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No Quick Fix.
There are dozens and dozens of fitness magazines, websites, and just general fitness information out there that it’s easy to get lost in all the information. What’s right? What works? What doesn’t? I can tell you for sure, none of that information works and sticks in just a short time. So if you are tempted to drop your new routine because you are bored are aren’t seeing results. Don’t stop yet.
You need to be patient when it comes to making changes. Nothing will happen overnight. Right away you’re going to start feeling stronger, you’ll have more energy, you’ll feel more confident, but six weeks is usually a good time frame to start seeing solid physical changes.
Minimize your focus.
It’s easy to gaze at that big picture and forget about the little things. You need to keep your focus small. Yea, we want you to lose 50 pounds, but we can’t do that without establishing some healthy routines first. For example, it’s a goal in itself to start waking up early every day so you can go to the gym. Just going to bed early the night before can be a goal. These might seem like baby steps, but for a busy schedule some of these changes can be a major pain. So keep your goals small.
Create a goal checklist.
One of the easiest way to keep on target with your goals is to track them. The best way to do this is just make a goal checklist. Write down the daily tasks you want to accomplish and as you do them, check them off. This is very similar to what we do at the joefitness gym.
Commit to your goals, be patient, and stay consistent. Nothing is going to happen overnight. If you can keep on target you will see results!
Write down exactly what you want to accomplish. Do this often. There is special connection to writing down your goals and keeping them. Your thoughts are easy to ignore, but there is something unbreakable about putting the ink to the paper. It’s like a personal contract with yourself. Write your goals down. Be specific and review them often.
Take a moment and focus on your goals. No you don’t need to light a bunch of candles and listen to zen music. Just take a moment and focus on your thoughts, focus on what you want to accomplish, visualize obstacles you are going to face and how you will over come them. Just don’t think about it once, do it over and over. If you repeat these scenarios in your thoughts you will be more equipped to take them on later.
Every single client I take on has a mile long laundry list of things they want to change about themselves. It goes on and on, but there’s little focus. The first thing we work on is finding focus, singularity, and clarity on their goals. We find that one thing we need to focus on first. You need to simplify and focus on one task at a time. You’ll find you will be much more successful and much less frustrated when you can master this.
You’re stuck. You’ve lost ten pounds, a few pant sizes, co-workers are complimenting you, but your stuck. Your stuck on those next ten pounds. It’s incredibly frustrating and very disruptive to accomplishing your goals. At these moments it’s easy to lose focus. This is when you need to reflect. You need to reflect on your journey so far. Sure the next ten pounds might not be as easy as the first, but it’s important to remind yourself that you have lost ten pounds!
Finally, you need to celebrate your accomplishments. You should mark your milestones with rewards. Whether it’s buying yourself some new skinny jeans or going for a whole new haircut, do something to mark this new moment in life.
Find your fat loss attitude and you might find yourself on the path to success!
I read in a magazine that drinking coffee will help me lose weight. Is this true?
Coffee can certainly help you workout harder and give you more stamina at the gym. There is some evidence that the caffeine in coffee can help you burn fat but the research isn’t solid. Keep in mind, drinking sugary coffee drinks will not help you at all.
So drinking coffee before you workouts can help you workout harder and longer, but there is nothing the coffee does not directly help you lose weight.
Does skipping meals really slow down your metabolism?
No. Skipping meals will not slow down your metabolism at all. You could go days (even weeks) on a minimal amount of calories and your metabolism wouldn’t “slow down” one bit. So it’s not the end of the world if you miss a meal.
Now, skipping a meal or two might result in you feeling sluggish, but the sluggishness you feel isn’t your metabolism slowing down. This sluggishness can effect your mood and gym performance as well as make you more likely to binge on food.
I do ab exercises all the time at the gym, but I never see any definition. What am I doing wrong?
Your abs are there! Even a six pack, but your abs have both fat above them and below them, and unfortunately fat can accumulate in both areas. This can make the definition in your abs disappear.
