weight loss

WHY YOUR NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS FAIL AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT

As a health and fitness business owner, I am well aware of the majority of Americans who make a New Years Resolution to "Lose weight", "Eat healthier" or to "Get in shape".  I cringe every time I hear someone say this. Being a Licenced Mental Health Counselor, an Eating Psychology Specialist and a Certified Personal Trainer, I know that any person saying one or all of those phrases is doomed. They will not "lose weight", eat healthier" or "get in shape" next year. How can I be so certain? Because of the way they are stating their goals. These kinds of general goals are never achieved. Defining your goals by following the SMART rule is very important for new years resolutions. 

S- Specific: How many pounds can you reasonable and realistically lose? A safe way to estimate is to assume an average loss of a pound a week. Is it more realistic to have a body composition goal instead of a pounds lost goal (highly suggest this for those over 40!). Be specific: "I plan to reduce my body fat from 48% to 30%." 

M- Measurable: How will you measure this? Do you have a body composition scale or another way to measure it? How often will you measure it? How will you track it? What is the rate of change you are looking for? For example "I want to lose a pound a week at a minimum." 

A: Attainable: Again, setting a pie in the sky goal may make you feel hopeful and fill your brain with visions of you looking amazing in a swimsuit, but we need to bring you back to reality. To safely lose weight in a way that is sustainable (i.e. permanent) you may have to drop your standards a bit. I had a client ask me if she would ever have arms like mine. I said yes, but you may be looking at achieving this a lot further down the road than you may be willing to work at it for. Be realistic. That fad "30 pounds and 30 days" diet may work short term, but guess what, I have a roster full of clients who did those programs (some even several times over) and gained all the weight back plus some. Why? Because that 30-day lifestyle was not sustainable, and I argue, the methods used just are not safe for your health in the long run. Add to the A an accountability partner...actually several accountability partners. Research shows you are up to 90% more likely to achieve your goals if you make them public and regularly update and check in with your accountability partners. So yes, announce it on social media and ask people to hold you to it. And dont get mad at them when they call you out when you post a picture of the 3rd slice of pizza a bucket of fries you are having for dinner. 

R: Relevant:  One of the best excuses I received from a participant for not following the nutrition plan was "The nutrition plan is not conducive to my lifestyle." I had to do a double take and conceded that he was right. Some people just live a lifestyle of drinking beer and eating hot wings. It's their thing and they wouldn't be "them" without this. Look at your goal to fit into that size 2 dress and ask yourself, "Am I willing to give up the specific lifestyle that I have that keeps me from being able to fit into that size?" If the answer is "no", then you need to change your goal. How about a goal of eating on the plan from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm and have a chat window from 7:00 to 8:00 pm and not worry about making a goal to be a certain size, rather, eating healthy most of the time. 

T: Time:  This is a big problem with Americans. Everyone says they don't have time to workout or to meal plan and prep, yet they binge on 6 hours of Netflix on a Friday night. If you dont give yourself a time schedule to achieve your small goals that lead up to your big goal, time will fly by and that goal will stay just as far away as it was a year ago. Schedule time in your day, every day to be active. Schedule time every week to meal plan, grocery shop and meal prep for the week. Your time reflects your priorities. Take a week and just monitor how much you spend watching TV or on social media. I bet its much more than you thought. If you would just cut back on a few hours each week on those sedentary activities and replace them with the activities that will get you closer to achieving your goals, no time is lost. You dont have to "fit in" anything extra in your life, you are just getting rid of some of those time-sucking behaviors that are getting in the way of your goals. 

Copy Right 2018 Fire Team Whiskey LLC All Rights Reserved

3 Ways to Bear Stress Better: Lessons Learned From Rucking

_It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it._ Lou Holtz.png

Stress management has been on my mind so much in the last year, as I have created this business from scratch. It's easy to get overwhelmed on a daily basis and I can certainly attest I have felt the crushing weight of the burdens I carry. That weight has almost broken me and deterred me from this path. As I work with our Participants, this is also a major theme for most. SGT Joe Snuffy, feeling overwhelmed by the fact that he has 80 pounds to lose and he just can't fathom how he is going to accomplish this huge feat. SPC Sally Joe feeling like there is just no way she will ever be able to fit a workout in her day when she is a single mother of 2, working 2 part-time jobs, a full load of college courses, and has drill this weekend. We all bear these huge loads of stress on a daily basis. Each of our burdens comprised of different things, but most of us bending with that burden, feeling the crushing weight every single day. 

If you have been in the military and had to do long distance rusks with 50 pounds or more on your back, you have learned some "tricks" to be able to bear this load better and reduce suffering. I am going to use some of these tricks to give you some tips to deal with the proverbial burdens of stress we bear day to day. 

