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Tag Archives: plateau

Change It Up When You Hit A Weight Loss Plateau

Posted on September 14, 2015 by

changeSuccess is a great thing but it is a rare person who doesn’t experience a plateau somewhere along the way.  You likely know how frustrating that can be!  Plateaus can kill your motivation, so the first thing you need to do is to take your focus off the scale. Your body is highly adaptive and goes through periods of adjustment. This would be a good time to concentrate on your behaviors and use alternative ways to measure your progress (i.e. your measurements or how your clothes are fitting).  If you hang in there, you will find that your inches will continue to shrink in spite of your weight staying stubbornly at the same number.  Just remember the word CHANGE.  You will need to “change it up” to work through your plateau.

With regards to what you are eating, below are a few quick “change” tips for continued success:

  • Change the frequency of your meals.  If you are currently eating 3 meals a day, save some of those calories for snacks in between meals and give your metabolic rate a boost.
  • Try to change what you are eating.  If you are having a carbohydrate snack mid-afternoon, try replacing it with a protein one and try moving your foods around and introducing new ones.
  • Surprise your body with calorie cycling.  While maintaining the same weekly calorie intake, vary it from day to day.  For example, if your daily intake is 1500 calories, try having 1200 one day and 1800 the next.

Combine these eating tips with the right attitude and fitness “change”, you will be happy as the scale soon reflects your efforts.

 

Kick Through Your Fitness Plateau

Posted on March 23, 2015 by

strongerYou’ve been exercising consistently for a few months now and the payoff has been BIG.  Your weight has dropped, your biceps are bigger, your endurance has improved, and your pants are looser.  Now, suddenly, you’ve stopped seeing results.  It sounds like you’ve hit the dreaded plateau.  Everyone who embarks on this journey will inevitably hit a plateau. What do you do now?  Don’t give up!  You can get past it, but you must work harder and smarter.  It’s an opportunity for you to refine your goals and strategies.  Push through the plateau by kicking it up with exercise.

The solution is NOT necessarily to increase the amount of time you workout. Take a look at the quality of your workouts and how you can change or alter them.

The following are some examples:

1. Walk faster.  If you walk two miles in 20 minutes, cut it back to 18 minutes.

2. Increase intensity by walking on an incline.  If you walk outside, take advantage of any steep      inclines or hills.  On the treadmill, increase the grade to 1 or 2.

3. Make your movements larger in a group exercise class.  Lift your legs higher, sit lower in a squat, or  hold that plank longer!

4. Push your muscles more.  Increase your dumbbells from 5 pounds to 7 pounds.

5. Get out of your comfort zone and try a new fitness class.  Or, attempt a new challenge like hiking or  outdoor biking.

Keep in mind that your goal is to do cardio exercise 4 or 5 times a week for 30 minutes,  and           resistance training 2 or 3 times a week for  15-30 minutes.  If you’re only doing resistance training two times a week, increase it to three.

Increase your daily activity by finding ways to move your body!  Take stairs when possible, park your car far away, play soccer with the kids, or walk briskly through the mall with some friends.  Everything you do will make a difference.

Hitting a plateau doesn’t have to be a negative thing.  Make it positive by re-evaluating your workouts.  If you haven’t yet tried one of our fitness classes taught by our fantastic instructors, come check it out!  Just step out of your comfort zone and reap the benefits.

 

It’s All in Your Attitude!

Posted on September 15, 2014 by

your choice“I can’t exercise, I’m too _____________________”.  You fill in the blank.  Trust me, I’ve heard every excuse there is.  Yes, there are a few reasons that may get you an exercise pass but even then, there are usually a few things that you can do to get in some type of workout.

The most common excuse I hear is, ”I don’t have enough time”.   Oddly enough, the busiest people I know make it a priority and put it on their schedule.  Successful people will find the time.  Take a 10 minute walk during your lunch break or set your alarm 30 minutes earlier a few days a week.

“I’m too tired”.  What time of day do you feel your best?  It’s easier to get moving if you plan your workouts for the time of day that suits your energy levels.  Many find that a morning routine gives them the momentum to get through the day while others use their workout to unwind and distress   after a long day on the job.  Do what works best for you but you may have to try several timeslots    before you find the right fit.

