Function and Fitness Blog
Function and Fitness Blog
Coach Jess
6:45 PM

Playing the Accountability Game

It’s always a hard question to answer when people ask me about how I lost my own thirty pounds of “fluff.” For so many of us, we’re looking for that one size fits all “solve” - the “oh, I just ate grapefruit,” or “I started taking this awesome supplement.” I always wish I had “the magic pill” to just hand out, but the honest to goodness truth is I just committed.

And honestly, I know how annoying that sounds.

Weight loss is hard until it’s not hard. And I say that because truthfully, deep down inside we can all admit that we know what it takes to lose weight. Barring any health issues (like thyroid issues, etc…), weight loss comes down to what you are feeding yourself and how much you are moving.  If you put the good stuff in, in the right amounts, and you move often, your body is going to lose weight.

For years I yo-yo’ed between a size 6 and a size 14. I’d have three weeks of “good” and then weekends that devolved into weeks of bad.  Any progress I made was literally eaten away. And I did that - for years - until I finally (and fully and completely) decided I’m not going to do that anymore. Sure, I had said that countless times before, but I was just soooo over feeling and looking the way I did.

In the past, I had done Weight Watchers and been successful, so I knew writing stuff down would be important. There’s just something about having to “fess up” about what you’re eating that keeps you in check. Knowing that, I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app. While the app will give you a calorie number to aim for (based off of your height and weight), I suggest you get an InBody Assessment that can give you an accurate number based on your body composition. You can do it at the gym! It’s easy! You just stand on something for like 3 minutes. Once you have that calorie goal number, make sure you track everything. The app makes it so easy - you can even scan the barcodes!!

Track Your Workouts

In addition to food, I suggest tracking the calories you burn during your workouts with a heart-rate monitor. The great thing about heart-rate monitors is that most of them can show you what level you are working in during your workouts. It’s a great way to check in with how hard you might be working. And actually - a lot of the time (or rather, most of the time) I see that I work the hardest when I’m lifting weights. Woohoo #girlswholift!

You might also want to consider wearing a pedometer - or something that tracks your daily steps. I actually burst through some of my plateaus by just making sure that I was getting in my 10,000 steps. It’s a great way to remind you to get moving!

For me, I found that keeping myself accountable was the only way I was going to be able to keep myself honest. As coaches, we can make sure you’re doing the work in the gym, but we can’t be there when you’re sitting in the drive-through line at McDonald's or standing in that freezer aisle at Trader Joe’s (that’s my downfall). In so many ways you have to be your own coach or ref when you’re out in the grocery/restaurant/real-life field. Finding a way to make yourself and keep yourself accountable (over the months and maybe years it takes to lost the weight) is the first step in winning the weightloss game!

Coach Jess
8:10 AM

Why Alcohol and Weight Loss Doesn’t Mix

It's a harsh reality to face: alcohol just doesn’t mix with weight loss. But why is that?

There are a number of reasons that if you want to drop the weight, you’re going to need to drop the alcohol or at least cut back on the alcohol.

The first reason: Alcohol is calorically dense. Fat has nine calories per gram. Alcohol has seven. Mix it up with sugary soda, simple syrup, and all those other delicious options, and you’ve got yourself a calorie bomb

Another reason: Alcohol jacks up your metabolism. As Christopher D. Still, D.O., director of the Geisinger Obesity Institute, explained to SELF, "Because your body cannot store alcohol, it becomes a priority in the metabolic process.” That means the body will focus on clearing that alcohol before it focuses on clearing out all the food you consumed with the alcohol. There might be a silver lining, though. As Still goes on to explain, "Alcohol slows down the rate [at which you digest nutrients], but it doesn't stop it, and those nutrients will still get processed in the same way.”

That doesn’t mean drink up though! Even though your body will still process all that food - it won’t do it as efficiently. And that can be a big problem if you like to consume lots of food while/because you’re drinking, or rather if you get real snack crazy when you’re drinking (like me!).

The “drunchie” reason: As Ashvini Mashru, R.D., L.D.N., author of Small Steps to Slim, explains, “Most cocktails are loaded with simple carbohydrates, so during a night of drinking, you end up with soaring blood sugar followed by a 'crash' that leaves you ravenous.” Mashru suggests the best way to deal with the “drunchies” (awesome name, right?) is to eat a complete meal or snack before you go out. That means having protein, fiber, and a healthy fat that fills you up before you fill up that red Solo cup, or if you’re classy, that martini glass.

So if you’re trying to lose weight, consider just how alcohol might get in the way of that goal. While we will always encourage “everything in moderation,” if alcohol causes you to fall off the healthy wagon, you might consider just filling your glass with some soda water and a lime. 

Coach Jess
2:05 PM

Surviving the Holiday Season

’Tis the season - of treats.

As we round the corner into the most festive time of the year it can feel almost impossible to stay away from all the treats. To help keep you in check, we’ve put together a little list of reminders to help you survive the holiday season.