#1:  ADJUST YOUR RUCK. BALANCE AND HIGH CARRY. The first thing we learn when rucking is that it is IMPERATIVE to balance your ruck load right. Put the heaviest item in the bottom center and stack the weight in a high balance. You want as much weight in the center as possible and for the load to be balanced. We also want to carry the weight set on our hips, not our shoulders. This allows our center of gravity to be lower and to not have to carry the weight pushing us down on our shoulders but balanced in the center of our body (our hips). What the heck does this mean for our stress burden? We have to PRIORITIZE. This is a huge mistake we all make with dealing with stress. We just spread out our efforts to do as much as we can all at once. The greatest, most accomplished leaders in history were very good at this. They carried HUGE burdens, leading countries, huge Army's and great nation, but they all did one thing: they focused their efforts on a few things they were very good at doing, and delegated or discarded the rest. This is hard to do. We all want to accomplish a ton. Take a full course load. work 2 jobs. Go to those social events. You need to pick 5 things that you can distribute 100% of your focus on and the rest will need to be put on the back burner, handed to someone else or discarded altogether. You will find very quickly that focusing 20% of your energy on 5 tasks rather 1% of your energy on 100 tasks is much more efficient and satisfying. Plus, bonus, you get tasks achieved quicker, and you can move on to the next one. I start my morning every day and choose just 5 things on my to-do list and focus only on accomplishing those 5 things that day. That way, at the end of the day I will be more likely to feel satisfied that I actually got something done! rather than looking back at 30 projects that I worked on partially, but never really completed any of them. 

#2:  YOU PROBABLY DON'T NEED THAT. One of the fastest lessons you learn in the military when rucking is that "I probably don't need that". Each item has to be evaluated for your true NEED and WILLINGNESS TO CARRY. In life, sometimes we get caught up in responsibilities that we are not really passionate about, we feel obligated to do, or we just damn well hate to do. I had this conversation recently with my sister. Two of her kids were on two separate softball teams. She was running herself ragged running them back and forth each to two different locations, practice schedules, and game schedules.  Then they got picked for all starts and would be TRAVELING to different cities for games! I had to intervene. She needed to seriously take inventory of her ruck and really evaluate "Do you really need that?".  Sometimes we get caught up in the "doing" and never evaluate if the "doing" is that valuable. After evaluating the stress this was causing her, and the fact that her girls were not going to be professional softball players, and why the heck would they need to be traveling all over the state playing softball games, they declined the all start season. It was such a burden lift! Sure, you will probably disappoint, even piss off some people you have to say "no" too, but you can only carry so much, and you need to really evaluate everything in your life and ask yourself "do I really need this?".

#3:  TOUGHEN YOUR FEET. The last lesson learned when first beginning to ruck in the military is nothing will help more than just putting miles on those feet and toughen them up. You need to create callouses. This requires putting the time and effort in and actually getting those blisters. Procrastination is the ultimate avoidance of blisters. We all have a million reasons why we can't start something that we know we need to start. It's summer vacation, I can't start working on my diet now, there are too many ice cream opportunities. It's almost the holidays, I don't want to miss out on all that holiday candy, food, etc. I will just wait for a month after New Years to join a gym, it's too crowded in there in January, etc. If you never put a mile on your feet, you will never toughen them up and put some of those miles behind you. START NOW. YES NOW. Sign up for the next .22 Caliber Group. Stop putting it off. You will always have reasons to not begin. There is nothing more important than your health. Nothing. Until you realize that, you will always be standing at the beginning of the trail, pack on the ground, standing there convincing yourself why you can't start. If you are not healthy, you won't exist. Your life will pass you by. You will miss out on the life you could have had. You cannot care for others needs until your own needs are cared for. You put your oxygen mask on first. It's not selfish, its biology. Toughen your feet. So what if you start the Program and fail. Then you try again. And again. You keep rucking and building those callouses until it becomes easier and easier. Then before you know it, you are walking across that finish line. Calloused, and tired, but also feeling strong and proud of how you were able to bear that burden. 

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

 

How Cory Sanden's Weightloss Changed His Life

Cadre Cory Sanden's Journey

I started my weight loss journey around November 2016 at 300lbs.  I was 39 years old and a stay at home Dad of two girls and wanted to get back my life back in terms of fitness, energy, mood and drive!

My wife and I are both former collegiate athletes and I served 10 years in the Army Reserves and have worked in the fitness industry for over 10 years, so you would think I would have all the drive, knowledge and experience to succeed??? Well, for myself I quickly realized how difficult it is to change habits and consistently exercise when you haven’t in years. 

The first few months of eating healthier and exercising gave us some minor results with a lot of effort and meal prepping/planning.  The progress was very slow and hard to maintain focus and determination. There were many "stop" and "restart" periods where we would lose a few pounds and gain back a few, rinse and repeat. It was frustrating at times, but progress was still made and in a little over a year I had lost 35 lbs. 

Around December of 2017 I had seen an advertisement for an ad for pilot participants for a upcoming military/first responders fitness protocol.  I quickly dove into this new idea and protocol for our fighting forces.  I remember messaging Stephanie Lincoln about this opportunity and learning more and more each week about the opportunity to be a pilot participant and being able to use my own journey to help promote FTW. 

As the weeks went on and I continued my fitness journey, I quickly became involved with the upcoming first round participants to engage in the program in January 2018.  The protocol was to last 30 days and include a Ketogenic diet with HIIT style workouts for 30 minutes.  My wife and I were beyond excited to start this new and unknown chapter in our life.  We quickly found out the first week traveling that this plan was very doable, flexible, and had great accountability.  Daily weight check-ins and workouts were very powerful and held us in check to build a strong routine and consistency. 

Thirty days had flown by and I had lost 22 lbs!  My personal goal was to lose 15 lbs and fit into my Army BDU pants from 1999.  I smashed my goals and had been at my lowest weight in over 8 years!  My wife and I had never found an easier diet routine to stick with her Celiac disease. This was the missing link to our lives and couldn’t be happier. It was, and still is,  a great fit for us. 

