fat loss

Holiday Survival Guide!

Your health account, your bank account, they’re the same thing. The more you put in, the more you can take out. Exercise is king and nutrition is queen. Together you have a kingdom”

– Jack LaLanne

Holiday lights, party invites, cookies, and recipes abound. Ready or not, the holidays are here! Tips for good health and nutrition need to become part of your holiday schedule, unless you plan to spend another January playing catch-up. Time is one commodity where everyone holds equal shares. To suggest that one is too busy to plan is, at best, an easy excuse to use this time of year. We like to say, “a failure to plan, is a plan to fail.”

Start with eating breakfast. Studies show those who eat breakfast, compared to those who don’t, can lose 27% more fat just by eating breakfast all other things equal (don’t forget the protein!).

Make exercise a priority! No duh, right? Here is a concrete way to take action on this front: Make appointments on the calendar at least 3 times each week. These appointments should be treated as a top priority – non-negotiable. Do not reschedule any of these 3 workouts. There are four other days of the week to allow more flexibility. Thanksgiving Day is the greatest day of the year to exercise. Do NOT skip it. Run a 5k or come kickbox at Ellipse Fitness! It is something of a tradition worth experiencing!

Snack…smart! Saving your appetite and caloric intake for that one large meal only leads to a painful, bloated trip to the couch or throne of another kind! Eat two small meals/snacks throughout the day. Suggestions: veggies and Greek yogurt with seasoning mix to use as your dip; cottage cheese with tomatoes or berries; protein shake; a piece of fruit and almonds.

Choose wisely. Make appropriate meal selections. Turkey, veggies, and sweet potatoes (skip the marshmallow and brown sugar-they are sweet all by themselves. HINT: cinnamon with a little butter). Ask yourself: How bad do I really want _______ (i.e. crescent rolls, green bean casserole, etc.)? Is it worth it? Start filling your plate with turkey and veggies FIRST, then choose one small serving of your favorite guilty pleasure side.

Eat dessert! That’s right. Not “just a little piece” or the infamous “bite of his” either. Eat a full serving of dessert. Do not eat a whole pie, but indulge in a piece of the very best available. If your grandma makes the greatest apple pie in the whole world, savor every piece of that apple pie. Pass on the so-so cookies bought at the store because everyone ‘had to bring something.’ Those end-of-the-aisle sales are not special order for a reason. There is nothing special about it. If dessert isn’t your favorite, then of course don’t eat it just because…but if you spend the entire meal dreaming of what comes next, then make choices on the front end so you can indulge in what you love most. Healthy eating is not about recusing yourself from every pleasure, but about being smart and savoring what you value!

Charged with bringing a dish to pass? Bring the veggie tray with a healthy option you can munch with confidence!

Fiesta Ranch Dip
2 c plain Greek yogurt (or 1 ¾ c of cottage cheese + ¼ c of water-pureed)
1 package Fiesta Ranch salad dressing mix

Or make this delicious version of the sweet potato casserole and skip the tired ol’ marshmallow topped canned yams

Sweet Potato Crunch
Cut, boil, and mash 4-6 sweet potatoes. Place potatoes in a casserole dish.
Melt 4-6 tablespoons of real butter and stir in 2 tablespoons of cinnamon (apple pie spice or pumpkin spice makes for a nice twist as well) to coat 3 cups of plain corn flakes.
Top mashed sweet potatoes with corn flakes and bake for an additional 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Rock Thanksgiving With These Drinks and Apps!

Well Thanksgiving is nearly here, and if yours is anything like most friends and family will descend upon an agreed upon location, all hauling heavy, over-the-top dishes that almost universally contain extra sweetness and a higher-than-usual volume of carbohydrates!

It’s a celebration meal designed for giving thanks, but instead we often find ourselves crying, “uncle!” at the hands of a feast low in quality nutrition and very high in sugar and calories. Either that, or you find yourself getting inquisitive stares from across the table as they notice your plate isn’t piled high enough to block your view!

BUT NOT THIS YEAR WE SAY! Start planning now to freshen up the variety and the quality of the meal, and most at the table will probably thank you for it!

Appetizers!

