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Even When It’s Cold

Winter Wonderland~

You might think I’m about to tell you I was out exercising in the fresh fallen snow early last Sunday morning with a group of enthusiastic gals, but I’m not going to tell you that. The truth is….

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….I was thoroughly enjoying a typical Sunday morning, lounging in mushy jammies with a steaming mug of strong, black java, updating client profiles, planning posts and skimming Facebook. My heaven~

This particular Sunday I gazed out the windows and was mesmerized by a wild wind that was whipping up frosty snow swirls over the ominously ice-grey lake. My thoughts? “There’s no place like home.”

As I scrolled through Facebook, a friend’s post caught my eye. This idyllic scene; a beautiful photo of a motivated bunch of girls strolling through a refreshing winter morning. Wow.

I pointedly looked to see when it was posted and was surprised to find it had been added only minutes prior. In that swirling snow. This group of gals were taking a Winter Walk!

How incredibly awesome was that? (It was practically a blizzard outdoors.) Kudo’s girls!

While I’m not likely to give up my Sacred Sunday ritual, I was curious to review the benefits of exercising outside, even in the cold.

Icy Inspiration

We all know it’s tough to find motivation to exercise (ANY day) let alone outside on a frigid day. During the work week most of us begin and end our days in utter darkness tinged with a frosty chill. The winter sunshine is appreciated but it’s not all that enticing when it barely warms up the day. We’re compelled to stay indoors, find warmth and forget about fitness until the spring thaw.

But for some, like the girls who were out walking on that frosty morning, outdoor activity is preferable to a crowded, stuffy gym and I was pretty impressed and inspired by their tenacity and spirit! Ballsy babes!

A Doctor of Natural Medicine and a Personal Fitness Strategist agree.

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Winter Warrior Rosemarie

My sister-in-law, Rosemarie, was one of those Winter Warriors. Later that same evening we had the opportunity to talk about exercising outdoors, even when it’s cold.  Rosemarie is Doctor of Natural Medicine, owner of Infinite Healing and an incredibly intuitive healer.

We agreed that cold weather training can be a perfect opportunity to increase the benefits of exercise, health and longevity. Here are the reasons we felt were most important:

You can burn more calories.

The body works hard to regulate core temperature in the cold, you’ll burn more calories during a wintry outdoor workout compared to one indoors.

Overall calorie burn will vary with each person’s body mass and the extremity of the temperature, but it’s a great perk to burn a few more without the extra sweat and effort.

You can strengthen your heart.

Cold weather makes your heart work harder to distribute blood throughout the body. A regular exerciser with good cardiovascular endurance can strengthen their heart with cold-weather sessions. You’ll be ready for more strenuous workouts in the future. (Non-exercise stresses too!).

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Skater? Not sure but I’m in the game!

You can build a tolerance for the frigid season.

It’s damn hard to force yourself outside for the first walk/workout of the winter season but over time it gets easier. Adjust your expectations as you acclimate rather than push for your typical “good-weather” training levels. Pay attention to your effort as opposed to hitting certain time, distance or other performance goal. Learn to enjoy the process.

You can get a good dose of vitamin D.

Even when it’s cold, the extra sun exposure will supply you with the same important nutrients as it does during warmer seasons. The benefit feels like “more” in the winter because natural light is already so restricted.

You can feel energized and happier.

Cold-weather exercise will boost your mood. There’s no humidity to drag you down and the chill is stimulating. As the body works hard to stay warm, more endorphins are produced which leaves you feeling a strong sense of happiness – you’ll feel younger!

You should embrace the winter months.

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Me on a Tube!

  • Find a group of friends to kick your butt into gear.
  • Take the kids tubing and strive to keep up.
  • Get out your ancient ice skates and give them a twirl.
  • Rent some snowshoes, go for a walk with them on.
  • Organize a Pond hockey league!
  • Learn to Curl
  • Just get out and walk!
  • Ski!

Make fitness a bigger part of your life by extending your workouts to outside the gym while doing something fun. Exercising in the cold weather is going to make you hot!  (yep I just said that, cheesy I know!)

 

Get inspired. Get geared up. Get prepared. Plan your next adventure.

Winter activities can be as simple as organizing a walk with the girls or gathering the family for a skate. With bit of travel you could find Winter Snow Tubing in the country. It may take some research but you could perhaps find Snowshoeing at local golf course, winery  or through a pretty wooded estate. Ski weekends, sledding afternoons, snow angels moments…..even shoveling can be a fun and beneficial. Really!

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My Mack

Here, (in the Niagara Region of Ontario and Western New York) there are tons of opportunities to get out and you just need to do that – get outside!

Do something you’ve never done before and you’ll get a life you’ve never had before.

My personal favorite-Winter runs with Mack: This guy is the best workout partner I’ve ever had! Can you imagine keeping up with that!

<————– Happy, happy happy Bulldog~

Anyway….you get the idea.

 

Get out of that lazy-boy recliner before you begin to look like one! Fresh air and exercise will take care of many health concerns and you’re just going to be happier. That, and you’ll be away from the fridge!

Have a fantastic winter and promise me you’ll get out and play! ~karen

About the Author

nourish1Hi! I’m Karen Pilote – My job title (I suppose) is “Personal Trainer” but lately I’m liking the term “Personal Fitness Strategist.” I help people find unique and individual strategies for implementing fitness into their lives. I’m skilled at making plans for achieving a goal, and I’m good at forming strategies (which is OH SO (so!) important when we’re talking about fitness.

One size programs do not fit all and one (rigid) plan will not suffice for the long term. Your weight-loss journey’s going to follow a winding road; face it. It will be a mountainous climb at times; prepare for it.  It will bumpy ride for most of the trip; buckle up. But you can do it; believe it!

 

Honestly, it’s going to be confusing and you’ll need the support of an intuitive guide to help trouble shoot the challenges along the way. That’s me!

Sure, I can send you a program, tell you what to eat, explain and teach you the exercises but lot’s of people can do that for you – actually, you can find it all on the internet.

But I excel at tuning into what you’re feeling. My strength lies in understanding your confusion and fetching you back when you’re lost. I’m supportive when you’re disillusioned and I’m sure of your success even when you’re not.

Failure is not an option and I’ll never let you quit on yourself! I believe in you and I see what you can be- I will teach you to find that person and bear the challenges with some cursing and chuckling along way.

My program is called The Action Plan– it’s an general guide and plan to follow as you learn what works for you and what doesn’t. Read more about it here: The Action Plan

My workouts are found on Get Fit Over 40 – Pinterest. Free. I’m sure you’ll find them challenging and unique. For the most valuable use of the boards and cardio routines it’s best to set goals and follow the general plan outlined in The Action Plan.

I’m on Facebook Page Karen Pilote – Get Fit Over 40 for daily motivation and light-hearted humor and inspiration. (At least I like to think so, lol) See you there!

 

Eight Women Share Their Fat Loss Journey

I’d like to share with you the process I’m using to help several women achieve their physical fitness goals.

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This series will feature real – awesome – and dedicated women who have graciously agreed to share their journey. These narratives will hopefully inspire you and demystify the process of physical transformation. You can follow and learn what it takes as they experience the process.

The most important thing necessary for fat loss success is that you be open to learn what works and what doesn’t – FOR YOU. Be open to the process, focus on your current level of fitness and understanding….you’ll  be surprised at the need to adjust different aspects of training and eating while following a realistic fat loss program.

