Finding Community Contributes to Achieving Weight Loss Goals

By: Guest Blogger Laura Kinart

Hello everyone!!!!  Who is Laura Kinart?  Great question, sometimes I still don’t know  =)

I am a 32 year old mom of two and wife to one.  I was an athlete growing up; I danced, played soccer and also played softball.  I was always pretty thin and healthy at a weight of 125-135 throughout my high school years.  Then I went to college, and decided I didn’t want to play sports anymore and I stopped taking dance classes as well.  But I still wanted to be thin, so instead of eating healthy and going to the free gym that UW-Parkside had right there in my dorm, I started to follow some unhealthy diets.  My junior year in college I began the year being pretty much anorexic, I lost a lot of weight and went from a size 8 to a size 4 because I basically didn’t eat.  I didn’t want to “work” at losing weight so I just decided not to intake any calories.  At my sisters college graduation my mom took me aside and told me I was too thin (because while a size 4 might look great on some women, it made me look sick).  From that point on I knew I needed to eat.

But instead of adapting to a healthy lifestyle yet again, I just thought I needed to eat.  I was terrified to look sick again, so I ate, and ate…and ate.  In the period of about 3 years I went from 140lbs to 230lbs.  Then from 2007-2009 I had two babies and went up to my highest weight of 264, wearing a size 20 that was really too tight because I just wouldn’t buy a size 22.  I lived at that weight and size for about a year.

Then in 2010, I saw a picture of myself.  I was sitting there at 264lbs and felt horrible!  So I started working out and I was doing interval classes 2-3 times a week for about six months, but only lost 5lbs during that time.  That is when I realized that my problem was not burning the calories off….but bringing them in.  I wasn’t realizing how many calories I was really eating and why.

In August of 2010, I started working with a Personal Trainer and he had me doing some amazing workouts and watching what I was eating.  And then while I was running up a hill, I rolled my ankle and re-tore a ligament in it. I had lost 25lbs in two months and after I was injured, I gained 5lbs back.

In December 2010, I realized that if I didn’t figure out why I was the weight I was, I was going to die before I turned 60.  I wouldn’t be a grandma, or a great-grandma, heck I might even miss my kids’ weddings or college graduations. That was NOT okay with me. 

So I sat down and talked it out with myself, my husband and my sister.  I was completely honest with not only my family, but more importantly….myself.   That is when I realized that I have an addiction to food.  I love it too much!  I rely on it to help me when I am having a bad day…or a good day.  I use it in my life in so many more ways than just nutrition and that is when I decided I needed to tackle my addiction.  Watching shows on TV about drug addiction, I realized that the way I felt about food was the same way those people felt about cocaine or heroin; and it honestly scared me.

So I knew I needed to do something, and the only thing that I could think of was Weight Watchers.  I didn’t want a plan or diet that gave me the food to eat, because that wasn’t going to teach me a darn thing.  And on 1/11/11, with my sister as my partner, I started weight watchers to help me focus on the food and it has taught me so many things! I started 2011 in a XXL and finished in a medium!  I started 2011 at 244lbs (after losing 20lbs) and am now 189lbs!

I realized that this is going to take some time, I still have 50lbs I would like to lose this year, and that I need to be happy with each station in the process.  Am I at goal yet?  NO, but I am at a size I haven’t been in since 2004!!!!  I have to realize that the process will work if I am honest with myself, and that it isn’t a week to week process, it is much more than that.  And if I have a bad week, or even two in a row, if my average is still a loss, then I am still moving in the right direction. What I learned is that I need to forgive myself if I do indulge in something!  Because I cannot and will not be perfect 100% of the time, and that is okay!!!

This is a struggle, and it is a lifetime process.  But instead of looking at it as a burden, I’ve started looking at it as a blessing, because now I can help people who are in a similar place to where I was just last year.  And that is why I came to 411Fit.  I know I can be a part of a community of people working toward the same goals.  I am here to share my journey with you and hopefully you will share your journey with me.  Just like all the amazing tools within 411Fit to help you track and hold you accountable to your personal goals and progress, I can be a tool to help motivate you to keep it up!

Ready to start your journey with 411Fit? Register today!

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Part 2: Food Journaling Matters A LOT

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

By: Briana Boehmer

There is that saying…how does it go?  Oh yes, “KNOWLEDGE IS POWER”.  Of course, there’s also that little saying “ignorance is bliss,” but I’ll argue there’s nothing “blissful” about living in an unhealthy body.

