Tricia Jones - Beachbody Coach and NASM CPT

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Repeat after me - Abs Are Made In The Kitchen

My Abs were made in the kitchen....

When I was younger I did countless crunches with Tamilee Webb of Abs of Steel. Never did I have the definition I desired. Today, while my stomach is not perfect- (I have my post c-section/pregnancy battle wounds) I am proud of the tone and definition I do have.  I attribute 80% of my success to cleaning up my diet. . . . thus why I firmly believe Abs ARE made in the kitchen.

In the past, I always thought that my idea of a perfect body would come from doing more cardio and exercising harder and stronger. I ran numerous 10 mile races, 2 marathons (trained for 3) and worked out consistently for years. I was fit but not as fit as I am now. My problem was that I thought if I worked out I could eat/drink whatever I wanted. I was 100% exercise 0% nutrition and as a result -I would only ever progress so far.  Fluctuating in weight was evident of how hard I was working out. The changes I made were never lifestyle changes and only ones I could maintain for a period of time.  

A flip was switched for me regarding the foods I was eating when my doctor told me I was gaining too much weight - you can read that story here.  That all started in April of 2012 and here I am in December of 2013 and still going strong. This is a lifestyle change and one that I know has benefited not only me, my family and extended family members and friends.

So what do you do? what do you eat? I was there. I knew I had to do something but I was overwhelmed with what and where and how to start. It took a lot of google searches and this is what ended up working for me:  

1. START SMALL. - I started to clean up what I drank. I use to have a really large glass of orange juice every day, I would drink diet soda most days at lunch and/or at dinner. I drank water but nearly enough. I started with weeding out sugar drinks and replacing all liquids with water. You can flavor water with lemon, cucumbers, fruit - it is not as boring as I once thought.

2. I weeded everything out but: LEAN Proteins. COMPLEX Carbs. HEALTHLY Fats. VEGGIES. FRUITS. I currently like to use this A-mazing site:  The Gracious Pantry. She has shopping lists from popular markets on here of clean foods! Shopping made easy! :) 

3. Portion Sizes: There are so many cute little ways to figure out portion sizes:  Measure the size of a deck of cards or ball or whatever! When I am hungry I can't remember what should be the size of what... SO, I look at my own palm (something I can easily remember) to eye up the right portion size when I am unsure. 1 serving = the size of my palm. 1 cupped hand for fruits & grains. 1 palm flat for meats.  Two cupped hands for veggies.  (a trick learned from Gracious Pantry)

4. I started to eat every 2.5-3.5 hours from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed. Now, I am trained to eat - I can almost tell the time of day based on my hunger level. :)

5. I started to track my foods in Fitness Pal iphone App - I was amazed at how mindless snacking adds up. We have 2 little ones and while feeding them lunches - a slice of cheese here, a few teddy grahams there - ADDed UP to unnecessary calories I did not need.

6. I committed to only eating for planned meals. Sorta linked with #5 - I stopped/"worked on" not spontaneously/mindlessly snacking. Anytime I would just snack I would choose foods that weren't the best. If I planned my foods they tend to be more healthly. I found when I ate lean proteins and complex carbs I was more fullfilled.

7. Slim down on Sugar Intake. I am a former sugar candyholic. I can't think about Twizzlers without my mouth watering. This was really hard for me but I started to watch my sugar intake! I aim to have no more than 25g of sugar a day. Sugar is in everything and so this requires learning to read food labels.

8. I follow people who inspire me. I read up on fitness news and nutrition (when I have time.)

9. I found what worked for me. I love Kale & Egg Whites. I would try foods that those who I followed loved and some of their suggestions I loved but some I didn't. By being true to what I liked (healthy options) -  I was able to be consistent. 

10. Find a great support system. Hint: I can be it. Have questions - ask away! or email:


Someone once told me this and I have found it to be SO very true:

You Crave What You Eat. 
Eat Junk, CRAVE Junk
Eat Healthy - CRAVE Healthy

Monday, December 2, 2013

10 Popular Diet Tips to Igno

10 Popular Diet Tips to Ignore

By Kara Wahlgren
If you've ever tried to lose a few pounds, you've probably been inundated with diet tips. But take them all with a grain of salt—some advice may sound legit but can actually derail your diet. Here are 10 tips you DO NOT want to follow:

