The Million Dollar Question: Should You Get a Fitness Coach?
Motivating yourself is hard, ask anyone who works freelance. Going to the gym is often the same. Sometimes what you need is somebody to motivate you, to tell you that you are doing the right thing and that you can do this, that you are ever-so nearly there.
But hiring a fitness coach can help with more than just motivation. A coach is an expert who can tell you where you’re going wrong, what equipment and what exercises are the most effective. Sometimes a coach is all you need to ensure you meet your goals.
Some people start going to the gym in their teens, others in their 40s or older have never been to the gym. That is ok. The problem is the longer you put it off the harder it can become to know where to start.
Feelings of embarrassment at being unable to use the equipment or feeling you should give up after the first ten minutes are only natural.
A personal fitness coach can give you the confidence to be able to approach your first few times at the gym with the vigor you need to accomplish your goals.
Does the Gym Bore You?
Don’t lie, do you tell everyone you love going to the gym? Everyone says they love it but what they – and you – mean is you love having gone to the gym. You like the end result, the feeling you get after a good workout.
The feeling you get whilst you’re there, however, can be repetitive. And sometimes trying and failing at new routines can be disheartening. We can help keeping you inspired with our tips but they can only go so far in helping you stay in the game.
A personal coach can show you hundreds of different routines and show you how to take advantage of the more complicated equipment. They can also construct a routine that keeps you on your toes and does not involve you losing interest or focus.
Train For a Marathon Or Competition With A Fitness Coach
The biggest reason to hire a personal coach is if you want to train for a marathon or a competition. Some people do competitions or marathons because they involve setting goals on a big scale.
Such goals can help them prove to themselves that they are able to meet their personal goals or because gearing up for something big is the most effective way for them to get fit.
Either way, a gym coach can see you through the dark times as well as the good days if you decide to take on a marathon challenge. As you inevitably consider giving up out of fear or not being able to achieve your goals, they can be your guiding light.
Whilst it is possible to complete a marathon without training from a professional instructor, as celebrities who competed in the London Marathon have claimed, it is not advisable for most people.
As well as the motivating factors, running such a distance requires a level of pacing and self-control that only an instructor can safely advise you on.
Don’t Delay: Hire A Coach.
If you are hesitating about getting a fitness coach then the best advice is to just go for it. You can usually get a free trial and can get a chance to decide if you gel with your coach.
Remember you don’t have to have a coach with you at every session you do at the gym but one session once-a-week could really help you.
If you’re serious about getting fit why not get in touch and try our 9-week challenge with a personal coach.
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- 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.
- By Humberto Hernandez — 10 months ago
Healthy and Happy: 20 Tips for Eating Healthy at Restaurants
Forget the rumors! You CAN get healthy without sacrificing your social life. The next time you’re at a restaurant, try these tips for eating healthy.
Whether you’re dining out with friends, on a romantic date, or during a business meeting, there are times you can’t avoid the dreaded restaurant!
Having an indulgent meal every now and again is no sin. But when it becomes a habit, you need to take action.
There are ways to eat delicious, healthy meals at restaurants without throwing a calorie bomb into your diet. To do it, you need a smart game plan. Read on to find out 20 tips for eating healthy.
The Scout motto is “be prepared.” If you’re prepared with a game plan, you’ll be able to make your restaurant trip a success.
Check out the next five tips for finding the healthiest restaurants.
1. Do Your Homework
One of the best tips for eating healthy is to choose a restaurant in advance. Since most venues post their menus online, it’s easy to find the best ones to visit and the ones to avoid.
If they offer a lot of fatty foods on their menu that could be a temptation, skip it and go somewhere else. Search for healthy food restaurants on Google, and you might find some health-oriented places to eat.
When you’re looking for healthy dishes at restaurants, many ethnic food eateries are a great option. For instance, Japanese, Thai, Greek, or Indian. It’s a lot easier to eat clean at one of these venues compared to an Italian or Mexican restaurant.
2. The Right Vibe
Picking healthy dishes at restaurants isn’t enough. You also have to choose a place with the right atmosphere.
Listen to the music. Restaurants that have loud hectic music make you eat to the beat. If the music is softer and slower, you’ll spend more time at the table, but eat less.
The same applies to color. Restaurant decor can either stimulate you to eat more or calm your mind so you can have a relaxed experience.
For instance, the colors red, orange, and yellow will spur you to order more. Soft blue, gray, and peach, on the other hand, will create a relaxed ambiance.