Be aware that the “order of steps” taken will differ for each participant based on individual circumstances, and they will vary slightly for you too! Each individual “plan of action” will be formulated according to generally accepted and logical “key components” of healthy lifestyle transformation but they will differ somewhat in the delivery.

Ready to witness change in action?

Get Ready to Watch These Girls Transform!

Melody: She wants to lose weight. I suggest she focus on body composition changes and strength. Fat loss will follow.

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Kerri: She wants to lose weight. I suggest she focus on strength and stamina. Fat loss will follow.

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Debbie: She wants to lose weight. I suggest she focus on body composition change and strength. Fat loss will follow.

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Julie: She, too, wants to lose weight. I suggest she focus on muscle maintenance, flexibility and joint stability. Fat loss and optimum weight management will follow.

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Tamara: (data to be completed) She wants to lose weight. I suggest she continue with fat loss training and focus on body composition. Fat loss is assured.

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Kerri: She wants to get stronger and toned. I suggest weight training to reshape her physique and shoot for optimum strength and muscular balance.

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Zowie: She wants a fit, athletic physique with lean muscle definition. I suggest she focus on a muscle building training program that will give her functional strength for sports. (Zowie is very young but will be a good example for those underweight or tall woman who find building muscle difficult.)

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Jaci: Wants to shed fat within a 12 week time-frame for the purpose of competing.

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Note: Jaci is a Personal Training client and friend who’s goal is to compete in a Figure Competition. Her training will be targeted, intense and strict. I wanted to include her journey as a means to illustrate the use the same key fitness components used in general fitness and weight loss except, in this case, to achieve a very specific and time sensitive goal.

How We All Met:

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In 2015 I began offering a total body conditioning program based on The Action Plan to a group of women at a local fitness facility. The improvements that they experienced over the course of this 18 week program (I called it Bodybomb) were extremely encouraging. Success led these women to seek further physique transformation, nutritional excellence, fat loss and strength gains.

I feel privileged to share their journey via this blog!

Please note that each participant first completed The Action Plan as best they could and at the level of fitness they were at. Next, they each completed a one month general strength program that allowed them to learn and apply general resistance training principles. They developed and incorporated a structured plan for strength training into their schedules. Each girl was challenged to apply the strategies and adapt them to their individual circumstances and you will have to do the same if you are to attain your goals.

I’ll begin by thanking the girls for allowing us to follow their journeys. This is so great because we all know how difficult it is to “put yourself out there” with before pictures. Aghhhh! In sharing the discovery process for each woman I hope it helps you too!

The Group Fitness Phase:

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I love group fitness and I feel strongly that exercise in an organized format positively impacts each participant and encourages adherence, learning, camaraderie and accountability. BUT I’d also like to point out that group fitness training can only take you so far. This won’t make perfect sense to you right now but you will begin to understand and discover the benefits of individual training as you follow these eight women!

In my opinion, general exercise plans work extremely well when you’re savvy enough to alter them to fit your unique circumstances, but that’s difficult for the general population. That’s where this series should help demonstrate the need for individual attention and modifications even though the goal of fitness, weight loss and strength gain is a common one.

The “Next Level” of Training:

Follow the blog as we employ different strategies for each woman, and a variety of approaches to bring knowledge, understanding, and shed light on what many woman find a confusing journey.

We’ll begin with Melody! 

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Over the last few months Melody completed The Action Plan. She became stronger, leaner and increasingly more aware of the effects of HIIT exercise on her physique. She also learned about her limitations, habits, strengths and weaknesses. It was a process of discovery; very important step in the direction of her goals.

When we began our training together Mel found The Action Plan workouts challenging and needed to modify the exercises, take more breaks between sets and do less repetitions than listed on the workout boards. Given that she was fairly active and involved in other fitness classes prior to our “Bodybomb” group fitness classes, the HIIT workouts presented new challenges and she was more than ready to tackle them.

Over the next few months she participated in 2-3 sessions per week while continuing with her “other” workouts. Melody began to feel the adaptations and her confidence increased. The training was always challenging but she realized that, even though the workouts never got easier (insert evil snicker) she was capable of doing more at each session. Winning! Melody felt great, fit, tighter, stronger and ready to “take it to the next level”.

Fast Forward to Now:

It’s time for an in-depth discovery process and we’ll ask specific questions that bring into focus targeted concerns.

What are your current goals? (Melody: weight loss)(Karen: tighten nutrition, water consumption, fat loss training, strength building, balance physique, alleviate negative impact of hip/leg imbalance

-What do you believe to be your downfall to achieving those goals? (Melody: #1-diet #2-understanding macronutrient logic and #3- understanding the importance/difficulty of eating sufficient calories) (Karen: I see no insurmountable roadblocks to achieving your goals so continue to focus on learning balanced eating by trial and error. Read, research and implement food and lifting strategies. Begin weight lifting protocol for muscle maintenance and to improve/correct postural imbalances. Set a timer to alert for meal times, prepare said meals in advance)

-What are your physical limitations? (Melody: born with dislocated hip joints causing a marked difference in length of legs) (Karen: objectively observe the effect of the program on your unique limitations – is that limitation the downfall to achieving the goal of fat loss? or is nutrition? or is water consumption?)

Having completed The Action Plan and then one month of the general physical conditioning, Melody is ready to begin an individualized program that will address her particular level of fitness, weak links and physical expectations. We’ll work together closely to monitor progress, trouble shoot plateaus and problems. At the same time we’ll learning more about calories, macronutrients and using internet-available calculators to determine the optimum individual figures.

Food First

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But How Many Calories Do I Need?

As Melody continues to train using the general weight lifting program and waits for her individualized plan, she is focusing on food! We’ve determined how many calories she needs and a good starting point for macronutrient ratio. Here’s how we figured all that out:

BMR: Basal Metabolic Rate Calculator

It’s important to learn just how many calories are necessary to support your living and breathing and other body functions. Use the calculator highlighted above and figure out how much fuel you need to survive. Remember that this number will change as you lose weight so make sure to recalculate using new data as you begin to lose fat and change body composition. (Knowing this will save you the heartache of agonizing over weight loss plateaus!)

Note: on the BMR calculations for each participant: we multiplied the BMR calorie count by 1.3 to factor in moderate daily activity. Therefore, in Melody’s case, she should consume 1632 calories just to maintain her current weight and body mass. “Oh dear!”, she says. “That is so much more than I’m eating right now!!” That is one very simple reason she’ll experience stalls: if you don’t eat to support your body, your body will refuse to budge! So Eat!

Meal Composition: Macro Nutrient Calculator

Once you’ve determined how many calories to consume in order to support your exercise plan, it’s important to compose meals according to an optimum balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat. I prefer to have clients start a muscle supportive nutrition plan composed of 40% protein, 40% carbohydrates and 20% fats. This ratio breakdown is a good one to begin with and then easily adjust the ratios to find your own sweet spot for muscle maintenance and fat loss.

Calories and Macros:

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At this early stage of learning, I’m asking the girls (and you) to NOT STRESS out over meal composition. Take the time to gradually learn by doing- make sure you have protein at each meal (here- steak), a complex carb (here- broad noodle), fibrous carb (here- zucchini and peppers) and fat (here- fat present in protein choice and perhaps olive oil on the pasta or grilled into the peppers). Plate your meals to resemble the one pictured. You can swap out eggs, chicken, turkey, tuna for the steak- likewise, rice or sweet potato for the pasta- get creative and stay satisfied!

