Monday, February 24, 2014

Diets can do more harm than good!

Diets can do more harm than good if you just follow along mindlessly without considering the long-term effects. There’s all kinds of diets out right now that ask that for many days in a row, you eat nothing but the one food (cabbage soup, grapefruit), or one food group (raw vegetables and fruit), or one type of food (juice, protein). 

That, or you’re encouraged to drastically cut your daily calorie intake without considering what you truly need to consume on a day-to-day to function at your best. 

The promise: You'll drop pounds fast, kick-starting a long-term healthy-eating plan; you'll reset your metabolism; you'll clear out the “toxins", fats and other nasty things that are bloating you up. 

The problem: When you eat only one kind of food, you fail to eat all the other kinds, so you miss out on protein, fats, fiber and other essential vitamins and nutrients. Also, when you drastically cut calories, your body adapts by learning how to do more with less. It lowers your metabolic rate, holds on desperately to fat stores and takes longer to execute basic functions like breathing; it literally slows down to survive.

The risks: After a few days, your calorie-starved body may break down muscle mass for energy. This can throw off your metabolism and make future calories (i.e., the ones you'll consume after the fast/diet) harder to burn off. 

Furthermore, what are leaving your body aren't only “toxins” because your body will also naturally flush out excess nutrients and chemical substances.

Bottom line: Learn to eat nutritious, balanced meals as your main “diet". If you want to do a cleanse, (unless it is supervised by a credible professional), make sure it’s a short-term cleanse (1-3 days) that involves all kinds of nutrients and not just one or only a few kinds.

Also, if you’re going to reduce calories, consult with a credible professional to ensure you’re choosing a method that is sustainable for you, and the process in itself allows your body to not only survive, but to truly thrive for the long-term.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Weight loss is not the same for each person

Every person has the ability to reach a healthy weight. 

Because every “body" is unique, each person’s weight loss (or weight gain) experience may vary. Your progress can depend on many factors such as food sensitivities, nutrition history, genetics, health condition, fitness level, frequency and intensity of exercise and activities, and overall lifestyle habits.

Despite your efforts, your progress is not necessarily going to be the same from week to week. You may lose weight, remain the same or even gain. This is NOT a bad thing at all. It’s just the way the body works.

The KEY is to stay on track and DON’T yo-yo — don’t go back-and-forth on your efforts to achieve your healthy weight

Practice patience. Give your body a chance to settle into your new habits. Allow your body the time it needs to response and it will eventually pay off. In due course, a well-nurtured body will eventually find its healthy weight. 

Here is an example of 2 of my clients who took the slow and steady approach to weight loss, training 2-3 times a week and eating proper, balanced meals while also enjoying (in moderation) their “cheat" meals and dining-out experience few times a week or so. 

The slow and steady approach still gets you results. But if you have it in you to double your training efforts and lessen the “cheat” meals, you can experience results sooner. 

Bottom line, there is more than one way to achieve your weight loss goals. So choose the method that works best for you! The KEY is to stick to your plan. Be consistent. Follow through. ;)

Friday, February 14, 2014

I am fun. I am successful. I am kind. Why can’t I find the right partner?

Question for Penny: People say I’m a good catch and I would make someone very lucky one day. I cannot disagree that I am a fun, successful, well-rounded individual who is also kind. I’ve had some great relationships, yet I’ve had no success finding the “right" partner. I am ready and open to be in a relationship and truly feel I’m doing all the right things. What am I missing here??

Answer: It’s not difficult to find a partner if being deeply connected and in love is not that important to you, or if being highly compatible with your partner isn’t a huge criteria. But if this is all too important, then you’re not just looking for a partner, you’re looking for the love of your life.

Timing plays a huge part in this. But first, you must understand that timing does not only mean being in the right place at the right time, it also means “you” have to be “ready” — YOU have to be in the "right place” in mind, heart and spirit.

To be ready is not only about being available and open, or telling yourself and others that you’re ready and looking. That’s not enough. If you want to attract the best partner for you, you have to first “be" the type of person you want to meet

This means you would first spend time working on your Self, learn to do the things that make a relationship work; spend time on self-reflection; get clear on what you want; learn as much as you can to improve your Self.

Be open when you’re meeting new people. Don’t be too quick to judge. And when you finally meet that special someone, apply everything you’ve learned, nurture your partner, listen openly, communicate honestly, work things out kindly, speak lovingly, share affectionately.

So if you say you’re “ready”, this means you’ve taken the time to work on your Self — mentally, emotionally, physically, even spiritually — so you’ll not only recognize the love of your life when he or she comes along, but you’ll be “ready” to treat them the way you want to be treated (not only when it’s convenient for you, but also during the most challenging times). 

The most important lesson I've learned in love is that true love between two people can only genuinely exist when we let go of ego — when we choose to be vulnerable with one another. 

When the time is right, meaning, when you’ve done your “homework” on your Self, the best partner for you will come your way. And that partner might just be "The One" you were “growing” for all along.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! xo

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

11-Minute Crazy Core Ab Workout

Ok, you’re crazy enough to ask for it, so here it is! My 11-minute crazy core/ab workout. 

There are 11 exercises in total, all done back-to-back at one full minute per exercise. 

In this very challenging core/ab exercise video, I’ll be working out with you to keep you moving and maintaining proper form. I’ll admit, this is a very difficult core/ab challenge. I don’t like wasting time with the “easy stuff" because they don’t work! So let’s just cut to the chase and do only the things that work. Yes, it will be tough, but it WILL change you in ways that you would want it to.

During this advance workout, I’ll also be showing modified moves for beginners and intermediate so everyone can join in on this ABS-of-steel, hard-CORE workout. 

If you do this 3 times a week, your core will get really strong, at which point, I want you to aim for 20-30 reps for each move instead of doing a timed-interval of one minute per exercise. This, then, would mean you’ll be doing over 300 reps per workout and your core/ab will never be the same. Six-pack abs…here you come! ;) 

List of Core Ab Exercises:
- Alternating Leg Rock Climbers
- V-Sit up
- One-Leg Rock Climber (left leg)
- One-Leg V-Sit up (left leg)
- One-Leg Rock Climber (right leg)
- One-Leg V-Sit up (right leg)
- Low Plank Jump-Jack
- Bicycle Sit-Up
- Reach Up and Over Cross Reach Sit-Up
- Scissors
- Torso Twist (or Russian Twist)

Can’t get enough of this core/ab stuff? Join me here for my 10-Minute Home Workout Series 10: ABS-olutely Cardio.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

No nonsense advice on staying motivated

It can be challenging to always remain motivated. Motivation can wear off. Having motivation alone is not enough. It can get you started, but it can’t always keep you there. Instead, use your initial motivation as a tool to help you jump-start making something into a “habit.” When something becomes a habit, it becomes a part of you; you can’t help but stick to it. 

Want a better body? Get motivated to make a change right now. Then, practice this new habit for at least 21 days if you really want it to stick! (That seems to be the "magic" number.) I know you can stick to it for at least 21 days if you want it bad enough! 

No excuses, no 50% efforts. If you want to build a better body, you are going to have to go through a whole lot of sweat and body-burning-feeling. You will have to LIFT HEAVY. You will have to LIFT FREQUENTLY. You will have to EAT RIGHT and you will have to do all this for a long period of time (MINIMUM 3-12 months depending on your goals). Thereis no short cut 

You will have to give up those habits that haven’t served you well, including that habit of changing your mind every other day. Nothing beats a good plan, consistency and dedication. Nothing.