Achieving your goals with greater success

                                               

   Here we are, almost 2 full weeks into 2018. The holiday season is officially over and most of us approached January 1st as a clean slate, feeling motivated to start fresh on the path towards our goals after spending the past 3 months in a nutritional and fitness downward spiral that we haven’t been able to shake since Halloween. We have our resolutions written down and we’re ready to get healthy and fit… this is our year; however, statistics show that over 80% of people fall back to their previous habits by the second week in February, especially with health and fitness goals. Breaking that down… Out of 100 people wanting to get fit and healthy in 2018, 80 of them will fall off by their fifth week. That’s a pretty significant amount and only 3 weeks away! So, what is causing so many people to fall off track?

   We approach the first day of the year with so much motivation and determination to make a change, yet there is little practical preparation involved and let’s face it, most don’t really have any idea where to start. We are so excited and want immediate change; therefore, we say “I’m going to work out 5-7 days per week (or as much as possible) and eat chicken, broccoli and brown rice every day” and then guess what happens? We are done within weeks, maybe we lost a few pounds of holiday bloat, but we are burnt out and can’t seem to have an actual breakthrough, year after year. I’m going to shed some insight on effectively breaking down your goal and where to start when it comes to creating (and keeping a rocking, healthy body).

  When trying to change your body, you must realize that it is a physical representation of the lifestyle that you live; therefore, if you want to look or feel a certain way then you must live your life as such daily. Many would agree that this makes sense. I mean… you can’t expect to look like a bikini model when you live like a couch potato. Am I right? Therefore, it takes more than just exercising daily to make the change. So how do you change your lifestyle? Your lifestyle is an accumulation of your personal 24 hours every day. What are you doing with your time? Well… the best way to figure that out is by starting a journal and logging your life for 7-14 days. This way you can see exactly what your work week and weekend look like and you can get an accurate idea of what kind of habits you have developed and what areas you need to improve. Some examples of things to keep track of in your journal include, but are not limited to:

  • How many hours did you sleep?
  • What did you do when you woke up?
  • What did you eat all day and at what times?
  • How much water did you drink?
  • How did your weekend differ from Monday through Friday?
  • What are your current stress levels?
  • What are your hobbies? Are they sedentary or active?

The more detail you include, and the more honest you are, the more successful you will be in making a change. We live in a very fast paced world and it is so easy to get busy and lose track of all the little pieces that make up our day. Writing it down creates a sense of awareness. It is important to create awareness of exactly where you are starting from; therefore, you know what you are working with and towards. We spend so much time making goals and plans, but how much time are you spending reflecting on where you are at currently and how/why you got there? You cannot make a clear plan until you know exactly where you are starting from. Once you have a solid understanding of where you are at currently with your lifestyle, habits, strengths and weaknesses, you will look at the task of changing your body in a new light.

 

Now that you have properly assessed the cause and effect, you can begin working on the solution, also known as taking action. This can be a very intimidating step for many people, because they look at the entire mountain, rather than the small steps each day. This mindset leads to many people continually putting it off until “Monday” or “the 1st”. Others try to conquer the whole mountain overnight and do an entire 180 flip with their life which leads them to becoming overwhelmed and ineffective. The best way to create lasting change is to break it into steps and work on one change at a time. I always recommend beginning with the morning habits because your morning is the foundation of your day. For example, if you realized (through your journaling process) that you are rushing out of the house every morning without enough time to have breakfast, so you grab a coffee on the way to work to give you energy and tide you over, but you aren’t putting actual substance into your body until noon, your first focus should not be eating chicken and broccoli for lunch every day. You should be working on creating the discipline to wake up 30 minutes earlier and eat a proper breakfast. Focus on developing only the one habit until it has been ingrained into your lifestyle and you have began to see and feel the benefits. Then, and only then move on to the next portion of your day. Although it feels like it is a slower process, making the changes one step at a time will create new positive habits and a stronger foundation to build from.

“The secret of change is to focus your energy, not on fighting the old, but building the new”

 

Written By: 

Entrepreneur and Fitness Coach 

Lacey M. Byrd

www.Laceybyrd.com 

 

Deciding to cut Alcohol and Caffeine out of my life… For good!!!

 

       Today marks 6 months… 6 months clean from alcohol and 7 months free of caffeine. I didn’t do a fancy cleanse or a 12 step program. I simply made the decision to STOP! I know it’s a cliché and an overused saying but life really is made up of choices. Yes, we have certain traits that we are born with and yes, life tends to bring variables that are out of our control but what we can control is how we respond to these things; What we do despite the inevitable.

