Thursday, January 7, 2016

Three easy steps to curbing your cravings

Do you often say to yourself, “I know what I need to do. I just can’t avoid temptations that stop me from being healthy!”

We all know that good nutrition and regular exercise is what’s good for our well-being. But, knowing what to do and actually doing it are two very different things. Things like motivation level, mood swings, schedules, temptations, and surprises among other things can easily take over your well-thought out plan of good intention.

Your consistent behavior will determine your ultimate outcome. So, if you can consistently act on things that lead you to your goals, you’ll get there. The good news is, consistency doesn’t require you to act on your goals ALL of the time. This leaves you flexibility to give into those temptations occasionally.

If you’re struggling with giving into temptations, you don’t have to quit giving in to them. But, do you think you can reduce the number times you give in to them? Remember, it’s not you that’s tempted. It’s your brain. So, it’s just a matter of re-wiring your action that’s blamed on your brain!

Let’s say your craving is soda. Each time you give into drinking a soda, your cravings get stronger and stronger. In turn, your brain’s ability to break the habit gets weaker and weaker. Soon, it will be automatic for you to drink a soda at a certain time (or times) of day because you’re used to it. So, if you want to reduce your craving, you simply have to reprogram your brain – like this!

1) Recognize – When you get your craving for a soda, just acknowledge it. You may even want to say it out loud to yourself! “There’s my brain again – telling me that I’m craving a soda.”

2)Remind – You’re in a habit of reacting to what your brain is telling you in a certain way – picking up that soda without really thinking about why. Try intentionally thinking about why you’re doing it.


a. Are you really hungry/thirsty? If your answer is yes, try to choose something healthier, yet still satisfying like carbonated water. 

b. Are you bored, tired, happy, sad, etc? If your answer is yes, do something else. Try waiting 10 minutes to see if the craving is still there – or still as bad. Go for a walk, text  a wellness buddy about your craving, work on a hobby or journal about a healthy action you took today.

It doesn’t have to work 100% of the time, but even if this works for you once a day this week, twice a day next week, and so on, you’ll start turning the tide on taking over your temptations!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Jamie Eason's LiveFit Trainer - Completed!

I did it! DONE! I just finished Phase 3 of Jamie Eason's LiveFit Trainer.

Here's my recap of the first half of the program:

During the second half of Phase 2, I really started noticing results. I cleaned up my diet a bit more and corrected my macros (more protein). I noticed that I leaned out a bit more and my strength capacity was increased. It was great! I probably enjoyed Phase 2 the most out of all the phases.

I started Phase 3 right along with the holidays. Thanksgiving and multiple Christmas celebrations throughout December were rough on me nutrition-wise. Also, I really didn't like the workouts in Phase 3. Instead of building on the strength that I worked on in Phase 2, I felt like I was taking a step back.

Phase 3 includes way too much static cardio - in my opinion anyway. 30-60 minutes doing static cardio multiple days per week is not the most efficient way to workout. And, instead of increasing weights, Eason increases reps and number of exercises. For instance, you'll do a workout comprised of 10-12 lifts focused only on one or two muscle groups to exhaust the muscles. For each exercise, Eason asks that you do at least 10 reps - sometimes 20 reps - for 3 sets. This means, she wants you to exhaust the muscles by endurance, not by strength.

Again, I'm not saying she's wrong. Look at her! She obviously knows what she's talking about. But, for me, I like to lift heavy doing more sets, but shorter sets. And, I like HIIT workouts rather than long cardio workouts. It's just my preference.

That said, I really liked the second half of Phase 3. Eason incorporated complexes and I really enjoyed those workouts. Again, the cardio was too long and boring for me, especially because I already walk about five miles per day and I stand most of the day at work, which is above and beyond my gym time.

Overall, I'm so happy that I challenged myself with this program. I did a lot of workouts outside of my comfort zone, built strength and endurance and saw results! I could definitely see myself doing this workout again, but I'd probably incorporate some of my own modifications so I could enjoy it a bit more.

For my next workout plan, I really wanted to incorporate complexes because I really enjoyed doing them. So, I'll be lifting six days a week again doing two upper body workouts, two lower body workouts and two complexes each week. One rest day! For cardio, I'll incorporate two-three HIIT workouts each week, continue walking at least five miles a day and getting in my NEAT. And, now that the holidays are over, I'll have a much easier time cleaning up my nutrition.

Looking forward to 2016!