supplements

Benefits of Writing IT DOWN

We all get busy, we all think ‘well that isn’t so bad’ or ‘I worked out a few days ago…I think’. We all get wrapped up in school, work, family, friends, pets, chores, errands, and just keeping our heads above water (trust me I know-I work two jobs as well as a full time students and I get up and have to be somewhere by 8am every single day of the week-I GET IT). But while you are guessing about your food intake, you thoughts on how much you are eating, how much you are actually active and pushing your goals onto ‘next week’, today is still here and you can fix it all TODAY. RIGHT NOW.

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It has been proven in countless studies that people who physically WRITE down their goals before they start trying to obtain them are more likely to stick with it and actually achieve them. 

Here’s some more statistics for you. This is the more troubling one:

 

50% (yes-HALF) of the people who start a new diet/workout routine or program will END UP QUITTING. 

This should be startling to you, as it is to me. Why? Why do we constantly put our health on the back burner? Years from now, you will have so many aches and pains, along with some diseases or disorders probably and wish you had taken your health seriously NOW before it was too late.

CHANGE YOUR APPROACH

Can we stop only dieting/exercising to lose weight?! This is aggravating as a fitness professional, it’s all I see. If you start think about simply getting healthy, becoming active to prevent diseases, to keep your body working properly, and to eat right to fuel it. It’s like you have a Lambo and you decide to never wash it, never have maintenance done and you decide to use orange juice instead of gas. Really guys? I love cheese fries as much as the next girl but I know my body can’t USE that junk for much of anything besides storing it as fat and hating me for putting that fried stuff in it. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do eat a balanced diet, so I eat loads of fruits, veggies, protein packed lean foods but I also eat when I get a craving. My goal isn’t surrounding whether the scale says SKINNY or it says FAT ASS. Because guess what? That scale DOESN’T know me. For most of my life, for my height, according to those ridiculous charts doctors go off of based on height and weight to determine your BMI and whether you are overweight or not, I have ALWAYS fell under the overweight column. Even though I have been an athlete, with muscular legs and been in small clothing sizes. So I don’t believe the scales. You should ditch yours, too.

 

weight

 

That’s what weight is-mass times acceleration of gravity. Yet so many people spend their lives worrying about this stupid calculation. Chill out. Eat. Workout. Be happy.

 

Keep a journal-for work outs and for food

When you write down things and see it on paper, in one place, you can really start to realize what it is you need to work on, what you are doing that might be really working for you or damaging your goals. 

For food, I always come back to MyFitness Pal. Why? Because this world is glued to a freakin piece of technology constantly in their hand at all times, so by having an app you can take anywhere, you can even pull up foods if you are out to eat and about to order, to see what fits your macros/calories or any of that stuff if you count them. You can scan barcodes on most foods and it’ll pop up automatically, showing the content and serving size immediately. For average people, they do not realize a few things when it comes to eating

1.) Calorie/fat amount. This is a big one. If you asked someone the amount of calories in something they were eating, they would usually guess a number incredibly lower than what it really has in it. Educate yourself! If you thought there was only 300 calories in a slice of pie but it really has 800- you are seriously underestimating you daily amounts. So be sure you are aware of these things.

2.) Serving Sizes.  This is another biggie that I see even with educated individuals. Marketing people for foods and brands are smart. They know how to get you to buy their product and eat it. If they say that 1 serving of something is only 100 calories, you are sold and go digging in, head in the bottom of the bag like a vulture. Please read further on your nutrition label. The serving size is probably tiny, like 10 crackers, 2 cookies, etc. You have to watch this. If there were only 100 calories in a serving, but you just mindlessly ate 12 servings, well…….

 

As for your exercising and working out, you can easily do this by setting a goal-let’s say you want to work out at least 3-5 days out of a week. So write that goal and put it on the fridge. Now invest in a calendar, one you can hang somewhere you can see it daily, like the fridge, the wall, your bathroom, the front door, where ever. Get one that you can go back and see your progress later, so not just a washable weekly/monthly board one. Now pick two color markers. On each day, you will mark with a check mark in one color or a big X in the other color. The check mark will mean you worked out, the X will represent that you did not. 

 

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(You can also Google ‘Workout Calendar’ and find some awesome templates to print out and use if you want!)

 

Of course you can do your calendar digitally, but there’s something about marking it yourself-with your own hands, and having a physical connection with this log. It’s just like writing your goal, you can type it out but it won’t be the same as if you wrote it in your own handwriting with pen and paper. There’s a psychological connection when you actually write with your own hands that you don’t get from technology. You can also see your progress and how you have been adhering to your goal all at once, rather than clicking on the days one at a time on your computer. But, to each their own. Do whatever works best for YOU!

 

Happy Working out guys!

 

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Quick Tips

I am working on a plan for someone, as well as my eBook’s that I have going on. While I am working on these things, here are a few tips and suggestions I have in both the eBook as well as workout plans. This is for those doing heavy lifting and following the IIFYM lifestyle that I firmly believe in. You may benefit from this as well! Plus this gives you a taste for how I do my writings/plans/ebooks! Enjoy and happy lifting/eating/living!