“I don’t know where to start”.  How about a group fitness class?  Our instructors guide you through  exercises that will work all of your major muscle groups and there is no reading required!  If group  settings aren’t for you, a personal training session may be a good investment.

“I’ve tried this before”.  Yes, maybe you have.  Start again by setting small realistic goals and          remember the reason that you are working out.  Acknowledge your goals and find little ways to       reward yourself for accomplishing them.

Stick to a routine and you will start to notice a difference in the way you feel and maybe even in the way you look.  Do you find that each activity is getting easier?  Maybe you are just getting stronger!

Want to try something fun?  Check out a selection of quick and easy exercises that we have available for you on Doc Weight Loss through YouTube.  Our instructors and trainers have put together some exercises that require little or no equipment and can be done in the time that it takes you to read this article!  Also take a look at the board ‘Weight Loss Fitness’ on our Pinterest page!

Focus on what you CAN do—not on what you CAN’’T!

 

Getting Back on Track

Posted on September 08, 2014 by

stop giving upNow that vacations are over and school is back in session, are you getting back on track with your weight loss efforts? You can overhaul your diet by taking small steps over time and still reach your goals.  Let’s start with these simple tips:

#1 Don’t rush, go slow… Take slow small steps to reach your goals. For example, designate a day as fish day, or add a piece of produce to your  daily brown bag lunch.

#2 Drink your water… Water is cheap and carb free.  Find it difficult to drink 8 cups of water each day?  Think small.  Drink 1 glass first thing in the morning.  Resolve to drink one more cup of water today than you think you did yesterday!

#3 Go for color…  Colorful produce is packed with vitamins and minerals, along with disease fighting qualities. Always reach for the rainbow.

#4 Take control of mindless munching…  Pop a piece of gum or a sugar-free mint in your mouth.  Pay attention and look at each piece of food you plan to eat, busy your hands with a glass of water or a cup of tea.  Conversation is also a great alternative.

#5 Set yourself up for success…  Leave temptations—ice cream, chips, soda—at the grocery store.  Socialize with non-food events for example, get together with friends in the park for a hike or head to the movies.

Bonus:  Keep your body thriving.  Move your body for 30 minutes every day by going for a walk, washing the car, taking a hike or just playing with the kids.  Get your blood pumping!  Sleep helps to recharge and cope with stress, so be sure to get the rest you need.

By taking small steps, you can reach any goal you strive to succeed!

 

 

 

Time to ReWork Your Workout Routine?

Posted on August 25, 2014 by

shortcutsWhether you just need to get back into a workout routine or shake up the current one, here are a few ideas to get you there!  The most important thing is not to overthink it.  Just like the nutritional part—start with small  changes.

#1 It’s common sense… The thing with healthy habits is that a lot of it is just common sense.  When you can make a few positive changes, do it. It doesn’t take much thought to know that moving around more burns more calories than sitting all day.

#2 Get out of your comfort zone…  Get used to exercise being a bit uncomfortable.  A good workout challenges you to test your strength or endurance, it may not be   comfortable but it shouldn’t be painful either.

#3 Every little bit counts…  Instead of thinking of exercise as something you have to do,  think of it as something you get to do.  We all have long days and sometimes a one-hour session is more than enough.  When you walk around, every step or healthy food choice helps you to succeed in reaching your goals.

#4 Try something new…  A routine is one thing, a rut is another!  If you’ve been   using the cardio and strength training equipment, try the floor for a change.  Yoga or PiYo could give your workouts a whole new challenge.  If running is your thing, try in Intervals class or add lunges to your workout.  No ideas?  Invest in a few personal training sessions.

#5 Don’t overdo it…  Going for the ‘all or nothing’ after not exercising for awhile can take its toll on your mind as well as your body. To prevent injury and a discouraged feeling, start small and work your way up slowly when you’re ready.

#6 Make it realistic…  Not only should you not overdo it when you first start, but you also don’t want to set goals that you know you can’t meet. Think back to Chapter 1 of your WMU curriculum and focus on your SMART goals!  Make sure that you’re not scheduling more than you can do when you first start a workout routine, and pick a time of day that you know you can stick to as well.