 

How To Stick To Your Diet While Traveling

Summer vacation time is upon us and many of us will be traveling to get a little sun, rest and relaxation. And most of us will return from those trips bloated and heavier than we were when we left for that vacation.

Last summer I drove to New Orleans Louisiana form the east coast of Florida. It was a very long trip. I was determined to stay on my eating plan the whole trip. My one allowance was to have a beignet at Cafe Du Monde, which is something you have to do in New Orleans. My trip was so successful, I actually LOST a couple of pounds on my trip! What was my secret?  I purchased a car cooler that plugs into the power source in your car. I meal prepped and brought lunch, dinner, snacks and drinks for each day of my trip. I brought my protein shake packets and a tiny single cup blender for my breakfast each day. During my road trip, all I had to do was open up the cooler and grab my food. I did this every time I had more than a couple of hours of driving ahead of me. P.s. This was a HUGE financial savings for my trip too! I was able to stay in a much nicer hotel in a great area because I knew I wasn't going to be paying an arm and a leg for several meals each day of my trip!

For flights, obviously, you can't take a car cooler. But you can bring a lunch box that has the insulation built into it that you can prep the night before your trip. This will cover you for the day of the trip, with all the snacks you have to keep cold. Anything else, that doesn't fit into the lunch box, throw in your carry on. Nuts, beef jerky, apples, individual packets of nut butter, individual cans of tuna or chicken salad, protein shakes and a blender bottle are great options.  No refrigeration needed for these on the go snacks. In your cold lunch box, pack small containers of salad with your choice of protein, salad dressings, boiled eggs, carrot sticks, hummus, cheese sticks, etc. 

When it comes to eating out, most places have healthy options, so you can stick to your plan. When I am traveling, I allow for ONE TREAT. You can plan it out like I did with my New Orleans trip, or you can spontaneously use it if something really tickles your fancy and just have to try it. This is a great approach because that treat then becomes the highlight of your trip. Instead of just going insane and blowing off your eating plan, completely wrecking the progress you made,  and returning back from your trip feeling bloated, guilty and heavier by a few pounds, you can return from your trip feeling great and with the memory of that one special treat that you enjoyed thoroughly, guilt-free!

Copyright Fire Team Whiskey® 2018 All Rights Reserved

How To Stop Yo-Yo Dieting

In order to get off the yo-yo diet rollercoaster, there needs to be a serious mindset shift. As an Eating Psychology expert, I tell clients all the time that any change you make on the outside (i.e. your weight) is only going to be permanent if you are willing to change on the inside (i.e. your mindset). 

The number one tip I can give someone looking to stop yo-yo dieting is to stop using the word "diet". The word diet has a negative connotation in everyone's mind. It means going without, punishment for poor choices, that you are going to miss out on things you want. Instead, start looking at this journey as establishing a healthy lifestyle. When someone is establishing a healthy lifestyle, it's much more positive oriented. You are helping yourself feel better, look better and live longer. 

The second tip that I have for a wannabe ex-yo-yo dieter is to operate proportionally. What I mean by this is that on average, we make about 250 food choices per day. If you can average out about 80% to 90% of those choices in a week being the healthiest one for you, then you should be on the right trajectory. This means that yes, most of the time you are eating healthy whole foods, but also yes, you can have that dessert at dinner on Saturday night. 

The third tip for stopping the yo-yo dieting is to find an eating plan you are happy to follow (mostly, remember the 80-90%) for the rest of your life. That means no, the cabbage diet is not an option. You would die of malnutrition trying that for the rest of your life. Explore different ways of eating. We all have different lifestyles. Some people have time and energy to meal prep and freeze meals way ahead of time. Others thrive on eating a home cooked meal once a day and supplementing with healthy snacks. Some people do very well on higher protein eating plans because it makes them feel fuller longer. Others are very happy eating nothing but veggies. The bottom line is, if you can't sustain the eating plan for years and years, you need to find one that meets that criteria. 

 

Copyright Fire Team Whiskey 2018. All rights reserved. 

Get Abs by Summer!

Want abs by Summer?  You better get working! Here are some important things to keep in mind when working toward your goal of having summer abs.

#1:  Abs are made in the kitchen. Because no matter how big your muscles are, you won't be able to see them if they are insulated in a thick layer of fat. 

#2: Your abs consist of the entire core. Doing 100 crunches every day will get you abs just as fast as flapping your arms really really fast will get you to fly. 

#3: Just like any muscle, your abs need focus and attention.  Doing a few sit-ups for a week and expecting to have a six pack all summer from this minimal effort is akin to making a wish. 

#4:   Your core should be a part of every workout you do. Most people should do at least 3 cardio-centric and 3 strength training centric workouts a week. All of them should include a focus on improving your core strength and stability. 

#5:  Plank holds. Do them. Love them. Master them. This works the entire core (plus pretty much everything else). 

#6:   Abs are made in the kitchen (Deja Vu?). 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 those abs make an appearance! 

Copyright Fire Team Whiskey 2018. All rights reserved. 

FTW Keto Chili Casserole

Fire Team Whiskey Cadre, SGT Cory Sanden shares his keto chili casserole recipe. 

FTW Keto Chili Casserole

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

1lb. ground beef

1 medium diced onion

2-3 garlic cloves diced

1 cup of diced pepper of choice (green, red, poblano, etc.)

