Quick tips for weight loss.

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what is most important to people about getting in shape. What I mean by this is, what areas do you find hardest about getting in shape and therefore need the most support?

Motivation to workout is always tough for everyone no matter what your fitness level. But I’m pretty sure the hardest part for most people, myself included, is the dietary portion of getting, and staying, in good shape. Diet is a very complex subject and to get the best results dietary recommendations will vary from person to person. What works for me may not for you. That being said, here are a few simple tips on how to curb your appetite and lose  some L-Bs:

  1. Don’t underestimate the power of water. Drinking water before meals helps your stomach feel a little more full before you start to eat so you won’t eat as much.
  2. Stock up on snacks that not only help you feel fuller longer but provide much needed nutrients that make you feel good. Here are my recommendations:  -Nuts high in “healthy fat” like almonds and walnuts.  -Baby carrots, broccoli, bananas and apples provide filling fiber and other important vitamins. Bananas and apples are my favorite on the go snack. – Yogurt, I’ve been eating almond yogurt lately as it is lower in calories and unhealthy fats that are found in regular yogurt however regular yogurt can also be a healthy choice. Always look at the labels to be sure you aren’t buying yogurt full of sugar, unnatural flavors and saturated fats. I like Silk almond yogurt and Fage Greek yogurt. With Fage you can spoon in as much or as little of the sugary fruit they provide, so it’s easier to cut out some of the calories.
  3. Recognize your weaknesses and make a strategy for how to cope with them. For example: If you’re a late night eater try to find healthy, low-calorie options to help you cope with those cravings. If, like me, sugar is your vice, again find healthy substitutions to appease that sweet tooth. Another simple but helpful tip is to  try and find something else to do other than eat. When you start to have those unhealthy cravings occupy your mind with a book, a phone call to a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while or best possible scenario, workout!

I hope this helps you in some way. Do you have any simple weight loss tips you can share with us?

xo,

Hilary

3 tips for a fit Holiday Weekend

Holidays are always a tough time to try to stay on track with your diet. Add a “bunny” bringing massive amounts of delicious chocolate and candy to your house and it’s a whole new ball game. I don’t know about you but my sweet tooth is pretty massive.  I already ate a couple Peeps today.

peeps

So here we go…

  1. Don’t get your kids too much candy! I’m guilty of this and have also been guilty of eating about half of the candy I buy them. So do yourself a favor and buy the requisite candy, just not too much of it. Perhaps add a non traditional gift in the basket like a book or last year I put seeds and some garden equipment in there. I know it sounds lame but it provides them a fun learning experience and God willing, they get the joy out of growing their own plants.
  2. Plan to be active as much as possible this weekend. This is always a good idea but especially when you have a party coming where you are likely to indulge. Getting active and therefore feeling healthy will help to curb bad craving and it will encourage you to stay on track. If it’s nice enough, get out and hike or go to the playground and do some HIIT while your kids are on the jungle gym. If not get to the museum, that always provides some good walking and education for you and the kids. Our favorite is the Museum of Science in Boston. If we have time and it’s nice out we walk along the Charles River. What’s your favorite museum?
  3. Saturate yourself with nutrient rich foods. I’m not going to deliver the classic advice that you should make nutritious choices in a party environment. First off, that would make me a hypocrite. I follow a pretty “when in Rome” philosophy when it comes to going to celebrations and eating out. However, I do recommend planning ahead of time by eating healthy, nutrient rich foods the rest of the weekend so you’re  less likely not to over do it when you’re around the delicious appetizers, entrees and deserts that are sure to be served up on Easter.

Have a lovely and safe holiday everyone!

xo,

Hilary

3 Tips for staying fit this weekend

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Think of the weekend as an opportunity to amp up your fitness game.

People often use the weekend as an excuse to cheat on their diet and not exercise. That’s fine as long as you are not trying to bring your physical, mental and emotional state to a higher level. However, if you are (and if you’re reading this you probably are) I have some suggestions for you.

