I have to say this has been most of client’s favorite indulgence. Women especially love their glass of wine at the end of the night and men like having a beer or two while watching sports or out with their buddies. As much as we all love a cocktail or a few when out with friends, alcohol tends to pack on the pounds. Throughout the night, our bodies work on repairing muscle tissue and it’s a huge fat burning opportunity for your metabolism. When alcohol is consumed, the body will focus on metabolizing the alcohol out of your system rather than repairing muscle or burning fat. Essentially, you lose an entire night opportunity to burn fat because you decided to drink.
Not only that, whenever I’ve gone out for one drink that usually turned into me walking into my house five drinks deep and much later than I intended. I would have restless sleep, less hours of sleep and the hangover that ensued would cause me to feel like death. The next day I’d usually skip my workout and decide that greasy food was going to cure me of the hangover pain and headache. None of this was conducive to staying active, living a healthy lifestyle and being fit.
Cardio is an excellent tool to cut fat and drop weight. However, steady state cardio does not fluctuate your heart rate and from personal experience, you do not push yourself very hard. What tends to be lacking is intensity – I’m completely guilty of this as well. Most days when I’m doing an incline walk on a treadmill in the gym, I can comfortably speak to my gym partner. Not every day in the gym is going to be a winner and there are some days when it’s the last place that I want to be. But, adding high intensity interval training (HIIT) to your cardio regime will burn fat and retain more muscle – the goal in the gym, right? The beauty of HIIT is when you really aren’t feeling the gym that day, rally, bang it out in twenty minutes rather than forty minutes of steady state and call your workout a wrap! Here are some examples of HIIT to swap out for the treadmill stroll…
HIIT For Time
Stretch to warm up & walk for a few minutes on treadmill
Five Rounds on treadmill:
30 second run at a recovery pace
30 second run at a fast pace
15 second all out sprint
30 seconds of burpees
30 seconds of battle ropes
30 seconds of rest
30 seconds of high knees in place
30 seconds of butt kicks in place
30 seconds of toe touches (I place a med ball in front of me and toe tap on the top in place)
HIIT for Reps
30 second sprint on a treadmill – 10 med ball slams
30 second sprint on a treadmill – 15 jump squats holding med ball
30 second sprint on a treadmill – med ball woodchoppers x5 per direction
30 second sprint on a treadmill – 10 frog hops
It’s actually quite amazing how much sugar is in products and food we eat on a daily basis without knowing it. Check nutrition labels and keep a tally of how much sugar you consume on a typical day. Once you have a grasp on the amount of sugar you are intaking, try to change the foods you are eating to lower the sugar content of your diet. For example, instead of eating a granola bar that contains 13g of sugar, try eating a brown rice cake with a tablespoon of peanut butter and a tablespoon of sugar-free jelly. Sugar substitutes are super helpful too! Instead of sugar in your coffee in the morning, use Splenda or stevia. Not a fan of plain water? Sugar-free crystal light spices up the gallon of water per day. Less sugar in your diet is a quick and easy way to help your body to start burning more fat and stop storing it.
Also, I tend to have a sweet tooth that gives me cravings for sugar like no other. This leads to me consuming sugar foods, like ice cream or cookies, on top of my normal healthy diet. This packs on the pounds by adding sugar AND increasing my caloric intake – a double whammy! A quick and easy recipe that has helped me satisfy sugar cravings without adding a monumental amount of sugar and calories into my diet is chickpea cookie dough, you’re welcome!
Chickpea Cookie Dough
1 can of chickpeas drained of liquid
3 tablespoons of peanut butter
¼ cup of agave nectar
¼ cup of semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
Place the chickpeas, peanut butter and agave nectar in a food processor and turn on. Run the food processor until there are no clumps in the batter. Spoon the batter into a bowl and add chocolate chips. With a spoon or spatula, mix the chocolate chips evenly throughout the batter and add a few more on top for garnish – presentation is key! Enjoy eating with a spoon out of the bowl!
Not having to clean dishes, chop vegetables or wash pots is my idea of a great meal. But, when someone else is preparing my food, I really do not have an idea of what exactly I am eating. Chefs tend to spice up food and add flavor by using extra salts and fats that I normally would not when preparing my meals. When eating out frequently, the extra amounts of fats and sugars thrown into your meals really does start to add up to an excess of what should be in your caloric intake. Although more work, making your meals helps you maintain more control of what you are eating. To avoid getting lazy and eating out or getting take-out, I prepare all different kinds of food to have on hand in my kitchen for the entire week. Prep proteins, like ground bison into burgers and boneless skinless chicken cutlets, complex carbohydrates, like baked sweet potatoes and quinoa, and have healthy fats on hand too, such as peanut butter and avocado. The more prepared you are, the less excuses you have to make the less healthy decision!
Written by: Samantha DiSabello