Health

Water, Water, Water: Why Bother?

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Some people are born loving water and some people are not. I grew up in a house where caffeine was revered from diet soda to coffee to tea. If it had caffeine in it then it was in our house. I never felt the need to drink water. Sometimes in the summer as kid at gymnastics practice I would workout five to six hours in an un-airconditioned building in the heat of the afternoon and I would barely sip on my water. Each day I would diligently fill my half gallon water bottle with ice and water. Everyday I would return home with the water untouched. I never saw the importance of water and never felt the ill effects of not drinking it so I never felt the need.

 

I still struggle like most people to get my water in. So why bother when coffee and tea are so much tastier?

 

Do you have goals of running faster, lifting more or over-all just performing better in the gym? Well, you can have a decrease in performance by as much as 10%, just by being dehydrated as little as 1-2%. EEEEkkk…..Not drinking water isn’t going to take you from a 6 hour marathon to a sub four hour marathon (I wish) but it can help you get that PR you have been striving for.

 

Looking to drop some lbs on the scale? Your hydration status is a powerful contributor to your fat burning powers. Your liver is a fat burning power house but it can’t focus on its job of burning fat if your lacking in the water department. When you are dehydrated it has to lend its fat burning powers to helping the kidneys filter your blood.

 

Moody? Tired? Trouble Concentrating? When is the last time you had a swig of water? Just a 2% decrease in hydration can contribute up to 30% change in cognitive function.  When do you reach for that snickers, cake or candy…..probably when you are pissy or trying to stay awake.

 

I could go on and on about the powers of water but I will summarize at this. By not drinking this stuff you are sabotaging yourself. If you are working hard to improve performance, habits or weight then setting goals for how much water drink daily should be top of the list. It is a simple but not always easy habit to incorporate.

 

I am often asked how much water should I be drinking? I recommend drinking half your body weight in oz plus 15 - 25 oz per workout. If you are a sweaty betty or you live in a hot and humid climate you should err on drinking closer to 25 oz per sweat session.

 

If you are a 100lbs and you worked out once a day at noon in miami, FL you would drink 75 oz a day.

 

If you are barely clearing 8oz of water a day this may seem impossible. Like everything else I preach just aim to be better than yesterday. So how do you set yourself up to drink more fluids a day?

 

  • Track it: Nothing motivates people like tracking results. Set a goal.  Every time you drink 8oz of water track it. The closer you get to your daily goal the more motivated you will be to keep it going.

 

  • Water before your first coffee: Rolling out of bed searching for that burst of caffeine don’t deny yourself but challenge yourself to drink a glass of water first.

 

  • Drink a glass of water with or around each meal: Some folks do not do well when they drink water when they eat. It affects their digestion. If that is you aim to drink a glass of water 30 minutes after each meal.

 

  • Set a daily midday goal. I like to set a mid-morning goal. I aim to drink half of my water by lunch. It gives me something to shoot for. I check-in mid-day to see where I am so I can adjust my intake to reach my goals by the end of the day

 

  • Pair drinking water with another habit you already do frequently: Check you email drink a sip of water. Check Instagram Drink a glass of water.

 

  • Where is the water? Keep the water close. If you have to go searching for water and it is already a habit you do not care to complete then you are not doing yourself any favors. Preparation is key. Make it easy.

 

  • Know what works for you: I hate cold water and drinking water out of a glass. In order to come close to hitting my goals I drink room temperature water out of a glass bottle. Will that be your jam…. probably not, but experiment and find out what leads you to drink more throughout the day

 

  • Find someone or something to hold you accountable: Ever say you are going to go running at 5 am and then it rolls around and you just hit the snooze button? What if you had to meet a friend there? You would want to hit that snooze button but then you would think of your friend waiting for you and you would roll your tired butt out of bed. Now a days there is an app. For everything. The one I am currently using is Plant Nanny!

 

  • Make an X : Set small goals and everytime you hit that goal make an X on your calendar. Once you have acquired a couple of X’s you won’t want to break that habit.

 

  • How do you feel: Experiment. Nothing motivates folks to keep a habit going like seeing changes in how they look and feel. Notice the changes in mood, energy, food choices, performance on the days that you drink water versus the days that you don’t.

 

  • Success Breeds Success : Set small goals that you know you will easily hit. Nothing breeds success like success. Start small and then add more every other week. In a month you will be blown away with how far you have come.

 

Looking for help setting and meeting your goals. Reach out. Theresa.Worley@icloud.com

 

Break Free of Yo-Yo Dieting. Set yourself up for a lifetime of Success

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   Arby’s. Burger King. Jerry Subs. Chili’s. Boston Market. Five Guys. This is not a list of places that you should never go but a list of places that my now husband and I ate on the regular when we first started dating.

