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4 Week Starter Plan

Week 1:
Drink 2 bottles of water every day.
Drink 1 small glass of lemon with water every morning.

Week 2:
Move, every day. Start with 5 minutes.
Stretch, every day. Start with reaching for your toes and reaching for the sky.

Week 3: 
Track your food. Write down everything and try to get a picture of what you’re eating, when and why. Trust me, it will help.

Week 4:
Try to establish a regular fitness routine. Grab a friend, make a plan, and try to have a structured routine at least 2 days per week. Yoga, strength training, cardio, any movement is good movement.

Start with these small steps to kick start your weight loss journey!

Turning Point

Health & Fitness. What does it mean to you?  That’s the question I stopped and asked myself just over a year ago that changed my life. I think everyone has a moment in their lives that I refer to as a “turning point’. A moment when something so big happens, you stop and reflect about your life and whether or not you’re truly happy and proud of yours. This moment is crucial, a part of ones journey that truly defines what type of person you are; not who you’ve been but who you will be. I’m hoping that by sharing my story it will allow at least one other person to see that life is what you make of it. That no matter what hand of cards you’re dealt it’s up to you to play them right or at least deal with it in a way you’re proud of if you play them wrong.

January 18th, 2016 changed my life. I was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia and as I sat in the hospital feeling everything spinning out of control around me I felt an odd sense of calmness. The look of shock and sadness on my parents face, my fiancé of a month, and the doctors made me realize I wasn’t the only one not expecting to hear this news. The word Cancer is such a scary thing and immediately people panic. I’ll admit I was fairly naïve to what my condition was but the doctors seemed confident that we caught it at a good stage and they were hoping to be able to control it so I could live a completely normal life.

The next few months are a blur of doctor’s appointments and tough conversations but every thing was headed in the right direction. I became stable, we found medication that worked for me and I was able to live a normal life other than having to take a pill every morning and night. (To put it simply.) I came to realize that things were going to be good, not ok but good. I was in control of that. The last few months hadn’t been in my control and I realized I needed to focus on what was. The biggest change that happened for myself was mentally. I spent a lot of time journaling, self-reflecting, meditating and focusing on staying positive. I wanted to be happy, I wanted to be proud of myself, I wanted to enjoy my life.

By the middle of May 2016, I decided to change careers so I could travel less and have more freedom and flexibility. I surrounded myself with friends and family that truly cared and I committed to doing things I enjoyed and made me feel accomplished. There were 2 things that helped me get to this point;

#1. Journaling- It helped me become more mindful and accountable for my thoughts.

#2. Physical Activity- Prior to me being diagnosed, I was always exhausted, had low energy and low motivation because of that. For the first time in a long time, I was inspired and had the energy for my body to keep up with my mind.

My new job was at The Right Fit, a gym, so naturally people assumed I would become more fit being in that environment. What people didn’t realize was that a year ago if I had of started that job I don’t think much would have changed in my lifestyle. It’s not a priority to participate in the fitness classes or to eat healthy; these were decisions I made when I realized I had control over them. My goal wasn’t to lose weight, it was to become healthier, and be able to consider myself fit. Before I started the job I made changes to my diet, trying to eat more natural and less processed foods. I began running again, which I hadn’t done in 3 years! I forgot, I simply forgot how exercise impacts you mentally. It just made me happy. Knowing I had accomplished something extra in my day, it helped me make better decisions with what I ate, and it gave me more energy to accomplish what else I had planned in my day. It took a bit, it wasn’t easy and I had days that I did not want to do it but when it was done, I knew it was worth it.

To the average person looking at me you’d think I was healthy and fit, but I was so out of shape that running for 10 minutes was hard. Growing up I had been an athlete all through high school, I had trained and ran a half marathon after College, I definitely was not intimidated to be active but I had let it not be my norm. It’s so easy to not exercise, to eat what’s easy to cook and I get that. With everything that changed in my life for the last few months though I realized I’m better than that, I’m tougher than that and I deserve more than what I’d been giving myself. So as I slowly progressed and was able to run for 15, 20, 30 minutes I joined the Small Group Training at the gym and spent time in the kitchen trying recipes with foods I had no idea about but knew they were healthy options. It was all trial and error, it was all slow progress but every little piece of progress made me smile and be proud of what I had achieved. And THAT is what drove me. THAT is what made me realize I’m competitive, not with everyone else that was training beside me or posting pictures of delicious healthy recipes but with myself. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do better, that I can always push myself a little harder and when I realized that I was making myself happier by pushing myself everything changed for the better.

Many people walk through the door at The Right Fit to change their lives, to become better people. I might not be a trainer that will help you get to those goals, I’m the face you will see when you walk in the door and charge your card for paying someone to kick your butt. But I want to put it out there that I get it. Everyone has a story, everyone has challenges and I believe that every person that walks through that door can make theirs better. I hope that my story can help people find their motivation, make them realize their worth and I will be beside you in that gym sweating and progressing with you as we all work to become better people.

-Kelly Robertson

How to lose weight fast, forever and easily.

This is the shortest, simplest blog you will ever read. 

