Photobucket - Part 114

Chris Powell1 What is the  Vemma Bode 12 week Transformation Plan??

I’ve always been big fan of  Vemma’s hit energy drink Verve.   This January Vemma  launched an exciting  new all inclusive weight loss program and product line.  The Bode products  include Bode Burn- to super-charge your metabolism, increase your energy,  suppress your appetite and give you you maximum nutritional and protein support .  The other key players include Bode Cleanse and Bode Rest.  See my quick excited description of the program watch?v=2AqZYE32JvE

The revolutionary products alone  support  healthy weight loss but what impresses me the most is that Vemma approached weight loss with a practical approach that is  lacking in almost all nutritional mlm companies out there.  Vemma actually gives you a plan to follow for success- and the  guidance  and ongoing support that is needed for long term success.  Sadly, most people are not educated of what makes for healthy food choices and healthy weight loss.  Most people understand that you need to cut back- so they try to starve themselves or just replace meals with shakes- which usually leads to greater weight gain in the end because they never learned how to mange their eating habits in a way that was sustainable.

The Vemma Bod•ē 12-Week Transformation Plan is an innovative total eating plan that, when used in conjunction with the Vemma Bod•ē products, is designed to create considerable results in body transformation.  The plan was devised by renowned trainer and nutritionist Tracie Powell.  I’d say the plan is similar to what professional fitness athletes already use to maintain year round good body conditioning.  It utilizes a well known and effective technique called carb cycling.  It also instills the habit of eating smaller meals more often to support results, thus giving you a satisfied feeling, instead of hunger or deprivation.  It’s a plan that teaches you to manage your meals with real food!

Each food cycle is seven days, which serves as a milestone that you can commit to and achieve, while offering flexibility to eat an array of foods you enjoy eating. Variety makes all the difference for your body transformation, because you begin to focus on eating smart proteins with smart carbohydrates to boost muscle and keep your metabolism in high gear. Plus you even get to indulge once in a while!  I’ve include a link that walks you through the daily plan and shows how easy it is to follow.

Add to that daily texts every 3 hours from Heidi reminding you when, what and how much to eat to reach your goal and I’d say you have a formula for success.  Chris Powell of Extreme Weight-Loss Make-Overs and Dr. oz both endorse Vemma and the new Bode Transformation Plan.  And I’d have to say I agree with Dr. Oz when he says “Vemma just made weight loss easier!”  So why don’t you join me on The Bode 12 Week Transformation Challenge?  Just go to my site , click on the Chris Powell Bode link and The 12 week  Challenge  link, and choose a Bode Burn pack to start!

PMS cravings? What’s the cure?

If you are one of the 85% of females affected by pms symptons then you know what I mean about cravings.  The emotional and physical symptoms of pms are serious enough in an estimated 40% of women to  seriously affect their daily routines or activities.   The most commonly agreed upon reasons for pms have to do with the altered hormone levels of progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone as well as serotonin and cortisol according to the American College of Obstetricions and Gynecologists.

I know what millions of other women know.  PMS symptoms are real and the most troublesome one for many is the intense sugar or carbohydrate cravings and the bloating.  I don’t need a calender.  I can accurately predict my exact menstrual start date by the intense cravings that hit a few days before.   I might be in the grocery store and find myself making a bee line to sweets aisles I would normally just pass by.

Is there a cure?  I don’t think there’s a cure per se- but I’ll share what I’ve found and how I cope the best I can.

First of all,  Accept that  your  brain chemistry is altered.  You’re not weak because you are having these cravings.  It does not indicate you have a nutritional deficiency.  You’re not alone and there is scientific evidence to suggest you have a greater need for calories during this time.   So real hunger is increased also.  So here’s what I do to prevent cravings from snow-balling into all out eating disaster.

1.) Increase the Volume of  Proteins and Vegetables  first.  When you increase protein and vegetables- you will feel more satisfied more quickly and often the initial craving for sweets will often disappear or lesson greatly.

2.) Don’t go too Long without Eating.  You blood sugar will be more dramatically affected during pms days- and more frequent feedings with protein and veggies will keep your blood sugar from getting so low that you’re reaching for the cookie jar.

