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Fighting Frustration

Frustration with weight loss happens for 2 major reasons.

1.When we focus on things we can’t control

2.When we don’t understand why things are happening

When it comes to losing weight there is only so much you have control over. You can’t choose where the inches are going to come off, how much body fat you will drop or even the exact number of pounds you will lose each week or month.

However, you can choose to focus on the major factors that will have an impact on your weight loss. And that’s your eating and exercise habits.

The amount of hours you exercise per week, your intensity and the type of training you do all have a huge impact on what type of results you’ll see.

How many total calories you intake, the portion sizes of your meals, how many times a day/week you eat out, how much you drink alcohol and how consistent you are will be the difference between gaining weight, maintaining or losing weight each week.

When we neglect the factors above and the results don’t come we get frustrated.

Not everyone knows how to make changes to their plans to make sure we can overcome plateaus and get the results we want.

When that happens to you the absolute best thing you can do is ASK for help. Surrounding yourself with  coaches and a team that supports you is crucial to your success.

Who’s standing behind you?

-Kiernan






The Science Of The Cheat Meal

Today I’m going to explain why cheat meals are not just ok but in many cases needed, but first let me explain a bit more on how your body works.

Chronic overeating (especially the wrong things) makes you fat.You knew that.

Chronic under eating KEEPS  you fat.You might not have known that.

That’s why normal “diets” stall and ultimately fail.We go from states of overeating to states of damn near starving. Your body freaks out and holds on to its stored body fat through a series of hormonal checks. Now if you are always way below on your calories or I should say nutrient intake keeping your body in a “starvation diet” these hormone levels are never high enough to release fat from the body which we will get into.

One of the big hormones involved is leptin. It is considered one of the most important hormones in body fat regulation. Leptin is nice and high when we eat a lot. Also when we carry a lot of  body fat. When leptin is nice and high your body has no problem allowing fat loss to occur.Understand that it does not just happen because leptin is high, there has to be  a reason forthe bodyto giveupthe bodyfat.

That is where a caloric deficit comes in.That means we need to consume less calories then we burn, which I’m sure you’ve heard before.Eat less and move more which means diet and exercise.

Simple,right?

Uh, no.You see that is where the problem comes in.When calories are restricted leptin levels begin to fall.When leptin levels are low the body will bring all fat loss to a halt. Great,now what?

It seems we have no choice but to eat more to get leptin levels up. But if we eat too much we get fat.See the problem? It can be a vicious circle.
But there is good news- We can use this information to our advantage.We can take what we know about leptin and make it work FOR us instead of against us.

How do we do this? Simple: Strategic cheating coupled with specialized workouts.

To be clear, a “cheat” is a pre-determined period of high calories and carbs, it doesn’t necessarily mean cake, cookies, pop, booze ect. The best cheat for our purpose is high in carbs, moderate protein and low fat. But basically anything will work so long as your carbs are high.Do not stuff yourself, but there is no need to limit either. I will further say that you should plan on only 1cheat meal/night per week.

Now thats where it can get ticky becauase each persons idea of a “cheat” is different. One way to tell if you’re overdoing it is if you feel you are doing the exercie and depletion aspects properly and you aren’t losing weight. Start your cheats moderately and adjust based on your results. Another miss step is when people cheat through the week and their body isn’t at a caloric or macronutrient deficit and “think” they deserve a cheat meal. This will only cause you to gain more weight. Thats why a basic understanding of nutrition is ideal.

Now for example if you were trying to lose weight you would keep calories (relatively) low on“normal”days, but then going much higher on“cheat”days.By keeping calories low we will be creating a caloric deficit so your body must turn to body fat for fuel. BUT you HAVE to use resistance training (specialized workouts)to maintain and even increase the metabolism for this to work.This is backed by research that shows even when calories are dropped to RIDICULOUSLY low levels lean body mass and metabolism are maintained and even increased–so long as there is resistance exercise as part of the program.

But remember what I said about leptin levels when you diet? They drop. And what happens when they drop? Fat loss stops.

That is where the cheats come in.We will use the cheats to up-regulate leptin levels.You see your body produces leptin when calories are high, and it does it fast too.So that means even a short cheat can get leptin pumping again and get you ready to burn fat once again

To be a bit more specific, leptin levels are influenced by 2 main things: Caloric intake and muscle glycogen levels. Glycogen is the stored muscle sugar(carb), and is in general a good thing.When dieting and working out glycogen levels will fall as we exercise and the sugar is used to exercise.

You can think of your muscles like sponges.When you work out they get rung out. And that is just fine as it forces your body to use fat for fuel. But to get leptin levels up we should refill these glycogen tanks.

Again, this is where the cheat comes in. So let’s put it all together.

When we diet calories and glycogen drop and thus so too do leptin levels. Then fat loss comes to a screeching halt. Ok, let’s fix that with the cheat. A short cheat one evening a week will do the trick quite nicely. Leptin levels rise, and now you are in a perfect position to burn fat again.

Ok, I know that was maybe a bit much to take in. Basically what you need to know is that you put your body at a deficit to start the weight loss process and you have a cheat once a week to re boost your liptin levels to make sure you don’t plateau. This works best coupled with specialized workouts built for fat loss.

Hope this helps,

Kiernan



How To Deal With Muscle Soreness

If you’ve just finished an intense workout session, one thing that you’re going to be at risk for is some pretty significant muscle soreness. This is a very common occurrence in those who are just getting started with a fitness plan and unfortunately can be something that throws them off track entirely.

If you’ve ever woken up the morning after a workout session and could hardly walk, you know very well what I’m referring to here.

Fortunately, there are some key things that you can do to deal with muscle soreness to help prevent its onset.

Let’s look at what you should know.

Stretching Post-Workout 

First, make sure that you are doing some brief stretching after your workout protocol. Many people overlook this because they just want to get out of the gym once their main workout is over and don’t really have a lot of time to designate to stretching.

But, it only really takes an additional five minutes or so and can make a profound difference over how sore you are after that workout session is completed.

Hot Baths 

Second, another way to deal with muscle soreness is to take some hot baths in the evenings after an intense workout session.

A hot bath is going to hep to boost the circulation in the muscle cells, allowing oxygen and nutrients to transport throughout the tissues, removing the build-up of lactic acid, which is what causes soreness in the first place.

Plus, nothing is more relaxing than a hot bath is, so you’ll reap added benefits in this regard as well.

Massage 

Going for a long massage is another great way to reduce your risk of post workout soreness if you can afford it (or have a loved one who can perform this for you!).

A massage will get to the muscle tissues deep within the muscle belly, so will give you a few added benefits over just stretching or taking a hot bath.

If you have muscle soreness that has been persisting for longer than a few days, a massage can be a great way to manage and treat this so that it’s not influencing you any longer.

Going for a massage once a month can also be a great reward to give yourself for sticking to your workout protocol for an extended period of time.

Sufficient Rest 

Finally, the last thing that you should be considering is making sure that you are getting sufficient rest throughout the week.  Those who don’t rest enough are also going to be at risk for developing muscle soreness as they’re just stressing their body too much on a daily basis.

Sufficient rest is imperative for success, yet something that so many people overlook.

You should always have at least one day off to rest entirely, if not two, and then have one added lighter workout day in there to supplement this rest time.

So there you have the primary factors to keep in mind regarding muscle soreness. If you can get these in place, you should find that you progress through your program in far less pain than you used to.