  1. Stop eating shit.
  2. Move more.
  3. Be mindful.
  4. Stop eating shit.
  5. Stop making excuses.

It’s not rocket science. Stop making it rocket science. Stop believing every thing you see. The next fad diet that you see might work for you or it might not. Simplicity is key when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. The media and those that are money hungry in this industry need to stop making this so complicated.

What do we teach? Move well, eat well, be well. 

Fueling your body with processed and unhealthy foods can be the biggest culprit of weight gain or the inability to lose weight. Not moving and not moving well with good function can be the biggest culprit of chronic pain, fatigue, and the inability to get out of a chair.

This is our focus at The Right Fit, to help educate you and make small, incremental changes to improve your lifestyle in a way that you can maintain. If you’re sick of feeling frustrated, quit making excuses, know when to reach out and let’s figure this out together.

Eat to fuel your body. Move to be free.

-Red

Lianne’s Testimonial

Another amazing testimonial from one of our clients that warms our heart in this cold weather and reminds us why we do what we do at The Right Fit! 

I was at a point in my life where one day I stepped on the scales and I could not believe my eyes. I knew that my weight was out of control, but I didn’t realize how out of control it truly was until that moment.

It wasn’t a “want” to get fit it was a “need” to get fit. I needed to get fit and knowing from my past attempts of trying to get fit on my own it was time to turn myself over to professionals to help guide me.

As I searched the internet for a studio to join, I was drawn to The Right Fit. I was looking for 2 things, people who had the proper degree and/or diploma and people who were personable. For me, having both was key.

The Right Fit was just that. Their education and bio’s are what got me in the door, who they are have kept me there.

When I first went to The Right Fit I had many questions for Ashton. Ashton helped me with the first leg of my journey and then was able to set me up with Kate. Kate motivates me and she makes me accountable. I put in the hard work but it is because of Kate’s help that I am able to do so.

I know that losing weight is what I need to do to get healthy. I have a long road ahead of me still but The Right Fit has been my saving grace. My journey has just begun. I have already lost 25 lbs and am doing things that I once thought were not possible. I am excited to keep going. I am excited to see where I will go from here.
I know that I can do this, I am very glad to have Kate alongside me to help me with my journey.

Thank you,

Lianne L.

Words of Praise

We wanted to share with everyone this testimonial from one of our clients who took the time to be completely honest and open about her experience with us here at The Right Fit. It’s moments like this that encourage us to slow down and really remember why we truly love what we do. Knowing how much we can impact ones life and being there to support others through the difficult journey of life and encouraging others to live it the healthiest and happiest is what keeps us going day in and day out. So please, take a moment and read this testimonial and hopefully it will encourage just one more person to make positive changes in their life as well.

 

My relationship with food and exercise has always been complicated. It’s been one of my most painful struggles because it has also been my most visible. It’s been a struggle that I’ve lost more times than I’ve won and because of that I decided a couple of years ago that it was one that I needed to accept I would never win. After two decades of failing, I had no hope that I could succeed at making the kind of lifestyle changes and mental shifts that I needed to make in order to be physically healthy. If the definition of crazy, is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result then I decided that I would be completely insane to think that trying again would work. So I attempted to accept my limitations and focus on the things in my life that were positive instead.

 I sat in this space for well over a year and in this year I struggled with the tension between surrendering to what is and persevering toward what one wants. These seemingly polar opposite needs battled within me while I tried to make peace with what I could not change despite my best intentions. Yet I could not do it. I could not make peace with how poorly I felt both physically and mentally. I could not make peace with the fact that my habits were shortening the only life that I have as well as the life of the mother that my two young children need. After trying to make peace with it for some time, I found myself feeling the need to try again but without the hope that I could be successful.

I called Ashton in May of this year and booked an initial consult with her. She had come highly recommended to me from a dear friend and while I was not overly hopeful, I was fairly desperate so I gave it a try. I was pretty honest at my initial consult with Ashton. I did not sugar coat my struggle or my lack of hope that this attempt would be any different. I did not sugar coat how poorly I was eating, how poorly I was feeling, or how many failed attempts I had accumulated in the last two decades of my life. Ashton was incredibly kind, incredibly non-judgmental, and incredibly committed to helping me. At one point she had tears in her eyes and she laughed at herself and said that she wanted this for me so much and I know it was because on a deeper level she sensed the struggle and shame this has been for me. In that moment I felt really touched that she would care that much about me as a person and I also felt, for the first time ever, that I was not alone in this process. And so I moved forward with her.

 

I moved forward in a very overweight and out of shape body. I had two half hour personal training sessions a week with Ashton for the first three months. She did strength training with me and nutritional counseling. I felt awkward and self-conscious and very out of my comfort zone with the strength training. My balance was horrendous and my strength was non-existent. It was difficult to move with so much excess weight and I often felt like a failure when I could not do the exercises very well. Ashton was so patient, she was so reassuring, and she kept reminding me to look at the big picture and keep moving forward with her. I didn’t want to if I am being completely truthful. I hated every single second of those half hour personal training sessions for the first couple of months. But I trusted her. So I kept coming. We planned out an exercise schedule that would be realistic for me and that I could be consistent with. We did the same with my eating. We talked through how to stay on track during vacations or social events. And we talked about the messages I give myself and how these, more than probably anything else, are going to determine whether or not I am successful at this. We did not choose a goal weight but rather focused on building new mental processes, eating habits, and exercise routines into my life. There were many times when I felt as though the road was too long and I wanted to give up. Ashton continued to remind me that we were aiming for big picture change – building a way of living and thinking that would remain with me for the rest of my life, that this was not about a short term success but rather a long term transformation.

