Day: October 15, 2018

A Crash Course In What To Eat For Your Body Type

A Crash Course In What To Eat For Your Body Type

Have you ever heard of diets based on the type of body you have? Here’s what to eat for your body type, and how to know if this works for you.

The term “different strokes for different folks” has never been truer than when it’s applied to diet and exercise plans.

We all have that one friend that never puts on a single pound no matter how many chocolate bars they wolf down. Then there are those unfortunates who cannot reach their goal weight no matter how much they exercise or how long they stick to their meal plans.

Turns out it hasn’t got much to do with the speed of your metabolism. Although in some ways, it has everything to do with it.

It’s not how fast your metabolism works, but how it works in relation to the type of body you’re born with.

Find a happy medium by learning how to exercise and what to eat for your body type. The results will amaze you.

What Body Type Are You?

Typically when we consider different body types we think of our general shape. This is especially true for women.

These shapes are usually referred to as ”apple” or android body type, and “pear” or gynoid body type. Less commonly, we may refer to ”hourglass”, and “ruler” body types. These are all pretty accurate descriptions of body shapes.

Yet, when it comes to eating for your body type, finding the right balance goes a little deeper than first impressions.

It has to do with metabolism, bone structure, and how your body reacts to exercise. Find out where you fit in when it comes to body types.

Endomorph

Endomorphs usually fall into the pear-shaped category. They battle to lose weight and keep it off thanks to a slow metabolic rate. When they do exercise, they gain muscle easily, but it’s never as bulky as they’d like.

If you have any of the following traits, you are probably an Endomorph:

  • A rounded body shape
  • Medium to large joints and bone structure
  • Short limbs
  • Small shoulders

Due to their sluggish metabolism, endomorphs fall asleep easily and can have bouts of unexplained fatigue.

Bottom line, endomorphs have the highest body fat percentage of all body types. They have to work much harder and follow a strict eating plan to get into shape.

The good news is that the rewards are so much greater when you do achieve your goals. A fit female endomorph is the pinnacle of feminine allure, with a toned, yet softly rounded physique.

Ectomorph

Most supermodels are ectomorphs. This highly fashionable body type is fragile and delicately built, with little fat or muscle.

While these may seem like attractive characteristics, ectomorphs have their own set of problems. Low muscle mass means that well-developed muscles are a pipe dream for most of these individuals.

Ladies tend to complain about being flat-chested and lacking in the curves of their endomorph counterparts. Men usually see themselves as too skinny and wiry.

These are the most common characteristics of endomorphs:

  • Small joints and bone structure
  • A skinny physique with low body fat
  • Long arms and legs
  • Small shoulders
  • Little muscling
  • A fast metabolism
  • Hyperactive tendencies

Ectomorphs wage an ongoing battle that many of us would love to fight. They struggle to put on weight. Unfortunately, the same applies to muscle.

Mesomorph

Mesomorphs have the best of both worlds. They are naturally lean and build muscle easily. On the downside, their bodies can pile on the pounds of fat given the chance.

These are the main characteristics of mesomorphs:

  • Lean and muscular body
  • Natural strength
  • Medium size bone structure and joints
  • Efficient metabolism
  • See results from exercise quickly

Female mesomorphs usually have a shapely, hourglass figure. Males tend to take a classic V-shape, with wide shoulders and narrow hips.

Working Out a Plan for You

People aren’t made according to factory specifications, so it’s totally possible to have characteristics from more than one body type. Figure out which description most applies to you when choosing an eating plan for your body type.

One of the easiest ways to avoid disappointment is to be realistic about how you want your body to look.

Achieving the super-ripped physique of professional bodybuilders may not be ideal for you. It’s important to realize that you can be fit and healthy without going to those extremes. You have a life to live outside of the gym.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, scroll on down to see what you should eat for your body type if you want to get into top shape fast.

What to Eat for Your Body Type

It’s important to remember that there is no right or wrong body type. Everybody can benefit from eating the kind of foods that suit their body type.

Here are some pointers to help you get on the right track.

Eating Plan for Endomorphs

Endomorphs are usually insulin dominant which means their bodies store energy easily in the form of fat.

This doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a lifetime of being overweight. It simply means you have to eat foods that get your metabolism pumping and work out enough to prevent the fat from settling.

Endomorphs fare best on a diet that is high in fat and protein. The ideal ratio is 25% carbs, 35% protein, and 40% fat. It’s best to keep your carb intake to those times when you’ve already used up a whole lot of energy exercising.

These kinds of eating plans will ensure that your retain and build on the muscle you have while restricting the amount of energy that’s stored as fat.

Stick to ”good” carbs like whole grain bread, brown rice, amaranth, millet, corn, barley, potatoes, and quinoa. Vegetables are a great source of healthy carbs as well as vitamins and minerals.

