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My Mom Stomach – Kangaroo Pouch – aka Sagging Skin after Kids

My daughter is currently three years old and in October she will be four.

FOUR YEARS OLD!

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My body is STILL not what it was before I had her – and that is OK!

However, it is something that I want to focus on for no one but myself, and this is exactly how I am going to do it:

Nutrition and Exercise

Now before I get a million e-mails from fellow moms who are also network marketers with the latest product that will help “tighten and firm” my mid-section or “detox” my insides in a week to get me the aesthetic results I am after – hear me out… DON’T.

Just… PLEASE DON’T!

There is a very specific reason I am going through this journey the way that I am…

That reason is this:

I want every mom to know that

  1. A) It takes time to get your body back in shape.
  2. B) It is unreasonable to put pressure on yourself to get back your body in a certain time frame. (Thank you social media for your constant pressure on moms to get their bodies back)
  3. C) That nutrition is the number one key ingredient in the fat loss/weight loss equation.
  4. D) That you do not have to spend hours in the gym to reach the desired effect.

 

A little back story before I dive in to my steps…

It took my husband and I 10 years to conceive and carry to term a viable pregnancy. I suffered 2 losses during that ten years and had thought that it was just not going to happen. God had other plans and shocked us when I did become pregnant – and it stuck… so I ENJOYED my pregnancy.

The day I found out I was pregnant I weighted about 122 pounds. I am 5’ tall (not to be confused with my IG post that stated I was 5’5” – wishful thinking), and I was pretty muscular. We realized I was pregnant because I was in the gym (this was also before I had my own personal gym) 5 days a week for one hour and I was doing primarily heavy lifting… but my weight was not moving. My nutrition, up to that moment was on point… so I had assumed I had hit another plateau. My energy was tanking however… I was tired and hungry all the time – and my husband called it. He knew I was pregnant before I did… and when I told him – his words were “I KNEW IT!” (funny note is that we had just paid in full for a week vacation in Cancun with our friends, which is the same thing that happened when we booked a trip to Jamaica about 5 years earlier).

Once we knew that the pregnancy was going to stick this time – I started to ENJOY my pregnancy. Paul would go and get me cheese burgers from Sonic, and everyday on my way home from work I would stop and get a small (not mini) heath bar blizzard from Dairy Queen – like I said I ENJOYED every moment. (And I do understand that some do not enjoy pregnancy and this is in no way to rub it in – it is just my experience…).

The day I delivered – I weighted a whopping 185lbs. At 5’ tall… that is a TON of weight, and my daughter did NOT weigh 63lbs.

I also did not have the easiest delivery… several things did not go “as planned” (my birth plan? My exact words to my doctor were, and I quote, “You GRADUATED from med school, and I dropped out of community college. My birth plan is to go to the hospital when you tell me to, and you do whatever it is you need to do to deliver a happy healthy baby that we have waited over ten years to meet) and I wound up needing a walker for about 2 weeks after getting home from the hospital.

All of that being said I started to focus on my recovery and health slowly, and I mean snails pace slow.

I went back to work full time, was taking care of a newborn – and on top of that, when she was 3 months old, I had the ingenious idea to start the course for personal training. I was busy, stressed, and tired. Overwhelmed I would put it…

Months turned into years. I was mindful of my eating most of the time…

Which brings me to where I am now:

Current Stats:

Weight 128.5lbs

Waist (belly button): 34.25”

MOM Belly: 35.75” (largest section on my stomach)

Hips: 38”

R Thigh: 21”

L high: 21.25”

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My focus to tighten my mid-section is going to come from nutrition and from exercise. There is no way one area is going to be able to be spot trained – that is not possible… You must reduce total body fat, and then you can gain muscle. I would be deceiving myself if I thought that ALL of the loose skin will go away, but it will decrease – and that is the overall goal.

My Steps to My #MommyMakeover

Nutrition: Attaining this goal is 80% food (and really if I am being totally honest it is more like 90% food)! That being said – I am not going to deprive myself of things that I love. I will be counting my macros (I use an ap on my phone called “Mikes Macros” to track and log my calories. I have found with my clients that if they deprive and completely cut out al the food that they love that is higher in calories, they will wind up binging on those things later.

