Mid-Life Crisis

Mid-Life Crisis

Mid-Life Crisis

The only thing I can chalk up my latest goal/what-I-want-to-do is that I must be suffering from a mid-life crisis.

You see I am a month shy of 46 years, peri-menopausal and wondering if this aging thing is really for me.

Actually scratch that last sentence – I know this aging thing isn’t for me. I don’t like it and I don’t want to encourage it in any sort of way. I know I am going to age but…I am not going down without a fight.

How You View Your Mid-Life

Experts say the answer of how we will enter our mid-life will depend in part in how we have viewed our life so far and how we view it for the future.

 

There are those who will feel less conflicted about their age because when they reflect back at their past years it’s with affection and they are able to happily move forward to the next years.

While others will wonder, “Is this it?”, and instead of looking back on their years fondly they, instead, only focus on the diminishing years ahead.

They see the time-bomb ticking and think to themselves “Sh*t.”.

This is where the mid-life crisis begins. When these poor buggers believe that if they do something drastic and shake things up in their life that it will either A) distract them from the fact that time is ticking away, or B) by getting their butts in gear they won’t miss out on any goal or grand plan that life had for them.

A mid-life crisis is really the original FOMO.

And, I am one of those poor buggers suffering from both A and B.

Mid-life-crisis-funny-quote-fitness-with-pj

Mid-Life Crisis To-Do List

My mid-life crisis to-do list is a bit long (visit Europe, learn a new language, write a book), but there has been one goal that has been in the back of my mind for a while and two weeks ago I finally bucked up and owned it.

 

 I decided this was the year I was going to compete in a fitness competition, in particular the NPAA BC Classic (Natural Physique Athletic Association) happening this May 1st in Richmond.

 

 What will I be competing in? Bikini Masters (for women 35 years and older), and if I have the courage Bikini Novice as well (this is where I would be competing with women as young as 20 – not sure I want to be on the stage twice). Gulp.

I Got To Wear What?!?

First things first, I am not a bathing-suit-strutting kind of gal.

 

 While I am comfortable in front of a group of people, it’s usually because I am talking about fitness (my passion), I am fully dressed (my desire), and I am wearing Nikes (my comfort).

 

 For this competition I will need to wear a bikini (similar to the one below), with the mandatory 5″ high hooker-heels and pose in some of the most awkward-looking positions.

 

 This all makes me very uncomfortable and sick to my stomach when I think about it.

 

Bikini-competition 

 

Why Do A Competition?

So why do this, you wonder? Why do something that makes me nauseous every time I think about wearing an itsy-bitsy bikini in front of a large crowd of people?

 

 Why live on chicken breast, protein shakes, broccoli, air and water for 12 weeks? Why workout six days a week, sometimes twice a day?

 

 These are great questions and the best answer I can give you is that I do not want to sit in my rocking chair in my later years and have any regrets.

 

 Regrets that I was too scared, too intimidated, too unmotivated, too lazy and too uncommitted to try.

 

Next Steps

 

 This past week has been helping loving husband feel comfortable with this (cause he’s not too keen about his wife being half-naked in front of a bunch of people), as well as assuring him I will only be a bit of a bitch for the next 3 months.

 

 Let’s face it. I am going to be a little angrier and a bit more impatient than normal until May. While I will try my hardest not to be, truth-be-told I don’t diet well and I love food.

 

 Starting a week ago, and until competition day, I am on one of the strictest eating regimes that I have ever tried.

 

 I have said good bye to my favourite foods and beverages (so long spiced rum, I will miss – but I will never forget you), and eat more meat than I care to.

 

 However, it’s worth it.

 

 It’s worth proving that mid-life is the best time kick some ass. It’s worth showing other women you can do, and can be whatever you want to be – no matter what age you are.

 

 All you need to do is put the work in, have focus and determination, and keep your sense of humour along the way.

 

 Week 13 – Before Photo

Week 13 - Before  

Stay tuned… every 2-weeks I will be blogging about my journey to becoming a fitness bikini competitor. 

 

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Testing Positive for Menopause

Testing Positive for Menopause

Testing Positive for Menopause

I just recently came face-to-face with getting older and I didn’t like it one bit.

With every passing birthday I was aware that I was getting older; I just never felt or thought that I was. I mean, getting old was what happened to other people, like my husband and my sisters for example.

Of course there was that grey hair I found a while ago. But, that was easily sorted out with a good tug.

