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Outdoor Morning Boot Camp

posted by Fitness Focus    |   August 5, 2015 15:50

Wednesday 6:00am Outdoor Boot Camp; are you up for it? Forget the gym for a day and meet Jen at River Landing for a killer workout. Boot Camps are a combination of strength training and aerobic elementswhich focus on military-style exercises and functional movements like push-ups, squats, sit-ups, body-weight resistance, sprints, stairs, hill climbing and more. 

Start your day off right with an effective workout.  Feel better all day, jump start your metabolism and get more intensity than if you trained on your own

Contact Fitness Focus if you have any questions info@fitnessfocus.ca or (306)244-6413

10 Tips and Tricks for Weight Loss

posted by Fitness Focus    |   June 16, 2013 16:01

Here are 10 tips and tricks for weight loss that you may never have heard.

1.       The weight loss equation

The easiest way to explain the process of losing weight is that weight loss occurs when the body consumes less calories than it burns.  So the simple equation goes like this: Calories In – Calories Out = Weight Loss.  There are obviously many other important factors involved here, but keeping this simple formula in mind can be helpful in many situations.

2.       Monitor your daily calorie intake

Do Not obsess over counting calories. Being aware and maintaining a clear idea about the number of calories you're consuming daily is important to keep on track with weight management.  Get to know how to use food labels; know what you are eating in terms of carbohydrates, fats and proteins and remember: 1 gram of Carbs=4 calories, 1 gram of Protein=4 calories and 1 gram of Fat=9 calories. 

3.       Eat at predefined hours

Plan to eat your meals at the same time of day, everyday.  This helps digestion since our biological clock is synchronized with our brain and stomach.  Also, eating with consistency will help your know when it actually needs food, versus when your brain wants food.  Eating with consistency makes it easier to monitor and maintain weight management. 

4.       The importance of Water

Dehydration, lack of energy, tiredness and headaches are just a few of the effects from not drinking enough water.  Many of us make this critical mistake. All the maladies aside, when it comes to weight loss, water can assist detoxification and the removal of unnecessary toxins from the body and skin but also helps with digestion and keeps the stomach full, which reduces hunger and the unnecessary consumption of calories. Like vitamins and minerals, water also has a daily recommended intake.  For women, its just under 3 liters of water per day and for men its about 4 liters.  So, begin your day with a cold glass of water to restart all your body's natural functions for the day and don't forget to carry a bottle with you at work, during your daily errands and of course in the gym.

5.       Do not rush into getting super-fast results

Follow a slow and steady regimen to manage your weight loss and keep it off.  Taking on a crash diet from the Internet will end right where you started before diet.  Proper, healthy weight loss takes a bit longer.  Take time to do it right, and learn the proper changes to your lifestyle to make your weight management something you can do for life.

6.       Learn how to lose weight the safe way

Even people that have made healthy living part of their lifestyle for year make mistakes and often just aren't doing things correctly.  So as a beginner, its important not to get discouraged; there are many paths along the way to your goals and a lot of them will be dead-ends. If you are new to dieting and weight loss then most probably you are confused from where to start and what should be your first step etc. This is very common and one of the most popular questions we get from our readers the last 6 years. In my opinion before even starting a diet or weight loss program you should do some reading and familiarize yourself with the basic weight loss concepts. I am not suggesting spending days learning the theory, after all losing weight is a practical matter, but learning a few important concepts in advance can prove very helpful in the long run. The guide you are reading now is a good starting point as it covers all aspects of weight loss, fitness and dieting; you can continue reading our other articles as well since we have planned to gather all the information you need in one place.

7.       Keep a food and emotions journal

For many people emotions and feelings are associated with the quantities of food consumed.  When you are stressed or depressed you turn to food (and especially fatty food) for comfort. This is may be happening to you as well and you know that this is bad and can destroy all your hopes for losing weight. You cannot easily control this but one handy tip to try is keeping a food and emotions journal. This is basically a piece of paper (or an online food journal) where you record what you eat per day and your emotional state. If you do this for a couple of weeks and go back and have a look at the results you may identify some patterns and take some precaution measures. For example you can remove sweets and snacks from your cupboards and replace them with healthy alternatives. By doing so when you are feeling stress and turn to food for relief you will not end up eating a tone of calories but food items that are at least healthier.

8.       No need to measure your weight on a daily basis

As mentioned before, weight loss takes time and getting on the scale everyday won't make the process any faster but most probably will add more stress and frustration. Instead try to weigh yourself once per week with consistency; that means the same time of the same day every week because the later in the day will always be high than your weight in the morning.

9.       Never try to follow more than one weight loss program at a time

If you choose to follow a commercial diet or weight loss program then concentrate on one program at a time. Good weight loss programs have different phases, each phase having a clear start and finish goal. Follow the program guidelines correctly for the time required and evaluate your results at the end. Mixing different programs together or not following their instructions will not generate any good results.

10.   Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Don’t be afraid to seek professional help if you are not getting any results. The Internet is a great way to learn how to lose weight but sometimes other factors such as diseases, functional disorders may hold you back. A professional (a doctor or nutritionist) will be able to identify these and suggest ways to overcome them.