My macro goals are as follows (please use a macro calculator such as Mike’s Macros if you are wanting to start your own 3mommymakeover journey as each person is unique and different).

Total Calories: 1,232

Macro Breakdown:

98g Protein

152g Carbohydrates

26g Fat

My total calories may seem low, but I have an office job where I sit most of the day and I need to be in a calorie deficit to lose fat. For someone who is more active the total calories would be higher.

As a general rule, I am usually always over on fat and under on my protein and carbohydrate goals for the day, but overall, still in a calorie deficit.

I personally fast through breakfast. I make myself drink 20 oz of water before I allow myself to have my first cup of coffee ***and usually my only cup of coffee***

I fill my diet (meaning food consumed, and not a specific fad diet) with vegetable carbohydrates that are more filling than the grain/bread type carbohydrates – meaning they are higher in fiber to sustain hunger for longer periods of time. I also do my best to eat lean protein. I am not a fish lover… but I will eat shell fish, so I generally stick to chicken, turkey, lean beef, and bison.

I am also drinking a gallon of water (or as close to it as possible) each day.  A gallon is 128oz. I have a 20oz cup and I keep filling it and have had about 80-100oz by the time I leave work and commute home. Disclaimer *** I also LOVE the taste of Diet Coke… not regular coke, it has to be diet… and CHAMPAGNE…*** I have made a rule that I can have no other drinks (besides my morning coffee) until I have had my gallon of water. These are my rules, not saying anyone has to follow them – but I have found that my cravings for sweets has gone down, and I don’t want the diet coke as much as I used to. I still LOVE champagne – that will not change. I have two bottles in my refrigerator that I feel like I am saving, but for no particular reason.

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Exercise: I am committing to exercise for 30 min a day 6 times a week. Now hear me out – exercising could mean a weight lifting workout, resistance band training, a TRX workout, a cardio session (jog/walk, bike, rower), an afternoon stroll with my family, or a dance party with my little in the living room… for me as long as it is 30 min of intentional movement… that is exercise to me.

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I want to show you my schedule and what works for me, and before I get any “mom shaming” for what my day looks like – my daughter is well taken care of and gets plenty of attention – so don’t come for me.

My Schedule: (Mon thru F)

4:45-5:00 AM – Alarm goes off, watch the news

5.00-5:30AM – Get ready for the day, wake up my daughter and let her say “Mommy, I want to sleep for 5 more min”

5:30-5:45AM – Make lunches, pack up the car

5:45-6:00AM – Get kiddo dressed and dropped off at preschool

6:00 -7:00AM (this can be a little longer sometimes because of #houstontraffic) Commute to work.

7:00AM-4:00PM WORK (desk job, not much movement… except all the steps I am getting from trips to the bathroom – HELLO gallon of water challenge!)

4:00-5:00PM – Commute Home

5:00-5:30PM – At home workout (weight or resistance training, or cardio)

5:45PM – Pick up kiddo from preschool (Dad helps with this too)

6:00PM Dinner – playing, learning with kiddo.

6:30PM-7:00PM (M-Th) – Training clients one on one

7:15PM – Kiddo in jammies, brush teeth, read book, lights out! (unless it is Friday… Friday is “FRIDAY MOVIE DAY – where we watch a movie as a family and bed time gets pushed a little later)

7:45-9:00PM – Clean up kitchen (this is also when I fit a workout in if the commute took longer than expected)

9:00PM – Lights out!

One weekends it is different… a little more relaxed.

Now this is MY schedule, and there is not a one size fits all. There are some days when my internal clock goes off at 3:30 AM and I can get up and do some light cardio in the morning, there are other days when I feel like my eyes are cemented shut when my alarm goes off. I have learned to take each day as it comes… but also to make the most of it!

