Let's face it, most of us are going to find a time in life where stress dominates our existence. Deadlines for work, soccer practices for kids, what to feed everyone, in-laws, etc... Life can and will challenge you. So how do you stay on track with your fitness during the most stressful times? And, how can you start exercising when you haven't been doing anything?
People ask me all the time what they should be doing. Often the conversation goes like this:
Friend: Oh, it must me nice to workout all the time
Me: Actually I'm sure I do less than you think I do
Friend: I just don't know when I could even go to a gym or workout
Me: Don't make it into a big deal
Friend: What should I do?
Me: Start by going for a walk, but don't turn it into a grandiose performance.
Friend: That's not going to do much for me is it?
Me: Number one walking increases heart rate and burns calories. Is running better? Sure! But don't try to be a runner just to be a runner. (PS I'm not a fan of running to get into shape. But that's for a different post). Number two, you can reduce stress and take time to clear your brain.
Friend: Really... what else can I do
Me: A number of things, but try this. Pick 5 exercises that you know how to do and that don't cause you any pain. Do each exercise as a circuit, one after another, for 8-10 reps. Challenge yourself to do as many circuits as you can in 20 minutes. Or just pick two exercises like a Burpee and a Squat and do a Countdown. Do 10 Burpees followed by 10 Squats. Then, do 9 Burpees and 9 Squats followed by 8,7,6,5... you get the picture.
Friend: Wow! Thanks. I can do that.
Burpee and Bodyweight Getup Countdown.
Bottom line, don't turn your exercise plan into major event.
If you have a question or comment about your own exercise plan, feel free to comment below.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
e3 Report: Binges vs. Cravings by Coach Anjo So what is the difference between binges and cravings? Before we begin, we’ll need a clearer understanding on what’s happening when you’re experiencing binge eating. We’ll first conduct a binge analysis to identify the cue(s), or trigger(s). An episode of binge eating is triggered by one of three specific situations: 1) Breaking a dietary rule and reacting by temporarily abandoning your control over the diet. (i.e. “I messed up. I failed. I might as well give up.”) 2) Under-eating — individuals who are persistently or intermittently under-eating are under strong psychological pressure to eat (i.e. “I NEED to follow these rules in order to be in control. I have to!”) 3) Being triggered by an external event or adverse mood (i.e. “I can’t stand feeling like this…I REALLY can’t stand feeling like this….I REALLY CAN’T STAND FEELING LIKE THIS.”) Although it may seem like it, binges don’t just pop up out of the blue. In actuality, they are a product of one or more of these well defined processes. So in other words, binges are reactions to some irrational thought process. Either 1) we broke a rule and labeled ourselves a failure, 2) we feel so much pressure to not eat or avoid specific foods that it builds up and builds up until we can’t stand it and eat, or 3) we experience a negative emotion that we have no ability to tolerate so we eat. Are you relating to any of these binge triggers? If not, or maybe this doesn’t quite fit for you, then you may be experiencing something similar, yet very different. And that something is intense cravings. Cravings are no laughing matter. Cravings can make us feel compelled to overeat. The difference between “normal” overeating and binges is the amount of food consumed. And with binges, you’ll feel as if you’ve lost all control. With cravings, we feel an overwhelming desire to eat something but it is for the most part “satisfied” when we indulge. There are four specific situations that could trigger cravings and these triggers are less about irrational thought processes and more about environmental and emotional cues. The triggers are as follow: 1) Physical triggers (i.e. tiredness, headaches, hunger) 2) Emotional triggers (i.e. stress, boredom, worry, frustration) 3) Social or Positive triggers (i.s. parties, holidays, events, celebrations) 4) Environmental stimulus triggers (i.e. seeing a fast food restaurant, smelling freshly baked bread, finding your favorite junk food in the cupboard) In the most basic terms, cravings are triggered in order to receive some reward. If we are tired and eat, then we feel better. If we feel stressed and eat, then we feel relief. If we are at a party and don’t want to be different and eat, then we feel comforted. If we see a Five Guys and are reminded of those delicious burgers and fries and eat, then we feel good. This overwhelming compulsion to eat may be a reaction to the desire to feel good. A desire to comfort, soothe or relax yourself (they don’t call it comfort food for nothing, right?). This compulsion can be very strong and can completely overwhelm our logical and rational thoughts. It can feel as though we are on “auto-pilot.” Repeated use of food to feel better actually changes our neural circuitry. We become conditioned to seek out highly rewarding foods, like fast food or candy, in order to feel good. THIS. IS. HABIT. So what do we do now that we are self aware of what triggers binges and cravings? Self-empowerment! (Remember what the three e’s from e3 stands for? Energy, Education, and Empowerment!) So, in order for us to move forward we need to be clear if we are experiencing a binge cycle that is perpetuated by an irrational thought process OR are we experiencing overwhelming cravings for food in an attempt to feel better as part of a habit. Perhaps both? Once we understand what it is that triggers us to binge and/or crave, we must then systematically change our approach and mindset and avoid and/or prevent the triggers from occurring. Preparation is key. Healthy habit developments are needed. And positive mind setting is crucial. Binges and cravings can be prevented.
