health

2 essential hacks for your health and fitness routine

Many people struggle with sticking to a diet and exercise regimen because they can't seem to get into the habit of sticking to these new behaviors. Here are some hacks to help you form better habits so that you can avoid those daily annoyances that can throw your fitness and health goals off track. 

Annoyance #1:  I am really hungry and on a diet and there is no food around that follows my diet plan. 

Hack #1:  Stock up!  As a part of the Fire Team Whiskey fitness and nutrition program, we provide our participants 60 healthy portable meal replacement bars and shakes and encourage them to stow a few of them everywhere they normally are on any given day. Stock your purse, car, office desk, briefcase and gym bag with a few non-perishable healthy snacks. Every weekend, grab a few and re-stock all your bags and car. Buy your snacks in bulk so you are not having to stop every day and make purchases for just that day. That way the next time you are driving to a meeting and your stomach is grumbling, you can open your glove box and grab that bag of almonds instead of being tempted to hit a fast food drive-through where you know you will be tempted to order anything but the salad. 

Annoyance #2:  I joined a gym but it seems like every day something comes up and I just don't have time to get to the gym. We all have hectic, busy lives and almost on a daily basis, we just don't have time to get everything done. Gym time often gets pushed to the back-burner because it is not as important as the kid getting sick at school and now you have to go pick him up or the last minute assignment your boss throws on your desk to be done ASAP 30 minutes before the workday was supposed to end.

Hack #2  The best hack for this is to be realistic about the fact that maybe your life right now does not support your ability to get to a gym and switch to an option that doesn't require you to travel anywhere to workout. There are so many great online workout programs. I developed the Fire Team Whiskey Fitness Program specifically for people who have unpredictable schedules. If you have a 20-minute window of time, throw on some gym clothes and get it done! You need no equipment and an area the size of a yoga mat. Get your workout done during your lunch break. Go change, shut your office door and get it done. Do a quick wipe down in the bathroom if your office doesn't have showers (baby wipes and deodorant are your best friend for quick bird baths post office workout) and get back to work. You really shouldn't need to leave the office for lunch anyways because you implemented hack #1 and already have healthy food options stored in your office desk. 

So get to hacking and get those healthy habits set in stone! 

Copy Right 2018. Fire Team Whiskey, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Is wanting a flat belly vanity?

Your so vain because you want to get rid of that belly? No, you are not. Actually, belly fat has a direct correlation to your overall health and life expectancy! So wanting a flat stomach isn't just a vanity thing, it's a health thing! A high hip to waist ratio (take your waist circumference in inches and divide it by your hip circumference measurement in inches, this is your hip to waist ratio) has been linked to health conditions like type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, depression, dementia, stroke and cancer! The fat around your waist is an indication of what is called visceral fat, which is a type of fat that wraps around your organs, causing damage and all sorts of health complications. If you have more fat stored than you need, especially around visceral organs like the liver, heart, kidneys, pancreas, and intestines, your body becomes inflamed and your metabolism suffers, making it a hard cycle to break out of and causing disease processes to start to build in the body. 

Abs are made in the kitchen. The fact is, that there is one hormone in your body that tells your body to store fat, this is insulin. So foods and drink that spike your blood sugar also spike your insulin. Stick with foods that are low on the glycemic scale, proteins, healthy fats and leafy greens. Complex carbohydrates such as root vegetables and legumes should be limited, but because of the high fiber, are usually ok on the glycemic scale. Having two cups of fruit in a sitting may seem healthy....but I am sorry to report most fruits contain just as much fructose as a candy bar, so that means your insulin will be telling your body to store fat. Minimize fruit and stick to small servings of berries if you really want fruit. Sticking to a low glycemic index diet will keep those insulin levels low and in turn, your body will be happily burning fat for energy. Your visceral fat (which is normally the fat that is around your middle) will be the first to burn away and before you know it, you are going to see that belly melt away and improve your health and longevity!  

Copy Right 2018. Fire Team Whiskey, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

WHY THE SCALE IS NOT A REFLECTION OF HEALTH

On November 24th, 2015, I was at the highest weight I had ever been as an adult. I was 140 pounds. I ran 6-8 miles a week. Did yoga 2 days a week. I was "eating all the right things" low fat meats, whole grains and veggies, yet my weight continued to climb. I had been this weight a couple times before. I always had to do something extreme to get my weight back down again.  Exercise 2 hours a day. Severely cut back my calories. Drink those very not good tasting diet shakes. Be hungry all the time and lightheaded. My body fat was creeping up to the mid to high 30s. I was so frustrated with how I was considered athletic and healthy, yet my weight continues to creep up. Being the nerd that I am, i decided to do extensive research and see what current research, books and experts in the field have to say about all this. And I got my mind BLOWN. I was doing the exact opposite of what I should be doing. All the latest research was debunking all the traditional approaches to weight loss: exercising for hours, severe calorie cutting, and eating low fat and high "whole grain".  So I developed a program and put myself on it. 2 1/2 years later, here are my numbers today. 

