How To Quit Junk Food

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Junk food tastes annoyingly good. There’s a reason for this – the food companies actually formulate each bite for maximum craveability with a specialized balance of sugar, fat and salt.

But while junk food tastes like another…it’s detrimental to your fat loss results.

Wondering what exactly classifies as junk food? You’re in good company, especially these days as many junk foods are being deceptively marketed and packaged as healthy choices.

Here’s the rundown on what classifies as junk food:

  • Junk food has little to zero nutritional value
  • Junk food is processed and packaged
  • Junk food is high in sugar, fat and salt
  • Junk food is high in calories
  • Junk food is rarely eaten out of hunger
  • Soda pop, convenience foods, packaged snacks, frozen treats…

4 Steps to Quit Junk Food

Imagine being 100% free of junk food for the next 30 days. How would your weight improve? How would you feel? How many empty calories would you save yourself from? Now let’s take some action!

Step #1: Get Rid of It

Step one is simple: get rid of all the junk food that currently resides in your home, office and car. Go through with a big garbage bag and toss anything that remotely resembles junk food. Remember, junk food is stuff that is high in empty calories.

Step #2: Stock Up on the Healthy Stuff

Don’t worry, you aren’t going to starve now that your junk food has been cleared out. Step two is where you go to the store and stock up on delicious, nutritious foods that will take the place of the junk food. Nuts, seeds, fruit, veggies, hard boiled eggs, meatballs, and hearty salads or burrito bowls (like the recipe below) are great items to have on hand. You’ll eat less of these healthy snacks, since these aren’t empty calories, but rather nutrient-filled calories that satiate.

Step #3: HALT!

When the next craving strikes you, tell yourself to HALT! This word is actually a handy acronym. Ask yourself, “Am I Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired?” If you’re hungry then reach for one of the healthy snacks from step two. If you’re angry, then explore the issue and seek resolution. If you are lonely, then reach out to a friend, instead of reaching for junk food. And if you are tired then make the time to grab a nap or get to bed early to catch up on sleep.

Step #4: Stick With It

The first day that you go without junk food will be the hardest day. The second day will be a smidge easier. The third day will be even easier than the second…and so on.

The fact is that your taste buds adjust to the foods that you exist on. When your diet is filled with junk foods then that is what your taste buds will crave, but as you shift to a diet that is filled with fresh, nutritious foods then your taste buds will forget all about that old junk food. Stick with it, one day at a time, and you will break free from the grip of junk food addiction.

Yours In Health,

Brian

5 Signs Your Diet Is A Fail

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You’ve considered it for weeks, months, years even. And now is the time that you’ve decided to make a change and go on that diet. But don’t just dive in feet first. First, take a long, hard look at the diet you’re considering and answer five questions before proceeding.

Only then can you be sure your diet is not going to land you in the land of diet failure.

Question 1: Does it make you hungry all day every day?

When you’re on a diet, it’s normal to feel the occasional tinge of hunger. Much of those light hunger pangs, however, should be done away with by drinking a glass of water. And if you stay busy enough with life in general, you ought to be able to ignore some other hunger. But if your diet has you feeling hungry at all times, you’re not going to last long.

To avoid falling into the pit of hungry despair, go with a diet that lets you eat protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Also, as stated above, drink plenty of water to avoid confusing hunger with thirst.

Question 2: Does it force you to drop food groups?

A healthy diet is one that incorporates appropriate amounts of food from each food group. When a diet cuts an entire food group from your eating options, you’re going to have a hard time surviving your diet for longer than a week or two.

One of the most popular food groups to cut is carbohydrates. While not eating carbs will indeed help you lose weight, carbs are what make it possible to store energy to make it through the day. No carbs, no energy, no willpower to maintain your diet.

Question 3: Is your mood suddenly unpredictable?

Everyone gets metabolic every once in a while, but if your diet is too restrictive, you may find your mood swings coming with greater regularity and severity. This happens because excessive caloric restrictions messes with the chemicals in your brain. When this occurs, there is no telling what direction your mood will go.

Before letting your diet ruin your relationships and put your job at risk, reconsider your diet and find one that helps you be cool, calm, and collect.

Question 4: Does it insist there is no need to exercise?

There are some diet plans that promise plenty of lost pounds without the addition of exercise.

If this is the type of diet you’re considering or are in the midst of, beware! Exercise comes with countless health benefits that will make your weight loss all the more beneficial. From preventing chronic pain to improving your energy level and sleeping better, exercise is a vital component to any diet.

