Tagged: meal plans

DON’T CHEAT

If you’ve followed me for any length of time you know that I despise the word and concept of DIET as it means a temporary change in nutrition to achieve a single (and misplaced) goal. Along with my aversion to the word diet and dieting in general, is the commonly associated word CHEAT.

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I often hear people say I cheated and ate something bad.  The problem with using the word “cheat” (and bad) is that it implies a negative behavior and sets your brain up to rebel against your goal and therefore leads one to failure. Since no one can deprive themselves of the things they enjoy eating indefinitely (nor should they), diets always fail because the aftermath of a temporary nutritional change is to regain the lost weight/fat as the subject usually resumes eating they way they had before the diet.

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So today I offer this advice to those of you who still insist on dieting – do not say that you’ve cheated or been bad when you eat or drink something not “allowed” on your diet.  Food is not your spouse, you’re not married to it, lying to it, on trial, or in school – the only areas where the word cheating applies. You will be far more successful in your fat loss goals if you just acknowledge that you want to eat something that gives you pleasure  and consume it, albeit ideally in a small quantity.  Then resume your diet and get on with it.

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The other area of “cheating” that I want to address is that of your workouts. This time of year newly motivated fat-loss seeking customers flock to gyms or sign up with personal trainers to institute new workout plans in conjunction with their new diets. Although I never hear a client state I cheated on my workout and skipped a day, the altering of their fitness plan does occur on as regular basis as the diet-cheating, just without the self-inflicted negative chastising of calling it cheating.

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If you are committed to following a workout and meal plan to lose fat, then even if you’ve chosen to do so for a short and temporary period of time – don’t cheat. Workout out to the limits of your strength and endurance, and keep your nutrition focused. Again, if you veer off the diet for a meal/day, or skip a day/week of workouts, just get back on track without any negative shaming of yourself.

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Ultimately you will only succeed at permanent fat loss if you change your approach to nutrition on a long-term basis, while still keeping the less “lean and healthy” foods to a smaller and more moderate level (quantity). Eat 6 times a day and drink lots of water. Simultaneously prioritize and schedule high intensity workouts (both cardio and weights) 3 times a week at a minimum. Remember to change up your workouts (increase intensity and/or time spent) at least every 6 weeks so you do not plateau. Also remember that if you start building more muscle mass you might actually need to eat more — but eat smart!

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This is the only sure-fire way to reduce your body fat for good! So don’t cheat – just make a health plan and remind yourself that it’s okay if the plan changes or your get off track briefly. It’s all about the long haul.

2017 Fitness Challenge

Every January a large percentage of our population renew their vow to get into shape and embrace fitness as a way of life. Every March the amount of people still on track or experiencing any success in their fitness goals is about 20%! If that’s you, read on because I’m going to help you succeed this year by giving you some much needed direction.

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The problem is usually that most people jump in too fast (or pick only one course of exercise) resulting in either burn out, boredom, injury, or just lack of sustained motivation. Without keeping your fitness routine varied and effectively focused you will not be able to sustain – especially if you aren’t already addicted to exercise.

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So below is a generic (yet adjustable to each individual) fitness routine that will last you through January. Those of you who stick with it, write to me and I’ll give you February, etc. If after 3 months you have stayed the course and seen and felt results – well then you can sign up (and pay) for more routines. But I am offering first quarter 2017 free routines, so take advantage people!

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Keep in mind, that nutrition is 70% of your battle. So if you are really committed you may want to order a customized meal plan from me (workouts247.com), but regardless I urge and remind you NOT to DIET. Diets do not work! Keep your nutrition lean and clean 85% of the time (15% is free for you to drink, eat sugary, fatty, hi-caloric stuff) and eat 6 small meals/snacks per day. Drink water water water and follow this routine and I know you’ll see results!

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Also stay off the scale – we’re trying to build muslce and reduce fat and the scale will not show the results you’re looking for. Only the way your clothes fit and the way you see your body are valid proof of your fitness success.

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So here is your FREE 3 Day – 30 mins workout routine for January. Most of this can be done with little to no equipment, and all of it is perfect for a gym. Either way, modifiy as you need to for your fitness levels and access to equipment, but do not modify how aggressively you attack this workout. BE A BEAST! If you need clarification on exercises, weights, etc., you know where to find me. Stick with this and next month you’ll be ready for a 5-day workout!

