Friday, July 26, 2013

End of Body Revolution Month 1

Today, I officially moved on to Phase 2 (month 2) of Jillian Michaels Body Revolution, and I wanted to share my end of Phase 1 Results.  I've overall only lost a couple inches, but my shorts definitely feel looser around my waist and my thighs, and I've lost 9 pounds.  I don't have much more weight to lose because I'm mostly looking to just tone up my problem areas.    Hopefully the next couple months will get me to my toned body!

I've also been using the Cool Shapes shorts and I think those are working, even though sometimes it's so cold I can sit outside in 90 degree weather and I'm still a little chilly! LOL

I have been taking Relacore.  Mostly, it's been great for suppressing my anxiety and depression; so whether or not it helps with weight loss, I don't know...I just take it to improve my mood.

I wanted to share a tip with you: If you're workout feels like it's getting easier for you (that's great!) but it also means you need to start using heavier weights.  In order to see results, a good rule of thumb: make sure you're straining on your last couple of reps.  As painful as it's been, I upped my weights to 8's (which is the heaviest Jillian goes in BR, but you can go heavier if you want), and that's when I started to really SEE the changes.

My second tip: Use heavier weights to work your back and lighter weights to work your biceps.  You're biceps are still working during back moves so you don't want to wear them out with heavy weights.  Heavy weights during back exercises will build up your back which gives the illusion of a small waist (and a sexy back!).

Thursday, July 18, 2013

MyFitness Pal

I've heard things about the MyFitness Pal for years, but just never thought it would honestly help me want to keep track of what I eat.  Well, like Jillian keeps saying during her BR workouts, you never know until you try (like I never thought I could do military push-ups, but I can), so I gave it a try and I actually found it kind of cool keeping track of everything on my phone.  You can look up thousands of foods or create your own; you can add how much water you drink, and you can even add your exercise for the day and it tells you how many calories you've eaten, and how many you have left.  It also tells you how many carbs, protein, fats, etc. you should be aiming for and adds up all the information from your foods for the day to let you know if you're over or under that amount.  It's really nifty!

I also like that since it's on my phone, it gives me something to do on there besides play CandyCrush! LOL  And it has every name brand or store brand food you can think of!  It makes things super easy...the only bad part is that if you don't have a heart monitor, it's hard to accurately put in your exercise, especially when you work out at home and don't have a machine to help you guesstimate.

I've made some pretty big investments recently, so I can't afford a heart rate monitor right now, but it's on my Christmas list. I suggest the ones used on the Biggest Loser and in some of Jillian's newer DVDs: BodyFit Media armbands count calories burned, calories consumed, and sleep efficiency and the results can either be linked to your phone via Bluetooth or downloaded with a USB cord to your computer...pretty awesome!!!  (*hint hint* to my husband!)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

FreezeAwayFat Cool Shapes

You all know that I ordered my Cool Shapes shorts last week and they came in the mail today!  My investment was $173 but shipping was free!  The package came with 6 gel packs (only 4 are included in the $150 offer) and a mesh case to help them freeze correctly while in the freezer, 1 pair of compression shorts with 8 pockets, and a carrying/storing case for the shorts.

I think they're pretty neat.  You place the gel packs in the mesh case and place them in the freezer for 2 hours before putting on your shorts and placing the gel packs in the appropriate pockets.

I had to wear a sweatshirt while wearing them because it was kind of cold (I wasn't about to make my husband and kids suffer in the 90 degree weather with no air conditioning--but if you're home alone, you could probably save on your electric bill!).  However, it  really wasn't uncomfortable (especially since you only wear them for 30 minutes), it's just like wearing compression shorts when you work out except there's no slimy sweat dripping down them!  Now, there's no immediate results of course, but I took my measurements, so we'll see where I am in a week or two.

How many calories a day should you eat to lose weight? And how do you deal with the hunger?

One of the biggest struggles of losing weight is dealing with the hunger that comes after a good work out (because you burned a ton of calories, oh yeah!) and the hunger that sneaks up on you late at night.  While doing Jillian Michaels Body Revolution (each work out is said to boost metabolism for 16 hours!), I've noticed that my usually small appetite has grown, and finding the balance between too little and not enough is very tough.  (If you can follow her meal plan, I suggest doing it, because it'll make things a lot easier on you!)

The first step is to figure out how many calories your body needs in order for you to lose weight, and you start by finding your basal metabolic rate or BMR (this calculator will make it easier), in order to determine how many calories you need to eat to maintain your current body weight.  (Mine is 1,432 calories/day.)

Next, multiply your BMR by your daily activity:
     BMR x 1.2 if you do little to no exercise
     BMR x 1.375 if you do light activity 1-3 days a week
     BMR x 1.55 if you do moderate activity 3-5 days a week
     BMR x1.725 if you are very active
     BMR x 1.9 if you do more than the above mentioned, such playing intense sports, having a physical job, training twice a day, or just going above and beyond normal exercise

Now, take the number you get from multiplying your BMR by your activity (mine is about 2,350) and subtract 500 and that's how many calories you need to eat to lose about 1-2 pounds a week.