Stick to healthy fats like avocado oil and olive oil.

Diet Tips for Ectomorphs

While ectomorphs can eat what they want without gaining much weight, a healthy diet is imperative to achieve a toned, healthy body.

If you are an ectomorph, you’ll need loads of nutritious calories to build muscle and replace spent energy efficiently. This means carbs – and plenty of them.

An ideal ectomorph eating plan should involve eating high carb foods throughout the day and upping your intake just before and after your workout. The magic formula is 50 percent carbs, 25 percent protein, and 25 percent fat.

Breakfast is the main meal of the day for ectomorphs and should be heavy on the complex carbohydrates and protein. Try to fit in another 7 or 8 meals spread throughout the day.

Focus on consuming vegetable and fruits at every meal and add starchy carbs like potatoes every second meal. Whole grain, unprocessed foods are always best for optimum health and vitality.

Whey protein and high-calorie shakes can help to boost your weight gain and a cheat meal every so often won’t harm your progress when you’re an ectomorph. You are free to tuck into a cheeseburger, as long as you don’t make a habit of it.

Mesomorph Meal Ideals

Mesomorphs fall somewhere in the middle of the other two body types and usually thrive on a balanced ratio of carbs to proteins and fats. The best way to split these is often 40% carbohydrate, 30% fat and 30% protein.

Because of their propensity to put on weight, mesomorphs fare better when they stick to low -fat proteins and complex carbohydrates.

Greek yogurt, eggs, poultry, and seafood are good sources of protein, while green vegetables, whole grain foods, and low-sugar fruits are excellent for carbs. High-fiber foods will reduce sugar cravings and help you to feel full for longer.

Try to cram most of your carbs into your breakfast meal, as well as before and after exercise. Vegetables, lean proteins, nuts, seeds, and fruit are the best options for meals in between these times.

This means you’d try eating some higher carb or starchy carb foods in the morning, as well as during/post exercise. The rest of your meals should contain fewer carbs and more fats and protein.

If you feel that you need a little extra kick during an intense workout, you can indulge in an energy drink to give you a boost.

Work Out Tips for Your Body Type

On its own, eating the correct diet will do a lot for your appearance and self-esteem as well as help you to slim down.

However, diet alone won’t give you the body you want. Exercise is imperative to get into the best shape you can.

Best Exercises for Endomorphs

Endomorphs seldom have trouble bulking up, the problem is that often this bulk takes the form of fat and not muscle.

While regular weight training will work wonders to build up muscle, you need the fat burning benefits of cardio too. The magic formula for endomorphs is often 4 days of weight training per week, making sure to include a cardio session each time.

When you’re just starting out, it’s perfectly okay to stick to low impact exercise as long as it gets your heart pumping. Ideally, you should choose an activity that checks the following boxes:

  • can continue for at least 20 minutes
  • uses the large muscles like legs and back
  • involves continuous, rhythmic movement

As your muscle mass increases, your metabolism will follow suit. It’s perfectly normal to go through cycles of change as you progress. As things become too easy or no longer interest you, adapt and move on.

Winning Workouts for Ectomorphs

Fortunately, with low body fat, it’s easier to achieve well-defined muscles even with small gains when you’re an ectomorph.

If you want to bulk up you are going to need to go hard, and you’re going to need to do it often. Heavy weights and low reps are the way to go.

Compound multi-joint lifts work well for this body type. These include:

  • bench press
  • back and front squats
  • stiff-leg deadlifts
  • pull-ups
  • barbell overhead presses

There’s no such thing as ”leg-day” when you’re an ectomorph. Try to incorporate as many muscle groups as you can into every workout.

While cardio is good for your overall health, too much can turn your body into a fat-burning wasteland. A quick spin on the bicycle or a brisk walk should do the trick.

BasicTraining for Mesomorphs

When you’re a mesomorph almost anything goes, and you can really enjoy yourself at the gym.

Resistance exercises using your body weight will help to tone, firm and shape your body while burning fat at the same time. Think yoga, calisthenics, and gymnastics.

As a mesomorph, your frame can carry a lot of muscular bulk but that’s often difficult to achieve. There’s a good chance you won’t be able to lift the heavy weights needed to bulk up at first.

In the beginning, using your body weight is an effective way to improve your strength in preparation for these big lifts.

When you’re ready, you can progress to moderate repetitions with moderate weights. About 3 weight training sessions a week should do the trick, consisting of 8 to 12 reps focussing on individual muscle groups.

Staying Motivated

Getting yourself to the gym regularly can be trying. Here are a few tips to help you make every workout enjoyable and productive.

Sticking to a strict regime on your own is never easy. Enlisting the help of a personal trainer will help you to see results quicker and stay on top of your game.

