10 Strategies for a Healthier Life

With Halloween having just passed, and Thanksgiving coming up quicker than we’d like, were already hearing about the impending increase in food intake. That’s why we put this little guide together to help you ward off the holiday heavies that come knocking every year. Here are 10 strategies for you to use for a healthier life this holiday season:

  1. Shop on a full stomach. Have you ever walked in to Publix when you’re starving and everything looks delicious? Normally you don’t even notice the chips and soda, but when you’re hungry and all that is unhealthy is calling your name, it’s tougher to say no to those foods. In order to not put yourself in that state of temptation and weaker willpower, make sure to eat a snack before you go grocery shopping.
  2. Don’t keep junk food in your house. If you conquer Strategy #1, it will make Strategy #2 much easier. If there are no thin mints in the house, how can you blow through a whole sleeve while watching House Hunters? Exactly; you can’t.
  3. Eat a snack before you go out to eat. This is similar to Strategy #1. When you’re hungry and you open up the menu everything looks amazing. What fitness goals? They all go out the window when you’re starving. Avoid that vulnerable position by eating a snack before you go out to eat.
  4. Eat your food sitting down at a table and from a plate. Have you ever been at a party and before you know it, you’ve eaten half a bag of chips and a ton of guacamole? And the worst part is you’re not even full! Grazing like this can easily add unwanted and unfulfilling calories to your day. Avoid this by putting the food you’re going to eat on a plate and sit down while you eat.
  5. Start your day with a big breakfast and don’t skip meals. Sumo wrestlers skip breakfast and workout on an empty stomach in the morning. This is so that they can eat an enormous amount of food for lunch, which will help for maximum fat storage. They also have a large dinner in the evening. Do you ever skip breakfast? Or lunch? And make up for it by having a ton of food later? Skipping meals can lead to violating Strategies #1 and #3, and will also ensure that you store the most fat possible. It’s best that you have a big breakfast, and eat a few moderate meals throughout the day.
  6. Record your eating. The secret weapon to fat loss is a nutrition journal. A few years ago there was a study done with 1,700 people. They found out that those who wrote down what they ate lost twice the amount of weight than those who didn’t record their eating. Writing down what you eat can help you be moderate your caloric intake, as well as plan future meals and notice bad eating habits.
  7. Crowd out bad foods with good foods. When you’re planning your meals or putting food on your plate try to fill up on nutrient dense, low calorie food (such as vegetables) before you move on to fatty beef or high calorie desserts.
  8. Plan your meals ahead of time. Don’t decide what you’re going to eat when you’re starving. That is when you’re most likely to eat the fast food, or whatever is convenient. Instead, plan and cook or shop for your meals ahead of time so that you can make a healthy decision about what you’re going to eat.
  9. Get Social. Having a partner or being with a group can make workouts and eating healthy fun, as well as motivating you when you don’t feel like doing it, or holding you accountable and making sure you’re eating right and working out.
  10. Plan your workouts ahead of time. We work with hundreds of people at Rock Solid and we’ve found that for the most part those who plan their workouts ahead of time and stick to a schedule are the most consistent. If somebody always works out Mondays and Thursdays they’re more likely to stick to that schedule because it’s a habit and they’ve decided on a day and time for it. On the other hand, if somebody says, “I’ll work out on Tuesday, and then I’ll call you later in the week to schedule a second one,” we find that they’re much less consistent.

Do you need help with losing weight? Want to be in an environment where everybody is taking steps to reach their fat loss goals? Sign up for Accelerated Fat Loss 101! It is a 12 week program where you learn exactly how many calories YOU need, as well as more information about proper nutrition and healthy habits. Seats are limited and the deadline to sign up is Monday, November 9, so sign up today! Give us a call at 727-282-1800.

The Yo-Yo Conundrum

Meet Mr. Joe. Joe is 42, six feet tall, 200 pounds, 24% body fat, and eats about 3,000 calories per day through a small breakfast, big lunch and a big dinner.

He’s nervous about his high school reunion coming up in 10 weeks because he’s 30 pounds heavier than he was when he graduated. He would love to get back down to 170 before he sees all of his old classmates, so he goes to his local gym.

“Hello sir, what can we do for you?”

“I want to lose thirty pounds in ten weeks.”

“We can definitely help you do that. How many calories are you eating per day?”

“About 3,000.”

“Great, you need to cut that down to 2,000 calories. That will starve the fat and help you lose weight.”

Since Joe really wants to lose weight he does exactly what they tell him to and only eats 2,000 calories per day. Two weeks later he’s a bit sluggish and pretty hungry, but what do you know, he’s lost 10 pounds! He’s excited about the results so he keeps on going. However, three weeks later he’s still at 190, so he goes back to the gym.

