Category: Nutrition

These 5 fat loss myths will lead you in the wrong direction and could even make you gain weight. This post rounds them up and provides healthy alternatives. Click through for more information!

5 fat loss myths you should forget right now

We’ve all been there. There’s a special event coming up and you need to shed some pounds to prepare. Unfortunately though, there are a lot of fat loss myths out there that will not only lead you in the wrong direction, but might actually make your fat loss progress worse. Chances are, you’ve heard at least one of these fat loss myths before. We’re here to clear up the confusion and send you on your way.

Fat loss myth 1: Add more cardio

For many beginners who want to lose fat, adding on a ton of cardio seems to be the first step. It’s a common misconception that doing endless hours of (often boring) cardio will allow you to shed pounds in no time.

The truth is, you will see an initial drop when you hop on the scale. But the sad part is, if you’re only doing cardio, those pounds are a lot of water weight and maybe a little fat loss. *womp womp* The really crappy part of only doing cardio is that our bodies are constantly adapting to the stress that typically burns fat. So, in the beginning of your new cardio schedule you might be able to burn some fat by running two miles a day. But soon your body will adapt and it will take three or four miles to get the same results.

What’s worse? After a while if cardio is all you do, you will end up burning up all of your fat and muscle at the same time. So the pounds? Yes, they’ll drop. But you’re not really burning off the stuff you want to burn.

But trust us, cardio is NOT the enemy! Slow steady runs, bike rides or elliptical sessions once or twice a week are great! Just don’t make them your only source of exercise. Try doing a HIIT workout or some form of circuit training to keep your muscle, burn your fat and still lose some weight in the process.

Fat loss myth 2: Majorly lower your calorie intake

We live in a world where we believe if a little is good then a lot must be better. Cutting calories by too much will make you lose some serious pounds in water weight. You will also be hungry, grumpy, and tired the whole time. Eventually your body will go into survival mode and start to burn up muscle and fat at the same time.

And that’s not all. Let’s say you majorly cut your calorie count. If it’s not sustainable and you go back to your old diet, your body will hold onto every calorie it can and store it as much as possible. So as a result, you’ve now actually gained more weight than you were carrying before.

The good news with this myth is that there’s actually a right way to restrict calories. But, instead of restricting all calories, try to restrict only certain types of calories. Yes a calorie is a calorie, but we believe some are better than others.

If you were to eat 2 slices of stuffed crust pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut, that would be roughly 680 calories. That’s just two slices. I know when we go for pizza it’s not just two. Now, let’s make a 680 calorie meal that’s healthy and filling. 10oz of chicken breast 220 cal, 1 cup brown rice 216 cal, ½ and avocado 161, and 11 cups of spinach with a splash of vinegar and pepper. That’s a lot of food!

Related: Portion control in 3 easy steps

Fat loss myth 3: Stop eating carbs

This is not good for a couple reasons. First, carbs are where you get your energy for your workouts and your energy to, you know, just comfortably live throughout the day. If you cut them out, you’ll likely become tired and grumpy.

Second, let’s be honest, carbs taste really freakin’ good. And if there’s one thing we’ve all learned from Regina George is that when you try to completely knock a delicious food group out of your diet, you’ll be craving some dang cheese fries! Healthy versions of carbs like sweet potatoes and brown rice can help you form a healthy and nutritious meal. These carbs are good for your body and will give you the natural energy you need to stay on track with your diet and you workout plan.

Fat loss myth 4: Avoid fruit

There are a few people out there who believe that because fruit has sugar you should not eat it while you’re trying to lose weight. We have a similar response for this that we did for the no carbs myth, and that’s consume your fruits in moderation.

Here’s what we love about fruit though… When you’re craving sugar, it’s an extremely healthy alternative to candy. Fruit will provide you with vitamins, water and antioxidants: all at a low calorie count. Eat fruit, but focus your energy on eliminating unhealthy sugars and carbs.

Fat loss myth 5: Eat more frequently to boost your metabolism

This is a common one that trainers everywhere tell their clients. Essentially the myth is that because your body is being fed more often, your metabolism will rise to keep up. There has never been any scientific proof that this is the case.

While eating 6 small meals a day to get your calories in is not a horrible plan if it works for you, don’t get discouraged if it’s just not practical. If you eat 3 meals a day and keep them balanced, you will get the same benefits of 6 or 7 meals with the same food spread throughout the day.

Your next steps

Now that you know what not to do, where should you go next? That’s where we come in! We’ve developed an awesome challenge that will get you on the right track in just one week! Join our Back on Track Challenge by clicking the link below. The challenge will guide you in goal formation and provide you with a week’s worth of manageable daily workouts. And it’s completely FREE! We can’t wait to hear about your progress!

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Portion control is essential to a healthy diet. But it doesn't have to be hard. These three easy steps will help you plan your meals the smart way. Click through to see how to master portion control. Or, save this pin for later!