After three months, I tentatively decided to move from the safety of my one on one personal training sessions with Ashton to the small group training with Leroy and Kate. I have found them both to be incredibly patient and motivating and have come to really enjoy the small group classes. In the almost 6 months since I have been coming to The Right Fit, I have lost over 60 lbs and felt myself getting stronger. More importantly, I have begun to change some of the thought processes that often served to sabotage my success in the past.

Yes, I am the one who is getting up at 5:30am and working out each morning. And, yes, I am the one who is making the right food choices. And, yes, I am the one who is challenging old thought processes and habitual patterns. But I am not doing it alone this time. And slowly (very slowly!) I am embracing the possibility that maybe, just maybe, I got this after all 🙂

-Amy

5 Fitness Myths Debunked

5 Fitness Myths Debunked

 The fitness community is a funny one. Everybody has different goals and everybody seems to have the best plans in how to get there. Many claim to have special “programs” or “plans” that will get you the results you’ve been after for the last 5 years. Many so-called EXPERTS spit out all kinds of information that all seem to contradict what you read last week.

“Stop eating carbs and lose all your unwanted belly fat!”

“Eat carbs to fuel your fat loss!”

“Weight training, the new fountain of youth!”

“Weight training, more risks than reward!”

Headlines on fitness sites and in magazines like those above, drive people mad with confusion. And who could blame them? The average person going to the gym that is just looking to improve their health or reach a desired goal has no idea what’s fact and what’s fiction. This makes it extremely difficult for people to take that first step on the way to reaching their goals. They’re constantly questioning if their diet is right, or if their workouts are going to be effective because they’re bombarded with people telling them to do something different.

Now… I’m not claiming I’m some kind of all-knowing fitness power that can tell you exactly what to do and how to do it to in order to get you to your fitness goals. In fact, I’m far from it. No trainer can tell you they know everything. Well they can… but they’d be lying. At The Right Fit, each trainer has certain areas of fitness they enjoy and have acquired more knowledge about. Whether it’s weight loss, strength training, athletic training, etc., each trainer has worked on gathering information to help individuals attain specific goals. We’ve taken the time to study popular individuals in the industry which for myself includes Dr. Layne Norton, Joe DeFranco, and Kelly Starret, to name a few. All of these individuals have very different knowledge bases, but all present their information in a practical way that I have used with clients to attain specific results.

Back to the real problem, filtering information. As mentioned earlier, with fitness ads, magazines, trainers, coaches, etc., all running rampant with their own personal views and protocols on what’s “best” it becomes next to impossible for many people to decide on what to do.

“Should I do low carb and HIIT cardio?”

“Should I go vegan and lift weights?”

“OH I KNOW, I’ll do powerlifting!”

“Hmmmm… crossfit sounds fun.”

In all this confusion, myths begin to arise. These myths derive from the inconsistencies that come with a lack of knowledge and direction. For someone just getting started on their fitness journey, it’s extremely hard to figure out what to do and what not to do. What to follow, what to ignore. What works, what doesn’t.

This is where I hope to help!

Again, I DO NOT know everything. Although this is the case, I do feel I can shed some light on debunking some myths that us as trainers see many clients, friends, and family members fall for when they’re trying to get their fitness programs started. Remember, the information provided here is from personal experiences and learning from those we admire and trust. If you at all question anything you read here, we at The Right Fit encourage you to not only research it for yourself, but try it out! A lot of what we’ve had to do, and what you may have to do is trial and error. Experimenting to see what works for you and what doesn’t. Ultimately, that’s the only way you’ll ever know for sure!

On to the myths!

Myth #1: You can turn fat into muscle or muscle into fat!

This first myth we as trainers hear all the time (usually from beginners), when first consulting with them and learning of their goal of changing their body composition. This individual is under the misconception that fat and muscle are interchangeable. They believe if you workout, your excess body fat will just transform into rock solid muscle or that if you just sit on the couch and eat ice cream all your hard earned muscle will turn into unwanted body fat. This is not the case at all.

Muscle and fat are two separate entities. Muscle tissue is extremely active, burning calories all the time. Muscle is built from amino acids that we get from our nutrition. These amino acids are the building blocks of muscle and are responsible for increases in strength and size. Fat however, is excess energy that has been stored. The excess energy you consume in the form of calories gets stored as body fat. If it doesn’t get used in your daily activities, it’s stored away. Body fat doesn’t have any particular use expect keeping you warm and acting as padding. Some body fat is necessary for health, but in excess it serves no purpose.

Muscle and fat CANNOT be changed into one or the other. If you’re looking to build muscle, your excess fat will not magically transform into it. You start from scratch. Proper nutrition and training will build the muscle, the extra fat you have has no contribution. The same goes for fat. The muscle you have will not simply dissolve into fat if you stop working out. The muscle can atrophy, meaning if you don’t use it you lose it, but you’re 16 inch biceps will not all of a sudden become 16 inch flabby arms.

