Category Archives: weight loss

Two positives don’t beat one negative – The weight loss saga

Two positives don’t beat one negative

If I asked you, “what is one positive change you can make in order to reach your weight loss goals”? I’m sure you could think of at least three or four. “I could drink more water”, “I could get an extra workout in this week”, or a big one, “I’m going to start eating breakfast”. But what about if I asked you to list off the negative choices you are making every day that are holding you back? “How much time you got?” might be your response. It’s so much easier to talk about the changes that we know we should make, then it is to talk about those things that we are doing and maybe have been doing for a long time that we know (or maybe don’t know) that we shouldn’t be doing. It’s much easier to think about the positive things we could do to “counteract” the negative choices we are so used to making.

I’m guilty myself of eating something, or doing something with the forethought of, “I’ll have this extra cookie and just work a little harder in the gym tomorrow”, knowing full well that, that isn’t how it works. It’s in our nature to indulge ourselves. It feels good to treat ourselves to something. However, when that treat becomes an everyday occurrence, that treat becomes the negative that’s holding us back.  I’ve had the “what’s your focus this week” conversation with many of my clients. We focus on eating breakfast, drinking more water and eating more veggies. But what we never talk about is those little “dust bunnies” in the dark corner or under the rug that are sabotaging their success (hint hint to my clients ;). These truly are the habits that are holding you back and habits are hard to break. The phase “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission” pops into my head when I think about this.  So let’s shine the light on those little things that we choose to overlook and realize that they really wont’ be that missed once we see the changes that they are getting in the way of. Maybe it’s that “left over” Easter chocolate, or that “little” bag of cheesies, or that “small” bowl of ice cream during your favorite show before bed. Let’s acknowledge these things and work them out of your routine. Now here’s the hard part; I don’t want you to replace these little habits with anything, just get rid of them. If your goal is weight loss, Calories are king, and at the end of the day if you’re are taking in more Calories than your body uses in a day, boom, weight gain. Or at the very least, not weight loss. So here’s my challenge to any of my clients reading this and to you as well; make a list of 5 things that you are doing that you know you shouldn’t be doing. Now this might be tough and that is kind of the point, but be as honest as you can. Then pick one that you know you can avoid or not do 90% of the time for two weeks. Then write yourself a note, something like; “I will not eat (or buy) any cheesies for the next two weeks” and put it everywhere you can think of to remind yourself. If the problem is that it’s already in the house (ie Easter Chocolate), get rid of it! It’s a fact that if you have food in your house you WILL eat it eventually. Take it to work, take it to your kids sporting event, throw it away if you have to. Make the choice and get rid of it. What’s more important, your health, or getting your money’s worth out of some chocolate?

Now I’m not saying to not focus on the positives or totally forget about them. If you can fill up your water bottle and have it close by and drink it more, fantastic. However, don’t use the positives as an excuses to ignore those things that are actually holding you back. If you want to see change, and I mean for real, forever kind of change, it’s time to start being honest with yourself and your choices, because in the end, adding two positive will never beat the one negative that is holding you back.

Thanks for reading everyone.

Matt

www.kingcobrafit.ca

5 ways to keep your steam this New Years

Well it’s that time of year again. The time of the New Year’s resolution. And for those of us in the fitness industry to score on jokes about all new face that will be in the gym for a couple of weeks until people fail and lose steam and things get back to “normal”. It’s such a sick, predictable cycle that really isn’t that funny. It’s tragic. We are in the middle of an epidemic of obesity and disease and we need to focus on keeping people coming to gym, not waiting for them to quit.  So with that in mind, here are some tips to help keep you going and moving forward on your journey to health and wellness:

  1. NEVER FORGET, IT’S A JOURNEY

Whether you want to believe it or not, your resolution is a journey, so think of it as such. In fact, it is the greatest journey you will most likely ever experience in your life. You will have highs and lows, but when you hold your hands in the air when you have reached a goal there is no better feeling. So stay focused.

2) BABY STEPS

There is something in our culture that tells us that we are capable of anything that we want and we can have it right now if we just do all the right things. And this is true, to an extent. However, if you are starting out on a new journey, it is very easy to get carried away and bite off more than you can chew. Take it one step at a time. Don’t commit to working out 5 days a week when you know in your heart of hearts it will be tough to get in more than twice. It feels much better to over shoot a goal than come up short. Be realistic and set yourself up for success. Choose no more than one or two things that you can do 90% of the time. Nail that one down and then add on.