Then the wrinkles came, but hallelujah for high-definition makeup, retinol and really expensive eye creams.

I also ignored the aches that weren’t there in my body ten years ago, as well as the declining energy levels (I chalked this up to me learning how to relax, something that is recommended for us high-stung Type A’s).

But, something recently happened that I could no longer ignore, buy a cream to correct, or even drink my delusions away with.

I started menopause.

A Trainer’s Denial About Menopause 

At first I was in complete denial. How much denial, you’re wondering? Epic levels, let me tell you.

One evening I internalized this change in my body when I couldn’t sleep – because we don’t really sleep do we? Instead, middle-aged women “drift” through the night.

Anyways, I got myself so worked up about my lack of a menstrual cycle for the past three months that I convinced myself that this absolutely could NOT be menopause.

It had to be something else.

I was far too young for menopause. This only happened to other women. Older women.

The thought of this not being menopause, and instead being the alternative, was frightening to the bone and I could not keep this to myself any longer. I had to wake up loving husband and let him in on my epiphany.

Now, ladies, I have a tip for you. If you want to FREAK your significant other out, wake them up in the middle of the night and tell them that you think you are pregnant. Works better than a bucket of cold water to the face.

Poor loving husband was up all night having waking nightmares of being in his 60’s with a teenager.

funny-getting-older-quote-Fitness-with-PJ

Testing Positive

The next day I ended up in a local pharmacy, incognito, buying a home pregnancy test. When I got home sure enough I did test positive…for menopause.

Lucky for me, this past last year I have been designing fitness programs and plans specific for peri and menopausal women.

I have had the fortune of interviewing some of the industry’s best about how to handle menopause so I knew what I needed to do to help control my weight, my hot flashes, my sleeping problems, my brain fog and my turn-on-a-dime moods.

What none of these experts taught me, however, was how to handle this change emotionally. Because that was where menopause was really kicking me in the butt.

I did not want to age like my mother!

Could Menopause Be Just Like a Workout?

And then I got to thinking (again when I couldn’t sleep, because those are the best times to think, aren’t they?), menopause is just another cog in the wheel of this thing called my life.

I started relating to it in terms that I knew and could understand.

First, I thought of life as one big workout (cut me some slack, I’m a trainer), and came to the conclusion that menopause is just another rep in this one big workout of life.

And, just like any other rep that I do in the gym I have three choices:

  • I can perform it poorly and set myself up for injury
  • I can do the rep half-hearted and see little to no results
  • Or I can put all of my effort and focus on this one rep and grow

The only difference here was that I wasn’t growing physically; instead, I was focussing on growing emotionally and spiritually.

So, here I am putting all my energy into this one rep and finding out that I don’t mind the burn or the short-term pain of menopause. Because, in the end, I plan on coming out of this a better woman.

 

TIRED OF TRYING TO FIGURE WHAT WORKOUTS YOU
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A Trainer’s Weekly Menu – Week 12

A Trainer’s Weekly Menu – Week 12

A Trainer’s Weekly Menu – Week 12

 

This was a great week for meals. Even loving husband has been tolerating the less-meat-more-veggies-bender that I am currently on.

 

With the exception of Monday night.

 

Last Monday I made the most awesome maple bean dish (from my fave blog Oh She Glows), and when we both sat down to eat it loving husband immediately went on a mission.

 

He pushed the beans around investigating every square inch of his of the bowl. Like he was searching for something. Something he just could not believe would NOT be there.

 

When he didn’t find what he was looking for he looked up and asked me “Where’s the rest of the dinner?”.

 

I told him the “rest” of the dinner was my love. He said he would have preferred some beef or bacon instead.

 

Nice guy, that loving husband.

 

Healthy Meal Plan

 

If you need to get yourself back-on-track I urge you to join me with my meal plans. All of the recipes that I choose are low in sh*t and high in nutrients.

 

I also plan my healthy meals so that they fit in into my busy life. My prep is basic and there are no long-winded recipes that only Martha Stewart would love.

 

Just basic meals, using whole-foods.

 

What a trainer eats - week 12

 

Catch Up On Previous Week’s Menus

 

 

FIT TIP: As we age one of the reasons our tendons and muscles get stiffer is due to the lower water levels in the tissue. This makes it even more important that we drink enough water throughout the day. Aim for 2-3 litres a day – and sorry, that does not include coffee, tea or wine.