Myth #2: Carbs are bad!

No. No. No. Carbs are not bad. Excess carbs are bad. Excess of anything is bad. Most of us know the health benefits of water. If you don’t, did you know water is great for the skin? Did you know the human body is up to 60% water? Did you know consuming too much water can kill you!?

The point I’m trying to make is that if you consume too much of anything you can have adverse effects. Carbs are a primary energy source so without them you may find yourself feeling extremely tired and sluggish. A certain amount of carbs every day, especially around your workouts is a great plan of action. An hour or so before your workout is great because it’ll provide your body with the fuel needed to push through a tough workout.

Choosing quality whole food complex carb sources including: brown rice, potatoes, quinoa, and fruits is where the majority of your carbs should come from. The simple carbs (sugar) in ice cream, doughnuts, and cakes should not be a primary focus in your diet. Once in a while is okay, but don’t go overboard.

Myth #3: Weightlifting makes you bulky!

This myth keeps many women out of the gym like it’s the plague. These women have images in their head of the big, scary bodybuilding girls and assume that if they lift weights they’re going to look like that. This is simply not true. Physiologically speaking, it’s just not going to happen.

Many women want to “shape and tone”. They want nice shapely thighs, a round and firm butt, and tight arms. Well, in order to do these things those muscle groups need to grow bigger. How you may ask? By weightlifting! If you want a bigger, rounder butt, then you need to train those muscles to get bigger. Gone are the days of hundreds of those donkey kicks on the floor. Load up the bar and do some squats. Grad a heavy pair of dumbbells and get a few sets of walking lunges in. I promise you, you will not get “bulky”.

Myth #4: As long as you workout you can eat whatever you want!

Sorry to burst your bubble but this is not true at all, not even close. If you have a goal of building some muscle, then you need to eat in a fashion that assists with that goal. Lots of protein, quality carbohydrates, and consistent small meals. If your day consists of a bowl of cereal for breakfast and a burger and fries for dinner, do not expect any big changes to your body.

Same with losing body fat. If you work your butt off in the gym a few times a week, burning hundreds of calories per session and keep an eye on your nutrition you’ll likely be on track to reaching your goal. If you work your butt off in the gym a few times a week, but eat excessive calories every day then you will probably stay right where you are. You’ve got to fuel your body with quality foods in order to reach your goals. Regardless of how hard you work in the gym, if you go home and snack on chips and cookies then you’re just running in circles.

Myth #5: Lots of sit ups and planks will give you a 6-pack!

Oh the desired 6-pack. It’s the goal of so many but it so often alludes them. Many individuals spend their time in the gym performing countless abdominal exercises in the hopes that one day they’ll look in the mirror with a lovely set of abs. The problem with this is that regardless of how many sit ups, leg raises, and planks you do, if you’ve got a layer of fat covering your abs, the 6 pack you’re after will stay hidden away.

In order to have that 6 pack shine through, you need to burn off that excess body fat that’s covering them. This is done by proper nutrition and exercising in a fashion that burns a lot of calories. Cardiovascular training, and weightlifting both get the heart rate up much more than 100 sit ups will. Our small group training workouts are designed to help as many clients as possible stay on track to attaining their goals. The workouts consist mainly of body weight and free weight exercises to allow clients to get the most out of the 45 minutes. They burn calories, build strength, and continually get closer and closer to their goals. For more information on small group training, check out the services section on this site or email us to try out our new member package!

I hope in reading this you’ve learned a few things you can apply today! Fitness is a lifestyle and with that, many develop their own personal preferences and opinions. With this comes many myths that make it hard for people to figure out what on earth they should be doing. At The Right Fit, we strive to help as many people as we can reach their goal. Along with that, we do our best to clear up the many misconceptions that are ever present in the fitness industry today. We hope this write up clarifies some things, and helps you get one step closer to reaching your goals!

Thanks for reading, see you in the gym!

My Fitness Pal Coles Notes

Having goals is extremely important. Setting goals for yourself whether they have to do with business, personal life, fitness, or any other aspect of your life is vital for long term success. Goals push you forward. Without them, we become stagnant. By setting goals for ourselves we are constantly working to achieve something. This constant achievement regardless of how big or small, provides us with lifelong feelings of accomplishment. Goals provide us with accountability, which today seems to be a lost art. By staying accountable for our actions, it keeps us on the right path to success. Also, goals assist us in living life to the absolute fullest. By taking the time to sit down and set goals for ourselves, it propels us forward and helps us experience life more. For many of us there is so much we want to experience, but we must understand that it won’t be handed to us. We need to work for it. Having goals reminds us of what we want, and pushes us every day to achieve those things.
 
 
We all likely have goals for many areas in our lives. For business, it may be developing an award winning product. For financial, it may be earning six figures. For personal, it may be spending more time with family. But the goals I’m here to talk about are fitness related, and more specifically diet.
 
 
Most individuals I’ve met have fitness or health goals. These goals can range from gaining or losing weight, running a 5K, becoming stronger, decreasing blood pressure, etc. Regardless of the goal a proper nutrition plan is vital, and this is where many get lost.
 
