Fitness Resolution Make-over

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If your New Year’s Resolution was to work on your personal fitness, have you stuck to it over the last month? If not, you don’t have give up, and you are not a failure! You can use your experience to learn what doesn’t work for you. Next, you may need to change the way you think about your goals and how you plan to get there.  Start by focusing on what actually works for weight loss, health and fitness resolutions and how we can get that resolution to stick for a lifetime.

What doesn’t work (Not realistic) Works! (Realistic)
I am going to lose weight this year I will keep an exercise and diet journal for at least one month
I am going to exercise 6 days per week starting Jan. 1st! I am going to schedule workouts and treat them like very important appointments I must work around
I will eat healthier I will spend time each weekend preparing a meal plan and grocery list for the week.
I will not eat any carbs until I reach my goal I will focus on “clean” foods and avoid processed foods
I will lose 20lbs by Spring I will run a Half Marathon (5K, 10K, etc) this Spring
I will banish all my favorite sweets and high calories foods from my life I will allow myself to eat my favorite foods once per week.. and enjoy it!

 

I always recommend small goals at part of a much bigger plan. Decide on resolutions that promote a specific action! Instead of resolving to “lose weight,” “get fit” or “get healthier” start with the a more specific new goal such as resolving to be more committed to yourself and your goals or to be more consistent with your actions. Then define a plan that focuses on the daily actions you will need to take and new habits you will have to make to achieve your personal fitness goals!

 

Remember, creating that New Year’s Resolution to lose weight or get fit is only the first step of your commitment to improving your fitness level! Words are easy, daily actions are challenging. Buddy up with a friend or join a program to stay accountable for those actions.

Your commitment to yourself will be tested almost daily….like bad days at work, your kids’ schedule, traveling, days that are too hot, too cold, etc…  But by staying committed and consistent with your actions like the ones above, you will create lifelong habits and you may actually not need to make a personal fitness resolution ever again!

Niki  Gauthier

Owner of Niki G’s Fitness 

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Have Your Cake and Be Fit Too

Have Your Cake and Be Fit Too™

Key Ingredients to Successfully Managing your Weight

Recently I had a client ask me when she would be able to eat “normal” foods again. We had to talk about what exactly normal is, but in her mind it’s being able to eat all those yummy prepackaged foods, cakes, cookies donuts, and basically eat whatever she wanted.

That’s not normal.

Popular maybe, but not normal or natural, especially if you are trying to maintain your weight! Eating these food on a daily basis will not allow you to look and feel your best, but a little treat now and then won’t keep you from staying fit! Follow the recipe for weight loss without deprivation.

Most of my clients start one of our Boot Camps to lose weight and get fit. We first work on setting goals, committing to a regular exercise schedule, eating clean, natural foods and of course journaling our diet, exercise and any progress made.

But, what happens next? What do you do after you are comfortable with your weight? Do you stop exercising and get to eat whatever you want?

Of course not! Overall you should aim to eat as healthy as possible, mainly to stay healthy and for better energy. But those who become thin and stay thin learn about balance and know that they can enjoy their favorite foods once a while without setting themselves back.

Below are my top tips for finding balance and maintaining your weight:

  1. Work Hard So You Can Play Later. Want to keep your metabolism high and bodyfat percentage low? Want to burn calories instead of just storing them? Then you need to exercise! The three major components are Resistance Training, Aerobic Exercise or “Cardio”and stretching to maintain flexibility, reduce injury and balance out the more intense exercise.
  2. Never say “can’t.” You can eat anything you want. But you choose to eat the most natural form of your foods and correct portion sizes because you want to feel good on the inside and look great on the outside! Plan a “cheat meal” each week, have that piece of cake you’re craving without guilt!
  3. Spice it Up.Change up your exercise regularly to avoid getting stuck in a rut. Always be looking for ways to challenge yourself whether it’s using more weight, or less weight with more reps, different exercise equipment or even just the scenery! You should enjoy your exercise time. Find activities that keep you interested.
  4. Learn It, Love It Live It. Don’t obsess about your fitness program, diet or your body. Strive for a healthy balance of nutritious eating, regular exercise and even look to embrace any flaws you may have. Learn to love the lifestyle and remember you don’t have to be perfect to be fit, healthy and confident.