 

Are Weight Loss Goals Part of Your New Year’s Resolution List?

posted by Fitness Focus    |   January 3, 2013 17:20

This next year will be different, and you're going to make a fresh start this New Year. Around this time of the year, a lot of us find ourselves reflecting on what we accomplished in the past year and decide what changes we want to make to make a positive difference in our lives for next year. After all the prioritizing, you make your big decisions, and then within a month or so, the ‘New Year’s resolutions’ are all but forgotten.

Weight loss goals don’t have to be another promise to yourself which got lost along the way. Setting a goals is only part of the work; plan smart and get ready for the task and make it a success and avoid being in the same spot next year.  Weight loss doesn't have to be hard; it's all in your approach. Try asking yourself and this is very important; is it that you want to lose the weight or is it that you don’t want to eat or live the way you have been any more? The later is a lot harder if your heart’s not in it.  Long-term planning is important; you have to define your path, not just where you want to be.

1. Be realistic

It's been said a million times over, be realistic in when trying to make changes in your life.  Be honest with yourself about what is possible and what suits your lifestyle.  Planning to lose too much weight in a short period of time will only lead to failure and discouragement.  Make your decision with reality in mind. What is it that you can do, and how much time do you have to spend in exercising or follow a meal plan and so on. Start with what you can’t do and then build around it.

2. Enjoying the holidays

This doesn't mean you should give in to all urges and have massive eating spree, but just eat sensibly.  The smart thing to do at times like these is, for a few days, try not to diet on the holidays. Eating sensibly isn't the same as constantly sticking to some lettuce and cabbage diet while everyone around you is allowed to enjoy all the goodies that come with the season.

Try looking at it this way, everyone loves the holidays and they only come around once a year. If you don't take advantage of some of the holiday treats you'll be depriving yourself of all the Christmas excitement.  Why spend your holidays hating every minute of it.  By the end of all the festivities, you will be so sick of the dieting you have been sticking to and will find it harder to stay with that good eating plan as long as you had planed.  Don’t stress yourself about your food intake for a few days over the holidays, relax and eat sensibly.

3. Small is bigger

There is no need to go to completely radical lengths to lose weight. Usually it's the small changes we can comfortably make are the ones that last the longest and make the biggest difference.  Lifestyle changes, even the smallest of changes, like replacing certain snack foods with for veggies and greens; you can also cut down or space out your portions into more-smaller meals rather than attempting a very low restrictive diet.

Simply losing weight doesn't mean much if you don't change your eating and lifestyle habits as well.  Set a goal that you'll start walking to work every day instead of saying you want to lose 8 pounds in a month. Small commitments like that will add up expending extra calories.  These types of lifestyle changes are easily made permanent by incorporating it into your day to day lifestyle.

4. Measure the results

It's the reason you want to make changes in the first place, you want to see change and results. You don't want all your effort and time invested to be all in vein.  Measure your results to reassure yourself that you're on the right track. Measure your results consistently at the same time every week. And don’t just look for a change in your weight, results can come in many different ways.

Take Measurements at your waist or other parts of your body right before you start down this new path.  Your weight can be influenced by a few factors, one being water retention, but your waist may have shrunk or that your clothes feel baggy, it all counts because desired result are the biggest motivator. Record your results so you can actually see your progress and all the results.

5. Keep it interesting and keep it moving

The most frustrating part of weight loss and weight management are plateaus.  It happens to everybody at some point in time. This is what happens when your body adapts to the changes you previously made. If you are following a specific diet or workout regime maybe swap regimes every month or every 3 weeks. This may also help in keeping things interesting and battle boredom. Allow at least 2 weeks for any adaptations before changing your diet.

6. Keep a food diary

Try it, by the end of the day chances are you don't remember everything you consumed over the past 12 hours.  Maybe you're eating more than you think you are or more than you subconsciously want to admit.  Keep a diary of everthing you consume including drinks; it is surprising how much extra sugar and calories you probably consume through drinks.

Keep the diary before you start your diet and then see how many things you can change to lose the weight. To be honest the Christmas week may not be an ideal representation of your average week but it can provide you with an idea of what your actual eating habits are like.

Cardio Secrets That Can Help Maximize Fat Loss

posted by Fitness Focus    |   October 24, 2012 14:48

Questions from around the gym about cardivascular training; here are your answers

Many people do their cardiovascular training in the gym, not just for improving their endurance or for health reasons, but most people also train with the goal of losing weight and burning fat. Unfortunately most people are not aware that there is more you can do to get the full benefits of your cardio.  There are tricks of the trade that you can use that will help maximize fat loss when doing cardio; and if you are one of the many people that do your cardio training primarily to lose fat, then you might want to try these cardio tips to maximize your fat loss:

To maximize your body's ability to burn fat, perform two cardio sessions.  The first one in the morning and the second after you train in the afternoon or in the evening. This technique works well because of a cool effect that occurs after you do cardio. After your cardio session your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is higher and your body will actually burn extra calories for several hours after you have finished. The calories that your body burns literally while doing nothing, will probably exceed the calories initially burned during your cardiovascular exercise.