Time to get your appetizer vocabulary up to speed! Crudites (kroo-dee-tay) is a French word that means a vegetable that can be cut into sticks, thin slices, or bite size pieces and served with a cold dip. Try this easy, healthy, avocado hummus dip! Blend 2 avocados, 1 can drained chickpeas, ¼ c lemon juice and olive oil, and 1.5 TBSP tahini (optional). Salt/Pepper to taste.

Prep double the veggies and double down on another dip with this excellent version of spinach dip! No Mayo, no cream cheese or sour cream!

Check out the recipe here!

Baked Blooming Onion! Who can resist snagging a piece of a blooming onion?? Try a healthier version by baking and plating with a greek yogurt based dip. Cut the base off an onion, cutting into 12-16 sections (not cutting all the way through) and “flower” the petals, dredge in 2 egg white wash, and coat with ¼ c panko + ¼ c ground almonds + 1/8 c parmesan and spices. Bake 40-45 minutes at 375.
Find the recipe here!

Want a dip with a kick? Combine 8oz plain greek yogurt + 1 tsp sriracha sauce + 1 tbsp parsley.

Drinks!

Add 1 shot of vodka over ice, mix 16 oz water with an “on-the-go” packet of Crystal Light or Similar powder. Pour half the mix over the vodka/ice and add a splash of lemon-lime or ginger ale soda. Toss in a blender for a blended drink! Get creative with your favorite flavors. Only about 110 calories: Cheers!

Combine a packet of Swiss Miss 25 Calorie hot chocolate mix, 3/4 Cup Hot Water and 1 Peppermint Stick. Ready to kick back with something a little more? Add a quick shot of vodka, but keep in mind that will set you back an additional 100 calories. You decide what it’s worth!

Leftovers!

Are you hosting Thanksgiving? This year, buy a BIGGER turkey and rock those leftovers (or snag unwanted leftovers from the host)! Check out these great Ellipse Fitness recipes to use that leftover turkey!

Turkey Enchiladas

Turkey Tortilla Soup

Diet Myth-Busting!

This week we are busting diet myths! First up, it’s…

EAT LESS, WEIGH LESS.”

While that CAN be true in some cases, usually people don’t want to lose weight – they want to lose fat! So, if you are comfortable depriving your body the nutrients it needs, feeling hungry all the time, and losing muscle, water and bone density – then this is the diet for you! In order to maintain muscle and proper body functioning (especially for people involved in strength training several times a week like our Ellipse members!) you need to eat at least a certain number of calories in the proper ratio of protein, fat and carbohydrates.
Now of course if an average person was eating 3,000 calories a day sure, cutting their calorie intake a little will probably help them lose some weight. For most of us however, when we “diet” we tend to cut out entire macronutrient categories (*cough cough* carbohydrates), and slash caloric intake below a baseline level needed to ensure your body doesn’t enter “starvation mode”.

LOW-FAT, LOW-CARB, SUGAR-FREE, DIET, LITE”

These are marketing terms dreamed up in a corporate office to sell cheap (in quality and ingredients, not always in price) products to the incredibly large market of people desperate to lose weight. We’ve discussed the downside to artificial sweeteners in the past, but products with these labels tend to be highly processed, and are often just junk food disguised as a guilt-free indulgence – however, they are anything but. Low or Fat-Free products often have added sugar to make it taste good enough to eat (see the classic example of fat-free frozen yogurt)

EAT SMALLER AMOUNTS FREQUENTLY TO BOOST METABOLISM.”

The truth is the number one way to boost your metabolism is by increasing the amount of muscle you have – that’s about it. Constant digestion has a negligible effect on your metabolism and might even do more harm than good for your teeth and intestines. Eating a healthy snack (think: Veggies and Hummus, Fruit and Greek Yogurt or Peanut Butter, etc) between meals however can help you to stay more satisfied during the day and prevent overeating at meal time.

EATING PROTEIN AND CARBS SEPARATELY AIDS IN WEIGHT LOSS.”

This one is patently UN-true because in fact the best way to ensure efficient digestion of protein is to pair it with a high-fiber carbohydrate. Many of the healthiest protein options come pre-paired with carbohydrates already like beans, nuts, seeds etc.

EATING FAT MAKES YOU FAT!”

