Supplement or nah?

Supplement or nah?

Definition of supplement

  1. 1a:something that completes or makes an addition

    Some Synonyms: additive, addendum, addition, appendix, compliment, extra, option

Now that the definition is out of the way, I think you have a pretty good idea what a SUPPLEMENT IS. In what I’m specifically talking about today is naturally; dietary supplements to enhance your performance and/or natural well being and overall  health.

These include but are not limited to:

Protein bars, shakes, etc

Fish oil

Amino Acids

BCAAS

Pre-workout

Fat burners

The list goes on and on…

There is a REASON why I prefaced all of this with the definition of what a SUPPLEMENT is, which is what all of the above fall under. This is why:

TO ADD SUPPLEMENTS TO YOUR LIFESTYLE MEANS THAT YOU HAVE VERY SPECIFIC GOALS AND YOU HAVE A PLAN. TO ADD SUPPLEMENTS TO YOUR PLAN MEANS THAT YOU ARE ALREADY ON A HEALTH AND FITNESS PLAN AND LIVE THIS LIFESTYLE OR YOU ARE BUILDING NEW HABITS, AND AGAIN YOU HAVE A PLAN.

If it sounds like I’m yelling, I am.

Supplements are NOT for anyone who thinks they can take a pill, patch, shake etc *NO MATTER WHAT IS PROMISED TO YOU THROUGH FAKE MARKETING* and just continue on with your sedentary lifestyle eating whatever and thinking you will have any positive results!!!

If any supplements tells you, “All you have to do is drink this every day and you will lose weight without changing your lifestyle! or All you do is take this pill in the morning, and wear this patch and BAM a bikini ready bod is on the way!”

RUN FAR FAR AWAY WHEN YOU HEAR OR SEE THESE CLAIMS! Because that is all complete BS and they are just stealing your money. #FACTS

Now! On the flipside: there are some GREAT supplements out there, and I recommend certain ones to my clients all the time. There is even a shake I recommend to my clients and it’s the ONLY one I endorse because it helped me feel super healthy and supplemented my own weight loss journey where I  lost 60 lbs 3 times in my life.  Again: this shake didn’t make me lose the weight. It HELPED me and made me feel good in my fitness journey. Check it out here or not; it’s all good. Remember; supplements are to ADD and enhance your healthy lifestyle. Think of them like the cherry on top of your icecream (probably not the best analogy for a health and fitness blog but you get my point), supplements just make everything a little bit better and more enjoyable for you when used the right way.

I do recommend Shakeology to everyone if they are looking for a protein and super food drink to SUPPLEMENT their healthy lifestyle. Depending on the client in front of me, I will also recommend other products depending on their specific goals. It’s all very subjective and all of this is another reason why having a  personal trainer is so important.  It’s not just about your workout, but everything else you consume during the day that can make or break your results. All of this being said-there are a ton of clients who choose no supplements whatsoever-and that is completely ok as well.

**Remember-supplements are to ENHANCE your journey to a healthier and fitter you…they are NOT a quick fix, they are NOT just a pill you can pop and magically lose weight.  No weight loss patch will curb your appetite and therefore help you lose weight. It’s NOT going to happen. If there was a quick fix that worked-wouldn’t everyone on planet earth be fit and healthy?**

Truth is: you gotta work. You have to put in the TIME, blood, sweat, and tears. You have to be PATIENT, you have to be CONSISTENT. There will be ups and downs. You have to roll with it. That’s why it is called a JOURNEY. You will have set backs. You will mess up. It’s in these moments that define your character and how bad you want to live a healthier lifestyle. You simply just have to keep going. There is no magic ANYTHING…stay hungry, stay focused, do the work and you will see the results that you’ve always wanted.

As always, I am always here for your questions or concerns-if you’d like to meet up for a free consult in the Charleston area-just send me a msg via my contact tab.

In  Health-Demi

Finding Balance

Finding Balance

Myself and my boyfriend, Chris (DJ Rehab).  Pictured here he was DJ’ing the biggest New Year’s Eve party in Charleston; Charleston Wonderland. (Picture Credit Dana K. Davis). Yes-you can be fit and healthy and still have fun.

When you are on the path of self empowerment via health and fitness, it can seem like an all or nothing kind of mentality. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way.

