Let's be honest...we've all been there. Stuck in the "I've been so good, let me just treat myself" cycle. One day turns into two -- two turns into three, etc etc. You beat yourself up about not staying on track so much that you resent any form of proper nutrition and routine. Your whole life becomes a "it's just one more dinner out" mentality. Well guess what? You're not alone. And guess what else? There IS a better way.
Let's talk 80/20. The concept of 80/20 is essentially a simplified way of talking about balance and moderation. It's an extremely important part of health (and kind of everything else in life, too), and without learning to flex your moderation muscle... you simply won't succeed in a long-term health journey. When we preach 80/20 though, it also leaves you that 20% to be flexible and enjoy your life. Where we often go wrong has a lot to do with taking that 20% and turning it into 40-50% of our time and then getting angry with ourselves for the lack of progress/results. Setting realistic expectations is SO important-- it's okay to enjoy yourself, but don't hop on the scale the day after a lavish dinner and expect to see weight lost. That, my friend, is setting yourself up for failure and a perfect example of negative reinforcement.
So how do we change it? First things first, we aim to change our mindset on health and fitness. These things aren't a punishment, they are a GIFT. We are lucky to be able to work on them. The healthier you are the better you feel and the more you can experience-- and isn't the whole goal to truly LIVE? Health gives that to you. So why do we look at it as a punishment? As something negative? Let's change that.
Second- get brutally honest with yourself. This step is really important. Sit down with your calendar and be pickier about when you do decide to go out to eat. Every birthday, holiday, event, or Friday night doesn't qualify as a special occasion! And remember; you can go out and make healthy choices. That doesn't have to equal deprivation. Going out to eat once a week and over-eating by thousands of calories can offset a nearly perfect week! And while balance is definitely important, there is really never a reason to forget about your health completely-- even when you are out to eat.
Here are some of our "health hacks" for your next social event or holiday:
We have heard the story time and time again....
You were doing SO well on your diet until that time of the year rolled around. You were going to the gym regularly and feeling great, but now you are "too busy" and "don't have time" to eat right or exercise enough. That's a silly excuse, and it always has been. If anything, the holidays should be an excuse to help keep you ON TRACK.
Being around our families and friends and celebrating together can be a wonderful thing. But one day shouldn't be enough to undo a routine. Our biggest trouble happens when we miss a month or two of healthy living, and THAT can cause some regression. So this year... let's prepare and stay on top of our health before, during, and after the holidays using some of these tips!
1. Get into your healthy routine NOW.
Start the new exercise program, make healthier choices when planning your food for the week, start meal prepping.. whatever you need to change, change it now! Don't wait for after the holidays, or the new year. Carry the healthy change with you THROUGH the holidays, don't wait until after. You don't need a new year to start working towards a new you!
2. Make exercise and fitness a PRIORITY,
even when you're busy.
Staying on track and keeping your body in a healthy routine can make a huge difference when it comes to consuming more calories during the holiday season. Remember that when you build a solid foundation of lean muscle, your metabolism functions at a higher rate.
AKA your body can put those extra calories to better use building you some MUSCLES!
A reminder that consistent doesn't meant PERFECT, remember to set realistic goals during holiday and busy times.
3. Plan healthy snacks and alternatives.
If you know you will be eating out or with family one night, make sure to plan some healthy snacks for earlier in the day. Keep yourself on track before and after the splurge. One meal cannot undo all of your progress, and you don't gain fat from just ONE MEAL. Just make sure you stay consistent overall and get right back on track the next day. Remember... you can still make healthy choices even when eating out! Opt for foods high in protein and nutrients, select whole foods whenever possible, eat your veggies, drink water, and go for a walk after dinner!
4. Avoid beverages HIGH in calories and sugar!
This is a BIG one!! Most people drink a few beers, wine, soda, and other beverages super high in calories during the holidays... not realizing that you are DRINKING more macronutrients/calories than you are even eating every day. This is where things start to get out of control. Try swapping the beer or wine for water or seltzer water. (or alternate 1-for-1) This will save you a whole ton of calories (which you can happily EAT instead!).
5. Keep the candy/holiday snacks
OUT of the HOUSE when possible.
We all know it's hard when Halloween comes around and theres extra bags of candy in the house, or during Christmas when there are tons of cookies laying around. Anytime something is IN THE HOUSE, it will become a MILLION TIMES HARDER not to eat it. Make it easier on yourself and don't keep that stuff laying around the house. Bring it to your workplace, kid's school, friend/family's house, wherever you need to. Trust me, it will be easier to avoid temptation when it isn't around.
HAPPY FEBRUARY EVERYONE!!
