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What’s your BHAG?

Wed, August 10th, 2016 | Posted in: Events, Nutrition, Training

BHAG (Acronym): Big. Hairy. Audacious. Goal.
Used in a sentence: Getting to the Olympics is a BHAG!

Brenda Martinez. Photo: Patrick Smith

Brenda Martinez. Photo: Patrick Smith

A term coined by Jim Collins, BHAGs can be daunting, exciting, motivating, and devastating. A perfect example for today: making it to the Olympics.

Entrepreneurs and individuals often set huge goals for themselves. As a society, we encourage each other to reach for the stars. But, let’s take a step back. How does a someone accomplish their big hairy audacious goal? How do you stay motivated? How does one avoid the disappointment of feeling that goal slip out of reach?

It’s all about the process!

Recently, NY magazine produced an article about Olympians and their goals. I highly endorse giving it a read. But the summary, for those with a short attention span (myself included): Setting those huge goals can have a number of unintended negative consequences; cheating or cutting corners to reach the destination, or giving up altogether. Focus on what you need to do in the immediate future: today, this week, this month. Create your goal, and then “forget about it,” and immerse yourself in the work it takes to get there. Sometimes, even Olympians fall short of their stated goal. In the case of the Olympian in our story, Brenda Martinez, she was tripped from behind by a competitor. Not something she could have accounted for! But, she refocused her energy on her process, and made it to the Olympic team with the next event.

So. Focus on the process.

As you accomplish milestones on the way to your goal, you’ll get the encouragement and positive feedback you need to continue and remain motivated.

Still feeling lost? Ask yourself WHY you are making these goals, and WHY you are putting your process in place. Work with me, and we’ll figure out, together: what’s at the heart of your goal, and what’s at the heart of your process. Eventually, those daily challenges and decisions will become a non-issue. Avoiding ice cream, beer, etc., will become second nature if it doesn’t fit with your BHAG! We’ll focus on the WHY of your BHAG, and craft an individual PROCESS that works FOR you, not against you.

I started my business to help people change their lives and become their best selves. It’s not just about one race, or one competition. It’s about those daily wins, lifting a little heavier, eating a little better. Let’s take advantage of this exciting time of year in the sports world to recommit to ourselves and our goals; I’ll help you create a process you can maintain, and keep you accountable. You’ll reach those goals before you know it.

Ask yourself WHY you are making these goals, and WHY you are putting your process in place. Work with me, and we’ll figure out, together: what’s at the heart of your goal, and what’s at the heart of your process. Eventually, those daily challenges and decisions will become a non-issue. Read more »

Defying “Gravity” As You Age

Thu, August 7th, 2014 | Posted in: Nutrition

It’s a question that you’re sure to ask yourself at one time or another as you pass certain age milestones:

“I’m doing all the things I used to do from an exercise standpoint. So how come I’m not losing the weight like I used to?”

One of the most important things to understand is that as we age, our bodies start to give up muscle. Muscle is very expensive tissue to maintain. 

This brings about several hurdles as we get older.

First, unless you’re doing regular weight training, after the age of 30, you lose about 1 lb. of muscle per year. 

Next, for someone who’s been thin their entire life, particularly females, another big hurdle arrives during menopause. Why? As our hormone levels start to change, we begin to lose estrogen. And as we lose estrogen, we often gain body fat. So you may experience more belly fat, less sleep and other symptoms around this stage.

However, let’s say you’ve cleared these hurdles without much difficulty. Great! But you’ve still got work to do. Because if you’re not doing weight training as you get older, you are losing muscle tissue. Let me be clear: There is no way to maintain muscle without asking for that kind of significant adaptation. 

As you lose muscle with age, you may weigh the same, but the distribution of tissue will shift. The more muscle you have, the less of an effect “gravity” can have. The pushing and pulling of building muscle leads to a host of benefits, including your metabolism speeding up and your skeleton becoming stronger. Suddenly, you’re defying gravity and moving your body to a healthier state.