3.) If the Craving are still Strong after you’ve Filled up on Protein and Veggies, then Opt for Complex Carbohydrates and Healthy Fats to Satisfy your Cravings.  This is the time of month I allow for increased carbohydrates and I get creative to meet my sweet tooth with them.  For example, this past week I made chocolate black bean brownies and I frosted them with protein powder fluff or natural peanut butter.  It did a wonderful job of satisfying my sweet craving and need for increased carbohydrates without setting me off on an unhealthy sugar binge.

4.) Exercise  does a Great Job of Keeping Craving at Bay.  Exercise has a positive effect on glucose metabolism plus it has a positive impact on endorphins which make you feel good and  increasing seratonin which keeps the sugar cravings at bay.  Plus when you get out and exercise you get your mind off of eating at the very least!

5.)  Give in to Cocoa!  Everybody who loves chocolate has probably experienced that euphoria feeling feeling.  Cocoa has a number of chemicals that cause this euphoria  including phenyethlamine and serotonin.  Phenyethlamine actually releases opium like compounds that provides the feeling of pleasure many experience when they eat chocolate.  You can add unsweetened cocoa to a protein shake or make a hot cocoa drink  with low fat milk or almond milk and sweetened with stevia.  Cocoa works for me!

6.) Try 5HTP.  Part of the whole cravings issue is related to low seratonin.  We crave carbs which provide an easy way for us to increase seratonin levels.  5htp is a direct pre-curser to seratonin.  So when you supplement with 5htp in divided doses throughout the day, your seratonin levels will remain higher without the high amount of carb consumption required to produce a similar level.  Try 100mg  3 times a day.  I don’t do greater than 100mg during the day as any greater makes me sleepy.  5HTP is great before bed by the way!

7.) Vitamin B-6.  My mom has been telling me to try B-6 for PMS symptoms for years.  I never tried this because the the energy drinks and supplements I take already include b-6.  The amounts that are purported to allieve pms symptoms are supposed to be a greater though.  I’ve been told and read a dose of 500mg should be sufficient to allieve symptoms.  Give it a try.

8. Calcium and Magnesium.  Calcium and Magnesium supplements are reported to alleive symptoms by 50% according to the American College of Obstetricions and Gynecologists.  The doses recommended are for 600mg calcium and 300-500mg magnesium.

9. If You’ve Tried All Else and Absolutely Need to Have Something Sweet, Give In To It.  Sometimes nothing else will suffice.  The intense sugar cravings usually only last a day or 2 sometimes.  So how much damage can you do if you give in to a few cookies once in a while.  icon smile PMS cravings?  Whats the cure?



Did Dairy make me Fat?

I was trying to figure out what has caused my weight creep starting this summer after my Italy vacation which included obvious weight gain reasons.  July was the last month I weighed under 130.  When I left for Europe I weighed in at 129.  When i got back from Europe I weighed in around 132.  Not too bad really considering the volume of food I ate with the  six course meals, wine and bread and gelato every night.    Still, I expected my weight to go right back down.  Instead, it steadily crept up over the next 5 month until it eventually hit 139.4.  At that point, I got serious and dieted for 5 days and brought it back down to 131 but then proceeded to go back to hearty eating.    I don’t know why I was surprised it sprung right back to 136 in a week.  Mmmmhhhh?  But why did my weight creep so high after  maintaining such a steady weight over the last 7 years?  I guess an easy explanation could be that I just plain overate.  That wouldn’t be so hard to explain.  I love eating just as much as the next person.   Still, I was puzzled because I always eat a lot and I’ve still been maintaining steady for a long time.

When I looked at the changes in my diet over the last 5 months, the only thing I can really see that I’ve eaten differently is a large amount of dairy before bed in the form of protein shakes, cottage cheese and greek yogurt or regular yogurts. And I’ve been making them into sweet tasting dessert-like concoctions.  And yes, I have eaten large portions like a whole quart of yogurt or whole pound of cottage cheese at one time, but I don’t think total calories have been much different than normal.  But then again- maybe they have been.   I’ve definitely noticed on nights I eat my large dairy creations I almost always weigh a  few pounds more in the morning.   That has got me wondering, could my dairy desserts have something to do with the weight creep?