This BLOG is going to be a FUN ONE. I asked you guys on Instagram what you wanted to read about on my blog this month and everyone loved the idea of hearing some good old fashioned GYM DOS AND DO NOTS. I've honestly been on the gym scene for more than 8 years, and i'd like to think i've pretty much seen it all. Going to the gym should be a comfortable and effective experience for EVERYONE. Don't be afraid or intimidated to step into the gym and get your sweat on. With these simple rules to follow you can make sure you get the MOST out of those hard-working gym sessions without stressing:
GYM DO NOT'S
1. DO NOT spend all of your time on cardio machines or strength machines:
I can't stress enough that if you are new to the gym, don't use machines as a crutch. Focus on bodyweight, functional based exercises that translate to real life movements and will help you to improve your balance and prevent injury. Over-developing isolated muscles groups can lead to serious imbalances and won't help you to move and function better on a day to day basis.
2. DO NOT carry your phone with you and text/talk on the phone while using equipment: not only is this rude and inconsiderate of other member's trying to use the equipment, but it is also distracting you from having an effective workout. Leave the cell phone in the locker room or your pocket.
3. DO NOT slam weights or equipment loudly and without control: this could not only injure you or other members, but it is distracting and annoying for other exercisers. If the weight you are using is too heavy for you to control; you probably shouldn't be using it..
4. DO NOT use equipment or weights that you don't know how to use properly;
I know I sound like a broken record, but this is the fastest way to get injured while at the gym. If you don't know how to use a machine/do an exercise, ASK A PROFESSIONAL. If you don't have on staff trainers, please feel free to shoot me an email and I can help direct you on form.
1. DO bring a towel to use at the gym; this is a great trick to keep YOUR sweat off of the equipment, and to keep other people's sweat off of YOU. A nice medium sized or pre-sized gym towel will work perfectly, and you can place it on any machine that you sit or lean on. Prevent the spreading of germs and keep your gym sanitary!
2. DO bring a water bottle full of WATER with you to the gym; your body truly does need to rehydrate as you sweat during your workout, so don't show up to the gym without some water to drink. I recommend purchasing a large sized plastic water bottle to fill up with AT LEAST 30-40 OZ of water. You need to replace what you lose, so the more water you can get in while you are moving around, the less you have to focus on drinking AFTERWARDS.
3. DO have a plan about what you are going to work/target BEFORE you step into the gym;
Some people don't like to have a plan set up before stepping into the gym, but I can tell you from experience that it's always safer to have some guidelines for yourself. If you are semi-new to the gym life, you want to make sure you know what you want to work or target before you get there and i'll tell you why. If you walk in without a plan chances are you are going to end up wandering around, hopping on some cardio equipment, and then finding some machines that look understandable for you to use. By the time you end up leaving, you feel like you've accomplished nothing at all. If you know you are going to the gym that day, do a quick internet search for some workout plans targeting a specific body part and try to follow those in the gym! I recommend some of these below:
8 WEEK BODY SCULPTING GUIDE
Looking for the do-it-all guide that will take the mystery out of the gym?
Are you looking for some guidance when it comes to working out?
Already know what to do in the gym but want a solid routine?
Cardio? Strength Training? Plyometrics? Wondering which is best??
Completely lost on how to get your dream body?
LET ME HELP. After the successful release of my glute guide, this program was so highly requested I just couldn't say no. You guys wanted a FULL body workout that would help you build lean muscle and burn away the fat and YOU GOT IT.
This program takes strength training and combines it with stabilization techniques that will challenge your core and balance. It will keep your heart rate elevated and your muscles burning!
Program Level: FOR ABSOLUTELY ANYONE, Beginner-Advanced
Program Goal: Lean Muscle Gain, Strength Building, Joint Stability, Preventative Health, General Fitness, Tightening, Reducing Body Fat, Functionality, Quality of Life, Metabolic Boost
**GYM EQUIPMENT IS REQUIRED FOR THIS PROGRAM
WHAT YOU RECEIVE:
Healthy at Home (8-WEEK HOME FITNESS PROGRAM)
This original EXCUSE-FREE workout plan is designed to be convenient.
This program was designed to be executed with no equipment necessary , and can be done absolutely anywhere. You can do it at the gym, or at home. With or without weights or accessories (they are unnecessary!), and it will fit into any schedule!
This is the workout program that allows for NO EXCUSES.
NO extra equipment or gym membership required.
JUST YOU and YOUR GOALS!!
Which is why it was a mandatory edition to my current program library.
PROGRAM WILL ALSO BE MADE AVAILABLE WITH HOW-TO VIDEO SOON!
See below for all details:
LEVEL: BEGINNER- ADVANCED (for ANYONE!)
