Six Steps To Success

One of the most common questions we hear is, “How do you do it?” Here’s the great part. It almost doesn’t matter what the “it” is! Whether it’s, “how do I dial in my nutrition, how am I going to drop 20 pounds, or how am I going to get my spouse to come in and train with me,” the system for achieving what you want is held within these six simple steps.

Here’s what you do:

#1 – Figure out what you want.
Get specific. Having a clear definition of what you want is integral to actually getting it. Want to drop 20 pounds? Why? What are you going to do and how are you going to feel when you’re 20 pounds lighter?

my goals are smart - goal setting concept - handwritten text on a napkin with coffee

 

#2 – Create a plan.
Many times it’s as easy as writing down the first step. More importantly, taking the time to create a plan can help you preemptively tackle potential obstacles, discover resources you might need, and give you a foundation to return to if you lose your way.

Action Plan

#3 – Seek out a mentor
There are people out there that have done this before. There are people out there that have done this hundreds of times and happily do it every day. They’re called coaches.

“It’s my job to change people’s lives. There is a tremendous amount of trust involved, and it’s my responsibility to earn that trust through consistency an awesome results.” -TR

A great coach will pay attention to your individual needs and help you refine your personalized plan (Step #2). They’ll encourage and guide you all the way to the finish line.

Patty Coach

#4 – Take consistent action every day.
This is a big one. The Grand Canyon wasn’t carved from a singular force of action, its beauty and majesty was created over 5.4 million years of persistent force. It’s what we do every day that defines us. Changing one habit at a time will make it easier to stay consistent. Don’t start out trying to eat the perfect meal five times a day. Just start with breakfast.

female chopping food ingredients

#5 – Review your progress.
Track it, track it, track it! Monitoring your progress will boost your confidence when you are successful and help you reassess if you wander astray. Tracking is also imperative to isolating the individual parts of your plan. You’ll be able to answer questions like “What can I dial in even more?” and “Where am I putting in more effort than necessary?”

tracking sheets

#6 – Renew your goals.
What happens when you achieve your goal faster than expected because you used these simple steps? By now you’ve built up all of this momentum and as Sir Isaac Newton said, “An object in motion tends to stay in motion.”

Because you’re following this 6-step success cycle, you can apply this momentum to anything. You can circle back into new fitness goals, re-direct the energy towards your financial goals, and even apply your forward motion into learning a new skill. It’s easier to maintain and reassign than to start over.

An image of a nice clock with time to renew

The secret to achieving whatever you set out to do is following ALL of the steps. Like any system, it only works when you use it!

 

 

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workout

6 Principles For Getting The Most Out Of Your Workouts

We live in a day and age where extreme is the recipe of the day for whatever ails us. If your overweight then go on an extreme diet, a  cleanse, shake diets, etc.. The same holds true for exercise. The harder and more extreme the workout the more effective people feel the workout to be. They judge the effectiveness of a workout by how sore or exhausted they are at the end of the workout, and the list goes on and on.

It’s no wonder the media is filling our head with so much misinformation, just the other day their was news report on T.V. covering a boutique GYM that was touted for having the hardest workout in the city, what a discredit to the fitness and health industry, this is like going to a Doctor who prescribes the strongest pain killers for curing the common cold! The prescription just doesn’t match the diagnosis, and there is a reason, because their was no diagnosis in the first place.

Also how many times has a trainer put you through a workout without sitting you down and asking what you want to achieve, what is your exercises  and injury history, and even more than that assessing your movement so they can prescribe the most effective exercises in helping you achieve your goals without risking injury.

If any of this sounds familiar to you then these 6 principles are going to go a long way in helping you get the most out your workouts and looking and feeling your best

So here they are, “6 Proven Principles For Getting The Most out Of Your Workouts” that will help you to cut through the clutter of ridiculousness and outright ignorance that is going on throughout the health and fitness industry today.

” Methods Are Many, Principles Are Few,

Methods Often Change,

Principles Never Do”.

