Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Snack Solutions

You KNOW you're supposed to eat 5 small meals a day to lose weight... (you do know this, right?!)

Here are some good options to fill in those snacks with a healthy protein/fiber/carbohydrate ratio:

1. 80 calories: Stick of string cheese
2. 100 calories: Hard-boiled egg with a handful of grape tomatoes
3. 180 calories: Nature Valley granola bar
4. 250 calories: Ready-made reduced-fat smoothie, such as Stonyfield Farm
5. 250 calories: Clif bar
6. 275 calories: 2 or 3 small handfuls of trail mix
7. 290 calories: Kellogg's Nutri-Grain bar with a handful of pistachios or almonds
8. 300 calories: Slice of whole-grain bread topped with peanut butter and banana
9. 300 calories: Small bagel with 2 slices of Muenster cheese, melted
10. 400 calories: Medium-size fruit muffin (best if made with whole-wheat flour)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Food Food Food: Get It Right

Okay ya'll. There is a LOT of information in this post. A LOT. It is worth printing off and putting on your fridge. Just so you don't forget the little things. It's those little things that add up on your waist line. Juice for breakfast. Latte for mid morning snack. Five beers before dinner. Those kinds of little things. 

Marietta’s Food Thoughts…

  • ALWAYS eat breakfast. ALWAYS eat protein for breakfast: whether it is eggs, greek yogurt, add a protein drink to this first meal of the day. 
  • Be sure to eat at least 300-400 calories for breakfast. It is a proven fact that if you eat eggs for breakfast you will eat 150-300 LESS calories during the day.
  • Try to eat 3 meals and 2 snacks. Each meal should contain 300-400 calories and each portion should be no larger than your palm... not your hand, your palm! Snacks should be 200-300 calories. 
  • Eat LEAN meats: fish, chicken, grilled pork, tuna, avoid red meat.
  • Don't eat carbs after 4:00. - protein & veggies for dinner...yum!
  • Drink at LEAST 70 ounces of water per day. 
  • A lot of people think that they are hungry when they are actually thirsty - your body does not send different signals for hunger and thirst. So always drink 8 oz of water when you feel hungry, wait 10 minutes and if you are still hungry then eat some protein - string cheese or almonds.

I eat “right” Sunday night thru Saturday lunch. I take off Saturday night thru Sunday lunch for a couple “splurge” meals. 
Literally eat 5 meals a day - every day. Most of the time I'm not hungry when it is "time" to eat again, but I make myself so that my metabolism stays up. I compare it to a fire - if you put 12 logs of wood on a fire at once it will take forever to burn away. But if you put 2 logs on every hour then it will burn away quickly! The same is true with our bodies, don't expect to burn off your food if you eat one or two huge meals - spread out your calories thru out the entire day.

Example of a day’s meals:

Breakfast: (think protein!) Scrambled eggs, greek yogurt, whole wheat toast or oatmeal.
Snack: almonds & apple OR string cheese & piece of fruit
Lunch: (think protein!) Grilled chicken, green beans, whole grain rice, side of fruit
Snack: 6 or 7 whole grain crackers & a piece of fruit
Dinner:  (think protein!) Chicken, pork or ANY fish: salmon, tilapia, trout.. with a healthy salad w/ light dressing, veggies: sweet potato is ok, green beans, asparagus. Avoid any carbs at dinner and try to always eat before 7pm. 

This is totally do able... I (used to) travel all day long for my job and would have to take a lunch box in the car with me. You MUST prepare in advance or you WILL get really hungry and run thru a fast food place instead.   

Fast food options that are okay: McDonald’s oatmeal. The grilled chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-a on a whole wheat bun is only 320 calories and you can order a side of fruit. The walnut/apple/chicken salad from Wendy's with the vinaigrette dressing.

I showed you all my food log in this post (YOU MUST KEEP A FOOD LOG IF TRACKING CALORIES!) and posted it along this picture.