3) YOU WILL FAIL, BE READY FOR IT

We all get so discouraged when we come up short. Like it’s some big surprise and we are the only losers to fail at something. But at some point we all will miss the mark. It’s how you respond that will determine your success. If you get disheartened and negative when you slip and give up on yourself you will never succeed. It’s natural to be disappointed, upset or even angry when things don’t go according to plan, but suck it up, this is life. Pick yourself back up, show yourself some compassion and forgiveness and start again. Remember, it’s a journey.

4) SURROUND YOURSELF WITH LIKE MINDED PEOPLE

If you are trying to quit drinking but all of your friend’s hangout at the bar, you better find new friends. If you are working to lose weight, get more fit and be healthier but you are the only around you who is committed to making that happen, guess what, you will fail. (I wish you all the best and if you succeed in this situation, I’m over the moon excited for you, but you aren’t setting yourself up for success). Now I’m not saying you have to ditch all of your friends, but what I am saying is make sure the people you spend your time with know what you are trying to accomplish and are willing to support you. But also, have a look around at the gym you go to. Statistically 80% of the people there are in the same shoes as you and might be looking for the same support.

5) HAVE A PLAN

It is so easy to flounder and feel totally lost when you are trying to reach a new goal but aren’t sure what to do to reach it. There are many options out there to help you find success. (Shameless plug 😉 The MY Body Transformation Experience is one of those options. Through the MBTE you will be provided with Professional help, Accountability and Community to reach any weight loss goal that you have. You will be working side by side with others that are working towards similar goals through an Experience that includes; professionally designed and lead group fitness classes, a consultation with a registered dietician, 21-days of meal plans for your specific calorie needs, group and one on one support meetings with professionals in the field of health and change, food journaling and feedback and regular check-ins to see how you are progressing and what, if any, changes need to be made. In short, you will be provided with a plan. A no gimmicks, no fad, proven and sustainable plan that will teach you how to maintain a healthy and fit body for the rest of your life!

There are so many people out there that try every year to reach that one goal and fail. The fitness industry is getting rich off of these people. What if this year is the year that you succeed? What if this the year that you end the cycle? It isn’t as hard as it seems and you don’t have to do it alone. With all of the people striving toward the same goal, there is no reason for any of us to come up short. Visit www.kingcobrafit.ca for details on all of the services that we provide to help you set, plan for and reach this year’s resolution.

Best of luck and Happy New Year. Enjoy the journey, be realistic, stay vigilant, keep your circle tight and find a plan. You can do it!

Thanks for reading

Matt Kingstone

Power to the Partner – A Key to Successful Change

Power to the Partner

 Quite often change is hard. This is especially true if that change is “difficult” in nature. I can’t think of a better example of a “difficult” change than adding healthy decisions into your routine. Beginning an exercise routine, making better food choices and choosing to be active on a daily basis are the best changes any person can make to improve their quality of life. However, these changes can be very hard.  Exercise isn’t always fun (I know, shocking), especially if you are trying to  do it on your own  or are trying to follow a routine out of a magazine. And really, if you are the only one in the room, who’s going to know whether you eat those veggies or not? Well if you do it right, your partner will.

I have been in the fitness industry for a while now and have watched countless New Year’s resolutioners come and go. Every year the army of people who want to change or improve their, Health, fitness level or body composition come marching in the doors of whatever gym I’m in at the time. And more often than not, even in the first week, that army decreases in size substantially. The harder someone comes out of the gates, the shorter their march to success. That is a rule that I have become used to, not to mention frustrated by. There are exceptions to every rule however, and I would like to give you a few examples of some New Year’s Revolutioners who were able to remain successful. And if the title of this post is any clue as to what each example has in common you know where I’m going with this. And you know what you can do to help yourself be successful.

#1 The Dude effect

I work on the Navy base here in Victoria as a Fitness Instructor, and I have the privilege of working petty closely with many of the members of our Forces. And believe it or not, Fitness New Year’s Resolutioners exist there too. At the start of this year we had a trio of guys start to come to our Fitness classes, in fact they were coming 5 days a week! They attend a high intensity bootcamp style class three day per week, a spin class twice per week and a flexibility class twice per week. Flex and spin happen back to back. As the rule stands, that should have lasted at most two weeks, well it actually should have been less considering the gusto with which they came out of the gates. However, here we are, mid-march and the same three guys are going strong, in fact they have recruited a couple of friends that now come with them to many of the classes. If one doesn’t want to come, the others “drag” him along and vice versa.

