How To Beat A Weight Loss Plateau

How To Beat A Weight Loss Plateau

Everyone has faced it at one time or another, a weight plateau. You may be doing almost everything right but still can’t lose more weight. You notice the word almost was used. That’s because there are things you can do to beat a weight loss plateau that can make a big difference. What is plateauing and why does it occur? Sometimes, plateauing occurs for a week or two, but it doesn’t mean you aren’t losing fat, it just means you aren’t losing weight. There’s a big difference. Muscle tissue weighs more per cubic inch than fat tissue does, it’s also more compact. That means a pound of muscle tissue would require a much smaller container than a pound of fat. While you might not be losing weight, you probably are replacing fat tissue with muscle tissue, so you look thinner.

Doing the same thing repeatedly can cause you to plateau.

Have you been doing the same routine for months without making any changes? Maybe that’s why you’re having problems with weight loss. The longer you do the same type of motion, such as a specific exercise, your body becomes more efficient at doing that motion. The more efficient your body becomes, the fewer calories you burn. Rather than sticking with the same workout for months or years, vary it frequently.

Maybe sticking with the same caloric intake should be considered.

Weighing more than should is like constantly carrying around a weight. If it’s thirty pounds extra, you’re burning a lot of calories, as you would carrying a thirty pound weight. When you start to lose weight, unless you’re building muscle tissue, you’re caloric requirement will drop. It’s like doing lifts with 30-pound weights and then changing the routine to use ten pound weights. It’s often why that last ten pounds is hardest. Another way to trick your metabolism is to have a cheat day. A cheat day means eating some of your favorite high calorie foods, but not overdoing it. Cheat days help keep your metabolism higher and a slower metabolism means burning fewer calories.

Get all types of training, strength, flexibility, endurance and balance.

Are you drinking enough water? That may be part of the plateauing problem. Water can help curb your appetite, act like a diuretic, flush out toxins and fill you up. Drink a glass of water before you eat and you’ll eat less.

  • Get more sleep. Not only does lack of sleep cause you to work less efficiently, it also makes you hungrier. Lack of sleep causes you to produce less hormone that makes you feel full and more of the hormone that makes you feel hungry.
  • Keep a food diary to make sure you aren’t eating food you don’t realize. Do you lick spoons when you’re cooking, grab a handful of candy as you pass the dish on your friend’s desk or even finish the last spoonful of potatoes so it doesn’t go to waste? It all adds up to extra calories.
  • Vary your diet and make sure you have adequate protein. You not only need protein to build muscle tissue, it also helps you feel fuller sooner and stay fuller longer.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy

Start Your Resolution Today

Start Your Resolution Today

Every year people make New Year’s resolutions and by the end of the second week of January, most of them are broken. One of the problems is that they’re just resolutions, without a path to reach them. You can start your resolution today, but don’t forget to turn it into a goal that is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. It’s the only way you’ll make your resolutions come true.

SMART is how you can remember to make goals.

As noted before, goals must be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. Those letters create the acronym SMART. Specific goals include goals like, I will lose twenty pounds, not I will lose weight. Measurable is included in the goal, since it names the number of pounds, but can be broken down to I will lose two pounds a week for ten weeks. If your goal was to lose twenty pounds in a week, it wouldn’t fit the next category, attainable. Relevant means it’s important to you, not just a whim. Finally, time based indicates you have a specific time frame, not just some day, because without it, you don’t know if you’re succeeding or failing and some day never comes.

No matter how much paperwork you do to make it a goal, you have to take action.

If you’re a chronic procrastinator, you may use the goal setting experience as a new way to put off starting your fitness regimen. Be true to yourself. Identify whether it’s what you’re doing and just do something. It’s one reason we offer virtual training, so you can begin your program immediately. Without action, there are never any changes and if you want positive changes, you must do something, NOW.

You don’t have to go big.

You can start small and make minor changes. Take a walk every day if you’re not ready for a full workout program or fit enough to start one. As your fitness improves, gently move toward a program of regular exercise. If you want to lose weight, start by giving up sugar. It’s the toughest thing to do, since sugar is in everything and very addictive. Keep a journal of your changes or take a photo of yourself to log your progress. It won’t take long before you’ll notice changes in your appearance and overall health.