  1. Change your mind about the weekend. What do I mean by this? Think of the weekend as an opportunity to practice health and wellness instead of a chance to binge, sleep and watch Netflix. It’s ok to indulge a little, but if you change your general mindset and get in the habit of thinking of the weekend as having more time to focus on participating in healthy activities like hikes, running, getting to a yoga class or spending a little time making a shopping list for the week containing more whole foods and less processed ones; it will help you stay on track and not gain or regain those unwanted pounds.
  2. Do something good for someone else. This is a great way to show gratitude and to get your mind off of those unhealthy foods you may be craving. Make a plan to volunteer a little of your time or give back in some other way; this will fill your soul with love and gratefulness rather than filling your belly with fried food and sugar.
  3. Plan ahead. You know weekends are hard so make a plan to keep on track. Schedule a workout class and make sure you have healthy food options in your house to curb cravings.

What healthy activity are you doing this weekend?

Xo,

Hilary

FAQs about Full Body vs. Split Workouts

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I posted this weeks leg and arm workout late last night and you can view it here. It’s school vacation week so it’s been an especially busy week. I apologize for getting it up later than usual. In this video I work the legs and arms at the same time. All you’ll need is a set of 3-10 lb dumbbells.

There are lots of benefits to this type of workout, first of all it’s a time saver which is huge for a mother on the go! Second, you really amp up the cardio and muscle toning exercise you get by simply adding weight. When you add weight and get those arms and legs moving at the same time the results are exponential!

FAQs:

Is it advisable to work 2 muscles groups on the same day?

Many of you may have heard that working one muscle group at a time is best (a.k.a. split workouts). Well, this is true and not true. Full body workouts are fine for what most of us do, using lighter weights and less intensity. If you’re a body builder and lifting as much weight as possible each time you workout, than you need to focus on one group at a time and take more time to rest between muscle groups.

As far as full body workouts go and compound movements (working more than one muscle group during exercise) this is what Vitals has to say about it: Compound movements demand a lot of energy and burn more calories.

Do you recommend full body workouts or those that target individual muscle group?

I recommend whatever works for you and gets you motivated. Having said that, it depends on your goals. For weight loss, general toning and if you’re just starting out, I recommend compound movements and / or full body routines with a 24 to 28 hour rest in between. This maximizes weight loss and will help get you on the road to being stronger, having more energy and in better heath. Once you’re at a point that you are happy with physically you can move on to targeting muscle groups to really create big muscle mass (if that’s what you’re into). If you have to lose a lot of weight, lifting isn’t going to help you that much. You will be building muscle under fat, you need to get that cardio in and lose those pounds first.

Thanks for reading! Please let me know what your workout goals are in the comments below so I can tailor my posts to your needs.

XO,

Hil

Tom Brady’s Diet, Nightshades and Inflammation.

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If you read my post on Wednesday I spoke about Tom and Gisele’s diet and how one of the exclusions from this diet is nightshades. These include tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants and peppers. This is a sort of peculiar exclusion and I was asked if I thought that the good outweigh the bad in terms of eating them. So I did a little more research on the subject and I’ll break down what I found and what my thoughts are on the subject. And please feel free to share yours in the comments below.

Brady doesn’t eat nightshades because they cause inflammation. It is true that these foods can cause inflammation but, from what I’ve read, this side effect varies from person to person. Generally they are not bad enough to keep you from eating these nutrient rich foods.

Inflammation is most commonly associated with arthritus. A subject close to my heart as I have suffered from this for most of my life. It is actually the most common cause of discomfort, pain and injury. If you are unfamiliar with what arthritus is, it is simply painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints. Many people don’t realize they have it or perhaps don’t want to admit to having it, as it is commonly associated with being elderly. Although it is true that it gets worse with age, symptoms commonly occur in people of any age, especially in those that are very physically active like athletes.

If you’re curious, the number one food that causes inflammation is sugar. This is another exemption from Brady’s diet for good reason.

red-peppers

Nightshades include Red Bell Peppers which are rich in healthy nutrients.

