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women's healthy living tips

3 Reasons Why Women Should Hit the Weights...

3 Reasons Why Women Should Hit the Weights...

There is a bit of a stigma around women and weights. For years, we’ve been told that weights are for boys and that lifting heavy things will make us big and bulky. So...we’ve stayed out of the weight room and hung out on the elliptical….which isn’t quite giving us the results we want.

Not convinced you need to explore the weight room a bit? Here are three reasons you should give strength training a try:

Strength training builds lean calorie burning muscle.

The only way to get lean and look toned is to increase your muscle mass. Because women lack the testosterone needed to bulk up, their muscle gains are going to be small. However, lifting weights is the only way to build that muscle.  The more muscle mass you have, the faster your metabolism will be. It is estimated that for every pound of muscle you gain, your body burns 35-50 more calories per day. So, 4 pounds of muscle means 120-200 more calories per day burned, which is 10 pounds per year.

Strength training shapes your body.

Without weight training you can lose weight, however, you will simply become a smaller version of what you were. If you want to shape your body into a lean, toned, fit looking physique, you are going to have to build some muscle while shedding those unwanted pounds.

This means your overall weight loss might not be as rapid, but with a solid strength training program, you will see fat loss, and get a leaner, more shapely version of you.

Strength training strengthens your bones.

Weight training not only builds muscle, it builds bones as well. Increasing your bone density fights against osteoporosis later in life. In addition, it can keep you from injury in terms of small fractures. In the same way you increase the need for your muscles to work hard during a strength training workout, you are also requiring your bones to work...thus strengthening them as well. One study found that women who did high-intensity weight training two days per week for a year were able to increase their bone density by one percent, while those not in a weight training program actually decreased their bone density. This was the case in more than one study, showing the positive benefits weight training has on bone density.

The weight room is your friend, my friend! Honestly, I could have listed far more benefits to weight training and will likely expand on some of these things at a later date. Until then, it’s time you stepped on over to the free weights section and start lifting heavy. The results of an effective weight training workout when paired with an intentional nutrition plan are absolutely incredible.

P.S. If you are interested in learning how to pair intermittent fasting and carb cycling with effective HIIT and strength training workouts, check out my FAT Loss Online Program. It has everything you need to burn fat effectively, increase your energy levels, and build the body you want!

10 Tips for Women for a Healthier Lifestyle

10 Tips for Women for a Healthier Lifestyle

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month.  It is a good reminder for us busy ladies to take a moment and focus on our health. Women are so busy juggling careers, children and homes, just to name a few.  We can get caught up in the day to day grind and push our health and maintenance aside.  

Let’s put you front and center and let’s take care of YOU!

Here are 10 tips to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

1. First and foremost, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the following are the American Cancer Society’s Recommendations on breast cancer screenings:

  • Women with an average risk of breast cancer – most women – should begin yearly mammograms at age 45.

  • Women should be able to start the screening as early as age 40, if they want to. It’s a good idea to start talking to your health care provider at age 40 about when you should begin screening.

  • At age 55, women should have mammograms every other year – though women who want to keep having yearly mammograms should be able to do so.

  • Regular mammograms should continue for as long as a woman is in good health.

  • Breast exams, either from a medical provider or self-exams, are no longer recommended.

  • Still, all women should be familiar with how their breasts normally look and feel and report any changes to a healthcare provider right away.

For more information visit The American Cancer Society.

2. Keep up with your screenings.

Medical exams and screenings by a physician are recommended routinely to screen for other diseases and disorders.  Some of these will be screening for other cancers, monitoring and screening your blood pressure, cholesterol and thyroid to name a few.

3. Maintain a healthy weight.  

This is probably the MOST important thing you can do for yourself to live a longer and healthier life.  Being overweight increases your chances of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, breathing problems and osteoarthritis to name a few. In my years in practice as a physician assistant, I personally see this on a DAILY basis.  I’m not saying that all overweight people have these problems, but it certainly increases the risk if not now, then eventually.  Because I deal with this daily, this is one of the primary reasons I created Refine YOU, my online fitness and nutrition company.  I want to impact and change as many lives as possible by helping my clients regain control by regulating hunger, regulating hormones and losing fat.  The FAST, ATTAINABLE TRANSFORMATION is a reasonable, doable lifestyle change with a jump start at the beginning.