The solution to your definition problem is mostly a disciplined diet, however, exercise does play a role. Now you can do all the ab exercises you want, your six pack will not magically appear. You should be doing intense full body workouts to get those abs to really show!
How much water should I be drinking everyday?
Your body is mostly water, and it is essential to get plenty of it! Everything from your joints, skin, digestion, to muscles, water is essential for a healthy body. For girls, 90 ounces and guys about 125 ounces of water per day is recommended.
It’s easy to drink more water when the temperature is warm or when your working out, but you’d be surprised how easily you can become dehydrated during the winter. The cold dry air makes it easy to forget to drink water. Also, if you are sick or running a fever, drinking more water is important. So drink up and keep hydrated and healthy!
Do you have an Ask Joe question?
Ask me over on our Facebook page!
I know for a lot of you the next few weeks will be extremely busy. Holiday parties, family get-togethers, school concerts and plays… life gets very busy. I’m here to tell you that know matter how busy you are, you can still drop pounds! It’ll take a little focus on yourself, but you can do it! You only need to exercise 30 minutes per day and make sure you’re making healthy decisions at the plate. Don’t worry there will be plenty of time for all the holiday goodies and drinks!
I put together an action grid for you to use over the next four weeks! I want you to print this action grid off and cross off each task as you complete them. At the end of the week add up your score (each day is one point) and try to get at least a 85%! For fun and accountability: I want you to take a picture of your action grid and email it to me!
Here’s our strategy for those 10 pounds:
-Eat a good breakfast every morning
-Drink lots of water
-Keep most meals Low Carb
-Wednesday and Sundays eat more carbs from fruit
-Eat seeds and nuts for more sustained energy
-You can have a cheat meal on the Saturday
-Relieve your stress by doing strength training 3x per week
-Exercise at Least 30 minutes everyday
-More caffeine than you need
-Binging on food because you are tired or stressed
-Late night snacking
Don’t forget to send a picture of your completed action grid to me! I know you can do this!
If you are stuck or in a rut with exercise, your diet, or just getting going, yell at me on my Facebook page! I would love to help you out! Now let’s move and drop those pounds!
Chances are there will be some left-over turkey tomorrow. I’m no foodie, so instead of me telling you what to do with that wonderful low-fat meat, I’ll let the food experts tell you. Here are three links for over 40 awesome and healthy left-over turkey recipes!
Health.com has 9 healthy recipes – The turkey broccoli bake looks pretty amazing!
CookingLight.com has 20 recipes that caught my eye – The first on list is turkey quesadilla using jack cheese, yum!
EatingWell.com has 18 fantastic recipes – Check out the Warm Winter Salad!
Short and sweet today, if you find a recipe you love or if you have one you would like to share, tell me in the comments below!
Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!
Need a workout this weekend and won’t be around the gym? Check out these two Turkey Day Workouts I put together for my clients!
Turkey Day Meltdown
Jog In Place 60s
Mountain Climbers x50
Jumping Jacks x40
High Knees x30
Side Lunges x10 (each side)
Sumo Jump Claps x20
Single Leg Sit-ups x15 (each side)
Tomahawk Crunches x40
Complete 3 rounds if you want it easy
Complete 4 rounds if you are tough
Complete 5 if you have turkey meal guilt
Jumping Jacks 45s
High Knees 45s
Air Squats x20
Jumping Lunges 45s
Mountain Climbers 45s
Close Grip Push-ups x10
Complete 3 rounds for easy
Complete 4 rounds for not so easy
Complete 5 rounds if you should of stayed away from that pie
Want even more workouts? I posted 11 fat-burning bodyweight workout outs here: http://joefitness.areavoices.com/2012/11/13/11-fat-burning-equipment-free-workouts/
Exercise Descriptions & Notes
Side Lunge – Lunge to the side, touching the ground beside your outside foot.
