Spring Makeover Challenge – Week 1

In the colder climates, it is common over the winter months to gain a little weight. The days are shorter, it’s cold outside and we just don’t get as much activity and access to local healthy fruits and vegetables.  It’s one of the reasons that every spring we launch our annual Spring Makeover Challenge to help our clients shed that extra winter layer.  Each of our trainers have teams and we all compete against each other to see who can ramp it up the most and achieve the best results.  There’s nothing like a friendly competition and peer pressure to get you to do what you need to do to reach your goals.

Although the principles to fat loss and healthy living are pretty simple, each trainer has a different approach to encouraging his or her team to adhere to the program and win. This year, I thought I would share each team’s approach so that you could follow along from home.  Feel free to adhere to just one trainers’ program or mix it up and try each approach and see which one works best for you.

Derrick Spring Makeover Challenge   Week 1Today, we start with Derrick DeLay. He has been a trainer with us at NWPT for 10 years, been awarded Personal Trainer of the year multiple times, is a fitness presenter and author of “Go Beyond Good: The Trail to a Lifetime of Health and Vitality”.  We call him our “CEO – Chief Education Officer” because he is brilliant, a walking encyclopedia and has an incredible capacity to inspire and inform others.

Derrick DeLay’s Guidelines:

  1. High Intensity Interval Diet Program
    • Monday through Friday follow a low-calorie, nutrient-dense 3 meals per day diet
    • Monday through Friday no alcohol
    • Monday through Friday drink 80-100 ounces of water per day
    • Saturday and Sunday do whatever you want!
  1. Cardiovascular Exercise
    • Accumulate 150 minutes a week
    • For best results do cardio 7 days a week
    • Do whatever you like the best – Walk, Run, Ride, Swim, Hike
  1. Strength Training
    • Two 15-30 minute full-body strength workouts per week

The Method Behind the Madness:

Derrick’s approach is based on the fact that most diets fail because people can’t stay on the diet for the long-term so as soon as they go off the diet, they gain the weight back. Statistics show that most people can stick to a diet for about a week before they fail.  The Interval Diet accounts for this and allows for 2 ‘Free or Cheat Days” each week.  So you follow an extreme, low-calorie 5 day diet and then go back to eating the way you did before the diet.  The cheat days are built into the program so you don’t have to feel guilty about it.

The Program:

Even though you won’t be getting all the calories you need on this diet (Remember, eating fewer calories than you need is how you lose weight.) you will be getting plenty of nutrients. Your body has plenty of stored calories (fat) for you to burn in order to make up the deficit you create by not eating enough. This high-nutrient diet will provide you enough vitamins and minerals to improve your health as you lose weight.

This eating plan is designed to achieve maximum fat loss results in the shortest time possible.  Do you want fantastic results?  Great!  Follow this plan exactly as it is.  The Interval Diet is an extreme diet and you wouldn’t or couldn’t stick to it long-term, but you can do it for 5 days.  As you follow this plan exactly, the best way to make sure you are eating the correct amount of calories throughout the day is to measure your food. If you aren’t measuring your food, you are guessing! Guessing doesn’t produce the results you want.

You will notice there are no snacks on this program.  That is by design.  Instead of food, you will be snacking on stored body fat between meals.  Ideally you will feel hungry between meals. That feeling means fat is burning.

Meal 1: Choose 1 Option

*Take a picture of your food before you eat.*

Option 1 Fresh Fruit Eat 300 calories of fruit. (2 small apples=100 calories, 1 medium banana=100 calories, 1 cup of grapes=100 calories, 1 large orange=90 Calories, 2 cups of strawberries=100 calories, 1 cup of mango, 1 heaping cup of blueberries=100 calories)
Option 2 Fruit Smoothie Blend 300 calories of fruit with 1 quart of water.  Our favorite options are: Banana, Mango, Strawberry, Pineapple, Blueberries.Recommended-Add 1-3 cups (or handfuls) of fresh spinach (or other mild tasting leafy green vegetable) to your smoothies. Adding greens supercharges your smoothies by adding fiber, important vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients.
Option 3 Oatmeal & Fresh Berries 1/2 cup dry rolled oats1 cup of your favorite berriesCook the oats in 2-3 cups of water over medium heat until tender.  Add berries and enjoy!
Option 4 Scrambled Tofu 3/4 cup of tofu2 Tbsp water1-2 Tbsp soy sauce or wheat-free tamari1 clove of garlic, minced1/2 tsp cumin1/4 tsp turmeric2 Roma tomatoes, diced1 red or green bell pepper, dicedHeat the water in a skillet, add the garlic, tomatoes, and bell pepper.  Sauté for 3-5 minutes.  Add the turmeric, cumin, and sauté for a couple minutes. Next add the tofu, stir, and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and enjoy!