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DAY 1 – UPPER

10 burpees
10 incline push ups
15 Triceps dips
15 DB curls
10 DB up-out-in-downs
15 DB hammer curls
15 DB triceps kick backs
10 Leg lowers & raises (Abs)

Repeat circuit 2-3 times

DAY 2 – LOWER

25 Jumping jacks
10 Step Ups (each leg)
15 Jump Squats
10 DB Tap Squats
15 Wide to Narrow Squats
10 Dead lifts into Calf Raises
15 Single Leg Lunges (each leg)
25 V-sit in and outs

Repeat circuit 2-3 times

DAY 3 – TOTAL BODY

5 Mins steep incline treadmill walk (Or any cardio that kicks your butt)
20 DB Lunge walks with shoulder presses
10 DB push ups with alternating single arm rows
20 DB squats
20 Mountain Climbers
15 DB Curl to presses
15 DB Shoulder Flies
15 DB Triceps Ear Busters
3 Thirty-second Planks (prone iso abs)

Repeat circuit 2-3 times

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Jump Start The New Year

Happy new year. We’re six days into January and the annual surge in attendance at most gyms is ramping up quickly. Thousands of us make resolutions to get in shape, and to that end many people joined or received the gift of a gym membership this January. This happens every year, and every year by March 75-80% of new members have dropped off as old habits kick in.

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So today I wanted to offer you a “Jump Start” workout that can be done at the gym or in in your living room. If you can stick with this simple and quick workout – three times a week (every-other day) for 4-6 weeks, you’ll not only find yourself already in better shape that you are right now, but you’ll be more likely to stick with your resolution and that gym membership will not go to waste.

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One of the pitfalls people face each January is that they think they have to reinvent their wheel. In other words, they convince themselves that they have to have the right clothes, shoes, and gear, and buy a bunch of food and supplements that they don’t even know how to cook or use. Very quickly either budgetary constraints stop their momentum, or lack of seeing results due to improper workouts or confusion as to how to eat differently leads to frustration and they give up.

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I always suggest biting off only what you can chew (forgive the pun) is the best way to start something so radically new and different to one’s current lifestyle. This is why I am posting this very simple (yet still challenging) three-day workout, and some basic nutritional guidance to get you started. As I stated previously, if you can stick with this you might find the motivation you need to continue on into 2016 past January. If not, then hey, at least you won’t have lost a bunch of money, and you can go back to being out of shape until you’re ready to try again next year!

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You can Google most of the exercises listed and see photos or videos of how to properly perform each (I have examples on my websites and YouTube page too). I’ve given a beginners weight spectrum for the dumbbells (i.e., 3-10 lbs. should cover anyone who is just starting out, no matter size or gender). Pick the weight that challenges you but you can still complete the required repetitions. If it’s too easy, it’s too light! If you can’t do the full amount of reps now, then work up to it, but push yourself each week to do more.

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As for “gear” – clearly a gym will have the what you need for this workout, but If you have no hand weights, try two evenly filled gallon-sized water bottles (that doesn’t mean they need to be full, just filled to equal levels). They have handles and are durable and easy to use, and you can buy two at any Dollar Store. Start fairly light, and add more water if you find you’re ready for them to be heavier.

 THE WORKOUT:

DAY 1:

10 burpees

15 biceps curls w/3-10 lbs.

10 push ups

15 shoulder presses w/3-10 lbs.

20 air squats

1 30-second plank

Perform each in subsequent order then repeat entire set 2 more times.

 

DAY 2:

15 jumping jacks

15 bent forward rows w/3-10 lbs.

10 incline push ups (on bench, chair, or counter)

10 triceps dips (on bench, chair, or counter)

20 lunge walks

10 leg lowers & raises

Perform each in subsequent order then repeat entire set 2 more times.

 

DAY 3:

10 jump squats

15 biceps curls w/3-10 lbs.

10 up-out-in-downs (shoulder/chest) w/3-10 lbs.

20 wide-to-narrow jump squats

10 v-sits

1 30-second side plank (each side)

Perform each in subsequent order then repeat entire set 2 more times.

 

NUTRITIONAL GUIDANCE:

30-mins after waking:  Breakfast + glass of water

2-3 hours later:                Mid-morning Snack + glass of water

2-3 hours later:                Lunch + glass of water

2-3- hours later:             Mid-afternoon Snack + glass of water

2-3 hours later:               Dinner + glass of water

All meals/snacks should be small portions consisting of lean protein 65% (chicken, fish, pork), clean unprocessed carbs 20% (veggies, grains, beans, legumes), healthy fats 15% (avocado, fish, nuts). Avoid refined sugar, sodas, full-fat dairy, and processed salty-fatty snacks.

