Coach Calorie http://www.coachcalorie.com How to Lose Weight, Get Fit, and Change Your Life Forever Thu, 24 Apr 2014 13:03:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 How to Start Strength Training When You’re Not Sure How http://www.coachcalorie.com/how-to-start-strength-training/ http://www.coachcalorie.com/how-to-start-strength-training/#comments Sun, 09 Mar 2014 13:10:10 +0000 http://www.coachcalorie.com/?p=10770 girl doing cable lateral raisesStrength training is the ultimate body transformation tool. Here are 8 beginner (and not so beginner) tips that will get you started on the right path.

Don’t Be Intimidated

Being intimidated of the gym is one of the biggest reasons people never go. Let me be the first to tell you that it is completely normal to feel intimidated when you’ve never been to the gym before. Not only that, but feelings of intimidation happen for experienced lifters too.

I’ve personally been lifting for over 20 years. I’ve been a member of close to a dozen gyms. I even have my own home gym. You’d think that all this “experience” would put you at ease, but in reality, there’s always a certain level of nervous anxiety, and it’s worse when you haven’t been to the gym in a while.

Don’t let this hold you back. After going to the gym for a couple of weeks, you will start to see the same people there and begin to feel at home. Everyone is in their own little world doing their workouts.

Nail Down Your Form

If you want to lessen the anxiety over going to the gym, you can start by reading up on proper exercise form. You should be doing this anyways. I’d estimate more than half the people in the gym use the wrong form.

This does nothing but work out your ego. Putting up big numbers are nice, but not when they’re at the expense of proper form. Using 100lbs with good form through a full range of motion is 10 times better than doing 150lbs in an uncontrolled manner and only squatting down a quarter of the way.

Use Free Exercise Instruction Resources

One of the best ways to learn about proper exercise form (other than a personal trainer) is by watching exercise videos. Go over to YouTube.com and start searching for various exercises like the squat, bench press, row, and deadlift.

Watch these people demonstrate the exercises and explain how to do them and what should be going through your mind as you lift. YouTube is a great resource for workout routines too and it’s all free.

Familiarize Yourself With Human Anatomy

The human muscular system is complex, but it functions with a lot of common sense. In other words, once you understand the action/reaction when a muscle gets worked, you can apply that knowledge to other parts of your body.

This makes it easy to design workouts and to ensure you’re hitting all your major body parts. Do you know what muscles get worked with the bench press? How about the squat?

Focus on Compound Movements

One of the biggest beginner mistakes people make is doing a bunch of isolation exercises right from the start. As a beginner, you should be sticking to the basics. These exercises are going to get you 90% of your results in as little time as possible.

Compound exercises work numerous muscles at one time and involve the use of more than one joint throughout the movement. So, while barbell curls are fun for building your biceps, heaving rowing movements like the pullup or barbell row will be just as effective (if not more) and will work numerous other muscles at the same time.

Make Strength Your Priority

Seems obvious, right? Make getting stronger the priority of your strength training program. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. People go to the gym and lift the same weights as they did the last time and the time before that.

If you aren’t consistently getting stronger from one workout to the next, you aren’t doing much more than burning some extra calories. To get your muscle working for you, you must continually get stronger, so that you create a stimulus to build muscle. In return, this muscle with graze on body fat at all hours of the day.

Be Consistent

Strength training needs consistency to be effective. Going to the gym once one week and then 3 times the next isn’t going to do much for your progress or for developing effective exercise habits.

Ideally you’d be in the gym hitting the same muscle groups the day you are 100% fully recovered. Sporadic workouts create slow progress or no progress at all. Pick a workout schedule and stick with it.

Don’t Wing It

I admit that it can be fun and liberating to go to the gym not knowing what you’re going to do. Thinking about a squat workout all day is mentally exhausting, and sometimes just walking into the gym and winging it feels good.

Unfortunately, without any kind of structure, your progress is likely to suffer. Workout programs are put together in a way to maximize workout frequency, load, intensity, and recovery.

Write down your workouts. Give yourself a base to build on for the next time. Unless you have an incredible memory, remembering a half dozen exercises, the weight you used, and the sets and reps for each is next to impossible.

These 8 tips are core fundamentals for both beginner strength trainers and experienced lifters alike. If you’re lacking in any of these areas, it’s time to focus and make things right.

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8 Weight Loss Tips You Still Aren’t Using (#4 is a Must) http://www.coachcalorie.com/8-weight-loss-tips-you-still-arent-using/ http://www.coachcalorie.com/8-weight-loss-tips-you-still-arent-using/#comments Sun, 23 Feb 2014 14:04:26 +0000 http://www.coachcalorie.com/?p=10749 cartoon scale with healthy weightThink you’re doing everything possible to reach your weight loss goals? The following 8 tips are often forgotten, but are integral to your success.

Believe in Yourself

Self-doubt is a debilitating feeling to have when it comes to weight loss. You have to do more than just go through the motions. Believing that achieving your goals is possible is the first step towards sustainable weight loss.

