How to Find the Right Program

I’ve been coaching clients for over a decade now. I’ve worked with tons of different people, ages, body types, etc. I’ve also worked with tons of different systems, programs, and exercise regimes.

In this time I’ve noticed that most people are in the quest for the right program.

They want to find the program that will work best and will get them the results they want.

Of course! Why wouldn’t we want that? Continue reading “How to Find the Right Program”

Quick Fix Weight Loss Doesn’t Exist

quick fix abs

Nowadays we are obsessed with instant gratification.

We have the world wide web at our fingertips, we have drones delivering our products within hours of ordering and we freak out if texts aren’t returned within a matter minutes. There’s even a product that cools down pizza so that we don’t burn the roof of our mouths when we take an immediate bite (replacing the annoying task of waiting five minutes for the pizza to cool down).

So, it makes sense that we expect an instantaneous result from our weight loss attempts. Right?

Wrong!

Unfortunately, the human body has not and never will catch up to the technologies of 2016. It’s still stuck in olden days, when long-term health and wellness beat out “a better body in weeks.”

Our bodies are not set for today’s pace.

They move slowly but they get the job done—ya know, the job of keeping us alive. And they do not react when well told to do otherwise.

The fitness and diet industry knows that but they’re not interested in following the laws of our bodies—they’re interested in making money. So, playing on our obsession with quick fixes, they push quick fixes and timed solutions, aimed at giving us our best body in a matter of months, weeks, sometimes minutes! Recognize the following marketing schemes?

“5 minute abs!”
“30 days to bikini body!”
“Meal replacement shakes — lose weight in a week!”
“Take this pill and watch the pounds shed off!”

And so on, and so on.

It takes nine months to cook us, seven years for us to get our adult teeth and 12+ years for us to reach puberty. Why do we think that we can completely change our bodies in a week?

quick fix abs

Now, I’m not saying that it takes 12 months to lose 5 pounds. But, I do know that it is physically impossible to develop visible core musculature with a five minute workout. And deep down, you do too.

Not only are these products misguiding and incorrect, they can also be very harmful to your body. Many of these products are loaded with harmful chemicals that affect your metabolism and, frankly, are cheaply made. Most meal replacement and conventional meal plan programs advocate low daily calorie counts – and a VLCD (very low calorie diet) is perhaps the worst way to lose weight.

Not only are they unrealistic (do you really think that you can survive on 1000 calories a day for the rest of your life? Really?) but they are severely damaging to your metabolism. The lower your daily calories dip, the slower your metabolism becomes. And, since your metabolism regulates your body all chemical reactions within your body, a slow metabolism is not only damaging to your weight loss efforts, it is damaging to your body in general. Take it from someone who actually was on a VLCD, it is not a road you want to go down!

Now you’re asking “why would the fitness and diet industry to this to us?”

The answer is actually in your question—it is an industry. As in, the goal of these businesses is not to look out for your health and well being but to make money. The fitness and diet industry makes $20 billion dollars a year. $108 million Americans are on diets every year and they are typically on their fourth or fifth attempt. These businesses make money when you buy their products for the first time—they make more money when you continue to buy their products after your second, fifth, eighth failed attempt at weight loss. They are actually counting on your failure because that is where their cash flow comes from.

So, how do you actually lose weight?

Well, first of all, know that it takes time – There is no such thing as a quick fix.

Unless you want to live on meal replacement bars for the rest of your life, you need to make a lifestyle change, develop habits that will stick with you for the rest of your life.

Habits like:

  • going to gym 3 days a week,
  • taking the stairs instead of the elevator,
  • aiming for 4-6 servings of veggies and fruit a day,
  • mindfully eating your meals

If you want to feel more in control, you can be more vigilant about your weight loss by tracking your calorie count (though it should never dip below 1300) and lifting weights. All of these habits will lead to a permanent, positive change in your body.

Now, it will take time—but wouldn’t you rather have a long, successful weight loss journey than five failed attempts at a quick fix?

So, my fellow dieters, let’s leave the quick fixes at the door. Throw out your meal replacement bars and shakes and laugh in the face of magazines that promise you a beach-bod in 30 days.

Instead, try to enjoy the slow but successful road to weight loss. Because, as the old saying goes, good things come to those who wait!

