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TrainerTiff: 2007 >

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Get motivated!

What's your training motivation?

We all have different reasons that we get into the gym and also watch what we eat.

For me, knowing I will have a figure competition coming up motivates me. But maybe you have a vacation coming up, and you want to look good in your bathing suit. Or perhaps you need to lose weight for health issues like lowering your cholesterol. Whatever your motivation is, don't lose sight of it. That's the key.

As a trainer, I have seen a lot of people who are really motivated when they begin their programs, but at some point their motivation wanes. To repeat: The key to staying with a program -- and achieving your fitness goals -- is to not lose your motivation. I know, you're probably thinking, "Duh, but how do you do that?"

First, keep in mind the emotions you felt when you decided to begin your program. If your goal is to drop a few dress or pant sizes, then remember how you felt when you looked in the mirror and decided to start working out. When find yourself lacking the desire to workout, just revisit all of those feelings. This should help a lot.

Also, you may want to write your goal on a piece of paper in huge letters, and post it to the fridge. This way when you are about to eat something that you shouldn't, your goal will be staring you in the face.

These things should help you stay on track.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Have a great holiday!

Happy holidays! I will be on vacation for a week and will return will new posts next week. Have a happy and safe holiday!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Avoid Holiday Overeating

The holiday season is in full swing. And with Christmas right around the corner, we will be facing buffets upon buffets of food. Don't panic. This is a difficult time for us all. There is good news -- you can get through the holidays without overeating and gaining a bunch of unwanted weight by following a few of my tips.

1. Eat small meals throughout the day. Don't starve yourself all day waiting for dinner. Eating small meals, starting with breakfast, gets your metabolism working to burn calories throughout the day.

2. Eat before. Before attending a holiday party, have a small snack like a piece of fruit or yogurt before. This will help prevent you from overeating at the function.

3. Just say no. Well, say, no thank you. Don't feel pressured into eating a sampling of each dish. Also, don't give into a pushy host pressuring you into tasting something you don't want. Instead, change the subject by complimenting the host's hard work.

4. Watch your alcohol. Alcohol has a ton of calories, and it is easy to drink more than you anticipated. Before your night out, decide on how many drinks you will have and stick to it. Opt for light beers and wines. Also, limit egg nog as it too is high in calories.

5. Avoid seconds. I can guarantee you that the calories you eat in your first serving will be far more than your body needs. There is no need for immediate seconds. Not to mention that you'll probably be stuffed anyway. Instead, wait a couple hours before you go back for more.

6. Limit dessert. Ah, yes, dessert. I know for many people, this is their favorite part of the holidays. Just choose one dessert or take a very small taste of a couple that you really like so that it equals one serving.

7. Exercise. Just because it is a holiday doesn't mean you can't work out. Try to get 20-30 minutes of exercise.

8. Limit high-carb foods. Try to have smaller portions of potato and pasta dishes. Also, limit the amount of bread you eat. Try to stick with one serving of bread. Instead eat more vegetables and fruit.

Remember, this is a time to be with your family and friends. And although food is a huge part of this time period, don't make it the most important part. If you do eat too much, don't stress about it -- just get back on track the next day.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Interval Training

If you're like most people, you probably can't stand doing cardio -- I even have to force myself to do it. Well, if you're like those of us who dislike cardio, then interval training is for you.

Most people I see in the gym do long bouts of cardio, which can get monotonous. But interval training can help mix it up and make cardio less boring -- and more effective.

Interval training, basically, is when you do a quick burst of high-intensity exercise and then follow it with a lower-intensity exercise for a while.

Interval training is an excellent form of cardio for several reasons. It is great for fat burning. It increases the amount of oxygen you take in during exercise, which in turn burns more fat.

(Uh, burns more fat? I’m sold on that alone!)

Okay, here are a couple more reasons. If you've reached a plateau where you are no longer seeing results with your training routine, interval training will be a great shock to the body to help you get over the plateau.

It really isn’t that difficult to do. Interval training can be performed with any cardio exercise. It is most commonly done with the running/walking form of cardio, but can also be done on or with a bike, elliptical machine, stair climber, swimming and even jumping rope. My favorite piece of cardio equipment is the elliptical, so I usually do it on this machine.