My weight certainly came down, but it wasn't a dramatic drop. But my body fat is cut in HALF! In November 2015 I was barely squeezing into an 8-10 jean. I now wear a size 2. I have 102 pounds of fat free body weight!!!! Almost half my body is composed of muscle! And forgetting all that, I have never had more energy, slept better, had clearer skin, in my life. I NEVER GET SICK. I haven't gotten a cold, the flu, not even a sniffle. I used to have almost daily headaches, daily severe fatigue int he afternoon. All of this gone. I used to have such severe drops in my blood sugar that I would have to carry food with me everywhere just in case I got a low. Those are completely gone. 

So let's go back to that scale.  My weight has changed by 17 pounds. Not considered a huge change by any means to most people who need to lose weight. Most people would say "Only 17 pounds and you have been doing this a year and a half?! That's not enough!" I argue against that. Bottom line is, the scale is not a reflection of health. The scale tells you how much gravity is pushing down on you at that moment in time. That's it. If you took your weight on Mars, at that same moment, it would be different. Neither number says how healthy you are. There are millions of people who are considered "skinny" who are VERY UNHEALTHY. There are millions of people of average weight who are VERY UNHEALTHY. There are millions of people who are considered "overweight" who are VERY HEALTHY. That number is not a reflection of health, so let's focus on the other numbers and non numbers for this journey. 

Work on that body fat number. Work on increasing your skeletal muscle. Work on feeling more energy, rarely getting sick, and having endless energy. I created the Fire Team Whiskey Nutritional and Fitness protocols to help anyone struggling with their weight like I was to transition over 30 day periods to a healthier and healthier lifestyle. I also created them so you can follow this way of life in any environment, on any schedule. I am living proof, over 2 years later that THIS SYSTEM WORKS and it will result in long term continued improvements in your body composition and health. 

Start your journey. 

P.s. All our Fire Team Whiskey participants use the Renpho Bluetooth Body Scale. The link to purchase this scale is above.

 

Copyright 2018. Fire Team Whiskey, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 

Weight Loss Tricks That Don't Work

It's almost summer and the dreaded bathing suit season is upon us. Many of us are looking for a quick way to shed those few pounds we were able to cover up in warm layers over the winter. Before you start, read on about the weight loss tricks that people use that don't work. 

#1: Crash diets:  Most people turn to extreme measures to quickly shed a few pounds. Usually, it is some sort of crash or fad diet. The cabbage diet, the juice cleanses, the only eating celery and mustard diet, etc. These fad diets all have one thing in common: they are not sustainable. No matter who you are (unless you are totally deranged), you will get very sick of eating so restrictively very quickly. You may lose a few pounds in the few days you manage to choke down that bland food, but you will throw up your hands and scream "I quit!" the minute you encounter a cheeseburger. 

#2 Severe calorie restriction:  This approach is the most damaging to your ability to lose weight long term. Our brains and bodies are very adaptive. We would not have survived as a species without inherent biological systems in place that regulates our metabolism. Bottom line is that our bodies are designed to conserve energy. This comes in the form of storing body fat and reducing the bodies metabolic rate when calorie/energy threshold requirements are not being met. Sure, if you severely restrict your calories, you will lose weight, for a couple of weeks. Your body will spot the trend and start adjusting your metabolic rate down. What does that mean, it basically is telling your body that this is the new norm and tells your body not to burn so many calories for energy. Some systems get slowed down, things get adjusted, and boom, what you used to be able to eat calorie wise without gaining a pound now is considered excess calories by your body and is stored as fat. This is why you see so many people gain all the weight back plus some, after losing weight in a short amount of time (think about all those ex-biggest loser contestants). 

#3:  Relying on exercise to lose weight: This is the most common mistake people make when trying to lose weight. Contrary to the "Move More" motto of the government, research has long debunked the myth that working out = weight loss.  This just isn't scientific fact. Research shows that the most active people on the planet (aboriginal tribesman who walk up to 10 miles a day hunting and gathering) only burn on average about 250 more calories a day than an American couch potato that at most walks from the fridge to the TV each day. That's it. Yes, you can throw away that smartwatch now that has been lying to you about burning 800 calories in one workout. Yes, working out helps your body composition, increase muscle tone and increase your metabolic rate slightly, but for weight loss, it's not the magic solution. 

The common theme with all of the above is having a mindset of a temporary solution and not focusing on a daily lifestyle change for long-term health. If a majority of your choices are the healthiest ones for you over a period of a year, you will see a gradual change in your weight and health. With our society being the one of instant gratification that it is, most people are not willing to put in the long-term work to make sure that any efforts are gradual and permanent (as opposed to temporary and short-term). If you start working on this lifestyle shift, this time next year when bathing suit season is upon us, you will see some major changes and feel a lot more hopeful about what you will see in the dressing room mirror when you try on that new bathing suit for years to come. 

Copyright Fire Team Whiskey 2018. All rights reserved. 

The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine

" The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine."  Mike Murdock. 

Here is a very common, almost weekly conversation I have with a person I am coaching. It always follows the same script no matter who I am talking to.

Me: Asking something to the topic of how has your progress been over the last week with your weight loss?

