HIIT

Boost Your Metabolism

Metabolism converts the fuel in the food we eat into the energy needed to power everything we do, from moving to thinking to growing.

I hear people say this all the time: “I’m so hungry! Ever since I started training, I’m hungry all the time.”

It’s important to realize that as your size shrinks by dropping pounds, so does your ability to burn calories. Our systems were evolved over ages to ensure survival and fertility. So when your body sheds pounds the metabolism slows to encourage weight gain.  Sounds like our bodies are working against our weight loss efforts!

Luckily with a few small changes, you can reignite your metabolism and keep your internal engine speeding along. Here are some of the best ways you can boost your metabolism:

1. Eat plenty of protein.
When we don’t get enough protein, we are more likely to store any excess calories we eat as fat. Protein takes more energy for the body to digest than carbohydrates do, so if you eat the proper amount, you’ll burn more of the overall calories you consume. My rule of thumb: eat protein at every meal. (And this is a hard rule to follow coming from a long-term vegetarian!!)

2. Turn off your brain.
Stress lowers our metabolic rate. Try to schedule time every day to de-stress and focus on something you enjoy. (Play with your kids, call a friend, go for a walk and look at the trees)

3. Move more.
Stand, stretch, walk, get up and move more often. Don’t let hours sitting at your desk go by without getting up to move your body. Need a reminder? Set a timer on your phone to go off every hour reminding you to get up and move around. (Or just drink more water, and your need to take a walk to the bathroom will force you to move every hour!)

4. Amp up your workouts.
High Intensity Interval Training. Go harder, go faster, for less time. Shorter bursts of intensity can increase mitochondria in the muscles, making it easier for the body to blast more calories.

5. Build some muscle.
Not only does muscle weigh more than fat, but it uses more energy, too.

Our Online Bootcampers are torching their metabolism this week with a meal plan based on plenty of lean protein, lots of leafy greens, and 30 minute daily workout blasts. For more info on this highly effective program, check out the following link: https://justfeelitfitness.com/online-bootcamp/

Have a great week,
Meryl

Featured Recipe

Mug Cake

Peanut Butter, Chocolate, & Banana Mug Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup coconut flour (I used ground oats)
  • 1/2 tsp sweetener (honey, agave,coconut sugar – whatever you prefer)
  • 1/2 tsp cacao powder
  • PB2 (or 1 teaspoon peanut butter)
  • 1/4 banana
  • 1/2 cup of almond milk
  • 1 egg white
  • coconut oil

Directions:

Use a little coconut oil on a paper towel to coat the inside of the coffee mug. Measure out the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Mash the banana and add it to the dry mix. Add the other wet ingredients (egg white and almond milk). Mix with a fork until the mixture is wet, and sticky. Scoop the cake mix into your pre-greased mug and place in the microwave on a medium heat setting for 2min30sec – 3min. Tip the mug upside down to remove the cake. Slice in to pieces and top with fresh berries, coconut, crushed peanuts, etc.

Enjoy!

Recipe taken from the Living Moving Being Blog.

Time to Workout

I get it. Getting started again is hard. Maybe you did some traveling over the holidays that put a halt in your workout regime. Or maybe the classes you’ve been attending took a winter break. Whatever the case, I know pushing yourself over the hurdle to start again can sometimes be more difficult than your actual workout. Just pushing play on a home workout video can even be a challenge without a little motivation.

Just start. It’s time. Time to feel better again, time to get moving.

I promise if you can just push yourself  to get started, you will agree.

Here is a workout you can do anytime, anywhere, without any equipment. So no excuses! This is one of my favorites. It’s an instant stress reliever, pick-me-up, mood boosting kind of 20 minutes.

Let’s Go!
Watch a timer or download a timer app on your smart phone. Make sure to warm up and then you’ll do each exercise below for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds recover for a total of 2 minutes. Take a one minute break and then repeat.