6 Proven Principles For Getting The Most Out Of  Your Workout

1.Get your Movements Assessed

It’s amazing how little respect people have for movement when it comes to working out. It is the most under-appreciated principle for getting leaner and healthier. We get are body-fat tested, our cholesterol tested etc, but when it comes to our movement we don’t put much thought into it. We use the Functional Movement Screen here at F2C and it specifically tests seven fundamental movement patters for all humans. This is also the movement patterns which fall in line with our program design. So if a person is deemed to have very little hip mobility then deadlifting, sprinting or swinging kettle bells will not be loaded until corrected as it will add the wrong type of stress to the joints of your lower back and hips, down regulating growth hormones that are responsible or fat loss and muscle building. That’s the good scenario, the bad scenario is damage to your spine, knees or hips resulting in pain and injury . The goal is to help you look and feel better, not worse. So get your movements assessed so you can get started off right, knowing what movements need to be corrected and what movements are good to be trained. This will ensure you will get the most out of  the movements you perform in your workouts, so each day you perform better, feel better and look better.

In-Line Lunge

2. Technique should not be sacrificed for quantity

No matter how hard you think you are working, there is no excuse to use bad form. If the goal is to burn fat or build muscle, there is nothing to support the risk of injury as a result of the wrong dosage of exercise that results in poor technique. Make sure focus on technique, as quality trumps quantity when it comes to maximizing your results.

Lori Push-up

3. Fatigue or soreness should not be confused with the effectiveness of your workout:

Just because you are wiped out doesn’t mean you are doing the right thing. Concepts like “No Pain, No Gain” have been so ingrained into us that a common goal in training is complete exhaustion. Instead of the searching for fatigue, using the minimum effective dosage for maximizing your results, no more, no less. Yes, training may produce soreness and fatigue, but that is not your goal, and if it is make sure to budget in weekly visits to a physical therapist, as this approach will only lead to pain and injury.

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4. Recovery should be the first thing built into any program

You do not get better during training; you get better when you are recovering from it. During that recovery from strength training, muscles are built and fat is lost. Recovery therefore is doing the most important thing in reaching your goals: making gains toward fat loss and building lean muscle. You must plan the proper amount of recovery in between sets and circuits as well as in between training sessions (nutrition, sleep, stress management, massage, diaphragmic breathing etc.). See overtraining as nothing more than an overdose of a stimulus and something that will take you further away from your goals.

Crocodile Recovery Breathing
        Crocodile Recovery Breathing

5. Proficiency in exercise technique is paramount

People like to do new exercises. The trouble is that most people have not learned proper technique and form on an exercise to earn the right to place it into their training. Just because an exercise is added to a circuit is not an excuse to have never practiced it or terrible at performing it. Actually, a good rule of thumb is that exercises added to a circuit should be ones you have been taught correctly and understand how to perform. You need to understand that exercise require proper skills and having a good coach will ensure that you get the most out of your exercises and workout.

Squat

6. Select appropriate exercises and correct weights

Adding too much weight does not make you tougher, it makes you careless. Too much weight can negatively impact form and the effectiveness of an exercise. The goal of strength training is to cause metabolic disturbance so you can increase your metabolism, thus increasing your ability to burn more fat calories throughout the day. Poor form leads to sub-optimal metabolic disturbance and as mentioned above injury, as you aren’t maximizing the amount of muscles involved in a specific movement or exercise, thus greatly decreasing the effectiveness of the exercise and the workout. Make sure you select the correct exercises and weights. This will insure that you’re training safely and maximizing the effectiveness of your workouts.

Bad Sqaut

 

There you have it, 6 principles that will ensure you not only look better, but perform better and most importantly, Feel Better for years to come!

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success

How Manage Your Expectations

Does this sound familiar? Your following a pretty strict meal plan in hopes of losing some body fat. You could only white-knuckle your way through the meal plan for so long before you started sneaking in extras, usually in the form of nuts and nut butter. You toss back a heaping spoonful of almond butter and was immediately hit with a huge wave of guilt.

peanut-butter-300x375

You tell yourself, “Great, this day is ruined!”, and then proceeded to do what the majority of people do when they fall off their meal plan: swan dive into the pantry for more snacks, blowing the rest of the day to smithereens.

Over the years and even more recently in our Drop 2 Jean Size program, I’ve had many conversations with people just like this who were frustrated by this seemingly lack of control and overwhelming feeling of guilt. Heck I can attest that I have been there myself many times in my own life.

They viewed their success with nutrition and training as either “good” or “bad”, leading them to either feel like a total rock star or a total failure. All it took was a small handful of chocolate or some extra nut butter to make them believe the day was a monumental waste, which then resulted in a landslide of poor food choices for the remainder of that day.

Without exception, they were expecting perfection from themselves, which was a huge mistake.

Whether you are working towards improving your nutrition skills, losing body fat, or getting stronger, how do you set realistic expectations?