That means having the confidence to know you can push yourself during your workouts. It means knowing you are in control of food. It means believing in yourself even when no one else does.

Write it Down

Writing things down is a powerful, yet completely underutilized concept of weight loss. Many people already track their calories, and this is great, but it is only a small part of what you could be doing.

Journal your workouts. Write down your goals, the way you feel before and after meals, and the things you are grateful for. The process of writing things down creates an imprint in your brain that helps your subconscious mind attain the things you want most.

Imagine Yourself in Your Ideal Body

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be at your end goal? I don’t just mean a hazy mental image of what your outward physical appearance will look like either.

Close your eyes and look your ideal body over from head to toe. Notice the way your face, arms, hair, stomach, and legs look. Notice the way you walk and move more agilely. Pay close attention to the way you feel about yourself and your renewed self confidence. Imagining these things with clarity brings you closer to your goals.

Learn to Say No

Saying no is one of the hardest words people have trouble saying. However, you are going to need to get extremely comfortable with saying it if you want to live a healthy lifestyle.

That’s because there is going to be an overwhelming amount of temptation and peer pressure on your weight loss journey. Friends, family, work, and leisure time are littered with opportunities to give in and rationalize your unhealthy behaviors.

Be confident and respect yourself enough to say no when your actions don’t align with your goals. The more you say no now, the more you will smile later.

Be Part of a Community

Don’t go at weight loss alone. You are going to need and want support. Even if there is no one close to you that wants to change their lifestyle, you still have options.

The added support will keep you motivated. You can learn from other people’s mistakes. These people will be there to pick you up and keep you pointed in the right direction.

Weight loss communities come in all shapes and sizes. There are weight loss forums and blogs, support groups, group exercise classes, and even one-on-one coaching will help.

Change Your Habits

It’s easy to get caught up in the blueprint of weight loss. In other words, eating a particular thing at a particular time, and doing a series of exercises at a particular intensity for a certain duration.

All of these things are good to do, but they don’t address the problem. Change is what we’re after, and to create change you have to create new habits. That means systematically addressing one behavior at a time until the healthy version becomes second nature.

Don’t Try to Be Perfect

It can be a bit of a mental mind-bender to understand that trying to be perfect works against your weight loss goals. There are people out there that can eat 100% clean while tracking every calorie to a “T”.

For us mere mortals however, a more moderate approach will take us to our end goal. When it comes to food choices, that means following the 80/20 rule (80 percent whole foods and 20 percent “fun” foods).

When it comes to exercise it means not beating yourself up when you miss a workout. Missing a single workout doesn’t negatively impact your goals so long as it doesn’t start a chain reaction. Make more good choices than bad ones, and you’ll continually get closer to your goal.

Eat More Than You Think You Should

Chances are, you could be eating more than you currently are. What do I mean? I mean that the vast majority of healthy lifestyle changers under eat. As a society, we tend to over eat the bad stuff, and under eat the good stuff.

Eating 1200 calories isn’t a sustainable calorie intake for most people and eventually leads to a reversion of old eating habits in time. Do yourself a favor and fuel your body with more energy, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

I’d venture to say that just about anyone can eat 200-300 calories more without any negative consequences. Give it a try using small 50-100 calorie increments, and watch your energy levels tick upwards, your mental well-being improve, and your chances of long-term weight loss increase.

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How to Eat Healthy When Your Spouse Doesn’t Want To http://www.coachcalorie.com/how-to-eat-healthy-when-your-spouse-doesnt-want-to/ http://www.coachcalorie.com/how-to-eat-healthy-when-your-spouse-doesnt-want-to/#respond Sun, 16 Feb 2014 14:12:30 +0000 http://www.coachcalorie.com/?p=10724 girl not happy about her spouse eatig pizzaOne of the hardest parts of transitioning into a healthy lifestyle is trying to eat healthier when your spouse has no desire to change their ways. Here are 8 things you can do to make your transition easier.

Take Ownership of Your Behavior

As difficult as it is to try eating healthy when your partner doesn’t support you, the fact still remains that no one is force feeding you. There are always going to be people around you that want to see you fail, so if you ever want to succeed, you will have come to grips that you are in complete control of your actions.

Confront Them About Peer Pressure

Some spouses not only don’t want you to change them, but they seem to go out of their way to sabotage your own efforts. They knowingly push food onto you and try to tempt you more than usual just to test your willpower.

Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and tell your spouse that what they are doing isn’t appreciated. They might not even realize what they are doing is hurting you, and many times they think it’s just playful behavior. Speak up.

Explain Your Choices Once and Be Done

Spouses and colleagues alike have a bad habit of questioning your healthy lifestyle choices. Most of them don’t do it because they’re interested changing their lifestyles either.

Usually, their questions have more to do with making you feel bad about your choices. When confronted with this situation, simply explain that you want to be healthier for you and the people close to you. If that’s not good enough, then it’s time to reassess the relationship.

Ask Them For Their Support

Whether or not your spouse chooses to join you with your new healthy eating habits, that’s no reason to not have their support. Ask them to be supportive of your decisions and to respect the choices you’re making. Tell them you aren’t expecting them to change too, but that you’d still like them to be accepting of the new you.