I love to tell clients that YES they can still have bacon. They can still indulge in cupcakes. You can still have a drink with friends occasionally. It’s like I just lifted a 100 lb weight off their shoulders…like “did my trainer really just say that?” Yes, Yes I did.

There’s a popular thing that people hear about a lot, and it’s called the 80/20 rule. Now depending on your goals it can be more like 90/10. Basically:  80% of the time, you are strict on your nutrition and going to the gym. 20% of the time…go ahead and have that cake at the office party or go out with your friends. The thing here is to find your BALANCE and see what works for you, while still seeing results. Everyone is different. Some can have bacon and oatmeal every morning, and for some it can impede your progress or slow it down. This is truly a hit or miss thing, you have to go through a lot of trial and error and find your sweet spot.

A lot of it is self intuition. If you still feel good post “cheat” and you are able to hop right back on the horse and go back to healthy eating and workouts the very next day or even the same day-it may be safe to say that you are just fine with what you chose to indulge in. This is just one technique of many. Also please remember there are NO cheat DAYS-ever. There can be cheat meals-but not entire days! Many people (like myself) plan their cheat, I like to do a once a week thing, personally. I can still stay on track and it doesn’t hinder myself from maintaining my fitness.

Bottom line: it’s going to take some time. Keep a journal of how you feel after you eat and/or drink certain things. See if anything “trends” in your performance after indulging. What’s important here is that the majority of the time, you are treating yourself like an athlete; eating and hydrating properly while still working out most days of the week.

Hon, you still have to LIVE. I don’t want you to be that person at a birthday party internally screaming because you want a slice of birthday cake. HAVE THE CAKE. (Just one slice though! Portion control is important for these kind of things!) Have a cookie. Have a beer. If you are able to control yourself and keep yourself within reasonable limits OCCASIONALLY…than these kind of things are ok.

Back to the picture above…that evening was a perfect example of myself still having fun, but I still went to the gym pre and post event. Nothing else changed for me nutritionally. That evening though-I did have some adult beverages and ate a bit more than I usually do…because it was just one evening, and I knew I was going to be back in the gym the very next day.

Find your balance. Live your life. Always remember your goals. Being fit and healthy doesn’t have to be a miserable thing.

Enjoy.

In Health-Demi

Most important element of your fitness journey is…

Most important element of your fitness journey is...

SLEEP.

That’s right. It’s not nutrition, not your workout, or how much water you are drinking.

Although they all play an extremely important part of your health and fitness journey..SLEEP is your money maker.

Let me first preface this: If you are apart of the crowd that thinks “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”…don’t even bother reading. Your quality of life will suck, and when you’re dead-you are just dead. This is all about living a life full of health and vitality.

“Sleep plays an important role in your physical health. For example, sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.”

Well, seems pretty important I would say…just by reading that alone.

Think of it this way; take a triangle and flip it on it’s head. At the very top is SLEEP, next layer is HYDRATION, next layer underneath that is NUTRITION, and the itty bitty point of the bottom of that upside down triangle is…YOUR WORKOUT.

I know for many that can come as a surprise. I always tell my clients this and they are always surprised/shocked.

This is an example of an ideal day: You wake up refreshed because you got your 7-10 hours of sleep (everyone is different). Energy is already up and you feel ready to face the day with a pep in your step. Mentally-you have your goals and you are ready to demolish them. You hydrate throughout the day. You eat sensibly, because when you DON’T sleep well-your body releases the hormone ghrelin AKA the hunger hormone, causing you to be-you guessed it-hungry. The hunger is there not because you are actually hungry, but simply because you did not get enough sleep. This where overeating of the wrong types of food comes into play. When this hormone is secreted, your body wants energy in the form of sugar and starchy carbs to combat that lack of sleep. It’s a vicious cycle. Ironically, this is also the same hormone that is secreted when you get the “munchies” when you ingest marijuana. ‘Food’ for thought. (pun intended) 

Anyway-if you slept well, this hormone stays in check and is only released if you are truly hungry, but it’s very controllable and a normal part of your day. You will also be more motivated to work out and your performance WILL increase.

All of what I just mentioned…your ENTIRE day will be better and you will reach your goals faster if you get the proper sleep you need.

