Birds of a feather flock together… we’ve all heard the expression. Another one is, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. How about this one?? Introduce me to the 5 people closest to you, and I will predict your future. CEO of Pro-Train Food for Fitness, Chris Wilson makes it a point to hang-out with and hold mastermind sessions with individuals who either have stronger personality characteristics and strengths in specialties that he wants to get better in OR those who share personality characteristics and strengths in things that he wants.
Many of us use food as a reward. This is not such a good idea, Chris tells us. “You had a bad day, you say to hell with it, you order pizza and have a beer,” he offers. “Or, you get a promotion, and you feel great! You decide to celebrate—with pizza and a beer. Good or bad, you reward yourself with guilty food. But there are better ways to reward yourself, ones that won’t hurt your body. Get yourself a massage, take yourself out to the movies, think of something else you like and want.” And, Chris reminds us, “It’s not that you can’t have pizza and a beer. But ask yourself—do you really want the pizza because you had a bad day, or just because you want it? And if you want it, that’s fine, incorporate it honestly and thoughtfully as part of your regular week—not as an emotional impulse.”
Chris tells us that people move through three levels in their relationship to nutrition and weight loss. At the first level, a new client might come in accustomed to eating fast food, junk food, a lot of sugary and processed food, and practicing no portion control. At the second level, after some education and practice, people know to avoid those foods, and instead eat salmon, brown rice, whole grains—they have learned to eat healthy. People at this level will lose weight, for a while. But they will plateau, and at that point, Chris says, it’s time to take the final step: portion control.
To stay on top of your weight, you really need to watch how much you eat, even of healthy foods. And this will be particularly difficult when eating out, especially for people who eat out often. For restaurants, Chris says, “The more questions you ask, the better. How is this meat cooked? How much are you serving me? They may stare—but they may actually know and will answer. Portions can get huge, and you would like to know the quantities.” Know what you’re eating, and how much of it you’re eating, for every meal. And remember, write it all down in a record book. This keeps you honest and on-track—and will, down the road, be a great document for seeing how hard you’ve worked and how far you’ve come!
In closing, if you need any personal help or more one on one guidance feel free to shoot us an email @ firstname.lastname@example.org we will be glad to point you in the right direction and help where we can. Remember, you’re not alone and we are here to help you succeed!
Please, please, please… realize that food is not the enemy. Pro-Train Food for Fitness CEO says, “I don’t see food as evil by any means.” “I enjoy food A LOT! — chocolate, desserts, and great restaurants. But I plan my eating, and I pick my occasion.” You can eat the things you like, guilt free, if you plan it and make space for it in your week’s nutrition. There is nothing less productive than having a guilty relationship with food. If you happen to love pizza, or cookies, Chris says, “you can have it—but you need to set limits around it. Figure you will only eat these things once a week, or twice a week. And if your dieting to lose weight in a specific time-frame, be realistic and don’t think to yourself that you can’t have that food, say that you choose not to have that food for now until you reach your goals.” The problem, he says, is when we are not aware, and just drift into eating. “You want to be aware of inviting the guilty pleasures into your life. And that means, again, having a plan. Look at the whole week’s nutrition and ask yourself if a given meal is worth it. Is it going to be set you back? Are you rewarding yourself for the hard work out you did earlier? Or will you be doing a hard workout directly after? Everything is cause and effect and so long as we become more self-aware of our choices, Happiness is sure to follow since your now in true control and conscious of your actions.”
Here’s a guideline Chris offers: to maintain a healthy weight, most people need to have no more than three “guilty pleasure incidents” per week. To lose weight, you need to aim for just one, and certainly no more than two. But be careful—an incident isn’t a binge. So, a slice of pieces of pizza is an incident; so is a couple cookies; likewise, a margarita or glass of wine. If you’re not careful, you could go out for a big dinner and blow all of your “incidents” in one meal. Or, you can spread them out over the week, if that better suits your habits. But either way, regularly having more than three incidents will, in Chris’s experience, send almost anyone off track of weight-loss and possibly even into weight-gain. The best bet though is to plan these incidents directly before or after exercise (within one-hour) and/or consume 2+oz of lean protein prior to an incident, this will slow down the digestion process and keep any simple sugars from immediately spiking blood sugar levels which allows your body the chance to burn the energy consumed more gradually.