 
There is so much information available today. The internet has allowed us to gain copious amounts of knowledge, but at the same time this can lead to confusion. We read one thing today then the next day something completely opposite. We come across headlines saying “Cut Out the Carbs for Weight Loss!” then tomorrow we read “Carbs: Critical for Weight Loss!” How on earth are we supposed to know what and what not to do?! That’s the tough part.
 
 
There are online calculators you can use that will tell you a baseline caloric intake your body runs on every day. For example, if your baseline caloric intake was 1500 calories, your body would require 1500 calories every day to maintain your current body weight. For you to sit around and do absolutely nothing, your body would need 1500 calories to not gain or lose a pound. What these calculators don’t tell you is what to eat, and how much. Again, this is where confusion arises.
 
 
If you’re reading this, I think it’s safe to assume you care about your nutrition. Whether or not you are trying to gain, lose, or maintain weight, you are conscious (or trying to be) of what you put into your body. Being conscious of what you put into your body is one thing, but knowing how much is another. And that is where My Fitness Pal comes into play.
 
 
My Fitness Pal is an amazing nutritional app that has been around for the past few years. This app is considered by many to be the most helpful tool out there for individuals who are looking to improve and monitor their food intake. And the best part is, it’s absolutely FREE!
 
 
So let’s dive into it. I’m sure many of you are wondering how this app works. Well first, you need to download it. As I mentioned before it’s a free download that you can get on your smart phone, iPod, iPad, etc. Just download the app from your app store and we can get started!
 
 
Now on to the fun part.
 
 
You’ll be required to input some information including you’re current height, weight, goals, activity level, and much more. The more information you can put in the better off you’ll be.
 
 
So now I’m going to take you through, step-by-step, how I’ve set the app up for my goals and how I use it to track my nutrition.
 
 
First off, my goals. Since I’ve been preparing for a competition my goal has been fat loss. Many have this similar goal so I think explaining how I do this will be very helpful. Right now my current body weight is 153.2lbs. This has been entered into the app as my “current weight.” Below that there is an option to input a “goal weight,” which for me is 148.0lbs. You also type in your weekly goal, which in my case is to lose 1 pound per week, as well as an activity level. This activity level is important because it helps determine your caloric needs, so be honest.
 
 fitnesspal-1
 
 
 
Now we get into the nutritional goals. The two options you can choose from are calorie and macro nutrient goals or additional nutrient goals. The one we’re most concerned with is the first one. If you click on “calorie and macro nutrient goals” you’re directed to a breakdown of what your total calories consist of, which is protein, carbohydrates, and fat. You can input your total calories (which we determined from an online calculator), in my case right now it is 2200 calories. This total calories gets broken down into percentages for each of our protein, carbs, and fats.
 
The percentages can vary from person to person but a general guideline for fat loss, and what I’m currently using, is 30% carbohydrates, 40% protein, and 30% fats. Based on your goals these percentages change but right now let’s stick with the 30% carbs and fats, and 40% protein. These percentages then give you exactly how many grams of each nutrient you require. This is great because it follows what is on nutrition labels. So for my example of 2200 calories, 30% or 165g comes from carbohydrates, 40% or 220g comes from protein, and 30% or 73g comes from fat. These numbers are crucial to abide by, and the ultimate key to success.
 
fitnesspal-2
 
As mentioned before there is another option, “additional nutrient goals,” but it’s more in depth than we require so don’t be concerned with that!
 
 
Now, how do we know what to eat? Well it’s not as hard as people think.
 
 
With the app open, you’ll see on the bottom there is a “Diary” tab. This is where you’ll record all your food, all of it! There are sections for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. I’ve customized mine to “Meal 1 – 6” and you can do the same, but for most, the default settings will do.
 
fitnesspal-3
 
The food database in this app is unreal. Any food you will probably ever consume is in there and in the years I have used it I don’t think I have ever not found a food. If there is a time when you can’t find what you’re eating, there is a bar code scanner that will register the food. Awesome, I know. To add a food, simply click the add food button and type in what you’re eating. There will be many options that come up, so find the most accurate one, click on the amount you’re consuming, and BOOM you’re done!
 
 
 fitnesspal-4
 
As you can see, when I type in “chicken breast” the extensive database brings up numerous options.
 
 
Find the one that is closest to what you’re eating. Click on it.
 
 
Enter the amount you’re having (or are allowed to have) and hit the check mark in the upper left corner.
 
 
In my case, I would choose the 4th option, “chicken breast, skinless”.
Enter the amount I’m having and then I’m done!
 
 
 
Now that we know how to use the app, how do we know what to eat?
 
 
This is where some education is required. Not a lot, but some. We know that our total calories are broken down into 3 main nutrients, which are protein, carbs, and fats. So what we must understand is what foods consist of what nutrients.
 
 
All food labels tell you how much of each nutrient is in the food. This is very helpful in understanding what food consists of. For simplicity sake, I’ll give you a short list of what foods are predominately full of a certain nutrient.
 
Foods high in protein:
  • Chicken, beef, fish, turkey, tuna, egg whites
Foods high in carbohydrates:
  • Rice, whole grain pasta, whole grain bread, potatoes, fruits, oats, whole grain cereal
Foods high in fats:
  • butters and spreads, avocado, whole eggs, seeds and nuts, cheese
 
These foods should be the staple of your nutritional program due to their high nutrient content. I’m not by any means saying you can’t have other things, but these foods should be primarily what your calories come from.
 
