Staying Fit From Christmas to New Years

“No thanks, I’ll wait until mid-January to change.” Nope. Not this time.

Top off that blonde roast twice, maybe three times, throw your galoshes on and keep moving forward. People still wear galoshes, right?

You’re not destined to be a couch potato. Just yell “It’s a trap!” when you start to feel the cushions lure you in. We’re conditioned to think a certain way; “If I’m not at the gym, it doesn’t count!” Untrue. As long as you’re moving and expressing some type of strength, you’re doing good.

So what can you do to keep from looking like Santa this year?

Enjoy 7 Days of Fitness for Free!

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Don’t be a Scrooge!

1) Be Childish

Act like a kid again! When you “adult,” you don’t let loose, you think of all the reasons why you “shouldn’t” or “can’t”. Well here’s your permission. Throw a snowball at your neighbor (is that considered assault?), go ice skating, watch your dog go crazy in the snow, build a fort outside for your children. PLAY! Playing, laughing and smiling are all part of learning and experiencing movement. If you can have a good time and burn calories, why wouldn’t you?

2) Winter Sports

Ever talk to someone who skis or snowboards? Those nerds enjoy winter. How odd! But you can be a nerd too! Try skiing, snowboarding or even snowshoeing. These sports can get pricey if you buy equipment and want  season passes, so go for resorts that offer daily rentals and deals on lift tickets.

3) Challenge Yourself

The holiday season seems like a poor time to invest in yourself because of all types of restrictions, but it’s actually the best time. If you can get through the end of the year without gaining any weight while improving your movement and performance, the likelihood of you carrying that momentum for the rest of the year can increase tenfold.

You can start by challenging yourself to workout ‘X’ amount of days per week or tracking your effort using a heart rate monitor. For you more advanced movers, do a time-bound challenge like one hundred kettlebell swings in five minutes. Try to beat your best time!

4) Fitness Snacks

Moving whenever you can is just a good idea. Little bite sized pieces of exercise are not only adorable but doable!

Here’s how: Park further away, take the stairs whenever possible, shovel your driveway (yuck), get up from your desk every hour or do some bodyweight squats while eating cupcakes and Christmas cookies.

5) Stay Accountable

Ever say to yourself “Mmm, I don’t think I’ll workout today. I have to do X, Y and Z…”? Don’t lie, we’ve all been there before!

A good thing about having family and friends that are active and enjoy any kind of movement is that you have people to encourage you when you don’t feel like exercising. Start a fitness tradition with loved ones. Similar to point three, challenge them to some sort of physical competition. Just don’t be mad when Uncle Henry can squat fifty pounds more than you.

6) Goal Setting

What kind of ‘end of the year’ list would that be if we didn’t mention goals? At this point it may seem like setting goals is futile. Well, only if you allow that to happen.

Creating specific, measurable and attainable goals for yourself will help enhance your movement practice and even boost productivity outside of that realm. If you have somewhere to go, there’s less of a chance you’ll f*** around and waste time.

Begin by choosing a small goal that you can practice everyday until that’s habitual, then add more things to check off until you’re knee deep in success.

7) Gym Deals

Join a gym. Our gym. Take advantage of the time of year. Many gyms have specials and promotions at the end of the year. Why wait for the new year? Why not start now? Find a gym that caters to your needs, keeps your goals in mind and has a good community. Either that or create your own sketchy garage gym with chainsaws and PVC pipes.

Working out doesn’t have to fit into a neat little box. It can be messy and fun. Finding ways to stay active during the colder months can be as simple as getting outside or playing with your kids. The bottom line: Just move!

Four Ratios of Food and Fitness

Use These Four Ideas to Balance Exercise and Calories

Not exercising and eating a lot means the scale goes up. But did you know that it’s also unhealthy to workout more and eat less?

Say whaaaaaaat!?

Finding time for fitness is hard enough. Then add traditions like counting calories and meal prepping and you’re ready to pull your hair out. It seems impossible to keep your head above the water.

Relax, take a deep breath! There is a way to keep it simple!

Keep reading to learn about the four ratios to fitness…

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The Math, Simplified

  1. Eat More, Train Less - Bad

2. Eat Less, Train More - Bad

3. Eat More, Train More - Good

4. Eat Less, Train Less - Good

Depending on how often you exercise and how strenuous those workouts are, you will need to eat accordingly.

Ratio #1: Eat More, Train Less

This is the classic example of an unhealthy lifestyle. The person who eats more calories and barely exercises, if they do at all. This combination means you will add unwanted body fat.

If a person doesn’t exercise very much and has a sedentary job, they don’t need to eat very much to maintain energy during their daily activities. This can even go for the avid exerciser as well. If there are days where you don’t plan on training, you don’t have to eat as much food. It’s ok.

Ratio #2: Eat Less, Train More

You may be thinking: “Wait a second, isn’t this how I lose weight!?” Yes and no. More exercise, less calories is effective to a certain extent, but keep in mind that healthy weight loss is slow and steady.

To lose weight you do have to be in a caloric deficit but that only works in short stints. We’ve had members follow restrictive meal plans for months at a time. They were effective in the beginning and the person is happy! Then 6 months later they’re upset that the diet isn’t working any more.

