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The Conversations We Have...


“If you want to live a long life, focus on making contributions.” ...Hans Selye


In my 12 years as a personal trainer, food and nutrition has never been a greater topic of conversation than it is today. Meal plans have become a big part of my health and fitness packages, as people strive to become - and maintain - the healthiest version of themselves. With the rise in awareness about intermittent fasting, I often hear the question, "So what's the deal - am I supposed to eat breakfast or should I be intermittent fasting?"


Before I dive deeper into the advantages of eating a healthy breakfast everyday and the benefits of intermittent fasting, I want to share what is most important to me. When and where you eat are absolutely factors yes, but what makes the most difference is what you eat and how much of it. Your main focus should be on the food itself, the type of macro or micronutrient and how much you are allowed to consume. The amount of calories you consume and your macros ratio should be based on your goals and how your body reacts to specific foods.


“Macro” is short for macronutrient. What is a macronutrient ? Carbohydrates, fat, or protein. Nutrients are divided into 2 parts. Macronutrients are nutrients consumed in large amounts like carbohydrates and micronutrients are nutrients necessary in smaller doses like iron. Nutrients provide you with energy. When you're counting your “macros”, you're counting the grams of protein, carbohydrates (carbs) and fat that you're consuming.


When you intermittent fast you run the risk of missing out on crucial nutrients because the window of time you have to eat is smaller. However when you eat breakfast everyday you miss out on the benefits that fasting has to offer the body. Also remember, breakfast food can be had at anytime of the day. I scramble eggs and grill bacon between 11am and 2pm everyday depending on how late my last meal was. So if you’re a breakfast food fan, just because you do a daily fast doesn’t mean you’ve missed out on breakfast. I love breakfast food and I intermittent fast the majority of my days. Eggs and bacon at noon is just as good!


Intermittent Fasting and it’s Benefits


Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you only eat during a specific window of time. It has become a popular way to lose weight and improve overall health. Many people experience a range of health benefits when they practice intermittent fasting. A true intermittent fast for women is 12 - 14 hours and 14 - 16 hours for men. Making it somewhat difficult to intermittent fast in a relationship, haha.


One of the most common benefits of intermittent fasting is weight loss. When you fast, your body is forced to burn fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. This means that you can lose weight without having to drastically reduce your calorie intake. Additionally, intermittent fasting can help to reduce your appetite, which can make it easier to stick to a calorie-restricted diet.


Intermittent fasting can also help to improve your metabolic health. It can help to reduce levels of insulin and other hormones that can lead to weight gain. Additionally, intermittent fasting can help to reduce inflammation and improve your body’s ability to process glucose. This can help to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. There are also number of other health benefits reducing the risk of certain cancers, and even slowing down the aging process. Some people even report that it can improve their mental clarity and focus.


Breakfast Benefits


Breakfast is the first meal we eat after waking up and often referred to as the most important meal of the day. Eating a well-balanced breakfast can provide a number of health benefits.

A good breakfast can help you get an early jumpstart on the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. It generally should include whole grains, protein, and healthy fats. This combination of foods helps keep blood sugar levels stable and provides energy throughout the day. It has also been found that people who eat breakfast are less likely to overeat later in the day and are more likely to make healthier food choices.

Having breakfast in the morning can improve concentration and alertness, especially in children and teenagers. Research found that children who eat breakfast are better able to focus and perform better in school than those who do not. It may also help improve your mood and reduce stress levels.


Overall, eating a healthy breakfast every day can provide numerous health benefits. It can help improve concentration and alertness, provide balanced nutrition, aid in weight control, improve mood, and reduce the risk of heart disease.

So Which is Best For You?


When you read the perks of both scenarios, you find that the benefits are almost exactly the same. Therefore, a healthy diet is not about whether you fast or eat breakfast bright and early. It is about the quality of your food and the choices you make. Another important factor is the discipline it takes to fast for approximately 14 hours, and then to resist binging when your fasting window is complete. Can you stay below your calorie count by eating breakfast ? Can you get the nutrients you need if you do fast ? These are the types questions you need to ask and answer for yourself. We are all different and our body's have different needs. It all comes down to how you are most comfortable attacking your eating habits.


If weight loss is your goal, the absolute most important element is to eat quality foods, exercise and stay in a caloric deficit. The fast alone is not enough. Just as eating breakfast is not enough. Healthy food choices and an exercise plan for the day are all keys to unlocking your bill of health.

If you are in a caloric surplus (consuming more calories than you burn) but intermittent fasting everyday, you will steadily put weight on. However you will reap the rewards of fasting on a daily basis. Such as improved metabolism and an increase in focus.


There are infinite examples which is why I began with the factors most important to me and your health. Happy Macro & Micro Monday. Keep your counts honest and your standards high. Until next time.

“Decide, Commit, Focus & Succeed.” ... Kalen Norton

“Confidence is a stain they can’t wipe off.” ... Lil Wayne


To walk with confidence in your heart is to walk with trust in the air around you and the people that breathe with you. Confidence is the key to unlocking the doors of opportunity. If you don’t have confidence in yourself nobody else will. Once you’ve accomplished that, others will not only support you, they will want to be around you, to follow you.



“Your success will be determined by your own confidence and fortitude.” ... Michelle Obama


So why is it important to have this confidence? How does it make a difference or help you as a person? How long do you have!? There are so many benefits to being more confident. Let’s start with a greater bias to trying new things. You feel more prepared, ready and able to deal with life’s experiences. You are more likely to move forward and take on new opportunities, when in the past you may have shied away from such opportunities - to your detriment! You’ll have a greater feeling of resilience, and if something doesn’t work out, confidence makes dealing with these things much easier. In fact if you’re a confident person you’ll bounce right back and just try again! You’ll find all areas of your life feel lighter and brighter. You will do better in your business, work or career and find things working out more often, in your favor. I could go on and on, but perhaps the best part of feeling truly confident in yourself, is the happiness it brings you - to your soul and spirit. That inner sense of well being, that everything is OK, of knowing that you’re OK.


