5 Solutions to Overcome Emotional Eating

Millions of people eat their feelings.  This is evidenced by the number of people with eating disorders.  According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders it is estimated that 24 million Americans suffer with eating disorders (i.e., binge eating and restrictive eating).  This is an issue that impacts not only women, but all races, genders, and ages struggle with emotional eating.

One reason Americans struggle with over-eating and under-eating is because of stress and emotional upset.  The brain experiences a decrease in certain hormones when feeling sad or overwhelmed.  When we feel sad we want to do something to feel better.  The brain remembers that food has been able to produce happy feelings in the past.  Research shows the “reward section” of the brain is triggered when feeling sad, and this triggers cravings for food that produced happier feelings in the past (Gupta, Psychology Today).  Similarly the brain can start to depend on food to produce happy feelings.  Some say that food cravings are similar to drug addiction.  A research study suggests that individuals that overeat have dopamine (a chemical in the brain responsible for mood) levels similar to individuals addicted to drugs (Columbia University).  People use drugs to avoid feelings just like people can use food to avoid feelings.

What happens is we start to feel overwhelmed and stressed and the body responds physically to the emotional upset.  The body’s reaction triggers the brain that something is wrong and you will start to crave foods, usually sugary and fattening foods, because these foods made you feel better in the past.  The brain knows consuming this food will increase the level of happy chemicals in the brain.  The craving can be hard at times because the brain and the body will have a strong physical reaction, similar to drug withdrawal.  The longer you try to abstain from the food you are craving, the stronger the craving for the food will become.

There are social expectations about certain foods as well.  Perhaps we are conditioned to find food pleasurable.  Most parties, social gatherings, and fellowship with others involves food.  These moments are fun and we likely feel happy.  Therefore  we overeat due to emotional upset because we associate food with feeling better and happier times.  Eating does make us feel better, but it is short lived.  Once the food is consumed the upset emotion lingers.  Then we are left wanting to find ways to reduce the upset, we feel guilty for eating, and the cycle of overeating begins again.

We binge eat and overeat during times of emotional upset because we are not aware of how we are feeling.  We live in a fast-paced, busy society and we rarely have time for self-evaluation and reflection.  Many Americans lack emotional intelligence.  I used to work with many clients that could only identify a few feelings, happy, angry, and sad.  However they were not able to tell me how this emotion felt in the body or the emotional cues to these feelings.  In other words, you can probably list some feelings, but you may have a harder time identifying the feeling for yourself.  All most people know is they are craving certain foods.

Food cravings makes people feel weak, frustrated, and out of control.  It is more frustrating when you are trying to lose weight or maintain weight and you cannot overcome the cravings.  You crave and overeat due to biological processes and because you are most likely feeling stressed, angry, or sad.  This can be overcome.  It takes some awareness and intentional behavior changes, but emotional eating can be overcome.

1.  Evaluate your feelings.  When you notice a craving for food or you realize you have eaten more than you like, stop, count to 10, and take 3 deep breaths.  This will slow you down long enough to ask, “how am I feeling?”  If you struggle with this, scan your body from head to toe and notice any areas that are tight, sore, and tense.  Is your heart beating fast?  Is your body hot?  These are signals you could be feeling stressed and overwhelmed.  If you still cannot identify if you are feeling stressed or emotionally overwhelmed think about what is going on in your life.  Evaluate your to-do list, your priorities, your relationships, and your environment.  If there is a lot going on then you have the right to be stressed.

2.  Rather then going straight for the food try taking a walk, walk some stairs, listen to music, or drink some water.  This is called distraction.  Distraction behaviors help the craving pass because you occupy your attention with something else.  Cravings are like a tidal wave.  They can come quickly and from out of nowhere.  They seem very intense and like you will be swept away.  Hang tight!  The wave will subside.  When you get a craving, hang tight, it will pass!  But doing something else in the meantime will make the wait not so difficult.

