Showing posts tagged with: Health

Being RIPPED vs. being HEALTHY: Are they one in the same?

by Emma Hammond 0 comments

goals Habits Mindset Uncategorized

Being Ripped vs. Being Healthy:I love the opportunity to start with a new training client. Learning more about their history, outlook on training & experience always gives me a new perspective I can use to better connect with others. Yesterday I began with a newbie to me who had come from over 3 years of training in a traditional bodybuilding style gym. While I actually consider myself a little on the "bro" bodybuilding side myself, true bodybuilding is an athletic endeavor focusing on maximizing aesthetics goals over all else.This client is a doctor so very well educated on the health side of life. This spurred an excellent conversation regarding how people from the outside perspective idealize the hot, toned or ripped physique. It is automatically correlated with health, vitality & strength. Where as you see the normal girl who claims to need to lose that last 5-10lbs, has a bit of cellulite & a touch of softness around her tummy as much less "healthy" than the muscle bound fitness model.Honestly look at these pictures & tell me without thinking who you see as the model of health?BodyfatYes I would probably have answered the same a few years ago. However as the good ole Dr. & Iwere chatting, we both acknowledged several observation from his years of bro style training. (PS yes I say bro style training for laughs, I have no issue with it what so ever..:)Anywho he discussed the women in there who lifted for 2 hours but had to sleep or use stimulants the rest of the day due to extreme fatigue from overtraining & under-eating. The number of beautiful buff bodies who were full of chemicals, stimulants, depressants & other enhancements to get any extra inch of muscle. To hell with the internal damage it caused! Speaking of the internal damage, I would say the majority of those super thin societally deemed gorgeous women lacked a menstrual cycle. As it's HEALHY for women to carry body fat in order have a functioning period, regulate body temperature, have shiny hair & nails, brains function & SOOOO many more important health markers.Now I am not just picking on body builders. As I know this is not the person most of us relate to. Instead how about I use myself as an example eh? Why not throw my own former habits under the bus...image1-2SO for YEARS I was consumed by "being healthy"...Now let's be real. By being healthy I REALLY meant being skinny. Nope not even "in shape" or "fit", I wanted to be skinny because that's what people praised. I lost a few pounds, people would notice & say "girl you look so skinny lately". In of course a super positive way! Obviously skinny gave me added value, acceptance & I assumed would mean being healthy. So I did so. I ran a ton, I ate a lot of lettuce, low fat granola bars, fat free yogurt, ate egg whites & hell even went vegetarian for a really long time. Did it work? On the outside yes. I did lose weight. In fact I got down to well under 100lbs! YAY I am now LESS weight in the world.On the inside however I was a hot mess. I had major digestive problems, became anemic, liver enzyme tests showed issues, hair fell out, low libido (sorry mom!), major mood issues, bad/discolored skin & lost my menstrual cycle that I have battled to regain going on 5 years!picstitchYes everyone (myself included) praised my new found healthy lifestyle because I was now skinny. SCORE! I had such good "willpower", "discipline" & "self control" which obviously made me superior to all those chubby people n the world who lacked my ability to eat less, move more & feel like garbage most of the day. Granted this was NEVER my thought process. I never once looked in the mirror & thought "damn girl you look hot". It was always "why do I still have cellulite here", "why don't my arms look toned" all while pinching every much needed ounce of body fat left on my frame. Yes, weight obviously correlates to happiness..Said no one ever..Yes that's a bit of personal info from me, which is super hard for me to admit to. Yet I know many of you can relate to these feelings. To looking at the folks running triathlons, doing crossfit 6x a week or now throwing around "strong is the new skinny". Because that's exactly what we need in life! Another BS way to evaluate our worth by our physical endeavors.Ok I have digressed on this post I will admit. However the purpose is to say health is something built from the inside. You can be visually small & be healthy OR very unhealthy. You can be overweight & be healthy OR not healthy. The hard part is understanding that we have to fix the inside before the outside. Or at least that's the longterm SUSTAINABLE way to do so.This is also a hard reality when it comes to fat loss. I often have to break it to people that if you have spent years mistreating your body, feeding it crap, depriving it of nutrients & never moving of the sofa. The chances of you convincing it to suddenly cooperate & lose weight within a short period of time because now you've decided to give it some love. Well that's unlikely to be a quick fix. It's the biggest frustration I encounter when working with the yo-yo dieting club. You can't starve, abuse & manipulate your body into health. It takes care, consistency, patience & even moderation in our approach.89de54dbb2c5e74d77e360cefcaf9f7fLong story short. Don't idolize others bodies as being healthy because the scale shows them a lower number then yours. The same goes that you shouldn't assume because someone doesn't hold a 6 pack or have the perfect runner's body that they are unhealthy! We all have different bodies, shapes, sizes & desires to reach for. Focus on health 1st! As I promise being a skinny person who is tired, grumpy, angry & totally self deprecating is NOT healthy living. Strive to feel vibrant, eat nutritiously, feel like you are honoring your hunger, not letting food rule your world, working out to make your body stronger & letting all of these endeavors enhance your life! Soapbox weekly blog complete...:)What signs do you look for in YOURSELF to show you are healthy, happy & living the life you are reaching for?