In an extensive weight loss study, conducted by the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, the single greatest factor in weight loss shown by the 1,685 overweight and obese subjects studied was the number of days they logged their food in a journal each week.  Yep, you got it – Journaling was more important than regular meetings or even how overweight a subject was to start.  Subjects that logged their food 6 days per week lost twice as much weight as those who did not keep a food journal.  Certainly we can infer many reasons for this result, but researchers have found we just don’t realize how much we are eating!  Even when asking a degreed health professional or dietician, researchers have found they too underestimate calorie values!

Let me add one more twist:  All calories were not created equal.  Sure, a calorie is a calorie in the strict sense of the energy it contains.  However, how your body processes and utilizes carbohydrates, protein and fat vary greatly.  I will not go into different ways calories were not created equal just yet (you’ll just have to wait for the next installment!), but the point I do want to make now is that journaling will help you better balance the calories you are consuming.  Your body has distinct needs for all three macronutrients based on your own personal health and activity level.  Deficiencies or over consumption of any one macronutrient in many cases can have real consequences.

So what are the keys to journaling?

Consistency – Make it a habit.  You benefit most from journaling when you do it day after day.  An easy way to make it easier on yourself – journal throughout the day!  As soon as you eat something, take note.  411Fit’s mobile site makes logging your nutrition on the fly very easy.

Understanding portion sizes – Start at home by measuring what you are eating so that you have a better understanding of what a cup etc. is.  For a running start on understanding how to identify portion sizes, we like this WebMD interactive portion size plate: http://www.webmd.com/diet/healthtool-portion-size-plate

Don’t skip “indulgences” – Be honest with what you are eating.  If you have a “bad day” or go out to eat, do your best to write down everything you can.  The only way you learn is through awareness of your habits!

411Fit has worked very hard to create a food journal with a purpose to help with this critical component of healthy lifestyle changes.  When you go into 411Fit you have the ability to set your own personal parameters for calories (weight loss), macronutrients, hydration, exercise, health measurements and goals.  You then have your own personal grade each day that specifically matches what you are doing against what you told the system you WANT to do.  The closer to an A you are, the closer you are to the goals you set in the system.  With regards to journaling your nutrition, the grade alone is an easy way for you to see how “on track” you are.  That is YOUR grade!  Pretty cool stuff if we say so ourselves!

Whether you use a tool like 411Fit or simply a scrap of paper, start journaling what you are eating NOW!  You will be amazed at what this simple act will teach you about your health.

Read Part 1: You Have to EAT to Lose Weight 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.

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 Soon to Release New Coaching Technology

Making a Deeper Connection + Real time feedback = Real time progress

As a company committed to helping individuals and corporations reach their health and wellness goals, we are constantly analyzing what works and what doesn’t in personal training software, online nutrition journals and corporate wellness. It is very hard for individuals to discern what is best when it comes to better health – especially with all of the medical, fitness and diet related information in the media today. That is where the health and wellness professional comes in. Whether advice is sought from a coach, personal trainer, nurse, or doctor, people are looking for someone to decipher the code.

411Fit has found the biggest obstacles in getting the information an individual needs to make the right decisions are:

  • Proper access to health professionals.
  • Proper feedback as it relates to their own personal issues.

This is where the 411Fit coaching dashboard comes in. For the health professional, finding better ways to connect to a client is always needed.  Clients craves feedback and professionals craves meaningful health data. For the first time, 411Fit has created a platform that facilitates both needs seamlessly.

411Fit has created an innovative blend of education, tracking, accountability and reporting that allows health professionals to monitor and provide real-time feedback to  facilitate behavior change and goal progress.

For the Professional:
Using the 411Fit Coaching Dashboard as personal training software, professionals can offer 24-7 personalized service at a fraction of the cost. How do you know how well your client/patient is progressing with their goals?  It is often a combination of many factors, isn’t it? Professionals often manage exercise, diet, disease factors like diabetes, blood pressure, and weight. This new tool allows you to set guidelines, prescribe goals, and run reports to analyze how clients are doing and where they need help.