3.  Plan your food for the day.  Pack your breakfast, AM and PM snack, lunch, and dinner.  If you have these meals with you, pre-prepared, you can eat these foods instead of the fattening, sugary foods you will crave when upset.  This will help you reward your brain and improve upset feelings but you can rest assured you are eating healthy foods that are not going to sabotage your goals.

4.  Try doing something else that will make you feel good and happy.  You can avoid stress eating if you can find other ways to reduce stress.  What are other behaviors/activities/or people that make you laugh, relax, and feel better.  Give these things a try instead of grabbing a snack you will regret later.

5.  What you think about the situation will impact your reaction to the situation.  We tend to justify our bad food choices in the moment.  But let’s reframe some of that thinking.  You deserve to be healthy.  You deserve to feel happy and healthy.  You can be happy and healthy at the same time.  You can make choices about your body that are rewarding and relaxing.  You choose to feel better by making healthy choices.  When you get a craving for something and you are triggered to eat say these things to yourself.  Say them over and over.  Say them out loud.  Thinking this way will influence a healthier option.

Emotional overeating works.  That is why you keep doing it.  You are smart to learn ways to manage your stress. Emotional eating has been your way of taking care of yourself.  However you are also aware enough to see how overeating is harmful to your weight loss, health, and your body.  Good for you for wanting to make a change!  Remember eating is a way to fuel the body, not cure the body from emotional upset.  Vow to daily become more self-aware.  Agree to slow down, relax, and evaluate your mood and your behaviors.  You may have a day where you eat more out of stress and upset than you like.  There will be good days and bad days.  But the more you practice the things above, the more likely you are to avoid cravings and overeat, and the more likely you are to feel better overall.

Top Tips to Find Balance to Keep A Fit, Fun, and Fabulous Life.

We have all heard the term, “Go hard or go home”. I say this to myself to power through a workout. I say this to my classes to motivate my students to push through their workout. I highly encourage working hard while being physically active. I also encourage being disciplined in your healthy eating choices. However I also recommend balance. 

Balance is necessary to keep us focused, motivated, interested, and engaged. Giving your all every single day can deter you from your goals. Why?  Because you are human. There will be days you will be tired, you will have obligations, your loved ones will want to spend time with you, and you will make mistakes. Having the “go hard or go home” mentality will sway you from your goals because you will be quick to abandon your goals when you have a dirty meal or you skip a workout or two. 

Balance is the key to making fitness, health, healthy eating, and weight loss a lifestyle. I think balance is hard to find though. For example people fear skipping the gym or having a cheat meal because they worry this will cause them to abandon all motivation. Skipping the gym today will not make going tomorrow any harder or easier. Or people fear certain foods and avoid health benefits by restricting foods for fear of gaining weight or not losing any additional weight. Restricting is not helpful and restricting leads to future weight gain and binging. All the stress of trying to stay 100% focused makes working out and healthy eating bothersome and it removes the fun from living a fit life. 

Here are my top tips to find balance and keep a fit, fun, and fabulous lifestyle. 

1.  Step away from the scale. Put it away. Throw it away. The scale will deceive you and only make you feel bad. The scale only measures your body as it is related to gravity. People tend tomfocus on weight loss and will weigh weekly. Some even weigh daily. In the midst of my hysteria and unhealthy way of achieving fitness I weighed multiple times a day. This caused guit and shame and drove me crazy. You see we weigh to expect a certain outcome (pounds lost) and it is impossible to achieve that outcome overnight. Rather than focus on pounds lost focus on how your clothes fit, how you look in the mirror, how much longer and faster you can run, that you can lift heavier today than last week, that you were able to complete a group fitness class, and the extra energy that you have. 

2.  Turn off your cellphone, computer, tablet, and TV. Specifically spend a day not looking at fitness models or people working out on Instagram or Facebook. Seeing this can shame you and cause you to feel like you need to be working out rather than resting. Not only will this allow you to rest but eliminating these distractions opens you to have more time to enjoy the weather outside, enjoy time with loved ones, or learn something new. 

