The 3 Worst Fitness Time-Sucks!

What do you see when you head to your gym and work out? The same people, in the same shape, doing the same workouts time after time, right? Isn’t the whole idea of going to a gym to see a change in your body? Either in the way your body looks or how it performs. If you don’t change, then what’s the point. If you don’t change, then what’s going wrong?

Here are the three worst fitness time-sucks. See if you’re guilty of doing these and learn how to avoid them:

 1. You want to lose body fat but you eat right before your workout and fill up afterwards too. 

Among the worst things women do that wastes time in their workouts is to eat before working out. If your goal is to lose body fat, then the workout should be done on an empty stomach to allow the body to burn the stored glycogen in the muscles and liver. Once those stores are used up, your body uses body fat for energy. Eating before a workout will make the body burn food energy instead of stored body fat.

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When should you eat before your workout? When you are working out for longer than about 45-60 minutes at higher intensity and your goal is not to lose fat, but to increase performance, such as lift heavier weights or run faster than usually. To have enough energy, you want to eat some easily-digested carbs about an hour before your workout, such as 1/2 cup of oatmeal or a slice of bread with a little cottage cheese or drink a sports drink (coconut water). The body will then use the carbs as fuel.

What about after your workouts? If you want to get lean and lose body fat, there is no need to refuel with lots of carbs. Eat lots of veggies and lean proteins instead of going overboard on starches and sugar. Those would fill up your glycogen stores in the muscles and liver, so you would be basically right back to where you were before you started your workout. Just because you work out, doesn’t mean you should eat more!

2. Thinking that heavy weights will make you bulky, so you lift baby weights:

Does this woman look bulky to you? Certainly not. She’s a fitness model (Jennifer Nicole Lee), lifts heavy weights and her diet is clean. The result: Lean muscle, low body fat.

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Lifting light weights (anything less than 5 lbs) and performing more than 12 reps is a waste of time. The only way a muscle will get stronger and leaner is by challenging the muscle to perform more than it normally does. A heavy weight that stresses the muscle enough and creates microscopic tears is necessary to stimulate muscle repair. Instead of doing 50 reps with a 3-lb dumbbell, pick up 8 lb weights and try to lift it 6-12 times. With every time you work out, you’ll notice your strength increase and the shape of your body change much faster. It’s not about the number of reps as it is about how much you engage and stress your muscle.

Also, pay attention to your level of muscle fatigue. Your muscles adapt over time. Take our Slim & Strong participants who start the month with little to no strength. Over the course of 4 weeks they go from barely being able to do a single full-body push-up to cranking out up to 50 in sets of 10. How is that possible? By progressively challenging your muscle to do more than in the last workout. Use proper form, pay attention to adequate fatigue levels and push beyond your comfort zone. Your body will change 10x faster than if you were to use baby dumbbells, no matter what Tracy Anderson says…

3. You want to burn calories and change your body’s shape but you’re doing the same cardio routine:

Doing steady-state cardio on the treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike is the biggest waste of time. If you have been training your body with cardio for more than one month, make sure you incorporate sprints and high intensity intervals. If you perform the same routine day after day without changing it up, your body will get used to the routine and burn fewer and fewer calories with each workout. Try a new class or take your run outside instead of running on the treadmill while watching TV. Your body will get used to anything, no matter the intensity. Even though I work out intensely for 2 hours on most days, my body has become so used to this level of intensity, that it has adapted to it and doesn’t change anymore because of it. I have to lift heavy weights to stimulate muscle growth and get in lots of variety in the cardio department. Change is good!

How do I get rid of belly fat?

Ariane,

I have a belly fat question: Is there anything specific I should be eating  - or not – to get rid of the belly fat? I don’t eat soy, which I know causes bloating. Luckily I’ve never been a fan of soy products – and corn, which I know is another food that causes bloating/puffiness. I’ve actually been eating pretty cleanly. The NutriBullet helped, which is awesome.  I’m getting a bit bored with my typical mixes, so if you have any yummy NutriBullet concoctions, I’ll take them.