Body-builders and figure athletes are often told to cut dairy as soon as 3 months before a show.  I always thought that seemed  extreme and unnecessary.  After all,  hadn’t I read a study suggesting people who ate dairy lost more fat than those who didn’t.  It’s all so confusing, isn’t it?

The reason body-builders and figure athletes are told to cut dairy before their shows is that even though dairy is low glycemic index it is still highly insulinogenic.  Insulin is a powerful fat storing hormone and many body-building trainers  advise clients to lower their insulin levels during pre-contest dieting to optimize fat-burning.  Dairy produces a lot of insulin which is great for building muscle but also may create an environment that makes it difficult for some to lose fat.  That’s the thinking at least.   Large insulin release  may also leads to greater sweet craving which can lead to even greater eating which might really be at the heart of it for me at least.

Could dairy have caused a high enough insulin response in me to create cravings that resulted in eating more than what I thought I was eating?  I’m not sure of the answer yet, but I’m tracking my diet more closely and interested to find the correlations if they exist for me.   And when I know, I’ll let you know too!  But valuable lesson for all, 10 pounds can creep up on the best of us if we’re not paying attention.  Be vigilant!




Will Power is Ridiculous! Stay away from Dominos Foods!

Mixed nuts Will Power is Ridiculous!  Stay away from Dominos Foods!Maybe  there is something to this “will-power thing” in some people’s world.  I wouldn’t know.  I don’t have any!  At least when it comes to my favorite sweet or salty foods being readily available and in front of my face.  Maybe some folks can have a little portion of cake or cookies or nuts or pizza and have it sit around the house.  That’s not me.  Those foods don’t stand a chance overnight with me!

The only rule of portion control I follow is stay away from any foods that require it.  That’s why I love my proteins and vast volumes of veggies.  I can eat as many plates as I can shovel in and fill my belly to the brim- and never have to worry about how many calories I consumed.   Well, not unless I need to take off a few pounds.  Then there’s no “free lunch”.

The best advice I can offer anyone trying to shape up and lose a few pounds is check your will power at the door.  The only will power you should rely on is not buying “domino” foods in the first place!  Domino foods are foods that you can not eat a small amount of, like nuts for me, before they domino into more and more!  I love my nuts.  I cave when I go to Sam’s Club and buy the 2 and 3 lb jars of nuts.   But nuts are a “domino food” for me.  I start with a few and I finish with a pound or two.  If you are one of these freak people who can eat 5 or 10 or 20 nuts and stop, then I don’t want to hear about it.  Why not cut your will-power some slack and go easy on yourself.  Don’t buy the domino foods in the first place!

“Trigger” foods are not much different and shouldn’t have a spot in your pantry or fridge either.  We all have different trigger foods which “trigger” more eating.  For me, that’s anything sweet and “dessert like”.  I’ve got a major sweet tooth and will literally not stop eating something sweet until it’s gone.  It’s like a drug for me.  I would not think of trying to rely on will-power.  My family have often joked that this dessert or the ice cream will be gone in the morning because they know “the late night muncher” will strike in middle of the night.  The heck with will power!  I can’t even eat small amount of yogurts and protein shakes and bars- but at least those don’t result in the calorie disasters of an entire pie or box of girl scout cookies!

So word to the wise, if you’re likely to over-eat it, just don’t buy it in the first place!  Will power is over-rated and only sets you up to fail.  You don’t need will-power if it’s not around.  And if you’re one of those will-power freaks who can keep cookies in your house all week- Well, don’t tell me about it!!


Eggplant Dip (Baba Ghanouj) Sure to Impress!

baba ghanouj a1 300x200 Eggplant Dip (Baba Ghanouj) Sure to Impress!

Ready to dip!