Lead By Example

As bad as we want our spouse to join us in eating healthier, the fact remains that pressuring someone into doing something almost never works. For your spouse to change their lifestyle too, they need to come to the realization of change all by themselves.

That doesn’t mean you can’t influence the situation, however. Lead by example. Let your spouse see how much happier the new you is. Let them see what eating healthy food does to your physical appearance and mental health.

Sometimes people have to see things with their own two eyes before they believe it’s possible. Be patient and they might be asking you for advice soon enough.

Streamline Your Cooking

Dinner tends to be a troubling time when your spouse’s food choices don’t align with yours. If you’re the one doing the cooking, you’re likely going to have to make two separate meals.

Of course, you could always tell your spouse to make their own food if they don’t like what you cook, but when you’ve lived your entire life together a certain way, that can make for a sticky situation.

Instead, you can try to find ways to use the same ingredients while being able to make one of the meals healthier. For example, if you’re already cooking chicken for some crazy mexican dish, you can use that chicken as part of a healthier salad.

There really isn’t much extra work involved. Separate side dishes are also fairly easy to prepare. Now, if you aren’t the one doing the cooking, don’t expect your spouse to start cooking separate meals. It’s going to be time for you to do a little cooking yourself.

Create a Section for Your Food

Having to weed through all the processed food to find your healthy food can play some major mind games on you. Take a few minutes and clear a shelf that’s to be used exclusively for you.

Make a shelf in the pantry, and make a section in the refrigerator too. This will help you own your lifestyle and separate the opposite lives that are being lived in the house.

Choose a Restaurant That Has Options

Finally, when you two decide to go out to eat, try agreeing on a restaurant that serves something you can both enjoy and that aligns with your goals.

Nearly every restaurant has their menu posted online, so there’s no reason why you can’t agree on something before hand. Don’t wait until you’re hungry to decide either. Hunger has a way of aggravating the situation.

If you’re ready to change your eating habits but your spouse isn’t, try following some of the ideas laid out in this article. I think it will make the transition a lot easier on you.

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How to Make Every Day a Cheat Day Without Sacrificing Your Goals http://www.coachcalorie.com/how-to-make-every-day-a-cheat-day/ http://www.coachcalorie.com/how-to-make-every-day-a-cheat-day/#respond Wed, 12 Feb 2014 13:52:21 +0000 http://www.coachcalorie.com/?p=10604 woman holding chocolate bar over faceWouldn’t it be nice if you could eat what you wanted and still lose weight or maintain a fit physique? Without sounding too much like an infomercial, I want to show you how that’s not only completely possible, but necessary for long term weight management.

It Doesn’t Have to Be That Way

Losing weight and getting fit is not about giving up everything you love about food. It’s not about eating clean 100% of the time. It’s not about eating flavorless food or about feeling excluded from life events.

You don’t have to feel like the odd ball because your goals don’t mesh with your friends’. You don’t have to beat yourself up for eating an “off-limit” food.

You don’t have to wage an all-out war against food. Your next meal doesn’t have to be on your mind before you even finish your last one. You don’t have to suppress cravings to the point of binging.

You don’t have to confront peer pressure every time someone brings food to the office simply because you’re trying to lose weight. You don’t have to explain your choices every time someone questions them.

No – you don’t have to give up the joy of eating for the greater good of fitness. It doesn’t have to be an either/or decision.

Finding Happiness in Moderation

Most of fitness resides in the middle. Whether that be in reference to eating or exercise, the result is still the same – extremes tend to be short-lived and risky.

By pushing to far to one extreme, either by cutting out all sugar or exercising intensely every single day or omitting an entire macronutrient, you risk having quick but short-lasting results. The more to the extreme you go, the more risky the outcome.

Moderation might not get you the super fast results you desire, but it will get you the results you want in time. By moderating your food restriction and including the foods you enjoy on a frequent basis, you increase your chances of sticking to your program, and that is what ultimately gets you results – adherence.

What Should Your Day Look Like?

Follow the 80/20 principle. That means 80% of your calories come from whole foods, and 20% come from “fun” foods. Most people will actually find that they don’t need the full 20% of calories to be happy, and that a small 200 calorie snack completely satisfies them.

Let’s put this concept into a real life scenario. Let’s say you need 1750 calories per day to lose weight. If you chose to eat 20% of those calories from fun foods, that would be 350 calories. Think about all you could do with 350 calories.

That’s a cup of ice cream, a few cookies, a giant slice of pizza, a few glasses of wine, or a serving of fries. Do you really think that eating one of these items is going to negatively impact your weight loss when you’re eating below maintenance calories and still eating 1400 calories each day of nutritious whole foods?

The answer is no. In fact, there have been stories in the news all the time of people experimenting by eating nothing but garbage and losing weight so long as they maintained a calorie deficit. That is not to say you should fill your calories with garbage (more on that later).

