You've started the New Year off the way you planned — diligently following a fitness and eating regime that has you feeling and looking better than you have in long time. But then you hit a rut.
The rut could be anything: Not losing the amount of weight you'd hoped to, or that your clothes aren’t fitting as comfortably as you thought they would. So, what to do?
The first, and most important, thing is to not give up. Recognize that everyone goes through peaks and valleys as they make important life changes, and giving up now would derail the progress you've already made.
That said, you need to find ways to keep yourself motivated and on your plan. Here are some ways to do that — and the payoff will be that you'll start to see progress again.
1. Post Your Goals Everywhere
Write down your fitness goals and post them around your home. Look at them every day. If the note on your bathroom mirror says, "I want to lose 30 pounds," it's going to be easier to find the motivation to keep going.
2. Hide The Scale
People often equate results with the number they see on the scale. But that's only part of the picture, and chances are you're already experiencing changes that aren't simply about weight loss. By hiding the scale for the time being and focusing on the bigger picture of becoming fitter, stronger and more agile, you'll take the pressure off yourself while maintaining the momentum to keep going.
3. Focus On The Positives
While that number on the scale might not be dropping at the pace you'd like (for now), you're no doubt feeling other changes, such as having more energy, less pain, or being able to play with the kids without getting worn out so easily.
4. Do It Because You Want To
What's the best workout for you? It's one that you enjoy doing and will do consistently even when your energy lags. Consistency is the key to getting and maintaining results. If you finish your workout and feel like you're on top of the world, or look forward to the healthy meals you've planned for the day, you're on the right track.
5. Read Other's Success Stories
If your motivation is starting to wane, or you're not seeing the immediate results you want, get online and read about people who've gone through the same hardships and trials. Read about that person who dropped 30 pounds. Their success can inspire you to keep going.
Personal trainer Ralph Roberts can help you achieve your health and fitness goals. Contact Ralph today in Amarillo.
Diet fads come and go in our society. Eliminating certain foods is the hot thing right now. But as it turns out, elimination diets may not be all they’ve been touted to be. (Surprise, surprise!) For specific health conditions or environmental concerns, an elimination diet might fit the bill. But if you’re trying to lose weight, here are some things to consider.
A Balanced Diet Ensures Proper Nutrition
Before you cut an entire food group out of your diet, be sure you can adequately replace the nutrition it provides with another source. It’s often difficult to get the vitamins and minerals your body needs when you’re on an elimination diet.
Take dairy, for example. Some people cut out dairy because they believe it’s fattening, while others worry about the hormones that are sometimes pumped into cows. But one cup of milk provides a third of the calcium you need in a day. You’d have to consume 13 cups of raw kale to get that same amount.
Eliminating Certain Foods May Not Result In Weight Loss
Despite popular belief, eliminating entire food groups from your diet won’t help you lose weight. You may experience some weight loss initially if you cut out carbs, for example, but that’s mostly due to the wide array of foods that fit into the carb category.
It’s certainly true that consuming too many refined sugars and processed carbs (think donuts and white bread) causes health concerns such as diabetes and heart disease. But avoiding healthy carbs (whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables) leaves you lacking in your body’s main source of fuel.
A Lack Of Nutrients Can Lead To Health Issues
A nutritional deficiency occurs when you don’t get the micronutrients necessary to prevent and fight off ailments. Examples of nutrients people are often deficient in include:
These are just a few examples of nutritional deficiencies that lead to health problems. If you’re considering an elimination diet to lose weight, talk to a health expert to make sure you’re getting the nutrients your body so desperately needs.
To learn how to lose weight safely and effectively, reach out to personal trainer Ralph Roberts today.
Now that you've made those New Year's resolutions to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle, the hard work has begun — actually following through on your goals. Professional trainers agree that one of the biggest roadblocks to actually meeting your fitness goals is knowing how to set them the right way. By doing so, you'll greatly increase your chances of sticking with them and seeing them to completion. Here are some goal-setting tips to keep in mind.
1. Set Specific Goals
Setting a vague goal of "I want to lose weight" is great, but it doesn't really get to the heart of the matter. But saying you want to lose 10 pounds in six weeks is a specific goal and follows the SMART goal guidelines — it's Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound.
2. Set Realistic Goals
By setting unrealistic goals, you're setting yourself up for failure. An example of an unrealistic goal would be to say you're going to lose 20 pounds in a month. A realistic goal would be to say you want to lose 20 pounds, but you're going to do that at a rate of 1 to 2 pounds a week — what the average person can expect. At that rate, you'd realistically lose 20 pounds in 10 weeks.
