Friday, November 19, 2010

Andi's Healthy Advice

Thanksgiving Fitness Tips!
So how are we supposed to get through the holidays without causing weight gain? Here are seven effective ways to get yourself ready to beat the holiday bulge.

1. Buy clothes that fit right now. This first tip might be a bit pricey, but it's a great motivational aid in staving off weight gain. A new addition to your wardrobe in a size that shows off your summer body can be all you need to prevent those extra pounds from creeping on. Imagine that beautiful holiday dress or great pair of pants, then imagine being unable to zip them up thanks to sugar cookies. Yeah, no one wants that. So before you begin the festivities, go buy yourself something perfect to wear to your parties and hang it someplace visible, so it serves as a constant reminder. Perhaps on the TV where you play your workout videos, or in front of that treadmill that might be starting to collect a little dust in the corner, or on your refrigerator door . . . that way, if it doesn't fit quite the same way the next time you try to slip into it, you know it's time to get back to work.

2. Keep exercising. Most fitness trainers will tell you the slowest point of their year is between Thanksgiving and New Year's. Sure, their clients schedule workouts with the best of intentions, but then they cancel them for parties and gift shopping. It's hard to remain balanced when you have a million things to do and gifts to buy. Yet the greatest gift you can give yourself is to stay focused on your fitness goals and get your workout in. Shopping getting in the way? Do it online and save some time. Parties getting in the way? Just show up later. Who cares if everyone else is a couple of cocktails ahead of you? You'll be healthier, and you won't have to worry about the embarrassing YouTube videos in the morning. Just stay consistent, even if it's inconvenient. You'll be much less likely to look like Santa (both belly-wise and red-nose-wise) at the end of the month.

3. Eat before parties. Most holiday parties don't focus on low-fat, low-calorie refreshments, so unless you're organizing the event, the best damage control is to show up with a full tummy. Make sure you eat your meals and snacks throughout the day, and try to eat a healthy meal before attending any party. If you're going straight from work, prepare a healthy and filling snack to eat on the way. You'll be a lot less likely to swim in mayonnaise dips and pigs in blankets if you're full.

4. Get junk out of the house. The majority of people don't get into the car at midnight, drive to the store, buy the ingredients for cookies, bake them, and then stay up to eat them. But if those homemade cookies that Linda in accounting made for you are already on your kitchen counter, you better believe you'll find a way to justify it. Frankly, at 12:30 AM, after a rotten day, for most of us there's nothing like a few cookies to drown our sorrows. The secret is to get the enticements out of the house. Send them to work with your significant other, donate them to a bake sale, regift them to your 100-pound friend with the perfect metabolism, or just dump them in the trash. Linda will never know. If you have holiday dinner leftovers, box them up for your guests individually and send them home with them. If your family still sends you that Pepperidge Farm cookie assortment, invite a bunch of people over for a pre-party party and serve 'em up before the drinks. Don't be more wasteful than you have to, but get the less-than-healthy temptations out of your reach.

5. Offer to prepare healthy fare. This suggestion won't be well received by those of us who'd rather spend Thanksgiving sitting around watching football than toiling in the kitchen, but if you do the cooking, you have the control. Your family could have a tasty and satisfying meal without ingesting thousands of calories and fat grams. The way the turkey is prepared, the type of stuffing, how vegetables are made, whether the cranberries are real, and countless other things can make or break the healthiness of a meal. 

6. Choose wisely and proportionally. Something occurs during a holiday meal. It's like a Las Vegas buffet—we feel like we have to eat some of everything. We feel almost like those foods will never exist again, and this is our last meal on the planet. This year, why not try to eat only your favorites, as in two or three items, and keep the portions to the size of your palm? If you're still hungry, try to fill up on veggies (preferably ones that aren't drowned in butter or cream-of-mushroom soup). If you want dessert, lean toward a small slice of pumpkin pie (220 calories) as opposed to pecan (a heftier 543), leaving out the hydrogenated nondairy whipped topping if possible. If you're going to have an alcoholic beverage, go with a flute of champagne (100 calories) as opposed to that rum-laced eggnog (with more than four times more calories, at 420). Just a few wise choices will save you a ton of calories, and probably a significant amount of heartburn as well.

