Navigating the Holidays with Nutritional Strategies

This year’s holiday gatherings are looking a bit different than years past. Some families are choosing to continue with social distancing and some are not but what is probably not going to change that much is the foods you intend to eat. These are the foods you have been dreaming about all year long. In my family, that means cheesy potatoes that my sister makes. They are commonly known as funeral potatoes. These potatoes are loaded with all the deliciousness and outrageous amounts of carbs and fats.

Whether you will be sharing one or many meals with friends or family, you may want to take a proactive approach and decide before the meal how you will be handling the day.  Whatever decision you make is 100% the right decision for you.  In this post, I am going to share some strategies on how you could handle your holiday meals.

Strategy One: Enjoy the Day

Strategy one is simply just choosing to enjoy the day and not track your nutrition. It is one day of eating. You know that it is consistent nutrition over time that produces results not one good meal. The opposite is also true, just because you choose to take the day off from tracking and enjoy some of your holiday favorites does not mean you will derail your progress. This is a great strategy that fosters a long-term balanced dieting approach.  Remember, you diet for you and sometimes that can put stress on those around you. Your family will love that you chose to focus on them for the holiday and not stress about weighing and measuring everything.  As you enjoy the meal, savory the flavor by eating slower. Your body will signal you when you are full and that is point where you stop eating.  Listening to your body cues for satiety results in creating moderation.

Strategy Two: Guidelines and Limits

Strategy two is creating guidelines and limits.  You decide before the meal where you will indulge and where you will set boundaries.  But, how do you implement this strategy, you ask. You decide to use the one plate rule.  You allow yourself one plate of food. You get to eat as much as you want but it must fit on one plate, no seconds. You only put on your plate the things you most want to eat and skip the less desirable foods.  When it comes to dessert, you choose one dessert not multiple desserts. You can have as much of that one dessert as you want but it can only be one. This strategy really focuses on moderation even though you might be allowing yourself to eat as much of something as you want it really creates moderation. Let me give you an example regarding eating one type of dessert, you are probably not going to eat the entire pie yourself because that might be frowned upon in a social situation. But people might not look twice at you if you had multiple different types of desserts. Eating a variety of desserts is far more calories than choosing one dessert and eating as much of it as you want.  And lastly, giving yourself a cap on how many alcoholic beverages you will drink.  If you already have a plan before the meal then this is going to give you a better opportunity to stick to the plan than if you are winging it. One way to manage your intake of alcohol besides setting guidelines is to drink a glass of water in between each drink you have.

When you choose using the strategy of guidelines and limits this results in reducing your choices. Limited choices allow you to make better choices.

Strategy Three: Bring a Dish or Try New Recipes

Strategy three is perfect option whether you are hosting the meal or if you are invited to someone’s home.  If you have been invited to dinner, bring a dish to share. Great options include a veggie tray, a salad or a dish low in calories that you can load your plate with to create volume.  This is a great option when you do not know what will be served and if you will like it or not.  This strategy also allows you to have something you feel comfortable eating and have some control over the calorie intake.  Hosting at your home?  What a great opportunity to try some new lighter recipes of some traditional holiday favorites like my Low Calorie, No Bake Protein Pumpkin Pie. It tastes just like the high calorie recipe at the fraction of the calories.   This a good way to introduce your guests to some new holiday flavors without all the extra calories.  You could also reduce the fat in many recipes by half.

Strategy Four: Flexible Dieting

You might be prepping for a show, a photoshoot or you just want to stay in a calorie deficiency and work towards your weight loss goals. Strategy four is flexible dieting. Flexible dieting in this scenario is banking or borrowing calories from other days in a 7-day period to allow you to bank extra calories for the holiday or reducing calories the next few days after the holiday.  This is a great strategy to use when you want to indulge a little bit but you want to keep on track with your progress.  Rule of thumb states that the reduction of macros would come from carbs and fats and not protein. You can reduce by 10-20 grams of carbs and 5 grams of fat per day.  This will create a nice surplus for the day. You want to avoid banking too many calories because that can result in you getting hungry and then you overconsume your calories and negate your efforts to bank calories.   If you go over your available budget of calories, you can borrow calories from the next 6 days and reduce calories based on how much you went over.  This strategy really focuses on keep your deficiency in tack to allow you to keep making progress.  One note about this strategy is that varying your intake from day to day will typically result in more scale fluctuations.

