Well as of this writing it is January 8th and as much as I hate to say it you have probably already broken a New Year’s resolution or slipped up on your good intentions to sticking with your fitness goals. Hey listen don’t beat yourself up over it and to be honest I really hate setting resolutions as there is about a 99% chance you will break the resolution at some point over the course of the year. However, I am a big fan of creating goals, specifically S.M.A.R.T goals. Over the years my clients and myself included saw the best results when we had written out goals that were S.M.A.R.T.
For those of you that don’t know what I am talking about let me define what S.M.A.R.T goals are. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. When you create a goal for yourself and it contains all five components the probability of having success dramatically increases. Let me go through an example so you can see for yourself.
In the first of example Jack says he wants to eat healthier and lose weight. Ok so looking at his goal we see that he wants to eat healthier and lose weight but it lacks the five components. He really is not specific in terms of how much weight he wants to lose and he lacks a time frame. Even if you say well it pertains to this year he still does not have the specific number of pounds and a time line. To make this fit the S.M.A.R.T model it would be better for Jack to say I want to lose 10 pounds in six months and weigh 190. Does this fit the model. Yes, it is specific (10 pounds and weigh 190), it is measurable (use scale to monitor and measure), attainable because he could lose a pound and a half a month and reach his goal, and final it is timely because it is not unrealistic to lose 10 pounds in six months.
Let’s look at another example and see if it fits are S.M.A.R.T model. Sarah is getting married and wants to lose 15 pounds. Her wedding is in 4 weeks. On the surface it looks like it could fit the model. I mean she is specific,we can measure it and it is timely (4 weeks), but is it attainable and realistic. Some might say yes depending on their drive and discipline but I would say no because when my wife and I got married I remember those last few weeks were all about engagement parties plus running around like crazy trying to get everything taken care of before the wedding. So, I say it is not a S.M.A.R.T goal and goals like these are reasons why most people tend to fail at reaching their fitness goals every year.
Oh, and one more thing. I would be remiss to say that just because you set a S.M. A.R.T goal you are going to achieve your fitness goals that you set. I might have misled you a little in my title because although I say S.M.A.R.T goals is the best way to achieve your fitness goals if you neglect to have a strong “why” beyond it you probably will not reach them. You have to a strong reason as to “why” you want to achieve your goal.
Let’s look back at our examples. Jack wants to lose 10-15 lbs because he wants to be in the best shape of his life so he can still be active with his 4 kids. If we look at Sarah her why could be is she can’t fit into the 10k dollar dress she bought 6 months ago. (I have no idea if dresses cost that much but I am sure when my girls get married they will :().
Do yourself a favor this year and go back and look at the fitness goals you set for yourself. Do they contain all 5 elements. Is it specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Also, do you have a strong why behind it. With it when things get tough it will be much easier to fail and leave you in the same boat as you were last year!
If you need any assistance on setting goals please don’t hesitate to reach out to me!
In health and wealth,
Over the last year I have been researching and studying ways to make sure that as I start my journey into my 40’s I find the right nutrition and exercise workouts that are going to get me the best results. I have done just about every type of workout and training that is out in the marketplace and I have finally found one that is the best exercise workout to get results. This short video introduces you to the Orange Theory Concept!
First of all a lot of science and research has been put into each and every Orange Theory Fitness Workout. The workout is based on a 5 zone heart rate based interval training approach. The goal of each workout is to experience all 5 heart rate zones but also get you to spend 25 to 35 minutes in the fat burning/carb burring zone along with 12- 20 minutes in the upper zones, which contributes to epoc. Epoc stands for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, which essentially contributes to caloric burning at a higher rate 24-36 hours after the workout is completed. This is the single biggest reason why this type of workout is so beneficial to getting optimal weight loss results but there is still more.
The second reason I find the OTF workouts the best is the community that you get surround by. There are all different levels of participants in the class and each and everyone of them brings energy to the class. Plus, as you start to develop relationships and friendships then it adds a level of accountability because people will start to ask where have you been and are you sticking to your healthy habits. This is not unique as most other bootcamps and group exercise classes offer this kind of community but having this part of the workouts is essential for success.
A third reason I believe Orange Theory Fitness workouts are the best interval workouts is because of the combination of utilizing the treadmills, seated rowers and the weight training. As I already mentioned the workouts are designed to have you maintain your heart rate in all 5 zones but they also incorporate different workout modalities such as strength, power and endurance. This is exactly how athletes train and it is important for everyone to train this way if they want to gain lean mass and lose weight. One other aspect that the workouts have is the variety. Everyday a new workout is presented so in “theory” you could do an OTF workout everyday of the week. I don’t recommend it but you could!