I love eggplant.  There are a number of ways I love to eat it, including right out of the oven with a little salt, pepper and butter or butter spray.  But  here’s a simple dip recipe that once the eggplants are baked takes only minutes to prepare and is sure to impress!  The popular MiddleEastern dip is called Baba Ghanouj. 


2-3 eggplants (baked for 1hr at 350degrees and allowed to cool for several hours)

2  tablespoons  tahini

2 tablespoon olive oil

2-3  tablespoons lemon juice

1-2 tablespoons chopped garlic

sprinkle of garlic powder

salt to taste

Place all ingredients in your ninja or food processor- Blend for a few seconds.  That’s it!   The resulting dip should still be thick and chunky and ready to  dip in vegetables or pita chips.  I love to dip cawliflower in it, but it is often served with pita bread.  There are a number of variations you can try by including a little cumin and cayenne and more or less tahini and or olive oil, but everyone I have made this for has loved it!  The photo above has optional added olive oil on top afterwards, but doesn’t need it.   Plenty of flavor!  Enjoy!


139.5lbs to 131lbs in 5 days! Tips for Rapid Weight Loss

If you’ve been following my blogs, you know I reached my weight “tipping point” four days ago, the point where I get serious about my diet before I “tip” into the 140′s.  Well, I got to work watching my diet  four days ago when I hit 139.4 and  this morning, five days later, I weighed in at 131.  That’s eight and a half pounds in five days.  That’s pretty rapid for sure!  I’m going to share what I did and then give you a few tips for rapid weight loss.

First of all, I don’t advocate rapid weight loss.  The safest and most effective weight loss is gradual and a result of modest reduction in calories and modest increase in exercise.  However, rapid weight loss often occurs when someone first changes their diet, especially if it involves a reduction in carbohydrates and/or increase in protein.  I’m under no illusions that I just lost six pounds of fat.  I wish.  Fat doesn’t generally disappear that quickly.  There’s water loss too.  Still, I can definitely tell a difference in my face and waist and “persian belly” .  And I definitely look and feel 100% better and am out of the big t-shirts and back in fitted gym wear.

What I do is not necessarily what I recommend for everybody else.  Everybody’s bodies, metabolisms, eating habits, exercise habits, preferences, schedules and goals are different and need to be to be taken into account when planning a diet program.  But I’ll share what I did and give a few general tips for rapid weight loss.

When I saw 139.4 on the scale I wanted to move it back fast.  I became even more motivated when at the end of the evening, after all my eating for the day, I  weighed in at 145lbs!   So I decided to do something I never do.  Drastic reduction in calories!   I figured I would only have to do it a few days to be back to my normal weight and wouldn’t do it long enough to affect my metabolism.  Originally,  I made a plan of 1200 calories and including three meals of egg-whites omelettes and lots of veggies with some fats from oils.  I have no eaten so low calories in decades but amazingly I was not hungry and my energy levels were extremely high.  The calorie reduction for two days had no negative impact on my work-outs.

After two days of sticking with the 1200 calorie plan my weight was back to 135.2 (which was really too fast) so I decided I could adjust and add back some calories and increase the fat intake.

The third day I added a forth meal but kept the make-up closely the same.  I did include a few yolks for added fat and was  more generous with the veggies and the oils.  By the end of the evening I was closer to 1500 calories but I was feeling fatigued by afternoon.  I had a great work-out in the morning but I didn’t have the energy for a second work-out.  My muscles were sore.  My joints felt achy.  By 11pm I got into the cocoa covered almonds.  So add 4 ounces of nuts for an extra 600 calories.  Daily total 2100 calories.

On day four I weighed in at 135.  I had a great morning step class and leg work-out and a strong bike ride in the afternoon.  I stuck to the plan of 4 meals of egg and egg-white ommelettes with lots of veggies.  My fats included oils, egg yolks and added one avocado.    By evening I missed my sweet treats so added two cups of cottage cheese with splenda.  Yum! Daily total 1600 calories.

Morning of day five I woke up weighing 133!  I did morning body pump and cxworks but my energy and strength was low and no desire to do an afternoon bike ride in the cold.  Still stuck to the same plan- added a couple ounces of almonds.  Calorie total 1400

Morning of day six- woke up at 131! That’s it!

