Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Benefits of Joining an Online Fitness Challenge

There are many times throughout the year where fitness challenges are super popular and the December is one of them. You’ve probably seen them offered on social media or at your local gym. Maybe you have even done one or two! I personally love joining challenges and have done A LOT of them over the years (see evidence here, here and here) because there are soooo many benefits.

Challenges come in all shapes and sizes, which means you can always find one that is a perfect fit for you. 

If you are on the fence about whether or not to join a challenge, let me tell you some of the benefits of joining a challenge.

1. Motivation – because working out can be a struggle, especially in the winter when it’s colder and crazy with work and holidays. A challenge helps you stay focused and avoid the distractions that can get you off track from your fitness goals. Joining a challenge gives you a reason to get off the couch, put on your workout clothes and get moving.

2. Accountability – a challenge group will hold you accountable. There’s lots of evidence to show that when you are part of a group working to reach a common goal, you’re much more likely to succeed. You’ll be inspired by other people’s accomplishments and you will inspire them. You’re much more likely to stay on track and not let obstacles derail you when you are part of an accountability group, like an online challenge group.

3. Learn something new – if you’ve been doing the same old thing, doing a challenge can spice things up. Changing your routine is a great way to start seeing results again when you introduce new exercises. You’ll get tips on eating healthy, new ideas for workouts. You’ll get a variety of new tools for the fitness tool box, so that when the challenge is over, you can keep building, keep the momentum going, instead of stalling out when your routine starts to feels stale and uninspiring.

4. Flexibility – you can complete the challenge work at your convenience, there is no need to attend a class at a certain time or go to the gym during your lunch break (although you can if that is what works for you!), you don’t even have to belong to a gym to participate! Plus you can do the workouts in the morning or the afternoon, whenever it works for you!

I am hosting a FREE online fitness challenge that will give you motivation, accountability, and FAB ABs by Christmas. The 12 Days of Core starts on DEC 10. Each day I will give you an exercise to perform. The fun part is that you will add on each day, just like the song! You will also get fun holiday recipes, intermittent fasting tips and tricks to avoid holiday weight gain. Click here to learn more!

 Before you sign up for an online challenge, here are some things to consider to make sure you have the best experience:

1. Sign up for a challenge that is something you already enjoy or want to get better at. Don’t sign up for a challenge doing something you hate thinking that it will make you love it. I tried that once with a 30-burpees for 30 days…I still am not a fan of burpees and I didn't finish the challenge! Take my advice, you don’t want to spend 30, 12 or even 2 days doing something you dread. Challenges are supposed to be FUN!

2. Keep in mind that you will have good days and bad days. Most people are super excited at the start of a challenge. If you can hold on to that feeling for the entire challenge, that’s great. Realistically there will be days when you’re not feeling well or didn’t get enough sleep and whatever the reason, you will struggle to do your daily challenge work. The point is to not give up. Remember the days that you have already put in and let that keep you going through the bad day.

3. If you are going to sign up for a challenge, make it a priority. Even if it’s a fun challenge, plan when you are going to do it. Make sure to fit it into your schedule like you would an appointment or something work related and don’t skip! 

4. Engage with the other challenge members. This will make it more fun and you will probably come away with some new online fitness friends. Then you can continue to keep each other accountable and motivated after the challenge is over.

I hope this information has been helpful to you. Let me know in the comments if you are doing a challenge in December! If you are interested in joining my 12 Days of Core challenge that starts on DEC 10, don’t forget sign up here!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Are You A Sugar Burner or Fat Burner?

If someone asked you which you would rather be, a sugar burner or a fat burner, I think most of us would answer, fat burner. Especially if you are trying to lose fat.

Being a sugar burner means exactly that. Your primary source of fuel is glucose, which means your body has absolutely no reason to reach into your fat stores for energy. Your body is perfectly content to run on a steady supply of carbs that you are providing.

How do you know if you are a sugar burner? Ask yourself these questions:

1. Are you hungry shortly after eating?
2. Do you experience large swings in energy levels from high to low?
3. Do you have a craving for carbs and sugar in every meal?
4. Are you struggling to lose belly fat?

