Monthly Archives

September 2018

How to Set Weight Loss Goals After a Summer of Fun

By | Interesting Articles

Goal setting is an integral part of everything we do.  Without goals, we are on an unknown path without any direction. When it comes to losing fat, setting short-term and long-term goals are great stepping stones to get you where you want to be.

LET’S SET GOALS!

Setting goals the right way will also help you achieve success.  Here’s how to set S.M.A.R.T.E.R goals:

Specific

You want to be very specific when setting goals. Instead of saying “I want to lose weight”, say “I want to lose 10lbs”.  Why is being specific so important?  Without specifics, there is no real target.  If you quantify your goal, it’s much easier to visualize and measure your success.

Meaningful

This is the “why” in your goal setting.  When your goals have a deep enough meaning to you, you are much more likely to push through barriers to achieve success.

Achievable

This doesn’t mean you can’t shoot for the stars.  We challenge you to shoot for the stars!  But shooting for the stars is for the long term.  Each short-term goal needs to be achievable in order to bring you to that long-term goal. For example, saying you want to lose 10lbs in 2 weeks isn’t a very achievable goal.

Relevant

Goals should be relevant to what you actually want. If your core values contradict your goals, you will just find yourself getting frustrated.

Time Bound

Set an exact date for when you plan to achieve your goals to make your them measurable and help you stay accountable.

Evaluate

By evaluating your goals on a regular basis, you will be much more likely to achieve them because you’ll be reminded of your goals daily. Use cues, reminders and reflection to stay focused.

Readjust

Speed bumps in the road are inevitable. When something isn’t working for you, it’s important to readjust your methods to continue moving forward instead of throwing your goals out the window.

It’s important to set up rewards for reaching your goals. Celebrating with rewards is a proven way to create excitement and motivation to reach your goals. Without rewards, there is little incentive to work towards your desired goal. Rewards can be intrinsic; for example, peace of mind that your workout this morning contributed to a healthier you. Rewards can also be extrinsic; for example, more muscle definition from your workouts.

Now let’s look at an example of an S.M.A.R.T.E.R goal put together:

My doctor said I need to lose about 40lbs due to some health concerns. Living a long and healthy life is important to me for a number of reasons, so I will take what he said seriously. I want to lose 40lbs over the next year. The deadline I set is April 15, 2018, which means I need to lose 3.3lbs every month. In order to remind myself of the goals I have set, I will write my goals on post-it notes and put them in spots where I will frequently see them (bathroom mirror, fridge, dashboard of car etc). I will weigh myself every 3 days to make sure I am moving forward in the right direction. I know that healthy eating and portion control is the most important contributor to my fat loss, so this is what I will start working on first. If I fall into a rut or get stuck, I will look at other methods or I will seek professional advice on how I can make other lifestyle changes. Intrinsically, my reward is the satisfaction in knowing I am working towards a longer life.  Extrinsically, my reward for losing 40lbs is a trip to Mexico for a week.

If you need help setting your own S.M.A.R.T.E.R goals, get in touch with a Momentum Fitness Coach today. With their help, you can be well on your way to living a healthier, happier life and achieving all of your fitness goals.

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The Importance of Sleep for Exercise

By | Interesting Articles

When it comes to exercising, sleep can play a huge role in how your body functions, grows and changes. Having a good night’s sleep is a crucial part of your health routine. So if you don’t have healthy sleep habits already, here are some best ways to quality time with the Sandman.

The science behind sleep

There’s some debate on how long the right length of time for an adult to sleep is. The two major theories are 8 hours each night, or five sleep cycles each night. Each sleep cycle lasts about 90 minutes, beginning with NREM (non-rapid eye movement) and ending with REM (rapid eye movement). NREM sleep is a light sleep and gradually deepens during the cycle. Each sleep cycle ends with a period of REM sleep, where activity is high, and dreaming occurs. This is when you’ll have your best, deep sleep. Either way, you should be aiming for approximately 8 hours of a good, solid sleep each night.

Why is sleep so important?

Of course we know that sleep is important for our health. Our alertness and mood are the primary things that come to mind if we’re lacking in sleep. But did you know that sleep is important for regulating the central nervous system as well as your brain function? Sleep also affects the immune system – for example, people who sleep less than five hours are nearly five times more likely to have a cold than people who sleep for seven hours a night. So, the more you sleep, the better your health.

How does sleep impact exercise?

Sleep is the time where the concentration of growth hormone (which contributes to muscle growth and repair) in the body is at its highest. So if you’ve been exercising, whether through strength training, cardio exercise, or something, it’s key to get a good night’s sleep and let your body do its job to strengthen and repair! Not to mention, a lack of sleep can affect strength and power, energy stores, and increase your risk of injury.

How can I get better sleep?

We’ve done our research, and found these to be the best ways to get a better night’s sleep. Why not test these out yourself tonight, and see if you get a better night’s sleep?

  • Avoid stimulants after lunch, like coffee or pre-workout drinks
  • Avoid drinking any fluids during the hour before you go to bed
  • Practice a relaxing routine before bed. Think of it this way: we give our kids a bedtime routine to calm them down and get them ready for a good night’s sleep, so why shouldn’t we do this for ourselves, too?
  • Shut off your screens an hour before bed
  • Turn your thermostat down to a cool and comfortable temperate
  • Try to maintain a consistent time for when you go to sleep and when you wake up
  • If you’re having trouble falling asleep, try following a guided meditation on Youtube or the Calm app.

 

The Truth About Fat Loss

By | Interesting Articles

When it comes to fat loss, we tend to want results fast, if not immediately.  This leads to fad diets, crash diets, elimination of major foods, or expensive supplements.  As we’ve mentioned in our previous blogs on fat loss, this isn’t an effective method for fat loss, and for so many reasons! Calorie deficits are a proven method for long-term and sustainable success with fat loss. If at any point in your journey you feel like you need more guidance, you can contact one of our Coaches for a reliable and knowledgeable resource to help guide you in the right direction.

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Calorie deficit cautions

But how do you know how much of a calorie deficit is best for you?

Too much of a calorie deficit (also known as a crash diet) is actually detrimental to your success.  By reducing your calories drastically or for too long, your body will go into “defence mode”.  An inevitable reaction is for your body to slow its metabolism. This is because your body gets confused. It doesn’t know what a diet is, it just knows it’s not getting enough energy to support energy requirements, thus slowing down processes in your body to stay alive.

The other issue with too much of a calorie deficit is that you are most likely to be starving yourself, resulting in being undernourished and putting your body in danger. Let’s look at the example below to understand why:

Stacy and Jeff both want to lose 2lbs per week. 1lb of fat equals 3500 calories, so if they want to lose 2lbs per week, they would need a weekly calorie deficit of 7000 calories. Broken down over 7 days, this would equal a deficit of 1000 calories per day.

Deep diving

If Stacy’s maintenance calories per day were 1800 calories, by being in a daily calorie deficit of 1000, she would only be able to eat 800 calories per day.  Not only is it hard to live off of only 800 calories per day, but it would get pretty darn boring eating only celery and lettuce.

Smooth sailing

If Jeff’s maintenance calories per day were 2800 calories, by being in a daily calorie deficit of 1000, he would still be able to eat 1800 calories per day.  This is much more manageable, still giving him the opportunity to have regular meals while providing his body with the energy it needs.

So it’s clear that a safe calorie deficit is different for everyone.  In general, losing 0.5% to 1% of your weight per week should be okay for most people, and this should always be coupled with regular exercise. We recommend consulting a doctor or a professional for advice on what is safest for you.

Have questions? Contact one of our Coaches to get your answers and find out what you can do to start your journey today!

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