My Tips for Rapid Weight Loss

1) Increase your protein and make sure you include it with every meal.  There is sometime about timed doses of protein that makes you lose faster.

2.) Decrease carbohydrates except for high fiber veggies.  The more carbohydrates you eliminate the faster you will lose however I make sure to include lots of veggies for energy.   The less active you are, the more carbohydrates you can get away with cutting.  Remember this is temporary!

3.) With much lower carbs, increase your fat intake.  This might not make sense but you can’t subsist on an all protein diet.   With the much lower carbohydrates, fat will not make you fat .   Fat will make you feel fuller and actually aid in faster fat loss.  Studies show a high fat low-carb diet results in greater fat loss than an equal number of calories eaten in an all protein diet or all carb diet, or even than in  total fast. For fastest weight loss you still need to keep track of the total calories so don’t go too crazy!

4.) Cut calories!  The more you cut the more you will lose but don’t do it long or your body will adjust quickly.  The best way to cut the most calories without slowing your metabolism or affecting your energy levels is stagger the low and high calorie days.  The high calorie days will replenish your glycogen  and reset your fat-burning hormones.  This is why many low carb diets include a re-feed once a week or a cheat day where anything is allowed.

5) Write it down.  I believe the act of writing it down alone will result in greater adherence and faster weight-loss.

6.) Eat the same meals over and over.  I find the less choices and the more similar the meals, the better you will follow and the faster you will lose.  The more variety, the much easier not to follow your plan.

These tips are pretty well known for rapid fat loss.  Remember though, you don’t have to lose it fast!  I’m close to my goal so my low calorie and low carb days are about done.   I know that we want  it off fast sometimes.  If that’s your goal though, I hope this helps.








Tips for Maintaining your Weight over a Life-time

Do you have a weight tipping point?  That is the weight that when you “tip it”- you get your butt in gear and finally get serious about taking the extra pounds off?  My tipping point over the years has been 140lbs.  There have only been a couple times I let my weight drift that high, but every time it has- Bingo- I finally get serious!  Well it hit it 2 days ago.  At least close.  When I got on the scale 2 days ago and it said 139.4 and that internal alarm went off in my head.  It’s that time to get serious!”

Now I realize  with the way I eat- which is high in veggies and fiber and a few other water retaining items and lately dairy- that my weight can have wide fluctuations.  Regardless, something about seeing that number on the scale  gets me to take action.  It’s easy to justify carrying a few extra pounds.  It’s holiday time.  It’s winter time.  I’m building  muscle so it’s all muscle!  My energy is super high.  It’s only a few pounds that can wait til the beginning of the year.  I often become passive with weight  which is perfectly fine when it’s just a few pounds.  But something about 140lbs , or more like- how my body starts to look when I near that weight gets my mind in game.  If it was all muscle, then of course, it wouldn’t be a problem but we woman, if we gain 10lbs, unfortunately will not all be muscle.

For maintaining weight over a lifetime, I think it’s good to have an acceptable range and a  weight tipping point that kicks you into gear.  For some people that weight tipping point might be just 5 lbs.  For others it may be 10lbs.  From my time outside college, I have maintained a weight range of 130-140 lbs- and the majority right dead in the center because every time my weight started creeping up to to the higher end- I became motivated to take action.

The problem most people run into maintaining weight is that they let their weight creep up a little, listen to the same justification I use myself, but then just let it keep creeping and creeping until suddenly they are 30lbs overweight.  Then it’s much harder!  Most of us know how to diet.  It’s really a matter of motivation.  I finally got it two days ago!

What did I do?  Well I made a conscious  effort to stick to an exact pre-written plan and with that  lost 4.3 lbs in two days.   This morning I was back to 135.2.  Call it crazy but I feel much better even though I know quick losses  are mostly water weight. Still,  quick results is what I needed to motivates me to stick with a diet for more than two days.  My plan is to stick it out for a while with minor adjustments and get through the holiday season a few pounds lighter.

