Keep It Simple: How to Apply the 80/20 Rule to Your Healthy Lifestyle Design
Are you tired of feeling guilty for “cheating” on your diet?
Does the guilt cause you then to overeat for several days afterward which sabotages some of your progress?
Are you looking for an easier way to manage your healthy lifestyle choices? So you can stay on track and finally meet (or maintain) your weight and fitness goals?
If so, then applying the 80/20 rule to your diet and exercise plans may be the right fit for you.
What Is the 80/20 Rule?
The 80/20 rule comes from the famous Pareto principle that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. While this originally related to the distribution of wealth in Italy, it’s now being applied to other things, including healthy lifestyle choices.
By following the 80-20 rule, you will focus on eating well and exercising 80% of the time. For example, eating well and working out during the week and indulging (a bit) on the weekend. Or, if you tend to go out with your coworkers for lunch on Friday or out with your friends on Friday night, perhaps your indulging days could be Friday and Saturday. The choice is yours.
In short, it doesn’t matter which times/meals you choose to have as your 20% indulging time, you need to keep it under 20% of the time.
What Can You Eat Following the 80-20 Rule?
For the majority (80%) of the time, you should focus on eating healthy, nutritious foods.
This includes a low-calorie breakfast, packed with protein and fiber to keep you full longer and fight off the desire to snack (or eat those bagels one of your coworkers loves to bring to the office). By limiting your calories at breakfast, you start your day off on the right foot.
Lunch and dinner options can vary widely depending on your personal preferences. Focus on whole foods that offer a variety of nutrients: lean proteins, whole grains, and veggies and fruits chosen from the colors of the rainbow.
For snacks, choose foods like nuts, yogurt, fruits or veggies with hummus or salsa.
During your 20% “indulging” time, try to choose things you really enjoy. Don’t grab the first sweet or salty snack that comes your way. Make it something you have been craving all week or that you don’t want to live without.
Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you get to eat an entire pizza or a whole pint of ice cream.
While following the 80/20 rule, as with any dietary plan, practicing portion control is a key factor for success.
How Much Exercise Do You Need to Do?
This equates to a minimum of a half-hour each day (Monday through Friday) and a weight training session two days a week.
Or, if you prefer or your schedule doesn’t allow time every workday, you can add some time to your workouts and cut the sessions down to a few days per week.
How you choose to get your half-hour of “moderate activity” is up to you.
Walking at a rate where you are breathing harder than normal but can still talk well enough to keep up a conversation works fine.
Of course, biking, rollerskating, dancing, running, or any other kind of physical activity you enjoy works just fine, too!
Many may find keeping an exercise log beneficial in making sure they get the right amount of each type of exercise each week.
You just need to get moving. Your heart and body will thank you!
Give the 80/20 Rule a Try
Try following the 80-20 rule diet for a few weeks and see how great you’ll feel. Say goodbye to guilt and not having flexibility in your healthy lifestyle choices. Losing weight and staying fit doesn’t have to be complicated.
The right mindset doesn’t hurt either. For more about that, here’s a podcast about how to maintain the right mindset to succeed following the 80/20 rule.
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- By Humberto Hernandez — 8 months ago
17 Fun Weight Loss Rewards to Help Keep You Inspired
According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study conducted a few years ago, almost 50 percent of Americans are trying to lose weight at any given time.
Some people are attempting to shed a few pounds to make themselves healthier. Others are doing it in an effort to look better in their clothes. And there are, of course, some moms looking to bounce back from pregnancy and lose baby weight.
There are so many different reasons to lose weight, but finding the motivation to do it can be tough. It’s why you should consider treating yourself to weight loss rewards throughout your journey.
Exercise rewards will make you more motivated than ever before to lose as much weight as you can. They’ll also give you something to look forward to as you strive to lose weight.
Here are 17 rewards that are guaranteed to keep you inspired.
1. Purchase New Workout Gear
There are a lot of people who make the mistake of treating themselves to new workout gear as soon as they commit to getting back in the gym to lose weight. They think it’ll help them take their commitment more seriously.