The less time you spend hungry, the less you will over-eat. There is this annoying little hormone we produce called ghrelin, the hormone that causes hunger. Well, to keep that hormone in control, you need to eat often. The BEST thing you can do for yourself in terms of controlling your weight is eat a well-balanced and nutritious breakfast, every day, within an hour of getting up, and eat appropriately (an apple, fruit, beef jerky, a little string-cheese, or a protein shake) every three hours throughout the day to keep your metabolism working its best.
“I had a client who just could not see how often he ate ‘guilty pleasure’ foods. He had an excuse for each one, but just couldn’t understand why he wasn’t doing better with his weight-loss goals.
He had pizza on Monday — but hadn’t had it in three months so it ‘didn’t count’.
Tuesday it would be doughnuts, for the first time in six months…and so on.
”What is the key to solving this problem of perception vs reality? Write it all down.“ In this client’s case he was instructed to start a food journal, the journal was simple with the headings “Day of the week, Time, Food Item/Drink Item, and Macros (protein, carbs, fat, calories).” At the end of the week they went through each item and for every ‘guilty food’, Chris had him put a red highlight through it and for every ‘healthy food,’ Chris had him put a green highlight through the item. By the end of the first week, he got to see how much he did this, how and how all of the ‘guilty meals’ stacked up against the ‘healthy meals’ and was able to be educated on what food choices were bringing him closer to his goals and what choices were keeping him from his goals.”
Keeping records of what you eat, opens your eyes and doesn’t allow you to lie to yourself even when you think your being ‘good’. The reality is that you can trouble shoot you’re eating habits and become mentally aware. Ultimately this activity will make you more thoughtful about what you eat—and once it becomes habit, You’ve nipped it in the bud !
Here are some resources you can use for food logging that I’ve found to be very helpful:
Many of us have no set time when we grocery shop. We head off to the store when it’s convenient, or worse yet, when we’re hungry and realize there’s nothing in the house. Ask CEO of Pro-Train, Chris Wilson and he calls this – “the chaotic shopping syndrome”.
Here are his tips:
Whatever method you choose to use for planning, build it into your life and watch how “easy” everyone else says you make it look;)
We’ve all been there. It’s 2:00 am in the morning. You wake up, you’re hungry, you head to the kitchen. There are cookies in the cupboard. Do you grab a few, or walk away? Or, it’s Saturday night. You’ve eaten healthy all week, and you’re out for date night with your significant other. They want to order a pizza. Do you go along for the ride?
These scenarios happen all the time, and can seriously derail your efforts to maintain a healthy weight or stay on your plan. It’s hard to know what to do when the battle in your head over food starts up. Is there any way to not wind up standing with the freezer door open, staring straight into the face of a pint of ice cream?
To get answers, and a plan of action, we spoke to our own, Christopher Wilson with Pro-Train Food for Fitness. Here are his suggestions for winning the battle over food in your head:
Why force yourself to rely on will-power? Chris says that, “Often people say, ‘I’m going to have willpower!’ But willpower is over-rated. Instead of trying to be strong and have willpower, people need to be more aware of behavior and actions, and their weak points. And the best way to do that is to change your environment so you can succeed.” Chris likens this to addiction. “If someone is recovering from alcoholism,” he says, “you don’t put them in the local pub and say, ‘Just be strong;)!’” So, if there are certain foods around which you know you can’t restrain yourself from, the best idea is not to bring them home to begin with. Start by cleaning out your office and house, and try to get away from the triggering food.
By the same token, you need to make sure that you are stocked up on healthy foods, so that you are not in a constant state of deprivation, and wind up over-eating in reaction. You need healthy snacks, and the time to go shopping for a snack is not once you’re already hungry. So, let’s talk about shopping….
Meditation can be as simple as those four steps, yet what it does for the mind—and, some believe, the body—is deep, and that’s where you start: with deep breathing.
Breathing is automatic. We rarely give it much thought—like blinking or swallowing. Breathing keeps us alive with a steady flow of oxygen and a cleansing release of carbon dioxide. But, also like blinking or swallowing, we can control the way we breathe, and we can use it to soothe ourselves and increase our feelings of wellbeing. Paying attention to and altering our breath is one of the core components of meditation.