3. Take things one day at a time. Yes, planning will help you be successful in your goals. However life happens. It is inevitable that you will have your whole day planned but life will have a plan of its own. Rather than be thrown off by life’s little mishaps and things that are not planned, you can be best prepared by planning one day at a time. Yesterday may have been terrible and things did not go according to your plan. The good news is you have tomorrow. Tomorrow you will wake up and your goal and your plans will still be there. The gym did not close over night and healthy foods will still be stocked in the stores. Decide to tackle each day and be the best you can be today and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow. 

4.  There is nothing more important than your relationships with family and friends. Do not sacrifice spending time with loved ones for a workout. Perhaps you can incorporate fun and family time with physical fitness. But you must make time to spend time with those you care about. Have a weekly date night with your spouse or have coffee with a friend. Cut your workout early to,get home and greet your family. We are all busy and we have things we are working toward but nothing is more important than our time with the special people in our lives. 

5.  Find hobbies and interests that are different from healthy eating and working out. As you engage in fitness and healthy eating you will find you are drawn to friends with similar interests. You will start to read books and articles about health and fitness. Soon your activities become consumed with health and fitness. It is true you can have too much of a good thing. Having other interests outside of your new fit friends and outside the gym helps you find peace. When you can enjoy and look forward to other things it helps keep working out and healthy eating fresh and interesting as well. 

6. Find time to meditate, journal, and relax. You take such good care of yourself by working out and eating well but you also need to care for your soul. You need to find peace to stay relaxed and focused. A relaxed and peaceful mind will help you enjoy physical activity better. Meditation will help you keep your emotions calm. This will only help you acheive your fitness goals. Stress makes weight loss and healthy eating harder. Meditation, journaling, and relaxation will control stress so you can be your best. 

7.  Cheat!  It is ok to have a “dirty” meal two to three times a week. It is ok to skip the gym because you would rather go shopping or go to the movies. This helps keep life in perspective. This helps you have fun without worrying about your stomach or your thighs. Life is precious and fun. And although living a fit life is fun and exciting, cheating every once in while keeps life interesting as well. You have motivation to make changes. Your desire to be fit and healthy will not change because you ate dessert or because you were not able to workout for a couple days. 

Life is an adventure. You are the author. You have control over every thought and behavior. You get to choose how you live each day. Sure there are things beyond our control but you are responsible for how you approach each task through the day. The best way to find balance is to accept yourself and love yourself. Know that you are ok. Trust you are making the right decisions for yourself. Trust your choices. You will make mistakes. Be open to learn from them. Be open to change today what you did wrong yesterday. Live this one life with passion and drive. You accomplish that when you say to yourself, “I choose”. What do you choose to do today?

Meal Planning to Help You Stay Focused and Successful in Achieving Your Weight Loss Goals

I get a lot of questions about meal planning. I will start by saying that I am not a nutritionist, nor am I am dietician. But I do understand how eating and food impacts mood, behavior, thinking, and the body. And as such I have learned that food is essential for health and wellness. Not only does food impact the body and how the body functions but food can influence your mood. Research suggests that diets high in fats and starch are also related to higher rates of depression (Pepino, Finkeiner, & Mennella, 2009). Diet can negatively impact mood, but eating foods can also improve mood and behaviors. Making proper diet changes can decrease symptoms of ADHD (Peisser, Frankena, Toorman, Savelkoul, Pereira, & Buitelaar, 2009).  The food you eat will be a reflection of you. 

The food you consume is taken into your body via your mouth. From the moment the food touches your lips your body starts to process and break down the food. This process also involves brain function and these brain chemicals are also responsible for regulating mood, thinking, and behavior.  The body then works to help the food travel down to your stomach. Here the food is further processed and met with stomach chemicals that breaks down the food for digestion. The same chemicals that process food in the stomach are also in the brain. In fact your gut contains serotonin, a chemical responsible for moods like depression and anger, just like the brain. 

