What to Expect from Shaun T & INSANITY®

Insanity Challenge Pack INcludesYou’ve probably seen those infomercials for INSANITY® – who hasn’t? The ads and the name really drives home the idea that these exercises are, well, insane. Before you get too intimidated, I’d like to tell you what to expect from Shaun T & Insanity by giving you a more beginner-friendly perspective on this body transforming, life-changing program.

What Makes These Workouts “Insane”?

The Max Interval Training structure of the workouts is what most people find crazy. Going against the norm, INSANITY® requires you to do intense and demanding workouts for longer intervals, take very short breaks, and then jump right back into another long interval of exercise.

This type of training is difficult to get used to, to say the least. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t take the workouts at your own pace. The point of these demanding intervals is to push your body to its limit and get the best results possible in the shortest amount of time. According to the Insanity website, people have burned as many as 1,000 calories in an hour by doing these extreme routines.

How Will You Feel?

You are going to feel the results from the program from day one. Your muscles will definitely feel sore, but each day focuses on a different muscle group, so you are able to continue. As with any workout, the longer you stick with the program, the more stamina, energy and endurance you will have.

Who Will Like this Program?

Even though it is extremely challenging, people consistently call INSANITY® one of their favourite workouts, if not the best. Is it because these people are insane?

 

Megean and the boysMeagan is a 30 something year old wife, mom, and fitness enthusiast (fanatic?).She loves being a boy mom, fitness, cooking healthy food, and working from her dining room.   In the last year and half she helped over one hundred people lose hundreds of pounds & inches.  Her goal is to help women, and especially women with post-baby bodies, live happier lives with more self-confidence than ever before. She knows that once there is some fun put into fitness (with a little bit of family), the sky is the limit!  Her mission is helping people become healthy, fit, and financially free so they can lead fulfilling, vibrant lives. If you’d like to know more about becoming or staying fit physically or financially, e-mail her today!

Real Life Weight Loss Goals

Real life weight loss goals

Ever open a fitness magazine, look at the images and think “that’s nice but how can I ever look like that?” We all know that Photoshop alters images and that fitness competitors and body builders spend hours in the gym, but there’s still a mental disconnect between what we see, what we know, and what we want. Before & after pictures can be inspiring but also discouraging. I wish there were more before & after pics reflecting real women in real life – in particular of moms!

Here’s the deal, unless you are planning on becoming a fitness competitor or you have a serious passion for fitness and just love working out for an hour or more every day, chances are you are never going to look like Jillian Michaels. Do you really care? I remind myself all the time to keep the focus where it matters. For me, this means focusing on feeling strong, feeling great in my clothes, loving the skin I’m in, and being healthy so that I can be around for my family.

Don’t lose sight of your reality and don’t let a crazy awesome transformation story make you feel like your goals & reality aren’t good enough. They are! Keep it real and make it easier to celebrate your victories and milestones. Everyone has a story. This is yours. Make it count.

 Megean and the boysMeagan is a 30 something year old wife, mom, and fitness enthusiast (fanatic?).She loves being a boy mom, fitness, cooking healthy food, and working from her dining room.   In the last year and half she helped over one hundred people lose hundreds of pounds & inches.  Her goal is to help women, and especially women with post-baby bodies, live happier lives with more self-confidence than ever before. She knows that once there is some fun put into fitness (with a little bit of family), the sky is the limit!  Her mission is helping people become healthy, fit, and financially free so they can lead fulfilling, vibrant lives. If you’d like to know more about becoming or staying fit physically or financially, e-mail her today!

Throw Away Your Scale: 3 Better Ways to Measure Progress

Throw Away Your Scale: 3 Better Ways to Measure Progress

A lot of people, when they start eating better and exercising, will say that they’re “losing weight.” Not exactly! What they’re trying to do is lose fat. If you replaced a significant portion of your fat weight with muscle weight magically one day, you’d notice a HUGE change in your appearance. Your “body composition” would be completely changed – smaller waist, tight abs, toned arms & legs – but you would notice little to no change on the scale. This is why it’s so important to use measures of progress other than the scale.

Measure in Inches

As you workout and gain muscle mass, you may notice that the number on the scale stays the same or actually starts to climb. This is because muscle is denser than fat and therefore weighs more. If you’re weighing yourself regularly, when you start to workout, you’re going to get discouraged when you don’t see the number on the scale going down. Instead, measure your progress in inches around your waist. Make a note of where the tape measure falls on Day 1. Then do it again on Day 7, Day 14, and so on. You’ll notice real, significant change that the scale can’t measure.