 

Week 11 Healthy Meal Plan

 

SUNDAY PREP

 

  • Protein pancakes made for the week
  • 3 lemons, cut in half for my daily detox drink
  • Cucumber, peppers, carrots, snap peas cut for side dish munchies for lunches
  • Pumpkin Maple Baked Beans made, ready to re-heat for Monday night dinner
  • One Pot Quinoa Veggie Dish made for lunches Mon-Thurs (Friday is leftover day)

 

BREAKFAST

 

  • My daily detox drink. Click here to get the recipe.
  • Protein pancakes. I made 5 (to last Mon-Fri) and froze them.
  • Each night I grab one from the freezer, thaw it overnight and then re-heat it in the AM by toasting it.
  • For toppings I spread a little almond butter or P&B on top, depending on my mood, and then drizzle some heated raspberry jam on top of the nut butter. Y.U.M.
  • This is the recipe I use, however I wanted to add some super seeds to it this time so I also be added 1 tbsp of ground flax seed and 1 tbsp of chia seeds to the batter.

 

LUNCH

 

  • One Pot Quinoa Veggie Dish, without the chicken. Instead I added a can of black beans for my protein.
  • Cut up veggies (carrot sticks, peppers, cucumber slices, snap peas and grape tomatoes) as my side dish.

 

PREP TIP: When making quinoa, double the batch and freeze the leftovers in single serving ziplock baggies. That way when you need a quick side dish you got one ready to go.

 

SUBSCRIBE Youtube channel - Fitness with PJ

 


DINNER

 

Monday

 

  • Pumpkin Maple Baked Beans Cornbread Casserole. This recipe rocked, even loving husband wanted more (he knows nothing of the pumpkin in it though so shhhh…), however as mentioned above he was perplexed that there was no meat accompanying it.
  • I didn’t make the cornbread topping, as per recipe. Instead, I went the lazy gal’s route and bought Bob’s Red Mill GF Cornbread mix. The mix is pretty good, but next time I make the beans I think I will go even lazier and just forgo the cornbread altogether.

 

Tuesday

 

  • Salmon Caesar salad. Instead of croutons I use roasted chickpeas. I love this brand.

 

Wednesday

 

  • Fried egg sandwich with smashed avocado. I get home late on Wednesdays and I hate eating a meal that late.
  • BUT, with that said I am also starving when I get home, so I need something filling but yet won’t bloat the hell out of me. Hence a fried egg sandwich using Squirelly Bread, with half of an avocado smashed between the two slices.

 

FOOD TIP: Need to ripen an avocado ASAP. Food bloggers swear by this 10-minute hack: wrap your avocado tightly in tin foil so absolutely no air gets out. Set it inside a baking dish and pop it into the oven at 200°F. Check the fruit’s progress at 10 minutes (or even sooner depending on its current degree of ripeness), and keep it in the oven until it’s perfectly ripe. Together, the heat of the oven and the ethylene gas that is released when the avocado ripens will work to soften the fruit.

 

Thursday

 

Loving Husband and I filming a workout Loving Husband and I filming a recent YouTube workout.

Friday

 

  • Chicken Pesto Pitas and Kale Salad. This is a real easy recipe to make.
  • Buy a cooked BBQ chicken from the deli, some whole-grain pita bread, spinach, mozza cheese slices (or provolone is good too), roasted red peppers and pesto sauce.
  • Assemble the sandwich by spreading 1/4 of the pesto inside the bottom of one pita half, add cheese, then chicken slices and roasted pepper strips, top with baby spinach and enjoy!

 

FIT TIP: People with fitness goals succeed because they know where they are going.

 

Saturday

 

  • Pizza! Loving husband will be filming a long and hard workout with me so I need to show his stomach some love.
  • I also want to go hiking on Sunday and if he eats lots of pizza he will want to hike too so he can work on his bikini body (his words, not mine).
  • Of course, he could just NOT eat the pizza. But, he loves pizza and we have been happily married for over 21 years because we both know when to push and when to back off. Pizza, M&M’s and Coke are where I back off.
  • Cauliflower Crust Pizza for me. I am going to try this recipe, while also adding a few tablespoons of almond flour to help hold the crust together.
  • I will forgo the meat that’s in this recipe and add Roma tomatoes and fresh basil instead.
  • The recipe also claims it feeds four. I say NOT LIKELY. This whole pizza will be eaten by yours truly, in one sitting.

