Workout Of The Week:
Tummy Trimmers Boot Camp Abs
Click here to download this week’s workout calendar
For the full video, click here to buy Tummy Trimmers today!
For the full Peel off The Pounds Pilates workout, buy it here.
To download This Week’s Workout Calendar: click here
Download week’s workouts of the week:
Tummy Trimmers: Tummy Boot Camp
Downloadable 10 minute express workout – Trim, tone and tighten your abdominals like never before! Challenge your abs and rediscover the power of the crunch with this state-of-the-art approach to traditional ab work.
Click here to download now. Use the 100% off code RSTUMMYTRIM at checkout
(Free with your ReShape coupon code)
Totally Torso Audio Workout
30 minute downloadable audio workout to beat belly fat! Download to your computer, and transfer to your MP3 player. Get your dumbbells ready and work out with me in your living room!
Click here to download now
(Free with your ReShape membership)
Last week, we looked at the scale of functional eating (if you missed it, click here). Now that you’ve identified which level of eater you are, it’s time to decipher how to move up the ladder from out-of-control to optimal eating. Moving up the ladder will jumpstart your weight loss journey .
Each step of the ladder –moving from, say, step 5 to step 4 to step three—represents real developmental progress in food believes and food behaviors. In order to help you make that progress, each level has a specific task.
The most critical skill here is learning to distinguish between true hunger and satiety (the sense of satisfaction you get form eating, not overeating, a wonderful meal). If you’re stuck in Level 5, overwhelmed by food chaos, this skill may seem as attainable as reaching the summit of Mt. Everest on a skateboard. But it’s important to start working with your body and its needs, not against them. Knowing when you’re hungry and when you’ve had enough are the most basic cues that lead to independent eating.
One exercise I know that gets great results is choosing to eat only part of the food on your plate. Whether you’re at home or at a restaurant, pretend the last few or several bites aren’t there at all. Give yourself ten minutes or so to let what food you’ve eaten settle, then ask yourself if you’re satisfied yet and whether you actually want the remaining portion.
Remember, it’s especially important to avoid getting over-hungry, because over-hungry people are especially prone to overeating.
While you may have a sense of “enough is enough” now, you’re probably still hoping someone will tell you exactly what to eat—even though it’s a fact that if you did indeed have a food master lording over your food choices, you’d get sick to death of that person’s reigning you in all the time. That’s why the challenge facing you at this important level is learning what works best for you, and letting the “food police” meddl in someone else’s living room.
That said, it’s critical at this level for you to build on your new ability to listen to your body’s food-related signals. You’ll soon learn to determine whether a higher carbohydrate food pattern works for you, or maybe one that contains a little more fat and protein. The focus here is on food composition – the balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat in your diet. Remember, everyone is different.
When you try different food patterns, pay close attention to how you feel after eating, as well as how long you feel satisfied. Note any differences in how your body looks, or how you feel. I recommend keeping a food diary (or photojournaling your experience on social media). In this food diary, record your observations after every meal, week to week; they’ll lead you to a much clearer and easier understanding of which food patterns work better for you in the overall scheme. And that insight will prove invaluable as you continue making more and better functional food choices while moving up the ladder.
Graduating from Level 3 to Level 2 is probably the most challenging move of all. Because now comes the time to test your limits and your boundaries.
The point of functional eating is to let go fo the rules about what you eat, what you should eat, how you should eat, when you should eat. Realize that all growth, all risk-taking is scary!
Each time we pick up a restaurant menu, walk down a supermarket’s isles, or browse through the refrigerator, somewhere, faintly audible from the depths of the brain, comes the “You shouldn’t eat that” or “You should eat this” voice. The outcome of the struggle between the two decides what we buy and eat.
Well, I’d like you to do your best to ignore all those voices. The name of the game here is accountability. At this level you no longer blame experts, diet plans, or your own rules for what doesn’t work in your food choices. Your goal is to realize that, for better or worse, you’re in charge of choosing your foods. And only you can be accountable for those choices.
Several steps are involved at this stage. First, you have to identify those foods that you consider “good” and “bad.” That shouldn’t be hard.