3. Proper Planning
Mark on your calendar realistic workout times that work for your schedule, or times of the day when your energy is highest. That way unexpected "plans" won't sidetrack you from getting your workouts in.
4. Eating Enough
Although you may think that skipping meals will help you lose weight, you have to eat if you want to reach your fitness goals. Specifically, you need to consume at least the number of calories not only to perform the basic functions of survival, but also to find the right number of calories for your activity level.
5. Life Balance
There's more to reaching your fitness goals than simply working out hard several times a week. You also need to factor in proper sleep, a balanced diet, and managing your stress levels.
6. Strength Training
Don't make the mistake of focusing only on cardio. That's part of the puzzle, but another piece is strength training, which helps build lean muscle. The more lean muscle you have, the more calories you burn and the faster your metabolism becomes.
Working with a personal trainer like Ralph Roberts will help you reach your health and fitness goals. Contact Ralph today.
There's no denying that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is on the rise. People of all fitness levels can do it, including people who are overweight or suffering from diabetes.
HIIT training involves repeated bouts of high-intensity effort followed by less-intense recovery periods. For example, you could run full speed for a minute, and follow that by running more slowly for two minutes.
The benefits? Well, there are many.
1. You'll Burn More Calories, Longer
One of HIIT's greatest benefits is not only that you'll burn more calories during your workout, but that you'll continue to burn calories for up to two hours after you've finished, too. The total calories burned after a workout are greater than in continuous aerobic training.
2. It's Efficient
If you don't have as much time for your workout for whatever reason, HIIT is an ideal solution. Research shows you can achieve more progress in a 15-minute interval workout than you can by jogging on a treadmill for an hour.
3. No Equipment Needed
A major advantage to HIIT workouts is that you don't necessarily need equipment. Yes, running, jumping, biking and rowing work great for interval training, but exercises like jumping lunges and high-knees work just as well.
4. You Won't Lose Muscle
While steady, long cardio seems to encourage muscle loss, research shows HIIT allows you to preserve your muscles while you lose weight.
5. You'll Stick With It
Many people find HIIT to be more enjoyable than forms of steady state exercise. People report that they get more enjoyment out of continuous, vigorously intense exercise than long, slow workouts.
6. It's Good For Your Heart
A lot of people don't break into an anaerobic zone (where it becomes hard to breathe) during low- or moderate-intensity workouts. On study showed that after eight weeks of HIIT, subjects reported being able to bike twice as long as they could before.
7. It's Challenging
HIIT workouts may be shorter, but you'll be working hard the entire time.
8. You Can Do It Anywhere
Because you don't necessarily need equipment to get in a HIIT workout, you can do it practically anywhere.
9. Increased Metabolism
HIIT has been shown to dramatically increase the production of your human growth hormone. Not only is HGH responsible for an increased caloric burn, but it also slows down the aging process.
10. You'll Curb Your Appetite
Evidence suggests that HIIT can actually help suppress your appetite for longer periods after your workout.
Ralph Roberts uses HIIT to train his clients in Amarillo. Working with a personal trainer like Ralph can help you better achieve your fitness and health goals. Contact Ralph today.
Getting ready for your workout entails more than warming up with stretches and pumping up with your favorite music. It's also important to make sure you have fuel in your tank, and the right kind of fuel at that.
Not eating before a workout can easily lead to low blood sugar and light-headedness, which, in turn, leads to fatigue. And that means not getting the most out of your exercise routine. The following are great snacks that will properly fuel your workout.
Bananas are packed with everything you need to fuel you up for a hard workout. They're packed with potassium, for starters, and potassium aids in maintaining muscle and nerve function. Because the body doesn't store potassium for very long, it will keep your nutrient levels high for the duration of your workout. They're also loaded with digestible carbohydrates — the fuel for your workout. A medium banana with a half-cup of Greek yogurt is a particularly powerful snack before a morning workout.
2. Fruit & Greek Yogurt
This is a powerful combination because fruit is high in healthy carbohydrates while Greek yogurt is packed with protein. The carbs from the fruit break down quickly and become fuel for the workout, while the protein in Greek yogurt is used later to rebuild muscle.
