Sunday, April 28, 2013

Focus T25 Workout!

I am sooo excited you guys!!  I have been seeing the teasers for Shaun T's new workout program Focus T25 for about a month now, and I knew right away I wanted to get it.

But after seeing this video with all the test group results - I am just dying to get my hands on this!!

Check it out -
I absolutely love when the test subjects first start, they say they are hoping to lose a little here and there and they end up smashing those goals all over the place!  They have amazing results in only 25 minutes a day - crazy!

I am thinking I need to get a challenge group together to do this the minute it comes out!  Who is with me?? :D

Thursday, April 25, 2013

How To Break Through Plateaus

Have you been working out hard and eating healthy for a month or two and the results just aren't as great as you would want them to be?  Say you were losing weight, but now your weight loss has stopped.  You've hit the dreaded "plateau".

Why did that happen, and what do you do now?

1)  There is a difference between weight loss and fat loss.  Don't focus on the scale as your only measure of success.  If you are losing body fat, your measurements are smaller, but your scale weight may not change.  You could even be gaining if you are lifting weights.

I was a little disappointed when I weighed myself recently and saw that my weight was STILL the same after a month of working out.  However, when I measured myself, I was extremely happy that I had lost inches all over!  I will take that anyday!

(Water retention may also affect the numbers on the scale.  Make sure to measure and check your bodyfat.)

2)  You might be burning fewer calories than you think you are.  Increasing the intensity of your workouts is one of the best ways break through a plateau.  You can do this by increasing your poundages, reps, or intensity of your cardio. You've got to up your speed, duration and resistance once a month.  Wearing a heart-rate monitor can help you to know how many calories you are actually burning.
3)  You may have lost your deficit.  Your body will adapt to calorie restriction, and sometimes a decrease in metabolism occurs because your calorie needs have changed, especially after weight loss.  You can't eat the same amount of calories that you did when you were bigger!  Remember to adjust/re-calculate your caloric goals after every 10 lbs you lose.  If you fail to adjust your caloric intake to accommodate for your changing energy needs, you will probably struggle with plateaus.

(I know that if you use myfitnesspal, it will automatically re-calculate your calories for you.)

4)  You might be eating too little.  As you increase your fitness level, your metabolism may increase along with your calorie needs.  If you find that you are often hungry, this is a sign that you need to eat more in order for your body to increase it's fitness level. 

 The Katch-Mcardle BMR calculator is the most accurate calorie calculator because it takes your body fat into consideration.

5)  Are you being honest about what you are eating? Keep a food journal and make sure you are tracking your calories - every. single. bite. That small handful of nuts in between meals, or the bite of cake you had for dessert - everything counts. Write it down!
6)  Do you eat the right kinds of foods? You should have a serving of protein and carbohydrates with every meal. Is your diet a little high on the starchy carbs? Are you getting enough protein, vegetables and healthy fats in your diet? All these things can make a difference, especially when trying to break through a plateau. 

I love drinking Shakeology because it has the perfect ratio of protein and carbs, plus an entire days worth of vegetables!  I never have to worry about not getting all my vitamins and nutrients in - it's the one meal that I don't have to think about.

7)  Are you eating 5-6 small meals a day, every 2 1/2 - 3 hours? It takes about 3 hours to digest each meal. Your body can only use a certain amount of food at a time and the excess gets stored as fat. Fun, huh? Protein only lasts about 3 hours in the bloodstream before it needs to be replenished. Keep your fat-burning furnace stoked, and NEVER skip meals!
Tip: A great way to trick your body into keeping your metabolism up while you are trying to lose fat & break through a plateau is by alternating your calories. For 3 days, eat fewer calories (about 30% below maintenance level) followed by 1 day at a higher calorie intake (at or just below maintenance level). Make sure to track your results each week and adjust your calories as needed.

8)  Are you getting enough sleep?  Getting the right amount of sleep, will give your body time to recover from exercise.  This will ensure that you have enough energy for your next workout.  Also, lack of sleep can lead to increased hunger and cravings. 
9)  Change up your routine.  Have you been doing the same thing month after month?  It might be time to change things up a bit.  Muscles get bored and, after some time, their tissues don't regenerate the way they did at the start of your workout phase.  The great thing about Beachbody programs, is they are specifically designed to keep your body guessing, and get you the absolute best results!  Every program comes with a schedule to follow, and a nutrition guide to help you know what to eat.
10)  Are you drinking your water??  Yes, something as simple as being mildly dehydrated is enough to slow down your metabolism and cause a plateau.   Read more about the benefits of water for your body HERE.