 Cardiovascular training in the morning before you eat breakfast, or carbs, is beneficial because your body's glycogen levels will be lower in the morning.  This is especially true if you last ate at dinner time and have fasted for 8 to 10 hours while you slept.

Doing your cardio without eating causes your body to mobilize more bodyfat because the glycogen in your blood is unavailable, and because your blood glucose levels are also lower after an overnight fast so you will burn more fat which your body will use for energy.

After fasting overnight your insulin levels are their lowest. When you eat, especially carbohydrates, your body (or pancreas to be more specific) releases insulin, which will interfere with the mobilization of body fat. Sinse there is less insulin present in your system before you eat after 8 to 10 hour fast, more body fat will be burned when cardio is done in the morning. You should also note that this is also why many "fat burning" products contains several ingredients, which reduce or regulate the blood insulin levels.

If you are eating immediately before cardio, this can also inhibit the fat burning process because your body will first have to burn off the calories from the food you ate before it will burn the fat stored in your body. Doing your cardio in the morning, your metabolism will stay raised for a period after the cardio training is finished.

Doing you cardio in the morning will also give you better circulation throughout the day and give you an energy boost.  Training early can also regulate your appetite thoughout the day which will help in controlling cravings and binging later on.  Adding an afternoon cardio session will elevate your metabolism for a second time for another period of a few hours. Again, your body will be burning extra calories while doing no extra work. This is similar to the calories that will be burned by extra lean muscle you develop. Once you add the muscle you burn more calories without doing any additional exercise. These are those little tricks that most people don't know about; and all without the help of taking diet pills or fat burners.

Written by Jeff Behar

Fitness Focus, Saskatoon's No Contract Gym 

Avoiding Weight Gain After Taking It Off

posted by Fitness Focus    |   August 14, 2012 17:31

A Solution to Weight Regain Through Increasing Muscle Mass & High Intensity Training

There is one absolute, most important factor in any sustainable weight loss program.  It goes beyond simply burring off calories through cardiovascular exercise and lowering calorie intake, but rather focusing instead on increasing overall muscle mass. Increasing muscle mass means a higher resting metabolic rate, which allows for calorie intake to stay higher and within more practical limits for the average person.  Many studies confirm the role of resistance training; it preserves muscle mass during diet controlled weight loss and a simultaneous increase in overall fat loss as a result.  If a person's resting metabolic rate account for over 70% of their daily energy expenditure and is determined by that person's fat free muscle mass, it only makes sense that attempts to lose weight through practices that can decrease muscle mass is inevitably counterproductive.

On the other hand, increases in fat free muscle mass from weight training lead to higher resting metabolic rates. Which, when combined with the added calories burned during resistance training and from excess post exercise oxygen consumption, can gradually and permanently decrease body fat levels when used in conjunction with muscle promoting high protein diets that are not overly hypocaloric.

Aerobic Exercise Vs Resistance Exercise For Long Term Weight Loss

aerobic exercise does not prevent weight regain

Aerobic exercise can decrease body weight, althouh it comes at the expense of maintaining muscle mass and thus does not prevent the you from regaining the weight again.

People have always been skeptical  rowards the use of exercise for muscle building as a main tool for weight loss.  Aerobic exercise is typically what we associate with shedding body fat, even though many studies find high intensity weight training to be more efficient than the conventional aerobic exercise for reducing fat mass. Aerobic exercise can indeed reduce fat mass, but has very little effect if any on the preservation of fat free mass. Not only does this increase the possibility of weight regain, but from a cosmetic point of view, diet induced weight loss using such forms of exercise would result in a smaller, but still flabby version of what you started out with if resistance exercise is not included in your regime. Following aerobic exercise, there is a miniscule increase in calorie expenditure for up to 48 hours after the exercise, but only if this exercise is done with a vertain degree of intensity and at a long duration. This seems like a relatively large window, however there is not an increase in resting metabolic rates.  On the other hand, increases in a person's muscle mass permanently increase thier resting metabolic rates, and the state of the after burn effect of high intensity training from excess post exercise oxygen consumption is also greater than that of aerobic exercise. 

The other factor that favors high intensity resistance training for long term weight loss without weight regain is the use of a high protein diet designed to increase muscle mass. Studies have shown that a high protein intake of 18% or more of total energy intakes limits weight regain in those who have lost weight.[28] Diet induced thermogenesis accounts for about 10% of energy expenditure and high protein foods not only have a high thermogenic and muscle sparing effect, but also promote higher satiety levels after consumption which can limit excessive calorie intake.

A reduction in body fat through high intensity resistance training doesn't yield the quick drops on the bathroom scale that would be seen from a higher volume of aerobic exercise with a low calorie diet, which in itself is a good thing as you don’t lose muscle mass in the process. However it does provide a long term solution for those needing to lose weight with the added benefits of increased strength and improved self esteem thanks to increased lean muscle mass. Muscle mass that is key to the development of the lean, toned and tight body that is without question the Holy Grail of our time. A look that is unattainable from high levels of aerobics and or low calorie intakes, as such activities have little effect on the increased development of skeletal muscle and from what we know can predispose you to regaining the weight you worked so hard to lose. 

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