Function and Fitness Blog
Function and Fitness Blog
Coach Jess
5:00 AM

Where Does the Fat Go?

We’re all looking for ways to shed fat, (hopefully you’re finding your weight loss plans are most accomplished with diet and exercise) but where does that actually fat go?

According to  Andrew Brown from the University of New South Wales and Australian Physicist Ruben Meerman, “The correct answer is that most of the mass is breathed out as carbon dioxide. It goes into thin air.”

To get reallll science-y about it, IFL Science  explains it like this: “Excess carbs and proteins are converted into chemical compounds called triglycerides (which consist of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen) and then stored in the lipid droplets of fat cells. To lose weight, you’re attempting to metabolize those triglycerides, and that means unlocking the carbon that’s stored in your fat cells.”

To summarize, losing 10kg (a little over 22 lbs) of fat breaks down like this:

8.4kg is exhaled as carbon dioxide

1.6 kg becomes water, which is excreted through urine, feces, sweat, breath, tears, and other bodily fluids.

So does this mean you can breathe yourself thin by inhaling and exhaling more? Nope. As we all know, inhaling and exhaling quickly can cause you to feel dizzy and nauseous. So maybe don’t try that exactly, but hey, here’s just one more reason for those deep inhales and exhales that we do at the beginning and end of each class!

Coach Jess
5:00 AM

Actually Achieving That New Year, New You Goal

According to Health every January, roughly one in three Americans make resolutions. Of those that make resolutions, 75% of people manage to stick to their goals for at least a week, but 46% are still on track with those goals six months later.

If your goal is to lose the weight this 2017, you’re going to need a strategy and it’s going to need to be one you can actually stick to. Here are some tips for building a strategy that will work for you:

Remember your WHY? 
There’s a reason that you want to lose weight - maybe it’s because you want to look bomb dot com in your jeans, or maybe it’s something more serious like your doctor recently told you that you are pre-diabetic. Whatever it is, grab on to that motivating “WHY.” Sometimes it helps to find a video that motivates you - there are tons of “fitness motivating” videos on YouTube. Maybe there’s an old photo of you where you thought you looked awesome. Use all of these things as ways to keep you on track and remembering your why.

Find a way to keep yourself accountable.
We all know how easy it is to spin out of control. In fact, you can probably draw upon a few examples from the end of the year where you maybe went a little overboard. Maybe it was the wine, maybe it was the entire box(es) of cookies you ate. Let me ask you - if you had been forced to write down just how many boxes of cookies you ate would you have eaten all of that? Okay, maybe yes, but maybe no. Keeping yourself honest can help you, well, if anything shame you, out of over-indulging.

Set small food and exercise goals.
You don’t need to go all cold turkey with your health goals (although if you’re one that can’t do moderation (a.k.a me) then maybe you need to go cold turkey). Maybe knock it down to one glass of wine per night - or ever better - per week. One cookie per week.

In terms of exercise, hitting the gym 7 days a week when you’ve been going 0 days a week is the best way to burn out. Set a goal of maybe 2 days of training with one day of walking. Ease into it so that by week 2 you aren’t in serious sore-ness hell.

Join our New Year New You Challenge!
We’re here to get you on track. Ask any of your FUNction and FITness team members about how to enter! You could win big $$$ and also lose serious weight!

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
6:19 PM

Where Is This “Rest Muscle” And How Do I Train It?

It’s not uncommon for people just starting to work out to want to go hard - like 7 days a week hard. And here’s a little confession from me - it’s not uncommon for me to want to go 7 days a week (maybe even 8 or 9 times a week) hard when it comes to exercise.

We’ve been programmed to think “more is more,” but that’s not actually the case when it comes to exercise.

Here are just some reasons for why we need some R-E-S-T:

REBUILD. Your body rebuilds when it rests. During the course of your workout, we’re asking your body to do a lot of work. We’re essentially ripping up the muscles. During your rest days (and while you’re sleeping - more on that “sleep thing” in a later blog) your body rebuilds those rips and rebuilds them to be stronger. No rest = no rebuilding.

DECREASE RISK OF INJURY. While injuries can’t always be prevented, we CAN do some things to decrease injury potential. When you’re body is fatigued, it finds ways of compensating - and quite often those “ways” aren’t the best ones. It’s kind of like when you’re so tired your feet are literally dragging. Sure, you’re still walking, technically, but we want that “pep in your step” - especially when you’re doing step ups.

OVERTRAINING CAN MESS UP YOUR ZZZZ. It can get in the way of your sleep. You’d think that more exercise would mean your body wants to sleep more. But more exercise can also get in the way of your sleeping ability. As explained by Muscle for Life (https://www.muscleforlife.com/8-signs-of-overtraining/) “your sympathetic nervous system can remain excited at all times and you’ll feel restless and unable to focus, and your sleep will be disturbed and broken.”

NOT RESTING CAN GET IN THE WAY OF WEIGHT LOSS. Okay, so this might be number one. Not resting can get in the way of weight loss. Yup! Read that again! If you’re trying to lose weight and you’re not resting, all that work you’re doing could be for not. WHY? It kind of goes along with #4. With that increased feeling of energy, the adrenal system kicks up in order to deal with the extra demands being placed on it. This can cause spikes in insulin. When insulin increases, fat burning decreases and your body starts to store exactly what you’re trying to get rid of with all that exercise.

So how do you train that “rest muscle”? By actually resting it.