3. Book in Advance
When you’re waiting for a table at a restaurant, you’ll only get hungrier and hungrier. When you finally sit down, you’ll devour all the table bread and give up on your diet for the night.
The solution is simple. Book healthy restaurants in advance – and you won’t have time to get hungry.
4. Be Wise in Your Seat Choice
When choosing where to sit in a restaurant, most people avoid the area around the bathroom. But an even more dangerous place to sit is near the kitchen.
It’s one thing to see the lip-smacking descriptions on the menu. But to see them coming out from the kitchen and smell the delicious aromas is way too much of a temptation, especially when you’re hungry.
Another tip is to choose a seat near or opposite a mirror. It might sound strange, but it’s backed up by research. Scientists have found that if you watch yourself in a mirror while eating unhealthy foods, they seem less tasty.
5. Eyes Too Big for Your Belly
According to research, people are bad at estimating how much a portion size should be. This means that on any given day, we’re probably eating more than we should.
So, whatever you do, avoid all you can eat restaurants. It’s way too tempting. Plus, these restaurants often have a no waste policy – if you’ve put it on your plate, you must eat it.
If a buffet is the only option, try using a smaller plate. Or fill half of a normal sized plate with veggies before you start snacking on goodies.
You Are What You Eat
You’ve found a healthy restaurant, now it’s time to choose your meal. This is the toughest part. But you can do it if you follow these tips.
6. Know Your Menu
Do your homework and take a peek at the menu before you go. Pre-planning your meal will make life a lot easier for you and help you to avoid temptation.
Restaurants sugar coat the words in their menu so that you don’t know exactly what you’re getting. But once you’ve got down with the lingo, you’ll be able to figure out what menu options to avoid.
For instance, anything that is Alfredo, creamed, buttery, or scalloped. Also, anything smothered, pan-fried, crispy, breaded or dipped is a big no-no.
The same applies to meats. Some cuts of meat are fattier than others. Skinless chicken breast, for example, is leaner than chicken thighs or legs.
Healthy dishes at restaurants feature compelling descriptions, such as grilled, baked, steamed, or roasted. Also, anything braised, seared, or broiled is good. These are the healthy keywords to look out for.
7. Watch Out for “Healthy” Labels
When browsing the menu, you’ll see dietary labels like paleo, sugar-free, or gluten-free. You might assume that these would make the meal a healthy choice, but that’s not always the case.
To make the food tasty, restaurants often add hidden added sugars and fats. For instance, if you eat a vegan cake, you may think it’s healthier. But they usually swap the eggs for a ton of oil, which is anything but healthy.
8. Meats and Fish
When choosing healthy dishes at restaurants, you don’t have to opt for a simple salad. Meat and fish will help you feel satisfied without filling up on carbs.
Lean meats, such as flank steak or chicken breast, are full of protein. Fish is also a healthy option as long as it’s not fried. It’s harder to overeat proteins than it is to overindulge in carbs.
9. Load Up with a Salad
Salads can be one of the most healthy dishes at restaurants. But there are sometimes hidden calories. For instance, nuts, croutons, cheese, dried fruit, grains, and fancy salad dressing can add hundreds of salads to your meal.
Don’t force yourself to only eat lettuce as you’ll be hungry again in half an hour. Make sure you’re getting some protein in your salad.
10. Double Trouble
The veggie portions in most meals are often very small. So when you order, ask for double vegetables.
If you want to add a little extra zest to your meal, why not ask for a fruit side? Superfoods like blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries can add some zing to your meal without a lot of extra sugar.
11. Don’t Be Shy
Don’t be shy to ask your waiter about the preparation of the food. If you find it out that it’s cooked with a lot of butter and salt, ask for them to prepare it without.
You might feel embarrassed asking, but that’s what your waiter is there for. Ask them what any unfamiliar words mean or ask their opinion on what the healthiest thing on the menu is. They may be able to make some great suggestions.
12. Sharing Is Caring
A sneaky way to keep portions realistic is to split your dish with a friend. This may give you the chance to try a little bit of everything without overdoing it.
You could even order a couple of appetizers as a main meal.
13. Get Saucy
Even if you order a healthy looking menu option, they may smother it with sauces and butter. It may end up being just as unhealthy as that double trouble cheeseburger you had your eye on.
Ask them to prepare your food without the butter and dressings, but to have them as a side instead.