Granted, I have to seriously worked on my ab strength but where I can see changes is my legs and my butt but I’m not seeing much change in my mid-section. Even with my clean eating the belly is still there. Any suggestions?

Thanks, Tamara

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Tamara,

This blog post will help answer your question partially. Additionally, belly fat is in large part hormonally driven. That means once you clean up your diet (no sugar, no alcohol, no starch or grains) you also need to control your stress levels. Negative stress forces your body into cortisol production, which initially helps you lose fat, but if it’s ongoing, your body goes into protective mode and you gain belly fat. Stress levels can be increased due to lack of sleep, life stressors and emotional stress.

Estrogen can also be to blame for belly fat. If you work out in the second part of your menstrual cycle, you’re more likely to drop body fat than in the first part because estrogen levels drop. Lower estrogen levels in post-menopausal women can also promote belly fat storage, especially if it’s not balanced by progesterone.

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In order to control body fat, your best bet is to prevent insulin spikes. Insulin tells your body to store fat and is prompted by a diet high in carbs from sugar and starches. Then, focus on stress control (meditation, yoga, walking, exercise). You can control estrogen levels by avoiding using plastics and pesticides and keeping your caffeine intake at bay. You should also eat lots of fiber as that binds with excess estrogen and removes it from your body.

 

 

 

 

The disappointing news is that a flat stomach is not the result of doing 100 sit-ups a day, but the result of proper clean eating, stress control, effective exercise and hormone balancing.

We are all born with a six-pack but the reason we don’t see it is that it is covered by body fat, so unless you drop your body fat below 22-20% as a woman and about 17-15% as a guy, you’re not going to see those rockstar abs.

Lastly, check out my Pinterest page with loads of NutriBullet Detox Recipes.

In your 30s and looking to lose weight?

The majority of women who participate in my Slim & Strong program are in their 30s, so when I was approached to dish out weight loss tips that uniquely apply to the 30-somethings I jumped at the opportunity. Every decade brings challenges and to treat everyone the same would mean missing out on understanding my clients’ specific needs. I hope this interview for About.com helps you address a few issues you may be dealing with:

“Are you a woman in your 30s who is trying to lose weight?  If you are, give yourself credit for making your weight and your health a priority.  The habits you establish now will carry you through your 40s and into middle age. If you want to be lean for life, now is the time to get serious and make critical decisions for lifelong health.

So what is the best way for a woman in her 30s to lose weight? Before you begin your weight loss journey, use these five tips to evaluate your lifestyle and find the best diet for you.  The advice is specifically tailored to address the unique challenges you face when you try to slim down during your third decade.

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5 Tips for Weight Loss to Follow in Your 30s

  1. Evaluate your barriers.  Everyone faces a few roadblocks during the weight loss process, but when you’re in your 30s the challenges are likely to be environmental.  For example, many women say that they don’t have enough time to diet and exerciseduring the years when they are having children and settling into a career.
    To win the weight loss battle, you need to know what you’re up against. Almost any barrier is surmountable but you have to know what it is before you can develop a plan of action. At the start your weight loss process, take at least 20 minutes to identify your weight loss barriers. This simple step will save you time and energy from setbacks later.
  2. Understand muscle and metabolism. If you want to keep a healthy metabolism, you need to maintain muscle.  Ariane Hundt, M.S. trains 30-something women as part of her Slim & Strong 4 Week Fat Loss Program in New York City.  She says that women in their 30s need to be especially careful about building and keeping muscle mass in order to support a healthy metabolism.  “Women start losing muscle in their 30s and unless that muscle is challenged and maintained with regular workouts, muscle loss will slow the metabolism.”
    So how does a woman with a busy life work out to keep her calorie burning fires from fizzling?  If you can’t get to the gym, there are simple strength workouts you can do at home.  Short, intense exercise sessions will also help you to burn more fat.
  3. Get organized. It might seem like life will settle down when the kids are older or when you career is more established, but trust me, it won’t.  Now is the time when you need to set up healthy lifestyle habits that will help you lose weight and keep it off for life.
    Meal planning for weight loss is one of those routines.  Learn to set aside one day each week to shop for healthy food, prepare meals and snacks in advance and even schedule your workout sessions. Ask your spouse or family members to help if necessary to make this habit a priority.
  4. Stop falling for fad diets. Women in their 30s are too smart and too sophisticated to fall for the popular diet trends that younger women fall for. Ariane explains why these fads can cause harm. “If you’ve dieted on and off until your 30s, chances are your metabolism is confused. With every new diet attempt, you may put your body into starvation mode and weight loss is harder and harder, ” she says.
    Your first step to healthy eating is to evaluate your daily caloric intake.  You should also keep a pre-diet food journal.  Then make sure you eat enough protein to maintain a healthy metabolism, limit your sugar intake, and monitor your carbohydrate intake to stay energized and satiated throughout the day.
  5. Learn to manage stress.  Your 30s may be the most stressful time in your life.  Babies, job stress and relationship issues can keep you awake at night.  Even the simple act of dieting can cause stress.  But those challenges can cause problems if they are not addressed.  “Life stress can challenge your metabolism by activating the stress response and in turn fat storage,” says Ariane, “so balance in lifestyle is key.”  Get support from friends and family or reach out to a certified professional if you think that stress is preventing you from losing weight.

