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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Target Heart Rate Zone is a Joke if You are Serious about Losing Weight

Target Heart Rate Zone

Have you ever heard that to lose weight you should stay in the “Target Heart Rate Zone?” This term may sound important and technical, but it’s actually a joke, especially if you are serious about losing weight.

Let me just start out by saying that while it may be safer for those just starting a workout program to start at a low intensity level, most people who are looking to change their body need a more intense exercise program. While some exercise is better than none, our bodies are amazing and you are probably capable of more than you think!

The idea behind the “Target Heart Rate Zone” is that since you use fat for energy at low intensities and primarily carbohydrates at higher intensities that you should not exercise at an intense level. Now think about this, do you really think intense exercise is bad for you and that  it won’t get you into incredible shape?  This is where the “Target Heart Rate Zone” becomes very deceptive because it’s actually the high intensity exercise that burns the MOST CALORIES! Isn’t that really the name of game? If you burn more calories, you burn more fat, period. It doesn’t matter the percentage. It’s the overall total calories burned that counts.

Carbohydrates are the preferred source of energy in the body. Why work against it? You might think, don’t I need to use fat as energy to burn fat? Nope. When you take into account the fact that high intensity exercise increases your overall metabolic rate much higher than low intensity training AFTER your workout and throughout the day, you would best make use of your exercise time doing high intensity training and burning more calories. That means that if you and your co-worker both worked out this morning and she walked for 30 minutes at a low intensity level and you ran for 30 minutes and kept the intensity level high, you would be more likely to burn more fat while you are both sitting at your desks that day. Guess who’s going to look better at the company Holiday Party this year?

So, remember this: the more calories you burn, the more fat your burn. Forget about percentages and fancy terms. Workout as hard as you can and as long as you can, eat to lose (don’t diet!!!) and you will see changes faster than you can find your calculator to figure out your “Target Heart Rate Zone.”

Additional Reading for You…..

What is the fat burning zone? Should I run more slowly to lose fat?http://www.runningforfitness.org/faq/weightloss.php

Busting the Great Myths of Fat Burning: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/busting-the-great-myths-of-fat-burning.html

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Team Niki G Fitness Completes First 5K, The Race for the Cure in Brentwood, TN

race day
Team Niki G Fitness

Congratulations to Team Niki G Fitness! On Oct. 10th, after a 60 minute Boot Camp class, several of our Boot Campers loaded into one of my in-home client’s SUV and made our way  from Granny White Park to Maryland Farms to meet up with the rest of our team and run what for many of them would be their first 5k; The Race for the Cure!  The excitement they all shared at the finish line was incredible. After completing her first 5k in a little over 35 minutes, one Boot Camper came up to me and gave me a big hug saying “I ran the whole way, and it’s all because of you!” Actually, it’s because she started Boot Camp a couple of months ago, didn’t give up and stayed committed to her program. This is also the same Boot Camper who told me while running our warm up mile on her first day, “I don’t think I can do this.” Obviously, I showed her she could. Now here she is running her first 5k!

The entire team did wonderful! We all finished in about 35 minutes and which gave us plenty of time and chat and plan our next race… the Blvd Bolt on Thanskgiving Day. All I can say is stay tuned for the pictures next month because you are NOT going to want to miss them!!!

And remember, you can do ANYTHING, one step at a time!

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Niki G Fitness Announces Free Yoga Classes with Nicole Gauthier to Benefit Soles4Souls™ During The Month of October

Brentwood and Nashville, TN  residents are invited to recycle their

 ‘gently worn’ shoes for people in need

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Every 17 seconds, Soles4Souls Inc. gives away another pair of shoes to someone in need.  The shoe charity has earned glowing endorsements from Hollywood stars and professional athletes, but the people who truly make the non-profit organization effective are those who clean out their closets to personally drop off their ‘gently worn’ shoes at a participating location, such as at Niki G’s Fitness Classes.

 For a limited time, Soles4Souls and Niki G Fitness will be collecting your gently worn footwear and/or donations to ship the shoes to a person in need, whether they are victims of a natural disaster or subject to living in extreme poverty.  It is estimated that Americans have 1.5 billion pairs of unused shoes lying in their closets.  The charity can use each and every one of these pairs to make a tangible difference in someone’s life.

 “We can use the shoes taking up space in your closet to change the world one pair at a time,” Elsey said.  “We need our partners in Nashville to ‘STEP UP’ and get behind our call for action.  It’s one of the most simple yet profound gifts you can make, because it will greatly improve someone’s life in the most difficult of times,” he said.