          My relationship with caffeine started out harmless. I simply enjoyed the flavor of coffee and it was a nice treat occasionally, or a beverage to enjoy socially. The problem was th

at I created neuro pathways in my brain that said caffeine gives me energy and makes me feel good; therefore, when I woke up at 5 o’clock every morning and was tired, caffeine was the first thing that came to mind. The morning coffee quickly became a habit. The problem is that with every up comes a down. I would have energy for a while and then came the crash. My morning routine quickly began spreading to the rest of my day. By the time I realized it was an issue I was having approximately 600mg of caffeine per day (that’s over 6 cups) yet I still felt tired often and was barely getting through my day. The effects of this poor habit brewed another unhealthy relationship with alcohol. Being fueled by caffeine all day came with side effects of making me on edge and anxious. I had trouble sleeping and even just relaxing. I discovered that wine would help me relax. It started with just having a glass when I was with friends or out; But again, I developed a habit. I created neuro pathways that said wine makes me feel good. It helps me relax and more importantly, sleep. Sounds good right? Like I found a solution to my problem? Well, for a while I convinced myself of that. But then this little voice in the back of my head kept popping up. It would say “Is this really the standard you want to live your life by? Just because the people around you are doing it? There must be another way. A way to live a life without constantly altering my state of mind artificially” For months, I just tried to ignore the pesky little voice, but over time it got louder and evolved from a thought to a feeling to a desire. I wanted so badly to live a life where I felt energized, confident and happy all of the time without relying on a substance, especially one that isn’t good for me. This is when I became self-aware of exactly what I was doing to myself. I broke down my daily habits and found the root of the issue.

 

           My first step was to cut out caffeine. My method of choice? Cold Turkey! I slept more in that first week than I had in a month. Any moment I wasn’t working, I was sleeping… taking 2-3 hour naps per day and sleeping 10 or more hours every night. I was tired, cranky and having withdrawals to the max. It only took me about 10 days to not want it or think about it anymore. I found that it was very important to add a new habit in place of the one I was trying to break. My new morning routine consisted of drinking 16oz of water first thing after waking up and then brushing my teeth and taking a shower. By the time my body got an internal and external shock, I was awake. 7 months later, that is still the very first thing I do every single morning. Exactly one month later I tackled the task of cutting out alcohol. The theory behind my madness? Discipline is like a muscle. It takes practice and training to develop. I had just spent the previous month battling temptation and practicing discipline. With alcohol, I found that it was easy for me when I was at home. I just wouldn’t buy any. The times that I found to be the most difficult were when I was with friends and family who were all drinking, my birthday, and the holidays. I had to find other things that satisfied me instead. My go to drinks are now water, La Croix (sparkling water), and decaffeinated tea. Although it has been 6 months, I still have moments that are difficult for me, but I know that any moment of weakness is not worth going back to how I felt before.

 

            Our lives are made up of habits. Things that we have tried or been exposed to and had a positive reaction to; therefore, we continue to do it without realizing the possible negative effect it has long term. It is so important that we are aware of the habits that we have created and make sure that they are good habits, ones that we are in control of. The worst feeling is feeling like you don’t have control of your own life or body.

             Since taking caffeine out of my life I have more consistent energy than ever, my sleep has improved immensely and my mood is much more stable. Since taking out alcohol I feel more and have found other ways to express my emotions rather than just numbing them… but the biggest benefit of all is that I am so proud of myself for deciding to improve my life for no one other than myself and sticking to it despite the level of difficulty and the environment around me. There is no greater feeling than being proud of yourself daily.   

“We cannot go back and change the past, but at any point, we can stop in our tracks and change the course of the future.”

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this post today. 

Please LIKE and  SHARE this with your friends by clicking the Social Media Icons below! Also, check out some of the other blogs that have been posted in the past! 

What can protein do for you?

 

 Do you know how much  protein you should be consuming on a daily basis?

 Well I’m here to help clarify some of the questions you may have that surface during any nutrition or fitness related conversation. Whether your active or inactive proteins plays a major role in your overall health. 

  Our bodies musculature are made of proteins, put together into fine strands called myofibrils, that have been comprised of essential amino-acids and pep tide chains to form different bonds within our muscle tissue. Every time we exert energy our bodies contracts its myofibrils and is constantly breaking and reforming bonds. This is exactly where protein comes in the picture, it helps to heal those broken bonds at a molecular level so our muscle will continue to be healthy and strong.

 

How much protein should you consume? * SEE CHART BELOW

These numbers are approximate but gives a clear indication of what is necessary. 

 

Proteins are the only source of food that are continually being metabolized through our digestive system and are not stored for energy. Carbohydrates and Fats are the most important when it comes to energy. Proteins are everywhere in our bodies, our nails, hair, skin and muscles and are found in different foods such as:

 

 

 

Meat

Chicken, Steak, Shrimp, Fish, Beef, Eggs

 

 

Legumes

 Lentils, Garbanzo Beans,  Black beans, Pinto beans, Kidney beans, and many more foods.

Vegetables 

Spinach, Green peppers, Broccoli, Cali flower, Green Beans, Brussels Sprouts,  are all high in protein.  

Meal Replacements 

 

The last topic I have here on this page is meal replacement. This is also a valid option to increasing your daily intake if you struggle like most of american’s to get the required amount of protein in their body. It can be hard to have all your meals cooked and prepared for the entire week while your having to travel for work, take the kids here and there and other activities that can distract you from your health.