Strategy four also focuses on what you will be tracking. There are times you just want a little more flexibility with your nutrition choices and hitting macros can be daunting when you just want to enjoy yourself.  This strategy focuses on two different protocols, tracking calories only or tracking calories and protein.  You know that protein is KING in the macro kingdom so leaning towards tracking calories and protein is ideal BUT one day of not being 100% on protein intake will not hurt your progress.  You will most likely be estimating your nutrition for the day as well. Error on the side of the higher calorie choices in your food tracking application to give you cushion incase the food was higher in calories.

Food Environment

When eating at someone else’s home, you cannot control the food environment but what you can do is be mindful of your place in that environment.  Do not hang out in the kitchen or sit by dishes of food. While you have good intentions to have a couple bites of readily available foods, history shows you can not just have a couple bites and this can result in you easily consume many calories just by mindless snacking. 


Holiday meals typically result in leftovers for days. You have 3 strategies when it comes to leftovers. First, do not bring home leftovers. Enjoy the meal and politely decline leftovers even if it is your favorite pie. Second, send leftovers home with your guests. And lastly, when planning the menu make only enough for the one meal. The holiday is one day/one meal. When the holiday foods are no longer available it makes it easier for you to get dialed back in and on your way with your weight loss goals.

Be activity

One way to manage calories for the day is to active. Incorporate physical activity into your get-togethers with friends and family. Many friends and family have started adding in a holiday 5K the morning of the day. Depending on where you live you could do a hike or participate in a sport like touch football.   If a 5K, sporting event are not your cup of tea you can also take a walk after dinner. This will be a great opportunity to catch up with everyone.

Scale Fluctuations and Next Best Steps

You might see some initially spikes of weight on the scale but that is to be 100% expected. I mean you probably ate more calories, more carbs, more sodium and drank less water. There are a couple more factors that could effect the scale weight that I outline in my post called, “Screw the Scale“. My recommendation is to maybe take a week off of the scale and just focus on nutrition, fiber, exercise and water.  What will most likely happen is that you will be right where you were before the holiday or even down in weight.   What you do the days following the holiday meal will determine your success with your weight loss. 

The day after the holiday the best next step will be to follow your prescribe macros/calories to allow you get right back on task.  Slightly increasing your water intake to help flush out extra sodium.  Plan to workout. You probably ate a little more so those extra calories will make for good workouts for the next few days.  

While you might gain weight for a few days you could also maintain or lose weight.   Losing weight after an off-plan day perplexes people.  How can you eat more and still lose weight?  There are a couple factors to consider. If you have been dieting, have a lot of stress, etc. this can result in higher cortisol levels.  High cortisol levels result in more water retention. The break from your stressful life, a training break and a break from the diet can be the perfect combination to reduce cortisol.  The rest and relaxation from the holiday gathering might also allow you to have a better night sleep and maybe an additional rest day that your body really needed.

These strategies will help create intention to conquer the day, which builds confidence that you can be successful losing weight while still enjoying the holidays. A final thought, even if you choose not to plan for how to manage your nutrition for the holiday, even if you eat or drink more than you expected to and you gain weight that does not mean you messed anything up or that you failed.   Deciding that you will refocus on your nutrition and exercise program will get you right back on track.  Your weight loss journey is not determined by one or two days.  Your weight loss is a direct result of consistency over time.  You should expect that there will be good days and days that have opportunities. Take those opportunity days and learn from them and create change in your life for long term success.