 
Notice vegetables aren’t on the list. This is due to the fact that many vegetables have very low caloric content. Consuming a variety of vegetables including broccoli, asparagus, peppers, and kale for example, will not greatly affect your overall calories. Because of this, and the fact that they provide the body with a vast array of vitamins and minerals, load up! These foods not only taste great, but will help keep you full.
 
 
I know many of you are still wondering “well what exactly do I eat?” That is entirely up to you. Giving you a generalized diet plan is not beneficial. Eating the same thing every day is not beneficial. You’ll have to find what foods you enjoy eating and what works for you.
 
 
So lets go back to my example. My total calories are 2200, protein is 226g, carbs are 165g, and fats are 73g. Now all I have to do, every day, is get those numbers as close as possible through the food I consume. Where those numbers come from does not matter as much as people think. 30 grams of carbs from rice is no different than 30 grams of carbs from ice cream. The body doesn’t know the difference. What the difference is, for this example, is the fat and sugar content. If you have 30 grams of carbs left in the day, and no fat left to consume, then you would opt to have the rice instead of the ice cream. By having the rice you’ve now met your carbohydrate requirements for the day, without spilling over your fat requirements.
 
Now if you had some carbs left AND some fat left then you could enjoy some ice cream. What you have to make sure you do is only have the amount you’re able to. That is where this app comes in handy. If you type in “Reid’s chocolate ice cream” it’ll register exactly what you’re eating. If 1/2 cup of ice cream equals 30g of carbs and 10g of fat for example, and you have 30g of carbs and 10g of fat left, then you’re allowed to have 1/2 cup of ice cream. No more.
 
 
If you have 30g of carbs left but only 5g of fat, then you may only have as much ice cream that allows you to stay within those numbers. You’ll then have to find another carb source that doesn’t contain a lot of fat to help you finish off your carbs for the day. Whole grain bread for example.
 
 
It’s all about balance and quantity. You can have treats, they just need to fall into your nutrient goals for the day. Sometimes I want bacon, but bacon is “fatty” and not a “clean food”. To have bacon, I just need to make sure it falls into my protein and fat goals for the day.
 
 
Now there is some merit to what many describe as “clean foods.” Many of these foods are listed above and are high in nutrient content which is why they should be main-stays in your nutritional plan. These foods are usually high in one specific nutrient and low in the other two. Chicken for example is very high in protein but there is virtually no fat, and zero carbs. If I have 20g of protein left at the end of the day, but no carbs or fat left, then chicken would be a great choice.
 
 
It’s all about balance and staying true to what your body requires. If you follow the numbers, reaching your fitness goals is made much simpler. My Fitness Pal is a fantastic app that will help you follow those numbers to a T. The app keeps you conscious of what you’re putting into your body and teaches you what is in the foods you eat every day. Anybody can make a cookie-cutter diet plan, give it to you, and make all kinds of claims that you’ll lose weight or build muscle. The problem though is that everybody is different and we need to learn what works for us. Although it takes practice and some trial and error, using My Fitness Pal can help you learn what to eat to reach your goals, which soon you’ll learn is just about anything!

Where are the machines?

Where are the machines?

 A new client walks into the gym. Ready to begin their fitness journey. We discuss their goals, why they’re here, and what they want to achieve. They sign some papers and ask for a tour of the gym.

I explain that the gym is small, but it works. It gets the job done. But they look confused…

With a puzzled expression on their face, they look at me and ask:

 “Where are the machines?”

Have you ever been to a gym?

If you’re reading this, I think it’s safe to assume you have. When you walk in, what do you see? Free weights like barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells? Most likely, yes. Resistance bands and bosu balls? Probably. Tons of space-taking machines for each body part? Definitely.       

Most gyms have a great variety of equipment you can use to assist you in getting the results you desire. The problem is, many commercial gyms today fill their space with high tech machines that are not optimal for building real world strength, burning stubborn body fat, or just achieving overall health and wellness. These machines take up valuable space in the gym that could be used for performing functional activities that will give you the most bang for your buck. Let me explain.

          The human body is amazing. Many of us have seen YouTube videos of people performing incredible feats. Individuals who bench press 700lbs, jump 60” onto a box, and sprint 100m in less than 10 seconds. It’s crazy to think about what the human body is capable of. Free weights, and functional movements need to be the cornerstone of any program. If we limit ourselves to machines, or spend most of our time on them, the carry over to real world activities is very slim. Here’s an example. For someone who wants to jump higher or run faster, it would make sense that they would need to improve their leg strength. Now who do you think would improve their jumping height and running speed? Athlete A who spends much of their workout confined to a machine doing leg presses, leg curls, and leg extensions, OR Athlete B who spends their workout squatting, lunging, and focusing on activity specific training (jumping and running). If you answered Athlete B, then give yourself a pat on the back. Now let’s discuss why…

          There are a few major flaws that machines have which make them inferior to free weights and other functional activities.

          Flaw #1. Machine exercises are in a fixed pattern.