**That is exactly why SLEEP is the most important part of your fitness regimen. Your workout (if it’s an hour) is only 4% of your day. 2% for 30 minute workouts. Your recovery begins as soon as that workout is over and you are in your stretch/cooldown. Your recovery continues with your post workout nutrition and hydration and goes right into the NEXT night of sleep. During sleep is also where your muscles recover. When you are weightlifting for example: you are creating micro tears in your muscle fibers. This is the feeling that makes you “sore” the next day. Sleeping good, eating properly, and hydrating enough are what heals these micro tears and helps your muscles to become stronger for your next workout.   Stronger muscles will lead to more muscle mass and therefore less body-fat.**

Did you just hear what I just wrote above?! Read it again.

If you are wanting to maximize your fitness potential according to your goals, the recovery is where it’s at. When you recover with good sleep, hydration, and nutrition, you become STRONGER and more fit.

The understanding of this cycle is of the UTMOST importance for you to reach your goals and keep them for the long haul.

As always feel free to ask me anything. I train in the Charleston area and would love to pass this and much more information to you if you are in need of a personal trainer. 

In Health-Demi

Letter to the “Resolution” Gym Crowd

Letter to the "Resolution" Gym Crowd

(I do not usually blog twice in one day. But I saw the above post/pic that someone posted and it  was borderline rage inducing to me and I needed to say something)

Dear New People at the gym:

As we near February, it is statistically proven that you may be questioning your intentions about going to the gym as part of your New Years resolution. I want to talk to you directly, if I can; and tell you to NOT GIVE UP.

I know you are the victim of many online memes or careless judgmental remarks (like the one I posted here, seriously screw that person) about the “NYE Resolution” crowd at the gym. How “you will never last” or  “can’t wait for this fickle crowd to die out!”  I know it sucks to read them. On behalf of all of them…we are very sorry.

That is not my wish for you. My wish for you is to endure and persist. I want you to stay and to be the anti-statistic so you can see how strong you really are. Prove them wrong, but do it for yourself. I promise-you are very strong. Male, female…it doesn’t matter. If a NYE resolution is what brought you to the gym, I want you to stay.

No matter what your starting point was/is…there IS an inner athlete in you. Your body CRAVES to be healthy and strong. That feeling is addicting and I want you to feel that way. I want you to enjoy being sore! I want you to know what it feels like to be properly hydrated. I want you to sleep good knowing you gave it your all today and every day.

I want you to walk into the gym like a boss-and handle yourself with authority and dignity. Hold your head up high-and fight the good fight.

There are people who NEVER make the commitment that you are making. The fact that you are in a gym means that you are doing more than 80% of the population (that is fact). Take that in and embrace that. The hardest part is just showing up. So if you show up whether it’s for 10 minutes or 30 minutes or an hour; you are still doing more than most of your friends, co-workers, and your neighbors.

Stay persistent and consistent, my friend. You will get the results you want if you don’t give up. Don’t you dare succumb to the statistic and fade out. Push through-make this so important as if your life depends on it. Because it does!

I’m always here if you need a boost, a helping hand, or a word of motivation and encouragement. I just want you to see yourself the way I see you: Strong. Athletic. Powerful. Warrior. You have all of those qualities and then some.

Game face; ON.

FOCUS.

In Health-Demi

“When will I see results?”

How long until you will see results

This is a question that I get asked ALL.THE.TIME.

And I get it. I was the girl who would workout, eat good, and get some good sleep, and I would weigh myself every single day! I would find myself very disappointed because sometimes my weight would go up, or there would be very minute changes. One thing you must know is:

THE SCALE IS A BIG FAT LIER.

(for the most part)

The scale is great to give yourself an overall glimpse of how your diet and workout are working for you BUT only as one simple tool, because it does not give you the whole picture of how you are progressing. That number does not represent how many pounds are fat and how many pounds are muscle are on your body at any given moment.

THIS IS WHY I MEASURE. 

Body measurements are more trusting and can give me and you a more accurate glance of how you are moving along. It can give us a baseline for body fat percentage, where we can measure every 4 weeks to make sure we are progressing and moving in the right direction. Keep in mind even measurements can vary in ways that are “not desirable” at the moment because it can measure water retention as well as differences in your body composition that is very common in the beginning of a workout program. What matters most is that we keep a general baseline that includes a combination of the scale AND measurements every 4 weeks.

