Part I: You Have To EAT To Lose Weight

Weight Loss Unmasked: A five part series looking deeper at why we struggle with losing weight

By: Briana Boehmer

Photo c/o: Britt Selvitelle

Naturally when I hear most people talk about losing weight the word diet is mentioned in one way or another. Diet by definition assumes restriction of food in some form, which often leads to unfortunate behaviors – namely, not eating sufficient calories and more importantly the nutrients your body needs.

I am forever perplexed over why we work against our body’s natural biology.

Here’s a hard fact: Our body is built to SURVIVE. At the most fundamental level your body does what it does to SURVIVE. Bottom line, there comes a point where the fewer calories you take in the fewer calories your body burns. This is your body’s basic response to survival…in other words; it doesn’t want to starve so it will run on less energy to make the most of the calories it does get. This WILL happen when you hit that “danger point” for YOUR body.

This fact has been studied and studied. In fact, you may have already experienced this phenomena: You’ve been cutting your calorie intake by 500 calories a day so that you lose 1 pound per week (500 calories/day x 7 days = 3,500 calories =1 pound) and at first it worked like a charm but suddenly you hit a plateau and the weight loss is less and less each week. Frustrating isn’t it? The simple and hard fact is, your body is just not built to follow such a simple equation. There are so many more variables to consider.

Bottom line – You have to EAT to lose weight safely and effectively. Not too much and not too little…confusing right? Weight loss is a tricky equation but ultimately there is no magic pill or extreme diet that can replace simple healthy eating at regular intervals that corresponds directly with your personal needs. Because all calories are not created equal (an issue I will discuss in the next part of this series), it is critical that your body is getting the nutrients it needs to do basal metabolic tasks. Add in exercise and personal physiological circumstances and there certainly is a lot to think about. Yes, what AND how much you eat aren’t the only factors!

Current research is telling us the best way to keep the body in an optimal state of metabolic bliss is to eat smaller more frequent “meals” throughout the day. There is research to suggest that even small calorie deficits within a single day may alter our metabolism in ways that have negative effects. While the ultimate goal is for the body to burn stored energy, we have to always keep in mind the fact that we don’t want it to enter starvation mode either.

So now you’re wondering how to strike the perfect balance between calorie consumption and energy expenditure aren’t you? Great! Check back next week for my next installment looking deeper into how to set proper weight loss in motion.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for a way to track, check out our nutrition journal at 411.com.

Read Part 2: Food Journaling Matters a LOT by clicking here.

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Top 5 Tools Every Personal Trainer Should Have In Their Pocket

By: Briana Boehmer, 411Fit.com

Photo c/o DrJimiGlide

Providing successful fitness programming is not just a matter of dumbbells and crunches.  When we talk about providing a meaningful service to our clients that produces tangible outcomes, personal trainers know it comes down to much, much more.

With the fast paced and ever evolving world of fitness, there is a lot to wade through when it comes to finding the proper tools and resources to effectively work with your clients.  And the truth – it’s only going to get more confusing.  Technology will continue to evolve and research will continue to be done.  Yet there are still “staples” that every personal trainer should have available no matter what new fancy gadget comes to market…here we review the top 5 in no particular order:

Educational Resources

This can come in many forms but having a solid educational foundation you can tap into is extremely important.  As with any industry, you need to keep yourself on top of current research, trends and protocol.  The best way to do this is take advantage of all the continuing education and resources your certifying body provides.  You chose their organization for a reason!  Top on our list: NASM, ACSM and NSCA.


Constant Communication Systems
Now more than ever, your clients are inundated with all sorts of information pertaining to their health and fitness. The more involved you can be in their progress/goals to guide them in the right direction, the better they can navigate on their own when they really need to. Of course we like 411Fit’s Coaching Edition best to track client nutrition/exercise and receive up-to-the-minute alerts and reports on their ups and downs!