Question 5: Do you still weigh the same?

It is true that the best way to lose weight is slowly—approximately one or two pounds per week. But take note that slowly doesn’t mean not at all.

In the event you’ve been on a diet for a few weeks without any results to speak of, then your diet is a flop. Drop it immediately and find something that will help you lose pounds. Otherwise, you’ll get discouraged with your diet and swap it for the old habits that got you where you are now.

Remember that a true body transformation comes only from a combination of diet and exercise. Call or email me today to get started on the only fitness program that you’ll ever need!

3 Dinners You Can Throw Together After Work

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Having a busy day with work and errands and meetings? You aren’t alone. Most of my clients complain of simply not having enough time at the end of their day to cook a healthy dinner.

This I’m-too-busy-to-cook mentality leads to unhealthy dinner choices from restaurants and fast food chains. And like I’ve told you before, you can exercise every day but if you eat too many calories then you won’t achieve the results that you want.

Today I have 3 quick dinner solutions for you to use on those busy weeknights when you’re tempted to grab a less-than-healthy dinner from a to-go joint. These dinners are both tasty and fitness friendly, so you can stay on track with your results.

Go-To Quick Dinner #1: Honey Mustard Chicken

  • 4 large bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Rinse the chicken and pat dry.
  2. Combine the mustard, garlic, marjoram and honey together and evenly spread the mixture over each chicken thigh. Place the chicken in a glass casserole pan.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes, or until cooked through. Enjoy!

Go-To Quick Dinner #2: Leftovers Frittata

  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup milk or broth
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup chopped and cooked meat and/or veggies (use leftovers!)
  • Olive oil spray
  1. In a large bowl beat the eggs, milk, thyme, and meat and/or veggies.
  2. Place an 8-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat until hot and coat with the olive oil spray. Pour in the egg mixture.
  3. Cook over medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes until the eggs are set. Place under a broiler for 3-4 minutes, until the top is golden. Cut into wedges and serve. Enjoy!

Go-To Quick Dinner #3: Pan Fried Salmon

  • 4 (6 oz) skin-on salmon fillets
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  1. Dry the salmon fillets with paper towels and season on all sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Place the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Reduce the heat to medium-low and press the salmon fillets in the pan, skin down. Press down firmly for 10 seconds on each fillet.
  3. Cook for about 7 minutes, until it lifts easily out of the pan without sticking. Flip and sear the other side for 20 seconds. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy these quick-n-healthy dinner recipes that are designed to keep you on track and eating healthy even on the busiest of days.

Remember that exercise is vital to getting and staying in phenomenal shape – and I’m here to help you do just that. Call or email me now to get started on my best fitness plan.

Yours In Health,

Brian

7 Easy Dinner Recipes

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If you have stubborn weight to lose that won’t seem to come off, no matter how hard you exercise, then it’s time to closely examine the meals that you eat. When I go through this process with a client it’s nearly always high calorie dinners that are the reason that their results have slowed or stopped.

This is a tough one for most of us. Life, work and family are hectic and time consuming, so the concept of eating a healthy, simply prepared dinner may seem completely out of reach.

I believe that we overcomplicate the idea of a healthy dinner. This is because we are so used to eating out at restaurants where entrees are accompanied by sides, sauces and garnishes.

Here are 7 truly healthy dinners that are quick and simple to make…

1. Roasted Broccoli & Poached Eggs: Toss chopped broccoli with a little olive oil, sea salt and minced garlic and roast on a baking sheet at 425F for 25 minutes. Drizzle with lemon juice and serve with poached eggs.

2. Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs & Sautéed Kale: Brown 8 beef short ribs in a skillet with coconut oil. Place in a slow cooker with ½ cup coconut aminos (or soy sauce), 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar, ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, 1 Tablespoon crushed garlic, 1 Tablespoon crushed ginger and ½ teaspoon ground red pepper. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours. Serve with sautéed kale.

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3. Super Greens Salad & Roasted Chicken: Combine a mixture of super greens in a large bowl: baby spinach, beet leaves, arugula and kale. Top with sliced, grilled chicken and drizzle with balsamic vinegar glaze.

4. Baked Catfish & Shredded Cabbage: Grease a casserole dish with olive oil and scatter 1 cup of chopped cilantro over the bottom of the dish. Wash and pat dry 4 catfish fillets. Rub the fillets with curry powder, sea salt and sweet paprika. Lay the fillets evenly in the dish, over the cilantro. Drizzle the fillets with lemon juice and sprinkle with chopped garlic. Bake for 30 minutes at 350F. Serve with shredded cabbage.

