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Tips for a Healthy 4th of July

The 4th of July is a fun holiday shared with friends, family and, of course food, booze and fireworks.

But, you can still have fun without sacrificing your health and fitness goals and sabotaging good habits.

While there will be a lot of tempting food and beverages – you don’t have to chose the beaten path…this holiday can either derail you or keep you moving closer to your goals.

Here are a few tips that will help keep you on track, swap out bad for the good, and overcome temptations.

First, your mindset is critical as we head into the holiday weekend…you will become stronger if you can make it through the weekend without caving to the sugar loaded drinks and greasy foods.

I promise.

First, make a commitment to yourself before the weekend begins and come up with a plan… review your goals, think about what is important… think about those shorts you’re looking forward to fitting into or the swimsuit you will be wearing ?

Give yourself a...

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Reverse Dieting - When and How To 'Heal the Metabolism'

Uncategorized Mar 27, 2020

In the previous article, we discussed metabolic adaptation - or in other words, what happens to our body when we are in large calorie deficits for prolonged periods of time.  Why it gets harder to lose weight over time, and what physiologically is going on in the body. 

If you haven’t read that one yet, go back and read it!  Because this article is going to discuss how you can heal your body, your metabolism, and your hormones to eventually reach a place where your body WILL respond to a diet or calorie deficit properly.  

This process is known as REVERSE DIETING.  

Alan Aragon, a nutritional researcher phrased it well by describing it in the following way (1): 

“The broad definition of reverse dieting is a gradual, incremental re-introduction of calories (mostly from carbohydrate) into the diet for a prolonged period after the dieting phase. There is no universal of official set of reverse dieting rules, but the general...

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The Skinny on Natural & Artificial Sugars

nutrition education Mar 09, 2020

Sugar is a big focus in health and nutrition. Cutting back can improve your health and help you lose weight… and artificial sweeteners are one way that helps people accomplish that. However, these artificial sweeteners aren’t as benign as people once thought. Let’s dive a little deeper. 

What are Artificial Sweeteners? 

Artificial sweeteners (often called low-calorie or non-nutritive sweeteners) are synthetic chemicals that stimulate the sweet taste receptors on the tongue, much like sugar would. 

Artificial sweeteners are often the topic of heated debate. While they have been declared safe by US regulatory bodies, and many people use them to reduce their sugar intake, health claims and long-term safety concerns require more research. They are claimed to increase your risk of cancer and harm your blood sugar and gut health.

Here are the most common artificial sweeteners (we will go into natural sweetener alternatives later on):

  • Aspartame (Equal,...
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Why Weight Loss Gets Harder the Longer We Try

nutrition education Feb 23, 2020

You’ve tried every diet.  You succeed at first and see progress, but then somewhere along the way it stops working.  At that point, usually 1 of 2 things happens: 

  • You slash calories even more, or start working out more, and may see a bit more progress, but eventually it stalls out again.  And no matter what you do, you can’t get anything to budge anymore. You may even start to see weight come back on!
  • You give up and say screw it, this isn’t working anymore and revert back to old habits.  Which typically makes the weight come back, and sometimes with interest.   

Honestly, you may even be doing everything right and STILL see weight loss plateaus.  

But why?  What is happening and what can we do about it?? 

The Body’s Response to Calorie Deficits and Weight Loss

For us to lose weight, we must be in a calorie deficit.  People love to argue against it, but research continues to show that a...

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The Benefits of Weight Training on Overall Health

fitness Feb 17, 2020

 

It may seem obvious at this point that exercise is good for your health, but many people are still automatically turning to cardio when they decide to make a change and start working out. Cardio is fantastic for many, many reasons - don’t get us wrong - but as it turns out, strength training has a ton of profound, positive effects on the body, so make sure you incorporate it into your routine as well! It does a lot more than just put on muscle. According to several studies, just 30 minutes of weight training twice a week improves many different health markers. 

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits (and I might note that none of the studies found negative effects either!) 