Social Support
This has many meanings all tying into the same overreaching concept: people respond to support.  Make sure you have a network of peers within the health/wellness industry that you are constantly learning from and make sure your clients have a network of peers they can relate to as well. Find blogs online that support your own (or your clients) goals such as:

Motivation

Everyone wanes from time to time on his or her motivational level. It’s important to stay upbeat and energetic for your clients. Find articles on the web like, LiveStrong’s How to Motivate Personal Training Clients. Or, hire a personal coach to help you stay motivated. Even a quick google search for motivational quotes, videos or stories can provide a quick uptick in your energy. Don’t forget to keep case studies and testimonials from personal clients to remind you why you do what you do!

Organized Client Tracking/Management

Training clients involves much more than just providing a workout.  It involves periodized, individualized and calculated training with a purpose.  The days of paper logs and spreadsheets have been replaced with robust tools that help you better track and communicate with your client so that you can help them succeed.  One of the many strengths of the 411Fit Coach Edition lies in better client tracking and management.

While the five items above are foundational to creating a meaningful client-trainer relationship and growing your reach, don’t forget the biggest asset you have – YOU.  Make sure that all of the tools above work to create a better platform for YOU to bring your value to your clients, peers and industry.

A Year From Now You’ll Wish You Had Started Today



By: Guest Blogger Mary Moran

I’m thrilled to have been asked to join 411fit.com‘s bloggers and I look forward to helping motivate and inspire YOU because I know that you will do the same for ME!  Together, we can do this! And I can GUARANTEE you that no matter how much you have to lose – whether it’s 10 lbs or 110 lbs – if you start to make small changes in your life today, you’ll be SO glad you did!  Just imagine where YOU could be in just one year from now!

July 2008

For almost my entire adolescent and adult life, I’ve begun each new year saying “I want to lose weight.” I’d try for a month or two but then get frustrated with the process when the weight didn’t come off fast enough, thinking, “This isn’t working!”  I’d end up disappointed with myself, feeling as though I failed…yet again. What I know now, but failed to realize at the time, is that the only “failure” was having given up!  Weight loss is not a race and EVERY ounce lost was a step in the right direction!

I began the journey to re-claim myself in 2009 when I declared it to be “The Year of Me!”  I finally sought help for the extreme upper back pain I’d been dealing with for four years after it had gotten so bad that I was having visions of a wheelchair in my not-so-distant future. I was given a diagnosis of Myofascial Pain Syndrome, which is a chronic condition that affects the fascia (the connective tissue covering the muscles) and to help alleviate the pain, I was told I needed to strengthen and stretch my muscles.  Apparently the years of general inactivity and sitting at a desk job had caused weakness.  But deep down I knew what nobody – not even my doctor or physical therapist – was willing to come right out and say… that being 100+ lbs overweight was not helping me.  
In fact, it was hurting me – literally!

August 2010

I started to workout sporadically on my own and then signed up for my (former) company’s wellness plan with Salus, Inc. in Delafield, WI, run by 411fit.com’s own Briana and Michael Boehmer.  I was pushed beyond belief, gained confidence in my abilities and became extremely strong in a relatively short amount of time!  I felt better than ever but despite working out intensely 4-6 days/week, I’d only managed to lose 12 lbs during 2010. It was a loss, but come on…a ONE pound per month average?  With as much as I was working out, it should have been coming off MUCH faster.  Michael and I joked around a lot but during one discussion about my food journaling (or lack thereof), he looked at me and calmly said, “You know what you need to do.”  I knew I was standing in my own way.

January 2011 – 55 lbs lost!

Two months later, after a long discussion with my sister, Laura, we decided that we would begin Weight Watchers together.  We were both ready to make changes in our lives and that meant getting the food under control.  We went to our first meeting on January 11, 2011 and it was one of the best things that we’ve both ever done for ourselves!  My average loss has been slow but I have learned many things about myself along the way. I have been extremely reflective during my journey and I am focusing on finding balance and making true changes in my life that will not only help me get to my goal, but ensure that I stay there once I do! Am I glad I started a year ago?  Absolutely!  
Just look at the difference!