When you are a sugar burner consuming a high carb diet, your blood sugar increases forcing your body to produce more insulin. That insulin spike blocks the appetite control hormone leptin which prevents your brain from getting the signal that you are full. This creates an unhealthy cycle that leaves most people feeling continuously hungry, over-weight and in danger for developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes and other inflammatory problems.

The goal is to be a fat burner: to train your body to burn fat for fuel by eating the right amount of carbs, protein and healthy fats. 

When you are a fat burner, your body still burns the food you consume for fuel, but then it turns to fat stores for the rest. Using fat stores for energy means that your body can go for 6-8 hours without feeling hungry, you will lose fat and feel an increase in energy.

Fat burners still consume carbs, but they do it at the right time and for the right reasons. Intermittent fasting helps the process of becoming a fat burner because you aren’t giving your body a steady stream of glucose and your insulin levels remain low. Fat burners who carb cycle don’t experience energy crashes and are able to listen to the body’s hunger signs.

Pro fat burners pair intermittent fasting and carb cycling with the right workouts to increase the body’s fat burning process and build lean muscle. The more muscle you have, they higher your metabolism and the more fat your body burns naturally. 

If you answered yes to any of the questions I asked earlier, you can turn your body into a fat burner by joining my next round of FASTer Way to Fat Loss®. I will show you how to burn fat and get fit fast through straightforward nutrition and strategic workouts. Details and sign-up information here.

Friday, November 23, 2018

You Overate, What Can You Do Now?

Well, hello everyone!

Thanksgiving has come and gone. I hope you had a wonderful time. Here in Hong Kong, mrC and I had a great strength workout and then had some yummy turkey meatballs for our Thanksgiving dinner.

I have so much to be thankful for this year including people like you reading this blog and many family and friends who have been so supportive of my journey to becoming a coach for  FASTer Way to Fat Loss® and turning my passion for fitness and love of teaching into the most amazing job ever! 

Last week I talked to you about how to enjoy the holiday and stay on track.

Some of you might have set a goal and told yourselves you wouldn’t over over-indulge, you promised you wouldn’t eat too much or drink too much, but despite having the best intentions, maybe you are feeling a little bloated and experiencing eater’s remorse. 

First of all, ditch the remorse. Never, ever feel bad about enjoying your celebration or holiday and the food and drink that goes with it!

Instead of looking at the day with a “what have I done” attitude, let’s think about “what you can do now” and move forward. 

If you celebrated with a little bit too much food and drink, don’t panic. Even if your pants are feeling tighter today, it’s easier than you think to get back on track. 

 So, if you overate, here’s what you can do now:

1. Show yourself grace. Don’t spend the day beating yourself up. This will only make you feel stressed which can lead to cravings and making poor choices. You can’t turn back the clock or erase what happened, but you can accept it and move on.

2. Get back to your normal routine. Definitely resume your regular eating schedule as soon as possible and plan ahead if you are going to be out Black Friday shopping! Make sure you have healthy snacks on hand. Start tracking your food again if you took the day off. Extend your intermittent fasting window by an hour or two to give your body a little more time at digestive rest. Then eat meals with a balance of carbs, fats and protein. You could do a regular macro day and get in a good strength training workout or go low carb and get in a 20-minute high intensity interval training workout. Whatever you do, don’t binge exercise to make up for binge eating. Over-exercising is a stressor on the body that leads to fat gain instead of fat loss.

3. Drink lots of water. Staying hydrated will help your metabolism and wash things down and out of your body. That heaviness you’re probably feeling is a combination of water retention, extra glycogen (stored from all the carbs you ate) and waste in the digestive track. All of this “weight” will eventually be balanced out by drinking plenty of water and resuming your normal meals.

Most people who head into a holiday already eating healthy and working out the right amount, will not over over-indulge, but if they do they will be able to bounce back easily because of the healthy habits they have formed. 

If you want to learn these healthy habits, you can sign up for my next round of FASTer Way to Fat Loss® that will start on DEC 31 with Prep week. Click here for more information.

I also have a FREE holiday challenge if you are looking for a fun way to stay motivated and have some accountability. The 12 Days of Core Challenge starts DeC 10. You can join here

I hope you found today’s information useful. If you did I’d love for you to share it for others to see. Let me know that you read by leaving a comment. I love comments ;)

Remember, don’t look back at what you could have, should have done. Focus on starting fresh today. You are always one choice/day away from getting back on track.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

12 Days of Core Challenge

The biggest holiday of the year is just around the corner, so it seemed like it would be a great time to launch a fun challenge to help you stay focused through the craziness and channel some winter energy! Are you ready for the 12 Days of Core Challenge?