We’ll be talking lots more about food balance and in a very short time you’ll all realize just how simple and common sense the whole topic is. Until then relax, eat whole foods and learn to enjoy fresh tastes!

Hi there! I’m Karen Pilote from Get Fit Over 40

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Stay Connected and Follow the “Action Eight” Transformations!

I’ll share Melody’s weight training program for her next 12 week cycle and introduce you to Debbie! So get on those calculations for your own meal plan and let me know if I can help…leave your questions in the comments and Bon Apetit!

~karen

When the Excitement Fades

Sustaining motivation throughout a difficult transition is the #1 BIGGEST effort you will have to put forth in your weight loss/health gain transformation.

We’ve all experienced that moment when we’ve had enough of our current condition and state of health. I can pinpoint with amazing accuracy the moment it hit me. I was at my girlfriends’ home, completely despondent in my own life. I was house-sitting while her husband and she travelled to some exciting place for some exciting reason and I felt completely overwhelmed with the condition of ME.

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Physically, I was an overweight mess and I blamed every misfortune on that fact alone. Of course, it wasn’t that way at all but that’s what I felt at the time. I was pretty fed up with my own “woe is me” story. Sitting on that couch, at that very moment, I was done with it. Done with feeling sorry for myself, done with feeling poorly about myself and done with not being the person I was capable of being.

I made a quick internet search of trainers in my area, connected with the person who would help motivate me and I took action. I called and made an appointment. I committed! Making the decision and taking action gave me a huge lift and I felt as if the job was already done by taking that step.

Of course, I had to follow through, I had to take action. There was NEVER going to be a better place to begin than in that dark moment. I started training the very minute I got back home. There was no doubt in my mind that I would succeed and follow through but I would be challenged many, many times throughout with setbacks, doubts and delays.

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I’m sharing this so that you can understand, this is not going to be easy. Especially right now, a few weeks into your journey with The Action Plan.

You’re discovering what challenges you, and that’s never fun. You’re tired and you’re sore. You might have a new injury or exacerbated an old one. Understanding the nutrition is overwhelming and doing it is just damn hard. Life events conspire to hold you back. You’re losing motivation because its harder than you imagined.

This is the time to dig in.

This is the time to say ABSOLUTELY NO (I actually say “f**it) to that life and that state of mind. This is the time to remind yourself, “I have the power to do this, I have control and I will not let anything stand in my way.”

This is the time to get tough with yourself, maybe even angry and use that fuel to push forward.

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You are strong, capable, smart and successful. You have raised children, you have built a business, you have volunteered, you have supported your friends in difficult times.

YOU HAVE DONE SO MUCH GOOD FOR OTHERS, DO SOME GOOD FOR YOU.

It’s time. You started and you can damn well finish.

You CAN learn, you CAN continue, you CAN figure it out, you CAN take the time, you CAN do the one thing that is important to you!

AND. You can do it when things go wrong....

Like when a challenging life situation erupts. When pressure is on and you have no choice but to respond, help and see it through to the end, you can. Because it’s necessary, you do what it takes.

-your child is going through difficult times and you can move mountains to help and support
-a loved one gets sick and needs help to care for themselves and you are there, across the town or across the state, you show up
-a work crises demands that you spend extra hours and extra attention and you take the time from your emotional bank account and hand it over to the company.

So do it DESPITE things that go wrong.

This part may be going to far for you but there are times that I question myself: I am avoiding my own health and fitness needs because I HAVE TO HELP __________.  Or am I using this situation as an excuse because it’s too hard to change me?

My point is only this, we have the energy, determination and means to step up for others. As women, we have no choice but to put out the fires in life, deal with emotional crises and plow through inevitable “bad” times as well as the good ones. A family vacation, holidays and celebrations are “non-negotiables” and your job right now is to SUSTAIN THE MOTIVATION that you felt on that dark day and keep it alive.

No one can do it for you. No one can teach you how. No one will insist that you continue. No one’s going to force you.

It’s up to you. You can give up and no one will blame you either, because you ARE up against a lot.

You ARE in pain, you ARE sad over the loss of a loved one, you DO have a ridiculous load to carry at work, you ARE financially strapped. Yes, you have every reason to put yourself aside and quit.

I’m challenging myself today and I invite you to challenge yourself. Find the ONE reason to put yourself first. Find the reason to continue and to succeed. It will be a heavy load to hold, but you have to. YOU HAVE TO HOLD ON TO THAT REASON.

I’ve been through “dark times” before my “couch moment” and I’ll have more, no doubt. Every time it happens I have to work hard to find the spark again, find the inspiration to move forward.

It takes courage to move forward and you’ve got that!
Renew your motivators often and work to sustain that motivation after the excitement fades.
You deserve this.

Need more inspiration? Read: Believe & Be strong, smart, beautiful

xokaren

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The Massive Action Crew – JOIN OUR FAT-FIGHTER TEAM!

Are you failing miserably at your weight loss resolutions? Is it time to join a team that will support you?

Great news: I’m starting to take “Massive Action” using THE ACTION PLAN and I’m organizing a crew that will motivate, inspire and hold me accountable. I bet that you could use the help too!

Massive Action Crew

I looked at the calendar today and this is what I thought: It’s the end of February and we’ve had several “failure to launch” situations in regards to fulfilling that New Year Resolution. I’m guessing here, but it’s a pretty accurate statement, right?

Did you drop the ball? Did you fall off the wagon? Or maybe you didn’t  even jump on?

Did you get motivated by all the hype of that “New Year” season? Now it’s a month later; bills piled in, work got busy, stress got high, the flu wiped out the family for a week (it got you for two?) -needless to say, FITNESS did not FIT in. AND- it’s Winter Break soon! Ughhh!

I get all that, I’m in the same boat!

A busy January meant missed workouts for me. (An increased work load is a great thing for the pocket book, stress levels and ego but my bottom line got fat!). That nasty cold bug nailed me for more than a week and now it’s almost March, damn!

 

Let’s put this all in perspective and then get on to taking some Massive Action together.

Success in the business place, a happy home, fulfilling relationships and a fun social life often come at the expense of our own needs.

  • We put others first because that makes us feel good.
  • We accept lots of fun social invitations because this is “the time of our lives”.
  • We put our heart and soul into our work because we’re proud of those accomplishments.
  • We enjoy a comfortable, clean, organized home, so the projects are never ending.

Need I go on? Bottom line, we want it all and we want to be lean, fit, healthy and sexy. Come on, I know that deep down you want to feel fantastic in and out of your clothes!  Let’s do all that together.

 

I’m inviting you to join me in taking Massive Action.

I’m starting the Action Plan on March 1 and it would be great to train with you. We’ll do this together and celebrate our successes/losses together on June 1. Ready? This is the plan:

1) Purchase and download The Action Plan. (or dig out and dust off the copy you have!) This is the exact plan we will use for the next 12 weeks to lose weight, maintain muscle, gain strength and get fit. 

DOWNLOAD THE ACTION PLAN

2) Subscribe to the Get Fit Over 40 Newsletter. I’ll send weekly updates, exclusive video support, plan modifications and more via the newsletter-no spam and no sales pitches, this is a supportive, accountability team only!

SUBSCRIBE TO GETFITOVER40 NEWSLETTER

3) Send a “friend request” to the Massive Action Crew page on Facebook. The page will be a closed, safe and supportive community of MAC members for accountability, interacting, sharing tips, triumphs and airing out frustrations. I’ll post weekly “Trainer’s Hours” so that you can ask questions of me and other professionals in the group.