 

 

For every exercise, increase weight for each set. You should struggle on the last rep. If not, increase your weight and go again. You should be fatigued at the end of each set of each exercise (excluding the warm up set)

Always stretch after your workout. You should stretch after your muscles are used and blood has pumped and heart has elevated. Otherwise, you are more prone to injuries and tearing/straying a muscle. Stretch after the workout to prevent soreness and prevent injuries from the workout you just completed. More flexibility=more range of motion=less injuries and strains.

On days with cardio, you should do HIIT cardio. You will choose the style of cardio you wish to do and complete 15 to 20 rounds of intervals, doing 30 seconds of all out sprinting (going as hard and fast as you possibly can) and then 30 seconds of walking/resting (going very light). HIIT style burns more fat, boosts the metabolism and has longer lasting effects even after the gym versus standard cardio. It also keeps your body guessing to prevent plateaus after some time of working out.

Consume BCAAs/glutamine and your protein ASAP. Protein can be in shake form, bar form, or whole foods (chicken, tuna, etc.). Also have carbs and sugars (I love greek yogurt with fruit, PB & J on either a rice cake or flat bread/english muffin, etc).

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KEEP UP WITH MACROS. DO NOT ADD IN YOUR WORKOUT/CALORIES BURNED. On MyFitness Pal, you can put in your workout and it’ll subtract that calorie burn from your total calories for the day. Please do not factor in the workout. The calorie goal for the day for you has been set, even with workouts. If you are to consume 2500 calories, consume 2500 calories on rest days, AND workout days. Even if you burn 800 calories, you will not eat 3300 calories to make up for the gym. It defeats the purpose of your plan.

Try to plan your day, but you do not have to do it a week or even 24 hours ahead of time. But with IIFYM, it’s best to go ahead and juggle your macros and what you can play with according to cravings ahead of time to ensure you eat more protein/less fat/more carbs etc. I start by eating my breakfast (whatever I want that morning) and input it. I then try to balance my day after. Breakfast is where I really go all out usually. If I know I want to incorporate 2 Oreo’s after dinner, I input it and figure out where I can make up more protein. You can delete what you enter into the app easily to play around with what you can do before you go messing your macros up.

IF YOU CRAVE SOMETHING, PLEASE EAT IT. If you have craved Cheetos for 2 days straight, you are better off just eating a handful of Cheetos (or a small bag) and getting it over with rather than letting your cravings build up and then binging on 8000 calories of bad foods. That 300 calories Cheeto bag is much better than the 8000 calorie binge (plus the guilt during/after and feeling beyond fluffy for a week). If you are craving something terribly, please consume it, even if it doesn’t fit your macros. It will save you in the long run.

 

Supplements-Are they actually worth it?

In the big bad world of fitness and health are thousands upon thousands up supplements. Some are to be the ‘miracle pill’ or tea, or whatever to make you lose weight and gain muscle overnight. This is false. I don’t care what the product is, not possible. But behind all of the giant companies with their false ads, are the little guys hiding that are actually worth a damn. I, myself, take only a small amount of supplements. I mean, I barely even make protein shakes with powdered whey after my workout as I workout from home and prefer to get my protein from real sources, or I would rather have a protein bar (with good macros of course) rather than stand at the blender and have to suck down this huge shake before I shower (I have skin problems and need to shower pretty quick after sweating so much). I could wait until after I shower, but depending on my womanly duties of shaving every inch of my body every so often, I might end up going past the time window you should consume your protein to recover and hold on to your muscle mass [30 minutes after working out you should consume your post-workout/protein]. So, I have started taking BCAAs as soon as I finish my workout with a glass of water as well as shove a small protein bar in my mouth (I am an attractive lady, can’t you tell?). But, as I always say, to each their own. If you are into whey protein (the giant tubs of protein in varieties of flavors in almost any store, pharmacy, or health store) and want to mix it with water in your blender bottle at the gym (**pic of blender bottle for the new people to this lifestyle, you can buy these pretty much anywhere, online, Target, CVS, and so on**) blender b   then go for it. I personally still feel the chalky, gritty powder and I would prefer to blend it actually in a blender, with milk and ice (to make it thick like a milkshake) to make it enjoyable to me. I think a lot of fitness people choose the blender bottle with milk or water for their protein intake after the gym because they feel like they have to. Like it’s their only choice. I think life is too short and I am going to enjoy how I have my protein, simple as that. Another thing very popular right now is Quest Bars. You can find them online or at health stores (think GNC, Vitamin Shop, Whole Foods, etc) and they have several different flavors.

quest bar

I have tried them, and I hate them. I tried baking them, broiling them, with yogurt, everything I could think of. So many people love them (like, use them for everything in baking and even bake small pieces to make a ‘cereal’) but I just can’t stand them.