Sure, there are times when we exercise that we may feel like doing exercises with fewer reps or at less intensity. Everybody has those days. Even me! Yet, I’m here to tell you that you can do one of those – fewer reps or less intensity – but not both. In other words, you can do fewer reps but then you must do the exercise more intensely. As you age, intensity must go up or at least be maintained even as reps may go down. 

What I would recommend to anyone, regardless of what stage in life you are in, is to remember to consistently keep your body moving. Walk, ride your bike, run, etc. 

Secondly, compliment this activity at least twice a week with intense weight training, which doesn’t need to be a long session, but it does need to be of high intensity. It’s good to lift the highest amount of weight that you can handle, but not without working alongside someone like me, who can pay close attention to your form so that you don’t get injured. 

Once every ten days, you may also do some type of a sprint. This maximum effort with rest intervals can be of help to our cardiovascular system and metabolism. 

My job as a trainer at Body By G is to push you just enough so that you get that muscle adaptation you need. One of the best things I can do on the training front is help you go a couple more reps than you probably would not be able to do on your own. This little bit extra of a push over time can add up to bigger and better results. 

So if what you’ve been doing lately isn’t working as well as it used to, let’s talk about it and discover the root cause. It may be related to nutrition, fitness and in all likelihood, probably a bit of both. Fortunately, BodyByG is well equipped to handle this by creating a fitness and nutrition program that works for your goals. Call 708.267.7173 or email g@coachingbyg.com.

 

Defying “Gravity” As You Age As we age, we certainly don’t lack hurdles. A big one? If we’re not doing weight training, we lose about 1 lb. of muscle per year. That can bring about changes that result in more belly fat, less sleep and areas of your body that are pushed in directions you don’t want them to go due to the distribution of tissue – what some call the effects of “gravity.” But you can fight the effects of gravity as you age with a shift of your own. It doesn’t call for one of those “Total Insanity” workouts but rather giving yourself a little extra push incorporating weight training, intervals and even fun things to help keep your body moving. Ready to get started? Check out our latest post and let’s go for it. Read more »

Low Carb or No Carb?

Mon, May 19th, 2014 | Posted in: Nutrition

Over the last 10 years or so, it feels like there’s been a bit of a “war on carbs.” Recall the height of the Atkins craze and you had people eating McDonald’s Big Mac hamburgers without the bun and thinking all was OK.

Ha. Nice try. 

See, the real enemy in your diet isn’t carbs as much as processed food. People don’t realize how many problems can be eliminated just by getting rid of processed food from their daily intake.

Where to start? Let me give you the simplest rule of thumb on processed food elimination:

If you couldn’t kill it or pluck it from the ground, it’s probably not healthy.

I know that sounds blunt, but it’s true. If it comes from a box, it may or may not be as healthy. That’s when you need to look closer at the list of ingredients. The fewer the number of ingredients, the better it may be for you. 

Let’s use ice cream as an example. Is all ice cream bad for you? Sure, if you eat a tub of it in one sitting. But assuming we’re eating in moderation, the brands I prefer have a select number of ingredients and all of them are all-natural. If that ice cream has a bunch of ingredients with long phrases you can’t pronounce, that’s trouble. If, on the other hand, the ice cream has cream, milk and just a few other ingredients that are all-natural, it’s probably better for you. 

Focus on fat more than carbs.

You don’t need to go “no carbs” in your diet. You can go low carb instead and live quite healthy. The bigger picture is understanding how to burn fat rather than being so obsessed with calorie counting and carbs. Because once you burn fat, you can get far more “bang for your buck” in your efforts. 

How so? Take foods with high fructose corn syrup. When you put fructose into your diet, in order for our body to use it, an enzyme in the liver has to convert a 5-ring sugar into a 6-ring sugar in order to utilize it as fuel. 99% of the time, your liver stores this as fat. So guess what adding more fructose corn syrup is going to do to you? These are issues in the body that aren’t easily solved just because you didn’t eat a hamburger bun.

Better idea: Let’s create an eating plan that’s right for you.