Conclusion:

This is going to be a slow-go process. The reason it is going to be so slow, it will be sustainable. It is something that will be able to be maintained for the long term and not just a challenge that will be completed in 60-90 days and then go back to eating #allthethings and drinking nothing but diet soda and watching Netflix every free minuet I have to myself. (And that is not to say that there is anything wrong with challenges – I like them too – but this is not aimed to get flat abs in one month by doing a million crunches).

I hope to show moms, like myself, that it is possible to lose the body fat in a sustainable and healthy way that is not linked to supplements and wraps/pills that you “have” to take.

If you want to follow along my journey, see my progress and encourage me as I go – check out my Facebook or Instagram. There is not a time limit on this, as I expressed before – I am not putting the pressure on myself to get results in a certain frame of time.

Also to note – we are possibly looking to expand our family (me possibly conceiving) in 2020 – and if that happens, this will change into a “keep moving and don’t gain 63lbs during pregnancy” type of thing if you get my drift… but only God knows if that will happen – and with this pandemic we have currently, I am not excited about the thought of being pregnant during this – but if it happens, it happens! I have faith that God has a plan in all of this!

If you have the same “mom belly/kangaroo pouch” belly and want some results? Message me and let’s get connected! I am taking coaching clients and would love for you to be one of them!

XOXO Meggs!

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A Formula for Making the Perfect Salad Every Time

When someone mentions the idea of having a salad for lunch or dinner,
your first reaction may not be excited. You know salads are “healthy,” but
you seem to never feel satisfied after eating them. I have great news —
salads can be incredibly filling and packed with interesting, delicious
flavors. The perfect salad should contain a balance of micronutrients and
macronutrients. This will keep you satisfied for a long time and will provide
you will all the essential nutrients that you need.

  1. Carbohydrates (Fiber!)
    While carbs might make you think of bread, pasta, and pizza, this
    macronutrient contributes a lot to your salad as well. Fiber is a component
    of carbohydrates that your body is unable to break down and absorb. It is
    broken down by the bacteria in your gut, meaning that this carbohydrate
    won’t increase your blood sugar levels. Salads are loaded with fiber. Dark,
    leafy greens such as lettuce, kale, and spinach are the very base of your
    salad, and these veggies contain a lot of fiber!
  2. Healthy Fats
    This is the part that will keep you full for a long time. Fats will also help you
    focus as they play an essential role in fueling the brain. They also keep
    your skin looking bright and youthful and are important for hormone
    production and balance. If you skip the healthy fats, you’ll end up with a
    sad salad! Add some avocado, olives, or salmon to your salad to really
    make it a satisfying meal. You should also toss your salad with olive oil and
    top it with crunchy nuts at the very end to add an additional source of
    healthy fats.
  3. Protein
    Proteins break down into amino acids, which are the building blocks of
    most molecules in your body! Add a source of lean protein to your salad,
    such as chicken breast, tofu, fish, chickpeas, or beans. [edit to your
    coaching preferences: vegan, paleo, etc.]
  4. Probiotics
    You’ve already added your prebiotics (fiber) which will feed the healthy
    bacteria, but now it’s time to make your salad extra nutritious by adding the
    healthy bacteria itself. Probiotics are found in all fermented foods, such as
    kimchi and even pickles. You can also make a kefir dressing to add some
    extra good bacteria.
  5. Extra Toppings
    This is the fun part—add whichever toppings you like! Play with textures
    and flavors, such as adding crunchy nuts and seeds, chewy dried fruits, or
    freshly chopped herbs. Instead of adding cheese, which can be high in fat
    and might trigger intolerances in some individuals, try adding some
    nutritional yeast. It has a very similar taste and contains lots of essential
    vitamins!
  6. Dressing
    No salad is complete without dressing, but this is often where store-bought
    salads go from being healthy to unhealthy. As previously mentioned, add
    olive oil to your dressing for some extra healthy fats. Lemon, apple cider
    vinegar, and tahini are also great and healthy liquid bases for your
    dressing. Finish it off with some sea salt and pepper, and you have yourself
    a substantial meal.
    What’s your favorite salad toppings? Comment below and let me know. I’m
    always looking for some new ideas I may not have thought of yet.
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The Most Quintessential Fall Produce That’s in Season Now

Fresh produce can get expensive when you’re buying fruits and veggies
that aren’t in season. When foods aren’t in season, they must be
outsourced from places that can grow them, or they’re being manufactured
in a less natural setting. Both scenarios make for foods that aren’t as
flavorful, and that cost more to import. Use this reminder to be aware of the
produce you’re buying this season, and try to purchase foods that are in
season. They taste better, cost less, and are fun to enjoy as a seasonal
treat. Below is a list of the perfect fall produce that you should get your
hands on.