This one is very important because many people striving for a healthy diet almost totally abstain from dietary fat, which is to their detriment because many vitamins (A, D, E and K) REQUIRE fat to be absorbed into the body. Also adding small amounts of healthy fat (EVOO, Coconut Oil, etc) to vegetables makes most people much more likely to eat them, and help you feel full! (Think: apple = still hungry vs. apple + peanut butter = energy + satisfaction)

DON’T EAT AFTER 8 PM!”

This might be good advice, but not because late night calories are really any worse than daytime calories. Most of the time late night snacks are our worst ones. High fat, high sugar snacks that don’t actually serve any purpose to sate hunger. Try not to go more than 5 hours without eating during the day to avoid being famished late at night, and try to contain your eating hours roughly within a 12-hour window – that alone might help you save a couple hundred calories per day!

Consider these myths BUSTED

Slooooowww Down

We’re a rushed, distracted, and “too-busy” society. Most people in North America eat fast. Really fast. We rarely take the time to savor our food… or sometimes even to chew it properly.

^^It’s gross isn’t it??^^

You almost can’t look away…don’t be like Homer!

Each time we consume food we are using all five of our senses. We taste and smell the food, hear the crunch, feel the texture, and see the food. Try sitting down to eat in a calm environment with minimal distractions to truly enjoy all the five senses, and get more satisfaction out of eating! Taking time to prepare your food and make it look presentable will help you to enjoy it. Add fruits, veggies, and spices to add a colorful “pop” to your meals!

Did you know it takes a full 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your mind (and mouth for that matter) that you are satisfied? Try spending at least 20-30 minutes eating each meal, and see what a difference it can make! Slowing down is an effective – and maybe the easiest – way to reduce caloric intake at a meal.

Eating slowly offers many benefits:
• Better digestion
• Better hydration
• Easier weight loss or maintenance
• Greater satisfaction with our meals

Digestion is a process made up of many equally important steps that prepare the body to break down everything you put into it to use for energy. Smelling, tasting, chewing, moving the food around, chewing some more, swallowing, chemical and mechanical break down in the gut… When we eat and chew slowly, we allow our brain and body to properly digest the food. Food that is not properly chewed, or eaten too fast can lead to GI problems as well as indigestion. To practice chewing slower, choose high-fiber foods that take more time to chew such as fresh fruits and vegetables. The act of chewing even helps your brain to feel more full – this is why shakes and smoothies can leave you hungry even when they have the same calories as a meal!

Now, we all know that awful feeling of eating way too much and feeling like a balloon. Eating slowly helps us avoid this “inflated” feeling, and gives the brain time to process satisfaction. One research study out of the University of Rhode Island done on women who ate lunch quickly vs women who ate lunch slowly showed those who ate quickly consumed 646 calories in 9 minutes while the women who ate slowly consumed 579 in 29 minutes! That’s 67 calories less in 20 additional minutes – you can see how weight gain can happen if this is happening for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! For weight-loss or more consistent maintenance, try aiming to stop eating when you are only 80% full. Don’t continue eating until about 20 minutes have passed. Then if you are still hungry eat a little more, but if you are not – then don’t.

Here’s a simple strategy to slow down: Count how many bites you take in a minute. The next time you eat, try cutting that number in half. At a minimum, you will be more conscious of your speed.

Check out these other shocking study findings about just how much MORE food we consume when we eat quickly!

The Inside Scoop on Ellipse Workout Programming

A lot goes into our programming at Ellipse Fitness. This week we’ve brought you a sneak peek into the what some of the components are, and the how’s and why’s of what we do at Ellipse to get RESULTS from our members. Each paragraph corresponds to the respective workout of the day, in order throughout this week!

(Monday)
One important component we look at is Training Volume. # of sets X # of reps. More Volume = More Results/Muscle Growth. No matter the reps, the key here is to work up to – or close to – fatigue to continue to achieve results. However, ONLY doing high volume work can lead to burnout or injury which is why we do not perform high volume workouts exclusively.

(Tuesday)
Power is another factor we take into account when designing workouts. Remember our partner-resisted runs and broad jumps earlier this week? Power is a combination of strength and speed that reflects how quickly you can exert force to produce a desired movement. As we age, power diminishes even quicker than strength, so it’s important to make it a part of your fitness program. Power training increases reaction time (think catching yourself during a trip or fall). You can’t be powerful without speed, so if you are strong, work on your speed; if you are fast/reactive, work on the strength piece. It is important to train both aspects for overall health and quality of life.