Allie

Volume Foods – Using Fruits and Vegetables to Feel Full

How To Fill Up On Fruits And Vegetables

I like to eat.

If I could eat plates of pasta or bowls of ice cream all day long I would be one happy lady.

Unfortunately, if I were to do this ALL the time even with an active lifestyle I would likely gain weight, feel fatigued and have digestive complaints.

So what does one do when they want to satisfy their frequent pasta, ice cream or pizza cravings without jeopardizing their health goals?

You start modifying your meals by making them more voluminous;
often times by adding fruits and vegetables to the dish. Finding ways to substitute volume foods into your diet is a good option to get more vitamins and minerals into your daily routine but is also great if weight loss is one of your goals.

For example; many people already swap out their spaghetti noodles with zucchini noodles or you will see recipes using grated cauliflower in place of rice. These are a few examples of volume foods!

Volume foods are usually low in calories but high in fiber meaning you can eat more of the item (compared to the original food) without ingesting a ton of calories, plus it can leave you feeling fuller. Most voluminous foods are vegetables and fruit as they are high in water and fiber. These foods make you feel more satiated as they take longer to digest. By adding these items into your meals you are eating more food at a lower caloric cost.

Volume Foods

I started to eat more voluminous foods when I was macro tracking my meals and had a low daily caloric allowance as I was training for a body building competition. Meaning, I had to stretchhhhh my food intake very thin in order to satisfy my macronutrient intake for the day in a filling and sustainable way – If I ate foods high in calories I would end up eating less because those items add up quickly when you are eating well below you maintenance levels (high in calories and fat in this case). I am no longer calorie counting but I do still try to fill up on nutritious foods in place of some items as I try to keep my goals in check.

Whether or not you calorie or macro-nutrient track or just like to stay healthy this is a great way to improve general health as many people could boost their vegetable intake, meaning more micro nutrients and fiber!

Here are a few of my favorite ways to add fruit or veggies to your dishes:

Spiralized Noodles: You can buy a spiralizer or use a cheese grater to make noodle-like zucchini ribbons to eat in place of your pasta or rice noodles. You can then sauté them a bit in oil and/or sauce or eat them raw. Alternatively, I like to spiralize carrots as well. Combining the two and making a peanut butter satay sauce is my favorite way to eat raw spiralized veggies. I often add these raw carrot spirals on top of salads. If you have a fancier spiralizer you could even make sweet potato noodles, spiralize and apple or cabbage if you have a flat blade.

Volume Foods - a great way to add vegetables

Black Bean or Edamame Noodles: Great substitutions for pasta if you want a high fiber and protein meal. Beans are full of fiber and have good amounts of protein.

Cauliflower Rice: If you grate or use a food processor on rinsed and dried cauliflower you will end up with bits of the florets that look like grains of rice! You can make a pizza with the riced cauliflower too! My current favourite way to use riced cauliflower is in my oatmeal. It is a great way to add veggies into a dish that can otherwise quickly add up in calories depending on your serving size. Try adding 1/3 cup of riced cauliflower to ½ cup of raw oats. Add milk or water, spices, maybe some chia or flax seeds and berries then heat up like normal. The riced cauliflower gets lost in the oatmeal texture, making it an easy and sneaky way to get more veggies in.

Nana Cream: Using almost frozen bananas with some milk, spices and other berries whizzed up in a blender or food processor makes this lovely icy, but smooth banana frozen treat.

cocoa nibs

Pumpkin/ Squash: All members of the squash family have a special place in my heart. Similar to the nana ice cream I used chunks of almost frozen cooked pumpkin (Kabocha is my favourite squash) mixed with some milk or water, salt, cocoa or spices and voila! A magical icy treat low in calories yet high in fiber and nutrients!

Again, if you’re looking to add more nutrients into your diet there are tons of ways to do so and I am just showing a few, but get creative and get in the kitchen and see what you can whip up yourself! If you’d like more examples from me, feel free to reach out!

Stefanie

Yoga For Runners – The Perfect 1-2 Punch

Yoga Can Do Wonders For Runners

If you know me, you would know that I am not the most flexible person in the world — like less flexible than this computer I am typing on — but that doesn’t mean I shy away from anything that involves flexibility.

This hasn’t always been the case though.