Resist the urge to do this and wait until after you’ve established a routine before buying new workout gear. It’ll prevent you from buying gear that you don’t actually need. It’ll also allow new workout gear to serve as one of your very first weight loss rewards.
2. Treat Yourself to a Massage
Is your goal to completely transform the look of your body by losing weight? This 9 Week Challenge will provide you with everything you’ll need to make your weight loss dreams a reality in a short amount of time.
You will, however, find that you’re pretty sore during the first few weeks of working out. Your muscles are going to ache, and your entire body will feel drained at times.
This is not necessarily a bad thing! It’s actually a sign that your body is responding to the workouts you’re doing and getting into better shape. But that won’t make you feel any better when you’re very sore.
A massage can take care of the soreness and inflammation you might feel following a string of hard workouts. It’ll also improve your blood flow and make your muscles feel looser than they would otherwise.
Treat yourself to a nice massage to get your body feeling its best again. This will motivate you to get back into the gym quicker.
3. Take a Beach Vacation
A study that was done a few years ago revealed that about one-third of Americans would rather take a trip to the dentist’s office than put on a bathing suit. They simply can’t stand the way they look in a swimsuit.
This won’t be a problem for you once you start losing a bunch of weight. You’re going to be excited about slipping into a swimsuit for the first time in a long time.
Circle a date on your calendar and tell yourself that you’re going to take a beach vacation at that time. You’ll feel an unprecedented amount of motivation every time you go to the gym when you use beach vacations as exercise rewards.
4. Try a New Hairstyle
Once you start losing weight, you’re going to have to get used to hearing, “You look so much different!”, every time you bump into someone who hasn’t seen you in a while. They’ll be blown away by your new look.
Why not start getting used to it now by trying a new hairstyle? Whether you decide to chop all your hair off or just make a small change to it, it’ll help you prepare for all the looks you’re going to be getting when the pounds start coming off in the coming weeks.
5. Participate in a Recreational Sports League
There’s a reason why about 80 percent of American adults don’t get enough exercise on a regular basis. It’s because they don’t enjoy the monotony that comes along with going to the gym day after day after day after…well, you get the point.
When you spend almost every day in the gym, it can start to get boring after a little while. So why not spice things up by finding fun ways to exercise in between gym workouts?
One good way to do it is by participating in a recreational sports league. There are adult leagues all over the country that would be more than happy to welcome you into the mix.
You can sign up for a sports league on your own and meet some new friends or team up with your existing friends to start your own team. Either way, it’ll allow you to blow off some steam while taking part in something you enjoy.
6. Get a Tattoo
We’ve already talked about how you’re going to want to show off plenty of skin once you begin losing weight. Going to the beach and sitting by the pool will start to become the norm for you when you’re not carrying around a bunch of extra weight.
And while you’re showing off your skin for the first time in a while, won’t it be great to show off a new tattoo (or two?!), too? Tattoos make great weight loss rewards for those who are ready to start showing off their muscles more in the future.
Studies have shown that about 40 percent of Americans now have tattoos. Additionally, 25 percent have more than one tattoo. Treat yourself to some fresh ink today and use it to remind yourself of how far you’ve come so far.
7. Pick Up New Running Sneakers
Most fitness experts will tell you that it’s smart to replace your running sneakers every 300 to 500 miles. That might seem like a long time in between sneaker replacements, but it’ll sneak up on you when you’re knocking out a few miles at a time.
If your current sneakers are on the older side, throw them in the trash and replace them with new ones as one of your exercise rewards. You’ll love how they fit, and you’ll cut down on your chances of suffering feet and leg injuries thanks to your new sneakers.
8. Have Updated Headshots Taken at Work
Do you cringe every time you look at the photo on your work ID? Or do you have a professional headshot on your company’s website that makes you want to quit tomorrow just so that they’ll take the picture down?
Now is the perfect time to do something about it. Walk into work as soon as you can and ask for a new photo to be taken of you. As long as you like the weight loss progress you’ve made thus far, it’ll give you an opportunity to show off how far you’ve come.
