Cheers to Big Thighs, Butts & Bellies…or the opposite!

Hi Gang!
St.Patty’s day is this weekend and I know that some of you will be engaging in ‘drink fests’, so in hopes of ruining your fun ­čÖé I thought I’d post about calories in alcoholic beverages! And for those of us who drink alcoholic beverages, our intake of alcohol usually increases during the holidays! There are more holiday parties and family gatherings and opportunities for drinking when there usually wouldn’t be. Guess what, a few extra drinks here and there adds up! Top o’ da mornin’ to ya!

Just how much extra am I depositing into my caloric bank, Natalie? I hate to tell you but some drinks may pack on an extra 1000 (that’s right, one thousand) calories with as little as 3 drinks….

Now, for my RawFitnessTV readers who are working hard to lose weight, these extra calories can be detrimental to your weight loss efforts. So I wanted to educate you all about the caloric content in popular alcoholic drinks so that you can make the right choices! Below are a few misconceptions people have when it comes to drinking alcoholic beverages.

“Vodka, Rum, Gin (Liquor)┬ádrinks are low calorie”. WRONG!┬áDid you know that one measly shot of vodka is on average 85-95 calories, and the flavored vodkas are 100-160 calories per shot! Well, even if you get a diet whatever and vodka…it is probably going to cost you about 170-320 calories…and if you do a cranberry and vodka, add on the caloric content of the cranberry juice, you get the point. Here is a link for caloric content of some popular alcohols:┬áCalories in Alcohols/Liquors

“I’m┬áokay because I’m drinking red wine…it’s healthy for you…only 60 calories or something…” WRONG!
Yes, red wine has good properties, but in MODERATION. Opt for Dry Red or White Wine to hit 75-85 calories per approximately 3.8 ounces (not your average pour, more calories when you have a full glass of wine). The average pour is about 130-150 calories per drink…
Here is a link for caloric content of wines: Calories in Wines

“Margaritas, Martinis, Oh My”
…need I say more. Lots of sugar = lots of calories…your average Margarita costs you about 450 calories….oh so tasty martinis are around 175-200+…not good!

“Beer is no good”…Wrong and Right. Look, I’m not going to tell you that drinking beer is all fine and dandy but when it comes down to it, you can get a light beer for low cal, like 80 calories. This adds up of course, but the good thing about beer is that it comes in a bottle or a can and you can measure exactly how much you have been consuming. When you get a mixed drink or wine, the size/ounces/amount of your drink vary and you never are quite sure the caloric content of your drink. At least with beer you can be, this is the only reason why I give beer some props…so grab a Heineken Light and throw on your beer goggles!

Overall, just watch the number of alcoholic drinks you have. Drink a glass of water in between drinks. Avoid high sugar drinks with lots of different ingredients. Realize that even if you have diet soda (which I never suggest anyone drink) the liquor in your drink adds a hefty number of calories.

Don’t take part in the ‘Irish Yoga’ and work on melting away those excess fat pounds by doing a little Irish Jig and watching what your caloric and sugar content is in your drinks at St.Patty’s day celebrations;).

To Your Health and Happiness!!
St. Patty’s Day Party Pooper Nat ­čśë

Vital Tips & Must-Have’s of Travel for Weight Loss Maintenance!

When I say ‘travel’, I mean anything from being out on the road a majority of the day for work, traveling via train, plane or automobile (I love that movie!), hell…basically anytime you are going to be away from home for an extended period of time. You need to prepare for what you will be feeding your body while out and about, or else….you may end up at some fast-food restaurant toxifying your body and undoing all your hard work!!!
Let’s start with work. Some have a kitchen at work and access to a refrigerator and microwave, which is wonderful. You people have it easy! Bring healthy snacks (nuts/apples) to work and pack a lunch (salad, steamed veggies, cooked chicken) & if you need to warm it up, pop it in the microwave. Prep your meals in tupperware for the week on Sunday or at least the night before. If you’re out on the road a majority of the day, prep meals/cook meals than put it in tupperware and put in a cooler bag if need be. Bring some fruit & nuts for quick snack to keep you fueled and ready to seize the day! And for those that have the ability to stop on home, well…make sure your refrigerator is stocked with all the healthy options so you can pop in for lunch and get back to work!

When we travel, sometimes people trick themselves into thinking… It’s PARTAAAY time! I’m going to eat whatever I want and drink whatever I want. Big mistake!! You can undo all your hard work with exercise and diet in this one trip, all for what? Greasy, high sodium, high sugar, high fat, high calorie, highly processed crap (that will make you feel like crap, physically & mentally)…I’ve got one thing to say, IT’S JUST FOOD PEOPLE!! We eat to live, not live to eat. Ask yourself, why am I traveling to this destination? Usually it’s for work, leisure, adventure, sight-seeing? So keep this in mind when it comes to meal time, feed yourself with healthful options, then get on with your trip & learn to enjoy life for the experiences that it has to offer! Here are my tips for those traveling.