What many have found to work is to grab a snack bar, or a meal supplement shake. Making sure that you are munching on something that is beneficial to your body.  It is YOUR body, YOU only have one. Treat it with the respect it deserves!

Click here to see my favorite Snacks and Smoothies!  

 

Want a  personalized nutrition program? 

FIND OUT MORE HERE

 

Does it work for weight-loss?

Does it work for weight loss? 

Hello, and welcome to my nutritional and fitness related blog! My name is Lacey Byrd Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and I am here to talk to you about what can work for weight-loss and what doesn’t.

1. Weight-Loss Supplements 

Do weight loss supplements help with weight loss?

First, take a look at your mindset and  expectations when entering into a weight loss journey. Ask yourself what are your realistic goals, and how long your are willing to take in order to accomplish those? When it comes to weight loss supplements public health studies have demonstrated that about 20% of drug related liver injuries that result in hospital visits can be attributed to dietary supplements. Many weight loss supplements can elevate heart rate causing hypertension and for those already experiencing blood pressure problems it is not a good idea to be taking such supplements. At this time FDA does not regulate any supplements that are on the marketplace. Investigations are made only if problems arise.

Conclusion: Knowing your blood pressure and learning basic knowledge about the different products your taking is highly recommended. (USE WITH CAUTION)  Go with something more natural, that has no artificial enhancers or flavors added.

2. Intermittent Fasting 

Does intermittent fasting help with weight loss?

One of the things that people think is “If I don’t eat then I will lose weight”. Seems about right, right? Not at all, we were given food for fuel to keep us active and to energize us when we need it. Your metabolism is so important and when you start to keep your body guessing when it’s going to get food next there can be a point where your body starts to store more calories then necessary. Think about a starving child, when they see food they just scarf it down, not knowing when their next meal is going to be, which is exactly what your metabolism is thinking.

Conclusion: Eating a nutritious breakfast with around 30 grams of protein 30-40 grams of Carbs and 15-20 grams of fat is ideal to start your metabolism off. Obviously not everyday is perfect and we are constantly on the go so meal supplements or healthy snack bars are good alternatives. Intermittent fasting can work but it needs to be planned out and should not be a regular thing, once a week is good for weight loss. If you need directions on how to do so let me know.

3. Probiotics 

Do probiotics help with weight loss?

Probiotics are found in Greek  yogurt, milk and naturally within  our guts. Probiotics are important in helping with proper bowel movements and keeping our intestinal tract clean. Two recent studies in the British Journal of Nutrition and the other in the International Journal of Obesity found links to (same as or similar microorganisms found naturally in the gut) and weight loss. Through this research there has been proven to be a 5-8% decrease in overall visceral fat over a 12 week period.

Conclusions: Probiotics are not the magic bullet to fat loss but making sure your GI clean of any harmful bacteria is so important. Consuming Greek yogurt, and cottage cheese is a wonderful thing for your diets, containing high contents of proteins and probiotics.

4. Sugar Substitutes 

Does sugar substitutes help with weight loss?

The smell of those perfectly baked pies fresh out of the oven, the taste of warm brownies out of the oven. You can never seemed to get enough of them. But having general food knowledge will make you think twice about the decisions you take before digging these “tasty” foods. So lets break this down very easily for you. Organic sugar cane by itself can boost your insulin level when turns food into energy, if that energy is not used, it is stored into fat.

Conclusion: There are great benefits for sugar substitutes in certain settings, let me explain. When your just sitting around the house (not using your energy) a sugar substitute would be recommended in your drinks and to be used as a general sweetener. Now when it comes to after an exercise the best type of sugar to restore blood sugar levels would be pure organic sugar cane or honey. This immediately replaces the glucose lost during strenuous exercise bringing your back to homeostasis. Great overall!

5. Hot Exercise 

Is Hot Exercise helpful for weight loss?

It started with “Hot Yoga” then started to take root in hot weightlifting, hot cycling, and hot pilates. The more your sweating the harder your working, increasing your internal body heat is.

Conclusion: Yes increasing temperature does help with weight loss, but let me explain a few things you most know before thinking the only thing you need to do is increase the temperature of the room while exercising. So if you were to weigh yourself after a “hot” class you will have lost weight but water, knowing true weight loss is in body percentage of fat loss not the amount of water lost. Overall taking classes such as these help with weight loss just make sure to stay hydrated with a great electrolyte replacement.

6. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

For years there have been so many thoughts thrown around about low intensity workouts for a long period of time to maximize weight loss. While this may be true there are other forms of exercise that can maximize weight loss while maintaining muscle mass and not wearing your joints and ligaments out.

Conclusions: HIIT is critical for those who really want to lose weight, one huge benefit to HIIT is increased metabolism which is something we talked about in section 2. Just know this is all relative for your experience levels, age, physical limitations, and goals you have set. YES IT WORK!!!

I personally want to thank you for looking at this blog, It brings me great pleasure knowing that this can possibly help transform your life if taken and applied. Understanding health and nutrition can be a lifestyle not just a phase of life,  this is what people desperately need to understand during these times in America.