Now you know what to do to break through the plateau and get back to losing weight.  Would you like some help and support along the way?  I can be your FREE COACH!  Ask me how, and join in our next challenge group!  Together we can CRUSH those weight-loss goals!!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Almond Milk vs Skim Milk

I have always been a big fan of skim milk.  You get all the protein without the fat, right?  So after hearing everyone rave about how wonderful almond milk is, I decided to give it a try.  I still had some skim milk left in my fridge, so I decided to compare the labels straight across.

Here are the stats:
Skim Milk Pros:  less fat, less sodium, more potassium, more protein, less expensive
Almond Milk Pros:  less calories, less carbs, 0 sugars, lactose free
If you are watching your calories, almond milk is a much better choice at 1/3 the calories!! (Just make sure to buy the unsweetened kind.)
Skim milk is way better in terms of protein.  Along with carbs and fat, protein is a macronutrient, which means that your body needs relatively large amounts of it.  Unlike carbs and fats though, your body doesn't store protein, so you need to eat it throughout the day to keep your body supplied.
If you are diabetic or on a low-carb diet for another reason, you would want to choose unsweetened almond milk.  Almond milk also has 1 gram of fiber, which helps to keep you feeling full.
Skim milk is a better choice if you are cutting your overall fat intake.
If you compare almond milk to regular cow's milk, almond milk would definitely be the much healthier choice. Almond milk also contains high levels of antioxidants, so it can help prevent many types of cancer and slow the signs of aging. However, I am only comparing it to skim milk, and it's pretty much a tie.

Really, I could go either way on this - I will probably stick with the almond milk just because I need to keep my calories and carbs low.  It's not going to add any extra protein, but that's okay because I only use it in my Shakeology or in protein shakes anyway. :)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tuna & Brown Rice Casserole

Okay, just a quick post to share with you my favorite go-to clean recipe when I am craving "comfort food".

This isn't really a casserole.  There's no baking, and there really isn't even a recipe - but it tastes just like tuna casserole.  Super yummy! :)

1/2 cup brown rice, cooked
1/2 can tuna
1 TBS Mayo (I use the kind with olive oil)
celery, sliced, optional

Well, just combine everything together and enjoy!  I make a big batch of brown rice, and store it in the refrigerator.  And I save the other half can of tuna also, so I can make it the next day.  I really like it warm, so I just throw it all in the microwave for a few seconds if it's been in the refrigerator.

*Update 2/25/15* - I tried a new variation of this today. Same amount of tuna and brown rice, but add in 1/2 of an avocado instead of the mayo. Soooo yummy! My new favorite lunch! :)

That's it - enjoy!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Body Beast Update - Week 6!

I can't believe I am finishing up week 6 of Body Beast already!  I am halfway through the program!

We always want to see results yesterday.  I know I do - it's hard to be patient!  It's also hard to step on the scale and not see it going down.  I kept telling myself that I was building muscle, so the scale probably wouldn't change - but it's still frustrating.

I am so much stronger than I was a month ago, I have gone up on all my weights, my form is good, and I can feel my biceps!  I have more core strength too, so my posture is better.
I have only lost 2.5 lbs., which is okay because I have also lost 3 inches all over.  I am totally fine with these results so far, because I know that I see my biggest changes start around 60 days, and I still have another 30 days after that.  Nope - not worried. :) 

I know that these programs work, and like Tony Horton says, you need to just put your head down, push play, work hard and in 90 days when you look up, you will be amazed at the results.  I know that it also depends on where you're at with your weight.  For instance, I've seen a few girls doing Body Beast that are very skinny to begin with.  They want to add muscle and shape to their bodies, and are seeing results very quickly, like in the first couple weeks!  That's so great! 

