exercise does not have to be impossible either.  You can go for a brisk walk at lunch and then another walk after work.  If you are traveling, a workout video in your hotel room can give you quite a workout as well.  If you have kids and are busy running around from school to practice, go for a jog around the football field while they are practicing and get your own workout in.  The key to fitting in exercise is making time for it.  Remember, you do not have to do all 30 to 45 minutes at once. If it is easier, you can do 15 minutes of push-ups, sit ups, lunges and squats before work, go for a 20 minute walk at lunch and finish the day with a 20 minute walk or light jog after dinner. Where there’s a will there’s a way, and any exercise is better than none.

 Fill Up on Vegetables, Fruits & Protein

Often times, people on a diet fail because they cannot fight the feeling of hunger they feel when they cut calories.  Cutting calories does not have to mean eating less though.  By making smart choices, you can actually eat more and still consume fewer calories. Eating the right foods is crucial when it comes to losing weight and maintaining weight loss.

The three most important food groups to eat are vegetables, fruits and protein.  Vegetables can be eaten on an almost unlimited basis.  Snack on vegetables throughout the day and fill up on them before reaching for the chips or cookies in your desk drawer.  You may still want a cookie, but you will most likely eat less of them after starting off with veggies.  Before lunch and dinner, start with a small salad dressed in balsamic vinegar and a pinch of healthy olive oil.  Vegetables tend to contain plenty of fiber, helping to fill you up and prevent you from over eating during the main course.

Try eating a fruit for breakfast and then add protein such as yogurt or a hard boiled egg to round out the meal.  Top it off with some fiber in oatmeal or high fiber cereal.  The fruit will give you the natural sugar and energy you need to start your day and the protein and fiber will help keep you full through lunch.  Making sure you eat a balanced, healthy breakfast will be the key to prevent those mid day work binges on the lunch room treats.

Plan Your Meals

If you are the type that will reach for the first thing you see when you are hungry, it may be helpful to plan your meals ahead for the week and prepare them in advance to keep them handy.  To get the week off to a good start, grill several chicken breasts on Sunday and pack them individually to take with you for lunch each day.  Make some grilled vegetables, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, bean salad and quinoa to have as a side dish.  You can also pack your sides so, each morning, you grab your chicken, pick your side and you have a healthy lunch that takes less than a minute to put together.  If dinners are your pitfalls, make dinners over the weekend and freeze them individually.  When you get home from work, all you have to do is pop them in the microwave and heat them up.  Not having to wait 30 minutes to an hour to eat while you cook will help prevent grazing and ensure you have a healthy meal.

Watch Your Liquids

Most people do not realize the number of empty calories they consume each day drinking soda, juices and alcoholic beverages.  One can of soda has an average of 140 calories and 30 grams of sugar.  Drinking 3 cans of soda per day, one with each meal, can add up to almost 3,000 calories per week.  Simply by cutting out soda, you can lose one pound a week, without changing anything else in your diet.  Juices have similar calorie content and, often times, even more sugar.  Just because it is 100% juice does not make it healthy.  Ideally, it is always wiser to eat the fruit instead of drink its’ juice.  Not only will you get the nutrients, but you will also get the substance, helping making you feel full.

Alcohol is an even bigger culprit.  One margarita can have as many as 700 calories and almost 100 grams of sugar.  In addition to the high caloric value, alcohol can also lower your inhibitions, causing you to eat more and make poor choices when it comes to good.  If you have to enjoy an alcoholic beverage, it is better to keep it to a minimum and enjoy alcohol sparingly on weekends.  If you are going to drink, it is helpful to know what to drink in order to minimize the calorie intake as well. Light beers, a glass of wine, a glass of champagne or vodka and soda can be some of the least damaging drinks to enjoy.  Most of these options have 100 or less calories per serving and have minimal sugar content.

Push Up Challenge for June

I am so excited to have joined a Challenge that appears to be too hard at first but I feel like it is the perfect challenge to complete for those P90 grads who are doing weekly Hybrid workouts like myself. I am up and ready for it. Got a Beach Trip scheduled at the end of June and would love to say I did it. So here is the challenge.

MEN: There are women who will complete this challenge. Will you???
WOMEN: Show the men that you have what it takes to STEP UP and GET IT DONE!!

This is a 6000 Push-up Challenge on JUNE 1st! The idea is to do 6,000 push-ups in one month! Ideally you’ll do 200 a day and you can break them up into whatever is a manageable amount for you. I’m going to wake up and knock out 50, do another 50 at lunch, do another 50 after work, and finally do 50 before I go to bed. I don’t care what kind of push-ups you do. You can do them from your knees, you can do them leaning against a wall. The point is to just BRING IT and do them anyway you can! I want to get as many of you all doing this with me so we can all feel better and know we are doing something to contribute to a healthy life.

What matters is who can do more collectively, the men or the women. 6000 is just a goal to shoot for. If you can do more, great! If you can only do half that, GOOD FOR YOU! That is an accomplishment in itself!