#2 The Van

I also run my own Personal Training and Fitness Coaching business here in Victoria (King Cobra Fit Personal Training). I always do my best to ensure that my clients are getting what they need from our sessions, are seeing the changes they expect and if I’m doing my job right, having fun while they do it. This is how I retain my clients, but sometimes having fun isn’t enough. There are close to 10 ladies that I have had the pleasure of working with for, some of them, close to two years now. They come to at least two group sessions per week and some come to three sessions per week. One of the services I launched this year is the MY Body Transformation Experience. This is a body composition change Experience that focuses on long term changes by providing support with Fitness and Nutrition as well as the Emotional aspect of this life change. One of the ladies participating in the Experience shared that, she has attempted similar changes before with only an average of two weeks of success, but at the time of our meeting it had been 8 weeks and she was still on track and working hard. I asked her what she attributed the extended success to this time. Her answer was “the van”. You see, two to three times per week, One of the ladies drives to each of the others houses and picks them up to come to class. Every week they drive to the gym together, sharing how they are feeling or commenting on the workout that day or the meal plans they have received, or whatever other topics a group of ladies speak about that a trainer isn’t privy to. Over the last year in fact, they have had to add a second vehicle to get everyone to the gym. Again, when you have a group coming to get you, you had better be ready when they get there, or you’ll get a honk.

I’m sure I don’t have to spell it out, but the point is, both of these successful groups have one thing in common and that is built in, friendly accountability. If you know that there are others counting on your support and your comradery, you are far more likely to show up, period. On the other side of that coin, if you know that there are others going through the same experience with you and they are there to support you, you can draw strength from this kind of interdependence.

Now I’m not trying to tell you that you can’t do it alone, there are some parts of the journey that must be walked alone. However, starting a change can be scary, especially if you are trying to do it alone. So, if you would like to make a change in your life, and it is something that you can share with a friend, do it, your chances of success go up dramatically.  One of my clients used this Woody Allen quote the other day and I think it rings true here.

90% of success is showing up.”

Having a system for you and your friends to follow is another important key to your success and is a topic for my next post.

As always, thanks for reading and until next time

Matt Kingstone

King Cobra Fit

21Days Later: A Challenge

21 days later: A Challenge

 Over the last few months I have extended 21 day challenges to my clients. Statistically it takes 21 days to create a habit, so the idea was to challenge them to focus on one thing for 21 days that may otherwise be a behaviour that could be neglected. I have also taken up the challenges and the experience has been an eye opening one.

To date the Challenges that I have laid out have been A) To drink 8-10 cups or 2-2.5L of water everyday B) To eat 6-8 servings of veggies every day and the latest challenge C) To be mindful of your self-talk and if you notice it going to the negative side attempt to put a positive view on it. The latter I believe to be the most difficult so far.

It is quite shocking though, how focusing on something as simple as drinking enough water in a day can prove to be more difficult that you might think. Now I won’t pretend to be some 21 day guru and claim to have met all of the challenges so far with ease. To be honest there have been some days with all of the challenges that I have failed miserably. But I really think that the awareness of failure is a win in and of itself. The whole concept is to bring attention to healthy behaviours that can have a positive impact on your health and wellness. The process of realizing that work has to be put into certain areas to improve your health and wellness is huge step. Much can be learnt from failure. And the biggest lesson to be learned is not to give up. Just because you’ve had one bad morning or day or week for that matter, there is always time to turn that day around.

Another part of the challenge is to identify road blocks, things that have kept you from meeting your daily goal. Once we pinpoint things that get in our way we can set in motion steps to combat them. If you realize that when you forget you water bottle at home your water intake takes a kamikaze nose dive, then you know that you need to ensure that you don’t forget your water bottle. Sometimes just saying “I won’t forget ever again” just isn’t realistic, so maybe stashing a few bottles in key places that you spend your time would also be a good idea. Some challenges are more difficult for some than others. A number of my clients had no problem with the veggie challenge. That one by the way was a difficult one for me. I found having veggies pre-cut and ready to go was my key to success. However, that takes a considerable amount of work to stay on top of. But that is the whole point, eating my Canada Food Guide recommended 7-8 servings of veggies every day is something that I need to do in order to maintain optimal health. So meeting that goal should be a must and I need to change my priorities around to ensure that I meet it.

