Communicating with My Coach

Providing your coach with a complete picture of what is going on in your life will allow them to guide you to achieve the best results.

I need more help
It is normal for us to try to do things on our own and it can be difficult to ask for more help because we have built up this mindset that we have to figure it out ourselves. But the role of the coach is to help you navigate the waters easier to allow you to reach your goals quicker. If you are not getting what you need or you need additional guidance, you should be able to reach out to your coach and provide that feedback. Amazing coaches will make adjustments to you as an individual to address your specific concerns.

Life changes:
We all have life changes. It is important that you are conveying life changes such as a change in family dynamics, employment, relationship, schedule, etc to your coach. These life changes could result in changes to the management of nutrition and training. If you have a discussion with your coach they can help you decide how you can still stay on track when things are changing around you and creating barriers.

Digestive Issues:
It is not uncommon to have digestive issues to come up in the course of dieting. Whether it comes from not eating enough fiber, eating too much fiber, or foods that result in inflammation or just eating less food. Digestive issues can result in creating barriers to reaching your goals. Make sure you are having regular conversations with your coach to let them know something does not seem right.

Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States. The American Cancer Society’s estimates for the number of colorectal cancer cases in the United States for 2019 are:


Female Issues:
During a normal menstruation cycle, women will see fluctuation in scale weight. When you make your coach aware of when your period begins they can help you see where progress is happening even when the scale fluctuates from these normal bodily functions. Also, if you are going through life changes, your hormones will shift and can make is more challenging to reach your goals. It is always good to make sure you are discussing these changes with your physician in addition to letting your coach know what is going on.

Supplementation/Performance Enhancing Drugs/ Diuretics:
All of these things can have an effect on how your body is storing water. If your coach does not know what you are taking, this could result in your coach not being able to make adjustments in recommendations to help you reach your goals.

Overeating and Binges
We all sometimes eat too much from time to time. But if you regularly overeat while feeling out of control and powerless to stop, you may be suffering from binge eating disorder. Binge eating disorder is a common eating disorder where you frequently eat large amounts of food while feeling powerless to stop and extremely distressed during or after eating. You may eat to the point of discomfort, then be plagued by feelings of guilt, shame, or depression afterwards, beat yourself up for your lack of self-control, or worry about what compulsive eating will do to your body.

When you are frequently overeating and bingeing you are creating a habitual cycle of losing control. You understand that the behavior is affecting your goals but yet you seem powerless to stop which can result in weight gain instead of loss.

It is important to have these conversations with your coach about what is going on so they can help you. Many coaches have had experiences with previous clients with the same issues. You do not have to be ashamed to talk about the issue.

Don’t Fear Carbohydrates! They can actually be beneficial to your health and weight loss.

In the weight loss space, there is no other feared macronutrient like carbohydrates. Many of the crash and fad diets on the innerwebs today promote healthy living by eliminating or cutting carbs out of your diet.

But science will give you a better story of the importance of carbohydrates for health and weight loss. Carbohydrates are your bodies preferred source of energy. Your body can easily breakdown carbs into glucose. Glucose is what many of your important body systems use to function optimally. The two main body systems that use glucose is your brain and your nervous system.

Carbohydrates supply valuable vitamins and minerals to your body.

Carbohydrates Role in Disease Prevention:
Diets that are rich in whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits may protect against:

● Heart attack and stroke by lowering blood pressure, improving blood lipids and reducing inflammation. One of best-known foods that help reduce cholesterol and reduce heart disease is oatmeal.

● Type-2 diabetes management and prevention

● Supports healthy GI Tract functions

● Research suggests high fiber diets may protect against colon cancer

How do they help with weight loss?