Finally, the last component that I feel that makes Orange Theory Fitness the best interval training workout is the competition that is created amongst current participants and even classes. Earlier I mentioned the science behind OTF and because each participant wears a heart rate monitor everyones caloric burn and even the classes total burn is tracked which leads to some fun competition amongsts those in the class and even from class to class. Another really cool competition part to OTF classes are some of the programing. For instance they do a “Dri Tri” and even a “Hell Week” program. When you enter one of these speciality programs and if you win you are rewarded with prizes. This is a great way for members to have fun and be competitive at the same time.
I know I may be a little biased but I am telling you I have not seen a structured program like this that can get you the results you are wanting. Sure there are other interval training workouts out there but the Orange Theory Fitness workout is the best interval training workout in the market right now!
See what some of the members of the Orange Theory Fitness Plano, TX location have to say about it!
Over the years I was continually asked questions in regards to weight loss. Finally, one day I had the bright idea to go ahead and start documenting the most common questions and come up with a detailed response to them. I realize there are probably two dozen more questions that you might have but here is five most common I received throughout the years!
1.) What is an easy change in diet to reduce calories?
The first thing that anyone seriously wanting to lose weight should do is start a food journal. A food journal will give you more insight to your habits and caloric intake. What I find to be true after a week or two of tracking your food is that you start to see patterns and areas that you can change your choices. Now, you can either create a paper food journal or with technology and smart phones find an app to download and immediately after you eat something log it into your program. Follow this for two weeks writing everything down and see what you can change in your diet.
2.) Not so much how to lose the weight, but how to keep it off?
Weight Loss Maintenance is what I refer to this question as. Probably the number one issue in regards to weight loss that majority of us struggle with is how we keep it off once we lose it. We seem to believe that once we attain something then we can move on. Unfortunately, with weight loss that is not the case and weight loss is a life long process for most of us. One thing that has really helped me over the years with my weight loss maintenance actually came from someone who once told me that their goal was to never wear a pant size bigger then what they were currently wearing. This set off a bell for me and I made it my “life” goal never to have to wear a pant size higher than what I am currently wearing. Now, do I fluctuate and go up and down. Yes, but I refuse to go buy pants any bigger and when they start to feel snug I refocus my efforts to lose those few pounds. The point to take away from this is, make it your life goal to stay at the weight you feel you are healthiest at. This will be different for everyone but believe it or not there is a weight your body believes is the best weight. We will address this more throughout the six month membership, so stay tuned.
3.) How much should a person strive to lose per week?
On average, most experts would agree, and suggest that 1 to 2 lbs of weight loss is the best and healthiest way to lose weight. Obviously, every person is different and it can vary from week to week in terms of how many pounds one might lose. Part of the reason that crash diets don’t work for the long term is because our bodies are not made to go through starvation or extreme shock. You see, the body has its natural protection and will gravitate back to a natural state. One final note here is that by taking a long-term approach to weight loss (6 – 12 months), you will ultimately be better off and will be less likely to regain the weight you lost initially.
4.) How to lose weight in a specific area?
I get this question a lot. I know that commercials and even some people in the fitness industry will tell you that doing a specific exercise will help lose weight in that area and unfortunately, they are incorrect. Unless you get liposuction, which I do not recommend, weight loss occurs throughout the entire body and not in one specific spot. Now, that does not mean you cannot work or target a specific muscle to tighten and tone it, but as your body loses weight from exercise the fat deposits are taken from all over. Typically, for women you will see weight loss in your upper body first and your thighs and midsection last.
5.) Why isn’t easier?
I wish I had a real simple answer to this question but when it comes to burning calories the body requires work. For every 3500 calories burned a pound of fat is used and in order to burn those calories heat needs to be produced, i.e. some form of exercise performed to challenge the body. Some people are genetically blessed to have a metabolism constantly burning calories, while others are not so fortunate. The other factor that I will leave you with is a saying you have heard and probably used. “Rome was not built in a day” and neither will your new body and total weight loss. Keep working everyday to get better. Make this a lifestyle change. Set small goals and see them add up to large ones. I believe in you, but you need to believe it is possible!
I hope these FAQ’s and answers help debunk and give you better insight into weight loss. Remember no one said it is going to be easy and no one said it will happen overnight but really think about the answers to these questions and put some of that to work in your daily lifestyle routine.
If you need anything please don’t hesitate to ask.
I remember when I was a kid and if my mom and dad said we were going to go out to dinner it must have been something really special we were celebrating. Going out to eat was a treat for us. Today, if we don’t go out to dinner my kids are asking me why are we not going out to eat dinner. Times have changed and listen I could probably go off and make a strong case that because we eat out so much that a large part of our obesity problem is because of that. Now, I am a strong believer in limiting the amount of times you go out and eat but when those times do come. And you should go out and enjoy a nice dinner with your significant other and family from time to time but when you do make sure you don’t go overboard on eating bad. With that being said I want to give you some basic tips to follow when you are eating out.
