The warm breezes of spring mean that Easter is around the corner! After the heavy colors of Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine’s Day, the bright, cheerful colors of spring are a welcome sight. But the cheerful colors are not limited to flowers and eggs. There is no escaping the onslaught of sugar that threatens us at every turn. From jelly beans to chocolate bunnies, empty calories abound.
You need a plan.
First, the facts
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you really do need to know what you are getting yourself into when you reach for that fluffy, yellow peep. Brace yourself, this is going to hurt…
Sugar is really bad for you.
When you consume Easter candy, you are getting a large dose of sugar. Whether it is in the form of High Fructose Corn Syrup or cane sugar, it slams into your system like a bowling ball, and the effects are disastrous.
Within the first 20 minutes or so, your blood sugar level spikes as the sugar enters your bloodstream. It arrives there in the form of glucose, which is your body’s main source of energy. This sudden rise in blood glucose stimulates your pancreas to start pumping out large amounts of insulin, which is the hormone that helps your cells take in the available glucose. Some of this glucose is used immediately for energy. But the rest stored as fat by insulin, to be used later.
The more sugar you eat, the more insulin your body produces as it works hard to remove the glucose from your blood. But these high levels of insulin are not healthy. For one thing, the extra insulin in your blood stream signals to your body that you need more glucose, which causes you to crave even more sugar. But even worse, after repeated exposure to high insulin levels, your cells begin turning numb to the effects of insulin, and this leads to a condition called insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes. When your cells no longer respond properly to the storage effects of insulin, the sugar in your blood has nowhere to go, and so it continues circulating in your blood. This is what is known as a ‘high blood sugar level.’
The result is that you feel fatigue, because you have no way of accessing the energy that is in your blood stream. You will likely feel weak, tired and have trouble concentrating, because your brain uses glucose to function.
If your blood sugar levels stay elevated, damage begins happening to various parts of your body. For example, the capillaries become damaged (which leads to blindness), your kidneys become diseased (which can eventually require dialysis) and nerve damage occurs throughout your body (which can lead to amputations). The heart muscle also suffers, which leads to heart disease, and your organs begin aging at a faster rate. You also become more susceptible to infections.
The ravages of sugar cannot be overstated: that handful of jelly beans is not worth it.
But it’s Easter!
Easter only comes once each year. Do you really have to be so uptight about it?
Yes, you do. Because there will always be an excuse to eat poorly. Last month it was Valentine’s Day. The month before that saw New Year’s Eve. Before that was Christmas. Before that was Thanksgiving.
And the holidays in each of these months weren’t the only excuses for eating unhealthy food—no doubt your schedule included countless other “can’t-miss” opportunities to throw all caution to the wind! You likely had business dinners, birthday parties, evenings out with friends, fundraising banquets, breakfast meetings, church dinners…
Every one of these occasions screams, “But this is special!! It’s okay just this once!”
At some point, you have to stop the insanity, make a decision and choose health, so that the indulgence truly becomes the exception; not the rule.
So let’s look at some alternatives for your Easter celebration. You do not have to sit there munching on steamed asparagus while those around you are tossing back marshmallow ducklings by the dozen.
Consider the following ideas for Easter basket treats and munchies. Sticking to this list will ensure that you are clear headed and full of energy while your buddies are slipping in and out of consciousness after their sugar highs!
- Dried fruit (eat with a protein such as nuts)
- Very dark chocolate (choose some with very little sugar)
- Fresh Fruit
- Whole grain crackers and pretzels
Non-food ideas for kids’ baskets:
- Play dough
- Jump rope
- Sidewalk chalk
- Garden starter set
- Butterfly habitat
- Beading supplies
- Swimming toys
- Card games
Have a healthy Easter!
At Body Burn, we specialize in helping busy ladies age 30 and above get lean, fit, tone, and to feel strong , energized and confident once again. If that sounds like you-Let me ask you something….