Monday, October 13, 2014
Hello e3 Fam! An update on our latest installment from our e3 Nutrition Accountability Group meeting! This past get together e3 NAG discussed strategies on how to eat as healthy as possible when you’re out and about. Wether you’re at a restaurant, as fast food joint, or on a road trip, we put together a how to guide that will either 1) keep you in track with your nutrition or 2) control your damage to your nutrition when choices are limited. The first step is to know what to look for. Protein is a must and veggies is second. At a restaurant, scan your menu, look for chicken breasts, lean beef, fish, beans, etc. Then figure how to add veggies, weather you go the salad route or ask for it on the side. One of the most important thing to remember when you’re eating at a restaurant is that the restaurant is there to SERVE you, not the other way around. So don’t be afraid to ask, make substitutes, be picky, just be polite about it so they don’t spit in your food! Second, you may want to stay clear of the main dish and just combine your protein and veggie combo via appetizers. Why? Well it’s most like that appetizers will be of less portion than that of the main dishes. Lastly, create a list of healthy restaurants to keep in your back pocket in case the scenario of “Oh I don’t know, where do you want to go for lunch/dinner?” Now as far as fast food restaurants go, I suggest you order the salad, plus a couple grilled chicken sandwiches. Toss the buns and add the chicken into your salad with your dressing on the side and free water, you’re good to go. There’s also yogurt and fruit cups that you can choose for our vegetarian friends. Nowadays, gas stations, rest stations, etc have marts, or at least, from the vending machines, there could be mixed nuts and beef jerky. Go for those, it’s best choice in a worst case scenario. And don’t forget to buy your bottle of water to wash it all down. So there you go as far as how to eat when you’re out and about and don’t have time to prepare your meals ahead of time. As for our mindset lecture, we discussed the meaning of understanding our insecurities, owing our awesomeness and graciously accepting compliments. Why is it when we see other's imperfections, we are ok with it? Why are we easy to forgive and continue to love, care, support, and encourage the other person? Yet we can’t do the same with ourselves? To find out the answer and more, you’ll need to join us Thursday, October 23, at 6:30 pm as we continue to grow more comfortable in our skin and find success along the way. In Strength, Coach Anjo
Friday, August 22, 2014
Hello e3 Fam! Yesterday’s e3 Nutrition Accountability Group focused on the benefits of vitamins and minerals and continued their practice on creating a positive mindset. With vitamins and minerals, we learned how the body utilizes these organic and nonorganic compounds to support and perform physiological functions, such as muscle contraction and relaxation, breathing, cell growth/regeneration, blood flow, etc. Vitamins are important as being coenzymes, transporters of essential proteins through cell walls, while minerals are important for building and transmitting nerve impulses throughout the body. When we defy our need for vitamins and minerals, we can create or exacerbate chronic health issues that range from bone disorders to cognitive abnormalities, from nervous system disorders to vision impairments, from inflammation to glucose intolerance. It’s scary to think that all these health issues can occur, but relieved to know that it’s preventable just by taking in a multivitamin supplement daily, along with adequate intake from a variety of foods. With our mindset training, the group discussed how change can be scary, challenging, and difficult. However, change can also be rewarding, beneficial, and fun. We learned that by changing our mindset, we can change our world. And by creating a positive mindset, the world around us becomes easy, successful, and fun to live in. Along with change, the group also learned the virtues of patience and honesty. Patience, in a sense, that in order to cultivate a positive attitude, we have to put in the time, effort, and introspection. We won’t be able to just get it and move on. It will take time and practice to be able to think positively. And with honesty, in order to adjust our mental attitude, getting clear of who we are, at the core, is important. We have to be brutally honest of who we truly are without judgment so that we can make positive changes if needed. Our next e3 Nutrition Accountability Group meeting will be September 4, 2014 at 6:30 pm. We will discuss the importance of water as well as move onto the next step towards happiness. I hope all will be able to attend, see you all soon! In strength and happiness, Coach Anjo!