 Nicole Gauthier of Niki G Fitness is offering ‘Yoga Boot Camp for Beginners in the Park’ in Brentwood and in Lenox Village during the month of October. This outdoor Yoga classes is free with any donation towards Soles4Souls. For dates, times, park locations, and class registration, please visit www.southnashvilleyoga.com .

 People and companies interested in donating can visit the organization’s website at www.giveshoes.org  and follow the instructions.

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Double Your Diet and Exercise Results by Journaling

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I hear it all the time, “But I eat really well and I still haven’t lost any weight.” That’s their viewpoint until they actually start documenting everything they eat. As the day goes by you may be eating mindlessly or even eating more than you thought. Improper portion sizes are the biggest setback I find when evaluating journals. Even I had a hard time shedding the pregnancy pounds after my second daughter was born until I began keeping a food journal with an online program!
Studies now show what I have been telling clients for years — those who keep a diet and exercise journal lose two times as much weight as those who don’t! This is good news for anyone keeping a journal whether your goal is to lose weight, run a marathon or even just tone up. While you might be one to complain about the hassle of keeping a journal, wouldn’t you agree that it’s much better than not fitting into your clothes, or worse, having medical issues due to your size or lack of physical fitness?
Make the Change
It’s never too late to change your fitness level and lifestyle. Simply pick up a small notebook at the store and update it two-three times a day with exactly what you did that day to get healthier. Include everything you ate and any exercise you did. The more information you provide in your journal the better. Chances are, you already know what you should be eating to achieve your goals — the journal will just provide additional discipline and accountability!
Now, if you enjoy the convenience of the computer or you need some guidance in the nutrition department there are many online programs, like my Niki G Fitness Tracker I use with my clients, that allow you set up an account and enter in the food you eat. Some even have technology to give you a snapshot regarding how well you are doing by providing charts, graphs or “report cards” and some provide meal planning.
Just remember, keeping a journal does not have to be forever. Once you reach your goals and get used to writing down everything you eat and learning how to balance out your meals, you won’t need the journal. And if you get off track, you can always just pick up the pen and paper (or mouse) once again!

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Niki G Raises Money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation

Niki G's Raise for the Cure TeamOn October 10th, 2009 Niki G’s Fitness team will participate in the Race for the Cure at Maryland Farms in Brentwood. This is a great way for you to burn some calories and raise money for a good cause!

To a part of the largest 5K Run/Walk series in the world and Join Niki G in the Fight Against Breast Cancer please register at http://2009greaternashvilleraceforthecure.kintera.org/nikigfitnessbootcampbrentwood 
Our goal is to raise at least $1000 and we are just over a third of the way with less than two weeks to go!
All team members will receive a special Team Niki G t-shirt and can choose between our walking or running group.
Please contact Niki with any questions at www.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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Burn Fat with Daily Cardio Workouts

Cardiovascular Exercise (cardio) is an extremely useful “tool” or activity to help you get in shape. Whether you just want to tone up or lose a lot of weight you will need to at least some cardio each week. Cardio burns fats, improves your overall fitness level, removes toxins from your body, and keeps your heart healthier. If there are ANY areas of your body you feel should be smaller, than cardio is one of your answers. Since you can’t “spot reduce.” You must do cardio in general and eventually the body will use (or burn up) those extras pockets of fat on our hips, thighs, butt, belly and/or back of the arms. Weight training helps these areas too and is just important for weight loss and toning, but we will discuse weight training in a separate post.

For a complete cardio program for any fitness level, become a member of my NEW online community!http://nikigfitness.ning.com/profiles/blogs/burn-fat-with-daily-cardio

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4th of July Boot Camp

I have such an awesome, dedicated group of Boot Campers! I couldn’t stand taking a Saturday off, so I scheduled an extra workout (no charge) for my Boot Campers early on the 4th of July before picking up my oldest daughter from Summer Camp. This picture was taken after our hour long workout and they are STILL smiling!

4th of July Boot Camp
4th of July Boot Camp

My Boot Campers are so committed to their success that 8 of them, who were not out of town or had family plans, took me up on my offer and came out for the extra workout  at 6am. We ran over 2 miles on a trail behind the Brentwood YMCA and we stopped every 1/5 of mile or so for weight training exercises which were “Boot Campers choice!”

Way to go ladies!!!

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