5. Stir Fried Chicken & Veggies on Cauliflower Rice: Sauté chicken breast, sliced onions and sliced bell peppers in a skillet with olive oil. Season with sea salt, black pepper and fajita seasoning. Set aside. Cut a head of cauliflower into small pieces and run through a food processor with the shredding attachment. Sauté the shredded cauliflower for 5 minutes in a skillet with a teaspoon of olive oil. Serve the chicken and veggies on top of the cauliflower rice with a side of coconut aminos or soy sauce.

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6. Smoked Salmon Omelet & Sliced Tomatoes: Whisk together 3 eggs with a sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper. Cook in a heated skillet with a teaspoon of olive oil. Line the egg with smoked salmon and a sprinkle of shredded cheese. Fold the egg over the salmon and cheese, and serve with sliced tomatoes.

7. One Pot Chicken & Veggies: In a large skillet, brown a pound of chicken tenders in olive oil. Season with sea salt, black pepper, dried basil, crushed rosemary, sweet paprika, dried thyme, dried parsley and cumin. Add 4 cups of chopped veggies (zucchini, onion, tomatoes) and 4 cloves of chopped garlic. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until tender and fully cooked.

You see, healthy dinners can be quite simple to prepare. Don’t get too hung up on the exact measurements of ingredients and instead focus on combining a handful of quality ingredients together in a delicious way. There’s no such thing as a dinner that’s too simple when nutritious, wholesome ingredients are used.

Don’t forget that a consistent, challenging exercise program is the key to getting and staying fit and lean. If you’ve been dragging your feet about joining one of my programs then today is the day.

Yours In Health,

Brian

3 Best Diet Secrets

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Want to drop a size or two this month? It’s more possible than you think!

Incorporate the following diet secrets into your daily routine to naturally boost your metabolism, automatically lower your daily consumption of calories and keep your motivation going strong so that you drop excess fat quicker than ever before.

Diet Secret #1: Weigh In Daily

Tacking your weight on a daily basis is a really simple way to drop pounds.

A recent Duke study showed that participants who weighed themselves daily lost substantially more weight than participants who weighed themselves five times per week or less.

The act of getting on the scale and seeing your weight helps to understand how certain behaviors translate into weight gained or lost. If you ate a salty, carb-filled meal for dinner then you’ll visibly see the number go up when you step onto the scale the next morning. This will likely prevent you from repeating the weight-promoting behavior again and will keep your motivation on track.

Diet Secret #2: Switch to Green Tea

Drop pounds by simply switching from soda to unsweetened green tea.

The average soda drinker ends up consuming over 65,000 extra calories from their beverage of choice each year, calories that quickly add up to pounds gained. Even if your soda of choice is diet, this simple swap will result in pounds lost.

While diet soda doesn’t contain calories, there is evidence that the chemical compounds found in diet soda spike your hunger hormones, causing you to overeat. Unsweetened green tea, on the other hand, is calorie free and contains catechins that have been shown to help increase metabolism.

Diet Secret #3: Go Gluten Free

You don’t have to be allergic to gluten to benefit from a gluten free diet.

A Columbia University study reported that gluten triggers fattening biochemical changes, due in part to genetically altered wheat. These fattening biochemical changes are in addition to the high calorie counts of most gluten-containing foods, which means that avoiding gluten will help you drop weight twice as fast.

Rather than jumping from gluten-filled grain products to gluten-free grain products, do your best to trim even the gluten-free grains from your diet. This can be achieved by swapping out tortillas for large lettuce leaves and traditional noodles for noodles made from vegetables.

Don’t forget to exercise: the quickest way to reshape your body is with a combination of exercise and smart eating. Please feel free to call or email me to get started on your body transformation. That’s what I’m here for!

5 Things to do NOW to slim down before the holidays

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We are officially on the verge of holiday season…and with it a myriad of food temptations and weight gain traps. Don’t fret, if you act now there’s still time to tighten up before putting on your holiday finest.

Do these 5 things NOW to quickly shape up…

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1. Eat more Veggies: Your mom was right, eating vegetables really is a good idea, especially when aiming to drop pounds. Why? There are a couple of reasons. First, veggies are low in calories and high in fiber, which means that you’re filling up without packing on pounds. Second, the vitamins and minerals in fresh vegetables nourish your body and cut down on cravings.