Hello e3 Fam! Last night marked a new beginning to e3's Nutrition Accountability Group as we discussed not only the importance and benefits of consuming healthy fats daily, but also looking within ourselves to start viewing the world in a more positive point of view. By having a positive mental attitude and finding happiness first, success will soon follow. As a group we began a journey into changing our mindset. And like I said last night, this will not happen in one day. The journey into positive thinking may take weeks, months, maybe even years, but know that it is possible. That change is possible. Neuroplasticity. And to review, the first step is relinquishing control and TRUSTING that all will be okay. You must let go of your need for control over food and the control that food has over you. TRUST that if worse comes to worse and you mess up on your nutrition, that everything will okay. Move on, get back on track, don't dwell on it. You're still an awesome person and we still love you! Second, being AWARE. Become mentally aware of when negative thoughts and emotions come up. It's only once you become more AWARE that you can begin empowering yourself to CHANGE those thoughts effectively to ones that make you and everyone around you feel better. To learn more on how to start incorporating strategies to change your mindset into positive thinking join us next time on August 21, 2014 at 6:30 pm. Also the next lesson to be discussed will be "All About Vitamins & Minerals." In strength and happiness, Coach Anjo!
Monday, July 21, 2014
Hello e3 Fam! The second lecture on e3 Nutrition Accountability Group was just as successful as the first and again, I’d like to thank all those that attended. I hope that all of you gathered a new perspective on how to approach your nutrition and take into practice the strategies we discussed. For those who were unable to attend, don’t fret. I’ll now provide a brief summary/blog on the lecture “What’s The Best Diet?” below. I’ll only share a small piece of it though ;) There are four popular diets practiced in the United States and in some parts of the world that has taking the nutrition culture by storm. They are Paleo, Low Carb, Vegan, and Fasting. The Paleo are practiced by your Cross-Fit junkies and the Vegans by your animal friendly neighbors, while Fasting is the trend in Hollywood and everyone else seems to fall into the Low Carb diet camp. Out of these four, what’s the best diet? Well in my personal and professional opinion, I believe it’s Paleo. Paleo promotes a lifestyle of eating nutritious foods such as vegetables, meats, eggs, nuts, seeds, and all sorts of healthy fats and avoiding toxic foods like grains, legumes, vegetable seed oils, dairy, and added sugar. That’s why Paleo is the best. BUT wait, hold up…isn’t eating Paleo too restrictive? No cheese? No bread? Also, I get the fact that we should eat whole, natural, grass fed, free range, gluten free, etc, etc, so we can live longer, right? But there are no studies showing that theory is valid. And to top it off, whole foods are EXPENSIVE! I’ll have to sell my car and live in a card board box just to afford the food they promote you to eat! So you know what? I changed my mind, no, no, no, Paleo is not it! I think Low Carb is the best diet. Low Carb promotes much of the same as Paleo, but you’re at least allowed to eat legumes and dairy. Man I love my cheese! And they want you to give up wheat, highly processed foods, and foods that are sugary and high in the glycemic index, and avoid HFCS, trans fats and artificial flavorings at all cost Ok sure. BUT, hold on again…come to think about it, it’s still too restrictive. And when I do give up some of the foods that are high in the glycemic index like wheat and certain fruits, I begin to feel lethargic, irritated, I get headaches, and my performance level diminishes and my workouts turn to poop. Speaking of poop, I have a hard time pooping when I’m Low Carbing! Ok, I changed my mind again, the best diet isn’t Low Carb. The best diet is Vegan! FOR SURE! With the Vegan diet you’re allowed to eat fresh fruits, veggies, leafy greens, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds. I’ll be pooping then! It’s just you have to avoid meat, fish, poultry, or any products made from animals. Hmm…BUT…what about when I go out to eat with friends or gather with family during the holidays? Does that mean I can’t have Turkey for Thanksgiving? Tofu Turkey? Really?? As a Vegan, I’ll miss out on the importance of essential complete proteins found in animals. Essential proteins needed to build muscle. If I build muscle, I burn fat. If I burn fat, I get toned. Geez! Vegan can’t be the best, so I guess there’s no other choice but to say that Fasting is the best diet. Yeah! I’ll drink water. That’s it though…wait, I could suck on air. It really doesn’t matter because you know what? According to hunger