2 small cans of diced or crushed tomatoes or 8 oz. of juice

2 cups shredded cheese

Seasoning:  cumin, coriander, chili powder, or favorite chili seasoning

Garnish:

Diced avocadoes

Dollop of sour cream

Directions:

1.       Preheat oven to 350*.

2.      Brown beef and onion in skillet.

3.      Add tomatoes, juice, garlic, seasoning, and peppers and simmer 2- 3 min.

4.      Add chili mixture into oven safe dish and top with 2 cups of cheese.

5.      Cook at 350* for 20 minutes.

6.      Remove for oven and serve with sour cream and avocadoes.

Macros: (servings 4)

One serving equals: 533 calories, 40 g fat, 9 g carb, 32 g protein.

 

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. 

LOW CARB TACO SHELLS

FTW Cadre SGT Cory Sanden shares his Fire Team Whiskey eating plan approved recipe for super low carb taco shells!  

FTW Tacos

Directions:

Warm skillet or pan over medium heat and prep your toppings for the tacos.

 Add small amount of oil of choice to pan or skillet.

 Pour ¼ cup of Mexican cheese blend or cheese of your choice on the skillet to make a thick looking pancake. 

Cook for one minute and then flip over for 30-45 seconds. 

Place cheese taco over a spoon or spatula and then over a bowl.

Let cool for a few minutes to allow the cheese to harden and form.

Add your favorite meat and toppings to your FTW cheese tacos and enjoy.

Nutritional Data: (one shell)

Calories: 100

Fat: 8 grams

Carbs: 1 gram

Protein: 7 grams

Note: Could be used for breakfast with adding eggs and bacon for toppings. 

 

FTW Tacos.JPG

Copyright Fire Team Whiskey, LLC 2018 All rights reserved.

Fire Team Whiskey Keto Joe SpecOps Shake Recipe

FTW Cadre SGT Sanden shows us a way that he amps up his Fire Team Whiskey SpecOps Keto Joe Shake. 

Suggestions:

Cinnamon

Vanilla extract

Protein powder

Ice

Milk

Almond milk

Water

Peanut butter

Almond butter

 

Meal Replacement suggestion:

One scoop KetoJoe.

One scoop protein powder

3-4 ice cubes

6-8 ounces of water

Blend until smooth.  Pour into FTW thermal to keep cold and great for traveling with. 

Macros:

(add protein powder macros) 230 calories, 17 grams fat, 10 grams protein, 8 grams carbs.

 

KetoJoe 2.JPG
KetoJoe 1.JPG

Copyright Fire Team Whiskey, LLC 2018 All rights reserved.  

Tabata what?

Fire Team Whiskey's .22 Caliber Fitness Protocol is a Tabata style workout. What the heck is Tabata?

Tabata is a style of high-intensity interval training that is focused on getting a person to muscle fatigue and/or target heart rate. Tabata is a just a specific approach to HIIT that focuses on the timing of the sets you complete. A Tabata style workout has you perform an exercise as hard (or fast in the case of cardio moves) as you can for 20 seconds, then take a 10-second break.  This is repeated with the same exercises for 8 sets.  For strength training, this should get you close to muscle failure. With cardio, by set 8 you should be near your target heart rate. High-Intensity Interval Workouts are similar, and may very well use this same 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off approach. Some HIIT workouts vary the intervals form s short as 20 seconds to as long as a minute. You can use Tabata and HIIT for any strength training or cardio move. 

What are the benefits of using the Tabata or HIIT methods are as stated above, to get you to as close to muscle failure and target heart rate as you can for each exercise. Why? Becuase this is the most time and energy efficient way to workout. Sure you can reach muscle failure by doing 100 bicep curls with light weights. You can also reach your target heart rate by running for an hour. But as the saying goes "Aint nobody got time for that!" The best benefit to a Tabata or HIIT style workout is that because it is so efficient, you only need to workout for 20-30 minutes to get the same if not better benefts than a steady state hour long workout (or more). 

Research also shows that HIIT type training has many more benefits than traditional slower to moderate paced exercise. HIIT has been shown to stimulate a significantly higher, total workout calorie burn and EPOC (post workout afterburn) compared to continuous steady pace training. There is also a significantly better increase VO2 max, strengthening cardiovascular output as well as size and number of mitochondria, increasing energy production.

Here is an example of a mixed cardio and body weight strength Tabata Circuit. Remember to work as hard and as fast as you can during the 20 second work period (staying safe with your form). 

High knee run in place 20 seconds, 10-second break for 8 sets. 

Push-ups  20 seconds, 10-second break for 8 sets. 

Jumping jacks  20 seconds, 10-second break for 8 sets. 

Tricep Dips  20 seconds, 10-second break for 8 sets.  

10-meter sprints  20 seconds, 10-second break for 8 sets. 

Squat jumps  20 seconds, 10-second break for 8 sets. 

 

The above is a 24-minute workout. Short, sweet and super efficient. 

Happy Sweating! 

 

 

 

Your Fitbit is Lying to You and Other Cautions for Using Fitness Apps

Don't get me wrong, fitness apps can be a fantastic reinforcement and tool for increasing health behavior.  People like tracking their steps or even challenge others to get more steps each day. This arguably should improve and increase a person's movement for the day. This is a positive!   Apps like myfitness pal can help you track your food and thus hopefully make you aware of your daily calorie intake. This should inspire a person to think twice about having that 4th slice of pizza.  Smartwatch users love seeing other health stats like sleep quality and heart rate. These can be useful in possibly detecting dangerous health conditions like heart arrthymia or sleep apnea. All positive. 