“Hey guys, the diet you put me on worked and I lost ten pounds! But I’m stuck now, what do I do?”

“Don’t worry Joe; we have this plateau buster program that will get you where you need to be. You’re eating too much; you have to eat 1,500 calories per day now.”

So Joe goes home and for the last five weeks before his reunion eats 1,500 calories per day. What happened? Well, he reached his goal and got down to 170, but he had to pay a price. His body fat percentage dropped only 2%, meaning he lost just 10 pounds of fat and 20 pounds of muscle. He’s also craving sugars and fats, has headaches, and feels sluggish and tired. There’s no way Joe can keep this diet up forever so after the reunion he goes back to eating 2,000 calories (still 1,000 less than the 3,000 he was originally eating).

A year later Joe’s body has changed again. He’s now 203 pounds (3 pounds heavier), 32% body fat (even farther out of the healthy range which is 10-20%), but still eats just 2,000 calories. How did this happen?

For one, you exactly can’t starve fat. Fat is stored energy so when Joe started eating less (giving his body less energy), why would it get rid of the stored energy? His body went in to starvation mode and wanted to keep as much fat as possible in case there was even less food available in the future. This is an evolutionary adaptation from the caveman days where McDonalds wasn’t always down the street. His body also started burning muscle because he needed more energy, and also muscle requires a lot of calories to maintain. Then, when he went from eating 1,500 calories to 2,000 calories, his metabolism was so low (since he had lost 20 pounds of calorie burning muscle) that he easily gained more weight, mostly in the form of fat.

So how do you keep this from happening to you?

  1. Don’t go on crash diets. They may work for a little, but in the end you will set yourself up for failure in the future.
  2. Strength train. Building muscle will keep your metabolism high and turn your body into an efficient calorie burning machine.
  3. Eat the right amounts of calories. Eating too little will cause your body to store fat and burn muscle; eating too much will cause you body to store fat. Remember, your body is an efficient fat storing machine because in the caveman days it was advantageous to store as much energy (fat) as possible.

Do you want to figure out how many calories you need? Do you need a little extra motivation and accountability? Sign up for Accelerated Fat Loss 101! This is our 12 week course where we will teach you exactly what you need to know to lose fat, and then help motivate you and hold you accountable as we all take those steps together. The deadline to sign up is Monday, November 9 and seating is limited so sign up today! Give us a call at 727-2800-1800 to reserve your spot.

Two Keys to Losing Fat

Scenario: You have 3 months to lose 20 pounds…go!

How are you going to do it? What’s your plan? Are you going to work out every day? Are you going to start cutting out meals, or carbs, or fats? Will it work? Many people know they want to lose weight, but they don’t know exactly how to go about it. Lucky for you, we help people lose weight all the time, and we know exactly how to do it. Here are the two keys to help you on this weight loss journey:

The first key is this: education. This is fairly simple- you need to know the right steps to take. There are two major questions involved here: 1. How much food should you eat? 2. How much should you exercise?

You need to be eating enough food so that you are burning just a few hundred calories more than what you’re taking in. If you don’t eat enough your body will go into starvation mode and start storing fat and burning muscle. If you eat too much, your body will store fat for future energy needs. Come check out the Inbody 570 to help you figure out a good starting point for how many calories you should be eating per day.

You should be properly strength training twice a week and staying active outside of the gym. Intense strength training will help burn calories during your workout and for the next few days after your workout as your muscles recover. It also builds muscle, which helps increase your metabolism. Staying active (bike riding, going on walks) will help keep your metabolism going as well.

So now you know that you need to eat the proper amounts and exercise properly. What else is there to do lose weight? Nothing! As long as you actually do it! The second key is this: application. Application means actually doing the things you know how to do. How do you make sure you apply your knowledge of nutrition and strength training to help you lose weight? Here are four points to help you:

  1. Get social. Getting together with another person or a group can be great for holding you accountable, keeping you motivated and keeping it all fun as you eat right and exercise properly. You could go on a walk with your family after dinner, bike the causeway with a friend, or plan to meet in the morning with some people at work as you all eat healthy breakfasts.
  2. Plan ahead. Planning ahead for your meals instead of stopping to get fast food on your way home or digging through the pantry can help ensure that you’re making healthy choices, instead of convenient, possibly unhealthy, choices.
  3. Set a schedule. This goes along with planning ahead, but for myself I’m never as consistent with my workouts as when I’m working out on a fixed schedule. I also prepare most of my meals on a fixed schedule (I cook a ton of food Sunday afternoon) so that I can be prepared for days when I get really busy and can’t cook (every day besides Sunday).
  4. Set realistic goals. Give yourself something to work for so that when it gets tough you have something to keep you focused. Also, imagine how good you will feel (and look) once you actually reach that goal of losing 20 pounds, or weighing the same as you did in high school.