2.Add five Minutes: Each week, between now New Years, I want you to add 5 minutes to your workouts. Just five more minutes. The slight increase from week to week will hardly be noticeable, but the extra fat burn will pay off nicely. Use these extra five minutes to do intense burst of exercise, such as burpees, squat to presses and walking lunges.

3. Double up on Water: Not only will staying extra hydrated help your skin to have a healthy glow, it will also speed up your fat loss efforts. Most of us are walking around in a state of chronic dehydration, which contributes to fatigue, stubborn weight gain and constipation. By drinking more water throughout the day, and by limiting your intake of caffeinated beverages, you’ll become healthier and more radiant.

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4. Eat low Carb (after 4pm): One of the easiest ways to drop a few inches around your waist before the holidays is to eat low carb after 4pm each day. This means eating dinners that are centred around salads and vegetables rather than breads and pastas. If you simply must have your oatmeal or whole grain bread each day, then eat it for breakfast or lunch and give low carb dinners a try – starting with the recipe for Greek Stew below. Don’t forget that sugar counts as carbs, so skip that sugary dessert and try a grapefruit for dessert.

5. Train with Me: If you’re not yet one of my beloved clients, then now is the time. I’d love to get you into phenomenal shape before New Years, and to give you the foundation that will keep you lean and healthy for life.

Yours In Health,

Brian

Never Miss A Monday.. Here’s Why

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Mondays matter more than any other day of the week.

This is because your actions on Monday set the tone for your entire week. Start out on the wrong foot and it could take days to get back on track.

Mondays are like mornings. If you win your mornings, you’re usually going to win your day.

Starting out with a healthy, balanced breakfast that avoids sugar and is full of fiber and protein gets you primed to eat healthy again at lunch, and again at dinner.

Likewise, when you exercise on Monday, you’re going to set yourself up to have an active and fit week. When you show up prepared and rested on a Monday, the rest of the week flows with successes and wins.

Fact: When you get that Monday workout in, you’re 4 times more likely to get in a Tuesday workout… and that Tuesday workout leads to getting workouts in the rest of the week.

On the flip side, when you don’t show up on a Monday with your A-game then you’re left chasing the rest of the week and playing a game of catch up.

This is true for your fitness, health, mindset and work.

When you choose to skip your workout Monday morning, and eat whatever is quick and available rather than what’s healthy, then you’ve started the week on the wrong foot, and you will spend the next several days backsliding away from your goals.

The fastest way to the top in fitness and health is to show up Mondays rested, prepared, and ready to dominate. Never miss a Monday again. Embrace Monday with enthusiasm and vigor.

Yours In Health,

Brian

7 Secrets to Maintain Weight Loss

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If you’ve ever lost weight, you know how hard it is to keep it off.

Ever wonder why some people are able to keep weight off, while others put it right back on? Read on for the 7 Secrets to Maintain Weight Loss. (And if you still have pounds to lose, these 7 secrets will help you too.)

Image result for keep movingSecret #1: Keep on Moving
If you’re serious about keeping the weight off, you need to be serious about your workouts. Keep your activity level high, both in and out of the gym. Your workouts should consist of both cardiovascular training and strength training. While out of the gym make an effort to move as much as possible by taking the stairs, going for walks or jogs and participating in recreational activities.

Secret #2: Be a Healthy Eater
Sorry, you can’t go back to eating at the drive thru and expect to maintain your weight loss. Focus on these 3 aspects of healthy eating:

  1. Keep calories low. Gone are the days of eating mindlessly. Be aware of everything that goes into your mouth, whether by journaling or simply keeping a mental tally.
  2. Be careful. Eat small portions, avoid high-calorie foods and check nutrition labels. You don’t have to swear off chocolate forever, just eat it occasionally with portion control.
  3. Eat a balanced diet. Include a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean meats and whole grains.

Secret #3: Turn off the TV
The average person watches a whopping 35 hours of television each week. People who successfully maintain weight loss, on the other hand, watch an average of 7 hours or less. TV watching encourages snacking and puts you in a sedentary position on the couch. Spend less time in front of the TV and enjoy longer lasting weight loss.

Image result for keep it simpleSecret #4: Keep it Simple
While it is important to keep a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet, your diet should be fairly simple. Create a repertoire of basic whole foods: fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, beans and nuts. When you cut down on your options it becomes easier to stick to your plan, making weight loss guaranteed.

