I want to simplify this as much as possible and clarify that I'm not discussing what workouts to do but instead how your body fuels itself.
You've heard for years that the best way to lose fat weight is to workout as soon as you wake up. But why? Well one of the reasons is that your stomach is empty...so when your body needs fuel during that workout it will look first for any carbohydrates in the stomach to burn. If it can not find carbs, then it will go to the next "source" of fuel which is fat stored in your cells.
Now let's look at the other scenario. You workout right after breakfast. Now image that you just ate a big bowl of oatmeal with fruit. You stomach is full of carbohydrates. Now during that workout, your body is needing some fuel and it finds those carbs first so uses them first. How many carbs are in your stomach? Let's take a single serving of Oatmeal with fruit with an average of 57g of carbs. So you have 57g of carbs (of fuel potential) in your stomach that is waiting for you to burn.
So let's just use some numbers based on a 150lb woman. A one hour water aerobics workout would burn about 5-700 calories and it's research shows that your body can burn about 62g of carbs if they are available. So you eat that bowl of oatmeal and then head to your Aqua Class. You will work off that bowl of oatmeal during an hour of class plus a little more. Another example is if you Walk at a pace of 3mph you will burn about 30g of carbs so only about half of that bowl of oatmeal will be burned and the other half will be stored.
So what if you workout before breakfast (or between meals)? You stomach will be empty and will look for fuel for that workout. Not finding any carbohydrates first, your body will look for "stored fuel" which is stored fat. So instead of waiting to burn fat, your body will start using stored fat first.
This of course is simplifying the whole process and of course we haven't taken into account the amount of stored fat, or your age, or the activity being done but this gives you a simple look at how the food in your stomach, or lack thereof, effects your fat burning. Now of course if you have very low body fat and run for hours at a time, your body will need carbohydrate fuel because your body doesn't have enough stored fat to provide fuel. But that's another blog post for later.
So what if you need to eat something before working out otherwise you feel awful? Then eat a little protein and very minimal carbs. A few almonds or a few bites of grilled chicken are good. Coconut water or milk with a little non sweetened and plain whey protein is good...or just some unsweetened coconut water which gives you some natural electrolytes, and natural carbs but not enough to fill up your stomach.
Remember this: Your body will use carbs, then stored fat and then protein to fuel itself.
DRINK WATER TO LOSE THAT FAT 4/13/13
-Teri Patterson, Fitness Professional
I did a great experiment this week. My scale was showing a 2.6lb weight gain for no reason. I monitor my fat & water percentages every day to see where I'm at. If your scale does not measure these things, then stop. Go get a scale that does this and keep reading.
Before going forward let's talk fat. How do you "lose" the fat? Where do you think it goes? Urine. When your doctor or fitness professional tells you to drink water to lose weight...they are explaining that when the fat is ready to be released from your cells, it has to have that water to remove it. Otherwise it "sits" in those cells and won't leave. The more water you drink, the easier it is for your body to remove that fat.
To function with daily activities you need to see your body's water percentage over 50%. Now remember this is just to keep your body functioning. If I'm drinking more green tea and more water I can keep that number at about 57-58%.
For about a week prior, I saw my weight up and water % down...with my food & activities the same. You know that feeling...get on the scale and the weight goes up for no reason when you're doing thing "right", right?
I quickly realized that my water/green tea was lagging. So on Thursday morning I grabbed my favorite refillable 24oz bottle. I still drink my organic coffee but I refilled that bottle 3 times before heading to the pool to teach class. (water total - 96oz before supper time)
VERY IMPORTANT: Unless you are on a restricted sodium diet by your doctor, it is absolutely necessary to monitor your electrolytes & salt levels. How do you know "you're low?" As we drink more water, you are also peeing out minerals..including salt. If you feel groggy, light headed and/or dizzy..you are probably not getting enough minerals. So on my drive to the pool & mixed up 2 scoops of Beachbody's Energy & Endurance electrolytes powder with some pure Himalayan Salts in about 8oz of water. This replenishes your electrolytes that you lose when peeing out that extra water. Monitor, monitor, monitor how you feel.