7. Don't beat yourself up. Quite possibly the worst thing you can do is beat yourself up over a bit of holiday indulgence. Yes, it does stink to backslide after working your tail off. But sometimes it doesn't stink as much as dealing with your mother when you turn down her brisket and potato pancakes. Sometimes, we don't have time to go to work, buy a Christmas tree, decorate it with our kids, make dinner, oversee homework, tuck kids in bed, and spend an hour exercising. We can only do our very best. Mentally berating yourself will only make you feel worse, which never helped anyone get back to their fitness program. So if you happen to gain that one extra pound this holiday season, be part of the rare group who actually follows through with their New Year's resolution and manages to shed it again. A week of hard work and a slight calorie deficit should do the trick. Resolutions don't come easier than that!

Andi Ramser
Beachbody Coach

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I think I have mentioned before that I have started taking daily vitamins. So, I wanted to take a minute to let you know what I have decided to take, and why.

I bought one of these things so I can keep it my purse and if I dont remember first thing in the morning, then I have it with me all day!

1. Small white pill - B12 -  to boost energy level, and speed up metabolism
2. Large white pill - Potassium - I take this for muscle cramps. I will get muscle cramps in my legs at night that go up through my feet. This has really helped reduce that pain
3. Large yellow pill - Multi-Vitamin - Everyone should take a multi-vitamin for nutrients we don't get in our daily food intake.
4. Large Dark pill - Omega 3, 6 and 9 
     - 3 - efficient functioning of the brain
     - 6 - help with bloating from PMS, maintains healthy skin, hair and nails and generally helps to bring about hormonal and emotional balance.
     - 9 - reduce the risk of arteriosclerosis, cardiovascular disease and stroke
(here is a good source for all things about Omega 3, 6, & 9)
5. 2 brown pills - Metamucil - Fiber for regularity.

Monday, November 15, 2010

30 Day Shred

 I have decided to start the Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. I debated back and forth as to what I was going to do since my BBL had ended. And since I already had the 30DS, I decided to just pop it in and see how I do. I may end up doing some BBL videos here and there when I get "bored" of doing the same thing day after day, but we will see.
"After" pic from BBL. I realized I never took a "before" and this isn't a good pic.
Who says you can't break a good sweat in 20 min!

So, Day 1 done. I'll keep you up on my progress (and any changes I may make).

Friday, November 12, 2010

BBL Review

I have finally completed "30" days of the Brazilian Butt Lift. It took me longer than the 30 days because the last week I was just not there. Things have been crazy around our household with G being out of town, and then us going out of town together, that I didn't get to complete it as fast as I wanted. BUT! I completed it about 5 days later, so not too bad.

All in all, I really like the BBL. It is definitely different from your regular fitness videos and has fun music to go along with it.

There are 5 different videos that you use in various combination's, depending on the "schedule" you choose. I chose to do the Classic version. Here are a list of the vids:

1. Bum Bum - the signature workout. Kind of a fun dance video that really focuses on your butt area
2. High and Tight - more strength training for your butt area
3. Cardio Axe - the dance work out of the bunch. You learn a short routine to really get you sweating
4. Sculpt - The longer all over strength trainig video.
5. Tummy Tuck - abs video.

I like all of the videos. They are all about 30 minutes long, with the exception of the Sculpt which is 50 min. And the rotation is nice so you don't feel like you are constantly doing the same thing over and over.

I took my "after" measurements today and was happy with the results:
Chest – -1"
R. Arm – -.25"
L. Arm – -.5" (I dont know why they aren't the same!)
Waist – -.5" (Although, I am feeling really bloated today, so I am hoping this number is actually lower!)
Hips – -1"
R. Thigh – same
L. Thigh – -1" (again, don't know why they aren't the same)

So YAY! Down in the majority of areas. I think some of this is also because of the WW.

Now to decide what to do next - another round of BBL? Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred? P90X? New video (turbo fire, slim in 6, insanity)? I just don't know!!!  But I am liking the 1 month thing.