Like you, I am going through this journey right now.  I’m well acquainted with the negative self-talk, the embarrassment and the excuses that come with being overweight.  I have lived with the doubt, the struggles and the damage it does to your confidence and self-esteem on a daily basis.  I’ve heard the whispers and the assumptions of laziness or “simple” lack of willpower.  Oh if it were only that simple, right?!  I’ve had to listen to well-meaning people who’ve never had a weight problem lecture me on how I should go about losing my weight.

But, more importantly, I know what it feels like to start to believe in yourself again and I know what it feels like to have had that “click” in your brain that says “I AM worth it!” and “I don’t belong in this body any more!”  I also understand how important it is to have the support of someone (or thousands of others!) going through the same thing and/or with someone who believes in you…even when you don’t.

So if you’ve been on the fence…or you need a gentle push back into action, go to www.411Fit.com today and register. It’s free for individuals. Start today!

If you’re a trainer or a health coach, 411Fit just launched a new coaching dashboard to help you track your clients more easily and with greater interaction. The best part? They’re offering 45 days free! Click here to learn more or sign up today!

10 Reasons You Need 411Fit’s Coaching Edition

  1. Charge more for your services
    Offer your clients a high touch service 24/7 where you monitor and track their progress. 411Fit’s Coaching Edition is inexpensive and yet creates value for clients that they are willing to pay much more for.
  2. Train more clients in less time
    Using 411Fit’s innovative alert system, reporting capabilities and sharing mechanisms; you can train more clients in less time. This means more money in your pocket.
  3. 24/7 coach-client access
    On average you may only spend 1 to 3 hours a week face to face with a client. Using the Coaching Edition you can be with them for the other 165+ hours a week, monitoring their progress and providing them with immediate feedback.
  4. Build stronger relationships
    Constant interaction with your clients allows you to build stronger relationships and a more loyal customer base. Your clients will view you as a PARTNER in their fitness journey…not just another coach for hire.
  5. Make your clients more successful
    Your client’s success is not just a reflection of you and your business; it is a powerful marketing tool. 411Fit allows you to customize your coaching and provide the most powerful part of your business – your expertise 24/7.
  6. Differentiate yourself from your competition
    The capabilities of 411Fit’s Coaching Edition have been developed by experienced programmers over 8 years. When you use the Coaching Edition you are different because you are providing your expertise using a set of unique tools that far exceed other online systems today.
  7. Promote your company brand
    Your clients will have access to all the amazing tools that 411Fit provides for individuals – all branded with your logo. You look professional and project value that attracts and keeps clients.
  8. Expand your business
    411Fit is built not just to help you coach more individuals in less time; it is built to help you do the same for the coaches you employ. Manage and monitor all of your coaches no matter where they are located.
  9. Create new opportunities
    411Fit’s capabilities work not just for one-on-one relationships, but also for groups. Create more interactive programming by giving groups of individuals your enhanced attention. Just another way 411Fit helps increase the number of clients each coach can manage.
  10. Happy, cared for clients
    When your client knows you are there with them every step of the way there is no better feeling. Happier clients stay longer and refer often…making you a sought after and highly visible coach!

Start Your Free 45 Day Trial Today!

Are you ready to take your client interaction to the next level? Our tool was developed to enhance your coaching, personal training, nutrition counseling, fitness center programming and client resources. Get started now- it will take about 5 minutes to set up an account and it’s completely free for 45 days. NO credit card required! Click here to get started!

411Fit Member Blog: The Start of My Transformation

By: Denise Simpson

In August of 2010 I stepped on a scale and was blown away because it said I was 491 pounds. All I thought was, ‘I weigh almost 500 pounds.’ So I made up in my mind that it was time for me to do something about my weight.  I started “watching” what I ate. In my mind, I wanted to lose weight but little did I know that I was starting a journey called  “transformation.”

My name is Denise and I am 40 years old. I am a social worker and therefore, since I can remember, I have always been a “help” to others. When I got on that scale, I realized that I had to help myself.  I am happy to report that I currently weigh 382. As I reflect back on the transformation journey thus far, many thoughts come to mind.