(Wednesday)
How can you get better at a specific movement or activity? In short, work on the movement pattern! If you struggle stepping up on the boxes, to a specific height or with weight? Work on your split squat, increasing your range of motion first and then adding weight to the movement. If you can’t perform a solid chest press, a push-up will be a real challenge. Both movements require core stability in addition to chest, triceps, shoulders, and back strength, however a push-up forces the core stabilization and works on relative body-weight strength – making it a more difficult move. You may have heard us reference ways to practice push-ups without dropping down to the knees because this common regression takes most of the core work out of the movement, making it difficult to ever progress to a push-up from the full plank position. This principle is called Specificity.

(Thursday)
Much like power, Mobility declines drastically as we age if we don’t continue to work through a full range of motion. Mobility training also promotes healthy joints and helps to prevent injury! Flexibility is only one component of mobility. Mobility is flexibility under tension – think flexibility that you can actually put into practice in your day-to-day life. Passive stretching to improve flexibility can last as little as a few minutes sometimes, while mobility exercises actually change the way your body is able to move. Walking like a monkey is a lot more than just a fun move to practice

(Friday)
Rest Based Training (RBT) is another really effective way to achieve strength gains and fitness results. The motto: Push until you can’t; rest until you can again. This training format prevents overexertion, allowing even high intensity workouts to be executed safely. Studies have shown that when individuals are given the opportunity to control their own work to rest ratios, people exercise at a higher intensity than predicted by the researchers. The rest is shown to make exercise psychologically easier, often providing a more enjoyable workout in addition to being safe and effective.

(Saturday)
If you’re one of our members you’ve probably been waiting to hear us talk about this next one: Kickboxing! In addition to being a really great cathartic experience that allows you to melt stress right out of your body, kickboxing complements our strength training perfectly by addressing some other key factors related to health and well-being. It sharpens the mind by improving neuromuscular connections, coordination and proprioception, it has been shown to slow the effects of degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Dementia, and it increases you aerobic capacity, abdominal and upper body strength!

Tune in next week for more!

High Intensity Interval Training

Each week at Ellipse Fitness the structure of the sessions is designed so the body is getting a balanced mix of strength, cardio and high intensity interval training (HIIT). This format helps with weight loss, burn fat, kick-starting the metabolism, muscle tone, and increasing energy and well-being. Let’s dig into the HIIT benefits and why it transforms the body and helps to maximize results.

First, let’s define HIIT: High intensity interval training is a form of training that alternates between quick, intense activity and fixed rest periods. This type of workout has various benefits, but here are the biggies!

Time Saver: For starters, research shows that a quality 15 minute HIIT workout compared to jogging on a treadmill for 60 min, is more effective, especially when compared over the 24 hour period following the workout. With that being said, time allocated to working out in HIIT style takes less time, yet the impact is more significant.

This is perfect for a busy schedule! Get in 20 minutes or less of HIIT and you’ve had a full workout. HIIT should take place 2-3x/week tops, to help with physical and mental strength. An additional plus of the time saving aspect of HIIT is that you can do it anywhere. No excuses accepted!

You are more likely to stick to it: How many times have you been on a treadmill and tried not to look at the time? We trot along trying to distract ourselves, while hoping that time is flying by while we aren’t looking at the clock. Come on, we know you’ve been there! Well here’s what’s awesome about HIIT. With the time saving benefit, you’ll reach higher endorphin levels quickly, leaving you feeling great after a short amount of time. Ellipse workouts are never longer than 45 minutes, and members aren’t only coming back because they look good, but because they FEEL GOOD! This boost, no matter at Ellipse or not, drives you to make fitness a part of your life. HIIT workouts make you feel good fast, leaving a stronger influence on creating a habit of exercising and even better, a desire for it!

Preserve Muscle Mass & Burn Fat: Research shows HIIT preserves muscle mass, while promoting increased fat burn. Whereas steady state cardio may encourage muscle loss with the fat burn. Once you’ve built strong muscle, it’s not something you want to lose! A HIIT workout kicks your body’s repair cycle into overdrive, helping to preserve your hard earned muscle and instead, burns the fat which in turn is what causes healthy weight loss.

Healthy Heart: HIIT pushes you into an anaerobic zone, fast! Taking your heart rate into this zone, from low to very high quickly, causes pressure on veins and arteries. The veins and arteries then increase in flexibility and elasticity. It may take miles before you reach this state while on a treadmill!