JOIN MAC-Massive Action Crew FACEBOOK GROUP

4) Prepare to take Massive Action on March 1. We have less than a week to prepare, let’s take action now.

DUST OFF THOSE SNEAKERS! PURGE THE PANTRY! BLOCK OFF YOUR TRAINING TIME! SHIT JUST GOT SERIOUS!

Don’t think about it, just do those four things now. I’ll be in touch!

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xokaren

What is Wrong with Me?

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We were able to lose weight in our late 30’s. Now we’re Over 40 and the weight is creeping back on despite exercise and diet. We start to notice more bloating in the stomach area. What is wrong with us??
Ughhh!

First, and foremost, there is NOTHING wrong with you! Either you want to get fit and are willing to do what it takes OR you want to keep talking about it. It makes no difference to anyone but you. You are the same amazing person to your friends, family and co-workers no matter what you weigh.

But do you like yourself? Do you like how you feel? Are you content with your life? Do you feel fulfilled?

If you do, great!

If you want better for yourself it’s time to face some realities. Ready?

Numero Uno: Demand honest answers from yourself to these tough questions before you drown your sorrows in a box of wine:

1) What is your food intake? Not enough? Too much? Calculate the correct amount of calories to reach your goals.
2) What foods do you eat most often? Healthy fats, lean proteins, whole grains, fruit and vegetables? Or processed junk?
3) Is your water intake sufficient? You need water. Period. You can find out why in a million places online…..google water. 🙂
4) Is your exercise program geared towards your intended goals? Or do you choose activities that you like most? Spend your training sessions doing the work that gets results and save the fun stuff for in between.
5) Is your stress level through the roof? If you’re anxious, worried, and stressed your body is going to respond with it’s own mechanisms, sending out armies of hormones to help you cope but that will also promote fat storage…I know, not fair!

11002965_1608425702712371_644121093_oMenopause, arthritis, illness, workload, children, grandchildren, family commitments, holidays, celebrations….Yep! There’s lots of excuses that are totally understandable. But, are you going to keep using them?

It’s time to Get Fit Over 40. Lift yourself fit!

www.getfitover40.tv

~karen

 

Get Rid of Flabby Thighs Over 40

My Flabby Thighs

I hated my thighs all my life and because I am over 40 (way over) that’s a stinkin’ long time. Too long for someone with a reasonable level of self esteem, or so I would imagine from a psychological perspective.

599019_228521523943423_2082401895_nIt’s so hard to post this comparison but it illustrates my point. Today at 54 y/o I am neither that chunky (2007) nor that lean (2011). I can maintain a good, strong and healthy balance.

Genetics will forever factor in but after making the initial transformation it’s easier to maintain “normal” body fat levels and leaner legs with regular weight lifting sessions, moderate cardio and a balanced diet.

 

 

A WAR

I’ve waged war on my thighs for more years than I care to admit, slamming the poor things with so much negative attention that Abraham Hicks would shake his head. I know I’m not alone, right?  Help me out here.  If it’s not your thighs then it might be flabby arms or a bulging belly but most everyone has their own personal vendetta against some part of their body.

Not you? Wow, that’s so great! But I think a majority of us are looking to improve physically even though we know full hips and shapely thighs are a beautiful thing.

If you’re reading this you’ve probably got a “flabby” reason but I hope you’re not expecting a miracle solution (because there’s not one).

Unfortunately I can’t tell you it’s as simple as applying a lotion, taking a pill or drinking a tea. No, there’s not one exercise, food or product that will spot reduce fat, smooth out cellulite or flatten a flabby tummy. I wish there was……but more, what I do hope for you is that you accept your perfect self for who you are and recognize all the things that make you so. You’re beautiful!

But there’s still some flabbiness and we want to get that under control. It’s just who we are……right?

Here’s the thing, you will have to be even more diligent with these steps because you are Over 40, and you  certainly can! Here we go:

To Get Rid of Flabby Thighs:

1) STRENGTH TRAIN 2-3 times per week and engage your leg muscles with exercises that will make the whole body strong. When you eat properly and begin to lose the fat that covers your body you want to see strong, toned muscles underneath. Work to sculpt your inner and outer thighs, hamstrings, and butt and your legs will look leaner and slimmer. Target the lower body with workouts that are included in The Action Plan.

Squat, lunge and deadlift for strong, shapely legs.

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2) BURNING CALORIES is key to reducing your overall body fat. Moderate intensity, heart pumping cardio is necessary. Choose activities that burn the most calories like biking, running, rowing, swimming and jumping rope. These exercises will also tone the legs while you’re doing them. Work up to 40-minutes of moderate intensity cardio sessions (two times a week) and 20-minute High Intensity Interval Training (three times a week) to really notice a difference. The Action Plan includes exercises and schedules for you!

Burn calories to reduce overall body fat. Bike, run, row, swim.

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3) DON’T SKIP MEALS and definitely don’t miss breakfast because it’ll rev up your metabolism helping to reduce your overall body fat and reveal your lean legs. Follow The Action Plan nutrition guide and learn to include a balanced combination of protein, fat and fiber-filled complex carbs. The protein will give you energy for your daily training sessions, and it also helps build muscle. The fats will keep you satiated and the carbs will sustain that energy from meal to meal, day to day.

Lean proteins, natural fats, fruits and vegetables for overall fat loss.

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4) CHOOSE WATER most often and with few exceptions. You’ll save mega calories avoiding sweetened beverages. Staying hydrated helps with weight loss and the intricate physiological functions that support good health. Drink often throughout the day and especially before meals as a means to control your appetite and for a natural detox effect. Water is just good all the way around!

Infuse water with flavorful fruit & veggies and drink up!

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Your Flabby Thighs

No need to get overwhelmed. I’ll leave you with these 4 important steps to getting rid of flabby thighs. There are more strategies including: a variety of activity, macronutrient balance, sleep and recovery, managing acute or chronic conditions and stress, etc. But if you get serious, become consistent and remain persistent with just these 4 biggies you will see an incredible change in your body composition and the appearance of your legs. You will get stronger and slimmer!

ua302995_275735735782009_176229755732608_971238_1752614442_n Work hard, stay consistent, believe in yourself and anything is possible. Just remember you are perfect just as you are and when you strive to become stronger and healthier you’ll only get “perfecter”!

xo

~karen

 

You Are Beautiful

Self-Bashing: Where did it begin?

We are living with stereotypes and the labels are seriously damaging.

Not good enough. Lazy. Bitchy. Ugly. Fat. Undisciplined. Mean. Insecure. Superficial. Vain.

Who said that, and why’d we believe it? And why on earth are we still carrying it around?

Sure we can blame the media and the industry and countless other sources that demean women, and we would have every right to do that. I know that I certainly was affected, influenced and totally sucked in by media when I was a young girl, but I chose to exercise and a find healthy ways to handle body image issues. It’s not that way for most, unfortunately.

Where Will It End?

At the end of the day, we are the only ones who can end it. End the bias, end the attitude and end the self-deprecating thoughts……you have to just stop.

Hey, You! Just Stop It!

Look in the mirror and say something new, uplifting and inspiring. Talk nicely to yourself. Carry yourself with pride and grace. Value yourself and your health. Be different, act different, speak differently. Practice beautiful words, practice humble appreciation of yourself and lift yourself up. No one can do it for you.