You Can Have What You Want Again Tomorrow

The key to moderation is to manage portions and to stop when you’re supposed to. Many people struggle with this concept because they think just having a little of something will lead to an all-out binge fest.

I completely understand this, but much of this behavior has to do with the idea that you’re not allowed to eat these foods in the first place, so you get your fill before you restrict your behavior again.

You have to change your thinking process. Understand that you can repeat the process of including “fun” foods in moderation again tomorrow and again the next day. The feeling is liberating and really does help you stop eating when you’re supposed to.

Don’t Sacrifice Your Health for Fitness

This article wouldn’t be complete unless I added one huge caveat – don’t sacrifice your health for fitness. What do I mean by that?

I mean don’t fill your calories with a bunch of trans fat, artificial colors and preservatives, and ingredients that harm your body. While the short term goal is to lose weight, the long term and most important goal is to be healthy.

Do your best to limit these kinds of foods and choose “fun” foods that are made without them. A simple trip to a health food store such as Whole Foods will show you all kinds of amazing foods you can eat.

Just about every food you like can be made without harmful chemicals and ingredients. Look at the ingredients section on the food label, choose a food that’s made with healthy ingredients, and then include those foods guilt free and in moderation into your daily lifestyle.

I guarantee your weight loss efforts will be a lot more enjoyable, and you won’t sacrifice your results one single bit.

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The Ultimate List of Common Strength Training Mistakes to Avoid http://www.coachcalorie.com/common-strength-training-mistakes-to-avoid/ http://www.coachcalorie.com/common-strength-training-mistakes-to-avoid/#respond Sun, 09 Feb 2014 14:01:46 +0000 http://www.coachcalorie.com/?p=10641 girl doing kettlebell swingsMany strength training mistakes are made by both beginner and advanced lifters alike. Here’s your go-to list of the most common mistakes to avoid.

Taking Advantage of Momentum When You Shouldn’t

Certain power movements require some momentum to accomplish. However, the average person uses way too much momentum and swinging when they lift.

Momentum doesn’t work a muscle through the full range of motion. Instead, it works toward improving your reversal strength. When you lower a weight down and immediately reverse it, there is a large amount of stored kinetic energy. This energy acts like a spring and ends up neglecting the beginning of the concentric phase of the movement.

Training Your Ego Instead of Your Muscles

A lot of people are afraid to use the amount of weight they should be using. That’s because it’s typically much less than what they work out with.

Afraid to be thought of as weak, they proceed to load up a bar with weight they can’t lift correctly. In essence, they are exercising their ego instead of their muscles. Use the right amount of weight and don’t worry what others think.

Using a Reduced Range of Motion

There are times when partial reps have a benefit – like when you’re trying to train your sticking points. For most people though, they should be lowering the weight and raising it through the full range of motion.

Unless you want to get really good at doing quarter squats or partial pull-ups, you must carry the load from beginning to end as much distance as safely possible.

Not Paying as Much Attention to Your Lower Body

It seems men are more guilty of this than women are. It’s the beach body mentality – arms and chest get priority. Unless you want to look like Mr Potato Head, you need to be training your lower body with the same intensity as your upper.

Your quads, hamstrings, hips, and glutes are huge muscles – much bigger than your chest, biceps, and triceps. Adding muscle to these areas will do amazing things for your physique.

Not Including a Form of Periodization or Progressive Overload

Do you keep track of your workouts? If you’re going into the gym and doing the same thing each time, you’re never going to make any real progress.

You must plan your workouts so that you’re continually getting stronger over a period of time. You might have to push forward with weight and then back off some before pushing forward again, but the overall trend should be up if your goal is to get stronger.

Unknowingly Creating Muscle Imbalances

Antagonistic muscles, the muscles that are opposite the muscles getting worked, need to be trained in balance. In addition, stabilizer muscles often get neglected, which keeps them weak and leads to injury when lifting heavy weight. Make sure all muscles in your body, however small or unnoticed, are being training equally.

Trying to Spot Reduce Fat With Exercise

Using the leg extension, leg curl, abductor/adductor, or glute machines aren’t going to help you tone up your butt and legs any better than any other exercise. That’s because fat loss cannot be targeted with exercise.

Fat loss is systemic, not localized. Use strength training to work your entire body and to create a metabolic environment that’s conducive to fat loss. Your diet will take care of the fat loss.

Attempting to Train Through Sickness or Injury

I’m guilty of this one. Getting sick or injured always seems to happen when I’m at the height of motivation. Let’s be real though – you’re doing more harm than good by trying to tough it out.

Give your body time to recover from an injury before you hurt yourself even more. Same with being sick – let your body use its energy resources to get you feeling better instead of using them to rebuild muscle tissue.

Not Giving Yourself Enough Rest Before Your Next Workout

You stimulate growth when you train, but you grow when you rest. Training and recovery are equally important. Your muscles must be recovered if they are to work at their max capacity. Depending on the intensity of your workout, the amount of work you did, and your diet, you may need 48 hours or more to fully recover.