EAT EAT EAT!

I’m sensing a pattern here – a pattern of people having a completely wrong concept of food and how to utilize nutrition to lower their body fat (lose weight). I know I’ve discussed these concepts a few times on my blog but evidently it bears repeating.

Here’s how the pattern displays: I ask a potential client how much they eat. They reply with anything from “I eat a lot” to “I try to keep it to 1200 calories or less” or some other such nonsense. Then I probe a little deeper and usually discover that (a) they do NOT eat a lot or (b) they actually have no clue how many calories they are really ingesting. I found out one client was eating six 5-calorie mints a day. Do the math: 5×6=30. That’s 30 calories they were not counting. As you may know if you follow me, miro-managing your calories is a waste of time in my opinion.

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Finally comes the part where I shock this person by telling them they are not eating enough. The human body is designed for movement, movement supported by fuel (food). The machine (our bodies) takes fuel in (ideally clean and healthy fuel) and then hums along seamlessly running everything from blood flow, circulation, digestion and brain processing (behind the scenes) to supporting us as we walk, run, lift, twist, kneel, and of course, exercise.

If you do not put in regular, consistent quantities (and quality) of fuel, our bodies know to store the fuel for slower disbursement and later use. They way fuel is stored is FAT. If you do not use that stored fat, it remains in your body. If you’ve ever watched NBC’s The Biggest Loser you’ll see that the trainers (Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels) are always telling the contestants they have to eat more to lower their body fat!

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SO, once again, fuel in – fuel out. Eating six times a day is essential. The quantity and quality matters as well. I had a client who was eating six times a day, but after reviewing her food journal (something I highly recommend you keep), it was obvious that her six meals were what I call “squirrel food.”

Here’s an example of what the I eat a lot people, actually eat:

7:00 a.m.     Breakfast: 1 Egg, 1 slice of toast w/jam, Orange Juice

12:00 p.m.   Lunch:  Grilled chicken salad, piece of fruit

3:00 p.m.     Snack:   Granola bar

7:00 p.m.     Dinner:   Pasta with protein & marinara sauce

Why is this a problem? First, you have a 12 hour fast from dinner to breakfast. Second, you have a long stretch between breakfast and lunch. Third, while both the lunch salad and the dinner pasta are very filling so they feel like they’ve eaten a lot, the reality is this is not enough fuel to support a day’s worth of activities. Remember, if you have a sedentary job, your body has a lot of work going on “behind the scenes.”

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Here’s an example of those who eat squirrel food meals:

7:00 a.m.      Breakfast:  small bowl of oatmeal with blueberries

10:00 a.m.    Snack:   handful of nuts and grapes

12:00 p.m.    Lunch:  Half a turkey & veggie sandwich, apples slices

3:00 p.m.      Snack:  1 DNA Life Bar (there are 2 in a pack)

7:00 p.m.      Dinner:  ½ chicken breast, quinoa and roasted veggies

9:00 p.m.      Snack:  ½ apple with peanut butter

Now while this meal plan is way better than the I eat a lot sample above, you still have too little quantity in each meal. Especially if you are actively engaged in an hour of exercise at least four times a week. Your initial body fat loss will plateau very soon and leave you stuck in your fat loss goals.

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Now here’s an example of balanced nutrition for the average person’s needs:

7:00 a.m.     Breakfast:  Bowl of oatmeal with natural peanut butter, bananas, & real maple syrup

10:00 a.m.   Snack:   Handful of almonds, handful of grapes, 2 DNA Life bars

12:00 p.m.   Lunch:  Half a turkey sandwich + veggies & humus

3:00 p.m.     Snack:   Other half of turkey sandwich

5:00 p.m.     Gym:  Protein shake

7:00 p.m.     Dinner:  Full chicken breast, quinoa & roasted veggies

9:00 p.m.     Snack:  Small serving of 3-bean salad (black, kidney, chickpea) + an apple

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So the next time you wonder why you’re not seeing a difference in how your clothes fit (or if you’re still weight focused – on the scale), perhaps this detailed itemization will help you adjust your own nutrition to a more effective level. Of course, if you have questions or would like a meal plan catered exactly to your needs, you know where to find me! (www.workouts247.com)