Friday, August 28, 2015

Stop Impulsive Eating with New Food Finds

Have you ever gotten so hungry, you black out? Me neither, but I have gotten so hungry that when I am finally in front of food, I eat like a maniac and don't even recall what I've stuffed in my face ... kind've like a blackout. Oops ....

Ya, well, it's important that you learn how to prepare yourself for those unexpected traffic jams, never-ending corporate meetings, snail-like crawling carpool lines and any other time you find yourself in a bind. If you don't, you could be snacking on one bite-sized snickers too many, OR losing track of the mindless snacks that can keep you from meeting your nutritional goals (and cause you to stop losing fat).

For more help on setting nutritional goals and meeting macronutrient quotas, read this

Below, you'll find some of my recent favorite ways to stay prepared and stocked for any long haul. These new grocery finds are great purse-stuffers or gym bag accomplices.

Starkist Tuna Packets
Tuna fish packets have always been a staple in my nutrition routine. (Yep, I'm the stinky one.) I'd rather be stinky and skinny then fat, though. Get over the fish thing, friends. These packets are so convenient and packed with lean protein.
Find them at your local grocery store.

FlatOut Wraps
Use these wraps for making individual pizzas, sandwich substitutes, tortilla substitutes, or cut it apart and bake it in the oven like chips. Now, you can find these with even more protein if you have a hard time getting in your protein macros.
Find them at your local grocery store.

OhYeah Victory Bars
Quest bars have a new partner in crime. Not really, but these Victory bars are just as scrumptious. My favorite kind is the chocolate chip cookie dough (duh).
Find them online at Vitacost.com or at HealthKick in Coppell.

GreatValue Stevia-Sweetened Packets
Walmart made my day with this one. They come in tons of flavors, and you don't have to feel guilty about ingesting artificial sweeteners or chemicals. Dump that powder in your water bottle and stay hydrated all day.
Find them at Walmart.

Sweet Spreads Cashew Butter
This nut butter has me oohing and ahhing every time I eat it. For some reason, I've found that one tablespoon of Sweet Spreads satisfies me. My husband keeps it in his lunch bag and eats it on a rice cake, banana or with an apple almost every day. It's the good kind of fat.
Find them at HealthKick in Coppell or their website online.

Quest Chips
One of the most common complaints from my clients is that they can't squash their craving for something salty like crackers or chips. Quest Chips give you the crunch factor you're looking for with no weird ingredients and 20 g protein. With flavors like Sour Cream & Cheddar, Barbecue and Salt & Vinegar, you can have it all. It's a no brainer!
Find them online at Vitacost.com or at HealthKick in Coppell.

Mori-Nu Tofu
Blend this chunk of tofu up with a blender or mash it with a big spoon. Add stevia, sugar-free instant pudding, cocoa powder, greek yogurt, fruit, or basically anything you want to flavor it with. Once you get it to be pudding-like, you can keep it in your fridge (in a mason jar or a recycled salsa jar) for an easy on-the-go snack.
Find them online at Vitacost.com or at your nearest grocery store in the refrigerated section.

Dave's Killer Bread
I love that they sell this at Sam's Club. There's nothing worse than finding something really yummy and healthy but you have to sacrifice a tank of gas and pay like $30 to get it. None of that here, my friends. You can find this organic, whole grain-stuffed bread in a two-pack at Sam's. It's not carb-free, but it's a great source of fiber, energy and no weird ingredients.
Find them at Sam's Club.


For more tips on health and wellness, follow me on TwitterInstagramPinterest and Facebook. If you're interested in custom programs, fitness classes or health coaching, check out the Team A.M.Fit services.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

10 Reasons You're Not Seeing Results


One of the most common complaints I get from clients regarding their recent healthy lifestyle change is their frustration with trying to make changes to their daily nutrition and/or exercise routines and not seeing any results. After trying to "go healthy," for a certain time period, some of these people often throw in the towel, claiming they aren't feeling any better than they were before. And, many of these clients are the ones who may shed a couple pounds in the first week or two, but then plateau very quickly.


Below, you'll read my top trending mistakes regarding health and wellness from people who are just trying to live healthy. Do you identify with any of these?

    1. You restrict then rebel. This is the most widespread mentality when it comes to trying to change one's dietary habits. People often want to see things as black or white; right or wrong; good or bad. Food can't be thought of in that fashion. You see, when you tell yourself a certain food is off-limits, all of a sudden that's exactly what you crave. It's the forbidden fruit. You have to learn what your body needs, what tastes you actually like and how certain foods make you feel. It's called becoming an intuitive eater. God created our bodies to run perfectly, and if you teach your body how awesome it will feel if you feed it correctly, you won't need to restrict so much, and then you won't have to rebel by binging on Cheetos. 