PROGRAM LENGTH: 8 Weeks long
PROGRAM DIFFICULTY: Beginner - Intermediate
PROGRAM FOCUS: Strength, Fat Loss, General Health, Convenience
Provides you with FOUR different PHASES, including: Foundations, Dynamic Movement, Push Your Limits, and Combination.
Each PHASE contains 3 different WORKOUTS, for a total of 12 WORKOUTS.
AS A BONUS you will also receive a personal discount code for use on any of my other programs (consistency is key), and an extra list of BODYWEIGHT exercise combinations you can do at home/anywhere. Not to mention, all of my programs come with UNLIMITED email support for any questions or concerns you may have.
If you have any injuries and need things modified, you can email me anytime.
AND as if you needed another reason to purchase...you get all of this for just 32$ -
That breaks down to JUST 4$ PER WEEK.
Skip one coffee a week and you've got that money.
NO EXCUSES, get started today!
Completed this program? I recommend my Healthier at Home- 2ND Edition (10-WK HOME PROGRAM) or my 8 WEEK BODY SCULPTING GUIDE as your next step.
Looking to spice up your boring cardio routine??
Confused about how to use cardio to speed up your fat loss?
PRESENTING the very first installment of "CARDIO MANIA"-
A Steady State/Interval Training Cardio Program for anyone of ANY fitness level.
Not only will you be receiving the workouts, but you will be receiving a bit of insight on what the difference between the two types of cardio is and which you should utilize to meet your goals FASTER. This installment contains 4 different cardio methods; but I am planning on releasing more in the future, so if you have a machine that you'd like to see workouts for... email me and I might include it in a future program!!
Program Level: FOR ABSOLUTELY ANYONE, Beginner-Advanced
Program Goal: Fat burning, Cardiovascular Conditioning, Health, Athletic Conditioning, General Fitness, Movement
LEVEL: BEGINNER- ADVANCED
What you get:
- 20 HIIT Cardio Workouts (5 Treadmill, 5 Stairmaster, 5 Elliptical, 5 Bodyweight)
- 20 Steady State Alternatives
- Levels, Intervals, Time, and Resistance detailed
- Difference between HIIT & SS CARDIO and How to Choose For YOU
Any other questions about this program? Email me : email@example.com
CORE COMPLEX- A 6-WEEK PROGRAM
Are you looking to tighten up your midsection?
Lose inches on your waist?
Improve your balance and coordination?
Prevent injury and protect your spine?
...Well LOOK NO FURTHER.
After some time in development, I am extremely proud to present my very first core program CORE COMPLEX -
This is no average "Ab Training Program"... this is a complex 6-WEEK plan that will work on all areas of proper core training and progression. This is a scientific-based program. You will start from the basics, and when you have mastered those; you will make your way up to more complex and challenging movements.
Since your "CORE" consists of your back, hips, obliques, and abdominal muscles, this program targets all of those muscles with the goal of increasing strength, stabilization, and functionality.
PROGRAM GOAL: Core strength, stabilization, functional health, general fitness, body fat loss, increase lean body mass, athletic performance (this is the DO-EVERYTHING program)
PROGRAM LEVEL: Absolute beginner- competitive athlete
* This program can be performed by itself or in conjunction with any other fitness program/exercise routine. It is designed for seamless integration.
- 3 PROGRESSIVE PHASES (addressing all parts)
- Stabilization and Balance
- Power and Performance
- 6 WEEKS OF PROGRAMMING
- 16 DIFFERENT WORKOUTS
- NUTRITIONAL TIPS
- PROGRAM RECOMMENDATION
Looking for a total-body program to work on WITH the Core Complex? I recommend my 8 WEEK BODY SCULPTING GUIDE as a supplement to this program, to be performed during or after.
HAVE ANY OF YOUR OWN GYM DO'S AND DON'TS???
COMMENT BELOW AND LET ME KNOW !
So on this month's blog, I am going to give you the straight up HONEST TEA. We are going to break down the costs and find out if PT is really something you should invest in...
Now I know what you are all probably thinking... I'm kind of biased. Being that I AM a personal trainer, I know you think I'm going in a certain direction with this blog. But I think you're going to be surprised at my opinion here, so just give it a chance before you jump to conclusions!