Taught class and feel AWESOME! I had 10 fun ladies in class and we kicked it. (water total - 104oz)
Now on to Friday morning...I got on the scale before eating anything and my fat % went down .10the of a percent, my water percentage went UP 2% and my weight? down 1.6 pounds! So what did that tell me?
I "flushed" out more then 1.5lbs of fat, retained more water so my organs & brain can function better and feel more energetic.
So make sure you aren't just watching weight numbers without monitoring your fat & water percentages.
Questions? Want to finally look & feel good? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Add these tasty foods to your diet and take advantage of their natural properties to eliminate belly fat & charge up your metabolism.
BANANAS: Slice one over whole grain cereal or into Greek yogurt to beat puffiness. One banana delivers 422 mg of potassium, which helps limit the amount of stomach swelling sodium in your body.
GREEN TEA: Sipping three cups of this brew a day may rev metabolism enough to burn 30 extra calories, thanks to the antioxidant compound ECGC. That's enough to drop about 3 pounds a year without added dieting.
ORANGES: Foods rich in Vitamin C curb fat absorption, and studies show that low levels of the nutrient are linked to bigger waistlines. You need only 75mg a day (the amount in one orange) to trim your tummy. It doesn't get more a-peeling than that!
SPINACH: Diets low in calcium and Vitamin C can increase your odds of gaining belly fat. This leafy green boassts both nutrients, making it doubly slimming. Add fresh into your regular salads, slowly adding more each time. Or add an omelet to get your veges in at breakfast.
GREEK YOGURT: Add some culture to your slim down shopping list. Greek Yogurt encourages the growth of good bacteria in your gut, crowding out the bloat-causing kind. Opt for a greek, unflavored type to avoid added sugars, & flavorings. Instead add your own honey, or fruit to make a perfect pre or post workout meal too!
5 Signs Your Body is Toxic
By Kim Kash via Beachbody
Do you sleep 8 hours but wake up groggy? Are you perpetually grumpy? Do you crave sugar? Are you gaining weight even though you’re exercising regularly? Is your cholesterol through the roof even though you think you’re eating right?
If this sounds a typical day for you, your body may be overloaded with toxins. Toxins that are causing you to gain weight, feel fatigued, and crave all the wrong foods. How did this happen?
1. You have a hard time losing weight.
Possible Cause: In modern society, toxic chemicals are everywhere. They’re in the processed food you eat, the plastics you handle, the cigarette smoke you breathe in, and more. Some of these pollutants may trigger disruptions in the body’s endocrine system and this can cause you to gain weight.
Solutions: The harsh truth is that ridding your world of all toxic chemicals and pollutants is nearly impossible. But, you do have some control. Choose to eat more whole foods. Package and reheat your foods in glass instead of plastic. Stop smoking. These solutions do require some effort, but once you start to see the numbers on the scale go down, you’ll feel rewarded for it.
2. You’re always tired.
Possible Causes: Toxic chemicals in the environment and in the foods you eat could be the culprits here too. If you’ve been feeling severe fatigue for more than six months, you could have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Other symptoms may include forgetfulness, joint pain, irritability, depression, and achy muscles. Another possible cause for your exhaustion could be mercury poisoning if you eat a lot of fish or shellfish or have mercury fillings in your teeth.
Solutions: Once again, you’re not going to be able to avoid all toxic chemicals, but you can stop smoking, choose glass and other products over plastic, and eat less processed food. If, your doctor determines that you have mercury poisoning, steer clear of fish and shellfish for some time and have any mercury filings replaced with a non-toxic alternative.
3. Your cholesterol is too high.
Possible Causes: If you are overweight or obese, your weight is one cause for your high cholesterol. Obesity can decrease your HDL (good cholesterol) numbers and increase your triglyceride numbers. Triglycerides are particularly dangerous as they can increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. If you are in good shape, your high cholesterol may be due to certain medications such as beta-blockers, estrogen, and corticosteroids.