          Machine exercises can only occur in the pattern the machines are designed to move in. Let’s go back to our two athletes discussed earlier. Athlete A is doing a leg press, which can only be performed in the straight motion the machine allows. This has extremely little carry over because activities we do in life are not in a fixed pattern. You can run and jump as straight as you want, but you’re not going to move in a perfectly straight line. The body needs free range to move and adjust to it’s surroundings. This is where the free weight and other activities come into play. If an individual is lunging, they can lunge in a variety of different planes of movement. They can lunge forward or backward. They can lunge side to side. They can even lunge on a decline or incline on a hill. See the difference between the lunge and the leg press? By allowing the body to move naturally and freely without the confines of a machine, the body is constantly challenged and doesn’t get accustomed to the fixed range of motion.

          Flaw #2. Machines basically ignore the stabilizer muscles.

          When someone says “muscles” most people think of the arms, chest, legs, back, etc., but what many may not realize is there are small stabilizer muscles than keep our body stable and secure. Without these small muscles around our hips, knees, ankles, and shoulders, our bodies would be injured way more often than we’d like.

          If we go back to our two athletes, what happens if Athlete A who has been leg pressing goes to try and jump or sprint, without having worked their stabilizer muscles? Something is going to give. If the stabilizer muscles aren’t worked, they become weak. This weakness leads to injury. If the athlete that’s been in a fixed pattern for so long on machines goes to sprint, the stabilizers in their hips and ankles will not be ready for the non-linear activity that’s about to take place. So, when they take off for the sprint there’s a much greater chance of injury than if they had trained in a way that strengthens those small muscles. Injury prevention is a BIG reason why free weights trump machines. By using training methods and exercises that work the small muscles along with the big ones, the risk of injury is greatly decreased.

          Flaw #3. Limited of what you can do.

          One of the biggest flaws that comes with training with machines is the simple fact that you’re limited in how you can use that machine. If Athlete A is using the leg press, leg curl, and leg extension during their workout, then that’s basically all they can do. Sure they could vary their foot position on the leg press, or the way they point their toes on the leg extension but other than that they’re extremely limited. Now compare this to Athlete B who has a plethora of ways they can use their free weights. The amount of ways they could change their method of squatting or lunging is likely 10x more than what Athlete A could change up with their machine exercises. As mentioned previously, machines are limited in their planes and ranges of motion whereas free weights are able to move in numerous ways. By constantly challenging the body and hitting it with new stimulus, the body continuously adapts and improves. This alone is reason enough to use free weights above machines, even if you completely ignored the other two reasons mentioned above.  

          The Right Fit is extremely limited in the number of machines in the gym. Besides a couple of pieces of cardio equipment, all there is is a smith machine. I don’t count the cables as a machine because they are free moving and can be used in a variety of different planes of movement. The reason for having no machines is due to the points discussed above. The disadvantages of using machines greatly outweigh the advantages of using them (or lack there of).

          The Right Fit relies on functional exercise methods than stimulate and challenge the body. These methods use body weight or free weight exercises 99.9% of the time and have shown to provide clients with the ability to build functional strength, burn body fat, and improve overall health in the most efficient way possible.

 

          A new client walks into the gym. Ready to begin their fitness journey.

 

          We discuss their goals, why they’re here, and what they want to achieve.

 

          They sign some papers and ask for a tour of the gym.

 

          I explain that the gym is small, but it works. It gets the job done.

         

          With a look of excitement on their face, they say:

 

          “Awesome, no machines!”

         

         

What is clean eating?

“Clean eating”. This is a term that gets thrown around a lot. Most individuals have their own perception of what exactly clean eating is. For the most part, they are very similar. Eat some chicken and fish for protein, a bunch of vegetables, maybe some carbohydrates, and a handful of almonds as the fat source. This is all fine and dandy, for the 2% of people that can do that.

          For the majority of people who are trying to lose weight or put on some lean mass (muscle), the concept of clean eating that’s been popularized now-a-days is often very challenging. Many individuals assume they have to stick to a very strict diet regimen to get the results they want. Because of this, they end up getting bored with the “clean eating” protocol and throw it away, or they have a “cheat” or “un-clean food” and feel guilty, falling off the wagon altogether. This method of organizing an individual’s diet, and lifestyle is not viable. For the average person the clean eating diets that are published online, in magazines, and on TV are rarely sustainable over the long term. This sets them up for failure right from the start.

          There has to be a smarter, more effective method for individuals to reach their goals. There has to be a way for people to reach their health and wellness goals, while following a diet program that works for them. Well there is, and it can be summed up in one word…balance.

          If we educate everybody on how to create a balanced and effective nutritional plan, they will be much more likely to succeed. Which after all is what we ultimately want.

          We must educate, teach, and help people understand what they should, and shouldn’t be putting into their bodies. Explain to them what the food is made of, and what it does to their body. Although there are topics such as portion control, meal timing, and frequency that can be discussed, there is one in particular that needs to be explained in greater detail.

          And that is, dosage.

          Many have been told that certain foods are bad for you. Chocolate…ice cream… pizza…french fries…cake, everybody has heard from somebody somewhere that they shouldn’t eat these food. But has anybody ever asked the simple question of, why? If you have, then you’ve likely heard responses like:

          “It’s got sugar in it.”