Walk Before You Run – Top 5 Beginner Nutrition Fat Loss Tips

by Emma Hammond 0 comments

Habits Nutrition Uncategorized

nutrition 101One of the reasons I became so interested in health, nutrition & fitness is because it is very individualized. There truly isn't a one size fits all approach & many different methods work for varying people. For me, that means getting to know a client's lifestyle, preferences & truly personal goals for which I can put them on the right road to achieve success. Yet for most people, it means a frustrating puzzle when all you want is simple "how to" reach the finish line.

That desire for the no thinking necessary - quick fix results is what leads us to jump from point A to Z, with none of the in between. In fitness you don't go from a couch dweller to marathon runner overnight. Nor do you throw a barbell on your back before you can squat with just your body weight. It's the same with nutrition! Unfortunately one of the most common issues I find when a client comes to me in search of fat loss or even just cleaning up their diet is wanting to skip the basics.

What about:d5c4459a0a3c5a3ac587cd42d52b7da8

paleo?

gluten free?

carb cycling?

ketogenic?

or whatever they've read online. I am no different & absolutely guilty of trying the good ole 30 challenge or trendy cut out X macronutrient method. Which is why I can say from personal experience, it never led to long term results or sustainable habits. Instead I usually felt confused & ultimately like a failure when I yet again couldn't comply.

This is why I now often sound like a broken record by asking are you doing X, Y & Z first...No? Then how are you going to stick to a more complicated & often restrictive dietary plan when you aren't applying the simple habits needed to set yourself up to succeed. I have been AMAZED to see results that have come from people sticking to the basics, creating habits they can follow & making small adjustments over time where needed.defa2c4864a79c208a46229ea6def51f

If you are ready to lose that extra fat that has been bothering you, feel better daily & make it a sustainable lifestyle then this is for you. Before you jump on the next 30 day challenge, as yourself if you have these basics down:

Top 5 Basic Nutrition Must Haves:

1. DRINK WATER! I always feel silly saying this & clients give me the same "yes I know" response. But are you actually doing it daily? The amount needed can vary depending on activity levels but at the bare minimum, 64-72oz per day to start.

healthy-colour-food2. Eat LOTS of Vegetables: I also don't mean just corn, beans, potatoes & other starchy foods. Your meals should be comprised of lots of colorful vegetables, especially the leafy green variety. The vitamins & nutrients in vegetables fuel your body, not to mention fiber which helps keep you full. Make 1/2 your plate veggie filled & you will start to feel & SEE the difference.

3. Solid Protein with EVERY meal: This is one I see most frequently with women. Yes ladies I am looking at you! Cereal & fruit for breakfast, plain salads for lunch, more fruit, nuts, veggies, hummus, pasta & such throughout the day. That is not going to help you get the "lean" look I hear about. Include a substantial source of protein (ideally 20-30g) at all 3 meals plus some in a snack. That will keep you full, maintain muscle mass, bone density & much more.foods_with_labels

4. Limit Processed Foods: I know this phrase is thrown around a ton so what do I mean? Frankly anything with ingredients on it. Your diet should be composed of proteins (meats, fish & eggs), vegetables (including starchy potatoes & winter squash), healthy fats (think avocado, nuts, seeds, olives, coconut & real butter) & fruit. No ingredient labels needed on these whole foods. Then include foods like dairy, legumes, beans & less processed grains as long as you tolerate them well. Simply limiting bagged cereals, breads, pastas, granola bars, candy, ice cream, fried foods, fast food & such will go a long way with your physique goals.

drinking-calories5. Skip the Liquid Calories: While alcohol is definitely on this list, other beverages such as coffee drinks, fruit juices & even smoothies can really do some caloric damage when working towards a deficit. I know orange juice is a fruit, but most are sugar filled. Eat the orange instead & actually enjoy the nutrients. Skip the mocha drink in favor of a coffee w/ steamed milk & a shake of cinnamon. Save the glass of wine until the weekends instead of it being a nightly habit. Again I am not saying cut out everything forever, but liquid calories should be a very small part of your daily intake if working towards fat loss.

2015-06-10 20.12.20-12015-06-09 13.41.27-1 2015-05-23 14.31.43

Of course there are endless amount of do this not that tips I could throw your way. I have found this leads to feeling overwhelmed & discouraged to even know where to begin. Instead don't stress! Work on these, set small goals specific weekly goals & enjoy the process. Being healthy doesn't need to be an overly complicated numbers formula for most of us to achieve the base level of health we are all entitled to. Start here & see where it can take you!

Are you following most of these basic nutrition tips?

