"If You're Trying to Lose Weight, Don't Make These 10 Breakfast Mistakes" Review

My head often spins when I hear what my personal training clients are choosing for breakfast. There’s no doubt about it: Your weight loss is affected by every little choice you make after rolling out of bed. I’ve highlighted the biggest mistakes that you’re making from the MSN article "If You're Trying to Lose Weight, Don't Make These 10 Breakfast Mistakes.”

NOT ENOUGH PROTEIN


While toast or a bowl of granola is quick and easy, it's not offering you nearly as much protein as you need to have energy all morning long. You'll just feel blah and end up reaching for a sugary pick-me up. No need to go overboard and slurp down a 30-grams-of-protein shake - 13 to 20 grams is perfect.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Translation: You probably need more protein because there is a protein deficiency as a result of your cereal-donut-cinnamon roll ways. It isn’t permission to overload your diet on protein, though. 13-20 grams of protein is more than enough for the normal human (that’s you…and me!) despite what you hear. Skip the refined carbs (aka Cookie Crunch) and make an organic veggie skillet with onions, green peppers, jalapenos, cubed butternut squash, almonds, hemp seeds, and salsa. Add it to an organic corn tortilla for another twist.

NOT MEASURING INGREDIENTS


Whether you're pouring a bowl of cereal with fruit, nuts, and coconut, crafting a jar of overnight oats, or whipping up a smoothie, just because you're using all healthy ingredients, doesn't mean it'll help you lose weight. It all boils down to portion sizes, and measuring ingredients (instead of eyeballing) to ensure you stay within your limit.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: If you’ve never measured what you’re eating, you’re most likely pretty far off from what you think. I’d think to think we can rely on our wonderful minds for everything but let’s be honest: It has skewed things in the past, and it might be skewing your breakfast perspective now (maybe your relationship too :) ). Determine the proper intake for you by measuring each of your favorite meals. If you plan to eat those dishes “on repeat” anyway, you might as well be certain you’re getting what you expect.

TOO MANY REFINED CARBS


Sometimes a baked good for breakfast is a necessity, but if you load up on refined carbs and sugar (even if those blueberry muffins are made with flax meal!), you're going to end up feeling super hungry within a few hours after that last bite. If you crave these foods, go for small portions and pair it with a protein smoothie, or bake your own with protein powder, whole grains like rolled oats, and less sugar.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Normally I would overlook this type of paragraph and pretend it never existed. I know that you’ll see it anyway, though. What starts off with the right message—Too Many Refined Carbs (i.e., most cereals, donuts, sugary sweet goodness, etc.)—ends with unconscious permissions and another push for a protein focus. First, a baked good is never a necessity (don’t kid yourself). You can easily keep a jar of organic applesauce or fresh fruits around the house. Nothing in the house? I’m sure you can steer your vehicle towards a quick shop to find them too. If you choose a baked good, call it what it is-An indulgence. Accept the consequences, dance around in glory, and return to your nutritionally balanced habits with meal number two (which will be sooner than later-You haven't fulfilled your nutritional need, and your body will need proper fuel). Second, quit with the protein focus already…you think bigger than that. You need fiber, vitamins, protein, (good) fat, and the million other micro nutrients you can find in your whole foods. If you must indulge in just the small bite of donut, be certain that the rest of your plate is the proper mix of what’s best. A highly processed, nutritionally stripped powder won’t cut it either, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

TOO MANY CALORIES


With all the amazingly delicious options out there for breakfast, it's easy to go a little overboard. Aim for a range between 300 and 400 calories. If you're not into counting calories, Leslie Langevin, MS, RD, CD, of Whole Health Nutrition suggests to eat slowly, and stop eating when you are 80-percent full.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Most of us think we need more calories than we really do. On average, you only need 300-500 calories per meal (a far reach from the typical Midwestern diet). Anything above is mostly stored as fat (or converted into something else nasty…and nobody likes nasty). Since I don’t expect my personal training clients to count the calories of every meal, I think eating slowly and mindfully stopping when appropriate is a great recommendation from Langevin.

