Putting the Brakes on Your Metabolism

Since we know how the body burns calories it would also make sense to understand what puts the breaks on our ability to burn calories. Or in other words what slows down our metabolism?

Dad Is Fat – But Doesn’t Have To Be

When you get out of the shower are you happy with what you see? Based on the title of this blog I’m obviously talking to the guys here.

What to Drink for Your Goal

Do you like to drink? And unless you’re like a few of my college buddies I’m talking about during the day, while at work or at school.

Personal Trainer Gains 80 lbs!

Last week one of our training clients put me on to an interesting story.

Jarrod T. asked me if I had heard about a guy down south who was in the process of gaining 70 lbs. And I thought ‘big deal, there are millions of people doing that every year’.

But this is different.

Top 5 Reasons the Canucks Made You Fat

If you’re from BC you can’t help but be drawn into the NHL playoffs.

The is the furthest the Canucks have advanced in 17 years. And it’s the only time they’ve gone this far as the President’s Cup Trophy winners ensuring top seeding throughout.

But while making it to the finals has been good for local pub sales and water cooler talk at the office, this long playoff run hasn’t been good for everyone.

Who hasn’t it been good for?

Well, you of course.

Here’re the Top 5 Reasons the Canucks Made You Fat.

Reason #1 – More Time in Front of the TV

Imagine if the Canucks hadn’t made the playoffs at all. There would be between 16 and 28 games you wouldn’t be sitting on your gradually growing backside.

And not just up to 28 games but many with overtime and double overtime. We’re talking about an extra 3-4 hours every couple of nights of plopping down on the sofa to watch other people exerise.

Don’t believe me?

Take a trip to Alberta, as I did last weekend. Those are some fit people that don’t ever have to worry about watching a playoff game.

Reason #2 – Poorer Quality Nutrition

Have you gone out to watch any of the games? Or if you watch them at home, do you have certain foods at-the-ready to make the experience all the more enjoyable?

Of course you do.

Things like spinach salad, with avocados, goat cheese, tomatoes, olives and a light balsamic dressing. And lightly drilled salmon with some asparagus on the side. While washing it all down with a glass a water.

Who doesn’t start thinking playoff hockey after mentioning these foods, right?

Pubs can’t keep them in stock.

Unfortunately, our food selections during a game typically revolve around deep fried, processed, high fat, high sugar, empty nutrition food choices.

But it gets worse with reason #3.

Reason #3 – Mid Week Alcohol

Some workplaces meet up for Friday Beer.  Or others might get together for a birthday or other event.

But during the playoffs it’s not uncommon for pubs to be full on Monday and Wednesday for game nights. And not only are you getting extra calories and zero nutrition but you are also losing a lot of your water. Kind of hard to make great gains in the gym with dehydrated muscles.

And after the Canucks score in OT you’re probably well past your usual bedtime which leads to the next problem.

Reason #4 – Disrupted Sleep 

If you’re in the Year Long Training Program you’ve received my report on Sleep and Fat Loss. If not, let me know and I can get you set up.

The point is that being sleep deprived correlates with higher levels of bodyfat. A couple of key hormones related to sleep and our nutritional habits get thrown a curve ball when we stay up later, don’t get enough sleep and go to bed at varying hours.

Plus, how likely are you to hit the gym and set some PBs in the squat rack on less than optimal sleep? Not very likely.

Reason #5 – Better Weather

Quick question…what month sees the most gym memberships sold?

January. Ok, so maybe that was a bit easy.

But which months are typically the slowest at gyms? The summer months.

And the longer the Canucks are in the playoffs the warmer the weather gets. And the less likely people are to stay indoors when they could be outdoors doing something active.

I realize this last point is a bit of a stretch but I needed something to round out the 5. So cut me some slack, alright? :)

Saving Grace?

So is there anything that can be done to both support the Canucks and not only avoid the extra 10-15 playoff pounds but actually lose 5-10?

There is and it’s our Group Fitness Training.

This program is a short, efficient and intense workout that you can complete between 2 and 5 days per week when the games are never on.

Plus you get to do all the training outdoors as the weather gets nicer.

Lastly, you won’t feel any guilt at all as cheer the Canucks all the way to the Cup.

Want details? Here you go.

Dates: June 6- June 30
Times: 6 am or 930 am
Location: Parkinson Rec Centre fields
Investment:
$149 for 2d/week (Tues/Thurs)
$199 for 3d/week (Mon/Wed/Fri)
$249 for 5 d/week (Mon-Fri) best value

Call today to reserve your spot.

Chris                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’

ps…after every Canucks game I will do 10 Turkish get ups for every goal they score at the Group Fitness Training 

 

Top Healthy Snack Ideas to Support Fitness Goals

When it comes to nutrition there is a common element that confuses a number of people.
 
Snacks.
 
What should you snack on? When should you snack? How much is ok? Should you snack?
 
The more you think about it the more confusing it can get. So I’ll keep it really simple. Here are the rules.
 
Rule #1 – Eat Your 3 Squares of Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Rule #2 – If Still Hungry Between B,L,D Then Have a Snack
 
It doesn’t have to get much  more complicated than that. Listen to your body. It will tell you when it’s ready for fuel and nutrition.
 
Believe it or not everyone one of us is a unique individual. And everyone’s goals, schedules, metabolism and starting points are all going to be different.
 
Knowing these differences exist it is pretty difficult to say everyone should eat the same snacks, at the same time and the same amounts.
 
With that in mind below are a number of sample snack ideas. Feel free to add your own favourites to the comments section.
 
