5 reasons that explain why you do it more often

The other day I overheard someone talking about frequency of workouts and it got me thinking.   Do people who come to the gym more frequently get better results?  It’s not that intensity, exercise programming, duration, or any of that stuff isn’t important, but this question just relates to frequency.

While I don’t have any formal evidence to back up the theory and I haven’t found a study that correlates the two, I think there’s truth to the idea.

Although this may seem obvious to many, I’m not sure I had given frequency alone much thought. I started thinking about my clients, their frequency visiting the fitness center either working with me or on their own, and their adherence to better nutrition and their results and I believe there’s a correlation.

What's your mindset?
What's your mindset?

While there are a fair number of people that believe they can crank away for an hour on the elliptical machine and that somehow will cancel out the fast food burger or hot fudge sundae they’ll eat on the way home. I believe that there are as many or more people who stick to their guns and eat better because they don’t want to cancel out the benefits of their workout.

Without hard evidence to back it up, I’d guess at the following possible reasons:

1. The obvious reason would suggest that those who are at the gym more often are just naturally more interested in their health. They’ve built exercise into their lifestyle and better eating goes hand in hand.

2. They have a clear and attainable goal in mind and a solid plan to reach that goal. This is one that a lot of people miss. People often have fuzzy goals, unrealistic goals that set them up for failure, or no plan to really reach their goal and they go about their exercise haphazardly.

3. They follow better programming, incorporating high and low intensity cardio work, strength training with free weights, relying less on machines, using bodyweight exercises, experimenting with different equipment, taking appropriate recovery days, and working on mobility. Frequency has required them to try new things and be more creative to stay interested in exercise.

4. Frequency at the fitntess center has raised their awareness of their movement throughout the day. They’re more conscious about staying active rather than sitting in a chair all day.  In addition  to their time at the fitness center, they’ve started thinking about how they can do something standing that might normally be done sitting.

5. They think more about their nutrition and take steps to eat better rather than undo their progress. Frequency of exercise has spilled over to the kitchen and they’ve started fueling their bodies better with quality proteins, veggies, and healthy fats.

So, if you’re focused on weight loss as a primary goal, go to the fitness center more frequently. Sure, you could do 3 sixty minute workouts per week. But, you just might get better overall results with 6 thirty minute workouts.

Try it out and let me know what happens.

Ten tips to make your weight loss and fitness goals reality

Listen close.  Today’s post is going to share 10 things you can do to make your goals reality.

The key to putting these tips in place and keeping them in place is to not try to do it all at once. It’s too much change to manage at one time and when that happens, people fail.  Put one or two things in place this week. Master them, and then add something else.

1. Drink more water.  One of the biggest sources of calories in the typical diet is  from the things we drink.  Because it’s not solid, we don’t realize that there are calories in it and down it goes.  There are so many opinions about the actual amount of water you need, ranging from 8 glasses daily (what size glass?) to your body weight in ounces and everything in between. While I’m not going to add to the confusion and tell you another number, I am going to tell you to drink more water and less of the other stuff.  That means plain water. No flavored water. Don’t waste your money on gimmicks like charged water, energized water, and all the other goofy things people are trying to sell you.  If you say “I just don’t like the taste of water”, get over it. No shortcuts.

10 Tips to Better Weight Loss Results
10 Tips to Better Weight Loss Results

2. Keep track of everything. If it goes in, write it down. Everything else is just a guess. If you want to gamble, go to Vegas. If you want results, get serious about it and measure it.  If you’re a LifeStyles Fitness Center member, you’re in luck because you have access to DotFIT at no extra charge with your membership.   If you’re not lucky enough to be able to enjoy the benefits of LifeStyles membership use a tool like  BodyMedia FIT to take control and achieve your weight loss goals!

If all that’s too techie for you and you just want to go old school, write everything down on paper.  Whichever method you choose, it will take a bit of extra time, but it’s worth it.  If you don’t measure it, you’ll never know where you stand on the path toward your goals.

3. Get protein and vegetables in every meal. Your body burns more calories to turn protein into a source the body can use than it requires to process any other nutrient.  Approximately 30% of the calories you take in from protein are used just to process that protein in the body.  That’s called the thermogenic effect of food.  Vegetables add fiber to your diet which makes you feel full and keeps the pipes clear.  The benefits from veggies comes with very few calories too.  ‘Nuff said.

4. Burn more calories than you’re taking in. Sounds simple, and really it is that simple.  You’ve got to have a way to accurately measure that though.  Go back to point #2 above.  Aim to burn 500-1000 calories more than you take in and you’ll begin to lose an average of 1-2 pounds per week. It’s not a direct affect though. It doesn’t shave off instantly, so look for weight changes over the course of a couple weeks rather than expecting to see changes daily.  While we’re talking about this one, forget the shortcuts.  The pills and potions you see at the checkout line aren’;t really going to help you as much as you think.  You might burn an extra few calories as a result of taking that pill, but 10 more minutes of basic movement each day will probably do the same thing and your wallet will be a few bucks fatter too.

5. Chew your food. Take more time to eat.  You’ll enjoy your meal more and you’ll be less likely to go back for second helpings.

6. You gotta move. Diet alone won’t cut.  Research shows that diet and exercise always win.  My Your Fitness Journey DVD can help keep your workout fresh by giving you over 80 different exercises.

7. Eat breakfast. You’ve got to have fuel in the tank. Eat a real breakfast, not a donut and cup of coffee. A real breakfast fills you up so you’re not starving by 11 o’clock and searching for the nearest vending machine.  Those who eat breakfast carry that energy through the day. Students who eat breakfast do better in school and perform better on the field. Workers who eat breakfast are more mentally alert and make more money.

8. Make better lunch choices. Do you go to the closest taco joint or spend 10 minutes before work packing a lunch with yogurt, granola, and a small salad? Easy choice. “But I don’t have time”. Again, get over it. Wake up 10 minutes earlier, Make it the night before. No excuses.

9. Worry more about what than when. Nutrient timing is all the rage. “You shouldn’t eat within 3 hours of going to bed”. Really, does your body really know time? When it comes down to it, if you eat fewer calories than you’re expending, does the when really matter? Focus more on the quality of what you’re eating and less on the when. A Twinkie for breakfast isn’t any better than a Twinkie before bedtime.

10. Read the label. This is another one about the choices you make. It only takes a few seconds to turn the package around, scan the label, and decide if this thing is helping or hurting you.

Now it’s time for you to go out and make 2012 your best year ever!