9. Splurge on a Mani-Pedi
The best weight loss rewards are the ones that allow you to pamper yourself. We already talked about the benefits of getting a massage, but there are other ways you can pamper yourself when you’re not lying down on the massage table.
Splurging on a manicure and pedicure is one terrific option. You’ll feel so relaxed after heading down to the salon to get both your fingernails and your toenails pampered.
And if you need more rewards than just that? Go all out and visit a local spa for a mani-pedi along with a facial and whatever other spa treatments they have to offer.
10. Enroll in Cooking Classes
Working out is obviously one of the keys to losing weight. You need to burn as many calories as you possibly can in the gym to see the pounds start to fall off.
But outside of working out, it’s also important for you to eat healthily. This starts with finding the right foods for your specific body type and also includes learning how to prepare the proper meals in your kitchen.
To make it easier for you to diet, consider enrolling yourself in some cooking classes so that you can learn how to cook things that will taste good and be good for you. This is one of the weight loss rewards that will continue rewarding you for a long, long time.
11. Buy a Better Mattress
In addition to working out and eating right, there’s one other thing you’ll need to do to lose weight: Sleep! Sleep will allow your body to recover from your workouts and make losing weight easier on you.
The problem? Americans are becoming more and more sleep deprived by the year. Smartphones, Netflix, and all the other technological advances that have come along have made sleep expendable for some people. It’s why one-third of Americans don’t sleep enough.
Avoid being sleep deprived by buying yourself a better mattress. It’ll make you want to spend as much time in bed as you possibly can moving forward.
12. Invest in New Headphones
Are you still using the headphones that came with your smartphone to listen to music at the gym?
Put an end to that immediately and invest in high-quality headphones that will enhance your workout. Ideally, you should look for a pair of Bluetooth headphones that will sync up with your smartphone or, better yet, your smartwatch and make it easy to scroll through your workout playlist.
13. Put Together a New Playlist
Speaking of a workout playlist, you do have one of those, right?
If not, get on it immediately. There are hundreds of workout songs that’ll get you into the right frame of mind to work out harder in the gym.
Studies have shown that music can actually make it more fun to exercise. It can also motivate you to push yourself, which will ultimately lead to you losing more weight than you could have imagined.
14. Ask Friends to Take a Fitness Class
If your motivation levels have been low in the gym lately, think about making one of your weight loss rewards fitness classes with your friends. Whether you choose to take yoga classes, spin classes, or other types of classes, you’ll find that you get more out of your workouts when you’re in a group.
There are many benefits that come along with working out as part of a group. They include everything from increased socialization to lower stress levels. Give it a shot today.
15. Subscribe to a New Magazine
There is so much you can learn about making the most of your workouts right online. You don’t need fitness magazines anymore to obtain workout tips.
But if you still enjoy getting your hands on a magazine every now and then (maybe to bring along with you on your beach vacation?), subscribe to one of the many fitness magazines as one of your exercise rewards.
You can find tips on working out, eating right, sleeping, and so much more in these magazines. And if nothing else, looking at photos of other fit people will give you a kick in the butt and motivate you like never before.
16. Enjoy a Cheat Day
Sticking to a diet day in and day out is a tall task. It can start to feel like it’s going to be impossible to do it when there’s no end in sight. Enter: The cheat day!
Cheat days give you a chance to eat all the things you abstain from on a regular basis. You can chow down on pizza, brownies, and whatever else you miss eating when you’re dieting.
You shouldn’t go too crazy with your cheat days and end up slipping back into old habits. But if you indulge every now and again, it can actually help you stay on track as you work towards losing weight.
17. Take On a New Training Routine
After you spend a few months working out and lose a bunch of weight, it’s not uncommon to hit what’s called a “weight loss plateau.” It’s when you suddenly stop losing weight after dropping a bunch of pounds.
One way to combat a weight loss plateau is by trying a new training routine on for size. If you’ve been doing nothing but weight training, give cardio a try. Or if you’ve been doing nothing but running, try hitting the weights and see how it goes.