First, it has not been easy.
Every day, I wake up and know that there are certain things that I cannot do and certain things that I must do. Eating right and exercising are two things that I must do. What I cannot do is get discouraged. My biggest struggle has been exercising. Growing up I played soccer, but then I switched to playing instruments. So exercising was not something that I made a point to do. However, today I can say that I look forward to my workouts. As recently as last week, I actually had to reframe my mind. Instead of being concerned with how long my workout is, I just work out. This reframing has helped me tremendously because I was consumed with making it to 45 minutes or 60 minutes of exercise. Ironically, now that I am focused on just working out and moving, I’m hitting those times more easily.

Second, who you have on your team of support is critical because let’s face it, we all need support.
Your team may start off small, but one person can be that lifeline that keeps you in the race. I have found that my team is not made up of the people I originally thought it would be.  Without my team to share and talk with, I don’t know what I would do. I stumbled upon the 411fit website literally by accident, but I know it was on purpose. I love it and I am still getting used to logging my day.  Being able to see what I have done and the progress I have made is very beneficial. I also enjoy blogging because it is a level of accountability. I like to encourage others who are also on this journey.

Third, a person has to realize their self-worth.
This has been very eye opening for me. I was clearly wearing a mask for years. After taking off my mask and looking at my issues, I am happy to report, my masks have all been thrown away.

I will be blogging weekly for 411Fit as I continue to use the site to help with my weight loss goals so that you may follow me on my transformation.  I welcome your support and feedback!

(411Fit Note: Denise is a tremendous motivation within the 411Fit community and we are glad she found us!  She interacts with members regularly through our member blogs and member forums as she continues her journey.)

Don’t Be A Fitness Casualty

Top 5 Secrets To Start and Maintain Your 2012 Exercise Plans

By: Briana Boehmer

The first two months of the year my health club is JAM PACKED (and I mean it!) with people exercising like it’s their job.  Then March hits…and all is back to normal.  Same regulars – no hustle and bustle.  The yearly question rears it’s head – why is it so hard to stick to our well-meaning goals?

My take on this never-ending phenomenon – we set ourselves up for “failure” before we even start.  When we peek into other aspects of our lives, take finances for example, we find that proper planning and paying attention to our personal circumstances is critical.  So why, oh why, would it not be the same when it comes to health and wellness goals?

If you’re sick of starting your fitness regime over and over again, follow these 5 key tips I tell all my clients to take very seriously.  If you do, you will find it VERY hard to quit!

  1. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.  Be realistic with where you are at and what you should be changing.  One of the biggest mistakes I see people make when setting up a new exercise routine is trying to “do it all”.  Not only is this dangerous, it is in most cases very counterproductive in relation to your end goals.  Please heed this advice; there is value in gradual change.  True habits are formed with careful consideration and dedication.  Taking goals in incremental steps ensures you actually learn a new habit that sticks.  Little changes turn into big successes.
  2. Create accountability.  Top on my list for successful behavior change!  When you are accountable in a MEANINGFUL way to someone or something you are more likely to feel a greater sense of responsibility toward what you are doing.  Find a friend, family member, group, coach or even on-line support that will help you stick to the goals you have set.  Tell your accountability source what your goals are and give them specifics on how you need help!
  3. Journal your activity and progress.  411Fit knows that when you journal your exercise and nutrition (meaning actually WRITE IT DOWN!) you are without question more likely to lose weight, gain fitness, and make behavior changes.  Knowing what you are doing helps you clearly see where you need to go.
  4. Make it fun.  Sure, seems obvious.  We don’t stick to things in life when they aren’t fun. When you enjoy what you do, change is easy.  Given the proper oomph, you can make anything fun…see our blog about fun ways to exercise … but more importantly take a look at what you enjoy!  Then decide how you can turn what you enjoy into a healthy habit.
  5. Enlist SMART resources!  Fitness software that is easy to use and easy to find!  Tools like 411Fit help provide a huge chunk of what I have laid out here.
    – Guidance on appropriate goals that aren’t too big to chew
    – The ability to create accountability with friends, a community, and experts
    – Journaling
    – Challenges, reports, a social network…so much fun to be had!