If you are a busy woman in her 30s, you might be tempted to backburner your health and your weight. Or worse yet, you might go on the first diet you see in a fashion magazine.  Don’t make those mistakes.  Now is the time when your decisions have real long-term consequences.  Make healthy choices for lifelong health and well-being.:

What’s worse: A Bacon Cheeseburger or a Smoothie?

As I was measuring one of my Slim & Strong clients this week, she noted how she felt great, but had hoped to lose more weight. I had her recite her food diary to see what part of her diet was to blame. She told me about her breakfast smoothie, which she thought was ‘healthy’. While it may be healthy in terms of the nutrients it has, it may not be a fat loss smoothie. I told her to add up the nutrition for all her ingredients and then let me know if she thought it was a fat loss or fat storage food. Here’s what she came up with:

“Ariane, thanks so much for kicking my butt and helping me jump start the changes I want to make for a healthier body and lifestyle! I’ve done my homework below.

 

Turns out my smoothie I made with coconut milk, coconut water, banana, peanut butter and protein powder is really not a fat loss food :/

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1/4 cup of lite coconut milk 

45 calories

4g fat

3.5 sat fat

2g carbs

Sugar and protein: less than 1g each

 

2 tbls peanut/almond butter

188 calories

16g of fat!

2.4g sat fat!

6 carbs

3g sugar

8g protein

 

1/2 cup coconut water

25 calories

0 fat

6g carbs

5g sugar

0g protein

 

1 scoop of protein powder 

110 calories

1.5g fat

1g sat fat

6g carbs

2g sugar

20g protein

 

1 banana 

105 calories

.4g fat

27g carbs!

14g sugar!

1.3g protein

 

I dread the total:

 
473 calories

22g fat

8g sat fat

47g carbs

24g sugar

29g protein
Why does that look like a bacon cheeseburger? Ugh. This was a very helpful exercise. Maybe this should be my once a month cheat.”
Well, it turns out she was drinking a breakfast smoothie that actually does compare to a bacon cheeseburger. The cheeseburger is even better on sugar and carbs than the smoothie! Here are the nutrients for that:

Calories: 595

Fat: 33 g

Carbs: 40g

Sugar: 10g

Protein: 33g

Keep in mind that just because a food is considered ‘healthy’, such as fruit, nuts, nut butters, and grains, it doesn’t mean it is a fat loss food. Quite the contrary is true. The more sugar and starch you eat, the fatter and unhealthier you’ll get. Now, check out some delicious detox smoothie recipes that will get you lean, energized and satiated.

 

Me Versus The Scale

We all have unique relationships with the scale. For some people it’s just a number, for others it is a defining moment that can define the mood for the day or several days, it can decide whether you’ll feel great in your skin or deflated. I often have Slim & Strong clients cringing at the initial weigh-in because they feel defined by a number. Over the course of the month I help them realize that it simply is a number and that your strength, endurance, control over your body’s movements, your self-esteem and energy, your health and body fat are by far better measurements to take on a regular basis. But, in order to measure body fat, I need to plug in the weight. So, it was interesting to see this article in the New York Times by a participant, who wrote about her experience in Slim & Strong and seeing the number on the scale, even though she didn’t want to. I thought I’d share it with you because she’s discussing some interesting issues.