By simply switching up your workout, you can shake things up in your body and get it to start burning calories and shedding pounds again.
Start Using These Weight Loss Rewards Now
Losing weight takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice. But you also need to reward yourself from time to time to keep your motivation levels up.
The weight loss rewards listed here should give you all the motivation you’ll need to keep working hard in the gym and continue eating right. Work your way through them and reward yourself whenever you need a quick boost.
Contact us today to get the fitness coaching and training you need to keep your weight loss goals on track.
- By Humberto Hernandez — 8 months ago
Tools of the Trade: 15 Must-Have Gym Accessories You Should Keep in Your Gym Bag
Are you just getting started in fitness? At least the kind of fitness that involves going to the gym or working with a trainer?
A lot of people never start because they feel intimidated. They feel like there’s a workout learning curve and they don’t want to feel silly. First of all – everyone looks silly at first and second, that’s why you need a plan from respected trainers.
Once you get past the anxiety, you learn that there are gym accessories you need as well. But don’t worry about figuring out what they are. We have thirteen essentials for you to throw in your bag below.
1. Gym Bag Dividers
If you’re the kind of person who gets serious at the gym: like changes and showers out of their sweaty clothes after, then you need dividers or at least a gym bag with good pockets.
You don’t want to be standing in the locker room hot and sweaty trying to find all the things you need to take to the shower. Instead, they should be in some sort of shower-friendly bag/kit.
Look for materials made out of mesh or netting, so if they get wet, the water can escape and dry. If they do get wet, wrap them in your used towel on your way home.
The towel will soak up any water and it won’t get anything else in your bag wet.
Dividers or pockets are also great for shoes so that the dirty bottoms don’t touch your other clothes. Ideally, you’ll have gym shoes that you only wear in the gym – but there are germs indoor too.
Yes, this one seems like a no brainer, but we all know that person in the gym that forgets it. You should have a separate deodorant that only lives in your gym bag.
When you use it, put it right back in its little pocket. This way, you’ll never be without.
But having deodorant on hand has another, less known use. If you forgot your chafe cream or you’re starting to rub a blister, you can glide deodorant on.
For a blister-to-be, the best solution is duct tape. But aside from that, you can rub some deodorant on the skin (under your sock) where you’re getting rubbed.
Some people like to rub deodorant on the outside of the sock over the spot, but that’s your choice.
If this happens to you a lot or you’re a bigger person (you’re welcome here), look into Body Glide. It’s a product made to prevent skin-on-skin chafing.
3. Hair Accessories
As long as you have hair, this point is for you. Whether that means a hairbrush, a comb, or both and some hair ties.
Being without a hair tie at the gym with long hair is only second to forgetting your headphones. A good trick to make sure you never forget them is to loop some around your water bottle.
Or, keep them around the base of your hairbrush. That way you’ll have them at hand. You can also throw in bobby pins, dry shampoo, and headbands if you’d like.
For shorter hair, don’t forget any styling products like gels.
4. Arnica Gel or Icy Hot
It happens to everyone — even us. You step wrong or you over-lift and you already know you’ll be hurting tomorrow. Prep yourself and decrease the inflammation with some pain-relief gel.
Some people like the sensation of Tiger Balm or Icy Hot — while others hate it. If you don’t want to tingle into tomorrow, try Arnica gel. It’s a natural remedy for soreness (and bruises).
5. Cleansing Wipes
In a perfect world, you should have time to shower after a workout. But we don’t live in that perfect world — do you? Many of us have to run off to another thing, lucky if we have time to change clothes.
Working out at home can help with the rush factor, but still, you shouldn’t run around all sweaty and smelly. Throw both some face wipes and baby wipes in your gym bag.
Neutrogena has a great product for this use, their Grapefruit Cleansing Wipes. We love the smell and their effectiveness. The wipes have cleansers in them, so they shouldn’t be used on sensitive body parts.
One of the most important places to wipe down (if you can’t shower) after a workout, is your crotch. A soggy crotch creates a perfect environment for bacteria.
That’s why our next item is on the list.