Secret #5: Track Yourself
Your biggest fear is gaining back every solitary lost pound, but don’t be afraid of your scale. Weigh yourself at least once each week to monitor any gains. If the numbers begin to climb then reduce calories and increase your exercise.

Secret #6: Eat for the Right Reason
Emotional eating is one of the top reasons that people are overweight. It’s very important that you view food as fuel, not as an answer to deeper emotional needs. When food becomes more than just fuel, the pounds quickly add up. If you want to keep your weight under control, you’re going to have to eliminate emotional eating.

Image result for all or nothingSecret #7: Forget All-Or-Nothing
No one is perfect – not even you! There will be days when you eat more calories than you should have. There will also be days when you miss a workout. Don’t let small slipups send you into a tailspin of all-or-nothing sabotage. Simply get back to your healthy lifestyle rather than letting yourself backslide into your old habits.

Don’t be one of the many who skip these 7 secrets and instead return to life pre-weight loss. You worked hard to be where you are – you deserve to keep it.

Yours In Health,

Brian

5 Metabolism Myths-Busted!

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Sometimes, your metabolism works against you even when you think you’re doing everything right. It’s time you took a good, hard look at how your metabolism really works.

Check out the metabolism myths below and then use your new knowledge to put your metabolism to work…

Image result for 5 metabolism mythsMyth 1: Metabolism Works from 9 to 5
Difficult as it may be to believe, your body’s metabolism does not stop working when you do. In fact, your metabolism works all day, every day. If it didn’t, you wouldn’t even have the energy to get out of bed in order to read this article. (You are out of bed, aren’t you?) Also the time of day that you eat isn’t what makes you gain pounds. It’s what you eat. So if you think you can get away with eating that quarter-pounder with cheese, bacon, mayo, and bun; a large order of greasy fries; and a 32-ounce milkshake without any consequences—just because you ate it at lunch and not late at night—think again! Eat smart all day long, have a healthy snack at night if necessary, and then sleep well, knowing your metabolism is doing its thing even while you’re catching some Zzzzs.

Image result for 5 metabolism mythsMyth 2: It Can’t Be Controlled
You’ve probably met someone who seems to be able to eat anything they want without gaining weight. You may have even dreamed of having such a metabolism. Well, there’s good news. You may not have the metabolism that lets you do that just yet, but you can work toward it. Help boost your metabolism by lifting weights, getting a good night of sleep, eating enough protein to power you through the day, and drinking plenty of water. Want something more than water? Here’s another smidgen of good news: a little caffeine in your daily intake will help you get rid of calories faster than going without. Just make sure your caffeine isn’t bathed in sugar and unnecessary calories.

Image result for 5 metabolism mythsMyth 3: Skinny Folks Have Higher Metabolism
Yes, a high metabolism can help you burn more calories than a low metabolism. But don’t let that fool you into thinking the skinniest people around have the highest metabolism. Quite the contrary. If the thinnest individuals had the highest metabolism, they would likely be dangerously underweight. As it is, when you are very thin, your metabolism will likely be lower, as there’s not much of you to burn away safely.

However, you shouldn’t grab the ice cream carton in order to put on extra pounds to up your metabolism. Instead, focus on adding muscle pounds via the weight room.

Myth 4: Getting Old Makes Your Metabolism Go Bye-Bye 
There is a bit of truth to this myth. As you age, your metabolism will drop a tiny bit. Not enough to make a meaningful difference, but it does drop. Much of this decrease (again—it is almost negligible) is due to the typical muscle loss that accompanies aging.

Want to curb your body’s age-related drop in metabolism? Include resistance training in your exercise routine. As you age, keep up the weight training and you’ll keep your metabolism strong and steady throughout all the stages of life. In the event it does drop a little, you’ll be in such good shape you won’t notice.

Image result for 5 metabolism mythsMyth 5: You Can Eat Your Way to Higher Metabolism
Occasionally, the world is taken by a weight-loss idea that is so simple you’d be a moron not to give it a try. One of these recent ideas is that you can eat or drink certain things to boost your metabolism and lose weight with greater ease.

While eating peppers on a regular basis and drinking gallons of green tea each week offers some health benefits, it won’t do more than temporarily boost your metabolism. Approximately half an hour after consuming these supposed metabolism mega-boosters, the boost is over and you’re back to your normal metabolism. A normal, well-balanced diet is a much better option.

When it comes to achieving and maintaining your most effective metabolism, a consistent and challenging exercise routine is key. Call or email today and I’ll get you started on an exercise program that will take your metabolism to the next level.

Yours In Health,

Brian