When you sign up for our 9-week challenge we will match you with a personal challenge coach. They’ll guide you on what to eat for your body type and how to get the best results from your workouts.

Together we’ll ensure you get all the support and expert advice you need for success.

How To Create A Daily Exercise Plan That Works For You

How To Create A Daily Exercise Plan That Works For You

If you’ve started working out countless times but you can’t quite stick to the routine, don’t give up. Here’s how to create a daily exercise plan just for you.

Who hasn’t decided to lose weight at one point and time in their life? In the beginning, there is a lot of enthusiasm, but as time goes on it becomes harder to stay motivated. Even if you’re paying for a monthly gym membership, you may not stay the course and it becomes money down the drain.

Creating a workout plan and sticking with it requires commitment and motivation. You may want to hire a fitness trainer, but he won’t be with you seven days a week.

Asking friends and family members to hold you accountable is a good idea, but is it realistic. If they see you are not taking their encouragement to heart, you will be left to figure it out on your own.

So what is your going to do to stay focused and engaged? Continue reading for our tips on creating a daily exercise plan.

Create a Plan with Realistic Goals

The first step to make a workout plan that is suited for you is to include realistic goals. It is easy to say you will run five miles every day. But how likely are you to do it if you don’t even own running shoes?

Get real with yourself and consider goals that you can actually reach. Start small and increase exercises, repetitions and time limits as you go.

At the end of each month reassess your goals and adjust according.

Make a Personal Pledge

Creating a workout plan is a great decision. Wanting to live a healthier lifestyle is to be commended.

Before sharing your goals with others, make a commitment to yourself to reach your ultimate goal. You can do this by creating a personal pledge.

The pledge can include a mission and vision statement that outlines the reason you are on this journey. It can also include what it will mean to you to reach your ultimate goal.

Next, include a few specific things you want to commit to. Examples could include things like working out three times a week, eating healthily or losing at least five pounds a month.

Date and sign the pledge, and then place it somewhere you can see it daily. You can also be creative and decorate the pledge or place it in a unique frame.

Create a Work-out Calendar

Establishing set times to work-out can help keep you moving forward. Whether you are working out at a set time of the day, or sessions scheduled at varied times, having a calendar is a good idea. Calendars also help you stay organized.

Your calendar can be a physical paper calendar that you hang on a wall or place on your desk. It can be something on your computer or a digital calendar on your phone.

Calendars can be used to set schedules for your work-outs. You can also use it to notate that you exercised and what exercises you performed.

Make your calendar a source of motivation by writing accolades for a job well done.

Get an Accountability Partner for your Daily Exercise Plan

Accountability partners aren’t necessarily people interested in working out but should be individuals that understand the importance of doing so. It can be a friend, relative, coworker or acquaintance.

You want someone who is genuinely committed to helping you reach your goals and will be empathetic when you struggle. You do not want an accountability partner who is judgmental or will quit if you don’t reach your goals.

For the partnership to work the two of you would need to sit down and come up with a plan that is mutually acceptable. Next, you will determine effective ways to help keep you motivated and accountable to your milestones.

Keep in mind that the accountability partner is only a part of your daily exercise plan, not a requirement. If the relationship with the partner is not working, you can always find someone new. Before severing ties, make sure you are not self-sabotaging because you’re being called to task.

It doesn’t hurt to have multiple accountability partners.

Try an Exercise App

In the digital-driven world, there is an app for everything. If you have a smartphone, you can always have fitness tips and instructions at your fingertips.

Apps like Fitbit helps users track their activity, exercise, sleep, and weight. It is an ideal workout companion worth looking into.

Some work-out apps offer users a community they can connect with to share ideas. Some even offer playlists, maps, recipes, and other healthy lifestyle tips. More importantly, you have a means for automatically tracking your work-out activities.

If you are really good with apps and digital gadgets, you will want to make a comparison of the numerous apps on the market. You may find one to eliminate the need for a paper calendar and act as an accountability partner.

Join a Workout Group

Workout groups are a good way to stay motivated. They also make work-outs fun and engaging. Having the opportunity to meet new people can also lead to new friendships and openings to network professional.

Exercise groups can make a workout plan more enjoyable. They can also expose you to new ways of exercising.

When most people hear the work-out group, they immediately think of a group of people at the gym participating in exercises led by an instructor. Not today. In the world of exercise, a work-out group can mean cycling, Taekwondo or a Zumba class.

Don’t limit your search for workout groups to the local gym. Consider looking into meet-ups and other social sites that bring people together.

Incorporate New Activities

Exercise comes in many forms. At its core, it is a physical activity that promotes good health and physical fitness.

One reason people don’t stay engaged or committed to their workout plans is that they often become boring and repetitive. If you want to keep exercise exciting create a workout plan that includes multiple activities.

This is perfect for people with flexible schedules and free time in the early mornings, evenings and weekends.