Start by dividing a sheet of paper into five columns. Your first column should be titled “Good Food;” the second, “Bad Food;” the third, “Reason,” the fourth, “Foods I Like,” the fifth, “Foods I Dislike.”
Fill up the first three columns with entries. Maybe you think steak is bad because it has too much fat, or broccoli is good because it has a lot of fiber. Just write them down and in the “Reason” column, add a brief description of why you think they’re good or bad.
Fill the last two columns, — Like and Dislike. Then notice how many foods you really like that are in the Bad column, and how many are in the Good column. In the same way, compare the foods you dislike.
As you compare, realize that more often you avoid foods you really like because they’re on the Bad list, the more unsatisfied you’re likely to be with your current food choices. Not allowing yourself ot eat what you like typically translates into a feeling of deprivation and dissatisfaction—and ultimately resentment.
By the same token, if you eat foods you dislike only because they’re supposed to be “good for you,” you’re more likely to rebel against your food choices. If you don’t feel it now, you eventually will.
Let me be completely honest: Eating consistently at Level 1 is tough for most people who aren’t on permanent vacation. Because if you keep an ordinary, busy schedule, you probably don’t have the time or energy to do what’s necessary. Myself included. I can be a Level 1 eater when my schedule permits.
Yes, I would prefer to eat at Level 1 all the time. But, like you I live in the real word—and it’s a busy world. This is where Level 2 eating works just fine. I don’t beat myself up when I can’t stay at Level 1. I just accept the ebb and flow of the process, and utterly savor those times when Level 1 is achievable.
Ideally, I’d like you to spend most of your eating time enjoying the flexibility and choices of Level 1 and Level 2. But, I’d also like you not to beat yourself up as you’re working to move forward from levels 3, 4 and 5.
Make it happen!
You probably know by now that eating a hearty amount of vegetables and fruits is the forefront in getting fit and staying energized. Nutritious foods serve many purposes– everything from slimming down to helping you feel balanced and clear-headed throughout the day. These super foods are great additions to your meals because you can eat them in large amounts, get full quickly and pack your body with nutrients! Unfortunately, not all fruits and vegetables are created equal.
One of the premises of the ReShape Weight Loss plan is to eat nutrient-dense food that supports your energy. As you learn to manage your blood sugar through nutrient-rich food, you’ll see an increase in your energy level throughout each day.
The benefits of eating super foods are clear. You’ll receive:
– More energy
– Reduced food cravings
– Feelings of fullness
– Improved sense of well-being
Recently, UCLA Health System dietitian Dana Hunnes, shared her top 10 super foods. They are:
Why: Packed with fiber, riboflavin, magnesium, iron, calcium and vitamin D.
Tip: Almonds are great for your body, but it’s important to remember portion control. Instead of grabbing them from a jar, put a few in a plastic baggie at the beginning of your day to reduce the risk of over-indulgence.
Why: Good source of vitamin C and pectin, which can help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels.
Tip: Next time you eat an apple, pair it with some string cheese! This is one of my favorite snacks when I’m on the go!
Try my Apple a la Mode Shake
Why: Blueberries are low-calories and high in
fiber, vitamin C phytonutrients. All of these benefits lead to help with short-term memory and healthy aging.
Tip: Blend blueberries with soymilk and protein powder for a simple and delicious protein shake!
Try my Blueberry Sunrise Shake
Why: Contains calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, folate, fiber and phytonutrients. The combination of all of these vitamins and antioxidants help prevent chronic diseases, diabetes and some cancers.
Tip: Grill up some fish and season with lemon, pepper and garlic. Steam broccoli and serve as a side for a delicious dinner!
Try this for dinner: Broccoli-Tofu Stir-Fry
Why: Beans are a heavy-hitter, because of their low-calorie nature and the fact that they’re loaded with: protein, dietary fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and thiamin.
Tip: Cutting down on meat? Use beans as a meat alternative, or blend in some chickpeas into your smoothie for added protein and creamy texture.
Try this ReShape recipe for lunch: Tuscan Bean and Tuna Salad
Why: Beets are rich in betacyanin (cancer-fighting agent), manganese, potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus.