In college there was a time when instead of an easy day we opted for a team yoga session, you know active recovery, taking an actual easy day and working on flexibility.

I wasn’t having any of it, I had a strict mileage plan and if I couldn’t fit those miles in during practice… when was I going to get them in? I had a bad attitude about change, I needed those miles! It was tough but I didn’t make it any easier on myself and coupled with thoughts like;

“I’m just naturally inflexible”

“I stretch everyday, what do I need Yoga for?”

and the kicker, “How is skipping an easy run going to make me better?”

Thoughts of a stressed out collegiate runner… Continue reading “Yoga For Runners – The Perfect 1-2 Punch”

Doing the work – do you know what it takes?

After over 10 years of coaching people in fitness and nutrition, I’ve finally realized that I know what I’m talking about. Well, truthfully, it’s that I’m finally confident in saying it. I’ve guided enough clients to the results they want that I am extremely confident with the programs and prescriptions I lay out for them.

However, it’s not usually the prescription that is the problem…

In relation to my last 2 posts, …you’re just not doing it and …straightest road to success I’ve learned that so many people are searching for that perfect answer of how they will get the results they desire.

The problem is that search and narrow focus actually prevents them from getting results.

I’m extremely confident that when I create a program for a client that it will help them reach their goals.

I’ve learned that it’s not that I’m prescribing the wrong thing, it’s that what I’m prescribing isn’t being followed.

Even when it comes to the packaged programs, DVD systems and latests hame gym gadget, for the most part they are going to work if followed. For the most part…

They key element is that they need to be followed.

Are you following me? haha

So if you’re starting to sense the theme of the last few articles, it’s that I’m not really concerned with trying to find the best thing to reach your goals. What I’m most concerned with is making sure you’re putting in the work to get reach your goals.

Are you putting in the effort and doing the work?

And the work isn’t just putting in your reps at the gym, stretching here and there or hitting the pavement every day for your run. Especially if it’s short-term, motivation-dependent work.

The work is putting in the effort when it gets hard.

The work is still getting outside or going to the gym even when you don’t want to.

The work is stretching and rehab every single day.

The work is getting it done because you said you would.

The work is getting back up when you’ve fallen down.

The work is doing whatever it takes to reach your goal.

Over the last two articles I bashed the idea of asking “what’s the best” something to get results. I’m going to give you a better question:

What will it take for you to actually to do the work?

The long term work.

What do you need to be able to truly commit, dig in, fight through the hard times and stick it out to the end?

What will it take to go beyond the original motivation you had to start the race, and fully complete the miles?

Where will you find the support that will pick you up when you can’t do it on your own?

Okay, maybe that was a FEW better questions, but I hope it got you thinking.

I’ll leave you with one more thought:

Whatever your goal and whatever you’re trying to achieve, it’s HIGHLY likely that someone else has already done it. Use them for motivation, guidance and support. Doing something completely on your own rarely works, and there’s nothing wrong with getting a little help and support now and then.

However, if you do use others for support, make sure they support you reaching your goals vs doing it for you.

I love comments, feedback and even questions. Please comment below and let me know if this article has helped you.

Chad

Am I Hurt Or Am I Just Sore? Part 1 DOMS & Inflammation

Am I Hurt Or Am I Just Sore

Am I hurt or am I just sore?

This is a common question you might ask yourself, especially the day after a hard workout or starting something new.

I used to be really bad at answering this question, which says a lot about my background and how far my knowledge has come since I was a 5’2″ high school freshman.

I was having a conversation with a friend about this the other day and we decided that it all came down to the old school mentality our coach
instilled.

Sure we were tough and had a “nose down” type of attitude, but this led to the idea that being sore was some kind of weakness. We ran through a lot of warning signs because… that’s just what we did. A mix of not knowing any better and wanting to be the runner with the most grit, but inevitably the injury team could have fielded a Varsity and Junior Varsity squad by the time conference rolled around.

* For the sake of clarity to anyone who didn’t run in high school, the “top 7” runners on the team were the Varsity squad and the next 7 were considered Junior Varsity, we had a small team – ok back to the post

You do need to be able to recognize that soreness is ok! but only within a certain context…

So what are these so called ‘warning signs’?