Solutions: To put it simply: lose weight. If that’s not an issue but you can’t ditch the medications that are causing your elevated cholesterol levels, eat foods–such as oatmeal, fish high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon and halibut, nuts, and olive oil–that can help you in your battle against those numbers.
4. You crave coffee, sugar, or junk food.
Possible Causes: The foods themselves. When you eat caffeine, sugar, and other unhealthy foods, they often cause your serotonin and/or your sugar levels to spike…and then sink to lower than they were before you ingested that food. Talk about creating an unhealthy cycle!
Solution: Kick your junk food habits. Expect a withdrawal period during which you’ll be cranky, have headaches, and feel fatigued, but this will likely subside within a day or a few days.
5. You’re grumpy.
Possible Causes: Likely, your irritability is caused by a combination of the environmental and food toxins that might be causing your other issues as studies have revealed that chronic exposure to low levels of environmental toxins can lead to depression, anxiety, and mood swings.
Solution: The best way to feel better is to eat better, lose weight, exercise (it boosts the serotonin levels in your brain that help keep you happy), and make smarter decisions when it comes to what chemicals your exposure yourself to.
Admittedly, making major changes to your lifestyle is difficult. But, we also want you to feel healthier and happier. That’s why we recently launched the Beachbody Ultimate Reset. It’s a 21-day program that will help you curb your cravings, lower your cholesterol, feel more well rested, and more. Isn’t it time to stop feeling toxic and start feeling better?
This question comes from one of my class participants in Aqua Power last night. I'm sure everyone at some point has yelled this at their scale. You've been working out for weeks and you've hit this "weight wall".
Well what you've done is gotten over that initial weight/water loss that comes from that first 2 weeks of working out. Now that your body is getting into the workout groove...it feels like the weight loss has stopped which it hasn't really.
There are many reasons why your body isn't losing weight. For the sake of this post I'm talking about the beginner that's in about week 3 or more of working out. This isn't the advanced exerciser that may be experiencing a plateau.
The main reason is probably because your body is building muscle and muscle weighs more then that fat you were carrying around. You'll see a point that the scale doesn't seem to be cooperating with you...but actually as you gain muscle and lose that fat, your scale will show a slow down or increase and that's due to the increase in muscle.
Another main reason. When you exercise, you are creating inflammation in the body as the muscles are worked and healing themselves constantly after every workout. If your workouts include a lot of strength training, you'll experience a bit more aches due to the muscles breaking down and then repairing themselves. This process will cause a little inflammation in the body which increases the fluid/water retention in the body as a whole. This retention of fluids will show up on the scale.
Another main reason that some people see no obvious weight loss on the scale is due to an injury that the body is trying to heal. If you have allergies...or head cold or a simple scratch on your leg. The body will use all of it's "energy" to healing and not in weight loss. This idea goes hand in hand with the previous process of muscle gain. The process of building muscle strength is also a "healing" process. The body views this as a healing process and will concentrate on healing the muscle before expelling fat cells.
So just be patient and keep going with your program. The best investment is a scale that measures weight, fat % and water %. You then have a measurement to go by each week and know that an increase in your water % is a good thing.
Also...don't rely on that weight number. How are your clothes fitting? Last night the person with this question then said her arms are more toned. So I explained all of this and then said that visual weight and how you fit in your clothes is the real bonus. It's not what the scale says you number is...it's how you feel and how you fit into your clothes. That' the real scale!
Leave a comment on how you handle the scale not "moving"
It's a common problem that both men & women have, and it's basically the roll of fat around the midsection that spills over the top of pants or maybe keeps you from wearing that tiny bikini.
No Such Thing as Spot Reducing
First of all remember that you can't just lose the fat in one spot. Fat accumulates throughout the body and in some places more then others. The "trick" is to reduce your body's fat stores and build muscle at the same time. Note: The first place you gain the fat..will be last place your body will reduce.
HIIT Me! With the Correct Cardio
The correct cardio will burn fat...lazy cardio will just waste your time. Huh? If you are not being challenged by your cardio workout...then you will never lose fat, progress to the next level of a 6-pack or change your body shape.