Overdoing the Isolation Exercises

Isolation exercises are fun, but they are the long route to results. Compound movements, exercises that use multiple muscle groups at once, are much more effective at building muscle and strength. Make the core of your strength training program composed of compound exercises, and then use the isolation movements to work on weak points.

Keeping Your Intensity Levels Too Low

Simply going through the motions isn’t going to do much for your physique. Ladies, it’s time to put the colored dumbbells aside unless they’re difficult for you to use. Men, being able to squat as much as you bench is a sign you aren’t pushing yourself hard enough on lower body days.

Using High Reps Thinking it Will Burn More Fat

Higher reps don’t burn any more fat than lower reps. The goal of strength training isn’t to burn fat, it is to get stronger and add muscle. Use a mixture of rep schemes and then focus on your diet if you want to lose body fat.

Not Doing a Proper Warm Up

Warm ups don’t get the attention they should. Nearly every one of my injuries can be attributed to not fully warming up.

You must get your heart rate up and blood to the muscles before using maximal loads. Doing some dynamic stretching before a workout can help prevent injury and even improve performance.

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5 Simple Ways to Lose Weight Without Even Trying http://www.coachcalorie.com/ways-to-lose-weight-without-even-trying/ http://www.coachcalorie.com/ways-to-lose-weight-without-even-trying/#comments Wed, 05 Feb 2014 13:50:30 +0000 http://www.coachcalorie.com/?p=10595 girl doing preacher curlsWant to make the weight loss process 10 times easier? Then stop trying so hard. Here are 5 painless ways to lose weight that use very little effort.

Follow the 80/20 Principle

If you don’t already know what the 80/20 principle is, it’s an idea that 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of your efforts. This connection has been made in just about every aspect of our lives – business, economics, and even fitness.

Wouldn’t it be nice to only have to put in 20 percent of the effort to lose weight and still get the majority of the results? That is entirely possible and likely the way most people should be approaching their weight loss goals.

Why? Because people have a tendency to over think the process. Not only do they get stuck in information overload, but they also take an all-or-nothing attitude towards weight loss.

Focus your attention on the main ideas of weight loss – eat whole foods 80% of the time, get active, make healthier decisions, and you will begin to notice your body composition changing without having to really even try.

Boost Your NEAT

Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is the amount of energy you use to do things other than sleeping, eating, and exercising. For example, cooking, cleaning, walking to your car, making the bed, and carrying groceries are all examples of NEAT.

What has been noticed in recent years is how much of an impact NEAT has on the number of calories you burn during the day. In fact, it is thought that NEAT contributes the majority of our calorie burn each day, and is thought to be the key determining factor in an individual’s resting metabolic rate [1].

What does that mean for us? It means that finding small opportunistic times to move a little more can burn an extra 10 calories here and there, which add up over the period of the day. Try living a slightly more active lifestyle, and the pounds will drop without even giving it a second thought.

Focus on Being Healthier

What’s the easiest way to lose weight without trying? How about not trying to lose weight at all? That’s right. Since weight loss and gain is a side effect, we can influence the cause/effect dynamic by focusing our attention on trying to be healthier.

By simplifying our lifestyle choices down to the question – “Is this action going to make me healthier”, we can begin to lose weight via attacking the core of the problem.

You don’t have to worry about how much protein you should eat or whether you should eat carbs after 6pm or if you should exercise at a particular heart rate. Instead, just make better decisions in regards to your health than you previously were, and your body composition will begin to normalize to a healthy weight.

Enjoy Your Exercise

I’m a big fan of strength training for fat loss, performance, and overall health. However, I’m completely aware that not everyone likes to lift weights. If you are one of these people, don’t!

Nothing will burn you out faster or make you feel like you’re trying harder than doing exercise you don’t enjoy. Exercise is supposed to be fun. If you do it right, it will feel like childhood playtime.

To lose weight without trying you need to choose exercise that you will look forward to doing for the rest of your life. As the slightly altered saying goes – if you do exercise you enjoy, you’ll never exercise a day in your life. Think about the activities you enjoy doing and then get creative in finding ways to make them more difficult and challenging.

Stop Counting Calories

Now, I personally like counting calories. I think it provides valuable information for people trying to lose weight. On the other hand, I will admit it’s not for everyone.

Some people thrive simply by practicing moderation and portion control. It’s a sort of mindless eating that isn’t mindless at all.

They follow the 80/20 principle outlined above by eating whole foods 80% of the time and then not beating themselves up the 20% of the time when they eat “fun” foods.

They don’t just practice food quality moderation, they also practice food quantity moderation – otherwise known at portion control. Once you’ve established healthy eating habits, it’s much easier to just eat a little less.

There’s no need to count calories in the technical sense, as portion control is a form of counting in and of itself. If you haven’t had much success with calorie counting, perhaps put it on the back burner for a bit and instead focus on what you’re eating.

By eating 80% of your calories from whole foods, you essentially create an environment that makes it difficult to overeat. Eating whole foods creates the calorie restriction all on its own.

So, if you’re looking for ways to tone down the weight loss noise, any of the 5 methods outlined in this article will help simplify your weight loss pursuits. Take weight loss one day at a time and don’t overwhelm yourself.