  • Fitness takes both physical and mental changes. You have to have the proper mindset. Working out not only trains the body, it trains the brain neurons. Find activities you enjoy, making it easier to stick with your program.
  • Always look forward and never backward. Don’t look at all the failures of the past. That won’t change them. Instead, get rid of the negativity and congratulate yourself for all the positive steps you take.
  • When you’re getting into shape, focus on more than just the scales. Take measurements, pictures of yourself and note your energy level on paper. You’ll see that you’re making progress when you stick with the program, even on those weeks when the scales say differently.
  • Working out is more fun when you have a workout buddy. It also keeps you more accountable when you workout with someone else. If you work with us, a personal trainer acts in that capacity. If you’re working out on your own, find a friend, spouse or family member to join you.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy

Have You Considered A Plant-Based Diet?

Have You Considered A Plant-Based Diet?

At Upfit Training Academy in New York, NY, we focus on programs that help you become your healthiest and fittest. What you eat, exercise, how much you sleep and a broad range of other factors affect your health, but some are more important than others are. Diet is probably at the top of the list for good health. There are many philosophies on what type of diet is the best. Each choice should be individual, based on personal needs and preferences. A plant-based diet is one of those options. Is it the right choice for you? Investigating the pros and cons is the only way to decide.

What is a plant-based diet?

There are different levels of plant-based diets. Some allow only food from plant sources, while others focus on food mostly from plant sources, but allow eggs and/or milk products. Some include fish or seafood, while others include all types of food, but diet is primarily plant-based, such as the MIND or Mediterranean diet. What is most important in any plant-based diet is eating whole foods and avoiding over processed ones. White rice, bleached wheat products and highly processed food with chemical additives are not part of this type of diet.

There are benefits to plant-based diets.

Plant-based diets can lower blood pressure, which makes it heart healthy and lowers the risk of stroke. Studies show that a plant-based diet can also reduce the risk of developing diabetes. One hypothesis is that a plant-based diet is lower in saturated fat, which can increase the risk. While the jury is out on whether it definitively lowers the risk of cancer, plants contain many nutrients that help protect the body from it. Those include minerals, fiber and many plant chemicals. There is substantial proof it does help lower the risk for specific types of cancer. Weight management and improved cognitive functioning are also positives.

Are there any negatives to a plant-based diet?

One of the biggest functions of a plant-based diet is to get people to eat more whole food without additives, sugar and refining. If you go on this type of diet, but still opt for processed food, you’re defeating the whole purpose. Without proper planning, you could experience problems like low intake of quality protein, iron deficiency, leaching of calcium from the bone, B-12 deficiency and reduced intake of essential fatty acids.

  • While it may be difficult to manage a nutritionally balanced plant-based diet, it could be a huge benefit for weight control. Just adding an extra helping of vegetables and reducing the amount of red meat can be a benefit.
  • Plant-based diets can be far less expensive than traditional methods of eating. Just making one day a week a meatless day can significantly cut the cost of groceries over a year’s time.
  • A plant-based diet may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s according to several studies. Just increasing your daily diet of fruit or vegetables by 100 grams lowered the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia by 13%.
  • A major study showed that consuming a plant-based diet decreased the risk of death from all causes by 25%.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy

Is Coffee Bad For Your Health?

Is Coffee Bad For Your Health?

If you can’t get started in the morning without your favorite cup of joe, then you don’t want to hear that coffee is bad for your health. If you love that coffee, there’s good news on the horizon, plus some bad news, too. Coffee gets mixed reviews when it comes to whether or not its healthy. It has both good and bad plant chemicals and nutrients in it.

Coffee can give you that little burst of energy when you need it most.

The caffeine in coffee is a stimulant that absorbs in our bloodstream, then goes to the brain. It blocks the neurotransmitter adenosine. That allows dopamine and norepinephrine is allowed to increase and boost the firing of neurons. Studies show that it can improve areas of brain functioning. You’ll burn more fat when you drink coffee, primarily because of the caffeine. The caffeine in a cup of coffee signals the body to burn fat and increase adrenaline levels, which improves performance at the gym.

There are also nutrients in coffee and it reduces the risk of diabetes.

Believe it or not, even though coffee has no calories, it provides some nutrition. There’s 11 % of your RDI—Referenced Daily Intake—of vitamin B2 in just one cup of coffee. That same cup has 6% vitamin B5, 2% of vitamins B1 and B3. It offers 1% folate RDI, 3% of both potassium and manganese and 2% RDI of niacin and magnesium. Studies show that drinking coffee can even reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes by as much as 67%.

The shakes and other problems can come from drinking too much coffee.

Yes, you can get too much of a good thing, even coffee. Each person has his or her own tolerance level to the effects of caffeine, where the boost in energy becomes shaking discomfort for the rest of the day. Too much can cause heart palpitations, panic attacks and disrupt sleep. To avoid the problems, monitor your coffee intake and don’t drink it later in the day, such as after 2:00 pm. If you want to quit coffee, take it slowly. The caffeine is addictive and there’s withdrawal symptoms, like headaches and irritability.