4. Drink plenty of water.  

Stay away from artificial sweeteners, sodas, etc.  Everyone should be drinking at least half their body weight in ounces of water daily. A tip I like to tell my clients is,  every time you pick up that water bottle you should take 8-10 gulps of water before you put it back down again.

5. Maintain a healthy body composition.

This is along the lines of maintaining a healthy weight, but takes it one step further. Maintaining a healthy body composition means less fat and more lean muscle. This is for adults of ANY age. There are many benefits of having more lean muscle mass with strength training.  Having more lean muscle improves your metabolism which means you will burn more calories at rest.  For every pound of muscle you gain, your body can use about 50 extra calories per day.  Building muscle also protects you from injury to your bones and your joints. Not only does a lean, tone body look better, but it also allows you to live a longer more independent life as you age.   

6. Eat clean.

Refined grains (processed food, bread, chips, crackers, wheat) are unnecessary in our diet for fiber or nutrients. We can get all the fiber that our bodies need from fruits and vegetables. Refined grains are made up of lectins, gluten and phytates which cause mild to severe inflammatory reactions in our bodies. These reactions can affect our thyroid, digestive tract, immune system and liver. Gluten is the one we hear about the most but they are all unnecessary and can be harmful. If we cut refined grains out of our diet it decreases our risk of problems such as diabetes, heartburn, hypertension and helps us get rid of pesky stubborn fat. Dairy products commonly contain hormones, pesticides, antibiotics and GMO’s. They also contain a high amount of carbohydrates and lactose that can cause sensitivities.

7. Your nutrition should focus on the Macro nutrients and portion sizes.

In my opinion, this is the KEY to maintaining a healthy weight and body composition. Your body composition is 80% what and how you eat and only 20% exercise, sleep, stress and other factors. This is NOT just counting calories. This has more to do with what makes up the calories you are eating… the amount of carbohydrates, protein and fat (the 3 macro nutrients). Eating enough protein will help you feel full and encourage muscle growth. Keep in mind, not all fats are bad for you! A diet higher in healthy fat in combination with lower carbohydrates, will stabilize your hunger hormones and encourage your body to burn fat for energy and not be dependent on carbohydrates for energy.  Once you are dependent on fat for energy you will also have the added benefit of not have the energy fluctuations during the day.  To learn more about what Macros are and why they matter, check out my blog

8. Get enough sleep.

The lack of enough sleep may affect your body in more ways than you realize.  It puts you at risk for weight gain and puts more stress on your body which will increase cortisol and will put you in fat storage mode. It can increase your hunger by affecting your hunger hormones (ghrelin and leptin) and affects your mental state by increasing risk of depression, impairing judgement, makes you forgetful and makes you foggy.  The lack of sleep will also cause you to look older and we all don’t want that!

9. Keep your mind active.  

Studies have shown that you may delay the development of dementia and memory loss as you get older by keeping your mind active. Having a hobby that you enjoy, doing stimulating puzzles, playing games, reading books and learning new skills are great ways to keep your mind active and healthy.

10. Keep the stress low.

Stress has a negative effect on your mind, body and spirit.  The American Psychological Association (APA) states that the more stress you have and the longer it lasts, the worse it is on your body.  Reducing your stress levels can not only make you feel better now, but helps protect your health long-term. Some strategies the APA suggest to reduce stress are: identify what’s causing the stress and get rid of any tasks that are not essential, build strong supportive relationships, walk away when you are angry, rest your mind by participating in yoga or relaxation exercises and get help if needed.  

