Tag Archives: Fat loss

Add Thanksgiving: for fat loss

As a fitness trainer extraordinaire, I have given suggestions for health, fitness, and fat loss on innumerable occasions.  I notice that quite frequently what I suggest sounds almost ‘too easy’, as there is a generally pervasive mindset that being healthy and losing weight is an onerous undertaking. The truth is, our thoughts, feelings and daily habits make all the difference and are entirely changeable starting in the smallest of ways. On Thanksgiving, a natural starting point is to appreciate all that we have in our lives, and the first step in making a difference. I invite you to consider making dietary and lifestyle changes from a positive approach of adding to your diet and lifestyle. The intention is to take positive action to take care of yourself at this moment.

Here is my top 5 list of Making Life Good concepts to add to your diet and lifestyle:

1. Notice and be mindful of all that you have in your life

2. Take time to truly enjoy food and drink

3. Eat more green vegetables

4. Drink herbal tea

5. Eat more fibre


Ps. The best part is the list above is easily applied anytime and for a Thanksgiving feast-Happy Thanksgiving!

The Italian Lean Program

The Italian Lean Program the fun name I gave to one of the most interesting workout and lifestyle programs I have tried in my career so far. Just before departing for Italy, my body fat was tested by exercise coach Adriano Martorano at Kx Yorkville www.kxyorkville.com I learned of some lifestyle issues to address such as sleep and minor nutrient deficiencies through Biosignature at Kx. This body fat test correlates with the hormonal profile of your body. Learning of possible hormone imbalances through fat storage patterns in my body was very motivating, especially since I was provided with strategies to improve my health. Following Adriano’s lifestyle and targeted supplementation advice held the promise of a leaner body for me. Adriano would know, as he is an exceptionally experienced coach, practices what he preaches and is in unbelievable shape. However, he suggested I start the program after my trip…I took that as a challenge, so we made a friendly wager at Kx on my returning from Italy leaner.

Even with my professional pride on the line, my love for food came first, so I could not comply with the strict dietary discipline that was suggested for the two week period. Actually, I preferred to eat clotted cream, pasta, gelato and anything else that struck my fancy. Having multiple servings of green veggies, fruit, increasing my protein intake, taking fish oil, working out and sleeping well was the extent of lifestyle discipline I could adhere to. Prosecco, cocktails, pasta, pizza, panforte, cheese, gelato and other Italian treats were all on the menu to be enjoyed.

A few days into the trip, it was time for me to put my fitness trainer skills to creative use. There was a vineyard close to where we were and I knew at first glance it was the perfect locale for hill sprint repeats-and was it ever! It was a 45 second hill where I felt that even if an animal were chasing me, I could not move any faster. Then, I designed some 20 minute strength workouts for the upper and lower body separately. Here is the workout: http://www.befiteveryday.com/the-italian-lean-workout/

Leisure time, yoga and meditation by the swimming pool were also on the list.

Poolside fun required-

Poolside fun required for the Italian Lean Program

I am exceptionally happy to report that I dropped 1.5% body fat upon my return from Italy where I ate pasta and gelato daily! This is the ultimate Making Life Good achievement, as I truly enjoyed being active outdoors, shared fabulous Italian food while becoming stronger and leaner! Making Life Good recommends the Biosignature program at Kx Yorkville-could anything be better than becoming leaner, stronger and healthier while enjoying life to the fullest extent in Italy?


Drink More Water: Ways to Make Water More Fun

With the fall season here, many of us are motivated to make healthy lifestyle changes. One of the most important health changing tasks we give our clients is ask them to drink enough water on a daily basis. The calculation we use is:

Your Weight in kilograms X 0.033=Daily Water Intake in Litres

More details here: http://www.vivianlaw.ca/fat-loss-tip-daily-water-intake-goal/

It is great to have a technical goal and a number to achieve. However, what actually happens in practice on a daily basis is more of a challenge. One challenge that I continually come across is ‘I don’t like plain water’. In fact, this piece is inspired by this question I came across on a UK website:

Q. I really don’t like drinking water but worry that drinking squash each day isn’t good for me?

I really appreciate the honesty of this question. Squash is a sweet beverage that is  made by diluting a concentrated syrup, which typically consists of concentrated juice and sugar with water or carbonated water. I can understand that preferring to drink squash and other beverages is a natural consequence to not liking water. Having everyone drinking all the water they need consistently is like a magic bullet that we need in the health and fitness world. However, we are all human and have our idiosyncratic behaviour.