● Higher carb diets promote a higher metabolism
● Carbohydrates are protein sparing because they protect your muscle tissue from breakdown
● Improve your ability to perform athletically
● Maintain hormone levels

Tiered Approach to Nutrition

Research has shown rigid diets have

• Lower Adherence
• Lower Amounts of Weight Lost
• Lower Sustainability

What is the best approach for managing your diet? It depends on the circumstance. Instead of looking at your diet as black and white a better way might be to say I am flexible with nutrition based on the situation. Here are 3 different tiers and when you might implement them.

Tier 1: Best

Scenario: My life is status quote I don’t have any social events and I can plan and make my own meals.

Best Option: Counting Macros within +/- 5 grams per macro

Tier 2: Better – Tracking Protein and Calories

Scenario: This week I have a couple different times I intended on going out to eat. These days I will make sure I hit my protein and then the remain calories can be used for either carbs or fats. This is a good option when you might want to incorporate alcohol for a special occasion.

Better Option: Counting Protein and staying within calories

Tier 3: Good -Tracking Calories

Scenario: I have a social gather I am going to and I am unsure what they will be serving or I am going on vacation.

Good Option: Tracking Calories

If you are implementing this tier you might have a good understanding of an estimation of macros in the foods you eat.

Methodologies within the Tiers

Within each of the tiers you can also implement other methodologies like banking or borrowing calories.

An example might be, you know you have an event coming up for the week that you know you expect to eat a bit more than a typical day,  you can reduce your calories leading up to the event so you have a bit more wiggle room.  For the week you might be using Tier 1 and counting macros because you are making your meals and then the day of your event you might utilize Tier 3.

Utilizing each tier and incorporating other methodologies in the tiers will help provide flexible nutritional strategies to help you stay on track and reach your goals

This post was written based on work by Eric Helms

Calculating Macros for Weight Loss


Step 1: Determine BMR.

I use the Mifflin – St Jeor formula

BMR for men

BMR (metric) = (10 × weight in kg) + (6.25 × height in cm) – (5 × age in years) + 5
BMR (imperial) = (4.536 × weight in pounds) + (15.88 × height in inches) – (5 × age) + 5

BMR for women

BMR (metric) = (10 × weight in kg) + (6.25 × height in cm) – (5 × age in years) – 161
BMR (imperial) = (4.536 × weight in pounds) + (15.88 × height in inches) – (5 × age) – 161

Step 2: Calculate Activity Level

Once you’ve worked out your BMR, you can calculate your daily calorie requirement by multiplying your BMR by one of the following activity level factors:

If you are sedentary (little or no exercise)
Calories Per Day = BMR x 1.2

If you are lightly active (light exercise or sports 1-3 days/week)
Calories Per Day = BMR x 1.375

If you are moderately active (moderate exercise 3-5 days/week)
Calories Per Day = BMR x 1.55

If you are very active (hard exercise 6-7 days/week)
Calories Per Day = BMR x 1.725

If you are super active (very hard exercise and a physical job)
Calories Per Day = BMR x 1.9


BMR X Activity Level will give you estimated Maintenance Calories. Maintenance calories are the number of calories you need to maintain your weight. Understand this is just an estimate. There are a number of variables to consider that could account for this value being higher or lower.


Step 3:  Determine Macros

Protein 

Multiple overall calories by the percentage you want to come from protein. 

Low/Normal: 0.36
Normal/Midline0.73
Athletic1.08
Other1


Fat Options

Multiple overall calories by the percentage you want to come from fat. 

Low0.2
Moderate0.25
Mod/High0.3

When protein and fat has been determined then the remaining calories are assigned to carbs. The calculation would be Total Calories – (Protein Calories + Fat Calories) = Carb Calories divided by 4.

Determine Macros for Weight Loss

Now that you have decided what your maintenance macros you can decide your deficiency. Typically people choose between a 250-500 calorie deficiency.

To determine your deficiency macros, subtract 250-500 calories from your maintenance calories. Next, follow step 3 above to determine your macro breakdown.

