Weight Loss – Healing Old Wounds

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One of the main objectives of our mind is to keep us safe. That feeling in your stomach when you get too close to the edge of a cliff. The fear of walking down a dark street. The negative thoughts you get when you think about dieting. HUH?

Unfortunately, the mind won’t distinguish between real danger and perceived danger. In the instance of weight loss, the mind is protecting you from the pains of the past and fear of pain that would come from failure in the future. This reaction is brought on by how we think about weight loss. What our ever so clever mind doesn’t know is that the pain of being overweight can be debilitating and painful.

The mind isn’t against you losing weight. It doesn’t even understand what that is. It’s against you feeling bad and being stressed. This instinct keeps us from trying, let alone accomplishing many things in life.

Looking for a new job, starting a new hobby, leaving an unsatisfying relationship, getting in shape, etc. These can be considered unknowns and opportunities to fail to the mind and thus things to be avoided. And that is what our mind “protects” us from.

So how can we override this instinct when it comes to weight loss? Click here to find out.

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When Scales Attack

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It has happened to nearly everyone that has tried to lose weight. You follow your meal plan, do your workouts, confident you have lost weight during the week. But come Saturday morning, the scale says otherwise.

This happened to me recently. Find out why and how it can be corrected!

4 Steps to go From Funk to Fit

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Between torn ligaments in my knee a strained bicep and a broken toe, I had been sidelined for nearly 7 months. In that time I put on weight, lost muscle and my cardio fitness level had become non-existent. Not only that, mentally, I felt like my 45 year old body would never be fit again. I felt horrible physically and mentally. 

Now what?

This series of events brought me to a place I had not been before. I felt old and weak. I went from competing in distance triathlons to not being able to run more than a mile. I had to make a plan that would get me moving again.

Here are some steps I took that can work for you too.

Start Off Slow: Don’t kill yourself in week one. This is a mistake physically and mentally. At TruChoice, we ease our clients into their routines. The first step is to identify strengths and weaknesses and then prepare your body for your new efforts. Focus on range of motion and balance exercise for a few weeks before you push harder. With lack of use, muscles shorten and joints stiffen. Give them some time to get back in action. If you start off too aggressive, you are less likely to stick with it.

Combine Strength With Cardio: There is no need to spend 30 minutes strength training and then another 30 doing cardio when you can combine the two and be done in 30 minutes. Circuit training, using your own body weight is a great way to gain strength and improve your cardio. You can do it anywhere with no equipment. This isn’t just for beginners. You can get in amazing shape and never touch a weight or step foot on a treadmill with circuit training.

Rest your body: It is so easy to overdo when you are first starting out. Give yourself 2 days of rest between workouts for the first 2 weeks and after that you can workout every other day. Don’t work out when you are still sore from the last effort and don’t work the same body parts on back to back days. This is a great way to get yourself injured. Your muscles must heal in order to get stronger. Also, if most of your body feels great but your shoulder is sore, give it some extra time to recover and work out want feels good. Your body is a chain and only as strong as its weakest link.

Get Some Help: Look, When I started TruChoice Fitness & Nutrition, I didn’t do it on my own. I know fitness and nutrition but there were many things I didn’t know about starting a business. So, I got on the web and searched, I spoke with people that had started their own business, I hired a business coach and had someone build my website. I didn’t do it alone and if you’re not sure of what to do regarding improving your fitness from where you are now, Google, ask and hire. You can start with me.

If you have questions regarding how and what to do, go to www.truchoicefitness.com and contact me direct. No charge!

As always, your questions and comments are encouraged.

Eric Soderlund
TruChoice Fitness & Nutrition

Take Your Health Back

When Goals Sabotage Weight Loss

Goals are great. They keep us focused and motivated. Except when they don’t.

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One problem with setting goals regarding weight loss is that we have less control over the success of the goal than we would like. Just because the calories in and out are where you want, your body may not respond as you would like. Stress and water retention alone can send the scale in the wrong direction despite your good execution.