I haven't taken "after" pics yet, but once I do, I MAY post! Depends on if you can really see a difference.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Andi's Healthy Advice

7 great strategies for permanent weight loss

 1.   Exercise is essential for weight loss
It's nothing new, but exercise is probably the most important predictor of whether you will succeed at long term weight loss and weight loss maintenance. In order for exercise to be helpful in weight loss, you should strive for a minimum of five 30 minute sessions per week. The good news is that recent research has shown that three 10 minute sessions in a day are as good as one 30 minute session. This helps many in combating the old "no time for exercise" excuse. Be certain to find something you enjoy. You'll be more apt to stick with it. Once you give exercise a chance, you will begin to enjoy its positive benefits on your psyche as well; you will literally become hooked.

2.   Weight loss and weight training

I chose to list this separately from the "exercise" category because of the significant weight loss benefits attached to weight training in and of itself. The basic equation is this: the more muscle tissue you have, the more calories you will burn. This is why world class weight lifters must eat thousands of calories a day to maintain their weight. Muscle is active tissue, fat is not. Thus, muscle "burns" a significant number of calories each day for its own maintenance. While aerobic activity can help burn calories, muscle's where it's at when it comes to giving your metabolism a significant daily boost even at rest.

3.   Keep a diary for triggers that hinder weight loss

Keeping a food diary can be a huge asset in successful weight loss. Devote some time each day to record what you have eaten and how much, your hunger level prior to eating, and any feelings or emotions present at the time. A food diary can provide a large amount of self-awareness. It can identify emotions and behaviors that trigger overeating, foster greater awareness of portion sizes, and help you discover your personal food triggers. Study any patterns that emerge from your food diary and identify where you may be able to make more healthful changes. A food diary provides an added benefit of keeping you focused on and committed to your goals.

4.   Stay focused on being healthy, not on becoming thin

Many people become more successful at long term weight loss when their motivation changes from wanting to be thinner to wanting to be healthier. Change your mindset to think about selecting foods that will help your body's health rather than worrying about foods that will affect your body's weight.

5.   Weight loss and portion control

With the advent of "super-size" meals and increasingly huge portions at restaurants, our concept of normal serving sizes is a distant memory. Be mindful of the amounts of food you consume at a sitting. When necessary, divide your food in half and ask for a take home bag. It is all too easy to be a "plate cleaner" even when served enormous portions. Learn to pay attention to your hunger level and stop eating when you feel comfortably full, not stuffed.

6. Lose weight slowly with small changes

Try to remember that "losing 15 pounds in two weeks" is nothing to celebrate. It is important to realize that the more quickly weight is lost, the more likely the loss is coming from water and muscle, not fat. Since muscle tissue is critical in keeping our metabolism elevated, losing it actually leads to a decrease in the amount of calories we can take in each day without gaining weight. Fat loss is best achieved when weight is lost slowly. Strive for a weight loss of no more than 1-2 pounds per week. One pound of weight is equivalent to 3500 calories. By making small changes like eliminating 250 calories a day from food and expending 250 calories a day from exercise, you can lose one pound (of mostly fat) per week.

7.   Eating slowly can lead to weight loss

Did you ever notice that thin people take an awfully long time to eat their food? Eating slowly is one method that can help take off pounds. That's because from the time you begin eating it takes the brain 20 minutes to start signaling feelings of fullness. Fast eaters often eat beyond their true level of fullness before the 20 minute signal has had a chance to set in. The amount of calories consumed before you begin to feel full can vary significantly depending on how quickly you eat. So slow down, take smaller bites and enjoy and savor every tasty morsel.
An idea is to print this out, and keep it on your refrigerator as a motivator. A quick fix is likely to backfire at some point. Making changes over time and staying consistent in your dedication can help provide a lifetime of fitness and health. Hope everyone has a fantastic week!

Andi Ramser

Monday, November 8, 2010

Twinkie Diet?

Have you all seen this?

Twinkie Diet

I guess it just goes to show that we really do consume too many calories as a nation. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Weigh-in Wednesday on a Friday.

Yes, I realize it's friday and not wednesday. Do you ever have those days were things dont go how you planned so, you just kind of ignore it and move on?? Well that's pretty much what happened wednesday.

I totally did my weigh-in on Wednesday, but didn't like the fact that the number was still the same, so I chose not to do my post and hope for a better week next week. I know I know, not the way that is supposed to happen, but at least I am coming clean with it now.

