Archive for May, 2010

Don’t Let Your Vacation Ruin Your Waistline

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Amber Tebeau, NASM CPT, Manager and Trainer CoachMeFit West Bloomfield

Last week my husband and I went on a cruise.  Cruises are notorious for their endless buffets of fattening foods and alcoholic drinks around every corner.  When I boarded the ship, I noted that there was food available at any time of day.  The pizza counter was open late, the ice cream station never closed and there were midnight buffets.  Suddenly a wonderful vacation has turned into a dangerous calorie situation.  Though a cruise has the potential to sink your weight loss or maintenance goals, here are a couple tips to help you stay afloat.

Set boundaries for yourself.   Allow yourself only a certain number of desserts per week or one dessert per day.  Eliminate snacking in between meals and late at night.  If possible, avoid the buffet line and always dine in the dining room.  When dining in the dining room, try to choose the healthiest option on the menu, such as grilled chicken or broiled fish.  Also, do not eat the whole portion that is served to you- the portion size is usually too large.   Lastly, limit alcoholic beverages that are loaded with sugar and calories.  Alcoholic drinks are full of hidden calories, and those calories can range from as low as 100 to over 700 depending on the drink. 

Though a vacation is a time to sit back and relax, it is not a time to slack on exercise.  While on the cruise add in exercise whenever possible.   Avoid taking the elevators whenever possible and opt to take the stairs.  Most cruise ships have large, well equipped fitness centers; choose to utilize the fitness center daily. When the ship docks at a port, use this time to take advantage of active excursions and stay active while exploring the port.

Cruises and other vacations are a great time to relax and escape from the everyday grind; however it is not a time to relax on your health.  Smart choices that are made while on vacation can enhance your time away and your health.




Blasting Fat with Cardio Intervals

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Kelly Kalbfleisch- NPTI Certified Personal Trainer

CoachMeFit Ann Arbor, Manager

As many of you have probably figured out by now, whether from magazines, programs geared towards fitness or from personal experience, cardio interval training is all the fat burning rage. 

“Intervals are an important addition to your training routine because your body adapts to movements and intensities over time.  Repeatedly putting your muscles through the same (limited) range of motion or adhering religiously to a specific aerobic intensity will stall any strength gains or weight-loss goals you may have in mind.”

“An admirable quality of interval training is that its sessions can be brief.  In fact 15 to 20 minutes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can provide the fitness equivalent of 40 to 60 minutes of continual-speed cardio.  Best of all, research indicates that short periods of high-intensity exercise are better for caloric expenditure than longer steady-state periods, giving you more fat-burning bang for your buck each minute during (and for quite some time after) your workout.”

I enjoy interval training, not only for the increased fat burn, but to beat the cardio bordem.  The sessions keep me engaged and focused the whole time.  I tested out the treadmill interval routine listed below.  On paper, it looks quite easy, but once I got into it, it was a great challenge.  You need to pay attention to your body when trying out these routines.  RPE means Rate of Perceived Exertion.  This is a way to monitor the intensity of your workout without equipment.  The most common RPE scales run from one to 10, with one representing little or no activity and 10 being maximum all out exertion.  Your RPE is a bigger factor in your fat-burning success than following the incline, speed and resistance exactly.  If you feel dizzy or not challenged, lower or raise one or more of your exercise variables until your RPE matches what is reflected in the routine.

Treadmill Intervals
Minutes Speed Incline RPE
0-3 3.5 3 4
3-5 4 3 4-5
5-7 5 3 5-6
7-9 4 4.5 4-5
9-11 5.5 4.5 6
11-13 4.5 4.5 5
13-15 6 6 6-7
15-17 5 6 6
17-20 4 6 5
20-22 5.5 4.5 6
22-23 7 4.5 7-8
23-24 6 4.5 6
24-25 5 3 5-6
25-27 4 3 4-5
27-30 3.5 0 3
Elliptical Intervals
Minutes Resistance Incline RPE
0-2 4 0 3
2-5 5 3 4
5-7 6 3 5
7-10 7 6 5-6
10-12 7 8 6-7
12-15 8 8 7
15-16 10 8 8
16-18 6 8 6
18-20 8 10 7-8
20-21 10 10 8-9
21-23 8 10 7-8
23-25 6 8 6
25-26 8 8 8
26-28 5 6 5
28-30 4 3 3-4

I like to get 45 minutes of cardio in, so after the treadmill routine, I hopped on the elliptical for the last 15 minutes.  Try a different cardio machine after the 30 minutes to mix it up even more!! 

Good luck and Happy Fat Burning

*Quotes and interval routines are from Oxygen Magazine


Dining Out

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

By: Amber Tebeau



Dining out at a restaurant is a significant part of the American lifestyle.  Many Americans eat away from home several days a week.  Eating out, if done improperly, can put a person well over their calorie allotment for a day, which will eventually lead to weight gain.  Restaurant food can be full of hidden calories and the portion size can be two to three times what is recommended.  This week, one of my clients commented to me that she was going out to lunch and thought she was making healthy choices. She said that recently the restaurant posted the calorie counts on the menu.  It was not until the calories were posted on the menu that she realized her lunch was around 900 calories! 

When eating at a restaurant it is imperative to be educated on exactly what you are ordering and eating.  When I go out to eat there are several steps that I take to ensure I am eating a healthy meal. 

First, be proactive.  Always try to look up the restaurants website before you go to eat there.  Many websites have nutrition information for all of the items on their menu.  Seeing the nutrition information can be shocking, and many menus have meals with calorie counts of well over 1000.  You will be less likely to eat a meal if you know that it has more than half of the calories that you should consume in an entire day.  On a typical menu there are several healthy choices to choose from and it is helpful to go to the restaurant knowing what you can and cannot eat.  Some websites have a feature where you can build your meal.  You are able to add or remove items to see how it affects the calorie count and nutrition.  I have also found several sites that display healthy alternatives that are available, on their website menus; however these healthy options are not listed on the menu at the restaurant. 

Second, remember to order condiments on the side.  Ask to have the cheese, nuts, dressings and sauces on the side.  This enables you to control if you use the condiment or how much you use.  Dressing, nuts and cheeses can add significant calories to a salad and suddenly the salad can have as many calories as a greasy burger.  A Red Robin Crispy Chicken Tender Salad has 1400 calories, whereas a Red Robin Gourmet Cheeseburger and steak fries have 1284 calories.   Neither option is healthy, but many people are surprised to find that a salad can contain so many calories.

Third try to avoid any item that is cream based.  Cream based soups, sauces and dressings are packed full of calories.  It is better to choose a soup that has a vegetable or broth base, a sauce that has a tomato base and a dressing with an oil base.   Also be sure to avoid anything with mayonnaise, which is high in calories and fat.   Mayonnaise comes standard on many sandwiches and i some salad dressings may have a mayonnaise base.

Going out to eat can be an enjoyable and healthy event, as long as you are informed about your meal choices.  If you follow the three steps listed above you will be able to ensure that you are making a healthy choice and you are keeping your calories are under control.  Bon Appetite!