  1. Apples
    Apples are great to stock up on because they have quite a long shelf life.
    They are also rich in fiber, which promotes gut health and in turn, overall
    health. One apple contains around 14% of your recommended daily intake
    of vitamin C. It also contains potassium, vitamin K, and some B-group
    vitamins. You know what they say— an apple a day keeps the doctor away.
    So have your pick from the numerous flavor varieties you can choose from
    this fall. You can even have a weekend excursion to a local apple orchard
    to pick your own — it’s the perfect fall activity.
  2. Plums
    Good plums aren’t easy to find all year round, so make sure to take some
    home this season. Plums are rich in potassium and antioxidants, which
    eliminate toxic molecules known as free-radicals from the body. Dried
    plums (called prunes) are loaded with fiber and are fantastic for regulating
    your digestive system.
  3. Beets
    Beets are incredibly high in folate (also known as vitamin B9), manganese,
    magnesium, vitamin C, and many other essential vitamins and minerals.
    They also contain anti-inflammatory properties, meaning they reduce the
    risk of any illness that is triggered by chronic inflammation.
  4. Bok Choy
    Bok Choy is a potent vegetable. They contain an enormous variety of
    antioxidants— more than most other produce out there. Because of this, it
    has been well-researched regarding its cancer-fighting properties, as
    antioxidants fight off cancer-causing free radicals. It is also extremely rich
    in vitamin A, K, C, and some B-group vitamins, such as folate (vitamin B9).
  5. Brussels Sprouts
    Not many people get excited about Brussels sprouts, but they should. They
    can taste great if prepared correctly, and they are considered one of the
    healthiest vegetables in the world. They are loaded with vitamin K and C,
    but they also contain the B-group vitamins, vitamin A, fiber, and many other
    minerals, such as manganese. Brussels sprouts have been shown to have
    protective effects against many illnesses.
  6. Pears
    Pears are as great as apples when it comes to their versatility in the
    kitchen. They also contain lots of fiber, but make sure to eat them with the
    skin as this is where most of the fiber and nutrients come from. Pears are
    rich in potassium, antioxidants, vitamin C, and magnesium.
  7. Squash
    Squash is a great complex carbohydrate to add to your meals this fall. It’s
    incredibly filling and won’t cause your blood sugar levels to spike because
    it’s full of fiber. Squash is one of the best sources of vitamin A, but it also
    contains many other vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin E, C, the Bgroup
    vitamins, iron, potassium, and magnesium.
    With so many different quintessential fall fruits and veggies to choose from,
    you’ll be set this season with delicious, flavorful foods that ground you and
    energize you. What’s your favorite food in season this fall? Hit reply and let
    me know.
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What IS Personal Training ONLINE?

 

Is it a millennial thing? Is it a trendy thing? Is is a new age thing? Is it a social media thing?

Is it a scam?

Personal Training ONLINE- What is it exactly???

Let me give a little bit of a back story before I explain personal training online and what I do for my clients…

It used to be that in December every year we would make resolutions about how to get healthy starting January 1st. Most of the time that included finding a gym, signing up and getting some personal training. Most of the time with your initial consultation you are given a “free” fitness evaluation by one of the gym’s trainers and then are given a “free” week or month of one on one personal training. Now I input the word “free” because they WILL try and sell you on the training packages they offer – but that is their JOB – they are in sales just as much as they are in the business of personal training.

