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Keep Your Weight Loss Program On-Track

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, March 06, 2018

FieldHouse, Sudbury, MAOften we try to get in shape in the summer, and then we tend to get lax about our diet and exercise as fall and the cooler weather move in, then we want to get in shape for summer again. This is a frustrating roller-coaster. If your weight loss program was working and has now tapered off, this is normal. No matter how faithful you are, from time to time you'll fall off the wagon.

Here are some strategies for you to try.

1. Visualize

Have a vision of success. The mind is a strong tool -- use it to achieve what you want.

While you're imagining, remind yourself of reality: excess weight and yo-yo dieting is unhealthy. Make sure this is a lifetime commitment not a temporary plan to drop 10 pounds.

To stay with your weight loss program, only keep healthy foods in the house.

2. Understand Your Weight Loss Personality

Personality plays a role in our attitude towards food. You should know your tendencies and tailor your weight loss plan to conquer your unproductive inclinations.

3. Write Down Everything You Eat or Drink

A common mistake is underestimating how much food you've eaten. This can lead to a weight loss plateau or weight gain. Keep a diary of your daily food intake (every bite, taste, or lick) can help you see where you're going wrong.

4. Beware of 'Calorie Creep'

A key reason for a gaining weight is eating more than you think. It's easy for portion sizes to increase. It is important to weigh and measure your food to understand proper portions. Try cutting your daily calorie intake by 100 or 200 to move beyond the weight loss plateau.

5. Watch Restaurant Overeating

At restaurants, rich foods and supersized portions can sway even the most determined dieter. Especially if you eat out often, look at restaurant eating as a chance to practice good portion control.

6. Eat Protein to Manage Hunger

A high protein diet can help squelch hunger. Protein foods work by suppressing a hormone secreted by the stomach that stimulates appetite. Foods high in fat actually raised levels of that hormone and increased hunger. Carbohydrates make people hungrier than they were before they had eaten.

7. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Fill up on produce. Eating lots of low-calorie, high-volume fruits and vegetables crowds out other foods that are higher in fat and calories. The U.S. government's dietary guidelines suggest that we get 7-13 cups of produce daily.

8. Push your Exercise Routine

Using the treadmill every day for 30-minutes or walking the neighborhood with friends is good, but your body gets used to it too. After a while, your muscles get used to the routine and become very efficient at doing the task at hand.

To keep your muscles guessing and burning calories, vary your physical activity and exercise routine.

Also make sure your routine includes strength-training exercises which help counteract muscle loss due to aging. Building and preserving muscle mass is a key factor in reaching a healthy weight, as muscle requires more calories to maintain than fat.

10. Try Yoga to Avoid Stress Eating

Stress eating is bingeing on food to soothe your inner emotional turmoil. You are not really hungry. Yoga lowers levels of stress hormones.

For more information on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, contact The FieldHouse in Sudbury.

WebMD

Personal Training is Great for Your Health

Joseph Coupal - Monday, February 26, 2018

FieldHouse, Sudbury, MAWith the warmer weather approaching, swimsuit season is drawing near. For many, that could mean heading to the gym and even seeking out a personal trainer.

There are many different reasons why people choose to be active, and there are even more reasons why picking the right personal trainer is so important.

If it is time for you to start strength training, something everyone needs for health and weight loss, do it right and seek out a personal trainer.

Do your own interviewing when it comes to selecting her personal trainer.

Find out what kind of training the gym has, what kind of people and clients the personal trainer you are considering works with. Do you want to run a marathon, do you have a chronic injury, or do you just want to be stronger and healthier.

The trainer you choose should also ask you questions about your health and medical history so they can customize the workout just for you.

Your workout should be custom designed for your specific needs because not everyone is going to do the same workout. The workout should be designed for your fitness goals.

Here are some questions you should ask when it comes to picking a personal trainer.

  1. Are you certified?
  2. Do you have a degree in the field?
  3. Do you have any additional certifications?

Any additional certifications, such as contract and relax stretching, Pilates, and cancer fit training will show the trainer has more experience and can reach your specific needs.

However, certifications can give people a false sense of security. It is important to look at what qualifies a trainer to be good for you and your needs. Check references and speak to their other clients who have had similar needs to yours.