My career as a physician assistant in healthcare is something that I enjoy tremendously. I have a deep passion in helping people. This extends to my company Refine YOU and the FAST, ATTAINABLE TRANSFORMATION. I get great joy in helping clients who want a change. They are struggling to lose fat, they have tried this or that program and/or supplement with no results, they have hit a plateau and they struggle with low energy and feeling hungry all the time.  They just want lasting results, they want to feel better, and they want to be healthy… Refine YOU has the answer.

The next round of the FAST, ATTAINABLE TRANSFORMATION begins October 21st with prep week.   What better way to start the Holiday season!? LETZGO!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

 

Fat Vs Muscle

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Fat Vs Muscle

Hey gang!
Do you struggle with the scale? Are you constantly weighing yourself and getting frustrated? You are NOT alone in this battle.  You need to know about fat vs. muscle!

Fat vs Muscle!
In the pic, both of these "people" are the same height and weigh the exact same. The person with more muscle and less fat is visably smaller than the other even though the number on the scale is the exact same. This is because FAT takes up more space than muscle so if you have more FAT you will look... larger. Also, fat is less dense so the more fat you have the more "loose" your body appears.
More lean muscle supports bone health, burns more calories at rest, as well as helping you look fit and toned.
Muscle does not build by itself. You will not build much muscle by running an hour everyday. Nor do you gain muscle by severly cutting your caloires. Your muscles need a certain amount of protein and carbs to grow. To help you body build lean muscle, your nutrition and your activity should support this, not hinder it.

When participating in a program, do not set yourself up for failure by using a body weight scale as the only method to track your progress. 
Remember, the number on the scale may not budge, or it may go up, but the way you FEEL combined with results of other measurements can show that you are succeeding in so many ways! If the scale is not budging, especially in my program, you are most likely gaining muscle, losing fat, losing inches, and fitting into your clothes better. During my program, I encourage my cleints to NOT weigh themselves and despite this I always have a few that do.  Then, they contact me frustrated that they are not losing weight. I reinforce to them the imprtance of not weighing themselves and the importance of losing the inches and not focusing on the scale.  At the end of the progrram the measurements are in. They are amazed at dropping 13+ inches to up to over 20 inches and only losing less than 10 lbs!

What matters most? The scale? OR dropping sizes in your clothing, feeling more energized, sleeping better, improving your sex life, lowering your blood pressure/cholesterol, bettering your overall health, etc.?  It might be difficult to break up with the scale and rely on other methods, but once you do, it is totally worth it!

Do not let the scale or unrealistic expectations rule your life and pull you away from reality! You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than a picture of somone else that you think you should look like. Your mind, body, and spirit deserves more! Once you step away from the scale and focus on what matters... the way you feel, you will gain control and a sense of satifaction.  The most important transformation that takes place is the transformation that is not visual but the one that happens in your mind and spirit. 

If any of this seems impossible for you to do on your own, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You are not alone in this struggle.  Get your family involved or a friend. Enlist the help of a health professional, like myself, with a program for you to follow and tools to guide you to success. Having someone there for guidance and having support from others who are in this journey with you, a "tribe," is a game changer. This is the primary reason my online fat loss programs go in "rounds." Every 6-7 weeks a new program starts and everyone, even though you are all at different levels, goes through it together. We share recipes, celebrate each other's wins, and lift each other up when we are down.

With any program or change, take it all in and learn from your wins AND failures. Remember, to achieve long term results, it is important to approach a new program with a good mindset and with a positive attitude. After all, this is a lifestyle change not a quick fix.

My company, Refine YOU's FAT Loss Program, The Fast Attainable Transformation, is a jump start to a lifestyle change. It is a 7 week online program that is customized to your level. We incorporate cutting edge nutritional strategies along with effective workouts to lose fat, gain muscle, regulate hormones, and improve your hunger and energy levels.  To learn more about the program, hear from some of my clients, or to contact me click here. I would love to help you on your journey gain control and live a healthy lifestyle.

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Looking back at 2017

Looking back at 2017

As the year is coming to an end most of us are reflecting back on the year and looking forward to next year and what it will bring.