Instead of dousing your meal with the sauce, try the fork-dip method. Dip your fork into the creamy side, then load it up with veggies. This way, you can get the taste without overindulging.
14. Skip Empty Calories
You may have ordered the healthiest dish in the restaurant, but it won’t matter if you stuff yourself with bread before the meal arrives. If it’s too tempting, ask the waiter to take it away.
Another empty calorie culprit is sweet alcoholic drinks or sodas. Avoid cocktails at all costs. They will load you up with sugar, use up all your calories, and you’ll still feel hungry afterward.
If you need an alcoholic drink, opt for a vodka and tonic or a glass of wine instead.
15. The Proof Is in the Pudding
Deserts are a no-no! Even a small piece of cake can add 400 calories or more to your meticulously planned meal. Just say no, kids!
If you have a sweet tooth, why not try sharing a dessert instead? Ask for some fruit, such as berries. Or grab some frozen yogurt on the way home as a low-calorie option.
Now you’ve picked the right healthy food restaurant with the perfect ambiance, and you’ve chosen the healthiest item on the menu. What next?
The next part is the eating! Don’t let this final hurdle trip you up. Follow the next five tips.
16. Box It Up
Up to 94 percent of restaurant meals contain 600 calories or more. That’s because even if the meal is “healthy,” the portion is way too big.
Instead of asking them to box up the leftovers, try asking them to box up half the meal before you even begin. This will keep you from overeating. It will also save you money as you can eat it for your dinner the next day.
It might look a little odd to others, but it’s a smart move for eating healthy at restaurants.
17. Keep Calm, Drink Water
Drinking water can help control your eating and ward off hunger.
This habit makes it easier for you to slow down during a meal. You’ll not only enjoy the food more, but it’ll give your stomach the chance to tell your brain it’s full before you overeat.
Some struggle with the bland taste of water, especially if they’ve got used to drinking alcohol or sugary drinks. Ask for a slice of lemon or lime to improve the taste.
18. Slow Down There
Once you’ve got your plate in front of you, it can be tempting to gobble it down. But eating quickly leads to overeating. This is because your stomach doesn’t have the chance to tell you it’s full.
Try putting down your utensils between each bite. This will give you the chance to savor each mouthful. It will also help gauge your hunger levels before you stuff yourself.
19. Don’t Compare
Keep your eyes on your own meal. Don’t compare what you’ve ordered with your friend’s dinner. We all have different nutritional needs – comparing won’t help anyone.
It’s also handy to have this mindset before ordering. Try to be the first to order. This will stop you from having an “Oh, that sounds delicious, I’ll have the same” moment.
20. A Happy Ending
When you’re finished your meal, pop a mint into your mouth. The mint will help clear your palette. This will discourage you from taking any more sneaky bites of your meal or anyone else’s leftovers.
If what’s left on your plate is tempting even after you’re full, try one of these tricks. Use a napkin to cover the alluring leftovers. Or drown it in salt so that it becomes inedible.
Plan to finish off the night with light activity, such as an evening stroll or a little dancing. You’ll not feel like ordering something too heavy as it will make you feel sluggish for your activity.
Tips for Eating Healthy and More
If you follow these tips for eating healthy, you can enjoy your restaurant experience without the guilt trip afterward.
Of course, you should try to eat healthy foods at all times. And diet goes hand in hand with an exercise regime.
Our nine-week program combines diet and exercise to transform your look. If you want to turn heads for the right reasons, find out more here.
- By Humberto Hernandez — 1 year ago
12 Little-Known Weight Loss Facts You Should Embrace Today
Are you holding on to harmful myths about losing weight? They might be keeping you from being healthy. Here are 12 weight loss facts you should know today.
on Instagram The most underrated sentence on the internet today: Losing weight is hard.
Whether you’re trying to lose a few extra pounds or a couple hundred, you’re not alone. More than one-third of all adults in the U.S. are obese. Even kids are affected, 1 in 6 children are considered obese.
It’s no secret that shedding those extra pounds is an arduous task. And with all of the misinformation floating around the web, it’s easy to stray to the wrong path.
We’re here to help you debunk some of those weight loss myths you’ve been told your whole life, and replace them with some cold, hard weight loss facts.
Read on if you’re ready for some truth in your life.
Debunked: 4 Weight Loss Myths
Because everyone knows that everything you read on the internet is true…
That statement could not be further from the truth, my friend. Whether you were told that weight loss is all about willpower, or if you’ve ever thought that someone was healthy just because they are skinny, these common misconceptions will lead you down a very wrong path and could even lead to more weight gain.