Tennis

Tennis is a great way to exercise. You can get a great workout learning to play tennis if you’ve never played before. Or you can sign-up for cardio tennis, which gets the heart pumping while learning tennis drills.

Cycling

Cycling is something you can do with a partner or alone. Many cities are installing bike trails as well as making city streets bicycle safe. Purchasing a bike is an investment that will pay off in the long run.

Cycling also gets you outdoors and can take you on many adventures.

Swimming

Like tennis, swimming is an activity that has just as many benefits for the novice as it does the experienced participant. Gyms and fitness centers that have swimming pools often offer water aerobics, which is a great way to exercise.

Some local governments offer free or low-cost swimming lessons at recreation centers that have swimming pools.

These are just a few suggestions. Any sport or activity that increases your cardio can be used to keep you moving.

Plan Your Meals

Part of a successful exercise plan is monitoring what you eat. It makes no sense put all that work into exercising, losing weight and toning up, to keep the same poor eating habits.

Having a meal plan helps you monitor your calories. It also helps you keep a set schedule for your meals.

As you build your own workout plan, consider looking into meal prep. This way you have pre-planned, prepared meals that allow for portion control. With meal prep, the focus is on nutritious low-calorie meals that include a protein, starch, and vegetable.

The ultimate goal is to stay away from menus that require too many ingredients.

Take Part in a Fitness Challenge

Fitness challenges are a good way to jumpstart your daily exercise plan. These challenges are typically designed to provide everything you need from a daily schedule to menu ideas and guidance from a trained professional.

During the challenge, which usually lasts several weeks or a few months, you will learn everything you need to build your own workout plan. The fitness instructors will teach you everything you need to succeed.

Do your research ahead of time to ensure the challenge you choose is right for you and your fitness level. Don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed by thinking the exercises or daily schedule is too advanced. Ask the trainer to recommend a different challenge.

Once you have the right plan, take what you learn from the personal fitness coaches and incorporate the techniques into a personal plan. Modify the plan to create an ongoing strategy for the fitness lifestyle you can continue going forward.

Later on, if you find yourself falling off the wagon by doing it on your own, take a moment and regroup. Don’t be afraid to return to a more structured challenge under the supervision of a fitness coach.

Make Sure You have Recovery Days

Exercise doesn’t have to be all work. Truth be told, you should have a couple of days that are not focused on specific exercise activities. When creating a workout plan always incorporate recovery days.

To some, the best thing to do on recovery days is to relax and not think about exercise. In reality, recovery days are days set aside to recover from intense activities or training.

Your recovery days can be the weekend, or they can be dispersed throughout the week. Here are two good activities that can be done on these days.

Nature Walks

If the city you live in has a good parks system, they usually include a walking trail. Set aside time to walk the trail and enjoy nature. This can also be a good out for couples to have some time together or to get the kids outside.

Nature preserves are also a good way to relax and unwind, while still partaking in low-impact exercise.

Yoga

Not only does yoga improve your mental, physical but also spiritual well-being, it also improves your flexibility and muscle strength.

Yoga is an activity you can do from the comfort of your home, at the beach or in a yoga studio. Because it can be done alone you can decide how to incorporate it into your daily exercise plan.

Dancing

Ballroom dancing, country line dancing, and Stepping are all fun activities that are also relaxing and fun. There are other dance types, but you want one that is low impact. Some dancing requires a partner so the added bonus can be a night out on the time with a loved one.

The ultimate goal of recovery days is to stay active while allowing the muscles to recover from intense workouts.

Give Yourself Accolades

As you continue on your journey celebrate your accomplishments. It’s a great motivator to keep moving forward on your journey.

Accolades can be as simple as a Post-it note attached to the bathroom mirror, stating “You Did It!” You could also buy celebratory stickers to notate the days you reach your daily goals. If every day has a sticker, reward yourself with a treat or gift.

If you have a favorite motivational saying, produce t-shirts with the quote to wear to the gym. Customize your work-out gear with personal mission statements.

Another way to stay motivated is to purchase a dream outfit. Keep it in a garment bag, but attach a letter from a loved one acknowledging your accomplishment. When you reach your goal plan an outing to wear your outfit, and then read the letter.

It’s all about motivating yourself and staying the course. Celebrate yourself whenever you can, to remain positive.

We Hope You Found These Tips Useful

Creating a daily exercise plan has many variables. Exercise is key, but there are other components that bring your healthy lifestyle full circle. Most importantly, you will need a positive state of mind and a commitment to change your overall approach to exercise, eating and goal-setting.

If you enjoyed these tips and would be interested in participating in a body transformation challenge, contact us today.