The best cardio is something that you will do 3-5 times a week..enjoy...and will feel challenged every time. For example, a leisurely stroll is a challenge to some..but for most people you would have to walk for hours to get some benefit.
The best cardio is that which involves intervals of exertion like HIIT. First of all...HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. The concept is that you work out at 110% intensity for 35 seconds, and then take a 40 second break.
Example of HIIT workouts are in the TurboFire program.
Do this for about five or ten minutes, you will have kicked off the 'Afterburn' effect. That's where your body continues to burn fat for up to 24 hours after your workout, burning more than NINE times the fat you would burn doing traditional workouts.
You can incorporate some HIIT intervals into your strength training...or add HIIT to other cardio workouts. Also remember that women tap into fat stores for energy much more slowly than men, usually after 40 minutes of exercising, so aim for at least this, but ideally building up to an hour, three times a week.
Give Me Some Strength
It's not just about cardio for overall fat loss. Make sure your workout plan includes about 2-3 strength sessions per week. During strength training, your muscles "break down" and need to recover/repair. This action sequence forces your body's metabolism to kick it up due to the repair process.
Work it All Over!
Most people workout the main body parts and call it done. That roll of fat is all around the body...not just the sides or the front. Think of adding lateral movements like skaters, or back kicks..side kicks and core moves. Kickboxing is an excellent workout because you are twisting, cross punching, kicking front-side-back and working all the muscle from all sides. Not into kickboxing? Well then convert those moves to the pool. Same thing...do intervals of laps with some cross punches, scissor kicks and leg pendulums for ab/core work.
Not Just About the Gym
Ok so here's the deal. Toxins are anything that is "foreign" to the body. In today's world this includes: processed foods, caffeine, alcohol, too many animal products or acidic foods, pollution, sugar and smoking to name a few. As a survival technique, our bodies try to protect us and keep toxins away from our vital organs by wrapping water, fat and cholesterol around them. This is then stored, particularly around our middle and hips.
Avoid those toxins but also eat a diet that includes colorful fruits and vegetables, avoid all processed sugars and foods, eat good essential fats, and make sure to take in enough protein to help the body repair and recover from activities.
Removing those toxins from the body is done with water..and sweat. Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces of pure water per day. More or less depending on how you feel and your energy level. This does not include sugar added-vitamin waters..or energy drinks or anything else that has sugar in it. Read your labels. So for a 150lb active woman, she would try to drink about 75oz of water per day.
This is a big culprit for women. Cortisol, the hormone released in response to stress, encourages the body to release blood sugar or glucose into the bloodstream to give us energy for the 'fight or flight' response. If we use this energy to get away from a physical danger, there is little chance for this sugar to be stored as fat, but if it is released repeatedly through stress, the increased blood sugar will be ultimately stored as fat.
The female hormone estrogen causes fat to be stored around the pelvic region anyway, so getting stressed makes matters worse. Try to stay calm
STAND UP STRAIGHT!
Having and promoting a strong core will make your middle look better and ultimately be better toned. Yoga and Pilates will help, but basic correct posture is even more important. This means sitting or standing tall, and pulling inwards and upwards by tensing your core muscles (stomach, lower back and hips) throughout the day. Over time, using these 'core muscles' regularly will work wonders.
SPA-AWAY THE FAT:
This goes back to the toxins in the body. By stimulating the cells, toxins (aka: FAT) can be released. This is done as we've said already by drinking water and through sweating. But if you want to further shed those fat cells think in terms of massage, spa baths & exfoliation.
Massage and exfoliation work the same. The idea is to stimulate circulation throughout the body and expel cellular toxins. At home you can exfoliate using a dry brush or body scrub and start in a circular pattern on the extremities and moving toward the heart. Then finish with a great Salt Bath using Epsom Salts which reduce muscle fatigue, and also rid the body of excess fluids including fat!
Teri Lang Patterson
Certified Fitness Instructor & Coach specializing in Aqua Power Training, Kickboxing, Weight Training & Yoga.
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