Tip: If you aren’t fond of beets, try adding them to a green juice for a gorgeous purple-crimson color.
Why: Because your mom said so! But she was right – spinach is filled with nutrients that boost your immune system and may help improve your hair and skin.
Tip: Hide a handful of spinach in your protein smoothie with some berries.
Indulge in my Edamame and Spinach Salad Recipe
Why: This fat-free, low-calorie option is high in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins (B6, C and E) and potassium.
Tip: Skip the butter and salt and instead sprinkle some cinnamon on the top for a sweet flare that your taste buds will love.
Why: Wheat germ offers a highly concentrated source of protein, iron and zinc. It also includes multiple nutrients, including niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin E, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron and zinc.
Tip: Wheat germ is the part of the seed that contains the most vitamins and minerals. Mix into your greek yogurt with some granola to add nutrients to your breakfast.
Why: High in potassium, phytonutrients and multiple vitamins. Bananas also help you feel full and are great to aid in digestion.
Tip: Although bananas make this list of super foods, keep its calories and sugar level in count. Try adding half of a banana to a protein shake for extra flavor.
Try my recipe for Banana-Nut Pops
Are you ready to pack your plate with these nutrient-dense, energy-boosting foods? Try these exclusive ReShape recipes to help you along your way:
Here’s to your health!
We don’t consider most commercial campaigns to be uplifting, profound, or even a potential life-changer. But the good folks at Dove have done it again with their moving “Real Beauty” spot. In this ad, we meet a real-life forensic artist who sketches two pictures of each woman he meets – one is based on that woman’s own description of herself, and the second is based on descriptions given by other people. And as it turns out, it’s all in the details: As we see one woman describe her chin as “jutting” and “big,” another person described it more kindly as a “nice thin chin.” One woman focuses on her “chubby face” while a man describing her talks about her “nice blue eyes.” The reveal at the end is a powerful one: We see each pair of sketches, side by side. We can tell that the two portraits are of the same person, but the one based on other people’s descriptions are significantly more flattering. It’s heartwarming to watch these women realize that their negative self-talk and critical self-images have had a real impact, and that maybe, as the ad indicates in the final frame, “You are more beautiful than you think.”
This got me thinking about the importance of creating a physical inventory, and revising your self-portrait. How accurately do you see yourself? And how can you befriend any areas of satisfaction? I got some inspiration for this exercise from the book Self-Esteem by the great Matthew McKay, Ph.D., and Patrick Fanning. As McKay and Fanning point out, if you can revise the way you describe yourself, you can create a more accurate image – and, if you’re willing to stretch your mind, a more positive one.
Start by taking several large sheets of newsprint or strips from a roll or butcher paper and taping them to the wall. They should cover an area at least as wide and high as your body. Remove as much of your clothing as is convenient; then, with your back to the wall, trace your body with a wide-tipped marker. Trace as close to your body as you can for accuracy. (With a little care, you can do this by yourself, although you might find it easier to do this exercise with a friend.)
The impact of the tracing comes from the fact that it’s not the familiar mirror reflection that we look at every day without really seeing. The traced image is novel. It doesn’t move; therefore, it allows you to step back and view it objectively.
Now spend some time looking at the proportions of your body tracing. That’s you! Does it seem “too” anything? What impression would you have of a person with this shape? Would it be the same you’ve been carrying of yourself? Or does it seem like a reasonable size and shape for someone to be? Get specific with your thoughts, and write your comments directly onto your image on the wall.
Remember, the problem lies not in having weaknesses or flaws; the problem is in the way you attack yourself. So try to find ways to describe your weaknesses nonpejoratively, without disparaging or downgrading. Here are some guidelines for revising your negative thoughts about your body:
Check Your Baggage: How many of the items on your list seem objective but are actually thinly disguised traps of judgment? Think about what assumptions might underlie these factual descriptions. Maybe you would describe yourself, very factually, as having small breasts. On the surface, it’s just a fact: They’re small, and that’s fine. But what beliefs and preconceptions about breast size are working on a subconscious level to make you feel dissatisfied with this fact? If you were to consciously examine the question, do you honestly believe that larger breasts make a woman significantly happier – or smarter, funnier, wiser, or more lovable? Or that anything external, for that matter, has that much power over whether a person can live a satisfying, successful life?