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The Best Way to Lose Weight That Everyone Forgets About http://www.coachcalorie.com/the-best-way-to-lose-weight/ http://www.coachcalorie.com/the-best-way-to-lose-weight/#comments Sun, 02 Feb 2014 14:32:01 +0000 http://www.coachcalorie.com/?p=10586 healthy girl outside with towel around neckWeight loss would be so much easier if people focused their efforts in the right place. Here’s the best way to lose weight that everyone forgets about.

Most Weight Loss Tips Don’t Fix the Problem

I’m a big fan of weight loss tips, as every once in a while I read one that helps me to think about my fitness lifestyle in a different light. Read enough about weight loss and fitness, and you begin to start developing your own philosophies on the subject.

Not only that, but I find these tips highly motivating. At worst, they remind you of certain aspects of fitness that you might have forgotten about. At best, they can inspire you to push forward and change your life.

However, while most of these tips are beneficial, they still don’t address the problem of weight loss, and therefore are ineffective when used alone.

Everything Tries to Treat the Symptom

That is the problem. Nearly every one of these weight loss tips tries to attack the problem by treating the symptom. Weight is a symptom. Whether it goes up or down is an effect of your lifestyle habits.

Because of this, it makes very little sense to make weight loss the focus of your weight loss program. Instead, we need to focus on what causes the weight loss and treat the actual problem – a faulty lifestyle.

Focus Your Efforts on Creating a Healthy Lifestyle

What we need to do to effectively lose weight is simplify every decision in our life to a basic question. What is that question? Is what I’m about to do going to make me healthier?

That question is going to get right to the root of the problem. Each time you answer yes to that question you are shifting the momentum towards achieving a healthy body composition.

Think about that for a second. Had you asked yourself that very question during the period of weight gain you experienced, you would have noticed that the answer to the question would have more times than not been no. You gained weight as a result of mindlessly answering no.

That’s because weight gain is a side effect of living an unhealthy lifestyle. Just the opposite also holds true – weight loss is a side effect of living a healthy lifestyle.

Take the Emphasis Off Weight Loss

To create a period of sustainable weight loss we need to take the focus off of weight loss and instead put it on trying to be healthier. When we do this we begin to change our body from the inside out.

Ultimately, we should be trying to figure out how to be healthier, instead of trying to figure out how to lose weight. The latter will always leave us in a period of transition. The former will help us work towards creating a new healthy lifestyle.

Weight Loss is an Involuntary Action

Contrary to popular belief, we do not control our weight loss, at least not in the technical sense. We indirectly influence it with our actions, but we don’t physically tell our bodies to send fat loss hormones throughout our body to mobilize fatty acids, and then tell them to burn them for fuel. That is an involuntary action undertaken by our body.

So why try to control it? Wouldn’t it make more sense to let your body do as it may, and instead focus on the actions we take in our life that make us healthier both mentally and physically?

These are the things that are within our control. These are the things that empower us.

Once you’ve actually created that healthy lifestyle, influencing your body composition becomes as easy as eating less or eating more. The roots have already been established. Eating less is a much less overwhelming concept to master.

The next time you find yourself getting frustrated at your lack of weight loss, take a step back and remember the big picture. Refocus your efforts on creating a healthy lifestyle, and weight loss is sure to be a positive side effect.

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10 Weight Loss Secrets From REAL People With REAL Results http://www.coachcalorie.com/weight-loss-secrets-from-real-people/ http://www.coachcalorie.com/weight-loss-secrets-from-real-people/#comments Wed, 29 Jan 2014 13:45:42 +0000 http://www.coachcalorie.com/?p=10576 girl doing yogaTired of hearing weight loss tips from the fitness experts? Want relatable advice? Here are 10 tips from real people who have all lost at least 50 pounds.

Keep a Food Journal

While there were plenty of people who lost their weight simply by eating healthy, the vast majority of successful weight losers kept a food diary and counted calories. Journaling your food intake helps raise awareness about your eating patters. Not only does it help you  mange your energy balance, it can also undercover hidden relationships you have with food.

Move More, However Little It May Be

Getting more active is a common success principle for just about every fit person. However, among the people who lost more than 50lbs, the addition of more movement to their lives came in just about every form you can imagine.

There was strength training, walking, riding bikes to work, Zumba, dancing, and running. The ultimate emphasis was that doing something was better than nothing. Even 10 minutes of activity a day makes a difference in the long run.

Drink Water

If the majority of your day’s liquid intake isn’t water, you might want to reconsider that habit. Drinking water was the number 1 most submitted tip. Everyone agreed that eating your calories is much more effective than drinking them. Good old H2O does a body good.

Plan Everything

The difference between having a goal and accomplishing it is everything in between, and planning is what helps to successfully connect all the days together to get you to your goal.

Plan your meals. Plan your workouts. Have backup plans in place in case you’re not able to cook. Being prepared helps keep you on track so that you don’t reach for convenience food when life throws you a curve ball.