Just remember to take it easy – you can’t overhaul your entire fitness plan in one day.

 

What is Water Weight?

Posted on August 18, 2014 by

start todayOne question people often have during weight loss is concerning “water weight” and how easily this can change and result in changes on the scale as well – especially the ones that go up!  Why is it “so easy” to gain a few pounds?  Most commonly this has to do with retaining water.  Almost all women are well aware that they may “retain fluid” at times during their normal monthly cycle.  This is related to normal hormonal changes of estrogen and progesterone.  But other hormones can also cause significant water  retention…and the biggest culprit is insulin.

Have you ever experienced this?  “I was doing well on my diet plan but then went out to dinner at my favorite restaurant, broke down and had the gooey dessert and gained 5 pounds!”  Obviously a dessert does not weigh 5 pounds, so how is that possible?

Physiologically this is actually fairly simple.  A large carbohydrate/sugar load will stimulate a large release of insulin.  The insulin helps bring blood sugar back down, but it also causes significant sodium retention which in turn causes water retention.  So yes…one gooey dessert can cause you to gain 5 pounds.  You can get rid of those 5 pounds by ratcheting down your carbohydrate intake to bring the insulin levels back down.  It just takes longer – often 7-10 days!  Gooey desserts/sugar is a part of enjoying life for most people.  You just need to be aware of the consequences, minimize them by portion control and then make plans (and stick to them) to get back where you want/need to be.

So what else do you need to know about water?

Water makes up about 60-65% of your body so it’s no wonder that it’s vital for almost every bodily     function.  It transports nutrients, helps deliver oxygen to your cells, aids digestion, helps maintain your body temperature and pH, and is important in energy metabolism.

The average adult loses about 6 ½ cups of water a day through urination and an additional 4 cups through other bodily functions such as bowel movements, perspiration and breathing.

Water is just as essential for weight loss.  Water is a thirst quenching, calorie free nutrient which will  stimulate your metabolism and fill you up.

Water is a natural appetite suppressant.  Your body will often mistake thirst for hunger, so water loading at the first signs of hunger/cravings between meals is a great way to better control eating.

When you are poorly hydrated, less oxygen reaches your muscle tissues and you will feel tired and     sluggish.  This may contribute to muscle/joint aches.

Insufficient water intake also contributes to water retention, bloating, constipation and digestive difficulties.

So fill up your glass or make yourself another pitcher to chill in the fridge – Cheers to your success!  See you soon!

Get our new free report - ‘7 Diet Myths Keeping You From Your Skinny Jeans’!  Click on the image to get yours right away~

 

I Am Prone to OverEating!

Posted on July 28, 2014 by

on your plateMost people consider overeating as a single event such as a meal or a party but there are numerous ways to overeat.  Not really listening to your hunger level is of course one method of overeating.  Others may be related more to mindless eating:

 

 

You eat too fast not allowing your body to signal the “I’m full” message.

Try:

  • Waiting about 5 minutes before you start eating (look and smell).
  • Put your utensils down between each bite.
  • Chew your food slowly, noting the texture and taste.
  • If you are eating multiple courses take a five to ten minute break between each course.
  • Use smaller utensils so you pick up smaller amounts.
  • Set a clock at your place setting and stretch your meal out to 30 minutes.

You have portion control problems.

Try:

  • Use a smaller a plate, such as bread or salad plate.
  • Measure and weigh your food.
  • Have your spouse or friend serve your plate.
  • Avoid family style table serving.
  • Get up from the table as soon as you finish eating.

You sample your food while cooking.

Try:

  • Chew gum while cooking.
  • Place the sample on your plate as part of your meal.
  • Ask a family member to taste it for you.
  • Allow other family members to prepare the meal.

You eat or snack while watching television.

Try:

  • Eating only at the kitchen/dining room table.
  • Avoid eating while standing up.
  • Turn off all distractions and concentrate on the meal itself.
  • Avoid eating out of the package (plate your portion).

These are only a few possible overeating scenarios.  Others may include late night snacking, eating leftovers while cleaning up, the drive thru pull, skipping meals and than overindulging.  What ever your overeating issues may be your weight management counselor at CFWLS can help you explore solutions.