Here are my tips for maintaining weight for a life-time.

1.) Have an acceptable range for your weight and a tipping point of which you don’t ever allow your weight to go over.

2.) If you hit your tipping point, get into immediate action.  Make a plan that suits your lifestyle and eating habits.  It’s not really complicated.  For all the time I focus on macronutrients, and they do play a part in weight-loss, for most people with normal metabolisms just cutting back on calories will almost always result in weight loss.

3.) Make a plan and stick with it.  If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.  I know this firsthand because I hate to track calories too.  I don’t ever do it until I need to.   I just don’t want to plain know how many thousand of calories in nuts or peanut butter I just ate.  Every time I’ve been successful in dieting though I’ve tracked calories and followed a plan.

4.) Go public or share with someone to make you accountable.  Nothing like a buddy for support and to check in with!  And with the internet- you go public, then you have major egg on your face if you don’t follow through.  That’s a good motivator!

I’ll keep everyone posted on how I do this week.  My first 2 days were pretty easy.  Today, (day 3) my bike ride went fine- but no second work-out for me!  No one can convince me energy is not adversely affected cutting calories and/or carbohydrates!  By going public with you, i’m sure I’ll be more encouraged to stick with it until I get back to 130!



Hate Cardio? Try these 7 classes to rock your work-outs!

Do you hate cardio machines as much as me?

I love to work-out!  There’s nothing I love more!   As often as you can catch me in the gym or biking or swimming  in the Florida sun, it’s a rare occasion when you would find me on a cardio machine!  I find cardio machines the most boring exercise ever!  And with the awesome group fitness classes available, there’s no reason to be bored!  At least not me!   Group fitness classes elevate my heart more, work my muscles more and motivate me more.  I’d like to  share my 5 favorite group fitness classes.  I hope they are available at your gym.

My gym Lifestyle Family Fitness offers almost all Les Mills classes.  Les Mills offers a great variety of cardio-pumping fun, original choreography, high intensity interval training, and lots of weight training using your body-weight, bars, bands and balls.  I am going to list my favorite classes and I will comment on the effectiveness of each class for your particular goals.

1.) Body Step- Great all over body work-out and cardio

Body Step has always been my favorite, but the newest versions are a  revolution in fitness!  They combine great music and high intensity cardio coupled with high intensity interval training which includes burpees, jumping lunges, and weighted squat jumps.  There is a 7 minutes of high intensity interval training which pushes you to your absolute max and when you are totally exhausted and can barely breath it finishes up with one more high intensity weighted song.  Step always gives you plenty of leg work with squats and lunges and has  introduced some weight work  along with stomach work to top things off.

2.) Body Pump- An all-over body pump, great for muscle strength and endurance

I recently added body pump to my work-outs.  I used to pass on it because I felt high reps was not effective at building muscle and that  it would interfere with my heavier strength work-outs.  But I’ve become a total believer!  I really love this class.  Body pump offers a 5-6 minute blast of high reps to exhaustion on every body part and very little rest.  Body pump gives you not only a muscle pump but a cardio pump as well and will leave your muscles spent.  Not only has this class not interfered with my strength, I believe it has aided my heavier work-outs and improved my muscle endurance.  And while high reps is not thought to build muscle as much as lower reps, I think the beautiful buff bods of the body pump instructors tell another story.  And I love the variety it adds to strength training!

3.) Cardio Fusion- High Intensity Interval Training

Fusion is the best mix of high intensity cardio and muscle strengthening.  The class alternates between Body Attack and Body Pump.  Fusion is the best of both worlds-great for strength, endurance, and high intensity cardio and never fails to exhaust

4.) Body Attack- High Intensity Cardio to the Max!

Awesome cardio pump  with 45 minutes of insanely high intensity cardio with added upper body resistance exercises, leg resistance work and stomach work.  The newest versions offer crazy burpees, and plyo lunges and jump squats as well as an agility track that is athlete worthy.  A great  calorie burner!