So you get your evaluation – and most trainers do take this seriously – they really DO want to see you get great results! However, there is a HUGE PRESSURE every month to get more and more people signed up for personal training so that they can earn a commission off of the sales – I mean we all know how sales work don’t we?

You start showing up for your training sessions – the person before you is running a little late and into your training session. Then to try and make sure that the next session is on time they start to rush your session – and that short changes your time – which is already valuable – and seems to not be valued as much by your trainer…  And how often have you been asked what you enjoy about fitness, or being active? How many times has your trainer invited you to express what you like or dislike and TAILORED your workouts to what you enjoy? I can’t be the only person who has felt this way?!?! If so – you can stop reading now. (ALSO – this is NOT TO SAY THAT EVERY TRAINER IS THIS WAY – I AM NOT GROUPING EVERYONE INTO THIS – but it has been my experience with several in gym trainers)

One one One and in person is CRUCIAL for someone just starting out I feel – and it is important to be monitored and coached on how to move your body through your lifting or cardio routine to make sure that you avoid injury! However – let’s say that you have been going to the gym for a while – you know what you are doing – and you don’t really want someone over your shoulder watching your every move and saying “just one more rep” – but you also feel a little lost on what to do first or creating a routine for yourself to complete… That is where I can help –

Online personal training programs with Life Stride Fitness Training is perfect for those individuals who just want to go to the gym, have a plan, and execute. You check-in once a week – have someone to fall back on IF you have a question – but don’t have to workout according to someone else’s block of allotted time for you – and have flexible nutrition guidelines to help meet your goals. Your trainer (me) works with your likes and dislikes to make sure that your fitness goals are kept fun and enjoyable to YOU!

I’ll give you an example – Paul enjoys running, lifting, and wants to try something new – INDOOR ROCK CLIMBING! I would tailor his workout to include those things that he likes!

Monday – Rest Day (It is the first day back at work and working out is not really a focus)

Tuesday – Running (if he has a goal of a 5K, 10K, Half or Full Marathon – we schedule his runs accordingly)

Wednesday – Focused Strength Training – Upper Body (if he wants to take up indoor rock climbing – we will need to make sure that his muscles are ready for the challenge)

Thursday – Rest Day (Recovery is CRUCIAL to letting your muscles grow and heal)

Friday – Focused Strength Training – Lower Body (I would want a could of days away from upper body strength training if he is going to be rock climbing so that he does not fatigue easily)

Saturday – Indoor Rock Climbing

Sunday – Rest and Recovery.

This is just an example – I would design a workout for Paul and have him stick to that plan for 4-6 weeks before changing it up. Each day would have specific exercises to complete and he would document his progress for check in.

Another Example –

Cindy is not a fan of cardio. She likes to lift and get stronger – but is not a fan of running or jumping around – however she loves to bike ride with her family.  I would create her workout to look something like this:

Monday – Leisure bike ride with her family to start the week

Tuesday – Rest Day

Wednesday – Total Body Workout – Resistance Bands

Thursday – Rest Day

Friday – Total Body Workout – Weight Training

Saturday – Longer Bike Ride with Family

Sunday – Rest and Recover

Cindy will sill get the benefits of cardio-respiratory training – while doing something she loves and getting to spend some quality time with her family. She will document her progress and check in with me weekly.

If at any time one of my clients finds something un-enjoyable we work together to tweak their plan and get them back to enjoying the process.

Traditional One on One and in person training can cost $65+ per 30 min session. IF you are meeting your personal trainer 3 times a week, you are spending $195+ a week and if you add it up for a month it is over $780!

If you benefiting from it – FANTASTIC!

However – if you are one of those people, like myself, that just got tired of feeling rushed, having to make appointments to workout, having to workout in front of someone, spending the money for something I know I could do on my own, on my own schedule, at my own pace – online personal training may be perfect for you!

And here is the best news – ITS A FRACTION OF THE COST!

Monthly plans start at $150 for a 4 week program and even the 12 week program is half of what you would spend in the gym with a one on one trainer for one month!