 

Meal 2: Choose 1 Option

*Take a picture of your food before you eat.*

Option 1 Fruit Smoothie Blend 300 calories  worth of fruit with 1 quart of water.  Our favorites options are: Banana, Mango, Strawberry, Pineapple, Blueberries.   Recommended-Add 1-3 cups (or handfuls) of fresh spinach (or other mild tasting leafy green vegetable) to your smoothies. Adding greens supercharges your smoothies by adding fiber, important vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients.
Option 2 Brown Rice and Broccoli 1 cup of cooked brown rice3 cups of cooked broccoli (or Cauliflower, Cabbage, etc.)Calorie free seasonings like salt & pepper or fresh or dried herbsCombine all and season to taste.
Option 3 Sweet Potatoes & Beans 1 cup sweet potatoes or yams (steamed)1 cup of cooked pinto beansSalsa and calorie free seasonings like salt & pepper.Combine and enjoy!
Option 4 Beans&Greens 1 cup of cooked beans (Black, Pinto, Kidney or Black-eyed Peas are all good options).5 cups of chopped leafy greens  (Kale, Bok Choy, Mustard Greens, or Chard are all great options).1-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped1.5 cups of veggie broth or water
Option 5 SuperSalad 4 cups romaine lettuce, shredded2 cups spinach, chopped½ cup cabbage, shredded1 medium carrot, shredded1 stalk of celery, chopped½ cup bell Pepper, diced½ cup tomato, chopped½ cup avocado3 tbsp balsamic VinegarSmash the avocado and balsamic vinegar together.  Pour over the rest of the ingredients in your favorite large bowl. Add some salt, pepper and your favorite herbs and spices to taste. Enjoy your huge salad!

 

Meal 3: Choose 1 Option

*Take a picture of your food before you eat.*

Option 1 Hearty Black Bean  Soup 1 cup cooked black beans½ can tomato paste2 cups veggie stock1 small onion, diced1-2 cloves of garlic, minced1 tsp of cuminCilantro to tasteHot sauce to tastePlace all of the ingredients in a large pot and cook on medium heat for approximately 10 minutes (the onions should be tender).  Enjoy!
Option 2 Veggie & Brown Rice(or Quinoa)Stir Fry 1 cup cooked brown rice OR quinoa2 cups broccoli florets2 cups cauliflower florets2 cups snow peas2 Tbsp of soy sauce or wheat free tamari1 tsp of fresh ginger or ½ tsp of dried ginger powder1-3 cloves of garlic, mincedWater sauté broccoli, cauliflower, snow peas, ginger, and garlic over medium heat until veggies are tender and water is gone.  Add the rice OR quinoa and soy sauce and cook for 3-5 minutes more.  Enjoy!
Option 3 Baked Potato, Broccoli, and Spinach Salad 1 large baked potato1 cup of steamed Broccoli (or cauliflower)Spinach Salad:3 cups Spinach chopped½ cup Cabbage shredded1 medium Carrot shredded½ cup Tomato chopped1 tbsp Balsamic VinegarAdd some salt, pepper and your favorite herbs and spices to taste and enjoy.
Option 4 Garbanzo& Quinoa Tabbouleh 1 cup garbanzo beans1/2 cup quinoa1 large cucumber1 cup chopped tomato2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper to taste.Combine all ingredients and enjoy!
Option 5 PowerSalad 1 cup of your choice of beans4 cups romaine lettuce, shredded2 cups spinach, chopped½ cup cabbage, shredded1 medium carrot, shredded1 stalk of celery, chopped½ cup bell Pepper, diced½ cup tomato, chopped½ cup avocado3 tbsp balsamic VinegarSmash the avocado and balsamic vinegar together.  Pour over the rest of the ingredients in your favorite large bowl. Add some salt, pepper and your favorite herbs and spices to taste. Enjoy your huge salad!

 

Yours in Health & Fitness,

Sherri McMillan

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Posted in fat loss, health, losing weight by Sherri | No Comments

Latest & Greatest Fitness Tips Hot Off the Press – Second of 2 Part Series

Last week I provided you with some of the latest & greatest fitness tips from the fitness industry’s top experts. Here are just a couple more and I hope you will take away at least one piece of information that you can use in your everyday quest for optimal health and fitness!

MICHOLDALCOURT 199x300 Latest & Greatest Fitness Tips Hot Off the Press   Second of 2 Part SeriesMichol Dalcourt on the Anatomy of the Foot and Ankle:

  • ¼ of the bones in the body are in the foot and ankle! There are 33 joints in each ankle/food! It is one of the most important, complex yet poorly understood joint/body structure in the body.
  • If the ankle or foot are not functioning correctly, you most likely will experience dysfunction and/or pain up the body chain – knee, hip, back etc.
  • The foot /ankle is such a beautifully designed structure.  It is stable when it needs to be and mobile when that is required. Beautiful for Read the rest of Latest & Greatest Fitness Tips Hot Off the Press – Second of 2 Part Series
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Latest & Greatest Fitness Tips Hot Off the Press – First of 2 Part Series

I just attended the International Personal Training Summit in Seattle and wanted to share with you some of the highlights from the event.  I hope that at least one tip will resonate with you and inspire you to reach for your Personal Best.