3. Pistachios & Raisins
Almost any dry-roasted nut provides the right amount of protein and healthy fats, including pistachios. But pistachios are also higher in potassium, which you tend to lose when you sweat, than most other nuts. Pair pistachios with raisins, which provide the quick-burning fuel of carbohydrates. Or, you can pair pistachios with blueberries because blueberries are packed with anti-inflammatory properties that can aid muscle recovery.
4. Fruit Smoothies
Smoothies are an excellent pre-workout kick-starter because they have a strong combination of simple and complex carbohydrates (fuel), and high-quality protein that's digested quickly. The simple carbs will power the early portion of your workout before the complex carbs follow suit about a half-hour in. All in all, it's a steady stream of energy for your entire workout.
Carbohydrates are gradually released into your bloodstream by the fiber in oats to provide consistent energy during your workout. They also contain B vitamins, which help convert those carbs into energy. One cup of oats at least 30 minutes before you exercise will help you hit the ground running.
Personal trainer Ralph Roberts encourages his clients to fuel up before working out. If you don’t have fuel, your body can perform at its peak.
In today’s fast-paced world, it can be difficult to fit exercise into your busy schedule. Carving a full hour or more out of each day to work on fitness just doesn’t appeal to most people. This makes it tougher to lose weight and stay in shape. That’s why it’s crucial to get the most out of every sweat session. Here are three ways to switch up your workouts in order to see better results.
Switch Out Weight Training With Compound Strength Work
It’s now a well-known fact that you experience increased weight loss when you mix strength training in with cardio. Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat — even while resting — so the more muscle you have, the more weight you’ll lose.
Even though simple weighted exercises (think bicep curls) are good for building strength, they don’t offer the same level of weight loss benefits as compound strength exercises. Compound work is all about training more than one muscle group at a time, increasing the results of each session. Examples include:
Switch Out Running With Low-Impact Cardio
Running is a great method for burning calories, but it’s also pretty risky. More than half of runners suffer from one or more running-related injuries each year. And when this happens to you, it means you’re sidelined while the injury heals, putting an abrupt stop to your weight loss and fitness goals.
Instead of risking a serious injury that could derail your progress, opt for cycling or elliptical work. When done at the same intensity as running, these workouts yield similar results. And since the chance of injury is smaller, you’ll be able to keep at it consistently and boost your results.
Switch Out Regular Cardio With HIIT
You’ve probably discovered that high-intensity training (HIIT) is all the rage these days. There’s a good reason behind the hype. Running burns an average of 100 calories per mile, while HIIT often burns upwards of 300 calories in a quick 20-minute session. No wonder people are trading in their treadmills for exercise mats.
HIIT consists of several different exercises done at maximum intensity for short bursts of time. The rotation of different workouts keeps your body guessing (which is great for weight loss), while the intensity bumps up your heart rate.
If you’re having trouble seeing real results with your workout routine, it may be time to change things up. Talk to personal trainer Ralph Roberts for a customized approach that will get you feeling the burn. Subscribe to my newsletter for more health and fitness advice.
It can be considered urban slang and can cause a few chuckles, but FUPA is no laughing matter to women who are afflicted with it.
FUPA stands for "fat upper pubic area" and describes excess fatty tissue or loose skin on or directly above the pubic area. While it can be hidden by regular clothing, it's much more conspicuous in swimwear or fitness clothing.
What Causes FUPA?
A variety of factors can be cited for the development of excess fat in the pubic area. In some cases, it's simply a matter of genetic predisposition, while weight gain and loss can be a contributing factor, as well. It's also commonly found in women after having children, but other factors — including stress and diet — can cause FUPA.
How Can I Fix It?
Here's the good news. There are a variety of ways to get rid of a FUPA, with many of them simply involving changes in your lifestyle or exercise habits. Here are some guidelines:
Ease The Stress
When you're stressed and anxious, fat collects in your midsection as a means to deliver nutrients to your vital organs more easily. That's why it's important to engage in stress-relieving activities such as yoga and meditation, or anything that helps you relax.
Studies have shown that foods rich in vitamin C help ease elevated stress hormones.
Not only does Greek yogurt contain calcium, which helps your body break down fat, but it also contains an amino acid that promotes fat loss.
Your FUPA-fighting diet should also include blueberries, which have high antioxidant levels and help reduce fat in the stomach. Add blueberries to your greek yogurt for a delicious, healthy snack.
Eat Healthy Fat
Healthy omega-3 fatty acids (found in foods like fish, walnuts and flax seeds) have been proven to reduce stress hormone levels in your body.