No More Fitness Chores: How To Enjoy Working Out For Lasting Health

No More Fitness Chores: How To Enjoy Working Out For Lasting Health

Do you actually love exercise? Probably not, and you’re not alone. Most don’t know how to enjoy working out. Here’s the secret to loving workouts for life.

Do you hate working out?

Your genes might be to blame! Studies have shown that there are some people who are genetically predisposed to hating exercise. That might help to explain why only about 20 percent of Americans meet the federal government’s recommendations for physical activity.

But you can’t put all the blame on genetics when it comes to America’s exercise problem. There are also lots of people out there who don’t have fun while exercising simply because they haven’t taken the time to learn how to enjoy working out.

If you’re one of these people, you could be missing out on all the potential benefits of establishing a regular exercise routine. You could also be cutting years off your life and skipping the chance to make yourself a more physically fit person over time.

Here are 11 tips that’ll help you snap out of it and embrace working out.

Set Fitness Goals for Yourself From the Beginning

Most people know they should get more exercise than they do. So every now and then, they’ll sign up for a gym membership and start going to the gym every day after work. Or they’ll get into the habit of going for a walk or a run at the park.

There is (obviously!) nothing wrong with trying to make a commitment to working out. But you’re going to have a heck of a time keeping up with the commitment if you don’t have any goals in mind before you begin.

Is your goal to:

  • Lose the extra 20 pounds you’ve been carrying around for a few years now?
  • Build up your upper body strength and core so that you don’t have back problems anymore?
  • Run five miles every few days to break a sweat and break out of the monotony of spending all day in an office?

Setting goals is arguably the most important part of starting a successful workout routine. Goals will keep you on track and help you avoid running into a wall at some point when your initial motivation runs out.

It’s also important to set new goals for yourself along the way. Once you’ve lost weight, gotten stronger, and run five miles, you should push yourself to set and meet other goals. You’ll find out how to enjoy working out by taking this approach to exercise.

Start Slow and Avoid Trying to Hit All Your Goals at Once

The biggest mistake people make when they first start working out is that they often try to accomplish all the goals they set for themselves at once.

They want to lose 20 pounds in a week so they spend three hours in the gym every day. They want to be able to improve their bench press by 50 pounds after just a few workouts so they work their muscles to the point of sheer exhaustion every time they’re lifting. They want to run five miles so they run each and every day for a few weeks.

If you haven’t worked out regularly in a long time, you could put your body at real risk by overdoing it at the beginning. Your muscles and the other parts of your body aren’t ready for workouts this intense.

You’re also going to expend all your mental energy if you aren’t careful. You might reach your goals, but you could also burn out in the process and stop working out once you do. That’ll be counterproductive and won’t allow you to develop lifelong workout habits.

Start off slow instead and ease your way into working out. It’ll be better for your mind and body and motivate you to continue coming back for more.

Find Someone Who Wants to Work Out With You on a Regular Basis

If you know that you struggle to motivate yourself to go to the gym or the park to work out, it might be a good idea for you to put out feelers and find a workout buddy.

Studies have suggested that those who work out with someone else tend to work out more often and have better workouts. This is especially true when people find workout buddies who are capable of providing them with emotional support.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you just want to choose anyone to be your workout buddy. In some cases, your workout buddy might actually end up dragging you down if you have to do all the heavy lifting as far as emotional support is concerned.

Before you agree to work out regularly with a person, make sure they’re as committed to exercising as you are. Make sure they want to do similar workouts to you as well.

By teaming up with someone else, you can make it easier to get motivated to go to the gym and swap workout stories with someone who can relate to you. It’ll make working out more enjoyable for both of you and make it feel more fun.

Experiment With Different Workout Routines (and Switch Up Your Routine Regularly!)

When you first start working out on a regular basis, you’re likely going to fall into some kind of routine. Whether you’re lifting weights, running, or doing some other activity, you’re going to find yourself doing the same exercises all the time.

It’s OK to do this for a little while, but you should try to switch up your routine from time to time. It can help you:

  • Steer clear of overworking certain muscles
  • Strengthen muscles you’re not using now
  • Breakthrough a weight loss goal you’ve been struggling to reach
  • Inject some life back into your workouts
  • Prevent you from simply going through the motions and not giving it your all

It’s also not a bad idea to try out different workout routines that you might not normally think to do.

For example, if you’re someone who spends a lot of time lifting weights, why not try a yoga class on for size? It could provide you with benefits like the flexibility that will help you during your regular workouts.

Or if you’re someone who spends a lot of time running, sign up for an intramural sport. It’ll build up your teamwork skills while allowing you to stay active in a different environment.

The key is to switch up your exercise routines to keep them feeling fresh. You’ll be a lot more motivated to go work out when you don’t know exactly what’s going to happen when you do.

Keep a Workout Journal

It can be difficult to see the strides you’re making when you work out on a day-to-day basis. Others around you might see that you’re looking more fit, but you yourself might not notice your improvements.