Where do your priorities lie? What’s important to you? If you identify something as being important to you, figure out what you have to do realize that ‘something’. Set yourself one manageable goal to accomplish it and do it every day for 21 days. Be aware of what is causing you to miss the mark now and again and be proactive to turn it around. When you reach your goal or are successful with your own 21 day challenge, reward yourself. Treat yourself to something that you want or need as a pat on the back. Just ensure that your reward is something that doesn’t set you back. If your goal is centred around weight loss for example, rewarding yourself for a pound or two change on the scale with a piece of cake or a sweet treat may not be the right message to send yourself. Perhaps instead try a massage or a trip to the spa, something that is positive and makes you feel good.

Remember, this is your life and it’s yours to control. If there is something that you want in your life, go get it! If it seems too big to think about, break it down to small changes or challenges to turn into habits. Just don’t forget them once you’re through your 21 days. A new habit still takes nurturing. And if it doesn’t feel like a habit, chances are it isn’t and you still need to work on it. Focus and determination are keys to success. We won’t always be successful on the first or even the fourth try, but if we keep trying we can never truly fail at something. Chins up, Eyes open, keep pushing.

Thanks again for reading everyone, see you next time.

Matt Kingstone

King Cobra Fit

Metabolism or Mentality?

It’s been said to death, “you have to workout in the morning, it kick starts your metabolism”. This is true. Being active early in the morning does get your body working and burning calories right away. However, does this mean that it’s a waste of time to exercise in the evening? Absolutely not! A few years ago had the pleasure of working with a number of people in a group setting with the goal of weight loss. In a particular scenario, they were all given a very similar nutrition plan to follow. As a rule, the clients who attended the morning classes saw better “results” than the clients who worked out in the evening, (ie weight loss, see my blog “when will I see results” for more on this topic). I have seen the disappointment in the eyes of clients who are unable to workout in the morning when they hear this. I would like to offer another reason for the success of the morning trainers that can be employed by evening exercisers to aid in their success.

Perhaps rather than focusing on the boost to the metabolism that morning exercisers see, the focus should lie with the mentality that they leave the gym with. If you drag yourself out of bed at 5 am to make it for a 5:30 am workout, you are more inclined to first, eat breakfast because you start off your day with a workout and will probably be hungry. You will also most likely not want to waste your hard work from that morning so your choice at lunch will be better. Once dinner time rolls around, again you will make better decisions because you have spent the whole day with health and fitness on your mind. Now if you put yourself into the mentality of a person who gets up at “normal” time, 6-8 am, goes to work all day, comes home and changes, maybe eats and then goes to the gym or fitness class, it is much easier to have self talk that sounds like, “I’m going to workout tonight, I can eat this”, “I’ll just have to work extra hard tonight to make up for this”. If fat loss is your goal, nutrition is 80% of the battle. I’ll say that again, if your goal is fat loss, nutrition is 80% of the battle. If you are not training in the morning it is much easier to skip breakfast, strike one. If you are not starting your day off with health and fitness being a focus, your choices at lunch or throughout are more likely going to be poor, strike two. And if you are planning on working out in the evening, this makes dinner choices more difficult and may lead you to making the “easy” choice, which is not always the best choice, strike three. There you go, three strikes before you even step in to the gym and your first bead of sweat hits the floor.

The ability to reach your goals lies in small choice over the course of the day, day in day out. There is not one secret trick that will make you lose the weight you want to loss or the changes in your body composition come any faster or easier. It’s about what you are doing right now and what you will do in the next hour or two that make the difference, not what you did yesterday or what you are going to do tomorrow, it about right now. Stay in the moment of the journey of your reaching your goals. Ask yourself, “is what I’m doing right now going to help me or hurt me in achieving what I want?” I truly believe that as long as your goal is realistic you can do it. YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE TOO. Exercise or be active whenever you are able, eat breakfast, and keep your goals in front of you, not in the back of your mind. I BELIEVE IN YOU.

