And you don’t necessarily need to head out to a resort! (unless you live somewhere sunny. Poor, sunny you).
Cross country skiing is a serious winter workout. Not only is it a calorie scorcher (up to 1000 calories per hour depending on your body/intensity), but it’s total body heaven. It’ll target your shoulders chest, abs, arms, back, butt, shoulders and legs (those poles are serious work!) while giving you a serious cardio burn. If you’re an avid skiier, add uphill intervals to turn up the burn!
1. Keep your arms pulled in tight to your body and move them like you’re on train tracks. Imagine there’s a beachball between your arms, and drive the poles down as you go.
2. Avoid over-rotating your torso. Try to keep your hips facing in the direction of your movement and avoid twisting your shoulders.
It’s the time of year where ‘holiday weight gain’ creeps it’s way into our fit-cabularies. While it’s a concern for many of you, it doesn’t have to completely freak you out. It still takes 3500 EXTRA calories in order to gain a pound of holiday bulge. But considering the high calorie nature of some of our favorite holiday foods…. that 3500 can be EASY to come by.
The holidays can be heavy food traps, but also booze traps. Like food, booze can be high in calories, but has little to offer in terms of nutrition. While you might be able to avoid certain foods with all your wits about you, booze can make it harder to stick to your smart choices, especially with tons of holiday high calorie options literally surrounding you.
If you can avoid it, go for it! But if you can’t, try your best to make it a healthier choice.
Wine Tip: Make it a spritzer!
Instead of a full glass of wine, pour half of what you’d normally take, and substitute the rest with seltzer water and a hint of lime juice. Not only will you save calories from the booze, but you’ll better maintain your ability to make smarter choices.
Stick to light colored liqeurs. Think gin, vodkas etc…
The darker in color, the higher the carb & sugar content. But going lighter doesn’t mean it won’t hit you hard… don’t overindulge by using 1/2 shots instead of full ones, and load up on soda water.
Avoid juice & soda as a mixers.
As sneaky as booze is, what we add to it can be worse for us. Add items like soda water, lime & lemon wedges, and unsweetened cranberry juice. Avoid sodas (even diet) and concentrated juices: they aren’t your best bet and can spike your blood sugar even more than your dinner.
Alcohol is a diuretic: each drink triggers your body to expel more water than normal (grabbing it from your muscles, organs & brain). Dehydration can make you feel hungrier than normal too. To optimize hydration (and minimize sabotage), try to drink one full glass of water for each drink you have.
Keep some of these tips in mind, and remember that preparation, not willpower, is the smarter way to go! If you plan on a cocktail or two, make sure leftovers have been stored & tucked away, and have plenty of water/healthy snacks to nosh on if you get an urge.
For every 100 carbohydrate calories you consume, your body expends 5 to 10 in digestion. With fats, you expend slightly less (although thin people seem to break down more fat than heavy people do). The calorie-burn champion is protein: For every 100 protein calories you consume, your body needs 20 to 30 for digestion.
Carbohydrates and fat give up their calories easily: They’re built to supply QUICK energy. In effect, carbs and fat yield more usable energy than protein does.
TIP: If you want to lose weight, make protein a priority at every meal. Adding them to snacks—especially before you exercise—can help too.
Excerpt from Huffington Post
Calorie is a fairly straightforward term — a calorie is simply a unit of measurement of energy. One calorie is one unit of energy, specifically the energy it takes to raise the temperature of one cubic centimeter of water by one degree (Celcius). When it comes to food, what we refer to as calories are actually kilocalories, measuring an amount of energy that is 1,000 times larger than a calorie in scientific terms.
So the calories that we see on our food labels are really indicating the amount of energy that will be released into our body when that food product reacts with oxygen. Fats, carbohydrates and proteins have the greatest amount of calories, generally.