It is important to look for other things besides just being certified. Sit down and talk to them, see what their plan is for you what their experience is. If it isn’t a good fit after a few training sessions, switch personal trainers.

Personal training can give you the strength and the motivation you need to achieve your fitness goals.

Getting your own personal trainer can be best thing you can do for yourself and your health.

If you are interested personal training, contact the FieldHouse in Sudbury.

Excerpts NBC11

Tips to Achieve Your New Year's Fitness Goals

Joseph Coupal - Monday, January 08, 2018

FieldHouse, Sudbury, MAIt's that time of year again...time to focus on your New Year's resolutions. Many people begin an exercise program, but abandon it before Easter. However, you can increase your chances for long-term success if you follow these five simple tips to achieve your fitness goals.

Determine Your Readiness

Make sure you're both physically and mentally ready to start an exercise program. Tell your doctor you want to begin a fitness regimen and you want to make sure you're healthy enough to start. Once you have been physically cleared to proceed, consider your mental readiness. How likely are you to stick with an exercise program once you begin? While there are many factors to consider, three are most significant.

You are more likely to succeed if you:

  • Have confidence in your exercise ability.
  • Receive encouragement and support from those closest to you.
  • Participate in an enjoyable form of exercise.

Create a Plan

Before you start your exercise program, answer three questions. First, when will you exercise? Identify three days and times that are convenient for you and stick with those days so you are working out at the same time each week. Second, what type of exercise will you do? The best type of exercise is one you enjoy. Don't worry about what everyone else is doing; pick an exercise that works for you. Choose from activities such as walking, cycling, running, strength training, dancing, boxing, tennis and basketball. Third, how much time will you spend exercising? Start with as little as 10 minutes per session and slowly build up to at least 30 minutes per workout.

Bring a Friend

You may know someone who resolved to start exercising in the New Year. Begin your fitness journey together. It will increase your chances for success and you'll have more fun. For this to work, you have to find an exercise that both of you enjoy. This might be a challenge, but it's worth it since an exercise partner provides you with a support system, a positive social experience and inspiration. There will be times when you don't feel like working out and a partner can be just the motivation you need to get going.

Take It Easy

Think of your resolution as a lifelong commitment to a healthier lifestyle. You are much more likely to be successful if you take it easy at the beginning. For instance, you may see people exercising at a very high intensity, but you should start with low-to-moderate intensity workouts. You may know people who train six days a week, but it's fine to start with three. You may see people engage in a diverse array of physical activities, but a 15-minute walk three days a week is a great place to begin.

Be Realistic

One of the biggest problems with New Year's resolutions is they can be extremely impractical. Setting goals is a great idea, but make sure they are realistic and feasible. For example, a goal to lose 12 lbs by Easter is both reasonable and achievable. So is a goal to complete a 5K run by tax day. Conversely, a goal to complete a marathon by that date is unrealistic and potentially unsafe for newbie runners. Think of it as if you were building a house. Start slow (i.e., low intensity and duration), develop a solid foundation of fitness and then build upon that foundation as your fitness improves.

For help achieving your fitness goals for the New Year, contact the FieldHouse in Sudbury.

active.com

Dispel the Cardio Myth and Lose Fat with Strength Training

Joseph Coupal - Monday, November 06, 2017

FieldHouse, Sudbury, MAYou run and run and run, but you don't shed a pound. What gives? It's one of the most common pain points for people who exercise. All of that effort and so little reward, but why is that?

Simple: Cardio often isn't the fastest way to lose weight, and it's certainly not the only way. There is a solution, though, which will allow you to spend less time in the gym and see even better results.

1.Burn More Fat With Strength Training

Far too many people are focused on how many calories they burn while they’re in the gym, but this is short-sighted.

Stop focusing on how many calories you burn in the gym and instead focus on how your body expends calories outside the gym. You burn calories throughout the day regardless of what you're doing, but exercise helps increase the rate at which you burn those calories.

With most forms of traditional steady-state cardio, you expend calories while you’re exercising, but once you stop, you quickly go back to your normal metabolic rate. Strength training, however, builds muscle, and more muscle helps you burn more calories — even when you’re sitting on the couch. Strength training is a critical component of any program than emphasizes long-term fat loss.

