Two tricks I use to avoid the “eff-its” over the weekend

We all work so hard during the week. And once Friday night rolls around, we just want to put on our sweatpants, sit on the couch, and be a vegetable – not eat vegetables. We are worn down from all the adulting that we do during the week, that all we want to do on the weekend is NOT be responsible. Weekends tend to be a bit more relaxed. We typically have more time, so we want to sleep in, hang out with friends, have fun & not have to think about our diet. Well, unless you have kiddos who are in soccer, baseball, basketball, go to birthday parties, and other activities. In that case, weekends aren’t such a relaxing time O.o When we finally get through the week, we feel like we deserve a treat – and one of those treats is to not think about it. So, there are a Read More . . .

Eat the Freakin Banana

So, here’s the scene: It’s after dinner, and you want something. A banana. But you don’t eat it. Because you heard that it’s got a lot of starch in it. And sugar. And they can also have a lot of calories! And all of that is bad to have before you go to bed. So you eat a handful of almonds. Because even though they can be higher in calories, at least they don’t have any starch or sugar. And that’s good because you’ve heard that at least it won’t raise your blood sugar before bed. But the almonds don’t really hit the spot. So you find some fat free Greek yogurt. And you put a touch of honey in it to sweeten it a little. But that’s okay because you read that you should always eat carbohydrates with protein – because protein slows down the spike in blood sugar. And Read More . . .

Should you hire an overweight personal trainer?

There are hundreds upon hundreds of personal trainers in your city – let alone the US or the world. Have you ever had one? How did you pick him/her? What do you look for when you hire a personal trainer? Certification? Years of experience? Did you stalk her, watch her train other clients to see how she interacted with them? Or did you select her because of her body? Choosing a trainer based on looks is a bad idea. Deciding on a trainer based solely on appearance is as bad of an idea as picking a life partner out of a magazine. I don’t need to explain that. Do I? Most people have a disconnect about what a trainer can do for them. They hire a trainer with the idea that they’re going to lose weight and look toned, and so they hire a trainer who has the body style that they, themselves, desire. There Read More . . .

How many carbs do you need to eat?

Carbs! Such a controversial subject in today’s national conversation about nutrition and proper diet! It’s so confusing. Eat carbs or don’t eat carbs? Which carbs are good? Which carbs are bad? (hint: there are no bad foods. There may be more or less nutritious foods, but none are good or bad.) Okay so let’s break this whole carb thing down. What is a carb? We get our calories from Protein, Fat and Carbohydrates (these are called macronutrients). If we divide macronutrients into two vveeeerrrry broad groups, we have things that grow out of the ground (plants), and things that had a mother (animals). Carbohydrates come from plants, and protein mostly comes from animals. Fat can be found in both plants and animals. Good Carbs & Bad Carbs? First. Carbs really run the specturm in terms of nutrition (aka: nutrient density). Nutrient density is the term you want to think about Read More . . .

Why the scale isn’t a good tool for weight loss

When clients come to me saying that they want to lose weight, I understand what they mean. If I were to be snarky, I could say, ‘oh, you want to lose 10 lbs? Let’s just chop off your right arm. Would that make you happy?’ …but that probably wouldn’t make a good first impression now, would it? When folks say that they want to lose weight, what they mean is that they want to lose body fat. We want to look ‘toned’ – like our muscles are flexing even when we’re sitting on the couch. The degree of muscularity desired, however is different depending on the individual, and what they perceive to be an ideal physique. What’s counter-intuitive, though is we say that we want to lose weight, even though we want to lose fat, but we’re measuring that success with a tool that only measures our gravitational pull to the earth – the scale. Read More . . .

Why goals might not get you to your goal

There are no shortage of memes about goals. “A goal without a plan is just a wish” “Set your goals high, and don’t stop until you get there” “Goals that are not written down are just wishes” Aaaah! They’re endless! Not only were goals a huge part of my early success with my weight, but they were a cornerstone of my health coaching business for a long time. I would teach folks about SMART Goals. How to create them, and help them through the process. But I’ve changed my attitude about goals. I don’t think they’re necessary anymore. I have a client who’s daughter is one of the most disciplined kids that I know. Every year, she’d create New Years Resolutions, and actually complete them! I Know! Who does that?!? I think they were tests of her willpower. When she was in high-school, she created a New Years Resolution to perform Read More . . .

Which should I do first? Lift Weights or Cardio?

It’s one of the most common questions I get asked, “Elizabeth, which one should I do first? Strength train? Or cardio?” And, as always, the answer is, “It depends.” It depends on your goals. Why are you doing one or the other, or both. Do you have goals to run a sub 3 hour marathon? Or do you have a goal to compete in a strongman competition? Okay – I realize that you probably don’t have either of those goals in mind, BUT you might want to run a 5k, or just look toned – like your muscles are flexed even when they’re not. While doing higher amounts of cardio to prepare for your race is going to compete with muscle growth and maintenance, the flip side is that having a ton of muscle is going to slow you down for your speed goals. The short answer is that you want to Read More . . .

The 4 Best Weight Loss Foods

I’ve never felt comfortable creating meal plans for clients. It’s just never felt right to me. Although, it’s the most popular question I get: “Elizabeth, just tell me what to eat!” I mean, sure! I can tell you what to eat – but chances are that you’re going to get bored with it. People’s tastes are so different! I love eating eggs for breakfast. But I know a LOT of folks who don’t. I can eat the same thing over & over & over again – every day. I rarely get bored with eating the same foods. But I know a lot of folks who need something new at every meal. Some people are really drawn to Asian flavors; others, not so much. Most folks like minimal preparation meals, but there are a number who have the time, and like to cook. (yes! really – they’re out there.) So, although no Read More . . .

How can meditating possibly help me lose weight?

I don’t know why, but I’m reluctant to admit that I meditate. It just seems so new-agey, and I am so NOT new-agey.   Because it’s not like that. The vision that you have in your head right now? Yep – nothing like that. What is it then? I guess it’s just breathing to me. But paying attention to breathing with the intent that I’m not focusing on anything else.   About once a day, (but there have been periods where I’ve totally forgotten to practice – for like weeks!) I just sit, wherever I am, and pay attention to my breathing – and then, as I’m doing it, I’ll also check in with my body.   I start with trying to match the length of my inhale and exhale. Then I’ll try to make them last to a count of 4. Sometimes, to start, I repeat, “In, two, three, four. Read More . . .

How to prevent your diet (or exercise routine) from derailing

Life gets in the way. Doesn’t it? How often do you plan to do something, but then, something else comes up? And then that thing that you wanted to do gets put on the back burner?   I always kind-of laugh to myself when I make a big ‘life decision’ because it always seems like the universe conspires against me to make it not happen. What typically happens is that I’ll decide to make a change, and then 3 or 4 other events happen at the same time that make my situation that much more stressful.   The best example of this I can give is when I moved from Chicago to Austin to live with my husband, Gary.   Granted, moving across the country is already a HUGE, stressful event. But the reason I was moving was to be with my husband because we were in a long distance Read More . . .