    2. You cut calories too low. Many clients see they make progress when they eat around 1,500 calories, so they assume they will make even more progress at 1,000 calories. Unfortunately, your body learns to adapt to whatever you put it through. In turn, it will go into "starvation mode," meaning it's storing every thing you eat as fat most likely. Restricting your calories too low often makes your body plateau and makes you hangry ... not a good feeling.

    3. You perform metabolism-mashing cardio. Steady state cardio like jogging, elliptical-ing, spinning, etc. can be good in moderation. However, you must add strength conditioning or weight lifting to add muscular endurance instead of mere cardiovascular endurance. If you train your heart to endure half an hour of intensity 3-5 times a week in the same way every day, your body will learn how to work less to endure it, thus burning less and less calories. You see, your body is constantly paranoid you're going to die, so it's always looking for ways to survive and store energy. You have to shock it by performing high intensity interval training (HIIT) and incorporate weight-resistance exercises to add muscle mass. Watch this for more exercise ideas.
    "Natural" chips like these aren't always the best choices.

    4. You believe all consumer marketing. Buzz words like "all natural, organic and gluten-free" promise you better health, yet some of these products can't back up their claims. Just because something is labeled with one of these buzz words doesn't mean it's not full of sugar, processed ingredients or fat. It's important to learn how to read the ingredients label and know which chemicals/artificial ingredients can be avoided. Just because something is marketed to be healthy, it doesn't mean it is.

    5. You miss out on protein at breakfast. Protein is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of muscle. Muscle raises your metabolic rate, which helps you burn more calories. A higher metabolic rate means you can eat more and look better. It's a no-brainer. If you don't have protein at breakfast, you're more than likely either eating higher-sugary-carbohydrates or skipping breakfast all together. Either way, you've spiked your insulin/glucose levels and you're teaching your body to crave sugar. Protein helps to stabilize your blood sugar, making you feel full and kickstart your metabolism. Something like whey protein isolate (added to oats or a smoothie), egg whites (3:1 ratio to whole egg), or plain nonfat greek yogurt (mixed with stevia, etc.) is a good choice. Read this for more breakfast ideas.

    6. You aren't burning as many calories as you think. Some days, you feel exhausted. On those days, you may think you worked out really hard and probably burned nearly 500 calories. But, you may have not burned as many as you feel. It's important that you learn how to perceive your exertion (1-10 scale) and know you should feel like you're working around a 5 for about 35 minutes and around a 7 for about 15 minutes and around a 9 for about 5 minutes. That's an intense workout, and intensity is what you're missing. This is especially important for those who work at a desk or in a car. 

    7. You overdose on at night. This mistake often occurs when you've fallen into the restrict/rebel mentality. If you're restricting all day, then you often get tired at night and rebel. If you haven't eaten enough nutritious calorically-appropriate meals during the mass of the day, then you make up for it at night. This causes one to feel bloated, lethargic and probably unable to fall asleep. The lack of sleep causes your stress hormone to release and causes you to plateau or even gain weight. If you scatter your eating throughout the day, you won't be starving at night and can eat an appropriate amount of food without feeling guilty.

    8. You eat too much sugar. Just because you don't have a sweet tooth or sweet treats aren't your thing doesn't mean you're off the hook. Unless you're consciously reading food labels and/or tracking your macros, you're probably eating more sugar than you think. Carbohydrates in general are made of sugars — even vegetables. The more complex the food (think your average cereal; it's been cultivated, processed, refined, enriched, etc), the higher likelihood it is to have hidden sugars. Even something like a salty cracker. It probably has hidden sugars. Juice, fruits (in juice or syrup), processed foods, grains/pastas, cereals, cokes, sports drinks, energy drinks, pre-made coffees or lattes, are all adding to your daily sugars. 

    9. You still drink alcohol. Sorry, friends. This one is a biggie! Even people who are following healthy nutrition to a T won't see results if they make this mistake. One of the best choices you can make is to avoid alcohol 80 percent of the time. Sure, you can still enjoy a drink every now and then, but it's best if you drink at special occasions like once a month. Alcohol has no nutritious purpose in the body whatsoever. In fact, it's an enemy. It kills your body's ability to stay hydrated, burn fat and retain lean muscle mass.

    10. You lose focus when it's inconvenient. One of the best ways to keep fitness/nutrition fun, interesting and relevant is to always be striving towards a certain goal. Those goals must be specific. One of the easiest ways to get off track is to find yourself in a social situation with friends who don't care what they eat and make you feel bad for being different. Being the healthy one may not always be convenient, and actually, you may have to learn to prepare for life a little differently, but you have to ask yourself if your goal is worth it. 

    For more tips on health and wellness, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook. If you're interested in custom programs, fitness classes or health coaching, check out the Team A.M.Fit services.