If you would like more information – email me (or fill out the contact form) and I would be happy to explain more in detail and help you start reaching your goals. Life Stride Fitness Training was designed to help YOU ENJOY getting healthy and active!

Meggs!

email: lifestridefitnesstraining@gmail.com

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But Why…

I am not at this stage in parenthood yet, but my day is coming I assure you…

“But why??”

This small question from a toddler has peaked my interest in the reason for people making a certain decision…

A few posts back I spoke about what got me back into my journey of health and fitness several years ago.  You can read it here if you want to take a look – but it got me thinking about the reason behind people’s decisions…

Every decision you make has a why to it. Whether you do something or choose not to do something there is a why.

So what is your why?

Why do you want to lose those last 10 pounds?

Why are you having a hard time getting started?

Why are you unable to put your health as a priority?

Once you have answered those questions – ask yourself this final thing…

Why are you letting something hold you back?

I am not saying once you have the answers, BOOM, magic is going to happen – but what I am saying is that once you have the honest talk with yourself about why it is you make the decisions you make – you may be able to make some changes and see some results.

Let me know your reasons why – and let me know if I can help get you started!

<3 Meggs

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Caloric Deficit? WHAT?

caloric

I am sure if you have looked at anything fitness, health or diet related you will have seen something from someone stating the best way to shed weight is to be in a caloric deficit.

So what exactly does that mean?

Burn more calories than you consume – simply put… but you know there has to be more to it than that… and in a way there is.

If you are someone who eats in excess of 300 calories a day – it would not be wise to cut down to an 1800 calorie per day diet on your first day… here is why:

If you drastically reduce the amount of calories you are eating on day one the likelihood that you are going to be starving by noon is very probable. You are starving… trying to hold off… but then it gets the best of you and you binge to satisfy the hunger. So you decide to start again tomorrow – only to have the same thing happen again. You then get discouraged and give up… and then the hopelessness you feel just takes you further and further away from your goals. Being restrictive in the types of foods you eat can also cause the same effect. While focusing on the extremes of being perfect – we can often set ourselves up for self-sabotage.

Here is what SHOULD happen… You should start reducing your calories by 200 – 250 a day for the first week. Then a few more hundred calories the next week – and so on until you get down to your calories consumed goal. Gradual decrease in the calories consumed will leave you able to maintain, and help you get to your goals.  The important thing about changing your habits is that you want them to be long lasting and not just until you reach that ultimate goal.

Sure if you are able to cut it down and not binge, and treat everyone horribly because you are so hungry all the time – congratulations you are of the very select few… If you are one of those people (with a pat on the back) I do ask you to be wise about your accomplishment when you get to your goal. Many people who have restrictive diets will gain their weight back (and very quickly) once they have met their goal.

Again – this is a lifestyle. Cutting calories gradually will help you be able to maintain when you are able to reach your goal because it will be second nature to you.

Want more information – need a little more help? Reach out to me and let me know how I can help you start meeting your goals!

<3 Meggs

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My Stance on Detox Cleansing…

CUT THE CRAP

I may actually be a broken record at this point…

SPOILER ALERT (in-case this is TLDR)… Your body cleanses and detoxes ITSELF and does NOT NEED that EXPENSIVE diet tea, herbal supplement, or special juice to cleanse itself…

Now before I make the internet scream at me for saying such things, I do realize that there are specific health issues with some that may cause them to HAVE to have certain restrictions to juiced veggies and fruit (and I personally do not have ANY issue with juices – so keep reading). What I am saying is that these companies that are selling juices as cleansing juices and detoxes are taking your hard earned money from you and they are making you believe that it is the quickest way to get rid of things like:

  • Bloating
  • Stomach Acid
  • Fat
  • Gas…
  • and the list could go on…

They are stealing your money when you believe that the effects of their “unique” items are going to cure, or speed up the effects of your party weekend, the holidays or etc.

HERE IS THE EASIEST WAY TO DETOX… LET YOUR BODY DO IT NATURALLY…

But Megg’s – HOW?? These companies claim that they have the answers… and they promote it on the radio with people who are PAID to advertise for them – always be skeptical of someone who is a PAID SPOKESPERSON…

But here is the easy answer – and some are not going to like it – but some (in the words of A Few Good Men) “CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!”