A study looked at how eating foods impacted the gastrointestinal tract and the brain. They found a diet that consisted of probiotics, yogurt, improved areas of the brain known for regulating emotions and keeping mood stable and improved the body’s alertness (Dr. Mercola via Mercola.com). This research supports the notion that “you are what you eat”. Healthy eating is not just necessary for weight loss and physical health but for improved thinking, improved focus, alertness, improved mood, and thoughtful behaviors. 

 What makes healthy eating difficult is when we are away from home, we are out with others, or we are busy. There is much research about the benefits of setting specific daily plans to maintaining healthy behaviors. Therefore meal planning is required to maintain healthy eating. 

  • The more specific the meal plan the better. Know what you will eat for each meal and know when you will eat. 
  • Plan for every single meal, including snacks.
  • All meals should include a lean protein, a complex carb, and a healthy fat. So for example a snack could include an apple, deli cut turkey breast, and half a serving of almonds.  (This is just an example and does not consider portion sizes, blood sugar, or other medical issues – a registered dietician or physician can best prescribe individualized meal plans). 

People meal prep in different ways, so how prepare for meals depends on personal perference. Some meal prep for a whole week or a few days in advance. I meal prep for the next day, as my schedule allows that flexibility. Everyone is different. But here are some tips to start and find a meal prep routine that works for you. 

  • Meal prep starts with breakfast.  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it kicks off your metabolism to start for the day.  Breakfast can include eggs whites, whole toast, and peanut butter. Pull any dry foods out and place on the counters in ziplock or Tupperware. Only package the serving size you need to meet your dietary needs for the day. You do not need to prepare 4 pieces of toast unless that is your meal plan. Place perishable items in containers in the fridge.  
  • If you eat right your body will need more food in a couple of hours. Pack snacks that will satisfy. Avoid snacks high in sugar and that are overly processed. When I meal prep I try to follow the rule of protein, complex carb, and healthy fat for every meal, including snacks. 
  • Next you will pack lunch. Prepare foods by cooking them before and place in Tupperware. If you need to be more organized, label the bag or the Tupperware with date to eat and meal to eat. Then you can pull your Tupperware out of the fridge, warm it up, and you know you are getting in your healthy meal. 
  • You want to avoid starving and letting your metabolism drop so eating another fulfilling snack between lunch and dinner will help you stay focused and alert through the day. 
  • To avoid the evening hustle and bustle have dinner prepared. Crockpot recipes are helpful. Have meals partially prepared, all prepped, so you can remove food and place on stove, microwave, or oven with minimial effort. 
Meal prep will keep you eating healthy. It will keep you from eating out. It will keep you from eating unhealthy snacks and meals. It will keep you focused. Meal prep eliminates excuses of “you do not have time” to prepare meals. Meal prep will keep you from starving and avoid craving unhealthy options. Meal prep is a way to have a specified plan that will you help you be successful with you weight loss goals. 

 

References:

Peisser, L., Frankena, K., Toorman, J., Savelkoul, H., Pereira, R., & Buitelaar, J. (2009). A randomized controlled trial into the effects of food on ADHD. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 18(1), 12-19. 

Pepino, M. Y., Finkbeiner, S., & Mennella, J. (2009). Similarities in food cravings and mood states between obese women and women who smoke tobacco. Obesity, 17(6), 1158-1163. 

Getting Deeper with Yourself – Connect with your Spiritual Being for Improved Wellness

We all, universally, want to wake up each day with a sense of purpose.  We want to know that we have a direction in life and have a reason for living.  Even on our laziest of days, we as humans need to feel connected to something.  That “something” is a vague, mysterious, and questionable entity for some.  For others that “something” is a clear connection to something more, something greater, and something bigger.  Nevertheless, all of us are spiritual beings, despite personal beliefs and values.

I understand this may be a controversial topic.  I want to assure you I am not here to preach about any particular beliefs and I am not here to change anyones beliefs.  I am here to tell you how you are a spiritual being, to provide guidance on how to interact with that aspect of yourself, and how to strengthen your spiritual relatedness.