 

Funny pizza quote

 

Sunday

 

  • Slow Cooker Bison Stew. If we go hiking I want something that is hot and ready for us when we get home, and this recipe looks delish.
  • This recipe is also from a new food blogger I just started following, The Inspired RD, let’s see how her food tastes.

 

 

TIRED OF TRYING TO FIGURE WHAT WORKOUTS YOU
SHOULD BE DOING

GRAB MY 21 DAY FITNESS PROGRAM AND LET ME DO THE PROGRAMMING FOR YA.

 

FIT & FIERCE...
HERE WE COME.

 

PJ ox

Mastering Menopause

Mastering Menopause

Mastering Menopause

We cannot pretend menopause is not going to happen. We cannot wish it away, or hope that it won’t happen to us.

We also cannot think that it won’t affect us. It will, and it will affect those around us too.

So, instead of putting out the fires and the hot flashes as they happen, let’s start learning what changes to our lifestyle and mindset we need to make to give us the greatest impact.

Yes? YES!

What’s the difference, perimenopause and menopause?

Perimenopause happens 8 to 10 years before menopause, when the ovaries gradually produce less estrogen. It usually starts in a woman’s 40s, but it can start in her 30s as well.

Perimenopause lasts up until menopause, which is the point when the ovaries stop releasing eggs (ie. we stop having periods).

To be fully out of perimenopause and menopause (medically speaking), we need to be without a menstrual cycle for one full year.

How will I know when I am postmenopausal?

A woman is considered to be postmenopausal when she has not had her period for an entire year.

Measuring through a blood test called the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) level is another way to determine if you are postmenopausal.

FSH is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland (located at the base of the brain). However, the routine use of the FSH test is not needed to help the vast majority of women. Sometimes, the levels can be misleading since the levels go up and down during the transition into menopause.

What are the heck are the symptoms?

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats and/or cold flashes
  • Vaginal dryness; discomfort during sex
  • Urinary urgency (the need to pee more often)
  • Difficulty sleeping and/or staying asleep
  • Emotional changes (irritability, anger, mood swings, depression)
  • Dry skin, eyes or mouth
  • Brain fog

Women who are perimenopausal also have this barrel of fun to look forward to:

  • Racing heart rates
  • Headaches
  • Joint and muscle aches and pain
  • Changes to sex drive
  • Weight gain
  • Hair loss or thinning
  • Acne

Can my lifestyle trigger the symptoms of peri and menopause?

A number of the symptoms of menopause can be set off and intensified by lifestyle choices. For instance, the following have been known to trigger hot flashes:

  • Stress
  • Caffeine (this sucks)
  • Alcohol (this really sucks)
  • Spicy foods
  • Hot foods
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Sugar
  • Refined carbohydrates
  • Fatty cuts of meat

What else can go wrong, after 40?

On top of all of our menopause and perimenopause symptoms, we also have age-related changes happening to the body.

Why we are getting fat

The big reason why we gain weight after the age of 40 is because we are losing a percentage of our lean muscle mass, each and every year.

Muscle tissue burns more calories than any other tissue in the body, both at rest and at work. So, when our lean muscle mass decreases our metabolism takes a nosedive.

Click here to learn how to become a better fat-burning machine.

After the age of 30, women can expect to lose as much as 3% to 5% of their lean muscle mass per decade. Once we reach 75 years this loss accelerates (however for some women this can happen as early as 65 years).

How do you offset this? Not by walking and not by performing cardio. The only way to build your lean muscle mass is with a properly devised strength training program.

Click here to view all of my YouTube Workouts.

Our organs, as we age

As our cells age they don’t function as well as they used to and eventually old cells must die as a normal part of the bodies functioning.

While this is a normal process of age, it does become a concern when the number of old cells in the ovaries, liver, and kidneys decrease.

When these cells become too low, an organ cannot function normally and this is why most organs function less than stellar as people age.

Great news, though, not all organs lose a large number of cells. The brain is one good example. Science has proven that women who are healthy do not lose as many brain cells as unhealthy women do.

It's hard to be a woman funny quote

Our bones, as we age

Bone mass and bone density decrease as we age and will begin to decline by approximately 1% (or so) with each passing year from 30 years old until menopause is reached – at which point we will then see a 2-3% loss each year.

Click here to do a bone-building beginner’s strength workout.

Our connective tissue, as we age

Our tendons (that great stuff that keeps our muscles connected to our bone) are also being affected.