To begin your interval program, start off by warming up for 5 minutes at a low intensity. Increase the intensity to a high level until you begin to feel your muscles "burn" or until you're too exhausted to continue at that level. Then reduce the intensity to a moderate speed where you are able breath at a normal rate. You should exercise at the high-intensity level for about 1 minute or as long as you can stand, then exercise at the moderate level for 2-3 minutes. Repeat this cycle for 30 minutes. Each time you perform this routine, try to increase the time you exercise at the high-intensity level.

Give this type of training a try 2-3 times a week, and you'll definitely start to see the fat melt away, which is what we all want after all, right?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Updates coming...

Sorry, I haven't posted. My computer was in the shop, but now it is out and I can get back to writing. Yay! Look for new updates soon.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

What I ate

Food Journal for Wednesday 11-28-07

1/3 cup oatmeal
2 tbs sugar-free strawberry preserves
1.5 scoops protein powder with water

1 serving Red Curry Thai Chicken (which I made)
-3/4 cup brown rice
-1 serving skinless chicken
-fresh broccoli and squash
-lite coconut milk
1 oz mild cheddar cheese
5 whole wheat crackers

1 serving Red Curry Thai Chicken
1 oz mild cheddar cheese

1/2 roast beef sandwich on wheat bread with mustard

1 serving Red Curry Thai Chicken
1 oz sharp cheddar cheese with 3 whole wheat crackers

32 oz water
2 cups coffee

Approximately 1710 calories

The rundown:
Okay, the calories were a little high for me if I am trying to lose weight and I didn't drink enough water. I got a little too happy with the cheese. If I had not had the cheese, I could have saved 330 calories! But let's say I wanted to maintain my weight, then the amount of calories I had was just fine. Also, I waited too long to eat after my 4:45 meal. I should not have gone beyond 3 hours between meals. So, I should have eaten no later than 7:45 and instead I ate at 9:15. : (

Starting Dec 1, 2007 I will begin preparing for my next figure competition that is in April 2008. At that time my diet will become very strict. So, look at future posts and see how I eat during contest prep. ; )

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Go Grocery Shopping!

Next time you go to the grocery store skip the junk food aisles, please. And try out these food choices below. If you eat a diet with the following foods, eating 5-6 small meals per day, you will lose weight. Listed below are categories of foods that contain healthy options.

Kashi cereal varieties
whole-wheat bread
whole-wheat pasta
whole-wheat crackers
brown rice

turkey sausage
turkey bacon
deli meat
skinless chicken breast
ground turkey for turkey burgers
fish (no breading)
lean beef
canned tuna in water

low-fat cheese
light yogurt
2% or less milk

Fruit (any fresh fruit is fine. stay away from frozen and canned fruits because they have added sugar.)

Cliff bars
sugar-free jello
sugar-free pudding
100 calorie popcorn (NO other 100 calorie snacks!)

Vegetables (all are fine, below are just some examples)
(canned and frozen varities are okay)
green beans
romaine lettuce
green leaf lettuce
peppers (green, red, yellow, orange)
sweet potatos

low-fat dressing (only use seving size)
vinaigrette dressings
light Miracle Whip
light butter
zero calorie butter spray
olive oil

Kashi frozen dinners (only the Kashi varieties)
natural peanut butter
sugar-free preserves/jelly
soup (NO cream based soups like cream of broccoli)
Splenda instead of sugar

You'll notice that there are no drinks listed. That is because you should be drinking water instead. I would skip juice because it is full of sugar and empty calories. Also, avoid soda pops. Drink water instead. You will also notice that there aren't too many prepared foods listed. That means you will have to cook! The easiest way to cook chicken is to throw it on the Foreman Grill. Make a lot at once. Make enough to get you through about 5 days. That way the food is always there and ready to eat. This will help you avoid eating fast food and junk you should not eat.

My challenge to you: for one week, avoid fast food, restaurant food, junk food like cookies, candy, etc., coffee drinks like lattes and only eat the foods listed above. If you can do that for one week, you will not only feel better but you'll lose a pound or two. Go ahead and try it, it's only a week. ; )

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Why lift?

3 Reasons Why You Should Lift Weights

1. Look better in your clothes
Well, this is sort of obvious. Women can look forward to wearing sleeveless shirts with nicely toned arms. Men can look forward to having a more athletic look with broad shoulders.

2. Speeds up your metabolism
This is one of my favorite things about lifting weights! The more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns while at rest. This is why people who lift weights a lot can eat more food without gaining weight like people who do not have much muscle.