5 Common Dietary Mistakes to Avoid:

by Emma Hammond 0 comments

Nutrition Uncategorized

nutrition-myth-picThere is no escaping the overwhelming amount of nutrition advice we are exposed to on a daily basis. Every magazine cover, tv show & website headline has the newest weight loss tip to help you build your better body yet. Great right? Follow the diet plan prescribed & 6 weeks later you are bikini ready.

But wait...

diet-confusion-pic-300x300This magazine lists specific super foods you must eat to achieve that sexy flat belly. Yet Dr. Oz said the only way to lose weight is avoiding those same amazing ingredients? One week of 1200 calories a day filled with magic kale smoothies & only .2lbs down easily leaves you back to where you started. Frustrated, disappointed & feeling as though you are incapable of ever reaching the health goals you set out to accomplish.

I am not infallible to the deceptive dietary marketing & have made most (if not all) of these misleading mistakes made based on the guru advice.

how-many-meals-a-day-to-lose-weight1. You must eat every 2-3 hours to stoke your metabolism: FALSE. This approach may work for some but the basic science behind this recommendation has been dispelled. Finding the meal size & frequency that is conducive to your lifestyle is the better way to go. No I don't recommend going 8-10 hours between breakfast & dinner. However play with what works for you! You won't shrivel up & die if you go 4-5 hours between meals. If you feel better eating 3 bigger balanced meals a day & can stick with it, do that. If you enjoy a snack or two between meals, factor that into your daily total & chow down. Just know that overall intake is far more important then trying to eat 6 perfectly prepped & portioned meals per day.

2. 1200 Calories a day is the perfect number to achieve weight loss: HECK NO! Seriously whoever threw out this number as the arbitrary formula for all females to follow so we can fit into skinny jeans has done women a huge disservice. What's funny is in the same breath people will say don't go below 1200 calories or you fall into "starvation mode". Therefore lingering 2 calories above that is ideal or healthy to live off of. Unless a person is bed ridden then 1200 calories is simply going to create nutritional deficiencies & feelings of deprivation. Both of which are not sustainable. Calorie intake depends on age, activities & goals.18081cac7cfabee5e87852032d622f4f

3. Low Fat, Low Carb or High Protein is King: AKA FAD DIET. The popular diet trends change every few years. A decade of low fat & fat free foods have recently been scientifically shown to be ineffective, unnecessary & flat out unhealthy. The newest covers seems to lean towards low carb or high protein as the quick fix weight loss solution. Do people have some success with these? Sure for a time. If you cut out a whole macronutrient group you are likely to lower your overall calorie intake & lose "weight" in the short term. However I see over & over the huge rebound effect or low carb diet..aka lost 40lbs then gained 60lbs back in 1/2 the time. Or even worse being serious hormonal disregulation, loss of energy, strength, muscle mass & more. Yet again, who are you, what's your activity, health markers & goals. Don't arbitrarily throw out a whole food group without fully understanding the ramification. Somewhere in the middle is what's best for most. Try out small tweaks to see what balance makes you feel & perform best.

4. Calories Over Nutritional Quality: HELLO HUNGER! So as long as you stay under the 1200 calories of granola bars, low fat popcorn, frozen meals & sugar free chocolate (eww!) you will be able to keep dieting, lose weight & all will be well with the world. Yet 30 minutes after devouring that low fat breakfast muffin that fit within your allotted 300 calories, your belly is growling. You drink water, distract yourself, eat a whole cucumber & still you cannot hold out & succumb to the nearest donut in the breakdown. Another fail. Sigh.. This is because you need a higher quality nutritional intake to feel full & satisfied. I can guarantee you will not feel full as long eating 400 calories of poptarts as you would with a balanced breakfast of eggs, fruit & avocado. Quality counts a lot more than quantity when we are talking sustainability.

mtd375x360nsRnVubnkgRGlldGluZyBDYXJ0b29uIQffffff.u15. Eating After 5pm Will Make You Fat: OR you must eat within 30 minutes of waking or your metabolism will cease to work. Meal timing has been proven to be much less important to fat loss then portrayed in the mainstream media. I see too many people getting wrapped up in the perfect meal timing instead of quality, activity, how they feel & what they can maintain with ease. These are all far more important factors to base your meal frequency & timing on. Personally I'm not super hungry in the morning. Shoving down food doesn't make me feel good & I definitely don't enjoy it. I often workout, walk the dog & jump in a shower before I eat my first meal of the day. I also eat a nice carb-filled snack right before bed. Guess what?? It has not made me fat or affected any goals related to. Does that mean you should do the same? Not necessarily.

a49592932b406df4724671c1ea825972

You may have noticed a theme in this myth busting post, as I often sound like a broken record on this topic. The main message is that we are all individuals & should eat accordingly. Yes, there are general guidelines I always recommend such as eat mostly unprocessed foods, move daily, prioritize sleep & work on stress reduction. Don't get caught up in all the diet dogma that is seen in the mainstream weight loss world.  Just because it's on a magazine doesn't make it true, which is why I want to focus on the science of nutrition & share it with you. Listen to your body & find the foods that make you feel amazing!!

What weight loss myth has thrown you for a loop?