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.

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.