 
* low fat cottage cheese – excellent source of protein
* low fat yogurt – none with fruit already added though
* fruit – specifically berries i.e. strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries & melons i.e. cantaloupe, honey dew, watermelon & grapes 
* celery & peanut butter (try Adams Natural pb)
* beef or turkey jerkey – if possible without MSG
* nuts – almonds, walnuts, pecans, macadamia, Brazil, cashews, hazel, pistachios 
* seeds – pumpkin, sesame, sunflower
* porc rinds – find these in the potato chip section of your supermarket
* tuna with dill pickle or salsa
* smoothie made with water, ice, fruit & a scoop of protein powder
 
Some other options include:
* whole grain bagel with cream cheese and a yogurt
* Adam’s Peanut Butter, Stoned Wheat Thins and a V-8 juice
* trail mix with nuts and dried fruit
* granola with low-fat milk and banana
* instant oatmeal, not the flavoured kind, with low-fat milk
* artichoke hearts, cheese & stoned wheat thin crackers
 
As well when buying snacks:
* yogurt – buy plain fat-free, or Greek, and flavour with vanilla, honey, cinnamon, applesauce, fruit cocktail or berries
* choose fresh fruits that are in season
* bagels – whole grain varieties which provide more vitamins and minerals than bagels made with white flour
* crackers – stoned wheat, sesame, bran
* popcorn – plain then flavour with garlic, chili, onion powders

I had to take popcorn off the list. More on that in another post.

Keep in mind as well that not all snacks are suitable for every person.

For those looking to shed a few pounds (or more) keep an eye on the carbs such as the crackers, cereals and fruits.

For those looking to gain a few pounds increase your intake of healthy fats and dried fruits which have a higher caloric density.

The take home message is to listen to your body and track your results.

If during the mid afternoon at work or school you are experiencing head nods and struggling to stay awake maybe a snack and some fresh air would benefit you.

Or if you’re having trouble adding a few pounds of lean muscle mass look to add in a snack or two, especially on days when you’re not training, to put yourself into a caloric surplus and grow.

Now let me know your favourite snack. Even if it’s not a healthy one tell me anyways and I’ll see if I can find a healthy alternative for you.

Chris                                                                                                                                                                    okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’

3 Ways To Automatically Control the Caloric Content of Your Meals

I remember reading a journal article on this topic a number of years ago.

But guess what?

The idea is still a good one and the science is still valid so I thought I’d share it with you.

So how does this tip work exactly? Well it’s a way for you to be able to quickly and effectively control the calorie content of your meals.

Because most people don’t count calories. And some people even tell you not to read food labels. haha

We eat based on portion size, don’t we? And the bigger the portion the more we eat. Sure there’s one in every crowd who weighs out their food and has a pretty good idea of how much they’re eating. But for most of us we don’t the equipment, knowledge or time for this.

So this makes it pretty hard to know whether a particular meal has more or less calories than what you need.

And here’s the really cool thing about this tip.

It works for everyone!

Yeah, that’s right. It doesn’t matter if your goal is lose a few or a lot of pounds. Or if you’re trying to gain a few or a lot of pounds.

The concepts in this tip will work for everyone. And it’s very easy to follow.

So let’s get to it already (you’re probably thinking, right?) Ok so here are 3 Ways To Automatically Control the Caloric Content of Your Meals.

Rule #1 – Add more water

Ok here’s a nutritional trivia question that 100% of you better get right. How many calories are there in water?

If you said ‘zero’ give yourself a gold star and let’s move on. (if you answered anything other than zero I can’t help you…sorry)

So if we agree that water has no calories then we can quickly reduce the caloric content of our meals by increasing the water content. And how do we do this?

By cooking with more fruits and vegetables. And by making home-made soups. Both contain lots of water and therefore increase the volume of your meals without adding any calories.

Rule #2 – Decrease the fat content

Now before you go all crazy on me that I said ‘don’t eat fat’ or ‘now Chris has switched to a low-fat’ approach that’s not what I’m saying.

What I mean is to slightly reduce the amount of fat in your meals. Why? Because there is twice the amount of energy in fat as there is in carbs or protein. So when you have a gram of fat you get 9 calories as opposed to 4 calories from the other two.

You probably don’t need to reduce your intake of omega-3 but instead look for ways to cook with less fat and thus reduce the amount of calories on your plate.

Rule #3 – Do both

Ok this sounds a little bit like a cop out but it’s not. 

Think about the next time you make a meal. By filling up your plate with lots of vegetables you’ve managed to load up on lots of nutrition with high water content and thus low caloric content. Plus if you are careful about which fats you include on your plate you manage your total caloric intake more effectively.

Bonus Rule #4 – Do the opposite for weight gain

Some of you are actually trying to put on lean body mass. I am.

And in order to put on some size and muscle we need to create a caloric surplus.

If we use the same logic from above and apply it in reverse we should be able to increase the calories we consume. What would this look like?

It would mean decreasing the water content of our foods and increasing the fat content.

****I am NOT advocating eliminating fruits and vegetables from the diet as way to reduce the water content.***

Instead of drinking water you may have milk or juice. You might also eat more dried fruit and nuts. The dried fruit has the water removed and therefore a higher energy density compared to natural fruit. And nuts contain healthy oils at 9 calories per gram.

Start today and give these rules a try. You’ll be amazed at how much you can change the energy density of your meals and your body composition as a result.

Proof’s in the pudding…at the end of the summer I was in the low 170 lbs. Today I’m closer to 195 lbs and just as lean!

Chris

okanaganpeakpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’