As we age we lose some of the water in our tendons and this, in turn, makes our tissue stiffer and less able to handle stress and more susceptible to injury.

Click here to do a 15-minute morning wake up stretch routine.

Our speed and reaction time, as we age

The number of our muscle fibers are also decrease as we age. This means that our muscles can’t contract as easily as they used to, making us slower in general as well as slowing down our reaction time.

Our heart, as we age

Our heart muscle also slows down as we age. It becomes less able to propel large quantities of blood quickly which means that we are going to tire more easily and take longer to recover as we get older.

Click here to do a heart-pumping, low impact cardio workout.

Our insides get fatter

Body fat increases as we age and the distribution of body fat shifts from subcutaneous (under the skin, evenly over the body) to visceral (around the internal organs).

Visceral fat is deep within the body surrounding our internal organs and is also known to increase our chances of developing: heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, sleep apnea, various forms of cancer and other degenerative diseases.

The best part of being over 40 is we did most of our stupid stuff before the internet. - Mastering Menopause blog

Estrogen, how we miss thee

Most of the symptoms related to perismenopause and menopause are happening because we are producing less estrogen.

This production will continue to decrease until the ovaries eventually stop making it.

WTF is going on with my belly fat?

When estrogen declines cortisol and insulin production increase.

And guess what? Both of these hormones contribute to fat gain, especially around the midsection, and in particular as that dangerous visceral fat we learned about just above.

In addition, perimenopausal women may see more accumulation of fat around the belly – even if they are eating better and exercising correctly.

You see our bodies are pretty amazing machines and during times of hormone imbalances our body favours belly fat because its programmed to preserve fertility as long as possible. Thanks body.

Belly fat also produces estrogen! So, it’s of no surprise that when estrogen production from the ovaries slows, the body compensates by adding a spare tire around our mid-section.

 Click here to be rid of the belly fat.

A good night’s sleep. What’s that?

Sleep patterns will also change as we age.

This can either cause difficulty falling asleep, constant waking or full on insomnia – all of which will lead to lower energy levels and fatigue.

Chronic sleep deprivation is also linked to elevated cortisol levels and cortisol is that visceral belly fat loving hormone, in addition it is responsible to increasing our risk for a whole host of diseases, including cancer.

Click here to sleep better.

How to master menopause

Mastering perimenopause and menopause starts with your lifestyle.

For some it might mean dietary changes, for others it might mean adding strength training to their weekly workouts.

While for other women it could be improving their sleep, or adding stress relieving activities to their day.

However, for a lot of women it will mean making more than one change to their lifestyle. This can pose a problem, though.

Adding too many goals, and too many lifestyle changes, all at once is a recipe for disaster.

My suggestion for success

Where ever you are with your symptoms, and whatever your reasons WHY are (because remember, you HAVE to want to want these lifestyle changes), I want you to start with only one change first.

The reasons are both physiological and psychological.

On a physiological standpoint our brains are actually only programmed to operate on 10% willpower, the other 90% runs on muscle memory, or habits.

We need to make these changes to our lifestyle become habits so that the 10% is not battling it out with the 90%.

Psychologically speaking, small changes and manageable goals help us from not freaking out and throwing our arms up in the air two weeks in.

BUT, this does not mean I do not want you to challenge yourself, or that these changes will be easy.
 

Start with one, the rest will follow

Start by picking one symptom that is bothering you the most and then begin making the necessary changes to your lifestyle to help you master that one symptom.

 

TIRED OF TRYING TO FIGURE WHAT WORKOUTS YOU
SHOULD BE DOING

GRAB MY 21 DAY FITNESS PROGRAM AND LET ME DO THE PROGRAMMING FOR YA.

 

FIT & FIERCE...
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PJ ox

A Trainer’s Weekly Menu – Week 11

A Trainer’s Weekly Menu – Week 11

A Trainer’s Weekly Menu – Week 11

A full week’s account, including recipes and tips to help you eat healthier, of what a trainer eats as well as how I prep for someone who loves vegetables (me), and someone who does not (loving husband).

Happy New Year! I hope you had a great Christmas. Loving husband and I had a fantastic 2 weeks, but like a majority of people we ate too much and I drank too much. Even us trainer’s fall off the wagon.

It’s a new year, though, and it’s back to regular routines and meal planning and prepping.