  • While most people don’t drink coffee for the health benefits, be aware that decaf doesn’t have them. It’s made by using solvents to remove the caffeine.
  • When you drink coffee, make it coffee made with a paper filter. French press unfiltered coffee has cafestol, which increases cholesterol levels.
  • Drink just plain coffee, with not sugar, sugar substitutes, cream or cream substitutes. They add loads of extra calories and aside from minor benefits from real cream, very little nutrition.
  • Coffee contains high amounts of antioxidants to keep you healthier. It also can lower the risk for Parkinson’s disease by as much as 60%.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy

Favorite Healthy Breakfasts

Favorite Healthy Breakfasts

Healthy breakfasts help you start off the day right and can help you lose weight, by keeping you feeling full longer. I have several favorites and some that clients have shared. In fact, if you have a healthy breakfast option you’d like to share, please feel free to do so in the comment section. We all are better when we help each other with knowledge. Some people simply do not like to eat breakfast. In fact, some are natural intermittent fasters. For the rest of us, here are some breakfasts that are perfect for the weekend and some that will get you out of the house quickly.

If you’re always running late, plan for a quick breakfast on the go.

Breakfasts take time to prepare and if you’re a last minute leaver, you may not have that time. That’s why preparing overnight oats with fruit and nuts on top could be a huge benefit. The oatmeal has fiber that fills you up and when topped with fruit and nuts provide protein and loads of nutrients. You can take time over the weekend to make healthy banana bread or pumpkin bread, then spread on some nut butter and you’re ready to leave. Another option is a hard-boiled egg. It even has its own container. Add a banana or some toast with mashed avocado and it’s a fast breakfast packed with nutritional power that keeps you full longer.

If time isn’t a problem, enjoy a royal breakfast.

If you have time on the weekend or even a day off during the week, where you can enjoy both the process of making breakfast and eating it, one of my all time favorites is a scramble. It’s a great way to use up the extra vegetables in the frig, too. I like a vegetarian option and normally include onions, mushrooms, broccoli and pepper. If I have cut up carrots, spinach, or kale, they go in, too. If I have a craving for more meat, leftover beef or turkey can be added. You can also add all the ingredients in a bowl, making sure you cut the vegetables in small pieces and pour it in a muffin cup and bake, for a mini scramble egg muffin.

Make sure you include protein, a source of fiber and healthy fat.

If you want to feel fuller longer, don’t forget the healthy fat, protein and fiber. They’re all an important part of your diet and will help you stay fuller longer. Protein includes meat, milk, eggs or even beans, such as a breakfast burrito. Healthy fat can include avocado, eggs, cheese or nuts, for example. You’ll get fiber from oatmeal, muesli, nuts and seeds. Try to include these things in your breakfast recipes.

  • Having the ingredients ready for a smoothie is a quick breakfast idea. Just toss them in the blender, pour in your cup and you’re ready to go. Clean up is a breeze and only takes a second. Put water in the blender, turn it on and you’re ready to go.
  • Breakfast sandwiches are becoming more popular with people on the go that want to eat healthier. Try an open face sandwich on whole grain. Sliced avocado, smoked salmon, tomatoes, eggs, baby lettuce and a bit of feta are a few of the ingredients you can use.
  • Be prepared for those mornings you simply don’t have time. Have some natural peanut butter and fresh fruit at your office or on the kitchen shelf ready to go. Apples and bananas are both great with nut butter of any type.
  • Plain Greek yogurt topped with walnuts or almonds and frozen or fresh berries or fruit is a filling breakfast. Chopped frozen black cherries, wheat germ, walnuts and Greek yogurt is filling and delicious.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Academy

Keeping Fit On The Go

Keeping Fit On The Go

It’s been a tough time and getting back to normal is even tougher. As your life gets busier and more complicated, with travel to other parts of the country, keeping fit on the go becomes one of the more perplexing problems. I have some clients that prefer the gym environment and strictly workout here. Others schedule time once or twice a month, and other times they workout on their own using the virtual training. Still, others are quite content to use the virtual training for their normal workout and one on the go. No matter which you do, stay fit should be your top priority. So do the one that works best for you.

Exercising on the go can be far easier than you thought.

Just getting up 45 minutes to an hour earlier can help you get your workout in for the day, so that life’s interruptions don’t get in the way. Not only is starting your day with a workout a good way to keep you on schedule, it also gets your blood circulating and makes you more alert. Our virtual program is excellent for early morning risers and those who travel.