Begin to build trust in yourself so that you can stand proud, healthy and strong. Quit relying on media to define who you are and what you’re capable of. You choose who you want to be, how you will be perceived and what you expect from this life of yours.

Be proud and stand proud, you are beautiful!

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Love yourself healthy and be nice to yourself!

xo karen

Are You Standing In Your Own Way?

jaclynword4Are you stuck?

Millions of Over 40 women are successful at positive lifestyle change, weight loss and improving their health. How do they do it? You might say they are “lucky” or they have great genetics, or they have more time and money.

You might reason that they have a fast metabolism, or willpower that you lack.

You and I know that it goes deeper than that. While a lot of women have great weight loss success more fail over and over again at reaching their healthy lifestyle and weight loss goals. You may be among this group.

Is it simply a matter of what the lean, fit women eat or what they do for exercise?

I believe that most failed weight loss attempts share a few common mistakes, ones that can be easily remedied. Left unaddressed, these habits will mean the difference between success and failure.

Are You Standing in Your Own Way?

Here are five habits that might be holding you back from successful weight loss and positive, healthy life. If you’re getting in your own way, move over and let yourself be the best you can be!

1. Do you fail to follow through and complete a training cycle? Do you give up?

Some people just cannot finish. For whatever reason, (loss of faith, confidence, pain/injury, frustration, impatience) it doesn’t matter how much time they have invested or how many resources are available to them, they seem to lose focus and drop the ball in the warm up.

Achieving weight loss and life altering goals require a full 9 innings of play. You can’t quit just because an injury temporarily sidelines you or the scoreboard shows a slight lag.  Hang tough and finish. Do what it takes to win. Show up!

2. Do you obsess over and micro-manage every detail?

Most people begin a weight loss initiative expecting to do everything perfectly and are unsuccessful.  They mistakenly believe that to succeed everything must be done at once, with no leeway for imperfection. Inevitably, with the first “slip up”,  they believe their efforts to be useless, their resolve to be weak and their chance for success, hopeless.

Perfection is impossible and to think that you can change overnight is foolish. You invite failure with this attitude, it’s an unsustainable philosophy.

If you want to change your life and become active and fit, you’re going to have to learn to take time, nurture self-love, hold a strong vision of your ultimate goal and stay tenacious.

3. Are you always wrong?

It’s difficult for many people to focus on what they’re doing right. Women especially are prone to berate themselves, quick to admit laziness, boredom, lack of will power. They often speak very poorly of themselves.

If you fail to acknowledge what you are doing right, you miss out on an opportunity to feel good about your efforts. Mistakes are stepping stones to success; so too are positive self-affirmations.

Admit when you’re right, reward yourself when you’re good and when you’re strong so you can move forward quickly and do better. Be your own best friend. Be your own cheerleader. Be your own coach!

4. Do you ask questions, but don’t really pay attention to the answers.

We all know people who ask for advice and then promptly ignore it.  They begin an exercise initiative with a credible professional and then do things your own way. They slack off when training gets difficult, when they tire or become frustrated with slow progress.

Do you ask about perils of sugar and drink wine anyway? Do you ask about the importance of carbohydrates and cut them out anyway? Do you ask about caring for injuries, soreness or pain and delay professional treatment anyway? Do you want to know, REALLY, what it takes to achieve sustainable weight loss and then choose a fad diet way anyway?

You’ll make better progress if you abandon stubbornness, weigh different points of view and try to understand logical perspectives. Make better decisions for your own personal circumstances by asking the right questions (“What results can I expect to see in 4 weeks?” instead of “How fast can I lose 20 lbs?”).

Trust advice that makes common sense, and then work diligently to learn (proving or disproving) what works for you.

5. Do you always find reasons NOT to continue?

I would guess that more than 50% of those who begin an exercise program will find an excuse not to continue within 12 weeks. The time isn’t right. I’m too busy. I’m not seeing results.  It’s too expensive. My knee hurts…..

Whatever the excuse, do you always have one?

Guess what? There will always be reasons not to continue! You have to decide to move forward, decide to continue and decide to succeed. Create options for yourself, but not the option to quit.

Respect Yourself and Your Dreams

imageSuccessful weight loss is a matter of managing your time and resources.

Above all, it’s about staying true to yourself; no lies, no excuses, no whining. You’ve decided that this is important to you. No one told you had to do it, right?

Give yourself the love and respect you deserve, get out of your own way!

Love Yourself Lean!  xokp

Vitamin B12 Shots for Fat Loss?

  • You’re doing it the right way, yes? Working consistently, eating right, enjoying a physical lifestyle?

     

    Everything is going great! You’re motivated and loving your training but you still want “an edge”. Are B12 shots the answer?

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    Tracey writes, “I’m training again and did my first big ride yesterday. I’m coming back! Do the shots help?? I just want a head start, this weight really gets me down.”

    Way to go Tracey! Good for you, you’re on the right track!

    Just don’t go scrambling to make things more complicated than they need to be!

    #1 Put Down the Burger

    Training and eating well work for weight loss. Stick with your program consistently now. If you suspect you’re lacking B12 investigate further. Any supplemental vitamin will help for a diagnosed deficiency, and then, when you feel 100% you can give 100% and that’s when change will happen!

    There is no magic.

    If you are B12 deficient, B12 shots will bolster B vitamin levels in your body. If you are considering this supplement for weight loss without changing your fitness habits, you are looking for arbitrary answers. Don’t waste time and money on imagined causes or unrealistic expectations.

    The cause of weight gain is not B deficiency. Even if you were deficient, it’s not directly responsible for the weight gain. Lack of exercise is responsible, and poor food choices are, so change that first.

    Weight Loss is Guaranteed

    If you think you have a vitamin deficiency, get a profile done or take a good multi-vitamin. But don’t jump to conclusions. Difficult weight loss stems from poor habits, and poor habits can make you feel terrible. Begin by getting the basics down pat. Eat wholesome food in appropriate portions, do the exercise you love and rest to recover. Drink lots of water! If you still feel that something is “off” then look to take further logical steps. Bottom line, there are no “head starts” to good health except for the one in your head. When you decide to succeed, you will.

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    Do What You Love

    And you started to bike? That’s so fun and cycling is great for you! When you enjoy your sport you’ll look forward to it. Get an extra edge for long rides and competitions by including a good weight training program. When you feel the strength and feel the ease of effort in your sport, you’ll begin to love lifting too!

    As a matter of fact, you are going to love what you do so much that you’ll keep doing it. Very soon you’ll see and feel the difference.

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    Have Patience Grasshopper

    Take logical action and optimize your weight loss efforts. Take care of the basics first and of course find out about vitamin deficiencies, but get straight with what counts.

    Before riding, check your tires and gear to make sure you get where you’re going. And before a weight loss initiative, check your expectations and habits!

    imageDon’t hope for a smooth ride, make it happen.

    Don’t wish to succeed, make it impossible not to!

    Happy Trails! xokp

Renovations!

Fresh, Fun and Functional

karen2155-2Get Fit Over 40 is getting a new look!

I’m so very excited to give the website a really good renovation and with the help of my Action Team, the job will begin this month! In order to give the information that you really need I’d like to ask you to join my circle of experts and share your thoughts.

What do you want and need? What confuses you about weight loss and health maintenance?

What would you like more help with on the site? What would make your lifestyle transformation easier? Do you want videos? Recipes? Fat loss facts? Inspiration?