  • Eat two healthy, satiating meals before the “big meal.” For whatever reason, we all seem to starve ourselves the morning of Thanksgiving/Christmas/etc… so that we can “eat more” during the actual meal. Um… what?! Make sure you get some healthy in there.
  • Remember that most holidays are JUST ONE DAY. Think about this: if you limit your “splurge” to JUST Thanksgiving dinner, it’s really not that bad. Just because we’re going to “go big” at one meal, that doesn’t mean you need to eat poorly all season.
  • Eat a healthy snack before the party. Something about a buffet turns us all into plate-piling-monsters. Fill up on the good stuff at home before you hit the party, or just commit to only eating one plate of food… and not three.
  • Remember your last year’s New Year’s Resolution.
  • Wear tight pants. This one sounds a little silly, but wearing tighter clothes can help to remind you to not stuff your gullet at the holiday party.
  • Remember that you can still make macaroni and cheese/casserole/stuffing at any time of year. Sometimes we think “oh, I’m not going to have this again for a while so I’m gonna fill up on it now.” Remind yourself that you can make those foods at any time of year.
  • Bring the healthy option. Fear there won’t be anything “safe” for you to eat? Why not bring the “safety” food? You might just inspire healthy habits in your fellow party attendees.
  • Make a healthy meal. Just because it’s a “holiday” that doesn’t mean you have to eat badly. There are so many ways to create your favorite foods out of real ingredients that feed your tastebuds as well as your “feel goods.” Think: sweet potatoes without all the brown sugar on top, or actual cranberries instead of that gelatinous tin-shaped guck, asparagus that tastes like asparagus instead of a pound of butter, you get the idea.
  • Exercise. Sure, we want to see you in the gym, but we know how scheduling around the holidays can get tight. If you can’t make it to a team training or a semi-private because you're with family and friends, why not suggest a walk around the neighborhood that everyone can do?At the same time, remember that exercise can help keep you on track, or at least keep you in check.
  • Balance out your plate with the green stuff.
  • Remember it’s not about the food. Sure, the food is a really awesome part of the holidays, but it’s really about getting everyone together. It’s hard to stuff your mouth if you’re too busy catching up with everyone.

Getting through the holidays without gaining weight is hard, but it’s completely doable! And remember: we’re always here to help! For example, we’ve got our “Burn the Bird” workout at 8am on Thanksgiving morning! You can also join Coach Ara for the Turkey Trot!

Coach Ara
3:31 PM

Forearm Postition in Plank

How you should position your forearms during a plank so you will perform the exercise right?

Coach Jess
5:57 PM

“I Deserve It”

As I dove into a giant coffee-cake-pastry-piece-of-heaven, the first thought that occurred to me (besides the holy $%&* this is good!) was “I deserve this.”

“I deserve this.”

It’s a phrase that we utter a lot when we’re working really hard on our #healthgoals. When you’re killing yourself in the gym and making all the “right decisions,” when it comes to choosing what goes in your mouth, it’s not uncommon (nor bad) to think that you deserve _____. But it’s important to choose that “blank” carefully.

For the majority of us, it comes down to this equation:

Being good all week = I get to treat myself this weekend.

That “treat” comes in the form of a glass (x4) of wine, a cocktail (x5), a piece (+ a few nibbles) of cake, or 1 (x a bag) of potato chips. Or, okay, i'll give you the benefit of the doubt, maybe you're in a good habit and you reward all your good eating habits with good foods! 

Uh… okay, so I’m about to get real here.

After a great workout, do you reward yourself with a cigarette?

You don’t - right? (If so, maybe we should talk a little about that).

So why would you want to reward all your good eating habits with something that will derail all those efforts and make you feel guilty? Do you really want to reward yourself with guilt? No!

I’m not saying you shouldn’t celebrate your wins. Believe me, I run on “treats” and will always say you have to treat yourself. But don’t “treat” yourself the way you would “treat” your dog - with food. Instead, I suggest you treat yourself with these some of these options:

A relaxing bath

A massage

A mani/pedi

A fresh new ‘do

New workout clothes

A new workout experience - like trying a yoga or rock-climbing class

A healthy cookbook

A session of Netflix and Chill

Aromatherapy oils

A trip to the movie theater (minus the popcorn)

A nap

Let’s reward our efforts with more health - and healthy options that will promote your health even further - because hey, you DO deserve it!



Coach Ara
11:38 PM

Diet or Lifestyle?

52% of consumers said figuring out how to eat a healthy diet is more difficult than tax, and based on this concept nutrition always changed thru the decades.
in 1950's we had the grape fruit diet which you need to eat grape fruit three times a day, 1960's that changed to vegetarian type phase which we had more options rather than grape fruit. 1970's was called little calorie diet. 1980's was low fat diet which was famous with snacks such as "SnackWell's" which was fat free but super high in sugar. Then in 1990's the direction of diet changed and it went towards low carb which that didn't went well and this pendulum was always goes back and forth till we get on todays concept which is eat clean, and that means no white sugar, no white flour, no processed food no artificial ingredients. But it still there is some problem on the 2000's eat clean concept and thats pretty much whatever we eat is a processed food (a bite from a steak is way different a bite from actual cow).
Today we need to act smart and we can have this quote that says " NO DIET WORKS FOR EVERYONE, EVERY DIET WORKS FOR SOMEONE". There is no magical solution it's a LIFE STYLE that you need to change and find the those clean foods and add it to your daily nutrition.
Drink less alcohol, eat minimum sugar, eat healthy fats, eat healthy carbs and protein, exercise and that's how you will have a healthy lifestyle and you don't need a diet. 

Thank you Dr. Chris Mohr that share this amazing lecture with us at TRX Summit 2016 Baltimore