Fortunately, you don’t have to try to figure out all the complexities of nutrition or punish yourself unnecessarily by eliminating all the foods you love. My Body By G Nutritional Counseling program lets us customize an eating plan you can actually be excited about and not dread. Yes, we can even fit ice cream into the plan if you like. 

To schedule a free initial conversation about Nutrition Counseling with Giulia Isetti, Ph.D., call 708.267.7173 or email g@coachingbyg.com.

The real enemy in your diet isn’t carbs as much as processed food. People don’t realize how many problems can be eliminated just by getting rid of processed food from their daily intake.

 Where to start? Let me give you the simplest rule of thumb on processed food elimination:

If you couldn’t kill it or pluck it from the ground, it’s probably not healthy. Read more »

6 Strategies More Effective Than Counting Calories

Mon, May 12th, 2014 | Posted in: Nutrition

“If I can just stay in this calorie range for the day, I’ll be golden.”

Well, not exactly. Counting calories is not the best answer to greater weight consistency.

For example, you might be technically under the amount of calories you’re supposed to have for that day…but still find yourself gaining weight the next day. 

Hey, how did that happen? 

Well, even if you had a day that included some cereal, low-fat English muffins and rice, how many carbs did you just consume there? There are other factors at work here to consider.

Some people go on “crash diets” that limit themselves. Actually, let me take that back – these diets are downright punishment to the body. As soon as you deprive yourself of calories, it actually creates more problems for your body in which you don’t have enough energy. Why is that? Because food is fuel and if you’re eating less of it, it can wreak havoc on your own biochemistry.

Here are 6 tips to keep in mind for longer-term success than calorie counting:

#1: Know the number you should really care about.

Sure, you always pay attention to the number on the scale. But the real number that could have value and matter more could be your waistline number. If you lose inches off your waistline and never lose a pound, are you going to be genuinely upset? Probably not, because you’ll be looking and feeling better. 

#2: Make a nutritional shift that’s easy.

When I do nutrition counseling with clients, we don’t always pick one plan and stick with it forever. We need a plan you can stick with so you can hold yourself accountable. But that doesn’t mean drastic sacrifice. It means choosing a plan you can literally live with so you can make small, manageable shifts. That alone can cause you to lose a ton of weight.

#3: Create a “snack strategy.”

Having a snack handy for your nutritional balance, like a cheese stick, hard-boiled egg, nuts, celery and hummus can give you the necessary break to appropriately take care of yourself. See it for the important fuel that it is to help you energized, so you can take care of yourself along the way to your goal.

#4: Trade some of the coffee for H20.

It’s not that Starbucks run that’s going to get you through the day (especially as those Lattes add up). Instead, consider drinking more water. It’s a great way to stimulate the digestive tract as a slow burning fuel. This makes for a better alternative to caffeine, which is going to elicit a “fight or flight” response that puts sugar into the bloodstream. This will cause insulation to be stored for several hours, waiting like a hungry shark for you to put something into the body – and when you do, it’s going to be stored as fat. 

#5: Happy you = better choices.

When you’re happy, you have the opportunity to reflect on making better choices and the feeling that accompanies these choices. You enjoy it and want to repeat the activity that lead to that good feeling. You’re driven by the response you get. If you haven’t eaten all day, you become a bit loopy, don’t you? And then what will happen? You’ll be in such a state that anything in front of you is going to be fair game to be eaten. Good choices won’t be made because you’re in a negative state of being deprived (“I haven’t eaten all day so I deserve this.”). 

#6: Carve out your own “me time.”

On a related note, everybody needs “me time” for themselves, which can lead to healthier choices. Time in the sun, exercise, meditation, yoga, closing your door to have lunch and however else you can find clarity in your day will provide a healthy adaptation. Again, when you feel better, you do better. 

How about one more strategy proven to work?

Like the help of Oak Park’s best trainer and nutritional counselor by your side? It can be just what you need to finally achieve your goals.

So call Body By G today at 708.267.7173 or email g@coachingbyg.com to get a free, 20-minute consultation either over the phone or in person. If you’d like to move forward after our conversation, we’ll schedule a physical assessment to determine where you need the most help and formulate a plan of attack that works for you.