First, prepare for the actual traveling part. Whether you’re hopping on a plane, train, or bus, there will be limited healthful food options unless you bring your own. Fruit (apples, bananas, oranges) & nuts or seeds (almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds) are great snacks you can pack that don’t require refrigeration and can hold you over until you arrive at your destination. Or even pack your favorite protein powder drink mix (MY FAVORITE PROTEIN POWDER) and a shaker cup, all you’d have to do is add water to the shaker cup, and voila! And remember if you’re flying out of the country you must eat your fruit before you go through customs at your destination abroad. WATER is a must! Dehydration can make you crave all sorts of silly snacks and staying hydrated can keep you feeling full longer and keep you from getting headaches.

Second, once you arrive at your destination you will need to go into ‘live to eat’ mode. Whether you’re traveling for work or leisure, you will be eating out often. Main entrees and salads will be your go to items on the menus at the restaurants you visit. Pick light salads or steamed veggies and a lean protein. Ask for them to hold off on the butter. Choose light dressings and sauces that aren’t creamy. And always remember to use portion control! Protein should be the size of your palm minus your fingers, veggies should be two cupped handfuls, and ‘starchy carbs’ should be the size of one of your clenched fists.

To sum it up, remember all the hard work you put into exercise & diet and bring that mentality with you on your trip! Remember why you’re traveling, it’s not for the food, it’s to experience what the destination has to offer! Stay active and do some hiking, volleyball, run on the beach, use your hotel gym! I know you can do it, you will feel much better (mentally & physically) when you return if you stick to a healthy diet and exercise plan while traveling!!

Health & Happiness, Nat

H-2-the-O: Improve your ability to lose weight faster & feel better while doing it!

Improve your ability to metabolize your fat stores, recover from exercise quickly, increase energy, experience clear-mindedness, avoid constipation, improve your ability to absorb nutrients from food sources!

We all know we can die from dehydration…and the fact of the matter is that a majority of people drink just enough water daily to keep us going, but are far from being sufficiently hydrated. We drink soda, coffee, tea, juice, and other sugary drinks or artificially sweetened drinks throughout the day instead of water…this is NOT a good source for hydration people. First of all, these options are either high in sugar or calories or artificial crap that┬áthe body┬ácan’t process OR they are diuretics (coffee & tea). When there┬áare additional ingredients in our drinks, our bodies have to process that first, and then the body can use whatever amount of water is left. Look, you just need to drink plain water…no if’s, and’s or but’s!

 

Want to improve your body’s capability to burn up those stubborn fat stores?

Without sufficient hydration, your body stops working properly. Your body NEEDS water to perform all of its very important daily tasks. For example, if you’re not drinking enough water, your body’s organs can’t function to capacity, your Kidneys stop working at capacity and the Liver takes over for some of the Kidneys duties…well guess what, your Liver isn’t able to do┬ásome of its important tasks…and you know what the Liver does, one of its primary functions is to metabolize stored fat into energy….

So, without sufficient hydration, your liver doesn’t metabolize fat for energy as it should.

Constipated? Fatigued? Want to improve your immune system?

Water helps rid the body of waste. Your blood, muscles, lungs, and brain all contain a lot of water. Your blood helps deliver nutrients to the systems throughout your body, your muscles need water to recover, and water helps your complexion and is important for avoiding those wrinkles ladies…and men! Do you suffer from constipation? Think that taking laxatives will cure your constipation? No, in fact, your bowel function may become dependent upon laxatives, and you can’t take laxatives for the rest of your life…all you have to do is stay hydrated! Hydration is key in proper digestion and bowel function, without water you will be constipated. Fully hydrated = blood efficiently delivering nutrients throughout your body, efficient waste/toxin removal, regulation of body temp., properly functioning digestive system and bowel function = Happier, healthier, much better feeling you! Not to mention, aids in weight loss and weight management!

So now that I’ve lectured you on the importance of H-2-the-O…How much water should you drink????

Every person’s water requirement for proper hydration will be different. A general rule states that you should drink half your body weight in water…so if you weight 150 lbs…you should drink 75 ounces of water/day. BUT, there are several factors that can affect your daily requirement for H2O. You must take into consideration the following. Your metabolism, health conditions (liver disease, sick?), activity levels (daily exercise?), climates (hot/dry/humid/cold), altitude (high altitude?), weight (overweight?)…below is a link to a decent tool to calculate how much water you should drink daily. Figure out what you need to drink/day and then read my tips to saying hydrated below.