There are many other brands out there that I enjoy and are still macro friendly.

My favorite at the moment, are the Balance Bar brand. Delicious, macro friendly, so many flavors, affordable, and a good size. Some protein bars out there are huge and ridiculous in my opinion. My favorite flavor currently is cookie dough.

Balance Bar Cookie Dough Close

Supplements are tricky. You can take a pill form for pretty much any and all of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients we need to have in a day’s time, but is that what we should do? Instead of eating healthy foods take a pill? You should always try and get your nutrients from FOOD FIRST. The pill route is great if you really are struggling with a deficiency, but try and get what you are looking for in food forms.

With that said, I am not big on supplements. I do not believe your body absorbs the pill form on nutrients the way it does wholesome foods. Your body is meant to use the food as it’s fuel (like the gas to your car), but the pill form is just another man made route to try and make life ‘easier’. We as a society are so lazy we would rather take vitamins in a pill than eat some damn vegetables. That’s sad.

These are the only things I am using at the moment, and I have my reasons for each one.

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BCAAs. For recovering after a hard lifting session and to hold on to the muscle you have worked hard for. BCAA stands for Branched-Chain Amino Acids. This is the number one supplement out there with the most research pointing towards success and only good things from it. If you are wanting to diet down but also gain muscle, it’s nearly an oxymoron. But BCAAs make it possible. BCAAs and glutamine are natural amino acids that are actually already in our bodies. They are building blocks for muscles.

Glutamine.

Like BCAAs, glutamine is a naturally occurring amino acid that your body already produces. It’s a building block for building and maintaining those rock hard muscles.

Cellucor HD

Many people take preworkouts. There are powdered forms, and pill forms. I have tried a few. The Cellucor C4 (powdered preworkout) is great if you can deal with powdered mix drinks. I bought some in Strawberry Margarita, but just mixing it with water in my blender bottle wasn’t doing it for me. If I mixed it with hot water and put it in the fridge like Koolaid, I might be happier, oh well. I’ll try that later I guess. So I take the HD pill as my preworkout. It is a fat burner as well gets you pepped up with energy and able to focus on my gainzzz (read: working out hard to build muscle). I do not suggest taking more than one a day. I simply take one about 60-90 minutes before my workout. The bottle says take one in the morning and then one during the afternoon. Don’t get hooked on things like this. It also has high caffeine amounts, which may interrupt your sleeping at night. Many people have said they also had problems with their stomach when taking this. It is probably because the back of the bottle says twice a day and even suggests taking up to 3 a day. Please take caution when taking supplements. Take it for what you need/want it for and no more.

Cellucor CLK

Raspberry ketones is a chemical taken from red raspberries and there have been a few researches done that shows this chemical to increase the metabolism. I only started taking this as a sort of trial and error experiment. I had someone tell me they swore they were seeing abs because they took ketones with every meal. I am still skeptical, but this was a good price as an add on from an online health order so I thought I would try it. I have not noticed any ‘miracles’ like Dr. Oz himself tried to claim from this chemical in a pill form. I have noticed my #2 is red now and it scared me like no other at first (TMI, but I don’t want anyone else worried if they do try this product).

Combining the CLK and HD are supposed the Cellucor duo to seeing amazing results. I have been taking the two for about a week, so there is still time to see. I am the guinea pig to try and tell you if it really works or just save your money.

**For preworkouts, you can also simply eat. Eat carbs, eat something like an english muffin (whole grain) with a little natural peanut butter. Or eat a banana. Or drink some coffee. It is NOT necessary to consume a preworkout**

A lot of people are also taking fish oil daily. I personally consume a good amount of fish naturally. I am a sucker for fresh sushi rolls from Whole Foods, as well as stocking my freezer with shrimp, scallops, salmon, and other white fish from the same store (try and get your seafood from reliable sources). Fish oil can help with high blood pressure and high bad cholesterol levels, as well as for women with painful periods. Fish oil has many, many good reasons to take it, but like I said above, FOOD FIRST BEFORE PILLS. I have upped my fish intake because I have been battling depression the last few months due to a tragedy I dealt with. And I will say, eating right, drinking enough water, getting rest, working out and eating the fish has all worked in making me hopeful and happy. Not just one miracle thing works. You have to be willing to do everything it takes to be happy and healthy, in every aspect of the words.

What I am trying to say is:

  • To be fit, you do NOT require to spend loads of $$ of supplements. You can see results and have great health without a pill or supplement in sight.
  • If you choose to take supplements, do your research on what you should take and the results and/or side effects that may occur. You should also research the brand you are looking into.
  • For some supplements, you need to make sure you aren’t being scammed. Probiotics, for example, are live cultures. Like what is in most yogurts. They should be chilled. If you are buying an antibiotic and it’s not in the fridge section, you may want to research more about the brand.
  • Read reviews. Yes, things work differently for everyone. But if you look up something and it’s nothing but 300 people saying they hated it and it was a waste of money, you probably should look for something else.

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