1.) Drink Water – Alcohol, sodas, lemonades, and sugary drinks can rack up the calories fast. I am not saying avoid them completely but limit yourself to one. Drinking water will also help with your hydration.
2.) Don’t fill up on bread and chips – Being from Texas this is extremely hard but by over eating chips and bread you fill up on way too many carbs and ruin your appetite for the meal, which should have protein in it. Set a set number of chips or pieces of bread and don’t eat more than that!
3.) Lighter options – Restaurants are now offering options that provide less calories and less trans fat in their meals. Choose those menu items and if they are not listed ask to see if they can cook it healthier.
4.) Portion Size – In my opinion this alone can make the difference. My wife and I have been splitting meals for years now and not only does it save us money it saves us a ton of calories. Most restaurant meals today have portion sizes twice to three times of what we are required to eat. If you don’t have anyone to split with or they don’t offer a half size request a to go box once you get your meal and put half of it in it.
5.) Skip Dessert – I know easier said then done but typically restaurant desserts have a lot of calories and unless you made room somewhere in the day or earlier in the meal your best bet is to skip the dessert and get some fat free yogurt somewhere else!
Remember eating out does not have to be stressful or painful. Make some different choices and limit the amount of food and calories you consume.
Listen, life is too short not to enjoy it so don’t think I am saying not to eat out. All I am saying is when you do go out to eat try to focus on all five of the tips I provided in this post. Shoot, if you were to just implement one of the five tips to eating out you would do yourself a tremendous benefit. So, next time the kids or your significant other asks to go out to eat don’t fret that all the hard work you have been doing to reach those fitness goals will be completely wasted because you now have several tips to making eating out a whole lot healthier.
Every week I want to bring you a short actionable tip that you can implement right away into your lifestyle to make a powerful change. This week the title of the tip is “The Power of Changing One Thing.” What do I mean by the power of changing one thing? Well, sometimes we think that in order to make a change in our habits or lifestyle it needs to be drastic. Contrary to the point my friend. A lot of times what happens is when we make a change to our daily habits or lifestyle that is so dramatically different than what we are used to the tendency is to fall right back into the same old bad habits and routine. So instead of getting too crazy all at once I want you to think of one thing that you are currently eating or consuming that you could cut out of your diet, which would help lead to cutting out extra calories.
You see the secret to losing weight is simple, make small changes and losing weight starts to compound over time. The Power of just “One Thing” can make a huge difference. Let’s look at an example:
Starbucks Cafe Latte prepared with nonfat milk, about 160 calories
Starbucks Cafe Latte prepared with soy, about 210 calories
Starbucks Cafe Latte prepared with whole milk, about 260 calories
*based on calorie content (Grande Size) Provided by Starbucks web site
Okay, now we will make a small change and do some math. The small change we are going to make is we are going to cut out the Café Latte that is prepared with Whole milk. A grand total of 260 calories.
260 x 7 = 1,820 a week
Multiply 1,820 a week by 26 weeks (six months) = 47,320 calories
Now divide that by 3500 calories, which is one pound of fat and you could potentially lose:
You would lose around 13 and a half pounds just by changing one thing!
Find your one thing and start seeing some change!
Let me ask you this question, “how many times have you started an exercise or diet program and did not see results?” For some of you, results came quickly, but if you are one of many who are having trouble seeing results then today’s lesson is going to help. I am going to outline 5 things you need to do to start seeing results quicker.
Focus on Nutrition –
By far the single most important component to losing weight is to focus on your nutrition. Now, contrary to what you might believe this does not mean to start starving yourself and stop eating all together. Actually, quite the opposite, your body needs food as fuel and your muscles need that fuel to develop.
For some of you this is going to be difficult and for others you will have no problem, but you need to start eating every three to four hours throughout the day. I am not talking about full blown meals at each sitting but what I am suggesting is you eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, then in between those meals you eat a snack. Try and space it out so that you go no longer than 3-4 hours without having consumed food. This will help keep insulin levels in check and help speed up your metabolism.
Resistance Training –
Now, right after nutrition comes resistance training. If you are looking to lose weight and drop body fat then you need to focus in on your resistance training. Most people always believe that cardio is the best way to lose weight, but I am here to tell you that resistance training is a far better approach to dropping weight fast.
How do I know this? Well, studies have proven it, but I like to use a real world example. Several years ago my wife wanted to lose weight because the same old cardio routine was not getting it done. I suggested a resistance training routine for her to do each week. Now, you would have thought I told her to jump off a cliff when I first told her this by her reaction. However, after finally agreeing to my suggestion of working strictly on a resistance-training program, she saw some amazing results. Her body fat dropped 3 % in the first six weeks and she lost a dress size. After six months she had lost almost 6% in body fat and three sizes. From there she was sold.