So there you have it- the education and application of how to lose weight. Some of you reading this are going to take this and run with it, and be super models in no time. Others need a little extra help, so we have a solution for you: our fat loss course, Accelerated Fat Loss 101.

Accelerated Fat Loss 101, which starts November 11, covers the education and application of losing weight, and it does so in great detail. The course consists of 12 weekly one hour classes all about proper nutrition and healthy habits so that you can finally lose the extra 20 pounds you’ve been sick and tired of. It also includes an InBody test before and after the program so you can see exactly how much fat you’ve lost, a nutrition journal to help you know exactly what you’re eating and access for an entire year to our online meal planning program. In addition to the education you get at the weekly courses, you will get accountability and motivation from both the Rock Solid Fitness staff and your classmates to keep you going, even when it gets tough. Space is limited and the deadline to register is November 9, so call us today at 727-282-1800 to sign up!

Client Spotlight: Everybody Should Strength Train

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This week’s post is a Client Spotlight and you all are getting the old two-for-one! We are featuring both the long timer Mr. Terry Gale, and his amazing wife Mrs. Marilyn Gale.

Terry is a former basketball coach from Michigan who always comes in to Rock Solid with a big smile on his face, excited to talk sports with the guys. Marilyn is a retired nurse, and is absolutely the rock that holds her family together. Without her love and support I would not be writing this article, as this amazing story wouldn’t be possible.

13 years ago Terry had a stroke that left him without the use of his right arm and leg. He landed in inpatient and outpatient physical therapy at the hospital where Dave and Patty worked as physical therapy assistants. Once he was finished with his physical therapy, he still needed to strength train and work on his motor functions, so he started working out with Patty in the gym. His two biggest goals were to be able to drive again and get back on the golf course, both of which he thought were never possible.

Marilyn has had back problems all of her life, leading to pain and loss of mobility. Occasionally her pain was so bad she was in a wheelchair or using a walker to get around her own house, and it was difficult for her to care for her husband. Finally, the pain led her and her doctors to decide surgery was necessary. However, as Marilyn was laying down in the operating room about to have the surgery, her doctor asked her how she was feeling. Since her back was not bothering her that much that day, he advised that she not have the surgery, so she didn’t. Shortly after that fateful morning she started working out at Rock Solid as well.

Today both Terry and Marilyn strength train twice a week with us. Although they lead different lives, strength is equally important for both of them. Since Terry lacks the use of his right side, it’s important for his left side to be as strong as can be. Through years of experience in the physical therapy world, Patty and Dave have constructed, and taught the rest of the staff, a strength training program that is safe and effective for Terry. With Marilyn, she needs to be strong not only to take care of her husband, but also to take care of herself. Helping Terry around with everyday tasks can put a lot of stress on her already injured back, so strengthening the muscles that move and support her spine are of the utmost importance. Thankfully since she has been working with us she has not had any episodes that have caused her to use a wheel chair or walker anymore.

Oh, and for the last 11 years Terry has been driving himself around Sunny Clearwater, Florida in his convertible and even has a custom made golf club!

So what can we learn from the stories of Terry and Marilyn?

  1. Strength training is possible for most everybody. We often get excuses of why people can’t work out and most of them don’t compare to only being able to use half of your limbs. For these people, strength training is almost more important.
  2. This goes along with #1, but don’t let aches and pains stop you from working out. If your doctor says it’s ok to strength train, then do it! All the time we have people come in with knee pain, neck pain or back pain and through strengthening those muscles we can often get rid of, or at least alleviate, the pain.
  3. The last lesson is this: never take life or any part of it for granted. You never know when tragedy might strike and take away your freedom or mobility. Every day be thankful for your life, your struggles and the opportunities that are given to you.

 

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Want a Free InBody Scan? Want a free workout? Want to receive up to 100% off of your next Rock Star or I’m All In Program? Ask us how bringing in a friend can help you!

 

 

 

Top 7 Reasons To Work Hard In Your Workouts

Working hard in the gym (and anywhere else for that matter) is uncomfortable, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. Starting your own business was uncomfortable at times, but isn’t it worth it? Going through med school was difficult, but wasn’t it worth it? Law school was a bear, but wasn’t it worth it? Here are the top 7 reasons for why you should work hard during your workouts:
1. It’s the only way to build strength. Don’t you want to be strong enough to pick up your kids? When you get older, you don’t want to have difficulty getting up and down off of the floor, or up and down from a chair. When you’re stronger won’t hiking, skiing and playing tennis be easier? Strength also helps prevent injuries in these sports. Your goal should be to get as strong as possible so that you can physically handle whatever life throws at you. Working hard is the only way to get stronger.