3. Get stronger
Building strength all over your body will make everyday tasks easier. Standing for long periods of time won't be so exhausting, tasks like cleaning and carrying groceries won't be so tiring either.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

What I ate

Food journal for Wednesday 11-21-07

Okay, I must admit it, today wasn't perfect. But, here is my excuse ... my in-laws are in town for the holiday, so I allowed myself to cheat a bit. But, after Thanksgiving, it's back to proper eating. ; )

1 /2 cup oatmeal
2 Tbs sugar-free strawberry preserves
1.5 scoops protien powder with water

1 package of instant cocoa with water

Roast beef sandwich on whole wheat with mustard
1 cup broccoli

Turkey sandwich on whole wheat with mustard
1 cup broccoli

Turkey sandwich on whole wheat with mustard

(At The Cheesecake Factory)
B.L.T. salad with ranch
1 slice strawberry cheesecake (my cheat)

approximately 1750 calories
*a little high on the calories but considering I had cheesecake, not too bad.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tiff's Top 10 Tips For Weight Loss

1. Eat 5-6 small meals per day.

2. Eat every 2-3 hours.

3. NEVER skip breakfast!

4. Cut out sugary foods. Read the nutrition facts. For example, 1-2 grams per serving is okay. 10 or more grams per serving is definitely too much.

5. Cut out liquid calories such as soda, juice, specialty coffee drinks, etc.

6. Trade white breads and pastas for whole grain varieties.

7. Eat more lean protien such as skinless chicken, fish and lean cuts of beef.

8. Drink more water. Aim for 2 liters per day.

9. Absolutely no junk! No cookies, chips, donuts, candy etc.

10. Avoid fast food at all costs.

Look for future nutrition posts for explanations on these tips. ; )

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Cardio. Cardio. Cardio.

I can't tell you how often I hear: "I've been doing a ton of crunches. I mean, I do like hundreds every day. How come my stomach isn't flat?" Well, I hate to break the news to you, but doing even thousands of crunches isn't going to get you a flat stomach.

Shocked? Most people are. Here is how it works: When you want your waist measurement to shrink, you need to get rid of the fat on your stomach. The best way to strip the fat off your mid-section -- and anywhere else for that matter -- is to do cardio.

Any kind of cardio will do. Walking, running, biking, using cardio machines like the elliptical, cross-trainer, stair master, treadmill, whatever. They all work.

The key is to make sure you are exercising in your target heart rate zone for a minimum of 20 minutes. I would recommend that a beginner do 20 minutes of cardio three times per week and work up to doing 1 hour three or four times per week.

So, what's this target heart rate zone? Well, let's not overcomplicate things right now, I'll talk specific numbers later. But the idea with your target heart rate zone is that you want to be exerting yourself enough so that you are sweating at least a little. If it is difficult to hold a conversation with your friend while running or walking on the treadmill, then bingo you know you're in the right zone.

Here is an easy way to think of it. On a scale of 1-10 -- where 1 is you're sitting on the couch watching TV and 10 is you're running for your life -- you should be between 6 and 8.

So I'd tell a beginner who wants a flatter belly to do cardio three times a week for 20 minutes each time at about a 6 pace.

After you burn the fat around your mid-section, then you'll start to see those nicely defined abs you've been working so hard at with all those thousands of crunches. ; )

Thursday, November 15, 2007

What I ate

Food journal for Wednesday 11-14-07

Currently, my diet is designed for weight loss.

1/4 cup oatmeal
2 Tbs sugar-free strawberry preserves
1 scoop protein powder with water

1 serving baked boneless skinless chicken
1/2 cup brown rice
1/2 cup broccoli

1 pc baked chicken leg
1 cup broccoli

protein shake
-1 cup light soy milk
-1 scoop protein powder
-1 small banana
(made in blender)

1 pc baked chicken leg
1 cup broccoli with 1/4 cup reduced fat cheese

Total calories=1230

2 cups coffee w/ Splenda and light cream
2 liters of water

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My Food Diary

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Egg, bacon, tomato & cheese sandwich on whole wheat
1/4 grapefruit

1 cup Light n Fit yogurt w/
 -2 fresh strawberries, sliced
 -sprinkle of almonds

1 pc baked salmon w/ pesto sauce
1/2 cup couscous
2 large asparagus spears

1 apple

4 small slices bbq chicken pizza on lavash bread

1 orange (dessert/snack)

Drank 60 oz of water today.