Take Pictures

Your Facebook friends may make fun of your gym selfies, but they actually serve a really great purpose. You don’t have to share them all on Facebook and Instagram, but after a few weeks, you’ll start to see serious differences in your pictures. You’ll know what people are talking about when they approach you and ask if you’ve lost weight.

Make Fitness Goals

Is your goal to run your first 5K? Or is it to beat your time on your last 5K? Whatever you’re doing to exercise, make goals for improvement. You can work on getting faster at running or cycling, lifting heavier weights, or getting through a workout with Shaun T without feeling like your core is on fire. You’ll feel great about yourself as you meet and exceed each goal.

Sources:
Personal Experience

Megean and the boysMeagan is a 30 something year old wife, mom, and fitness enthusiast (fanatic?).She loves being a boy mom, fitness, cooking healthy food, and working from her dining room.   In the last year and half she helped over one hundred people lose hundreds of pounds & inches.  Her goal is to help women, and especially women with post-baby bodies, live happier lives with more self-confidence than ever before. She knows that once there is some fun put into fitness (with a little bit of family), the sky is the limit!  Her mission is helping people become healthy, fit, and financially free so they can lead fulfilling, vibrant lives. If you’d like to know more about becoming or staying fit physically or financially, e-mail her today!

Get Fit in 5 Minutes

Get fir in 5 minutes

I know what you’re thinking. Get fit in 5 minutes. It sounds too good to be true. Getting fit and healthy takes a lot more than five minutes, or everyone would look like fitness models. Well, you’re right. It does take more than a few minutes, but you can make huge improvements in your health and fitness with 5-minute workout breaks throughout the day.

I’m not talking about going for a 5-minute run or getting all suited up for just 5 minutes on a bicycle. I’m talking about adding activity to your day in 5-minute increments. Here are some great tips that won’t feel like you’re adding any extra effort to your day, but will add up quickly for better fitness and weight loss. Yipee!

Stand Up

If you work in an office, you may have to sit down for most of the day. However, it’s been proven time and again that standing up and moving around helps with circulation and weight loss. Whenever you get a call at your desk, stand up to take it. While you’re on the phone, do a couple of lunges and/or squats before you sit back down to loosen your legs and build muscle. Sounds silly, but those few minutes start adding up quickly!

Walk It Out

Instead of heading straight for the break room for a cup of coffee at your mid-morning break time, take a walk around the building. As you stretch your legs and get your heart rate up, you’ll feel more awake and alert. Do the same thing in the afternoon. In fact, whenever you get stuck on a problem or just need to clear your head, take a walk. This adds to your movement throughout the day and keeps your metabolism engaged.

Work Those Arms

If you Google “5 minute arms workout”, you’ll find tons of results that take only 5 minutes to complete for firmer, more toned arms. Repeat one of these activities a couple times every day, and you’ll notice your arms start to get more toned. Hello Summer!

Sources:
Personal experience

Megean and the boysMeagan is a 30 something year old wife, mom, and fitness enthusiast (fanatic?).She loves being a boy mom, fitness, cooking healthy food, and working from her dining room.   In the last year and half she helped over one hundred people lose hundreds of pounds & inches.  Her goal is to help women, and especially women with post-baby bodies, live happier lives with more self-confidence than ever before. She knows that once there is some fun put into fitness (with a little bit of family), the sky is the limit!  Her mission is helping people become healthy, fit, and financially free so they can lead fulfilling, vibrant lives. If you’d like to know more about becoming or staying fit physically or financially, e-mail her today!

10 Simple Tips For Controlling Cravings

10 Tips To Stop Cravings

Cravings can get the worst of us. They can turn a great day into something we would rather not remember. Learning behaviors and habits that will allow you to just say no is the key to weight loss, feeling great, confidence, and long term maintenance once you’ve reached your goals!

Remember That Willpower Is Like a Muscle

Willpower is just like any muscle in your body. The more you use it, the stronger it gets. At first, you may find it very difficult to say no to your usual afternoon sugary treat. Over time, your willpower gets STRONGER and it becomes easier to make the healthy choice. You start to recognize the confidence and power that come from being in control of food, instead of letting it be in control of you. Don’t expect it to be easy right out of the gate, but know that it does get easier!