Portion control in 3 easy steps

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Usually the idea of portion control makes me want to give up and go get a cupcake. Who are these people trying to make me give up my Friday nights with a bottle of wine and so much pizza. (SO much pizza!)

If we’re going to be completely honest and open here, Aaron and I absolutely struggle with portion control. We almost didn’t write this post due to our love for some serious portion uncontrol. But ultimately, we decided that this is exactly why we should discuss this topic.

We both try to focus on sticking to a proper and sustainable diet throughout the week and cheat a little on the weekends. Is it true that you can completely undo all of your hard work with one bad weekend? Yes! Does that mean that you should be discouraged when Monday rolls around again? No Way!

Think of these as your Sunday-Thursday guidelines and try not to overdo it on the weekends.

step 1: Remember your fractions

I get pretty frustrated when I think about all of the math I learned in middle school that has vanished from my memory. Not fractions though. I use those little suckers daily. When it comes to portion control, there’s no exception. Think of your plate as a nice pie chart (math for the Mathletes! Woot!). Try to break that chart up into 4 parts and get as close to this breakdown as possible: 45% vegetables, 30% carbs, 20% protein and 5% fat. If you’re like me, you see that part about 30% carbs and you get reallllllly excited. But don’t loose  your cool at the all-you-can-eat pizza buffet just yet. Step 3 will cover the kinds of carbs we’re actually referring to here.

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The reason I love this portion control process is because I’m always excited about at least one thing on my plate. I typically crave savory foods, so sometimes spicing up my vegetables with salt and some spices actually make healthy foods worth eating. Think about your cravings. What can you buy at the store that will satisfy them?

Cheese/dairy cravings? Add two tablespoons of feta to a salad. Don’t forget to add a TON of vegetables, your protein and your carbs.

Salt cravings? Chicken sausage or any ground meat can fix this when prepared correctly (add a little salt if there’s not already a ton of sodium in your meat).

Sugar cravings? Add fruit to your meal!

Related: Protein supplements: The beginner’s guide

step 2: eat with your hands

We don’t mean throw away the utensils (although, it turns out foods have the same amount of calories whether you eat them with utensils or not!)

So many diets will have you measuring exact portions of everything you eat. You might even notice some diets recommend you purchase a food scale. If you want to get that specific, that’s great! But, if you’re more interested in fast and easy portion measurement, you’re in the right place, friend!

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You can use your palm, hands and fist to roughly measure the amount of food you should eat for each meal. One serving of protein is about the size of your palm. A serving of vegetables is the size of your fist. A serving of carbs can be measured with a scooped hand. And finally, a serving of fat is about the size of your thumb.

Step 3: keep it simple

Quick and easy portion control is all about finding the foods you enjoy and preparing them in a way that makes you excited to eat them. Keep a list of foods you enjoy on your refrigerator so that shopping days are less daunting. Even if you like to make your meals fancy, make sure you’re using the suggested percentages and portions of each food group listed above. Here are some healthy examples from each food group:

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I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent making creative and elaborate grocery lists. I finally realized that I KNEW what I wanted to eat after work on the weekdays. And it certainly was NOT a grand spectacle. I found that my chances of eating a healthy meal declined with the amount of ingredients and time it took to cook a meal.

Here are some ways to keep your fridge and freezer stocked with easy, healthy choices all week long:

  1. Pick up a rotisserie chicken at the beginning of the week. Shred it up and put it in an air tight container right when you get home from the store. Then, voila! You have chicken for tacos, salads, and sandwiches in no time.
  2. Stock up on steamable veggie packets. Frozen veggies are one of the best, easy ways to eat your veggies. Freezing doesn’t take away any of the nutrients or add sodium like canning does. And, even if you don’t finish them in a week, they stay nice and fresh in your freezer.
  3. Make mini meatloaves or meatballs with lean ground beef or ground turkey. Just mix the ground meat, an egg, some breadcrumbs and shredded zucchini. You can put a tablespoon of tomato sauce on top and bake in the oven in a muffin tin. You’ll know they’re done when the middles are no longer wet.

it’s really all about you

The thing is, especially as you’re starting out, it’s unlikely that your diet will look like anyone else’s. Why? Because you’re you. And they’re them. It sounds obvious, but it’s easy to forget. Getting on track isn’t just about starting to eat a specific lineup of healthy foods. We believe that’s unsustainable. Take these three portion control steps and develop a plan that works for you. And make sure you actually like it!

3 easy steps for portion control

Let’s recap:

Step 1: Remember your fractions! They’re not just things you learned in middle school. Consider your plate for each and every meal. Are you getting enough vegetables? Are your healthy carbs on point? If not, remove or add as needed.

Step 2: Eat with your hands. Your best measurement tools are your hands! Never mind the food scale or the measuring cups in your drawer. Roughly measure the recommended portion of each food group and move on with your day!