    Wednesday, August 12, 2015

    21 Days to a Healthy Home

    Today I'm releasing my newest online program, specifically designed to help families declare their health in the home. For only $75, you can purchase A.M.Fit's "21 Days to a Healthy Home," a 10-page e-book consisting of charts, recipes, menus, workouts and tips to whip your family into shape.


    As an avid self-improver and fellow #FitFam participant, I'm well aware of the countless programs and resources available to promote wellness — many of them free of charge. However, I believe my programs promise a page or two diving deeper into the psychology of health and the battle we all face to consistently choose wellness over the world. You see, the world tells us it's easy to be healthy.

    Follow these five steps and you will look just like the girl in the picture. You know, the one with six-pack abs and a butt that makes even Ryan Gosling blush.

    The truth is that a healthy home means you stake claim to producing an atmosphere that values physical wellbeing, prevents illness, promotes strength and most importantly, advocates becoming the best YOU possible. It all comes back to love: love for yourself, love for others and of course, love for the God that knitted you together in your mother's womb.

    In "21 Days to a Healthy Home", I hope you discover what it takes to pass on a legacy of wellness to your kids and their kids, and in the process, learn some simple techniques to lose fat, gain muscle and feel better. To purchase this program, please complete the registration form.

    Once I receive your inquiry, I will invoice you for the $75 registration fee. Once the payment has been received, you will find your e-book delivered in your inbox at the email you provide. If you have questions, comments or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me.

    The Value of Tracking Your Food

    My post-cardio breakfast, documented via IG.
    A healthy lifestyle consists of making the healthiest choice you can for the majority of your decisions regarding nutrition and exercise. It doesn't mean you never eat what you want or take a day to sit on the couch. A healthy lifestyle is determined by the majority of your choices, not the one poor choice you made in a moment of weakness.

    That being said, I'm constantly reminding myself and my clients this concept. As a trainer and coach, I'm a huge advocate for setting small goals to change bad eating habits and introducing good, healthy foods/exercises before taking away the not-so-good. In order to do this, I encourage people to reflect on their new nutrition habits, taking note of how certain habits/foods make one feel. In turn, one begins to teach his or her body what it needs, and the body begins to crave those healthier foods. One can become an intuitive eater, rather than someone following a strict meal plan or diet.

    I often steer clear of having my clients track their calories or record numbers of any kind, actually, because it tends to make people think in terms of black and white ... or ... right and wrong. I don't want my clients to think some food is right and some food is wrong. There are foods that make you feel light and energetic, and there are foods that make you feel fat and bloated. If you choose to eat pizza for lunch, it doesn't make you bad or wrong. Was it the best choice you could have made? Probably not. But, maybe you really wanted it. And if you want something that's "restricted" or "prohibited" because it's not on your diet, guess what? You're going to want it more badly than any time before. That's why I feel it's necessary to keep track of the foods you eat, writing them down or recording them in a digital diary/mobile app.

    Benefits of Journaling Food

    • Keeps you accountable
    • Identifies eating habits
    • Challenges you to make goals
    • Makes you think about why you eat what you eat
    • Improves your relationship with food
    • Slows down the process of eating food

    Recording the foods you eat day to day gives you a sense of your habitual eating choices. It can also remind you of the tiny bites here and there that you eat you may not consider when you're going about your day. In my experience, tracking your meals or foods, for a time-being of course, helps to reduce mindless eating. You see, we don't want our minds to be consumed by food, but we do want to improve our relationship with food. And sometimes, you have to discipline oneself by reflecting on specific choices you make throughout the day.

    I recently started using the calorie-counter, macro-tracking app on my iPhone called MyMacros+. I had experience the widely-used smart phone app MyFitnessPal, but decided I wanted something a little more straightforward when it comes to tracking macronutrients (carbs, protein, fat). I actually really like MyMacros+ and think it's a valuable tool in becoming an intuitive eater. I've been pulling up the app while I'm eating or cooking, and it's helped me to think twice about the foods I really want to eat, as well as slow down while I'm eating. Instead of scarfing down the whole bag of mixed veggies, I stop at 2/3 of the bag - haha!


    I also find it way more valuable to track macronutrients instead of overall calories. It's important to realize that each person burns energy differently. A person who runs primarily for exercise, and whose goals include training for a race or marathon, for instance, will need a different number of carbohydrates than a person whose goal is to primarily lose weight and reshape his or her body. If you're unsure what your macronutrient goals should look like, I encourage you to visit www.iifym.com. That website has a nutrition calculator free to use, that enables you to input your personal information and determine your macros based on your goals.


    Tracking your food doesn't have to become a full-time job. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised at how quick it is to use MyMacros+, and I'm sure other ways of recording meals are just as easy. It literally takes me like 3 minutes post-meal (or while I'm eating) to plug in my foods. And that's including time to scan barcodes or look up unique foods.

    If you want help getting started or you're interested in a custom program, please don't hesitate to contact me or fill out my inquiry form (links on the right sidebar). 
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