 

The Race Experience

Posted on July 17, 2014 by

A few weeks ago I ran The Chick-fil-a 10K race in Newport News at The Mariner’s Museum.  Every year I come up with the usual excuses not to run it:  too expensive, too busy, not prepared….yet every year I show up and have a great time.  (By the way, I finished 2nd overall female!).  Twenty-eight years ago I decided I wanted to be a runner.  However, sharp pains in my sides and the boredom factor made me realize running was NOT for me.  A year later the stress of college finals became so overwhelming that I re-visited running.  I discovered it was a great stress reliever!  After a few months I was running 2 miles.  I started running local 5K, 10K, and ½ marathon races and frequently won my age group.  Running races became my passion, and I traveled all over the Southeast competing in different races.  In 1991 I qualified for and ran the Boston Marathon.  Since 1990 I’ve shared my enthusiasm for running with anyone who will listen.  Even if you’re a self-proclaimed “couch potato” and aren’t fond of exercise, I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and experience a race.  If you’re joints are bad, try walking.  It’s not just about the physical benefits.  The mental and emotional benefits are equally rewarding.

I’m an extremely competitive person by nature.  And, honestly, receiving awards is always an honor.  But what I love most about running is that it’s not a team sport.  I set personal goals for each race and strive to meet them.  One of our clients, Frankie Cupp, recently started running races.  She said, “In running my first 10K it was never about how well I would place. It was about the confidence I felt that I was actually doing something that even 6 months ago I would never think I’d be doing.  I found an inner strength in me that drives me to do better.”  In addition to strengthening your heart and lungs, competitive running is definitely a confidence builder.

The Specificity of Training Principal says that sports training should be relevant and appropriate to the sport which the individual is training in order to produce a training effect.  Therefore, if you want to compete in a 5K race, you must get out and run or walk!  Start training gradually and progress to 3 miles a few weeks prior to the race.  Every Sunday I run 8-10 miles.  Meeting my personal goals in the next race motivates me to get out of bed. In addition to training for the next race, it’s my quiet time away from the kids and my time to “commune” with nature and focus on my body.  Scott Haley is a Weight Management University client who is training for a ½ marathon. He said, “It’s a method to set a goal and train to that goal.  I started with 5K’s.  The fear of failure is a great motivator.  You’re not losing because you’re not competing against another person.  You’re competing against yourself.”

Race day is very exciting; adrenalin pumping, nervous energy, watching people of all shapes and sizes preparing for the big event. Some are athletes striving to set state records, some are the “race junkies” that show up for every race event, and some are “newbie’s” just excited by the whole race experience.   Thirty minutes before the start everyone is mulling around, using the port-o-potties, stretching and warming up.  Ten minutes before race time and the announcer tells runners to head for the start line.  The faster runners head to the front of the line.   A special guest sings The National Anthem.  I have my shaky hand on my pounding heart, tears in my eyes, and feel proud to be an American.  Next, the wheelchair racers go and I wonder how many of them were wounded in the Middle East.  The countdown is 1 minute and I’m getting myself mentally prepared. I tell myself, “Don’t fear losing.  Fear quitting.”  3-2-1 and the gun shot goes off.  Spectators are cheering everyone on, music is booming in the distance, and everyone has the same goal:  the finish line. They’re all here for different reasons.  Maybe it’s to win a prize, get points for their running group, raise money for a charity, to set a fitness goal, or to lose weight.  We’re all in this together now.  Along the way, volunteers are handing out water and shouting out motivational words.

Our enthusiastic employee, Tina, is a runner, and perfectly summed up racing. “It’s an experience.  It’s more of a mental thing; mind over matter.  When you don’t believe you can do something and you achieve it.  It’s an amazing feeling.  I love the endorphins! Everyone at the race is happy.  It’s one big joyous, healthy occasion from the camaraderie to the cheering supporters”

The cheering spectators help tremendously with motivation to keep going. The FINISH line appears in the distance and it’s like a “Chariots of Fire” moment.  You can do it!  You can see it! You cross the finish line and feel invincible! Race volunteers hand you water, bananas, and a protein bar. Most importantly, you win a shiny medal to wear proudly around your neck. (I keep all my certificates, medals, plaques, and trophies on my special “running bookcase.”).  Every race is a different and unique experience.  Sometimes they serve pizza, beer (!), offer free massages, give away raffle prizes, or have concerts.