I would love to hear your suggestions and questions. Thanks for stopping by today!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Losing Weight After Age 35

I LOVE before and after stories. Not only because it is so fun to see the before and after pictures, but mostly because it means that the person FINISHED! I know SO many people (including myself) that will say "I am starting a new diet on Monday!" and by Thursday I've already stopped at Sonic to get a milk shake. And tator tots. 

I asked Angie if I could share her story. I have personally seen a HUGE change in her body AND confidence in her physically abilities since she started my class. She has had some pretty serious back issues and was very cautious about starting a workout program. She was careful at first, but as her abs got stronger she is now able to do EVERYTHING! Sit ups, burpees, squat jumps, etc. 

Written by Angela Moore:

 "I am 36 years old and lost 60 pounds in 6 months. Most of the weight loss was due to a pretty strict diet that was high protein (15-20 grams 4 times a day,) high fiber (2 cups of veggies twice a day,) no sugar or high carb foods, and no eating after 7-8pm. I walked 3 times a week, but really started toning after joining Beginner Boot Camp halfway through my weight loss."

Thanks for stopping by today. 


Monday, May 20, 2013

Focus on Fad Diets: Shakes

In the month of April I had five different people do my bootcamp and at the second class ask me to "join their team" to sell great weight loss products to all my clients. (I would make a LOT of money off your ignorance and they would make money off me: pyramid scheme style). When I tell them NO! I don't believe in supplements, I think real food is best. They pester me some more and when they realize that I am serious they ask for "permission" to start selling to people in their bootcamp class. I give them an even firmer NO!!!!! They don't come back to bootcamp. 

In fact, I read posts like this one and I even start to rethink if I should be taking  supplements. Girlfriend looks good!

But at the very end of her article she posts a picture of the check she received and then she says: "I ate a perfectly clean diet for 3 months, didn’t skip a workout (lots of HIIT and body weight exercises), and BUSTED my tail in the gym!!! "  Snap! Back to reality. I would look like that too if I did what she did. No shakes or pills, just food. 

So that brings me to why the average person who needs to lose about 20 pounds would drink any of these supplemental shakes aka "meal replacement shakes". They first surfaced in 1977 when Slim-Fast introduced a weight loss plan of a shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch and a sensible dinner.

What do I really think?
Diet shakes and other meal replacements are OKAY when you lack the time or motivation to shop for and prepare balanced meals. They also help when you just don't want to think too hard about what to eat to lose weight. If you are consistently missing a certain meal, such as breakfast, then a meal replacement shake is better than nothing. That's because studies show eating breakfast fosters long-term weight control.

BUT!!!!! Dinner is where people who use meal replacement shakes get into trouble, You will simply be too hungry to control yourself at the evening meal. If two diet shakes, which can amount to 450 calories or even less, is all you've had by dinnertime, you've only used up about one-third of your daily calorie allotment, so it's little wonder you're ravenous. So instead of eating 3 oz of chicken, a green salad with fat free italian and a green vegetable with WATER, you eat lasagna, salad with ranch, garlic bread and two glasses of red wine because that's how many calories you have left to eat. Holla! Go to bed full, repeat tomorrow. (You're thinking, I can totally do this dieting thing!) 

Reality: you MIGHT lose a LITTLE weight because you are technically taking in less calories. The major criticism of these "shake diets" by health care professionals is they do not change poor eating habits and the lost weight is typically regained as soon as you quit drinking the shakes and start eating food. 

So you get to this point of the post, and you're discouraged again. Mostly because you've done what I described above and you still got 20lbs showing up on your scale that need to go away. You're also discouraged because you KNOW you need to change the way you are EATING (not drinking shakes, eating food). Come back tomorrow for a days example of eating. 


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Focus On: Interval Training Workouts

I've gotten several emails this week from people that live out of state asking me how they can complete an interval workout. I was kind of shocked that a) people are actually reading this and that b) they actually took the time to send me a message. So thank you!

What is interval training? It's a workout with high bursts of cardio followed by low intensity strength training. Basically during cardio your heart rate is at an 9 or 10, and you "recover" while doing push ups, squats, etc. Then repeat!