Keep track of the progress you’re making by starting a workout journal, ideally when you first start working out. Write down the different exercises you do during each workout, the number of reps you complete, and more.

This will give you something to reference back to whenever you’re feeling like your workouts aren’t making a difference. You’ll be able to see proof that your workouts are paying off and turning you into a person who is substantially more fit.

Incorporate Music and Podcasts into Your Workouts

Does it feel like there’s more music being released these days than ever before?

You’re not just imagining things! People are listening to more new music today than in years past and struggling to keep up with all of it.

If you find yourself caught in this predicament, working out is a great way to give yourself the time you need to catch up on new music. You can give the latest Lil Wayne album a spin or see what the new Twenty One Pilots record is all about.

Working out is also a great way to enjoy all the best podcasts the world has to offer. Just imagine how much more motivated you’ll be to go work out when you know you have a great podcast waiting for you.

Try Not to Focus Too Much on How Much Weight You’re Losing (or Not Losing!)

If one of your goals when it comes to working out is to lose weight, listen up. You will lose weight when you work out regularly…but it might not always happen as quickly as you want it to.

Everyone loses weight at a different rate. Some people can work out for a week and drop 10 pounds, while others can work out for a month and lose two pounds.

With this in mind, you shouldn’t make losing weight your only motivating factor. Otherwise, you could end up quitting just when you’re about to make a big breakthrough simply because you aren’t patient enough.

Focus on enjoying working out and getting better at exercising as opposed to using the scale as a barometer for how well your workouts are going.

Use Your Workouts to Reduce Any Stress You’re Feeling

It’s safe to say that just about everyone in America is stressed out to some degree right now. A 2017 study found that people are stressed out over everything from health care and the economy to crime and terrorist attacks.

Rather than allowing whatever stress you feel to gnaw at you, why not use it for good? Teach yourself to reduce your stress levels by working out and eliminating a lot of your biggest stresses.

You’ll find that you think more clearly and process stress better after a great workout. You’ll also have a more positive outlook on your life and everything in it when exercise is a major part of your life.

That alone should be enough to inspire you to continue working out over and over again once you start doing it regularly.

Reward Yourself Every Now and Then

There are a lot of sacrifices that are going to come along with working out on a regular basis.

You’re obviously going to be giving up a lot of your time to work out. You’re also going to be giving up money for gym memberships, workout gear, and more. You might even decide to start eating healthier to hit more of your fitness goals.

This is all great! And before long, it won’t even feel like you’re sacrificing anymore. You’ll be gaining so much from working out that your sacrifices will feel small compared to what you’re getting in return.

But don’t forget to reward yourself every now and then for putting in the time, effort, and money to work out. Have an extra slice of cake every now and then or take a day off if you feel like your body could use it.

Avoid Being Too Hard on Yourself If You Miss a Workout or Two

Believe it or not, there’s going to come a time when you–yes, you!–are going to miss a workout and feel guilty about it. There is an anxiety that washes over a lot of people when they’re forced to miss a workout for whatever reason.

It’s easy to beat yourself up over it. Even if you had a completely reasonable excuse for skipping the gym or a run, you’re going to convince yourself otherwise and feel awful.

Don’t worry too much about it. The great thing about exercising is that it’s about more than one or two individual workouts. It’s about committing yourself to lead a healthier lifestyle and then sticking to it over the long haul.

Just don’t let one or two missed workouts turn into one or two months of not working out. It can be tough to get back on the right track once you veer off it. So get back in the gym as soon as you can and continue living your best life.

Enroll Yourself in a Fitness Challenge

Have you tried everything else and found that you still can’t seem to muster up the strength to work out? A fitness challenge might be exactly what you need.

The 9-Week Challenge, in particular, can prove to be beneficial for those who don’t necessarily love to work out. In less than two months, you can totally transform your body by working with a fitness coach while still eating delicious food.

You’ll love the way you look and feel at the end of the challenge, and it’ll put a good foundation in place for you to continue to eat right and work out more than you did before.

Once You Know How to Enjoy Working Out, It Won’t Feel Like a Chore

It’s not as hard to learn how to enjoy working out as you might think. Even if you absolutely hate the idea of doing it now, you can transform yourself into a workout warrior in no time.

Start by setting some goals for yourself and easing your way into a routine. Then, try some different workouts and set up a workout journal, and before you know it, you’ll be a regular. It’ll turn out to be the best decision you’ve ever made.

Read our blog for more information on setting up a workout routine for yourself or contact us with any questions you might have.

Macros VS Calories: Which Should You Count For Weight Loss?

Macros VS Calories: Which Should You Count For Weight Loss

If you’re trying to lose weight by way of what you eat, you’ve heard about macros VS calories. Click here to find out what they are and which ones to count.