With Jillian, she suggests eating a 400 calorie breakfast, a 400 calorie lunch, a 400 calorie snack and 300 calorie dinner, which is only 1,500 calories a day for anyone who does her program, however, her program is to meant to push your body to lose extreme weight and get in extreme shape in just 90 days.  So you can push yourself to follow a 1,500 calorie a day diet, or you can just do the basics.

So how do you cut back on the calories?  Well, weight loss is a slow process, so don't be discouraged if you can't cut back that many calories with the snap of your fingers.

Tip 1: Drink at least 8 oz. of water before each meal. I suggest a full 16 oz. if you can, but not only does this help you get your daily water intake, but water makes you feel fuller which will help you eat less.

Tip 2: Take 20 minutes to eat the food on your plate.  It takes you brain 20 minutes to tell your stomach you're full, so the slower you eat, the less you'll eat.

Tip 3: Keep a journal.  I am the WORST at doing this, but keeping a journal of what you eat and now many calories you consume honestly helps more than anything else.  You can find an app on your phone to use, or do it the old fashioned way on pen and paper, whatever is easiest.

Tip 4: Go to bed earlier.  Whenever you start feeling hungry at night, drink a bottle of water while getting ready for bed, then go to bed early so you won't eat.  (This works double for helping you get the sleep your body needs.  A good night sleep is essential to losing weight.)

Tip 5: Get up and move. If you feel like you want to start snacking, instead, focus your mind on jogging in place, doing mountain climbers or a running man move.  You can do cross-punches in a half squat, or march in place, etc...just do SOMETHING PHYSICAL to get your heart rate up and make you not think about food.  This will also help put some more activity into your day to day life.  (I do one of these exercises about 4 times a day...but the more, the better!)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Tip #4: Drinking Water

Did you know that ICE COLD water burns 9 more calories than room temperature water? (That must be where they started with the whole "freezing off fat" thing!)  So keep extra cool this summer!! (and fall, winter, spring...and so on! *wink*)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Can you really freeze away fat?

Edited Wednesday, July 17, 2014, at 5:30 p.m.

All this new research has come up in the last few years that freezing fat can be an invasive (non-surgical) way to minimize those "problem areas, and until recently, it could only be done by professionals, but now it can be done at home with compression shorts and ice packs!?

"Scientists around the world have discovered that fat cells are highly sensitive to cold.  Brown fat cells, the kind we want, react to cold by becoming more active and burning more calories.  White fat cells, the stubborn fat we want less of, react to cold by withering and dying." according to the FreezeAwayFat website.  So that means the fat is PERMANENTLY gone!?  Sounds good to me!

This product is meant for people, like me, who have reached their ideal weight and are pretty close to their ideal shape, they just have a few stubborn problem areas.  I eat right, I exercise hard, but I still have belly fat on my lower abdominal area that I have spent my whole life trying to get rid hips will shrink by my belly won't budge! (It'll just bulge...blah!)  I'm a sucker to try anything with a money-back guarantee so I ordered my pair with an extra set of gel packs (for a total of 6).

There are 8 pockets to place the freezer packs in that focus on a woman's main problem areas (I'll focus on stomach, love handles, and inner thighs and buttocks).  The product is to be worn for only 30 minutes but every day, and the website claims that if you follow the rules, one can lose about an inch (in each area) in 5 weeks.  (The catch is that the money-back guarantee is only for 30 days after your purchase.)  So I'm going to give it a shot and see how my pants feel after a few weeks of wearing them to determine whether or not I like them, but the research seems to suggest that this is a legitimate, we just need a real life guinea pig to see if it works! (Guess that's me!)

Go to to check out more information and maybe even try your own pair...just remember, it's not a miracle, you will always need diet and exercise to lose weight and burn off fat, this just might help you get those final results you've been waiting for.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Jillian Michaels: Body Revolution

I started Jillian Michaels 90-day Body Revolution program yesterday (it's more like 97 days, because she gives you an optional kick-off week to really jumpstart your metabolism).  I decided to start with her Kick-start week which includes two 30 minute work-outs a day (morning and evening) and a lower caloric intake than the rest of the 90 days for that first week.  You do have the option to skip the Kick-start week and go right into week one, but I wanted to see what this first week could do for me (Jillian claims you can drop 1 jean size in 1 week if you follow the meal and exercise plan).

The Body Revolution workouts use HIIT (high intensity interval training) and PHA (peripheral heart action) which causes blood flow to go from top to bottom, bottom to top, back and forth to speed up your heart rate.  These work outs are said to rev up your metabolism for 16 hours after a workout!  (I don't have any scientific proof of this, but I believe it because my appetite has increased already.)  With the kick-start week you're doing two workouts per day to make your metabolism work extra through the day and night, keeping your body burning calories at its max 24 hours a day!  This is a good jumpstart to your metabolism and your stamina for the next 90 days.

