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Trimming or Stuffing Your Figure this Holiday Season?

November 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Healthy Holiday Eating Tips to Help You Continue to Lose Weight

Considering that a traditional Thanksgiving Meal has more calories than some women should eat in an entire day, there are some tips I want you to follow to be sure that the only thing stuffed on Thanksgiving Day is the turkey and not YOU!  So, how do you avoid weight gain or at least maintain your figure during the Holidays? It really is simple math, but you have to be willing to look at the numbers……

The Unpalatable Reality

 Let’s put things in perspective. Let’s say you are going to your family’s house for Thanksgiving Dinner and when you arrive you start with one glass of wine and a few tortilla chips and dip while you are visiting. Then you sit down to a modest portion (6oz) of white and dark turkey, half a cup each of stuffing, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole and on the side, a dinner roll. After dinner you top it off with a slice of apple pie. Sounds reasonable, not overdoing it, right? Well that one dinner alone comes to… wait for it….. 1760 calories! You would need to walk 17.6 miles at a good pace to burn off that meal! And that doesn’t even include everything else you ate that day. Since it only takes an extra 3500 calories than what your body burns to create a pound of body fat, you are already half way there in one day!

Chances are that if you stop there, eat well and exercise the week before and after, you won’t see much movement on the scale. However, if you slack off your workouts, indulge for days, eat lots of leftovers and comfort food, you could easily gain 3-5lbs of stored body fat, in just a week or two. This is fat that could prevent you from zipping up your jeans, fitting in your holiday dress and from looking and feeling your best this holiday season. Now when you finally get back to your workouts, you will be working on the new fat you gained not, the original goals you started with.

The Yummy Solutions

Follow my top five tips for keeping your shape and maybe even trimming up your figure from Thanksgiving Meal to New Years Eve parties…… and beyond!

1. Don’t go hungry. Never put yourself in a situation where you are 1) Starving and 2) have access to tons of high calorie foods. Take the edge off with some high fiber and/or moderate protein foods 30-60 minutes BEFORE the party or meal.

2. Exercise, and then do some more. Did you workout this morning? Great, now tonight, go for a walk, get active. On the weekend rake some leaves, clean out the garage and don’t be bum! The more calories your body burns the less likely you are to gain weight. I know, duh right? Well sometimes it’s good to be reminded that catching up on with your DVR is not helping to avoid the tummy bulge or saddlebags, unless of course you are doing it on the treadmill!

3. Save it. Is your Mom’s casserole to die for and the stuffing just ok? Why waste calories on the stuff (no pun intended) you don’t LOVE or things you can eat every other day of the week? Try a taste of everything you want, but save your calories for the good stuff without overindulging in them.

4. During big meals keep it balanced and stay in control. Serve your own plate and look at it in fourths. One fourth will include one serving of protein (lean meats), another fourth should be one serving of carbohydrates (a roll, potatoes, stuffing) and the last half of your plate can be 2-3 small servings veggies (green beans, salad, peas). Balancing carbs with protein and fiber will help regulate your blood sugar (which is key for weight management), keep you more satisfied and help avoid the bulge. Any extra servings are just calories begging to be stored as fat.

5. Drink lots of water. Sometimes that feeling of hunger is actually thirst. Stay hydrated throughout the day, every day, to avoid eating extra calories and to satisfy your body’s need for water.

Remember you can’t undo months or even just weeks of hard work in only one meal. But, by adopting healthier habits that include healthy holiday meals you can earn your ticket to a great figure now and for the rest of your years. Cheers!

 

Categories: Diet, Motivation, Weight Loss

There is More to Getting and Staying Fit Than Just Working Out

October 28, 2009 1 comment

We women are social creatures! While men thrive on competition we do our best when we are surrounded by a group of friendly supportive people who we can chat with and go to for feedback and ideas. This why I think Boot Camp programs are one of the most successful programs for weight loss and improving your health. It’s you AND your group against the battle of the bulge. You don’t have to do it alone.

Niki G's Online CommunityHowever, there is more than just exercising in a group to be successful in your fitness journey. That is why I created my online community at www.nikigfitness.ning.com

This free group is for any woman whether you train with me or not. I want you to have a place to share your goals, your success and even your frustrations. A place you find or submit your favorite recipes or find a workout buddy!