          “It’s full of fat”

          “It’s loaded with carbs.”

          If you’ve heard any of these responses, raise your hand. Now, with these responses, we must ask, “so?”

          Let’s discuss a very common response, it has sugar in it. Sugar is a form of carbohydrate. The human body requires carbohydrates to function. Carbs serve as a primary source of energy, without them we would be very sluggish. So we need to make sure we are taking in adequate amounts of carbohydrates every day. What we need to watch for, is excessive carbohydrates. If we take in more carbohydrates than the body needs, it can lead to fat storage. This is something most of us do not want. Excessive fat storage comes with numerous adverse health problems, but we will save that for another day.

          Now back to the sugar argument. Just because a food has sugar in it, doesn’t make it automatically bad for us. Fruit has sugar. Does that make fruit bad for us? Should we stop eating apples, bananas, and berries? Everybody you ask would likely answer “no.” Yet a piece of cake and a bowl of fruit, can have almost identical amounts of sugar in them (depending on the amount). The body doesn’t know where the sugar came from, just that it has sugar. So how do we distinguish what a “clean” food is and what isn’t? It all comes down to the dosage, or simply how much of the food you have.

          The body requires various vitamins and minerals to function. We get the majority of these from the food we eat. Therefore, we need to take in adequate amounts of certain foods to maintain optimal health. That does not mean however that we have to completely cut out other foods. Although those vitamins and minerals mainly come from what we call “clean” food sources (fruits, vegetables, whole grains), that doesn’t mean we can’t have other foods once in a while. If I can have 200g of carbs a day for example, and I consume 120g from whole foods that help me reach my vitamin, mineral, fibre, etc., requirements, then if I want to have a piece of cake I can have one. As long as it falls under my 200g carbohydrate needs.  If I consume excess carbs whether it be cake, or another source, as mentioned before the risk of fat storage increases. Should this practice be done all the time? No. Although my vitamin and mineral needs were met and I didn’t go over my carbs, that does not ignore the fact that the cake may have an excessive amount of saturated fats, preservatives, or other ingredients that negatively affect the body. Again, it goes back to the dosage. Having what many refer to as a treat once in a while is not a problem. People make it a bigger deal than it has to be.

          There will still be those who argue that certain foods are not good for you, but it’s the quantity of those foods that you consume that is important to think about. Many individuals consume things every day that could kill them. KILL THEM. We take Advil for headaches, but we ignore the long list of side effects they have. Or the fact that consuming more than the recommended dosage could KILL US. We require water to survive, yet too much water and we’re dead. It’s all about how much we have.

          So…is sugar bad for you, no. At least not too much of it. Appropriate amounts will not hurt us. A treat once in a while will not hurt us. If we take into account how much we have, there will be no issue. By taking into consideration what our bodies need, we can make smarter choices, and develop nutritional plans that work for us. Ones that are flexible and maintainable over the long term. And this my friend, is where the success happens.

Until next time,

Leroy Rollins

The best weight loss plan, ever.

Clients ask me to write them meal plans all the time, and I constantly struggle with this. Every single one of you is different, unique, has cravings for different foods, foods they love and hate, and you are all smart people.

 

What’s the general rule at TRF? Keep a food journal and we will assess from there. We will give you goals, but following a meal plan, unless you’re going to do it for the rest of your life, is not going to work. You need to be able to make educated decisions on what you’re eating and whether it should be going into your mouth or not.

Yes, finding healthy recipes can be difficult, but, we are in a generation where social media and the Internet can provide you with 4000 choices in a matter of seconds.

 

Do you need a kick start? Of course. It happens to the best of us. Do we get caught up in quick fixes and fad diets? For sure. Should you save your money- yup.

 

Here are some general rules to stick by to give yourself a kick start and get back on track!

*Please note- the more often you stick to these rules in your day to day life, the more successful your weight loss journey will be. Just a thought!

 

1- Keep a food journal. This helps us and you assess what you’re craving, and what’s actually going on in your body. If you’re doing this on your own, have a friend look at it for you to keep you accountable.

2- Watch your added sugar. Everything has sugar, check the label, an no, fruit will not make you fat.

3- Avoid processed and packaged foods. Stay on the outside of the grocery store if that’s where you choose to shop, or shop locally at the farmers market!

4- Eat more veggies. Think you have enough, eat more.

5- Eat protein with every meal.

6- Make sure you aren’t eating low fat, no fat foods. We need healthy fat and our bodies crave it.

Not sure what healthy fats are- watch for our upcoming blog on healthy fats.

7-Drink water, and avoid all juices and pops.

8- Eat 3-5 times a day.

9- Start your day off right, eat a healthy breakfast.

10- Avoid white carbs- healthy carbs are not bad for you, not sure what healthy carbs are- stay tuned!

11- Use common sense. Big mac’s are not part of your plan, and if they are, you better be eating super healthy for the remainder of that week to make up for that saturated fat, calorie dense, processed meal that would last for 6 weeks on the table.

12- Watch your portions. Even healthy food in excess can be too much!

 

Use these 12 tips and meet with one of our trainers to get your weight loss plan on track today!