One way of avoiding this disappointment is by changing the type of goal you set from a result driven goal to a behavioral goal.

End result goals should be secondary to behavioral goals when you are trying to lose weight or increase your fitness, and here is why.

You can’t always control when your body retains water or doesn’t drop the pound that the numbers say it should have. However, you can control the actions and decisions you make that are intended to get you to your goal. This is your behavior. Those daily and minute to minute actions and decisions should be the primary goal with some number on the scale being the secondary goal. Still important, but not primary.

When we set end result goals, we are generally not happy with ourselves until we reach that goal. Sometimes that goal is 6 months or a year out if everything goes perfect! That means you are delaying you happiness with yourself for 6 months.

Let’s look at a behavior goal strategy. Your goal is to live the life it will take to get to a healthy weight. While losing the weight is part of the goal, the focus is the life you are living instead of the number. The main difference here is that with a behavioral goal, you succeed every time you take action that benefits your end goal.

Eating breakfast before you take off to work = win.
Ordering the salad with vinaigrette and keeping your hands off the bread = win.
Workout as soon as you walk in the door instead of sitting on the couch = win.

These are behaviors and each behavior that supports your end goal is a victory and should be acknowledged and celebrated. It’s a great way to support yourself in your efforts.

This mentality allows you to feel good about yourself and your daily actions. Not only that, these actions are what it will take to hit that number on the scale.

Life is about execution so let that be the focus instead a number on the scale or a dress size. Set goals that you actually control. And what you control are your daily actions and decisions.

Check out our website at www.TruChoiceFitness.com
As always, your comments and questions are encouraged.

Sincerely,

Eric Soderlund
TruChoice Fitness & Nutrition

Take Your Health Back

5 Exchanges To Lose 100 Pounds

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Without eating any less, you can lose weight! Just swap “This” for “That”.

1. Turn a sandwich into a salad. Next time you are going to make a tuna, chicken or turkey sandwich for lunch, scrap the bread and put the same ingredients into a baby spinach and lettuce salad. This will save 200 calories every time and spinach is packed with nutrients you won’t find in bread. If you swap out one sandwich a day, you could lose nearly 2 pounds per month. You can even use 100 calories of dressing and still save the 200 Calories from the bread. The dressing simply replaces the mayonnaise most people put on their sandwiches. If you would normally put a slice of cheese on your sandwich swap it out with 3 tablespoons of parmesan on the salad and save another 50 Calories per day.

2. Take the sugar out of your hydration. Replace your soda, juice or sports drink with ice tea or water. A 12 ounce Soda has 140 calories  and they all come from sugar. Not to mention the host of chemicals that goes with it. Since diet soda has even more chemicals, I don’t ever recommend it as a replacement. If you eliminate 2 sodas per day, you will lose 2lbs per month. There are a lot of herbal teas that make great iced tea. You can also add lemon or mint to water to mix it up. Watch out for recipes that tell you to add 2 cups of berries to your water. This can add 160 calories to your once 0 calorie water and while it is natural sugar, it’s still sugar.

3. Daily veggie up. This is something that works well for me on several levels. In place of what I would call a “normal” meal of a vegetable, a protein and a carbohydrate, go all vegetables for 1 meal per day. Take 4 veggies and steam them, then add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce or teriyaki sauce or 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese or 100 calories of whatever you like. Crush up 10 mixed nuts or almonds. By crushing the almonds up they go further. Mix that up and dig in. I use broccoli, squash, celery, carrots, red pepper and toss two cups of baby spinach on top for the last 2 minutes of cooking. Use a full serving of each and you will end up with a huge bowl of nutrient rich foods with very few calories. This can easily save me 250 Calories or more every day. It’s filling and can satisfy the daily recommended servings of vegetables in one sitting. Stay away from the creamy salad dressings. 100 calories doesn’t go very far. You will see what I mean in a moment.

4. Re-address dressing. When I am cutting back to lose weight, salad dressing is an automatic swap. My “go –to” is medium spicy salsa. It tastes great. Other times I will use lemon and the other day I used some white wine vinegar with ½ of a diced up green apple. It’s a great combination and far fewer calories than some of these choices.