The holidays are coming up in a hurry. That means reconnecting with family and friends, taking pictures, and maybe even paying a visit to your old hometown.

This is the time of year when many of us panic and say, “Oh no, I can’t enjoy the holidays looking like THIS!”

No matter what your weight loss motivation might be, it starts with getting educated. If you’re scouring the internet for weight loss tips, you’ve been hit by an avalanche and you need to sift through the myths and half-truths to find your path.

One of the greatest debates about weight loss is whether it’s best to count macros vs calories. We’re putting it to rest once and for all. Here’s what you need to know.

Counting Macros Vs Calories: What Do I Need to Do to Lose Weight?

We’ll cut to the chase: to lose weight the right way, you need to do both. Your body is an atmosphere with a delicate balance, and you need to manage your overall calories as well as your macros to stimulate healthy weight loss.

To help you find that perfect balance, we’ll break it down one piece at a time.

Why Calories Matter for Weight Loss

Most people know the basic concept of weight loss. If you take in more calories than you burn, you gain weight. If you burn more calories than you take in, you lose weight. But why?

A calorie is a unit of energy that your body uses for all its functions, from basic survival to hitting the pavement for a run. Our bodies are programmed for survival in the wilderness, where we wouldn’t know when our next meal was coming.

If we have more energy than our body needs, the body stores the extra energy inside our fat cells so it can use it at a later time if we can’t get the food we need. When your body needs more energy than you’re giving it, it pulls the energy from those stored fat cells and uses it, leading to weight loss.

To put it in simple terms, you need to burn more calories than you eat in order to lose weight. That’s why counting calories is the method most people use for weight loss: because it’s easy and it can get the job done.

However, your daily calorie count doesn’t give you the full picture. As we’ll explain later, not all sources of calories are equal.

How Many Calories Should I Eat to Lose Weight?

This is the million-dollar question: if I need to eat fewer calories to lose weight, what should my limit be? As you may expect, it varies from one person to another. Here’s how to calculate your calorie goal.

1. Find Your BMR

Everyone’s body requires a different number of calories for its basic functions like digestion, maintaining a heartbeat, and more. That number is your basal metabolic rate or BMR.

Your estimated BMR depends on your height, weight, age, and gender. You can use an online BMR calculator to find your estimated BMR.

As an example, let’s use Jane Doe. She’s a 40-year-old woman who’s 66 inches tall and she weighs 180 pounds. Based on an online calculator, her BMR is 1560. In other words, if she were to lay around all day and do no activity, she would burn 1,560 calories.

2. Factor in Your Activity Level

Now that you know your BMR, you need to factor in your typical activity level to see how many total calories your body burns on an average day.

Take a look at how much exercise you get in a typical week and assign it a number on a scale of 1.2 to 1.9. If you are sedentary and do little or no activity on a daily basis, you’re a 1.2. A 1.9, on the other hand, would be a professional athlete or someone who exercises often on top of a hard labor job.

When you’ve decided where your activity level is on this scale, multiply that number by your BMR. This is called the Harris Benedict Formula. It gives you an estimate of how many calories you need to eat on a daily basis.

Let’s go back to our Jane Doe example. She does a moderate workout three times per week, so we’ll put her at a 1.5 on the activity scale. If she multiplies that by her BMR of 1560, her total daily estimated calorie usage is 2,340.

3. Calculate Your Calorie Goal

The calculations above give you the number of calories you need to eat each day to maintain your same weight. The next step is to determine how many calories you should eat in order to lose weight.

It all depends on your desired weight loss rate. In general, you need to burn about 3500 more calories than you eat to lose one pound.

Let’s assume Jane Doe wants to lose two pounds per week. That means she needs a 7,000 calorie deficit each week.

To hit that goal, Jane Doe should eat 1,000 fewer calories than she burns each day. The puts her daily calorie limit at 1,340.

Of course, that’s only part of the story. To get the results she wants, Jane Doe needs to make sure those 1,340 calories are coming from the right sources. That’s where macronutrients come into play in our nine-week weight loss challenge.

Why Macronutrients Matter for Weight Loss

Food does more than give your body energy. It also gives your body the specific nutrients it needs to perform every function you need on a daily basis. That’s why your macros are so important: they make sure your body has what it needs to function.

There are three macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Each one has its own nutrients and components your body needs. The key to weight loss is making sure that your body gets enough of each macronutrient within your daily calorie goal.

Carbohydrates

Carbs have gotten a bad reputation over the years, and it’s only somewhat warranted.

Carbs are your body’s first source of energy. If you take in more carbs than your body needs, it stores the remaining carbs in your fat cells, enlarging them and causing weight gain.

If your body needs more energy than it’s getting from the carbs you’re eating, it pulls stored energy from your fat cells and you lose weight. That’s why low-carb diets are so popular. They cut to the chase and stimulate fast weight loss.