According to the American Psychological Association spiritual struggles are related to increased emotional problems, poor health, and even death.  This research suggests that spirituality is associated with a person being well-rounded and wholly healthy.  In other words spirituality is vital to wellness.  The National Wellness Institute cites that spirituality is having a belief system, values, and an idea about the world and how you are connected to the world.  Spirituality is important for self-esteem, self-control, and a sense of direction.  If you struggle with self-esteem, relationships, health, happiness, and you feel disconnected and searching for meaning, then evaluating your spiritual strength may help guide you to improved wellness.

Vicktor Frankl, a pioneer in the field of psychology, used personal and scientific research methods to conclude that the meaning of life is found in every moment of every day.  The beliefs a person has will impact not only how they feel and how they behave, but also the outcome.  Having a greater sense of self and purpose is related to increased positive outcome and mood.  Some psychologists posit this spiritual connectedness is the primary motivation for living.  We cannot survive, at least survive in wellness and happiness, without a spiritual connection.

Connecting with your spiritual self takes concentrated effort.  Despite your beliefs and understanding of the world, anyone can connect to this aspect of self.

  • Accept you are a spiritual person.  This means you are connected to others and you are connected to this world.  You are a contributing citizen.  Your presence on Earth is special to someone.  You make a difference in someones life.  You have the power to change someones day with a simple gesture or exchange.
  • Read, seek, and gain understanding.  The best way to connect to your spiritual self is to educate yourself.  Spend time reading journals, magazines, books, or blogs that are related to your idea of the world.  If your spiritual belief includes religion read and understand the practices, traditions, and history of your religion.  Gaining this information helps you connect to your beliefs.
  • Reading and gaining education will challenge your beliefs.  Having our beliefs challenged helps us grasp a better understanding. Research suggests that challenging beliefs can help strengthen the belief.
  • Engage with others that share your belief.  There is power in fellowship.  The spiritual dynamic of wellness involves feeling connected.  The best way to feel connected is to associate with others that have similar beliefs and ideas about the world with you.  This is not bad.  Connection with others is a primary psychological need, it is needed for self-esteem, and it is needed to strengthen sense of self.  Think of it this way, a connection with others that agree with you makes you feel validates, valued, right, and appreciated.

Your spiritual being is a part of you, and just like any other parts of you, it needs to be strengthened.  You work out regularly to become physically stronger, you spend time with loved ones to improve relationships, and you practice professional skills to better your career.  The same is required for spiritual growth.  To find wellness, happiness, and purpose in life you cannot neglect your spiritual self.

  • Daily read, pray, mediate, or spend time in religious practices.  Despite your personal beliefs, spending quiet time alone with your beliefs in practice will grow your spiritual awareness.
  • Eliminate all distractions.  Turn off cellphone, music, computer, and TV.  Spend time alone reflecting on your thoughts about yourself, the world, and your hopes and dreams.  Picture your ideal world, your Higher Power, or a beautiful and peaceful place.  Spend time and focus on this image.  Reflect on how people live or the order of things while focusing on this vision.  This will help you identify your thoughts and beliefs about your spiritual being.
  • Journaling during this quiet time will help identify beliefs and thoughts as they relate to your beliefs.  Not sure how to journal, just write.  Grab a paper and a pen and start writing.  Write any random thought as it comes to your mind.  The more you do this, the better you will get.

Your spiritual muscle will grow as your spend more time in thought and mediation.  This daily practice will allow your beliefs to develop and become stronger.  As you become more connected to your spiritual self you will find a sense of purpose.  Finding purpose makes each day easier and more fun.

It is easy to get started.  Schedule 15 minutes tonight before you go to bed, or wake up 15 minutes early tomorrow morning, find a quiet spot alone with pen and paper, and let your spirit connect with this beautiful world.  You will find your day is a lot brighter!

 

 

Think Like a Champion

We all watch athletes as they excel in their various sport.  We are inspired and intrigued by their skills, talents, and their athletic ability.  Athletes are to be admired.  Athletes work hard and their hard work pays off.  Champion athletes demonstrate skill that is to be admired and respected.