The subconscious assumptions gain far too much power over our thoughts if we don’t examine them. A recent study actually showed a higher rate of suicide among women who’d had breast enhancement, suggesting that obtaining a desired breast size did not bring happiness to the very women who’d believed that it would. So open up that baggage and see if you can’t lighten the load.
List Your Body’s Strengths: Now add some strengths to your image on the wall. Write positive messages about different parts of your body and what they can do. “Killer tennis serve.” “Great kisser.” If you’re a perfect spoon-fit with your partner, or a good tree climber, write those down, too.
Once you’ve finished, spend some time rereading and thinking about your descriptions, absorbing the whole picture that’s emerging. I’ve got a pretty good feeling that you’ll come to the same conclusion as the women in that Dove commercial. Because chances are that you, too, are more beautiful than you think you are.
I’ve received countless questions and comments from all of you since a recent New York Times article on “Reasons Not To Stretch” made a splash. The research in this piece is solid, and the conclusion seems quite clear: Static stretching before a workout may do more harm than good. In fact, quite a few studies in recent years support this argument, and it makes sense: Stretched muscles are relaxed muscles, and relaxed muscles are less capable when it comes to explosive muscular performance.
This might seem like good news to all of you stretch-haters. You’ve spent a lifetime with tight hamstrings and stiff hips, unable to touch your toes, and now you’ve finally got a good excuse to skip the stretches altogether! Not so fast. Before you throw the baby out with the bathwater, let’s take a closer look at the value of flexibility and the role it plays in your workout, and in your life:
When my daughters were younger, I joined them for quite a few field trips to the California Science Center in downtown LA. One of their signature exhibits is Tess, a 50-foot-tall woman with visible organs that light up to illustrate – among other things – homeostasis, the process by which our organs work together to achieve equilibrium in our bodies.
Tess also serves as a reminder as to why our bodies require a warm-up before exercise. When we wake up in the morning and haven’t moved yet, our core temperature levels are down – and in order to prevent skeletal muscle injuries, we’ve got to gradually bring those core temperatures back up. Stretching a cold muscle, after all, can do more harm than good. That’s why we’ve got to increase bloodflow to our muscles and our hearts, and we’ve got to break down oxyhemoglobin – a chemical complex of oxygen and hemoglobin that, when it’s degraded and broken down through a proper warm-up, delivers oxygen to our muscles more efficiently.
The type of stretching that’s getting bad press is static, which is what generally comes to mind when we think about stretching: holding a stretch in one still, static position for 15 to 30 seconds. But there’s another overlooked (and often misunderstood) option called “Dynamic Stretching.” This refers to movement that takes your body through a full range of motion. Think old-school calisthenics: Arm circles, lunges, high-knees, and even jumping jacks. These gentle but dynamic movements increase bloodflow and prepare your body for action while also improving flexibility.
So, for example, before going for a run, perhaps you used to do a static hamstring stretch, where you’d rest your right foot on a ledge in front of you, lean into it, and hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Instead, try a series of lunges using only your body weight, being sure to incorporate a full range of motion by lunging forward, back, and out to both sides.
But static stretching still plays a valuable role. It’s still one of the best ways to improve flexibility, range of motion, and even heal from certain types of injuries – the trick may just be in the timing. So instead of doing a static stretching routine just before a tough aerobic or strength training workout, do it as your cooldown, or as a pre-bedtime ritual. And don’t hesitate to start small: Hold a pose for a few seconds, release, then try it again using a further range of motion. Try this 3 or 4 times before you try holding it for a longer static stretch.
Remember, whether you’re a weekend warrior or an elite athlete, a working mom with stiff joints or a 50-foot woman, a little stretching goes a long way.
New Year’s can be one of the most invigorating times of the year. As long as you don’t overdo it on New Year’s Eve, January 1st has the potential to be the clean slate we’ve all been waiting for. It’s time to set some goals, get moving, and reach for the stars. Far too many of us have kicked off the New Year by throwing ourselves into a diet and exercise program…Read Full Article