Interval training is the BEST use of your time. It will actually be just as beneficial for you to do 15 minutes of interval training as it would to go for a LONG run AND visit the weight room. What?!?! Yes. It's true. Read this article if you're interested in the study that scientists at McMaster University did to prove this.  I LOVE when scientists do research to back up what I've been saying for years! 

Ok, so onto an example of an interval workout. 

Do each exercise for TWO minutes, rest for 20 seconds in between each exercise. I would repeat this workout again, immediately. 
When someone starts my class for the first time, I give them a handout with so much information. I wonder sometimes if they actually read it... I hope they do. I cover intervals and WHY we do them. 
  • Interval training increases the after-burn effect. This means that post workout your body is burning calories just attempting to recover!
  • Even though interval workouts can be shorter than your long run or bike rides, it will actually increase your endurance (MANY runners have told me they've cut 10-15 minutes off their half marathon time!).
  • It targets belly fat. Fast paced workouts help your body release fat-burning hormones. These hormones target the belly fat specifically. This is not only good for your appearance at the pool, but for your heart as well!
I am always SO interested in the "why" behind workouts. Mostly because it is much easier to go "walking" or 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Help Me Out! Fill Out a 1 Minute Survey.

Hi friends!
This local survey will literally take you 30 seconds. I would REALLY appreciate it!

Go to this link and enter "McClure Fitness" in the fitness business section. Help me win the local survey! You do not have to live in the area to submit an entry. Besides, if you read this blog then you benefit from McClure Fitness!

Thank you!


- Marietta

Monday, May 13, 2013

Flat Belly. Yes, Please!

The flat belly. Is it even attainable? The answer is YES! While a good diet is the biggest factor, you need to be doing the right ab exercises. (You might have abs under all that squishy stuff, but no one will EVER see them if you keep eating cupcakes and drinking margaritas.)

Most of us will never have abs that look like this. I think I would scare my husband if I did.

So after you've mastered your diet (yeah, right!), you have got to do the right kind of ab exercises to get a flat belly. Most women are rely on crunches to get it. I want to make one thing clear: Crunching is not the most effective abs workout. Crunches work only the muscles on the front and sides of your abdomen. It's important to target all the muscles of the core to get more defined abs—including lower back, hips, and upper thighs. Core exercises like the plank help train muscles to stabilize the spine and pelvis so you can avoid back pain and improve posture. They also burn more calories than crunches because they work more muscles.

We do a LOT of plank based exercises at bootcamp. Not much of just holding a plank, but a lot of exercises that require you to start or stay in a plank while completing the circuit. I love this illustration because it shows all the muscles you are working while in plank. Get to burning, calories!

I love this comparision. If only you could see yourself in plank. No really, it's not pretty. 

 This is a plank modification if you are not to the point where you can hold your body up. Be sure to keep your body low (opposite of what Miss Elephant is doing) and think about squeezing your belly button into your spine. And KEEP BREATHING. 

Happy Planking!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Not Losing ANY Weight at the Gym? GET OFF THE ELLIPTICAL!

When I was in college at Fayetteville I would go to the HYPER (the university's gym), get on the elliptical and watch E! News. 30 minutes later the machine told I burned 500 calories so I left. This went on for a really long time... like the whole time I was in college. 

Evidence that the elliptical calorie counter LIED to me!

It wasn't until after college that I joined a gym that offered classes. The only class that fit into my schedule was a "Body Sculpt" class, so I gave it a try. Basically we lifted hand weights the whole hour and did spurts of cardio in between (high knees, jumping jacks, burpees, etc.). It was not until I started this class and doing intervals that the weight DROPPED. And I mean DROPPED. 

This was 4 months later. 

Pa-leeeeaaaasssssseeee tell me you see the difference?!?!

Anyway, the point of this post is to "encourage" you to say BYE BYE to those stationary machines: bike, elliptical, stair master, treadmill, etc.

Besides the fact that you will work out SO much harder with me.... (Let's be honest: are you really going to push yourself to the breaking point on the elliptical? If you start going too fast on the treadmill you won't be able to read the closed captioning on Real Housewives!)