STOP FILLING YOUR BODY WITH CRAP – DRINK MORE WATER AND FLUSH YOUR SYSTEM – EAT MORE GREEN VEGGIES (Darker and more colorful the better) – and your body will NATURALLY start to cleanse itself… and just to clarify again – I am speaking to those with no known gastrointestinal issues… I do understand that there are some with needs that are for NUTRITION and NOT DETOX… and this is not me claiming anything against poop teas or what-have you because sometimes we all need a little help to poo…

Just am so tired of hearing sponsored radio co hosts claiming that these expensive juices are going to detox you can cleanse you. Again there is nothing wrong with drinking juice because you like juice… its when you think it is the only way you are going to clean out your system and you are looking for an EXPENSIVE quick fix…

Quit ordering them – go to the store – be an adult – buy fruits and veggies – and drink more freaking water… then come back and tell me that the “magic juice” is the only thing that “works” for you…

OK… I am off of my soapbox.

<3 Meggs

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Create a Caloric Deficit

One of the most important ways to obtain fat loss is to create a caloric deficit.

The best way to do this, is to know where you are starting. Meaning how much on average are you eating daily. If you don’t normally count calories, it is hard to know if how much you are overeating (or if you are undereating). Without knowing that number it is going to be hard to gague where to go to be in a deficit. Sure if you KNOW you are eating 4 bags of chips, 2 loaves of bread, 3 tubs of peanutbutter, and 2 half gallons of ice cream, then just cutting back could help you start to lose body fat – but let’s face it, most of us are not that extreme! So knowing where we start, will help us know where we need to  make adjustments. It’s not comfortable sure – but it is helpful and will help us get to where we want to be.

So how do you figure out where you currently are calorie wise… log all of your food you eat into an app such as my fitness pal for a period of time. It could be anywhere from one week to one month. If you track for just a day or two – it will not give you an accurate calorie average. Once you have your average calories you eat in a time period you can calculate your calorie goal by looking up IIFYM on bodybuilding.com and calculate your macros.

Once you have your macros and calorie goals you can start to see where you have been overeating or undereating. This is just a tool to use to try and get your caloric intake back under control.

Once you start to eat in a caloric deficit and start to make healthier habit choices in your diet, you will start to notice OVER TIME that your total fat loss will increase and you will start to shed weight.

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Water

One of the top health and fitness questions is: “What is the best way to lose body fat?”

Simple answer first: Healthy Balanced Diet and Exercise

However, if you are like me and think that sometimes the answer has got to be a little more complicated than that – let’s break down some of the mind barriers we tend to have and find some simpler solutions shall we?

Today – let’s talk about water. If you have been following Life Stride Fitness Training for a while, you know we have discussed the issue of water before. Many times we don’t realize that we are dehydrated until it’s too late. We have headaches, we are craving sweets, we become lethargic. These are all things that are quick to onset during the holidays too…

Not everything we drink hydrates us. Sure we can already state that alcohol dehydrates us – but do we understand that coffee does too? I know – our love affair with the warm and indulgent wake-up juice could be setting us back. And I don’t know about you – but after the time change in the fall and the Holidays – some days I feel like I need that caffeine IV drip.

Let’s take a look at some simple ways to increase our hydration instead of decreasing.

Water – yup that is what it boils down to – water… simple answer right? Well some of us are not a fan of water. So what are some ways that we can increase our water intake and hydration without just boring ourselves to death with plain water. According to the Institute of Medicine, it is recommended that women get 2.7 liters (11 cups) of water per day.

Infuse it – We can make a pitcher with cut up fruit and or cumber and make a refreshing pitcher we can refill and reuse all day. One of my favorite infusions is lemon and raspberry. The combinations you can choose are close to endless and it is a great way to keep that hydration up!

Warm water with lemon – the benefits of this cup or two of warm lemon water are bountiful. From the obvious hydration benefits to the tummy tamer – warm lemon water is one way to keep your body in check.

