Breakfast has typically been thought of as the most important meal. I'm pretty sure the cereal industry started that saying anyways. If you are looking to read more on why breakfast may not be as important as once thought, here is a great article. With articles like this one and more science out there that says breakfast isn't a must for everyone, we would like to propose another option, WATER!!! It's hard to argue that water isn't important and we will share just how important it is to stay hydrated.
Water is what gives us life. Without it we would LITERALLY shrivel up and die. Did you know that about 80% of the population doesn't drink an adequate amount of water. So why aren't more people dying of dehydration???
I would argue they are...just not directly! When you don't drink enough water your body will pull it out of other cells and tissue in your body in order to hydrate your brain, that's first priority. Since your brain is the thing that controls your entire body, it gets to dictate who gets what and when within your body. And just like the bully on the playground at school, your brain is going to make sure it gets taken care of first. Your brain is like, sorry liver we need it more than you, thanks; sorry skin we need it more than you, sorry intestines you figure out a way to get that waste out I need more water. If those other organs and body systems aren't functioning at their highest level that leaves us prone to disease and sickness.
Another key area where dehydration comes into play is in your blood and cardiovascular system. When you are dehydrated your blood volume decreases, which limits the amount of oxygen that reaches the various parts of your body. Without oxygen your body struggles to produce energy at the cellular level. If your cells don't have energy, they can't do all the things that they need to do to function at a high level. That is where fatigue and disease become an issue. Not to mention dehydration raises your BP which increases your chance of a heart attack.
Sooo....what is the appropriate amount of water to drink? A general rule of thumb is a 1/2 ounce per lb of body weight. If you weigh 200 lbs that would mean you should drink 100 ounces per day. That equation is on the low end if you are doing any type of physical activity. We would recommend you up your water consumption to 3/4 - 1 ounce/pound if you are exercising hard or sweating a lot due to physical activity. There is also the quality of your water that comes into play. We are just learning more and more about structured or vorated water, which is super interesting to us. Something else to consider...is it packaged water, and if so is the material that it comes in BPA free? The deal with BPA is that it is an endocrine disruptor, which essentially means it is going to mess up your hormones. Most plastic containers out there contain BPA unless they are stamped otherwise. So that means bottled water is off limits. There is also some emerging evidence to suggest that straight tap water isn't the best option either due to all the toxins (PCBs, pharmaceutical drugs, heavy metals) that have leaked into our water system plus the flouride that is added. Yeah the thing that helps our teeth may not help our bodies. Sounds kind of doom and gloom doesn't it??? To some degree it is, the most important thing we put into our body is being tainted from all different directions. Now are we saying you shouldn't ever drink bottled water or tap water? Heck no...if it's your only option, go for it. We definitely do if it's our only option!
According to some experts, the best option is distilled water with a pinch of pure Himilayan pink salt. The other option would be to look into a more thorough filtration system that will eliminate some of those toxins plus flouride. We are just starting to do some research into some systems or a home distiller. If anyone has recommendations on what they use we would love to hear from you. For others, we will definitely keep you posted on what we choose!
Anyone else just run to the water cooler? I know I just refilled my water glass after typing this!
Here's the quick version of my Body Beast review: I have fallen in love with heavy lifting because it's transformed my body. Plain and simple.
Ladies, do NOT be afraid to lift heavy weights. Those 2 and 5 lb weights won't really get you the body you want.
Stop letting your fear of "bulking" stop you from trying out this amazing program or even just lifting in general!! There is something to be said about this program though: there's no guesswork. That was the problem for me at the gym. I didn't want to pay for a personal trainer because I was cheap and I kind of knew the basics of lifting but I really didn't know what to do and in what combination to get the best results. Before this program, I had no idea what a super set or a giant set was and I had actually never done some of the lifts before.
Even though I knew this program would be good, I was still hesitant to start it. Fear of the unknown I guess! This program is heavy lifting 5 days a week, cardio 1 day a week and 1 rest day. I was hesitant to only do 1 day of cardio even though I KNEW in my head cardio is not the key to fat loss...I still knew I would miss being drenched in sweat and completely out of breath...but I followed the plan and I'm SO glad I did.
There are two different approaches you can take, you can follow the Lean Beast calendar or the Huge Beast calendar. I followed the Lean Beast calendar because huge beast just doesn't sound ladylike. Haha! There are 3 phases that you go through with either calendar; Build, Bulk, and Beast Phases. You will start "building" a base of strength in the first phase and these workouts are the longest (38-50 min). Followed by the "bulking" phase where you change up your lifts a bit. I liked this phase because the workouts weren't as long (29-40 min). If you follow the meal plan that comes with the program you would eat more calories in this section to bulk up, but I decided to just stick with my 2000 -2400 calories a day and not follow their meal plan. I still focused on getting lots of protein, veggies, fruit, fats and healthy carbs though. The goal here is you will add muscle but you will also add some fat. Then in the final phase, you trim the fat and keep the muscle by doing one more day of cardio each week and mixing up the Build and Bulk workouts a little bit.