OKAY, I'm distracted again. Back to the point of this post. Every time I am at the gym I see someone doing this. I laugh. Really. Mostly because I've been there. Are you guilty of frequenting the stationary machine....? What about holding on WHILE on the stationary machine? You know you do it. I did. 

are you holding on? got an excuse ready?! let's hear it!

  • If you think: "I’ll fall off if I let go!" 
    Then: SLOW DOWN.
  • If you think: "My trainer says it’s OK." I once asked a trainer why he allowed his able-bodied client to hold on, despite three weeks of training. His response: "She’s scared."
    Then: Get a new trainer. That one sucks. Beware of trainers who fail to empower you. 
  • If you think: "I’ll lose my balance." 
    Then: Slow down and stop using your arms as anchors. Balancing is part of exercise.
  • If you think: "I’ve always done it this way."
    Then: It’s never too late to break a sabotaging habit.
  • If you think: "My doctor told me to do it." 
    Then: Shame on him or her for not telling you that holding on increases blood pressure and causes poor posture.
  • If you think: "The machine keeps telling me to hold on for heart rate." 
    Then: Select another program. Hold on for heart rate, but then let go after the number appears!
  • If you think: "But I’m sweating!"
    Then: Many variables affect sweat: room ventilation, weight, body chemistry, even mental state.
  • If you think: "I’m old!" 
    Then: If ever there were a reason NOT to hold on, this is it!

IF you are going to do a machine, choose the treadmill. But back up and slow down! 

Onto what we really care about: the calories. 

1. Inaccurate Calorie Counters:

A recent study named the elliptical trainer the least accurate when it comes to calorie counting, with most machines overestimating your burn by 42 percent, says Jay Cardiello, SHAPE fitness editor-at-large. 
Why are elliptical machines so off base? Unlike treadmills, which can closely replicate your normal gait, the movement of the elliptical is not a natural motion, Cardiello says. Ellipticals also vary from manufacturer to manufacturer in terms of the range of motion, so a 'standard' just is not feasible. Plus, while using the arm levers (handles) will increase your heart rate, your arms don't weigh a lot compared to your hips, butt, and leg muscles, says Michele Olson, Ph.D., professor of exercise physiology at Auburn University. "So don't confuse a pronounced increase in heart rate from more arm movement to mean a pronounced increase in calories expended."

2. Stair-master: Cheating Yourself by Leaning 

Leaning over the console while taking super-short, quick strides instead of using their full range of motion. What's so bad about that? Leaning forward can decrease your total calorie burn by as much as 50 percent.

3. Treadmill: Still Losing
Good news for treadmill fans: Experts agree that the calorie counter is pretty accurate, IF you input your weight and don't use the handrails. The problem is that many treadmills don't ask for your weight and use a reference of about 155 lbs. That means if you weigh 135 lbs, you're really burning about 15 percent fewer calories than the machine says (300 calories vs. 255 calories, for example).
Relying on the handrails—especially during higher inclines or while running at high speeds—can throw off your reading by as much as 40 percent (that 300 calories burned just became 180). And we're not just talking about the people who pull themselves up a hill for 20 minutes. Placing even just a slight amount of weight on the support rails can decrease the actual calories burned by 20 percent (or more).

The other night at dinner a friend of a friend was telling me how she had 20lbs of baby fat to lose and she was VERY frustrated (she ordered a HUGE plate of nachos, which is her first problem!). She went on to tell me how she went to the gym four times a week and either did the elliptical or treadmill for 45 minutes. I don't think she was asking for advice, just venting, so I kept my mouth shut. I really think she just didn't know WHAT to do. So if you are reading this and fall into the same category as her: you're going to the gym, but not seeing any results on the scale or in your closet.... GET OFF THE ELLIPTICAL! 

If you don't have a body sculpt or bootcamp class near you, YouTube is your friend. Seriously. Type in "interval workout" or go buy Jillian Michael's latest DVD. You have to get your heart rate so high you think you're going to vomit (you get big bonus points in my book if you puke and CONTINUE to workout!!!), then stop and do some sort of strength training: squats, sit ups, push ups, swing your 1 year old around in the air for two minutes. 