Most people will tell me that their clothes are fitting differently and are looser. THAT is what I am looking for. That tells me that you are not just losing body fat, but you are putting on muscle. I had a client in the past that over 3 months of solid training with me: lost ONLY 3/4 of a pound. Do you know how devastated she was?! THEN we got to measuring. Sure enough she lost 22 overall inches! Can you see now how much the scale is SO not the end all judge here? The scale is just a tool. This woman’s clothes were so loose on her! Those numbers tell me she put on muscle and boy did she get strong! When she saw how many inches she was down, her happiness could fill that gym times ten. She was happy and I was so proud of her.

So getting back to it: you know you can’t spot reduce. Think of yourself like an onion. Every day that you eat good, workout, and sleep good-a SLIVER of that onion comes off your entire body at once. It will take time to get to any problem areas. But it is doable! You just have to stay consistent.

Here’s JUST AN EXAMPLE of what can be typical as far as when you can see results. Of course everyone is different; so please keep that in mind. This represents someone who is watching their food intake and hydrating properly, working out most days of the week, and sleeping well in general every night.

  • Week one: Most people start to see some change in the scale (usually up to five pounds) during this week. You’re likely to feel better, but not see major changes in your body.
  • Week two: During week two you’re likely to start to see changes in the way your body looks and feels. Exercise starts to feel easier and your clothes will start to feel loose.
  • Week three: Week three is when you start to feel momentum in your weight loss journey. If you’ve been consistent in your plan, your body is responding well and you start to feel like the program is successful.
  • Week four: By week four it is very possible that you’ve lost enough weight (safely) to be a different clothing size.

Again, remember this is all very relative and different for everybody. I will be talking more about all of this in-depth in the coming weeks and really breaking it down so please stay tuned. Feel free to ask me any questions you would like me to cover in the comments or send me a message via the ‘contact me’ tab on this website.

In Health-Demi

Small things always lead to big results

lushfabglam the importance of water and staying hydrated.png

The first thing I ALWAYS talk to my clients about is “how much water are you drinking?” No joke it’s within 5 minutes of our first meeting. Usual responses:

“Well when I’m thirsty I’ll have a glass”

“Does soda count?”

“Juice? I need flavor”

It goes on. I’ve heard it all.

I cannot stress the importance of how important being hydrated is. If you do this ONE SIMPLE TASK (of staying hydrated with good quality H2O) EVERYDAY-you will see results!

You will sleep better. You won’t over eat as much. You will feel clear of mind. You will have more energy. Your joints won’t hurt as much. You’ll probably lose some weight without even changing your eating habits and not working out. You will just flat-out FEEL GOOD.

So, how much water should you be drinking?

HALF OF YOUR BODY WEIGHT CONVERTED TO OUNCES OF WATER PER DAY.

Maybe more if you are sweating a ton. As the old saying goes: “If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.”

There are some add ons to this simple change you can make in your life today that can yield you results:

No empty calories.

That means: no juices, no sodas (no sparkling stuff either).  Stay away from “sugar-free anything, because you may as well see “chemical shit storm” on the label. Your body hates that stuff.

Also, black coffee is ok! Be careful with creamer (dairy to be specific). Your body does not handle caffeine and dairy too well causing an insulin spike from hell and therefore causing you to be very hungry for starchy food a couple of hours later. If you MUST have creamer: find some solace in almond or coconut milk creamer. It’s actually quite tasty!

To make this water consumption easy-you don’t have to be that person that carries a gallon jug with you all throughout the day. I mean you can if you want. For myself I like to keep a 20 oz bottle with me at all times. I aim for at least 60 oz’s of water per day, so in reality I just need to drink 3 of those, and it’s mentally super easy to get that done. If you absolutely must have flavor: fear not! Try adding fresh lemon (aids in digestion when you do this as well, and is overall very good for you). Also, the night before: you can add in some of your favorites fruits so soak in your water overnight, then strain them out in the morning, and pack the fruit for snacks throughout the day. Your water will taste delicious without all the extra calories and the negative effects of soda.

Your body loves water. I can’t stress that enough. Especially if you are working out. You will sweat more (which is a GREAT thing), aids in overall detox, your skin will look incredible, and your performance in the gym will increase and that means better results for you.

Little things..over time=results. Cut out the empty calories. Drink the water. And just see what happens. 🙂

In Health-Demi