Ken’s Creamy Caesar: 2 Tbsp = 170 calories, 18 grams of fat.
Ken’s Steakhouse Country French: 1.5 oz = 190 Calories, 15 grams fat
Ken’s Steakhouse Blue Cheese With Gorgonzola: 2 Tbsp, = 140 Calories, 15 grams fat
Ken’s Ranch Salad Dressing: 2 Tbsp = 140 Calories, 15 grams fat
To be fair to Ken’s, they have some good choices.
Ken’s Light Olive Oil Vinagrette: 2 Tbs = 50 Calories, 4 grams fat
Ken’s Light Raspberry Vinagrette: 2 Tbs = 50 Calories, 0 grams fat

If you are dieting or just eating healthy, you may be eating 2 salads per day. Whether I use Salsa or the apple and Vinegar, it’s about 35 to 50 calories and the lemon is zero Calories. That’s a savings of 200 Calorie per day and you’re likely avoiding preservatives, artificial colors and other chemicals that many of the dressings use!

5. White for red: Red meat is much higher in calories than say Turkey breast, Chicken breast, Tuna. Check this out.
4oz of Flank Steak has 268 calories and 15 grams fat

Compare that to these options.

4oz Turkey Breast: 152 Calories, 1 gram fat
4oz Chicken Breast: 124 Calories, 1.6 grams fat
4oz Ahi Tuna: : 164 Calories, 5 grams fat

So let’s just take the chicken example and say 124 Calories. That’s 144 Calories per switch. That means that if you eat beef 2x per week (most Americans eat much more) and only have 4oz per serving (The average American eats 200 Lbs of beef per year) you will save 16,128 Calories or 4.61 lbs per year. That’s not dieting. Switching from beef to chicken is barely a sacrifice.

So let’s see what these 5 simple exchanges could do for you:

  1. Sandwich to salad:          200 Calories per day – 6,000 per month – 73,000 per year
  2. Water instead of soda:  280 Calories per day – 8,400 per month – 102,200 per year
  3. Veggie Up:                           250 Calories per day – 7,500 per month – 91,250 per year
  4. From Caesar to Salsa:    200 Calories per day – 6,000 per month – 73,000 per year
  5. Red to white:                      288 Calories per week, – 1,152 per month – 14,976 per year

Are you ready for this?

That equals

29,052 Calories per month – 354,426 Calories per year.
With a pound being about 3,500 Calories, that’s over 8 pounds of weight loss per month!
Now remember, you didn’t eat any less.
You just exchanged 5 things and lost 8 pounds per month or 100 pounds in a year!

Oh, by the way. I didn’t even count the Parmesan for cheddar swap which would be a savings of another 18,250 Calories or 5 pounds per year!

As always, your comments and questions are encouraged.

Eric Soderlund                                                                                                                                     TruChoice Fitness & Nutrition

Take Your Health Back

5 Reasons to Log Your food

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It has become trendy to argue against logging your meals and counting calories. From plans that let you eat as much as you want as long as its meat to critiques that argue it takes too long or makes people feel bad.

Reality.

logging you food is great for anyone trying to improve their health. Whether you are losing weight, adding muscle, trying to control, blood sugar, cholesterol or sodium or simply want to eat fewer processed foods. Logging is a valuable tool for success and education.

