You've heard that eating 5-6 small meals is good for you, right? But then you hear eating 3 bigger meals a day is better. Which one is right? And WHY? Well, I'm going to explain the benefits of smaller meals verses bigger ones and why they work.
3 meals a day is the old school way of eating. It's great if you're not worried about your metabolism working at it's most optimal level. But what about the people who want to get the MOST out of their metabolism? Small meals for the win.
You see, when you wait too long between breakfast and lunch you probably feel your body crashing. Am I right? That's because your blood sugar isn't stable and all that energy (calories) that you consumed at 7am are now gone leaving your blood sugar to come to a crashing halt. You might feel like you need a cup of Joe right around this time to keep you going. Having caffeine instead of nutrient dense food is just not going to cut it for your metabolism and will throw off your hormones even more. When you go for your lunch, chances are you're having WAY too many carbs and not enough protein which will leave you hungry in a few short hours after eating. Let the cycle repeat. Do you feel fatigued, not fully rested and hungry throughout your day? Chances are you're not using your metabolism to it's fullest potential.
So what's the solution? Small meals throughout the day. You want to aim for 5-6 small meals throughout the day and ones that are protein rich. This will keep your metabolism working at an optimal level AND it will constantly be working. This is a GOOD thing. When your metabolism is working, it's breaking down calories and sending them to where they need to go in the body. It's like going on a long car ride (12 hours or so) and driving with a full tank of gas. When you choose 3 small meals, you're trying to get to your destination with an empty tank. Which one will win? You pick.
Aim for small meals every 3-4 hours throughout your day and see how you feel. Chances are you're going to feel energetic, alert, have mental clarity, and satisfied.
For questions on specific nutrition needs or to try our monthly nutrition plan, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
In good health,
Do you ever think to yourself, what are the best exercises for your body? Are you working your body in the most effective way? Find out my top 5 exercises that I LOVE and swear by for maximum results.
EXERCISE ONE: Pull ups
Pull ups are great for building TOTAL upper body strength and core. For beginners, try this exercise assisted with a machine or band and work your way up to hanging, unassisted pull ups.
EXERCISE TWO: Deadlifts
Deadlifts are great for building up the lower half of the body and core. If done correctly, they will strengthen your glutes, hamstrings and back. This exercise will also help enforce good posture!
EXERCISE THREE: Push ups
A back to basic exercise that remains one of my favorites. Push ups will help increase lean muscles in the chest, and arms. Not only that, but it is also great for your core. For beginners, try doing this on the incline if a regular push up is too hard. I prefer incline push ups to kneeling push ups.
EXERCISE FOUR: Lunges
Lunges are great for building up lower body and can help increase stability and balance. For beginners, try stationary lunges. If you have mastered stationary lunges, move on to walking lunges and then weighted walking lunges. There are thousands of ways you can execute a lunge. Get creative by using a resistance band or doing wide walking lunges or even jumping lunges. Switch it up!
EXERCISE FIVE: Sumo Squat
This exercise is one of my favorites for building up the inner thigh muscles. When you increase the strength in the inner thigh you'll also decrease your chances for knee injuries. You can do these with a dumbbell, kettle ball, or a barbell.
You might be more familiar with the new saying, "skinny is out, fit is in," but what does that mean? Finally we can rejoice about the skinny image being a thing of the past! Looking and BEING fit is the new thing and it's here to stay!
A common goal of my clients is to "look fit." How does one "look fit?" Well, it's not as easy as you may think. Putting on solid muscle is no easy task and looking lean is just as hard. However, it goes a lot deeper than that. When you start a weight lifting program, not only are working on increasing lean muscle mass but the more muscle mass you have the more it will burn body fat (and keep burning calories throughout the day, unlike our OLD friend, cardio). More muscle mass will also help protect the bones (bye osteoporosis), protect our ligaments (see yah, knee pain), and in general add another shield of armor to our body. Who wouldn't want to have a built in coat of armor? In all seriousness though, weightlifting is one of the BEST things you can do for your body.
Ladies, don't be scared of looking like the hulk... unless you're genetically blessed with as much testosterone as a male, you can't possibly look like the hulk. Sorry. Having some muscle is a GOOD thing and it will make you LOOK good too. I'm not all about looks though, health is first. Whatever your goals are, make sure that lifting is your number one go to- cardio second. Cardio only works muscular endurance, not muscular strength. Start with the weights and finish off with some interval training for an effective and efficient workout.