Here is the BUT.....

As a Licenced Mental Health Counselor and a Certified Personal Trainer, I am an expert in behavior and I have witnessed first hand the negative side of using fitness apps and devices. Here are a few to watch out for if you are a fitness app user or are thinking about using one. 

#1: Assuming the data is accurate. One of my most repeated phrases is "Your fitbit is lying to you." There is data out there that suggests your smartwatch may OVER ESTIMATE your activity by as much as 80%!  I have had people come up to me after fitness classes to tell me their smartwatch said they just burned 800 calories in that workout. And guess what I say? "Your fitbit is lying to you." Unless you are an Olympic, Iron Man or Professional athlete and you just completed some amazingly long athletic feat, you did not just burn 800 calories. At BEST, you may possibly burn about 200 calories on a very hard workout. This caution leads to #2.

#2 Making health decisions based on fitness app data. This is what drives me batty about apps like myfitness pal is because they add back your workout calories to your food. Basically, they are saying, hey you burned 800 calories, go ahead and eat 800 more calories today, you earned it! Um, no. A: this is not how the body works. And B. this is setting you up to consume more calories than you should based on faulty data (see #1). It has long refuted the whole calories in - calories out + weight loss belief. The TYPES of calories are much more important than the amount you consume. Case and point, if I wat 800 calories a day worth of only vegetables for a week then the next week I ate 800 calories of cake each day the next week, which week do you think I would lose the most weight? Yep. Quality not quantity. 

#3  Getting put into a box. Many fitness apps put you in a box. They ask you a few questions, your age, your weight, your sex, and whether or not you are trying to lose weight, gain weight, or stay the same weight. Then walla, they magically give you a box to live in. Everybody is different. We have different health conditions, metabolic rates, body types, insulin resistance, physical limitations, etc. None of these are being considered with these apps. This creates frustration with people who are following what their app told them to do and they are not losing weight. Keep in mind that your app does not know your body inside and out and you should be checking in with a professional to help you personalize your health and fitness plan as much as possible and to make adjustments when you are not seeing results. 

So whatever app or smartwatch you use, take this data with a good dose of caution and always be wary. As the old saying goes, if it's too good to be true, it probably is. 

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

So you think you can "target burn" fat?

Many people think that doing more exercises in a specific area will burn the fat in that area. This is not how the body works. Sure, doing a million crunches will help you burn calories, which can, in turn, lead to burning of body fat, but the body doesn't just burn body fat in a specific area. We all have the genetics to blame for a tendency to accumulate more body fat in certain areas of the body, and there is no way to exercise that specific area away. 

The best approach is to do the things you need to do to have the body start using body fat stores as energy. This will not only reduce stubborn belly fat, but also reduce body fat in every area of the body (even the fat you can’t see that is the most dangerous kind of fat, visceral fat, which greatly increases your risk for dangerous health conditions). Here are three tips for getting your body to effectively and consistently burn body fat. 
 

#1: Track your food.  The biggest mistake people make is not tracking what they are consuming every day. Research shows that people greatly underestimate their calorie consumption if they are "just winging it".  There are a ton of apps you can download to your phone and easily and quickly track what you consume on a daily basis. The app should give you a range of suggested daily calorie consumption based on your goals. As a trainer, I suggest that you also track your macros (percentage of protein, fat, and carbohydrates) and keep your daily carbohydrate percentage under 30%. This will keep your insulin levels lower, thus sending the signal to your body to burn fat for energy. This leads to the next tip.

#2:  The only hormone in your body that tells your body to store fat is insulin. Most Americans daily food consumption keeps insulin levels high (a diet comprised mostly of carbs). Think of it like this…you want your body to stop “hearing” the message from insulin to store fat. This means you have to stop insulin form talking to your body. This means you have to stop inviting insulin into your body. Shifting your diet to consuming protien and healthy fats and very little carbs keep the gag on that chatty insulin. The more time you spend without high levels of insulin in your body, the more time your body is spending time in fat burning mode. So you think snatching a candy from your workmate’s candy jar 6 times a day in harmless? Think again….each time you spike that insulin, it can take up to 2 hours for the insulin levels to lower. If you do this 6 times a day times 2 hours, you are spending 12 hours of the day in fat storage mode. Point made.

#3:  Work smarter not harder. As a former endurance athlete, I can attest to spending a ridiculous amount of time each week working out. And I can attest to the fact that my body fat levels did not reflect those hours. I was like many of you thinking the more time I spent in the gym, the more calories I would burn. This is has been by science. A major study research study released in 2017 determined that  humans burn about the same number of calories regardless of activity level.  In other words, exercising more does not significantly increase your daily calorie burn. The body is very good at adjusting and preserving energy. So bottom line is, if you are relying on exercise to “make up for” poor nutritional choices, you are out of luck. Yes, exercise is very important for overall health and does help improve important things related to weight loss, like insulin resistance, metabolic rate and body composition, but it will not be the factor to make you lose a lot of body fat. The only way to do this is with nutrition. You may be feeling very defeated about this news, but I see it as a positive. This means you don’t have to spend hours in the gym! You don’t even have to go to a gym. My rule of thumb is to do something active every day for at least 30 minutes and ensure I am getting some sort of strength training at least 2 days a week. Not because I am relying on it to lose weight, but for the health benefits that come with exercise. So if you hate the gym, that’s ok. Go for a long walk. Try something new like a ballroom dancing class, an indoor rock climbing gym, or try that pole dancing fitness place. Whatever floats your boat and makes you sweat for at least 30 minutes, do it!