Before I ever became a Personal Trainer, I was a long-time gym customer and always utilized Personal Training. Honestly I didn't know much about it (in terms of the whole science aspect behind it) but I liked the idea of having someone to push me through my workouts instead of doing them alone. I can tell you from experience, the trainers I connected the most with REALLY KNEW THEIR STUFF. I may not have been certified or as knowledgable back then, but I could always tell when the trainer I was working with was experienced or just trying to make some money off of me. I have honestly been working with a coach and/or personal trainer for 8 years now, despite the fact that i do have the knowledge to do it on my own. So from a general consumer's standpoint, I want to tell you about the pros & cons:
PROS: A trainer will provide you with accountability, motivation, encouragement, guidance, and make you feel more comfortable in the gym setting. It will also ensure that you have a good workout for the hour that you are at the gym, and you have much less risk of "slacking off".
CONS: Can be "expensive" (I will go into the pricing next), can be intimidating at first or at times, or you could get an inexperienced trainer or one that does not mesh with you and your needs.
Okay, so so those are the PROS & CONS I could think of as someone who has purchased PT before, or is in the market for a trainer. Now let's get into my opinion on IF PERSONAL TRAINING IS OVERPRICED - from a trainer's standpoint. This answer will probably shock you; but the majority of trainers I see training in corporate or box gyms are actually not worth your money. Most of them have gotten some type of certification off the internet and have no real clue how to train someone using science based knowledge. (I SAID MOST) Then there's the trainers that think they can train people just because they know how to work out themselves, so they put their customers through the exact same workouts and movements that they do. Lastly, theres the super "motivational" gym-coach style trainers that shuffle all of their clients through the same drills (jumping jacks, burpees, ONE MORE SQUAT!) day after day and just have a way of talking that makes them seem like they know what they are talking about. Every single trainer listed above is NOT WORTH THE PRICE OF PERSONAL TRAINING. Please don't take this as me putting down everyone that works in my industry- I am not. Instead, I am trying to define and STRESS the difference between simply training and PERSONALIZED training.
Why does it matter and WHAT is the difference?
It matters because these simple differences make training an invaluable resource that I would pay an insane amount of money for and never regret it. When it comes to your health and quality of life, i think anything that can actually IMPROVE that is 100% worth investing in... don't you?
What's the difference? Okay, here's what a PERSONAL TRAINER should do for you... ready to be floored? The trainer should meet you and talk to you for a looming time to learn all about your past, medical history, goals, exercise history, injuries, ETC. (This should honestly take up the majority of your first session together, because if a trainer doesn't KNOW you... how is it PERSONAL?) Then the trainer should take measurements for you (body fat, BMI, weight, tape measurements) so that they have a way of tracking your progress- obviously this is somewhat dependent on your goals but part of our job IS to track progress and numbers. Next comes the assessment, perhaps the MOST important and yet most neglected part of proper training. The trainer should take you through a movement assessment of their choice to find out what imbalances, weaknesses, and movement patterns you have so they can then take that information and design a program. You see, chances are if you haven't been to the gym in awhile or sit all day for work, you have a lot of issues happening that you aren't even aware of. Maybe your lower back hurts, maybe your knees.. either way; these issues can actually be FIXED through a proper corrective program, not just "worked around". This assessment and the goal-setting/talking should be all that really happens during your first session or fitness orientation. Taking you right into a workout with movements that could worsen any of your imbalances will only lead to injury. (This is unfortunately what I see the majority of the time at health clubs.) Finally, the trainer should go home and design a corrective and progressive program just for YOU that will not only help you meet your personal fitness goals, but help you move better on a daily basis and function better on a mechanical level. This is the kind of training we need to DEMAND from anyone becoming a Personal Trainer. This is a safe, effective, and an incredibly personal level of care. AND YES, THIS TYPE OF TRAINING IS SO WORTH YOUR MONEY!!!!!!!
So what is the take-away from this long winded post?
As a consumer, be educated when shopping for or choosing a Personal Trainer.
Find someone who will talk to you, take the time to learn about YOU and YOUR GOALS, and make the experience amazing for you. I can promise you will never regret investing in a GREAT PT. Please ask questions and be aware of the types of trainers I mentioned above. Test the trainer before buying with them. Ask them what their certifications they have or what experience they have working with clients- don't be shy, you are a potential client ! You are valuable!
If you need ANY help with anything health or fitness related, or have any questions please leave me a comment below or email me - MICHELLEMELZL@YAHOO.COM
Now offering 1-ON-1 custom nutrition and fitness coaching services, as well as digital programs and videos.
MICHELLE ROSE MELZL (CEO MEL Z FIT)
Proudly a full-time NASM CERTIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER, with NASM CORRECTIVE EXERCISE, FITNESS NUTRITION, BEHAVIOR CHANGE, AND PERFORMANCE ENHANCEMENT SPECIALTIES.
Michelle and Phil are NASM Master CPT's with a combined 30+ years of experience in the fitness industry. They each have numerous specialties and have dedicated their lives to helping people become their best selves.