A champion athlete is a champion because they excel, champions win!  Although athletes win because of their physical and technical skills, athletes become champions because they demonstrate behaviors and thinking that propel them to success.  Perhaps you do not have the genetic and physical attributes to play and win like a champion, but I can guarantee you can have the ability to think and act like one.

  • Champion athletes think they can!  An athlete does not enter a situation thinking they will fail.  In fact thinking that you will fail will lead to failure.  Research tells us that what the brain wants to think the same thing as the body.  If your mind is telling you you cannot do something, your body will not perform (Wachtel, 2001).

      To think like a champion you must eliminate “can not” from your vocabulary.

  • Champions practice.  A champion athlete does not become the master of their sport from the moment they show up for their first practice.  An elite athlete becomes a champion because they practice.  Generally the winning athlete is the one putting in more time and more hours perfecting their craft.  If you want to be a champion you need to practice.  You will not ace your test without some studying (unless you are one of the few true geniuses out there).  You will not lose weight unless you put in the daily effort to practice diet changes and physical activity.

To be a champion you must work daily to pursue your goal.

  • Champion athletes work hard.  Not only do champions put in extra work but when they work they give their all. You can train like a champion when you decide to give your task your full attention.  Eliminate distractions.  If you are seeking to train harder in your physical activity train in an environment where you can focus on your exercises.  If possible obtain child care or workout when children are preoccupied so you have time to focus on yourself.  Most gyms provide child care so that you can have “you” time.  Wear headphones and listen to a book, show, or music to eliminate distractions.

This does not apply to just physical fitness but to any goal.  If you want to succeed you need to be present, open, and available to improve your task.  Research supports that paying attention will improve performance and will help you remember better, work better, and perfect your skill (Lopez-Vicente, Sunyer, Forns, Torrent, & Julvez, 2014).

To be a champion eliminate distractions and focus on the activity in the moment.  

  • Champions have goals.  An athlete that wins has a goal, to win.  Perhaps they want to win a gold medal, a trophy, or improve their personal best time.  Whatever their goal, they work to make progress toward that goal.  Champions know what they are working toward.

To be a champion define your goals, write them down, and keep it where you can see it.

  • Champion athletes rarely work alone.  In fact the most successful have a coach by their side.  This support challenges them, encourages them, and guides them.  A coach leads the way to success.

To be a champion have a coach or a person that is motivating you and encouraging you.

  • Not only do athletes have a coach but most have a mentor, someone to look up to, and someone that can teach the athlete how to be successful. Ask any successful person who they looked up to and they will name another successful person in their field.

Be happy for the success of others.  Seeing others succeed is the information we need to know that it can be achieved.  Others success is your reminder that your goal is realistic and possible.  Use others success to motivate, inspire, and teach you how to be successful.

To be a champion, find a mentor.  Find a person that is doing what you want to be doing and seek their guidance and advice.

  • In addition to having a mentor and a coach, champions accept feedback and follow direction.  The athlete is successful because they follow the steps of the leaders before them.  They understand that their coach and/or mentor knows what it takes to be successful and they are wiling to follow their direction.

Following direction can be a challenge, particularly when we want to do things our own way.  You can be creative with the advice you are given and it is OK to apply your own unique twist.  However to be successful you must listen and accept advice from others.  If you want to lose weight you will need to change your diet and you will need to increase physical activity.  If you want to be promoted at your job you will need to follow the direction of your supervisor.

To be a champion accept that it is sometimes OK to follow.  

  • Champion athletes study their craft and their skill.  Elite athletes will not only practice their physical skills but they work to strengthen and improve their mental ability too.  They observe, read, memorize, and learn the rules, the expectations, and even trends.  Having a strong mind that is aware and knowledgable of the skill will help the athlete perform better.

To be a champion do not be afraid to learn.  Study your skill.  Read research, blogs, and magazines.  Things change all the time.  You can stay on top on of your game when your mind is mentally sharp.