The baby wipes are perfect of wiping down those more sensitive areas and you can use them for all sorts of things too. Spill some protein powder in your bag? Now you have what you need to wipe it up.
6. Fresh Underwear
Yes, we said it. You should never, ever, stay in the same pants and underpants you just worked out in.
The yoga pants-type material most workout bottoms come in don’t breathe. That means whatever sweat that gathers there during your workout, stays there.
If you don’t change your underwear after a workout, you’re more likely to get both yeast infections and UTI’s.
Even if you didn’t bring a whole new outfit, make sure you stash a few pairs of clean underwear in your bag in case you forget.
And men – it’s not likely you’ll get those annoying conditions, but it’s still more sanitary to change after.
7. A Shaker Bottle
The two tips that follow this one aren’t any good on their own. You can “dry scoop” your pre-workout, but it’s not good for your taste buds (or lungs).
So, you want to make sure you have a good shaker bottle. The brand name Shaker Bottle came out around 2010. It has a little round ball in it which breaks up clumps of powder in liquid.
But there are other brands as well. The hurricane cup is a great one, as are bottles that have screens and shaker balls combined. You can find these at any large store near you.
Or check online if that’s more your jam.
If you do both pre and post workout drinks, look for a bottle that has a powder container. They usually screw on the bottom of the cup.
That way you can mix your pre or post workout fresh once you get to the gym.
8. Pre-Workout Powder or Drink
There’s one thing a lot of people don’t realize they need when working out – pre-workout. Pre-workout is a powder made of proteins, vitamins and some caffeine – all things that help you blast through your reps.
Right now, BANG is the big name in pre-workout, but it changes every couple of months. People like BANG because it’s low carb, which is great for people following the keto diet.
When you’re looking for pre-workout, make sure you read reviews online first. Some brands put too much caffeine and people note feeling jittery and anxious, not motivated to get through their workout.
If you’re jumping out of bed and running to the gym bright eyed and bushy tailed, then you can skip this. But if you’re trying to get through a workout after work and you’re already tired, try pre-workout.
The difference in your energy will surprise you.
9. Some Form of Protein (Post-Workout)
You need to eat protein within 20 minutes of finishing your workout. That’s what your muscles and your body needs to “lock in” the muscles you just built.
And yes, even if you’re not lifting large amounts, this applies to you too.
A lot of people take protein powder to the gym or keep it in their car for their way home, but that’s not the only option.
You can throw some almonds or pre-packed snacks full of protein in your bag as well.
Along with your protein, some people like to take amino acids after they workout. They find that they’re less sore the next day, so they can go just as hard as they did the day before.
You can look for those as post-workout or recovery drinks. Just make sure they have the essential amino acids in them before you buy.
10. The Right Shoes
We know that workout shoes are expensive, but think of them as a specialty item. Cross trainers are made/shaped differently than shoes meant for running.
And that’s a good thing! When you’re doing fast footwork, you don’t want shoes that have a big or tall bottom part. Why? If you move side to side in those shoes, you have more chance of rolling your ankle by stepping sideways.
Another example: runners need a lot of cushioning in their shoes. They are literally pounding the pavement after all. If you’re weight lifting, usually the gym floor (or your home carpet) is padded.
You don’t need as much cushioning as those continuously hitting the pavement.
If you use our program, look for some minimalist cross-trainers. They’re going to serve you best for the large range of exercises in our most popular programs.
11. Wireless Headphones
One of the best things about Bluetooth technology? Not having to be tied down to headphones in the gym. If you workout as hard as we do, you’re always accidentally yanking one out or the other.
And it’s annoying to feel that little bounce from the wires as you do cardio with headphones attached to your phone.
Go the route Google and Apple are already pushing people and invest in wireless headphones. The pair you choose shouldn’t have too long of a cord connecting them if there’s a cord at all.
Airbuds are the ideal solution, but they’re expensive and get lost easily.
If you don’t go the airbuds and look-alikes route, look for some that will hook over your ears. This will keep the buds in when you’re really giving those moves everything you’ve got.