strike wiki, I’d be dead somewhere between 52-74 days if I were to just live on water alone and by being dead I won’t have to worry about being fit and healthy! :( So, what is the best diet?? Ok, my real answer to that question is that I don’t believe there is a single, absolute, positively without a doubt best diet for evert person to follow, always and forever! We’re a civilization with diverse backgrounds. Some of us are tall and thin, some of us are short and stocky. Some of us eat meat, others don’t. Some of us have food allergies. Some of us are in a budget, others don’t have to worry about money. Some of us have the time to pursue a healthy fit lifestyle while other don’t due to work, disabilities, what have you. These diversities need to be taken that into account when creating a nutrition program. I want to share something fascinating with all of you. The Arctic Inuits and the African Masai have a traditional diet of animal fats and proteins with little to no vegetables due to the environment that they live in. The Kitavans of the South Pacific traditionally have a diet filled with fresh fruits and vegetables and starchy carbs with little to no fats. And the Tokelaus near New Zealand have diets that are super high in saturated fats. As you can tell, these ethnic groups/tribes have diets that are found in opposite sides of the nutritional spectrum, yet they all have one thing in common. They all share minimum incidences in cardiovascular heart diseases, stroke, diabetes, and inflammatory obesity just to name a few. Why is that? The reason for this amazing outcome is the human physiological phenomenon known as metabolic flexibility. It allows the human body to adapt to a host of different dietary conditions. Did you know that it is possible to be healthy and fit whether you eat mostly meat or mostly veggies, mostly fat or mostly carbs, many times a day or just a few times, and so on? You can! That’s why I believe there no single, absolute, positively without a doubt best diet for evert person to follow, always and forever! So knowing this, what now? How do we address our nutrition? We address our nutrition by taking what works for us specifically and respecting other people’s choice of nutritional practice. The Paleo, Low Carb, Vegan, and Fasting diets are different, yet they all have a similar theme that works. And that theme creates habits that are essential to our goals. Those habits are 1) raising our nutrition awareness and attention, 2) helping us focus on food quality, 3) helping us eliminate nutrient deficiencies, 4) helping us control appetite and hunger, and 5) promoting exercise. These habits are what should shape our nutritional programs. It’s these habits that will provide you the engine that will power you to the healthy, fit body that you deserve. Long term nutritional habits trump diet plans and rules. Always! If you want to know more on how to approach your nutrition properly using a progressive nutritional program that builds habits intelligently, intentionally, and sustainability over time versus asking people which diet is the best to follow and overhauling your lifestyle in one day, join e3 Nutrition Accountability Group, beginning Thursday, August 7, 2014 from 6:30-7:30 pm or add on a 30 minute nutrition consultation to your already existing e3 membership. We’ll listen to your needs, what you want to accomplish, how you live, and what’s important to you, giving us the tools to help you create a dietary approach that’s specific to your goals, your beliefs, and your lifestyle. For more information please contact us at 314-375-6FIT or email me at email@example.com. In strength, Coach Anjo
Hi e3 Fam! Coach Anjo here, wanting to thank all those who attended our first e3 Nutrition Accountability Group lecture. For those who missed it or were wanting highlights of the lecture, I have provided a brief summary/blog of the topic discussed last night below. The Missing Link To Nutrition Most of us know what to eat and what not to eat. We’re bombarded with plenty of nutrition info, some helpful, others not so much. But on average, we all know the basic fundamentals. Some even follow a particular popular diet that’s all planned out for us, such as Paleo, Vegan, South Beach. Even some would incorporate fasting and even purchase Isagenix. Yet, why are we not getting the results we want and desire, the fit, healthy body we all long for? Well, the answer is simple, the absence of accountability. Accountability by definition is the acknowledgment of responsibility for your actions with the obligations to report, explain, and be responsible for the resulting consequences. Being accountable to something and/or someone is the missing link in our nutrition. Having to report to someone gets our butts in gear. Plus, it will keep us consistent if we have to report to someone. And if you stay consistent, then you can make