  1. Strength training increases muscle mass, lowers abdominal fat, and helps with weight control (helping you keep that weight off in the long term!) Putting on muscle raises your resting metabolism, so you’re burning more calories throughout the day, not just while you’re...
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Does Food Quality Matter?

nutrition education Feb 08, 2020

Tracking food, counting macros, weighing and measuring…. Just because something might “fit your macros”, does it mean it’s fair-game? While macro-counting can be nice because it gives you flexibility to potentially still eat the foods you love and crave, it definitely doesn’t mean you SHOULD be just drinking protein shakes all day to meet your protein goals, and hit your carbs and fats by eating donuts. I can tell you, you will NOT feel very well or be very healthy if you continually do that (but, no, I’m not completely anti-donuts.)

So IS food quality important? And just HOW important are we talking? 

I’m sure you can guess where I’m going with this, but YES, VERY!!! 

What do we mean by quality foods? 

When we talk about eating quality foods, we mean eating more “real” foods, like fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, nuts, and seeds…. and limiting/eliminating the following in your diet: 

  • Pesticides...
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Case Study: Debbie C.

case study lifestyle Feb 04, 2020

Debbie worked with Coach Christina from March to September 2019. During that time, although she did not lose a ton of scale-weight, her body composition changed dramatically, and she improved her relationship with both food and her own body image. 

We started with actually UPPING her caloric intake, as MyFitnessPal had suggested a number that was far too low for her, around 1300 calories. So we started out by actually having her eat MORE, and work on eating more nutrient-dense foods. Specifically, we focused on getting protein and veggies into meals and snacks throughout her day. We also cut out afternoon coffees to help make her sleep more restful. 

Because she is quite busy between work, the gym, and social events, we got creative with her food. We figured out some minimal meal prep options for home and work (Trader Joe's for the win!) so she wasn't having to spend an overwhelming amount of the time in the kitchen, or eating the same things over and over again. As with...

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What You Need To Know About "Keto"

 

What is the Ketogenic Diet? 

“Keto” is a fad diet that seems to be all the rage right now. It is characterized by very low carbs and very high fat, especially relative to the “typical” American diet. While it can be effective for losing weight quickly, it’s important to understand the nuances and potential downsides as well, so before you throw out all the carbs in your cupboard, let’s take a deeper look. 

 

How does the Keto Diet work? 

The standard keto diet calls for roughly 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbs, so low carb, moderate protein, and high fat. This reduction in carbs in favor of fat raises blood ketone levels and puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. When this happens, your body becomes more efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver in order to energy for your brain and low intensity exercise. Keto diets can cause massive reductions in blood sugar and...

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Does Intermittent Fasting Speed Up Weight Loss?

nutrition education Jan 12, 2020

Intermittent Fasting 101

Intermittent Fasting (IF) has had a surge in popularity lately as one of the hot “new” health and diet trends. So what’s all the fuss about? Many studies show that it can have powerful effects on your body and brain, and may even help you live longer. But will it help you lose weight? How do you do it? Here’s a breakdown of  IF, what the benefits and drawbacks are, different styles, and the most common questions answered! 

What is Intermittent Fasting? 

Intermittent Fasting is essentially just a time-restricted eating pattern in which you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. It doesn’t have rules about what you should eat, or how much, but rather just dictates WHEN you eat (so it’s more of an eating pattern than a “diet”). The concept of fasting isn’t new, and many will point out that fasting has been common throughout human evolution - from our hunter-gatherer days to religious and...

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How To Set Goals

lifestyle Jan 01, 2020

 It is that time of year everyone is setting ‘resolutions’ and goals for the New Year. However, the stats are quite shocking when it comes to successfully accomplishing New Years resolutions and goals.

According to the University of Scranton, a whopping 92 percent of people who set New Year's goals never actually achieve them.

Why? Likely because they are only setting goals based upon the fact that it is the New Year...all the other months of the year it is not a priority. If accomplishing your goals really matters it should be something that you do year-round and re-visit frequently.

Let's dive a bit deeper into some stats revealed by a Harvard Business study relating to goal setting and success.

  • 83% of the population does not have goals
  • 14% have a plan in mind, but are unwritten goals
  • 3% have goals written down

“The study went on to find that the 14% who have goals are 10 times more successful than those without goals. The 3% with written goals are 3...

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