One minor downside: it requires more equipment than some of our other programs. By the end of the program I was using all of our dumbbells (8 lbs up to 35 lbs), a barbell, and a stability ball (a bench works as well but we didn't have one). Although, you can actually stream this workout from a phone or tablet and do it at the gym and use all of their equipment if you're not interested in buying equipment. Becoming a Team Beachbody Club Member allows you to stream this workout and 33 other workouts as well...it's amazing!
Ok so now for my results:
I actually didn't lose any weight or inches. Yep. I was kinda disappointed at first BUT then I decided to actually look at my pictures and think more about how I FEEL now. Plus, I'm still breastfeeding Eli and I know that is causing my body to hang onto a little extra fat which I'm MORE THAN ok with because getting him nutrients (even though he did just turn 1) is still really important to me!!
I feel so much stronger after 90 days of Body Beast. I'm able to do a lot of moves in other workouts that I struggled with before (crow in p90x3 yoga, elevator pushups in p90x3 The Warrior, all the pushups/plank walks in T25 Total Body Circuit). My legs, back and shoulders are definitely stronger and more defined and I love that!! I was afraid that because there wasn't much cardio, I would lose a lot of my endurance but I actually haven't. I'm still able to do as much as I could before.
All in all, I hope you'll consider adding some heavy weight training to your routine. It definitely takes time to build up the strength, so don't start out curling 30 lb dumbbells or squatting a ton of weight :) There are SO many benefits though...and they last a lifetime!!
Definition of Ambivalence: The coexistence within an individual of positive and negative feelings towards the same action, person or object drawing him or her in opposite directions.
Or as I like to think of it... The "Good Enough" Principle!
"I could change the way I eat...but I'm not as overweight as some people I see, and my health is OK for now."
"I know I should exercise more but I'm in pretty good shape. I never really see any changes when I start doing it anyway, plus I just don't have the time."
Ever have thoughts like that? Yep, I did too at one point and still do to some degree. Let's be honest, change is hard. It introduces unknowns into our world and we aren't sure how we will manage them or how exactly they will change our lives. We know that eating healthier and exercising regularly will improve our health and make us feel better, so why don't more people do it??? I definitely think it's because people are ambivalent or the idea that we are "good enough."
In the fitness world or at least the blogofitnesssphere, yeah I just made that up, you hear people say all the time: don't compare yourself to the magazine cover models or the actresses you see on TV. Since I live in the blogofitnesssphere, I completely agree with that statement. You shouldn't compare your day 1 with someone else's day 365. What about comparing yourself though on day 1 to someone who is on day negative 365? What I mean by negative 365 is the person that is obese or maybe morbidly obese or the person that has type II diabetes. They've been going down the "negative" path a lot longer than you. That one doesn't get talked about enough but I think people subconsciously do it all the time. You are ok not having the cover model figure but AT LEAST you aren't as bad as the person you saw at the grocery store today or your overweight uncle Frank. Sorry to any uncle Franks out there.
Are you in that place? Be honest! Do you catch yourself saying things like "I would never want to be that skinny" or "I never want to have muscles like him/her." What you are really saying is I'm good enough and what you are likely doing is comparing yourself to the person that is on day negative 365 not the skinny or muscular person.
I'm not saying you shouldn't love who you are and where you are right now! You should however give yourself an honest assessment of where you are at this particular moment. The idea of "good enough" is aimed at the thoughts that you have that you shouldn't be trying to improve yourself. If you're not improving yourself and moving forward, you're most likely going backwards. There are just too many things in our society today that will slowly compound over time to wear down your health and cause you to pack on the pounds. I'm talking about things like stress, environmental toxins, processed foods, and constant sitting and inactivity. Those things over the course of a lifetime will cause you to become sick and overweight. It won't likely happen in a month or even year, but 20 or 30 years from now the choices you are making TODAY will have an impact.
If you are ready to leave the world of ambivalence and start making decisions that will actively improve your health and mental well-being, we would love to help with that. Our online accountability groups have been able to help hundreds of people step out of ambivalence and help them take control of their life and health. For more information on these groups you can go to our Challenge Group Page or Email Us and we would be happy to share some info.
So this is a topic that comes up a ton for us in our Challenge Groups and some of our coach's challenge groups so I wanted to just put together a video on the subject of Calorie Deficit Diets.