progress and see results. So how do we get accountability? Two ways to get accountability are commitment and finding one other person, or two, or three, or more and asking for their help. Let’s talk commitment first. We have three options when we commit. One, we can commit to more. What that means is you want to commit to something bigger than yourself. For example, creating a contest between friends to win a grand prize. And when you reward yourself, make sure you’re rewarding yourself for what you do versus what you achieve, at least in the beginning. Don’t reward yourself for losing weight, reward yourself instead for cooking home meals 6 days out of the week when you would typically go out for fast food that resulted in you losing weight. Reward your actions versus your outcomes. Second, we commit to less. Our tendencies as humans often times is to over promise and under deliver. Raise of hands who has told themselves they will cut out sugar forever and a couple days later during a party, you find yourself eating a cookie and drinking a soda? That’s me. That’s you. So, rather than make this same mistake over and over again, let’s instead under promise and over deliver by creating small, miniature changes and using the confidence scale of success. What’s that? Ask yourself on a scale of 0-10, 0 not confident,10 very confident, will I be able to achieve this goal? For example, when you want to give up sugar, let’s say you’re a 9-10 on the scale if you were to give up sugar 2 out 7 days out of the week then that’s what you go for rather than 7 out 7 days out of the week. Make it almost too easy to accomplish and build on that. When you’re ready, you move to 3 out of 7 days out the week and so fourth. And lastly, we can commit to both more and less. As an individual it’s smart to commit to something less. We’ll have greater success. As a group, it’s wise that we commit to more because of all the support we’ll receive from each other that will get us through tough times. There a saying my friend always reminds me now an again and that’s “The task ahead of you is never as great as the power behind you.” I truly believe that if you have a group of people who will support you, you can achieve anything. Now let’s talk about the other way to get accountability, and that’s getting help from at least one other person. I talked briefly about how I once had gotten into a slump with my basketball game even though I’d put in my time at the gym when I could. And even if I did get to the gym, I really was just going through the motion. My game didn’t change for the better until I hired my friend, a basketball coach/skills coach to train me. He put me through drills I already knew, but my intensity was different. My movements were more purposeful because if I didn’t he’d punish me with wind sprints. I did this, paid him to do this, and I got the results I wanted. And guess what, by hiring him, I got accountability. The bottom line with this lecture is to let everyone know that, yes, we know what to do, we know how to do it, but we can still struggle. Especially when it comes to nutrition. I’m here to tell you that’s okay. That’s okay, because there’s a simple fix: ACCOUNTABILITY. Accountability will give us consistency and consistency will give us results. So if we can commit a little differently and make ourselves accountable to at least one other person, we get the healthy, fit body we all desire. In closing, Dr. Victor Frankl once said, “He who knows the why can bear any how.” We all know the “how” to getting the healthy, fit body that we desire. Now, as individuals, we need to know the “why” so that we can fuel the engine that will keep us in track to our desired goals. Finding out our personal “why” is crucial. And when we do, joining the e3 Nutrition Accountability Group is a no brainer. Past experiences with the group garnered an average of 9 pounds lost per person who consistently met and reported to each other on a bi-monthly schedule. Let’s repeat these results! Grab your friends! Let’s stay accountable together! Let’s face it, we NEED accountability. In strength, Coach Anjo P.S. Those interested in joining e3 Nutrition Accountability Group in the future must sign up with me after the lecture on Thursday July 17, 2014 where I will discuss “What’s the best diet?” Paleo versus South Beach versus Vegetarian versus Fasting. Who is the champ? You’ll be surprised by the answer! e3 Nutrition Accountability Group Info: Members - $29 add on Non-Members - $39 per month Bi-monthly meetings held thursdays from 6:30-7:30 pm TBD; bi-monthly weigh in’s and monthly body composition/girth measurement assessments, educational discussions/lectures, Q&A, and group counseling A few examples of some topics that will be addressed include Kitchen Makeover, Eating for Your Body Type, Restaurant Lessons, Grocery Tours, Sugar Lesson, and Nutrition Timing.