Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Actions to a Better YOU! in 2014!

While debating whether to go to the gym for a workout or outside for a run, I was looking at my goals for 2014. They are goals that I know I can reach, but something was missing, then it hit me…what actions will I take to achieve these goals.  Many times we, myself included, make New Year’s Resolutions and Goals that are to broad and in the process of trying to reach these very broad goals, we do too much and ultimately fail.  This applied to just about anything in life, but is particularly true of weight loss.  In one shot we are going to do some type of cardio daily, lift weights 3-4 times a week, cut back our calories, go cold turkey on whatever food or beverage is our downfall, etc.  Sound familiar.  I know I can relate. These are great things to do, but when attempted all at once, not very sustainable and eventually will lead to failure. Dr. John Berardi has stated that studies show if you want to make one change in your life, you have an 85% change of success, change two or more things at once and chance of success drops to 35% and eventually zero.

So, while still debating what workout I am going to do, I’ve never been good at making quick decisions, I am going to share with you a way that you can set goals and actions and successfully achieve them. It’s an idea that was shared by a fellow trainer Chris Shugart at a conference I attended this past year.  Yes, I actually learned something outside of exercise at a conference, go figure :). He referred to it as the goal snowball.

1)   List five or six behaviors you need to improve or change to reach your goals. What do you need to be doing that you're not doing? What bad habits do you need to kick? What good habits do you need to instill?
2)    List these things from easiest to hardest.
3)    "Maintain" all your other goals and focus your attention on the first thing on your list (the easiest one.) Spend two weeks just focusing on achieving that goal so that it becomes a habit.
4)   Once that change has been made and ingrained, move up to the next item on your list and focus your efforts there.
5)   One by one, knock out these changes and/or goals.

For example: Maybe you sleep late. First goal might be to get up 30 minutes earlier every day. Second goal might be to go to the gym as soon as you wake up. Third goal may be to go to the gym four times a week instead of three. Fourth goal may be to make sure you always eat breakfast. Fifth goal? Reduce portion sizes at 3 out of 5 meals...and so on.

So in 8-10 weeks you're getting up earlier - never missing a workout, have done an extra ten workouts, and eaten breakfast everyday, while consuming less calories overall. These goals would "snowball" into a bigger overall effect with long-term success whereas trying to do all things at once would likely result in short term failure.

Weight loss is never easy…there is no easy fix, no instant gratification, so go easy on yourself and make your healthy changes, lifestyle changes.  Make 2014 not about a new you, but a better YOU! And make it stick!


ps: I have decided to....hmph...just when I thought I had decided. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

New Year...BETTER ME!

As I sit here at my desk looking at the calendar, I can’t believe we are three days away from 2014. Where in the heck did 2013 go? What did I do to make a difference in my life and career? As a personal trainer, I am always telling people to exercise, eat right, focus on this, stop with the excuses, etc., etc., etc.  As I reflect back on the year, I can’t help but wonder how well I’ve practiced what I preach.
I realize that when I’m talking with a client (whether current or prospective), friends and family about diet and exercise, I am talking to my self as well. When I tell someone to stop drinking soda or cut down on the booze, I’m talking to myself. When I talk to someone about fitting in exercise only if it is 10 minutes a day, I’m talking to myself. When I tell someone to cut out the processed food, I’m talking to myself. That’s what I love about my job as a personal trainer, I don’t just help other people, I am a constant reminder to myself to eat right, exercise, and try not to let stress get to you.  Sometimes I do these things very well, other times, not.  And I’m not afraid to admit that. I may be a personal trainer, but I’m also human. J
My goal in 2014 is to do all of the things I tell my clients to do better than I did in 2013.  I do not want a New Me…I want a Better Me! My slogan for 2014, IT STARTS WITH ME!!!!! 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Do You Know Your Metabolism?

It can be very confusing for people to figure out the number of calories needed daily or "rate of metabolism" and its affect on weight loss.  Let's see if I can shed some light on the subject...

The first step in determining how many calories you need to consume each day isn't just figuring out how many minutes you spent on the stair-climber at the gym, but rather what your metabolism is.

What is metabolism? Simply stated, metabolism is the rate at which your body burns calories while at rest.  Or, another way to look at it, the number of calories you'd burn if you stayed in bed and slept all day. A person's BMR decreases as they age, therefore you need to be more active to burn the same amount of calories that you naturally burned at a younger age. The BMR calculation below uses height, weight, age and gender to determine your resting calorie count.

Since your BMR (basal metabolic rate) or metabolism, is the number of calories you need to fuel your body's basic energy needs at rest, it is also necessary to have an honest idea of how active you are to determine your total daily calorie needs. A person can figure on needing 20-90% more calories than your calculated BMR. Here's how to calculate your energy needs:

1. First, find your basal metabolic rate (BMR) by using this equation:
o Women: BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches ) - (4.7 x age in years)
    o Men: BMR = 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in years)

2. To determine your total daily calorie needs, multiply your BMR by the appropriate activity factor, as follows:
o If you are sedentary (little or no exercise): BMR x 1.2

o If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week): BMR x 1.375
o If you are moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week): BMR x 1.55

o If you are very active: BMR x 1.725
o If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports and physical job or 2x training): BMR x 1.9

The number you get is the number of calories you need to eat in order to maintain your current weight. Decreasing that number by 500 calories per day is a good place to start if you want to lose about a pound per week.

If you want to do a quick estimate without a computer or calculator, a rule of thumb is that most people generally need a daily caloric range of somewhere between 7 and 10 calories per pound for long-term weight loss success, with a minimum of 1,200 calories per day.

Quick Tip: To make this complicated process easier, there are several reliable websites that have calorie need calculators. All you need to do is add in your age, gender, height and weight, and activity level. Online BMR calculators, such as the one from the Mayo Clinic, will do the math for you! WebMD also has a fun tool that will calculate your BMI and provide additional information.