Fat Loss Tip #6 – Focus on whole food eating!

This is an easy and effective way to ensure that you stay on track with your nutrition and on course to hit your fitness goals!

Whole food eating is built upon one important rule: If it’s processed, comes out of a bag or has more ingredients than you can count on your fingers – don’t eat it!

Now you will have some exceptions for foods that must come in a package such as eggs, meats, oatmeal etc…but I think you get the idea!

When it comes to including items like bread or sauces still try to go as natural as possible. Bread purchased from a local bakery will have far less ingredients, fillers and artificial flavours versus store bought bread. Try using spices, balsamic vinegars and olive oil to give your food optimum flavour! The same goes with peanut butter (the perfect compliment with a banana or an apple). There are a variety of nut butters that are natural and taste delicious or make your own!

apple and pb

Fat Loss Tip #5 – Don’t Eat Standing up

You’re in the kitchen, your mind is wandering off to your list of things to do or a conversation that is making you frustrated. Perhaps you missed a snack and you’re just feeling ‘hangry’ (you’re so hungry you are getting super grumpy!). You find yourself opening the cupboards, reaching for whatever is available and munching away. Before you know it you’ve eaten a cookie, a handful of popcorn and you  think, SHIT what did I just do!

Eating when you’re distracted, upset, stressed or in a rush is NOT a good approach when it comes to fat loss. It will lead you into poor food choices and ultimately derail your progress – and who wants to do that!

Because we've all been there...
Because we’ve all been there…

Here are some strategies to solve this habit. NOTE it is a habit and it just takes some practice to change this behaviour.

1 – If you are a muncher when you prep meals (like I am) stash a pack of minty gum in a kitchen drawer. Pop a piece in, and you’ll be less likely to munch as you prep!

2 – Drink water or make an herbal tea instead. Perhaps you’re just thirsty!

3 – Make a conscious effort to prep a meal or snack, sit down and then enjoy it. Eat slow and don’t eat standing up over a box of cookies, crackers or nuts. You will end up eating more then you intend on AND then feel too full (we’ve all been there, right?)

So when you are ready to  have a meal or snack, take a seat, enjoy your eats and remember to keep focused on your goals!

My Favourite Pizza Recipe

I love pizza.

A lot.

I’m going to share with you my favourite way to make pizza. Trust me, it’s pretty awesome!

What you need:

* large mushroom cap (I usually prep two!)

* tomato sauce or pesto

* Your favourite sliced protein (chicken, ham, pepperoni perhaps some bacon?)

* Your favourite veggies (onion, red peppers, broccoli)

* Your favourite Cheese (goat, mozzarella, cheddar)

*Your favourite herbs (cilantro, basil)

Top your mushroom caps with awesomeness, bake on a cookie sheet at 350 for about 10-15minutes until the cheese browns a bit.

ENJOY!

mushroom cap pizza goodness!

 

Fat Loss Tip #3 – Train a minimum of 4x a week

4 hours. That’s not a lot to ask, is it?

If you’re serious about hitting your fat loss goals, then get serious about making time for 4 training sessions a week (perhaps 5 if you can swing it!). We find in our experience that this is important for two major reasons:

1 – This number of training sessions instills the habit of regular training. This is VERY key to long-term success.

2  – Hitting this number of sessions per week will allow you to see strength gains, mobility gains and physique transformation PLUS it allows for 2-3 days for rest and recovery.

Ensure you have qualified coaches, a well designed program and the support you need to hit this target!

#itrain

 

3 Things I learned when I got injured.

Injuries suck.

Life tasks become challenging. You feel overwhelmed with frustration. And, you can’t exactly train like you are use to.

Like I said, injuries suck.

A couple months ago I sustained an injury to my wrist. It’s been a slow recovery process but I must say I’ve learned an incredible amount in the process.

I went through the ‘stages of injury’ as I call them.

Stage #1 Denial: It’s not so bad. I’ll be fine. It doesn’t hurt THAT much. Yeah, that was all bullshit. 

Stage #2 Facing The Facts: Yes, this injury wasn’t going away. I couldn’t ignore it. Not being able to open doors, lift a plate or hold a glass, let alone demonstrate a side plank or turkish get up to a client was NOT ok. I was hurt and I had to accept it.

Stage #3 Supreme Anger and Feeling Sorry for Myself: Yep. That wasn’t a fun stage for Taylor. I was frustrated that I couldn’t resume my normal training routine OR do my favourite exercises like Turkish Get ups, KB snatches or pull-ups (yes, I’m aware I’m a bit strange). I felt like I was going to lose my strength and not be able to maintain my fitness. I had to get over myself and I did (eventually).

Stage #4 Trusting the Process and focusing on getting better!: I am fortunate to have an absolutely incredible physiotherapist as a colleague, teammate and good friend. She has given me outstanding care and has been extremely patient. Wrist injuries take time and as of today I’m almost back to full training capacity; She. Is. Incredible.

So here are my 3 big takeaways and if you have an injury I hope you can hear me out because you don’t have to just ‘live with it’ AND you can actually use the time to focus on other aspects of your training to better hit your fitness goals!

Cause we've all been there.
Cause we’ve all been there.

 

#1 – Find a physiotherapist that is focused on getting you better. This is THE most important thing you need to start with. Find and work with THE best.  And no, sitting on a machine for your treatment is not going to help your injury (just like it won’t help your fitness, sorry I had to, couldn’t resist…).

#2 – Be patient and learn to work around your injury. Because I’ve had to modify my training I have been able to work on some other areas that I’ve been neglecting. For example today I held the a Kettlebell bottom’s up with the 24K and that felt awesome!

#3 – Maintain your training and find a coach that can help you – don’t give up! The WORSE thing you can do is simply not train. You can still train, trust me. Work with a coach that can modify your training to help you focus on getting better while still working on your fitness goals.