Love Yourself

Want to lose weight because you love your body, and not because you hate it. Lose weight for you, and not for other people. Get comfortable with seeing yourself naked, and start working on your body image.

These were all tips submitted by the community. Start working on loving yourself now. Changing how much you weigh is not going to change the way you feel about yourself. Work on improving your self worth from day 1.

Take It One Day At a Time

It might seem like there’s a long road ahead, and that’s because there is. But that’s OK. All you have to do is take things one step at a time. It’s the accumulation of many daily victories that carries you to the end of your weight loss journey. Don’t get overwhelmed.

Social Support

Surround yourself with people who support you. When we start a weight loss journey it’s very typical of the people close to you to question your lifestyle change. It can be discouraging to not have the support of friends and family.

Find someone to share the daily challenges with. That might mean finding a workout partner, joining a weight loss club, or hanging out in online support groups like blogs and forums. These people will understand your daily struggles and will keep you motivated towards your goal.

Change Your Attitude

Negative thoughts lead to negative results. Make you #1. Want a better lifestyle and your behaviors and habits change too. Have patience. All of the successful weight losers agreed that your attitude plays a major role in your success. Keep a positive mindset whether you slip up on your fitness program or not.

Moderation in All Things

You might be surprised that the 50lb success stories included testimony after testimony of how they reached their goals without depriving themselves of the things they love. If they wanted a treat, they had one. If exercise seemed like too much, they backed off a bit.

The key for them was choosing a diet and exercise program that was sustainable. They didn’t really have any foods that were off limits. Instead, portion control was the ideal that kept them free from excessive restriction. They also didn’t kill themselves with exercise – effectively using exercise to build them up instead of tear them down.

Never Give Up

If there’s one thing that was common amongst the weight losers, it’s that they all persevered in the face of uncertainty. They all “failed” at some point on their weight loss journey.

But they didn’t let this setback turn into something bigger. They accepted the situation and understood that the past could no longer be changed. Instead, they chalked up the mishap to a learning experience and got right back on track. In the end, they were a stronger person as a result of their failure.

These 10 weight loss tips came from real people with real daily struggles. If they can do it so can you.

Share this article and help all the real people out there with their goal to be healthy and fit.

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The Power of Planning for Achieving Elite Fitness Status http://www.coachcalorie.com/power-of-planning/ http://www.coachcalorie.com/power-of-planning/#respond Sun, 26 Jan 2014 14:01:23 +0000 http://www.coachcalorie.com/?p=10563 fit girl jumping in the airA goal without a plan is just a wish. It’s not enough to just set goals. You must create a plan to achieve them. Here’s how to effectively plan success.

How Planning Has the Power to Unlock Your Success

There are a lot of great ideas in this world, but only a small minority of those ideas actually turn into a reality. The connecting force that takes those ideas and turns them into a physical manifestation is action.

Setting a goal is the first step towards turning an idea into something you can touch, see, and feel. However, a goal will only get you so far. People set goals every year but only a fraction of these people will ever achieve them. The difference? Planning and action.

Planning and taking action are actually two sides of the same coin. I prefer to combine the two ideas into a single concept – action planning. Action planning takes a single goal and breaks it down into many smaller action steps. These steps build on one another and slowly take you to the realization of your goal.

The Core Fundamentals of a Good Action Plan

Good action plans share many common characteristics. These include:

  • Specific – vague goals get you vague results. That means simply saying “I want to lose weight”, isn’t going to cut it. How much do you want to lose, and by when? Give yourself an amount and an end date.
  • Measurable – your action goals should be easily measurable. You want to clearly be able to say you either did something or you didn’t. Make them black and white. Grey areas give you opportunities to rationalize your lack of results.
  • Attainable – it’s good to push yourself, but setting lofty goals can also set you up for failure. Let your main goal be where you reach for the stars. In contrast, your action goals should be small, targeted, and easily attainable. We want to ensure we reach them each time, however small they are. Over time, they add up. If you were to take one step up the ladder each day, eventually you’ll reach the top.
  • Progressive – your action plan should be progressive in nature. That means each action goal should build on the previous one. Your plan should resemble instructions – a way to get from point A to point B.

How to Apply Planning to Your Fitness Lifestyle

Fitness is all about planning. Much of it is about trying to be the best person both physically and mentally you can be, and that takes some effort. Here are 5 aspects of fitness that need action planning to achieve success.

