Month: November 2009

Make the Announcement

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Make the “Announcement”

Here’s perhaps the easiest way to avoid going back for seconds.

My good friend Vince DelMonte hooked me this tip as while back, and as simple as it is, it works unbelievably well. In fact, I actually did this at the dinner table the other night when out with friends, and it was easily the most comfortable social situation I’ve ever been in while sticking to my diet and moving forward to my goals.

When you arrive at a party or sit down to the table, let people know what you’ve committed to.

Something as simple as “Hey, just want to let everyone know, I’m on a mission to drop some pounds. This food looks amazing, and I plan to enjoy a full plate, but if you see me back in the buffet line, kick my butt into gear.”

People respect that and they’ll back you up.

From then on out, you never have to worry about people who “don’t know” your goals constantly offering you food, and beyond that, it’s a huge source of accountability for you.

I can guarantee that when you put this simple strategy into practice, you won’t even think of going in for seconds. It’s extremely easy to resist once you give people “expectations” for you to live up to.

Enjoy the holiday

 Kevin Haag

Muscles are a Girls best Friend

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Girls Guide to Muscles

Muscles are a girl’s best friend. Not only do they raise your metabolism and help you burn more calories, they also keep you living strong. They give you those sexy curves and they look beautiful. Well-sculpted shoulders and lean, tight legs carry clothes better and allow you to power through everyday activities with strength and stamina.  

A good resistsnace training workout provides you with muscle-sculpting, fat-blasting, and body-shrinking powers. You do not have to be a world-class athlete, just willing to work hard and be ready to accept the lean, tight, and strong but not bulky, feel great body you always wanted.

Here are a few things to keep in mind.

  1. Do your best and forget the rest. All you have to do is lift as much weight as you can, and that’s it. You’re not in competition with anyone else. Don’t worry if you can only lift 5 pounds while the person next to you is moving 15. You will get stronger with every rep, and before you know it, you’ll be able to lift heavier than you ever have before. And don’t be surprised if you find that you can do a few pull-ups after a few weeks.
  2. Eat enough. A common mistake many active women make is under eating. It’s important to fill your body with enough healthy fuel to power through your workouts and help your muscles recover afterward. If you don’t eat enough, your metabolism will slow down and your body will burn muscle for energy. Follow a good nutrition plan and take your supplements. They’re designed to help you get the best results.
  3. Don’t be a slave to the scale. When you start lifting weights, your body will go through a lot of metabolic changes. At first, your muscles may retain water as they react to the shock of the workouts and the recovery afterward. You may notice your weight going up for a short time before your muscles shed the excess water. As you continue with the program, you’ll be building muscle and shedding fat, but the scale might not move downward as much as you want it to. Don’t let that deter you. A pound of muscle is denser than a pound of fat, so your body may shrink even if your weight doesn’t change that much. Keep in mind that muscle is a metabolism booster, so the more you have the more calories and fat you’ll burn all day long.
  4. You’re not going to get bulky. Because women don’t have enough testosterone to build massive amounts of muscle, it’s nearly impossible for them to bulk up by lifting heavy weights. When women complain about feeling bulky, it’s usually because they’re new to a fitness program and their muscles are retaining water. If this happens to you, don’t give up. Stick with your meal plan and workouts, and soon the extra bulk will go away.
  5. You’re going to love the way you feel. OK, maybe not when you’re sore from working out, but as you get stronger and leaner, you’re going to love how easy everyday tasks become, like lifting heavy objects, walking up and down stairs, or picking up children. And I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll find yourself admiring your shoulders in the mirror or poking yourself in the belly to feel your tight abs.

Keep Living Great

Coach Kevin Haag

Eating for Great Abs

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When it comes to creating great abs, even the most effective workout programs can only bring you so far if you keep digging into that Halloween candy. That’s because you can’t get a flat, hard core without losing body fat. No one’s going to see your abs if they are covered by a layer of flab. (The good news? While it’s impossible to “spot-reduce,” abdominal fat is often the first to go when you start losing weight.) Here’s how to eat your way to great abs without eating 10 zone bars every day.

Most good dietary programs will lead you to eat the right foods to lose fat and get in shape. But the following seven principles can give you an extra edge and will help ensure that the effort you’re putting into your abs will bring you the results you want.