Two of the most common questions that we get as a Coach here at Fit-2-The-Core are:

·       “How much weight should I expect to lose in ‘x’ amount of time?”

·       “How much stronger should I expect to get in ‘x’ amount of time?”

These are fair but tricky questions: we don’t have the answers, because they depend on so many factors.

By learning to better manage your expectations, you can help avoid becoming too emotionally attached to a specific result, and cope better if things don’t pan out exactly the way you envision them.

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The One Thing You Can Control
Life is guaranteed to surprise you: it will surprise you in positive ways, and it will surprise you in negative ways. You can have your workout schedule in place, only to see the gym suddenly close for the week due to a burst pipe. You can plan all of your healthy meals for the week, and be surprised by your family paying you an unexpected visit and bringing over pizza for dinner.

When we set expectations, it’s easy to be let down because things don’t systematically happen as we predicted. No matter what happens, however, you can find peace in knowing that you are doing your very best with whichever situation comes your way. This means taking responsibility for your actions when things aren’t going according to plan. If you can’t go to the gym, can you take a walk instead? If you are served pizza, can you enjoy one slice and then eat later when there are different food options available?

The one thing that you can expect and control is that you are in charge of your own actions and reactions, regardless of outside circumstances.

Not Every Day Will Be a Day to Work Towards Your Goal
It can be really easy to expect perfection in terms of nutrition and working out, but the fact of the matter is that not every day will be the right day to work on your goals. Some days are better for focusing on maintenance, and that’s great!

John Berardi owner of Precision Nutrition uses a great analogy,

When life is dialed up to 10 (you are traveling, your kids are sick, you’re working overtime, your spouse is out of town, your sick etc.) you have to dial down your expectations and goals for that day week or month”.

This expectation can set you up for failure, because not every day can be a fat loss day, or a day where we become stronger, or a day where we improve our eating skills. Know that life will happen, and the most we can do is handle it in the best way we can and come up with a strategy that will fit into the context of your life at any given time.

Put in the Work
This is closely related to what I mentioned above about only being able to control your actions and reactions, but it’s worth mentioning in a different way:

Rather than focusing on expectations, what would happen if you poured all of your energy into simply committing to doing your very best with the hand you are dealt each day? Doing good enough, in relation to what life is throwing at you at any specific moment, adjust your workout, your nutrition and most importantly your mindset.

If you planned a 60 minute workout, 15 minutes will have to do, if you’re stuck in a meeting and all that’s available is pizza, eat one piece and then focus on what you have control over, the next meal etc..

Ultimately, that is all you can control.

Two-Sportswomen-Running-400x300

Zoom Out
When our expectations don’t pan out the way we had hoped, it’s easy to lose sight of the good things. Don’t to let an extra heaping spoonful of almond butter detract from the fact that maybe you ate veggies at all of my meals that day, drank plenty of water, got lots of sleep, and exercised. I see this often, the focus is solely on the fall, not that you got back up on your feet and took control over the rest of your day.

When it comes to expectations, there are a lot of variables at play. This means that we can’t always predict an accurate outcome, which can leave us feeling disappointed. It’s important to refrain from letting expectations steal joy from the experience.

The key is to focus on what you are able to do with what’s available, and commit to do your very best, consistently everyday!

 

 

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pumpkin

Six Healthy and Delicious Halloween Recipes

Halloween season is here and the time is now for a big-time reality check: pumpkin season is REALLY when the holiday weight gain starts! While the month of December is typically blamed for holiday weight gain, the fact remains that the pounds actually start to get packed on in late October.

The amount of eats and treats that people consume is alarming. One of the main problems is the smaller “snack sizes” that the candy manufacturers have made available. Eating several “mini” chocolate bars is something people see as “ok“because of their smaller size. In other words, it becomes a lot easier to convince yourself to indulge in these gut-swelling goodies and then you end up eating even more than before!

So now let’s focus on what we can control. Use the following six fat loss friendly Halloween recipes  for keeping the pounds off while still allowing for the occasional indulgence this trick or treat season:

PUMPKIN PROTEIN PANCAKES

Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

Ingredients:

1 cup canned pumpkin

2 egg whites (about 1 cup)

1/4 cup water

1 cup almond flour or oat flour (ground oats)

1 big scoop vanilla protein powder

1 Tsp baking powder

1 Tsp cinnamon

1 Tsp vanilla extract

1 Tsp salt

Optional toppings:

– Tiny dash of nutmeg

– Pure maple syrup or honey

– Butter

Directions:

1. Put everything in a bowl except water and blend at medium

to high speed.