 

    The progression of our relationship almost mirrors that of our food choices. People often think that they can go from zero to hero in a week. We often overestimate what we can do in a month but underestimate what we can do in a year.

 

    If your weekly food prep is finding the latest and greatest “to-go” food menus then do not expect to successfully eat grilled chicken and broccoli for the next month. Can you do it? For sure but for most people this will last a week before they say f*ck it and double down on the to-go meals. (p.s. I am not advocating to just eat broccoli and chicken - that sound insanely boring) 

 

    Currently we cook 90% of our meals at home with a heavy emphasis on lean proteins, healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, butter, eggs, dairy), and veggies and fruit. What you do not know is that this was a progression over the last fifteen years with the addition of the veggies coming in just this last year.

 

    After we finally decided that eating out everyday was not conducive to our wallets, waistline and health, we traded in our drive through windows for frozen meals. We were the hot pocket and frozen pizza kings. There was not a time where we didnt have a 2L bottle of diet soda by our sides or a bag of chips. Fruit? You mean fruit snacks?

 

    As we progressed through the continuum we started cooking and by we I mean my husband.. We were Mexican food connoisseurs making tacos, fajitas, nachos and quesadillas every week. Why Mexican food?? Well, that’s my husbands favorite. He is a creature of habit and he never EVER tires of eating the same thing day after day. To this day he could still eat mexican food every day of the week. This is his SUPERPOWER.

 

    I love a good Mexican dish but the reason I actually started cooking was after a year  of Mexican night every night, I was itching for a little variety . My spur for healthy living came after I found CrossFit. I swore when I started CrossFit that I would not do that “Paleo-thing”. Of course six months in I was knee deep in paleo food websites, the whole-thirty and anything that was not Mexican food.  

 

   It was here that I found the benefits of real whole foods. I would love to say that I ate a ton of veggies here but that would be lying. I certainly ate more “green” stuff than I did when I was a  professional taste tester at Arby’s. It wasn't until I hired a nutrition coach that I really learned that food is fuel for your body and not something that was created to work against you. I never would have gotten to this point if I forced myself to go from Arby’s to lean meats and veggies everyday of the week.

 

So here is my point put a different way. If you've never run a day in your life, would you sign up for a marathon tomorrow? Can you do it, yes! Likelihood of finishing, it being a success, you building an everlasting love for running? Very slim.

 

    Where you are and where you want to go is a process that builds upon itself overtime. Start slow. Maybe this means one veggie a week or one walk a week as you build to the next level. If you added a new habit every other week that you were able to sustain that would be 25 new habits by the end of the year. What would your life look like with 25 new habits that you were able to continue over a lifetime?

 


Want to make a change? Don’t know where to start? Contact me at Theresa.Worley@icloud.com

 

 

 

8 Practical Tips to decrease stress, be happy and lose weight

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Since giving up, packing up and moving to Hawaii is not a viable option to deal with the stressors of your life (although I wish it was) we need to talk about some practical advice that fits into your day.

 

We are talking about decreasing stress and not adding to your to-do list, so my goal is that these tips are simple and easy to incorporate.  

 

The first and most powerful way to decrease stress and break that fat-loss plateau is sleep. In this day and age we consider how little we sleep as a badge of honor. We think the fewer the hours we sleep the harder we are trying and succeeding at life.

 

This is backwards thinking for many reasons but we are here to talk about fat-loss. Not sleeping enough raises that level of cortisol which has you reaching for sugary, simple carb foods while always feeling hungry and never satisfied. EEEKKKK!

 

How would you feel with seven more hours of sleep a week? Do you think you could make better food choices when you are better rested?…..You betcha. If you were to go to bed at 10pm every night instead of 11 pm each night that would equate to one extra hour of sleep each night. If you do this every night of the week that adds up to seven more hours of sleep a week or one extra full-night of sleep.

 

For many people that may seem like a hoops dream. Start by trying to go to bed just 15 minutes earlier or waking up 15 minutes later each morning. Even 15 minutes would result in almost two extra hours of sleep a week.

 

The importance of sleep on decreasing cortisol levels and therefore aiding in fat-loss cannot be understated. Think you are doing everything right but can’t seem to drop those lbs….first and foremost look at your sleep.

 

Here are the practical ways to decrease stress, increase fat-loss and find your zen

 

1) Sleep:

  • Aim for at least 7.5 hours of sleep a night. Think this is impossible. Start with going to bed 15 minutes earlier or waking up 15 minutes later.

 

2) Decrease caffeine intake and when it is consumed:

  • Can’t open your eyes without your cup of coffee. This is a sign that you aren’t getting enough sleep. Caffeine consumption becomes a vicious cycle. You drink it to make it through the day but it ends up being the thing that prevents you from sleeping soundly at night.