Message me if you are up for the challenge as I am really excited to get this started.

Day #3 July 30 Day Challenge

Today was definitely a challenge to get on the treadmill early enough and fit in my Asylum workout.  I managed to get on the treadmill around noon.  Went to some friends house for some pool time with the kids.  Had Shakeology for Breakfast with my favorite ingredients: Coconut Milk, Coconut Water, Coconut Oil, Chia Seeds, PB2, and Ice, tastes better then a Mocha Coconut Frappacino, and my gosh 5,000 times more healthy.  So, I had to squeeze in Asylum Vertical Plyo which is 40 min long, but since my husband and I had date night planned with a movie involved I had only 20 min to fit it in and I did just that, 20 min and I was sweating like a dog.  I felt really bad about it but decided it was better then skipping it.  I enjoyed a movie and dinner but dinner was my first vegetarian screw up.  So I went to the Cheesecake Factory, looking for light vegetarian and I chose to order Angel Hair Pasta with tomatoes and Shrimp, Oops!! As soon as I ordered it, I hopped on my smartphone and looked up whether Shrimp was considered Vegetarian and guess what it was not, oh geez.  So when the food came I ate 3 out of the 5 shrimp felt guilty and decided to not eat the rest.  But I managed to avoid the cheese.  I did have one Skinny Martini that was under 150 calories.  Stay tuned for Day #4.

 

Day #2 July 30 day Challenge

I just knocked out Chest and Back from the original P90x. and my arms feel like jello.  But the day started with a 20 minute Interval training on the treadmill:  3 min at 4.0, fast walk, 1 min at 7.0, back and forth.  I ate complete vegetarian and had a great breakfast at our favorite breakfast place.

Ingredients:

Egg Whites

Zucchini

Mushroom

Tomato

Avocado

Spinach

**Note**Accomplishment-No Cheese, No Bacon, No Turkey Sausage 🙂

For Lunch I had Shakeology, here is what it included:

Best thing I had tons of energy, went to the movies with the kids and had some non-buttered popcorn.  Looking forward to day #3

Les Mills Pump Tips | Body Pump Tips

As someone that has done Beachbody’s Les Mills Pump for two rounds I feel like it is time to share some tips that I find very valuable for those that are just starting, those that have been doing the program and those that are looking to see whether this program is for them.

1. The program starts off slow but stick with it— When you follow the program, the schedule has you doing a DVD called Pump Challenge.  For those that have never worked out with weights this is right up your alley.  For those that have worked out with weights, especially those of you who have already completed programs like P90x you may find this workout boring.  Here is my tip for both of you.  Beginners: focus on the form, do it with the bar only.  Novice: do this disc and really focus on the form, do the DVD with light weights but try and have a mirror in the room so that you can see if you are using the correct form.  It would be a shame if you got far into the program and injured yourself due to rushing through the beginning.  I HAVE SEEN IT HAPPEN, DON’T LET IT BE YOU.  Advanced:  Do the DVD’s but add more weight.  You are just starting a new program that will take you into 90 days of workout (3 months).  Remember Rome was not built in a day.  You need to ramp up for this program so the beginning is just as important as the end when your workouts are longer and you are possibly lifting heavier weights.

2. Do not go up in weight just because you feel like you should–If you feel you are not improving as the days go on only because you havent changed your weights but you are still walking away with muscles shaking.  Don’t up your weights.  Make sure you re-focus on your form, if you are able to squat all the way or lunge the proper way and you are feeling fatigue, then you should keep your weights the same.  If you feel like you are not getting the burn like you were before, that is a sign you should go up in your weight.  I am still lifting on some tracks the same weights as I was lifting in round 1.  Les Mills Pump is a different breed than traditional reps and sets. If you go up in weight before you are ready you are risking your health and you may very well experience a major injury.  Again I have seen it happen before.

3. When doing the back track or any squats with a weak core—widen your stance, this will allow your hips to stay under your shoulders better and take the stress off your back and also make sure you are sitting in your heels.  Feel the pressure of your heels pushing into the ground.  These are just 2 tips you can use in correcting your form so that you can push yourself further without injuring your back.

4.  Straight from the Les Mills Pumps Trainers–How much weight should I be lifting?  –The last 8 reps should be challenging and after you are done with the track, you should only be able to do 1-2 more reps.

Back in the Game

How I Returned From Injury

2013 started off like the last 3 years had started. I was excited to continue my fitness journey and determined to meet new fitness goals. See after years of fighting to get and keep weight off I was finally in the zone, dialed into the programs and the community. Nothing was going to stop me.

I stayed focused on my new Beachbody program Body Beast and continued to eat like I had on the Ultimate Reset. I was playing Ice Hockey multiple times a week in preparation for a national tournament. I had always known that if I was goingto perform on the ice at a higher level I was going to need to be in the best shape I had been in all year. I would continue to work towards getting stronger and building my “on-ice” stamina so I was ready to go.