  • Minimize the number of systems you use for each client by consolidating all of your data into one, comprehensive solution.
  • Motivate anytime, anywhere – The beauty of an integrated, on-line, real time system!
  • Set alerts that fire when a client or patient falls out of acceptable ranges.
  • Have daily and weekly summary reports sent directly to your email for review.
  • Share training tips, exercise plans and nutrition advice – to just one client or to all of your clients.
  • Set goals and track measurements – Be specific about what you want  your client to work on and run reports daily and weekly to monitor their progress. 411Fit’s robust reporting features allow for quick and easy data analysis.
  • Use 411Fit’s proprietary grading system to quickly and easily see when a client or patient is doing well or poorly.
  • Communicate with your clients and share information, awards and motivational notes all with a click of a button.
  • Expand your client base by being able to reach more individuals in less time.
  • Create a library of plans that you can utilize across multiple populations.
  • Build stronger relationships by providing your clients and patients a truly personalized experience.

The concept: Prescribe in real-time and give real-time feedback – a level of interaction only surpassed by one-on-one contact. Using 411Fit’s robust nutrition and exercise tracker, individuals are able to follow guidelines set by their health professional all while their health professional monitors and tracks their progress. Clients feel a sense of confidence knowing you are on top of their health!

The 411Fit Coaching Dashboard will be released January of 2012. Questions? Contact us!

Sure, Overeat on Thanksgiving…But Learn this One Habit to Avoid

By Briana Boehmer

Sure, we all know eating too much has its implications. Let’s not dwell on the obvious. And we all know the saying “everything in moderation.” Clearly, Thanksgiving throws a big hand in the face of that one. However, have you ever taken the time to really think about what happens when you overeat? Have you ever wondered if there is more to it than meets the eye? Well let’s sit down with our nemesis overeating and see what we find when we dig into the facts…

The Good News
Your body is SMART. Oh yes, very smart. The key is to understand how the body operates, which at its purest level is survival. When researchers and scientists look at how the body reacts to various stimuli, the pattern is almost always linked to survival. Our body is wired to adapt to sudden changes in order to achieve balance or homeostasis as quickly as possible. In the face of a change in the norm, your body will do its best to counteract that change to create what it is used to. Case in point, if the only day I ever overeat is Thanksgiving, my body is going to do its best to take care of those calories and get “back to normal”.

The Rub
We never JUST overeat on Thanksgiving Day. The trend?…To overeat from Thanksgiving up to the New Year. It is this CONSISTENT overeating, albeit a short period of time, that wrecks havoc on your waistline. In a recent 2010 study out of Linkoping University in Sweden*, researchers found that short bouts of consistent overeating lead to long-term weight gain. While further research needs to be done, the study confirmed what we already know from years of looking at weight gain and loss – everything in moderation. One day of overeating a year – no big deal. One month of overeating – Houston, we have a problem.

The Take Home
Don’t beat yourself up over that piece of cherry pie or extra piece of turkey. Be more aware of what you are doing throughout the holiday season to keep your eating on track. Counter excess eating with regular exercise and see if you can aim to NOT gain weight during this most wonderful time of the year!

Ready to get fit? Visit 411Fit.com.

*Ernersson, A. Nutrition & Metabolism, Aug. 25, 2010

411Fit Provides Full Suite of Services for Wellness Professionals

By Briana Boehmer

When we think about the needs of health professionals in today’s ever-evolving health crisis, we don’t put our hands up in mutiny; we put our heads down and keep creating. The creators of 411Fit are passionate about making a lasting impact on the health of our world. We believe that everyone has the opportunity to live a healthier life with the right knowledge and action. This is where you come in.

Certified Personal Trainers, Health Coaches, Dieticians, Nutritionists, Doctors and other health professionals have a wide range of needs based on their specialties. Our mission is to bridge the gap for ALL health professionals putting effective tools in their pocket and making their job of educating the public easier and more effective.

We know there is still a big disconnect. You want to provide individual and corporate solutions but don’t always have the right tools to do so. 411Fit has worked hard to provide the missing link for ALL wellness professionals. The chart below highlights key aspects of 411Fit’s suite of services along with a comparison to the needs of health professionals.

411Fit is the first web-based application to provide tools to the individual, corporation, and health professional all in one.

  • An individual needs tools to help keep them on track, provide education and motivation, and ultimately see progress with their health and wellness goals.
  • Corporations need viable tools to create a happy and healthy workforce. We spend more time at work than we do anywhere else…if we are well at work that translates to being well in other aspects of our life.
  • Health professionals are our most personalized avenue to understanding and working on our health. At the highest level, health professionals can provide the missing link to reaching one’s desired level of wellness.

Use the chart below to fill out what areas you address with each client/patient. Compare the spaces that are missing with 411Fit’s offering.
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How would your capacity be enhanced if all of those services were available to you in one robust tool? Good news! They are!

Ready to get fit? Visit 411Fit.com.