 

Me Versus the Scale

By ABBY ELLIN

January 27, 2014

The scale and I have reached détente. That is: I leave it alone, and it affords me the same courtesy. I rarely step on it, and we’re both better off.

I have earned the right of refusal. As someone who weighed herself almost daily between the ages of 10 and 25, who spent six years at fat camps and traveled around the Middle East with a scale buried in the pit of her backpack (I know, I know…), I’ve done my time. I won’t even weigh myself at the doctor’s office. Nothing good can come from the knowledge that I’m three pounds lighter, or two pounds heavier.

“People are obsessed with it — they go crazy over a tenth of a pound,” said Jim White, a registered dietitian nutritionist and a spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “I’ve had clients who are losing major inches and body fat and looking and feeling great, but if the scale doesn’t budge they get defeated. The number defines them.”

I had pretty much been blessedly scale-free until a few months ago, when I signed up for a month-long, twice-weekly fitness class. Shedding pounds was not my goal; I just wanted a good, hard workout. The instructor insisted on taking our “before” and “after” measurements, including our weight and body fat percentages.

I balked, but after the teacher promised “I won’t tell you what it is,” I held my breath and shuffled onto the scale as if to the guillotine. I was curious, of course, but I squeezed my eyes shut and didn’t peek. And that was the end of that — until a week later, when I opened a group email from her and found a list of the entire class’s names, along with our weights and measurements. A ball of rubber bands wove its way from my stomach and lodged in my throat. “Really?” I thought. It seemed a major violation.

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So many of us can recite the intimate details of our friends’ sex lives, their pharmacological habits, their rents. But question their weights and their mouths clamp shut. Not even the N.S.A. knows that. “How often do we ask someone what they weigh? Unless you really know them well, you don’t,” said Allan Geliebter, a senior researcher at The New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center at St

. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center. “The last thing you tell someone is that they gained a lot of weight.” After stewing about it, I realized that I didn’t really care if 15 strangers knew my weight. I just didn’t want to know — especially since it was about five pounds higher than I would have liked. It haunted me. The teacher apologized. But, she said, the weight was “just a number.” “The real thing you should worry about is body fat.” Indeed, most experts agree that body fat percentage is a better indicator of health than overall weight, with obesity often defined as greater than 25 percent body fat in men and 35 percent in women. Belly, or visceral, fat can be more harmful than the subcutaneous fat found directly under the skin and stored in the thighs and derriere — neither of which a traditional scale gauges.

Continue reading….

 

The Fat Burning Zone: I don’t get it!

Ariane,

as you’ve noticed, I’m wearing a heart rate monitor in our Slim & Strong workouts. My heart rate is very high during our classes, averaging 160-170 beats per minute (bpm) and a high of 190. I usually burn about 550-575 calories. I’m 5’2 and weigh 136 lbs. I have heard of the magical ‘fat burning zone’, which is a much lower heart rate. I usually spend about 10% of class in that zone, if that. It seems to me that you burn more calories at higher intensity and with a higher heart rate, so I don’t really get this ‘fat burning zone’ idea. Is this something I should be concerned about? is there a good way to monitor my heart rate to keep the intensity of my workouts effective once Slim & Strong boot camp ends in a week?