Drink Plenty of Water, Then Drink More

Thirst can mascarade as a craving. I suggest cutting your body weight in half and shooting for that many ounces of water every day. For example, I weight about 145 so I shoot for roughly 70 ounces of water (or 2.5 Nalgene bottles) every day! Make sure you’re not just thirsty before you reach for that treat.

Eat Enough of The Right Foods

It’s not enough to count calories. You have to eat the right foods. The good news is that you can eat much MORE when you eat the right foods. Be honest with yourself, are you actually getting 5 servings of vegetables every day? Do you know what a serving looks like? This is something I struggled with and didn’t even realize it! Programs like 21 Day Fix will help you get your portions and food on track if you need help with what to eat. Without enough of the right fuel in your body you will be more likely to crave something that’s bad for you.

Indulge Once A Week

If you’re trying to lose weight, I recommend limiting true indulgences to once a week. Once you are in “maintenance mode” you can relax that a little more. It’s important to give yourself something to look forward too every week so that you can say no in the moment knowing that if you wait it out you can truly enjoy a treat at the end of the week.

Embrace the 20 Minute Rule

If you’re really feeling like you just can’t live without that piece of chocolate or salty pretzel, wait 20 minutes before indulging. Drink some water and focus on something else. You may find that 20 minutes later you couldn’t care less about that treat or you might gain some perspective about whether it’s a good choice for you.

Don’t Expect to Be Perfect

It’s about progress, not perfection. No one is perfect! If you use a slip up as a reason to quit and throw in the towel for the rest of the day or week, you’ll back track big time. You can’t ruin your progress with one bad choice or even one bad day. Don’t give yourself this easy out.

Get An Accountability Partner

Having someone you can call, text, or email when that craving hits can make all the difference. Choose someone with whom you are comfortable sharing your goals and struggles. Also commit to offensive accountability: it’s not about that person discovering that you’re struggling to make good choices, it’s about YOU taking responsibility for reaching out when you need help.

Sleep More

If you constantly find that you are fighting cravings even after trying these simple techniques, you may just be tired. Permission to sleep more granted! If you’re sure you simply can’t get to bed earlier think about cutting out Television and Internet surfing. Chances are you can sneak in at least one more hour of sleep with some scheduling and discipline.

Operation Distraction

Finding a healthy alternative to your favorite treat couldn’t be simpler now. Google is your friend so use it! There are endless blogs and websites dedicated to making yummy treats out of healthy ingredients. One of my favorites is www.paleomg.com but find the ones that work for you. Remember, it’s better to eat a high calorie treat that’s full of healthy ingredients than to opt for a low calorie treat that’s highly processed and full of chemicals.

Never Give Up

Never give up on yourself. If these tricks aren’t working for you, who cares? Do your own research, be your own advocate, and find something that does work for you! These things work for me, but that doesn’t mean they are perfect fit for everyone. Take responsibility for your health and have confidence that you will figure this out!

 

Meagan Norris- Beachbody CoachMeagan is a 30 something year old wife, mom, and fitness enthusiast (fanatic?).She loves being a boy mom, fitness, cooking healthy food, and working from her dining room.   In the last year and half she helped over one hundred people lose hundreds of pounds & inches.  Her goal is to help women, and especially women with post-baby bodies, live happier lives with more self-confidence than ever before. She knows that once there is some fun put into fitness (with a little bit of family), the sky is the limit!

Her mission is helping people become healthy, fit, and financially free so they can lead fulfilling, vibrant lives. If you’d like to know more about becoming or staying fit physically or financially, e-mail her today!

Water is your Best Friend

Water is your best friend

You’ve probably heard that it is important to drink plenty of water. Most people appreciate that it is bad to be dehydrated, but few fully understand just how beneficial it is to incorporate enough water into your diet. Let’s look at a few of the somewhat surprising benefits of drinking water.

Water Can Help You Safely Lose Weight

One of the simplest ways to shed a few pounds is to drink more water. This may seem too easy or strange to you, but there are plenty of reasons why it works. One of the first symptoms of dehydration is hunger. You may find yourself craving less food when you increase your water intake, and you are not depriving your body of anything it needs.

Moisturize Your Skin from the Inside Out

Dry skin is a very common problem, especially in the wintertime. Instead of spending a lot on expensive moisturizers, you can provide the hydration your skin needs by drinking water. Your skin cells need water in order to repair quickly, allowing you to enjoy youthful, smooth and firm skin.