Thanks for reading

Matt Kingstone

King Cobra Fit

My guide to Weight Loss (It’s Nothing Crazy)

I take my clients goals very seriously. I try to give them all of the tools that they need to make the choices necessary to reach those goals. Hearing any of my clients say that they aren’t seeing the results that they were hoping for, is by far the most stressful situation that I have experienced so far as a trainer. I pride myself on providing challenging, functional, fun and educational fitness classes and sessions that lead to results. This is what my philosophy revolves around, and if it doesn’t work then my philosophy is flawed. That is what stresses me out. Like butterflies in my stomach and keeps me up at night kind of stress. Fat loss is by far the most common goal of any of my clients. This is the hardest one for me to ensure happens. Getting a client stronger, faster, moving better or performing better in an event, is easy compared to guiding a client through a weight loss journey. There is so much information out there regarding fat loss, some of it good, most of it bad and confusing; I take for granted that my clients are doing everything right when we are not together. One of the hardest parts with this is that many of them are legitimately trying. Following programs that they have found on line or that are provided by an App on their phones or sticking to what they remember working in the past. The problem with this is many of the programs on the internet or found on apps are not nearly personalized enough to provide the weight loss that they are looking for. I encourage you to read my blog “When am I going to see results”, I talk about the need to focus on more than just weight loss as a “result” of healthy lifestyle choices. However, I realize that weight loss is a very important goal for some people, and it can have medical implications for some. So with this in mind, I wanted to provide a guide to weight loss (should be called fat loss). Here are six basic general rules to follow that, if you follow them at least 80% of the time day in day out you will see the results you are looking for. No gimmicks, no fads just truths.

Strength train.

The best calorie burner your body has is muscle. The best way to build muscle is to strength train, period. The idea here is that the more lean muscle mass you have on your body, the more calories your body will need use to just sustain life. Now don’t for a minute think that because you have the goal of adding muscle mass that you will get “bulky”, this will not happen, especially if you are a female. Getting “bulky” isn’t so easy that you can do it unintentionally. But you have to lift heavy to cause your body to feel the need to add muscle mass, so don’t be afraid to use more weight than you’re used to, but can lift with correct form. I generally build in at least one “strength” day a week into my programming for my clients.

Sweat every day

If your goal is weight loss, working out 2-3 days per week is not enough.  If your goal is weight loss, working out 2-3 days per week is not enough. Just like you need to make smart food choices day in, day out, you need to make physical activity a daily priority as well. Sweat every day for at least 30 minutes. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy; go for a hike, play with the kids, ice skate, power walk, play squash or racquet ball, anything. The key is, use your body. You spend 2-3 hours a week with your trainer building strength, mobility and endurance, what good is it if you don’t put it use. Enjoy what you can do today that you couldn’t do yesterday!

Eat 

This is the hardest concept for most people to comprehend. If your goal is weight loss, and you are being physically active, a huge reduction in daily calorie intake won’t work. If you are not fueling your body to recover from your workouts then you are doing yourself a great disservice. There are many different philosophies out there when it comes to eating. The best one that I have found, that works for almost everyone, is also the most difficult. It’s not difficult because you have to eat gross tasteless foods, or do some crazy juice fast to start it off or even go for long periods feeling hungry. It’s difficult because you have to eat; you have to eat more food than you think. “Grazing” is a concept of eating every 3-4 hours starting with breakfast no more than an hour after getting up. Three main meals a day; Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner with small snacks between at least breakfast and lunch as well as lunch and dinner. Eating breakfast is very important. It triggers your metabolism and tells your body that food is abundant and that it can use its own fat stores for additional energy without concern of a famine. Continuing to eat throughout the day reinforces this concept and will help your body to be comfortable with letting go of stored body fat. This is where I have an issue with “Apps” that tell you how many calories you have to eat in a day. Does that app take into account what physical activity you did or are going to do that day, or what you did the day before?  If you are serious about losing fat and changing your body composition for the rest of your life, then the changes you make have to be sustainable and realistic and work for you. Put down the app and make an appointment with a nutritionist or dietician who you can speak to face to face and work out a meal plan that works for your lifestyle, your likes and dislikes and your longevity. They are worth the investment if you are serious about making a change. Food is by far the most important step in any health, weight loss, vitality goal, don’t half ass it, take your needs to a subject matter expert, you’ll be shocked with the difference that it will make.

Drink

Water is the nectar of life. It will make or break any healthy living strategy including weight loss. Drink plenty of water. I really don’t think I have to say much more about this one. 2 or more litres per day is a good start.

 Sleep

The time that you spend in the gym is the time you spend doing “damage” to your body. You are forcing it to do things that it is not used to doing. You are causing it to say “holy crap! What just happened? I’d better add some muscle so that isn’t as hard next time”.  It is while you are resting, relaxing and most importantly, sleeping that your body does this. Aiming for 7-9 hours of sleep every night is tough. Believe me, I know. I get up at or before 5 am 5 days a week. As a 30 something male, it’s hard for me to force myself to go to bed before 9 pm most nights. But let me tell you, if I’m up past 11 pm more than a couple days in a row I’m useless. Sleep and recover, allow yourself time to recharge. You will see the changes in your body composition, energy levels and mood.