Step 3: Keep it simple. Pick your faves from each food group and stick to them! Do you really like chicken? Buy a couple pounds, throw them in your freezer and then make your favorite recipes. Sick of chicken? No prob! Pick out another item on the list!

Portion control is essential to a healthy diet. But it doesn't have to be hard. These three easy steps will help you plan your meals the smart way. Click through for a free printout for your fridge!

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Supplements for beginners: Save this pin for reference so you remember which supplements to take, and how much you need!

6 supplements for beginners (and how much to take)

Supplements for beginners. There are so many websites and opinions about what you should and should not be taking. Just visit Bodybuilding.com or GNC and you’ll be overwhelmed with hundreds of products that all claim to be a must for reaching your fitness goals.

The first goal of this post is to sort through all of the noise and list the basics with what you need to know for each supplement type. We’ve purposely not included affiliate links so that you can make up your mind and not feel like you’re being sold to.

The second goal of this post is to give you an easy way to approach this with your partner-in-crime…whether that’s your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or BFF.

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Does coffee count toward my water intake?

YES! It does!

While drinking water is the best way to hydrate sans calories and sugar, don’t let your daily dose of caffeine fool you. Keep drinking your water, but coffee on!

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Why I’m over calorie counting

Aaron and I have found ourselves in somewhat of a Sunday ritual. He watches River Monsters on Animal Planet while I make my grocery list. I interrupt him with comments purposely meant to annoy him and he rolls his eyes and ignores me for the most part. Last weekend my obnoxious probing was somewhat of a repeat. I found myself imitating a hyperbolic version of a dude at the gym (think Amy Shumer’s body building boyfriend in Trainwreck), asking things like Hey bro, how much can you bench? or Hey bruh, you get all your macros in today?

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If you're just starting your fitness journey, protein supplements are something worth looking into. This post covers everything you need to know about protein supplements. When to take them, how often and much more! Click through or save this pin for later!

Protein supplements: The beginner’s guide

This post was inspired by my former fear of protein supplements. I specifically remember asking Aaron one day if I had to start drinking one of those ‘gross drinks’ he was always toting around. However, once I got my first tub of FitMiss Delight in Vanilla Chai, I was pretty much hooked. It turned into a sweet post-workout reward that I actually found myself looking forward to.

The questions below are very similar to the ones I asked Aaron when I started quizzing him about protein supplements, and I hope they help you too!

Most people feel that protein supplements are only for guys.This is terribly false. Women should also take protein supplements regularly.

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Your meals can make or break your workout. Follow these guidelines when deciding what to eat before your workout. Click this pin or save it for later!

What to eat before your workout

I often get questions regarding what to eat before your workout. Because food and energy needs vary from person to person, from workout to workout and by time of day, I typically recommend keeping a food journal. However, there are a few guidelines that you can start out with. Pay attention to how your workout feels after eating different types of foods. Also, pay attention to how you feel for the rest of the week. Your best food journal will not only include what you eat, but also what your workouts look like and how you feel both during and after your fitness routine.

Yogurt is healthy, can I eat that before my workout?

My first recommendation is avoid dairy within 60 minutes before your workout. I can’t be all sciencey about this or give you big names to explain why it’s a bad idea, but I can say from personal and client experience it is a bad idea. I have eaten things such as yogurt, milk, cottage cheese, and some even regular cheese. Most times if these are eaten within the 60 minutes it causes intestinal distress or gas. Just don’t do it!

My protein shake is made from dairy, what about that?

I have been asked about protein shakes before workouts. Yes, whey and casein proteins are both derivatives of dairy products, but I do think these are ok depending on the type of workout you are about to do and how you feel after drinking these regularly. If you need something light before a morning working, a protein shake could be the way to go.

I never know what to eat before a morning workout.

I consider early morning anything before breakfast. Now this is a tricky one and it will take some experimenting, but here are a couple ideas that might work depending on what kind of workout you are doing. If you’re doing cardio, avoid liquids (so a shake may not be the best idea for this one). Eat something like fruit. The quick digesting sugars and quick digesting carbs are perfect for energy early in the morning and they won’t make your stomach upset. Another option is to grab a handful of almonds or a small granola bar pre-workout.

I like to work out on my lunch break. What and when should I eat?

At this time of day you will have already had something to eat and your blood will already be flowing from being up and moving. (Make sure you eat your breakfast!) A snack or late breakfast should be enough to get you through. You can have some sort of snack up to 30 minutes before your workout. Almonds, fruit, an amino acid drink or even coffee would be perfect for this.

What about after my workout?

Within 30 minutes of ending your workout, whether it’s cardio or weightlifting, you need to eat some protein. This is prime absorption time for your muscles and it will help you recover and build quality muscle after you are done. I recommend drinking a protein shake afterwards, but if you don’t like to drink those, then something as simple as an apple and some almonds is perfect. After that in another 30 to 60 min you will want to have a big meal whether it is breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Do you have a fitness or health related question? Let us know in the comments below!

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