Thanks, Leslie

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Leslie,

the ‘fat burning zone’ is a very outdated way of looking at exercising. Unfortunately there are still trainers out there that suggest you work out at low intensity in order to burn body fat rather than making your workout effective. Those trainers are probably the ones that still preach what they learned more than 10 years ago and haven’t caught up with the latest and most effective training methods.
The key takeaway is that the higher the intensity, the more calories you burn. It is true that at lower intensity you burn more calories from fat and less from carbs in terms of percentages, but what matters is how much you burned overall and also how much of an after-burn effect you create (it’s also called EPOC, which is the a
mount of energy used by your body even after your workout is over).
If you go for a walk for an hour, you burn around 300 calories. Of those calories you burn about 40% from carbs, and 60% from body fat. If you run on the treadmill for an hour, you burn about 600-800 calories and about 60% from carbs and about 40% from fat (calorie burn depends on a lot of factors: your weight, your muscle mass, your level of fitness, your workout, whether you ate and what you ate before your workout, etc.)
What you need to know is that overall you burned a lot more on the higher intensity treadmill workout than with walking. Plus, you also will be burning calories after you’re done with your high intensity workout. During a strength training workout you’ll burn about 400-600 calories per hour – depending on how you train, and you’ll burn calories for at least 24 hours after you’re done because your body is repairing the microscopic damage you’ve created. Plus, the added muscle requires more calories just to stay on your body. That’s why strength training is more effective at changing your body in the long run – the results carry on – while cardio calories are burned only during the workout and not much afterwards. Plus, long and drawn-o
ut cardio workouts promote muscle loss and a stress response by your body that promotes fat storage. This is even more enhanced in people who are already quite lean and focus on cardio workouts.
The reason our Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp and Slim & Strong workout sessions bring about changes so fast is because they are high-intensity-interval-training based. We push ourselves for short cardio intervals, then lift weights or use our own body weight for resistance. We combine strength and cardio so that your heart rate is elevated throughout the entire hour. You promote the release of adrenaline, which forces your body to use body fat from underneath your skin. You also promote the release of growth hormone, which keeps you young and lean, and you stimulate the growth of muscle, which burns calories, increases your metabolism even at rest and makes you leaner. At the same time you are burning through the glycogen stored in your liver and muscles, which then forces your body to use body fat for energy. That means you’re losing fat! Also, you’re improving your insulin sensitivity, which is a sign of great health because your body can utilize the carbohydrates you eat better rather than having them get stored as body fat.
To sum up the answer: whether you burn fat or muscle depends on how much body fat yu have, what and if you ate before your workout, how hard you work out and what other workouts you do. Cardio alone promotes muscle loss, especially with low body fat and a low-protein diet. If you have a decent amount of body fat to lose, focus on strength and cardio together, keep your carb intake low and your protein intake adequate, you will be in fat burning zone, regardless of your heart rate during an hour-long workout.

Sugar: More addictive than cocaine!

Hi Ariane,

I could use a little pep talk.  I have fallen off the detox but I’m going to try to start again tomorrow. I mentioned I have a huge problem with sugar, but I’d started to feel really good the first few days of the detox. I want to try to get through one whole week eating clean and I’m coming to your class at 6:30 after work.

Cheers, Monica
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Monica,
there is no need to ‘start again’. All you’re going to do is to continue what you started. This detox is not about being perfect.There is no such thing as perfection. I think you learned that eating sugar is neither making you feel good, nor does it help you get to your goal. That’s in important lesson you have learned and you wouldn’t have made that connection had you not had sugar. So, just move on, eat clean, drink  lots of water and don’t give sugar so much power over you. The more you demonize it, the more you place that ‘forbidden’ and ‘bad’ sign on it, the more you will want it. Why? Your brain simply doesn’t process negatives, so when you say “I don’t want…” you are actually telling your brian “I want….”, so the way you speak to yourself has a huge impact on your behavior. The more you say “i can’t eat sugar”, the more you’ll be drawn to it. Instead, make peace with it. Know that it makes you feel crappy, fat, unhealthy and creates cravings for more.
Next time you’re tempted to eat sugar, think about how you feel after eating it. Think about the consequences and then ask yourself if it’s worth it to you. If it is, then have a little. If not, then find something better to enjoy that actually makes you feel great and enjoy feeling the power you have over your own decision-making.
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Also, try speaking to yourself positively. You definitely didn’t lose it or fell off the wagon. You just ate something that makes you feel ill, so let it be. You can try speaking to yourself in encouraging ways, such as “I don’t want sugar because it makes me feel awful. Sugar makes me sick. I crave veggies and lean proteins because they make me feel light, strong and healthy”, or something along the lines. The guilt trip you’re on right now is not conducive to establishing a healthy relationship to food. And, just because you had sugar doesn’t mean you’re a bad person or have no will power. Sugar sure is more addictive than cocaine (not even joking), so it’s a matter of breaking the cycle.
How you feel about food has a huge impact on how you respond to it. If you’re giving sugar so much power over you, you’ll always cave in when it’s in front of you. But, if you develop an aversion to it based on your negative response to eating it, you will no longer crave it.
This process takes time and certainly doesn’t happen overnight, so keep working on that. I’ll see you tonight!
Ariane