Kravitz2 161x300 Latest & Greatest Fitness Tips Hot Off the Press   First of 2 Part SeriesDr. Len Kravitz on Exercise Conditioning:

  • The biggest difference been sedentary couch potatoes who were lean or those obese was not diet or sleeping habits but actually their NEAT, or non exercise activity thermogenesis. Obese sedentary people sit 2.5 hours more per day than those who are lean and don’t exercise. So if I can’t get you to go to the gym, for god’s sake just get up off your butt more Read the rest of Latest & Greatest Fitness Tips Hot Off the Press – First of 2 Part Series

Moms, Be Careful What You Say Around Your Daughters!

Moms, Be careful what you say around your daughters!

I heard a conversation at a pool that went something like this. A young girl asked her mother why she wasn’t swimming. The mother responded that she was too fat and needed to lose a lot of weight before she could even consider wearing a bathing suit. Wow! What kind of a message do you think that mother was sending to her daughter? The daughter could easily interpret that response to mean that a woman must be skinny in order to do the things she wants to do. She must be thin in order to be beautiful enough to be seen in public. She must be lean in order to be loved.

Do you realize that girls as young as 5 years are dieting?

Sherri Brianna 225x300 Moms, Be Careful What You Say Around Your Daughters!Where do you think they are getting the idea for the need to diet and lose weight? Sure media plays a big role but it’s a lot closer to home than that! A young girl’s mother is her most important role model. Values, principles and beliefs are instilled at such a young age and last a lifetime. If a young girl believes you have to be skin and bones to be attractive, she will struggle with her weight and body image for the rest of her life. Moms, think before you speak. If you comment on your thighs and your cellulite perhaps your daughter will start examining her own thighs more closely and determine she’s not too happy with hers either! If you compare yourself to other women or models in a magazine, your daughter will start comparing as well. If you are always on some type of diet and then go on an all-out junk binge, your daughter will adopt the same practices. Moms – you can’t think only about yourself anymore. Mimicking is how most young children learn and develop. You have the power to help your daughters develop into strong, confident, beautiful human beings – on the inside and out or to become insecure, unhealthy, and negative.

Here’s some tips to consider: Read the rest of Moms, Be Careful What You Say Around Your Daughters!

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Muscle Conditioning Exercises YOU Should Be Doing

We all know that muscle conditioning is an essential part of staying fit, but which muscle conditioning exercises should YOU specifically be doing?

There are literally hundreds of different exercises and thousands of variations you could perform to get the results you are looking for.  So how do you know which ones are right for you?  Here are a few guidelines to follow when designing your resistance training program.

Start with basic exercisesRead the rest of Muscle Conditioning Exercises YOU Should Be Doing

Designing Your Cardio Program – A Little Bit of Everything is the Best Approach

Last week, we discussed the type of Cardio activity to include into your fitness program.  Today, I wanted to educate you on a few more training principles that can help when designing your cardio program.

First, every good cardio program should include aerobic and anaerobic exercise with some variable impact and agility training. 

Read below for the rationale and an explanation…..

IMGL6304 Designing Your Cardio Program – A Little Bit of Everything is the Best ApproachAerobic Exercise:

Aerobic exercise is easy to explain.  It involves going out for a walk, jog, cycle, swim, hike, x-country ski, indoor cardio equipment or taking a fitness class.  It includes exercise that is within your comfort zone and at an intensity that you could hold for 20 minutes plus.  This type of exercise will condition your heart and achieve numerous health benefits.

Anaerobic Exercise:

Anaerobic exercise is a more challenging form of exercise.  It involves the same activities as above but at a much harder intensity.  For example, it would involve going for a jog and then for 30 seconds picking up the pace and sprinting.  Read the rest of Designing Your Cardio Program – A Little Bit of Everything is the Best Approach

Posted in Cardio, Conditioning, fat loss by Sherri | No Comments

Choosing The Right Activity To Get Fit

Choosing the right activity to get fit is important and now that spring is here, days are longer and many of us have a renewed sense of energy….so instead of just jumping into something, take a moment to consider which activity might be the one that you actually stick to for the long term.

970177 10151561836956946 1921935068 n 300x225 Choosing The Right Activity To Get FitThe most important consideration when deciding which activity will be your primary activity of choice is deciding which activities interest you the most and that you really believe you could do on an ongoing basis.