Get ready because it is time to build some fab abs with 12 days of exercises that will have you feeing strong and toned. I will be here cheering you along as you reach and CRUSH your goals. You are going to create a strong core that will help you reduce injury, improve your posture and generally make completing daily activities easier!

Here's how the 12 Days of Core Challenge works:

Each day I will give you a daily core exercise (with video). The fun part is that just like the song, you will add on each day. You will complete the exercise for the day and then complete all of the previous days as well. I will be giving you serious ab inspiration throughout the challenge too. You will receive a FREE Macros to Muscles guide, intermittent fasting tips, fun holiday recipes and tips to avoid the Holiday 15!

If you want to have yourself a Merry Little Fit-mas, then I've got you covered. My goal is to help you keep your head in the game and give you the accountability and motivation you need to avoid gaining any extra pounds during the holiday season!

To join the 12 Days of Core Challenge, simply click here to join the private Facebook group and get ready because the fun begins on December 10!

Have a question? Leave it in the comments or send me an email at amycainefitness@icloud.com

Are you joining me for the 

12 Days of Core Challenge? 

Let me know in the comments below!

How and Why You Should Eat Your Carbs!!

Hey everyone! It’s our second low carb day in the FASTer Way to Fat Loss® community which means tomorrow we will be cycling carbs back into our meals. And a lot of people will be excited about that, but they will still struggle to hit their carb goals.

Today I want to share some ideas about how to hit your carb goals and why it is so important.

When we start tracking our food using a food log like MyFitnessPal, we learn that we have probably not been eating enough carbs on a regular basis for a long time. When we start trying to consume the right amount of the right kind of carbs, it’s not easy! Some days it feels impossible!

So first, I want to share some ideas that I use that can help you reach your carb goals on regular macro and low macro days:

1. Plan ahead. Plan your meals in advance to make sure they have all the macronutrients included but especially your carbs if you are having trouble reaching your daily goal. 

2. When you plan, include starchy veggies like sweet potatoes, corn, butternut squash, in your meal planning. Starchy veggies have more carb content than non-starchy veggies.

3. Also, think about adding whole grains like oats, rice, quinoa, whole grain breads, wraps and pasta.These are great options to help you hit your carb goals because they are also rich in fiber which is super good for our digestive process.

4. Eat all the fruit – I save my fruit for regular macros days. I have it in my smoothies, I use it for my snacks. 

5. Finally, I keep cold pressed juices that are fruit and veggie based on hand for the days when I need more carbs, but am just not hungry. Or the days where my original meal plan didn’t happen because we got in late or I didn’t have time to get to the grocery. I find that drinking my carbs is a little easier sometimes.

In the FASTer Way to Fat Loss® community we do not eliminate carbs because we know how important they are to our bodies. We know it is important to consume the right amount of carbs which is why we carb cycle.

Here’s what happens when we don’t eat enough carbs:

1. We have super low energy. We feel exhausted, we hit the wall. Not because we have been super busy or just ran a marathon, but because we’ve run out of fuel and feel like we need a nap half way through our day.

2. We might experience what it known as carb flu – not an actual flu, but similar symptoms like headaches, foggy brain and dizziness. Carbs are important for our brain power!

3. We could create an unhealthy gut and poor digestion because often times when we are low on carbs, we are also low on fiber. This causes bloating, constipation. Carbs with high fiber content also help the healthy bacteria in our guts absorb and process the micronutrients in our body.

4. Being low on carbs can put you in a bad mood. You know the word, hangry? Carbs help produce serotonin, the feel-good brain chemical.

5.You could even develop bad breath! This is caused when the body enters the state of ketosis, chemicals are released when the body burns proteins and fats which cause bad breath. This happens when you eat a low carb diet on a regular basis.

I hope this information was helpful to you! Let me know by leaving a comment and telling me what your favorite carb is! 

If you are interested in the FASTer Way to Fat Loss® program, click here for more information and to download a FREE guide. My next round starts DEC 31!