Why Cheating Is A Good Thing!

Cheating on a diet isn’t usually the way to go. After all, on a diet you’re supposed to be perfect and not allow a single morsel of fattening food in. So, why would anyone want to cheat on a diet if your goal is to lose weight?

If you actually think along these lines, chances are you are a yo-yo dieter who resolves to start over as soon as a non-approved food was eaten. Back to being perfect. Back to the gym to work it off. Back on track on Monday and never ever eating poorly again until you reach your goal weight.

Well, here’s the good news. If you strive to eat ‘perfectly’ all the time, chances are, you’re doing more harm than good and will get to your goal much more slowly.

Take a look at this email I got this morning from one of my Slim & Strong gals:

babbo“Ariane, I wanted to send you an email as I experienced my first cheat meal for my birthday last night. My husband surprised me with dinner at Mario Batali’s restaurant Babbo (in which I automatically freaked out as pasta came to mind). The bigger surprise was when we sat down at the table and he informed me that we were doing the Pasta Tasting Menu (now I really freaked out thinking about how bad my body would feel in the morning after eating pasta). The food was amazing and the pasta was probably the best I have ever had. I also had 2 glasses of red wine (which took the entire dinner to drink as my body was not used to having alcohol). When I woke up this morning, I definitely did not feel 100% as I am sure the pasta and wine didn’t help with that. I did wake up with the attitude of getting back on track and excited to eat veggies and lean proteins for my meals today. I wanted to personally thank you for keeping me motivated and helping me to realize how my body really does react to certain foods once you remove them from your diet. I included a picture that I took of the tasting menu. I am looking forward to working out tomorrow night at Slim & Strong :)

What happened here? She allowed herself a cheat, enjoyed it, felt the consequences (where she realizes that a cheat meal isn’t necessarily a ‘treat’ if it makes her feel bad afterwards) and then simply decides to continue eating clean and working out. No crazy actions to ‘make up’ for messing up, cheating or eating non-approved foods.

Most people, and by that I mean especially women, beat themselves up after ‘falling off the wagon’. They insult themselves by going on guilt trips and beat themselves up for having failed or lost it. The very fact that you feel guilt, gets you back on the down-ward spiral called dieting, where you eat perfectly for a while, lose it and then try to be ueber-perfect to get back on track. Perfection isn’t sustainable and you continue the cycle.

If you’ve never planned cheat meals into your diet, then why not try making them part of your lifestyle plan (and, notice that I don’t use the word diet as I prefer the word ‘lifestyle’. If you’re not doing it for life, your results are only temporary anyways).

Add 1-2 cheat meals to your clean eating routine every week and I assure you that over time you realize that the foods that have the big ‘forbidden’ sign on them will become much less appealing. Over time you will build up an aversion to them and won’t crave them to the same degree. The result? You realize how great a clean diet makes you feel and you know that when you do eat foods that are high in sugar, carbs or fat you will feel the negative consequences. Long-term results: You stick to your guns and WANT to eat clean and don’t feel you MUST eat clean. This seemingly little change in mindset makes all the difference if you want to achieve a kick-ass body for life.

Here’s how: After a week of eating clean (protein and veggies), add two cheat meals a week. Eat anything you like and enjoy it. I’m talking burger or fries or wine or dessert. Not ALL of them together. Enjoy ONE thing and see what happens.

The longer you eat clean, the more sensitive you become to high-starch/sugar foods and the more severe your response to eating them.