The best activity in the world is the one you actually do regularly! 

If I told you that running was the best way to get in shape but you hated running, you probably would not stick to the program very well and would probably experience very limited results.  So, you really need to examine your interests.  For example, if you prefer to exercise outside, running through trails or hiking may be your answer.  If you prefer indoors, you might enjoy the energy of fitness classes, resistance training or working out on a Treadmill so you can be distracted by a magazine or TV.  If you like to exercise in groups, fitness classes or a walking, running or hiking club may help you stick to your program.  If you are a solo exerciser, your own individualized program may offer the solitude you are looking for.  It is important to determine the perfect-fit, custom-designed program that will facilitate your efforts.

Here are some questions to help you design a program that is going to work for you: Read the rest of Choosing The Right Activity To Get Fit

Posted in adherence, exercise, Motivation by Sherri | 1 Comment

Top 7 Exercises

The American Council of Exercise asked 17,000 personal trainers what was the one exercise they couldn’t do without.  The 7 exercises personal trainers can’t live without when designing programs for their clients are:  Lunges, Squats, Push-Ups, Abdominal Exercises, Running, Walking, and Yoga.

Well, 17,000 Trainers can’t be wrong so I thought we’d provide you with a little bit of guidance in each of these areas.

lungeb 300x249 Top 7 ExercisesLunges:

Stand with one leg positioned in front of the other leg.  Keep the front knee over top of the ankle.  Keep the back knee underneath or slightly behind your hips.  Slowly lower the back knee towards the ground keeping the front knee over top the ankle the entire time. Only go as low as you feel comfortable.  Keep your body weight positioned over the front leg – this is your working leg.  Maintain proper posture and keep your abdominals contracted.  Complete 8-15 reps each leg.  Intermediate:  Same as above but lunge lower.  Advanced – Perform the same exercise as above but start to add resistance by holding free weights.

squatb t800x500 214x300 Top 7 ExercisesSquats:

Start by standing with your feet between hip and shoulder width apart.  Set your posture by contracting your abdominals, pressing your chest out and up and your shoulders back and down.  Start by slowly squatting backwards while keeping your kneecaps pointing forwards – avoid allowing your knees to collapse inwards. Try to keep your weight equally distributed on all 4 corners of your feet – avoid allowing your arches to collapse inwards.  Lower to a comfortable position. You’ll notice that your upper body will come forward slightly while your buttocks travel backwards.  Now slowly extend back up.  When getting started, you may want to just start with mini-squats until you master the technique and then start dropping lower and lower once your muscles get stronger. Perform a set of 8-12 or 10-15 reps.  As you progress, add resistance.

 

pushupplanka1 300x252 Top 7 ExercisesPushups: Read the rest of Top 7 Exercises

Should You Workout if You’re Injured?

swimming1 300x166 Should You Workout if You’re Injured?If you’ve ever experienced an injury, you’ll appreciate the fact that it can really take you out of your normal fitness routine.  Often, when someone suffers an injury or is experiencing chronic aches and pains, they take a complete break from exercise.  But there’s rarely a reason to take a hiatus from exercise.  Instead, do whatever you can to move your body because it enhances your internal biochemistry, gets the good hormones flowing, improves circulation and blood flow which will all help with the healing process and help to prevent depression while you are rehabilitating. There’s very rarely a reason that you can’t move your body at all even when you are injured!

Of course, you’re going to have to modify your program a bit until you figure out the cause of your aches and pains and heal your injury.  Here are some action steps you can take if you ever find yourself having to manage an injury.

Count it as a blessing: Read the rest of Should You Workout if You’re Injured?

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Lazy Or Do You Need A Day Off?

Sherri Bike Lazy Or Do You Need A Day Off?

I like to start my day by revving my metabolism.  But I’m just like everyone else and some days I just don’t feel like it.  I thought I’d share the tips I use to determine whether I’m being lazy or I need a day off.

  • If I’m tempted to press the snooze button and I fall right back asleep, that’s a sign my body needs some extra rest. If I just lay there wide awake, I’m probably just being lazy so I get up.
  • When I first wake up, I will check my emails and/or Facebook and the light from my cell usually wakes me up and then I’m ready to go. If that doesn’t work, I may need some more rest.
  • If I’m really tired, I will force myself to get up and open the blinds, grab some water and walk around. Usually by moving around, I start to wake up and feel better. If I’m still feeling exhausted, the rest may be more important.

I’ve had days where both my kids were sick and my body felt like it was fighting something so I decided to take a rest day and reserve the energy for my immune system to give it a good fight. A workout will stimulate your immune system but if it’s already being challenged, it can suppress it and take it over the edge.

What do you do when you are sick? Read the rest of Lazy Or Do You Need A Day Off?

Posted in health, healthy, sick by Sherri | No Comments