Like anything in life, you can learn a lot from the bumps in the road, never let them stop you!  (but always slow down for speed bumps while driving.)

 

 

 

Fat Loss Tip #2 -Eat a complete protein at every meal

I read a lot of food journals throughout my week as a coach, and a lack of protein is the #1 mistake I see people make.

So what’s the deal with including this macronutrient? 

Protein is present everywhere in the body including your muscles, bones, connective tissue, blood vessels, blood cells, skin, hair and even your finger nails!  The protein in your body is constantly being lost or broken down as a result of normal physiological wear and tear, aka life!

You can not survive with out protein. It’s a key player in the repair and construction of muscle tissue, otherwise known as building your pipes.

pipes

Post-Training

It’s important (for obvious reasons) to keep a steady amount of protein in your diet throughout your day but it’s particularly important to ensure you have adequate protein post training.

When you stress your muscles (this is a good thing that happens when you train) with resistance training, your brain tells your muscle cells to start making new proteins. (Envision your brain  like a chief plant manager, hard hat and all, telling the assembly line to hurry it up and get producing more protein ASAP!). In order for the production to take place, there must be enough amino acids available to make it happen. By keeping your body supplied with protein throughout your day and especially post training, you are able to keep yourself in an ‘anabolic’ state (muscle building) versus a catabolic state (when muscle loss occurs).

This is why a post training shake is specifically recommended, since your body will digest liquid calories at a faster rate and you will also be able to provide your body with much needed protein.

In terms of fat loss, studies suggest that higher protein diets promote greater fat loss because your body has to work harder to digest protein versus carbohydrate,know as the thermogenic effect. Also, time and time again the research demonstrates that higher protein diets lead to an improved state of satiety, fancy lingo for saying you feel fuller for a longer period of time and are less likely to grab the chocolate sitting in the staff room!

With all this being said, amping up your protein intake doesn’t equate to instant muscle, you have to earn it with your training! Also any surplus of calories from protein can be converted into body fat, so it’s a matter of balance, which is key when planning out what you eat.

The best way to ensure you are getting enough protein is to include a portion at each meal. While you don’t need to reach for the 12 oz steak, aim to include complete protein sources like eggs, animal meats and dairy protein found in cottage cheese, greek yogurt and milk.

egg white omelet

 

 

 

Fat Loss Tip #1 – Wake up and Drink Water!

Quick! What’s the most critical nutrient for growth, development and health?

 

WATER!

water

 

When you sleep you are in a completely fasted state (unless you have a tendency to sleep walk to the kitchen…). While breakfast refers to the first meal to ‘break your fast’, also remember to drink up – and water should be your first choice!

 

I’m guilty as charged of wanting to hit up a cup of coffee first thing when I wake up. As of late I’ve made the commitment to fill my big cup with water and drink it BEFORE I start making my early morning cup of goodness (aka my coffee).

It’s hard to say enough good things about water. As the primary fluid in your body, water serves as a solvent for minerals, vitamins, amino acids, glucose and many other nutrients. Without water you can’t even digest these essential nutrients, let along absorb and use them. Water also transports waste products out of the body and is a part of the lubricants in your joints that keeps them moving, On top of all these awesome things, when your body temperature starts to rise, water takes on the role of a coolant.

Specifically with regard to fat loss water can help you get and stay lean. If you are dehydrated, the kidneys need backup and turn to the liver for help. Since the liver mobilizes stored fat for energy, if it’s too preoccupied with assisting the kidneys, the liver can’t do its fat burning job nearly as well (and we don’t want THAT to happen!).

In addition water intake can help take the edge off your hunger while adjusting your calorie intake to drop body fat AND it has 0 calories – BONUS!

Lastly as you start shedding your body fat in your metamorphousis to your new leaner self, as you burn off stored fatty acids as energy, you will release any fat soluble toxins that have been stored in your fat cells.The more H2O you drink, the more you dilute the toxins and kick them to the curb! This is the ONLY ‘detox’ you ever need to do – drink enough water and you’re covered!

 

Honestly, need I say more?

 

But how much you ask? The easiest way to see if you are drinking enough water is to check your pee. Yup. You want a mellow yellow or close to clear. If your pee is very dark in colour – it’s time to hit the water cooler stat!

 

Full disclosure; I actually can’t stand the taste of water in the morning. Any other time of day I’m down with it but not in the morning. So do I wake up excited to drink my cup of water? Not so much. BUT I know it’s important for my health AND I know that I have a warm cup of java waiting for me after!

 

Don’t forget you also intake a fair amount of water when you consume your fruits and veggies, so it’s another incentive to amp up your fruit and veggie servings throughout the day!

 

Lastly, I’m going to leave you with some easy ways to jazz up your water – give these a shot!

 

* Add some cucumber (it really does add a nice flavor!)

* Add some of your favourite fruit: oranges, strawberries, pineapple

* Try an iced herbal tea – David’s Tea has some amazing flavours

water with lemon

 

The Secret to achieving your fitness goals.

I just returned from a weekend in Ottawa attending the Agatsu Kettlebell certification. It was an intense weekend and one that definitely progressed my kettlebell skills and technique.

I had some company this weekend, as one of our new coaches Abbie joined me for her very first fitness certification. She did an amazing job and killed her testing!

I posted some pictures of Abbie who was a client in March of this year and a picture of her executing an exercise called the bottoms up windmill this weekend at our course.

abbie before and KB

Since posting these pics I’ve gotten a lot of questions!

 

How’d she make that change? You mean she was out of shape before she started ?    She was a smoker? WHAT!?

 

And what everyone wants to know – how’d she do it!?

Continue reading “The Secret to achieving your fitness goals.”