Tomahawk Crunch – Lie on your back, feet straight up in the air, with your hands together and arms straight, touch the ground behind your head and then push your arms past the right side of your feet raising your shoulder blades off the ground, bring your hands back to the ground and repeat on the left side.
Air Squats – Just like a normal squat, keep your hands out in front of you, be sure to get your butt below your knees each time while keeping your back straight.
Close Grip Push-ups – Like a normal push-up except put your hands in a “diamond” position.
Single Leg Sit-ups – Lying on your back, legs straight, with one foot off the ground six inches, sit all the way up touching your elevated foot with both hands.
Sumo Jump Clap – Just like a jump squat. Touch the ground each time with your palms, jump up in the air clapping your hands above your head.
Up-Six – Lying on your back, legs straight on the ground, with your hands under your butt, left your legs six inches off the ground while tucking your chin in your chest.
How often should I be strength training?
Only 2-3 days a week is just fine. Now that doesn’t mean you should only be exercising 2-3 per week. You should be exercising at least 30 minutes per day. It doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym everyday for 30 minutes, it just means you need to move for 30 minutes.
Do I need protein shakes after my workouts even if I’m trying to lose weight?
Sure, if you don’t mind them. Immediately after your workout your body goes into recovery mode. This is a great time to supply your body with some high quality protein to help those beat up muscles recover quicker. Quicker recovery equals faster muscle repair, which results in more fat burning muscle in your body. Most of these protein shakes contain a protein called whey (pronounced ‘way’). Whey protein is a very fast metabolizing protein. Your body is able to absorb and utilize this protein quicker than many other types of protein. This is great right after a workout!
Now if you don’t like the taste of these protein shakes, a simple higher protein meal will suffice. By the way, chocolate milk is a great recovery drink. It’s got the right combination of carbs and protein you need to recover.
What is the deal with intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a technique used to get you those last 10 – 15 pounds off. It’s a bit aggressive, but works quite well. I’m still experimenting with it myself, but so far I like the results!
It works like this: once or twice a week you fast (don’t eat) for a set period of time. For example, on Wednesday’s and Friday’s you would fast for 16 hours. I would have you stop eating at 4pm and resume at 8am the next day. During this fasting period, you can still drink water or tea.
I find intermittent fasting does a few things. First, it makes me much more carb sensitive, so it takes a lot less carbs for my body to feel energized. Second, it makes hunger pangs less annoying, so if I feel hungry when I shouldn’t be, it makes it easier to fight through. Third, it helps my self-control, if I can go 16 hours without food, it makes it easier to skip the junk food at other times.
Do you have an Ask Joe question? Let me know! You can email me joe [at] joefitness.com, leave a comment below, or post it to our Facebook wall!
Want To Lose Weight? Sleep More!
When it comes to losing weight the two methods that come to mind are diet and exercise. Well there may be a third. More evidence is pointing to sleep deprivation as a supporting cause of obesity.
A recent article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal pointed out the link between sleep deprivation and obesity because simply if you are awake more hours you tend to eat more. Sleep or lack of sleep effects the release of appetite regulation hormones. A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics points out that 35 percent of the American population is obese and more than 28 percent of them sleep less than 6 hours per night.
So if you want to lose more weight, make sure you are getting more quality sleep!
Late Night Eating = Weight Gain
Eat more at night? You might be storing it as fat. An article in the journal Nature Medicine indicated a study involving removing the gene in mice that controls the regulation the metabolic timing. By removing this gene, it disrupted the rhythm in which the mice ate. The mice ate outside of their normal eating time. The mice that had the gene removed became obese compared to the control group.
What does this mean? This may indicate that eating outside of your metabolic rhythm (at night) could result in weight gain. Late night eating has been linked to weight gain in several other studies, but the reason why hasn’t been firmly established. This study introduces the idea that weight gain from late night eating could be the body’s way of storing the excess calories when energy isn’t in high demand.