 

 

 

Here is what is going on there now:

Blog Response:
“Thank you for sharing this with us. I think that most everyone can relate to what you are saying in one way or another. How are things coming along for you? Are you still hanging in there?”
  
“…Girl, thanks for the encouragement, i will hang in there!
And I do believe you that it’s getting easier. Thank heavens!!! It also feels good to be sore!
You’re right too about “where it is hard but it’s a good hard”! ha ha ha \o/
Perfect sense!”
  
In Weight Loss: Share what works for you…
“…But really looking back it took me writing down what I was eating and how much I was eating. No matter how much exercise I do, I will not take the pounds off unless I pay attention to what I am putting in my body.”

In Recipes: Salsa Chicken
“I finally made this and it was delicious! My husband loved it too! I think that it would also be delicious served in a warm whole wheat tortilla if you want to give a different twist!”

Groups:

-Team Niki G Fitness (Running/Walking)
-Brentwood Boot Campers
 class=”hiddenSpellError” pre=””>-Fit Mamas
 
Check it all out and join the discussion at http://nikigfitness.ning.com/

Why Do you Gain Weight When You Start a New Exercise Program?

October 21, 2009 Leave a comment

mad at scaleDid you start a new exercise program recently to lose weight, but the scale has gone UP instead of DOWN? Don’t be alarmed! Unless you are hitting the donut shop after all your workouts, this is nothing to worry about, in fact it’s normal! See, whenever you begin or completely change your workout program, your body will retain water. This weight gain is NOT fat and it’s not even muscle, at least not yet…

 The reason for the water retention is because your muscles begin to temporarily store more glycogen when you “shock” the body with exercise that your body is not used to. This extra glycogen will pull more water into your muscles. Glycogen is simply stored carbohydrates and carbohydrates are what your bodies needs to fuel your workouts. Like super fast weight loss (like from fasting or no-carb diets), this is only a temporary condition. As your body adapts to your increased need for carbohydrates, the water retention will decrease. 

Now if you have been at it for a while and you are still not losing weight (fat) it’s time to look at your overall program and what you are eating. If you have been keeping a diet and exercise journal, this will be easy. If not, ask yourself:

 “Have I been eating to lose or just maintain?”

and

 “Have I been getting enough exercise (usually 60-90 minutes 5-6 days a week) to lose weight and change my body?”

and another question and one of the biggest issues I find with people who workout but don’t see results…

“Am I working out intensely and burning the maximum amount of calories during my workout, instead of just going through the motions?.”

If you answered no, to any question, it’s time to focus on how you can start taking steps in the right direction: more consistency, longer and/or more intense calorie burning workouts, better eating habits, balanced nutrition etc.  Just contact me if you need that little nudge….

Niki G

nicole@nikigfitness.com

Target Heart Rate Zone is a Joke if You are Serious about Losing Weight

October 14, 2009 2 comments

woman runnerHave you ever heard that to lose weight you should stay in the “Target Heart Rate Zone?” This term may sound important and technical, but it’s actually a joke, especially if you are serious about losing weight.

Let me just start out by saying that while it may be safer for those just starting a workout program to start at a low intensity level, most people who are looking to change their body need a more intense exercise program. While some exercise is better than none, our bodies are amazing and you are probably capable of more than you think!

The idea behind the “Target Heart Rate Zone” is that since you use fat for energy at low intensities and primarily carbohydrates at higher intensities that you should not exercise at an intense level. Now think about this, do you really think intense exercise is bad for you and that  it won’t get you into incredible shape?  This is where the “Target Heart Rate Zone” becomes very deceptive because it’s actually the high intensity exercise that burns the MOST CALORIES! Isn’t that really the name of game? If you burn more calories, you burn more fat, period. It doesn’t matter the percentage. It’s the overall total calories burned that counts.

Carbohydrates are the preferred source of energy in the body. Why work against it? You might think, don’t I need to use fat as energy to burn fat? Nope. When you take into account the fact that high intensity exercise increases your overall metabolic rate much higher than low intensity training AFTER your workout and throughout the day, you would best make use of your exercise time doing high intensity training and burning more calories. That means that if you and your co-worker both worked out this morning and she walked for 30 minutes at a low intensity level and you ran for 30 minutes and kept the intensity level high, you would be more likely to burn more fat while you are both sitting at your desks that day. Guess who’s going to look better at the company Holiday Party this year?