Mix Up Your Workout
Instead of always sticking with long, slow cardio, add high-intensity interval training to your workout three times a week. An example of this would be jogging at your normal pace for five minutes, running as fast as you can for one minute, and then repeating the process. Studies have shown that it sheds nearly double the calories of a normal cardio routine.
Training with Ralph Roberts can help you lose that FUPA. Contact him today.
Americans resolve to lose weight year after year. But what most don’t consider is that there are more reasons to stick to that resolution than simply looking awesome at the beach.
Benefits Of Weight Loss
Losing weight affects your body in more ways than one. With the right fitness program, you can experience health like you never imagined. Here are eight reasons to keep pursuing those weight loss goals.
1. Longer Life
For numerous reasons, being overweight decreases your life expectancy. And there are people in this world who don’t want to lose you prematurely. Unfortunately, carrying extra weight around keeps your loved ones from having a full lifetime with you. According to recent research, being 80 pounds overweight can shorten your life by at least 10 years.
2. Better Quality of Life
When you’re overweight, it can make it harder to enjoy certain aspects in life. It becomes increasingly difficult to run around with your kids, and you’re constantly out of breath and living with pain. What’s more, you’re forced to deal with never-ending medical conditions and doctor visits.
3. Increased Fertility
Whether you’re trying to get pregnant now or want to have kids in the future, consider your weight. Women with unhealthy BMIs (between 35 and 40) have about a 40 percent lower chance of conceiving than those with healthy BMIs.
4. Reduced Risk of Cancer
Cancer Research UK has found that obesity dramatically increases the risk of several types of cancer, including:
5. Stronger Heart
Having excess fat around your heart causes blood flow to become difficult. This, in turn, increases your risk of suffering from a heart attack or heart disease. But when you start losing weight, the blood flow improves and makes your heart healthier.
6. Improved Sleep
Because belly fat crowds your diaphragm and hinders lung volume, breathing while you sleep becomes more difficult when excess fat is present. Losing weight lessens this interference and allows you to sleep more soundly.
7. Fewer Inflammatory Conditions
Fat releases pro-inflammatory substances in your body, causing your immune system to work overtime fighting off inflammation. Because your body is so busy doing that, it can’t combat other kinds of inflammation. This results in things like arthritis and colitis.
8. Less Risk of Diabetes
When you eat an unhealthy diet, your body may have trouble making enough insulin to catch all that extra sugar. This leads to diabetes, which can be a major life-changing disease to manage.
If these reasons convinced you to lose that extra weight, call personal trainer Ralph Roberts to get started on the road to a healthier you.
Summer can seem like distant future in the dead of winter and the idea of working on your summer body may seem just as far away. But putting off your summer body workouts can be a big mistake. Starting now is the easiest, safest way to get yourself in shape for bikini season.
Ignore The Hype
There is plenty of information out there about short-term workouts that can get you in summer shape in only a few weeks. But, even if possible, you'll have to drastically change your lifestyle and diet all at once. Meanwhile, the long-term result will likely see you cycling back to less-healthy choices.
Remember: A bikini body is always in season, regardless of the weather.
Starting your summer body workout now rather than changing your life for a whole month is a much more realistic approach. You'll create healthy habits that will be easier to maintain in the long run. Creating that summer body can be hard work, so give yourself plenty of time to spare.
Let's face it, when the weather is less than ideal, it can be easy to hibernate and lose motivation to continue working hard at the gym. Keeping yourself on track can be a challenge, but hardly impossible. Here's some things you can do to keep your motivation level high:
Don't Obsess About The Scale
Some people get frustrated when they don't see immediate results that are obvious on the scale. While it's good to weigh yourself at the beginning (and monitor it from time to time) focus instead on how you look in the mirror.
Bring your gym bag to work. It's too easy to go home after work and head immediately for the couch when the weather is dreary.
Don't Fear Eating
That's right — if you're hungry, eat. Starving yourself can actually slow down your metabolism and inspire you to go on an unhealthy eating binge later. Just keep in mind the kinds of food you are eating and portion control.
Take Advantage Of The Weekend
It can be easy to waste away a weekend winding down from a long week. Make the most of those extra free hours by concentrating on your fitness.
Try A Class
If you feel like you can't motivate yourself on your own, a fitness class might be a perfect fit. You'll share the experience with others and a professional trainer will guide you along.
Working with personal trainer like Ralph Roberts can keep you motivated and on track, too. Contact Ralph at the Downtown Athletic Club in Amarillo to discuss your fitness needs.
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