Cardio and Heart Rate Training –
For the next week I want you to find 3 separate times you can do 15 minutes of cardio. It could be one day you do 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at night with one more day in the week of 15 minutes. Or, you can space it out and do it 3 x during the week. The key here is to get a total of 45 minutes of cardio with the resistance-training program in this coming week.
Now, once you determine the days I want you to spend the majority of the time working out in the range of 6-7 out of a scale of 10 on the Rating of Perceived Exertion scale. This might mean a faster walking pace or if on a treadmill add some incline.
Just make sure you get your heart rate going for a good portion of the fifteen minutes. Remember, if at any time you feel you need to slow down stop and rest.
Find a support group –
In my experience people who have a support group lose weight quicker and maintain that lost weight longer. We have set up the Fit Over 40 fan page on FaceBook as one means of social support.
Other options can be your spouse or child depending on the kid’s age. The key is to find someone you can share your goals, concerns, and feelings with. If you can get someone to participate in the journey with you that is even better.
Reduce Stress –
Most people do not realize that stress can actually cause you to gain weight. Cortisol, which is an important hormone in the body can be a culprit in increasing body fat. Cortisol, which is also labeled as the “Stress Hormone” is important part of maintaining proper Insulin release and maintaining proper glucose metabolism.
So, when the body experiences chronic stress, Cortisol is released in higher and prolonged levels that cause the following:
• Blood sugar imbalance (Hyperglycemia)
• Decrease muscle tissue
• Lower immunity
• INCREASESD ABDOMINAL FAT
I capitalized and bolded increased abdominal fat because I want to make the point that too much stress in your life is going to prevent you from losing weight. I know sometimes with everything going on it is hard to relax but if you want to see the weight come off easier find ways to reduce stress in your life.
If you can make the above 5 tips a priority for the next 30 days I can guarantee you that results will start to happen faster!
Dear Fit Over 40 Challenger:
My name is David McGarry and back in January of 2014 I had hit a milestone birthday. Yes, if you are reading this on the blog then you know I turned the BIG 40! For me turning 40 was more difficult than turning 30. I guess because I had always heard that when you turn 30 people start taking you seriously. So at 30 I felt like, OK, now I am going to be looked at from others as a mature adult and business person. However what is there to look forward to at 40?
Well, believe or not at that moment I decided that at the age of 40 I was going to be make health and fitness my #1 priority. Why? well, first of all my father passed away at the age of 67 from a massive heart attack. He struggled with his health for several decades and unfortunately he never got to meet his two granddaughters. I know that I have no control over how long I am going to live but I can tell you that I am not going to let my lack of health awareness and exercise habits to be the reason I don’t get to meet my daughter’s kids.
Secondly, my mother is in her early 70’s and is probably in better shape then most 40 year olds. She is a true inspiration to me to live a healthy life and still be able to do things that people 20 or even 30 years younger are doing. I feel if I can continue to focus on my fitness and health I too can be like my mother.
Finally, I want to be an example for my kids. Fitness has always been a huge part of my life and influence on who am I today as a person. I want to pass along those traits to my kids and lead as an example.
So, let me ask you what is your big reason why? Why do you want to stay fit at the age of 40 and above?
This is one of the first questions I always ask my clients. You see it is not good enough to just have a goal of losing weight or looking good. In order for you to get through the days you don’t want to work out or through periods where you fall off the wagon with your eating habits you need to have a strong why!
What else is stopping you from being in the best shape of your life?
For me I just became too comfortable with average. I was just doing just enough to maintain my current fitness status and wasn’t really doing anything that pushed my limits. I decided that I wanted to change that and made it a goal of mine to start really pushing my limits and challenging myself in different ways. I am sure there is something preventing you. Maybe you are frustrated that you have tried different diets and workouts and nothing has really worked. I can tell you from working with hundreds of clients of the years sometimes what you do works and sometimes it does not. If you are not losing weight change the goal to something else like being able to run without walking for 2 miles or focus in on lowering your blood pressure or cholesterol. I have heard all the excuses in the book and trust me some can be pretty valid but until you put your health as a top priority it is easy to not take action
So, before you do anything else today take a piece of paper and write down what your BIG WHY is. Yes, you must write it down because it being in your head will not work. I don’t have time to explain that here on this post but trust me you must write it down and then share it with someone close to you. By sharing it you make it public and you can also get someone in your corner to help when things get tough. Finally, if you do not put your health as a top priority then it will always take a back seat and you will struggle to get into the best shape of your life.
If you would like to join our community come on over to the FB page at FITOver40 and join the tribe!