Believe me when I say change doesn’t have to be hard…we usually just make it harder than it has to be.  Set yourself up for success and be one of those gym regulars.  Come on! Prove me wrong come March!  We would love to hear from you and what you have done to stick to YOUR goals!

Goal Accomplished – Now What? Keep Up. Don’t Catch Up.

By: Katie Mattson

Photo c/o: B Rosen

So you feel like Rocky on top of the steps, pumping your fists into the air and jumping up and down. Goal accomplished. Cue the credits. Job well done! But as the glory fades, as you begin to descend those steps, sometimes you’re left with a huge question: ‘Now What?!?”

Who are you? How did you get here? Maybe you’ve just met your goal of 2 miles. Maybe a marathon. Maybe you’re at your goal weight. No matter what the scenario, your vision of where to go next is no longer clear. What happens now? You probably feel like you are beginning again, and in a way you are. But don’t discount what you’ve already accomplished. Keep a mental (or a tangible) timeline of what you’ve done. All of that was necessary for you to be here today. It’s just simply time to re-center and regroup. How do you go about setting a new goal?

First, check in with how you feel.

Be honest about how you feel with your accomplishments and create a clear perspective regarding the choices you have moving forward. Are you overwhelmed with decisions? Or are you staring at a blank slate? Are you excited, nervous, confident? Are you frustrated? Once you identify what it is you want to move past, it becomes your next goal. Only by understanding that you must maintain where you are and understand how you feel about it can you move forward.

Second, assess your options.

No one is without options. No one is without choice. We simply feel lost in the journey sometimes. One of the answers I hear most often from my clients is, “I don’t know.” Truth is, you do know. It just feels like too much work to dig up the answer. Whether you’re feeling overwhelmed with decisions, or at a loss with where to go, write out all the possible directions you have available. A marathon? Yoga certification? Vegan diet? Even write down the ones that don’t interest you. There is valuable information to be drawn from your interests, so write down options even if they don’t seem feasible or feel unrealistic.

Third, exercise choice.

All too often we allow our decisions to be made through inaction. Remember that it’s still a choice to let the chips fall where they may, or to wait long enough for the opportunity to pass. Don’t let this happen to you. You’ve worked hard to meet your goal. Take advantage of the progress you made so you can keep up…not catch up. When you eliminate some choices it will clear your head about where to go next by creating space to focus only on possibility. Mark off any item on your list from above that you don’t feel pulled toward.

So, now you only have opportunity on your list. Which is progress from the uncertainty you began with. Create a new list containing only opportunity. Now, pick out those items that seem unrealistic, but oddly exciting. Why do they excite you? How would that direction create happiness? Keep this realization in mind because before now it was an unconscious desire. Now that it’s conscious, work with it, ask for it and expect it to show up moving forward.

Fourth, create a new script.

Action infers accomplishment. Accomplishment is only attainable when you know what you’re working toward. Otherwise, it’s just a blind stab in the dark. Think about the variables that need to occur to move you forward. What vision do you have for the future? How will you measure whether a path is acceptable for optimum growth and happiness? Once you are clear on the answers to these questions, you can begin to move forward with your opportunity list.

Arrange your opportunities in order of most attractive to least. Which ones attract you most? Who can you talk to for more information? What research is needed? What questions do you have? As you get answers, gauge whether it fits into your vision. If it doesn’t, mark it off and move on to your next opportunity.

Stepping forward will feel awkward at first. Beginning new is always a daunting task of unknowns. But you’ve already been there once. That is how you got where you stand today. Begin again. Shift your perspective back into a state of curiosity and feeling. Remain open to suggestions, outside help and gentle nudges. It doesn’t have to be a lonely path of discovery. You can ask for help. Your answers are closer than you think they are.

What is YOUR first step forward from here?


Momentum Coaching‘s mission is for each of us to energize the moment we’re in. As owner and professional coach, Katie Mattson energizes her clients to stretch their boundaries, deepen their awareness and indulge in life. She coaches individuals and small groups around topics such as: building confidence, career and life transitions, shifting perspective and stepping into new experiences.