 

“If I can just stay in this calorie range for the day, I’ll be golden.” Well, not exactly. Counting calories is not the best answer to greater weight consistency. For example, you might be technically under the amount of calories you’re supposed to have for that day…but still find yourself gaining weight the next day. Hey, how did that happen? Read more »

Tiny Losses, Big Spikes and Why the Scale Is Not Your Friend.

Tue, April 29th, 2014 | Posted in: Nutrition

Every morning, you repeat the same drill with your scale. Step on the scale, step off the scale. Based on what today’s number says, you’ll also probably either growl at the scale or smile at the scale too.

One of the biggest questions my clients have prior to working with me is: 
“How come I can only lose a tiny bit for a few days and then I watch it all go away in one day when my weight shoots back up? It’s so frustrating!”

Boy, that scale sure has a hold on you, doesn’t it?

Instead, I want you to try something different from now on: Weigh yourself once a week or even once every two weeks.

If you must weigh yourself every day, use the average of your weight across 7 days rather than living and dying by what the scale tells you every day.

It’s time to break this routine with one simple truth: The scale is not going to be your friend every day, for reasons that are more complex than you realize.

Let me explain. In your body, you have sophisticated, enzymatic reactions going on that you’re not even fully aware of. Take sugar as an example – it’s what we call hygroscopic. Its job is to hold onto water. If we left sugar on the kitchen counter, it would turn into a brick because it absorbs water from the air. Similarly, in food chemistry, we use sugar to bind water and create moisture.

My point? Sugar by its nature could account for a couple extra pounds of “water weight” even though you stayed within your calorie range for the day!

It’s more realistic to understand that we all run on different fuel combinations. Some people don’t process carbohydrates very well while others may do better with more carbohydrates.

How do we figure out what works best with our bodies so we can run them closer to the machines they’re supposed to be? Start by eliminating certain foods for a limited period of time and then adding some foods back into the diet. As you add these foods back in, take note: What makes you feel bloated or gassy? Are you experiencing excessive heartburn or indigestion?

Any food that makes you feel like this is probably not appropriate for you.

“Sounds like I could use both a nutritional counselor and personal trainer.”
Good thing we know the best one in Oak Park – Body by G’s Giulia Isetti, PH.D. 
Call Body By G today at 708.267.7173 or email g@coachingbyg.com to get a free, 20-minute consultation either over the phone or in person. If you’d like to move forward after our conversation, we’ll schedule a physical assessment to determine where you need the most help and formulate a plan of attack that works for you.

 

Every morning, you repeat the same drill with your scale. Step on the scale, step off the scale. Based on what today’s number says, you’ll also probably either growl at the scale or smile at the scale too. ! One of the biggest questions my clients have prior to working with me is: 
 “How come I can only lose a tiny bit for a few days and then I watch it all go away in one day when my weight shoots back up? It’s so frustrating!”! Boy, that scale sure has a hold on you, doesn’t it?! Read more »

Dieting Sucks! Part 2

Tue, August 21st, 2012 | Posted in: Nutrition

What is the point of deprivation?  Anyone who has put themselves on a diet depriving themselves can tell you what a boomerang is! First of all, when you “diet” you send a message to your body that food is scarce. The body reacts by increasing your storage of fat. The same principle applies when you are dehydrated; the body reacts by conserving water.  You swell a bit and your urine becomes darker. So you restrict your food intake and lose weight--that MUST be fat loss, right? Not really. Any rapid weight loss will be water and protein, not fat. But wait!  I was exercising 6 days a week for an hour in the “fat burning zone”! Sorry.  If you lost weight fast--you just ate up what little muscle you had.