Dark Chocolate Protein Brownie

  • 1 Scoop Chocolate Casein
  • 1 Egg White
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Dark Chocolate Baking Cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Cup Water or Milk of Choice
  • TOPPINGS TB Natural PB or PB2 A few dark chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS: Mix all brownie ingredients in a bowl until it’s thick and well-stirred. Spray a mug with nonstick spray. Add brownie mixture to mug, then cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for 30 sec to a minute. Plop onto a plate and add toppings. Enjoy!

Weight Loss and Motivational Weight

You have let the food flag fly and have been eating so many calories you have put on a few extra pounds that have you feeling uncomfortable in your own skin. How do you go about dropping the weight?

  1. You stop eating out and start preparing your own meals.  Many restaurants and fast food establishments add extra calories to your meal in the form of butter, oils, high fatty cuts of meat, saturated fats, sugars and processed ingredients.  One meal out may be your entire calories needs for one day. Just by reducing your meals out you can cut more than half of your calories and sodium intake for the week. This can result in changes in your weight.  A well balance diet can help develop good eating habits and improve overall health.
  2. You do a detox, cleanse or eliminate foods.  This method is where you are eliminating a food or food group from your diet. Essentially you are cutting your daily calorie intake which results in a weight loss. This method will allow you to lose weight however it is not sustainable long term.  Once you have drop x number of pounds or get sick not eating foods you enjoy you will reintroduce the eliminated foods and put some if not all or more weight back on.  Another option and long term solution might be flexible dieting.
  3. You begin to incorporate exercise into your life. Incorporating exercise allows for you to burn calories which results in weight loss. For example if you need 1600 calories each day and you burn 300 calories through exercise you are in a calorie deficiency which will result in weight loss. However, in some cases people take it to the extreme or incorporate more exercises than they can sustain over time and essential burn out and revert to no exercise. Focus on 1 hr of strength training because hours of cardio is not the answer.

So what happens when you start these new changes and you drop 10 lbs in a week and then the weeks after it doesn’t come off as easily? You start getting discouraged and you fall back into those old eating patterns and start missing workouts.  So what happened in the first week(s) that stop working?  Well that initially weight that just fell off is what I like to call Motivational Weight. Motivational weight is the water weight that your body was storing from your previous food choices. Motivational weight gets you started on your weight loss journey and keeps you engaged for awhile hoping the new habits stick.

How do you stick with it when the weight doesn’t appear to be coming off?

  • If you are going to start making changes in diet and start exercising take it slow. Make small changes like eat more green leafy vegetables each day or exercise 2-3 times a week. Making small changes are easier to stick with over time then trying to change everything at once.
  • Take progress pictures. We are the last ones to see our progress because it is happening slowly but progress is progress
  • Realize just because the scale hasn’t moved doesn’t mean your body isn’t changing. You could be putting on lean muscle while losing body fat.
  • Focus on non-scale victories.  Do you clothes fit differently, are you getting more compliments, are you stronger, can you breathe easier, or have more energy
  • Understand that losing weight slowly is the best way for your body to adjust to the changes so you don’t end up with alot of loose skin.
  • Drink more water, eat more fiber and cut back on sodium intake. All these things will help your body release excess water your body is holding on to.

Hopefully I have provided some insight into weight loss.  My methods for losing weight is a flexible diet, heavy lifting minimal amounts of cardio. If you want to learn more contact me for training.

 

Single Arm Lat Pulldown

The single arm lat pulldown targets your lats unilaterally. If you have muscle imbalances this exercise can be helpful in reducing the imbalance.  One of benefits of doing the single arm lat pull down verses the traditional lat pull down is the ability to increase range of motion. With traditional lat pull downs you are restricted to stopping at your chest whereas this exercises allows you to engage your lats through the entire range of motion.

Some tips when doing this exercise:

  • Place your thumb on the same side as your fingers to reduce forearm and bicep fatigue
  • Stretch at the top position
  • Squeeze at the bottom position

 

The Kneeling Squat

Finding great exercises to target the glutes are essential to any good workout program. Today’s video demonstrates the kneeling squat. The main muscle this exercise targets is the glutes. However, you will also engage secondary muscles including abdominals, lower back, and hamstrings.  You can perform this exercise in a traditional squat rack but for beginners starting with the smith machine helps with focusing on the technique and form of the exercise.