5.) CXWorks- 30 minute core-training

This core-training class blasts you abs, legs, shoulder, chest and back in a way that focuses on core strength.  Part of the class relies on bands and part of the class relies on body resistance.  Be prepared to plank.  But the great thing about this class, is at 3o minutes, you know you can make it to the end!

6.) Sha-Bam-  Dance til you drop

Shabam is a great dance oriented class with great music and choreography that’s not so complicated you can’t follow.  A fun class that still works up a sweat.

7.) Body-Vive  Low impact cardio and all over strength with balls and band

Body Vive is 30 minuts low impact cardio and 30 minutes strength and core training with balls and bands.  a welcome  breather from the higher intensity cardio classes and the core and strength moves are similar to the CXWorks exercises.

So there you go.  I might do each  most of these classes once in a week period.  I love the variety, the music and the personality the instructors bring.  Plus working out with a group, you always push yourself to a level you would probably not on your own.  So try them out!  You’ll never go back to cardio machines again!


How to zap a Slowing Metabolism

I hear it all the time.  After 30 or after 40 your metabolism slows to nothing.  Even my mom will say to me, “You know your metabolism slows down when you get older.  Look at all the exercise that you do and you never lose any weight.” Really?  Are we really doomed after 30? Should we give up after 40?  Well, there may be a grain of truth that the metabolism slows each decade  I always  point out to my mom- that I also eat about 3 times more food than I did in high school, and twice as much as I did my first 2 years of college.  During 2 years in high school I subsisted on no more than 800 calories a day and maybe 1200-1500 my first year in college.  Those calorie numbers doubled  once I started weight training my sophomore in college.  And now 20 years later it seems almost impossible to eat less than 2500 without being hungry.  I eat and eat and eat.  So does that sound like my metabolism is slowing?  Hmmmm?

They say a woman’s metabolism slows by 2% per decade after age 30.  So if the average woman eats 2000 calories a day we’re only talking about 40 calories less you can eat each decade.  That puny decline is caused by loss of muscle that happen as we get older-starting as early as our later twenties- that’s if you’re not weight-training.  If you’re weight training- you can eat as much as you ever did.

Here are a few tips to keep the metabolism churning.

1.) Don’t go too low on calories.  Your body will adapt to the fewer calories every time.  The metabolism will slow to account for the lower calories and as soon as you slip back to a “normal” number of calories you will gain the weight right back and then some.  A smartest way to lose is by a creating a modest 300-500 calorie deficit and adding 300-500 of calorie burning to your daily routine.  And on top of that, include one or 2 days a week where you eat a normal number of calories or have a cheat day.  This will help reset your metabolic furnace and keep the calories burning.

2.) Include plenty of protein

Protein has a thermogenic effect which actually allow you to eat an extra 100 or 200 calories a day.  Protein requires more calories to burn so  include some high quality lean sources of protein with every meal.  plus protein fills you up!

3.) Eat early and frequently

You’ve heard it all your life.  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Studies have shown people who eat breakfast tend to lose more weight than breakfast skippers.  A lot of body-builders start eating within an hour of waking up and continue eating every three hours after that.  Others like me prefer to get a work-out first on an empty stomach.  Either way, the first meal of the day definitely revs up your metabolism after not eating for 10-12 hours.  Frequent eating some may argue is not proven to speed the metabolism but if  top competition body-builders over the last 20 years, the leanest athletes on earth, were used as a case study, you’d find that that is exactly how they dieted to get to single digit body-fat levels.

4.) Pump the weights!

The most important thing you can do to rev your metabolism is hit the iron.  Muscle burns nine times more calories than fat.  So the more muscle you build the more calories you require.   The hormonal changes that occur with weight-training are favorable to fat-burning as well as increased metabolism for hours after the fact.

5.) Increase the intensity of your work-outs.

  There is a  growing body of evidence that short intense work-outs and high intensity interval training are superior to extended low to medium intensity work-outs for keeping the calories burning for up for an extra 48hours afterwards.  So work-out smarter not longer and go for that extra push to elevate your heart-rate.

6.) Split your work-outs

If you do your weights in the morning, try doing your cardio in the afternoon or split your cardio in 2 smaller sessions. Each session will rev the metabolism and keep the calorie after burn going longer.