You can expect soreness after a good, hard workout or after a mileage increase, and that’s fine but be cognizant about where you feel it!
This comes down to DOMS!

DOMS, or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, is caused by micro-tears in the muscle. These tears are necessary for building muscle/building better endurance in the muscle. All good things!

However, inflammation is an unnecessary byproduct of this process. Inflammation, essentially your muscles’ response to training*, can cause excess tightness throughout your body and can really impact the flexibility of your muscles and joints during this period.

*A more technical definition dealing with inflammation – biochemical processes release proteins called cytokines as “emergency signals” that bring in your body’s immune cells, hormones and nutrients to fix the problem

So if we think of DOMS as a 48 hour window; any pain past that is a cause for concern. I usually follow this protocol with my athletes:

*Soreness up to 48 hours after: probably not serious unless it is near the joint or throwing off running form – monitor the situation and be sure to take care of yourself! Follow The Art Of Foam Rolling!

If it’s over 48 hours and there is still muscle pain, then it is probably time for a cross training day. I would recommend staying active in your recovery to help speed up the process, however if you’re legs are dead…

There is nothing wrong with an off day or two!

If there is still pain after the next 3 days (the 5th day post initial soreness) of taking time off or cross training — call this the next 72 hour rule — then it is time to go see a chiropractor or physio or sports doctor, at this point there is something wrong and the sooner you find the problem, the sooner you can start rehabbing!

So let’s look at a few scenarios –

INJURY TIMETABLE 1: First workout in spikes
Day 1 – Calf soreness/tightness but overall run goes fine
Day 2 – Calf is extremely sore, achilles tendon feels swollen and running is throwing off your gait – take a cross training day today
Day 3 – Feels a bit better but you still bike for the day
Day 4 – Calf still feels tight but after biking, a light jog and foam rolling you feel a lot better
Day 5 – Back to running!!

INJURY TIMETABLE 2: First big increase in mileage
Day 1 – You don’t really notice it but your legs are overall sore from the mileage so you take a super easy day
Day 2 – Your legs feel better but now you feel the soreness in your shin area, painful to the touch – take a cross training day tomorrow
Day 3 – Running is out of the question today, your shins are hurting when you walk
Day 4 – You don’t feel any better today and even biking is causing your shins to ache!
Day 5 – You feel just as bad as you did yesterday (you spent 3 days cross training and it doesn’t seem to be hurting)
Day 6 – It could be a stress fracture or it could be really bad shin splints, so think about going to see a chiropractor or physical therapist or someone in that field as it could be a muscular problem that can be worked out.

As with anything, listen to what your body is telling you! Do not be stubborn and think,”I’ll just run through it” because that mentality will put you on the shelf for a long time.

Thanks for reading friends,
As Always please follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.
Coming up in part 2: Rehab and Prehab!

Justin

From fitness newbie to loving exercise. Yes, it can happen!

Fitness Newbie

It’s 1999. Y2K was fast approaching, Haley Joel Osmet was seeing dead people and I was a pudgy 10 year old hating her life in PE. It was the day of the Presidential Fitness Test and I was shaking in my Skechers. Based on my recess activity, I already knew that I wasn’t athletic and I was positive I was going to fail.

The mile run was where I started to lose it.

I began to hyperventilate, paralyzed with fear that I wouldn’t be able to complete the long distance. In the end I (miraculously) did and later I scoffed at my 15 minute run time. “I’m just not athletic” I said, munching on my dunkaroos, “I hate sports and I hate exercising. I’m just never gonna be good at it, ya know?”

Fast forward to high school. I’d traded my Skechers for Uggs and I’d successfully gotten out of every physically demanding thing (other than dance classes) that was thrown at me thus far. I’d conveniently been sick for every trying day of PE in middle school. I’d even persuaded my doctor to suggest that I had “exercise-induced asthma” to get me out of running in my cheerleading practices. So, when my best friend suggested that we go to the gym after school, I almost dropped my Nokia brick phone.

Workout? By choice? Me? Was she joking? I laughed it off, pretended there was a Gilmore Girls marathon on ABC and slowly slinked away. There was NO way I was going to workout for pleasure! Continue reading “From fitness newbie to loving exercise. Yes, it can happen!”