Your body needs calories for repair and daily activity. If you’re working your butt off to lose some of your unwanted butt, you have to plan to eat a little more on those days to keep the process sustainable.

Choose 4-8 week blocks that may be more calorie restrictive, then back off for 8 to 12 weeks.

Ratio #3: Eat More, Train More

If you’re someone who is working out A LOT, you’ll need more calories than someone who doesn’t. Eating more will ensure that your energy levels stay up, you can keep up with your training schedule without burning out and you’re fueling your muscles.

This feels like the toughest pill to swallow for most members because they’re so used to Ratio #2. Eating more got them to this place in the first place, so why would it work now? We get it but we still need you to try eating a little more. A little more protein. A little more vegetables. Even a little more carbs. How’s that sound?

Ratio #4: Eat Less, Train Less

Say you’re someone who usually exercises frequently but is coming off of an injury, pregnancy, surgery or simply has a bad week and you have no time to workout. In this scenario, you’re moving less and therefore don’t need to eat as much.

Awareness is the key here. Be cognizant of lulls in your training routine. Maybe there are weeks you lift less on purpose or you run a few extra miles. Eat accordingly. When we get in the mindset that eating is important to sustain our exercise frequency we get blinded by our ambition and we end up over eating. One week of over eating isn’t the worst thing in the world, but you’ll have to pivot if it’s a prolonged period of less activity.

If this whole equation seems abstract and too complex, that’s okay! Like we said, this is a simplified version of these ideas. Of course a lot depends on your own body and how it works. Make sure to talk to a coach or find someone you trust with your fitness and nutrition goals. To simplify the process even further, get a good amount of sleep, eat nutritious foods, move your body often and find a way to de-stress daily.



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Have Your Candy and Eat It Too

Are you still a Toys-R-Us kid? You don’t want to grown up? Do you still enjoy all the Halloween candy you’ve loved since your mom handed you held that plastic pumpkin?

Halloween marks the start of a turning point for people who are on the fence about fitness. They get bombarded by Halloween candy.

Weeks later Thanksgiving is knocking at the door.

Do you want us to even mention the Christmas season? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

The road to your goals shows a left turn up ahead? What are you going to do? Lock yourself in a closet until the candy is gone? The fact is a lot of us let this time of year become a downward spiral of treating ourselves. Then, 5 pounds heavier, we’re pissed for letting ourselves go.

What if you didn’t have to crush the Toys-R-Us kid inside you?

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At Results Driven we’re all about sensible strategies for exercise, nutrition and lifestyle. This doesn’t have to be the start of your health and fitness goals falling to the wayside. With some restraint and planning you can enjoy a little bit of candy and not let it start the cascade that leads to a new years resolution.

We know how those go.

Here are some tips for managing the halloween binge!

1… Candy After Exercise

Candy is a carb. Think of it as a sweet potato in a wrapper that has no nutritional value. The cool thing is we can use the same principle we use for managing our carb intake no matter the type of carb.

Our general recommendation for managing carbs is to enjoy them after a workout. While exercising, your body uses the sugar reserves in your muscles for energy. Post-workout we want to have a starchier carb to get sugar back to the muscles and aid in recovery. Therefore, treat your candy like a sweet potato and enjoy it after your workout.

There you have it! Eat candy after your workout. The sugar can help you recover but, mind the next tip!

2… Understand the What You’re Eating

How much sugar is in the candy you chose?
What’s the serving size?
How much fat is in that little morsel?

Just because we said you can have candy doesn’t mean you can cue the dump truck pulling out of Hershey, Pennsylvania. You still have to be smart about it.

Women should have around 30g of carbs after a workout, men should have between 50g-60g. So do some research. If you want candy have it after a meal and consider it your starch. Also…

3… Don’t Pair with Alcohol or Another Starch

You now know the amount of carbs in your post workout meal. Try not to exceed the recommendations above with that meal. That means don’t pair that candy with alcohol or another starch.

Steak, spinach, potatoes, and candy. No!
Steak, spinach, beer and candy. No!

Remember earlier when we said, “Sensible,” that applies here. Don’t double up. Choose the candy, starch or alcohol and stick to it.

4… Have Candy with a Meal

It’s been an underlying part of this entire blog but it’s worth stating the obvious. Don’t eat candy by itself.

A big part of our entire nutritional approach is what we call, “Crowding out the negative.” Instead of telling people, “Don’t eat carbs,” “Don’t eat dairy,” “No alcohol,” we want to encourage them to introduce a lot of beneficial foods into their diet instead.

“Drink more water.”
“Have protein and vegetables with your meals.”
“Eat frequently.”

This way we’re tipping the scales back towards, “healthy,” without the emotional jump of cutting out a lot of the foods you might like (think cheese, pasta and beer).

Have candy with a well balanced meal that contains a protein and a vegetable. A palm sized portion of protein for most ladies and two palms for guys. A fist of vegetables for ladies and 2 fists for guys.

5… Move More

The last thing we’d recommend is make sure you move, then move a little more. Can you get in an extra day at the gym? Can you go for a walk on lunch or after dinner? Can you make time for a morning routine?

This concept goes hand in hand with crowding out the negative. Refined sugar is damaging to the body so you should do as much as you can to offset the effects. A little extra movement never hurt anyone.

The First Step to Fitness is Tough… But RD Has Your Back!

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