7.) Get your shut eye!

Get 8 hours or more  to maximize your fat-burning and metabolism.  Lack of sleep creates hormonal disruptions that interfere with fat burning an appetite control.  Studies suggest people who run on lack of sleep will eat on average an additional 300 calories and be hungrier than those who have adequate sleep.

8.) Relax!

Stress increases cortisol levels which leads to abdominal fat which is considered the most dangerous.  The best way to eliminate excess cortisol is eliminate stress.  And if you’re already working out with weights you’re probably doing a good job already!

There are other suggestions I could put out there but these are the most important and significant ways to keep your metabolism stoked well into your thirties, forties, and beyond.  Hope you put them to use!




Faraday’s training, diet and fitness goals

I’ve been working out in some form or fashion all my life- even before working out became popular, although we called it gymnastics, tag, football, soccer, baseball back then, didn’t we?  In high-school I started doing “the 20 minute workouts”  which was my introduction to aerobics and once I went to college became introduced to weight-training.  My work-outs have varied somewhat throughout the years- but have always have had weight-training and aerobics in common.  I wanted to write a quick blog as a record of my current training, diet and goals.

My fitness goals have stayed pretty steady through-out the years.  Common themes have been building muscle, losing fat, increasing endurance and strength and improving my body aesthetics.  I’ve always had in the back of my mind the idea of competing in a show to celebrate my love of fitness, but seems other things always got prioritized above it.  I really thought I wanted to try a show this year, but seems I wanted  my vacations more.  And eating on vacation too!  And eating in general.  I love having  strong work-outs and the more I eat, the better, the stronger, the longer my work-outs are and the better I feel.  I hate reducing calories.  I hate eliminating carbs.  I hate the idea of having so much structure in my eating plan for such a  long a period of time.  I hate being overly strict with myself and my eating.

So it all boils down to if I really want it enough.  And so I’m not sure yet.  It’s definitely a big commitment.  So, we’ll see.  But I’ll set a new goal for next year and really do it this time.

Currently, I’ve been really enjoying my work-outs.  I’ve had tons of energy and endurance and putting it to good use with a lot of new metabolic conditioning classes.  Our gym has launched so many great new classes that combine not only high intensity cardio but also a lot of muscle work with weights, bands and balls and high intensity interval training.  So much so- that I’ve really had to do some shuffling with my weight work-outs so as not to over-train.  Which I probably am anyway.  I still make sure to fit in one heavy back and shoulder work-out and one heavy leg work-out each week.  I really don’t feel any need any additional chest, bicep and tri-cep work with all the weight work-out in the classes.  I was making these work-outs metabolic work-outs where I incorporate strength moves with complex multiple muscle movements and super-sets.  But sometimes with all the classes- I need to just focus on keeping maximum strength and just go as heavy as I can with straight sets.   I bike 20 miles most days of the week too but I consider that more recreational because I usually don’t push it to high intensity.

Overall, I’m happy with my level of musculature.  I really don’t need bigger muscles.  I’d just like to maintain what Ive got as I start to peel off the extra vacation pounds I can’t seem to get motivated to lose.

My diet has primarily high proteins and high veggies and medium fat for a long time.  But my calories are high- usually in the range of 2500.  Recently I started tracking and concluded my calories were hitting closer to 3000.  So that answered the question of why I wasn’t losing any weight with all the working out.   It’s very easy for me to go over-board with nuts or peanut butter if it’s around and I  can add a lot of calories to my totals with my protein shakes by the time I add a few things to it or eat a whole quart of yogurt.  I do indulge once in awhile and have a big sweet tooth.  And I eat late into the middle of the night which is just a habit I’m in for the last 20 years.  I’m always happy with my body whether I’m 125 or 135 but right now I’m more like 135- and I feel 130 is a more attractive weight on me and a more comfortable weight for my work-outs.

So what better place than to commit now on my blog?  I’m committing to getting back to 130 before the holidays, and keeping the work-outs going strong and long.  Maybe a competition next year.  How bout you?


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