Marathon Training: Generic Plans Vs A Whole Body Approach Pt. 1

Personalized Marathon Training

As the saying goes, “Marathon training is a cruel mistress”, why else does every marathoner feel the need to tell you about their training regardless if you have asked our not?

It’s a lot of time, effort and sweat equity put into one day, months away, where you will test your mettle on the road…

Which is why you need to be cautious with which marathon training plan you choose!

You need to choose a plan that will work best for you; a plan that will fit within your time constraints but also work with your body and how you as an individual respond to training. However, sometimes it’s hard to tell which plan will work best, especially if you are unsure what to look for!

Take the plan below for instance: Continue reading “Marathon Training: Generic Plans Vs A Whole Body Approach Pt. 1”

Getting started – it’s the only thing that matters

Getting Started - it's the only thing that matters

Getting started on something is usually the hardest part. I believe it’s the only thing that matters!

I actually wrote a similar version of this article about a year and a half ago but just realized I never got around to publishing it…

I apologize because I feel I prevented a learning opportunity for you.

I’m writing about it again now because I had a new realization about this concept the other day. I even did a Snapchat rant about it.

Continue reading “Getting started – it’s the only thing that matters”

How I Overcame 10 Years of Yo-Yo Dieting

Diary of a former yo-yo dieter

If you’re a fan of musical theater (like I am) you have inevitably heard these famous lyrics:

“525,600 minutes. How do you measure, measure a year?”

Well, I can actually measure the last 10 years—in diets.

Diary of a former yo-yo dieter

2004 to 2014 was my era of yo-yo dieting. Here’s how it looked: South Beach, Nutrisystem, Atkins, Rice Diet, Weight Watchers, Dukan Diet, Low-Carb diet, Fast Diet, Very-Low-Calorie-Diet. In processed food, in hunger, in no-calorie sweetness, in bathroom scales.

Can I measure those 10 years in exercise?

I sure can—it looks like a million hours on an elliptical machine. I didn’t see exercise as anything other than a weight loss tactic. Those hours on the elliptical were purely to burn calories, to get myself skinny and to work off the “mistakes” I’d made the day before.

Exercising was just another way to get to my goal weight and, more often than not, a punishment for my indulgences throughout the week.

What was the end result of those 10 years of quick fix diets, hours of listless cardio and calorie counting?

A severely damaged metabolism, little to no muscle and a horrible relationship with food. I was always either dieting or binge-ing, all while resenting the gym and hating my body.

I’d also spent way too much money on crash diet books, diet products, diet programs and exercise tapes that promised me “a new hot bod in 10 minutes.”

My body was in starvation mode, I was putting on weight like crazy and I continued to lower my calorie count.

I remember the day that everything clicked into place. I’d been exercising twice a day for the past month, all on 800 calories a day. I stepped on the scale and…I’d gained a pound!

I had trained my body to survive on way too little calories and it was beginning to store any and all extra calories as fat. And, with no other energy, my body had been eating away at my muscle for extra fuel. Essentially, I had completely wrecked my metabolism.

That’s when I decided to stop. Stop dieting, stop feeding into the industry diet craze and stop hating my body. I threw away my scale and all the “skinny” clothes that served as an extra marker of weight gain or loss.

I vowed to rebuild my body and to never diet again. I was no longer focusing on weight loss—I was focusing on strength.

I started to research weight lifting methods and exercises. I began to lift weights at my gym, starting out very small (like 2 pound dumbbells small…sometimes no weights at all! Air is resistance too!).

Muscles need fuel to grow and I began to eat more before and after my workouts.

Eventually, I realized my eating habits had completely shifted. I was no longer starving myself for weight loss—I was feeding my strength.

yo-yo diet gone wrong

Now, was I completely able to break my old eating habits? Not entirely. They definitely come back from time to time. I still have a voice in my telling me that I’m not skinny enough, not pretty enough, not worth the plate of food in front of me.

My body image still isn’t fantastic and I know that I need to work on that.

But am I strong? Hell yeah! I love walking into a gym and lifting heavy. I love the newly visible muscles on my legs and thighs – and I love the fact that now, after years of starvation and binging, I don’t see food as an obstacle to weight loss, but as a necessary supplement to my fit lifestyle.

Now, I’m not saying that weight lifting is for everyone. Weight lifting changed my behavior and moved me out of a decade of yo-yo dieting but everyone has their own journey.