Healthy Meal Plan

If you need to get yourself back-on-track I urge you to join me in my meal plans. All the recipes I choose are low in sh*it and high in nutrients.

I also plan my healthy meals so that fit in into my busy life. My prep is basic and there are no long-winded recipes that only Martha Stewart would love.

Just basic meals, using whole-foods.

Sugar Detox

Unbeknown to loving husband he is on a sugar detox now, or as much as I can control a sugar detox for him. You see he hides candy all over the house and eats it after I go to bed.

He does not hide this candy because he is hiding the fact that he is eating it from me. No, instead, he is hiding the candy because I asked him to.

You see when it hits a certain time of the month I get big-time cravings and another PJ emerges, I call her bad-PJ.

Bad-PJ is a bad influence and she always wants chocolate.

Bad-PJ, however, does not know when to stop after a few chocolates, or peices of candy. She goes hard until the bag is finished and we feel like sh*t afterwards.

So, loving husband hides his candy from bad-PJ.

Catch Up On Previous Week’s Menus

Annual New Year's Day Hike - Fitness with PJ Fave Pics from our Annual New Year’s Day Hike

Week 11 Healthy Meal Plan

BREAKFAST
  • Overnight Oats. I love overnight oats (and you can even nuke them in the microwave in the morning if you prefer your oats warm). Click here for my Pomegranate and Blueberry Overnight Oats recipe.
  • My daily detox drink. I swear by this drink. Click here for the recipe (it’s under Breakfast).
LUNCH
  • Salad with tuna and 2 Wasa breads with melted cheese. Had this on Monday.
  • Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken Soup (which I made on Monday night), with cut veggies as a side dish. The soup and the cut veggies I prepped on Sunday.

PREP TIP: make at least 4 breakfasts and 4 lunches for the week. You will actually get more done, in less time, by prepping in bulk and at the same time.

DINNER

Monday

  • Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken Soup. Click here for the recipe. I love this soup, loving husband is on the fence. However, this is a man who will only eat Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup and Tomato Soup. So it’s safe to say that he is not really a connoisseur of soup.

Slow-Cooker-Mexican-Chicken-Soup-Fitness-with-PJ-blog

Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken Soup – Skinny Ms

Tuesday

Wednesday

  • Loving Husband’s Famous Tuna Salad. Okay, it’s not really famous, but it is one of the things I let him prep. He uses 5 cans of tuna, mixes in some mayo, relish and 5 chopped hard-boiled eggs.
  • Yes, it is a bit high in sugar (due to the relish), and the mayo is not the healthiest option (I would prefer he used a smashed up avocado – but if I suggested that I already know the look I would get). So, I eat it as is on my Wasa crisps.

WORKOUT TIP: DON’T FORGET TO WARM-UP AT LEAST 5 MINUTES BEFORE YOUR WORKOUT. THIS WILL HELP PREPARE YOU AND YOUR MUSCLES FOR THE WORK TO BE DONE AND IMPROVE YOUR PERFORMANCE ONCE YOU GET GOING.

Thursday

Turkey-Enchilada-Skillet-Fitness-with-PJ

Turkey Enchilada Skillet – Skinny Ms

HAVE YOU TRIED THIS WORKOUT YET? IT’S PERFECT IF YOU ARE FEELING A LITTLE TIGHT & INFLEXIBLE.

Friday

Saturday

  • We are headed to see my fave director Quentin Tarantino’s new movie, “The Hateful 8”.
  • It looks so good! However, it is 3 hours long (thank God we are going to a VIP theatre for this), and it starts at 5:20pm.
  • This is a weird time, not really enough time for dinner beforehand, so we may order at the theatre (VIP has a full menu you can order in the theatre – as well as alcohol), or we may bring our own snacks. All I know is I ain’t cooking.

TIRED OF TRYING TO FIGURE WHAT WORKOUTS YOU
SHOULD BE DOING

GRAB MY 21 DAY FITNESS PROGRAM AND LET ME DO THE PROGRAMMING FOR YA.

 

FIT & FIERCE...
HERE WE COME.

 

PJ ox

5 Easy Tips To Eat Less

5 Easy Tips To Eat Less

5 Easy Tips to Eat Less

In today’s world of consumption we could all learn to want a little less, and this is especially true with food.

The abundance of choices and readiness of prepared food products is unparalleled. No other generation before us has had so much food available to them, and for so cheap.

This availability has come at a price though, and it’s our waistlines that have paid for it.