  • Meal Planning – meal planning takes time, but it’s well worth the effort in the end. Knowing what you’re going to eat and when gives you power over food. Create an action plan by making a goal to find 10 healthy recipes one day. The next day you will figure out the calories, fat, carbs, and protein for each recipe. The next day you’ll add the ingredients to your grocery list. Continue breaking up this process until you’re able to reheat and eat your meals on demand.
  • Workout Planning – your exercise program needs structure if you want to continually make progress. With proper planning you should know what your workout is going to be weeks or months in the future. Write down what you’re trying to achieve with your workouts. Then, start writing out your workouts for the week. Set weight and rep increments that are specific, measurable, attainable, and progressive. Over time you will be stronger and faster as a result.
  • Mental Health Planning – this is probably the most neglected aspect of fitness. Finding ways to better rest, recover from workouts, and deal with stress is imperative to your success. Create an action plan to give yourself a specific amount of time each day or week to devote to decompressing. You might be surprised how this improves all aspects of your life.
  • Weight Loss Progress – if your ultimate goal is to lose 50 pounds in one year, then it’s time to break up that number into several smaller goals. 50 pounds in a year is about 1 pound a week, which is much more mentally achievable. Create action goals to measure that progress with a scale, body fat caliper, tape measure, and progress pictures. Hold yourself accountable. Each pound you lose empowers you and gives you the confidence that your ultimate goal is achievable.
  • Nutrition and Exercise Habits - where action planning really shines is through its power to create new and healthy habits. Changing your lifestyle takes a rewiring of your thought and action process. This is much more easily accomplished with small action goals. Your action goal this week might be to have 1 extra glass of water each day. It might be to cut out 1 soda each day, or it might be to add in 1 single day of exercise this week. These are specific and attainable goals – goals that accumulate and put you on the path to healthy and fit.
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How to Turn a Dietary Slip Up Into Weight Loss Gold http://www.coachcalorie.com/turn-a-dietary-slip-up-into-weight-loss-gold/ http://www.coachcalorie.com/turn-a-dietary-slip-up-into-weight-loss-gold/#comments Wed, 22 Jan 2014 13:48:32 +0000 http://www.coachcalorie.com/?p=10554 plate split with half and half healthy/unhealthy foodMessing up your diet isn’t as bad as you think. In fact, by following these steps, you can turn a slip up into a guilt-free spark for amazing weight loss.

The Common Scenario

So you’ve been eating right and exercising now for a while and have made some good progress. Then, one weekend night your self-control gets away from you. A couple of bites of chips and queso turns into a 2,000 calorie eating extravaganza.

You step on the scale the next day, and to your horror, your weight has jumped 5 pounds – effectively cancelling out all your weight loss and hard work for the past month. You feel devastated, hopeless, and angry all at once.

You begin to think that all your hard work was for nothing. You question what the point in all this is if you can’t at least splurge once a month and enjoy yourself. This thinking quickly extends the unhealthy eating, creating a downward spiral of negative thoughts and binging. Before you know it, you’ve reverted back to your old lifestyle.

Keep Perspective on Weight Gain

Now, let’s go back to the main trigger point (the morning weigh in) and see if we can change our thought process, because that 5 pound weight gain you experienced … was almost entirely water weight.

As always, we need to be mindful of the difference between weight and fat. Weight will be the cumulative total of fat, muscle, water, organs, tendons, etc. To truly gain 5lbs of fat, you would need to eat approximately 17,500 calories above your maintenance levels (3500 calories/pound * 5lbs).

I’m not going to say eating 17,500 calories in a day is impossible, but that would basically mean you were guzzling olive oil from the bottle all day long. Good luck with that. The point is, 17,500 calories is not the measly 2,000 calories you overate that one weekend night.

2,000 calories is about half a pound of fat. It is something that can be lost in a matter of 2 days if you get right back on track. The rest of the weight is water, and it will quickly fall off your body once you return to normal eating habits and start exercising.

Remember That Weight Loss Doesn’t Happen on a 24 Hour Clock

We have a tendency to think of weight loss in 24 hour cycles, but our bodies don’t operate like that. Time is a man-made phenomena. Our bodies only see energy balance over a period of time.

That means a 2,000 calorie meal can easily be made up over the next week or two simply be reducing your daily calorie intake by 100-200 calories per day. In the end, your body isn’t going to be able to tell the difference.

Get Right Back on Track

This is ultimately going to be the key to your success. You have to not beat yourself up and instead get right back on track. Enjoy your food. These things happen. No one is perfect. That one splurge is not going to harm you. Just like you don’t lose weight with a single meal, you don’t gain weight either.

Take some time to gather your thoughts and don’t dwell on the past. If you can, stay off the scale. It obviously isn’t going to give you a clear picture of what happened. Nothing good will come out of you seeing that elevated number.

Treat The Slip Up as a Much Needed Refeed

If you can get right back on track with your healthy eating patterns, you can potentially create a positive effect on your weight loss with that little slip up of yours. Think of your big meal as an unplanned refeed. This might have been just what your body was craving.

You likely have been in a calorie deficit for an extended period of time. Chances are, your body was needing the extra calories. This influx of food (energy) can send strong signals to your body that you are in the fed state.

When in this fed state all kinds of good things happen with your metabolism. Fat loss hormones are up-regulated and your metabolism gets a nice little boost. If you do everything right, you just might be surprised after a week to see your weight lower than it was before your slip up.

Don’t stress out over eating some extra food one day, or even a weekend. Stay mindful of what actually happened – you ate an excess of calories that is much less than what the scale is going to reflect.

Gather your thoughts and get right back on track. Treat your slip up as a much needed refeed and watch how that unexpected meal turns into the spark that reignites your weight loss.

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