Build Your Muscles

Trying to tone up or bulk up during your fitness routine? According to Fit Day, you can strengthen your muscles with the help of water. Your muscles require oxygen in order to work and perform, as you need them to. Water delivers this much-needed oxygen.

Boost Your Energy Levels

If you are feeling run down and do not have the energy to complete your fitness routine, it could be because you are low on H2O. Thirst is actually often one of the last signs of dehydration. When your body needs water, you could begin to feel tired, run-down, or have a headache. Instead of reaching for more caffeine, reach for a glass of water.

Get a reusable water bottle and make a point to drink several bottles every day! Could be the simplest solution you’ve ever tried!

Source:

http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/5-little-known-benefits-of-drinking-water.html

 

Meagan Norris- Beachbody CoachMeagan is a 30 something year old wife, mom, and fitness enthusiast (fanatic?).She loves being a boy mom, fitness, cooking healthy food, and working from her dining room.   In the last year and half she helped over one hundred people lose hundreds of pounds & inches.  Her goal is to help women, and especially women with post-baby bodies, live happier lives with more self-confidence than ever before. She knows that once there is some fun put into fitness (with a little bit of family), the sky is the limit!

Her mission is helping people become healthy, fit, and financially free so they can lead fulfilling, vibrant lives. If you’d like to know more about becoming or staying fit physically or financially, e-mail her today!

What is Max Interval Training?

Max Interval Training

 

If you are considering completing one of the Beachbody fitness programs, there is a good chance that you will encounter the term max interval training or high intensity interval training (HIIT), as it is sometimes called.   And chances are you’ve heard of Insanity, the program that really put max interval training on the map!  Tabata workouts also incorporate this type of training.

 

Most exercise programs include some form of interval training. The program will require you to alternate between lower and higher intensity workouts or resting periods. For example, you might be asked to walk for a few minutes and then sprint for one, and then return to walking.

 

The difference with max interval training is that these actions would be reversed. You would sprint for several minutes and only rest for one. Most of the Beachbody max interval fitness programs are actually much more intense than that example.

 

Why Choose a High Intensity Interval Training Program?

 

These programs optimize your workout time. They require you to spend more time doing the higher intensity exercises and/or require more of these intervals. The end result is that you burn more calories than you would if you were doing lower intensity workouts for the same amount of time.

 

Max interval training is usually a favorite among people who want to really feel and see results from their workouts in a short period of time. This form of training is also great for people who want to improve their fitness, but do not have a lot of time to devote to exercising every day. Ace Fitness reports that high intensity exercise has also been linked to improved cardiovascular health.

 

Drawbacks of Max Interval Training

 

The obvious drawback of this type of fitness program is that it is challenging and requires dedication. To reduce the soreness that you will feel after doing one of these workouts, and to reduce the chance of injury, you should always stretch, warm up your muscles before beginning and do cool down stretches after each session.  You can also use Beachbody’s Results & Recovery  drink to help reduce soreness – it is specifically formulated to help you recover from tough workouts!

 

Source: http://www.acefitness.org/fitness-fact-article/3317/high-intensity-interval-training/

 

 

Meagan NorrisMeagan is a 30 something year old wife, mom, and fitness enthusiast (fanatic?).She loves being a boy mom, fitness, cooking healthy food, and working from her dining room.   In the last year and half she helped over one hundred people lose hundreds of pounds & inches.  Her goal is to help women, and especially women with post-baby bodies, live happier lives with more self-confidence than ever before. She knows that once there is some fun put into fitness (with a little bit of family), the sky is the limit!

Her mission is helping people become healthy, fit, and financially free so they can lead fulfilling, vibrant lives. If you’d like to know more about becoming or staying fit physically or financially, e-mail her today!

Making Sense of Superfoods

 Superfoods

In recent years, the term “superfood” has been thrown around a lot, and may have caused you some confusion. The confusing part is often that no two lists of these miracle foods ever tend to be the same. This is because the foods considered superfoods are subjective.

What Makes a Food Super?

The term “superfood” is a blanket term typically used to describe any food that is densely packed with vitamins, nutrients and/or antioxidants. These are foods that are considered to be particularly beneficial to your health, providing a wide variety of health benefits from weight loss to a strengthened immune system.

Below are a few examples of foods that are commonly labeled as superfoods.

Blueberries

As on this list, blueberries will often come first in lists of superfoods. This is because you will be hard-pressed to find another food that packs so many vitamins and so much fiber into such a small space.