Thanks for stopping by today! 

P.S. I have gotten several emails from people in OTHER STATES asking about interval workouts and "how to" do them. I'll post on that topic soon.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Workout the Way YOU Want to Look

This post is a bit all over the place. So is my mind lately (I'm blaming the twins). I will start off by saying that I am a woman. I want to be fit. That means I don't want a gut or cellulite on my hips. I want my butt to look good in jeans. I KIND of want to be able to see my arm muscles. Like those famous people on the cover of US Weekly. Like Cameron.

I think most of the people that read this blog are in or have been in my bootcamps (anyone else reading this?!?!). So you know what kind of workouts I put you through. 
INTERVALS! That means cardio then strength then cardio then strength then cardio....etc.  An entire HOUR of this. Do you know why? I wish I just could say: because it works, the end. But people want explanations, reasons and a purpose for putting themselves through so much misery.

Alright, intervals plus strength training is what you MUST do to:

About once a month someone will do my bootcamp, quit halfway through and then tell me that they did not like it because we do too much cardio... (Sidenote: Usually this someone has done another bootcamp. If you haven't done another bootcamp then you should know that most other bootcamps do a LOT of strength and only a LITTLE cardio. Most bootcamps are run by men. Men want muscles and lots of them. They assume that I want big muscles too.)
So I smile, "That's fine," I say. "This bootcamp is not for everyone. You should try another class in the area." However, they did not ask me WHY we do so much cardio. So I will tell you, since they obviously are smarter than me and will lose all that weight on their own (right....). 

Some love it; others loathe it, but cardio is an effective way to work out for many reasons. It's an essential part of any healthy weight-loss routine, for one, and as its name suggests, does great things for your heart, from lowering your risk of developing heart disease to increasing your endurance to that "runner's high" you get after a long endorphin-boosting session. Basically it's necessary. A necessary evil for some. Proof is below.

4 months of bootcamp. 50 pounds gone. 

My goal for your HOUR of work is to get your heart rate as high as possible (feel like you're going to vomit) and then as you recover you are working your muscles. I only do LEAN muscle building. You will NEVER do heavy weights (we DO use free weights, but nothing more than 10lbs). I have ZERO intention of bulking up. (To all you people that think you know everything about all things fitness: I WILL bulk up if I lift heavy. I could squat 425lbs in high school. My legs were bigger than Arnold's.) I tell you that side story to let you know that I've done a LOT of different workouts, I'm not blowing smoke up your bottom. In fact, I've done pretty much every exercise regime out there. I craft my bootcamp workouts to get the most bang for my effort. And I have figured out how to workout to look the way I want.  

 In closing, my workouts are designed specifically to LOSE WEIGHT (or stay trim) and get TONED. Right now I am pregnant with twins, so don't look at my rocking body. I give you permission to judge me in about 9 months. 

Happy Monday! 

P.S.This is me in high school. Yes, I was THAT tan and I've since had the tattoo removed. JUST KIDDING. 
[Picture taken from Crossfit Games Website]

P.P.S. I literally typed the title of this blog post into google and the article below popped up. It is great. The guy really knows what he is talking about. Basically, if you have a tendency to bulk up then you will if you lift heavy. If you are super thin and didn't know that it was possible for women to bulk up, then by all means squat, snatch and bench those 100lb+! And if you're a guy that doesn't want to bulk up... just don't talk to me. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

5 Ways You Are Dieting Wrong

1. Eating the Wrong Thing for Breakfast
Most of my clients that are trying hard to drop pounds will log their food into the "My Fitness Pal" app. If their weight loss has stalled then the first thing I do is look at a week's worth of food. Without fail, the number one mistake is breakfast. It is usually Special K or some lame "weight loss" cereal claiming to help you drop inches in two weeks. 