Do you want me to come over and work out for you?

I’d love to do whatever I can to make the time you spend with us, your fitness experience and your effort just a little easier. And it truly can be! And fun too.

Just let me know here in the comments, or email me: karen@getfitover40.com. You might like to head over to the site now, Get Fit Over 40  (before we say good-bye to her) and decide what helps you, what confuses you and what you want to keep. There’s a lot of valuable information over there but because it was a first time ever undertaking for me,  it could be overwhelming for you. I truly believe in KISS (keep it super simple) and the most sensible thing I can do right now is ask you, “What do you want? What do you need?” That’s just what we’ll do at the new site.

Other New Stuff in 2014

imageIn the months to come Get Fit Over 40 will offer a very detailed, interactive 6 Week Action Lifestyle e-course based on The Action Plan training program. Make sure that you sign up for email newsletter and learn when the course will begin and important details.

I’m targeting a September launch! In the meantime, stay in touch, work hard and live well!

Lots ‘o Love! Karen

Thai Spring Rolls

“Professional” Spring Rolls

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My Spring Rolls!

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So, you can’t/won’t cook?

Me either! I am the quintessential non-chef.  Thankfully I passed the “gourmet gene” on to my two boys but I happily open a can of tuna, steam some vegetables and rice, shake up some protein and hit the gym with my Corelle containers.

This one is worth the effort.

I did it, I made them! And if I do say so myself, mine are awesome.

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Thai Spring Rolls

20 circle rice paper wrappers
20 cooked shrimp
40 basil leaves
40 mint leaves
1 carrot sliced into shreds with vegetable peeler
2 cups torn butter lettuce (or romaine without spines of leaves)
1 skein vermicelli rice noodles cooked
1 cup bean sprouts
4 stalks green onion finely chopped
pie pan of very warm water

Spread all ingredients out on a work surface. Remove tails from shrimp and cut shrimp in half lengthwise.

Dip a rice wrapper into the warm water until soft and pliable. On a clean dry cutting board, fold it in half so you have the straight line of the half circle at the top. Place your filling a little off the center in a vertical line. Start with two shrimp halves end to end, cut side up (so the pink shows through when it’s wrapped). Top with two basil leaves, two mint leaves, and a small portion of each remaining ingredient. Arrange so ingredients will be peeking out of one or both ends.
Starting at the corner your filling is closest to, wrap that corner over filling, (If you only want ingredients showing from one end, fold an inch of the bottom up right now) then begin rolling tightly. Place seam side down on a large platter and cover with plastic wrap.
Makes 20 Rolls.
*If this is your photo “Ms. Pro Chef” let me thank you personally.
Ok gang, go make them! Eat them, enjoy every nutritious calorie!
Thai Spring Rolls: A guilt free, out of the ordinary, ”take a break from boring” recipe from a Non-Chef!
xokp
If you have a wonderful “Non Chef” story or recipe to share, please do. We culinary-challenged friends have to stick together!

Weight Loss Stall – Face the Facts

Face facts now. Before you begin your lifestyle weight loss plan know this-you WILL stall. Even while following all rules and regulations to a tee, your body will have its own way in its own time. When this happens, stay calm and trouble shoot.

Are you eating enough?

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You might need to increase your calorie intake to fire up your fat burning metabolism. If you consume too few calories (the average women needs 1o calories per pound, per day to get the right amount of nutrients and to support the functions of  daily living) your body will hold on to fat in order to survive. If you skip a meal your body will act as if food is scarce. Breakfast is especially important so your body will understand that it is ok to burn fuel the rest of the day.

Have you cut out a whole food group?

Cutting back too much on carbs or fat will leave you lethargic and unable to exercise at an intensity necessary to lose weight. Vary your diet and include healthy fats and good carbs to fuel your workouts. Low carb and low fat diets are not sustainable over a long term and when you fail to stick to this type of plan you will regain the weight lost and more. You will also feel less confident to lose weight in the future.

Do you “treat” yourself after exercise?

It is suggested that you take in food after exercise to replace lost nutrients and give the muscles the building blocks to repair and strengthen. However, a high calorie treat will not help weight loss. We often overestimate calories burned during exercise and underestimate the amount of calories that are consumed. Keep calories in check.

Do you consume diet soda?

Artificial sweetners can increase insulin and lower blood sugar, resulting in hunger and calorie storage in the fat cells. These sweetners may not satisfy your craving like sugar can so you may need even more “sweet” after that pop.

Are your friends inactive or unsupportive?

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Your social circle influences your lifestyle. Your chances for being inactive, and therefore overweight, increase with every friend in your circle who is inactive or overweight. Your perception of fit changes in relationship to your influencing group; overweight becomes acceptable if your friends are. You don’t have to avoid them however. Start an exercise program together and form new rituals for your friendship.

Are you tracking everything you eat?

When you write down what you eat you become aware of “nibble calories”. If you use a computer or phone application, you will increase the chances of weight loss success with positive feedback that an app can provide. Lose more weight and stick with a diet longer by using a digital recording program.

When your diet stops working don’t you! Do not freak out. Weight Loss does make sense, your body is smart. If you are honestly doing what it takes, consistently, weight loss will resume. “Weight” it out! You are stronger than a craving!
imageIt’s important to be brutally honest, denial will only drive you around the bend, straight towards a real bender!
What is stalling your weight loss progress?  What holds you back?

Vent here! It’s good for you!

xokaren

3 Things to Do Now

newyearb8e1e1fdde806bef056c739afaecde7bBeginning the ACTION PLAN.

Don’t wait for the New Year. Don’t wait for another Monday. Here are 3 things you can do right now while you organize yourself for the Action Plan.

It’s very exciting when you are all “motivated up” and ready to start, but we both know that if you aren’t prepared it will be a frustrating transition.  If you aren’t in the right mind set you could drop the ball before the game starts. And if you aren’t familiar with the program, the exercises and the food plan, you may quit.

Uh, not again! Not this time!

Take time. Invest a few days to get organized:

1) Read through the whole program, beginning to end.

2) Clear out and organize your workout area. If you already have a space, freshen it up.

3) Shop and Chop. Grocery shop, prepare and store your food.

4) Get mentally prepared.

While you are getting organized do these 3 simple things:

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Drink water.

This week get in the habit of drinking water. Have a glass first thing in the morning. Pack it to go, stash some in the car, prepare and store a jug with lemons or cucumbers and have a glass before you sip on that Timmy’s or Starbuck’s. Start to make water the rule. Invest in a few gallon jugs and fill them up daily. Aim to consume a gallon a day. Plan to make the trips to the restroom. Plan to wake up in the night to pee. It’s going to take some adjustments, of course. But they are necessary and you’ve got to do it. Period.

Please eat! Eat regularly and heartily. Feed yourself wholesome, fresh foods.

www%20hot_soup_bowl[1]Make a Pot of Soup.

Shop, chop and simmer a huge pot of soup. Use the Action Plan Brown Rice and Chicken Soup recipe, or make your own clean cooking recipe. Just be sure to keep a good balance of protein, complex carb and vegetables. The idea this week is to nourish your body, ease carb dependency and fuel up for your training. Think positively about food! It’s your partner in fat loss! As you work towards getting your life organized and ready for some changes, rely on this pot of soup to keep you fed and satisfied. Start your day with it if you must, have a serving every two hours if you must, just make sure that you begin to feed your body at regular, consistent intervals and begin to feel strength and vitality from the whole foods in the soup. Here is our recipe, from The Action Plan:

 

newyearsoupPublication2Action Chicken Rice Soup

The Action Plan “Brown Rice and Chicken Soup” is found on page 55.  Make a huge batch!  Make it your own by incorporating your favorite vegetables, grains and protein. You might choose to  use a good, clean eating recipe that you are fond of, a family favorite or ours! The ACTION PLAN  recipe. Just have a pot of soup ready for the next few days!