Experts suggest noting the way you breathe in different situations, like when you’re happy or stressed or engaged in exercise. Knowing the way your own breathing patterns aid or hinder you in those circumstances can help you to correct it.
Breathing is a key component of yoga, tai chi, and Pilates, all exercises that are said to combat stress. (The Sanskrit word for breath is prana, which also meansenergy.1) So you could even conclude that proper breathing is part of the reason. Learning to breathe properly—through the diaphragm—is not difficult to master, but after a lifetime of bad breathing habits, is likely to feel unusual.
To get started right now, inhale while counting to three, then exhale while counting to three, and continue on in this pattern for as long as you can, paying attention to the pattern itself. Practice calm breathing a few times a day.
Deep breathing, or belly breathing, is the antidote to anxiety and stress:
Through your nose, inhale slowly, filling your lungs to capacity. Concentrate on making your stomach, rather than your chest, rise. This poses a special challenge for us, as we are so self-conscious about our stomachs that we want to bring them as little attention as possible, yet our shallow breathing could be a significant part of why we hold onto excess weight.
Once you’ve inhaled, don’t stop yourself; that’s another bad habit many of us have. Instead, when your lungs are filled, begin the slow process of emptying them. Visualize controlling the flow of air from a balloon, as if emptying it through a tiny opening. It should take twice as long to empty your lungs as it did to fill them, and your stomach should seem to pull back into your body.2
Stressed out? Calm yourself by doing this exercise five times in a row. This is a great anti-stressor. Notice how you feel afterward (you may be lightheaded when you try any of these breathing exercises until you get used to what it feels like to really breathe!).
Just sit there.
Meditation requires nothing of you but a few brief moments of your time and your complete presence. You don’t need special pillows or mats, you don’t need books or lessons, and you don’t need special clothing. It’s as simple as finding a comfortable place to sit or lie down (or stand or walk!) and focusing on something as simple as a word, an object, or your breath.
While the idea is to eliminate stress-inducing thoughts and images from your mind—you should not be making a grocery list or coming up with a new sales strategy while you sit there—it’s best to avoid a conscientious removal of those stray thoughts that enter your head. As you sit or stand quietly, focusing on a syllable or the air filling and leaving your lungs, acknowledge those other thoughts as they enter, but decline to engage them, and return to your focus.3
Meditation brings clarity and calm and can even help to lower high blood pressure.4 As it is with exercise, it’s the busiest times that you most need meditation. If you think you simply can’t spare those five or twenty minutes a day to just breathe, think about how much more efficiently you’ll work once you’ve de-stressed.4
And while meditation probably won’t directly help you lose weight, the mindfulness gained from regular practice can help to soften many of the habits that lead to emotional overeating.
Like other living things, it’s easy for us to fall into that cycle, too. In cooler weather, we slow down, longing for fleece and slippers, and comfort foods.
But there’s no reason you can’t stay active—and every reason you should. Dr. Gabe Merkin says that, while you do burn more calories in the warm weather, it shouldn’t deter you from exercising in the cold: “Staying in shape is a year-round proposition.”1
Before you head out on the bike trail, you’ll want to brush up on few rules of the road, and make sure your bike fits and is functional.
Geared to Go
If it’s 40°, don’t dress too warmly! A lightweight, windbreaker over a long-sleeved shirt, with a moisture-wicking layer next to your skin will do the trick. Comfortable, close-fitting pants are best, with bike shorts beneath, if you want some padding. And don’t forget your helmet! But that vented plastic cap won’t keep the air from chilling your head; wear a headband under it. Full-fingered gloves are essential when it’s cold to keep your fingertips agile—handy when changing gears. Finally, don’t forget to equip your bike with reflectors. You’ll need lights, too, for dawn or dusk rides.
Choose your route where there’s the least amount of traffic. Even better: find paved or dirt paths specifically dedicated to cyclists and joggers, which usually run through scenic areas. If you must share the road with automobiles, brush up on your hand signals, follow the same rules (that means stopping for red lights and stop signs), and always ride with traffic, not against it.
For more tips, visit: http://www.wellnessletter.com/html/fw/fwFit06Cycling.html
Find some popular foliage-viewing routes here: http://www.bicycling.com/ride-maps/featured-rides/fall-foliage-bike-routes