Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Meal Plan: Week 6

Diet. To some people this word can be perfectly normal and not associated with a constant rollercoaster ride of weight changes and emotions. However for Michelle it is a word that comes with emotion. It will be a significant change for Michelle when she no longer thinks that a diet may be the answer and she can just eat. I think that she is on her way, even though she may not realize it. She has maintained the heart and determination to stick with a healthy eating plan (again, not a diet) for many months now and eventually that will lead to a permanent lifestyle change.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Trainer Notes: Week 6

This week we’re preparing for a switch to a new training cycle for Michelle. She is at a point where her body needs a change of stimulus. We started with adaptation and muscle growth, which to Michelle means muscle tone and not muscle bulk. She has enough lean muscle now to create a significant boost to her metabolism. One pound of muscle burns about fifty calories more per day than one pound of fat. This may not sound like a lot if you are looking at the number of calories your treadmill told you that you burned in 30 minutes of cardio, but combining the right mix of exercise with good nutrition will make this daily caloric expenditure accelerate. We will move Michelle into more high-repetition, high-intensity training next.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Meal Plan: Week 5

Michelle has been motivated and therefore easy to discipline concerning her eating habits. Not many people understand that your eating habits can actually speed up your metabolism if you do it correctly. Most people think of food as just a number of calories that make it harder to lose weight. Michelle has mastered the style of eating that helps a person lose weight.

She has controlled her portion size and meal structure so that she has the right balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat. Fat contains over twice as many calories per gram as protein and carbohydrates, so Michelle mostly sticks to lean proteins such as fish and chicken. That way, she can eat a filling portion since there is less fat and calories in those proteins.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Trainer Notes: Week 5

This week we will retest Michelle’s body composition to see how much she’s improved in the past 6 weeks. She has proven that diligent exercise and good nutrition habits will get results. It sounds like an obvious solution, but so many people don’t get all the pieces put together for success. The correct balance of strength training, moderate cardiovascular training, and proper nutrition is the key.

Keep up the good work Michelle!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Meal Plan: Week Four

We’ve talked about Michelle’s changes she has been successful in making so far with her nutrition. She has eliminated bad choices such as fast food, too much sugar or sodium, and large quantities of food. As mentioned before, our fear was she was too close to replicating a crash diet. We didn’t want her to snap and completely give up and go back to her old ways. So, we implemented cheat meals, which is a fun and not necessarily healthy meal for her to enjoy once a week. Michelle is at the stage of change that is fun: researching new healthy options and broadening horizons.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Trainer Notes: Week 4

This past week Michelle has made even more progress. Training with Michelle has been increasingly fun because she is developing more and more ability. She’s getting better at pushing herself to her limits, and part of that is knowing what your limits are. Often, we find that your limits can be pushed further than you think. It was a little difficult to read Michelle’s tolerance to exercise at first, but she is more aware of how it should feel now. This makes it easier to take her intensity to the level that is necessary to achieve muscle failure (which is a good thing). This muscle failure is the point when Michelle is physically not able to perform another repetition of a given exercise. We have to make sure that recovery from this intense exercise is maximized. What is so important to make sure that the body recovers and adapts adequately? It boils down to one word – nutrition.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Meal Plan: Week Three

Last week we implemented Michelle’s master food list and her “cheat” list. The former helps her plan meals, make quick decisions when deciding what meals she wants to prepare and therefore cuts out some of the mental work. The latter makes eating a little more fun for Michelle. She has been a little tough on herself for some time and not allowing herself to cheat.

So, I thought her cheat list would be a good idea. It will be fun to hear from Michelle how she felt about her first cheat meal.

I think our next step will be simply understanding hunger and controlling meal size. Also, we need to help Michelle get creative and develop a recipe book so she can have variety. I’ve already given her a couple recipes for making salmon-one of her favorite foods.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Trainer Notes: Week Three

Michelle is starting her fifth week with us at Fitness Together. She seems to be coming along well. She has been very committed and energized with a great attitude. Oftentimes, it is a significant change for people to change their old habits, not only just behavioral habits like eating and exercising, but just a new daily routine can be a little overwhelming. Michelle has done well making the mental adjustment and committing to a new lifestyle and routine.

Today Michelle will start her next four weeks on a new program. Her first four weeks were designed to develop coordinated, smooth movements while building some lean muscle. The program we have designed and the exercises within it are designed to create more intensity and breakdown of the muscle fibers and create hypertrophy, or muscle growth. This does not mean we have plans of making Michelle into a bodybuilder with massive muscles, it just means we need to put just a few pounds of muscle on her. Increased muscle means increased metabolism and she needs that for fat burn. The first few workouts this week will be difficult for her, and she probably will even be a little sore for a couple days. She now knows that some soreness is not a bad thing, as long as we are progressing the intensity at her body’s pace. I’ll have more updates next week!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Meal Plan: Week Two

As mentioned last week, Michelle has made changes in her eating habits, and has seen changes in her body. However, she still needs improvements in her behavior to make her transformation permanent. We’re working with her on balancing her nutrients in her meals. By getting protein in almost every meal she creates a feeling of satiety throughout the day, and never allows herself to get really, really hungry. This way of eating stokes her metabolic fire because blood-sugar levels stay more consistent, and more body fat is released.

Michelle has been struggling with two things: variety in meals and being too strict on herself. So we have started creating a categorized list of good food choices used for meal creation and to make grocery shopping easier. Now we need to work on behavioral changes that will make eating more fun and reward her for achievements. We added a category, that we call her ‘cheat list.’ This is her fun category of foods or meals that she can save for her one day of the week that she can cut loose and indulge in a meal that is not so healthy. There is a difference between eating for pleasure and eating for survival. Every once in a while, you need to eat for pleasure so that eating for survival is more rewarding. If Michelle can master this state of mind, she will achieve her desired transformation. Thanks for supporting Michelle and the other transformation contestants!
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