Ever heard someone give themselves permission to eat whatever they want just because they just had a great workout? It’s a common excuse. Many people believe that because they exercise, they’re in the black as far as their calorie input/output. But in reality, this sort of thinking is a sure road to failure. Most people with a lean body and a 6 pack didn’t get that way by rationalizing their poor diet.
Many people have no idea how many calories they take in on an average day, often severely underestimating when asked to take a guess at it. But they also overestimate the number of calories they burn. The truth is, 30 minutes of the best boot camp in town will not cancel out that burger and fries!
Do the math
Let’s look at the hard numbers. An average, moderately intensive workout will burn 300-400 calories in about an hour. That’s an hour of hard work with plenty of sweat and hard breathing.
Now say on the way home from the gym, you decide to grab a couple of donuts from Dunkin’ Donuts. After all, you’ve earned it! In the 3 minutes it will take you to put away two chocolate frosted cake donuts, you’ve consumed 720 calories. All your hard work is wasted, plus you’ve provided your body with several hundred extra calories to store as fat!
Or maybe you just want to have some pizza and soda with friends. You consider the 600 calories you burned running on the treadmill for an hour today (at 10 miles per hour—that’s a really fast run for a really long time!), so you eat 4 pieces of pizza and a coke. No problem, right?
Wrong. You just downed 900-1,000 calories in about 10 minutes!
Is it really worth it?
Face the facts
The bottom line is you simply can’t out train a bad diet. If you try to spar a bad diet with exercise, the exercise will lose every single time. The only way to lose weight and get that lean, sexy, healthy body that looks great in anything (or nothing) is to eat a healthy diet AND exercise.
Your weight loss is driven by diet and maintained by exercise. The only way to get ahead in the calorie game is to eat fewer calories than you burn. Only then will you begin to see the fat melt away. Exercise builds muscle and can rev up your metabolism, but you won’t lose weight if you continually eat more than you can metabolize.
This is not to say that exercise is not important. It is! In fact, according to Barry Braun, associate professor of kinesiology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst,
“When you look at the results in the National Weight Control Registry, you see over and over that exercise is one constant among people who’ve maintained their weight loss.”
Want to keep the pounds off? Exercise! Exercise is crucial. And you must combine it with a balanced diet if you want to shed pounds.
Have you been trying to out exercise your diet? Don’t be discouraged; many of us have been guilty of this. It’s time to rethink your weight loss strategy. Try the following tips to start fresh and recreate your body!
- Plan, plan, plan. The only way you are going to get control of your diet is to plan ahead. Do not let yourself get hungry with nothing healthy prepared to eat; your will power will plummet and you will reach for a snack that will set you back. Keep food ready in your refrigerator that you can grab and heat quickly. And don’t leave the house without cool water, nuts, fruit, whole grain crackers and cheese. Make things really easy by using a service like Lean Eats.
- Lift weights. When you start losing weight, you must protect your muscle. If you begin to lose pounds without adding in weight lifting, you will likely lose up to 25% of your muscle mass. Also, after an intense weight lifting workout targeting at least 3 big muscles, your metabolism increases for up to 39 hours after you are finished. And repairing that muscle tissue after lifting requires energy! Energy=calories burned.
- Get some accountability. We’ll strike this note again and again: you need a partner.And for our ladies at Body Burn Women’s Fitness Center-they need to be scheduling their accountability meetings with their coaches.
(As a part of our Program every member gets to meet with a coach 1 on 1 so that we can make sure she is on track, understanding her program, and moving forward towards her goals. Remember, the single biggest determining factor of your fitness success is whether or not you have someone to help you stay on track. For the ladies in our program, that person also happens to be able to answer their questions and help them formulate a plan for success. Find someone to trade food journals with and report on how you are doing with your will power.)
You need a healthy diet to be lean, strong and healthy. You will feel better, and look better!
Fitness starts in your mind. Ask any athlete or fit person what the number one secret is to his success at fitness, and he will tell you it is commitment.
Commitment means that you are in it for the long haul. Commitment rises above bad days, hectic schedules and volatile emotions. Commitment hangs in there when you don’t want to do it, when you don’t feel like doing it and when you don’t have time to do it.