I however, have a lot of fat to lose, so even though I have been building muscle, now I need to start burning some of the fat so I can see it. :)

To do that, I needed to add in some extra cardio.  So this is what my schedule looks like:
Monday: Bulk Chest, walk/jog 30 min.
Tuesday:  Bulk Legs  (no cardio - legs need to recover!)
Wednesday:  Bulk Arms, walk/jog 30 min.
Thursday: Cardio, abs
Friday:  Bulk Back, walk/jog 30 min.
Saturday:  Bulk Shoulders, HIIT cardio, abs
I've been doing my 2nd workout directly after Body Beast, so I try to keep it short.  Depending on the results I see in the next 2 weeks, I will either keep it somewhat similar or add intensity or even another cardio workout for the last 4 weeks.
I have also been drinking my Shakeology every day, which totally helps me with my cravings so I can eat clean!  I am also drinking 2 liters of water every day.
Consistency is the key - keep at it and results will come!!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Egg Muffins

I usually have one day a week that I do my "power cooking".  I get a bunch of chicken breasts marinated and grilled, I make a big batch of brown rice, get all my veggies cut up and in containers - well, you get the idea....

This is a great recipe for breakfast, or a quick protein 'snack'.  They are easy to make, and you can just keep them in the fridge until you are ready to eat.  Then pop them in the microwave for a minute or two - easy and healthy!!  (Just make sure you remove the muffin cups, if they're foil like mine.)

6 eggs
1/2 cup lowfat mozzarella cheese, shredded
green onions, chopped
peppers, diced
ham, diced  (I think sausage would have been really good, too.)

Preheat oven to 375F.

Line muffin pan with liners.  If using paper liners, use two liners in each cup.  (I used foil, and they were fine.)  Spray liners with non-stick cooking spray.

Place a little diced meat or sausage in the bottom of each cup.  Add onions, veggies and cheese until each cup is about 2/3 full.

Beat eggs in a small mixing bowl.  (You could add some seasoning to the eggs if you would like.) 

Pour eggs into muffin cups, dividing evenly between each.  Stir slightly with a fork.

Bake 25-35 minutes until muffins have risen and are slightly browned and set.

Enjoy fresh or refrigerate for later!! :)

You can double this recipe and even freeze these if you would like.  Thaw in refrigerator first, and then heat in microwave 1-2 minutes.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Do You Want Results??

Summer is coming! That 4th of July family get-together is just right around the corner.  In fact, it's only 2 months away!  Are you ready? 

Well, I have good news for you!  My next Challenge Group begins on April 29th.  It's a 60-day challenge with a group of people that have similar health and fitness goals.  In the group I teach you how to set goals, plan healthy meals, and I provide you with the accountability and motivation to achieve those goals.  In return, you get in the best shape of your life!!  Think about how you could look by July 4th, if you decide today to COMMIT to changing your life!

It's not too late - maybe you just want to lose a few pounds before the summer, but I want to see you live a healthy and fulfilling life.  I would love for you to make this a LIFESTYLE CHANGE, and be a positive influence on those around you!  I know you can do it!  And I would love to help you. :)

So - Here is your personal invitation!

On April 29th you can join my "Fit By The 4th" Challenge Group.  I will recommend a program that fits your ability level and time commitments.  I would also recommend that you replace one meal a day with Shakeology.  The reason I recommend Shakeology is because when you are learning to change your eating habits and are adding in exercise, this is one meal a day that you know you are getting the right food combination, and fueling your body with the best nutrients.  It will help you control your cravings (trust me, I know), keeps you full and gives you energy to get through your workouts and the rest of your day.

As part of the Challenge Group, you will be enrolled into my closed online support group.  In this group, you will be required to check in each day and post your daily activities.  It's a great place to feel connected to other people who are going through the same life situations as you!

Does this sound like something you would like to do?  Then don't delay.  There are a limited number of spots available.  I like to keep the groups small which allows me to provide you with the individual attention you deserve!!

Now is the time - LET'S DO THIS!! 
There are some great options for you to get started.  If you are someone who enjoys doing high-intensity workouts, then check out the Insanity Challenge Pack! 

During the month of April, you can get the Insanity Challenge Pack - which includes the entire 60-day fitness program, program guide and nutrition manuals, plus a 30-day supply of Shakeology, free shipping, 30-day trial of the Beachbody Club Membership and my support as your coach!!  It's a great deal!

You don't have to do Insanity, though - any Beachbody program will do.  I love them all! 

Other options include becoming a wholesale customer or coach and saving 25% off everything you order.  If you are already into health and fitness, maybe you would like to run challenge groups like these on your own?  You can become a Beachbody coach and help other people reach their health and fitness goals plus earn an income!  There are no minimum requirements to become a coach!