Health Benefits for Women Strength Training

There has been a stigma in the gym around women lifting weights. Some people believe women should not lift heavy weight because it is unattractive or that they will get too bulky. However, the reality is women should be lifting and lifting as heavy as they can with good form to support overall health.

Benefits of lifting for women:

  • Preserve Muscle Mass: As women age the percentage of fat increase due to moving less and diminishing muscle mass. Through strength training women can preserve and enhance muscle mass even as they age. It is not uncommon for women to have dieted multiple times in their lives and/or multiple times a year due to all the fad diets women tend to jump on and include significant amounts of cardio. This dieting mindset results in lower muscle mass due to being in a calorie deficiency for extended lengths of time. A report published in Science Daily showed that muscle loss was greater in people who only did cardio, but those who mixed cardio and strength training burned more fat and were able to prevent muscle loss

    A myth about women who lift heavy is that they will get bulky or too muscular. Due to the high levels of estrogen, this hormone can make it very difficult for women to become overly muscular. Typical results from a women training with heavy weights is a feminine toned appearance.
  • Weight Management: Strength training along with proper nutrition increases lean muscle mass. The body will burn more calories to maintain muscle which means the more muscle you have the more calories you burn. You can see this based on rate of weight loss between genders, on average women lose .5 to 1 lb per week and men 1-2 lbs per week for the same deficiency due to more muscle mass

  • Reduces Risk of Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis, is a disease in which the density and quality of bone are reduced. As bones become more porous and fragile, the risk of a fracture is greatly increased. As women age and go through hormonal changes they naturally start to lose bone density which can put them as risk for osteoporosis. Strength training routinely can reduce bone deterioration. It also aids in increasing bones strength and maintaining strength. Strength training alone can reduce a woman chances of developing or slowing down osteoporosis.

  • Reduce Injury Risks: Women who strength train build muscle and are able to protect joints from injury. Increased muscle assists in improved balance and coordination. These women rarely suffer from broken bones or injuries from normal daily functions that untrained women do.

  • Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease: Reduction in heart disease is due to lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, better sleep, and lessened fat around the heart that come as a results of regular strength training. American Heart Association recommends resistance training at least twice a week to strengthen your heart and fight against various heart-related health issues.

  • Increase Confidence: Women who generally strength train as a side effect have increased confidence due to the successes they see in the gym through hitting PR’s, body composition, and an overall feeling of being a badass. Confidence comes with knowledge. When women lift weights, the changes to their muscles are generally related to tone, strength, and endurance rather than size. These changes build confidence.

  • Stress Relief: In general, exercise has a positive effect on mental health. During strength training the focus shifts away from stresses at work, home, etc to reps, sets and good form. This switch in focus assists in lower anxiety, reduction in depression and stress. As an added bonus exercise and body composition transformation supports confidence and feeling positive and happy.

So ladies… the next time you pick up those heavy weights and someone tells you women shouldn’t be lifting heavy… say to them, “And why is that?” and then drop some knowledge on them and then hit a personal record with your lift.

You deserve to have the body you want and a long healthy life that comes from good nutrition and a solid strength training program. Your dedication to you will show those naysayers that they don’t know what they are talking about. Do not let anyone tell you what women can’t or shouldn’t do.

Diet Breaks 101

Diet breaks

One dieting protocol that has recently started to show promising results is the implementation of diet breaks for individuals who diet for a long time due to longer competition prep programs or larger amounts of weight to lose.  If you have ever dieted for extended amount of time you may find that you see affects in performance in your training, consistency in tracking nutrition suffers, and mentally and physically you feel fatigued. These are just a few things you could experience on your journey to lose weight.


A diet break is a planned and purposeful break from your fat loss diet where you eat at maintenance calories.