Managing your weight can be just as challenging as losing weight. But with a little consistency, creativity and commitment, maintaining a healthy weight and improving your fitness level can be a piece of cake!

As seen in LiveSouthNash Magazine Summer 2010

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Trimming or Stuffing Your Figure this Holiday Season? Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

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Healthy Holiday Eating Tips to Help You Continue to Lose Weight

Considering that a traditional Thanksgiving Meal has more calories than some women should eat in an entire day, there are some tips I want you to follow to be sure that the only thing stuffed on Thanksgiving Day is the turkey and not YOU!  So, how do you avoid weight gain or at least maintain your figure during the Holidays? It really is simple math, but you have to be willing to look at the numbers……

The Unpalatable Reality

Let’s put things in perspective. Let’s say you are going to your family’s house for Thanksgiving Dinner and when you arrive you start with one glass of wine and a few tortilla chips and dip while you are visiting. Then you sit down to a modest portion (6oz) of white and dark turkey, half a cup each of stuffing, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole and on the side, a dinner roll. After dinner you top it off with a slice of apple pie. Sounds reasonable, not overdoing it, right? Well that one dinner alone comes to… wait for it….. 1760 calories! You would need to walk 17.6 miles at a good pace to burn off that meal! And that doesn’t even include everything else you ate that day. Since it only takes an extra 3500 calories than what your body burns to create a pound of body fat, you are already half way there in one day!

Chances are that if you stop there, eat well and exercise the week before and after, you won’t see much movement on the scale. However, if you slack off your workouts, indulge for days, eat lots of leftovers and comfort food, you could easily gain 3-5lbs of stored body fat, in just a week or two. This is fat that could prevent you from zipping up your jeans, fitting in your holiday dress and from looking and feeling your best this holiday season. Now when you finally get back to your workouts, you will be working on the new fat you gained not, the original goals you started with.

The Yummy Solutions

Follow my top six tips for keeping your shape and maybe even trimming up your figure from Thanksgiving Meal to New Years Eve parties…… and beyond!

1. Don’t go hungry. Never put yourself in a situation where you are 1) Starving and 2) have access to tons of high calorie foods. Take the edge off with some high fiber and/or moderate protein foods 30-60 minutes BEFORE the party or meal.

2. Exercise, and then do some more. Did you workout this morning? Great, now tonight, go for a walk, get active. On the weekend rake some leaves, clean out the garage and don’t be bum! The more calories your body burns the less likely you are to gain weight. I know, duh right? Well sometimes it’s good to be reminded that catching up on with your DVR is not helping to avoid the tummy bulge or saddlebags, unless of course you are doing it on the treadmill!

3. Save it. Is your Mom’s casserole to die for and the stuffing just ok? Why waste calories on the stuff (no pun intended) you don’t LOVE or things you can eat every other day of the week? Try a taste of everything you want, but save your calories for the good stuff without overindulging in them.

4. During big meals keep it balanced and stay in control. Serve your own plate and look at it in fourths. One fourth will include one serving of protein (lean meats), another fourth should be one serving of carbohydrates (a roll, potatoes, stuffing) and the last half of your plate can be 2-3 small servings veggies (green beans, salad, peas). Balancing carbs with protein and fiber will help regulate your blood sugar (which is key for weight management), keep you more satisfied and help avoid the bulge. Any extra servings are just calories begging to be stored as fat.

5. Drink lots of water. Sometimes that feeling of hunger is actually thirst. Stay hydrated throughout the day, every day, to avoid eating extra calories and to satisfy your body’s need for water.

6. Engage and interact with your friends and family at get-togethers more than you do with your glass, plate and fork. Focus on the REAL meaning of your holidays and traditions.

Remember you can’t undo months or even just weeks of hard work in only one meal. But, by adopting healthier habits that include healthy holiday meals you can earn your ticket to a great figure now and for the rest of your years. Cheers!

By Niki Gauthier

niki@nikig.net

 

 

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Why Do you Gain Weight When You Start a New Exercise Program?