We’ve talked about before how I want my clients to stop eating after 6:30pm, this study just reinforces why.
There you have it! It might seem like these studies point out anything new about weight loss, but they do reinforce the healthy habits that are required to lose fat and keep it off! So go get some sleep!
One thing to remember with supplements is that there is very little oversight on the industry. It’s so big and massive that the FDA could never keep up with the never ending line of supplements. So the FDA uses a knee-jerk reaction method to control this massive industry. If they receive a complaint about a particular supplement, they will investigate it. This process can take months, if not years. To make it worse, there is a lot of politics behind this process.
There is a list of ingredients that are and are not allowed in supplements, as well as production standards that they are held to. These standards are very lose. As I said before this industry is MASSIVE. There is no way to control it head on. Quality has always been an issue with supplements.
Sure there are supplements that might actually do what they advertise, but at what cost. The one unforeseen cost is how long do you have to take a supplement to get and keep the desired result. I put fat burning pills in this category. So let’s say you take a fat loss supplement for three months that costs you $100 per month. What happens when you go off the pills, do you gain the weight back? Can you justify taking the pills for the rest of your life? A whole year? Probably not.
Fat Loss Pills
Most fat loss pills on the market are stimulants. They contain caffeine that is the equivalent of a couple cups of coffee. There is a lot of evidence that supports caffeine as thermogenic. Thermogenic is something that increases your metabolism and causes your body to burn more calories. This effect isn’t very efficient. Your body adapts to the caffeine and it requires more to get the same result. Taking more caffeine is not better. Nor is is good for you.
Don’t waist your money of fat loss pills. Drink a cup of coffee and you’ll get same result. Spend the money on something long term, like learning how to cook and exercise for a healthy lifestyle.
Dudes get sucked into supplements just as bad as woman do. There are a lot of products out there that claim if you take them they will increase your testosterone, give you rock hard muscle, or make you look ripped. Don’t listen to the noise. I’m here to tell you the only way to do all that is eat a lot, eat clean, and work out hard. You aren’t going to get “ripped” without working your butt off in the gym.
The Marketing Monsters
The supplement industry is huge. I mean HUGE! Billions of dollars are spent every year. And the unbelievable thing is it’s growing. It’s growth and size makes it unbelievably competitive. Why does this matter to you? Well these supplement companies pay big, big money to make their product look like the best one ever.
“Contact your certified nutrition specialist to adjust your dose if you lose more than 10 pounds in two weeks!”
Sound familiar? You might of heard it on a radio ad. It’s brilliant and incredibly misleading. It gives you the idea that the supplement is so good that you might lose too much weight! Ridiculous. Like I said before the supplement industry will spend a lot of money of marketing their products. Flip through a fitness magazine, how many ads are for supplements? Probably most of them! How many of those ads have a model or person that makes you want to look like them? Probably quite a few. Supplement companies are excellent marketers because they have to be. The name of the game with supplements is those who market the best make the most money. Supplements marketers would make brilliant politicians. They know how to spin and make themselves look like the best option ever.
One of the reasons why the supplement industry is so popular is because of the massive amount of money that can be made. Producing supplements costs very little. These same supplements are sold for much, much more than it cost to make them. Retailers are able to mark-up these supplements greatly and profit enormously.
“You can’t out supplement bad diet and exercise habits.”What are the good supplements?
What is good and what isn’t? I tell my clients that there are three supplements that I agree with: multi-vitamins, omega-3/6s, and protein supplements. That’s it. The rest of the products are just a waste of time and money. You can’t “out supplement” bad diet and exercise habits. Supplements are just that, a supplement, an additive to your diet to fill in the gaps. Where are the diet gaps? The diet gaps are in protein, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals.
At the end of the day, I can preach to you all I want to try to convince you that there is a lot of junk supplements out there. The problem is in just short period of time a supplement ad will probably make you think otherwise. I want you to be aware of this. Just remember the only way to get results is to eat right and do the hard work!