I think that making drinking water more fun will help. Ideally, we would all drink all the water we need in plain water and herbal tea. Since that is unlikely, how about these ideas to help meet your daily water intake goal:

-herbal teas (loose leaf teas have better taste and higher nutritional value)

-low sodium club soda, sparkling water

-infuse water with lemon slices, lime slices, cucumber, herbs, or other fruits

-try warm water with a teaspoon of organic apple cider vinegar

-try adding orange blossom water to plain water for extra flavour

-try plain water or sparkling water with Minisyrup, a natural, concentrated, unsweetened flavouring product. See the story on how: http://www.vivianlaw.ca/healthy-drink-recipe-mango-lime-soda-with-minisyrup/

Natural flavour minisyrup is available in lemon, mango, orange, pear, raspberry, and strawberry kiwi. Order at https://www.zavida.com/minisyrup

For example, if you manage to drink 1/3-1/2 of your daily water intake goal in plain water and drink the rest in the form of the ideas above, you will get to your daily water intake goal faster. You can meet your daily water intake goal more easily by making some small efforts to make water more appealing and fun. Does that sound doable?

Fat Loss Tip: Daily Water Intake Goal

Here is another fat loss tip that is also a general health recommendation. Our body is composed of nearly 75% water. That water in our body needs to be constantly refreshed, as water is needed for every physiological process that occurs every minute within our body. Here is a calculation that gives you a daily water intake goal that helps you reach optimal hydration and therefore optimal physiological function within your body. Being closer to optimal hydration and physiological function supports fat loss.

Your Body Weight in kilograms X 0.033= Daily Water intake Goal in litres

This number may sound like a lot to some people. That is alright. Being healthy is a daily process, so this is a lifelong health habit we can all work on daily. Even if you had only one glass of water yesterday, making an effort to an extra glass today and slowly building up to your water intake goal, day by day, week by week will make a difference to your health.


Fat Loss Tip: Enjoy the weather and relax by a pool

This is actually a general health and fitness tip, but most of us have goals of losing fat and this tip applies. I enjoyed a couple hours of sunshine by a pool this afternoon with a good friend. We both commented on how it was an exceptionally pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

Most people that we work with experience fairly high levels of stress in their modern lives. Relaxation is always on the list of lifestyle habits that we advise for general health, well being and fat loss. However, this is much easier said than done. One idea to make more time to relax and enjoy life is to make a plan with a friend, much like the way you would if you’re trying to get more active. Most of us have difficulty taking time out for ourselves to unwind, myself included.

Why is relaxation a lifestyle habit that we advise? When we run around all day to accomplish our ever growing to do list, we stimulate our sympathetic nervous system. That is our high gear, flight or fight side. Our bodies need equal stimulus in addition to sleep to rest, relax and rejuvenate, which is what our parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for. When our nervous system is in better balance, we are in better health and everything in our bodies including our minds functions more optimally. When our bodies are functioning in an optimal way, fat loss becomes a natural consequence of exercising, eating well and enjoying life (to put is simplistically).

Enjoying good weather, swimming and relaxing is an activity that simply feels good and is good for you on many levels. Here is a photo of one of my favourite pools that I have experienced some relaxation at for a little inspiration to take some time out for yourself.



How Many Drinks? Count them…

My summer drink of the moment is the Grey Goose orange with lime and soda. It is absolutely delicious and it has been brought to my attention that it is hard to stop at just one. I can totally relate to that! Once you have one tasty alcoholic beverage, it is really easy to have more, possibly many more. There is one suggestion I have for everyone who drinks alcohol-count them for yourself.
I started this habit a few years ago and doing so has helped me to learn that there is an upper tolerable limit of drinks I can consume in a week. Beyond that limit, I have discovered through trial and error that my energy level suffers, I feel generally unwell and my exercise performance declines. I believe there is a balance of having fun and staying healthy. It’s a matter of listening to your body.
I encourage everyone to count how many drinks they consume in a week, write it down, monitor how your body and energy level in general feels. This a positive health habit that holds us all capable and accountable for our choices in fun, health and wellness.
If you have goals for fat loss, many programs will suggest you cut out all alcohol consumption. This may work for while, but long term, it is most likely unsustainable. My suggestion is to monitor your consumption weekly, as a lifestyle habit and find out what your upper tolerable limit is. Once you know your weekly maximum number of drinks is, make it your goal and general lifestyle habit to stick with having less than that maximal number.