Weight loss companies sporting supplements are multi-million dollar companies, and they feed off of these myths. While these lies may fool us, they don’t fool our metabolisms.
Stop the lies, and get debunked.
1. Weight Loss is About Willpower
It’s true in that willpower plays a huge role in weight loss, but it’s not the whole story.
There are so many biological factors that play in a roll in obesity and weight loss. A number of medical conditions can cause obesity, such as PCOS, depression, or hypothyroidism. You can’t pick your genetic code any more than you can pick whether you’re obese or not.
If you’re one of the millions of people affected by a medical condition causing obesity, no amount of willpower will help you lose the weight. Nothing that anyone can ever say to you will change that.
2. Fast Food is Always Bad
Just because it’s fast doesn’t mean it’s bad.
It’s about what you order, not where you order it. If you order a Big Mac, you’re looking at about 800 calories, but why not order a salad? Just don’t smother it in creamy ranch dressing.
For example, just a ranch dressing packet from McDonald’s has 110 calories. Try using their low-fat balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Instead of 110, you’re looking at about 35 calories.
Health consciousness awareness is booming, and fast food restaurants are trying to accommodate it. Many offer option like apples or wraps as healthier alternatives.
Fast food doesn’t have to be unhealthy.
3. Thin People Are Healthy
Sure, obesity is a huge factor in heart disease, diabetes, and much more. But that doesn’t mean that thin people are healthier. There are a lot of people that have naturally high metabolic rates, and those people tend to eat more trash food than someone with a slower metabolism.
With all that trash food tasting so good, it’s easy to forget that your body needs real vitamins. This can lead to many disorders like anemia, depression, autoimmune disorders, and much more.
In the same way, just because someone is obese doesn’t mean that they are not metabolically unhealthy. Fat cells are stored subcutaneously, meaning that they are stored under the skin. Some people have fat storage disorders, but that doesn’t mean that the rest of their body isn’t in top shape.
Learn what it actually means to be fit here in our podcast.
4. Diet Foods Are Good for You
It’s easy to fall victim of the marketing scam that diet foods really are. Junk food is junk food, even if it says “diet” or “low calorie” on the packaging.
Product packaging is made to market, not to inform. The truth of it is, diet coke is just as bad for you as regular coke, just in a different way. Sugar-free as it may be, something has to be there to achieve that sweet taste we all love.
Check out our body transformation food section to learn more about finding healthy foods.
Now, the Weight Loss Facts: Top 12
Now that we’ve decluttered your mind of a few weight loss myths, let’s talk about the facts. The main goal of losing weight is to boost your metabolism and limit your calorie intake. This doesn’t mean you should quit eating, but it does mean that you shouldn’t consume more calories than your body burns in a day.
These 12 facts are backed up with research and repeated studies to proven effectiveness.
1. Water Works
It’s true what they say about water, it can help improve weight loss.
Research shows that drinking water can potentially boost your metabolic rate by 25-30%. Even drinking just half a liter of water can increase metabolism.
Some studies suggest that often times when you feel hungry, you’re really just thirsty. Try drinking a bottle of water before you pick up the snack. If you’re still hungry in about 5 minutes, go for the snack.
2. Keep Drinking Coffee
Forget everything you’ve been told about ditching your morning coffee. It’s not that coffee that’s bad for you, it’s the creamer and sugar.
Coffee is packed with antioxidants and is fantastic for your gut health. Research even suggests that your morning cup of joe can increase your metabolism by 10-29%, effectively helping you burn more calories.
It’s time to break up with your creamer, not your coffee.
3. Green Tea Boosts Metabolism
Similar to coffee, green tea is a great metabolism booster. Green tea contains small amounts of caffeine and something called catechins. Together, these chemicals work synergistically to battle excess fat cells.
Drink a cup of green tea in the morning if you’re not a coffee person, or try a green tea vitamin with breakfast.
4. Intermittent Fasting Is a Real Thing
Fasting is a popular weight loss technique, however, many people misunderstand it. Fasting is not meant for you to just stop eating. This leads to the belief that the less you eat, the less you way (which is totally false).
Intermittent fasting is intended to boost your metabolism. When your body gets used to a particular pattern, the metabolism can slow down and essentially go into a resting state. Change things up by intermittent fasting.
A popular fasting technique is 8/16, where you snack for 8 hours and then fast for 16.