And hey, when you’re done, wipe them down with a baby wipe to keep sweat and bacteria from building up on them. Good thing you already have those in your bag!
12. A Timer (or SmartWatch)
We already know that using some form of interval training is essential for burning fat. And to do interval training, you need some sort of timer.
Phones have timers, but they can be obnoxious to mess with and you can fall into looking-at-your-apps land. Instead, look for a smartwatch or fitness watch that has pre-set (or settable) timer/HIIT options.
These are also good to track your heart rate, potential calorie burn, and make sure you don’t miss an important call while your phone is in your pocket.
Fitbit is the big brand name, but there are plenty of other good options.
13. Portable Phone Charger
The worst thing that could happen (okay, at least one of them) is that your phone dies before your workout. Now not only do you not have your notes or exercises, but you don’t have any music.
Doing a hard workout without music isn’t something we’d wish on even our worst enemies.
So, make sure you’re never stuck in that position. Get a small portable charger and throw it in your bag. That way you have juice on the go.
And if you use it while you’re working out – plug it into the car jack on your way home. That way you remember to grab it and it’ll be charged next time you get out of the car.
Your Gym Accessories
Obviously, this list is going to change from person to person and from gym to gym. Maybe your gym doesn’t even have showers, so you don’t need to worry about that.
Or maybe you do all your workouts from home, in which case, there’s a different set of things you need (like hand weights).
But those are the basic gym accessories, at least according to us.
Ready to get started with your new, perfectly packed gym bag? Click here.
- By Humberto Hernandez — 7 months ago
How to Use Fitness Challenges to Overcome Weight Loss Plateaus
Even the best-laid plans can falter.
Weight-loss plateaus happen to virtually everyone who is trying to lose weight. At some point, you may well find that your own progress has stalled, even if you’re continuing to exercise and eat well. Such plateaus are extremely common and are no cause for despair.
All it takes to get your body over the hurdle is the right push. It’s not just about physiology, but also psychology. You may be experiencing a plateau because you have simply run out of the motivation required to reach your fitness goals.
This is also a very common experience and nothing to be ashamed of. Again, all you need is a jolt to get you going again. One of the best ways to jumpstart your fitness journey is with a fitness workout challenge.
A challenge with a strict time limit and structure, such as a 30-day challenge, is the ideal way to get things going again. Here are the very best fitness challenges to help you overcome your weight loss plateau.
30-Day Full Body Fitness Challenges
If you really need to feel the burn, then you need a full body custom workout plan to reignite every muscle in your body.
There are many effective ways to do this, but the most popular ones involve you dedicated each day of the week to a different body part, with one day off for rest.
So Monday would be your lower body day, Tuesday your upper body, Wednesday your cross-fit, and so on.
30-Day Cleanse Challenges
One sure-fire way to get your weight loss back on track is with a 30-day cleanse. There are countless ones to choose from, from paid programs like The Clean Program and ones you can easily do yourself, such as the Master Cleanse.
If you’re on a high-protein diet or are bulking up, certain types of cleanses are best avoided until you can gradually adjust your diet. Alternatively, there are a number of high-protein cleanses which will whip you into shape.
30-Day Ab Challenges
Sometimes the most effective workout challenges are those with a visible and tangible goal at the end. Telling yourself you want to get shredded within a month is a powerful visual motivator that will jump-start your weight loss journey in a heartbeat.
There are several highly-recommended ab challenges you can undertake without having to spend a single penny. Try the 30-day ab challenge app to start with, so you can game-if your weight loss and push yourself to the finish line.
30-Day Squat Challenges
This one is especially popular with the ladies, for good reason. Workout routines that make you look and feel good in a rapidly short period of time are few and far between.
The simplicity and ease of most squat challenges are a key part of their appeal and a great way to build up your motivation again.
Start off with just a few squats and keep building until you’re doing hundreds a day by the end on the month.
It takes more than fitness challenges to reach the finish line and achieve the body of your dreams. You need support, expertise, and discipline to ensure your body is the very best it can be.
If you want the support and information you need to reach the top, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today. We’re here to get you on track – your success is our mission.