BAD ADVICE: Choose fat-free or sugar-free foods
BETTER ADVICE: Don't believe the hype. "They usually use fat and sodium to replace sugar, and sugar to replace fat—or chemicals to replace both," says Denis Faye, Beachbody's nutrition expert. And Rania Batayneh, MPH, a nutritionist and author of the upcoming book,The 1:1:1 Diet, adds, "Removing fat from a food makes it less satiating, so you ultimately may end up eating more." Stick with the original versions, and watch your portions or better yet, eat more unprocessed foods.
BAD ADVICE: No cheating ever!
BETTER ADVICE: Relax your diet rules, and you'll be more likely to stick it out long-term. "If 80% of your diet is tight, then 20% can be a party," Faye says. "It keeps you from getting stressed—and stress is a huge obstacle in weight loss." Just plan your splurges ahead of time so you're not giving in to every temptation that crosses your plate.
BAD ADVICE: Stop snacking.
BETTER ADVICE: Choose snacks that offer a balance of protein, fiber, and healthy fats—like apples with peanut butter, or carrots with hummus. "A healthy snack can help maintain steady blood sugar levels, which keeps your appetite in check and your energy stable," Batayneh says. Skipping a snack can cause your blood sugar to dip, leaving you moody and famished—and more likely to overeat at mealtime.
BAD ADVICE: Don't eat fruit—it's full of sugar.
BETTER ADVICE: Let fruit satisfy your sweet tooth. "Yes, fresh produce is full of sugar and carbs," Faye says. "But sugar itself is not the enemy. Fruit is packed with vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals; it's also rich in fiber, which slows the absorption of sugar. I've never met a human being who got fat because of bananas." When you're craving sugar, there's no debate that a handful of grapes is healthier than a hot fudge sundae.
BAD ADVICE: If it's organic, it's good for you.
BETTER ADVICE: According to the USDA, organic food is produced without antibiotics, growth hormones, conventional pesticides, and synthetic ingredients.1 The problem is that many people assume organic foods are all low in calories, too, which isn't necessarily true. Don't get us wrong—we'd rather eat food that doesn't resemble a science experiment. But, Faye cautions, "You need to use common sense. If it's bad for you with conventional ingredients, it's still bad for you when it's organic." A cookie is a cookie, no matter how all-natural it is.
BAD ADVICE: Calories in, calories out—it doesn't matter what you eat.
 Salad with CakeBETTER ADVICE: What you're eating matters. Compare a 100-calorie candy bar to 100 calories of avocado—the latter is packed with nutrients and has healthy fats and fiber to keep you full. Or compare 50 calories of spinach (about seven cups) to 50 calories of ice cream (about two tablespoons). To feel full when you're cutting calories, look for foods loaded with water and fiber, like veggies or broth-based soups. Plus, "Hormones have a huge impact on our health. Junk food can trigger bad hormonal responses that, over time, can lead to all kinds of problems, including weight gain," Faye says. Occasionally, someone will pop up in the news claiming they lost a ton of weight while eating nothing but Subway®, Starbucks®, or Snickers® bars—but don't put too much stock in those success stories. "When you go that route, you're not educating yourself," Faye says. "It's like the teach-a-man-to-fish adage. If you give someone a gimmicky diet, they might lose weight for now; but provide them with knowledge, and they can be healthy for life."
BAD ADVICE: Try XYZ Extreme Diet—it works for everyone!
BETTER ADVICE: Find a plan that works for you. Gender, age, genetics, metabolism, and lifestyle can all play a role in weight loss—so even if a fad diet has worked for others, that doesn't mean you'll get the same results. "There's no single diet that works for everyone; our biochemical needs are different," Faye says. Talk to a dietitian or nutrition consultant to find a long-term eating strategy that is tailor-fit to you.
BAD ADVICE: When in doubt, order the salad.
BETTER ADVICE: Choose your greens wisely. Leafy greens and vegetables may be virtuous, but not if they're slathered in creamy dressing and topped with bacon, candied nuts, croutons, deli meats, or cheese. "Fatty fixings can add hundreds of calories to your meal, and sometimes contain more calories than that juicy burger!" Batayneh says. Salad can be a healthy choice, but order dressing on the side and limit the add-ons.
BAD ADVICE: Don't exercise—it'll only make you hungrier.
BETTER ADVICE: Get moving—an hour-long workout isn't going to make you suck down calories like Michael Phelps. "Exercise isn't just for losing weight—it improves your cardiovascular health and strengthens your bones," Faye says. You might feel hungrier while recovering from a grueling workout, but that doesn't mean you're going to pack on pounds. "As long as you're eating clean, your body is amazing at self-regulating," Faye adds. "It should crave the calories you need to fuel your workouts, not to get fat."
BAD ADVICE: Treat yourself for a job well done!
BETTER ADVICE: Rethink your reward system. After an intense workout, you may feel like you've earned a cocktail or cupcake. But splurging after every workout can quickly undo all your hard work. If you've been good all week, go ahead and grab a guilt-free beer on Friday. But, Faye says, "Don't let every workout become a Pavlovian thing where you need to eat cake afterwards." After all, the best reward for a killer workout is getting one step closer to the body you want.