HIIT involves periods of work and rest to increase the heart rate while at work and increase the results while at rest. Lead trainer, Doug Mueller, of Milwaukee Third Ward location says, “This roller coaster ride for the heart enhances the cardiovascular system.” So doing intervals of high intensity exercises with fixed rest periods, breaks down muscle mass which depletes energy stores, causing the body to spend more energy rebuilding and replenishing muscle mass, including our precious muscular organ, the heart. <3

Fitness Tip: TRX Power Pull

The TRX Suspension System is an effective training tool because its scale able to accommodate all fitness levels, it trains in 3-D, and it works all core all the time.
The TRX Power Pull is a unilateral movement developing rotational power and shoulder stability while strengthening the upper back and core.
1. Begin by adjusting the TRX straps to mid-length. Then put the TRX in single hand mode.
2. Stand with feet hip width apart with one hand holding the TRX handle close to the body and the other arm reaching up the strap.
3. Open up the chest as you lean back and rotate away from the anchor point of the TRX.
4. Then keeping the legs straight, rotate back as you pull the handle back to your chest and return to your starting position.
To make this more advanced, walk your feet closer to the anchor point, making the decline steeper. To modify this move, stagger the feet and keep the back leg bent.

Fitness Tip of the Week Kettlebell: Squat/Press

The Squat/Press is both a full body strength and cardio exercise.  The squat portion tightens and tones the lower body muscles, the press portion strengthens the shoulders, and the core is activated as you transition between the squat and the press – so it becomes a full body strength move!

Begin with your weight at your chest as you drop down into a squat, then drive through your heels as you propel your body up into an overhead press.

In addition to the full body strength benefits, the Squat/Press is an awesome cardio exercise and great for extra fat burning!

 

Ellipse Fitness Appleton West Announces New Training Center

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 27, 2013

Ellipse Fitness Appleton West Announces New Training Center

Appleton, WI. – Ellipse Fitness Appleton West is expanding and will open a new training center in September 2013.  The new training center will be adjacent to the current large group exercise studio at 1200 N. Mayflower Drive, Appleton, WI.

According to Ellipse Fitness President Lisa Welko:

“Eleven years ago we changed the way fitness is done by doing all classes all the time.  We are now changing the way fitness is done again by offering personal training at an affordable rate.  I’m excited to offer another way for people to make fitness a part of their healthy lifestyle.”

Scheduled training center hours are 5:00am – 7:00pm.  Personal training services include customized programs, guidance and access to large group fitness classes.

 

About Ellipse Fitness

Founded in 2002, Ellipse Fitness is a classes only fitness and nutrition franchise specializing in providing regularly scheduled group exercise classes and nutrition programs for our members. Our proprietary workout programs emphasize functional movement, cardiovascular training, building core strength and increasing lean muscle mass.  For information on programs and locations please visit ellipsefitness.com.  For information about owning an Ellipse Fitness franchise please visit ellipsefitnessfranchise.com.

###For More Information, Contact:

Todd Weiss

Ellipse Fitness

Phone: 866-934-7167

Email: info@ellipsefitness.com

Please stop dieting!

Please stop dieting!

Everyone needs muscle. You need it to keep your metabolism as high as possible so you maximize fat burning.

Older folks, like our grandparents, need muscle for daily activities (from walking to gardening or even bike rides). It’s also important to be able to bend, stoop and move freely.

Young folks, like you and I, need muscle to look sexy. Because that’s what we do. We just sit around all day looking sexy, right? Tough life, I know. But hey, we’re good at it!

—Anyway, there are a few factors in avoiding muscle loss.

First, you must lift weights with the right amount of intensity and volume.

Another factor, dieting, is where most people go wrong (unless they are doing too much steady state cardio – that’s the big exercise no-no, of course).

So what’s the best diet to use?

One where you cut your calories every day? Or one that allows you to eat healthfully seven days per week?
Does the best diet demand that you eat obsessively and compulsively? Or can you just eat like a normal human being?

The good news is that you can eat normal healthy foods and just pay some extra attention to your protein intake and you can keep your metabolism rev’d up 24/7!

Questions? Give us a call or send an email – www.ellipsefitness.com. We look forward to hearing from you.