Own your choice

If you truly want to see results, I mean really want it, you have to prove it. Not to me, or to your kids or the friend that is helping keep you accountable. You have to prove it to yourself. If you make a decision to change, do all the way. Own the choice to make the change. Losing 20 – 50 lbs of body fat won’t happen on its own or overnight. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to take work. You’ll have ups and downs, hold on to your successes and let go of your failures. Dwell on your victories not your defeats. Part of owning your choice is giving it enough time to show you results, if the result isn’t what you were hoping for  after a few weeks or a month, make one small change and keep going, giving up because what you are doing isn’t ”working” is not owning anything. You spend 2-3 hour a week with your trainer, you spend 24 hours a day with yourself, following all the rules is up to you. Make the choice. Trust the process. Do it. Live it. See it. Own it!

Putting it all together

Ok so here it is. If you add muscle to your body, causing your body to need to use more calories in a day to just survive; If you are active every single day for at least 30 minutes, using your new strong body, enjoying life and burning calories without even thinking about it; If you get guidance from a nutritional expert and feed yourself enough healthy, nutrient rich food so that your body can recover from your workout as well as be convinced that there isn’t a famine and that it can sacrifice stored body fat; And if you can do it all with conviction, passion and trust, I can guarantee that you will see all the results that you have ever hoped for. If one of these is missing  or lacking, you will not see the results that you want. Make your focus the journey not the destination and you will be there before you know it.

Thanks for reading

Matt Kingstone

King Cobra Fit Personal Training

When am I going to see results?

This is the most valid and important question that any of my clients can ask me and it is also my least favorite question. Not for any other reason than it’s the most complicated question that my clients can ask me. I can give you a reason for every exercise, body position and tempo that I choose for you to do during a workout, but I can’t give you a straight answer for why/why not or when your body will burn body fat for fuel and you will start to lose weight. In a world where 1 + 1 = 2 and everything we want is at the touch of a button, the concept that 2 or 3 hours of exercise per week doesn’t translate into 1 Lbs of fat or weight lost on the scale is a very hard thing to wrap your head around. I will attempt to make sense of this confusing subject.

First of all, I think a little biology refresher is in order and I will try to keep it short and concise. Your body is made up of bone, adipose tissue (fat) and muscle. Of those three, muscle is the only one that uses the “energy” that you either eat or that is stored in your body as fat.  This means that the more muscle you have, the more energy your body needs to use to just survive, even just lying in bed (known as your Basal Metabolic Rate). Now, in order for all of your hard work to translate onto the scale you need to balance your food “energy” books, so to speak. The idea being that the energy that your body uses to just survive plus the energy required to do all the things that you fit in throughout that day; working out, going to work, taking the stairs, chasing the kids…..whatever you do, needs to equal the amount of food (“energy”) that you eat in that day or be greater, so that your body is now in a calorie deficit (the only time a deficit is a good thing haha). If this is the case your body will have to “tap into” it’s stored fat (energy) to make up the difference and voila, weight loss. I hope that makes sense. To say it another way, some scientists tried to put hard numbers to this situation. The math tells us that 3500 Kcal (the units that we measure food energy in) is equal to one pound of fat. So, if we spread that over seven days in the week, all you need to do is cut out or burn using activity or a combination of the two, 500 Kcals per day to reach one pound of fat lost every week. Easy right? Well if it was easy I wouldn’t be writing this. You must remember that your mom was right, you are unique.  All of your life’s experiences as well as your genetic make-up is what decides how, when and from where your body will “burn” fat and in turn, lose weight. It is also important to note that muscle weighs more than fat, as it is more dense, so it takes up less “space”. It is quite common for someone to trade out fat for muscle thus not showing a change on the scale. Is your head spinning yet? Are you still reading? I hope so, because knowledge is power, and knowledge with regards to your goals is the best way to reach them!

Ok, so forget about the math, forget about the Basal Metabolic Rate, forget about calorie deficits, let’s just call it what it is, Energy in Vs. Energy out. If you are using more energy than you are eating in a day then that can translate into weight loss. If you find that you have been training for a few months and are neither losing nor gaining any weight, that’s tells you that you are in an energy balance and if weight loss is your goal, a few small changes to the amount and/or type of calories you are eating may be all it will take to put you into a calorie deficit. So putting yourself in my shoes as your trainer, I hope you can now appreciate the complexity of the “when will I start losing weight” question. It’s not that I’m trying to use double talk to confuse you or keep stringing you along to keep you as a client while not providing result, my industry is based on “results”. It’s just that there isn’t a black and white answer to that question.