So, remember this: the more calories you burn, the more fat your burn. Forget about percentages and fancy terms. Workout as hard as you can and as long as you can, eat to lose (don’t diet!!!) and you will see changes faster than you can find your calculator to figure out your “Target Heart Rate Zone.”

Additional Reading for You…..

What is the fat burning zone? Should I run more slowly to lose fat?http://www.runningforfitness.org/faq/weightloss.php

Busting the Great Myths of Fat Burning: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/busting-the-great-myths-of-fat-burning.html

Categories: Motivation, Weight Loss

Team Niki G Fitness Completes First 5K, The Race for the Cure in Brentwood, TN

October 12, 2009 Leave a comment
race day

Team Niki G Fitness

Congratulations to Team Niki G Fitness! On Oct. 10th, after a 60 minute Boot Camp class, several of our Boot Campers loaded into one of my in-home client’s SUV and made our way  from Granny White Park to Maryland Farms to meet up with the rest of our team and run what for many of them would be their first 5k; The Race for the Cure!  The excitement they all shared at the finish line was incredible. After completing her first 5k in a little over 35 minutes, one Boot Camper came up to me and gave me a big hug saying “I ran the whole way, and it’s all because of you!” Actually, it’s because she started Boot Camp a couple of months ago, didn’t give up and stayed committed to her program. This is also the same Boot Camper who told me while running our warm up mile on her first day, “I don’t think I can do this.” Obviously, I showed her she could. Now here she is running her first 5k!

The entire team did wonderful! We all finished in about 35 minutes and which gave us plenty of time and chat and plan our next race… the Blvd Bolt on Thanskgiving Day. All I can say is stay tuned for the pictures next month because you are NOT going to want to miss them!!!

And remember, you can do ANYTHING, one step at a time!

Double Your Diet and Exercise Results by Journaling

September 29, 2009 Leave a comment

I hear it all the time, “But I eat really well and I still haven’t lost any weight.” That’s their viewpoint until they actually start documenting everything they eat. As the day goes by you may be eating mindlessly or even eating more than you thought.  Improper portion sizes are the biggest setback I find when evaluating journals. Even I had a hard time shedding the pregnancy pounds after my second daughter was born until I began keeping a food journal with an online program!

relaxedlaptopStudies  now show what I have been telling clients for years — those who keep a diet and exercise journal lose two times as much weight as those that don’t! This is good news for anyone keeping a journal whether your goal is to lose weight, run a marathon or even just tone up. While you might be one to complain about the hassle of keeping a journal, wouldn’t you agree that it’s much better than not fitting into your clothes, or worse, having medical issues due to your size or lack of physical fitness?

Make the Change
It’s never too late to change your fitness level and lifestyle. Simply pick up a small notebook at the store and update it two-three times a day with exactly what you did that day to get healthier. Include everything you ate and any exercise you did. The more information you provide in your journal the better. Chances are, you already know what you should be eating to achieve your goals — the journal will just provide additional discipline and accountability!

Now, if you enjoy the convenience of the computer or you need some guidance in the nutrition department there are many online programs, like my Niki G Fitness Tracker I use with my clients,  that allow you set up an account and enter in the food you eat. Some even have technology to give you a snapshot regarding how well you are doing by providing charts, graphs or “report cards” and some provide meal planning.

Just remember, keeping a journal does not have to be forever. Once you reach your goals and get used to writing down everything you eat and learning how to balance out your meals, you won’t need the journal. And if you get off track, you can always just pick up the pen and paper (or mouse) once again!

Niki G Raises Money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation

September 28, 2009 Leave a comment

Niki G's Raise for the Cure TeamOn October 10th, 2009 Niki G’s Fitness team will participate in the Race for the Cure at Maryland Farms in Brentwood. This is a great way for you to burn some calories and raise money for a good cause!

To a part of the largest 5K Run/Walk series in the world and Join Niki G in the Fight Against Breast Cancer please register at http://2009greaternashvilleraceforthecure.kintera.org/nikigfitnessbootcampbrentwood 
Our goal is to raise at least $1000 and we are just over a third of the way with less than two weeks to go!
All team members will receive a special Team Niki G t-shirt and can choose between our walking or running group.
Please contact Niki with any questions at www.nikigfitness.com
Categories: Motivation, Nashville, Running