We have exercise programs that don’t require a lot of space and can be done anywhere.

Many people have switched to strictly working at home, so taking a break from work to workout is excellent. You can break the sessions into two or three ten to fifteen minute sessions to give yourself a break from sitting. If you’re on the road, simply stopping at a rest stop and taking time to do lunges, squats beside your vehicle or simply walk around can get your blood circulating. Resistance bands are also great on-the-go pieces of equipment. Our virtual workouts can be done in a hotel room if you’re out of town.

Staying healthy on-the-go also means eating healthier.

Plan and schedule your meals ahead of time, especially if you’re busy. We have nutritional programs that can help you do it. Take time on the weekend to prepare all the food for the week and use it throughout the week when you’re busiest. You’ll be less tempted to opt for fast food if you already have healthy food ready.

  • Much of the virtual training program uses no equipment and bodyweight exercises. If you normally come to the gym for training, your trainer can create a program for you to use on the road.
  • No matter what you do, always break up longer periods of sitting by moving around approximately five to ten minutes every hour. Studies show that long periods of sitting can wipe out much of the benefit that exercise brings.
  • Make changes in your life to increase your activity. Park further from the store and walk, take the stairs not the elevator and walk faster, taking longer strides when you’re out and about.
  • Don’t skip sleep and stay hydrated. Drink approximately eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily and get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Academy

Is Coconut Water Good For Diabetes?

Is Coconut Water Good For Diabetes?

We encourage hydration before, during and after a workout at UpFit Training Academy in New York, NY. Some people bring sports drinks, others rely on ordinary water and lately, quite a few have started bringing coconut water. Not only is coconut water good for hydrating, it contains nutrients and antioxidants. Studies show that it may be good for heart health, prevention of kidney stones, lowering blood pressure and blood sugar levels, making it good for those with diabetes.

Animal studies indicate that it could be an aid for diabetics.

While the human research isn’t yet conclusive, animal studies show that it improved several markers indicating better health. Rats that were given coconut water had better control of blood sugar levels than the control group that didn’t. It also lowered hemoglobin A1c that points to better control of blood sugar over the long term. Other studies showed it lowered markers for oxidative stress.

Coconut water also contains fiber.

Animal studies also showed other important information, but weren’t necessary to identify some of the reasons it might be good for diabetics. It has a low carb count, just six grams per cup. It has higher magnesium to stimulate insulin sensitivity, lowering blood sugar levels in prediabetics and type 2 diabetics. However, you do have to watch what you drink. Some options for coconut water have added sugar and any health benefits disappear.

There are different types of coconut water, besides sweetened and unsweetened.

If you’re buying commercial coconut water, finding the right type shouldn’t be a problem. However, If you’re one of those people that prefer the freshest possible drink and food, choosing to get the drink straight from the coconut, be aware you need to buy white coconuts. The younger the coconut, the sweeter the water. As a coconut ages, the sugar is absorbed by the meat. Older coconuts are brown—unless they’re treated with a chemical to keep them white. White coconuts have the sweetest liquid and is what is used for commercial coconut water.

  • If you’re adding coconut water or any new type of food to your diet, always check with your health care professional to ensure it’s okay to do. Most professionals recommend that diabetics limit coconut water intake to one or two cups a day.
  • You’ll get electrolytes with coconut water. While it’s a small addition, it is one reason to drink it if you’re working out for a long period at peak performance.
  • If you’re dehydrated due to diarrhea or sickness, coconut water could help. It’s better than the option of sports drinks and may aid in replenishing electrolytes.
  • Our nutrition experts and trainers can help you with a healthy diet, besides offering a program of regular exercise. They can help create a diet that includes healthy hydration options.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Academy

Good Workouts For Couples

Good Workouts For Couples

Young muscular couple doing strength exercise at the cross fit workout.

One of the things that help people stick to a workout is having a workout buddy. If you have someone else that holds you accountable, you’re more likely to go to the gym or workout. That’s also what makes working out with a spouse so beneficial. In fact, it can actually cause some beneficial competition to stick with a workout program and make progress. Here are workouts for couples for those people who want to add the gym to their list of date night destinations.

You must decide on the ground rules and goals before you start.

Do you want to keep peace? Before you start any program of exercise with a significant other, set ground rules and goals. When you come to the gym, we always find out what your goals are before we create a program for you. It’s even more important if you’re working out with a spouse. Remember when setting goals that men tend to lose weight faster than women do because they have more muscle tissue.