  • Diet breaks can be beneficial for individuals who have been dieting for many months. These individuals may be showing signs of losing motivation with dieting. Their consistency may have dropped off.
  • Individuals who are prepping for a body building competition for an extended period of time. If prep lasts for more than 12 weeks a diet can help break up the diet to make it more bearable.
  • Individuals who are going on a trip for at least 1 week and intend not to track during the trip but plan to be mindful of their nutrition and be active on their trip.

How to implement?

Typically adding an additional 300-600 calories and reducing cardio by 50% is the protocol for diet breaks. The increase in calories is going to depend on the individual and how their body responds to an increase in calories.

Diet Break Length

Each person is going to be different but a diet break of 1 week to 1 month could provide benefit for the individual. This is unique to the individual.

Goals of Diet Break

  • Reduce cortisol from dieting deficiency
  • Minimum to no weight gain
  • Increase NEAT
  • Improve sleep
  • Improve bowel movements
  • Improve motivation
  • Improve strength and endurance in workouts

Strategies for Implementing

  • Continue to track all macros: this allows you to increase macros if your body responds well. You can also assess how increases in certain macros affect body composition
  • Only track calories and protein: this allows flexible food choices that may be restricted due to set macros
  • Only tracking on non control days.

What could happen

  • Weight Gain: (increase in cellular water & glycogen, weight of volume of food). Typically this weight will come off when diet break ends as it is temporary.
  • Maintain Weight: Physically and mentally feel better, train harder, improved motivation to start diet again
  • Lose Weight: Lower cortisol which reduce water retention

Here is a video breakdown diet breaks –

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

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.


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.

Carbs – how important are they?

I was in the Costco the other day and asked the cashier who I have become antiquated with how his diet was going as he recently made a lifestyle change and started eating healthier. While he has had some set backs he said he was doing well. One of the topics that came up was reintroducing carbs into his diet because he was a diabetic and had taken carbs out and found that his body sugars dropped really low and he had no energy all the time.  So today I thought I would post some information on carbs.

  • Carbohydrates are your bodies preferred source of energy.
  • All of the tissues and cells in our body can use glucose for energy.
  • Carbohydrates are needed for the central nervous system, the kidneys, the brain, the muscles (including the heart) to function properly.
  • Carbohydrates can be stored in the muscles and liver and later used for energy.
  • Carbohydrates are important in intestinal health and waste elimination.

Carbohydrates are broken into 3 classifications – sugars (simple), starches(complex) and fiber.  It is important to understand how different carb sources are broken down by the body and how food can be used for quick or longer rates of energy.  Simple carbs such as those found in fruit or honey, are digested easily and provide a quick boost of energy. Complex carbs that are found in whole grains take longer to digest making them a good source for pre-workout fuel for your body. And finally one of the most important aspects of carbohydrates is fiber.  Carbs with fiber helps with weight loss, moderating blood glucose levels and lowering cholesterol.

What foods are carbs?
Carbohydrates are mainly found in starchy foods (like grain and potatoes), fruits, milk, and yogurt. Other foods like vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and cottage cheese contain carbohydrates, but in lesser amounts.


No/Low Carb Diets

When you first start reducing carbs in your diet you start to lose weight. This is an exciting time for people because they think they have lost body fat weight.  However, the truth of the matter is the first amount of weight lost when cutting carbs is water weight.   When carbs are reintroduced into the diet the water weight will come back.   If the person continues on this type of diet they will start to see a body fat weight loss, however the weight loss in general is not because they are on a no/low carb diet it is because they have drastically cut their calorie intake.  The basic principal of weight loss is if you are in a calorie deficiency you will lose body weight. The exception to this principal are people in too much of a deficiency and their metabolism is no longer functioning properly to allow them to lose weight and people with thyroid issues.

So how do you feel on a no/low carb diet?

  • Run down & lacking energy
  • Easily irritated. Hangry (Hungry and Angry)
  • Foggy – unable to think clearly
  • Headaches

Overall no/low carb diets are not a good long term solution it losing weight and often result in gaining all if not more of the weight lost.