A good friend of mine found salvation in Zumba. He never enjoyed exercise until he walked into a Zumba class.

Suddenly, he was having a blast and getting fit in the process. And, in order to better his Zumba technique, he began to slowly tweak his food habits. Now, he’s 80 pounds lighter and a Zumba instructor!

Basically, I’m saying that the cycle of being stuck in a yo-yo diet cycle may seem endless but it’s not.

It can be broken and you can develop a healthy relationship with food and exercise. If you move your goals away from weight loss and the industry trend of “quick-fix diets” and instead focus on health and personal fulfillment, you can develop lasting habits that will end the pattern of weight gain and diets.

Look to mend your relationship with food and exercise in a new, exciting way. Find a mode of exercise that humors you, take a cooking class and fall in love with whole, yummy, unprocessed food. Find a gym buddy, commit to a bootcamp or simply give yourself a break.

Everyone has the potential to change and grow.

Will it be easy? Hell no. Will your body and mind thank you? Absolutely. And that’s all that matters.

“No day but today!”

Sorry, I just wanted to end on a lyric from Rent. 🙂

Allie

Why I Stopped Being A Personal Trainer

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Why I stopped 1-on-1 personal training.

I’ve been thinking about what I’m doing in Mexico with Fitmix25 and what I’m doing with AnthroPhysique. I’ve dedicated my life to these two systems because I deeply believe in their benefits for someone’s health and fitness.

I’ve been thinking about why my belief so strong and what truly is the benefit of these systems?

It comes down to something that happened to me 9 years ago in early 2007. Continue reading “Why I Stopped Being A Personal Trainer”

Cooking With Fats – Reducing Oil Oxidation

Coconut oil oxidation

In the 1990s, proponents of the low-fat diet craze insisted that dietary fat – particularly saturated fats – led to; obesity, coronary heart disease, cardiac arrhythmia, and several other medical complications.

By now, most people are aware that fats are an important macronutrient. We know that omega 3 fatty acids can actually reduce the risk of heart disease, improve cholesterol, and benefit people who have hardening of the arteries or high blood pressure. Some of us may even know that there are three types of fat – saturated fat, unsaturated fat, and polyunsaturated fat – and that we should aim for a balance of all three fats in our diet.

What many of us don’t know, however, is that not all fats are suitable for cooking at high temperatures and that we should vary our fats based on the foods we’re preparing.

Since the low-fat craze died down and people became more aware of the need for dietary fats, one oil became increasingly popular – olive oil. We see it in recipes for everything from broiled salmon to sauteed spinach. Although olive oil is a great addition to a person’s diet, there is one problem with some of these recipes – the oxidation of the oil at high heat.

The sciency bit: Continue reading “Cooking With Fats – Reducing Oil Oxidation”

The Health Benefits of Improving Your Sleep

improving your sleep

I like to classify sleep as one of those things we “know we need more of” but fail at actually getting more of (kind of like veggies :P)

There are many health benefits to improving your sleep and without getting too sciencey on you, here are a few quick facts regarding our bodies and their need for Zzzz’s

A lack of sleep can actually cause the body to act similar to a state of intoxication

  • Less sleep can mean more weight gain (due to a lack of time for the regulation of necessary hormones)
  • A lack of sleep can impede any muscle building attempts due to HGH (human growth hormone) not having enough time to release and regenerate
  • While you sleep your immune system restores. A lack of sleep can cause you to become more susceptible to colds and flu
  • There is such thing as sleep debt. While you may function “just fine” on four hours of sleep, your body and hormones do not. Eventually you will have to makeup that time

Now, I won’t bore you with the different kinds of sleep but know that in order to function optimally the next day (increased brain activity, creativity, improved energy etc) you need to have hit a deep sleep (or your REM stage). Continue reading “The Health Benefits of Improving Your Sleep”

Introducing Allie Parris

Our team just keeps on growing!

We would like to welcome Allie Parris to our happy growing family:

Coach Allie is a NASM certified Personal Trainer, a Weight Loss Specialist and a Fitness Nutrition Specialist – meaning her approach to coaching centers around not only finding what works best for you, but also teaching you how to understand why it works.