STOP EATING CEREAL!!!!  And here is why: 
1. SUGAR. Sugar makes you fat. It's in milk (just as much sugar is in skim milk as vitamin D) and the cereal. 
2. There is no protein in cereal... protein makes you stay full. No protein = crazy hungry at 10am. 
3. Not enough calories in cereal. You need at LEAST 350 calories for breakfast. That does NOT include your latte. 

Non-cereal breakfast ideas:
Protein Pancakes (make in advance & freeze, toast to eat on the go).
Sausage - Egg Muffins 
Egg White Omlet
Whole Wheat Egg - Sausage Breakfast Sandwich
Oatmeal with Protein Powder mixed in
Cottage Cheese with Scrambled Eggs
Greek Yogurt with Ezekiel Bread & Almond Butter

2. Skimping On Protein

All day your body is going through a process called protein turnover, basically breaking down its own muscle tissues. Totally normal, but many women don’t eat enough protein (which contains amino acids, the main “food” for muscles), to counteract this effect and properly maintain lean mass. Not good since the more muscle you have, the more 
calories you burn no matter what you’re doing.

Try eating salmon or tuna for lunch... especially if you're family turns their nose up at fish if you try to serve it for dinner.

3. Not Eating ENOUGH Calories

People crack me up. They decide to lose weight and instead of eating the appropriate amount of calories, they go into some crazy starvation mode and barely eat anything. You have to eat enough to keep your metabolism working or your body will react to the crazy drop in calories, hold onto EVERYTHING you eat and then you won't lose weight. 

No matter what you weigh, you should be eating at LEAST 1,000 calories per day. Ideally those calories will be spread out into 5 little meals. This keeps your metabolism burning ALL day long, fueling your body ALL day long and keeps your body guessing ALL day long!

4. Drinking Diet Coke
I'm not on the crazy train saying that it's poisonous or going to kill you. BUT the artificial sugar does trigger the same hormone and metabolic response as real sugar. Basically the receptors in your brain and gut anticipate getting calories from the sugar; in response your body releases the fat storage hormone insulin. THEN about 30 minutes after you drink that diet coke you want something sweet or carbs: you go straight to the vending machine for M & M's or Doritos. 

SO: don't drink diet coke so that you won't eat later. 

5. Your ONE Cheat Meal Turns into a Seven

You have been "good" all week. It's Friday night. You decide this is going to be your one "cheat meal" (calories don't count, you'll get back on track tomorrow). So you go out with girls, start with one margarita (700 liquid calories), chips and salsa.... two margaritas (1,400 liquid calories), enchiladas.... three liquid margaritas (2,100 calories), the end. 

But you don't feel so great on Saturday morning so you don't go work out or eat egg whites and oatmeal for breakfast. You NEED a latte and donut. (That's cheat meal #2.)

Your mom wants to eat lunch, so you go out to Mimi's, drink sweet tea, eat one of their 1,000 calorie muffins PLUS lunch. (That's cheat meal #3.)

Your husband asks you to go on a date. Of course I'll go... it's Saturday! So you drink wine, eat a spinach dip appitizer, a small steak, baked potato, and order dessert... because it's date night! (That's cheat meal #4.)

Sunday morning and your kids want pancakes, bacon, etc. So you eat with them, because it's a family breakfast! Pass the syrup, please! (That's cheat meal #5.)

After church the family hits up the chinese buffet. I am 100% sure there is no way to track or calculate calories at a buffet. And I'm 1,000% sure that that is the point: have you looked at the people filling their plate at those places? Enough said. (That's cheat meal #6.)

Assuming you don't have a baby shower to attend (yes, you eat two cupcakes) you are really too tired to plan anything for dinner so you pick up pizza. (That's cheat meal #7.)


I promise you this: you deleted the entire week of eating "good" by binging all weekend. Admit it. You did it. 

Disclaimer: If dieting mistake #5 hits all too close to home, I promise I can identify. Mostly because I have done the EXACT SAME THING. And I hear the complaints EVERY Monday. Without fail.

Is this a good time to say "Have a great weekend!"? Hah! No really: stay on track, be strong. You can still have fun and be smart about what you're eating, you just have to think before you eat. 

Happy Friday!