Creating a balance 

Its important to create a healthy balance in your diet that includes lean proteins, carbs and healthy fats.  One of the easiest was to do that is to build your meals to include all 3 macronutrients.  My recommendation is for your three big meals of the day choose a lean protein between 4-8 oz,  1 cup of green vegetables and 1 cup of a complex carb.

Sample Meals for the Day:


  • 3 to 5 Egg Whites, 1 -2 whole Eggs
  • 1 Serving of Oatmeal with Cinnamon


  • 2 Brown Rice Cakes
  • 2 Tbs All Natural Peanut Butter


  • 4-8 oz of Grilled Chicken
  • 1 Cup Steam Green Beans
  • 1 Cup Sweet Potatoes


  • Protein Shake
  • Apple


  • 4-8 oz of Grilled Tilapia
  • 1 Cup Steam Broccoli
  • 1 Cup Rice

While there is much more detailed information regarding carbohydrates this is just a basic overview to provide a bit of information when deciding how important carbs are in your daily diet.

For a more indepth discussion about macronutrients or for nutritional guidance please contact us today to become a client.

Personal trainers: The good, the bad and the ugly. Do I even need a personal trainer?

Personal trainers can be the key to helping people meet health and fitness goals, or they can be a huge waste of money.  Determining if you need a trainers expertise or not can be a tough decision.  But if you know you need one choosing the right one could be even more difficult.  First step is to determine if you need a personal trainer.

How do I know I need a personal trainer?

  1. Do you lack motivation on your own?
  2. Do you like to do different types of workouts but you are not sure how to create a program ?
  3. Do you have specific fitness and training goals such as competing?
  4. Do you feel comfortable using the equipment in the gym on your own?
  5. Do you want to lose weight but can’t seem to lose the weight without doing drastic diets or starving yourself.

If you decide you need to have a personal trainer, here is a guide for choosing the right trainer for you.

How do you choose the correct trainer for you?

  1. Ask questions. Your trainer should be able to answer your questions completely and comprehensively.
  2. Get referrals. Good trainers have worked with many people and they will be happy to give you their feedback with their experience with the trainer.
  3. Find a trainer that trains in the way you want to train. You want to find a trainer that will cater to your needs. You want to find someone that fits with your personality because it is important for you to trust your trainer. If you want to be a powerlifter find an experienced powerlifter trainer.
  4. Ask about qualifications.  Good trainers will always look for ways to expand their knowledge in the field.
  5. Do you have special needs or injuries? Ask if the trainer has experience working with your special needs. Exercise and nutrition can help with many medical conditions but improper treatment can cause more harm.
  6. Nutrition plans can be the key to success in achieving your ideal physique.  It is important to understand you don’t need to eliminate foods,  slash calories,  do detox’s, or replacement shakes to make progress.
  7. Shop around. Most purchases are made based on emotions. You will find different trainers charge different rates and offer different services. Make sure the trainer you choose provides you everything you are looking for to help you with your fitness journey.  Cheaper is not always better and neither is more expensive.  Doing your homework before you finalizing your decision is important.

How do you know if you have chosen a trainer that may cause you more harm then being helpful.

  1. The trainer does not do any type of assessments.
  2. The trainer is having you do workouts that you may not be appropriate for you.
  3. The trainer doesn’t let you eat foods you enjoy like fruit.
  4. The trainer has you on a highly restrictive diet  or is having you do 2 a day cardio workouts and you are not prepping for a competition.
  5. The trainer has you work through injuries instead of addressing the issue to resolve it.
  6. The trainer can’t explain why you are doing the things he/she is asking you to do.
  7. The trainer tries to sell you a bunch of supplements.
  8. The trainer does not track your progress.

While these are just a few ways to find the perfect trainer it is important to do your research so you don’t injury yourself or end up damaging your diet to lose weight.