Chichi Kix Definition
Think of it this way: a calorie is like a small measure of fuel. The same way you fuel your car, you fuel your body. What comes along with that calorie matters health wise, how it gets used by the body will depend on what kind of nutrients it comes in, but calories are calories to your body. Yummy fuel. It loves them. It even tries to hold on to some for later (especially if it doesn’t know when it’s getting it’s next fix… hint, hint, extreme dieters)
When we BURN calories, it’s your body using energy to do it’s thing; we burn more during exercise & strenuous activities because it needs more energy for those activities. The more of your body you incorporate into your movements, and the longer you spend doing those movements, the more calories you burn. When we strength train, the additional repair required (and hormones released) will continue to burn more calories even after we finish exercising. Burning too much can cause a ‘crash’, which is why your body needs an ample supply of energy (calories) to burn off BEFORE you exercise. Your body also stores calories as fat: which is your body’s pantry & fridge. It will dip into your fat stores for energy when it needs it. That’s how we lose fat; by dipping into our fat stores (and why no one can have 0% body fat).
Our bodies are hardwired to seek out calories in higher quantities when we’re hungry, tired or lacking energy otherwise. This is why fast foods, fatty foods, foods high in carbs are so attractive, and harder to resist, when we’re hungry or tired. Our bodies are simply doing their job: seeking out energy in the highest concentration. BUT our brains are in charge of making healthier decisions (afterall, the body didn’t invent Big Macs). So when you’re tired, understand that your cravings are your body’s way of getting energy FAST, but know that you don’t need to give in to the unhealthy. You can avoid ‘hungry’ cravings by eating in small amounts more often during the day, and paying attention to what kind of foods you’re eating. Some foods cause spikes & dips in blood sugar, which can make your body a little nuts craving wise.
When in doubt, get some healthy food, full of protein & complex carbs, eat it slowly, and you’ll feel satisfied. The craving will go away once your body no longer screams for energy. I promise!
Vanity Pounds: The last 5-20lbs you want to lose, NOT because your body’s unhealthy, but because you want to look a certain way.
Health & Vanity are two different things. I’m not judging you for wanting to lose vanity pounds, I don’t always like mine either (though I certainly don’t hate them). But they are NOT to be confused with healthy pounds or healthy weight loss.
Fitness marketing would have you assume that they are one in the same, but no honey. They’re not. Your body might actually be healthier with a muffin top than without. Health is determined by your body’s ability to do it’s job (keep you alive), not by your jean size or minimized cellulite.
The problem with vanity pounds: everyone’s body is healthy at a certain point (mine is “healthy” within 10-20lbs+ of where I am, maybe more, and about 5lbs less, give or take). My body LIKES being there. It’s not stressed about where it’s energy is coming from. It’s getting exercise, nutrients, sleep, love and it’s happy, happy, happy.
BUT… if it feels threatened with unhealthy behaviors (eating too little, ahem, -1000 calorie eaters) or exercising too much (making too big of a deficit), it will enter starvation mode and start to release hormones, cortisol and other bio-chemical weapons to preserve the energy and SAVE itself from YOU.
It is possible to lose those vanity pounds... but you need to do it healthily. Your body needs to feel nice & taken care of so that it doesn’t MIND losing an extra 5 or 10. If it’s not FREAKED OUT that you’re trying to starve it, it doesn’t release those hormones or signal your metabolism to slow down. It knows it’s okay.
Because of this, it’s important to KNOW and EXPECT that those last 5-10lbs will take longer to lose. Much longer than when you were heavier. So relax & give yourself time to get there, okay? Worrying about losing it quickly often means dropping your calories too low and over-exercising, which eventually will cause the opposite effect. You already know how the story goes: gain, lose, gain, lose, gain, lose….
This is how body love works for weight loss: You love your body. It loves you back. You HATE your body? Well, it will fight you with everything it’s got. And guess what? In the end, your body will WIN. It’s one tough mother f*cker.
So, those of you who are having trouble with those last 5-10lbs: relax. Slow down. Eat well & amp up your exercise INTENSITY, but don’t exercise MORE. Lowering your calories too drastically, or exercising too much (more than 5-6 days/week for an hour) will break down your body, not give you enough recovery time, release those fat storing hormones and NOT get you where you wanna go. Add strength training for tone & muscle, don’t overdo your cardio and make sure your body KNOWS it doesn’t need to fight back.
- Chichi Kix
Whew, it’s turned into a calorie counting mad house today, lol.