Enjoying cheat meals guilt-free twice a week will reduce your cravings, will make you realize what foods truly make you feel great and will build an aversion to previously appealing foods. Over time you are reprogramming your brain to crave foods that create a slim and strong and healthy body. Plus, you can be part of social occasions and eliminate the guilt trips that make you feel bad about yourself.

Enjoy that burger! :-)

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Do I HAVE to eat if I’m not hungry?

Hi Ariane,
I wanted to ask you a nutrition-related questions. I know to keep our metabolism burning and to get into fat-burning mode, you need to eat 5 small meals a day (at least). But, what if you aren’t hungry or forget to eat?
My eating pattern is this:
I always have a Greens First Shake within an hour of waking (it’s the only green shake I like). I eat breakfast an hour later at work —  (usually an egg white whole wheat wrap with veggies and coffee) — and that keeps me full until my lunch time of 1230 or 1 PM.
My lunch is usually bigger than dinner as it’s my main meal of the day — for example, a sandwich (although not during boot camp when I am trying to be off sandwiches) or a turkey burger with mustard on greens with tomato.
I eat a snack around 3 or 4 — and in the past it’s been usually unhealthy: cookies, candy — JUNK — which I’m trying to eliminate.  My snacks this month have been hard boiled eggs, or a piece of fruit, or a snack pack of raw almonds.
And then I have dinner — which is usually lacking in any nutritional value and not huge since I don’t like going to bed feeling really full — makes me have crazy dreams!
So….. I don’t eat a ton of food during the day and sometimes find it hard to eat 5x during the day. I’m wondering if there is anything I should be doing differently to get my body into fat-burning mode.
I have been on thyroid medicine for years for Graves Disease. I  get my thyroid checked every 6 months and it’s been balanced for 2 years now.   So my thyroid can’t be blamed. . .  \
Thanks in advance for any guidance or direction you can offer.
See you tonight!
Tamara
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Hi Tamara,
your food schedule looks good. You eat within an hour of waking up, start your day with protein and end it with a small meal.
If you’re not hungry, then you don’t want to force yourself to eat, but the real answer lies in what happens if you don’t eat. If you go for long hours without eating (longer than 4 hours), then your blood sugar drops and you end up feeling ravenous, tired, cranky and with low blood sugar. Sugar and junk food cravings in the afternoon are a signal of low blood sugar.You crave sugar because that’s what skyrockets your blood sugar up quickly. If you give in, the bad news is you’re hungry quickly thereafter and you put your body in fat storage mode, so not a good solution given your fat loss goals.
It’s a much better approach to eat regularly to avoid sugar cravings. In fact one of the best signs that your blood sugar is regulated is that you’re not hungry. You don’t have to eat a full meal, but having a protein shake or 10 nuts or perhaps just a few veggie snacks would do the trick.
Low thyroid function can slow your metabolism, but you cannot blame it for lack of fat loss as even those with low thyroid can still lose fat with the proper diet. I’m glad you’re not blaming your thyroid for it, especially because it’s regulated with meds.
I suggest you look at your breakfast – the egg white wrap. You need about 6 egg whites to get 20 grams of protein, which is your ideal amount 5x a day. Wraps are often loaded with carbs, so find out how many you’re eating. If you’re eating little protein and lots of carbs, then you are spiking your blood sugar, which would explain the afternoon junk food cravings. If you want to figure out energy fluctuations in your day, always look back at the last meal you had before you experience an energy low. It will tell you a lot about your food sensitivities.
See you tonight! Ariane

Do our new Slim & Strong online workouts anywhere – anytime!

Happy New Year!

This year we’ve launched a partnership with BOOYA Fitness in order to help you stay connected to us during busy work weeks, travel, or even bad weather.

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All of our featured videos can be done in 30 minutes or less. So you can finally stop making excuses that you don’t have enough time to work out!

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Worried about noise or have space constraints? BOOYA has created filters for these features so you can find a fun, challenging workout that perfectly fits your environment.

Sign up with promo code BBBCLaunch in the next  days and get 30 days of free, unlimited access. 

Kick 2013 in the butt and make 2014 YOUR Year!

Cheers,

Ariane