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

 

FTW LOW CARB PIZZA

Ingredients:

Oil of choice (suggest olive, coconut or avocado)

Dash of parmesan

½ cup of mozzarella cheese

2-3 tsp pizza sauce (get a brand that has no added sugars or make your own from tomato paste and herbs)

Pepperoni (7 slices)

Oregano

Directions:

Preheat skillet, pan or flat top to medium heat. Add a small amount of preferred oil.

Add a dash of parmesan cheese in a centered pile.

Add ½ cup mozzarella cheese. Let cook for a minute or two until cheese is melted.

Add oregano.

Place 2-3 tsp. of pizza sauce on cheese and spread evenly. 

Place pepperoni slices on top.

Add a pinch more of cheese to melt the toppings together.

Cover with a  pan lid to melt together for a minute or two.

Let cool for a minute and cut with a pizza cutter or scissors. 

 

Macros:

Calories: 235

Fat: 16 g

Protein: 15 g

Carbs: 5 g

 

 

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

Hours in the gym and not seeing results?

So you are spending hours in the gym each week and you are not seeing the change in your waistline?  This is because you are missing the most important piece of the puzzle, changing your nutrition to optimize your body's ability to melt that fat! The only hormone in your body that tells your body to store fat is insulin. The key to turning your body into a fat burning machine is keeping your insulin levels low as much a possible. The number one thing that spikes your body's insulin is carbohydrates and sugar. Here are some tips for getting those insulin levels down so you can shed that spare tire! 

#1:  TRACK YOUR FOOD: The biggest mistake people make is not tracking what they are consuming every day. Research shows that people greatly underestimate their calorie consumption if they are "just winging it".  There are a ton of apps you can download to your phone and easily and quickly track what you consume on a daily basis. The app should give you a range of suggested daily calorie consumption based on your goals. As a trainer, I suggest that you also track your macros (percentage of protein, fat, and carbohydrates) and keep your daily carbohydrate percentage under 30%. This will keep your insulin levels lower, thus sending the signal to your body to burn fat for energy. 

#2:  READ LABELS:  In this day and age of information, I am still astounded by the fact that people don't bother to look at the nutrition facts on their food before they choose to eat it. It doesn't take but 30 seconds to turn a package over and read. What are you looking for? Check out the ingredients. If one of the 1st three ingredients in the food is sugar (or another word for sugar), you should not be consuming it. When in the grocery store, see if there is a healthier alternative to what you are used to choosing. There is most likely a healthier alternative. 

#3:  STOP DRINKING YOUR CALORIES:  You love those craft beers huh? Guess where those beers are going? Straight to your waistline!  I tell clients that I am working with all the time that if they only make one change in their nutrition, this should be it. Just stop drinking calories. Save the beer for special occasions (no more than twice a month). Better yet, when you drink, just drink a liquor on the rocks with a squeeze of lime. This is a lot less carbohydrate and calorie-heavy than those heavy craft beers. Switch out sugary and carbohydrate packed drinks (like juice, soda, and sweet tea) with water and zero calorie alternatives like flavored sparkling water, unsweetened tea and coffee with unsweetened creamers. 

If you are not willing to change your nutrition along with putting in the time at the gym, then you are severely limiting your ability to get results. Like they say...an athlete is made in the kitchen, not the gym. 

 

 

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

My Journey

My name is Stephanie Lincoln and I am the founder of Fire Team Whiskey. I am going to share my weight loss story with you.  I had amazing success with something called the Keto Diet.  My success actually inspired me to start my own Ketogenic based Health and Fitness company (Fire Team Whiskey). I wanted to share my knowledge about this way of eating with my Brothers and Sisters in arms/harms way. Here is my story. 

 

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THANKSGIVING DAY, NOVEMBER 2015. This is the picture that started it all.  When I saw this picture it was like someone slapped me in the face. I was the heaviest I had ever been in my life. I was doing all the "right" things I thought. I ran 2-3 miles 3 days a week. I did power yoga another 2 days a week. I always got my "steps". My daily food consisted of veggies, hummus, salads, oatmeal, whole wheat toast, brown rice, lean meats, and fruit. Apparently, I was doing something wrong.  On top of all that, I was hypoglycemic, so I had to eat constantly (about every 2 hours) to keep my blood sugar from crashing. I had some nasty fainting spells and I was terrified to leave the house without food in tow. I because known as the "lunchbox lady" because I carried a lunchbox with me everywhere I went. After the slap in the face Thanksgiving picture, I was desperate to find a solution. I had yo-yo dieted like everyone else. Restricted calories. Starved myself. Slim Fast. Diet pills. You name it, I probably tried it at some point and time. And like everyone else, I would lose a little weight, then gain it all back plus a couple pounds. I didn't want to do that again. I was at my highest weight, I was not going to start yet another diet and get even heavier from my efforts.