  • If you do nothing else limit caffeine past 2pm in the day

  • Work to decrease the amount of caffeine you consume each day by choosing a smaller mug, adding in decaf coffee or trading out coffee for matcha or green tea.

 

3) Work-out consistently:

  • Exercise helps your body to deal with physical stress. When you work out regularly, your body reduces the amount of cortisol it releases each time it is faced with a stressful situation. Basically, it helps you deal better with all the daily stressors that you are already facing in your life.

 

  • Working out releases endorphins which make you feel good about yourself and life which in turn help you to handle rush hour traffic, meetings and toddler tantrums without going over the deep end.

 

  • Working out often forces you to be single tasked. It is hard to think about grocery shopping while squatting under a heavy barbell, or when you are pushing yourself on a jog.

 

4) Walk:

  • Family walks are one of my favorite ways to decrease stress. I use it as a time to connect with loved ones, to breathe in some fresh air and appreciate my life. This can all be done with a short ten minute walk.

 

5) Gratitude Journal:

  • Change your focus, change your life. We often spend most of our life thinking about what we have to do, or what isn’t going right or what is coming down the pike that we often forget how much is going well for us. Changing your focus might help you to see you are lucky to be sitting in your car in traffic or that the toddler tantrum is the benefit of having a healthy little nugget. Changing your perception will change the way that your body responds.

 

  • Everyday spend time in the morning writing down three things you are grateful for. (p.s. It has to be something different everyday)

 

  • For extra credit write down three things that went well during your day at the end of the night.

 

 

6) 5 minutes of meditation/journaling or hobby:

  • When is the last time you just let your mind wander without the use of a device. Probably not often these days. When your nose is constantly in your device or TV, you don’t give yourself time to think about your day, life and problems. When you let your mind be still, that is when you often come up with solutions to those issues causing the greatest amount of stress. I like to do this in the morning with my morning cup of coffee. I set a timer for five minutes and just let my mind wander. The act of being still eases my brain and allows me to feel in control of my day.

 

7) Mind Dump:

  • At the end of the day write down everything that you have to do for tomorrow. Just the act of writing it down allows you to figure out how to get it all done. Knowing that you don't have to remember your to do list allows for more restful sleep.

 

8) Preparation

  • When all else fails just be prepared. Knowing your day is going to be busy and stressful, be sure to pack yourself healthy options to reach for. This way in moments of stress you are not tempted to reach for that Twix bar. Being stressed decreases willpower so let preparation work for you.

 

It is easy to think you don't have the time but it is not true. Every time you see yourself sneaking a peek at your Instagram, Facebook or Email that is your time.

 

Commit to 5 minutes a day for the next week and see how it changes your life. Not only will you enjoy each day a little more, you might find your clothes are a little looser as you enjoy a deeper sleep.

 

What do you do to reduce daily stress?

Need help! Contact me at Theresa.Worley@icloud.com

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

STRESS - Your weight-loss ENEMY

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Do you feel like you are doing all of the right things yet despite that you are still struggling to lose weight? Eating nutrient dense, whole foods? Working-out? Staying Active?

 

Stress may be to blame!

 

Work deadlines. Morning Rush. Rush Hour Traffic. Meetings. Toddler Tantrums. Doctors Appointments. Grocery Shopping. Cooking. Working Out. It can often seem as if the stress of the day is never ending.

 

Everytime you feel physical, mental or emotional stress, your body releases a bit of cortisol. What is Cortisol? It is a hormone released by your body to give you alertness and energy. This important to us!  This splash of Cortisol can be lifesaving in the event you were suddenly confronted by a bear.

 

The problem is that your body thinks that rush hour traffic or toddler tantrum is just a life threatening as the bear.

 

Everytime we feel stress with get a “hit” of Cortisol. Some of us are so stressed out that we are basically living on a Cortisol IV drip.

 

Cortisol is supposed to be high in the morning and low at night so you wake up with lots of energy and know when to fall asleep. Unfortunately, since we are getting little “hits” of Cortisol at all times of the day our body gets confused and we are often wide awake at night and exhausted in the morning. HELLO YOU BIG BEAUTIFUL CUP OF COFFEE. This unfortunately just exacerbates the problem.

 

When your body thinks it is just trying to survive the day, fat-loss is at the bottom of its priority list.

 

So how does Cortisol sabotage your beach goals? Well, it does this by affecting other hormones in your body.

 

Cortisol makes your cells less responsive to insulin. Insulin is the hormone that helps your body make use of glucose (aka carbs which become glucose).