Think of it like this: The more muscle you have, the more fuel you're constantly burning. A treadmill or elliptical trainer is often seen as the quick fix to shed body fat — and they're certainly useful if your goal is to improve cardiovascular health or endurance — but strength training is a powerful ally.

2. Resistance Training Won't Make Women "Manly"

This myth just won’t die, and unfortunately, it’s horribly misguided.

It takes a lot of work both in and out of the gym to get big or bulky. You not only need to be dedicated to your training, but you need proper nutrition if you’re serious about putting on size.

There is a big misconception about what causes bulk. Bulk isn't muscle; it is muscle covered by fat. So if you feel that you are too bulky, then it is important to fine-tune your diet to lose the excess fat — not give up weight training.

Women have a distinct disadvantage if the goal is to put on size. They have about one-tenth the testosterone of males, and testosterone is a key component in the muscle-building process.

Women can build muscle, though. But in general, instead of big and bulky, they'll be the type of long and lean muscles many women desire.

3. Weight Training Benefits Your Athleticism

If your goal is to look, move and feel like an athlete, you need a corresponding strength-training routine.

Elite athletes need their body to function as an efficient unit. So focus on big-bang movements that utilize multiple muscle groups — both the prime movers and the smaller stabilizers.

The premise here is simple: Stop isolating body parts and pumping away mindlessly on the machines. Focus on compound, multi-joint exercises. Hire a personal trainer or coach and learn how to squat, deadlift, chin and overhead press safely and effectively.

The only reason your athleticism will be limited in the gym is if you follow an ineffective program or one that’s designed for “show” versus “go.”

4. Running isn't Always the Best Way to Get Fit

It’s not that running is bad, but it puts a fair amount of stress on your muscles and joints. Recreational runners can have injuries caused by weakness in the core and hip-stabilizing muscles. The better plan is to take time to develop the muscles of your core and hips first instead of jumping off the couch and running three miles.

For the hip stabilizers, start off with basic single-leg exercises like split-squats, lunges and step-ups. For the core, exercises like front planks, side planks and bird dogs will help get you stronger and more stable, making you much less likely to injure yourself when you do decide to run that 5K.

Some people need activities that are a bit more joint-friendly, as the pounding caused by running on a treadmill or pavement is simply too much. If you like more traditional options, a dual-action exercise bike or rower will not only engage a ton of muscles but take some of the stress off your joints as well.

If you want newer (and possibly more exciting) variations, consider kettlebell swings, medicine ball or barbell circuits, Prowler pushes or even battle rope exercises.

There are many different ways to get into shape, and while running is great, it’s just one option you have at your disposal.

The Bottom Line

Strength training can help you lose body fat and is likely a quicker ticket to better fitness than steady-state cardio. It also won’t limit your athleticism, but more likely improve it, and women can derive tremendous benefit from resistance training without getting bulky.

For those of you who like to run, remember it's only one way to improve your fitness, but definitely not the only way. So be sure to mix in some strength training to prevent injury and improve athleticism.

As with any program, though, you have to put in the work. It’s time to get into the gym!

Shake Up Your Workout

IF YOU... Run three miles, three days a week.

TRY THIS... Perform strength-training exercises with a moderate resistance for two to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions, focusing on the big muscle groups like your chest, back and legs. This should only take about 30 minutes. Follow it up with a 1- to 1.5-mile run to still get your cardio workout.

IF YOU... Lift three times a week using a machine circuit.

TRY THIS... Learn to lift with free weights and make those the cornerstone of your program. Make it a goal to learn one compound exercise per week. Good lifts include squats, deadlifts, chin-ups, rows, push-ups, bench presses and overhead presses.

IF YOU... Lift every day but don't do cardio.

TRY THIS... Shift to a more balanced routine. Strength training three to four times per week is plenty. At the end of your workouts, consider throwing in some form of cardio. If you don’t enjoy running, try different options like the rower, kettlebell training or even battle ropes if your gym has them.

For more information, contact The FieldHouse in Sudbury.

By Mike RobertsonMay 16, 2017


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