Like a good nerd, I decided to do extensive research. Instead of going at it in the weight loss way, I wanted to see if I could target my hypoglycemia and then hopefully have the added bonus of weight loss.  I started Googling diets that were good for hypoglycemia and I came across this thing called Keto. Being the nerd that I am, I promptly ordered 3 books on the subject. My mind was blown! It made total sense. This was science. With a diet consisting of about 50% carbs (even "healthy carbs"), I was eating to make my condition worse not better! I didn't jump right into Keto mind you. I was very skeptical, so I decided to ease into it. First I started portion controlling my carbs. I started with cutting down to just two 1/4 cup servings of anything "carby" a day. I did that for a few months and really started to see a difference in my body fat. I was still having the blood sugar struggles though. I cut sugar from my diet. Then I cut grains. Then I cut fruit. I went full Keto in April of 2017 and I have been ever since. On occasion, I shift back to a few weeks of a Paleo diet. I also added intermittent fasting to my routine.

How has life changed? I don't count calories. I am not constantly hungry and struggling to keep my blood sugar up. I rarely have a sugar low (and when I do it is because I had more carbs than normal that day).  I went from 140 pounds and very tight size 8 to around 120 pounds and wearing a size 2. My skin cleared up, it looks glowing and healthy (I struggled with acne basically since my teens). I never have afternoon sleepiness, in fact, I have so much energy I have a hard time going to bed. I actually gained a reputation amongst my friends and co-workers as having no ability to hit a brick wall with my energy. Best of all, I don't miss sugar or carbs! I have found healthy ways to get my "sweet fix" or bread whenever I want it. Just Google the word "keto" before any carby food you miss and you will find tons of recipes to make it grain and sugar-free. 

I will never go back to that so-called "healthy" way of eating again. The traditional "healthy" way of eating made me sick and slowly gain weight. When people ask me how I stay so slim they assume I just don't eat or that I live off of mustard and celery. I love to tell people that my diet consists of about 80% fat and that I drink heavy cream lattes, and eat steak, guacamole, eggs, bacon, butter, and sour cream. I love to see their eyes pop out of their heads! Keto is a great way to eat because I am never hungry! On some days, almost the whole day flies by and I have no notice that I haven't eaten anything yet that day. Before, with my old way of eating, I would have fainted from low blood sugar about 4 hours into forgetting to eat. The Keto Diet not only helped me lose 20 pounds, but I have never felt or looked healthier.

P.s My blood work is absolutely perfect! Keto is a safe eating plan for almost everyone and I believe it has saved my life. I feel so passionately about the negative effects of grains and sugar that I started my own Keto and Paleo based Health and Fitness company. The Fire Team Whiskey Eating Plans take a person gradually to a Ketogenic lifestyle, basically the way I did it. I believe that if something is going to work for most, then you have to provide a gradual path for someone to get there. If you are ready to try this transition for yourself, enlist in Fire Team Whiskey today and start your journey! I hope we will one day will be featuring your before and after transformation photos on the Fire Team Whiskey website!

 

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

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4 TIPS FOR SOMEONE STARTING A WORKOUT ROUTINE FOR THE FIRST TIME

#1:  Take a "beginners" version class or one on one session first if you have never done this type of exercise before. The most important thing that I am concerned about when starting someone on a fitness plan in my Program is SAFETY. I want to make sure that I am aware of any restrictions they may have and any prior injuries or medical issues. You need to show up a few minutes before the class or your session and just make sure the instructor is aware of these things. Ask them if they have any tips for you modifying any of the exercises because of your restrictions. 

#2: Get familiar with the class/exercise. If the exercises are something you have never done before, there is no shame in attending a class and just watching first. This will get you more comfortable with the setting, flow and other nuances of the type of class. Also, get help setting up equipment. Spin class is a great example of this. If your bike is not adjusted to your body, you can wreak havoc on your joints and potentially cause injury. Suprise!  A spin bike is not the same as just hopping on your beach cruiser! 

#3 For God's sake it's not a competition!  I will never forget when a client called me after her first new Bootcamp style group fitness class. She was in tears. She had pushed herself so hard in order to keep up with a lady next to her in class that she ended up almost passing out, and then dry heaving, and then crying of the embarrassment. I had to just shake my head and say "I told you so." People get competitive streaks in group fitness classes. They push themselves further than they maybe should because they don't want to look weak next to Ms. Perky Butt or Mr. Big Biceps. Pushing yourself is ok when you are ready for it, but I would highly suggest checking your ego at the door and taking at least the first week a little slow. The problem with going super hard on day one is twofold. First, you could injure yourself. You are just starting your fitness routine, your body may not be ready to be pushed that hard. Second, you are probably not going to be able to walk, lift your arms, or basically do anything for 2 days after going too hard. This is not healthy. Pushing your body so hard to that point will not make you fitter faster. It will just make you insanely sore, and not wanting to go back

#4: Modify!  Ask the trainer to show modifications for each move if it's a group fitness class. As a trainer, I am passionate about everyone, no matter what age, fitness level or medical issues, can do my workouts. I always show modifications for each move. Some trainers are not that vigilant, so remind them, or if they balk, then find another class. Go lighter on the weights for the first week or so and as you get fitter, start stepping it up 2-5 pounds every few weeks.  P.s. All of the Fire Team Whiskey Fitness Protocols show modifications for every single exercise! The .22 Caliber Fitness Program was designed to start someone on their fitness journey. As you complete each Caliber, you will Progress to the next one, gradually and safely taking your Fitness and Health to the next level. 