 

Since Cortisol makes your body less responsive to Insulin your body tries to overcome this by producing more Insulin to try to get your body the message….eeek. This not only causes insulin resistance and could send you down the road towards type two diabetes (it is a little a more complicated than this but you got the idea)

 

Having high levels of insulin all the time hurts fat loss because it makes your fat cells hold on to fat like a dog holding on to a bone. It will die before it lets it go.

 

Ever notice how when you are mildly stressed that you are always hungry and never satisfied. You have Leptin and Ghrelin to thank for this.

 

Leptin is the hormone that makes you feel full and happy. Essentially Leptin keeps you from over-eating.

Ghrelin is the growling hormone. It is the hormone that makes your belly growl to let you know you are hungry.

When you are stressed Leptin production is decreased and Ghrelin is increased so you are always hungry and never full…...Well that can't be good for willpower……

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Lastly, Insulin and Cortisol work opposite of each other. When your cortisol is high, your insulin is low and vise versa. Well, your body doesnt like this. Your body wants to be in homeostasis. In order to spike your insulin your body wants sugar!!!!! So you crave simple sugars to get that insulin spike and a decrease in your cortisol. This is why when you are stressed it feels good to eat that candy bar and you feel more relaxed after. Well, sugar sends a rush of insulin which causes a rapid fall in blood sugar and a subsequent rise in cortisol ……….which then causes a craving for sugar…...my god it is a cycle that never ends…….

 

Damn…..this stress thing is bad news.

 

Lastly, cortisol causes inflammation. We all want to feel strong and sleek but cortisol makes you puffy. Your fat cells throughout your body all react differently to cortisol. Unfortunately, your belly fat has more cortisol receptors then other parts of your body. So instead of rocking a flat stomach the more stressed your are the more likely you are to be sporting a spare tire. This is usually not the look the people are going for.

 

Since giving up and moving to Hawaii isn’t reality for most people, what you needs is some real life solutions.

 

Stay tuned next week with some practical tips to decrease stress and increase fat loss.

 

Overwhelmed. Need help sticking with a plan. Contact me at Theresa.Worley@icloud.com for a FREE consultation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why do we HAIL the SCALE

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     We all have in mind a certain number that we want the scale to be upon waking every morning. I myself have fallen victim to this more often than not over the last 10-15 years of my life. If the scale is moving closer in the direction we want then we are happy for the day. If it is not we are often disappointed, sad, frustrated and upset for a portion if not all of the day. Sometimes we even let the number on the scale determine how much we eat for the day. (please don’t do this)

 

    Every now and then we let the scale determine our self-worth. Intellectually we know this is silly but in the moment emotionally we are sad and distraught. One of the main problems is that people have this arbitrary number in their head that they think they should weigh. They think that if they get to this weight that their life will miraculously fall into place. It won’t. Often times this number is unrealistic and rooted in comparison to others around us. When a client gives me their goal weight, I will sometimes tell them how much I weigh. (BTW: I am 5’0” ~135lb). After I tell them that, there is a brief pause because it is only then that they realize that their number might be a bit unrealistic. If your number is unrealistic, you are fighting a losing battle. One that is going to be fraught with failure and frustration. What we should be focusing on health, how we feel and the habits that we are building to get there.

 

    What if I told you that I could get you to your goal weight and in record time but you would not be able to sleep through the night, you would always be tired, you would always be cranky, you would always be hungry, you would have a limited repertoire of food that you could eat and say goodbye to enjoying a glass a wine and dinner with friends. Does that seem like a life you would want?

 

     As I began this journey with macros, this number of 125lbs was always my goal. To be honest I got pretty close. I got to 127 lbs. Do you know what happened when I got  close to a 125 lbs….. I wondered if I could be 120lbs. We all do this. Whenever we hit a goal, we are always searching for the next goal. Today I sit somewhere around 133 - 135.  

 

Guess what, I am happier and healthier than I was at 127. I can lift more weight, I feel that my performance in Crossfit is not only on point but  I feel like I am just scratching the surface of my potential. This is something that is important to me. I sleep well (when my kids are sleeping) and enjoy each day with great energy. I eat out weekly. I like the way my clothes fit and how I look in the mirror. Most importantly my eating habits are the best that they have ever been. I am eating fruit, lean meats and most amazingly vegetables multiple times a day.

 

Yes, we all have goals and I think goals are great!! I really do. I think weighing ourselves is important AT TIMES. It helps us to know if we are going in the right direction. I just think that we should look at the number on the scale as one data point not the only data point on our journey to a healthier self. We need to internalize that the scale doesn't determine the quality of our life….we do.   

Have questions? Contact me at Theresa.Worley@icloud.com

 

                                      My daughter Scout and I dying eggs this Easter

                                      My daughter Scout and I dying eggs this Easter

 

 

                                               I have no pictures of me. Selfie anyone ;)

                                               I have no pictures of me. Selfie anyone ;)