1. Get plenty of protein. Eating enough lean protein promotes fat loss and muscle gain, the two most important pieces of the “great abs” puzzle. It also helps keep you from getting hungry while you’re eating right. You don’t have to gobble down 12-ounce steaks—just eat a normal portion of lean meat, fish, low-fat dairy, or vegetarian protein with every meal, and make sure your snacks contain some protein, too. If you still have a hard time getting enough in your diet, a daily shake made with Whey Protein Powder.

By the way, protein is especially important in the morning, when a lot of people don’t get as much as they should. A protein-rich breakfast will help keep your blood sugar steady for hours, preventing the dips that can lead to cravings later in the day. (Try some low-fat chicken sausage, or an omelet with one whole egg and three egg whites, along with fruit or whole-grain toast.)

2. Reconsider your carbs. Despite the popularity of low-carbohydrate diets, the average American meal is still too high in sugar and fast-burning starches to bring body fat down to ab-baring levels. It’s time to say goodbye to soda, ditch the chips, and save the cake for your birthday. If your fitness plan calls for a sports drink before a workout, or a carb-and-protein recovery drink after training, that’s fine. But the rest of the time, stick with foods that are on the low end of the glycemic index (refer to http://www.GlycemicIndex.com for more information)—these foods burn more slowly so they won’t spike your blood sugar and insulin levels.

3. Have fun with fiber. Something about the word “fiber” just doesn’t sound appetizing. But high-fiber foods can actually be quite delicious: fresh berries and other fruits, salads loaded with colorful produce, your favorite steamed vegetables or vegetable soup, stews or chili made with beans, chewy whole-grain breads and cereals . . . You get the picture. (These foods just happen to be loaded with nutrients as well.) High-fiber foods keep you fuller with fewer calories, and they help keep your digestive system working at its best—a double-whammy for getting rid of belly bulge .

4. Enjoy some yogurt. Probiotics, the healthful bacteria found in yogurt and other fermented foods, have been proven to help reduce belly fat. In a recent study in Finland, new mothers who took probiotic supplements averaged smaller waist circumferences and lower body fat in general, than those who didn’t take probiotic supplements. And while the topic is still controversial, studies have found that eating lots of calcium-rich dairy foods like yogurt may increase overall weight loss.

5. Don’t forget to eat. Tempted to lower your daily calorie count by skipping meals? Don’t. Going hungry can raise your levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol, which research has found can increase belly fat even in otherwise thin women. And eating too infrequently can lower your metabolism and energy levels, while increasing the chance that you’ll get too hungry and decide to chuck your meal plan entirely. If you’re eating the right foods, regular meals and snacks will keep your body fueled while you’re working toward that strong core.

6. Drink more fluids. Hydration is important when you’re on a fitness plan, but drinking plenty of water has particular benefits for your midsection. It helps keep your stomach full so you don’t overeat, and it helps flush out excess sodium to prevent belly bloating. (Eating more potassium-rich foods, such as tomatoes and bananas, will also help in this area.)

Plain ol’ H20 can’t be beat, but you can also switch it up with flavored waters, iced tea, and anything else you like to drink that isn’t full of sweeteners. How much do you need? The old rule of 8 glasses a day is a good start, but everyone is different: drink more if you’re exercising or it’s hot out, and less if you’re running to the bathroom every 5 minutes.

7. . . . With two exceptions. It’s time to cut down on those mood-altering substances, coffee and alcohol. Too much caffeine raises your cortisol levels and can impair your sleep, which can lower the production of fitness-promoting hormones. Meanwhile, the proverbial “beer belly” isn’t just the result of extra calories—alcohol actually makes it more difficult for your body to metabolize carbs and fat. Booze also stimulates your appetite and lowers your inhibitions, which can lead to bingeing. The best road to flat abs is no alcohol at all, but if you really like a drink now and then, just have one at a time (and no more than a few a week), and stay away from higher-calorie beers and sugary mixed drinks.

If you add these rules to your fitness plan, you’re sure to see faster improvements in your midsection. Of course, there’s a bonus to eating this way: it’ll keep you healthier, too. That may not be as big an incentive as great abs, but we’re throwing it in for free.