True commitment doesn’t depend on how you feel. It depends on your integrity and on living for the purpose you have set for yourself.
Are you committed to get fit?
No Weekend Warriors
Committing to be fit eliminates the weekend warrior syndrome. You may know a weekend warrior. He is the person who does little physical exercise during the week, but when the weekend arrives, he blasts out of the gate like a stallion on Derby Day. In a desperate attempt to make up for his sedentary behavior all week, he goes to the gym or hits the pavement, pushing himself to the limit.
The result, however, is not what he expects.
He will likely end up with an injury, because his muscles, tendons and joints are not conditioned for the intensity of his exercise.
But he is also not getting in shape, because he is not committed. Physical fitness depends on consistency. And consistency requires commitment. It takes consistent, near-daily exercise to cause your body to make the changes that bring about fitness. For example, your joints and tendons will strengthen, your aerobic base will improve as your body becomes more efficient at utilizing oxygen and ridding itself of carbon dioxide, and your endurance will increase.
In fact, that you do something consistently is as important, or maybe even more important, than what you actually do. Even if you are just doing low intensity walking, doing it every day is infinitely better than doing something more strenuous only occasionally.
But the real rewards come when you not only commit to intense workouts, but you also commit to being consistent with those workouts.
In order to get fit, you do not need expensive clothes, fancy home-gym equipment or a complicated workout plan.
What you need is commitment. If you are committed, the rest of the pieces will fall into place
You can start today. Don’t overthink this. Just start, and commit to doing something every single day.
Studies show working out with a partner has more benefits than hitting the gym solo. Doing a workout with a friend, coworker, or significant other can increase accountability, keep spirits high, and even spur better results.
Motivating yourself to work out several times a week doesn’t come easy. While strength training and cardio should be part of every fitness plan, it gets all too tempting to hit the snooze button when it’s all work and no play in your fitness regime.
Increase your level of motivation with group exercise classes. These sessions are more than just loud music, fast movements and shouts of encouragement that are seen and heard in the studio at the gym.
Here is the number 1 reason why our group training program is getting amazing results:
Group Support: Have you ever started a diet…and then GAINED WEIGHT? Sometimes despite our best efforts – we can have a few hiccups in our program. Often times this can be enough to shoot your plane right out of the sky -SO DON’T FLY SOLO! It can be game changing when you are surrounded by like-minded ladies who are going through the same journey and can share the same struggles (and solutions) along the way. That is why we mainly work with busy ladies (mostly moms) age 30 and over. These ladies know what it is like to run the kids around all day, work a full time job, and still have th get everyone fed and ready for the next day!
But all of these struggles seem small when you know that your friends are waiting to see you at the studio, and who are cheering you on all along the way.
At Body Burn you’ll have a whole group to reap these benefits with. 🙂
You’ve considered it for weeks, months, years even. And now is the time that you’ve decided to make a change and go on that diet. But don’t just dive in feet first. First, take a long, hard look at the diet you’re considering and answer five questions before proceeding.
Only then can you be sure your diet is not going to land you in the land of diet failure.
Question 1: Does it make you hungry all day every day?
When you’re on a diet, it’s normal to feel the occasional tinge of hunger. Much of those light hunger pangs, however, should be done away with by drinking a glass of water. And if you stay busy enough with life in general, you ought to be able to ignore some other hunger. But if your diet has you feeling hungry at all times, you’re not going to last long.
To avoid falling into the pit of hungry despair, go with a diet that lets you eat protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Also, as stated above, drink plenty of water to avoid confusing hunger with thirst.
Question 2: Does it force you to drop food groups?
A healthy diet is one that incorporates appropriate amounts of food from each food group. When a diet cuts an entire food group from your eating options, you’re going to have a hard time surviving your diet for longer than a week or two.
One of the most popular food groups to cut is carbohydrates. While not eating carbs will indeed help you lose weight, carbs are what make it possible to store energy to make it through the day. No carbs, no energy, no willpower to maintain your diet.