So where do we go from here? First, I really encourage you to read my blog “The 80/20 Rule of weight loss”; it speaks about how important your nutritional choices are to weight loss. And second, I firmly believe that we need to broaden our definition of “results”. If you are noticing that; your clothes fit differently, the stairs at home or that stupid hill you have to walk up to get to work is easier, or people are saying “wow, you look great. What have you been doing?” but the scale is not moving, are you not still seeing results? These are what I call the intangible tangibles and they are the things that we need to hold on to the strongest and loosen our grip on the scale. Every time you get to bring the belt in one notch, or notice that you are walking to work faster or have more energy in the day or get a complement, celebrate it! Find your way to make it a big deal. Seriously, buy a bag of gold stars and put one up every time one of those things happens; put a quarter or dollar in a jar (if I had a nickel for every time, blank, happened, I’d be rich), something to pat yourself on the back. You are doing this for yourself, but if you are only using the scale to quantify your “results” you are missing the point. I’m not saying never weigh yourself, but I am saying don’t obsess over the scale. If you are going to weigh yourself, make it once a week and try to make it the same day/time and scale every time. Trust and enjoy the process. Remember, it’s not the destination that defines us, but the journey itself.

Thanks for reading

Matt (King Cobra Fit)

The 80:20 rule of weight loss

This post may catch me some flack from the training world. But honesty is where the truth lies, so here goes…..

How many of your friends have you heard say “I got a trainer, he’s going to help me lose all this weight I have to lose”? Maybe you’ve said it yourself. Or how about, “I just started working out. I’m going to get so shredded!” I hate to burst your bubble, or your friends bubble but your trainer isn’t all powerful or all knowing (even though we like to think we are). And without a dialed-in nutrition plan, you will not see the results that you want.

The 80:20 rule of weight loss is a widely accepted, albeit not scientifically supported, concept stating that 80% of weight loss is controlled by diet and 20% by exercise. In other words, to get the results you want in your weight loss journey, you have to ensure that you are feeding your body correctly. The right choices, the right amounts at the right times. Here’s where I catch flack, most trainers can’t or won’t but more importantly, shouldn’t give you nutritional counseling. Its not that your trainer is keeping all the best tips to him/herself, but without certification in the nutritional counseling field, its out of your trainers “scope of practice” and they could be held legally liable if something goes wrong with your eating (allergic reaction, disruption in medication etc). More than that, would you take advice from your dentist about the best drill on the market because he was just drilling your teeth? No, you’d go to the hardware store, to the subject matter experts. Nutrition is the same deal.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there is no substitute for a good trainer (what makes a good trainer will be the topic of another post). A good trainer will push you to be your best, provide you with a personalized progressive program and help you reach fitness goals you never thought possible. This will help you get stronger, feel better, be healthier and impact your life in ways your never thought it would. There’s nothing I love more than seeing clients reach strength, endurance and fitness goals. But without adjusting your nutrition, you will see hard, minimal amounts of weight loss. I’m not trying to rain on any parades but proper diet and nutrition are essential to weight loss. There is another “but” coming… But don’t fret or be discouraged, in fact, having this knowledge is a good thing. There are plenty of sources out there that can give you all the information that you need to make the right choices. However, in all honesty, YOU ALREADY KNOW WHAT TO DO! Cut out the processed “fake” foods. No more Coke, no more McDonald’s (I don’t care how healthy they say it is). Eat 6-8 servings of veggies, drink lots of water. I realize that its a little more complicated than this but its not really rocket science and those few changes will make a world of difference. This is your chance, educate yourself about food. You have to make choices about what you eat all day, everyday. Every choice you make will impact your success or failure. There are nutritional counselors and dieticians out there that went to school to learn about food and how our bodies react to it. Make an appointment with one today.

You are with your trainer for a few hours a week. You are with yourself every minute of every day. You can do it, every choice matters, take it one meal at a time, one training session at a time and one pound at a time. You won’t regret your hard work. You will regret putting it off any longer.

Thanks for reading!

Make that treat your bitch!

