Saturday, January 25, 2014

Food and the Weekend

A couple of clients have mentioned that they have no problem sticking to their eating plan during the week but on the weekend, they go off their plan and over-indulge.  We all have those moments, including myself. Here are some ideas I use to deal with weekend temptations.

I find it helpful to look at the overall picture of the day. This is similar to how you plan your week. Note all the events you will attend over the weekend and the food that will be offered at each event. Decide which foods you will choose to enjoy and which foods it will be fairly easy to skip.
For example, I am going to a kid's birthday party where they will serve pizza, soda and cake. Personally, I like my pizza better and I don't like soda or cake. If I didn't make a plan I would end up eating all of it because it was there. If I plan, I will eat lunch before I go and consciously choose to drink water at the party before I leave my house.
Another example, I am going out to dinner with friends. I think about the options that are probably offered at the restaurant we choose or go on-line and choose an entree while I am at home. I choose something broiled or steamed with veggies on the side. Personally, I choose to drink wine and skip the bread basket and the dessert options. You might prefer to skip the wine and enjoy dessert. Either way, have a plan, share it with your companion before you leave the house and stick to the plan when you arrive at the restaurant.

Indulge in small portions of your favorites. I am going to a Super Bowl party and they will have hot wings and spinach artichoke dip. Can I have some? YES! When I choose to have a treat, I pick a small plate, serve myself a small portion and walk away from the table. I savor my food choices and when I am done, I throw the plate away. I occupy my hands by holding a water bottle and distract myself with the game or a conversation.

Have options. Revisit the same party. I've already had my treats. I really want to nosh on something. Great! - I've brought trail mix or baby carrots or Pirate's Booty in a little baggie to quell that noshing urge. Most likely, I had to bring a side dish or appetizer to the party. Since I chose to prepare something healthy, I can nosh on that, too. This serves as  good option for the kid's birthday party, too.

Enjoy your food! Whatever food you choose to eat over the weekend, enjoy it! If you love birthday cake, plan to have a piece and ENJOY it. If you love lasagna, plan to have some and ENJOY it. Food is made to enjoy not to make you feel guilty.

Have a wonderful weekend and feel healthy and empowered on Monday!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Hiking in Burbank

After WWI, the British government encouraged good health in its citizens by advertising hill walking. Eventually, someone shortened this to hiking and a new sport was initiated.

Burbank has wonderful "hill walking" trails minutes from your door.

Stough Canyon Nature Center is located at the top of Walnut Dr. just above De Bell Golf Course and the Castaways restaurant. The trail starts as a wide fire road and branches off to smaller trails as you ascend. It is a bit steep as you begin but don't be discouraged - the incline tapers off as you continue. If you are keeping track of time, hike up a bit longer than half your time. It is faster going down. For example, if you have an hour to hike, go up for 40 minutes and down for 20. Each time you go, try a new side trail and enjoy great views of Burbank from above. On a clear day, you can see ships on the ocean and Catalina Island!

Wildwood Canyon Trail is located at the top of Harvard Rd just below the Castaway parking lot. This trail is a bit more difficult. It is narrow and steep, offering more of a challenge. It is possible to take a trail that branches off to the left as you ascend. You can identify it by the large stone marker at the trail intersection. This will take you all the way up to the radio towers. I have hiked up this trail with an athletic friend in a bit less than an hour. I did feel it in my quads the next day! Add some push ups and tricep dips off the picnic benches at the bottom and you will have a good workout for your day.

Invite a friend to go with you or take your kids up the hill and enjoy the wonderful hiking in Burbank.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Eat to Boost your Metabolism

Last week, I wrote about using high intensity interval training (HIIT) to boost your metabolism. This week, I will share ideas on how to eat to turn up the afterburn.

First of all, you must eat enough (yeah!). Eating less than 900 calories a day prompts your body to burn muscle tissue as well as fat which lowers your metabolism rate. Skipping meals puts you on the path toward fasting, which signals your body to slow the metabolism way down. Stick with the 1200 - 1500 calorie a day range.

Secondly, be sure to include protein in your meals and snacks. This will help preserve the lean muscle mass that is your metabolism workhorse. For example, a breakfast of oatmeal for carbs & yogurt for protein. How about a snack of a hard-boiled egg & a few whole-wheat crackers? Try string cheese & an apple. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn.

Lastly, remember that normally when people lose weight, some is fat, some is muscle and some is water. When you lose muscle, your metabolism will slow down. It is important to exercise while losing weight to maintain your resting metabolism rate.

Don't skip meals, include protein each time you eat and push your workout with HIIT. You will be on the road to a healthy 2014!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Yeah! I bought a Bosu to add to the items we can use for your workout. The Bosu challenges balance, works the core and adds instability to any exercise. It will be great to have more variety and challenge in the new year. I can't wait to try out new exercises this week.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Happy 2014!

It's a brand-new year full of potential and promise.

I recently read an article about stimulating metabolism. A higher metabolism will cause your body to continue to burn calories throughout the day, even after your workout is over.

Interval training is cited as a quick way to ramp up your body's ability to use fat as fuel. Exercisers burned 36% more fat with an interval training session when compared to a steady state workout.

Interval training is short bursts of all-out effort during your cardio workout. For example, you might jog for 2 minutes, then sprint as hard as you can for 30 seconds. You can cycle for one mile, then ride as fast as possible for 1/2 mile. Try swimming one lap at a steady pace and then push it for one lap.

Mix up your workout this week and get the fat-burning benefits of a higher metabolism. Next week, I will share information on how to balance your carbohydrate and protein intake to increase the afterburn.