Them: I am frustrated I am not seeing the results I want. 

Me:  Have you been following the eating plan every day.

Them: No plus lots of excuses. 

Me: Have you done all the workouts that were scheduled last week. 

Them: No plus excuses. 

Me: Have you been tracking your food intake and making sure you are falling within the paramaters you need to be in each day.

Them: No, I don't want to track, excuses why they don't track, or something of that nature. 

Me:  (sigh)

EVERY SINGLE WEEK WITHOUT FAIL I HAVE THIS SAME CONVERSATION WITH DIFFERENT PEOPLE. 

Lets go back to that quote. " The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine."  Mike Murdock. This is the biggest hurdle in peoples way when it comes to achieving fitness and weight goals. They are not willing to make the necessary DAILY CHANGES, LONG TERM to ensure success. Our attention spans are very short. We want quick fixes, instant results, no commitments, I want it all and I want it now. It baffles me every time that a person can be so short sighted to not realize that what we do all day every day is what will determine what we see in the mirror 30 days, 6 months, 6 years and 60 years from now. I get it. I used to do the short term yo-yo diet. Never wanting to commit to giving up the things I loved. But over time that attitude changed. For me, it became a fair exchange. If you truly balance what those things are worth and the toll it takes on our health and self image, I am glad to "go without". Do I go through the drive through every day? Nope. Do I sometimes miss it? Sure! Am I glad I did it? Unequivocally , yes. And guess what? Since it happens so infrequently (I am  talking maybe once or twice a year) that the times that I do get fast food are much more enjoyable and special. (Who can say that about a fast food meal if you are used to having it everyday?). 

So bottom line is, like your retirement fund, your health needs to be viewed like an investment. The little you put in every day will add up to a huge return in the long term. But if you are only committed to investing a little bit here and there for short bursts, your account will never build, and you are going to be sorely disappointed in yourself in the long run.

 Copyright 2018, Fire Team Whiskey, LLC. All rights reserved. 

3 Natural Urges Humans experience and How to More Effectively Fight Them 

We as humans are biologically wired to encourage certain behaviors. Those behaviors are almost always related to survival in some way. Think about it! That urge to check out the very good looking young man or woman walking by is a biological urge of reproduction. That urge to Netflix and chill is a biological urge of energy preservation. The whole reason why your body stores fat is wired biologically! Our ancestors had to store fat very efficiently because there were almost always times of famine or scarcity of food (like winter months). Our biology doesn't know that we have access to food 24/7!

Despite our hard wiring, there are some cognitive behavioral techniques we can use in order to help us with these pesky urges. 

#1:  The urge to overeat. As stated above, our bodies are designed to overeat and store fat. Our species would not be around today without this mechanism in our biology. So as we take a look at that 4th piece of pizza that we can't seem to resist, how can we overcome our genetics? Some great strategies come from the Mindful Eating field of Psychology. Mindful Eating is behavioral practices that we can engage in everytime we eat in order to curtail giving into our biology. Here are just a couple of Mindful Eating skills. Before you eat, assess if you are really hungry. On a scale of 1 to 4 (1 being ravenously hungry to 4 being full) where are you? Unless you are a 1 or a 2, don't eat. And only ever eat until you reach a "3" on the scale. Once you reach a 3, stop. Another Mindful Eating skill is to well, eat mindfully! That means never eat while distracted or multitasking. So that means no scrolling through phones, no watching Tv, no working while eating. Sit, pay attention to only the task of eating. People who do this tend to eat less during the meal than those who are eating distracted. 

#2:  The urge to sit on your butt and do nothing. This is also engrained in our biology. Our bodies are designed to preserve energy as much as possible. This is because our ancestors needed to store energy in case of an urgent need to move, and move fast (survival instinct)! One great way to overcome this urge to be lazy is to get some accountability partners. Make a pact with a work friend and walk around the building every hour and during lunch. Track your steps on an app and get friends to join you on the app. Set up weekly competitions and challenges to beat each other for the number of steps you take in a week.  Research shows that having an accountability partner for fitness goals can make you up to 80% more likely to achieve your goal. 

#3: The urge to cheat. This can be cheating on a significant other or just cheating in general. A competitive edge is also ingrained in our biology. Darwin's theory of the survival of the fittest is based on this principle. Our species was at one time in competition with other species and other groups of the same species for resources and thus survival. The urge to get something better than what we have or get something more than someone else can drive urges. The best way to deal with this urge is to identify when it is rearing it's ugly head and hit the pause button. Take a step back and start listing the things that you do have and what you like or love about what you do have. That lady walking by may have a great butt, but your spouse may be kind, funny and a great mom to your children. Are those things more valuable to you than a great butt? Yes of course! No one has ever said, "Well, she is a horrible mother to my kids, she is very boring and I hate spending time with her, but at least she has a great butt, so that makes up for it." Beauty is fleeting. That person with the great butt will eventually age and sag too. 

We hope these tips were helpful! Viva la resistance! 

 

© Fire Team Whiskey, LLC, 2018, All Rights Reserved