Monday, November 13, 2017

2017 NYC Marathon Training

Running the NYC marathon in 2014 was my first venture into training for a full marathon. Yes, I run many races and many half marathons at that, but a full one was a different beast. 

My first full marathon was a lot - I got injured during training (my knee was pretty much busted), and the windiness on the day of the race was crazy - but I was determined to just finish no matter how many times I had to stop for the bathroom. And I did. In 5 hours and 3 seconds. 

Monday, July 31, 2017

How Does Weight Loss Happen?

It is no secret that weight loss is one of the biggest struggles people have. There is so much information out there, but it can be overwhelming especially when it feels like your body is not doing what you need it to do. So to help ease the process, I'm going to tell you the basics of how weight loss happens. Ready?

First off, every person's body is different in structure, mass, length, processing of calories, etc. and your weight goals should be heavily dependent on what your own body is like. So for example, a man that is 6ft tall will probably never be 120lbs and shouldn't be. So look into what is right for you from a health perspective before you begin to compare to other people. One great way to do that is to find out what weight range is healthy for your height: Ideal Weight Calculator. It is important to recognize that weight alone is not a good factor for analyzing your health or goals.

Why do you put on weight?
At a high level, when you consume food, your body converts that food into energy so you can use it for everyday activities from walking to sleeping (yes, you need energy to sleep). More physical activities usually require more energy so walking requires more energy that sitting. If you consume more energy that your body needs, it converts that into fat. And then you become "fatter". However, you can lose the excess weight by eating less and moving more, and the fat loss happens through the metabolic process. A process you would rather I didn't get into...

But why is it so hard?
It sounds easy, right? Then why is it so hard to lose weight? One big reason is that people overestimate the calories they burn when they work out and underestimate how much they eat. Another reason is that lots of people are actually pretty sedentary throughout the day and think that going to the gym for a half hour is more important that consistent motion throughout the day. Plus, let's be honest, we eat rubbish.

What can I do now?
I truly believe nutrition is more important than exercise, and consistent motion throughout the day is more important than a quick half hour in the gym in the morning. To start to lose weight, begin with basic movement like taking the stairs, parking a little way away from the store, standing up for a stroll every hour, and controlling your food portions. You'd be surprised how much of an impact these little things can have. And then depending on what your goals are, you can begin to add more exercise and look at the content of the food itself.

Obviously, this is basic and if your goals are to put on muscle or become stronger, you will need to add in more strength training and adjust your nutrition accordingly. But now that you understand the basic process, what are you going to do about it?

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

How to Prioritize Workouts when Work Life Gets Tough

Who doesn't get demotivated when life comes rushing at you hard? I know I do! This week, we have a great article from Vanessa Davis of on how to find time in your schedule when so many other things are taking priority and killing your motivation. Enjoy and stay motivated!

Friday, April 7, 2017

There's Wheat and There's Wheat...

I must say that I am constantly guilty of falling prey to marketing tactics (you probably are too). These guys just know how to get us! Because people have been trying to eat healthier in more recent times, you can actually see companies start to repackage their brands to sound healthier as well. 

One of the major areas where you see this exhibited is with wheat and grains. Once people see that their bread is brown, they automatically think it is good for them, right? So what do marketers do? They use that to their advantage. Make the bread brown, put a lot of sugar in it, take out natural nutrients so it gives you a high and is more addictive, and sell it to the customers.

Bread isn't bad, just like carbs aren't bad. It is important however to get the right kind from as natural a source as possible. How do you measure how natural wheat or any other grain is? Besides buying food with as few ingredients as possible, and making sure sugar is not close to the top of the list of ingredients, there is a way you can guess how 'whole' the grain in your food is. 

There are pretty much three forms of grains when it comes to their level of processing:
  • Whole: Contains the whole kernel of the grain in as natural a state as possible.
  • Refined: Grains have undergone a refining process that removes the germ and bran, as well as most of the nutrients, to give it a smoother texture. PS. This is where white rice usually falls.
  • Enriched: Version of refined grains where they try to add some nutrients back in, but not in its natural form.
It is important to note though that they still try to trick you. Remember when we said that ingredients are listed in order of volume in the product (highest volume first)? So if something contains whole grains, it doesn't mean that it isn't blended with refined or enriched grains somewhere down the ingredient list. Check out the whole list! Here is an example of something that had enriched grains and whole grains. If you only looked at the front, you'd see 'whole wheat bread' and be satisfied.

Hopefully, that helps you make better choices. Let's eat food that nourishes our bodies, not raises our blood sugar levels unnecessarily.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Photo credit: Precision Nutrition and 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Drinking More Water? The Brita Stream Filter Can Help You!

You know by now that water is good for you and so I'm always on my campaign to get people to drink more water. In New York City, we are blessed with pretty clean water so people can drink right out of the tap compared to most places. So when I received the Brita Stream water filter to try out, I was more concerned with how pretty it Don't blame me!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Noom Review: So you’re looking to lose weight? Let’s talk about Noom!

Speaking of the holidays and overeating...

With food, when you force yourself to see who you really are, deception goes out of the window and you can focus on actions that help you make progress. Recording your meals forces you to count the good things and the bad things, and you’re faced with your honest reality. If that is the case, why not just take a notepad and write your daily meals, right?

Monday, December 12, 2016

How will you be staying healthy during the holidays?

So we are in the middle of the holiday season! Whatever you celebrate, it is that time of the year where we eat until we hate ourselves, and then don't work out because we are too busy socializing. Yes, we're all guilty.

So in the middle of all the parties and time with family, how can we stay at least a little bit true to our goals? Here are a few tips:

Have regular meal times. This may sound silly, but for most of the year, you were able to stick with the theme of X meals a day so why can't you now? Plan where you will be at your meal time, and eat only during those times.
If you slip, don't stress. We all need  time to relax, and stressing over drinking too much eggnog has proven to actually do nothing but add on to your waistline. If you fall, let it go; concentrate on the next day!
Get enough sleep. This may also sound silly, but people who do not get enough rest tend not to lose weight. Party on, but sleep more.
Scan the buffet before you jump. You are loved and everybody cooks for you; okay, good. But when there is so much food, it doesn't mean you have to eat it all.If there is a buffet, slow down and spend time scanning the options before you jump. You make better decisions when you slow down. When someone asks what you want and gives you options, think a little first.
Smaller portions are the way to go. I cannot dare tell you to drop every fun thing during the holidays (who am I?) but try to use smaller plates to make sure you are not eating more than your stomach can take.
Alcohol can be your friend or your enemy. We tend to drink a ton of our calories, and alcohol is no different. A glass of wine or beer may not hurt, but having round after round may make you hungrier and just adds on to the calories you are trying to stay away from. Try not to be out drinking each night.
Find creative ways to exercise with your loved ones. Whether it is a yoga class, dancing, some exercise videos, or just taking walks together, look for ways to burn off the pounds and still hang with your loved ones. If you are off work, try to work out early in the day so you can focus on other fun things for the rest of the day.

How will you be staying healthy during the holidays?

Cheers Eights & Weights!
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