 

 

Move Your Body.

It will take time to become familiar with the HIIT Boards and THE TEN exercises that are used in the Action Plan. Again, take the time to learn them, view our exercise demo videos at Get Fit Over 40 and google the movements for further clarification. Do this very simple routine everyday this week to get you going and keep you moving. It won’t take long for you to figure out the boards and pull your food plan together but it’s nice to have a go-to workout handy when you are a bit overwhelmed. If you are intimidated by the number of reps in this  program simply skip down to 30 or 25 rep section and follow it down to the 5’s.  Just make sure to do a little more each day.

Take Action now; not tomorrow, not after the holiday, not on Monday. Do it today!  Incorporate these 3 strategies while you get organized. It will be a little frustrating at first but you will quickly fall into a habit and shortly thereafter you’ll be able to adjust things to suit your own lifestyle.

 

heartHappy New Year everyone!

Happy New Attitude!

Let’s do this!

xokaren~

Fitbit Love

Smarter fitness made simpleGotta get a gift? Christmas, birthday, anniversary? Mothers Day, Valentines Day? I give the fitbit FLEX.  It’s awesome!

It’s a great little accountability tool that will keep you on track and honest.  As well, the sleep feature really helps troubleshoot sleep and stress issues that may be hindering progress. We’ll be talking more about the Fitbit at The Action Plan Facebook Page.

Use this link to purchase the Fitbit and get free shipping.

The Action Plan + The Fitbit FLEX = A Winning Combination
You’re just steps away from better fitness.

 

The New Flex: Wireless Activity Tracker

Slaying Midnight Munchies

TRUTH

This is really hard to tell you; your dream diet illusions will be crushed, but I believe that you guys are ready to face some hard truths. Truth: to achieve long term weight loss success, expect to feel hungry at times. To manage the hunger and midnight munchies, plan ahead for the assault and devise your success strategy during the daylight hours.  Don’t wait for a surprise attack, use these 4 tips to minimize collateral damage!

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Four “Munchie Management” Tips:

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1)  “Midnight Munchy Management Meal” On Shop and Chop Sunday, plan, prepare and package meals for the week and include a munchie meal that fits into your overall nutrition program.

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2)  Avoid nibbling on arbitrary “healthy” snacks. Any food that is “in addition to” your allotted weight loss calorie requirements will stall your progress. Instead, address the need to change a negative habit. Mindless eating is not going to get you to your goal. If you feel you need nutrients later in the day, plan for it.

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3)  Adjust your eating schedule to accommodate that later meal and then close the kitchen at night. Eat at 3 hour intervals starting at (for example) 7 am, 10 am, 1 pm, 4 pm, and 7 pm. Divide recommended calories by 5 (meals). To include another later meal make the adjustment by dividing daily calorie needs by 6 (meals).

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4)  You will feel hunger, and the best thing to do is deal with it. Eat (hungry or not) every planned meal, drink required water, get necessary exercise and sleep at night! Lifestyle change requires some adjustments and there will be times that you’ve got to have willpower. Find yours and succeed!

heartDo you get the munchies late at night? Come on! I know that I’m not the only one, and I have to admit there are times I am not prepared. For the most part though, I’m pretty good and my best strategy (the one saves me often) is that I never have a tempting treat in the house. If I’m on a bender, (well, a real bender includes m&m’s) (peanut butter m&m’s) I can usually find some greek yogurt with a few almonds to settle things.

True confession time! What are you doing to tame the midnight monster?

karen~the munchie slayer

Easy on All Those Salads!

Tell me I’m crazy but every time the topic of diet or weight loss comes up the discussion always turns to carbohydrates.  (Ok, I’m exaggerating. But really, it happens a lot.)  Weight loss conversation seems to center around carbs: low carb, no carb, or carb cycling. We are addicted to carbs, craving carbs or crashing from lack of carbs.

Newsflash: Carbs aren’t the only player on the team!

Instead of focusing on this one macronutrient that gets so much attention, my suggestion is this: create a shift in your thinking by defining your meals by the protein selection.  When you change your thoughts and words, you change your reality.

Let me explain.

Making Protein the Reference Point

momsteak-salads-grilled-steak-and-vegetable-salad-with-chipotle-chimichurri-dressing-0912-lWhen it comes to eating for weight loss we are pretty good at reciting our carbohydrate food choices. When asked “What did you have for lunch?” we’ll reply, “I had a salad,” “I had a bagel,” “Aghhh, I cheated! I had pizza.”  Yep, all carbs.

A Protein Challenge

My challenge to you is this: tell me about your protein. Protein is the lost macro-nutrient and not because it’s more/less important than the other nutrients. It’s “lost” because we fail to mention it; we define our nutrition by the carbs we eat. When we think weight loss we think diet. When we think diet we think salad, raw veggies and fruit. Where’s the meat? Weight loss is achieved through balanced, clean eating. When planning your meals, choose the protein, compliment with a starch carb and finally, load up with vegetables. Before adding fat to your meal, consider how much is already available in your protein source and then proceed accordingly. Remember to start the conversation with protein.

Let’s try it again.

Question: What did you have for lunch?

Answer: Protein…….

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Steak, sweet potato and asparagus.

Chicken, rice, spinach salad.

Egg salad in a pita with tomato and cucumber.

Beef Burrito and Bean Salad.

Crab Cake and vegetable stir fry.

Good Basic Protein Choices:

  • Tuna (fresh, in pouch, or canned in water)
  • Skinless chicken breast
  • Skinless turkey (ground or breast)
  • Lean ground beef
  • Ostrich
  • Lean cuts of steak
  • Eggs/egg whites
  • Low-fat cheese
  • Low-fat cottage cheese
  • Low-fat, low-sugar yogurt
  • Fish (Salmon, Catfish, Orange Roughy, Cod, Sardines)
  • Protein shakes/powders/drinks
  • Protein bars (emergencies only, ok?)

Ensure Success

Understanding is key to success for any undertaking. It’s a big deal that you understand the importance of “balanced nutrition.” Protein. Carb. Fat. Start thinking about your meals in a way that supports your goal, speak about your nutrition with confidence and prepare meals by components first. What is the protein? What is the carb? What is the fat? Like any new skill this will become second nature quickly. Good health can be learned and getting fit over 40 is possible.

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Get Fit Over 40!

Start The Action Plan. 18 weeks of exercise and nutrition are scheduled to help you become the best you!

Hang out with us at Facebook: The Action Plan-Get Fit Over 40 for support and Facebook: Get Fit Over 40 for motivation. Our website Get Fit Over 40 also has complete guidelines for weight loss strategies. Check out the Nourish Program to get you started and the Shrink Program. See you over there!

xokaren

Intelligent Eating

tinappletumblr_lvhdtckkSU1qhhdqno1_1280_largeConfusion

We are confused. We want to eat the “right way” but we have no idea what the right way is. Paleo, gluten free, low carb, blood type, intermittent fasting, vegan, vegetarian. What is clean eating? What is the best diet plan? What? When? How much? Should I cut calories? Cut fat? Cut carbs? The options and opinions are vast and diverse.