Eat more fruits and vegetables! Many different fruits and vegetables have high water content in them and help your daily water intake when you consume them.

These are just two ways to increase your water intake and keep yourself from being dehydrated.

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The Cost of Your Health

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From time to time it comes up that it is just too expensive now to be healthy and to stay in shape. With the cost of food on the rise, and the time it takes to prepare healthy meals for yourself and your family – it has become an inconvenience to take your health into your own hands. Its easier to pull into a drive-thru or just go out to eat. Frozen pizza, corn dogs, chicken nuggets and easy macaroni become staples in our diets because of the no time in our schedule…

Terrifying to say the least… and here is why…

While looking for statistics regarding Type 2 Diabetes on the rise in the United States, the articles I have been finding are largely outdated. However, the Harvard School of Public Health states that “The global cost of diabetes is now 825 billion dollars per year, according to the largest ever study of diabetes levels across the world.” Now, I know that many look at that number and think, “but that’s the whole world.”. Here is what the article has to say about the U.S. “In the US in 2014, 8.2% of men and 6.4% of women had diabetes, making the US’ rank 114th for men and 146th for women in the world. The number of US men with diabetes has increased by more than two thirds since 1980, when 4.7% had the disease. Among women in 1980, 4.3% had diabetes.” You can read the full article here. (This study also does not define the difference in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes)

Here is the bottom line. Your healthy lifestyle now – can save you later on. Not only living longer to enjoy the world and life around you – but your money as well.

Let’s say you are considered “healthy” now. You have no known medical conditions, so you think that the way you are living is good enough. Coffee for breakfast, fast food on the go lunch, take-out dinner then sleep and repeat. Let’s say you are spending $20 a day on this type of eating. $7,280 a year on quick food (and those numbers are just if you are feeding yourself and not a family). In a few years, this catches up with you and you are diagnosed with Diabetes. Not only are you now having to pay for regular doctors visits, and medication – but those strips and finger pokers… they are expensive! So your $20 a day just cost you a lot more down the road.

Sure, I know you are thinking, “that’s not going to happen to me”… and if you want to spin that roulette wheel… I advise against it!

This is how you can start making changes:

  1. Start at the grocery store: plan out a week of food (yes this takes a little time but again how much time is it going to take you to constantly prick your finger, take medication and schedule and go to the doctor). They even have curbside pick-up now!
  2. Make meals at home: they don’t have to be elaborate and take hours to prepare (unless you are in love with cooking and you find pleasure in it). This way you have leftovers for your lunch the next day. There are also some great resources that will ship you everything you need for cooking a healthy meal in the exact portion sizes you need and costs you less than eating that same meal out at a restaurant.
  3. Get over the “I Don’t Do Leftovers”: Listen – if you don’t do leftovers – then you should be cooking for yourself every day. “Ain’t nobody got time for that”. Leftovers can be packed and ready for you, to save you time the next day.
  4. Take leftovers for lunch: There are these amazing things called coolers or lunch bags that are so much better than the brown sack we used to carry at school… the even have these cool ice blocks that will keep your lunch cold until lunch time! (heavy sarcasm here – and I am mostly speaking to myself because I have had to have this talk to myself several times).
  5. Make dinner time fun! Try something new and savor new flavors. Food doesn’t need to be boring – it can be creative and unique.
  6. Limit soda and sugary drinks. Drink more water (I know I have lost some of you by now).
  7. Make your candy and sugary sweets a treat you have once or twice a week if you must have them – and limit them to a serving and not the whole box of movie size skittles or Reese’s pieces
  8. Move more – no one said you have to have a gym membership to get healthy and in better shape. No one said you have to have a personal trainer to tell you how to get into shape (although I am available if you need guidance on where to start). Go for a walk around your neighborhood or in a nice park. Join a voluntary sports team of your liking… just get moving.

Your health is in your hands. The price you pay now for being healthy now or not, will either save you or cost you in the long run. Invest more in yourself starting now. You are worth every investment you make to improve your health and well being.