5. Eat Less Refined Carbs
Carbs are not bad. I repeat, carbs are not bad.
What’s bad for you are refined carbs.
Refined carbs are things like bread, pasta, bagels. Too many refined carbs can result in blood sugar spikes.
Whole carbs are very different from refined carbs. Whole cards are unprocessed and are found in things like oats, bananas, oranges, and even beats.
When your body has a blood sugar spike, your pancreas goes into overdrive creating insulin in an attempt to counteract the blood glucose levels. Over time, this can lead to pancreatic damage and diabetes.
6. Muscle Weighs More than Fat
The purpose of this fact is not to help you lose weight, but to remind you that even though the sale doesn’t change, that doesn’t mean your BMI isn’t decreasing.
If you’re including regular workouts with your diet, which you should be, then you’re likely gaining muscle mass. Remember that muscle weighs more than fat, so if it seems like you’re gaining weight, there’s no need to fret.
The weight you are gaining is from muscle cells replacing fat cells. The scale usually goes up before it goes down.
7. Vitamin D is a Suspect for Weight Loss
We all know that vitamin D is great for bone health, but it has many more benefits.
Vitamin D is necessary for your body to even digest and absorb other vitamins. With proper vitamin D consumption, you can better absorb vitamins and in turn boost your immune system and metabolic rate.
One study found that people who have a vitamin D deficiency were more prone to obesity.
8. Men Tend to Have a Higher Metabolism
Men irritate women enough as it is, but this is one more reason. Men tend to have a higher metabolism than women.
Because men tend to have more muscle mass and more testosterone than women. Both of these are contributing factors to the body’s metabolic rate.
One study showed that when men and women who were placed on the same weight loss regimen, the men lost nearly twice as much as the women.
9. You Can’t Just Diet, You Have to Exercise
We mentioned earlier that muscle weighs more than fat, and that you should definitely be working regular exercise into your diet.
The reason low-calorie diets work is that the body starts using stored fat cells as an energy source. What most people don’t realize, though, is that the body will also start using muscle cells as an energy source. When you’re on a low-calorie diet, it’s critical to incorporate exercise into your daily routine to avoid muscle loss.
10. Eating Slower Can Help You Feel Full Faster
This one may sound a bit dumb, but we promise there’s research to back it up.
When you chew your food more slowly, your brain has more time to accurately register your hunger levels. This can help you feel full faster, and in turn, eat fewer calories.
A research study that was done on 30 healthy women showed that eating slowly lead to decreases in their energy intake.
11. Eating Spicy Foods Can Help
Do you have a liking to spicy foods?
Peppers contain something called capsaicin oil. The oil has shown to boost your metabolism when eaten in certain doses. This study showed that when eaten in a high enough dose, the capsaicin oil actually burned about 10 more calories per meal.
Fun Fact: Capsaicin oil is what gives the food it’s spiciness. The capsaicin oil binds with temperature receptors in your mouth and throat, effectively tricking your brain into thinking you’ve put something ‘hot’ in your mouth. This is the same reason why mint gum makes your mouth feel cold.
12. Sleeping is More Important Than You Think
At the end of the day, there’s sleep. A poor sleep schedule is strongly related to weight gain.
Studies have shown that people with deprivation are more prone to weight gain.
See, when you sleep, your body rests and resets itself. Sleeping renews your energy. When you have poor sleeping habits, your body doesn’t get the chance to renew its energy so it requires more calories.
Lack of sleep disrupts the hormones that control your appetite, ghrelin being one of them, causing you to feel hungrier more often. That’s the reason behind you craving sugar and simple carbohydrates when you’re sleep deprived. They give you short bursts of energy- which your body needs.
However, neither of them will give you sustained energy and you’ll find yourself hungry and tired again in about an hour.
All in All, Just Don’t Lose Yourself
Most of us want to lose weight, whether its 10 pounds or 100 pounds. The reality is that there are healthy and unhealthy ways to do it.
Making small lifestyle changes is the healthier way to shred any unwanted weight and we hope you got the information you need with these weight loss facts.
If you’re interested in adding exercise to your daily routine, try our 9-week challenge. Your personal coach will guide you through fitness exercises and even help you create a meal plan that works for you.
Or if you’re just interested in learning more about us, check out this short video.
Most importantly, no matter what anyone says, just be you. Remember, your weight measures your gravitational pull, not your worth. Follow us on Instagram so you get a little bit of motivation every day!