We all just want to be healthy right? RIGHT!!!!!? :)
Got a request from th3skinny to repost How Many Calories You Should Be Eating from a question I posted a little while ago! To see the initial post & question, click here: http://fitvillains.tumblr.com/post/9345175187/my-question-is-in-response-to-what-you-just-posted
How Many Calories You Should Be Eating & How To Approach Your Workouts
Working out isn’t about the time you spend, but rather the intensity while you’re there: a 25 minute workout can be MORE effective than 2 hours at the gym if it’s intense enough. After a certain amount of exercise, the body releases hormones to conserve energy rather than burn it. It also loses its ability to repair itself properly. Your body also changes during rest, not during exercise. Think of your workouts as ‘damage’ and your rest times as ‘repair’. If you give it no time to repair, it won’t change as much: plus you’ll be making yourself more prone to injury, fatigue and burnout.
Aside from workouts, eating clean, eating more often & eating healthier foods will boost your metabolism, give you energy and get you better results. The less you eat while working out (less than your body needs) the more dangerous it is and counterproductive to your goals.
Use these calculations to find out how much you should be eating to create a deficit that will keep you going, and don’t look at the scale: if you’re strength training, you’ll be gaining muscle while losing inches, even muscle that doesn’t ‘show’. I don’t like to use B.M.I. as a guideline , since it’s often inaccurate, but if you want to use it, aim for the uppermost weight for your height plus 5-10lbs. After that, ditch the scale and focus on body fat percentage instead. Take your measurements.
To get the right number of calories you need to be eating, use this formula…
1. Calculate your BMR (current body weight x 10) = _________
2. Calculate your daily ‘living life’ calorie burn (If you’re sedentary: BMR x 0.10. Moderately active: BMR x 0.20. Very Active: BMR x 0.30). BMR x ___ = Daily Life Burn
3. Find out how many calories you’re burning during your workouts. This can be tricky, but don’t rely on machines alone. Expenditure will vary based on height, weight, intensity, muscle mass & fitness level. Most people overestimate their burn. Use online resources, a monitor like a Body Bugg, or a professional assessment to get a good idea. If using online resources, estimate your number somewhere between the lower end and higher end of the scale at first, and adjust as you go.
Put all those numbers together.
BMR + Daily Life Burn + Workout Burn = ________
That final number is the number you need to subtract your deficit calories from… your calorie target. For 1lb a week, subtract 500 calories per day, in a combination of diet & exercise. Never subtract more than 1000 calories from this number (500 is ideal for people with 10lbs to go), or go below 1200 calories total. The closer you are to your goal weight, the SLOWER the weight loss will be. Don’t get discouraged though. 1lb a week is plenty.
My example: BMR: 1250, Daily Life Burn: 375, Workout Burn: 700-800, depending on the day.
1250 + 375 + 700 = 2325 (not far off from the calculations I did earlier today).
If what you want to do is TONE your body, think about body weight exercises, resistance & a wee bit of cardio. Don’t workout more than 5 days a week, and keep your sessions to an hour or less. I usually recommend working muscle groups on alternating days, but don’t work a group more than 2-3 days a week, or you’ll start losing results there (it’s like putting more damage on the body with no repair… it will burn out and stop being effective eventually).
Hope this helps clear this up for a few of you. Get those engines running more efficiently. Who the hell wants to work so hard to lose weight only to gain it back? The reason people tell you to eat, eat healthy & workout but NOT starve is because it works longterm. It really, really does. We’re not lying, I pinky swear!
And don’t rely on the scale, take your measurements instead. So many women get stuck on a ‘number’ that they don’t look for ‘their’ number. Body fat percentage is what you wanna lose, and body composition (a toned look) is what you wanna see. That may or may not have to do with your weight loss. (Caution: when people with low metabolisms start eating more, it takes a week or so for the body to adjust. If you notice an extra few pounds, don’t worry about it. Stay active & stay on track. Yo-yo-ing won’t do you any good either).
I thought this was well-covered in the fitblr community, but since I keep seeing posts about this, and I’ve seen people give advice that makes that seem okay, I’m going to try to explain why it’s not. I’ve made this mistake before. I wish people would do a bit more research about what they are doing to their body before they do it, I know I should have.
Why can’t you? Because it is not safe. You need your NET calories to be at least 1200. Net calories are the calories your body actually uses. So, say you eat 1200 and burn 600, you need to eat 600 more to compensate. If your net calories is regularly under 1200, your body will go into starvation mode.