2. Add water to achieve desired consistency.

3. Heat a pan or skillet to medium hot.

4. Scoop 3-4 inches of batter onto the pan. Use a spatula to

check when they’re ready to turn as they won’t bubble like

regular pancakes.

PROTEIN MUFFINS

Protein Muffins

Ingredients:

15-ounce can of pureed pumpkin

2 eggs or . cup egg whites

1 Tsp vanilla extract

1 Tbsp coconut butter (optional)

1 cup almond butter

2 scoops vanilla protein powder

1 Tsp baking soda

1 Tsp cinnamon

. Tsp nutmeg

Drizzle of honey, agave nectar or maple syrup

Handful chopped walnuts

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 Degrees

2. Mix all ingredients together.

3. Scoop mixture into muffin tray and cook for 8-10mins

PUMPKIN PIE SMOOTHIE

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

 

Ingridients:

• 1 scoops SFH grass fed low vanilla protein

• 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

• 1/2 cup pumpkin puree

• 1 tsp cinnamon

• 1/2 tsp nutmeg

• stevia (to taste)

• 5 ice cubes

Directions:

Put all ingredients in a blender and enjoy!

PUMPKIN COCONUT CHICKEN

Pumpkin Coconut Chicken

Ingredients:

1/4 cup canned pumpkin

1/4 cup canned coconut milk

2-3 pounds chicken thighs, fat trimmed

1 large onion, sliced

1 Tsp coconut oil

1 Tsp curry powder

1 Tbsp cumin

1 small handful minced garlic (2-3 cloves) or 1 Tsp garlic powder

Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper

Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:

1. Trim the fat from the chicken.

2. Melt the coconut oil in a pan over medium heat while you salt

and pepper both sides of the chicken.

3. Lightly brown chicken on all sides and add to the crockpot.

4. Add pumpkin and coconut milk to the crockpot, stir, add spices and stir again.

5. If chicken is not completely covered in liquid, add just enough water to cover, then top with sliced onions.

6. Cook on low about 5 hours or until chicken is fully cooked (but not over cooked!).

PUMPKIN PROTEIN PUDDING

Pumpkin Pudding

Ingredients:

1 cup cottage cheese (whole, 2% or fat-free)

1/2 can of pumpkin puree

1/2 Tsp cinnamon

3/4 scoop vanilla protein powder.

Directions:

1. Put the cottage cheese, pumpkin, cinnamon and protein powder (and any of the optional ingredients) in a bowl.

2. Mix until it is thoroughly combined. You can also blend the pudding, before adding the nuts, in a food processor or simply with a with a hand mixer to give it a smoother consistency.

3. Once you have it all mixed up, I think you know what to do from there.

Bonus candy recipe for crushing those sweet tooth cravings:

NO-SUGAR SOUR FRUIT CANDIES

Sour-Candies-copy-1024x680

INGREDIENTS
Serves 12
⅓ cup fruit-only juice (make a batch with your favorite 100% only Juice)
1 teaspoon citric acid, divided
½ cup water, divided
4 (1/4 oz) packets unflavored gelatin
¼ cup coconut nectar
1 Tablespoon arrowroot starch(you can substitute tapioca starch or corn starch)

INSTRUCTIONS
In a small pot combine the fruit juice, ½ teaspoon of the citric acid, ¼ cup of the water. Mix well then sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the top of the fruit mixture. Set aside.
In another small pot, combine the remaining ¼ cup water and the coconut nectar.

Bring to a rapid boil for 5 minutes. Pour the hot nectar mixture over the gelatin mixture. Immediately place over medium heat and stir well until liquid and smooth, about 4 minutes.

Pour the mixture into an 8×8 pan and leave at room temperature for 2 hours. Cut into pieces. Combine the arrowroot with the remaining ½ teaspoon of citric acid and coat the candies. Place the candies on a wire rack and dry for 8 hours or overnight.

*For fun shapes try using a rubber mold, and pour the mixture into the mold in step 3. Enjoy!

NUTRITION
Serving size: 1 Piece Calories: 36 Fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 6 Sugar: 0 Sodium: 7 Fiber: 0 Protein: 2

We must break out of the frustrating emotional eating patterns that sabotage our fat loss efforts during the holidays. Our brains are wired to crave the sugar-laded treats that typify the Halloween season.

So, instead of using Halloween as a reason to justify eating a bunch of junk food we spin the seasonal event to spice up food by making healthier holiday recipes. Halloween thus becomes a fat loss tool for us, an approach that is key to adopting a healthy lifestyle for long-term weight loss success.