Do you need a partner to spot or hold your feet for a back extension?

You don’t need to find someone in the gym to help you with certain exercises that require a spotter or need extra help by holding your feet or watching your form. Your spouse automatically becomes the spotter, coach and cheerleader. You don’t need a glute-ham raise machine to do a glute ham raise when you do it as a couple. One person holds your legs as you kneel on the floor. You then start lowering your upper body toward the ground. Don’t touch the ground but slowly raise your body back up. It’s a tough exercise and can hard for the partner who is holding your legs.

Even squats can be more fun when you’re doing them as a couple.

Try a fun exercise, like a back-to-back squat with your arms interlinked. Just start in standing position, back-to-back and link your arms. Then squat until your thighs are parallel to the ground and your bodies straight. Then try a back-to-back squat with your arms crossed in front of you.

  • Exercising together can improve your love life. Many studies show that it makes couples feel more satisfied with their relationship. Sharing the time and the common goal can also strengthen the bond.
  • Planks are tough enough, but working as a couple, you can make them tougher. Do planks together facing each other and in the middle of the hold, extend one hand and do a high five, then bring it back to starting position.
  • If you’ve never done a wheelbarrow walk with your kids, it’s nothing more than your partner getting on all fours with you picking up his/her legs then walking with them, like they’re a wheelbarrow. It can be fun and something you can do with a spouse or even the kids.
  • Our group fitness classes are perfect for couples, but if you choose you can create a small group session for you and your special someone. The two of you can also learn healthier recipes you can make together.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Academy!

Are Protein Supplements Dangerous?

Are Protein Supplements Dangerous?

Whether they’re trying to lose weight or build muscles, some clients of UpFit Training Academy in New York, NY, have wondered whether the protein supplements advertised can help. You see a lot of information on the internet, some of it promotes these supplements and other information says protein supplements are dangerous. For instance, protein supplements can be beneficial for elderly and sick people who have a hard time eating enough or digesting adequate protein.

You can get too much protein, even if it’s good for you.

One of the biggest problems with using protein supplements it that you can get too much protein and protein supplements may contain other substances that aren’t good for you taken in large quantities. Some protein supplements also have high amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Consuming too much can cause damage to the body. Other protein supplements that come from soy can actually increase the body’s estrogen levels. If you’re lactose intolerant, avoid protein supplements with whey and dairy products. Too much protein can also cause kidney damage by putting an extra burden on the kidneys. It also can cause constipation. Protein supplements with whey protein may cause concerns about osteoporosis and potential liver damage.

The best way to add protein to your diet is by eating a food source of protein.

While not everyone can eat enough protein or process it properly to get the full benefit, most people can. Adding extra protein to your meals, particularly if you’re trying to build muscle tissue, is the best way to achieve that goal. Not only do you get the additional protein, but other nutrients found in whole food. You’ll feel full and satisfied consuming whole foods. Supplements can’t supply that feeling.

There may be good reason to supplement your diet with protein.

Vegetarians have more of a problem filling their protein need. They have to combine two sources of protein to get a complete source. A protein supplement can help make it easier. A good vegan protein supplement helps fill the gap. If you’re an athlete, you may need extra protein if you’re in training and building muscle mass. If you need to stabilize blood sugar when under stress to avoid hypoglycemia or to help repair tissue that breaks down under stress, protein supplements can help.

  • Extra protein from a supplement can help with weight loss. It makes you feel fuller for longer, so you aren’t tempted to eat other high calorie food.
  • If you’re just beginning a workout program, supplementing a little with protein can help. You’ll need it to build muscle tissue and use more than you normally would. We can help you with a healthy diet to increase your protein intake, so you don’t have to supplement.
  • Watch out for additives if you choose a protein supplement. In order to make the supplements more palatable, some have added sugar and flavoring. You’ll be far better off eating Greek yogurt and fruit than choosing that type.
  • Most people find that adding a bit of protein supplement to their smoothie is the best way to use it. Many types of protein supplements are hard to dissolve in water and can taste awful.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Academy!

Welcome to our new website!

Welcome to our new website!

We will be writing about a variety of informative topics to help you achieve your health, weight management, and fitness goals. Be sure to check back often and let us know if there’s a specific topic you’d like for us to include. Here are some of the topics we will be covering – hope you’ll enjoy it!

  • Expert Advice,
  • Health & Fitness,
  • Motivations,
  • News & Events,
  • Nutrition Tips & Strategies,
  • Recommended Books,
  • Supplements,
  • Weight Loss Strategies,
  • Workouts & more!