The metabolism is either a furnace using sugar as fuel or fat as fuel. That means that you can either be a sugar burner or a fat burner. Metabolically there is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate (scandalous!) but there are essential amino acids (proteins) and fatty acids (fats).  In the citric acid cycle (your metabolic system) amino acids can be chucked in to make glucose-(gluco-neogenesis). Fat cannot be used in the same way. Fat has to undergo a process called beta-oxidation to be utilized.  So, if you are limiting your fats, you are increasing your sugar burning metabolism.  Does this mean you are using it all up? Nope. It means you are using sugar and never getting to the fat you want to burn.  You have to EAT FAT to LOSE FAT. And you have to limit your carbohydrates to vegetables and small portions of fruit. 

If you can, think of your metabolism as a fire. Fats are great big slow burning logs, proteins can be smaller but still slow burning logs, carbohydrates like grains and potatoes are like twigs, sugar and flour is like throwing dry leaves on the fire, and alcohol is like tossing an accelerant on the fire. If carbohydrates are your primary fuel source, you will need to fuel the fire constantly.

Begin by finding the fats and proteins that fuel you the best, then start adding in small portions of carbohydrates to see what you are able to tolerate.  We can work together to find the best fuel for you!

What is the point of deprivation? Anyone who has put themselves on a diet depriving themselves can tell you what a boomerang is! Read more »

Back to School

Wed, August 15th, 2012 | Posted in: Nutrition

So you’ve had a GREAT summer! Everything is easier in the summer; getting dressed, exercising, eating. 

But, OH NO........School is starting, the weather is getting a little cooler, and everything changes. The school schedule is grueling, the work schedule is unyielding and now you are getting home later and later from work. Its dark when you wake and dark when you get home!

The food in your house is now geared toward easy breakfasts, school lunches, and quick dinners.  What happened to all the fresh fruit and veggies from farmers market? When you go to the big grocery store, the initial aisles are stocked and overflowing with Halloween candy and it’s not even October.  IT starts. The downward spiral.  Ending around January 3, 2012 when the damage will have been done :(

UNLESS......we are vigilant and hold strong to the great foundation laid during the summer months.

Join me at Body by G Coaching by G for a great fall of nutrition counseling, personal training, fitness classes; a total wellness package that is personalized to meet your schedule, your goals, and the demands of your life.

Stay tuned to the website or give me a call to find out what we are doing that will fit into your schedule and your lifestyle!


Stay strong!!!
In wellness,
Dr. G

So you’ve had a GREAT summer! Everything is easier in the summer; getting dressed, exercising, eating. But, OH NO........School is starting, the weather is getting a little cooler, and everything changes. Read more »

Dieting Sucks! Part 1

Tue, July 10th, 2012 | Posted in: Nutrition

Dieting sucks!
Right?
Right!!! 

Diets are designed to fail.  If everyone succeeded on a diet, the diet industry would be bankrupt.  Americans spend billions of dollars each year in the diet industry. There is no such thing as one way to lose weight. The pharmaceutical industry is even catching on to this.  In cancer research, we have been addressing individuality for quite a while--there is no one chemotherapy treatment for all cancers or even for all breast cancers.

We are all unique. We each have foods that work for us and foods that work against us.  Those foods are different for everyone.  We all have different acceptable portions of the foods that work for us or against us. (Yes, foods like alcohol, ice cream and pizza pretty much don’t work for anybody--but how much they work against you is unique to you!)

Begin by finding the foods that fuel you the best. The best way to do that is simply take notice of how you feel after meals--the day or night of, and the following day.  If you feel gassy or bloated after a meal, then what you ate was not good fuel for you.  If you wake up the night after a pasta dinner hoping to run a personal best race but instead you feel sluggish and bloated, then pasta is not your fuel.  Sound too simple?  Your body is elegantly designed to give you feedback--whether you listen or not is up to you.

Once we establish the right fuels for you then we can design a program that addresses your individual goals whether it be to lose/gain weight, race a personal best, build more muscle. We can work together with nutrition counseling to find the best fuel for you!
 

Dieting sucks! Right? Right!!! Diets are designed to fail. If everyone succeeded on a diet, the diet industry would be bankrupt. Americans spend billions of dollars each year in the diet industry. There is no such thing as one way to lose weight. Read more »

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