2. Working hard makes you mentally tough. Each time you come to the gym and work hard you’re pushing your mental limits. We are asking you to do something that is difficult and uncomfortable; by you pushing yourself to the limit and refusing to give up, you’re teaching yourself not to give up and to push the limits in other areas of your life.

3. It’s the only way to build muscle. Building muscle is a physical adaptation to strength training that only results from hard work. The bigger the stimulus (your effort), the bigger the adaptation (your muscles). And for those of you who are scared to build muscle remember these two things: 1. Muscles are calorie burning engines- the more muscle you have the more efficient at burning calories you are. 2. If you’re scared of building muscle it’s very likely that you won’t build muscle. Building muscle is hard, especially for women.

4. A gargantuan effort requires a gargantuan amount of calories. This is simple and self explanatory: the harder you work out the more calories are required to complete your workout.

5. Your metabolism is elevated 24-48 hours after an intense strength training session. When you strength train at a high effort, you’re actually breaking your muscles down. Your body requires extra calories the next few days to recover and rebuild your muscles.

6. Pride. In the intro I mentioned that difficult things are usually worth it. Remember how proud you were when you graduated from college? Or when you landed that big job? Look at your workouts the same way. They should be incredibly difficult, but upon completing them you should be incredibly proud.

7. The final reason is this: the harder you push yourself, the more results you’ll get. If you come in here and don’t want to work hard, then you’re only cheating yourself. We know you want to lose weight, or gain muscle; that’s why you came here. However, you aren’t given these rewards, you have to earn them.

 

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Want a Free InBody Scan? Want a free workout? Want to receive up to 100% off of your next Rock Star or I’m All In Program? Ask us how bringing in a friend can help you!

 

Solving the Puzzle of Motivation

“Hello, Mrs. Susan, how’s your eating going?”

“Well, it’s alright, I ate too much at lunch yesterday. I went out to eat with a couple of women from the office and I got carried away.”

This scenario is way too common with our clients who are looking to lose weight. You won’t lose weight if you eat too much! But oftentimes, there’s something else going on here. The client says he or she wants to lose weight, but their actions tell a different story. There’s no real desire. There’s no hope. There’s no motivation. How do we change that?

In the above video Scott Geller talks about the psychology of self motivation. He goes over several points and questions that you can ask yourself right now.

The first question: can you do it? Can you lose weight? Well, what does that mean? How do we get there? Can you strength train at least twice a week? Many of you do. Can you be active the other days? A 20-30 minute walk or a bike ride will work. Can you control your eating? This is the hard part. Here are some tips: start a food journal, make it easy to record your eating and plan ahead. Make it easy by making a menu that you follow each day or week, or have several meals that you rotate through that you already know the portions, calories and macronutrients. I eat the same thing every day for breakfast, it’s one third of my daily caloric need, and I prepare all of it Sunday afternoon. When I wake up in the morning I grab it all from my fridge and pantry, and write “breakfast of champions” in my food journal with all of the calories and macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, and fat). Plan ahead so that you’re not stuck in a bind and end up putting yourself in a position where you overeat, such as going out or scavenging in the fridge.

So, we know you can strength train, we know you can be active, and we know you can control your eating. Question #1: done.

The second question: will it work? Yes! All the time we see people at Rock Solid change their bodies and their lives. Whenever I ask someone who’s lost a bunch of weight how they did it, it’s always the same answer: “Well, I ate less, and I exercised.” It’s not rocket science! If you eat less, exercise, and you are consistent it WILL work!

The third question: is it worth it? Is it worth changing your habits to help you lose weight? I will let you answer this. Will it be easier to get up and down from the ground? Will your back and your knees feel better when they’re carrying 30 less pounds? Will your clothes fit better? Will you be more proud of the way you look? Will it feel great when people come up to you and ask, hey, did you lose weight? Will you be healthier? Will you still be prediabetic? Will you still have high blood pressure?

You’ve answered these three questions: you know you can do it, you know it will work, and you know it’s worth it. You are now empowered to make healthier choices and change your habits so that you can finally lose that extra weight and become healthier. But there’s another tip Scott mentions in his speech. Get involved in a community. You can do that at Rock Solid where we’re all working hard to reach our goals. You can start a breakfast club at work where you and your coworkers eat breakfast together and get your day started off on the right foot. You can start walking the Causeway in the evening with your family or friends. The importance of being in community cannot be stressed enough. You can do it!

 

P.S. Rock Solid is teaching an Accelerated Fat Loss course in a few weeks if you need help with finding a community to hold you accountable, or answering the questions can you do it? Will it work? And is it worth it? Give us a call at 727-282-1800 or shoot us an email for more information.