If you're a Jillian beginner, really listen to her and don't push yourself too hard the first couple weeks...just get used to her, her moves, and your body's abilities.  If you're experience with Jillian (like me) the workouts may seem boring at first so she'll give you ways to spice things up with resistance, but still enjoy the easier moves (I am, because I know how she operates, and things WILL get A LOT harder).  Even though it feels like beginner work, I'm definitely feeling a little sore, so I know I'm still getting a good workout.

Now let's talk about the food: I'm a picky eater who is horrible at diets, lactose intolerant, and doesn't like to cook, but I do like to eat as healthy as I can under my circumstances, and I am good at remembering to count my calories.  Thus, instead of following the 75-page book of recipes that comes with the program (I might actually give some of the recipes a try when I'm bored with my food; I'm sure they're delicious for people who have a different palate than mine), I've just decided to count my calories and make my calories count!  I bought some Greek yogurt for snacks (and some regular for when I just want a side dish to a meal), celery, low-fat peanut butter, carrots, bananas, tuna, some Weight Watchers frozen meals (I know the sodium in them is bad, so I'm doubling up my water intake to flush it out), and of course, I'm still drinking my Muscle Milk.

Eating healthy when you've got two kids and a husband who can eat whatever they want, whenever they want and not ever have to worry isn't always easy. There are cookies, cokes, and candy in the house that I have to train myself to avoid (out of sight, out of mind is my best tactic).

As for eating healthy when you're on a budget, if you live near a Kroger or Ruler Foods, you can get their brand of foods and save A LOT.  Muscle Milk also now comes in a powder form giving me a months worth of shakes for the cost of what used to only get me through a couple weeks.  It's the same price as Whey protein, but it tastes a lot better!  In fact, sometimes I drink one when I'm craving ice cream or a milkshake, or when I just want something sweet.

And if you're thinking you want to go the diet pill route as a supplement for an extra boost, try Relacore or Slimquick without caffeine.  Caffeine will boost your metabolism, but I know from personal experience that spending too long on diet pills or relying too much on caffeine can actually destroy your natural metabolism, cause an addiction and/or anxiety, and give you horrible withdrawal headaches, and make you sleepy when you can't get "enough."  Jillian suggests no more than 400 mg of caffeine a day, I suggest even less than that if you do it.  My biggest regret is depending on diet pills for way too long, so I've switch to filling my body with vitamins that will help me inside and out: Fish Oil with Omega 3, Biotin, pure Rasberry Ketones, DHEA, and Niacin.  It may seem more expensive than taking 1 pill, but considering the average bottle of diet pills lasts you 10-15 days, the vitamins will last you at least twice as long (but take the full recommended doses).

I know it's quite an investment spending $100 for Body Revolution, $12 for a resistance band, and then about $50 on 3, 5, and 8 pound weights (you'll need them to advance the moves and challenge yourself...some people might even need a set of 10's), and then having to replace your unhealthy foods with healthy ones, but let me tell you how worth it is...I've already lost 1 pound in 24 hours! My stomach even looks flatter already! :)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Giving Up on a Program

I started doing Insanity because of all the hype it got, but after a lot of research and reviews, I found that most people doing Insanity were already fitness instructors, or ex-military, or people who really didn't have a lot of FAT to lose, just people wanting to tone.  Thus, after 2 grueling weeks of Insanity and really pushing myself, I've decided that I don't think it's the work out for me.  My goal is fat loss; I don't need super-defined abs or arms like Superman, I just want to look lean.

I spent the entire day today doing my homework on fat loss work outs, and (no surprise here) the number 1 at home work out is Jillian Michael's Body Revolution.  Now, I've known about Body Revolution for awhile (as you know, I'm a big Jillian fan), but it was 90 days where as Insanity was only 60; however, I'm ashamed that I didn't do more homework before deciding which work out to start with.  

Now, most websites and success stories will tell you that they didn't start seeing results with Insanity until month 2, and I was willing to stick it out and keep going, until I realized that all I'm doing is bulking up muscle on top of my fat instead of replacing the fat with muscle.  In 2 weeks I've gained almost 4 pounds; I may tell people not to focus on what the scale says and instead focus on how you feel, but I've been feeling like I've gained weight and the scale proved it. 

I HATE being a quitter, but I've decided to stop Insanity and start Jillian's Body Revolution (her new technique in these DVD's is said to increase your metabolism for up to 12 hours after each work out!), and then after I've finished her 90 day program, I'll go back to Insanity for more muscle building.  I'm not saying Insanity isn't great and can't do wonders for your body inside and out, but I don't think it's the work out I'm looking for right now.  Let's get rid of the stubborn belly fat, then we'll start talking about a 6 pack.

So in honor of my new work out, I took new before photos...but I'm going to make you all sweat it out and post them with the after pictures!  Wish me luck...I'll keep you posted!