Question 3: Is your mood suddenly unpredictable?
Everyone gets metabolic every once in a while, but if your diet is too restrictive, you may find your mood swings coming with greater regularity and severity. This happens because excessive caloric restrictions messes with the chemicals in your brain. When this occurs, there is no telling what direction your mood will go.
Before letting your diet ruin your relationships and put your job at risk, reconsider your diet and find one that helps you be cool, calm, and collect.
Question 4: Does it insist there is no need to exercise?
There are some diet plans that promise plenty of lost pounds without the addition of exercise.
If this is the type of diet you’re considering or are in the midst of, beware! Exercise comes with countless health benefits that will make your weight loss all the more beneficial. From preventing chronic pain to improving your energy level and sleeping better, exercise is a vital component to any diet
I say this phrase almost EVERYTIME I do a workshop or talk to a group about nutrition.
“Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail”
If you are really SERIOUS about making a change in your nutrition then meal planning is a must.
Think for a moment about the areas in your life that you excel at… Maybe you run a successful business or household, you have a successful career, you exercise consistently, [insert your thing]. Whatever it may be, my guess is that the success you are experiencing didn’t just happen, there was a lot that went into getting where you are right now…including planning.
When I made the conscious decision to start preparing the large majority of our meals and changing the composition of those meals, I had to make some tough decisions. You see; we all have the same 24 hours in a day. We have to choose wisely how to spend it. If eating nutrient dense whole foods is a priority for you then you will make the time to plan your meals and prepare them.
The things we spend our time and money dictate what are important to us. If you are not spending your time and money on things that are moving your closer to your goals, then it’s time to make some changes.
I used to really enjoy mindless time in front of the TV several nights a week and on the weekends watching the newest version of “Real Housewives” or “The Kardashians.” But I quickly realized that my screen time was going to need to go if I wanted to make the time to plan and prepare my meals. Please don’t think that I am looking down on you or that it’s “bad” if you enjoy TV, but for me it was no longer serving me in a positive way and it wasn’t moving me closer to my goals of a healthier and happier me. Individuals have to take a look at what is important to him or her and choose how he or she is going to spend their time.
Once I made the time in my calendar to plan and prepare my meals, I started looking better, feeling better, and performing better.
Now, I know that we are all busy, we all have different demands on our time, and we may not have the luxury of simply changing up how we are spending our leisure time in order to have the time and energy to prepare nutrient dense whole food meals. However, here are a few timing saving tricks when it comes to meal planning and food prep.
Time Saving Tips
* Schedule a time each week to plan your meals for the following week. Once you have your meals planned, make your grocery list from your meal plan.
* Schedule a specific time to go to the grocery store.
* Upon returning from the store take some time to wash, peel, and chop vegetables so they are ready to go.
* Post your meal plan in a place you can easily see it so that you know if you need to pull something out of the freezer or prep something ahead of time.
* Use a crock-pot to have dinner ready on the evenings you are very busy.
* Cook in bulk and plan for leftovers or freeze meals to pull out when you may need them.
Some of these tips may seem simple, and they are but I promise you if you implement them you will save yourself time, energy, and decrease your stress level. Stop and think about how many trips you make to the grocery store in a week, if you could make 2 trips versus 4 or 5, how much time and energy would that save you? By having your meals planned, you don’t have to make the decision at any given meal about what to eat. That will not only save you energy but also keep you on track with your supportive nutrition plan.
Take some time to evaluate your current meal planning and prepping strategies and if they are working for you.
* Are they moving you closer to your goals?
* Do they enhance your quality of life?
* Do they decrease your stress level?
If you feel compleatly lost when it comes to HOW you should be eating and HOW you should be exercising then you may qualify for a 3 DAY VIP PASS at Body Burn Women’s fitness center – if you’re interested then email me back to find out more 🙂
Dedicated to your health,
Daythan Nottke NASM CPT – Owner of Body Burn Women’s Fitness Ceneter