When I relate confidence to my job as a personal trainer I can’t help but think of my team. I envision the look on their faces when they achieve something they never thought was possible. I watch them walk with their heads held higher and confidence in their eyes. I see them getting stronger every session, but it means nothing until they see for themselves. You see that’s why I do what I do. I feed people’s dreams by building their confidence. I help them see. I help them believe. I am here to inspire. It is my gift, my talent and my reason for living.

“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” ... Edmund Hillary

Having a personal trainer is a seal of approval for your confidence. A good trainer will take your existing confidence and enhance hit through mental and physical challenges. Difficult though not impossible challenges to be celebrated once they are completed. A steady diet of celebration or acknowledgement for accomplishments achieved is a great recipe for success. As long as the celebration fits the accomplishment. Fireworks for the best and a cup of tea for the low hanging fruit. A quality trainer will forever be working to improve himself as they strive to increase your abilities and confidence level. I work this way to inspire my team and inherently build confidence in myself. There are few confidence boosts stronger than that you get from a team standing behind you. That is what you get from me. A teammate.


We motivate one another to build confidence as individuals as well as collectively, as a team. There is motivation all around us. We just have to see it. We all have a favorite movie or song that motivates us and makes us feel stronger. I watched “Rocky 4” last night and let me tell you, when Duke yells, “You cut him! You hurt him! You see! He’s not machine, he’s a man! Want it more than he does! No pain! No pain! Okay take it to him. Take it to him!”, it gives me chills, it makes me feel strong, it motivates me. I can relate to it and it gives the confidence I need to attack any and everything that stands in my way. Become aware of those things around you that motivate you and make you feel stronger too.


As a personal trainer, I am reminded every day that working out not only makes you physically stronger, working out makes you feel stronger in your day to day life. The stairs to your five floor walk up become less of a struggle. Your two year old baby weighs less in your arms and you can knock out 10 Burpees without breaking a sweat. Working out gives you a sense of accomplishment. It’s always better to walk the office floor with that, “I worked out on my lunch break swag” or “I went for a run this morning strut”. Smooth strides, confident steps and shoulders back set the table for success. Your confidence is your secret sauce. Enjoy it and never let anyone take it away.

“Never dull your shine for somebody else.” ... Tyra Banks

“If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.”... Lawrence J. Peter


We dream of things, necessity and material, that will improve our lives. To see an improvement, the first thing you need is the desire to improve. Your desires, shape your goals. If one has no desire to improve, increase, attain, become or even flee, then a goal may not be necessary. Right? Though, on the flip side, if one wants for anything, one must set goals.


 

Setting goals is a process for thinking about what it is you truly desire in life. What do you need to map out your ideal future? You set a goal because you’ve discovered there is something you are willing to put the work in for. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve helps you understand where you need to focus your time and efforts. Goals are like golden tickets, meant to be cashed in.


The hardest part of setting a goal is to start. And we think it starts with an idea. As a personal trainer I have the privilege of connecting with many driven people, and seeing just as many ideas. I get a front row seat to successes and failures on all levels. Let me tell you, an idea is just that, an idea. If there is no visualization, plan and execution of the plan, it never becomes more, period. As they say, “An idea without a plan is a dream.” Likewise “A goal without a plan, is just a wish”. So to actually start the journey towards your goal, what you really need, is a plan.


In setting your goal remember to make it SMART. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. By keeping these things in mind as you write down your goals, you far more likely to achieve success. When creating a plan, it is important to keep it simple. Small victories add up to big wins and sometimes championships. If you focus on the weight of the entire project instead of the task in front of you, i.e. the next thing, it will overwhelm you and eventually swallow you whole killing your dream in the process.


That’s not to say that if you fall or fail you can’t get back up try again, but for the time being we have to start at the previous square and make another attempt. It is best to take things one step at a time, one day at time and in small increments. In some cases once you start the execution phase, you find that the plan was an act of sheer folly and that you must alter your course completely. That is always okay because at the very least we have learned something and in my opinion there is no greater gift than to learn. I say be hopeful that things break and plans change during execution process because each time it happens we have moved forward. Better to break down in training than on race day I say.


“A goal is not always meant to be reached; it often serves simply as something to aim at.” ... Bruce Lee


A person may say, “I am happy, I don’t want for anything and I don’t need to have goals”. I say, “Great!” to that, it must be nice to be completely content in life. Complete in mind, body, soul and spirit in your own eyes. That has to be the greatest gift this universe has to offer. Is it okay to just be, be comfortable, without desires, wants, wishes and ideas ? Of course it is, “Don’t Worry Be Happy” is one of my favorite songs and I believe they are words to live by. I also believe that you can have both. It is possible to be content and have goals at the same time. I know because that is what the people around me and I do everyday. We give thanks and appreciate what we have accomplished up to this point and strive to do better for ourselves and others around us. Do we have to strive for more to be happy ? Absolutely not, but it makes things that much more interesting. I like to say, “If you are not doing something, then you are not doing anything. Do something.”


Once you have achieved whatever it is you have set out to do it is important to acknowledge that victory as well as the small victories leading up to the big win. When you win little celebrate little and buy yourself some popcorn. Once you win big it is important to cash in all off those chips you’ve just won. Shut the casino down for a couple days and take a load off. Don’t close your eyes and let your accomplishments go unnoticed. Open them as wide as you can and take it all in. Once you’ve done that. Do it again.


“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”.... C.S. Lewis


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