Clarity

What is your goal? That’s what you need to get straight first. You can’t make decisions until you have a clear sense of what you want to achieve. Everyone is seeking health and many are striving for weight loss. The two are inextricably linked but eating for health alone will not guarantee weight loss. If you make the proper food choices though, you will likely gain better health if weight loss is your goal.

KISS

Keep it super simple; don’t go looking for problems and don’t make things overly complicated. For weight loss make sure you are implementing these simple rules:

1) Eat to support function. The body needs calories for energy to sustain itself optimally and to perform daily tasks. Don’t deny yourself this very basic necessity. If you don’t pay the bill the power will be shut off. If you don’t feed the body your energy will grind to a halt.

2) Eat quality food. For superior performance you need to eat good quality, wholesome and fresh foods. Period. You can eat less calories of garbage foods and lose weight, but not for long. I will bet you, within 2 weeks your body will scream for nutrients and rebel with fatigue, moodiness, and you will experience loss of enthusiasm for your once exciting mission.

3) Eat often. If you are grabbing a coffee at 10 am, you need to eat. If you are mentally crashing at 2 pm you need to eat. If you are foraging for a snack at 10 pm, you should have eaten more regularly throughout the day. Don’t underestimate the power of a steady source of fuel. Once you’ve skipped a meal you’re definitely behind the eight ball. You will binge; that’s not a guess, it’s a guarantee.

TIN1woman-measuring-waist-measuring-tape_410x290Refuse to be Confused

Stop reading ridiculous diet nonsense. Rebel against diet marketing schemes. Stop buying into complicated hype that causes analysis paralysis.

The only reason you “can’t do it” is that you’ve been led to believe it’s hard.  You’ve allowed yourself to be misled. Guess what, it’s not hard. Believe that there is an easy answer, because there is an easy answer. Make each meal simple and satisfying. Make one healthy decision that’s built on the last healthy decision. “Get stuck” with good habits.

Exert your willpower, its good for you!  Walk away from diet drama and stand apart from the contrived controversy. Keep it super simple, capeesh?

“Beat sugar cravings and get your eating in order so that your program has a chance to succeed. You have to nourish your body to achieve weight loss. A weak body will not tolerate the exercise necessary to shed fat. If you want a dramatic difference you’ll have to make changes. Start with this 2 WEEK eating program that will teach you the basics and get your body in the nutrient-rich, exercise ready state. This is the foundation work you have to do! If you take the time to learn smart, sustainable habits you will accelerate weight loss and minimize injuries. Eating well is the key, there is no doubt about it!”

Buy Now The Nourish Nutrition $9.95
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Are you feeling confused about nutrition and weight loss? Let’s talk…

What do you find hard to understand when it comes to weight loss nutrition? We can all share our common sense solutions. I’m going to grab a shake, be right back!

~karen

99 Problems & Belly Fat is One

Stress Fat

cortisolthCAB4ZYQ6The boss is on vacation, your partner is down with a cold, your workload is doubled, the car is in for repairs, the kids are home from school, the fridge is empty, and the house is a FREAKING mess. You are exhausted, frustrated, at the end of your rope, and feeling fat and lousy.

You are stressed all the time and too tired to exercise. Heck, too tired to tie up your running shoes. Dinner is something you grab and gobble on your way out the door. Again.

Middle age weight gain may be inevitable due to crazy life circumstances, but now there is an extra layer of uncomfortable fat around your middle. What’s with that? Lack of exercise?  Poor eating habits? Or is stress to blame? Is it the hormone called Cortisol that causes belly fat?

We know that there is a link between cortisol and abdominal body fat, but is this singular hormone the sole culprit? So many seemingly reliable sources say it’s so, but what are we to believe?

Who’s the Bad Guy?

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Is Cortisol a Bad Guy?

If you depend on the information in advertising claims, you would be convinced that stress and cortisol are to blame for obesity, belly fat and the failing world economy. It always makes me wary when one factor is made tidily responsible for a multitude of problems. It’s important to realize that by simplifying scientific facts, advertisers sway millions of intelligent people into believing the unbelievable.

So, is cortisol the “bad guy'”?  Does stress make you fat?  I did some research in order to make an informed opinion. Take a look at some facts:

Just the Facts

Fact: Cortisol is an important hormone; balanced levels of this hormone are essential for numerous body functions. (Me: Cortisol is good.) Fact: Cortisol works to break down stored fat, but chronically elevated levels can lead to muscle loss. (Me: Muscle loss is bad.)
Fact: High cortisol levels can contribute to storage of body fat. (Me: eat too much + move too little =  body fat storage.)
Fact: Stress alone does not increase body fat. Stress may stimulate appetite which can lead to overeating, which will lead to overweight issues. (Me: Stress eating, eating poorly, under-eating are facts of life for the middle ager.)
Fact: Balanced cortisol levels can improve strength and recovery, but reducing those levels below normal has not been proven to have a positive effect on strength and recovery. Less is not necessarily better. (Me: Taking cortisol suppressing drugs are not a weight loss answer.)

morttumblr_mmoomcnBi21rlzvmho1_400It is really hard to lose the extra midsection weight without disconnecting the stress-cortisol connection. You have to ease the impact of unavoidable stress:

•Schedule downtime.
•Get sleep.
•Eat healthy balanced meals.
•Spend time in caring environments with caring people.
•Get out of relationships that cause you stress.
•Limit alcohol and other (non-prescribed) drugs.

Stress is Important!

Cortisol is a Good Guy. Positive growth is achieved by adapting to imposed demands. Go ahead, embrace stress, but learn to manage it.

Work hard to steer your life away from chronic and continuous stress, not only in everyday life but at the gym too:

showtumblr_mofa429hq51rbybp4o1_500•Stop low calorie dieting for long periods. Calorie deficiency stresses the body and is counterproductive.
•Train with an intensity that is relative to your ability to recover. Training a tired body is stressful and harmful.
•Keep most workouts short and intense. Cortisol response will kick in after 45 minutes of training.
•Get lots of sleep! Good quality sleep!
•Limit stimulants that may give false energy and mask important body signals to slow down.
•Limit alcohol. Yes, large amounts will raise cortisol levels!

 

Look, we have stress. That’s what life is all about, right? I like to give problems a reasonable amount of time (based on the seriousness of the situation) and a time limit. Some things demand I worry for one hour, other things one day, and if it’s a pretty complicated issue, I give it a week. Very rarely do I tolerate anything for more than a month without taking some drastic action to ease the situation. It’s just not worth it! Life is short! I’ve got stuff to do, and so do you. I’m tough love all the way, on myself and my clients. If you want to lose weight, you can if you do it the right way; with consistency, tenacity and a solid plan you can change your physique and win the battle on belly fat.

Face the truth about what is holding you back rather than accepting (even legitimate) excuses. Have you given it everything you’ve got? Have you worked diligently towards your goals with proper exercise, eating, sleeping and minimizing stressful situations? Do you believe it’s possible to get a flatter tummy? You’ve got to believe!

heartI look forward to hearing from you, leave a comment and let’s talk!

xokp~

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~karen

JUMP SQUAT

Stand with feet shoulder width apart, arms at sides. Start by lowering into a squat position and then jump explosively, thrust towards the ceiling. Land smoothly, absorbing the impact by lowering back into the squat position. Use your whole foot to jump, not just your toes.