DRINKING YOUR CALORIES


A frozen banana here, a scoop of peanut butter there, a big splash of vanilla soy milk - while smoothies are full of healthy ingredients, if you mindlessly throw things in the blender, you could end up sipping down 800 calories or more! The same goes for specialty coffee drinks. Make sure you look at the menu before ordering a 500-calorie Frappuccino.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Smoothies aren’t always as healthy as you think. Often sugar-packed smoothies are more dangerous than a Snickers bar. Even if you mindfully choose a slate of healthy ingredients, the caloric amount can exceed what you need. Stick to the 300-500 calorie rule for your liquid meals and be mindful of the sugar content.

Photo Credit:
Sheknows.com–Is this smoothie really helping your weight loss or health goals?

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article "If You're Trying to Lose Weight, Don't Make These 10 Breakfast Mistakes" on MSN.com (PopSugar).
"If You're Trying to Lose Weight, Don't Make These 10 Breakfast Mistakes" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
 

Why Your Office Desk Is Destroying Your Posture (And What You Need To Do)

Recently, I was interviewed by Wayfair.com about bad posture at your desk. If you’re dealing with neck, shoulder, or lower back discomfort, you may want to read the reprint of the interview below.

Wayfair: How can you tell if you have bad posture during your day to day?


Personal Trainer Wisdom: Most likely, you are experiencing many symptoms, including lower back, hip, and shoulder discomfort and pain, that are surefire tells of your bad posture. Considering the constant distractions, it's not a surprise that you don't recognize these symptoms or realize how you shift your weight to one hip while speaking to someone or round your back while working on the computer 8-10 hours per day. In small amounts, your body is adaptable and can function out of a neutral zone (Translation: Pick up light objects with a rounded back). When reinforced repetitively, though, you are creating an imbalanced, inefficient system that can eventually lead to rounded shoulders or a posterior hip tilt (rounded lower back).

Wayfair: What are some tips to improve posture while at your desk?


Personal Trainer Wisdom: The number one key to your best physical health and perfect posture is awareness. Simple check-ins throughout the day can minimize or eliminate most chronic problems. Although the human body isn't meant to sit for extended periods of time, most industries require it. If you're going to do it, you must do it well. Essentially, you're fighting nature while maintaining a flexed position at your desk under quite a bit of sustained stress. Our bodies are meant to move in a neutral position, however, and you're most likely guilty of doing the opposite up to this point.

While it's not realistic to assume that you'll walk and type on a Stairmaster at the office, you can take several measures to maintain a neutral spine--the natural position of the spine that doesn't place unnecessary stress on your disks and maintains the natural curve of your neck and lower back. First, adjust your seat to the appropriate height to reduce a tilt in your hips or a round in your lower back. Your knees should directly extend from your hips at a 90 angle or lower. Second, maintain a neutral position while seated. Keep your ears above your shoulders, shoulders above your hips, heels under your knees, and your feet flat on the floor. Third, stand up and/or walk when you fidget or reposition your body while seated. If you begin to shift in your seat, listen to your body! It's time to move! It takes muscle activation and strength to fight gravity and maintain perfect posture. Although you may be using the right muscles, they will fatigue too! With this being said, relight the system and find a reason to walk around.

Wayfair: Are there any tools, accessories, or furniture that are best suited for having good posture throughout a workday?


Personal Trainer Wisdom: Your best tool for maintaining good posture is self-awareness. No matter what system you would put in place, you may unconsciously compensate in one way or another. An adjustable, ergonomic chair that allows you the fit for your neutral spine and the adjustable height to find the appropriate level for your hips is a priority. An adjustable desk will also help you find the proper height for your computer keyboard and the placement of screen to limit any slouching. In the case your desk doesn't offer an adjustable function, you may want to simply elevate your computer screen to eye level instead.

Wayfair: For offices with raiseable desks, how much time should someone switch between sitting and standing for the most comfortability?