From Allie:

“My approach to training is extremely personal and individualized. I don’t just want to help you lose weight or get in shape. I want to help you understand why the tools I’m giving you work. I think a client should not just receive a program, they should understand why that program is tailor made for them. I want my clients to understand their bodies AND understand how to achieve results rather than just blindly follow a plan!”

Allie Parris - Online Fitness and Nutrition Coach

As a self proclaimed “former crash dieter”, she has experience with just about every restrictive diet there is – giving her the experience to steer you past that frame of mind and into thinking about “how to feed your strength”.

“I came to Allie after working abroad for 6 months and my body type had changed completely. I felt self-conscious and unsure how to even begin this journey of getting my body back in shape. Allie made me feel comfortable discussing my body issues. She was the perfect balance of tough love yet tenderly motivating. Thanks Allie!!”
Rachel L

Allie’s personal journey to better health gives her a unique connection to her clients. Read her story here!

Is Hydration Hurting Your Performance?

How do you know if you're hydrated enough?

Proper hydration is often overlooked!

Having the correct amount of hydration before, during, and after physical activity is a crucial ingredient to staying healthy and having success in sports. Athletic performance will decline with dehydration and this is all too common!

Many athletic events do not have a lot of rest time where athletes can replenish. This makes it very important to keep water and other hydrating drinks close by for those rest periods. Just a small amount of fluid loss can impair physical performance.

Did You know the human body can produce 0.5-1.5 liters of sweat in one hour at a moderate intensity?

As the intensity of the exercise increase the perspiration also increases. During extreme intensity’s in hot environments some athletes can lose up to three liters of fluid in one hour and with every one percent of body weight lost due to fluid loss can lead to an increase the bodies temperature. If this is not monitored, especially in hot conditions, this could lead to a heat illness.

Hydration will improve your performance

Pre-exercise hydration is essential. In an ideal situation athletes would measure their body weight before and after exercise in order to replenish any fluids lost during that exercise.

“It is recommended that an athlete consumer 16 ounces (two cups) of water two hours before exercise begins. Another 8 to 16 ounces (one to two cups) should be consumed 15 minutes prior to exercise.” (NFHS, 2011). During exercise the fluid that is lost through sweat and urine must be replenished. The goal of the athlete should be to reduce the amount of fluid lost during exercise. This will keep the body at a normalized temperature and keep it working properly – Athletes cannot rely on thirst alone.

The body uses the thirst mechanism to alert the body that it is dehydrated. Athletes should be drinking fluids often and should have an unrestricted access to them. Athletes can safely tolerate up to 48 ounces of fluids per hour. (NFHS 2011). Post workout is the time for replenishing. For every pound lost during exercise consumption of 16-20 ounces should be consumed to help replenish the body. Rehydrating fluids is not the only nutrient that should be of concern. Athletes also need to replenish electrolytes and carbohydrates as they are also lost during exercise.

How do you know if you're hydrated enough?

Hyponatremia is not a common disorder but one to be aware of. Hyponatremia is a potentially deadly disorder that occurs from the over-consumption of fluids.

This is most commonly seen in adults following a marathon or similar event where the participants consume large amounts of water over several hours following the event where they lost a lot of fluids through significant sweating. This condition dilutes the sodium in the blood to dangerous levels and can cause the individual to become disoriented, have an altered mental status, headaches, lethargy, and even seizures. Dehydration is the most common hydration disorder that is seen. It can occur very rapidly. The color and volume of urine is the easiest way to determine the level of hydration. If the volume is of normal amount and the urine is clear or light color than that indicates well hydrated. If there is a small amount of dark urine the athlete is dehydrated and needs to replenish their fluids.

Choosing the right types of fluids are also a critical factor in keeping hydrated. There are a lot of sports drinks marketed that are designed to provide re-hydration during and after an athletic activity. Most sports drinks are a good source of electrolytes and contain six to eight percent of carbohydrates. This formula allows the body to absorb the fluids efficiently.

Athletes should stay away form energy drinks and juices. These drinks may have a higher concentration of carbohydrates that can produce a slow emptying of the stomach which may leave the athlete feeling bloated. While sports drinks do provide some added benefit, water should be the main source of fluids. (NFHS. 2011).

So before your next hard effort make sure you are putting the proper emphasis on your hydration!

Nicole