Proteins

The second key macro is protein. In the same way that people vilify carbs, they glorify protein.

They aren’t all wrong. Protein is made of amino acids, which are the building blocks for all your cells. They’re essential to healthy body functions.

Proteins are also necessary for your body to build muscle. The way you build muscle is that when you exercise, the effort creates tiny micro-tears in the muscle fibers. When your body repairs those tears with materials from protein, it makes the muscles stronger.

That brings up an important misconception: protein itself doesn’t make you build muscle and get fit. It gives your body what it needs to build muscle as a result of your exercise. You still need to work out to gain muscle.

Fats

Fat has become a dirty word, but thanks to more and more nutritional education, we’re changing that misconception. Dietary fat isn’t the same as fat in your body. If you stop eating fat, it doesn’t mean your body will burn your fat cells to replace it.

Dietary fat is your body’s second source of energy after it has depleted the carbs and before it starts burning stored energy. Fat is also a vital part of your diet because it includes nutrients your body needs to operate at its best.

The key is choosing healthy fats, like avocado and eggs instead of high-fat sweets.

How to Balance Your Macros for Weight Loss

Now you know the three macros you need each day, but how much of each one do you need?

In general, you should aim to get 40% of your daily calories from carbs, 40% from proteins, and 20% from fat.

While that sounds simple, it takes some calculation. Let’s use Jane Doe as our example. Her daily goal is 1,340 calories. That means she should get 536 calories from carbs, 536 from proteins, and 268 from fats each day.

The problem is that nutrition labels list the grams of each macro in your food, not the calories. That’s another calculation you have to do.

Each gram of carbs and proteins contains about four calories. Each gram of fat contains about nine calories. That means Jane Doe needs to eat 134 grams of carbs, 134 grams of protein, and 30 grams of fat every day.

Keep in mind that this is all based on a general weight loss goal. Depending on your specific goals, a nutritionist might suggest changing these ratios. For instance, someone who wants to build muscle while they lose weight might need more protein.

Tips for Losing Weight While Counting Calories and Macros

It’s not about choosing between counting calories or balancing your macros. You need both to lose weight while staying healthy. You might be able to lose weight without considering your macros, but you could compromise your health.

Your results also won’t be the same if you don’t keep your macros in line. If you’ve ever wondered why some people who lose weight end up toned while others don’t, the macros are a common reason.

If you’re ready to get started, here are some tips:

1. Work the Numbers

Considering how much of this blog is dedicated to math, you can see how important numbers are in getting your diet right. People who say, “I’m just going to estimate how healthy things are,” rarely reach their goals.

It’s also important to re-work your numbers every so often. As you lose weight, your BMR will change and your activity levels might change too. Re-do your calculations and your goals every month or two depending on your progress.

2. Keep It As a Work in Progress

You need to recognize that these numbers aren’t an exact science. Everyone’s body is unique in the ways and rates at which it processes calories.

Studies even show that the numbers vary based on ethnicity and weight history. Monitor your progress and don’t be afraid to adjust your goals and percentages if necessary.

As you do this, pay attention to more than the scale. Do you feel run-down all the time? Are you too weak to work out? If so, it’s time for an adjustment.

3. Use Water for All It’s Worth

To be blunt, drinking water helps you lose weight. It’s a well-known fact in the medical community, but not all dieters recognize it.

Hydration helps you have the energy to work out and stay active. In some cases, people think they’re hungry when they’re actually thirsty. If you drink water when you feel hungry, it could prevent you from eating more than you need.

In many cases, people who drink water soon before a meal also eat less food. It’s a great technique to try if you tend to overeat or if you leave the table still feeling hungry.

4. Planning, Planning, and More Planning

Chances are that on-the-fly decisions have landed you in a position to want to lose weight in the first place. It’s impossible to estimate the calories in a dish if you don’t know how it was prepared.

Hitting your calorie and macro goals require planning ahead. Plan your meals in advance to get the balance you need. If you plan to go to a restaurant, look up the nutritional information if possible and plan your meal ahead of time, based on the numbers.

5. Don’t Try to Go It Alone

This one’s crucial. Study after study has shown that people who lose weight with a partner, coach, or buddy are more successful. Look to a professional like our weight loss coaches for knowledgeable guidance and emotional support.

Losing Weight With a Plan

For most people, weight loss isn’t a “wing it” type of task. In many cases, we aren’t aware of how unhealthy our food choices are until we look at the calorie content and the macros they contain.

The key is planning ahead. Medical researchers have learned so much about macros vs calories, the way our bodies work, and what causes weight loss. The information above can help you take advantage of it.

If you’re ready to get started and begin working toward your best body today, register for our 9-week challenge now.

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