April 4, 2013 I participate in the USA Woman’s National Ice Hockey tournament, where players from all over the country competed. Many of them former collegiate players. This was our 4th year attending as a team in hopes to improve our results.

April 6, 2013 after a disappointing first 2 games of the tournament we were scheduled to play what most likely was going to be our last game of the weekend. The game was like every other game that weekend, competitive, and a huge challenge and by then we were pretty exhausted. No different until….

I was purposely “lined-up” for a hit by an opposing player. See, there is no checking in woman’s hockey but there is certainly physical play. This however was “revenge” for a previous play. Earlier my stick creeped up a little too high on a play so I knew this girl was gunning for me. I turned to brace myself for the hit by facing her like I would normally do and “BAM” there it was. I went down on the ice and instantly knew this was not the normal “tweak” of the leg. I tried to get up with no luck. I knew the my leg was broken.

I had seen this happen numerous times over the years in hockey games and tournaments I played in but always said to myself “glad that wasn’t me”. Except this time it was ME.

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After a visit to the Emergency Room in an unfamiliar city and a flight home receiving special boarding treatment it was time to face the Orthopedic doctor to see what the course of action would be. SURGERY he said! I knew as an old Operating Room nurse that surgery would definitely fix this Fibula Fracture, but I was pretty frightened of the recovery. I had no idea what to expect and only heard horror stories about being in rehab and physical therapy for months.

So the surgery was not scary, nor was the night in the hospital I spent. But I continued to fear the unknown. I figured since I had been working out in the past consistently I would be able to do the same and just work on the Upper Body.

I finally had to be real with myself and my situation and recover. So, I recovered on my couch for five weeks before returning back to work. I worked out one time in those five weeks. Instead of feeling sorry for myself and emotionally eat, I knew I could and would at least control my nutrition. I knew I could get up with my crutches and hobble to the kitchen and blend. I knew that if I could be consistent with at least that I would be fine and that is what I focused on for five weeks. So I drank my Shakeology EVERY DAY!

During that five weeks I had a walking boot on my leg but could not put any pressure on it. I did not attend any physical therapy or see any doctor as it was not ordered. The only activity I could do is take the boot off while I sat on the couch and flex and relax my foot and ankle. Once I went back to work I was able to slowly put pressure on it. As I progressed I started to walk with the boot on. At that point I told myself it’s time to get back into the gym. So I started to push play again and started Body Beast for the second time (I had gotten today 54 when I broke my leg). I was determined just to do my best to not get frustrated.

I was able to attend our annual Beachbody Coach Summit and attend some of the live workouts but wore a brace and absolutely modified my moves accordingly. This event was approximately 2 1/2 months after my surgery.

Since then I have continued to work hard, not perfect, but hard. I have removed the brace and have focused on getting back on the ice. I knew that if I was going to do that I could not use any supportive equipment, Because they wouldn’t fit in the food.

About four months after my surgery I took the leap of faith and decided to join my husband on the ice in a “pick up” hockey game, where there was no pressure and I could quit whenever I wanted to. Turns out I lasted the whole “pick up”game and just walked away sore.

This weekend, however, was a milestone for me. I took a deep breath and committed to playing in a woman’s hockey tournament. I knew this would be a mix of skill levels so of all times to test the leg out, now was the time. What was the worst that could happen? I would stop in and the weekend early. After the first game back I sat and replayed the game in my head. I sat and thought about how my ankle felt. “Hey it feels great!” I thought to myself I shouldn’t have any problem getting through a second game, a third, a fourth and yes a fifth game. When I finish the fourth game I thought “Heck yeah I am back!”

Game number five was the Championship game and I was prepared. About halfway through the game a woman on the other team fell on the leg forcing it to rotate in the wrong direction. I thought “Oh crap that hurt, just great”. I continue to monitor it in my head, searching for real pain, but there really was only a twinge the rest of the game. As I sat in the locker room after that last game, I thought to myself “I can’t believe it has been 5 and a half months and I was back on the ice let alone played five games in a span of three days.”

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Then I thought how blessed I was to return from injury for 5 different reasons:

1-I had an excellent surgeon who put me back into one piece.
2-I’m glad I broke my leg when I was probably the strongest I had ever been, thanks to being consistent with my Beachbody workouts for almost 4 years.
3-My body was at optimal with nutrition since drinking Shakeology for the last three years and every day during my recovery.
4-I surrounded myself by a community that pulled me through mentally I found this community in August 2009 when I lost significant weight for the very last time.
5-Family that supported me in continuing my passion human after such a traumatic event.

I was frightened that this would affect me forever, this would set me back, this would take away all the hard work I had already done. I will say my ankle is always sore, it is always swollen, it is always sensitive. also know there is no way I am going to waste my time feeling sorry for myself and wait until There is zero pain or soreness. It is stable and therefore I need to be stable.

Have you been sidelined by life? Was it physical or emotional or financial? Have you “Gotten back in the game”? If not, why? Why not? What’s holding you back? Remember there’s always hope. Just believe! If I can do it, you can too..