It is important to note, as Live Science has, that most other berries are almost or equally as healthful as blueberries. If you prefer blackberries or cranberries, you will still be doing your body a great service when you have a handful of these.

Spinach

Spinach is more than just a food that makes cartoon characters strong. It is rich in antioxidants, Vitamin C, Lutein and other important nutrients. Similar to the berries, most dark leafy green vegetables are going to be very good for your diet. Spinach in particular is considered to be good for your immune system, your eyesight and your cardiovascular health.

Salmon

Speaking of your heart health, salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids to help in this area. It is also a very lean source of protein, making it a great way to get the fuel you need for your workouts.

Dark Chocolate

In need of desert? Have a small serving of dark chocolate, which also contains antioxidants. Dark chocolate has actually been linked to lowered blood pressure and improved heart health.

I get my daily dose of superfoods in Shakeology, but I also try to add in as many of these foods into my diet as possible. This is one of my favorite, simple superfood treat!

Rasberries

Raspberries With Whipped Coconut Cream

Ingredients:

½ cup of raspberries
1 can of coconut cream chilled for at least an hour in the refrigerator
1 tbls of pure maple syrup or raw honey
1 tsp of vanilla

Directions:

Place the coconut cream, syrup, and vanilla into a mixing bowl. Whip them together. Top Raspberries with one or two tablespoons of the cream and save the rest for later! The leftover cream is delicious on waffles, fruit, and on top of smoothies!

Source:

http://www.livescience.com/34693-superfoods.html

 

Meagan NorrisMeagan is a 30 something year old wife, mom, and fitness enthusiast (fanatic?).She loves being a boy mom, fitness, cooking healthy food, and working from her dining room.   In the last year and half she helped over one hundred people lose hundreds of pounds & inches.  Her goal is to help women, and especially women with post-baby bodies, live happier lives with more self-confidence than ever before. She knows that once there is some fun put into fitness (with a little bit of family), the sky is the limit!

Her mission is helping people become healthy, fit, and financially free so they can lead fulfilling, vibrant lives. If you’d like to know more about becoming or staying fit physically or financially, e-mail her today!

 

Fitting Exercise into a Hectic Schedule

Fitting exercise into a a hectic scheduleIn the winter months when the temperatures are low people find plenty of excuses not to get the exercise they need (my hand is raised too!). It gets dark early and it’s just COLD outside.

One common complaint is that going to the gym is simply too much work. You have to set aside a huge block of time to go, work out, shower and drive home. The problem is, if you want to live a healthier life and have more energy, you need to find ways to fit in exercise.

The good new is, there are many easy ways that you can boost your activity levels throughout the day. You’ll feel better, lose weight, and sleep well!

Get Moving

Think of all of the opportunities you have to walk, but you do not. Instead of just letting your dog out into the yard, take him for a short walk around the neighborhood. If you are running errand, choose the parking spot that is farthest from the door. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Do 5-10 squats every time you use the restroom (I used to do this when I had a desk job!). Start looking for little ways to get in extra movement in your day and you’ll be surprised by how many openings you have!

Stretch and Flex at Work

Find some simple stretches that you can do at your desk at work, or any moments when you have a break. Stretching is just as beneficial and important as other types of exercise. Bend over to touch your toes for a few seconds, stretch your arms and shoulders, or do neck rolls.

You Do Not Need a Gym

A gym is awesome, but only if you A) have the time to get there, and B) know what the heck to do with all that equipment once you are there. There are many top-of-the line workouts that you can perform right in the comfort of your home. You can incorporate a 25 minute workout Focus T25  workout in the morning, when you get home from work or nearly any other time. These programs (and others like them) literally put some of the best personal trainers in your living room every single day for a fraction of what it would cost to hire someone with far less experience at the local gym.

Say goodbye to those excuses and hello to the new you!

 

Meagan Norris- Beachbody CoachMeagan is a 30 something year old wife, mom, and fitness enthusiast (fanatic?).She loves being a boy mom, fitness, cooking healthy food, and working from her dining room.   In the last year and half she helped over one hundred people lose hundreds of pounds & inches.  Her goal is to help women, and especially women with post-baby bodies, live happier lives with more self-confidence than ever before. She knows that once there is some fun put into fitness (with a little bit of family), the sky is the limit!

Her mission is helping people become healthy, fit, and financially free so they can lead fulfilling, vibrant lives. If you’d like to know more about becoming or staying fit physically or financially, e-mail her today!