As far as consuming nightshades, I believe the good outweighs the bad. Tomatoes and peppers are high in vitamins A, C and K. They are also a great source of anti-oxidants like lycopene.

Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that may help protect cells from damage. – WebMD

It is commonly associated with lowering your risk of heart disease and cancer. Although too much of it is not good either, so eating foods rich in this antioxidant in moderation is suggested. But isn’t that true of all things?

As far as nightshades causing inflammation goes, the jury is still out. They have been proven to cause some inflammation but, according to the Arthritis Foundation, not enough to abstain from these foods all together. It is worth noting that they have also been shown to improve symptoms of arthritis in some people.

My recommendation, do what works for you. If you notice more pain from inflammation when you eat nightshades, don’t eat them. GEnius!

Thanks for reading and please share any questions comments you have on the subject below.

XO,

Hilary

 

 

Importance of Weight Training

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Yesterday I posted a short video of some moves that my bootcamp instructor was so kind to share with me. It contains some exercises that are boxing and barre method inspired. You can view it here.

In the video you see she is holding weights. I wanted to talk a little about how weights can really amp up your workout and some of the many benefits of weight training in general.

First, When you add weight to your workout your body has to work harder and it creates the following response:

The natural result is an increased oxygen intake through your lungs, a faster metabolism and increased blood circulation which allows the muscles to work under the new, increased load. The fat cells will respond accordingly by accelerating the energy conversion processes, which include depleting fat accumulations to fuel the working muscles. – ShapeFit.com

Second, muscle burns fat all day long, even when you are resting. Creating more muscle by weight training, either by using your body as resistance or using weights, is   amp up your metabolism throughout the day even when you are sleeping.

Third, women who weight train two to three times a week have been shown to lose weight faster and keep it off. Even just short 10 minute workouts involving resistance can have this benefit, you don’t need to go crazy! Start by walking with small weights and once you get comfortable work up to a more intense routine with bigger weights.

Forth, it has been shown that women and men who weight train are less likely to get heart disease.

Fifth, weight training for women is particularly important because it increases bone density and is a great defense against osteoporosis.

Finally, it helps fight depression. A Harvard study shows that women who weight train gain confidence and feel more capable; which is a big factor in preventing and fighting off depression.

There are many other benefits but I will stop there for today. Can you tell us what you like about weight training (outside of toning)?

Thanks for reading!

XO,

Hil

 

 

 

Post Baby Abs

Getting your abs back to normal post baby is a challenge, for many reasons. First off, you just had a baby and probably feel like shit. But mainly, your body just went through 9 months of transformation and then a small person came out of your lady parts! The last thing you need to worry about for at least 6 weeks postpartum is getting your stomach back in shape.

Another consideration is that lots of women suffer from Diastasis Recti.

Diastasis recti” means your belly sticks out because the space between your left and right belly muscles has widened. You might call it a “pooch.” – WebMD

Diastasis Recti, or the gap between your stomach muscles caused by the expansion of your stomach throughout pregnancy, makes it much harder to get your belly back in shape. This is because you need to first fix this gap before going on to more intense ab workouts that will really help tone your stomach.

Don’t fret, use this time to relax and enjoy being a mom and when you’re ready to get back to more intense working out you’ll know. Don’t try to do anything to hard before you are ready, this will only lead to a longer recovery and possible injury.

Here are a few exercises you can do postpartum to help pull those belly muscles back together. I also have a video up on YouTube you can check out here.

  1. Wall sit. Do this for 10 seconds for 3 rounds.wall_sit_squat_f_workoutlabs

2. Wall planks. Hold for 20 seconds. This is done so you’re leaning against the wall, then tilt side to side as if you’re doing a side plank.

wallplank

3. Wide leg squat. Try and hold for 30 seconds. This is a great way to boost energy as well as tighten your core.

sumo-squat

Do you have experience with Diastasis Recti? If so do you have any recommendation you can share with us?

xo,

Hil