At the awards ceremony, trophies or plaques are handed out to overall and age group winners. Overall winners often get additional gifts such as gift certificates or money.  The truth is everyone who showed up and participated is a winner!  Each person got a medal, race t-shirt (part of the sign up cost), and a bib number.  I write down my times on my bib numbers and keep them for my running scrapbook. Brenda Nickel is a former client at CFWLS who participates in triathlons.  She recounted to me, “Races are a great way to remind me how far I have come and how much further I can go.  They are also a great way to keep me in my pants!”

CFWLS at Color Me Rad 2013

CFWLS at Color Me Rad 2013

To find a local race either visit a running store or just Google races in your area.  There are so many to choose from.  The most fun I’ve ever had in a race was the Color Me Rad 5K.  These “brighten your spirits” races are held throughout the country at various locations.  The staff at  CFWLS has participated for the past two years.  You start the race with a white t-shirt and finish looking like a tie-dyed hippy.  During the event, overly-zealous volunteers pelt you with color bombs of blue, green, pink ,purple, and yellow.  It’s an action-packed, amusing time for the whole family.  It was Cat Keller’s first race.  She said, “I walked the 5K.  I’m not a runner.  I’d rather do hot yoga or lift weights. However, I would do another race.  I felt so good after the race I could have done a 10K.  It’s better to have a friend with you because you’re exercising but you don’t even know it.”

I challenge you to find a race and start training. It doesn’t’ matter what your fitness level is. “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”It could become your passion.  If you want more information on how to train for a race, please contact Jim Bradley or Arlyne Spalla Benson at The Center for Weight Loss Success.

Why Should I Add Cardio to My Fitness Routine?

Posted on June 23, 2014 by

dishonestIt’s called by different names but whether you say cardio or aerobic fitness, this form of exercise utilizes oxygen for energy production for long periods making your heart and lungs work at a higher level, promoting stronger cardio-vascular fitness.  Just to recap those benefits, they are:

  • Decreases body fat
  • Increases sensitivity to insulin
  • Decreases blood sugar levels
  • Improves sleep
  • Improves reflexes
  • Decreases age related memory loss
  • Improves balance
  • Helps contribute to muscular endurance and flexibility
  • Improves mood

I would like to explore the last bullet line a little further.

When we improve the heart’s ability to pump blood though out the body, the blood flow to the brain also increases.  More oxygen and nutrients to this organ will enhance its overall function.  Here are a few ways this type of exercise may help:

1.  The growth of new brain cells.  Studies (in rats) have shown that aerobic activity generated new brain cells in the area known for memory, planning and judgment.  Maybe a trip to the gym   before you start on a demanding project for work will help.

2.   Improves your mood.  An increased heart rate allows more of the amino acid L-tryptophan to enter the brain.  L-tryptophan is needed to produce serotonin, which is a mood enhancer. Feeling low?  Try a 30 minute workout.

3.  Can act as an antidepressant.  Studies have shown that aerobic activity can be as effective as antidepressants for those with mild to moderate depression.  Exercise also helps in boosting      self-esteem by improving one’s fitness, weight loss and improving one’s health.  Discuss with your doctor if exercise maybe an alternative to starting antidepressants.  Do not stop taking any        medication without discussing with your doctor.

4.  May calm anxiety and decrease worries.  Exercise can be used as a distraction when you become overwhelmed with negative thoughts and worries.  A quick 20 minute brisk walk before an important job interview may be just what you need.

5.  Helps reduce hormonal related symptoms associated with Premenstrual Syndrome,        peri-menopause, and menopause.  Wouldn’t you rather be flushed and hot from a good workout?

Adding Cardio-respiratory activity can help your body, your health and your mind.

Have you downloaded the June Fitness Challenge yet?  It’s never too late!  June Fitness Challenge

 

Could Appetite Suppressants Help Me After Weight Loss Surgery?

Posted on April 30, 2014 by