What is starvation mode? Starvation mode is what happens when your body is not getting the minimum amount of calories (1200 is the general rule). Your body will eventually stop dealing with food the way it should. This won’t happen in one day, or even two. But if you make eating less food a habit, you can bet on it. Your body will start to try to protect itself by slowing your metabolism progressively. Also- instead of losing fat, your body will try to store any fat you may take in. Any weight loss you lose on a diet like this will be muscle loss, NOT fat loss. And if you aren’t aware, the more muscle you have- the more efficient your body is at burning fat.
So, if you want to feel sluggish, lose muscle, get weak, store fat, and be over-all unhealthy: keep up what you’re doing.
If you want to lose weight HEALTHILY and effectively, boost your metabolism, and feel better overall: EAT, and eat enough. I know a lot of people have this fear of food that they think intake = fat gain, but that mindset really needs to change.
Think about it like this:
If you fill up your gas tank half-way for a trip that requires a full tank, what would happen?
Your car would use all the fuel, run on empty for a little while, then break down.
Disclaimer: Every body is different. This is just a general guideline to give you an idea/estimation of how much you should be eating every day.
Keep in mind, that your calorie burn will change with activity & intensity, and most calculators are not accurate enough to tell you exactly how much you’re burning. (Those numbers on the treadmill? Can be off by A LOT, up to a few hundred calories off, depending on your body composition).
For a more accurate estimation, be sure to invest in a Body Bugg or other monitor. But the best monitor is YOU. If all the other factors have been taken care of, but you’re still not seeing results, you may need a better way to calculate how much you’re burning.
Grab a pen & paper & do this with me! Only takes a minute.
HOW MANY CALORIES SHOULD YOU EAT
1. Find your resting metabolic rate (RMR). This is how many calories you’re burning without doing ANYTHING (well, aside from being alive).
1. Find your resting metabolic rate (RMR). This is how many calories you’re burning without doing ANYTHING (well, aside from being alive).
Your current body weight x 10 = RMR
Chichi Kix: 120lbs x 10 = 1200 RMR
2. Calculate your daily activity burn (DAB) based on your current activity levels (not counting your workouts/sports etc. Just in general. Active people tend to walk to work, you may have a job that requires some activity for hours straight etc.)
Sedentary: RMR x 10%
Moderate: RMR x 20%
Very active: RMR x 30%
Chichi Kix: RMR x 0.30 = 360
3. Find the number of calories you burned during your workouts, or daily exercise (DE). This will vary on your intensity AND your body composition. Estimate.
Chichi Kix: During one hour of Turbo Kick, I burn about 800 calories (estimated with my Body Bugg).
4. Add your RMR (1) + DAB(2) + DE(3) together.
Chichi Kix: 1200 + 360 + 800 = 2360
5. Subtract or add your desired calorie surplus or deficit. A deficit of 500 per day, will allow you to lose about a pound a week. A surplus of 500 per day, will help you gain (if that’s your goal). 0 deficit will keep you where you are (maintenance). Do not go over 1000 in a day & even at that, not for more than a week in a row. It’s not a race and you’ll slow your metabolism.
So… if I want to…
Lose a pound? 2360-500 = 1860 calories per day
Gain a pound? 2360+500 = 2860 calories per day
Stay where I am? 2360 + 0 = 2360 calories per day.
Easy peasy right?
Good luck! Eat healthy, and remember that gradual loss is easier to maintain. Losing too quickly usually leads to gaining it all back. 1-2lbs a week can mean 4-8lbs in a month, 8-16lbs in 2 months, 12-24lbs in 3 months etc… That’s realistic, do-able & maintainable. Who wants to suffer for 1 month to lose 15lbs, only to gain it back and have all your hard work disappear? NOT ME! Not you either. :)
In case you didn’t know…
The federal government proposed new rules on Friday requiring chain restaurants and other food service businesses to inform their consumers about calorie counts. They will have to post calorie counts on menus and menu boards. Source That’s Fit.
However, certain places are exempt from these rules, including certain bars & movie theatres. Not that anyone would mistake a large movie theater popcorn & soda for healthy, but they might think twice before getting the large if they knew how many calories it contained.
It’s causing a stir on the web. What do you think? Should movie theaters be required to post the calories in their food?