In good health,
Too often than not, the biggest complaint I get is low back pain. It is extremely common but also preventable. There are many reasons why your back might ache but it can be hard to identify them. Here is a short list of somethings that could be causing your back to hurt and you may not even realize it.
1) BAD MATTRESS: When was the last time you changed your mattress or flipped it? Did you know you're supposed to flip your mattress every 6 months and get a new one every 8-10 years? Having an old mattress could reck havic on your back and cause you to wake up in pain, daily.
2) UNSUPPORTIVE PILLOWS: Maybe your mattress is new but how are your pillows that you sleep on? If they are too soft it could throw your spine out of elignment and same with it being too hard. Your pillow should support your head and neck while keeping the spine neutral.
3) OLD SHOES: First question I always ask, "how old are your shoes?" You should replace your exercise shoes every 6-8 months depending on how often you wear them. Daily walking shoes should also be replaced often. Make sure they are supportive and tie in the front. Slip on shoes, flip flops and poorly supported boots can ruin your posture and cause back pain.
4) OFFICE CHAIRS: Does your back tend to hurt while your working hard on your computer? Your desk chair could be the reason why. Make sure your wrists are below your chest and your feet are both flat on the floor. You also want a small amount of lumbar support without slouching. Keep your neck inline with your spine as well. This is one of the biggest reason why people tend to have back pain. Take note on how you sit at work!
5) CARRYING A BAG: Do you carry a bag to work? Don't we all? Are you carrying it on one shoulder? Make sure you switch it up. Carry your bag on the left in the morning and on the right side on the way home. Better yet, get a backpack so the weight distripution is even. This could throw your spine off. It's an easy fix for stronger back!
It seems like a common goal of many Americans to loose weight and keep it off. It also seems to be a common trend and vicious cycle of loosing and gaining weight (sometimes for years). So what's the trick? How come some people are successful and some aren't so successful at loosing weight?
For those of you who have worked with me on nutrition, you know my views and beliefs on "dieting." First off, I hate the word diet so I try not to use it. When I introduce someone to meal planning, I like to call it a nutrition program that will lead to a lifestyle change. Having goals to change your physique is NEVER something that should be quick. It takes time for the body to adapt to change and actually, the longer it takes the more likely it will stay off!
So what's the trick to training the body to decrease body fat, increase lean muscle, increase energy levels and keep it all functioning like this for the long haul? Hate to break it to you, it's not just a quick and easy answer but I'll let you in on my general view of weight loss.
I don't count calories for any nutrition client, EVER. Why? Because every calorie is NOT created equally. 100 calories from chocolate will break down completely differently in the body than 100 calories from chicken (for example). So how do I measure progress? Through macro nutrient monitoring. The body breaks down food either in a macro or micro nutrient way. Macros consist of fats, proteins, carbs and water. Micros are vitamins and minerals. The body works most efficiently when it has the right equation of all things combined. Now everyone is different and one persons macros are typically different than another persons. It takes some trial and error but once you find the right equation, you'll be beyond impressed with the results.
So what's the take away? Make sure you're eating enough fats, carbs and protein during the day. Carbs give you energy so use them early in the morning and around your workouts. Fats are more condensed, so be conscious of how much you consume. Protein is a building block for lean muscle mass, so eat up!
Curious to know what your macro nutrient breakdown should be for your body type and your physique goals? Email me at email@example.com and I'll help you.
In good health,
Need some extra motivation to stay FIT this summer? Check out our 20 day fitness challenge that you can easily do at home! Add these exercises to your morning wake up routine to really add some pep in your step for the day! If you can't do the full exercise, rest and recover then finish!
Day 1: 30 full body push ups (3 sets)
Day 2: Stairs- running up and down for 5 minutes
Day 3: 200 body squats (2 sets)
Day 4: 1/2 mile jog or run
Day 5: Plank for 1 minute (3 sets)
Day 6: 50 burpees! Yes, 50!
Day 7: 20 pull ups (can do assisted) for 3 sets!
Day 8: 30 jump squats, 3 sets!
Day 9: High knee running for 2 minutes, 2 sets
Day 10: 1 minute of mountain climbers, 3 sets
Day 11: 3/4 mile jog/ run
Day 12: Plank for 5 seconds followed by a push up. Repeat for 1 minute for a total of 3 sets.
Day 13: 1 hour walk after dinner!
Day 14: Walking up the stairs skipping a step. Do the left leg 5 times up and down then the right leg.
Day 15: 15 sprints outside! Get that heart rate up!