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mad at scaleDid you start a new exercise program recently to lose weight, but the scale has gone UP instead of DOWN? Don’t be alarmed! Unless you are hitting the donut shop after all your workouts, this is nothing to worry about, in fact it’s normal! See, whenever you begin or completely change your workout program, your body will retain water. This weight gain is NOT fat and it’s not even muscle, at least not yet…

 The reason for the water retention is because your muscles begin to temporarily store more glycogen when you “shock” the body with exercise that your body is not used to. This extra glycogen will pull more water into your muscles. Glycogen is simply stored carbohydrates and carbohydrates are what your bodies needs to fuel your workouts. Like super fast weight loss (like from fasting or no-carb diets), this is only a temporary condition. As your body adapts to your increased need for carbohydrates, the water retention will decrease. 

Now if you have been at it for a while and you are still not losing weight (fat) it’s time to look at your overall program and what you are eating. If you have been keeping a diet and exercise journal, this will be easy. If not, ask yourself:

 “Have I been eating to lose or just maintain?”

and

 “Have I been getting enough exercise (usually 60-90 minutes 5-6 days a week) to lose weight and change my body?”

and another question and one of the biggest issues I find with people who workout but don’t see results…

“Am I working out intensely and burning the maximum amount of calories during my workout, instead of just going through the motions?.”

If you answered no, to any question, it’s time to focus on how you can start taking steps in the right direction: more consistency, longer and/or more intense calorie burning workouts, better eating habits, balanced nutrition etc.  Just contact me if you need that little nudge….

Niki G

nicole@nikigfitness.com

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How to NOT Gain Weight This Holiday Season!

Fall is here and while it is very common to gain weight between now and Jan. 1st, you don’t have to! I want you to look and feel your best this Holiday Season, so here are the 5 most important things you can do to avoid fall and winter weight gain.

fall run1. Get out-even if the weather is bad you can walk at the mall or go to the gym, but don’t stay in the house and hibernate! Sitting around will cause your body to burn less calories, so if you eat the same as when you were busier you will gain weight!

2. Use portion and calorie control- a balance diet includes the occasional treat, but don’t go overboard. Counting calories may be tedious, but it’s one of the best ways to control your weight.

3. Exercise at least every other day. Regular exercise will rev up your metabolism making it more difficult for you to store fat.

4. Concentrate on lean protein, complex carbohydrates, fruits and veggies and low fat dairy. Stay away from processed foods, no matter how many calories they “save” you! (Same goes for fad diets and cleanses-strive to eat clean and healthy all the time!)

5. Keep your spirits up! Shorter and cooler days can bring on a case of the blues very easily. Since this can lead to “comfort eating” try bundling up and going for a walk instead. Bring a friend to talk to and brighten each others day!

While these tips will help you avoid weight gain, they can also help LOSE weight,  improve your overall health, energy and well being a gift you can only give yourself this Holiday Season!

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Holiday Food Hangover?

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Hopefully over the holidays you didn’t overdo it. But, if you did, you might find yourself with a “food hangover” and feel bloated, sluggish and a little guilty. Here are 4 things you can do about it today.iStock_000008637723XSmall

1. Drink lots of water. It’s time rehydrate after all that extra food and alcohol with clean water. Use a little lemon it you want.  This will help your system do it’s job of cleansing your body and getting rid of the bloat, and even energizing you!

2. Get moving! An intense workout will not only burn extra calories but help you feel better about your body.

3. Eat to lose and don’t starve yourself! Fad diets, cleanses, and laxatives are not an effective way to lose weight. You’ll mostly just lose some water and you may not get the nutrients you need to support your active lifestyle. Stick to fresh natural foods and just enough calories to provide energy and let your body handle the rest.

4. Get over it. OK,  so you overindulged. Get over it and move on. Just because you splurged over the holidays does not give you an excuse to miss your workouts and blow your entire week with more bad food.

The important thing is that you get back to healthy eating and exercise as soon as possible. You can’t undo all your hard work in just a few days, but the sooner you put the leftovers away and get back to your workouts, the less likely you feel any effects from your holiday treats!

By Niki Gauthier

 

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