 

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

6 Mistakes You are Making When Reading Labels

Mistake #1:  The "Light" version of a product is healthier for me. 

"Light" products are processed to reduce either calories or fat, and some products are simply watered down. Most of the time manufacturers add more of something else to make up for removing whatever they removed to make the product "light". Most of the time, this means they have added more sugar.  

Mistake #2:  Products that say they are "whole grain" are very good for me. 

This sounds very healthy, but basically just means that they used whole wheat flour in the product. Cereals are notorious for using this label to convince you that this is a way to get good fiber in your diet, hoping you will ignore the fact that there that their product is 40% sugar. 

Mistake #3:  Products that say "all natural" are healthy choices. 

This does not necessarily mean that the product resembles anything natural. It simply means that at some point the manufacturer had a natural source (for example, apples or rice) to work with.  

Mistake #4: If it is organic it is healthy.

This label says very little about whether the product is healthy or not. For example, organic sugar is still sugar.  It may not have been grown with the pesticides that conventional produce is grown with, but it doesn't magically make sugar good for you just because its organic. 

Mistake #5:  If it says "no added sugar" then it is a low carb choice. 

Some products are naturally high in sugar. The fact that they don’t have added sugar doesn’t mean they’re healthy. For example, many fruit juices and canned fruits use this label. Both of these products are very high in carbohydrates, despite the "no added sugar" label. 

Mistake #6:  If it is gluten free then it is a healthy choice.

Gluten-free does not equal healthy. It simply means that the product doesn’t contain wheat, spelt, rye or barley. Many foods are gluten-free but can be highly processed and loaded with calories, unhealthy fats and sugars. 

 

 

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

Save Time and Money: Meal Prep Tips

Failure to plan is planning to fail. Behavior and lifestyle change is all about avoiding getting into situations where your willpower is challenged. Meal prep is essential for someone looking to improve their health. A bonus side effect of meal prepping is that it saves time and money!

First, you must schedule a regular grocery store trip and meal prep time. Most people like to schedule this on Sundays. Put this block of time in your calendar and make it a non-negotiable! 

Second, before you leave for the store, make a list. Making sure you have all the items needed will save you the hassle of having to return to the store because you forgot to get a key ingredient. I recommend to look up 4 simple recipes for two proteins. This way you have variety, but you also are saving yourself the time of having to prep 4 different proteins, which takes the most time. For example, let's choose chicken and ground turkey. Google "healthy recipes with chicken" and "healthy recipes with ground turkey" pick two of each and print out the recipe. You now have your list for your dinners for the week. 

If you are intimidated by cooking recipes or really are short on time, I recommend this approach: pick two proteins, pick two seasonings, and grab four bags of frozen vegetables you can steam in the microwave. You can bake or pan cook your proteins with one of the seasonings and quickly steam up some veggies as your side. 

Don't forget healthy snacks! Always make sure to have quick, no prep needed healthy snacks on hand. Fruit, veggie sticks, hummus, nut butters, mixed nuts, and dried jerky are healthy, no prep needed snacks. If you are a breakfast person, you can make ahead egg muffins or oatmeal bites that are easy to grab and go on your way out the door in the morning. 

Get a fun lunchbox. The whole point of meal prep is to bring the food with you so you are not reaching for unhealthy options during your busy days! Make sure to get freeze packs to keep your food cold and fresh if you don't have a refrigerator available to you at work. Bento Box type containers are a great way to pre-portion out your foods for each day and saves the landfills from wasteful plastic ziplock baggies. 

Lastly, bring it even if you think you won't need it. Even if you are absolutely sure you are not going to be working late, or you will only be gone a couple of hours, bring a healthy snack with you everywhere you go. You never know what may delay you. Then you are left without a healthy option and eyeing the nearest drive through fast food option as your stomach grumbles in hunger. 

 

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

3 TIPS TO SHAKE OFF THE WINTER BLAHS

You have been bundled up in layers all winter, and now that things are warming up, you may be thinking about starting up a spring routine to get ready for summer shorts and tanks. Here are some tips to get you ready! 

#1:  START EATING LIKE IT IS SPRING:  Ditch the heavy, warming comfort food and start eating like its Spring! Lots of veggies and fruits are their freshest in the Spring. Make a majority of your foods that you consume on a daily basis Seasonal veggies and fruits. Some fruits and veggies that are fresh in the Spring are strawberries, avocados, artichoke, avocados, radishes, onions, apricots, arugula, beets, cherries, and grapefruit. 

#2:  GET OUTSIDE AND MOVE:  Spring is a great time to freshen up your fitness routine and take your workouts outside. When we start something new and exciting we are more likely to do it. Look in your area for unique and fun outdoor fitness activities like trapeze classes, kayaking, or guided hikes. Or brush the dust off those traditional outdoor activities you haven't done since last summer, ride your bike, go for a walk, or take those rollerblades for a spin. 

#3: FRESHEN UP YOUR MINDSET:  Some of us may still be suffering from the winter blues. Being healthy also includes your mental health! Check out a meditation app like Headspace or pick up an inspiring book like "Brave Enough" by Cheryl Strayed. Set aside 20 minutes every day for your mental health. Take your mediation outside or just sit and have a cup of tea and read for a few minutes. With all of the distractions and busyness, it's easy to neglect the time that we need to reset and refresh. 

 

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