  1. Calorie Count: Logging is the only way to truly know how many calories you consume, Especially when you first start paying attention to your intake or you go outside of your normal food routine. It also allows you to plan for events such as dining out. If I am going out to dinner, I will plan ahead, leaving myself extra calories. By logging, I know exactly what I have left myself and I am more likely to stick to my plan of reserving those calories.
  2. Awareness: logging your food creates a mindset. It keeps you aware of your actions and goals and provides you with some accountability. It’s visual proof of your actions that will either support or hinder your goals.
  3. Tracking nutrients: You may be able to argue that you can estimate your calories but few can do the same with macronutrients. If you trying to gain muscle and you’re only getting 20% of your calories from protein, your body won’t have the materials required to build lean mass. If you are trying to rid yourself of Pre-Diabetes but 60% of your calories are carbohydrates, you will likely go from Pre-Diabetic to Diabetic even if you are losing weight.
  4. Portion control: You can plug in food before you eat it to see how many calories it has per ounce or serving. This is great info when you’re at a restaurant deciding between the 6 or 8 ounce steak or what you want on your potato.
  5. Education: This is a biggie. I’m amazed at how educational logging my food is. It’s truly eye opening. By logging your food for a few months, you will learn the calories and macronutrient balance of the foods you regularly eat. This knowledge will help change eating habits and allow you to eat healthier without dieting. It’s not dieting if it’s just the way you eat. Education is knowledge and knowledge is how we change our mindset.

You won’t log your food forever. It is a tool for you to use to achieve a dietary goal and go back to when things get out of control or you have a new goal. It’s a way of staying focused and holding yourself accountable. It’s a way of educating yourself so you can live the healthy life you want to live.

As always, your questions and comments are encouraged.

Eric Soderlund
TruChoice Fitness & Nutrition
www.TruChoiceFitness.com

Fitness From The Inside Out

When Nothing is Something – A Mental Rest

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Our minds are constantly racing. Sometimes into the future, sometimes back to the past. Even when we rest the body with sleep, our unconscious mind is still at work. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always race to a good place. It tends to worry about real or perceived problems and it will race to the same place over and over again if we let it.

I call this type of ruminating thinking “not being present”. These are unconscious and often uncontrollable thoughts. And the problem with them is that they are exhausting and generally negative. This was a huge issue for me for most of my adult life. Here is one of the exercises I do to retake control of a runaway mind.

Think of nothing!

Sounds easy, but I bet you can’t do it for 30 seconds. Go ahead and give it a shot. I bet, that without even knowing it happens, you will begin thinking of something you have to do or some problem you have. Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

TRY THIS:
A great way to shut down the minds obsessive need to race forward or back is to overload your senses. You can do this exercise anywhere and anytime which makes it a very useful tool.

While doing whatever you are doing (sitting at work, walking, driving, lying in bed) observe every sensation you can.

LISTEN to every sound. Cars, planes, people, typing, footsteps, the fan, your breath.
FEEL everything. Your chair, steering wheel, your heart beat, footsteps, the wind.
SEE everything around you. Cars, people, birds, buildings, clouds, your hands, everything.

And do all of it all at once. This isn’t zoning out or meditating so it is safe to do while driving or walking or running. It is the opposite of zoning out. It is observing and being present. This overload will force your mind to deal with NOW so it can’t race to the past or future. It is too busy processing.

As you do this exercise, do not allow yourself to think about these sensations. Don’t see the flower and think “that is beautiful”, don’t feel your heartbeat and think of your health, don’t hear the plane and wonder where it is going. Don’t think, just observe. No labels, no judgment, no questions.

I practice this when I go for walks or runs or while driving. At first it was difficult to see a hawk and not label it as “beautiful or amazing” or whatever. But as I learned to observe with all of my senses at the same time I could keep myself from thinking longer and be more present to what was actually around me.

THE BENEFIT:

It feels great! When you complete your moment of being present you will feel a great relief or joy wash over you. You have rested your mind. I have read that one minute of not thinking is equal to 20 minutes of sleep.

BEWARE! Your mind has been running the show your entire life and is a master at what it does (Race) so be aware that it will trick you into thinking again. It will do this by judging or labeling what you hear, fee and see. When this happens, simply start again. At first, you may only find 10 seconds of peace. But with practice, you will become more aware and take more control of your mind.

Give it a shot and let hear about your experiences with this.

As always, your questions and comments are encouraged.

Eric Soderlund
TruChoice Fitness & Health                                                                                                               weightloss@TruChoiceFitness.com                                                                        www.TruChoiceFitness.com

Fitness From the Inside Out