The secret to making any diet or healthy living plan successful is longevity. It has to be something that you can maintain. With Halloween having just passed us by, leaving a trail of candy wrappers in its wake, I feel that it’s important to have a strategy in place to allow yourself to enjoy this time of year without feeling guilty. It’s also a great dry run for Christmas; a time of year where food is the focus of many events that you’ll attend. If you love a sweet treat now and again, but feel like you’ve just committed a capital offence by eating it then you are not allowing yourself to enjoy everything that a holiday has to offer and are setting yourself up for failure. Sweets are good, and I would argue that they are good for your mental well being….in moderation. But they are only good for you if you saver every second while eating them. If you’re just chucking them in your mouth with no mindfulness, you are abusing them.

One of the best strategies I’ve heard for allowing yourself to enjoy the odd treat at festive times of the year is to actually ENJOY them. If you’re having a mini chocolate bar, A) make sure that it’s your favourite and 2) see how long you can make it last. Saver every second each little bit is in your mouth. Make it a special occasion all of its own. I put a question out to my Facebook followers (King Cobra Fit) asking what their favourite Halloween candy is and one of my clients said she loves the mini coffee crisps and she loves to eat them layer by layer. That is a great way to eat them. Find a way to enjoy your treat. Own the decision to eat it. Make that treat, whatever it may be, the best treat you’ve ever had. This will maximize your enjoyment and will help stave off your craving for it. I know it sounds weird but it’s true. If you absolutely enjoy your treat you will feel satisfied and it will be easier to say “no thank you” to another one. Just be sure that your serving size is not ridiculous, not a whole cake, just a small slice, and enjoy every morsel of it. Remember, OWN the decision to eat it, its your choice, you don’t have to eat it, so make it worth it.

Thanks for reading

Matt

(King Cobra Fit)

Don’t be a fair weather exercsier

Well, its that time of year again. It’s rainy, it’s snowy, and it’s cold. What are going to do to keep fit and healthy? Bad weather is no excuse to sit on the couch and remember the good ol’ days when we could do whatever we liked. Just like vegetables, fall has its fair share of seasonal Physical Activities. This is by far not an exhaustive list, just a few ideas, please feel free to add more in the comments section.

Running is always an option, now I’m not a runner, that I will fully admit. However, I have enjoyed running now and again and the cooler temperatures mean you could be slightly more comfortable while keeping your pace up there. A few things to keep in mind; just because you may not sweat the way you did when it was 25 degrees out, you still need to hydrate, keep that water coming in; also, layers make all the difference, base/wicking layer, warm layer and water proof layer, but make sure you are breathable; lastly, mind your footing, the ground could be slippery, make sure you have good shoes.

If you’re like me and dislike running (hate is a strong word), don’t fret, there are plenty of options. Spin classes are a great way to challenge your cardio while being in a group atmosphere. Remember, stay within your comfort level, it’s your workout, don’t’ feel pressured to crank the tension up because everyone around you is. However, don’t be afraid to challenge yourself a bit too. If it’s your first spin class, show up a bit early and let the instructor know, ask them to help you get set up on the bike and take a few minutes to play with the tension knob and get comfortable on the bike. Don’t worry, the seat is only a pain in the butt for the first few classes, it gets more comfortable the more you go, I promise.

What’s that? You don’t want to be in a room with a bunch of people, you prefer to be outside. How about kayaking? If you live here on the coast, you’re going to get wet anyway, why not have fun doing it? You can rent kayaks right down by the water for reasonable prices. One tip, rent or buy a wet suit, this will help you stay a little warmer and keep you focused on the scenery around you. Oh yeah and the ocean life! Seals, whales, fish, birds, prepare to see nature like you’ve never seen it before. All distracting you from the crazy sweat you’re working up.

Cross country skiing is another great option. Some of the highest VO2 Max records are held by cross country skiers. With-in 5 minutes of doing it you’ll understand why. There are so many trails and Nordic centers around that you’ll never get bored. Again, you can rent all the necessary equipment from the Nordic lodge and if you like it, there are plenty of people looking to get rid of their gently used equipments as they have purchased new stuff. Also, just like running, layering is the way to go to stay warm and dry.

These are just a few options that there are to keep active in the fall/winter months. Hit the weight room; go for a swim; squash/racquet ball, just to name a few more. Get out and try something new. Remember, just cause its crappy outside, doesn’t give you a free pass to blow all that hard work you did when it was nice out. Keep at it and have fun!

Thanks for reading

Matt Kingstone (King Cobra Fit)