There is so much bad information out there about how to lose weight. Unfortunately the magazines and talking heads out there preach an unhealthy way of losing weight, cut calories, whether that be through appetite suppression pills or powders or just by telling people to be hungry all the time.
So this is my effort to raise the volume on the other side and I would argue the healthy way to burn fat. I probably don't have to argue that point since there is science to back me up.
If this message resonates with you please share it so that your friends might hear it and understand that there is a better and healthier way to lose weight.
We can't change everyone's mindset on this but hopefully we can at least start building some curiosity in a few people's minds.
Written by Danielle Lochow with Take Charge Fitness
***IF THIS POST HELPS YOU, LIKE IT!! IF YOU THINK IT WOULD HELP A FRIEND, SHARE IT!!***
Now that I have all that shouting out of the way allow me to present to you these photos. I've been doing a LOT of thinking lately about calories and pounds and maintaining weight and how my own journey with fitness and food and weight has evolved over time.
These are pics from every day this week. As you can see, I weighed in different each time I stepped on the scale. My weight fluctuated five entire pounds within a couple days. Why is this??? Did I gain? Did I then lose? And then gain again?
If you struggle with trying to make the scale come up with that one special number, please know that your weight will change based on...
And any other number of things.
It is physically impossible to gain five pounds in a day or two. It's also impossible to gain it in a WEEK.
Why do I share this? Because I know that for some people this relationship with the scale is a negative thing. It has a negative impact on their life.
When I decided I wanted to lose weight I strictly counted calories. I tracked my calories religiously in MFP (My Fitness Pal). I weighed every Friday morning and when I got to record a loss it was FABULOUS. It was working!! For the first time in my life this weight loss thing was working. I eventually met my weight loss goal when I saw that number I wanted to see. And then I knew that I could keep tracking calories and keep weighing that number.
Understand that when I was religiously tracking, I didn't always necessarily care WHAT the calories came from. 400 calories from a salad was the same to me as 400 calories from a sandwich cookie.
I learned very quickly that tracking to only net around 1500 calories (that's what mfp says a person of my height and weight should eat to maintain) was kind of unsustainable. And I hadn't figured out yet that fluctuation in weight is NORMAL. So it was making me crazy. If I went a couple hundred calories over one day, and weighed a half pound heavier the next day, I thought I knew exactly why. Too many calories.
So dumb guys. So dumb.
Eventually I got plugged in with a great fitness community online and started learning about how to clean up my diet. I leaned that the quality of food is important and that even if something is higher in calories it doesn't mean it's unhealthy, or that it will make me gain weight. And I learned that if I do see a "gain" it's probably any number of things my body is doing that has nothing to do with a couple hundred "extra" calories.
I weigh myself randomly. Sometimes it's once a month, other times it's every day for a week but gaining confidence in my diet and my habits, growing in my physical strength and understanding more about how bodies work gives me SUCH FREEDOM AND PEACE. I am not married to my special number. I admit to being interested to seeing how it fluctuates and know why it does, but it cannot and will not ever bother me like it once did because I have confidence and faith in my daily habits!
Bottom line is this: your number does not have to define you. No one sees a number when they look at you. When you follow a lifestyle that is rich in healthy, nourishing foods, regular exercise and movement, and you are surrounded by people who encourage you to live your best life every day...you will not need to stress about maintaining weight. People always say that maintaining weight is harder than losing it, and that may be true but ONLY if you are looking at it as though once you hit your number you all of a sudden want to go back to bad habits that got you heavier in the first place. When you are COMMITTED to living healthy, your healthy weight will find you. And you will be FREE of your number.
If you like what you've read we encourage you to follow Danielle on Facebook at Take Charge Fitness or you can email her directly.
July 16th - 19th we packed our bags, left Eli with my parent's and headed to Nashville, TN to spend 4 whole days with our Beachbody family...to say we were excited was a bit of an understatement!
This event is something we look forward to every single year for quite a few different reasons:
I won't bore you with all the details of what we did since I have pictures of most of it...but to summarize: there were workouts with Shaun T and Autumn Calabrese, listening to Simon Sinek speak and also DeWitt Jones who is a photographer for National Geographic, delicious food, amazing trainings, knowledge, insight and inspiration shared and LOTS of walking!
"Every One Matters" was the theme for this year...and that couldn't be more true. We're in this business to help people live HEALTHY and FULFILLING lives. Your health really is one of the cornerstones of your life and it impacts every area of your life. If your health is suffering, everything else seems to go downhill as well, right?? So our goal is to get people to focus on health...and how it's a lifestyle and not a diet or a short term fix. It can't be if you want to live life to it's fullest!!
We are already looking forward to next year...and can't wait to have so many more people from our team there!!
The Cook & The Coach
Healthy is a LIFESTYLE.