So I was a little disappointed that my # was still the same, but glad, I guess, that it hadn't gone up. The last few weeks have been a little difficult in the WW department. With G being out of town for most of the week, I am just not keeping up like I should. Which is kind of backwards, cause you'd think I'd be doing better since I only had one mouth to feed. Problem is, I haven't gone to the grocery in a while. I really need to get there and get some healthy food for meals, especially dinner. I have still been eating breakfast everyday, usually in the form of a Fiber One bar. But I start to loose track of my "points" as the day goes on.

I am going to try my hardest to get back to it. I have too! I am still 3lbs away from my goal.

I am also in my last week of BBL!!! I must say, I can definitely tell a difference. I have had to refrain from actually doing measurements till monday (or whenever I finish) the last video. I am hoping there are some numbers changing!! (fingers crossed). I am kind of amazed that I have actually seen a transformation.

But now, I have to decide what to do next. I am loving this month by month program. It helps me keep on schedule and not get burnt out on the same thing. I am hoping to meet with Andi next week to figure out a plan. I am thinking about doing the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, but then again, I may to do a combo of running and P90X. G has stated he wants to maybe do P90X, so maybe I'll do some stuff with him?! I'll let you know!

*Shakeology review to come.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Andi's Healthy Advice - 2

Below is a list of questions I would like for each of you to think about this week. If you want some feedback on your answers, send them to me! Otherwise, really think about your answers to each question and be specific as possible. Spend some time honing in on what is important to you and why.

1. What are your fitness/health goals? To lose weight? To have more energy? To stay young/live longer? To look good in a pair of jeans? To run a 5k+? Write down anything and everything that applies here. Be specific: to lose 10 pounds, 20? Energy to do what? etc...

2. How important is it to you to achieve these goals? Really important? Don't really care? If not, why?

3. Who are you wanting to please by achieving these goals? Yourself? Your significant other? Class reunion coming up...impress others?

4. How do you think you'd feel about yourself if you could reach your goals? Obviously, pretty dang good, but do you think it could make you a more positive person? Give you the confidence you want? Visualize yourself reaching those goals, and try to think about what it would mean to you and how you might feel...write those thoughts down.

5. Are your goals realistic? Being the weight you were in high school was fine when you were 17, but now that you're an adult...maybe not so healthy. So make sure you are setting your sights on an attainable target. Also, if "to lose x amount of pounds in 7 days" is your answer, keep in mind that fast weight loss is more likely to be gained back and then some.

6. What do you feel has held you back thus far in looking and/or feeling the way you want? Do you even believe you are capable of achieving what you want? Do you have bad habits you can't seem to break? Don't have the energy to exercise? You know what your vices are...what are they?

Create a goal, know it, and own it. Dedication and must believe in yourself and your ability to achieve what you set your mind to, but you must commit in order to succeed. It also takes knowing what will work for you and your situation, and that is what I am wanting to help you with if you'll let me! If you're typically full of excuses, there are ways to modify a plan to work for your lifestyle. Again, I add that I am not a certified fitness expert, but I have educated myself and learned through experience and applying the advice I've been given by experts in the field. If you'd like to share your answers with me, feel free to send them to me. I may be able to "see" things you don't and help you get over the hurdle.

Please feel free to forward this e-mail to your friends/family who may be interested. Have an awesome week!

Andi Ramser
Beachbody Coach

Do you want to know more about the healthiest meal of the day?
Visit my Shakeology site or contact me!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween 2010

Just a quick post about Halloween.
G and I live on a street that goes all out for Halloween. Each yard is completely different and the decorating starts Oct 1st. We get tons of people walking up and down our street the entire month just to check out the yards. On Halloween night we get around 3000 kids trick-or-treating (this is not an exaggeration, we have counted). Needless to say, each kid gets ONE piece of candy from us, no handfuls. We ran out of candy at 8:45 this year, we started at 5. And there were still kids coming.

But here is our yard this year!!! The Haunted Luau!!!
I wanted it to be a little "scarier" but it gets expensive. G and I made the tiki's ourselves. He fabricated the form out of plywood and aluminum heating ducts and then I painted each one. I think they turned out great. Our yard looked really good when it was dark and our red lights were on and the tiki torches were lit.

And to go along with our yard, I was a hula girl and G (whom I don't have a pic of was a tourist with a "pig roast" on his head). I think we really made our yard.