Day 16: 1 minute sit ups, 3 sets
Day 17: Split squat jumps (lunges jumping alternating legs). Do for 1 minute, 3 times!
Day 18: 50 burpees, 2 sets!
Day 19: 1/4 mile FAST run!
Day 20: 15 burpees, 15 push ups, 15 jump squats- 3 sets!
Does your work schedule get in your way of exercising? Do you feel like all you do during the day is work, eat, sleep then repeat? While I understand that making time for fitness can be hard, it is not impossible. Instead of going to the gym, bring the exercise to YOU! I have put together some tips on how to stay fit while working!
1) Wear tennis shoes on your way to work.
Wearing good shoes can actually help you walk faster and with better form. If you increase your pace while walking to work you will in turn burn more calories. Don't walk far to work? Get there 5 minutes earlier and go up and down the stairs a few times instead.
2) Don't sit back in your chair.
Instead of leaning back in your chair, sit up right and slightly pitched forward (keeping a small curve in your lower back). This will not only help your posture but help increase your core strength. Your core will help support you rather than being off duty and relaxed when your sitting back.
3) Get up and move.
Set your alarm clock to go off every hour. Get up and just walk around for a few minutes. It may not seem like much, but getting up will help increase your blood flow and reset your mind (and eyes).
4) Stand up and sit down.
Did you know that every time you get out of your chair you are technically doing a squat? Now, pay attention to where you hands are and keep them off your desk and lap. Not using your arms for support will make your legs and core more engaged. Do it 15 times then get back to work. Repeat this throughout the day. Again, it will help with blood flow and can help increase lean muscle in your legs.
5) Lunch break? Break it in half!
Do you have an hour for lunch? Great. Take half of your break to get outside and walk around! Bring your lunch to work so you don't have to worry about buying lunch (plus its way healthier to bring your own food). Eat your lunch then get out and get moving. Walking around outside is not only refreshing but can help you burn calories which will help decrease body fat!
I hope these tips help you in achieving your fitness goals this Spring!
Do you have fitness goals?
Don't wait to start. NOW is the time. Don't wait to become the best version of YOU.
As you know, spring is around the corner. Many of you might be thinking of summer weather where we bare our skin more often than not. Are you looking to lose a few pounds before than? Do you want to look your BEST this year? Try my 5 tips that will help you jump start your weight loss goal.
5 TIPS TO LOSE 5 POUNDS:
1) Cardio. If you know me as a trainer, I RARELY preach on cardio, HOWEVER, this day in age we just don't move enough! Breaking news: movement creates fat loss! Without movement our body can't burn the extra calories so what does it do? Stores it! So get up 30 minutes earlier and go for a nice walk OR take your family and get outside after dinner. A 30 minute walk around your neighborhood is a lot easier than you think!
2) Track your food. I am NOT a calorie counter, repeat, I am NOT a calorie counter. Not all calories are created equal and I think it is a waste of time to try and track them.. not to mention it's an outdated way of tracking your food. Instead, try using a macronutrient calculator and determine how much fat, carbs and protein you are consuming during the day. This is a great way to see what your eating too much of or vice versa.
3) Get sleep!! This seems to be a huge one that people underestimate ALL the time. Sleep is when our bodies recover and without it, our bodies can't fully recharge and recover. You wouldn't want to start your day with your phone charged at 30% now would you? Charge your body (and your phone) and start your day off at 100%!
4) Eat when you wake up. This seems to be a big one that holds a lot of controversy. I am a huge believer that eating when you wake up is the best way to start your day AND your metabolism. If you wait 3 hours after you wake up to eat then your metabolism has spent the past 3 hours laying dormant. WAKE IT UP. When you eat, you fuel your metabolism and get your engine roaring for the day, when you don't eat right away it won't work at its most optimal level. Eat when you wake up.
5) Lift weights and heavy ones. Lifting weights is one of the best ways to aid in fat loss. Increase lean muscle helps burn fat and in turn, makes the scale go down! However, if you are lifting the SAME amount of weights for the SAME amount of reps, your not getting ANYWHERE. You must challenge your body and increase the resistance to see consistent results. Ladies, you will NOT get bulky (and if you end up looking like the hulk let me know because I haven't seen it happen yet).
Try these tips out and let me know how your body responds! You will be surprised by the quick results in such easy tasks!
In good health,
Cristina Walterman, owner of CW Physique, let's you in on fitness and nutrition tips, recipes, exercises and much more. With over 8 years of experience in the industry, she loves to inspire and motivate individuals. She always practices what she preaches and leads by example.