“Get Fit in the Gym. Lose Weight in the Kitchen.” (Part II)

Today’s post is the second part to “Get Fit in the Gym. Lose Weight in the Kitchen”, originally posted in July. As a conclusion to that post, I will show you how to regulate your metabolism, show you how it’s possible to eat 4-6 meals per day and finally I will give you some homework to do!

Regulating your metabolism plays a tremendous role in losing weight and becoming fit. Your body craves regularity and order. If you don’t feed it properly and at regular intervals it will enter into “starvation” mode. Once here, any food that you eat will be used as storage (fat, yuck!). This is because your body doesn’t know when it will be fed again. To avoid this, make sure you eat every 3 hours (4 is stretching it). In most cases, you only need to eat a small meal consisting of the three basic macronutrients/components that I’ve previously shared with you (Protein, Carbohydrates and Fat).

I know that we all have hectic schedules and sometimes it’s work just to get in one good meal a day, let alone 4-6. But you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to really make an effort here so that you’ll be healthy and look great! There are many options for quick meals including a variety of snacks and MRP (Meal Replacement Products) on the market. I’ll be happy to point you in the direction of great quick alternatives for the busy person. To sum it up though, I really want to express the importance of eating quality food every 3-4 hours. If you absolutely cannot do this then remember this great quote: “Eat like a king (or queen) in the morning and like a pauper at night”. This means that you should eat the heaviest meals early in the day and taper off your calories the later it gets. By your last meal you want to eat smaller portions and avoid lots of carbohydrates and fats. Your body tends to go into storage mode at night and will retain more of each and convert it into fat.

So, you have the keys to nutrition in your arsenal. Let’s use them by doing some “homework”. I’m going to simply ask you to read labels of the food you eat and make some mental notes. That’s it. Read & learn! If you’re anything like me then the first time you will read the labels of your favorite foods now that you know what’s good and bad for you, you will be shocked. Especially at the amount of certain substances that food has. The important items to pay attention to are:

1.Carbohydrates. The higher the number (especially in the SUGAR category) generally the more it will negatively impact your waistline. If you find that the food that you are choosing has most of its carbohydrates coming from sugar, pause and think about whether it’s worth it.

2. Fat: Just like carbs, too much fat (especially Saturated) is bad for you. Fat is extremely dense, hard to burn off and has the additional problem of contributing to diabetes and high blood pressure. A way to greatly reduce the fat you eat is to prepare your food with minimal oil, trim the fat off of beef and pork and try to eat skinless chicken as much as possible.

The last thing I want you to look for is found in the ingredients: HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP. Most processed food contains this sneaky additive. It was originally added as a cheap way to preserve and boost the caloric value of food. Beware of HFCS and what it can do to you. I’ll leave it up to you to Google it and learn about what it does.

Once again, knowledge is power! Now that you know how what you eat impacts your body, you also have a greater understanding of what to put into your body and at what time. Good luck on your journey to becoming more healthy and fit and reaching your goals!

Dream Fit. Live Fit.

*This ratio is subject to change, however depending on specific fitness goals/programs. 

Beyond The “90” in P90X: How to continue to make the program work for you!

You can thank U.S. Representative and VP Candidate, Paul Ryan for this week’s post. Whether or not you agree with his political views, you should applaud his commitment to fitness. At 42 years old, and with an extremely difficult schedule, he finds time to exercise regularly. His workout program of choice is the insanely popular (and insanely effective) P90X series. If you’ve been living under a rock for the past 5 years then you might not be familiar with P90X. Most likely though, you’ve seen the infomercials.

P90X is a 90 day cross training DVD workout program devised by fitness guru, Tony Horton. It has awesome segments that include: Yoga X, X Stretch, Kenpo X, Ab Ripper X, etc. They all function together, along with the nutrition plan included, to take the user from flab to fit in 90 days.

I highly recommend this program. I incorporated it heavily in my training when I first began my journey to fitness over 4 years ago. The purpose of this post is not to review the program but to give you 3 ways to use it after you’ve completed the first 90 days.

1.    Use individual discs/program as your primary workouts.

A great example of this is the Ab Ripper X program. Ab Ripper X is not for the faint of heart. It will, however, help you carve out a 6 pack in no time. Even after I completed the P90X program, I continued to use Ab Ripper X as my primary ab workout. I started by doing it once a week (because that’s all my stomach could handle). After I got used to the intensity I started doing it twice per week!

Another example is X Stretch. I’ve covered the importance of stretching in previous posts. This is a great way to get in your daily stretching. Pop in the DVD and loosen up before the day begins. This program is close to 1 hour so even if you don’t have time to complete it, you can focus on loosing up the body parts that need it most by going to that particular section of the routine.

2.    Use the cardio programs to mix things up when you’re getting bored of your regular routine.

Once you’ve been working out for a while you will get tired of doing the same routine. There are only so many steps you can do on the elliptical machine or so many miles you can walk on the treadmill before you’ll start to lose motivation for cardio. Using Kenpo X and Cardio X as alternatives is a great way to keep things fresh! Occasionally, I’ll even use them just to get my heart rate up on my days away from the gym. If you’re doing regular cardio elsewhere you don’t even need to finish the disc. Just go until you work up a nice sweat.