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Women Looking in Fridge

The Battle of the Yummy Splurge vs. The Lazy Cheat

Your week is snowballing from one commitment to the next, no time to stop and get refocused; at some point you make the decision to either take a moment for yourself and plan your meals in advance, making sure your kitchen is stocked and food is cooked ahead of time or…you never get around to it and get “lazy” figuring you’ll get back on track tomorrow or next week.

It usually starts after a long day of working or running around fulfilling commitments, giving your energy all day long. You get home just in time for dinner…you’re hungry, your family is hungry, you haven’t taken a moment to think through what you’ll eat tonight; you open the fridge and maybe there are some chicken breasts you could grill up, but that isn’t really hitting the spot and you’re tired and really don’t feel like cooking so you decide…forget it, let’s order pizza or let’s go out.

Have you ever looked back at your week and realized you used all of your splurges for the week and didn’t really enjoy any of them? They were lazy cheats, convenient at that moment, but overall not really worth it.

Yummy Splurge:

100% nutritional discipline is never really needed to completely change your body. The difference between sticking to the rules 90% of the time and sticking to them 100% of the time is minor, really.

And that extra 10% splurge means you can feel free to eat the food you like.

Follow the rules 90% of the time. The other 10% splurge? Eat anything you want.

I’m not kidding around here. I actively encourage people to eat any food they like, because the reality is that good food can be one of the great joys of life.

But being overweight, unhealthy and lethargic are not. And certain foods eaten too frequently or in too large an amount will quickly make you all three of those things.

So Fit-2-The-Core members are given a simple instruction: eat any food you like, in up to 10% of your meals; in the other 90% of your meals, eat the foods that will fuel your body to success. This can include a glass of wine, 1-2 slices of pizza or a scoop of your favorite ice cream etc.

That ratio will give you the body you want AND allow to enjoy the food you love.

 

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The Lazy Cheat – The lazy cheat is a cheat that you did not plan to have ahead of time. It isn’t because you’re really looking forward to a splurge – something you have been craving – or as part of an experience that you don’t want to miss out on – it is not a part of the plan to get you closer to your goals. BUT (yes, Behold the Underlying Truth) occasionally, it happens. Unfortunately a lazy cheat is usually not worth it, and you end up using up one of your splurges and not enjoying it. And unfortunately, once you give in and have a lazy cheat it tends to perpetuate a whole week of lazy cheats.

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The secret to overcoming lazy cheats – have strategies in place. The fact is that “Strategy trumps Willpower” every time and is the key to your short and long term success. When you’ve had a long day, are hungry and out of energy, your will power is not going to be strong, so you must have a strategy.

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Next time you find yourself having that conversation in your head leading to a lazy cheat…you know the one… “I don’t feel like cooking tonight, I’ve had a long day, I’ll just order pizza tonight since I should eat something,” turn to the strategy you have planned out ahead of time.

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Here are a few ideas for the next time you find yourself heading for a lazy cheat.

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Have menus in your car of places you know you can get a healthy meal that are your go-to restaurants. Simply have a whole stack of menus in your car of places where you can get grilled fish and cabbage salad, or chicken and vegetables, or a healthy salad. If your on your way home from a busy day with no plan for dinner, you can just call and place an order to go and pick it up on your way home.

take out menu

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Have easy meals that you fall back on at these times. An easy meal can be a chicken breast with a can of lentil soup – Just grill up the chicken breast, heat up the can of soup and pour the soup over the chicken breast – done. Or you can pick up a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from whole foods and some precut veggies to grill or for making a quick salad.

Whole Foods Chicken

 

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Have a Super Shake: It’s okay to have a shake for dinner.  Dinner doesn’t have to be a big, sit down meal. Blend up a scoop of protein, some fruit or peanut butter and call it dinner or try this Delicious Super Shake recipe:

POPEYE’S SUPER SPINACH SMOOTHIE

smoothie

INGREDIENTS:

• 1 scoops SFH Low Carb Grass Fed Vanilla Protein

• 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

• 1-2 cups spinach

•½ frozen banana

• 1 tbsp natural peanut butter • stevia (to taste)

• 5 ice cubes

Blend and Enjoy:)

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Plan out your week ahead of time, including your splurges. Your week should include 10% to relax and enjoy yourself, just don’t waste it on a lazy cheat!

tracking sheets

 

 

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Enjoy your week!

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