  1. Put a rolled up mat or foam pad on the floor to protect your knees.
  2. Set the bar to a height right around your shoulders.
  3. Slide under the bar position the bar across your shoulders/upper part of your back.
  4. Unracking the weight, push your butt backwards and descend until your butt touches your calves.
  5. With and explosive motion return to the top position and squeeze the glutes at the top. Note: you can also do these slow and controlled but focus on squeezing the glutes at the top.
  6. I recommend 3 sets of 20 reps per set.  It you can do 20 reps easily increase the weight until it is difficult to reach 18 reps.

Protein Apple Fritter

Do you miss apple fritters as part of your diet?  This recipe takes the classic apple fritter and puts a healthy spin on it.

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 small green apple
  • 1 tsp sweetened coconut
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 c Kodiak Cakes mix
  • 1/2 c Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1/2 oz chopped Pecan
  • 1 Tbsp Caramel Sauce

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Directions:

  1. Peel and dice apple into 1/4 in pieces
  2. In a small pan add coconut oil, apple, coconut and cinnamon. Cook until apples are soft.
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  3. Mix Kodiak Cake mix with almond milk. Add chopped pecans.
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  4. Mix cook apple into Kodiak Cake mixture.
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  5. Spray 12″ skillet with coconut spray and pour in Kodiak Cake mixture in pan.
  6. Cook until done on both sides. Drizzle with Caramel sauce.
    Healthy Protein Apple Fritter

Calories 512 – Macros P 17, C 70 , F 19 , Fiber 12

 

Screw the Scale

There are many ways to measure success in your fitness journey but one of the most misleading ones of them all is the number on the scale.  There are a number of people who weight themselves on a regular basis. This seemly simple act can leave an individual emotional distrait, especially if the change is perceived as negative. A weight increase is in most cases that you did not gained fat, there are many factors that can go into daily weight fluctuations. 

Take into consideration when looking at the number on the scale that some of these factors can attribute to the changes:

  • Stress – when your body is experiencing stress there is weight gain from fluid retention
  • Hormonal changes like PMS and menopause
  • Increase in carbs. Interesting fact: For every gram of carb ingested the body will hold up to 2 grams of water.
  • Increase sodium intake. Excess sodium makes the body hold extra fluids in the cells. When you cut down salt and high sodium condiments like soy sauce, you can quickly lose water weight.
  • Hard training sessions and soreness will cause water retention, as the body shuttles nutrients in and out of the to repair damaged muscle and eliminate waste. Much like an car collision can cause a knee, elbow or other damaged part to sweep. Training sessions cause tissue damage that the body needs to repair, so you may retain additional water when there needs to be extra healing.
  • Building muscles may increase the number it may appear you are not losing weight as the body fat drops and the lean muscle is increasing. Building muscle is an advantage as it helps increase your metabolism to help with fat loss.
  • When you weigh yourself. If you weigh yourself later in the day you have to take into account the meals you have consumed. The best time to weigh yourself for a true reading is first thing in the morning after you have used the bathroom and have not consumed any liquids or food.

Fact:  It takes 3,500 excess calories to gain a pound of fat. Unless you are eating an excessive of 3,500 calories of what your body needs to function you are logically not gaining body fat.  The flip side is true as well if you are not burning an excess of 3,500 calories then you are not losing body fat and are most likely losing water weight.

Instead of using the scale as a measurement tool you may want to use measuring tape or the mirror. If you look different, your clothes fit different and the tape measure shows progress but the scale doesn’t move you still have made progress and inches loss is fat loss.

Don’t let the scale dictate what kind of day you are going to have or mess up your fitness journey.  If you are consistent you will reach your goal.