Daily Water Requirement Calculator

http://nutrition.about.com/library/blwatercalculator.htm

Tips to Remembering to Drink that Water Every Day:

It’s not easy to stick to your new goal of drinking ‘X’ ounces of water per day. So here are a few methods I show my clients to help them stay hydrated!

1. “Rubberband Man”: If you must drink 8 bottles of water/day. Put 8 rubberbands on your wrist, and take one off each time you drink a bottle of water.

2. Buy a good BPA free water bottle. Calculate how many times you need to fill this water bottle up to meet your daily requirement. Bring this water bottle with you EVERYWHERE. Drink a few chugs per hour. If you need to drink 4 water bottles/day. Try to drink 2 water bottles before noon, and two after 12PM before 7PM.

3. Buy a few cases of water. Every morning, pull out the number of water bottles you need to drink for the day. Take with you to work. You should just about finish up drinking all of the water bottles by the time you get home if you work a 9a-5p job.

4. Replace your soda drinking/sport drink/other soft-drink or flavored drink with water! No more soda or flavored drinks people!

I know you can do it. And if you are trying to lose weight, or are affected by any of the above health issues, than that’s a motivation in and of itself to jump on the ‘hydration train’!…or else….say hello to my lil’ friend!!! lol…

┬áJUST KIDDING!!! —-> Health & Happiness, Nat

5 Steps to Shed Those Extra Pounds Fast! Oh, and Facebook….

TWO TOPICS TO HELP YOU ACHIEVE PERMANENT WEIGHT LOSS!
Topic#1: 5 Steps to Shed Those Extra Pounds
Make ALL of these changes to your daily lifestyle and habits and drop dress sizes fast!

1. 98% of diet is whole-foods, avoid processed foods at all costs. This means bread, pastries, energy bars, soda, pasta, food with artificial sweeteners/coloring/preservatives. Eat only food as it comes from nature.
2. Consume the correct amount of calories/day for weight loss. Take your goal weight and multiply it by 10. This is your goal for daily caloric intake. Should never be any less than 1100-1200/day though!!! Remember, if you put your body into starvation mode it will hold onto the fat, so make sure you aren’t starving yourself! Also, on workout days make sure to eat a little bit more in the form of proteins and vegetable sources to make sure you have enough energy to push hard during your workouts!
3. Drink at the least (10) 8-12 ounce glasses/bottles water/day. Carry around a huge water bottle or jug so you can measure how much water you’ve had. Put 10 rubber bands on your wrist and everytime you drink 1 8-12 ounce glass of water, remove a rubberband.
4. Eat for what you’re about to do. Eat according to your expected activity level for the following 3 hours. If you will be sitting at a desk for the next 3 hours, then you won’t need much energy, so have a light meal. If you’ll be working out in 2 hours, eat the most nutritious filled meal of the day. Also, using a meal replacement drink can work wonders, especially for those times when you’re on the go or will be sedentary for the next few hours, but it must NOT be ‘Slim Fast’ or something ‘unnatural’ like GNC brands that have all that horrible crap in them that actually hurt not help you. I recommend Shakeology(R), if you have questions about it let me know!
5. Exercise for 30 – 60 minutes, 5 times per week. If you’re just starting out and haven’t been working out, then ease your way up to 5 workouts/wk by starting with 3x/wk, then 4x/wk the 2nd week, then 5x/wk by the 3rd or 4th week. 2-3 of the workouts/wk should be strength training of large muscle groups. And, at least 2 of your workouts/wk should be interval training ‘cardio’ style; meaning running, fast-paced walking, incline treadmill walk/run, elliptical, swimming, spinning/biking, plyometrics. To find some good programs/videos for your exercise needs go to Beachbody and click ‘Shop’ to view the fitness programs, they’re the only videos that I give my approval of as a personal trainer because they are designed and proven to get you the results you want and they come with complete nutritional plans! I do them everyday!

Topic #2: Nat’s Facebook 90 Day Beachbody Challenge
Need support and motivation from me, your friends, and others doing this awesome 90 Day Challenge? Well, guess what? This Challenge is FREE!! So to keep you on track with the above 5 Keys to Shed Those Extra Pounds and keep you motivated and supply you with the tools you need for success with your fitness goals, sign up for this 90 Day Challenge on Facebook and check out the details NOW!

Any and all questions, send ’em my way by commenting on this post or emailing me at nmeconi@customizedpt.com
XO, Nat