The Stats

The average number of calories a person eats in a day is 3,900. Back in 1965 that number was 3,100 calories. That’s an increase of 25%.

This increase is not with fresh fruit or vegetables either. Instead, we are eating more packaged products (see graph below) which are full of sugar, salt and bad fat.

This deadly trio, in turn, makes us crave more sugar, more sodium and more fat. It’s a revolving door that will just keep on this treadmill of addiction if we don’t start making some changes.

Breakdown of money spent on groceries - Fitness with PJ

Too Much Of A Bad Thing

How did we gain all this weight? Because it is not fathomable that a 25% increase in calories in the last 50  years has lead to an almost 50% North American obesity rate.

Weight gain is not exactly what we used to think it was, a calories in versus calories expended model. Science has confirmed that we do not process all foods the same.

Take for example almonds and a chocolate bar. The body processes the calories and macronutrients of both very differently.

The candy bar, if eaten on a regular basis, will lead to weight gain, whereas the nuts will not (unless you are my loving husband. Damn him. He eats a candy bar everyday and has not gained a pound in the 24 years of being together.).

Instead, experts are warning us that excessive over eating of the wrong foods (ie. high in sugar, sodium and bad fat), will lead us to gain weight faster because of leptin resistance in the body.

Leptin is a natural occurring hormone that tells our brains when we are full.

When we eat healthy whole foods, in the right amounts leptin does its job wonderfully and secretes messages to our control centre (the brain) telling us when we are full and when to stop eating.

But, years of bad choices with foods, accompanied with mindless over eating, breaks this system and we are now resistant to the one hormone that is there to help us.

sugar-consumption-Fitness with PJ

Do This First

So, my first piece of advice on how to eat less is to start eating real food for as many different meals as you can and eliminate added sugar from your diet.

Plan and prep your meals ahead of time and implement these five tips to help you eat less.

 5 Easy Tips to Eat Less

1/ Hide the food.

Studies have shown that we eat more food if the food is left out on the table. So, once you have plated your meal put the dishes back in the kitchen, or even better the fridge.

On the flip side, when storing your food in the fridge or cupboards put the good stuff in clear view of your eye sight.

For instance, place your vegetables right smack in the center of your fridge and hide the processed, bad foods in the crisper. Out of sight, out of mind.

2/ Trick your brain.

Trick your brain by using smaller plates and taller glasses. Yes, we can really pull one over on ourselves.

You see food looks like way more than it is on smaller plates, creating an “illusion” to our grey matter that we are eating more. This trick even works with glasses. Choose glasses that are taller and not the wider and your brain will think there is more volume.

Here’s a good example, take a look at the picture below.

How to eat less - Fitness with PJ blog

Each dot is the exact same in diameter, but doesn’t the one on the left look bigger?

So, if this was a plate of food it would also seem bigger to your brain and your brain would physically “think” that it’s eating more food than it really is -therefore telling our stomach to shut up and be satisfied.

Yep. It’s that easy to trick ourselves!

3/ Eat protein for breakfast.

Experts suggest eating at least 30 grams of protein (that’s 2 eggs and some cottage cheese) to help come out of the fast that you have done through the night and to replenish your protein stores. This is important so that your body does not start drawing on your own muscle tissue to feed itself.

In addition, wholesome high protein foods will also help regulate your appetite for the day, filling you up for a longer period. This equals to less snacking and more focus and energy through your morning too.

4/ Serve yourself 20% less.

It’s been proven that our margin for mindless eating starts after 80%. That means that after we have eaten 80% of our plate, the remaining 20% is mostly mindless.

The body does not need it for survival; we are simply eating it because we have stopped being aware.

Push yourself away from the table before this happens. Leave satisfied, but not full.

Science says this is the best workout to lose belly fat.

How to eat less - Fitness with PJ blog

5/ Drink water.

Our body cannot distinguish whether it is thirsty or hungry. Rather it has one signal that it releases when it craves either, and in my experience people are usually dehydrated before they are actually hungry.

TRY THIS: When you get the “signal” from your stomach have a large glass of water and wait 10 minutes. Stomach still grumbling? Have another glass and wait another 10 minutes.

I also do not want you to drink your calories either. Recent studies have found that the calories we consume in liquid form don’t “register” as food in the brain’s satiety centres.

Water is the only liquid that will “fill us up” – anything else is simply extra calories to our waistline.

 

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