Personal Trainer Wisdom: In response to the constant demand on your body (gravity counts), it's important to move or change position every 20-30 minutes. The same principle applies when utilizing a raiseable desk. As mentioned before, your muscles will fatigue while maintaining perfect posture. Not surprisingly, ambitious people have bought the raisable desks with hopes of resolving their postural issues but still end up compensating by shifting their weight while standing and placing themselves in compromising positions. When you shift, it isn't a failure! It's just a cue to reposition. Sitting, standing, or walking may be the most appropriate response.

More to Read: If you want to see a portion of this interview as well as the insight from other health professionals, please check out the article on Personal Trainer Wayfair.com at the bottom of the page!

Photo Credit:
Glossglam.com –Is Glossglam right? Do your habits at your desk really affect posture?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness
Why Your Office Desk Is Destroying Your Posture (And What You Need To Do)
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
 

3 Nonverbal Gestures that Will Change Your Romantic Relationship Forever

Have you ever thought about the mix messages that you’re sending your partner during a conversation? Your nonverbal gestures could be sending a message you didn’t intend. Make these 3 simple changes and redefine the way you communicate in a romantic relationship.

Keep your hands folded in front or your arms on your side


Personal Trainer Wisdom: Have you ever been in an argument while keeping your hands folded in front of you? Probably not. If you’re like most people, you become animated when upset: Arms flailing, convulsive head ticks, and a blend of sitting, standing, and fidgeting. Does this reaction typically help the situation? The answer is never yes.

Whether you intend to or not, your reaction probably makes your partner feel defensive (which could filter the message you’re trying to communicate). The biggest threat: Your hands! During your next conversation with your partner, move your arms and watch his eyes follow your hands. He’s worried about your hands and what they’ll do next (something to compromise his safety???)! It’s a protective instinct (like a warrior), and it places him in a defensive mode (even if it’s only unconscious).

Even if your nonverbal gestures aren’t an interpretative dance of the devil, placing your hands on your hips or folding your arms might reflect discontent, anger, disgust, and boredom, too. If this is your intent, shame on you and save the show for the stage. Most likely, though, you’re doing this unconsciously and don’t realize the effect of your nonverbal gestures.

Perform a check-in during your conversations. Ask yourself: What message are you sending with your physical position or reactions? You can offer your attention without expressing confrontational mannerisms. Try sitting with your hands folded in front of you (shows patience and attentive listening) or standing with your arms on your side (a non-combative stance). Communication in a relationship requires trust and security. Don’t undermine this safe zone and muddle your message with nonverbal gestures you didn’t intend.

Face your partner with your shoulders squared


Personal Trainer Wisdom: Similar to the placement of your hands and arms, your hips could tell a very different nonverbal story. When you turn your body away from your partner, you could be signaling that you’re about to run away (which could be true) or about to fight her in a martial arts match. Most importantly, you’re not showing your vulnerability with the display of your full torso (think opening yourself to someone instead of closing yourself off). Make your partner believe that she’s safe during this conversation and that you’re fully interested in what she says. Keep your hips parallel to her hips and square your shoulders in an upright position.

Look your partner in the eyes while speaking and listening (assuming you listen :) )


Personal Trainer Wisdom: Nothing shows more respect to another human being (and dog) than looking at them in the eyes during a conversation. It’s another sign of attentiveness and respect. Most people find this nonverbal gesture the most challenging because they feel inferior or intimidated by the other person. I often find myself looking away to find a thought (as if I could picture the word I’m grasping for in my mind). Your reason may not be out of disrespect to the other person either. Nevertheless, it is the most regarded in any personal or professional setting. Your eye contact says, “I respect you…I’m listening to you”….a very important nonverbal message when building intimacy in any relationship. Practice and stop overthinking.

Photo Credit:

Alberto Bogo – Is your body conveying a different message to your partner?

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness
3 Nonverbal Gestures that Will Change Your Romantic Relationship Forever
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.