  • Champion athletes love and honor their bodies.  Athletes respect their body is the reason they are successful.  They see their body as a machine that works perfectly with proper care, nutrition, movement, and rest.  If the athlete does not care for their body sufficiently their skill and performance will decline.

To be a champion love and respect your body.  

This can start now!  Thank your body for waking you up today.  Thank you body for allowing you to breathe and think.  Honor your body for the ability to move with little effort. I understand people have illness, injury, and disability that limits their movement, but the body still functions on the inside without little effort of your mind.  Your body is so awesome it can work and allow your brain and your soul to love others, have fun, and seek fulfillment.  Thank your body for allowing you to enjoy life.

Research suggests that athletes have different thinking, behavior, and motivation and it as a result they find  success.  You may not have the physical skill of a champion athlete, but you can think and act like one.  The tools discussed above can be learned by anyone; truly, we are all champions inside.

References:

Lopez-Vicente, M., Sunyer, J., Forns, J., Torrent, M., & Julvez, J. (2014).  Continuous performance test II outcomes in 11-year-old children with early ADHD symptoms: A longitudinal study.  Neuropsychology, 28(2), 202-211.

Wachtel, B. (2001).  The language of becoming: Helping children change how they think of themselves.  Family Process, 40(4), 369-384.

Look Like a Pro in the Gym

It is no secret that strength training is my love.  I have been working out for years, but found my love for strength training only a couple years ago.  Rewind a few years ago and you would have found me working out for hours.  The workout consisted of a lot of cardio and some weight training.  I was skinny but still felt “fat” and did not feel I was making gains.  It was not until I started focusing on strength training that I noticed a change in my body.  I now have muscle definition.  I am lean, strong, and fit.  Strength training made me love my body and respect my body.

It can be intimidating and hard to start a strength training routine.  Often, without hiring a personal trainer, you don’t know where to begin.  I think women avoid the free weight area of the gym because they are lost and not sure where to begin.  And it seems that people think they need to spend hours in the gym lifting weights to but your strength workout is very effective with only an hour of work. There is no need to spend hours in the gym lifting weights.   Well I am here to show you how to get an effective full body strength workout that will leave you a lean and fit machine.

This workout is simple enough to follow and simple enough that form should be maintained.  This workout will make you look like a pro in the gym.  Just grab a set of weights and start moving.  You can do this workout at home or at the gym.

Set 1: 1 warm up set; 3 work sets 12 reps – The first set is a warm up set.  Grab a weight that you feel comfortable with and lift for 6, if if it is too light, go up another weight.  Find a weight that is challenging to complete 12 reps.

21 point bicep curl

Overhead Tricep Extension

Squat

Side Crunch

Set 2: 1 warm up set; 3 work sets 12 reps – The first is a warm up set.  Grab a weight that you feel comfortable with and lift for 6, if it is too light, go up another weight.  Find a weight that is challenging to complete 12 reps.  You will need a bench for the next 4 exercises.

Chest Press

Back Fly

Split Squat

Leg Lifts

Set 3: 1 warm up set; 3 work sets 12 reps – The first is a warm up set.  Grab a weight that you feel comfortable with and lift for 6, if it is too light, go to another weight.  Find a weight that is challenging to complete 12 reps.

These combo exercises will get the heart rate up for an extra calorie burn!

Reverse Lunge with shoulder raise Right side for 12/Left Side for 12

Squat with Shoulder Press

Single Leg Dead Lift with hammer curl

Twists

Did you enjoy the show in the background? Stay fit!

Fitness and Health is All About Mind Over Matter.

You want to be healthy. That is great. Doing the behaviors to change your diet and work out takes some mind effort too. You see, what we think, we believe. Therefore you need to change your thinking to change your behavior. Sadly your desire to change is not always enough.

I was on the local news this morning talking about just this. To find fitness you need to win the battle of your mind, first.

Please click link for the video!

Mind Over Matter