3.      Use the nutrition plan included with the program as a dietary guide.

After you’ve completed the 90 day program you may be tempted to go back to business as usual. This means no more workouts and engaging in old eating habits. This is the ABSOLUTE WORSE thing that you can do! Your body is now adjusted to burning more calories and it also now requires more quality calories.

Use Tony Horton’s nutrition plan as a base for what you should be eating. You don’t have to follow the plan to a “T” but the recommended requirements for protein, carbs and fat are spot on to maintain fitness. Make a grocery list based on the requirements and stick to it. You’ve worked hard for the body, now do what you can to maintain it!

Here is a Team Beachbody link where you can find P90X and all other Team Beachbody Products:

http://beachbodycoach.com/esuite/home/ReggieGooden

It is a phenomenal program, as are many of the other products that Team Beachbody offers (like Shaun T’s “Insanity” series, Turbo Fire, and Shakeology).

As you can see, it holds its value far beyond the first 90 days and because of that, RG “The Dragon” definitely approves!

Dream Fit. Live Fit.

P90X is a popular home training system proven to deliver serious results!

A Personal Trainer’s Daily Meals (AKA “A day in the life”)

One of my most favorite questions from family, friends and clients is:

What do you eat, exactly? Can you break it down for me?

I usually tell people that I eat relatively the same thing every day, with minor adjustments. I save space for my cheat meal on the weekend but I find that a consistent diet of the same foods keeps me on track. It also reduces my chances of eating things that are bad for me. Besides, if you hate to cook, like I do, you can make large portions of some of these things and have them ready to simply warm up and eat!

In this post I will give you a typical day’s worth of meals and show you that to be fit, you don’t need a lot of time and money.

Breakfast: Egg white omelette, turkey bacon and instant oats

  • 1 cup liquid egg whites
  • 1 whole egg
  • 4 chopped asparagus spears
  • 1 chopped mushroom
  • ¼ cup chopped peppers
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 slice organic turkey bacon
  • ½ to 1 cup of plain instant oats

Pour egg whites and whole egg into a bowl. Stir. Chop asparagus, mushroom and peppers. Pour egg whites and egg into skillet. Put asparagus, mushroom, peppers and shredded cheese in egg whites. Fold into omelette. Serve with turkey bacon and oats.

Snack: Greek yogurt, chopped fruit and almonds

  • 1 cup Greek Yogurt
  • ¼ cup roasted almonds
  • ¼ cup fruit of your choice (I prefer bananas)

Simply pour 1 cup of Greek Yogurt into a bowl, mix with almonds and fruit. Then eat. Or, eat yogurt in container mixed with almonds and fruit separately.

Lunch/Pre-workout meal: Chicken breast, broccoli & brown rice

  • 1 Chicken breast
  • ½ cup broccoli
  • ½ to 1 cup brown rice

I like to cook several chicken breasts at once. This way, I’ll have them available for several days. I also prefer frozen vegetables and rice so I can microwave the entire meal at once.

Post-Workout Meal: Protein shake

  • 1 packet Shakeology
  • ½ to 1 cup of whole milk    or
  • 2 scoops of Protein Powder of your choice
  • Fruit of your choice
  • ½ to 1 cup milk

Currently I am using Shakeology as my post-workout shake

http://myshakeology.com/ReggieGooden

I find that it has all of the natural ingredients that I need to quickly flood my body with nutrients after a workout. I use milk and add one scoop of BCAA’s (Branch Chain Amino Acids) because my weightlifting workouts can be intense. The average person won’t need to do that. Just make sure you get a fair amount of protein and carbohydrates in your system immediately after exercise.

Dinner: Ground turkey, sweet potato, mixed veggies

  • 6 oz. ground turkey
  • 1 sweet potato
  • Mixed vegetables

As with the chicken breasts, I will also cook an entire package of ground turkey so that I will have multiple servings already prepared. Once cooked, poke holes in the sweet potato and microwave it. Also microwave frozen mixed vegetables.

Bedtime Snack: Chopped almonds and dark chocolate

  • ½ cup chopped almonds
  • 1 square dark chocolate

Technically this is not a meal but a bedtime snack. Since I live with a “choco-holic”, our house is usually never without the stuff. If you are also a “choco-holic “, then rejoice! Dark chocolate actually has many benefits when eaten in small quantities. It has antioxidants, can regulate blood sugar, lower blood pressure and is pretty rich in minerals. I’ll eat one square with a hand full of chopped almonds just so I can “slow” my metabolism slightly through the night.  If you don’t like chocolate (or fear having it around), then try a small portion (1/4 to ½ cup) of organic trail mix.

This is a typical day’s worth of food for me. It’s gotten me great results and I know that it can do the same for you! I am offering custom meal plans and training programs available for the rate of 2 personal training sessions. Contact me for details!

Dream Fit. Live Fit.