Ask me how!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

I'm a Coach!

I DID IT!!  I became an official Beachbody Coach! :)

Haha I'm such a geek - I took a picture of my computer screen! :)
I'm in my third week of my first Challenge Group and already decided to be a coach!  I seriously don't know why it took me this long, though.  I have had the idea of being a coach sitting in the back of my head for a couple years now, but never really knew if it was something I would want to do.
Then I got a brand new coach - that I picked - thank you!  Seeing all the fun she was having, helping others achieve their goals and also being able to grow her business at the same time, made me realize that this was something I still really wanted to do! 
I'm excited, but sooo nervous!  I will definitely be stepping outside my comfort zone, but if I want to SEE changes in my life, I need to MAKE changes - right?
Are you looking to be a part of something bigger? Do you want to join the fastest growing fitness company that’s main purpose is to help people get healthy? Do you want to be held accountable to complete your fitness goals!? Team Beachbody is for you. Such a fun way to get fit, stay motivated and make a little extra money!
So, if any of you are even THINKING about being a Beachbody Coach - GO FOR IT ALREADY!!!
Come coach with me!!!
Click HERE and learn more about it, or send me a message on Facebook.!/beth.m.clark.7

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Drink Your Water People!

We all know that we should be drinking water, right?  We all know that water is the healthiest beverage, right?  Yet, how many times a day do people make the choice to drink soda over water?  How many of you drink 1 soda every day? Two? A gas station drink refill on your way home from work? 

I can tell you that I personally know people in my family - I won't name names, but you know who you are ;) - that probably don't drink ANY water at all in a day.  Seriously.  If they are thirsty, they get a pop. (That's what we call it around here.)

Here are a few fun facts about water:

* 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.

* Drinking 2-3 liters of water a day burns 50-75 additional calories, and speeds up your metabolism by as much as 30%.

* In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is mistaken for hunger.

* Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.

* Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.

* One glass of water will shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University of Washington study.

* A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.

* Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.

* Water is vital for keeping your system clean.  It helps with detoxification and assists bile acids in flushing out toxins.
This is a really great app called Water Your Body.  I love it because you customize your own specific water container, and every time you drink a glass, you just tap it and it will add it to your total.  There is a graph that shows your intake history and how much water you have left to drink. 
One thing I think is really cute - you can schedule reminders during the day, and when it's time for a drink, there is a pouring water sound effect.  How awesome is that?  My phone can remind me to drink my water!!  It makes drinking water fun - like a game! Now there are no excuses!

Water is great, isn't it?  If you are trying to lose weight, or even just be healthy and energetic - you should aim to drink 2-3 liters of water a day.  If you must choose a pop, make sure to drink an extra glass of water to make up for it.  I used to have a pop every day, then I said I would only have it on the weekends.  Eventually I just started preferring water.  :)
As a side note - my parents have their own well, and let me tell you - I never knew water could be so yummy!  It's seriously delicious!
Are you drinking the amount of water you should every day?  Do you say soda or pop?  (Just curious.) haha

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Beachbody Insanity Challenge Pack

Okay people - let's talk about Insanity for a minute...

My absolute favorite fitness program, hands down is INSANITY! I just love it! It's short and fun, and hard all at the same time. I love that it's only 60 days, and you don't need equipment, either. The best part is when you're close to the end of a set, and the music gets louder, and Shaun T. starts yelling at you - you just get this great boost of energy to finish strong and it feels AMAZING! :D

I am not doing Insanity currently, but I'm sure I will add it back in the rotation very soon. :)

So - Have you ever wanted to try Insanity?  Well guess what?? 
During the month of April - you can get the Insanity Challenge Pack for only $180!  That is $25 off the regular Challenge Pack price, and $90 off if you were to buy the products separately!  This is Beachbody's lowest price ever for the Insanity Challenge Pack - crazy, right?
So, grab your Challenge Pack, and come join me for our newest Challenge Group starting April 15!  You don't have to do Insanity - any Beachbody fitness program will do.  Just make sure you get it with a Challenge Pack in order to get the very best deal. :)
In our Challenge Group, we will support you, motivate you, and help you learn how to eat the right way so you can get in the best shape of your life! It's fun, too! :)
Click Here for more information.
Summer's coming - ARE YOU READY?