Round 1:
-Jumping jacks
-Plank with alternating arm punches
-Split squat (switch the leg that is in front on next round)
-Jump back and forth over imaginary line
Rest 1 minute and Repeat

Round 2:
-Mountain climbers
-Bicycle crunch
-Lunge jumps
-Squat jumps
Rest 1 minute and Repeat

Take a 2 minute rest and start again at Round 1.
Cool down and stretch.

Have a great week,
Meryl

Congratulations to all who completed the #12DaysOfChristmasSquats
This was definitely a Challenge!!!
By the last day we were up to about 20 minutes of Squats.

squat chall

Featured Recipe

Hearty Minestrone Soup
Ingredients:
2 Carrots, chopped
2 Celery Stalks, chopped
1 Onion, diced
2 small potatoes, diced
2 zucchini, diced
1 small butternut squash, diced
1 cup of tomato sauce
1 box of vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
Olive oil

Sauté onion in olive oil until translucent. Add carrots and celery and sweat the veggies with the bay leaves for about 10 minutes. Add a little broth if they start to stick to the bottom of the pan. Add all the other vegetables, broth, and 2-4 additional cups of water. (Enough to cover the vegetables completely with liquid) Bring to a boil, add a cup of tomato sauce and continue to simmer at medium-high heat for about 30 minutes. Once squash and potatoes are tender the soup is ready.
Enjoy!

What is a Tabata?

The Tabata protocol was named after a study done in the 1990’s by Dr. Izumi Tabata while working with the Japanese speed skating team preparing them for the Olympics. The study was performed in order to see the difference in results of steady-state cardio versus high-intensity interval training.

In Dr. Tabata’s study, elite athletes performed four-minute bouts of explosive intervals on stationary bikes for 20 seconds with a 10-second recovery break in between each interval. The athletes used all-out effort in the study, meaning they were performing at 170% of their VO2 Max. To better understand this, most of us exercising all-out may make it to 80% or maybe 90% VO2 Max. Basically performing at 170% VO2 is feeling like you are going to throw up and pass out from the intensity.  In fact, Dr. Tabata noted that these Olympic athletes were known to collapse on the floor at the end of these sessions.

Dr. Tabata had the athletes perform the protocol 4 times per week for 6 weeks.  By the end of  the study, participants had increased their anaerobic capacity by 28 percent, and their VO2 max and maximal aerobic power by 15 percent. In contrast, the control group, who performed an hour of steady cardiovascular exercise on a stationary bike five times a week, improved their VO2 max by just 10 percent, and their regimen had no effect on their anaerobic capacity.

Tabata training, requires both the aerobic and anaerobic systems, and thus is excellent for cardiovascular health. With Tabata, you will experience labored breathing basically meaning that you’re in oxygen debt since your body has blown through its supply of glycogen and needs to replace it. It then replaces it with fat, placing you into an anaerobic zone. By putting you into the anaerobic zone, you will start burning the fat for fuel. This is why you feel so uncomfortable since your heart rate elevates extremely fast. Great for the goal at hand (to burn fat, and get in great cardiovascular and physical shape).  But you just have to remember to go at your own pace.

I love to incorporate the tabata protocol into my training.  Obviously I’m not talking about the type of tabatas that leave myself or my clients passed out and puking.  But if you want to apply the tabata principle into your workout, it is an excellent way to improve your cardiovascular health and your choices for the exercises are limitless.  You can use push-ups, high knees, jump squats, burpees, mountain climbers, etc. The key is to push yourself as hard as you can in those 20 seconds, and then use your 10 second break to catch your breath. Shoot for 6-8 rounds (totalling 4 minutes). And then take a 1-2 minute break before starting again.  Plus you can use a tabata timer app on your smart phone that will beep when it’s time to start and stop, allowing you to focus on the exercise and exertion at hand, not the time.

If you would like more info on how to set up a tabata that you can use in your training programs, let me know.

Have a great week,
Meryl